Monday, June 30, 2008

Photo Gallery

The photos I am going to share with you today are none that you will find in any famous art gallery. They were not taken by anyone famous and the artist’s perspective may not be understood.

You see, the pictures were taken by my 9 year old son, with his new digital camera he received on his birthday, which he did ask for. His last digital camera, a hand-me-down from his cool parents, was worn out from so much use.

After shooting close to 150 photos, I thought it was time to download the photos and take a look at them. While viewing them, I found myself laughing hysterically as well as scratching the top of my head--- while trying to figure out what, exactly, I was looking at. Then followed by an “Ohhhhh” when he told me.

I also found myself having a discussion with him about what is appropriate to take photos of…..and stuttering through an explanation of why we really shouldn’t take photos of others with their “bums” in the air or while other’s pretended to hit their “bums”. Go figure.

So, you want to know what a 9 year old boy takes photos of? I am proud to present:

Life Through A Lens: Do You See What I See, Check Yes or No.


The Photographer


First Photo with new camera, birthday dessert


Elementary School Chicks, which I am allergic to


Indiana Jones Legos


Little Sister in 3D


Backyard as seen from swing


Best buddy at end of school party


Little sister’s room, as seen through paper towel tube


Toothless upside down sister


Front-lit cookie on kitchen counter


Lindsey Lohan, as seen on TV

(**moment of silent prayer**)


Road Trip Stowaways, decorated with little sister’s cookies


Pertinent Weather Data


Immediate weather coverage


The great black out of Summer 2008


Before Erik Estrada called to get his glasses back


Baby tomatoes, coming soon to a salad near you

I don’t want to wear everyone out with our first presentation of photos, so I will bring this photofest to an end.

Consider yourself warned that this may not be the last entry from my son’s camera. Because I’m sure after another 100+ photos there will be plenty more to share with you all. Hope you enjoyed seeing life through my 9 year old. I’ll leave you with one more photo which was taken by the Princess.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Must See

I case some of you have been living under a rock this weekend, the new Pixar hit "Wall-E' came out Friday. And you better believe the GRITS household was there for the opening night viewing.

In my opinion, there is nothing better than a Pixar movie and "Wall-E" continues their awesome movie making tradition. Along with the anticipation of the full length movie, was the excitement over the Pixar Short film. We were introduced to Presto the magician and his rabbit sidekick. It too was VERY cute!

The whole GRITS family gave "Wall-E" two thumbs up! Which should be enough incentive for anyone to go see it. Coincidentally my friend Teresa has also reviewed the film, so check it out. I also discovered the Pixar Blog which has a lot of information about the film.

Trust me, you won't want to miss this one in the theater folks. Check out the Wall-E widget below.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Greek Isles Pasta Salad

I honor of the summer heat and the overwhelming desire NOT to turn on the oven, I am going to share with you a delicious summer recipe that only involves cooking the pasta. 

I found this recipe at the Kraft food web site, which I visit regularly for quick and simple recipes. 




3 cups bow-tie pasta, uncooked

2 cups  baby spinach leaves

1 cup KRAFT Natural Mediterranean Style Cheese Crumbles 

1 cup  cherry tomatoes, halved

3/4 cup drained canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed

1/2 cup  KRAFT Greek Vinaigrette Dressing


COOK pasta as directed on package; drain. Place in large bowl.

ADD remaining ingredients; mix lightly.

SERVE immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve


My own, more Greek, rendition of this recipe includes using only Feta cheese and adding kalamata olives.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Business in the front……


You know the rest……PARTY in the back!!



In this week’s rendition of Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You, may I present to you The Mullet Years—College Edition:



The Where’s Waldo Party Mullet?



The Formal Mullet



The Intramural Mullet



The Equestrian Mullet



The “Tide-Slide” Mullet



The Preppy Mullet



The Graduation Mullet


Now that the damage has been done, I should apologize to my friends who were thrown under the bus with me.  Sorry Judson sisters, I still love you.  Close your eyes and repeat after me, “it was the style, it was the style…”.  Besides, we all outgrew it. 

For more Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You fun click on over to Kristen’s site at We Are THAT Family!  It’s the best thing going on Thursdays! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Works-for-Me Wednesday

This is my maiden voyage for this blog carnival sponsored by Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer. I’ve been a stalker for some time, but decided to jump in this week.

I am sharing a fabulous product that has become part of my son’s morning routine here at the GRITS house. Words are not really necessary:

Too bad we didn’t name him “Spike”:



A few squirts of Johnson and Johnson’s “No More Bedhead” spray (found at Publix):


Prince Charming ready for the world:


Click on over to Rocks in My Dryer for MANY more wonderful ideas. Even better, go add one of your own!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Eyes Wide Open

That would be the description of my almost 7 year old daughter. She has never missed a thing, she remembers everything and needs to know it all--- if she doesn't already!

I should have had a heads up on this when she was 4 years old and asked me point blank, "do babies come out from up here or down here? Because I don't know." (while pointing to various locations on her body). She looked up at me with those BIG brown eyes and my mouth must have been wide open. I believe I changed the subject and end of story.

That is until she found a drawing in a set of anatomy cards I was using for grad school. Then she declared, "see, they come out from down there". Perfect. The informed 4 year old. And the anatomy cards were burned in a private ceremony!

Fast forward to this past Friday when she and I spent the morning together. We had a leisurely breakfast at Panera and then wandered our way around Barnes and Noble. And, without fail, like any other trip to any given store, the Princess had to use the restroom. Why is that? While washing her hands, she made faces in the ginormous mirror and she glanced in every direction around the restroom.

As we made our way out the bathroom door, she looks at me once again with those BIG brown eyes and says, "why does it cost a dime for a napkin in that machine?" I laughed loudly and politely informed her that we would discuss that when she was older and that she didn't need to worry about that right now. Of course, that was not the answer she was looking for.

She then said, "What? Why do they have those napkins in that machine? Are they like big paper towels or something?" I cracked up again because I wanted to tell her they were more like a little mattress than a paper towel. I promised her that we would discuss the "dime napkins" another day when she was older.

Phew, close call. I think. Probably not. We won't be going back to the Barnes and Noble bathroom anytime soon! :-)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Big Fat Greek Anniversary Dinner

In celebration of our 12th wedding anniversary, the hubby and I decided to have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in the area: The Bright Star in Bessemer, AL.

The restaurant is an Alabama Landmark and even better it is owned by some Greek folks. And if you don’t know this, there is nothing better than a restaurant owned by Greek people, trust me on this one! Greek folks know cooking and restaurant business. And this restaurant certainly kicks it up a notch. And the place wouldn’t be complete without a top notch wait staff:


Yes, they were as sweet as those ladies with plenty of “hon” and “shugs” to go around! That’s how we do it in the South.

We started the meal off with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes topped with a boiled shrimp and remoulade sauce . Y’ all, I think Paula Deen would have shouted “hallelujah” with her first bite. I chose the special “Country Tomato Greek Salad” with tomatoes, purple onion, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Of course, the dressing was a homemade Greek vinaigrette. Ummm, let me just confess that I sopped up the leftover dressing with a roll. What?! We do that in the South. We do.

After an appetizer and salad, we decided to be practical and share an entree. Practical meaning, leaving room for dessert. We ordered the “Texas Special” which included Greek style snapper and beef tenderloin, and lobster/crabmeat au gratin. We also enjoyed a side dish of Greek style green beans. Wooooh wheeee, folks. I tell you what, that was a fabulous meal. Everything was perfectly cooked and the flavors were just delicious.

Of course, no Big Fat Greek dinner is complete without dessert. The hubby and I had no difficulty in choosing ours. He had the bread pudding (as always) and naturally I went with the Baklava Cheesecake. Yep, you read that right and let me just tell you it was slap yo’ momma good!!! It was so good I had to take a picture of it for you after a few bites.


That is cheesecake in the middle surrounded by the traditional Greek dessert baklava with the plate drizzled in honey. OH.MY.WORD. We will be making a repeat visit, more sooner than later just for that little bit of nectar from the Greek gods.

To top off the visit we got to speak with one of the owners, Jimmy Koikos (tell me that’s not a Greek name).


I felt it my duty to let my brother in Greekness know that the food was terrific and the pairing of Baklava and cheesecake was brilliant! He was pleased to me us and in usual Greek fashion, I let him know I was Greek and which group of Greeks I am related to. My husband would refer to that as the Greek Mafia network. Whatever.

I know a lot of you folks don’t reside in the Birmingham area; however, if you are ever down this way take the time to visit Mr. Jimmy at the Bright Star and enjoy a Big Fat Greek dinner. You’ll be glad you did!

**I am receiving no monetary reward or free meal in return for this endorsement, which is a shame.**

12 years ago today…..


Happy Anniversary, dear!

I love you mucho bunches!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sky Watch Friday—Tokyo Tower


I am once again participating in Wiggers World Sky Watch Friday.  Click on the link above to see more beautiful photos of the sky.

This photo was taken by me in October 2007 during my trip to Japan.  This is the Tokyo Tower.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sincerely 'Fro'Me to You-- Cast and Crutches

In this week's edition of Kristen's fun carnival I decided to do a semi-continuation on photos from two weeks ago. Otherwise known as the infamous corrective shoe photos.

However, the following photos reveal a fate worse than corrective shoes: Foot surgery! No matter how much I wore those fabulous shoes, it would not change the fact that I had to have foot surgery. It was inevitable. For reasons unknown to me, my left foot was not growing properly. Now there is some speculation as to my twin sister "lying on it in the womb" which resulted in some sort of stunted growth, but I'm not buying that story. Sorry, Mom.

So when I was about 8 years old, I had my first foot surgery. I don't remember what month my surgery took place, but I do remember having to take some summer school classes. Nothing better than crutches during a HOT South Alabama summer. Can you say torture? Once the armpit callouses formed, I was pretty much good to go. As the photos reveal, the cast did not slow down my summer fun! Check out those tennis shoes would you.

For more flashback fun I encourage to click on over to We are THAT Family and check out some of the other posts or even post some of your own. This is one of the best things going on in blog world on Thursdays. Really!

To Whom it May Concern

Dear Liberal Sir or Madam at Mattel,

I am writing with great concern over a few of your products that I found in my local Target store, while shopping with my soon to be 7 year old daughter. I took my dear Princess to shop for potential birthday presents for her upcoming celebration when we stumbled upon your products.

I am sure you may be familiar with these items:

Street Walker Barbie:

Hoochie-Momma Barbie:

Hooter's Girl Barbie:

However, I did not see the Hugh Hefner Barbie Mansion that completes this set. *shrug* They must have been sold out. I'm sure it is very nice. Perhaps it comes with a thong bikini for the hot tub? If not, just a suggestion.

If I may ask, very liberal Sir or Madam, who exactly decided that dolls dressed like this were appropriate for girls ages 6+, as your website states. I am a Christian mother who is trying to raise a daughter with some sense of morals and Christian values. Which is difficult enough without adding Barbie dolls dressed like someone who makes her wages on the street. Yes, I do realize you have so kindly provided us with better clothed Barbie's. The High School Musical Collection indeed has more skin coverage and is much more appropriate for the age girl who actually plays with Barbie dolls! Thank you!!

Interestingly, I found these words on your website: "Educate. Empower. Engage." You also provide a message to parents regarding their daughters becoming a member on

We want you to feel educated, empowered, and engaged as you navigate through kids’ virtual worlds. This is why we encourage constant conversation between you and your daughter. Start an open dialog. Make decisions together.

Don't worry, I did. My daughter and I had an at length discussion on what is appropriate clothing as she grows older and becomes more aware of style. You might even be please to know I used Barbie photos in my discussion. Gabriella, yes....Super Short Dress Barbie, NO!

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, Liberal Sir or Madam. If you ever take suggestions from consumers, I have a couple. How about a LL Bean or Lands End Barbie. Just a thought.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

VBS 2008-- Luau Style

Those of us in the South know that no summer is complete without a week at Vacation Bible School (VBS). The theme our church used this year was "Outrigger Island" by Lifeway. The kids area of the church was decorated with a luau theme and the kids brought home several cute crafts. But the highlight of the week was the music camp led by several of the very talented parents in our church. The program went along with the Outrigger Island theme of VBS, complete with acting, singing and dancing. It was a performance that would rival any Broadway production! :-)

Here's a photo of my star performers. Aren't their shirts SO cute?!

The Princess actually made her singing debut during the performance:

The son was not as excited about the performance, he's not so much into singing and dancing, like his sister. We actually had tears during the dress rehearsal. So after a little pep talk, he was ready to perform. Kinda. I'm not sure how much longer I can make encourage him to participate. Notice his expressions and the BIG yawn in the video.

As you can see, we do have a little "ham" in the family.

And the performance of the evening does go to the Princess. This video was shot during the dress rehersal, hence the gabbing in the background. I'm sorry the quality of this video is quite poor; however, you can get the effect of her talent and skill, which she does not get from her mother (no comments Teresa):

Verse for the Week:
"Teach me Your way, Lord, and I will live by Your truth." Psalm 86:11 Holman CSB®

Know the Truth!
Speak the Truth!
Live the Truth!

For excerpts of the music click here.
**Warning: some of the tunes are catchy and might get stuck in your head**

It was a wonderful week and the kids will have some wonderful memories of VBS 2008!