Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: Thanksgiving week!

This has been a very exciting week. First off, we had a whole week of no school and our daddy was home all week. Everyone loves it when dad is home...I know this momma does! On Wednesday, we celebrated Karlie's birthday and we also got the call that our LOA had finally arrived!
Shek lights the candles on Karlie's cake!
My kids doing the LOA cheer!
Here we are with the LOA!

This week we celebrated Thanksgiving at Gam's and Pop's house!
I am glad they only live about 8 miles from me...they used to live 8 hours from me! YIKES!

After Thanksgiving dinner we had our annual Christmas Card photo shoot. To see the outcome of all those photos read this
Here's one of our photo choices for the Christmas card!
...BUT we are going to use this one for the card instead!

The next day we went shopping. It's been a tradition for a while. Karlie's birthday always falls on Thanksgiving week...and she wants to spend her b-day money. So this year...we were at Gam's by 3 am and standing in front of our local Belk by 3:30...and it started raining, but we had an umbrella and an awning...we got some good deals... I got my luggage door buster...I am going to China some day soon! Hopefully sooner than later! Yesterday, after receiving the LOA document, we signed all of the stuff, made a zillion copies and shipped 2 packages out the door...Our heads were spinning to say the least.

It's been an eventful and fun week...We are a very blessed family indeed. We thank Him for all !

Ni Hao Y'all

Thursday, November 25, 2010

After Thanksgiving Dinner means it's time for...

Thanksgiving 2010
Thanksgiving at Gam's and Pop's. I am behind the camera.

 After Thanksgiving Dinner it is time for the dreaded family Christmas card photo shoot. My family hates it, I do not. So, this year, to save on stressing them out...I told everyone to grab a denim jacket and maybe we would look sort of color coordinated. I said we would let Gam take our photos this year and not worry about the tripod and the timer... this year was the least stressful year of all...we do have some "jewels" but some turned out pretty good! Check us out!

 Here's one of our "not ready yet" photos.
 I like this one!
 And this one is pretty might be my favorite!
 But maybe this is the real winner...Shek is really being himself here!
 Here's Karl sporting Zach's hat! Shek is holding Jolie's photo!
Too Serious looking!
 Not as happy as the other photos..the natives are probably getting restless during the photo taking extravaganza!

 The one photo where Shek has the sweetest smile and the rest of us looked goofy so I cropped it to see his sweet smiling face up close!
 I can't make up my mind! Which one is the best?
 Here's me!
 I hope next year's photo session is this stress free...and next year we should have Jolie in on the action too! 
 Karl and Karlie
Sweet Karlie the hard part...picking one for the Christmas card!

Happy Thanksgiving...and Happy Christmas Card Photo Shooting to you!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Today is my Karlie girl's birthday. I have been busy baking her chocolate birthday cake and also making the Evans' family pumpkin bars for Thanksgiving. I thought I would post the recipe and all of the photo steps to those delicious Thanksgiving treats. While I was downstairs with Honey downloading my photos, the phone rang, at first I didn't answer because it's usually Shek's friend calling him. No one answered so I decided everyone must be outside so I answered. It was for me and it was Josh from our agency. He said he had wonderful Thanksgiving news for us. He had received our LOA. We got it on day 65. I was shocked. I was not expecting it today. I had not even checked the email or the Rumor queen forum to see if anyone else had received theirs. He gave me instructions on what to do next so that I could get it back in the mail (fed-ex) to him on Friday. He said we should travel to get her in about 2 and 1/2 months.

I told Honey the news...and ran back upstairs to see where everyone was. Karl had gone to get the trashcans of all when I greeted him with the news he got emotional. After calling and texting everyone I could think of with the news...I asked if he was emotional and he said Yes! Turns out that this morning he specifically prayed to God "that it sure would be a nice Thanksgiving if that LOA would turn up today!" And when God answered his prayers just. like. that...he was very thankful and awed! God is good all the time.

Here's the kids spelling out LOA!
My kiddos loved bribe with pizza)
Here we are with a scanned copy of the LOA.We get the real one on Friday that we must sign and send back!

I will have to get around to posting that Pumpkin Bar recipe tomorrow! I have lots of homework-paperwork to get done!

We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving as we always do. We will always remember this one as a very special Thanksgiving, Karlie's birthday and  Jolie's LOA....Oh happy day!

Happy Birthday, Karlie!

        My Karlie girl has a birthday today. She was born the day after Thanksgiving 15 years ago.
Happy Birthday, Karlie!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Remembering Great Mama and her Dressing Recipe

In honor of Thanksgiving week, I will share a couple of recipes. The first recipe of the week is Great-mama's Dressing. Great-mama was Karl's grandmama on his dad's side. He grew up just down the road from her house and she was known for her good cooking. She used to make one cake each week and it would last the whole week...(how they had a cake to last a whole week is beyond me...a cake might last 2 days here). LOL My oldest, named her "great-mama" cause great grandmama was just too much of a mouth full so he chopped it to Great-mama. (and she loved her new name). My Karlie almost shared the same birthday with her. Karlie was born on the 24th of November, Great-mama was born on the 25th, both Thanksgiving babies.

Great mama's dressing was always moist and melt-in-your mouth. I asked for the recipe and she wrote it in a letter and sent it to me. I have kept her letter in a safe place, so safe that I couldn't find it to scan and share on the blog.  I always made it for our Preschool Thanksgiving dinner back when I taught weekday preschool at my church. And it was always a hit.

Great mama died in May 2001 while I was pregnant with my third. He was named Shek after her husband, Karl's Pa Berry. (Shek means dwelling place of God, as in Shekinah Glory!)
Great Mama and Pa Berry in their younger years. 

Here's her's the same as hers except that I add Jimmy Dean sausage to 'kick it up a notch'

Great-Mama's Dressin'

1 skillet of cooked corn bread
1 tube of cooked Jimmy Dean sausage (sage or regular) do not settle for cheap sausage!
1small onion diced finely in a food processor and sauted  in butter
1 small bell pepper, diced finely in a food processor and sauted
1/4 cup of mushrooms chopped finely in food processor and  sauted (opt)
1 package of cooked mushroom or chicken rice (knorr brand)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
2 cans of chicken broth
3 boiled eggs (chopped finely)
3 raw eggs
garlic salt and black pepper to taste

Cook cornbread. Crumble cooked cornbread in a large bowl. I tear off the hard top and discard. This step makes the dressing soft and moist. I saute the mushrooms, peppers and onions in butter and  I make sure they are chopped finely (food processor or blender on chop works great) so that they are not "hunky" in the dressing. Add rice, cooked sausage, bell pepper, and onion. Stir in soup and broth. Mash up or chop in food processor the boiled eggs and add to mixture. Stir in raw eggs. Mix all ingredients well. Pour into a buttered 13x9 baking dish. Top with pats of butter. Bake 350 until brown for about 30-45 mins.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: Karlie's birthday

Ni Hao Y'all

On Saturday we celebrated Karlie's birthday. She invited 2 friends for lunch at Cheesecake Factory and then some shopping time at the mall...the only "boy" allowed was dad cause he's the one that knows how to drive everywhere in the big city without flipping out like I do! LOL
                                          Karlie is on the left joined by 2 of her friends from church.
Karlie is a petite young lady. She hates it when people think she is much younger than she is.
Well, the waitress brought her two friends their drinks in regular glasses, and delivered hers in a kids' cup! 
She had the look of death and the waitress asked if the cup was too small. She quickly brought her a new glass.
 We couldn't wait to try some cheesecake! Karlie's was Chocolate turtle cheesecake.

                                            I had the redvelvet cheesecake...Oh.My.Stars!! Everyone
                                             had a different flavor and we even brought the boys one home
                                             to share!
                                          Waiting for the valet guy to bring back the truck, the girls
                                          did the famous charlie's angel pose.
                                              Happy early 15th Birthday to my sweet(Thanksgiving baby), Karlie girl! One
                                               day you're gonna love it when people think you are
                                                a lot younger than you really are!!!

Just a reminder!!! Please order an adoption fund raiser tee using our family code Berry1119. Just click the button in the left hand corner of my blog to order from Wild Olive. These shirts would make great Christmas presents and you'd be helping us bring our Jolie home!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Zach's latest demo

My boy, Zach has a new song "Dying to live" available for free download. He, Jesse and Spenser recorded this acoustic demo a couple of weeks ago. Go to his website and download it. It's free!
photos by Staci Hart

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: The End of Soccer Season!

     The End of Soccer Season for our church's rec league was Saturday. Here's two best friends (my boy is on the right..his best friend is on the left) walking away happy and satisfied after the final game of the season. A game where their team won and they both scored goals. After the game, we celebrated with pizza and then we ran errands. I even found some "babystuff" for our girl. Today was fun!

Ni Hao Y'all

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wild Olive Fundraiser

As many of you know we are currently in the process of adopting a baby girl from China. Wild Olive Tees is a wonderful Christian Tee shirt company who is very supportive of adoptive families. They have invited us to participate in their adoption fundraiser. Please prayerfully consider purchasing one of these tees using our family code BERRY1119 when ordering one of the adoption tees. For every shirt sold under our family code, we will get a portion of the sales to use to help with adoption expenses. So, please do a little Christmas shopping this year and help us bring our Jolie home. Wild Olive currently offers 2 adoption tees during this promotion. They hope to add a 3rd tee during the weeks of our family code. When ordering, please use the family code. Also, if the tee you are ordering is a "fitted" tee, you might want to order a size larger than you normally order.  Our family code is only valid for 4 weeks November 19, thru December 17. Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to help and pray for the orphan. James 1:27.

Thank you all for your prayers and support as we grow our family through adoption. 

Much love and many blessings,
Karl and Martha 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 days of give-aways

Ni Hao Y'all

Ni Hao Y'all is having 30 days of give-aways!  Gotta love give-aways. As our youth pastor says..."If it's free, it's for me!" Go Check. It. Out!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Homeseeker's Paradise

I was born in the historic river town of Natchez, Mississippi and lived there till I was almost 12 years old. I have written about my life in Natchez before...and there's more to say about that, but will have to do that in another post.

Today, I want to focus on the little small town where I grew up~Brookhaven. It is known as the Homeseeker's Paradise. It was a great place to grow up! I miss that small town feel..I miss how everyone knew everyone (believe it or not)...I miss the headlights shining on the boulevard on a weekend night when everyone dragged Brookway Blvd. Wonder if the youth still do that?

Here's the sign that you see in downtown as you approach the railroad tracks. I told you it was a home seekers paradise!

My first encounter with Brookhaven, was probably when I was a very little girl and we were visiting the area and happened into the little bakery called Janie's. It's still there today! I can smell that wonderful bakery smell as I type this!
 I snagged several photos from my fellow Brook-ite friends, Erin and Leanne. Hope they don't mind! lol

The day we moved to Brookhaven, I was riding in the car with Pop. We went to cross the railroad tracks. At that time there were 2 tracks in the center of town, not sure if Brookhaven is still a 2 track town. But, anyway,  on that very first day as a new resident, I heard the train coming, the crossing guards were down, the lights were flashing, but someone had decided to go around those railroad track barriers and then their car stalled. I was 'freaked' to say the least. The car finally got off the tracks in time! Having grown up in a railroad town, I am adamant about not trying to outrun the train...people are crazy to try! 

In Brookhaven, my family became actively involved in church for the first time in my life. Jesus saved me. I have fond memories of the First Baptist Church in Brookhaven. It was there that I found myself every time the doors were opened. It was there that I was baptized, and in the youth choir, and the youth handbell choir. It was  there that I found myself on that cold First Baptist Church bus driven by Daddy Lloyd almost every time it left the parking lot. It was there that I met my favorite Senior Citizen (not related to me) and still goes to church there(Mr. Moak). He even sang at my wedding! It was here that I was discipled my the best youth Sunday School teacher ever, Mary Beth! She sang at my wedding too! It was at FBC that I became "the babysitter" because I was always available.Several kids there that I babysat on a regular basis, Matt and Mary, Katie and several others, but those were my favorites.   It was here that Karl  and I were married by Brother Bob.  My home church probably has the most precious memories of all my Brookhaven memories.
The Steeple of FBC ( I snagged this photo from Leanne!)
I snapped this photo as we drove by last time we were in Brookhaven...

While in Brookahaven, I lived in an old house. I still love old houses.
This photo was taken on my last visit to the area. When we lived there, mom always planted impatiens flowers out front and used miracle grow on them...they were huge and beautiful. The yard was also full of camellia bushes, my mom's favorite...they had been planted by the previous owner. When we lived there our friends would "blow" the horn to speak as they rode past. We knew who they were by the way they blew their horn. Our house had two doors, but we only used the left door and it seemed to always be open..we had many visitors. I miss how people used to just drop one does that anymore.

I attended the Brookhaven Public Schools beginning for me in 7th grade at Lipsey Middle School. Mrs. Prater was my homeroom teacher, and she was awesome.  
I went to Brookhaven High School. We were known as the Panthers and our colors were Red and Blue. I was a band "nerd" back in the day.
Here's the front of the school. I parked my 1976 Mercury Marquis on the side of the school next to the grave yard near the band hall.  The car was new when I was in the 2nd grade...needless to say when she became mine I nicknamed her!She was Big Bertha...I had to command her to crank in the Name of Jesus many a day. Once she died right in front of the policeman directing traffic at the school. I would drive to school, but when I could go somewhere, my friend Tammye would drive because her car was newer and would not leave us

Brookhaven Depot....

Brookhaven was and is a great place to live and grow up. It really is a Homeseeker's Paradise!