We are looking forward to meeting our little boy very soon! Only a few weeks til his due date (October 11). We decided to get a few maternity shots before our little boy made his entrance. Enjoy!
Both Rick and I have a special love for biscuits and gravy. I found/modified a recipe that we really love and would like to share with you.
For the biscuits, we use this Fluffy Biscuit recipe from Taste of Home. To me, they turn out too crumbly for an every day biscuit, but they are perfect for biscuits and gravy.
For the gravy, we use a modified version of this Super Sausage Gravy recipe from All Recipes.
1 lb. Jimmy Dean sausage (we like sage)
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
3 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste
Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain sausage, if preferred. Stir in flour until dissolved. Gradually stir in milk. You can add one more cup of milk to make more gravy. Cook gravy until thick and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over hot biscuits. Refrigerate leftovers.
2 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shortening
2/3 c. milk
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk egg and milk; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Turn onto a well-floured surface; knead 20 times. Roll to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a floured 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter (or drinking glass works too!). Place on a lightly greased baking sheet (or pizza pan). Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
If you try this recipe and like it, let us know.
by Bethany McDonnell
We're back into the world of blogging! We have been super busy these last several months, with work, a little bit of travel, and getting ready for our new baby. It's been nice to take a break from blogging, but now it's time to get back in to it (especially since we will want to share pictures of our baby when he comes.)
In February, we got to see Rick's college roommate and his family. Nate, Kate, and baby William are missionaries to the Czech Republic. We enjoyed hearing about the Czech culture and see their excitement to serve the people of the Czech. I especially enjoyed getting to hear about this country since my grandpa is full Czech descent. (Thank you Kate for taking pictures of your visit!)
In April, we got to see my best friend from college, Jenny, her son Isaac, and family on their way back to Michigan after vacationing in Florida. We met them over in Valdosta for a delightful lunch at Cracker Barrel. This is the first time we got to meet Isaac--and he is such a cutie! (Thank you, Mrs. Patty, for taking pictures!)
In May, Rick had the opportunity to return to his alma mater and perform as Bel Core in opera The Elixir of Love by Don Giovanni. He drove down to Pensacola several weekends in May and April, and then we stayed a week and a half in Pensacola before the three performances. (Pictures from the performance coming in a later blog post.)
We also survived the crazy flooding that Pensacola had during that time. After one evening rehearsal, Rick got stranded at the college because of all the water and had to spend the night with a college buddy who had an apartment on campus. Thankfully, I stayed in the hotel and didn't venture out in the rain.
On our first night in Pensacola, we decided to join our siblings at college for a 5K walk/run in support of missions. We enjoyed seeing all the students come out for fireworks, glow necklaces, and to finish the race.
We were able to have a great little vacation hanging out with our siblings, my cousin, and a few friends. When Rick wasn't rehearsing, we visited a few coffee local coffee shops--the Bodacious Brew and the Drowsy Poet.
We took one afternoon and went to the Naval Air Museum.
We were so thankful that both Rick's parents and my parents got to see one of the three performances.
At the end of May, we scheduled an ultrasound to find out the gender of our baby. We asked our family members to wear blue if they thought it was a boy and pink/purple if they thought it was a girl.
In June, I went with my sis, cousin, and family to Saint George Island for a few days. Rick had to work :( We laid out on the beach, visited some local shops (and grabbed some ice cream, of course), and relaxed.
We realize that there won't be many opportunities in our near future to go on dates with just us. Our lives are about to change with the addition of a new baby, but we are looking forward to the change. :)
Rick has really enjoyed being a part of the Red Hills Players. The Red Hills Players is a not for profit theatre company comprised of multi-talented individuals and families from all across the world who have made a home in the Red Hills region of Southwest Georgia and North Florida. Last fall, Rick participated in their first production, Jane Eyre the Musical. Rick played the part of Sin-jin as well as other supporting roles since it was a small cast. You can watch the entire musical for free on Youtube (see bottom of this post).
Last month, the Red Hills Players held their Winter Revue--once in Thomasville and once in our very own Boston. They sang several musical selections from Broadway musicals, mostly about women and the different struggles and successes they have. They ended the performance with a quartet of "Climb Every Mountain"--beautiful. We, the audience, left encouraged to find beauty in the little things of life and to pursue our dreams despite the difficulties that may come our way.
Yes, we are having a baby!--due to arrive in September.
We are excited for God's provision and entering this next step of our lives.
I read this quote the other day and absolutely loved it! It is so fitting for the new year.
What is a leader? Is a leader just a person in charge or someone who has the "final say"? Or is a leader someone who just does it all himself? Perhaps being a leader means being bossy and power-hungry....or simply being a puppet.
The truth is--whether we like it or not--we are all leaders in some way. Unless you shut yourself up in your home and order all your groceries on Amazon :), you come in contact with people every day who need you to show them how to live life. Your choices display what you believe others should be. Whether you are grouchy and ungrateful or thankful and kind, you lead others in your life to be the same. Your children watch you, your friends watch you, the lady at the checkout counter watches you--and you can either inspire them or tear them down.
We hope you want your life to inspire others. This year, let us dream more, learn more, do more, and become more. Let us be leaders.
-Rick & Bethany
You saw these beautiful ladies on the blog last year. I can't believe how much these girls have grown up. And isn't their mama gorgeous?
I love photographing families. I love capturing the energy and natural expressions of children. And often, couples haven't had good pictures of each other since their wedding day. So sad!
I have known the Howell family for several years and love them! What a sweet family! One of these cute kids is also my music student. I headed out to the Howell's home on a lazy Saturday afternoon. What fun it is to be in the country--they have three dogs, a pony, and a few chickens! I even got a dozen fresh eggs at the end of the shoot :). Enjoy!
Well, we finally joined the rest of the pet owners and got our very own kittens. I hope you don't mind if I gush a little (ok, a lot!) over my sweet cuties! We got #PepperPottsKitty as a tiny little kitten in September and then in November, we got #SophieKitty for a playmate for Pepper. They get along so well and we have fun watching them play. Of course, they sleep for hours and hours each day...oh, to be a cat!
If you know Rick, you know that he gets super excited when he hears or gets to sing (even better!) barbershop music. Last year, Rick released his first one-man quartet piece entitled "Irish Blessing" and it has received over 1,000 views (probably his dad showing it to everyone!). Check out his YouTube Channel Singing Richard. For those of you who aren't familiar with what barbershop music is, you can read more here. We hope to release more videos this year...and maybe I can join in on a few. Comment below with any song requests you might have.
Happy New Year! We are looking forward to the opportunities this year will bring.
Enjoy "Shine on Me," a one-man barbershop quartet.