The peeps!

The peeps!

Friday, May 28, 2010

School's Out...........For Summer!

WHOOPEEEE!!!!!!! First day of summer vacation. I am so daring I told my man last night,"I am not even going to set my alarm. I will just sleep until I wake up!" He loves my adventurous spirit. I am a morning person anyway so I made it until 6:10 this am. I feel so rejuvenated!
I love my summer time. It means fun days in the pool, family coming in to visit, extra time with my grandpeeps, and no papers to grade! However, we run a business out of our home and I will be very busy with that. We are so blessed by the Lord with all the work He has allowed us to have and all the people He has allowed us to employ.
I sat on the back porch with my man last night and told him all the things I want to accomplish this summer:
- Get all my cabinets cleaned out in the house - only so long you can hide stuff in there before it starts to seep out!
- Run every morning with the baby girl as she has cross country practice - FOR HIGH SCHOOL- she walks around constantly saying, "Hey everybody, I am a freshman!" I want to throw up.
- Have my grandpeeps over as much as I can
- Read all the Jane Austen books - I can download them to my Sony Reader for just .99 each!
- Have a different theme each week for cooking this summer: Italian, French, Cajun - I collect cookbooks and love experimenting.
- Daughter-in-love and I will be getting our Dishin' It Up blog up
- We hope to get a vacation this summer but don't know when we will work it in or where we will go. The oil coming in kind of has our beach plans running amuck (i am so punny!)
And to do lots of what I am doing right now- Sitting on my back porch with my man drinking pots of coffee.
How about you? What are your plans?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Message from Graham

Hey all you out in peepland. Today my Daddy and PawPaw went fishing. I am a little bummed that I am not big enough to go yet - soon though. Then they told me I was going to go to GiGi's to swim and eat popsicles!!!! Man oh man - this made me so happy -see:
Nothing tastes as good as a cold popsicle on a hot summer day:

Then it was time to suit up and head to the pool. I sure do love me some water!


My aunt loves to play with me. She is so much fun.

This was how I rolled at GiGi and PawPaw's pool last year - all chilled out.

Those days are gone forever baby. I am a lean, mean, wiggling machine. I hope they all can keep up with me this summer cause I am going to give them a run for their money. Look how big I am.

Hey everybody!!!! Man this is a great day.

It's the end of the day and now they are trying to tell me I have to go home. I can't take it!

I AM GETTING MAD AT PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAIT TILL I TELL MY PAWPAW!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Feeding

Tonight is Bible study night with my girls. We love to feed on God's Word but we also love to just downright "FEED". Somehow we feel the caloric content of our food devoured while devouring the scriptures is null and void. Tonight daughter-in-love and I are bringing dessert (Be on the lookout for the launch of our cooking blog - Dishin' It Up!!). One of my very favorite summertime desserts is Berries and Bits. My baby sister made this for me several years ago and I think I sat in the corner with it refusing to share. That will not be sweet to do at Bible Study. But not beyond me. I got a fancy new camera for Mother's Day that I am still trying to figure out but I experimented today. Bear with it!
All the yummy ingredients. Tried to tame it down a little with fat free condensed milk and sugar free pudding.
Mixing the milk and white chocolate pudding.
The berries and bits!! I almost ate this and lied that I forgot to make dessert. But again - Bible Study and that would not be sweet.
I kept holding the camera way above my head to take this shot and the strap kept flapping in my face. My funny man came by and said,"Why don't you just put that on a lower surface?" Ugh! Can't you see that a professional will go to extreme measures to get the best shot possible? (I hate when he speaks the language of common sense) I forgot to layer the nilla wafers so I stuck them in the top. Hey maybe if I tell the peeps at bible study that I ruined dessert I can eat it all myself. Nah, after all this time they are on to me and my sly ways.
Super easy to make and absolutely delicious to eat. Here is the recipe:

1 (14oz) Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 C Cold Water
1 (4 oz) instant white chocolate pudding mix
1 small Cool Whip
Vanilla Wafers
Fresh Berries- whatever you like - I love strawberries and blueberries
1 C Nestle Little Bits

In large Bowl, combine milk and water. Add pudding mix. Beat well. Chill for 5 minutes. Fold in cool whip. Layer pudding, wafers, berries and chips. Repeat. Chill thoroughly. Enjoy!

Michelle

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Goodbye Again

Today I said goodbye to my 16th class of seniors! They left the halls of high school thinking they own the world, that they are free at last, that they will have no more silly rules to follow and that life is about to become one big party. Bless their hearts. I remember thinking the same thing many years ago. The last day of school is always bittersweet for me. I vacillate between wanting to turn cartwheels down the hall because their senioritis has driven me crazy since March and wanting to bawl my eyes out because I will miss them. (I am so glad I am a southern girl and bawling my eyes out is like a necessary exercise at times!)
See, I LOVE my job. Not every day but overall I am a contented person with my profession. I am totally at peace that this is what God gifted me and tasked me to do. I haven't always felt this way. My parents used to tell me I should be a teacher and my response was always, "Please - people that can't get a real job teach school." I just thought they meant I was bossy. (which I am :))Today after my students left I attended a luncheon for one of our most special students. He is the Student Body president, valedictorian, president of several other organizations, was one of two students in the whole state chosen to attend The United States Senate Youth Leadership program and is going to Howard University in Washington DC on a full scholarship. Unbelievable. That boy is going somewhere. I tell him all the time I want to be him when I grow up. The luncheon today was to honor him for being chosen for yet another scholarship he had won by the company his mom works for. I thought it was going to be a big banquet and was so surprised when I was ushered to a private dining room with him and his parents for just us and the corporate executives there to honor him and give him his scholarship. It was such a privilege to be invited and so touching to observe the pride in his parents for their baby boy. I remember those days very well as three of mine have graduated high school and were all honored for various things. But it was really special to observe these parents today.
I was reminded how as a mama your heart is so full of excitement for the journey they are about to embark upon, yet so broken because you know the family dynamics of your home are never going to be the same. I was also reminded about why I love my job. I get to witness these types of things over and over, year after year. What a blessing. Do you know that teaching is the only profession that touches all other professions? It is so humbling to be a part of the lives of these young people. Nothing makes me happier than to be out somewhere and someone call out to me, "Mrs. Cheney, Do you remember me? You were my teacher!" Yes precious (my husband says I think they are all precious - and I do) I remember you and I thank God that He uses these students to teach me as well.
If I may be an English teacher here for a minute - Our lives truly are books. Some chapters shorter than others,while some more painful to get through. Some chapters we want to read over and over and some we never want to even turn to again. How thankful I am to witness so many "books" on their way out the door. Hopefully many of them will keep in touch and return to visit from time time. I am ever changed for all the ways I have been affected by them and I wish them all well as they find "their way that leads on to another way."
Congratulations Class of 2010!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers today. I hope you have a beautiful and blessed day wih your special loved ones. Last year I posted about my sweet babies that hurled me headlong into the toughest but most fulfilling job I have ever had. This year I wanted to thank all the special moms in my life.

Dear Mama,
I could write pages and pages to you. You have no idea how much I admire, respect, esteem, and love you. You have taught me so much from your life. I know I tease you relentlessly about all the shortcuts we took when we were all young and you were working, but you never took shortcuts where it mattered. You were a lot more concerned about being my mother than being my friend. It mattered more to you that I learned the lesson not that I was mad at you. You never took shortcuts when it came to teaching me about working hard for my family, for myself, for being generous to others and for loving the Lord. You taught me to never take shortcuts when it came to fighting with everything you had to hold on to your family and trusting that God in His time would restore all things. You have taught me not to take shortcuts in my work as being accurate and consistent are what you have built your reputation on. You have shown me what a life spent sowing and trusting the Lord can reap in a life. You have shown me what fun it is to be a grandmother. You are the most beautiful and wise person I know and next to Jesus and Jon you are my dearest friend on earth. Thank you for loving my husband the way you do. Thank you for being such a wonderful Mimi. Thank you for being my mama. I love you so much and hope your day is wonderful.

Dear Lila,

Thank you for not running away when you met me and my obnoxious self. I know you wondered many times what you had gotten yourself into! Especially when you had to fix my hair! Thank you for loving my Daddy. Thank you for giving me a precious little brother and for modeling the greatest strength I have ever witnessed in my lifetime when he went to be with Jesus. Thank you for showing me in the flesh what it is to love someone unconditionally that you did not give birth to. It is possible. I know as I have received it and given it. Thank you for showing me one of the sweetest, humblest spirits of any person I know. You are a treasure and I thank God for the gift of our friendship. I love you so much and hope your day is wonderful.

Dear Judy,
Thank you for giving me such a wonderful man that I call husband. You are so precious to me and I am thankful that you love all your daughters-in-law so much. You make us each feel special. Thank you for finally allowing me to do more than stir!! Thank you for teaching me what a joy it is to minister to your family through their stomachs! I value your wisdom and life experience more than you know. You are the coolest, hippest, most fun 75 year old I know. I hope that you and I can continue to pretend like we care that Gerald and Jon pit our cooking against each other just to benefit themselves. Thank you for the love and acceptance into such a beautiful family. I love you so much and hope your day is wonderful.

Dear Jodi and Laura,
Thank you for giving me my most special treasures - my grandpeeps! Oh how those boys make my heart leap! Thank you for all the time you allow me to have with them. Thank you for being my daughters and for the joy of watching you both nurture and love your little men. Pray for them. That is your privilege and responsibility as a mother. Enjoy every moment with them as it will fly by all too quickly. Please continue to share all your special mama moments with me and know I pray earnestly for you both. I love you both so much and hope your day is wonderful.

To my sisters, sisters-in-law and close friends,
Thank you for the blessing each of you are to my life and I love you all so much and hope your day is wonderful.

To my precious friends who are missing their sweet mamas today - I am lifting up a special prayer for you today and asking our gracious God to love on you in a way only He can. I love you all so much and hope your day is wonderful.

Love,
Michelle

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fun at the Family Farm

1 Chronicles 17:16b
"Who am I, O Lord God and what is my family that You have brought me this far?"

I spend most of my days in awe that the Lord has blessed me the way He has. When I look at my family I am so humbled and grateful for them that I cannot believe my God loves me so. I hope I teach my kids and grandchildren to be ever thankful. We spent the day yesterday at our family's farm having a fish fry to celebrate Daddy's birthday (God loved me so much He sent me two special men to be fathers to me, that or He knew I would require more work than most!). We had such a great time eating, fellowshipping and riding four-wheelers and rangers. One of my sisters was sick and unable to be there and one of my brothers-in-law couldn't make it. They were missed.
Here are a few pics from our day:
Gigi and Connor checking things out.

Jodi and Savannah - my girls are so beautiful.

Mama, Jennifer and me.

PawPaw and Connor. I am sure Connor was asking for the millionth time, "Is it time to ride the 4-wheeler yet?"

Connor and Anthony. Notice Connor's "I'm going fast" face!

Connor "driving" Uncle Jeremy in the ranger.

Graham, who probably walked five miles around the barn pointing and clapping at everything.

The fish cookers- Jon and Richard- and the birthday boy!
We are so thankful Richard is home from Afghanistan. He couldn't get over how much Graham had grown in six months. I couldn't get over how much their heads looked alike!
Christine obviously was not informed the party was in the barn! But she is precious and is now dubbed the "Barn Diva."
The kids were sure glad when it was time to eat.

And no party would be complete if the girls had not given someone a makeover! Josh was willing to take one for the team and I agree with Richard - Josh looks like John Belushi as the Samurai Chef from SNL!!!!
We had a great time and look forward to lots more good times on the farm.