Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Water Babies

Summer has began!

 This heat requires some water....

And in Texas there isn't much of it.
So, Ashley and I took the girls to the beach for a week of fun in the sun.  
When you travel with 3 little girls it requires a whole entourage so my Mom came, Ashley's Mom Nancy, and Ashley's sister Shelby.
Hauling 3 girls was hard, but we had a great time and made so many memories! 
 We all really enjoyed  the fresh seafood that we can't get in Texas!

Here are just a few of my pictures that we took.

This picture just sums up my life story.  
Usually there is one in the group that is not happy.   

Just could eat this one up!  

Mary Richard has learned how to put clothes over her head.  
Now that doesn't mean they always go in the right spot.
Here she has Maelee's Bikini top on around her neck. 

My girls love the sand and salt water!
That is why I call them "water babies" you have to pull them out of it

Tea Party one morning before the beach
And yes that is shopping bags in the background
Florida has outlets!!!!! 

Aunt Hashie soaking up the sun.
Don't she look just precious....

I think I will just lean on this here Ice Chest

That sand and sun was just too much.
She is just covered in sand and still laid down and took a nap!


The 1yr old is walking!
that just means 1 more kid to chase

This one is growing up way too fast
She thinks she is 16!

loves the waves...

 Digging a hole

This is where Maddie stayed all week.  In the water with her board.
She told Maelee just to ride them waves like they were a horse... be cowgirl tuff!
Boy, can you guess where we are from????

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sugar Water

As most of y'all know I am from Georgia. I am from the deep, deep south Georgia.  
So far south that growing up I only lived a mile from the GA/FL line. 
 In my part of the state we drink Sweet Tea better know as "Sugar Water"

As a child, I remember having sweet tea for everything.  I mean everything.  There wasn't a day that went by that mama didn't have a pitcher of sweet tea in the Refrigerator.  I remember hauling it to the field to my daddy for lunch, and we still do that.
 At our home recently I put my family on a "Sweet Tea Strike".  When the 11 month old baby was drinking it in a sippy cup I knew it was time!!  Okay don't judge me..... it could be a lot worst and that wasn't all she was drinking.  She had water and milk. 
  I was making up to 2 pitchers a day and the girls were drinking it non stop.  So, for about 2 weeks we went with out sweet tea.  The first day we were having the shakes.  The girls cried for days begging for me to make it.  I even sought to buying some of the fake stuff at our local grocery store and hiding it from the girls for me to have a drink.  I caught them at my mom's house getting it out of her fridge when I wasn't looking! 
 I believe this addition was worst than any coke addition.  It was really sad! 
I know some of you who have never had it are thinking we are crazy but I promise you once you have it you are hooked!  Needless to say we are back on sweet tea, but I don't make it nearly as much.  It is more of a reward in our home than a necessity.
When we did our state to state journey we learned real quick that after you pass the Mississippi state line there is no more sweet tea.  In Arkansas and in Texas they serve Tea but they give you the packets to sweeten it yourself and it is NOT the same!!!
And everywhere we have moved, everybody wants some of our tea.  It is not a complicated recipe, it is actually quite simple.  But it is the best thing you have ever put in your mouth. Here are a few rules to follow when making this tea.  Hope you enjoy this as much as we have over the years.

Rules of South GA Sweet Tea
by: Dia
1) Always, Always call it "Sweet Tea"  it is not just any "Tea" it is "Sweet Tea"

2) You have to have a tea pot better know as just a small pot. My Grandmother has had this same old pot she has used for years to boil her tea in.  The thing is a hideous lime green and yellow and has a stained up rim of tea but it works the best! 

3) REAL SUGAR!!  Don't every try to supplement this one.

 Start by boiling some water. I don't measure this one just fill the pot up.

This was my helper this morning.
 My little Sweet tea lover!

When the water starts boiling, add your tea bags.

Now this part is tricky...
I use the small Lipton tea bags.. I think they are like a 100 to the box.  The tricky part is buying this little guys.  The Lipton boxes don't explain very well what is in each one.  I have bought the wrong tea bags numerous of times.
So, good Luck with this part.....

Now add the 4 tea bags to the boiling water.  Let the water turn brown with the bags (like 30 seconds)
and remove the pot from the stove 
Don't boil it very long because it boils over easy and it will burst the tea bags.
There is nothing no worst than busted tea bags in a pitcher of Sweet Tea

Now cover with a lid or a plate as I did.  Don't know why I use a plate??
Guess because my Mama has done it for years so I guess we need to ask her.
Maybe because it looks better???

Not sure how long I leave the tea to sit??
It really depends on my schedule.  The longer the better (15 min or so)
But if I have kids screaming for more.. it is shorter.

Take a pitcher
We call this the "tea pitcher"
Basically because that is all we use it for


Add 2 cups of sugar to your empty tea pitcher.
This is where the "Sweet" comes from in "Sweet Tea"

Pour all your tea on top of your sugar
Making sure not to let the tea bags fall out of the pot

Take a spoon and mash the juice out of the bags and pour over the sugar again.  Run water over the bags and try not to mash too hard because again you don't want to burst a bag!! 

 Then fill the tea pitcher full of water and mix the sugar in. 

Fill a cup up with ice and pour that Sweet Tea in and watch that ice melt!
Add a lemon if you like!
Now if this Sweet Tea is too sweet for your likin cut it with water.
Yes just like a mix drink! My Dad takes his sweet tea and fills the glass half full then fills the rest full with water.  He says it is just way too sweet!  But to my girls... the sweeter the better!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Guess what else happened in May?!?!?

Drew proposed!!!  

I have been waiting on this day for a while now and it finally happened!  I couldn't believe it!  Drew and I will be together for 6 years on September 22, 2011.  Needless to say, it was time!  :)

Two years ago I gave him a deadline of June 15, 2011.  Believe it or not, he met the deadline!

Everyone has been asking how he proposed. So, here it is!

For 3 weeks I have been telling Drew, his mom, and his sister that Drew does not have to get me anything for graduation.  I told them that I didn't want anything except a ring.  I wasn't trying to be a brat about it.  I just meant for him not to spend his money on something else.  I wanted him to save it for MY RING!  Well.....little did I know they were scheming the proposal the whole time.

He proposed to me the day before my college graduation.  I was already excited about graduating from college but the proposal just topped off the weekend!  It was definitely a time of my life that I will never forget!

I had already decided that if I didn't get a ring I was moving out...true story!  Drew gave me a box that was wrapped in purple and pink wrapping paper and had a pink bow on top.  He told me to open my graduation present.  I said, "No, I'll wait!"  He said, "No, go ahead and open it."  So I did.  I think he was so nervous he just wanted me to go ahead and open it!  I was already mad before I opened it because I thought it was a box of Philosophy lotion.  By the texture and size of the box I knew it wasn't a ring.  I had already told him, his mom, and Dia that I didn't want anything unless it was a ring.  I knew the box was too big and heavy to have a ring in it.

I opened the box and it was a book!  A friend of ours made a picture book with pictures of us from the past 6 years.  It was so sweet!

I turned to the last page and it was a picture of Drew and I and it said, "Ashley, Will You Marry Me?"  I was shocked!  I was shaking and didn't know what to say.  I have dreamed about this moment for years and I always thought I would know my reaction.  It didn't really happen the way I had planned.  I was speechless.  The only thing I could get out of my mouth was, "Are you serious? Are you serious?"

Of course, I said yes!  I have been waiting on this day for a while.  Drew and I went to a local jewelry store and I was able to pick out my own ring.  "Wow! This is every girl's dream to pick out their own wedding ring," I thought.

It was definitely a time I will never forget.  I was so excited to be able to share our engagement with my friends and family in Arkansas.

We were given our FIRST engagement present from my, best friend, Megan.  I was so excited!  Thanks Megan!

I'm so excited to marry my best friend and love of my life.  I've known since 2005, he would be my husband one day.  He we are....almost 6 years later....about to embark on that very journey.  I can't wait!

The Sister-in-Laws

The Sister-in-Laws
Dia and Ashley