Sunday, March 21, 2010

Warm Weekend at the Compound

We headed to the Compound Thursday night, because Chad and my dad wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather that was ahead on Friday! They fished all day and we enjoyed some time at Huntsville's Botanical Gardens, where they were having a tree house expo. My aunt Amanda, her son Charlie, Mary Ella and I met my aunt Vicki, who brought Addie Jane and Jack. The weather was perfect! There were only about a thousand people at the gardens that day, but the kids loved it! They have a children's garden that is perfect for toddlers. Lots of rocks, water, sand and different little activities. I'm pretty sure my daughter will be working for a landscaping company when she grows up, because she has a deep affection for mulch, gravel, mud and pine straw...

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By the way, I would highly recommend Crocs if you decide to take a trip to the gardens. There is lots of water and mud! (She was actually in her white Keds when we left the house, but we stopped at Target for snacks and I saw these in the kids department. I'm so glad I decided to get them!) I would also recommend a change of clothes!

crocs

The kids were perfect and had so much fun playing and getting to run free! I was able to capture some pretty sweet moments. Here are a few of my favorites...

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flower child
addie2
pond


We didn't realize how much sun we'd gotten until we got back home and took showers. Mary Ella's cheeks were so red! I didn't even think about taking any sunscreen. Thankfully they didn't blister or anything and she never acted like they were bothering her. When we got back to my parents' house I let her run around the farm as the sun set.

running
sunset face
wheat


Then when we came inside, I couldn't help but notice how cool Mom's kitchen looked with the sun coming through the window. If you think MY house has lots of color, check out Mom's lime green kitchen cabinets! I love this...
moms kitchen


Chad and Dad finally made it back from fishing around 7:30pm and thankfully didn't catch anything worthy of cooking (ha...). So we ate steaks, baked potatoes and salad. Then we went to bed, of course, because we were exhausted! I think I had walked about 8 miles total on Friday and I was for sure feeling it by the end of the day.
My Grandaddy had offered to cook us all breakfast on Saturday morning, and so when we finally rolled out of bed at 9:30 we walked over to the shop (where my Grandaddy builds things) to greet him. Mary Ella wore her crocs again. She loves them.
pj girl

He was working on a new wooden swing for Mary Ella and told her exactly where he was going to hang it. She was so excited when she learned it would be ready by that afternoon. And if you know my Grandaddy, you know this is nothing out of the ordinary for him. He is the most selfless man I have ever known; he prays for us by name every morning and he tells me he's thankful for me everytime he sees me. I love him so much.
pointing
ike kisses

He led us inside the house and decided he'd give Mary Ella, my sister and me a lesson on how to make the best biscuits ever. He's made his biscuits for us ever since I was a little baby, and although I knew they weren't canned or made from Bisquick, I had never actually learned the exact recipe. I'm glad I did, because it's a lot simpler than I thought it would be! There are just a few ingredients...

1. Buttermilk
buttermilk

2. Flour
biscuits

3. Crisco
crisco

Now, as for how much of each, that I can't really tell you. Not because it's a secret, but because he didn't really tell us. I do know he used 4 cups of flour, because I actually paid attention to that part. And he used about this much Crisco...
crisco hunk

I'd say that's about a half-handful. He mixed the flour and Crisco until it felt like all the flour was just a little bit "greased." Then he added enough buttermilk to make a thick, sticky batter.
watching ike

And of course, he had a little helper.
i can stir 2

He used the grease from these sausage patties, which were sizzling away...
sausage and grease

...to grease his cast iron skillets, which he says are a MUST in making the best biscuits ever. (He also says the grease is a MUST. But if you don't have it, just use PAM. And don't tell him I told you that!)
grease it good

Then you just plop your biscuit batter onto your skillet.
biscuits
biscuit drops

And you bake them at 450 degrees. I asked him how long, and he said "Til they're done, of course!" So I'd guess maybe 20 minutes or so.

Next, it was on to the scrambled eggs, and Grandaddy was patient enough to teach Mary Ella how to crack eggs. First, she just watched.
how to crack an egg

She got the "cracking" part pretty quickly...
crack it

But didn't quite understand that the whole egg didn't go into the bowl. Ooops!
eggshell

Finally, after a little hands-on coaching and an entire carton of eggs...
eggs

She did it! All by herself! I was so proud.
crack an egg

So was Aunt Betsy, who hates egg shells in her scrambled eggs.
betsykisses


After a hearty breakfast, it was time to put on our bandanas and eat an apple, of course.
apple eater 7

Then we went outside and got to work. There were leaves that needed to be raked!
crocs and rake

And dogs that needed to be fed! (Can you count the dogs in this picture? Yes, they all belong to my family.)
dogfind
(There are actually 5 dogs in the picture. Did you find them all?)

We played outside some more, then changed clothes, then Mary Ella went and played at Charlie's house until the afternoon. Finally she was able to swing on her brand new swing, which Grandaddy hung on our favorite tree right outside the red barn.
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swing

We had such an incredible weekend, and I loved soaking up some warm weather! Now we're back at home and it has rained all day and it's currently 40-something degrees! What's up with these crazy temperatures? Here's hoping to some more sunshine!

Hope everyone has a blessed week!




5 comments:

{Amanda} said...

Alright:
#1- you CRACK ME UP that you call it "the Compound"
#2- your mom's kitchen is beautiful! love that she loves color
#3- all those kids are so cute!
#4- that bandana and the photo of ME helping with the chores is fantastic

That's all =)

Sarah Herrick said...

Do you have any idea how lucky you are? My pop died when he was 67. I was 13. your grandparents are an absolute blessing.

Courtney said...

All I have to say is, when are we all gonna go on "vacation" to the compound?! It's so beautiful there! Your granddaddy is so sweet! I love the swing he made for Mary Ella ... may have to get him to make us one!

Katie said...

Aw, I loved this post. Glad you got to go home and have fun with the family!

Anna Sue Moss said...

I love that child (and your sweet family)! I really want to vacation at the "compound" and eat biscuits!

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