Friday, December 30, 2011

After Christmas Round-up

I can't believe that "just like that" Christmas is now gone.  We had a great Christmas!  The weather was rather warm, so it never felt like Christmas on the outside, but inside, well, that was a different story.  On Christmas Eve, we had finger foods at Gran and Papa's house.  Here are a few pictures..

 The spread

Papa, before the chaos began

Gran showing off her new cookbook.  Can't wait to see what she comes up with out of there to cook! :)

Not so lovely picture of an ecstatic Jake as he opened his new iphone.  He has driven me CRAZY for the past 2 months about wanting this phone!!  So glad I won't have to listen to his sob stories of how "crappy" his phone is ANY MORE!!

Anna opening her Vera Bradley duffle bag.  I think she liked it!!!

I think this was my favorite moment of the night.  Joe has been wanting a macbook pro for a few years.  I don't know what has kept him from getting it, but the closer we got to Christmas, the more worried I became that he was going to buy one.   Every time we would go to a store that sold Apple products, Joe would sneak off to check out the laptops.  I would be a nervous wreck until we would leave the store.  Last week, when we went to Houston, he left me and the kids in a store and said. "I'm going to find the Apple store."  Needless to say, I PANICKED! As soon as the kids finished looking around in that particular store, I high-tailed it to the Apple store to oversee his motives.  When I got there, he was engrossed in conversation with a salesman, but when he was distracted I politely told the salesman, in no uncertain terms, that he better ZIP the sales talk!!  I proceeded to tell him that he would NOT be making a sale that day and that there was already a macbook wrapped and under our Christmas tree!!  The poor guy never said another word to Joe.  I think I made my point!!  

Joe's mother and sister, Mary Ann, came the day after Christmas.  They stayed for a couple of days and we got to shop for an entire day in Fort Smith.  It was a lot of fun!

The day that they left, our daughter-in-law, Tonia, her mother,  and 2 of our grandchildren came to visit!  It was SO good to have them running around and playing and laughing....

Tomorrow, Joe's oldest son, David, and his family will be coming to spend a couple of days.  It has been an ENTIRE week of company and we have loved it. 

Anna and Jake start back to school on Monday.  We will leave on Thursday afternoon to head to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl.  

Better get moving.  Lots to do before tomorrow!

Bye for now.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Season

This is our Christmas card for 2011.  I sent out close to 90 cards this year.  It is a little sad to know that it won't be too many years before I won't be able to send out Christmas cards with the a picture of the kids on it.  Anna is in the 10th grade now and I know she won't agree to this once she graduates from highschool...I will miss that.  I SO enjoy getting Christmas cards from families and friends that we only hear from during this special time of the year.  It is amazing how families grow and change.  I have another picture to share.......

I am a "Mimi" to the cuties!!  Alexis is the oldest (on the left), then there is Katelynn, then, in the back, are Nick and Klayton.  They will be coming to visit on New Year's Day!  The house will be buzzing with laughter and noise and I can't wait.  

We are slowly, but surely, getting ready for Christmas around here. Joe is on call for the entire weekend, but usually holidays are pretty quiet in the hospital.  No one wants to be sick during Christmas, so most people tough it out until after the holiday.  I am thankful that we don't have to travel and we can enjoy Christmas at home.  Joe's mom will come and visit the day after Christmas and stay for a few days.  This year, she is bringing Joe's sister, Mary Ann, so hopefully we will get to go shopping for some after-Christmas sales!!

Mama and I are splitting up the cooking for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  We are going to open presents on Christmas Eve and eat "finger foods".  Right now I am planning on making Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders, Sausage Balls, Divinity and Wassail.  Mama is making Deviled Eggs, Homemade Pimento Cheese Sandwiches, Little Pecan Pies, and probably 30 or so other things.  It is such a blessing to still have both of my parents healthy and close to me to celebrate this special time of the year.  Christmas Day we will have a bigger supper at our house.  We are going to soak a turkey (in hot sauce!!) and fry it up!!  This is my favorite part of the entire meal.  You would think that the hot sauce would be really overwhelming, but it isn't.  Love, love, love fried turkey.  The other things on my list are Shoe Peg Corn Casserole, and Sweet Potato Casserole.  Mama is making Chicken and Dressing, Pumpkin Pie and, of course, 30 other of her specialty dishes that I can't remember right now.

We have several trips planned for the next few months.  We are going to watch the Razorbacks in the Cotton Bowl on January 6.  So glad that we are playing INSIDE this year!  The Liberty Bowl almost did us in!!  The 15 degree temperature, not to mention the horrible wind, just about froze us to death!!  In February, Joe is going on another medical mission trip, but this time it is to Ecuador.  Then, in March, Anna and I are going to New York City!!  Her choir is performing at Ground Zero and I couldn't be more excited.  I know that it will be emotional, yet exciting.  She and I have always wanted to go to NYC, so we're really looking forward to it!!  

Well, folks, I'd better finish wrapping a few gifts.  Thanks for stopping by for a visit.  Hopefully, I will get some pictures of Gran and Papa opening gifts and share them with our Mississippi friends and family!!  

Bye for now,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Playing Catch-Up, Again....

Well, I blinked and now it is fall!!  We had a busy summer, so the start of school was a welcomed event around our house.  Anna was even saying that she was ready for school to start so she could get a little rest!  She and Joe went on a mission trip to Peru in August and she had just gotten back from church camp the week before, so she was getting tired of living out of a suitcase.  

Speaking of Anna, she turned 15 while in Peru.   The people that they were working with had a big party, complete with Chinese food (her favorite) and cake!  Once she made it back to the states, we had a party for her with her best friend, Peyton.  I got to make the cake!  She found one she wanted me to recreate on the internet, so here it is....

Anna is in highschool now and Jake is in junior high.  Both have had a big adjustment, but have dealt with it well.  Classes seem to be a little more difficult in high school, but alot of it is just responsibility and accountability.  Junior high, for Jake, has been awesome!  He is playing football and absolutely loves it.  Here he is being introduced at a peprally. 

Joe and I have made it to ALL of Jake's games ON TIME so far!  That is saying alot....trying to get him out of the office and to a field by 5:30 is a major undertaking, but we have done it!

I have been making a few cakes lately.  

This was for Jodi.  She turned 12 this summer.  I was so happy that her mom asked me to do this cake for her.

I had someone ask me to do a cake inspired by the tv show, "The Office".  The minute she asked, I went into immediate panic mode!  I knew nothing about this show and had never watched it, not once!  How was I going to make a cake about something I had no clue about??  Thank goodness for the internet, because it definately saved the day.  I was happy with how it turned out and so was the birthday girl! Yay me!!

Jake's Michael Jordan cake.

Oops..almost forgot about my FAVORITE new addiction!!  Pinterest!  If you haven't been sucked in by now, walk away slowly, because it will definitely become your addiction too!!  I'll try to put one of those "blinkie" things on the side of my blog, but if not.... search for me Candy Stewart-Dunaway. 

Gotta run pick the kids up from school now.  Time flies when you're having fun!!

Bye for now...

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Been playing around in the kitchen alot this summer....  I made this for a 3-year-old Princess.  It was the only the second cake I had made for someone other than "family", so needless to say, I was a little nervous.  

 I made this cake for a friend's daughter in June.  Her theme was a flip-flop party, so I made her a flip-flop cake.  The flowers and flip-flops were made of gumpaste and the entire cake was covered in buttercream and a layer of fondant.

Another friend asked me to make a baby shower cake.  That was uncharted territory for me.  Up to this point, I had only done birthday cakes.  I had a picture of one I was dying to try, but didn't think it was actually possible for me to make it.  I was happy with how mine turned out, but I'll tell you...about two hours into it, I was kicking myself for agreeing to do it!!  The "belly" was made out of a half-ball pan and the "boobs" were made out of rice krispy treats.  It was covered with buttercream and a layer of marshmallow fondant.

Anna's birthday is August 1, but she will be in Peru.  When she gets back, she has planned a party with her best friend. They have a zebra and cheetah print cake picked out for me to should be a challenge.  Thanks for stopping by.  

Bye for now....

Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer on the Hill

It has been a fast and HOT summer here in Arkansas.  We are on, I believe, our 23rd or 24th CONSECUTIVE day of temperatures at or above 100 degrees.  To make matters worse, we have had virtually NO rain.  Today there is a 50% chance, so we will hope the weatherman is right.

So much has been going on this summer that I don't even know where to begin.  Anna went on her mission trip to Port Arthur, Texas, right after school was out and had a blast.  She said that the one week wasn't nearly enough for the work that she wanted to do there.  She met a little 3 year old girl that stole her heart...

Jake graduated from 6th grade. 

Anna and Jake, outside the Fine Arts building on the CHS campus

Jake went to church camp for his first time this year.  He seemed to be okay with it since Anna would be there also.  I, on the other hand, wasn't so sure he could do it.  He surprised me by making it ALL week!!  As for me and was the quietest week we have had in over 12 or 13 years!!!!  I guess that was a test for us, as well.  

We DID get to work in a quick vacation this summer.  I wasn't sure we could find time, but Joe got on the internet one night and booked us a room at Universal Studios in Florida.  

We stayed at the Portofino Bay Hotel

It was actually on Universal's property, so we got to use an Express Pass for the rides and we got early admission to the parks.  The kids LOVED that they could get into a separate line for rides and practically walk right on to the rides without a wait.  Don't know if we would have paid the $87 or so dollars for the pass if it had not been included in our room charge.  

This is "The Rocket" as Anna and Jake call it.  The actual name is Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.

I have a lot more to share, but it will have to wait until another day.  Anna and Joe are packing for a medical mission trip to Peru.  They leave at 3 am tomorrow.  This will be Joe's second trip Peru, but Anna's first.  She will celebrate her 15th birthday in another country and I know God will be blessing her with a joy in which no presents can compare.  If you are reading this, please pray for their safety and for the work that they will do while there.

Bye for now.....

Almost Summer

Edit:  This post was written in May, but finally published in July.....

Each day when I would think about blogging, it seemed, well, a little overwhelming.  I thought about all the stuff we have done since March 4th and I though to myself, "There is NO WAY I can possible cover all of that in a post!"  So, obviously, I would decide the task was too overwhelming and would choose not to post. 

So why did I decide to post today?  Well, I decided that better to post something, than nothing.  So today, I'm not going to worry about the stuff I haven't posted over the last 2 months and just post! 

That all being said....we are all as busy as we can be!  With the end of school fastly approaching, our days are filled with party planning, graduation (from 6th grade), class registration for next year, planning summer camps, etc.  The kids are going to stay busy this summer, that is for sure.  Anna has a mission trip to Texas, church camp, tennis camp x 2, a medical mission trip with Joe, and I believe that is all.  Jake has basketball practice, football camp, church camp, and I believe that is all.  Me, I will be taxi driver, as usual. 

We went on a cruise to Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Isla Roatan, Honduras, during spring break.  It was a lot of fun.  We swam with dolphins, zipped through the rainforest on a zipline, road jet skiis, and relaxed!!  Here are a few pictures...

Thanks for stopping by!

Bye for now....

Friday, March 4, 2011

Another digital page

This page is made from the snow we had earlier this year.

Bye for now....

Digital Page

Thanks for letting me play around a little....

Bye for now....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February on the Hill

Finally made myself stop and blog today.  It seems like a year since I've blogged, so LOTS to talk about.  We have been snowed in for much of February, which has been fun, but after a day or so, got REALLY boring.  The kids wanted to play in it for 1 hour, then they wanted it to go away!  We missed about 3 1/2 days of school, which made Anna sad because she knew these days would have to be made up at the end of the year and take away some of her precious summer days.  Jake couldn't care less....meant he could play video games and that is all he knew!  What a difference 2 years makes in a kid's thoughts!!  

Jada LOVED rolling in the snow and getting covered in these little snow balls.  The only remedy...a warm bath.


Anna's friend, Brody


Anna's friend, Jama 

 Our house in the snow
We had about 7 inches.  Fayetteville, about an hour away, got 2 feet.  We were lucky..

We also had a couple visitors that our family has missed so much.  Pia and Andres!!  Pia came to live with us in Pine Bluff, when she was, I believe, 16 years old.  She came as an exchange student and went for a year at Watson Chapel High School.  After that year, she went back to Chile and completed her senior year there.  The next year she came back to live with us and went to college.  She eventually graduated from University of Central Arkansas.  She returned again to Chile to begin medical school.  We haven't seen her since 2006.  She brought her boyfriend Andres with her to visit.  He is a really nice guy and we thoroughly approved!!  It was so good to get to see them.  Anna and Jake were very young when she came to stay with us.  She has always felt like part of our family.  We had SO much fun visiting with them.

 Andres and Pia

Pia and Anna

Basketball season is over for Anna.  Both the Jr. High boys and girls won their division and conference.  It was such fun watching both teams play this year.  On a somewhat sad note (for me), Anna has decided she is not going to cheer next year.  It is hard for me to believe, but I have to support her decision.  I understand her reasons, but it is still hard, nonetheless.  She turns in her uniforms today. 

Jake still has 3 more games left in his basketball season.

He has played really well.  This will be the last year that he plays for Johnson County Boys Club.  Next year, he will play for the Panthers!!  (Hopefully).  

I had the opportunity to make a birthday cake, and cupcakes, for an old friend this month.  It made me a little nervous, but I think it all went pretty smoothly.  Her only request was far an "Army Cake" for her 7 year old grandson, Chandler.  

His cake

His dogtags

His cupcakes

I have, for some reason, been in a cooking mood lately.  I guess it comes and goes, but while it was here, I think I gained 10 pounds!!

We had friends over for the Super Bowl and I made some goodies...

Red Velvet Cupcakes, yum..

 And for Valentine's Day, I made these....

And I got THESE....

I made a really good dish one night a couple of weeks ago.  I got it from Southern Plate.  It reminds me of lasagna without the cottage cheese or noodles.  It was a hit here, especially with Jake who pukes at the site of cottage cheese!  Here is the recipe...

Deep Dish Pizza

1 lb ground beef
1 med onion, chopped
1 C flour
15 ounce jar pizza sauce
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
8 ounce mozzarella
1/2 tsp salt
dash black pepper
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 T oil
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 350. Brown hamburger and onion. Drain well. Add garlic salt and oregano (or Italian Seasoning). Add pizza sauce. Stir well. Grease a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle mozzarella over bottom of it. Spread meat mixture over the cheese.  In mixing bowl, add eggs, milk, flour, oil, and salt. Pour over meat in pan. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over batter. Bake 30 minutes.

We are planning on a big trip over Spring Break!  We are going on another cruise, back to Belize, Mexico, and Honduras.  We had so much fun on this cruise last Spring Break that we decided to do it again.  More details later on that.

Having Sloppy Joe's for supper, so better get busy.

Bye for now...