Monday, September 8, 2014

More award festivities

We completed Thursday evening in Cleveland with a beautiful award presentation at the Ritz. The VP who introduced Kelvin was very gracious and invited me to the stage with him and Kelvin to take a photo since the award was given to Kelvin for his work with Emma's Hugs. I am SO blessed. We mingled, ate good food, mingled some more, and finished off the evening with some more good food. I probably gained five pounds over the course of the week! I was so impressed with all of the award winners. Lubrizol has some special people working for them. They were all superior at what they do. Kelvin was in good company. Of course, I forgot to take a single photo during the awards ceremony or the rest of the evening. :/

Friday morning we woke early and loaded the bus for Canada. OH.MY.GOSH! Y'all, I am in love! Canada was just plain gorgeous! We visited Niagra Falls first. There is a reason it is one of the seven wonders of the world. There are no words to do it justice.

Hopefully I can find some time real soon to post the pics of the rest of our time in Niagra on the Lake. It is one of the loveliest places I've ever seen. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Award-winning husband

Kelvin has been with the same company for more than 24 years. Lubrizol has been a good company for him. They have provided a platform through which his gifts and talents can shine. I was bursting at the seams with pride when one of his former supervisors called and asked me to help him gather some letters of recommendation for the Lubrizol Founders Award, for which he wanted to nominate Kelvin for his outstanding community service with Emma's Hugs. 

Established in 2001, the Lubrizol Founders Award is the highest recognition that Lubrizol offers to its employees. The award celebrates the rich tradition of excellence and accomplishment in the workplace and the marketplace established by Lubrizol's founders. Recipients of The Founders Award consistently ensure that internal and external customers receive an exceptional level of service. The Founders Award also recognizes those employees who, like the founders, dedicate their time and effort in service to the community. The Founders Award honors our hidden heroes—those men and women who contribute to the pursuit of our vision by going far beyond what is expected and giving their best efforts every day.

the photo on the company website announcing Kelvin as one of the winners 

What a blessing to know others see Kelvin in the same light I do and want to honor him for his hard work and determination, as well as his big heart!

The company does things up right for the employees (and their guest) who win this prestigious award. The festivities are based out of the headquarters in Ohio, which began Wednesday evening. A limo delivered us to The Ritz Carlton, in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, where we have stayed in one of the penthouse suites! Eeeek! So cool! So far, I haven't tripped and fallen or anything crazy like that! Wednesday evening we had cocktails at the Ritz and dinner at a place called Johnny's in downtown Cleveland.

Riding to the Ritz in style!

A room with a view! 

Veal on the bone at Johnny's

Let me just say, Cleveland has done a super great job of revitalizing their downtown district. It is beautiful! I was thoroughly surprised and impressed! Thursday, there was a reception at two of the company's locations in the area, and man, was that an incredible experience. When the award recipients and their guests walked in the doors, the second floor foyers were packed with every single employee, from the CEO to the head custodian, and everyone was clapping and cheering. The applause lasted for a solid five minutes. It was something very special.

I'm so glad I got to be a part of something so cool. The rest of the day was spent around Cleveland visiting the different venues the founders founded and continue to support through their foundations today, including the Botanical Gardens and Severance Hall. We also had a photo op at Pier W. The view was amazing! Last night was the big dinner and award presentation at the Ritz. The company did not disappoint! Again, the award winners and their guests walked in the gala hall to roaring applause. Each recipient was asked to come to the stage where he was presented with a beautiful award and just as beautiful accolades. The rest of the evening was spent meeting some of the most gracious people on the planet. We have been treated like royalty so far, and the weekend is just beginning! This morning, we are headed to Niagra on the Lake in Canada!! I can't even tell you how excited I am. We will stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel, do the Maid of the Mist boat tour at Niagra Falls, go on a jet boat ride, take a helicopter ride, take a winery and brewery bicycle tour, go for a couples massage, get a pedicure, and more! It's good to be the guest!!

More to come...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Babies...proof of God's possibilities

I got to squeeze (ever so slightly, of course) my sweet new nephew today. I'm in love. Don't you just stare in amazement at a newborn? They are such perfect miniature people. I'm just in awe. 

I thought it was precious how Luke wanted to hold him. Hope we can get in some more squeezes real soon. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

On the Table for the Week of July 28th

Some days I wish I had a chef, and a house keeper, and a grocery shopping service. A girl can wish, huh? I'm having one of those days today, but I think I shall persevere...I think. We'll see. ;) Here's what I'm thinking will be on the menu this week:

Monday-Salmon Patties with Dill Sauce over a bed of lettuce
Whenever I find a good recipe for a dill sauce I'll update this post. Just assume it will probably be something like a little mayo, a little sour cream, a bunch of dill, and some salt and pepper, probably with a splash of Tabasco. You're welcome.


Tuesday- Slow Cooker Lentil and Brown Rice Tacos

Slow Cooker Lentil and Brown Rice Tacos | Melanie Makes
I love tacos...and slow cookers...and other stuff. Tacos are so easy. Add easy with slow cooker, and you have just become my best friend. :)

Wednesday- Asparagus and Artichoke Frittata
Frittata is Italian for "whisk some eggs, pour them in an oven-proof skillet, and throw in whatever you have in the fridge." It's one of those things I just love, because there are no rules. If you have some leftover broccoli or veggies or a jar of artichoke, or even some pasta, it's all fair game. Give the veggies a rough chop, add some salt and pepper and whatever other seasonings you like, a little chopped garlic (or not), add some Parmesan or Swiss cheese, and pop it in the oven until the eggs are firm. Here is a recipe from Suzanne Somers' book, Get Skinny on Fabulous Food. It's one of my faves. I discovered her books more than a decade ago (that can't be right. I'm not that old! Geesh!) She's so inspiring...and has great recipes!

Thursday- Hamburgers  Taco Turkey Burgers
Because why do the same ole thing when you can kick it up a notch or two? Our big kids will arrive home from camp and be pleased as punch that we're having these babies for dinner. We will probably cook up some sweet potato fries too. I can't wait! I wonder if ours will look like this?

Taco Turkey Burger on

Friday- Something on the grill outside with lime and cilantro and a cold drink, because have you been outside lately? It's like a meeeellion degrees. I might melt.

Saturday- Carolina Style Hot Dogs
I think I should have been born in North Carolina...seriously! I love everything about that sweet state, and I've only visited a couple of times. Will you just look at this awesome dog?!

Carolina Style Hot Dogs with Homemade Slaw
Saturday can't get here fast enough. And, I get to meet my newest nephew! Baby Easton is so precious! Can't wait to kiss his sweet cheeks!

Sunday- I don't know. Maybe we can go out. Or maybe we'll all just eat cereal for dinner. Reminds me of my Memaw and Papaw when I eat cereal for dinner. :)

So, do tell! What's on your menu for this week? Hope it's a good one. I have garage sale planning on the agenda and taking Cora to the pool. She's solo this week with the big kids at camp and all. She misses them. I do too...a little. They have all started fussing and getting on each other's nerves, like all.the.time, so it's kinda nice to have the respite, if I'm honest (and I usually am.) What are your plans for the rest of summer break?

I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday. Click the link to visit the linky party on Laura's blog and see all kinds of other weekly menus.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Good thing

Brownies a la mode after an evening of swimming is a good thing. Yummmmy

And mostly homemade's a very good thing too! 

Per my sweet friend, Stacy:

Start with a jar of salsa (any cheap jar will do)
•A couple or three cloves of garlic
•a jalapeƱo or two, depending upon how spicy you like it...I like it haute like my man! ;)
•28 oz can of tomatoes
•a large handful or two of cilantro
•a bell pepper if you have one
•a smidge of sugar if you like

Blend all together in a food processor or blender. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or use as a topping for nachos for dinner that you topped with the chopped up leftover rotisserie chicken you bought for the delicious jambalaya you made Friday night. (I'll share later. Remind me.) I've died and gone to food heaven!

I miss you

Hello little blog space. It's been too long. I don't know how the days rush by leaving me no time to sit down and write. I miss being here recording my thoughts, fun things we have done, the ways the kids are changing, and my meal plans. I need to figure out a new groove, a new rhythm...need to. It's now past the half way point of summer, and we have had some fun, but it has been nothing like I had in my head. It seems things rarely turn out the way I had them in my head, though. I hope these next few weeks of summer bring some more fun and relaxation, some good meals, and hope. There have been some pretty significant changes going on in my life, but more than that, so much sadness around me. Sometimes it's too much. I don't know why God chooses to work the way He does. I keep clinging to the fact that He has it all figured out, and I don't.

He is able, more than able, to accomplish what concerns me today. He is able, more than able, to handle anything that comes my way. He is able, more than able, to do much more than I could ever dream. He is able, more than able to make me what He wants me to be.

Here are some pics from our summer fun so far (unedited from my phone)...

a little Koolaid hair die for summer time

library movie day

VBS family night

paint party

crazy hair day at VBS...Carleigh has cupcake hair!

One cool dude!

Beach Bound Groupie Shot!

I love this one. Early morning fishing in the surf with his daddy.

Friendly game of horse shoes on the beach

You should've seen him getting into this thing!

"Sunrise, sunrise, looks like morning in your eyes" Norah Jones

fun on the 4 wheeler with Mr. Randy

Say cheese!

What a catch!

That's a keeper!

I finally caught one!

It was good day on the bay

Cooking with friends is the best

Glow fun

He's soooo fine! And a good fisherman too!

My little mermaid

sand volcano

We had our own "Paint with a Twist" party!

Having a ball on the 4th of July

A pretty dolphin showed up on our beach

skillet s'mores to ease the reality of returning home from the beach

grapes are looking good at the vineyard

How's your summer going? Have you met any goals, done something new, discovered something you hadn't noticed before? I hope you have a great week. Here's to hope!
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