Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Christmas in July" Meets "Here Comes The Bride"

Christmas came a little early this year! We turned the Steele house into a Christmas wonderland with our favorite Christmas foods!!!! Why, you ask (as if we really need a reason to celebrate Christmas anytime we want)?  To celebrate Bonnie's upcoming wedding . . . . A Christmas in July/first Christmas wedding shower . . .
Mr. Elf met everyone as they came through the door and signed the guest book . . .

In every little corner, parts of Christmas were tucked away for the guests to enjoy.

This was a close to a tree as we got this night.
It was a perfect centerpiece though for one of the tables while guests ate.

The other table centered around my grandmother's Christmas apron,
a tea pot and Christmas cookie cutters.

Bonnie (in the middle in red) and her family that could come to the party.

Don't you love this wreath by Kristen! You can make it, too!!!!

We LOVE Bonnie and were so glad to give her this special night!
What a night full of food, fun and Christmas!!!
Each guest brought an ornament (or two or three) for Bonnie's tree
as well as their favorite holiday recipe.
We have all decided we HAVE to do this again!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

We Heart Walker!!!!

LB loved helping feed Walker

These two . . . precious!

Love him holding her hair!

Bath time with the cousins!!!

Playing Hide N Seek with Aunt Becky after bath time

I wish Auburn were 6 hours closer!!!!
We love you, Walker!

A Good Place to CHILL

Well, Richard and Amy started something!!!!!  They treated the kids to frozen yogurt the new way - in a wall - as much as you want - with a toppings bar!!! The kids were in heaven!  The place was so cool as well . . .

Gran and Walker enjoying Chill!

We enjoyed it so much, I used it as a bride after our photo shoot.  We loved it even more!!!!
I enjoyed the yo-cakes - cookies 'n cream style!!!!

We were so excited when Damon told us there is one in Jackson now - why did we not know this before?  YAY, for a great way to Chill!!!!  All these photos were taken with my new app - Instagram - LOVE it!!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our Girls Read - August 2011 Book

Well, we are going to try it!!!!  LB and some of her friends who enjoy reading are going to start their own book club. We are going to read one book a month and then get together to talk about the book as well as do activities that relate to the book.  So without further adieu the first book we are going to read is (drum roll, please) . . . .

                     Katie Kazoo Switcheroo 

We will read the book and then get together towards the end of August.  Can't wait to see where this winds up!!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Three Things I LOVE . . .

2 things - not so much!

While in Auburn this past weekend, Allison was going to take pictures for us, but things came up so we had to cancel. (Sad, sad, but I am going to use her soon!)  I wound up taking the kids pics which I did not mind.  What I did mind?  The UTennessee orange outfits my mom bought them (Roll Tide) and taking the pictures on the campus of Auburn (can I hear another Roll Tide).  I felt like I was a good sport and took the pictures - with my houndstooth camera strap (GO BAMA GO!) while I lugged around my houndstooth purse (Well . . . .)!!!!  Despite the two strikes working against this photo shoot (3 if you count me), I thought they turned out pretty well . . .

It helps to have the cutest subjects!!!

All I have to say is . . .

(because I would not have done this otherwise!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Another Chapter Closes . . . Literally

Last night, Damon took me to the movies.  Usually I am excited about going but last night I was not sure I wanted to be there because it meant the end  . . . . saying goodbye to friends I have made over the past 12 plus years, but then I realized these are the friends I don't have to say goodbye to.  I have had many friends like this over the years and I always enjoy meeting back up with these friends on a road trip or just sitting around the house.  As I look back, each is a chapter of my life. Ones that I love to look back on and remember whenever I get the chance.

My first chapter - that I can remember - with friends like this was when I met Laura and her family in the big woods of Wisconsin.  I loved meeting up with them during quiet times and I loved, even more, seeing them come to life after school.  I remember rushing home to see which part of the stories I would get to see. (Sadly, some parts were altered when brought to life and I never understood how they could mess with a good thing already in place.) I laughed. I cried. I worried. I wondered what it was like for Mary not to be able to see and how Laura could be her eyes.  I loved going to the prairie and have revisited many times.  I also loved Ramona and all her quirky ways!!! I always wanted a little sister and thought one that was somewhat like Ramona would be a good one!!!  Briefly, she came to life for me and I just loved her even more!!  Now she has been brought BACK!!!!!

The next major chapter I remember was meeting a redhead from Canada.  Her name was Anne.  Oh how I would get wrapped up in her adventures all over Prince Edwards Island.  I could relate to her in so many ways and yet in so many other ways I could not.  However, I remember one summer spending the whole summer seeing her grow into a redhead who could not control her tongue to a mother of many.  I was so excited when I got to see Anne come alive and how I could (and have) watched her adventures again and again and again.  I remember thinking, "They finally got it right!" until I saw the last one which they MAJORLY butchered.  Yet, even though things aren't the same, it is my friend, Anne, and I feel drawn to her to see what is going on in her life.

As I added other chapters in my life, they began to fill with people I was told to meet and while I enjoyed meeting some of them, I missed those "kindred spirits."  Finally Jo and her sisters (as well as sweet Marmee) came into my life and, OH, what kindred spirits I found with these sisters. I related with each one as we laughed and cried, again, together. I could not get enough of them, so much that I have even been to their house!  What a visit that was!  Even though they were not there, I could see them as they went along their merry little ways.  I loved seeing Katherine bring Jo to life as well as Winona and sweet Beth brought to life (and then in death) by Margaret. Sadly, on my account, I have never read the following stories about Jo and her life, but plan to remedy that soon.

In these last few chapters of my life, friends like Elizabeth and Darcy have stolen a piece of my heart along with Emma and her friends.  I have wished on more than one occasion that I could get lost in Austen's world - for real!!!  When I began teaching, my students introduced me to some of my very best friends, Harry, Hermione and Ron.  I will admit I was not crazy about meeting these three, but, for the sake of my students, I began the introductions and slowly (but surely) we became friends.  When I had met them, they had already had their first 3 adventures.  I remember anxiously awaiting to hear how the fourth adventure panned out and before each new adventure would come out I would always go back and have them tell me about all the other adventures they had had up to that point.  I always learned something new and really took each adventure in like it was the first time I had heard it.  When they decided to bring the adventures to life, I would also go back and relive each adventure over and over.  I loved watching these 3 grow into wonderful young people and was not ready for it to end.

With each chapter that I have mentioned, I was never ready for it to end.  I always wanted more to see more of what happens to these people who have become friends - become part of my life.  I have to come to grips with the fact that all these chapters do end, but I can revisit them any time I want.  I can also introduce them to others - like my children.  Already LB and I have loved our time with Laura and her family as well as Ramona and her family.  I have briefly introduced her to Harry, Hermione and Ron and can't wait for her to meet Anne, Jo, Emma and Elizabeth.  Yes, even though our real time with them is done, I can always visit them spending as much time with them as I want.

For that, I am forever grateful to

the characters - for always being there.
(Please forgive me when I am away too long!)

the authors - for creating such real characters I can relate to and love
like real "bosom friends."

the books - for sitting so nicely on my shelves ready for me
whenever I am ready for you!

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends;

they are the most accessible 

and wisest of counsellors, 

and the most patient of teachers.

 - Charles W. Eliot (1834 - 1926)

The Happy Life, 1896

Friday, July 15, 2011

I LOVE Being Aunt Becky

and I get to be Aunt Becky to another
precious one come February!!!!

We got this picture not too long ago.
I LOVE it!!!
(despite the Auburn stuff)

They are going to be the same age apart as mine are and I think that is just too sweet!!! Please keep Amy, Richard, Walker and Baby in your prayers!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review: Cure for the Common Life

Again, Thomas Nelson was generous enough to send me a complimentary copy of Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado for me to read and review.  Again, I am just blown away at the way he can say things so clearly for me to understand.  The whole focus of this book is to get you thinking about what YOU can do for the One who made you.  He encourages you not to focus on others and what they can do, but to find your “sweet spot,” fall in love with the God, and then do it with all of your might.  He encourages you to develop your S.T.O.R.Y and tell it for all the world to hear! S.T.O.R.Y is your strengths, topic, optimal conditions, relationships and, then, to say yes!  So many people today are not in love their job and what they do.  How can you show Christ to others if you have a sour attitude each day?  Find your “sweet spot.”  Not just find it but make it YOURS and yours alone and then live each life for the glory of God.  I can’t wait to reread this book and digest it more in a deeper study. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's Finally Here!!! This One's For The Team!!!

Last year in October, the kids helped to make this video to raise money so a CD could be made to help raise money for Special Needs Baseball in Jackson where two of their sweet friends play ball.


 The CD is FINALLY available!!! You can go to Love in Stereo to buy This One's For the Team.  We helped sponsor the project so we have our CD and LOVE It!!!!  There are some great well known artists on this CD that you and your children will love.  So, buy the CD and help kids who need special equipment to play America's favorite past time!!!!  They will appreciate it so much!!!

This One's For The Team!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Red, White and Blue - Out Takes for You!

Got to love when family gets together for ANY reason - let alone a party.  
When you put family . . . 
at a party . . .
with a photo booth . . .

things are bound to get interesting!!!!

4 of the Great Grandkids

They LOVE Uncle Chuck!

Chuck and Jonathan

How many can you get in the picture . . . .

Just a few more would be fun!!!!

Younger brother . . . . Older sister . . . . 'nough said

Even got Pops in on the fun!

Stone Cold!
What A GREAT 90th Birthday Party!!!
Can't wait for the next one!!! 

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