Friday, August 31, 2012

Ready for College Football...

College football. If you live in the south it's really a way of life and the Edwards household is no exception. Thankfully, I love college football just as much as my husband and look forward to watching football all weekend long in the fall. And now that we are season ticket holders I enjoy spending several Saturdays in the fall on a date with my sweet husband in Athens. Anyways, to kick off the return of college football Chick-fil-A hosted a Father/Son night. Andy took AG and he had an absolute ball. He came home with a football game and a new cow for his collection of 'moo-cows'. He also was not happy about having to take off his 'eye black' for bed. We promised him we'd get him some more for football season with special supers G's on it. Anyways, here's a few pictures after they got home. I'm so grateful for Andy and the relationship he is building with our son. Little things like this matter and have a lasting impression even at this tender age. 

Well, we are off to the farm for the weekend. I'm looking forward to being with family for the weekend at one of our favorite places. On Saturday, Andy and I are going to drive to Athens for the game and leave the kids with Nanny for a half day. Then on Sunday the Hornsbys are driving over from Macon for the day. We are excited to show them the farm and have a day to relax together. Andy's sister, Caroline, and her family will also be driving over from Macon that day. Should be a fun day and I am sure the kids will have a blast swimming and visiting the cows. I know AG will sleep like a rock that night. :) Happy Labor Day Weekend to all. Can't believe August has come and gone...this year is just flying by. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Welcome Back and Family Dinner.

The start of a new school year means the return of Family Dinner. This year we had a request for southern comfort food for our welcome back dinner. Thankfully, the deli at Kroger helped me out and fried up a large batch of chicken so I didn't have to. We also surprised Emily by singing happy birthday to her a few days early. She started laughing when she realized that the only candles I had were Toy Story themed. Oh, life with small kids. ;) It was so nice to be all back together and catch up. We are really looking forward to the year ahead and all that we have planned. Girls Night resumes tonight, the guys are doing a fantasy football league this fall, and we already have plans for a big Mtn. Day party in a few weeks with current students and returning alumni. Here's to a great year and here are a few pictures from the other night. 

School Days are here...

Well, hot dog! Blogger decided this morning to cooperate and allow me to access pictures from the last few weeks. (Get ready for a slew of updates!) Anyways, here are AG's first day of school pictures. He's now in his fourth week of school and learning lots. He has had some moments for growth and learning how to adapt to new situations. However, overall I think this has been a great transition for him. He's done very well and although he has some mornings when he declares he doesn't need to go to school that day when we pick him up he's very happy. Two of our college girls are living in the building literally next door to his classroom and he loves being able to go visit them before/after school. I am grateful that we have the opportunity to send AG to Berry. To a place where Andy and I learned many valuable lessons in and out of the classroom. Our hope and prayer is that AG will be shaped by these same lessons. That he would gain not only 'head knowledge' but knowledge for his heart and hands as well over these next few years. So, here's to the first of many 'First Day of School' pictures at Berry College. AG, we can't believe what a wonderful young man you are growing up to be. We are so proud of you and love watching you conquer new situations. We can't wait to see what all you learn this year.

After dropping AG off Avi-Kate and I headed up to mountain campus to Berry Elementary and Middle School to see GrandMary. We spent the morning working in her classroom...Avi-Kate exploring her future kindergarten classroom and me doing my yearly activities to help Mary get ready for the upcoming school year. I've got one more year of doing it before I'll have a kid in Mary's classroom and that is crazy to me. At the same time I'm elated and can't wait for AG to start kindergarten. She's the best of the best and there really is no one quite like her. I'm just grateful that I was placed in her classroom ten years to be a student worker. GrandMary, we love you and can't wait to be in kindergarten! :)

Wordless Wednesday...Ulym-phic Swimming and Diving Edition.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Freezer Cooking and Reorganizing...

Another day and another picture-less post. (sigh) Oh, well. Life goes on...that's what I'm telling myself any way.

Over the course of the last few weeks I've been tackling simple house projects that have been in need of tackling but at the time had been pushed to the side. Now with AG in school I actually have time to tackle simple tasks and see them to completion without interruptions. The other day I pulled EVERYTHING out of the freezer. I threw away everything that was past it's prime and began to reorganize the inside. I also made a list of everything that I have in the freezer at the moment on hand. I'm easing back in to my freezer cooking routine for the school year since I took a break for the summer. Here's what I found:

-Roasted Tomato Base (I slow roast onions, garlic, and tomatos in the oven then use my food processor to chop it all up...great base for marinara, meat sauce, tomato soup, pizza sauce, etc.): 5 containers
-Chicken Tortilla Soup: 2 containers
-Meat Sauce: 1 container
-Bubba Burgers: 1 box
-Taco Meat: 1 container
-Black bean, Corn, and Chicken Salsa: 1 container
-Rolls: 1 bag
-Garlic Toast:1 box
-Peas: 4 bags
-Corn: 2 bags
-Mixed veggies: 1 bag
-Green Giant Roasted Potatoes: 1 box
-Various nuts...we keep all of nuts for cooking in the freezer so that they don't spoil.

In the last week I have also managed to put away:
-2 shepherds pies
-6 chicken pastinas

Later this week I will be making a batch of chili for dinner one night and I should be able to put away at least one container to put in to my freezer stash. A good thing about the approaching season is that lots of comfort foods that we associate with fall tend to freeze well. So, I will continue in my habit of making stuff in bulk and putting away here and there. Once I get everything stocked I can actually cook one or two meals a week and then pull from the freezer for the rest. Those one or two meals then become meals that can also replenish the stash. I have friends that do Once-A-Month-Cooking and I'll admit I admire their stamina but prefer putting things away a little as I go. I hate being a slave to my kitchen for a few days a month to cook everything. This way there is less mess and less cleanup...which in turn means more time on other things. Does anyone else have a freezer system they like?

Monday, August 20, 2012


...peeved. Take your pick.

Blogger is currently not cooperating with me and I'm slightly frustrated. I have several posts that have corresponding pictures that I can't seem to get Blogger to let me put the pictures on. (Long story.) Anyways, Andy is trying to work it out. Hopefully, I'll get that resolved this week and normal posting will resume. I hate being behind. Oh, goes on.

Lots going on this week around dates, chats on the porch, school/activities for the kids, traveling for Andy, Ladies Craft Night, students return in full force this week, lots of organizing, Family Dinner returns for the year on Sunday, etc. I have a bunch of church stuff that also needs attention this week that I need to spend some time on.  So, like I said busy, if Blogger would just get it together so I can get what I need done. :)

And can I just say how glad I am that the weather is really starting to cool off?! Makes me ready for football...thankfully, we only have to wait a little less than two weeks for college football to kick off!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Words for Wednesday...What is a family...

"The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you." ~Kendall Hailey

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Really, it is. I love August because it brings with it the promise of so many things in the coming months and it brings with it the return of our sweet students. I feel like that quote from Hailey sums up our group rather nicely. We are often asked how we ended up hosting college students in our house, are we associated with any organization, and why would we go out of our way to feed that many mouths on a frequent basis. Well, here we go...

When my youngest sister, Caroline, was at Berry she started bringing her friends over for dinner. It started with just a few people and from there they decided that they'd love to do it on a regular basis. They enjoyed getting a chance to eat a home cooked meal and some much needed time outside of the 'Berry Bubble' as we like to call it. We enjoyed being able to open our home to them. Family Dinner was born and has slowly grown in to quite the gathering. 

As for the question about who we are associated with we just say no one. To which we usually get a lot of questions about where we 'get all these kids'?!? To which we smile and share how tightly knit of a community Berry is. At Berry you know everyone even if you don't know them on a personal level. That's just how it is and it's one of the things I love about it. So, students come over and they bring friends who bring more friends. Or alumni who know Andy and I pass along our info to incoming students and tell them to come join us. It's really amazing to look at the way our stories have been woven together and the way it all works.

Why? Simply put: because we love college students. Big answer? There are many, many reasons why we do it. God has been gracious to provide us with a space in which to entertain large groups. When we bought this house 5.5 years ago I had no idea that I'd be serving up Thanksgiving for 25+ people and doing it comfortably with the way our living spaces are connected. God knew and I'm grateful that we can continue to grow and serve. Two, we are grateful for the people who took the time to invest in us when we were students because it helped shape and mold us in to the people we are today. Our hope is that we might be able to pass that on to every student that sets foot in our house. It's a joy and an honor to know them. To be part of their college experience. For them to know that they have a place to retreat to and call 'home' even when they are away at college. That they are valued and loved. Unconditionally. And that even once they graduate and move on that they still have a place to come back to. We love it when former students return 'home' for Mountain Day or just because. Three, we want our kids to grow up in a house where they see what it means to be a servant to others. Plus, it's amazing to see the bonds that our children have developed with their older 'siblings'. Four, it's a way for us to give back to Berry. Martha Berry's vision was that students would not only receive an education of the head but of the heart and hands while in school. Consider time spent over here as an education of the heart if you will. And sometimes an education of the mind depending on who is at the dinner table, Dave Thomas. And then there are times when it's an education of the hands and they join us to do stuff around the house or watch our kids. Again, we just love college students and love the chance to serve them.

Here's a look back over the last few years. For some reason blogger put them out of order and I'll be honest I don't have the time nor the patience to rearrange them/re-upload them. 

To our current students...we CAN NOT WAIT to see you seated around the dining room table in few weeks. We are excited to have you home in Rome and are looking forward to another year of shared experiences, funny moments, laugh out loud stories, and the chance to be a part of your lives.

To our former students...we CAN NOT WAIT to see what you do this year in the real world. We also hope that your path will somehow bring you back to Rome for a much needed visit. We'll leave the light on for you. And remember this...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beach Pictures Round-Up...

Some photo highlights from our week at the beach. Lots of eating and playing were had by all...last year Avi-Kate was 5 weeks old when we went and it's crazy how much difference a year makes.