Welcome to the Blog Plantation Y'all

Our family welcomes you and thanks you for stopping by to visit. We are delighted you have taken a few minutes out of your day to spend with us. We are Joe and Jessica. We have two children and one very regal beagle! We post often and it usually includes details of our Christian faith; life here in the South; entertaining our family and friends; tales of our travels; as well as the daily adventures of having two children. Oh, and our passion for Alabama Crimson Tide Football!
Grab a mint julep, relax, and enjoy the site. Don't forget to leave us a message. You can click under any blog entry to do so. We love to hear from our guests.
(Also, please remember that all writings and pictures are the sole property of the blog plantation and it's authors and may not be duplicated, unless otherwise noted. )

Thanks for dropping by Y'all!

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What time I am afraid I will trust in thee
Psalm 56:3

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

The "write up"

I cannot thank all of you enough for your kind words about the Christening table. I am truly moved by them. Thank you so very much!
I had so many emails and questions about Orren's Christening That I thought I would share "the write up" about the day's events! It gives a little more detail about what was served and how different things came to be.
Hope Y'all are having a great weekend!

Joe and Jessica Breland, of Helena, Alabama, were the proud parents of Olivia now nine years old and always felt their family was complete. This was not the case. On June 20, 2007, at St. Vincent's Hospital, after a difficult pregnancy and a terrible car accident, a new little Breland arrived. Weighing in at 8 lbs 12 oz. He was early, but everyone was fine including his GrandMaMa who was also in the accident. With many sighs of relief and prayers answered, they welcomed Orren Montgomery Breland into the family.
So when it was time for Orren's baptism, the day became a way to focus on the many blessings, family and friends. A day for celebrating this wonderful and precious new life. Orren's godparents are Jessica's brother Jarrod and sister-in-law Katy Holmes who live in North Carolina. Both, as most young couples are, extremely busy. Jarrod is an executive with the Boy Scouts of America and Katy is in veterinarian school at North Carolina State University. The church schedule was nearing the busy holiday season, so finding a date became quite the ordeal. But, after much adjusting, juggling, and numerous phone calls, the date of November 4th was set. So now the women in Orren's new little life could set out to do what southern women do best...plan!
Guest list, menu, place, invitations and of course wardrobe. The Christening gown must be gotten out of storage. Last worn by his sister Olivia, it had lovingly been packed away in anticipation for the next precious one. There had been no others. Orren would be the next.
The invitations were made from a late night photograph taken while Orren was sleeping and all others should have been.
The ceremony would be held at Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood, Alabama where the Brelands attend church. The Reverend Andy Wolfe would be conducting the baptism.
The cake was specially designed and ordered, invitations mailed and all family and friends began calling. They would arrive from North Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana and of course all over Alabama.
Greetings and well wishes were received from Governor and Mrs Riley, President and Mrs. Bush and from Orren's "special aunt" Kay Ivey, Alabama's State Treasurer. And the Mayor of Helena Sonny Penhale.
The menu consisted of family favorites, which always includes a cake from Edgar's Bakery. Jessica had chosen Wedgwood blue and white to use as her color scheme and of course Edgar's had just the cake! Wedgwood blue with white lambs and polka dots all around topped with a big white edible bow. To accommodate the children who would be attending, Wedgwood blue cupcakes with Orren's monogram in white were ordered from Publix bakery. To complete the menu there were BLT and homemade pimento cheese finger sandwiches, cream filled strawberries, fresh crab meat from the gulf with remoulade sauce, garlic grits topped with GrandMaMa’s original recipe for queso shrimp. Pineapple punch was served to the little ones while the adults gathered in the living room to hear champagne toasts offered by his Uncle Jarrod Holmes, his Aunt Christy Mullins and close family friend Bob Thomas. Bob and his wife Jo spend a great deal of their time working with and serving as sponsors for the Children of the American Revolution. They are so dedicated to the CAR that they had Orren's papers typed and ready before he was born. Once they had a birth date and a social security number, the papers were on their way to Washington, D.C. Orren was eleven days old. Olivia has been a member for several years. His mother and grandmother are members of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It is a family affair. But then, that's what this whole day was about...celebrating family and one special new addition to this very grateful and blessed family. Welcome Orren Montgomery Breland!

Friday, February 27, 2009

a loss for our family

It is with heaviest heart that I write this to tell all of you that we at the blog plantation lost a precious friend over night. Mr. Zack Cross. As long as I can remember, he has been a friend to my family. In fact one of my parents closest friends. Every Christmas we were showered with pepper jelly and citrus fruits. He had one of the warmest souls of anyone I have ever known. Friend to all he met, and devoted to the Boy Scouts Of America, the world will be a darker place for this loss.
Please pray for his family, my parents and us at this time of loss

Foodie Friday

I have to admit that my family has a secret recipe for Taco soup. That one I am not allowed to share, as my Mother might disown me. It is from scratch, made up by Mother so... can't share that one.......
BUT we love taco soup at our house and this version is so different that we often make them back to back. I made it for this weekend.
This one was sent to me by my dear friend Margaret. She brought it to us when we came home from our most recent hospital stay with Orren. She had all the trimmings to go with it! How precious is that?
So enjoy!

1 3/4lbs ground chuck
1 large yellow onion
2cloves garlic
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes

I cut mine slightly to make sure certain little ones won't object
1 can drained:
Kidney beans
pinto beans
black beans
whole kernel corn

one can Chicken broth

One package of taco seasoningCook beef, onion and garlic until brown. Then drain. return to Dutch oven and stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, broth, and seasoning mix. Bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer uncovered fro 30 minutes.

top with cheese and sour cream

Then you have this
(OK for my kids I have to add a lot of cheese and sour cream mixed in it but you get the idea!)


Because crawfish are coming into season, Lent started so no meat Fridays, and I am missing New Orleans I am also sending this one out

For Foodie Friday!

This is a very simple and elegant dish,
and will impress your guests in
a big way.
It's also one of the most popular dishes served at the
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival;
the line at the Crawfish Monica
booth is one of longest on the Fairgrounds.

If you don't have crawfish available in your area,
it works well with
shrimp, oysters or crabmeat.

1 lb. crawfish tails, boiled and peeled; OR

1 lb. shrimp, peeled; OR
1 lb. lump crabmeat; OR
1 lb. oysters, drained and quartered.

1 stick butter (Do not use margarine.)
1 pint half-and-half (Look, relax.
Just don't eat this every day..)
1 good-sized bunch green onions, chopped (tops, too)
3 - 10 cloves garlic, chopped (to your taste)
1-2 tbs Creole Seasoning
1 lb. cooked fresh pasta
(Dry pasta is all right if fresh is
not available.
Rotelli is preferred, use your favorite shape.)

Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.
then rinse under cool water. Drain again, thoroughly.

Melt the butter in a large pot and saute onions
and garlic for
3 minutes. Add the seafood and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the
half-and-half, then add several big pinches of
Creole seasoning,
tasting before the next pinch until you think it's right.

Cook for 5 - 10 minutes over medium heat
until the sauce thickens.
Add the pasta and toss well.
Let it sit for 10 minutes or so over very
low heat, stirring often.
Serve immediately, with lots of French bread
and a nice dry white wine.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tablescape Thursday

Tablescape Thursday
See what is Happening with our Hostess@
Between Naps On the Porch

For this edition I am showing the reception at our home for my son's Christening.

Shot of the cake from Edgar's Bakery
blue gingham to compliment the cake

Monogrammed cupcakes to go with the cake

quiche, stuffed strawberries, pimento cheese finger sandwiches, we also had shrimp and grits!

Better shot of the cupcakes and cakespunch table with greetings from
President George W. Bush,
Gov. Bob Riley,
Mayor Sonny Penhale

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lent update

So the update is this....
The Breland's are collectively giving up hamburgers and french fries for Lent
40 days without burgers and fries?
We can do it!

Be Blessed Y'all!

I got a present

Last night, Laura Beth surprised me with the most thoughtful gift. She brought me a piece of home. New Orleans to be exact.
First thing this morning, I opened it up spread it out so that you could see all of the goodies inside.
(Ignore my dirty candlesticks)
That Gold N Heat has 24K gold flecks in it and it is a desert hot sauce
a Fleur Di lis condiment spoon, Fleur Di lis and condiment spoon?
Y'all know I was in heaven, I collect both!

Pat O' Brien's hurricane mix (I feel a hurricane comin')
Mardi Gras dip
all in the most darlin' little crab bowl!

Thank you so very much for thinking of me, we will be happy to "dog sit" anytime!

Ash Wednesday

inside our sanctuary at Trinity United Methodist

Tonight, we will partake in our Christian tradition of Ash Wednesday. Joe, the children and I will attend services, at our church. This will include communion, receiving of the ashes( in the sign of the cross placed on the forehead), and a service of prayer.
Lenten Fast
We will also dedicate ourselves to our Lenten fast. (giving something up for the duration of Lent) This is done to symbolize emptying ourselves so that we may be filled.

Goodness, I hope I come up with something between now and then that I think I can live without for forty days. My husband suggested the computer..... HAHAHAHA! He is out of his cotton picking mind if he thinks I could go that long without blogging! Maybe french fries. The children could do that one to!
Remember, NO MEAT on FRIDAYS during Lent
good thing we can eat crawfish!
In the Old Testament ashes were a sign of penitence- a sign of turning from sin to God. Lent begins with the use of this ancient sign. On Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, ashes placed on the forehead express the penitential nature of the season. The ashes are from the palms of the previous Palm Sunday. Ashes also represent the death of the human body and symbolize the shortness of earthly life and to remind the person receiving the ashes of whence he came, from the dust of the earth, and to which he will return when he is buried.

I will post pictures when we return!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gov. Bob Riley's visit to Shelby County

I was so excited Laura Beth went with me tonight! She is doing fabulous work with us at the Shelby County Republican Party! Here is our night:

Here we are with Gov. Riley
Here we are with First Lady Patsy Riley

Here we are with Senator Hank Erwin

Here we are with Rep. Cam Ward
Here we are with our Mr. Freddy Ard, Chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party

It was so much fun tonight and I was so glad to have Laura Beth with me. We are supporting Gov. Riley in keeping gambling out of our state.
Call your congressman and let them know you do not want gambling here in Alabama!
I will fill you in on more details later just had to share!

You have to see this!

A dear family friend, Keith sent this our way. It is absolutely amazing and I cannot believe that (don't go to the link yet)
Connie Talbot is only 6 years old. Take a minute to watch these clips. YOU WILL BE INSPIRED!



There are more clips of her there,
watch the first link first.

Thank you God for the blessing you have given the world with this voice of an angel!

Happy Mardi Gras!!

Today is Mardi Gras! I hope it is a fun filled fabulous

day for all of you!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gov. Bob Riley is Coming!

Governor Riley will be in Shelby County on Tuesday to offer an important update on pending legislation that attempts to legalize slot machines and expand gambling in Alabama. Governor Riley is opposed to the expansion of gambling and is making sure that Alabama's laws against gambling are uniformly enforced
Still, gambling interests and their allies in the Legislature are once again trying to slip past legislation that would unravel Alabama law and expand illegal gambling - along with the crime, misery and corruption that come with it.
Please take the opportunity to hear from our Governor on this important matter and learn what you can do to help.
WHEN: Tuesday, February 24 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Pelham Civic Complex, 500 Amphitheatre Road
WHO SHOULD ATTEND: All who care about protecting our values and quality of life are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And the winner is.......................

You got it tonight is the Oscar's

THE night of glitz and glamour!

I am preparing our ACADEMY AWARDS BANQUET.
We love this night and find it so much fun! We will "dress the children up" (guess that Orren will get one more use out of the tux)for our red carpet affair complete with "fancy finger foods" Then we will cheer for our favorites!
What is your tradition?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Largest Pancake stack!

He set a record.

It was awesome and the children LOVED seeing it! Thank you Hewy!
After, we grabbed a macchiato at Big Mountain and headed to the Park for a little bit of play time. Then a little decorating for Mommy, and a little lunch at the Olive Garden where we met their parents Salah and Michelle and returned them. Hope they come again really soon it was so much fun!

PBK Decorating class

What fun! Check with your local PBK and see when the next class in your area will be! I had a blast and it was a nice distraction! Learned a lot!

Saturday Morning breakfast!

The boys ended up getting to stay the night!

So for breakfast......

Chocolate chip Pancakes in a Choo Choo. Powder sugar smoke, banana wheels and bacon train tracks!

For Olivia A flower with a powdered sugar bloom with bacon as a stem and leaves

Then the boys got in a little Wii time before we head out to see Hewy make the Biggest Pancake Stack for the Guinness Book!

Check back for more exciting details of our adventure!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Root Beer floats, pillow fights, and pretend sleepovers

We had a "pretend slumber party" tonight with the El Fallah boys. It was a blast Have a look in pictures!

Michelle will be here soon to pick everyone up! It makes me kind of sad..... Cause we had such fun!

rough housing with Uncle Joe!
Pillow fight!!! Yes, they are outside.... I am not completely out of my mind. We certainly couldn't do that inside!
shoes might have been a good idea!
"Grown Up" Root beer floats

Oh so good! This is the Kiddie version!Too good!

Orren didn't even make it to the slumber party. All the way calling Chief for help!Finally sacked out! For REAL!!!!

Foodie Friday

If you grew up with me in any of the many magnolia drenched cities my family lived in along Dixie, then you will agree my Mother is arguably one of the best cooks ever.
Not just in the South, but in the world! We were blessed that she was home when we came in from school and a fabulous snack was waiting and dinner was started!
I often wondered if some of my gentlemen friends were actually there for me, or Mother's food. One of my best guy friends used to tell her,
"Mrs. Debbie, you're the only Mom I know that actually cooks in pearls and high heels everyday"
Explains a lot .... I know!
She was famous for her homemade candies and most of my childhood friends remember them well.
Recently, I have been asked for this recipe by more than one of my friends from bygone eras.
So, for my first Foodie Friday post, here is is:

White Delight

2 1/4 lb Almond bark (white chocolate)
1 Large jar dry roasted peanuts
2cups mini marshmallows
2cups rice krispies
2 cups Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT chocolate, set aside. Then melt the chocolate (use your preferred method for this. Mine is the stove, but some prefer the microwave) In a large bowl, add chocolate and then add cereal mixture a little at a time stirring well. It is important to work quickly as it cools very fast! Then drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper. Let cool and enjoy!

Sorry I didn't have a picture of it!

Now, don't forget to read the post below this one for a really fun contest!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sweet little Bunny contest!

Hey, Y'all I am so excited about my friend Emily and her contest. She is so talented and It is my honor to feature her here! She is a blogger Emily Horn Designs She is running a contest, THAT NONE OF YOU CAN ENTER because I am winning LOL J/K It is a "sweet little bunny contest" A photo contest. Children 0-12 years of age. Both of my children are entered Orren is number 3 and Olivia is number 4 YES, I have my children competing against each other... I am winning this! ; )
Voting will begin Monday, March 23, 2009 and will end on Friday, March 27, 2009 at midnight. All votes must be emailed to emilyhorndesigns@hotmail.com with the contestants name and number in the Subject Line. (The vote will not count unless the name and number are included in the subject line.) The contestant with the most votes will win. Only one vote will be allowed per email address. I will remind all of you when it is time to vote! In the mean time check out her work. She is amazing!
Oh, and I best not see any "sweet bunnies" I know competing against MY "sweet bunnies" LOL Seriously, Y'all get your traveler cup and head on over to her place!

Thrifty Thursday

Leigh @ Tales from Bloggerritaville is hosting a "Thrifty Thursday" and asked me to play so here it is. We were supposed to submit something we got for a great deal at an antique shop, thrift store, clearance sale what have you. I made sure the antique stores counted because I can't stay out of those, but I don't thrift for whatever reason. Although, I adore a good bargain!
So here is my find:
It was a great find at under $100.00 ( a few years ago now, it is still my fave) Just as it is. upholstery and and all. I didn't do anything to it!