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Just Can't Live Without - From Denise


Sports.  It is so much a part of my life that I realize that when my boys aren't at home, I still want to be a part of them.  I'll go more into that in a second, but first of all I must update you on what two weeks without our boys at home has been like.  I can honestly say that although we are sick to our stomach with the ache of how much we miss them, we have had an amazing time together.  There has been time to talk without interruption and we haven't been limited to a schedule.  I love Stu so much and we have laughed and gone out to places that we normally would never venture to try.  I highly recommend to everyone with children to find maybe 2 nights where you can stay in your own house and have your kids stay with someone you love and trust.  

Now to the sports...... I have missed so much being at a gym or field watching boys play ball.  I know, it's crazy, but true.  After I was done with the projects of cleaning out rooms, closets, and refrigerators, I needed to get outside.  Don't get me wrong, there are many more projects that I need to do, but I just can't take it anymore.  Next year, maybe I'll get around to some of those.  

So, yesterday I called and begged my friend Steve Johnson to let me come help out with a football camp that I've just got to tell you about.   Here is a picture of Steve and I.  

Steve will be so embarrassed for me to say this about him (because that's the type person he is).  BUT he has the hugest heart in the world.  Steve loves the Lord with all his heart  has a huge love for sports.  He has taken Spence under his wing and mentors him not only with football but spiritually as well.  I just love him to death.  Anyway he has taken his love for football and started a camp called "Passing it forward".  He along with some other wonderful coaches have put together a quarterback/receiver camp that is "Passing forward"  things they've learned in football and life to boys in hopes that they will pass it along to the next generation.  One of the things the camp raises support for is a inner city team called "The Bordeaux Eagles".  You have to meet some of them.  They have become friends with Spence and are some incredible young men.  

I can't give you their real names, but I will give you their nicknames. From right to left,  "Monster" - supposedly he's a monster on the field and you do not want to have to tackle him:) But, I see a gentle giant behind his power.  Twister- is faster than lightning.  Spence says he can't out throw him.  He can always get to the ball.  He is one of the leaders of this team.  He actually led the camp in their opening and closing prayer. God is going to do some amazing things through him.  Then there is "Lil Nice",   who I don't know as well, but I can say that he is polite and helpful and was one of those who came up and thanked me for bringing the drinks:)  These boys are just like mine, but live in a part of the city that is a little different.  The 2 major themes that this team goes by are 

1.  Kids in sports stay out of courts.  

2.  I don't need no gang, I don't need no revolver, All I need is my heavenly Father.  "quote by one of the players"

This is the reality they live in and here is way you can help.  Most of the teams my sons have played for have had sponsors or school to help pay for the cost of equipment.  The Bordeaux Eagles do not have that support behind them.  You can make taxable contributions to the Bordeaux Eagles and of course that is always welcome OR if you have football equipment that your kids have grown out of or don't use and you have thought about taking them to a sports resale store, you could consider donating to the team or at least let the team buy them from you.

Call Steve Johnson 615-812-3670.  

Anyway, that's enough Sports talk for now, but it is my passion to be a part in this team and would so appreciate anything that you could do for them as well. 

I get to pick up my boys tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.  and I cannot wait!!!  I look at their pictures everyday.  

So, empty nesting was fun while it lasted, but I am beyond excited to get my arms around them again.  Have a great day.



Blast from the Past

We are going to be pulling some of our past videos every month and posting them here so you can relive some of the funny moments in our lives. Hope you enjoy and let us know if there are any past videos that you would like to see next month.

Shelley Says...

So the other night I twittered a picture of my "dinner" which was homemade squash casserole and cupcakes. Super healthy. I was needing comfort food in my life and I have just decided to give full disclosure as to why.

But before I do that...I wanted to give ya'll the recipe for my squash dish because some of you twittered me asking for it. And trust me, you want this before the gross part of this story starts. So...


I seriously do. Pretty much anyway, but the casserole is my favorite. So when my sweet neighbor Brian (who lives two doors down and has this huge garden he tends to right outside of town) came over on Sunday and brought me a bag of squash, I went straight to my recipe box, whipped it up, and ate half of the casserole myself. In like 10 minutes.

Shelley's Favorite Squash Casserole

half a large onion, chopped (Usually white but Sunday I used red cuz it's all I had)
half a stick of butter
3 and a half cups of cooked squash...make sure you drain it and get the excess water out of it, or it will be gross
1 and half cups of crushed Ritz crackers
1/4 tsp. of salt
1/8 tsp. of pepper
1/4 tsp. of garlic powder
1 cup or so of grated cheddar cheese
2/3 cup of sour cream

Saute the onion in the butter until it gets clear. About 5 minutes. Mash the cooked squash with a fork until it's broken apart. Mix squash with onion, butter and remaining ingredients, leaving out 1/2 cup of the Ritz. Put mixture in a buttered casserole dish and top with remaining half cup of Ritz. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. It's so good.

OK, now that that's over...I will tell you why I ate cupcakes for dinner. My good friend Jessie brought them to me because I had a little surgery on my left foot on Friday. It's so yuck and embarrassing that I wasn't gonna tell ya'll...but, it's also so unbelievably gross that I thought "why not??"

So for like literally a year or more I had what I THOUGHT were calluses (let's say from running because that sounds good) on my left foot. After many trips to the dermatologist and several home remedies and finally a telling trip to the podiatrist....guess what?

They weren't calluses.

No No No...

I found out that I had apparently become a witch... on my left foot. Because what I thought were calluses were actually WARTS..omgosh omgosh omgosh...please don't think I'm unclean. I swear I am NOT. But I seriously had A LOT. And I will just leave it at that.

Being the self proclaimed whimp that I am, and because of the amount of shots and lasering that my foot would endure, I had to go to a hospital and literally be put to sleep. (Me likey that part.)

Aaaaaaaanyway, I was down and out on crutches most of the weekend, and when I wasn't I was limping around pathetically. My husband is so glad he won't have to hear about my wart issues anymore. Trust me, he would have flown me to Europe to have the procedure done if that was the only place they offered it. He was more over it than I was. Btw, he was a wonderful nursemaid to me all weekend...and many of my so called friends brought me ice cream, food, and of course cupcakes...even though I insisted no one do that. Cuz all it did was worsen the fact that I wasn't moving at all, and consuming gross amounts of calories on top of it. But I felt loved. And that's all that matters.

That, and a wart free, albeit "hole-y" foot.

Enjoy the squash...


Point Of Grace Invites You To Girls Of Grace

Point of Grace is inviting YOU to Girls of Grace! Check out what the ladies have to say and visit for tickets and more information.

The Real "Preparation H" (Preparation Holiday) By Leigh


Well the first week of Summer is upon us, and our family is getting ready to join my mom, dad, 2 aunts, and sisters families for a week at the Beach. This year is quite special,  as we have planned this trip for almost eight months, and will all be together for the first time in several years. Sooooo needless to say, in the tradition of every great getaway, I will wait until the LAST minute to pack and prep my troops at home!

It never fails, Why Why Why !!! ??? 

AND how does my swimsuit always mysteriously shrink over the winter months? is there a swimsuit gremlin that gnaws secretly on the fabric to aggravate me?   (no need for pictures - use your imagination).  I refuse to let even that destroy my excitement though!    

We will begin this Holiday with a stop at the American Girl store in Ga.   Darby has been saving up her allowance since our last trip there at Christmas... and the money is BURNING A HOLE IN HER POCKET!!!  (I don't know where she gets that from...).   We will dine at the Bistro and then off to Belton to refuel and join the family convoy to Myrtle Beach.  I hope to be feeling the sand between my toes by Sat. afternoon.  Along with the sand between my toes I have my British dvd's and my magazines of decorating to occupy any "down" time I may have... I know what your thinking - Isn't vacation suppose to be "down time"?  WELL...

Anytime our BIG family is together, we always have some type of party or special event... well vacation is no exception. So, my Aunt has planned an event for the entire week.  It is called "Survivor - Garden City".  We were given these instructions many months ago. 





Required:  $5 for the cash prize pot

Required:  1 personal luxury item that you CANNOT live without during beach week

Optional:  Survivor “style” hat and costume


On our first night in Garden City (Saturday) we will hold a tribal council meeting and do the following:

Ante up $5 per person.  Yes, this is PAY TO PLAY.

2.     Divide into 3 teams of 5 people each.  This will be done by a random drawing of blue, yellow and purple bandanas.  I will provide the bandanas.  Your bandana will serve as a SYMBOL OF UNITY for your team/tribe and must be worn in whatever fashion you chose at all challenge games.

3.     Present personal luxury item – Remember your item must be something you cannot live without and would not want to lose during the course of the games.  You may be creative in selecting your item, but items related to personal hygiene cannot be accepted. 


For 4 days, the tribes will gather at a set time to compete in a TEAM CHALLENGE GAME.  The games require no special physical skills.  Ages and sizes don’t matter.  Everyone can play.  Since these are team-based games, everyone just needs to try to do the best they can for the good of their team.  Each challenge game should last no more than 30 minutes.  The games are:

SUNDAY – RACE FOR THE WATER:  Will be played on the beach.  No swimming is involved.

MONDAY – FOOD CHALLENGE :  Easy,  unless you’re a “picky” eater.  You just need to taste 2 items from the menu.

TUESDAY – THE UNIQUE SCAVENGER HUNT:  Unique is your key word.

WEDNESDAY – AMAZING RACE:  The team that complete 5 activities in the fastest time wins.


On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, the team that wins the challenge game will be awarded 100 points.  The 2nd place team will earn 50 points.  The 3rd place team will be given 25 points for trying.  On Wednesday, the points double – 1st place – 200 points; 2nd place – 100 points; and 3rd place – 50 points.  In the event of a tie, a tie breaker challenge will be played. 


Each day, the team that wins the challenge game will receive the immunity idol.  They are safe!


Each day, the tribes that place 2ND AND 3RD will BOTH go to tribal council.  There each team will VOTE OFF a team member’s personal luxury item by secret ballot.  The cast off item will be returned  only by winning immunity or at the end of the games.   


At the end of the 4 games, the TEAM with the most cumulative points will be crowned “SURVIVOR – GARDEN CITY”  and will divide the $75 cash prize ($15 per team member). 


Doesn't that look like fun?    You see, most people relax on vacation - not us - we PLAY and PLAY HARD!!   Maybe you and your family or friends would like to play along... the more the merrier.  My luxury item is my coffee - a TRUE sacrifice.  I will be taking photo's stay tuned for the result.  Wish me well!     fyi -  My blog will have many pictures next week.

So before I pack my last few toiletries,  I certainly hope you will enjoy your friends and family this week and have a FANTASTIC "Holiday" wherever you are!