Investing In Yourself

Here I sit, 48 years old and entering the second act of my life. To do this, I have enrolled in a digital marketing boot camp with UT at Austin. I am creating this post as a class project. Turns out, I had a whole lot of skills that I didn’t even know I had!

But no matter what I do in life, these four fantastic humans below will always be my greatest contribution!

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What To See In Galveston- Galveston Railroad Museum

Traveling with children is one of the best experiences.  It can also be one of the most challenging.  Galveston is an incredible destination for families.  One of the attractions that make Galveston awesome is the Galveston Railroad Museum.

With 5 acres and over 40 pieces of rolling stock, there is plenty of room for little legs to run.  Many of the cars are open and you can walk though different kinds of cars ranging from dining cars to postal cars.  The different types of engines are on display and open to be toured.

Not only are the cars open, but they are staged with era-specific models wearing clothes or eating a snack from the era in which the train car was in operation.  Its really interesting to see what was considered “luxury” travel at that time.  You can also sit on the benches or take a picture in a berth and imagine what it felt like to travel through the night with the clickity-clack of the train tracks and the sway of the railcars as they rocked you to sleep.

A caboose makes a run down a mile of track most weekends. There is also a Polar Express during the holidays. You can access the website here.

There is also a museum exhibit open that details the history of the railroad in Texas and Galveston as well as how the museum came to be.  The museum is open daily with admission for adults being $10.00 and children ages 3 and older being $5.00.  There are various discounts listed on the website.

So, whether you are looking for an interesting stop on vacation or an interesting field trip while you homeschool, the Galveston Railroad Museum is a great stop.  For more on what to see and do in Galveston, click here.

What is your favorite activity with children?

My Three Amigos

These three beauties are my grandchildren. T- Born in December, R-born in the following December and G- born the following September. Yes, it was an intense time for our family. I adore these blessings.

We took a morning and had a little photoshoot on the beach. We had so much fun!

I bought the outfits at a local shop in Galveston on the historic Strand. I bought them with this one specific purpose.

I planned to not have a plan. I mean how can you plan for what 3 toddlers/preschoolers are going to do? What mood they may be in? So, I just turned them loose and took pictures. Out of 500 I will probably get 10 perfect shots. But that is just fine. All I need is one to remember the fun we had and it doesn’t even have to be perfect.

I have no idea if they will remember- these moments were for me. There are pictures of me with the kids and pictures of my husband with the kids. Sadly, the Hawaiian outfits didn’t come in our size. But the kids will be able to look back and have photos of themselves with two people who thought they hung the moon and all the stars.

Cornbread- It’s So Good

Just Good Cornbread
Golden and Good!

I shared a bit of the love story between Brett Bentley, the heroine, and Alex, the hero in The Way to A Man’s Heart. Both love their southern heritage and their food but don’t agree on taking freedoms with the recipe.

I thought I would share the cornbread recipe that Brett was using. As you can imagine, the possibilities of variations are endless but nothing beats a good pan of cornbread.

My bunch likes their bread on the sweet side.  This corn bread has a fluffy texture, a nice crumb and it holds together even with a nice slice of butter on it.  No more boxed mixes, this is too easy!

One note on the honey- buy your honey locally from an individual if possible.  The honey found on the shelves at most grocery stores has been cut and diluted with corn syrup.  YUCK!  Most farmer’s markets and health food stores have REAL honey.  Plus, when you eat honey made by local bees you will get the health benefits and help with allergies.  Not to mention, you are helping a local farmer and businessperson.

I hope you try this, you will be glad you did.

Holly’s Corn Bread

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup of corn meal

3 tablespoons of honey

1/2 tsp salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/4 cup olive oil or melted butter (real butter- not margarine)

Heat oven to 425′

In a mixing bowl stir together the dry ingredients.  In small bowl or 2 cup measuring cup- combine all the liquid including the eggs and beat together.  Stir liquid into the dry ingredients just until mixed- do not over beat.  Pour batter into a 9X9X2 greased baking pan or a 9 inch cast iron skillet- my personal favorite.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Mmmm, now that food.
Mmmm, now that is food.

Enjoy!  The wonderful aroma of fresh cornbread cooking will warm your soul and satisfy your hunger.  What do you like to eat on a cold day?

How To Keep Fear Out of Your Joy

As I was talking with my therapist the other day, we were discussing how I, as an individual, and we, Tony & I, are in a really good place.  I agreed and mentioned that we were a little anxious in moments that the “other shoe was going to drop.”  She stated that we can never know what the future will bring.  The only thing we can do is be resilient.

Now, having been through a tornado destroying our home and business, I understand the need to be resilient.  But I hadn’t really thought of it in this tense.  So, that night I was pondering (an old fashioned southern word for deep thought) this as I was going to sleep  it hit me.  The only way to live, like really LIVE to embrace. it. all.

To do this is to accept that:

The shoe will drop.

The rug will be pulled out from under you.

Life will happen and some of it WILL hurt.

But what you WILL NOT accept is the fear of the future or fear’s ugly cousin, dread of what might happen to steal your JOY from this happy moment.

I will not let dread or fear of what is coming or not coming steal my joy in the really good place.  I will let my joy run FREE. I will soak up every nuance of this season.  I will be grateful for every walk on the beach, every stroll down our historic neighborhood, every kiss from my grand-babies, every smile from my husband.  I will gobble it all up like a sumo wrestler at an all you can eat buffet.

Then, when the bumps come- even if the bump in the road is filled with heartache- I will have no regrets.  These moments I am enjoying right now will be what sustain me when the road is hard.

I will be so busy being grateful that there is no room for fear.

I will be so busy being happy that dread cannot steal a bit of joy.

The other shoe will drop...

Beautiful Girls

Masquerade was the theme and everyone looked wonderful. Of course, the masks didn’t last for long. Last weekend was our first homeschool prom. Some good friends of ours put it together and it was a lot of fun for my oldest girls.

No matter the age, girls love to get dressed up. Cheyenne and Savannah were no different. Finding the dresses was remarkably easy. Savannah borrowed hers and we found Cheyennes at a unique shop in Tyler. Savannah’s best friend, Renae spent the day with us and got dressed here, too. I had fun sharing the shopping and the day with the girls.

Once all the glamming was done, we headed to Athens. The girls danced for hours. The only challenge was that there was only one boy and about 17 girls. Of course, for the boy this may not have been such a challenge. Thankfully, he knew how to dance. I look forward to next year.

Hatching Time!

Yesterday hatching began. I had set 3 dozen eggs and we had 20 chicks hatch. Out of the 20 we had 18 make it. I love this activity. My roo is a Blue Splash Wyandotte and the hens are Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtins, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Blue Splash Wyandottes, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, Blue Splash Wyandottes and Ameracaunas. So, these chicks will be a colorful bunch. Right now out of 15 laying hens we are getting 9-12 eggs per day.