Tuesday, November 3, 2009


The Fall season is always a busy time for birthday celebrations in our family. Both of my sons , Sean and Brian are born in October and   my daughter-in-law, Ashley is also born in October.We had already celebrated six other family birthdays between August and October. What a great season of family gatherings and celebrations! It gives new meaning to Sunday Dinner celebrations. I try to make each Sunday Dinner celebration unique to each person.
My youngest son, Brian, loooves meatloaf ( so much so he learned to cook it himself). His sunday dinner celebration centered around a meatloaf dinner with all his special side dishes. He swears I make the best meatloaf and of course that assures that I will make it for him. He hadn't been home for his birthday in about five years, so it was special to all of us. He asked me to bake my signature cake, cream cheese pound cake from scratch.  He scoffed it all down with a heaping helping of cookies and cream ice cream.
My oldest son , Sean lives in Dallas with his wife,Ashley and they are expecting my first granddaughter, Langston in January. I am so excited! I wish they lived closer but I 'm working on that. Sean sells video phones through ACN as a
business so of course I was one of his first sales. The exciting thing about the video phone is that you can dial the telephone number of another person who also owns a video phone and you can actually see them and talk to them in real time. The picture is so clear it is as if they are in the room with you . So I got the idea that at OUR Sunday Dinner we could all sing happy birthday to him and we could all see each other and light candles for his favorite cake both here and there. How awesome is that! Modern technology is great! Another really great thing is that there was family and friends there in Dallas to share Sean's Birthday. God is so good!
Soon we will travel to Dallas for the baby shower .  Ashley's birthday is also that weekend , so I am so happy to be in town for a great celebration weekend. The shower is on that Sunday so I know it will be another great Sunday Dinner Celebration! 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sunday Dinner for LeDessa!

We are so busy celebrating birthdays this time of year that it is fun to turn Sunday dinners into celebration Sundays! Two weeks ago we celebrated my niece's birthday who turned 10. Wow! I can't believe she is ten years old. This week I had cut my hand washing a glass while doing dishes and ended up in the emergency room.
Instead of stitching me up , they glued me up with dermabond. Imagine that!. Consequently, I had limited use of my hand. Instead of cooking Sunday Dinner, we ordered take out from Church's Chicken and made the sides. Karen, Ledessa's mom , made the birthday cake (it was so good). We set the table, and sat down to Sunday Dinner. We sang happy birthday to Ledessa in loud and boisterous voices which Ledessa loved and then the best part for HER this Sunday Dinner was opening and playing with her gifts.
My Aunt Gloria Jean passed away this week, so we lingered  a long while at the table just reminiscing about her and the family and planning our trip to her homegoing celebration. My brother , Leon and I shared stories about aunt Jean and other family members, some deceased. Those shared stories, and time spent together with family  give a new depth and value to Sunday Dinners.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Celebrating Me!

Sat. Sept.19th was my birthday so my brother volunteered to fry fish and chips for our Sunday Dinner. I was so excited because I told him fish would have to include shrimp if it was for me. I loooove shrimp! He cooked a ton of fish and shrimp. We had salad and fries as well. He said to me "See Deb, we can have a light meal on Sunday as well." (as he sat down at the dining table after his third trip to the kitchen). I totally agree but I couldn't see how He thought a ton of Fried  fish and shrimp and fixins was a light meal. We rounded out the meal with Old Fashioned Blue Bell  ice cream and the best cake ever with a cheesecake filling that my daughter and son-in-law bought.
Earlier that day at church my brother had asked the pastor to announce that it was my birthday.
Our pastor asked me to stand and he asked the musicians to play as they all sang happy birthday to me. WHAT A GREAT FEELING to have that many people smile and sing happy birthday with such great expression and smiles on their faces. It's like being bathed in LOVE! After all the calls from my sisters , brother, my brother -in-law, my son in Dallas and my daughter in law , the facebook well wishes, and of course the gifts and cards and hugs ,I felt truly blessed! I'm used to my sisters and brother singing to me on my birthday, but this year even my brother in law called from South Carolina to sing happy birthday! My family always compete to be the first to call on birthdays. My youngest son called at midnight and immediately asked if he was first . He got the first child award , my oldest sister got the first sibling award and so on. That's always fun. The winners are always so delighted!
I'm a giver and I enjoy it so much. I never expect anything in return.
Well !This Sunday Dinner was all about me and that felt great as well! God is so good! I am so blessed!

Sunday Dinner Doesn't HAVE to be on Sunday!

Last Sunday was our church anniversary and we were going to be at church all day,so we had Sunday Dinner,Sat. night. After checking with the family, we decided that we still wanted to get together. It's not always about the day, sometimes it's about the time. My son-in-law shopped, marinated and grilled steaks and my daughter baked potatoes and made salad. My brother, who had to work that Sat., and his family ,decided not to join us. Sometimes that will happen , and that's ok. We still missed them .We set the table and enjoyed a great meal with great conversation as we caught up on the week. Simple ,delicious and together!
After morning worship the next day on Sunday , the congregation was invited into the fellowship hall for a delicious dinner. As a member on the church anniversary committee, I put on an my apron and started serving. We served brisket , fried chicken, green beans,macaroni and cheese, fruit salad, potato salad , a roll and lemonade. Of course there were several delicious desserts.There was so much food that people started packing  up food to take home. Because my family was there also, it was just like Sunday dinner with a really large group of family. After eating, we all went back into the Sanctuary for our afternoon service. My neices , who are eight and nine years old, were part of the praise team, so we were all there to praise the whole team for their performance.
After a spirit-filled afternoon of worship at our church , my youngest son , now 25 ,and I got in the car and drove  to another church for their Choir Annual Program. It was an awesome day! I remember when I was MADE to spend all day in church and here I was a WILLING participant! How did that happen? Oh well ,"Train up a child in the way they should go and when they grow up...Well you know the rest! We can only hope and pray!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"The Ties That Bind"

Just before my sophomore year in high school my Dad was sent to Vietnam for the first time. Consequently, we packed up our home at Ft. Sill, Ok. and moved to Silsbee, Tx., our hometown.

My grandparents, and all of our extended family lived there or in the area. I experienced a whole new meaning of family and family values and I really got to know and love my family.

On Sundays everyone went to church. After church we all went to Nanny's house (We lovingly called it the "Big House") for Sunday Dinner. There was lots of delicious food, family, scrumptious desserts and interesting conversations to evesdrop on.

Sunday Dinner helped us stay in touch with our manners: yes ma'am,no sir, please and thank you, and excuse me. We learned to "stay out of grown folks conversations, speak when you are spoken to and what is said in this house stays in this house."

Living in El Paso,Tx. and teaching high school leaves me commenting quite regularly on the sad state of manners exhibited by our youth today. I was looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of my own family and the children in the family.

My daughter recently got married and her husband would say to me most Sundays as we were leaving church ,"what did you cook today big Mama?" Now, anybody who knows me knows

that I spend so much time exercising and eating right that "Big Mama" would not be a term

that I would find endearing. I would usually say to him , "I'm not your Big Mama." My son-in-law was very close to his grandmother and one day I realized that term was a way for him to also connect with his past, a connection that he secretly longed for. One day I shocked him and said "I've decided that I can be Big Mama on Sundays.

That first Sunday dinner, about two months ago, I cooked two roasts with potatoes and carrots,

corn pudding, steamed broccoli, cornbread, green salad and tea. My son-in-law ,who is a great cook ,made brownies. We set the table, stood in a circle as my brother lead us in prayer and sat down to enjoy a great meal. I know my mother and grandmother, who have both passed away ,would be pleased.