Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Here We Goooooo!

Doing a little reminiscing this morning on our FIRST DAY of SEVENTH GRADE! Goodness time is flying by! But I know that we're going to have a great year! So very proud of this young lady and all that she has accomplished so far. Oh, the places you will go, Alise! We love you!

Seventh Grade - August 2017

First Grade - August 2011

Third Grade - August 2013

Fifth Grade - August 2015

Pre K4 2009 and Seventh Grade

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Movies We Saw This Summer

We were on a movie kick this summer! Although we didn't see every blockbuster, we spent more time as a family in the movie theater this summer than we ever have. Much of that has to do with the fact that Alise is older and has totally gotten away from the animation (Thank goodness!) and kid movies. She's more into story lines and so she happily crashed mine and Wayne's movie dates. Of course we didn't mind! Today I thought I would share some of the movies we've seen this summer.

Wonder Woman// My absolute favorite summer move this year! I have to admit, I'm a WW snob. I grew up watching the television series in the 70's and 80's and Linda Carter will always be my favorite.  However, I was pleasantly surprised by the acting of Gal Gadot. I'm also not a comic fan, so I was a little skeptical about seeing it and although the ending got a little far fetched for me, I loved how it lead you into the upcoming Justice League movie.

The Mummy// As I've said in a previous post, do not waste your time with this one. Even Alise said about three quarters into the movie, "Mama, this is so stupid!" We blamed it on daddy because it was his pick.

Rough Night// I saw this movie with my girlfriends and it was funny, but not overly hilarious. Most of the funny parts were in the previews. I think I was expecting it to be more along the lines of Bad Moms. I know that sounds absolutely horrible, but as this stage of my life, that's just the movie I identified with more.

Transformers// Wayne and Alise actually saw this one. I am not a Transformers fan. They didn't care for it too much.

Despicable Me 3// Everyone is shocked when I tell them that I didn't care for this one. I know right?? I mean, the movie soundtrack is awesome, but I enjoyed the first and second movies better. Still, I say that it's a summer must-see.

Snatched// I took Stephanie and Alise to see this before Stephanie left to go over seas. We loved it. Goldie Hawn is still so funny!

Book of Henry// Alise had been wanting to see this movie ever since we saw the previews, but it was rated PG-13, and although I have "ventured out" a little in monitoring what she watches, I just wasn't sure this was the movie for her. When she wasn't able to go to basketball camp with her teammates, I decided to cheer her up and she and I had a mama/daughter date night. I must say that I thought this was one of the cleanest PG-13 movies I've seen in a while! It was a sad movie, though, with a good ending. 

Atomic Blonde// Wayne loves Charlize Theron, so this was a no brainer that we would see this. Think a female version of Jason Bourne. Loved the twist at the end, too. AND!  Another killer soundtrack!

Spiderman// Definitely not my favorite Spiderman movie. I know the audience was probably intended for the younger crowd, but the role of Peter was just too quirky to me. I guess I like a more "serious" Spiderman.  What can I say?

Still On The List// Of all the summer movie hits, we STILL have not seen Dunkirk. I'm thinking of taking Alise with me to see The Glass Castle. I read the book a few years ago for book club and it was good and I'm thinking she might like it.

What movies have you seen this summer?

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Story Behind My Favorite Angel Food Cake Recipe

I remember one Sunday when Wayne and I were engaged, sitting in church with he and his family, thumbing through a copy of Home Life magazine, waiting for the service to begin. My late father-in-law always sat at the end of the church pew because he helped take up the offering before the pastor began his sermon.  The SAME pastor - to be exact! - that married Wayne and I! 

Towards the back of the Christian magazine, there were always recipes for Southern dishes and as a soon-to-be newlywed, I was all about trying new dishes. The steps were a little overwhelming (there were a lot which I've condensed over the years) and I wasn't sure exactly what it meant to "fold ingredients" or what "soft peaks" looked like, but I was bound and determined to pull it off!  THIS was going to be the first "real" recipe that I tried for my man as a newlywed! 

We lived in a studio apartment when we first got married because I was the only one with a full time job at the time. Wayne was only part time with UPS and didn't get home until nine o'clock every night. We were passing each other at the door. One Friday night, after a really stressful week, I decided to surprise him with the angel food cake. Luckily for us, the local grocery store was right across the street when I had to make a run for cream of tartar. I mean, WHO keeps cream of tartar? 

You can't really tell in the photo, but this page is really worn. I love how I underlined "Fat Free!" at the end!  I'm sure that was due to one of the MANY times I was on the fat free diet kick back in the 90's. But one thing I HAVE learned is that, yes, you have to sift the cake flour!  This recipe is the ONLY reason I even own a sifter!

Our favorite way to eat this heavenly dessert is with fresh cut strawberries and Cool Whip. A few years ago, I served this at a wedding shower crawfish boil that we hosted and everyone loved it. Alise will eat it for breakfast. Cool Whip included.

Aunt Sarah's Angel Food Cake

1 1/4 cup of egg whites
1 1/2 t cream of tartar
1 1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 c sifted cake flour
1/4 t salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour with 1/2 cup of sugar together four times. Set aside. Beat egg whites at high speed until foamy.  Sprinkle cream of tartar and salt on top and continue beating until soft peaks form. Add remaining cups of sugar, two heaping tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition.  The whites should be glossy and stand in soft peaks.  Fold in the vanilla.  Sprinkle flour and sugar mixture over egg whites, 1/2 cup at a time.  Gently fold dry ingredients with spatula or wire whisk. Fold gently. Pour batter into Pam-greased pan.  Bake for one hour. When cake is done, invert pan.  Cool cake completely before removing. To remove, run knife between cake and sides of pan Delicious! Fat free!


Linking up with Tasty Tuesday and Try It Thursday.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

10 Back To School Must Haves

I love school supplies, y'all!  Seriously, I do!  I was recently in Target when the store was organizing and stocking their supplies and it was all I could do to not start snatching up pens and post-it notes! I didn't want to get in their way, of course. 

But as a mom of a middle schooler, I can already tell you what the number two things on our back to school supply list will be: loose-leaf paper and BINDERS!! Omg, at the BINDERS!! A binder for every. freaking. subject! For the life of me, I can't understand why we can't have one binder with subject dividers! Alise's backpack weighs a ton!

I decided to put a twist on today's topic and pose this question: Should middle schoolers be allowed to use their cell phones as a calculator in math class? Including tests?

Alise came home from school after Christmas saying that she needed a calculator for math. I bought her one. She has a cell phone, but she keeps it in her backpack/locker since phones are not allowed during school time. I found out later in the year that some of her classmates were using their cell phones in math class and even on tests. The teacher was okay with the students using their phones in class (What the what?!). Alise said that one of the students was cheating on a math test by using their phone. 

I'm not gonna lie. Math was a complete joke for us last year. We had two different teachers both semesters and it was just ridiculous. Alise hardly ever had homework and I just don't feel like she learned as much as she should have to prepare her for pre-algebra this year. I personally don't have a problem with kids using calculators in class, but I don't think they should be able to use their cell phones in math class. 

From what I'm hearing about our math teacher this year, I don't think we'll have to worry about cell phones in math class! Ha! 

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Another Summer 2017 Reading List Update

I've enjoyed sharing my summer reading list with y'all. Book reviews are some of my favorite posts because you get introduced to books and authors that you may or may not ever think about reading. And making new blog friends who share the same interests is always fun. I sure wish I could get my tween to finish, The Giver, for her seventh grade summer reading assignment {insert eye roll!}! I'm not sure whether I'll continue my reading list updates during the fall, but they have been some of my more popular posts. Today I'm joining Jana and Steph for their monthly link up for all the bookworms out there!

Summer  Favorite #2
Before We Were Yours is definitely a five star read in my book (no pun intended). I absolutely loved this historical novel based on true events in Memphis, Tennessee, back in the 1930s - 1950s. I simply could not put it down. It is a story of family loss, sorrow, and eventually happiness. I love how Lisa Wingate brought the story full circle and the ending truly made me cry. But a good cry. Not a bad cry. 

Total Disappointment
I know some of you loved this book this summer because I saw it a lot on social media, but I was thoroughly disappointed. Lisa Gardner is hit and miss with me.  I either love her books or I don't and this one was definitely a don't. I could not get past the "twist" of who the bad person really was and would have enjoyed the book more if the story had been about a serial killer.  Once I found out who the killer was, I actually stopped reading and didn't finish the book. So glad I borrowed this one form the library and didn't pay full price. 

Always A Good One
All you Kate Burkholder series fans will love the latest book.  It's one of my favorite series and Linda Castillo never disappoints.  I enjoyed it very much!

Currently Reading
I. am. loving. this. book. y'all! Early in my reading, I left a comment on Goodreads that I couldn't decide if Evelyn is a Liz Taylor or a Lauren Bacall. But after reading more, I don't think she's either. Evelyn is definitely Evelyn and if the writing of this book is any indication of the "real Hollywood," we've been duped, Peeps! I don't necessarily care for some of the themes in the book, but I was intrigued by all her marriages and old Hollywood style!

After reading some of your comments last month, I've decided that I'm going to pass on reading Paula Hawkins' book, Into The Water. I just don't think I would like it very much.

On Hold
After finishing Before We Were Yours, I had a hard time finding a new book to read. I sampled one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly's new female detective series, The Late Show, and couldn't seem to get into it at the time. I also tried a very popular book right now, Crazy Rich Asians. Maybe you've heard of it? Seems like everyone has read or is reading that book, but I couldn't get into that one, either. It was a little too quirky for me. However...I DO plan on picking these two books up again at some point. 

Looking Forward To
Diane Chamberlain is one of my favorite authors and her new novel, The Stolen Marriage, comes out in October.  Eek!  I'm so excited about it because all her books are wonderful! If you are Kristin Hannah, Jodi Picolt, or Chevy Stevens fans, I would highly recommend her books!

You can read my other summer reading updates by going to My Summer 2017 Reading List Update and My Summer 2017 Reading List.

Summer is nearly over. Did you get all your must-reads read? Can't wait to see what everyone else finished this month!