Sunday, December 30, 2012

Our "Island Vacation"

We just got back from our island vacation in the middle of the Mississippi River.  Mamie and Big George have a hunting cabin on Davis Island, and for the first time in four years, we, as well as my cousins, were able to go with them.  (You can see the last time here.)
Normally, the river is so deep that we have to be ferried across; but this time we were able to just drive across the barge. When we left, the river was up to the truck's headlights, but we made it! *deep sigh of relief*
William was thrilled to be able to hunt with Mommy and Daddy.  He fell asleep, however, but not before he had seen some deer.
Some of the younger ones had an archery match with  our longtime Island friends, the Campbells.  Our friendship goes back for three generations. 
Mealtimes were lots of fun--not to mention delicious!
Philip, Martha, and Samuel, a.k.a. 'The Three Stooges,' had a great time together.  I wonder how they earned their nickname?
On Saturday, Big George's sister's family drove through the rising Mississippi to spend the day.  We visited the ruins of Jefferson Davis's home, a library, and a cemetery from the 1800's.  I love the picture of Marcus and the four unidentifiable boys in camo at the cemetery.
Before leaving, the Smith and Moss grandchildren and grandparents piled on and around the Kubota. 
We made a lot of memories and had a very special time on our island vacation. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

On the 14th we cut our Christmas tree and the next day we decorated it.   
The 22nd we celebrated Christmas at Big George and Mamie's house with the Gaffrons.
Aunt Renie and Aunt Emily planned the games.
 In the first game we had to blow a whistle when the conductor points to you. With everyone blowing different notes, we played Jingle Bells.
  In the second game we were told to place a paper plate on our head
and then draw a Christmas tree, a fireplace with a mantle with a stocking
hanging from it, and then draw a present under the tree.
After that you were given points depending on how well you placed things and your creativity.  
After that we acted out the Christmas story.
The seven oldest grandchildren recited prophecies about Jesus' birth.

That night we went to Paw Paw's house to celebrate Christmas and our cousin, Charlie's,
The next day we went to Mamie and Big George's house again.
Samuel, Philip, and Martha all got pogo sticks.
They loved them and spent most of the afternoon jumping on them.
On Christmas Eve we went to church and then went out to eat.
We have a tradition of the boys sleeping in the girl's room
so when we got home we ate dessert and went to bed.
Another tradition is to have our picture taken on the stairs
before we go down and open our presents.
For breakfast we had Pawpaw, Big George and Mamie, Mama Em and Papa Papa,
Mr. Russell, and the Pyrons for Breakfast.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
~ Anna


Saturday, December 22, 2012


Last week, we went to Memphis for the day.  We shopped, ate lunch in the park, had the playground to ourselves, and toured the Pink Palace Museum.
Anna, Delie, and I rode on the tire swing.  This picture is going in our room--a sweet sister shot.  I love these girls!
I like this picture of Samuel against the blue sky.
 George and Mommy had fun on the monkey bars. 
 After lunch at the park, we went to the Pink Palace museum.  It has a large Christmas tree display this time of year; with themes from Charlie Brown to traditional to pink.  Thomas and Samuel liked the snowman tree (above).
My favorite tree was the Holly Polyhedra tree.  I guess that's because I'm Daddy's daughter. :)
I hope y'all are having a wonderful Christmas season. (And let me know if you decorate your tree with polyhedra--only a homeschooler would!)

Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm having a (cake) ball in the kitchen

Hello, everyone!  My name is James, but I answer to JJ, Sweetie Pie, Jayzee, and almost every other term of endearment.  If you're not too distracted by my adorable smile, you'll probably notice the cake ball in my hand.  You'll probably want to learn how to make them.  And chances are, if you make them, you'll start smiling just like me.
Okay, let's get started!
Step 1:
Have an older sister bake a sheet cake of her choice; she chose chocolate.  I highly approve.  After the cake has cooled, crumble it into a large bowl.  Big brothers are great for this!
Step 2:
Be sure to have your personal photographer nearby.  How else would I get to see myself with a chocolate-flavored face? 
Step 3:
Add a tub of your favorite icing.  Mommy wanted German chocolate cake balls, so she bought coconut pecan.  Yum!  Note to self: Next time, don't let Joy scrape the bowl.  There wasn't a whole lot left for little ol' me.
 Step 4:
You're done with the spoon, so lick it.  After working so hard, you deserve a treat!
 Step 5:
Chill the cake/icing mixture.  While it chills, go read a book.  I recommend Corduroy.
Step 6:
Roll into balls the size of a walnut.  (What is a walnut, anyway?)  Chill again. 

Step 7:
While I napped, Joy dipped the balls in melted chocolate and sprinkled them with coconut.  I guess she thought I wasn't big enough to stand by the stove.  She forgets that some day, I'm going to be taller than she is.  I'm already catching up.
Step 8:
If you eat all your supper, you may eat a cake ball or two--hopefully two.
All this blogging is making me hungry.  Does anyone know where Daddy put the cake balls?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Breakfast Conversation

This morning, Mommy took George to the doctor because he had been complaining about his ear.  We were discussing him at breakfast, and Thomas said, "They're going to the doctor to see if George is Confucius or not."  After we exchanged blank looks, someone realized that he meant contagious.

Mommy just called.  George is not contagious--and he's not Confucius either :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy 14th Birthday, Delie!

10 Random Facts about Delie
  1. Delie likes to cook; she especially enjoys sneaking spinach, celery, etc. into dishes.
  2. She enjoys photography. (It's difficult to find a good picture of her, because she's usually the one holding the camera!)
  3. Delie spent her fifth birthday in the hospital with a concussion--she's had more stitches than the rest of us put together. :(
  4. Her favorite instrument is the violin, and this year she has started teaching Thomas to play it.
  5. This fall, Delie competed in the National Bible Bee and placed 39th in her division!
  6. She is not a perfectionist, but she likes to do things well. (There is a difference!)
  7. Her favorite color is turquoise; the color is known in our house as "Delie  blue." 
  8. Delie's real name is Cordelia - an old family name - but all the Cordelias go by Delia (pronounced dee lee).  We shortened it to D-E-L-I-E.
  9. Waking up at 6:15 most days, Delie is the early bird of our family.
  10. She enjoys reading aloud, and is very talented--you should hear her British accent.  

 Happy 14th Birthday, Delie!
We love you,
(for Daddy, Mommy, Anna, George, Samuel, Thomas, William, and James)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bible Bee Trip

We are back from our trip.We really enjoyed all of it.
All of the National Contestants received a medal.
 Here are George and Delie with theirs.
George, Samuel, and Thomas at the closing ceremony.
Thomas was so cute in his bowtie.  

This is the hotel we stayed in.
 On Saturday, we went to Cade's Cove. It was beautiful. There was a lot of wildlife. We saw nine deer, five turkeys, and two bears. 
We got to the Moore's house at 2:30am on Sunday. We really enjoyed getting to see them.
We were having too good of a time to take very many pictures.      
We enjoyed playing our instruments with them.
Have a good Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

This morning we ate at the Thirsty Miner (a restaurant at the hotel).  After breakfast Mamie and Big George left to go home.  Then we watched the Junior and Senior semi-finalists.  The finalists will be announced on the Bible Bee website.

George IV

P.S.  You can watch the finals via webcast tomorrow.  For more information go to the Bible Bee's site.

Competition Day Part 2

I woke up yesterday morning with a great peace about the contest.  Needless to say, I became very nervous during parts of the competition but I knew that God was with me.  I am very thankful for all the volunteers who made this event go so smoothly.
After the competition we went to the Titanic Museum.  At the beginning of the tour each person receives a card with the name and information of a Titanic passenger. At the end of the tour you discover whether "you" survived or perished.  We all enjoyed the museum which was very family friendly.  It was neat to look at replicas of things on the Titanic, read facts about it, stick our hands in the 28 degree water, and more. 
When we reached the end of our tour we were all anxious to discover our fate. As it turned out, each of our men (Big George, Daddy, George, Samuel, Thomas, William, and James) died  while we ladies were all among the survivors.  I was inspired by the lives, or rather the deaths, of these brave men.  It reminded me of Paul who, in his last days, wrote 2 Timothy to encourage his spiritual son and of David who, "when [David's] time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying,  'I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man.'"  (1 Kings 2:1-2.)
We weren't able to take pictures inside the museum but we got a few outside by this waterfall.  James had been playing by it and then ran over to Mommy and Daddy and smiled up at them.  I was able to capture the sweet look of innocence on his face (above).
After supper George and I lined up to go on stage in the Opening Ceremony.  After receiving our medals we returned to sit with our family and enjoyed all of the ceremony.  There were several speakers and the choir (pictured above) was beautiful.  It was a very exciting time of celebration!
Well I'm going to go watch the semi-final challenge round for the Junior division now.
In Christ,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Competition Day!

George and I had a great time competing today!  Neither of us will be advancing to semi-finals but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.  I hope to blog more tomorrow morning with pictures from the Titanic Museum.  Until then,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


We are finally here at the National Bible Bee!  We are all excited (and a little nervous). 

Please pray for Delie and George, that they will have a good night's sleep and that their testing will be peaceful.
We are blessed to have Mamie and Big George come with us as babysitters and cheerleaders.
The semi-finalists will be announced tomorrow night, so either Anna or I will be blogging.
Good night!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

 We are very excited because we will be leaving tomorrow for the bible bee!!!
George and Delie are both finished memorizing.
Here is a link to why George loves the Bible Bee and what
his favorite memory is verse click here.
Here is a link to why Delie loves the Bible Bee and what her
favorite memory passage is.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October Birthdays

 Happy Birthday, Mommy!
Mommy's birthday is October 14, the day before William's,we tried
to schedule William's birth on the 14th but that didn't work out.
Happy 3rd Birthday, William!
William loves to be big. He always wants to help Samuel and
George feed the farm animals. He also loves to be cute!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Happy 19th Anniversary, Daddy and Mommy!
September 18,1993

Thursday, August 30, 2012

James' Haircut

Recently, James got his first haircut. He looks like such a big boy now.
Isn't he cute?
He is also talking some and is so adorable.

Drum roll, please...

And the winners are...
Delie and George!!!
They are both advancing to the national competition held in Gatlinburg this November, and we are all sooooo excited for them!
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 
 Indeed, I count everything as loss,
 because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. 
For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things
 and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
Philippians 3:7-8

As American as baseball and ... green tomato pie

    The corn was dead, the green beans were sprawled over the melon patch, and the tomato plants are producing tomatoes that rot before they ripen.  So last week we decided that when life gives us green tomatoes, we'll make - you guessed it - green tomato pie.
    For the adventurous eaters in your family, it tastes exactly like apple pie.  And for the not-so-adventurous, give it another name and they'll never know the difference!

Green Tomato Pie

  • 1 double crust pastry of your choice
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups finely chopped green tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    Preheat oven at 425 degrees.  Place half of pie crust dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into and 11-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.  Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan.  Trim the crust to 1/2-inch of the outer rim. 

    In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar mixture across the bottom of the prepared crust.  Add the tomatoes and lemon juice to the remaining sugar mixture; toss to coat.  Spoon into pie shell and dot with butter.  Roll out the remaining crust on a lightly floured surface.  Slice into 1-inch strips and weave into a lattice pattern on top of the pie.  Tuck the overlapping crust into the pan; crimp the edges to seal.  Brush the top with cream and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

    Bake for 15 minutes; then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees.  Bake 35-40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

    Serve warm with a big ol' scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!