I forgot to post these first pictures earlier when I mentioned my brother's wedding. Their wedding was in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, and I snapped some pictures of some of the Mennonite (Amish) people. (I'm sure these guys would not approve of my paparazzi-like tactics but I just think their lifestyles are so fascinating.) We used to go visit the Mennonites all the time when I was growing up and my grandaddy still goes all the time and takes the younger grandkids. They buy everything from strawberries and molasses to wooden rockers and highchairs. A friend of my grandfather's, Andrew Zook, is a carpenter and turns wood that my grandfather collects into usable lumber. That is where my granddad gets the lumber to build his swings. Anyway, it'd be crazy to see something like this in Birmingham, Alabama; but it is an everyday occurrence in Lawrenceburg. They even have "buggy parking" at some stores. The first picture was snapped at Sav-A-Lot grocery, the second as I was driving down the road (and no, Mary Ella was not with me.)
Last weekend we took my oldest child, Lucy, to Bark at the Park, a celebration of all things dog. She doesn't get near the attention that she deserves, but I have one of the sweetest dogs ever (even though I don't treat her that way all the time!) She is super smart and loves other dogs and is a great big sis to Mary Ella. She enjoyed the time at the park.
I made this recipe for supper last week - stuffed bell peppers. They were SO good but really spicy. I'll post the actual recipe when I get home from the beach, but they are basically stuffed with Italian sausage, marinara, orzo pasta, onion, garlic, diced tomato... they are yummy!
And this past Saturday we celebrated our nephew Brooks' 5th birthday! I remember going to his 2nd birthday party when Chad and I were dating and I can't believe he has grown up so fast. Brooks is fascinated by wild animals and random Discovery-channel knowledge, and he always has time to share what he's learned about the wildebeest, cape buffalo, or gemsbok (yes, that's an animal.) His birthday celebration was held at the McWane Science Center downtown and all the kids got to touch some wild animals, including a gecko, a spiky dragon thing, a chinchilla and a turtle. Mary Ella was her usual brave self.
Me and Brooks
Here he is imparting his knowledge of the Alabama river catfish to Mary Ella...
She loved this huge piano!
We are enjoying the beach very much! Spent a couple hours at the outlets this morning and got some great deals at Old Navy. Then went to the beach for the afternoon and it was nice and breezy, a warm 83 degrees. Heading home tomorrow!