About Me

My photo
Welcome to my blog. I'm a Mississippi country girl transplanted to Grapevine, TX. I have been blessed with a great husband, and my kiddos, Aleck and Ella. When I'm not eating bon bons on the couch, I am my kid's room mom, PTA member, Sunday School teacher, taxi driver, amateur photographer and personal chef. When I'm not doing those things, I'm running a small jewelry business, 2nd Amendment Jewelry (www.2ndamendmentjewelry.com), that I started with my twin sister, Glenda. It's a crazy and busy life, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world. I am so thankful for all the blessings in my life!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Little Bunny Foo Foo

This was Aleck’s response when Mrs. Dickey asked him if he has any pets at home.  I love it. 


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Flying High



YMCA Soccer

Aleck has been talking about wanting to play soccer for some time now.  We registered him with the YMCA fall league.  He loves it!  In the beginning, he had no clue what was going on, but each week he gets better.  He is a fast little dude and can move the ball, but hasn’t actually scored yet. 

Coach Stout is awesome.  The crazy thing is that she lives on the street right behind us.  When Aleck was a baby, she was walking in the neighborhood with her son and she stopped to talk to me.  I even got her email address so we could get together, but I never emailed her.  Aleck loves  playing with her son, and I am so glad that there is a boy his age in the neighborhood for play dates.











First Soccer Practice


Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Love of a Niece for her Precious Aunt

We are in Starkville today with my family. I have been thinking about how blessed I am to have grown up in a small town with a huge family. Mammaw Kolb had five girls and two boys. She was blessed with seventeen grandchildren. Growing up, most of Mom’s siblings lived within a thirty mile radius of one another, and most weekends were spent visiting Mammaw and playing with cousins. As children, our best friends were our cousins. That’s just the way it was. Times were simple then. I am so thankful that our family shared so many good times and so much love.

Although we don’t get to see her nearly enough, my sweet Ella loves my sister, “Aunt Nenda”, to pieces. When “Nenda” is around, Ella couldn’t care less about me. When Glenda left my parent’s house tonight, Ella pitched one heck of a fit. She didn’t want Aunt Nenda to go. She threw herself in the grass, rolled around and cried for at least fifteen minutes. When I tried to calm her down, she would have nothing to do with me. She wanted her Aunt Nenda and nothing else would do. She was inconsolable.

Oh, I know how my Ella Bella feels. You see, we buried my sweet Aunt Gerri today. She died of a massive heart attack Thursday evening. As I watched Ella throw her tantrum, I just wanted to lay down right beside her in the grass and cry my eyes out.

My Aunt Gerri was generous and gave to others sacrificially; both time and money.  I can remember when Glenda and I were in middle school.  We wanted a pair of Nike shoes, but it wasn’t in the budget.  Aunt Gerri made sure we got that pair of shoes.  She also made sure we got new izod shirts, the “in thing” back then.  With tears in my eyes, I smiled at the funeral as I heard a friend talk about how Aunt Gerri bought the entire kindergarten class new shoes when one boy noticed Vince’s new shoes.  Another man told stories of growing up poor, and how Aunt Gerri would take his grandmother to the grocery store to make sure they had food to eat.  When Aunt Gerri saw this man and his grandmother walking some place, she would stop her car and give them a lift.  Vince’s college roommate told stories of how he had to lock his bedroom door to keep Aunt Gerri from cleaning his room and doing his laundry.  If Aunt Gerri knew a person was in need, she did everything within her power to meet that need.  She didn’t see color.  She didn’t see rich or poor.  She just loved. 

My Aunt Gerri was funny.  She filled the room with laughter at family gatherings.  Her laughter was infectious.

After Mammaw Kolb died, Aunt Gerri became the matriarch of the family.  She made sure we got together for holidays, special occasions, and for no reason at all.  She usually hosted the smaller gatherings, but if the turnout was big, she sometimes had the gathering at her church.  Aunt Gerri,Trish and Nancy hosted a baby shower for me when I was pregnant with Aleck.  Since it was Christmas time, they combined the baby shower with the family Christmas party.  The turnout was so big that we used the church kitchen and gymnasium.  I think that was the last time my holiday travel plans coincided with the Kolb family Christmas party.  Even before kids, I insisted that we have a family picture and I am so thankful for this cherished photo.


My Aunt Gerri made people feel good about themselves.  She always had kind words or compliments for people.  She left people with a smile on their face as she walked away.

Although I’m not going to throw myself down in the grass, I am going to cry for my aunt tonight, and probably many a night to come.  I love and miss you, Aunt Gerri.  I only pray that I can love the people in my life half as well as you did.  You left some mighty big shoes to fill, my precious aunt.



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy 48th Birthday!

We celebrated Tom’s 48th Birthday tonight.  Eryn and Mason came for dinner and cake.  Happy Birthday to the best dad and husband in the whole wide world.  We love you to the moon!   DSC_9076_edited-1DSC_9084


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No More Monkeys Jumping On The Bed

My Ella is a climber and a jumper.  She’s fearless.  I have seen her stand on the coffee table and fall backwards onto the couch, giggling with glee.  Of course, I tell her “no”, but I can’t watch her every second.    This morning I was making the bed and I heard Ella cry out in pain.  I found her in the living room floor sitting beside the couch.  She had taken the cushions off the couch and must have jumped on the pile of cushions.  She was holding her right leg and wouldn’t put weight on it to walk.  Tom met us at Dr. Quattro’s office. 

Dr. Quattro is the pediatric orthopedic surgeon that treated Aleck when he broke his foot jumping off his bed when he was 18 months.  She also treated Ella last November when Tom fell down the stairs at my sister’s house while carrying Ella.  Thankfully, it was just a bone bruise and nothing was broken.  My poor husband felt horrible and would have felt even worse if her leg had been broken.

The x-ray today was negative, but Dr. Quattro casted her just in case it was on the growth plate because those fractures don’t show up until they start to heal.  We will go back in two weeks

for a follow-up x-ray and hopefully the cast will come off to stay. 

The good news is the cast isn’t slowing Ella down at all.  Oh wait, maybe that’s the bad news.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week in Review

  • Aleck had his first soccer practice with the YMCA.  At first, he wasn’t really sure what to do, but by the end of practice, he was kicking the ball back and forth and running down the field.  He loved it!  I volunteered to be team mom. 
  • Ella saw her ENT.  Her ears look fine, but the right eustachian tube is coming out.
  • I am addicted to iced coffee.
  • Aleck said, “Mom, princesses have princesses.  Right?” and “Mom, Rapunzel had some big hair.”
  • Ella saw a man on an industrial riding lawn mower while we were out running errands.  She pointed and said, “Pappaw!”  It warmed my heart.   She remembers seeing Pappaw mowing the grass when we were home.
  • Aleck was talking about a classmate and he said, “A…. doesn’t know how to color as good as I do cause she’s a dirl (girl).”  We had a lengthy discussion that girls can do anything boys can do, and that if she can’t color it has nothing to do with her being a “dirl”.
  • After two cups of regular coffee, three cups of iced coffee, a massive headache and tummy ache, I am no longer addicted to ice coffee.
  • Ella is tearing it up on her tricycle.  I think she may be ready for a bike with training wheels.
  • Ella and Aleck attended Savannah and Peyton’s birthday party.  Since the party, Ella has been singing “Happy Birthday To You” at random times during the day.
  • Glenda and I spent the entire day together on Saturday.  She is here for the kid’s baptism and our confirmation.  We had such a wonderful “girl’s day”.  We laughed so much.  While I got my hair done, Glenda hit Grapevine Main Street.  She found an upscale consignment shop and she helped me pick out a few outfits for church.  You might remember that Glenda made a visit back in March.  That was the visit that she and Dede raided my closet and threw half my clothes away and Glenda took me shopping for new clothes.  This may become a biannual event.  I hope so.  I introduced Glenda to the fabulous world of Ikea.  She didn’t buy anything, but since they are planning on building a house soon, she made a wish list.  The highlight of the day was Glenda’s $10 leather cowboy boots that she found at Plato’s Closet.  Her goal for the day was to find a pair of boots and she was so excited.  She said, “I bought my first pair of boots twenty years ago with Pat and I have fond memories of that day.  Every time I wear these boots, I am going to remember this special day with you.”  That sweet sister of mine is so wonderful!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Photography Class

I took my first photography class tonight with McKay Photography Academy.  I am so excited.  I usually shoot on aperture, but I'm determined to learn to shoot with manual settings and become a better photographer.  Wish me luck!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week in Review

  • I caught Ella playing in the litter box like it was a sandbox. 
  • Aleck and Ella probably burned 1/2 a tank of gas driving Pappaw’s truck in the field.


  • Aleck and Ella spent so much time outside that most days they had a bath before naptime.
  • We helped Pappaw put out corn for the deer, and sunflower seed for the birds.


  • We checked the camera that was mounted on a tree for new pictures of the deer feeding at night.  Most nights, we could see several raccoons and three deer feeding at the same time.


  • We saw a deer when we were going for a ride through the woods.


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  • Ella terrorized the cats and loved on the dogs.
  • Glenda and I spent two nights making muscadine jelly. 
  • We went fishing in the rain at Aunt Glenda’s house.
  • Five days in a row, I didn’t wear a stitch of make-up.
  • Every time I went to the store, somebody mistook for Glenda, my twin sister.   
  • Ella and Aleck played for hours in Pappaw’s truck bed.
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  • We started every morning with a walk across the field and stopped to throw rocks in the pond.
  • Aleck usually found a stick.


  • We watched men cut hay on Pappaw’s land.
  • The weather was a bit cooler and we enjoyed spending most of our time outside.
  • Aleck and Preston went hunting “sharkfish”.
  • Tom flew in for the weekend to visit my family.  We all drove back to Texas together.
  • Ella and Aleck had a blast feeding Aunt Glenda’s chicken.  DSC_8201
  • The Spiderman costume and swords were a hit for Aleck and Preston. 


  • Ella crawled up in Mammaw and Pappaw’s lap after her nap to drink her sippy cup of milk.
  • We ended the week with a wonderful 81st birthday party for Daddy and kids came from Texas, Arkansas and the Mississippi coast.
  • I asked Aleck if he knew how many brothers Mommy has and he counted to ten.  The correct answer is five:  Gary, Darryl, Donny, John and Brian.

Things I heard Aleck say this week:

  • “Tyler, You can take my dinosaur to show and tell.”
  • “Preston, did you know that your daddy is my mommy’s brother?”

Things that Ella said this week:

  • Ella loves Aunt Glenda.  When I ask Ella how many mommies she has, she says, “Two.”  She smiles a sweet smile and holds up two fingers.  Then she points to me and then Aunt Glenda.

I absolutely love my family, love my kids, love my husband and love my life!

Peas, Corn and Venison, oh my!

We just returned from a trip to Mississippi to see family.  Dad and Glenda sent us home with 38 bags of peas, 50 ears of corn and some ground deer meat.  I bought a stand up freezer from Craigslist just to store my  goodies.  I picked the peas while I was home in July, but Dad, Mom and Glenda did the real work.  They planted, weeded, watered and put up the vegetables. 

We left Starkville at 7:00 a.m. this morning.  Glenda strolled through the door at Mom and Dad’s house a little after 6:00 a.m. saying, “I came to load your cooler for you.  I don’t want our hard work to ruin during your drive.”  She and Dad did such a great job that even after all day in the car, everything was still frozen solid when we got home.  Thanks Dad and Glenda for all the hard work.  Now Mom just has to teach me how to make a decent pone of cornbread and I’m all set.  


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Daddy!


We try to get together every year for Daddy’s birthday.  With seven kids, it turns into a big celebration.  We missed John this year, but everybody else was able to make it.  My family came from Texas, Donny and Melba came from Arkansas, Gary drove up from the coast and Darryl came from Columbus.  We even had Aunt Gerri and Aunt Trish this year.  Mom outdid herself in the kitchen.  She cooked turkey and dressing, lima beans, green beans, creamed corn, cornbread, rolls, chocolate cake, fresh sliced tomatoes (the last of the summer, boohoo), macaroni, and cranberry sauce.  Aunt Trish brought two homemade chocolate pies, one for Daddy and one for everybody else.  Chocolate pies make me think of Mammaw Kolb.  Man, she could cook a delicious chocolate pie.DSC_8453

The grandkids fought over who got to help dad blow out the candles on his cake.  I think we lit the candles five or six times.  Every time Aleck was about to blow the candles out, Ella or Preston would beat him to it.  Aleck was not happy!

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Ella had to “sample” the icing.  Her eyes say, “yummy”!

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The menfolk sat on the back porch and talked about menfolk stuff,while the womenfolk cleaned the kitchen.


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Mom and Dad with Gary, Donny, Brian, Darryl, Glenda and me.  John wasn’t able to make the trip from Arkansas.

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Since losing Tom’s dad earlier this year, birthday celebrations are even more special.  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  Have you told that special person you love them today?  Well, what are you waiting for?  Get off the computer and get to it! 

Daddy,  Happy Birthday.  I love you!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Muscadine Jelly

In two visits to the orchard, we picked about forty pounds of muscadines, so we decided to make muscadine jelly.  We started with washing the fruit.  Then, we covered the fruit with water and cooked it for about thirty minutes.  After the juice cooled a bit, we used a fine sieve and pestle to extract the juice.  This was the labor intensive part of the process.  We were left with a pile of peels and seeds and jars of muscadine juice. 


The next night we made the jelly.  We started by pouring the juice in the pot and added sure-gel.  We prepped the jars by running them through a cycle in the dishwasher and sterilized the jar lids in a small pan.  When the juice came to a rolling boil, we added sugar and stirred constantly for a minute.  We immediately filled the jars with the boiling mixture.  It is important to clean the rim of the jar before you place the lid and ring.  There is nothing worse than jars that don’t seal because of a dirty rim.  After all that work, we only got 6 jars.  But that jelly is so dang good it was worth every bit of work!