Monday, August 29, 2011

I am a Proud Boy Scout Momma!

Tonight was Ben's first Boy Scout court of honor as senior patrol leader.  

Before the ceremony Ben helped to get all of the awards and badges arranged.

Then there was the wrangling instructing the new scouts on how to be a color guard.

Three handsome men standing at attention while the color guard files in.  
Pretty snazzy uniforms, huh?

Reciting of the Boy Scout oath.

Ben receiving his badges that he has earned since the last Court of Honor.

Being congratulated by Mary Breeden, scoutmaster extraordinaire and 
wonderful motivator for this troop.

This is what Ben came home with tonight:
Badges for weather, forestry, soil and water conservation, fingerprinting, auto maintenance, 
bird study, zombie defense, and duct tape merit badge.

BTW, the zombie defense and duct tape merit badges are spoof badges.
They are earned during camp while completing fun activities.  
They don't count toward Eagle requirements but they do get added to the sash.

The Davis Inn patch was earned by climbing the 2 mile difficult hike up a mountain to the Davis Inn where they have to complete several activities like branding, carving, campfire cooking, lashing, and a basic course on edible plants.  

He also earned a World Conservation Award panda badge - kind of a cool deal.  
He is only the third scout from his troop to earn a panda patch.  

I am very proud of Ben and his troop.  This is a very busy bunch of boys - and it shows.  
Out of this troop of about 15 there were 72 badges and awards given!
It was also mentioned that this troop has a 100% Eagle rate.  
None of the active scouts age out before they reach eagle.  
That speaks very well of the scoutmaster and all of the adult help for this troop 
as well as the motivation of the boys.  

Makes a momma proud.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Two High Schoolers

All the while feeling like a private investigator, I took my camera with me when I went to pick up the kids after school today.  

I am glad that no one seemed to notice me.  I don't think I would enjoy having to endure questioning about why I was photographing children in a school yard.  

Allison was first out and immediately noticed the camera.  
The girl never misses a chance to make a goofy face.
(I have no idea where she got that trait.)

I think she makes a pretty cute freshman...

Even though she busted out a few sweet dance moves while walking to the car.
No music required. 

Ben, who I believe also noticed the camera, never let on that he saw me until he was at the car.  

Upperclassmen have to be all cool like that.

We are having a great start to the year so far.  
The kids are happy with their classes and teachers.
Bruce and I are happy that they seem to be doing well so far.  

I hope that we stay in this happy groove for a long time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I have a cling-on who keeps a pretty close watch on me during the day.  

Somebody's missing her litter mates while they are at school.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Herbicide! (heh)

When we arrived home this evening I was admiring my herb pots 
and realized that my dill was almost completely gone!

In place of the ferny dill leaves I found 7 Swallowtail caterpillars!
My poor dill plant didn't stand a chance!  

This beauty is an eating machine!  
Not unlike my 16 year old son.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pizza Night!

I have been making homemade pizzas forever.  
But until a couple of weeks ago I hadn't make grilled pizza.
Tonight was attempt #2.

Before we begin all the ingredients have to be ready for the grill - once the grilling starts 
things move pretty quickly.

I made several pizzas so that everyone could top their own. 

It is fun to slap the dough onto the grill, close the top, and see how fast things change.  
Big puffy air pockets that get nice and crispy once the crust is flipped.  

Once the crust is flipped the sauce, parmesan cheese and toppings of choice are quickly applied.  

And you can't forget the fresh mozzarella.  That stuff makes for pizza perfection. 
It gets all ooey-gooey as the pizza continues to cook. 

Finally a sprinkling of basil shreds.  

Awesome dinner if I do say so myself.
And there were enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Chicken in Every Pot

Although "a chicken in every pot" was part of a slogan for Herbert Hoover's presidential campaign in 1928 it is also the situation I have here at home today.

I don't have any thing in particular for dinner planned so I put a chicken on to boil and am hoping that some inspiration comes my way.  

The first thing that comes to mind is chicken and dumplings.  However since it is August 
and HOT I just can't get excited about that today.  

Chicken pot pie - just a fancy version of chicken and dumplings in my book.  

Creamy chicken and pasta?
Chicken enchiladas?
White chicken chili?
Chicken salad with sliced tomatoes?

Whatever form dinner takes this evening, if it tastes as good as my home smells right now it will be delicious!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


One of the nicest things about our nasty hot summers is figs.

Dad gave me a fig tree start from his trees many years ago.
It produces the nicest sweet figs.

They just started ripening this last week. 
 I am getting a double handful every couple of days.  

That is just about the right rate for snacking - since I am the only one in 
my family who likes them.  
I don't mind though - more for me!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Patches and Stitches

Ben came to me with his Boy Scout uniform shirt and 
asked me to get it up to date for him.  

He has a very important duty this coming weekend.
He will be master of ceremonies for his friend Jonathyn's Eagle Ceremony.

This is a big honor and very cool because Ben and Jonathyn have been 
scouts together since they were cubbies.

His uniform also needed to be updated because Ben is now 
Senior Patrol Leader for his troop.

In working through his Eagle requirements Ben needs to have leadership experience.
Now is Ben's chance to lead the troop.

In a couple of weeks Ben's troop will have their bi-annual Court of Honor 
where boys will be awarded the badges and 
rank advancements that they have earned.

After having a very successful week at summer camp Ben should be 
awarded several more badges to add to his sash.  

I guess there is no use putting away the sewing machine!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How Does This Happen?

How is it that I can't seem to keep the bar in my kitchen clean?

It seems to go from fairly neat to a big 'ol mess in no time flat.

Where are the cleaning fairies when you need them?

Monday, August 8, 2011

A New Year, A New School

This morning the kids left for their first day of school for 2011-2012.

Ben is a junior this year but goes back today with a new level of confidence and about 3 inches of height he didn't have last year.  He said is actually glad to be getting back to school.  That statement alone tells me that this year is going to be special.  

Allison is a freshman this year.  She has come from a small private school and is a little nervous about all of the changes that will happen this year.  First of all - no school uniforms!  For the first time since 5th grade she gets to pick out what she wants to wear and she is also wearing a little makeup.  (That is a whole other blog post!)  She will be changing classes and moving through the day with many more students than she is used to.  She has a tough schedule but I know she can rise to the challenge.  As far as making new friends - look at that smile!  She will have new group of friends in no time.  
(She gets that from her mother! :)  )

I pray that this year my children grow in knowledge and confidence. 
 I pray that they treat each other and those with whom they attend school 
with respect and kindness.  
I pray that they take full advantage of the privilege of attending school in a free country.  
I pray that they never feel afraid or threatened and that school remain a safe haven for them. 
I pray that their teachers convey the knowledge of their subjects and 
are good role models for the students. 
 I pray that Bruce and I never fail to nurture and support their education efforts.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Photography Assistant

A couple of days ago I had the privilege of photographing my nephew's newest daughter.

Knowing that I was dealing with a three month old baby and that the clock would be 
ticking as soon as I started photographing her I knew I would have to work fast.  

This is where my lovely and able photography assistant came in very handy. 
 (Look at those lashes!  So jealous!)

She laid down on the pad I had set up for the baby 
so that I could make lighting and camera adjustments.

She did a great job holding the reflector and following instructions. 

She maybe felt a little self-conscious lying on the floor while I took pictures of her
and her aunt and cousin-in-law looked on.

But she was a good sport.  

This is one happy young lady.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dad's Garden, Part 8

Dad's garden is about the only thing that is enjoying all of this heat 
we have been experiencing lately.

Everything is looking good.  The cooler weather veggies are now long gone.  
The heat-loving veggies are in their prime.

The muscadines are starting to blush.

The tomatoes are peaking now - they are loving all of the heat.

I mean, look at this plant.  It is loaded with fruit!
Dad has a knack with growing tomatoes.
From seed to harvesting seed for next year he has this whole routine down to a 
proven process that just doesn't fail.  
I know that one year he kept up with the poundage of tomatoes that he was taking to church - 
that year what he took exceeded 1500 pounds!  
That's a whole lot of spaghetti sauce!

Dad has staggered his lima bean plantings so that they don't all come in at once.
Red lima or green limas - they are all delicious!

Dad's fig bush is loaded up!  
When these figs actually start to ripen they are going to have a bumper crop.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Honoring a Special Young Woman

Tonight the GFWC Legacy woman's club had the privilege of honoring Megan Vansant.  Megan was the recipient of your 2011 club scholarship.  We have watched her grow up and become a lovely young woman who is well-versed in leadership and volunteerism.  

She begins the next chapter of her life at Mississippi State majoring in Architecture.  If the first 18 years of her life are any indication of the next 18 years, she will do amazing things.  

Good luck at school Megan!  We all love you and are rooting for you!