Story Time With Zoey’s Class

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Telling 'The Dancing Granny,' to Zoey's Class
Telling ‘The Dancing Granny,’ to Zoey’s Class


This morning I had the pleasure of doing a little story telling, and reading to Zoey’s Pre-K class. I started with telling them one of my favorite stories… “The Dancing Granny,” followed by reading “Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears.” 

It has been years since the last time I performed “The Dancing Granny,” for a group of children. Once I got started, it all came back to me. Like riding a bike… you never forget how.

In the third-grade my class performed an adaption of “Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears,” and I was the Python. That would be so much fun to do with a group of little ones now. The class made me feel really special, they were attentive the entire time!

I’m looking forward to what Zoey has to say about my visit this evening.

What’s your favorite children’s book?


Wordless Wednesday – Say Cheese

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Adventures of Jericho!
                                Adventures of Jericho! 

My daughter-in-law caught this adorable picture of  our grandson, Jericho trying to take a picture with his dad’s phone. He was saying “cheese.”




Homegating and Gumbo

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I generally like to plan ahead for meals, but this past Saturday, I had no idea what I was going to prepare for my homegating  spread.

Looking through the freezer, I spotted a bag of okra, chicken breast, and remembered I had smoked sausage in the refrigerator. It was a no brainer, we were going to Louisiana with a chicken and sausage gumbo of course! No homegate is complete without a dessert. The two cans of crescent rolls were perfect for beignets.

Starting with the roux, I tried my best to make it as dark as I could without burning it. I got pretty close, then I left well enough alone. A burned roux is a killer of gumbo. One of these days I’m going to make THE perfect roux, but until then I’ll keep skating around the borders of just good enough.

Roux... just getting started, and way too light!
                                        My roux… just getting started, and way too light!


After starting the roux, it was time to saute what Emril Lagasse calls the holy trinity… onion, bell pepper, and celery. I love the aroma they give a house.

The Trinity!
                                                                                                         The Trinity!

After what seemed like for ever, the gumbo was finally done. For Mr. Husband it’s not complete without rice. I’ll eat it any way it comes to the table.

HG Gumbo

A few years ago when our middle daughter was playing AAU basketball, we followed the team to a tournament in New Orleans. While visiting Bourbon St. we made a stop in Cafe Beignet. Of course I had to try my hand at making beignets at least once. And they were awesome! But Saturday, I used a couple of cans of crescent rolls instead of making the dough from scratch. No one complained. In fact there was not one left. They may not have been pretty, but they sure were good!

HG Beignets

Gumbo taste better the second, or third day… if it can stay around that long. Guess what’s for lunch today?

Girl’s Night At The Museum

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Last Friday, night a group of us attended 2nd Friday Art Night at the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Art Night Historic Arkansas Museum
                 Art Night Historic Arkansas Museum

The featured artist was Joe Barry Carroll, a son of Pine Bluff, AR, and a mentor of my friend Yaminah. The 7 foot giant is a retired NBA All-Star, philanthropist, author and painter. Friday, night he read excerpts from his book Growing Up… In Words and Images,’ and entertained questions about his work. Afterwards we browsed the gallery viewing his painting and laughed with him during a more personal meet and great. A huge advocate of children and education, Carroll conducted a youth writing and drawing workshop on Saturday.

Joe Barry Carroll and Yaminah Hawkins
                                                             Joe Barry Carroll & Yaminah

With our nest being nearly empty, I can see more evenings like this… date nights with Mr. Husband, or a girl’s night out with the ladies.

Girls Night Out at The Museum
                                                                 Girl’s Night Out

Our night culminated with dinner, and a lot of laughter. A great night!

The ‘Growing Up… In Words and Images’ exhibit will be on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum through January 3, 2016.

Self(ie) Help

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Sunday, after dinner at Copeland’s I stopped to take a selfie. At the door is a really cool bottle/water feature.  My daughter laughed, “Please don’t post that picture, that’s such a mom-selfie.” All three of the girls  agreed, but I posted it ANYWAY!

Selfie at an angle!
Selfie at an angle!

One of our daughters mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I always take the same picture… straight forward. The #momselfie she called it! “All moms take that same picture,” she said.

Although I tried my best in the picture above, it didn’t workout. I looked through my Instagram account… It was apparent. I AM taking the same picture over and over… A #momselfie for sure. It’s time to get Self(ie) Help immediately! Take a look.

8 weeks ago... Same pose.
8 weeks ago… Same pose!


16 Weeks - Same pic
16 Weeks Ago – Same pose!


I want to take killer selfies like my oldest daughter’s friend @BeingEllaMarie.  She is a selfie queen!

She says “Selfies are all about knowing your angles. Once you learn your angle (good side), because we all have one, you practice/study in front of your camera until it’s perfected. I always have about 15-30 shots before I get that perfect one. ”

Like I said... Selfie Queen!
Like I said… Selfie Queen!

I’m going to work on my selfie game, in hopes to shake the #momselfie look. Next I’ll work on how-to pose in pictures. I never know what to do with my hands, or how to stand, or smile or not. @BeingEllaMarie makes posing look easy-breezy as well! Another one of my favorite posers is @Mattieologie. She kills it time after time!

I have my work cut out for me… But as always I’m up for the challenge, and the adventure! Are you taking mom/dad selfies?

Homegating – Season 2

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Homegating Season 2

It’s another season of college football, that can only mean one thing Homegating – Season 2.

Last football season I started Football Saturday Homegating. My husband and son will watch football all-day-long, since we still have to eat I thought homegating was seemed as right as rain.

Saturday during the kickoff of college football my daughter was busy getting married, therefore occupying Mr. Husband’s time and attention. During a part of the reception, I was getting my line dance on and looked for him. Later I found out he and another guy found a TV. They had to check in on the Arkansas game. Like the good father he is, he wasn’t MIA long.

Sunday afternoon, our son called to ask “Is Daddy watching football?” Followed by “What are you cooking?”

I wasn’t cooking a thing after the weekend we just had. But I did order Chinese food, and so Homegating officially started with takeout. Now it’s time to start working on this weekends menu. This year I have to step it up a notch or two, I may even decorate the table, or go with themes from week to week. Who knows!

Follow me on Instagram @latonyarich to catch pictures each Saturday for my Homegating spread.


30 Days – Random Act of Kindness

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Life's Too Short

Last week I was on the receiving end of a Random Act of Kindness. I was so very shocked, and initially taken aback. So much so that I didn’t know how to accept it.


Saturday: I was forced to buy a new wallet. My old wallet was beat up beyond recognition, that’s another story for another day. I moved everything from the old wallet into the nice new one, so I thought.

Sunday: I was shopping for my Mother-of-the-bride dress with intentions of purchasing something, which turned out to be an epic fail. Instead my daughter who had been looking for a cute backpack found one for $16. We were rung up, and I opened my wallet to pull out my debit card. After almost panicking and thinking really hard, I realized I must not have taken it out of the old wallet.

Because we were shopping 45 minutes away from home, I told the lady we’d be back the next weekend to get the backpack. Walking down the hall of the mall a little lady stopped me, and asked me to wait. She explained she wanted to buy the backpack for us. Quickly I said it was okay, it was not a necessity. But she didn’t listen.

Before we could go much further she ran back to us with the backpack in hand. I tried to explain to her that the backpack wasn’t something my daughter NEEDED, but I thanked her and took it. She hugged me and said, “Life’s too short, just pay it forward.”

“I can do that,” I told her.

Fast Forward 

Since that day, I’ve looked for someone to bless and pay it forward. Yesterday, one of my Facebook friends shared a moving video of a man committing a random act of kindness. I was so moved and knew God intended for me to see that video on that particular day. That’s the way I wanted to Pay It Forward. And I did. The greatest blessing was the feeling of giving.

Last night I made up in my mind that the entire month of September I would commit, tweet about, and encourage others to commit and Random Acts of Kindness, and Pay It Forward.

So how would one get started? I’ve complied a list of post that will help with ideas.

So will you join me in making the day of others? And don’t forget to tell them to Pay It Forward.