Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gotta get me some that SPOON BREAD!!!, I know you don't have music in your head when you see that phrase...

But, I do...

I can hear these two college guys with guitars...
singing this anthem...that the Berea Chamber of Commerce, I'm sure, still doesn't know existed...

SPOON BREAD...gotta get me some of that...SPOON BREAD...

I won't completely set the scene...(it involved some portable potties and tents, etc.)
But I can't help but sing it when I see this 
and this...


you're probably asking,

"What the heck is spoon bread?"

Well, the short answer is eggy cornbread.

The long answer is- it's the dish that Boone Tavern Hotel is the most famous for. I'm not totally sure, but it may have originated there. And, Boone Tavern is the now five-star hotel located right on Main Street in Berea. Opened in 1909, the hotel was the brainchild of the college president's wife. 

And from this eggy-cornbread dish came the idea for yet another festival in Berea, Kentucky. The 14th Annual Spoon Bread Festival happened right here in my little corner of the world. And, it sentimentally marks the anniversary of my move to college from Alabama. The first Spoon Bread Festival was held just a couple weeks after I unpacked my bags here for the first time. 
(side note: my family treated me: my first night ever in Berea was spent at Boone Tavern Hotel. It was also the night that Princess Di was killed in that car accident. The next day, I moved into a dorm room for the first time.)

OK...I know...

Move on...

the only semi-decent shot I managed to grab while keeping my hoodlums from hoodlumming somebody. Four adults is just not enough for three boys... 

the above shot I got on Friday night. There's one shot that's missing: my mom and I walking the Spoon Bread one-mile fun walk. We came in last...dead last...behind a 3-year-old. (I took a photo to prove it: my mom walking, with the lights of the police cruiser just behind her to escort the fun-mile caboose up Chestnut Street. I don't know what happened, but the image was completely blown out!)

The other photos I got on Saturday, while boys #1, #2 and #3 were at our friends and we were out on a date. 

Yep, that's exactly what you do on a date in Berea, Kentucky. You go to the Spoon Bread Festival (or one of the other 500 festivals we've got going on here) and get some spoon bread- that costs a whopping $3 a cup! 

We thought that was a little steep. So today, I made my own flippin' spoon bread. I'll share the recipe pretty soon. I wanted to try it out first before I photographed the process. I must say, it was pretty good for an Alabama girl, but we are pretty darn good at cornbread. 

And you don't make this stuff in an iron skillet. They have a spoon bread baker, made right here in Berea, that they sell at the Boone Tavern gift shop. (in that Tater Knob Pottery slideshow, it looks like a deep pie dish) I don't have one. I've always wanted one. I just made mine in a casserole dish. I know, can you believe I don't have pictures of it.

So we wrapped up our date night in the Sonic Drive-Thru and a little jaunt to the dollar store.

I know...we're really livin' the life! 

The last date night was at our place. I love date night. Even when it's not our turn to go out on a date (and spend some big money at the dollar store). 

Our friends' kids are just sooo good with our boys. The boys just love them. When it's our turn, most of the time, we just sit around while they do all the work entertaining our kids. It's kind of nice :-)
Here some scenes from a couple weeks ago. 
Love date night...
love spoon bread...
love eating spoon bread on date night...
only comes 'round once a year!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Where I've been

...two places...
at the computer working on a stinking blog post about my bathroom
sick in bed...
oh, yeah- I had to work a couple days, too.

So here's an interim post until I can't get my bathroom blogged about. 

Arghhh! I cannot tell you how irritated I am about it. 


Last Wednesday and Thursday...
so sick...
you know, 
yuck sick
I was in bed, still way yuckier than the rest of the family who had already recovered from this velociraptor of a virus

and this was my view when the fellows came back from an errand

They just busted in so excited to give me flowers. That's the back of Walker's head there, blowing out as fast as he blew in. Charlie said they spotted them growing in our fence and remembered on the way back from town to go get them. I just love those guys!

So, there's plenty more I could talk about that's happened since last post, but I won't bore you with the mundane details of trying to convince a child that 4 years old is plenty old enough to poop in the potty...His latest argument went something like this:
"But mommy, how would you feel if,"  imagine him sitting on the potty with the door open and yelling this to you in the other room, "I were bigger and you were little-er and I told you to use the potty. 
Now, how would you feel? You wouldn't like that, would you?"

Oh yeah, I wasn't gonna go into that...or that as punishment, Charlie taped his thumb with electrical tape for a few hours...killed him...that kid always has his thumb in his mouth. Not too happy.

So skip ahead...
to today...

Backstory: I have a job meeting lots of super people in law enforcement. There is no typical day or typical person in this line of work. And I'm so grateful to have these opportunities. 
Assignments I've had range from meeting an 11-child Amish family in their home without electricity 
or running water to photographing the governor. 
I've photographed from the floor at Rupp Arena a UK/UofL game.

 And I've watched the Thunder Over Louisville fireworks display from a 
Fish and Wildlife boat on the Ohio river.

and too much more to mention...
Of all them, the Amish family was my favorite assignment.
No comparison.
Anyway, today was no different. But this one...
right here in Berea!
At the Madison Southern High Homecoming Parade

Why? You're probably wondering...

Well, that nice young man in that  above photo was the National School Resource Officer of the Year.

And because, this summer, he had a major unexpected medical ordeal, he was unable to attend the recognition ceremony in Louisville. The administration presented Berea Police Department Officer James "Doty" Harris the award today and made him Grand Marshal of the Homecoming Parade. 

And as it would so happen, our magazine is featuring school resource officers in the next issue.

So, I took the boys and the hubby to work with me this evening.

They think I have a pretty cool job. 

They get to meet police officers and...

they get candy...

Lots of candy...

Enough candy that even big brother wanted to share

And they got to see tractors and big rigs, to boot!

Notice the thumb-- wrapped in electrical tape!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hey Liam, how old are you today?

I started a tradition last year on his 3rd birthday of balloons in their bed when they woke up. Except I forgot that I had a tradition this year. So when he woke up and went to the bathroom, I made him go back to bed, so I could hurriedly blow up some balloons and toss them on his bed. He wasn't exactly surprised, but Walker loved it. "O-wenge" he said. Walker really likes orange. 

Liam's reaction to me saying, "gimme some birthday love"

And they played some random, newly-invented game with the balloons, like so:

I asked him where he wanted eat for his birthday, if he could eat anywhere. "Arby's. They have milkshakes. Let's go through the drive-thru and get a milkshake," he screamed. 

So, that's what we did...and headed to the park.
This moment was a little surreal for me. 
He went from three to four, and that's a big step!

 After spending some of the day cruising in the new(er) minivan, we headed home for Sunday naps. 

It went like this...

...we napped...

...they didn't!
When we chose to wake up and let them out of their cage, Liam opened an e-card from grandma (Charlie's mom). It had a matching game. He played it while I finished the cake. Below is a major milestone.

 He had never used a mouse on a computer before. And with some practice, he mastered it...and this matching game that he played more than 20 times.

"No, mom, I played 12 times," he corrected me.

That e-card was an amazing idea! He LOVED it! 

"Hey Walker, Happy birthday to myself!" 

Yeah, I know...gross, huh? 
Don't worry, that lick marked the spot that his piece was cut from!

Today's Trivia:
What mother forgets to buy candles for a birthday cake?
(Ding Ding Ding)- you guessed it-  Lizzard! 

This is the third birthday (between the two oldest) that I've forgotten. 
Guess I have to throw a party to make up for it!
Can we get more fake, people?

Oh yeah, we can! 

 I know what you're thinking.
Really, I do.

Why in the world would you get that boy a pink birthday cake?

Well, it's like this: 
I had a strawberry cake mix. I didn't have icing. 
He asked for blueberry icing.
OK. Sure. 
Went to Wal-mart. 
No blueberry icing. But hey, there's strawberry icing.
I'll grab that.
No, it did not occur to me that it was pink...
until I started spreading it!
And you know what?
He didn't care!

Have you ever had the feeling before that, "man, that Liz sure is weird."? Well...
Let's say you have a four-year old. 
And let's say you're picking out a birthday present. 
What would you get your first born son?

Do you have a guess at what he's getting from us?

Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace, Jr.

 Again...I know what you're thinking..., they start brainwashing early...

well, why not?

The idea actually came last week when Liam took an active interest in helping around the house. 
"Mom, I really like it when you give me a job to do."

Charlie and I threw each other a couple of happy-shocked looks that said, "let the brainwashing begin!"

So, we gave Liam a few chores, like taking diapers to the trash, picking up toys, 
clearing the table and feeding Arwen. 
He now gets paid commissions. And let me tell you: that's one motivated kid! 
His commissions are small. But he's proud. 

And, he's thinks nickels are neater than quarters and, I say, SWEET! 
Because he could pay his way to college just by picking up diapers around here!

And Walker does everything Liam does, which in this case, is a very good thing. 
Walker likes the look of Liam's money :-)

At the end of the week (yesterday), he counted his money (with a little help) and we portioned out his giving first, then his saving, and then the rest for his choosing. 

Liam's total wages for the week was $2.26. 
All I have to say is that he better go find him a union to join because there's going to be 
some pay cuts going on around here. 

Back to the birthday boy:

What better to end a perfect day, than to show the boys a perfect night sky.

  This was a first for our boys. I remember the night we won the auction for the farm. We came back and parked on side of the road and looked up at the stars. The boys were asleep in the car. We thought, Wow, how awesome that our boys will see this someday. Today was the first of many somedays.

 In my whole life, there's been only one other place that the view was better than the sky above our farm tonight. That was Haleakala Crater on Maui in Hawaii. There are no words to describe such a sight. One of our friends with us on that trip said, as he looked up at the innumerable stars, "it gives new meaning to God's promise to Abraham- that his descendants would outnumber the stars in the sky."

And can you imagine what the night sky must have looked like to Abraham,
with no electricity to power street lamps or houses?

Happy Birthday, Liam! 
You are loved!