Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Senior night

It was Senior night at AWANA tonight and Camden had  a great time dressing and acting like an old man.  His hair actually looked grey with all the powder in it!  He wanted to wear reading glasses, but these were the best we could find; even though they actually make him look like an old nerd :) 

I was able to borrow a walker from work to complete the look.  I will admit that dress-up nights tend to stress me out.  But this was a pretty easy dress-up.  And Camden really had fun doing it!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


And pie!
I have started reading a new series of books that is set in a cookie store.  Since I started reading books on my Ipad, I have found different authors in the free section of Kindle and through the library.  Some have been good, some so-so, and others plain bad.  I have also noticed that there is a trend in books in which many are set in places like bakeries and diners.  And somehow, the owner of each place finds dead bodies!  Cookies and murder...what a great combination. 
The series of books about cookies is called the Hannah Swenson Mystery series by Joanne Fluke...with recipes!  They are fun books to read, sometimes predictable, but interesting.  At least the first few I have read.  The only bad thing is weight gain.  Not only do they have good cookie recipes in them, they also make me want to eat cookies as I am reading them.  And when reading them on my Ipad, all I have to do is take a picture of the recipe :)  
So far I have made really good peanut butter melts (the addition of  molasses was a good twist), good chicken noodle soup, okay cinnamon crisps, and a pretty lemon meringue pie (how it tastes is still TBD).  I am very interested in making the blueberry muffins and the praline cookies she wrote about!  There are also recipes for molasses cookies, lemon bars, black and whites, and butter-scotchies.  And I have only read 4 of the books!  I may be baking cookies for months to come!  I wanted to put my favorite recipes on my blog, but didn't want to break copyright rules. 
But if you are interested in any, you can find them in the following books:  Lemon Meringue Pie Murder has the pie, the cinnamon crisps, and the praline cookies; Blueberry Muffin Murder has the muffins and the PB melts; and Devil's Food Cake Murder has the chicken noodle soup.
So if you are a murder mystery buff and interested in reading some fun books, try this series.  Just don't blame me if you put on a few can always run it off!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A good weekend for a run!!


This weekend was the Bridge Run in Charleston and I got over it this year!!  My friend, Kelly, and I have been practicing running the bridge most every week since August.  We also ran a half marathon in the meantime.  But the bridge was our goal today.  And to finish in less than 60 minutes.  Well, we did it.  Of course Kelly finished before me, but I finished in 58 minutes, 47 seconds!  That is the fastest I have ever run a 10K. 
I timed myself and haven't deleted the time yet!!

Mom was able to take my picture as I FLEW by!?!?  I am the girl in the green shirt in front of the pink shirt girl.  I had been keeping track of my time throughout the race to make sure I was on target, but had been getting discouraged about it because I did not see the 5 mile sign and I thought I was really slowing down!  But when I saw the 6 mile sign, I knew I could do it.  But I did miss seeing my mom and boys while I was rounding the corner.
On Friday was the kids' bridge run; although is was not at the bridge, but at Hampton Park.  Nathan was planning on running the mile and Camden the 1/4 mile.  But when the race was starting, I figured out that all kids were running the mile.  Well I couldn't let Camden run by himself, so I had to run the mile with him in my jeans!  Nathan started well ahead of us and was finished by the time we started (the race was in a loop), but Camden also did a great job.  He ran the whole way and ran fast.  I tried to get him to stop so I could use the bathroom, but he said that he had to keep running!  It was a crazy, chaotic day at the park...about 2000 kids were running!   
Pre-race picture with the crazy hats!

Nathan rode and fell off of the bull!

Grammie with her boys

Camden running the obstacle course
Camden trying out yoga for his pre-run stretch

Camden with his medal after finishing the mile!  He really earned it!

The wiener-mobile...took this picture for Shannon!!
So this was our running weekend...and it was a beautiful weekend for it.  I love Charleston weather!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Georgia Getaway Day Two

 Our trip to GA is completed as I am now in my own bed after leading two exhausted boys to their own beds without an argument!  We had an awesome day today!!  Nathan thanked me several times for taking them on this trip.  I gave them the no complaining ground rule today, and they followed it for the most part. 

We started out our day today (after leaving the hotel) by signing up for a bus tour in which you can get on and off the bus at any stop throughout the day.  This had not been our original plan, but after stopping for a map, I decided that a 6 year old walking all over town and me trying to park my huge car several places in the busy downtown was not a good combination.  After waiting for almost an hour to be able to get on the correct bus, I was beginning to think it was a bad idea, however.  As we were standing in line (this would be the part of the day in which complaining happened!),  I could hear the mom behind me saying the same things as me.  "It will get better when the bus gets here.  Don't complain.  We will have fun."  And we were right!!

We got to go to the riverfront and eat at Spanky's; get praline samples; honey samples; salt water taffy samples; and bought some candy and things.  I had always thought of Spanky's as a place to get pizza, so that is what Camden and I did.  However, they advertised that they were famous for their chicken fingers.  Well, the pizza was not as good as I remember, but the chicken fingers were awesome!!  The river front in Savannah is a really neat place.  It reminds me somewhat of Charleston, but there are steep steps that lead you from the downtown streets to the lower level of the old cotton exchanges that were right on the river.  Of course these old buildings are now full of inns, restaurants and stores.  Our favorite being the candy stores :) 

Paddle boat tours are another way to spend the day in Savannah

Amy and Camden at the intermediate level between downtown streets and the river walk.

My favorite landmark-The waving girl

Our lunch restaurant of choice
After exploring the river front, we went to the city market to taste cookies and see where Paula Deen's restaurant is located.  No Paula, but we did get to look in her store.  Hey ya'll was everywhere! 
The spoon artwork outside of Paula Deen's store

I found Nathan's least favorite singer!
Other stops on our tour included Forsyth Park with its beautiful fountain...

Hanging around at the park!

Guess who took this picture!
...a stop in a cathedral (Camden said it looked a lot different than our church and it must be very special.  Didn't get into theology differences between Catholics and Baptist, but have to agree with him in that it does look very different than our church)...
St. John the Baptist's Cathedral
...and a stop at what Food Network said is the 6th best ice cream joint in the nation!  Of course we had to stop there!  Don't know about the ranking, but do know that Leopold's chocolate milkshake was awesome.  Worth the 20 minute wait in line!


And I have to credit the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) for making downtown look great.  They are all throughout the downtown and they have been buying old building for their use, but restoring and preserving them so that they look original.  What a great way to grow your school.

Enjoying the bus ride!
So we had another fun day.  Long and exhausting, but full of memories!  We made our final one by eating at Carey Hilliard's.  I ate at Carey Hilliard's more times than I can count when my Grandad was living.  Since they are closed in Charleston, I never have the opportunity to go down that memory lane.  But we could do so in the onion rings, shrimp, and cheddar bake!  And Nathan got the crab stew.  All things I liked when I want there with my Grandad. 
What a great time...and I am stuffed!!  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Georgia Getaway

Since it is Spring Break, I decided to take the boys on a Georgia getaway trip.  Nathan is still doing state books, and after our trip to NC several years ago, I have been waiting for the GA book to come to give us an excuse to take a field trip to GA!  It came about a month ago, so perfect timing!!

We left Tuesday morning, after voting, and didn't stop until we were in GA for us to eat; at Taco Bell!  For me, though, this was a Taco Bell that I remember from having lived here when I was Nathan's age.  But our ultimate destination was Tybee Island.  We had checked the weather and had dressed for the temps in jeans and t-shirts (or shorts for Nathan); but as we were finding  place to park at the busy Spring Break Tybee Island, I thought that I would probably regret not wearing shorts myself as everyone I saw was walking in their bathing suits.  When we got out of the car, however, I figured they all must be nuts because it was not a hot day.  I was very comfortable hiding my white legs in my jeans :) 

We went to the marine center and saw some cute jellyfish, cool turtles, and got to watch snails do flips in the water.  It was fun, and brief.  We took a walk on the beach and ate some ice cream, and got lots of sand in our shoes. 

After we took in the beach, we decided to go to the lighthouse.  But,
and of course today was Tuesday!
So we headed to Fort Pulaski.  Camden had wanted to take a hike, and this National Park had places to hike in addition to the fort itself.  The boys had fun exploring the fort, and we had a good time walking out to see the Cockspur Lighthouse. 

Camden becoming a Junior Ranger!
We ended the day with an awesome dinner at The Crab Shack.  It is the coolest restaurant that Dave and I had found years ago.  You can eat outside or in, but the inside has has trees growing through it, so it is like outside.  And they have a gator pond.  And the food is awesome!!!

Being eaten by an alligator is a little scary!

Now we are relaxing at the hotel.  Cuddling, since that is Camden's favorite word today!  One more day of our short vacation.  We will see what fun we can find tomorrow!