Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Lord, so often times, as any other day
When we sit down to our meal and pray
We hurry along and make fast the blessing
Thanks, amen.
Now please pass the dressing
We're slaves to the olfactory overload
We must rush our prayer before the food gets cold
But Lord, I'd like to take a few minute more
To really give thanks to what I'm thankful for
For my family, my health, a nice soft bed
My friends, my freedom, a roof over my head
I'm thankful right now to be surrounded by those
Whose lives touch me more than they'll ever possibly know
Thankful Lord, that You've blessed me beyond measure
Thankful that in my heart lives life's greatest treasure
That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place
And I'm ever so grateful for Your unending grace
So please, heavenly Father, bless this food You've provided
And bless each and every person invited

-Scott Wesemann-

Our Family to Yours

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bit-O-Brown Sugar

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

We would like to introduce you to our newest family member, Memphis! He is a Chocolate Lab who turned 7 weeks old today. 

Happy 7 Weeks, Handsome!
Words cannot begin to express how excited and thankful Clay and I are to call him our own. What a blessing and answer to prayer! 
We picked him up Friday night from a WONDERFUL breeder in Newnan, GA. Memphis blue nails and all. (For identification purposes.)

But not before, I came home from work and the first words out of my mouth were “We need to clean the house for Memphis.” Looking back now, I guess I could have been a sweet wife and acknowledged my husband’s presence and asked him how his day was.... but I was on a mission and wanted our puppy to have a great first impression. 
I know. I know. First time parents. Gheesh.
Clay was the best. He entertained my innate desire to nest before our baby came home and helped me ready our home. Even if he did have four legs instead of two. 
Since then, we have taken over 100 pictures, had our first visit to Petco, played numerous hours outside, given countless kisses, and received lots of what we like to call, “Brown Sugas.” 

Memphis has also made his debut at Lowes. It’s never too early to teach a puppy how to “Never Stop Improving.” 

We love Memphis with all our heart and cannot wait to share our new adventures with you!

Visit here to see some wonderful pictures of his brothers and sisters. We think Memphis is the first puppy in the fourth picture down. 

My favorite from the weekend... 

Now, I gotta get me some “Brown Suga!”

Danielle Jones

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guess Who.

In our home, trips to the printer are as much fun as our weekly vegetable delivery.

You never know what you are going to get.

Danielle Jones

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Buttermilk Perfection.

pancake |ˈpanˌkāk|
a thin, flat cake of batter, usually fried and turned in a pan. [aka.The ultimate breakfast food.]

I love breakfast. The only thing that makes breakfast better is eating it at night. All time fav.
Wanna know the yummiest, most delectable, perfect pancake recipe? 
You’ll find it HERE from Better Homes and Gardens. 
With Clay at drill this weekend and nobody to share my excitement with, I couldn’t help but share this lil’gem with you! Seriously. I took my first bite, found my phone, took a picture, continued eating, and now, with a belly full of pancakes, cheese eggs, and blueberry pomegranate juice, I am here to tell you all about it. 
They were delicious! As you can see, I ate three this morning and am tempted to indulge in a couple more. But in the name of leggings, I will [sigh] refrain.
Two things I like to use when making pancakes: a large griddle (so much faster, easier and better turnout) and coconut oil (also fantastic when cooking eggs). My griddle was set a little under 350*. With the coconut oil, you can either melt it and brush on or carefully use the back of a spoon to spread across the griddle, which is what I do. 
Go ahead... whip up some of these this weekend and I promise you they will not disappoint! 
It's a keeper for me. 
Awaiting Tomorrow Morning (or tonight),

Danielle Jones

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's been rigged!

Today was the Cobbler/Pie cook-off at our apartment complex! I decided to go with the Apple-Pear Praline Pie. I added my own twist by using a variety of mixed apples and pears. 100% homemade, down to the crust. Here is how it went down:

These ingredients...

made this ...

but, not until after our kitchen looked like this.

and here was the final product ...

With a grand prize of $150 off one month of rent on the line, we walked down to the coffee shop with high hopes.

As we waited patiently, enjoying our yummy pumpkin coffee drinks, we secretly kept eyes and ears on our pie as people walked by for viewings. 

We heard, "That looks like it needs to be on the Food Network." and "Oh my, I can't wait to give that a try!"

Naturally, we start to get a little giddy... all the while, I'm trying to remind myself to A) Remain humble  and B) If I don't win, it's ok. 

So the contest begins and a married couple steps up to judge the entries. The excitement is building and eventually they come around to announcing the winners. 

The second place winner was announced... an Apple Pie.

With my heart in my throat ... the first place winner was announced and it was the ... "Russian Tart?!"

WHAT?! Clay's first words.. "It was rigged." 

How can this be? Let's break it down shall we?

1st, this lady already won last year. 2nd, we were the "newbies" in a close knit group of people (including the judges). 3rd, there were only 2 judges! And they were married!

Does that sound like "unbiased" to you? 

After the contest, all pies, cobblers, and apparently TARTS, were subject to tasting by residents. So, being the good sports that we are ... Clay and I walked over to share in the sugar load. The first two on my plate were the TART and my Apple-Pear Praline PIE. Of course, with no intentions of comparing the two ... (cough). 

Let's just put it this way ... I had to make a conscious effort not to make a face when I tried the tart. I'm not kidding. I am all for giving credit when credit is due and am genuinely happy for others when they achieve something grand. But ladies and gentleman, not here. 

Most of the entries were mediocre, except for a mixed berry cobbler. I loved it! The crust was fantastic and berries cooked perfectly. 

The funny thing was, during the "public" tasting ... people were going back for seconds on our pie and verbally sharing their delight. On the up side, the recipe is a keeper, my confidence wasn't completely shattered, and Clay managed to repress his inner "unbiased" verbal commentary ...

until we left.

In conclusion, the saying for the day is "It was rigged." Are we bitter and did I want to shed a tear? No. Did we want to win to pay for a special surprise to be revealed to you in a few weeks? Yes. Did I lie about the first question? Maybe a little. 

Danielle Jones

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Calling All Pie Enthusiasts

Do you like pie?
Better Question: Do you BAKE pie? OR Know anyone who BAKES pie?
If so, would you mind sharing your (or someone else’s) yummy creation with me so that I can use it as my lucky charm?
Seriously ... my apartment complex is having a Cobbler & Pie Bake-Off, October 1. 
Wanna know what the winner gets?
A DISCOUNT on RENT for ONE month!!
Worth taking the time to scour the internet, pick people’s brains, and send out desperate pleas such as this?
I found a “Apple-Pear Praline Pie” that looks promising, but I wanna know what’cha got.
So, if it behooves you to share Great-Granny’s Apple Pie recipe or you have created a keeper of your own, drop a link or recipe below.
Thanks for being a Sweetie PIE!

Danielle Jones

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's Wednesday!!

Wednesday's around here are pretty darn exciting. 
You see, every Wednesday morning we place a white cardboard box outside our front door and then go about our day. Then, whoever gets home first.....
well, they get a PRIZE! 
It's like Christmas!
A new unopened white box awaits us, filled up with goodies...
When you pull back the clear tape and open the flaps, here is what you see...

After the first round of excitement, open the clear bag and go for round two!

 Round three... DIG IN! Eeeekkkk!

This week we found:
  • 1 Sweet Onion
  • 1 Pkg of Black Eyed Peas
  • 1.5 lbs Red Potatoes
  • 3 Gala Apples
  • 1 Ruby Grapefruit
  • 1 Bibb Lettuce
  • 2 Starkrimson Pears
  • 5 Bananas
  • 2 White Corn
  • 2 Yellow Nectarines
  • 2 Yellow Squash
  • 2 Round Tomatoes
Can we say YUM-EEEE?!
We use a company called Nature's Garden Delivered. If you live in either Georgia or Arizona, you too, could have your very own Organic and Locally grown fruit and veggie weekly surprise delivered straight to your door! 
Word of Caution: Your white box WILL be all you think about on your delivery day and your cooking skills WILL be tested on a weekly basis. You no longer control your meals... your box does.
P.S.- You can always cheat and look online for the "weekly" list or read the huMUNgo label on the white box to see what is inside... but, WHO WANTS TO DO THAT?!!!!! 
Crazy talk. Will have none of it.
P.S.S.- I have an incredibly sweet hub who waited to open the box when I got home today. 
I'm tellin' you... this is up there with Christmas morning... it's that exciting and hard to keep your lil' feelers off the box.
He understands the strain this would have placed on our marriage. I might have cried.

Danielle Jones

Saturday, September 10, 2011

At Last ... Two Peas in Their Pod

Once upon a time, two peas fell in love. 
During their first five years of courtship, the peas’ bond withstood fierce storms, making them realize their love for one another ran deeper than they could have ever imagined. After the peas graduated from college, one went to Macon, GA for the Fellows Program and the other went to basic training in Fort Benning, GA. 
One day, the peas received an unwanted chapter in their story. Mr. Pea was going to Iraq. Deployment changed their 2010 summer wedding to a November 21, 2009 wedding, giving them a month to plan. Unknowingly, the Lord had it all worked out through the hearts of many Maconites and a month is all He needed. Blessings rained from the heavens above and the peas were nurtured like never before. Never will they forget the gracious friends and family who filled their special day with infinite amounts of love and joy. 
The Lord also knew the big storms that would blow through the peas’ patch the next two years. Through His grace, He placed them right where they needed to be to encourage one another and to be encouraged by other mature peas when the soil was getting washed away from all the rain, exposing their roots. Macon’s soil proved to be life changing for Mrs. Pea as she was rooted in the richness of God’s truth and March 14 will forever be remembered as “The Day a Solider Lived.”
A few months after coming back home, Mr. Pea became a student at Life University in Atlanta, GA. Once again, the peas were split. With a B.S. in Education and August creeping up at rapid speed, Mrs. Pea needed a job in Atlanta and fast! After numerous weeks filled with countless applications, the peas had only one option ... hold onto the truth that God had a plan far greater than their own.
On July 20, 2011, Mrs. Pea began her first day of being a nanny for the most incredible family in Atlanta, GA. Not only did the Lord provide Mr. and Mrs. Pea with the means to survive, He blessed Mrs. Pea with a job that brings her tons of joy. She has the privilege to care for two wonderful children who are teaching her lessons beyond her years. 
Well, after almost two years, Mr. and Mrs. Pea finally made it to their very own pod! What an exciting time and gift to be able to not only walk heart in heart, but now they walk hand in hand, side by side, through the garden of life. Every day is an adventure of learning how to selflessly love one another and glorifying their Savior through their marriage. 
Every week, something is changing about their pod. They have learned that it takes, time, money, patience, research, time, and creativity to start from scratch and build up their pod. Oh, yeah ... and time. Best of all, it is a blast! They love working together and prove to be a great team.
Mr. and Mrs. Pea are the happiest two peas in a pod and look forward to their new beginnings with great anticipation of seeing God’s hand at work in marvelous ways. 
And they lived thankfully ever after in their pod ... together. 

Danielle Jones