Monday, October 27, 2008

Brown Update

Hi Guys!
I've been waiting to post until something exciting happened, but since nothing really exciting ever occurred, I finally decided to just give you the mostly boring details of the past week or two. The kids are all doing well. We miss them terribly, but the fact that they are all deliriously happy without us makes the separation easier to bear.

Russ is planning to take the GMAT soon (admission test for MBA), so he's studying for that in his spare time. Michael got his LSAT score last Friday and did very well. We're hoping it's good enough to get into an excellent SOUTHERN law school next year. Ruth-Anne is enjoying her classes at BYU and her job at the Special Collections department in the library. (What better place for a future librarian to work?) And our Logan is still enjoying his mission. Working in the office gives him the opportunity to travel all over the mission. He's gotten to see old friends and investigators and catch up with them. He comes home 14 weeks from Friday, but I'm trying not to count.

Larry & I are staying busy with work and with his Mom. Estelle is 87 and doesn't drive anymore, so Larry spends a lot of time with her each week.

I love you all and enjoy reading what you're up to, so keep the news coming.

Have a great week!



The James Brannons

For those who may not have heard, Jonathan received his mission call on Friday. He will be serving in Milan, Italy. He goes in the MTC on January 7th. We are expecting his farewell to be on December 28th. We will give you more info as we get it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Checking in

Things are good at the Green household. Cathy's in-laws had a couple of extra tickets to the Alabama game last week so Clay and Andy got to go and they really enjoyed that. Butch and I got to keep Abbie and Andie and I think we enjoyed that more. Laura and Josh are still apartment hunting in the Pleasant Grove, Utah area and as of this moment he's scheduled to start work there on November 1st (but that date has changed a few times already so we're not holding our breath). Jamie is in Connecticut until the end of next week going to Subway school. He said it's harder than he expected and the weather is much colder than what he's used to. But he's learning a lot and he's halfway through - so that's good. Grace got a great job at Bradley, Arant... (some law firm) in downtown Birmingham. She likes it and still has plenty of time left over for a social life. Tommy has been in Ethiopia for a week and on Monday sounded good when we emailed. Emily takes the ACT today - so we're all hopeful about that. Andy has been working out with a friend at a fitness club for the past week - so he's sore but proud. Clay had two friends over yesterday to play X-Box, then we took them to see a dance performance at the Rave prior to the opening of High School Musical 3 (which he will go to today). Then to the McAdory Homecoming game. When I got home I was met with the news that our sewer pipes were backed up. It's happened twice before - roots growing into the pipes - and we just have to rent one of those electric snakes. So Butch has his Saturday morning planned for him. I'm just thankful it happened when it did so we can take care of it quickly.

Well, that's more than you ever wanted to know about us!!! Betsy

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hillsboro Happenings

Anything I can say will be bland in comparison to what y'all have said(and shown). I'll add a few lines for an update. Rachel and I visited Headland on Oct. 11-13. We had a great visit with Nana and D-daddy but no great cooking, no oven fires and no shrimp searches. We simply had Domino's pizza and a trip to the IHOP with senior citizens ages 92,90,89,85 and the younger generation, May May, Rachel and me.

This past week-end we attended Huntingdon's Homecoming and were pleasantly surprised to find that Will and several teamates were being honored as scholar-athletes. The Hawks are 6-0 this year. (Will's doing graduate work toward a Masters at Auburn).

Amanda's family was out of town so we didn't see them. We wanted to check out Jamie and Paris at the Calera Subway but time didn't permit. I hear they're expecting a boy in January in case some of you haven't heard.

Betsy, this was a great idea. Keep the news coming!

Love, Wayne

Monday, October 6, 2008

Homecoming Weekend in Montgomery

Hello everybody!
What a busy weekend we have had!! I have been trying to post for nearly a week, but I have not been able to figure it all out. We have had an exciting weekend with Caroline the Senior and Catherine the Freshman, both being elected to the Homecoming Court this year. Jeff escorted Caroline and Jeff's dad, Mr. Jerry Adams, escorted Catherine. It was so nice. We felt very honored.
The girls did not find out until Thursday night that they were on the Homecoming Court and the game was Friday night. That meant Jeff and I had to do a lot behind the scenes. I had been shopping all week for outfits and Jeff had contacted his parents to make sure they could come up for the festivities. The outfits I picked out were not up to par, but we found great clothes the day of Homecoming. DRAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jeff's parents came for practice at 12 noon and stayed all day at our house while the girls and I shopped, got our nails done and Catherine even got a haircut. The Adams kept John entertained until Jeff got home and I got the girls ready. It was a lovely evening and we all enjoyed the night. Our team LOST big time, but that didn't rain on our parade.
I have tried to attach some pictures for your viewing pleasure. I do hope it works out. Thanks for this great site. I am so glad to be keeping up with everyone this way.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Headland Trip

Sorry for the delay in getting these pictures posted. Since none of my children are here to help with uploading photos and because I'm a little technically challenged, it was difficult for me to get the pictures from the camera to the computer and then from the computer to the blog. But, at last, success!

We had a wonderful time in Headland and just as much fun during the drive down and back. It was great to spend time alone with my sisters! They are amazing women.

Here's the recipe for the Peach Cobbler we made at Nana's house. It's the very last recipe in the Paula Deen cookbook Nana has, but I double the batter.

Peach Cobbler

1 stick of butter
melt in 9 X 13 dish in 350 degree oven until melted and golden brown around edges

In bowl mix
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
(remember, I usually double this)

Pour batter mixture over hot butter in 9 X 13 baking dish.

1 large can of sliced peaches
1 small can of sliced peaches

Spoon peaches over batter. Gently pour juice from large can of peaches over the top.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees (or until golden brown).

I like to sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.

It is great alone or with cool whip or ice cream on top!

I love y'all!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ongoing Adjustments!

From the Curt Brannons:

It's hard to believe that we've been back "home" in the states for 4 months. It's been an ongoing adjustment as we settle in and get a household functioning again on this side of the water. We're in Madison and really enjoying this neat little city. Our townhouse is not far from Curt's office and just down the street from Meredith's high school--Bob Jones High School. Shay's sister and family and Shay's parents also live in Madison so that's been fun to be closer to family.

Olivia has been in Chicago for about a month at Moody Bible Institute and is really enjoying her time there. She's had some health challenges with a damaged nerve located behind her knee that's causing her to walk slowly and carefully. Currently, she's seeing a physical therapist and is working on building strength in her leg and foot around that damaged nerve. We'll keep you updated on her progress. The doctor is not sure how this damage could have happened but it might have happened in her sleep. By the way, Olivia also maintains a blog. If you're interested in seeing it, the address is

Our current plans are to stay in the states for at least the next year. With Meredith in 10th grade and in public school for the first time, we're adjusting to her schedule and the different requirements for her. So, we feel like we're here for at least the school year and for Olivia's first year in college.

We love the idea of this blog! Looking forward to seeing the postings of you all. We'll try to keep up with our end of the bargain and post regularly. :)

Paula Deen Weekend

The original idea was to take Nana to Savannah to eat in Paula Deen's restaurant. But Nana proposed an alternate plan - a Paula Deen Weekend at her house. So Julie drove down here on Friday night and we left early on Saturday morning. We picked Amanda up just before 10:00 and made it to Headland before noon. We stopped at the Piggly Wiggly to get the ingredients for our Paula dishes - but then Amanda remembered that Nana wanted us to be there by noon so we could go out to eat at a new cafe in town (the name escapes me - Koin...something). So we bought what we'd picked up so far and hurried to Nana's house.

Nana was ready and waiting for us. We got to the restaurant and each ordered something different so we could share. I got chicken salad and thought it was really good. Nana got quiche, Julie and Amanda got little flatbread sandwiches (I can't remember what they were called either). Then we split 2 slices of chocolate chip pecan (as Paula would say PEE-can) pie for desert. It was good but not even close to as good as Nana's.

We took Nana home and made Paula's peach cobbler. Once it was done we went grocery shopping (again). We were able to get everything except Chilli Cheese Fritos, Easy Off Oven Cleaner (the cobbler leaked a little on to Nana's oven), leeks and shrimp. Amanda ran into people she knew everywhere we went so when I saw her chatting with the meat man (when she was supposed to be locating shrimp) I wasn't surprised. Then I found out that she was asking the meat man about the shrimp! And she told him we needed shrimp but it didn't have to be fresh (meaning it could be frozen). He asked why in the world we would want shrimp that wasn't fresh. Anyway, it turns out they don't have shrimp of any kind available in Headland, so Amanda and Julie dropped me off at Nana's to continue cooking while they went in search of the missing items.

I mixed up the dough for the cheese biscuits but when I preheated the oven, smoke billowed out from the peach juice on the bottom of the oven. I turned off the oven and turned on the automatic cleaning feature - then saw that it takes 3 hours to clean. Unsure what to do, I just put the biscuit dough in the refrigerator and started chopping vegetables. By the time the girls got back (with FRESH, Cajun seasoned, steamed shrimp) the oven had burned off enough of the peach juice for me to stop the cleaning cycle and put the biscuits in. Nana told us that at Paula Deen's restaurant they walk around with biscuits on a tray offering them to the people waiting in line. So when May May, Uncle Lee, and Uncle Jim arrived, we were hurrying to get the biscuits made so one of us could walk in and serve them - but they didn't get done before our guests had to leave. That was the weekend's only disappointment.

During the Auburn game (we didn't enjoy it much) we made Shrimp and grits, Corn Salad, and Cheese Biscuits (recipes below). By the time we had it ready D-Dad had gone to the farm to check on things. As soon as he got back we sat down to eat. Everything was delicious. Then we watched the Alabama game (at least we enjoyed the first half of it). D-Dad retired during the second half, but Nana is a night-owl so we were still up until midnight.

On Sunday morning we reheated biscuits and ate them along with fresh cantaloupe and some of Uncle Sam's pound cake for breakfast. We washed sheets (against Nana's strict instructions) and visited until lunchtime. Then we reheated our dinner from the night before and ate it one last time. It was just as good the second time around (thanks to a trick Julie taught us which I'll share in the corn salad recipe). Then we sadly packed up, said our farewells and headed home (after a brief stop to see Uncle Sam).

It was a perfect weekend and I hope we get to do it again sometime soon (D-Dad suggested that we do it every weekend!)

Cheese Biscuits

2 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together using a fork; cut in shortening until it resembles cornmeal. Add cheese. Stir in buttermilk all at 1 time just until blended. Do not over stir. Drop by tablespoonfuls, or use an ice cream scoop, onto a well greased baking sheet. Brush dough with melted butter. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Difficulty: Easy Yield: 16-20 biscuits

Shrimp and Grits

4 servings cooked grits
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced tasso ham* (we used bacon)
4 tablespoons diced leeks
4 tablespoons diced onion
4 tablespoons diced green peppers
20 medium to large shrimp, peeled and de-veined, with tails on
1 tablespoon cooking sherry
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Cajun Seasoning to taste

Cook grits according to package directions; set aside and keep warm.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tasso (bacon) and saute until crisp. Add diced vegetables and saute until onions are translucent. Add shrimp and saute for 30 to 45 seconds, or until pink. Remove from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with cooking sherry. Slowly add the cream and let reduce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper and Cajun seasonings, to taste. Pour grits into a casserole dish. Put shrimp and vegetables on top. Pour sauce over everything.

Corn Salad

2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel white corn, drained
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 (10 1/2 ounce) bag coarsely crushed Fritos chili cheese corn chips (we used regular and it worked fine)

Mix first 5 ingredients and chill. Stir in crushed corn chips just before serving (if you expect to have leftovers, reserve about a cup of chips and mix them in the next day to provide new crunch)

Peach Cobbler

Julie - can you add this one - I couldn't find the one we used

So, that's pretty much it. We had a great time. Wish you all could have been there.