Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Reflections (13) -

Listen HERE as you read the lyrics below. One of my very favorite songs these days. 
It's the cry of my heart, the longing of my soul, the drive to my prayers, the call to my Savior. 
With much love,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

lyrics inspired by "Come, Lord, and Tarry Not" by Horatius Bonar (1846) 

"Come Lord, and tarry not; bring the long-looked-for day; 
Oh why these years of waiting here, these ages of delay?

Come, for Thy saints still wait; daily ascends their sigh:
The Spirit and the Bride say "Come": Dost Thou not hear our cry? 

(chorus) - Oh come and make all things new! Come and make all things new! 
Oh come and make all things new! Build up this ruined earth, come and make all things new.  
All things new .... 

Come for creation groans, impatient of Thy stay. 
Worn out with these long years of woe, these ages of delay. 

Come for love waxes cold, its steps are faint and slow.
Faith now is lost and unbelief, hope's lamp burns dim and low. 

Oh come and make all things new! Come and make all things new! 
Oh come and make all things new! Build up this ruined earth, come and make all things new.  
(repeat 2x's)

All things new .... All things new ... All things new."

~ Revelation 21: 1 - 7 ~ 

"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.
Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." 

Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." 
And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. 
I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son." 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Waiting -

(Photo taken April 2012) 

"But right now, all I can say is "Lord, how long? Before You come and take away this aching?" 
This night of weeping seems to have no end. But when the morning light breaks through, 
we'll open up our eyes and we will SEE!

It's everything He said that it would be, and even better than we would believe! 
And He's counting down the days 'til He says "Come with me." 

And finally - 
He'll wipe every tear from our eyes, and make everything new, just like He promised.
Wait and SEE, just wait and SEE, wait and see. 

And I'm counting down the days until I SEE! 
It's everything He said that it would be! And even better than we would believe!
And I'm counting down the days 'til He says "Come with Me." and finally .... we'll SEE. 

We will SEE."

by Steven Curtis Chapman. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Best Cornbread EVER -

I'm giving this post a header. It's just that important.

This is the best cornbread you will ever have in your entire life. Make some and eat it instantly. 

*cough* Now that we have that understood, I'm here to tell you that we have found the queen of all cornbread recipes. It is soooo so good. SO GOOD. And I've had my share of cornbread in my (almost) 24 years of lifetime. See how I am doing that "slide-into-your-next-year" thing? Yeah. It works for me. I've had really good cornbread where you muffled your praise around mouthful of delicious crumbs and rolled your eyes because it tasted so ridiculous, and basically ate 1/2 cup of food and 4 slices or muffins of cornbread because it was the best thing. :) And oh, cornbread. I love thee.

Cornbread is not something to be taken lightly, and it is extremely Southern. Perhaps not invented here, because we all know that cornbread was super important to the Indians and the Pilgrims and the Pioneers, but it sure has put down its roots here and those roots run deep. In fact. The best Southern restaurants are based upon how good their cornbread, swate tae, grits, biscuits, and BBQ is. It's true.

And there is a huge difference between cornbread and corncake, so on the cornbread spectrum (is there such a thing?), then this would be more defined as cornCAKE. :)

And I have loved me some cornbread over the years. I love CB cornbread, with its greasiness and texture, and I love some Smith family of J-ville (holla'!) cornbread (holy cow - yum), and I love Jiffy's cornbread muffins that we used to have when we visited Daddy's good friends in Savannah. Bob and Emmaline Cooper were their names, and we'd get to their huge and intriguing house with the wheelchair accessible stairway for her, and the wood workshop out behind the house for him, where he built model airplanes. It smelled like sawdust and wood and adventure in that workshop to an 8 year old. And I'd sit in the kitchen and watch Emmaline open up the box of Jiffy cornmeal mix and she'd say "and we'll have blueberry cornmuffins!!" with a shine in her eyes, and I'd grin back, all giddy with excitement.

Cornbread is either amazing ... or it's not. And it's somewhat like my lifelong search for the perfect Southern biscuit recipe to find the perfect cornbread recipe as well. :) One must have dreams for life ....

and recently within the past year, we've found this recipe, and we've all fallen in love with it. I'm not kidding when I say it is THE BEST cornbread I've ever had in my life. And our other cornbread recipe was SO GOOD. It is this light, sweet, cakey, yet still very much bread, fall apart perfect ... cornbread. 

Momma made it last night to go with turkey chili and when Dad and I saw the huge stoneware circle pan of it, we just stood there in thankfulness. Hahahah. We served it up and sat down and breathed in its steaminess, and you know how good it is? It doesn't need butter, and it doesn't need honey. Daddy didn't even put any sass (molasses) on his.


In fact, last night - while we stuffed our faces with cornbread, I didn't even want to take a picture of it. I was too busy scarfing it down, spending quality family time eating cornbread, I mean. And then I had a genius idea. Cornbread. with coconut yogurt. and fresh strawberries. Dad looked at me with admiration in his shining eyes as he held a strawberry in one hand and a wedge of cornbread in the other. "GREAT idea." And so that's what I'm eating now. At ... 2:50pm on a Friday afternoon. For lunch/dessert/snack. So I took a few pictures. ;) 

The coconut yogurt really needs it's own blogpost (or like 19) since Becs got our family addicted to it. It's sold by Liberte' and if you have a Publix near you, then you can find it in the yogurt aisle. Be warned - you will be addicted to it and eat them like it's the only thing that tastes good and possibly gain some weight. but it's worth it - hahahaha! 

So here's the recipe, with the warning that if no one makes this - I.will.cry. That's a threat.
And thanks to my wonderful Momma who shares her recipes!! :)

- From the Tasha Tudor Cookbook -
"Great-Grandmother Tudor's Cornbread"
Makes 12 servings. 

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter; softened (we use salted)  
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 2 farm-fresh eggs, at room temp. separated
* 1 cup unbleached flour
* 3 tsp. baking powder
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1 cup milk, lukewarm
* 1 cup yellow cornmeal 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an iron cornbread pan that makes 12 sticks, or a muffin tin, with butter. (We use our circle Stoneware pan, you could also use a cast iron skillet) 

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar and add the egg yolks, slightly beaten. 
Stir well. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. 

3. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt, then add it alternately with the milk to the creamed butter.
 Stir in the cornmeal, then fold in the beaten egg whites. 

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 mins. until beautifully browned. 

and then enjoy eating it. Because that's the main thing. :)

YUM. If you were Hawaiian you would say it would be Onoliscious, which means Overly Delicious. :)

So go make some. ASAP - As Soon and as Southern as Possible. :)
and if you do make it, come back heah and tell me how much you loved it!! :)
Love y'all!!!
~ Jean Marie ~

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Isaiah 55 -

This was what I needed this morning, I hope it blesses you as well. It is a beautiful thing when the Word of God impacts our minds, our hearts, our thoughts, when it becomes alive and renews us!
I needed desperately to be renewed, to be reminded of our Savior who gives so much.
With much love,
~ Jean Marie ~

~ Isaiah 55 ~

"Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; and you who have no money, Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.

Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live;
and I will make an everlasting covenant with you - The sure mercies of David.
Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, a leader and commander for the people.
Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the Lord your God, and the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you."

Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him;
And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there,
but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud,
 that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

"For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name,
For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Spring Frolic 2012 Day 2 -

Okay! :) Day 2!! :) So really ... Day 1 had 110 pictures and separated into 3 posts, and this Day 2 post has 53 and only needs 1 post for it. ;) A lot less! Haha.

Day 2 was Sunday, and since I teach Sunday school and Becs is on her church's worship team, there was no way we could skip church and responsibilities, so I picked her up from her church and we headed out on the highway from there. :) Sweet Momma Foster did it again, and packed us a great lunch of PB&J, ginormous apples, oreos and water. And we talked and sang and had a great old time. We got to Barberville at about ... 2pm? Or so? And found it extremely hot. haha.
Big surprise there - not.

We also found Emily and Ben who had been working since that morning, and were on Courtesy Cart duty. And so we hung out with them for awhile because we didn't want to dance in the heat. :) Don't judge us .... you have no idea how many times we almost died from heatstroke the day before!! hah! Oh, and we also hung out with them because wethinktheyarethebestthingsever. ;) kk - here we go -

Becs and Em rockin' their glasses. Is that Em? Or is that a preggo Audrey Hepburn? No one really knows. 

Two thumbs up!! hahahaha. 

The angry 1 thumb up. If you get this, just know deep in your heart that you did something really stupid.

The hot and lazy Sunday afternoon crowd .... 

My attempt from too far away to get us all in the mirror. Em got it instead, see it in her video, here! 

Becs and those awesome teal glasses of hers .... 

Yep. I love you. 

Rock on, darlin'. 


Georgia Rose at 19 weeks 2 days. :) 

Hi! :D 

Yep. This is what we do. Take pictures of the baby belly. Can't help it. 

Focused on Georgia - 

Focused on Emily's hand cradling Georgia -

another favorite

This was on the back of the cart ... all this time, and I never knew it was an E-Z-GO. Whatever that is.

My already sandy, dirty feet with my "Mermaid" polish color, as Becs calls it. ;) 

The Peacocks! I love peacocks. When I was little, we lived in Cape Canaveral in a condo, and a few streets away from the beach. The peacocks would come to the sliding glass door in the morning and call and I would feed them Cheerios. ;) Now I feel at home every time I hear a peacock call. 

Stunning iridescent blues and greens and every teal, aqua, purple color in between. 

Amazing details. 

Oh, man, I have to tell you this ... it was hysterical. Emily, Ben, Bro Nafan, Becs, GabeBrah and I sat around on the Courtesy Carts and this one peacock was SO intimidated by Gabe. He just wouldn't walk away! It was hilarious, we kept laughing about how puffed up the bird was about it. He was like "I aammm the MAN." HAHahaa. And meanwhile the hens walked by like "dude. we saw that 5 minutes ago. we know already!!"

Those colors faded out? Some of my all-time favorites right there. :) Liked a different perspective on the color. 

Unbelievably tall .... 

One of the beautiful hens. 

There were a lot of peacock eggs too! I just love the green on her neck, and her rich hues of brown.

We've been blessed with a very green Spring! 

I was baking. I needed ice cream - so I went over and got 1/2 of a root beer float. Because Gabe told me there's no way I'd feel good in this heat if I had a whole one. He was right. 1/2 was perfect. :)

Here's the John Deere engine running the ice cream churn! :) Take you for a riide on my big green tractorrr....the summer that song came out, Becs and I couldn't stop singing it. Like - EVER. 

Dancing was going on  ... I watched and then joined in. I mean, there's only two choices! Dance and die and got to Heaven or dance and don't die! Either way, I'd be happy so .... I danced. hahaha. 

Obi giving a "low" high five for something awesome during the Broom Dance. 

Little Joshie Dude so enthralled by being with all the men. 

Bustin' his own moves on the floor. That's what I love about this kind of dancing - it's all ages! 

Some of these guys can spin you FAST. It's dizzyingly wonderful. :) 

The Broom Dance - see more in the video below! 

Emily and the kitty - Stella, we named her. She was tiny, and sweet! And Emily was in love.


Nothing more comfortable than ripped jeans you've worn in and your favorite shoes. :) These are Becs'.

HAHAHAHA. See the 1 thumbs up? HAHAhahahahaa! Ben's smile is under his glasses. He's pretending to lord that whole "Tease the bridesmaid as much as humanly possible" over me. It may or may not be working. ;) hahahhaa.

Kitty and the Barn. 

Saying very exhausted goodbyes. :) 

Afterwards, Becs and I headed over to the Blacksmith's shop to see what all the clanging and laughing about was - and lo and behold - it was because the Reedy brothers and Zander and BroNafan were there. Explains aver-thang.

Yes. He's an awesome bro. That I only get to see a few times each year, which is a crime. haha. 

I just love this. Probably because I love that blue color, but still. I just love it. I want my house to look like this. Maybe a little bigger than a post office, but still. Yep. A few rockers on the front porch, and I've got it made. :) 

"Hey Becs, go stand by the sign and I can take your picture with it!" "okay" 

Next thing I know, they are all in the frame and posing. HAHAHa. Crazy people. Don't blame me. Sometimes Barberville just ... gets to people. It's so sad. *shakes head* You really have no idea.

Jordan the Blacksmith working his magic on incredibly hot pieces of metal. 

And then we all forgot it was hot, and enjoyed the breezes moving through and I pretended we were on an island with the sound of a ukelele floating over us .... mmmm. :)  Becs with Zander's ukelele. 

She's so amazing. 

Dusty converse and rolled up jeans. 

Truth be told, I was trying to get my 3rd (or 4th!) wind back so I could drive us home without falling asleep. That would not have been good. So we stayed for 30 minutes and then we hit the road. :)

Here's us all walking to our cars. We were the 2nd and 3rd last vehicles leaving the public lot! WOOT! haha. this is like - Barberville Band Shot. ;)

Bodean & Bobby Jo. love. 

"Bellaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!" The Settlement Cat. Look at her in Emily's picture on Six Angles! 

But we were also starving when we left, and so we decided to go out to eat ... and we debated and did the whole "I don't care, what do you want" thing for awhile, until I finally decided my seafood cravings must be satisfied. :) So we went to Olive Garden, waited around for 20 minutes looking at pictures and video on my camera, and talking about nothing and then we were seated in the coldest area of the restaurant, which was perfect, because we were soo hot.

But then in about 20 minutes, were so sooo cold. hahahaha. But we didn't care all that much. We talked graduation and seniors (she is one this year!) and how I was so glad I didn't have to do that again, and how much drama people can drum up over an event that is turned into either the NHL finals or WW3.

And we talked about our dreams and falling in love and babies, and ohmyword, Georgia. And we chatted and we pretended to the really sweet, outgoing waitress that we didn't know sign language when she taught us a few signs. Because that would totally be me. And we talked about dancing, and cancer and our friends, and we talked about how God has blessed us, and how to carry on in life.

And I was reminded all over again the great blessing of a best friend I have in Becs. I love you! 

When we left, there was this mind-blowing amazingly gorgeous sunset. I almost cried. Becs let me take pictures while she called her Momma, letting her know we were getting on the road. :) 

The colors and the clouds - such a gift for us to see. 

"thaaaaat's amoreeeee, laalallalalaaaaa". Hahahaaha. :) The sunset glory just stayed in my rearview mirror almost the entire way home, until it faded into the dark. Such a sweet ending to a lovely weekend. 

Now here's the two videos of the day! First one is the recap of the day, and 2nd one is from the Blacksmith's Shop. :) I just love both of them - video just puts you right there! Hope it brings a smile to your face. :) And laughter, lots of laughter, that's always a hope too. :)

and that was the end of our wonderful Barberville Spring Frolic weekend!!! :)
Thanks for stopping by, and as I was reminded recently, yes. I do love comments. ;)
With much love, and gratitude for such wonderful friends and family,
~ Jean Marie ~

If you haven't read up, here's Part I, Part II and Part III of Day 1!!! :D So much joy!