Mason’s “I’m Thankful For” Book {Thanksgiving 2014}

Well, this speaks volumes.

I picked Mason up today, and he was dressed as a pilgrim, carrying loads of turkey-themed crafts.

As he got settled in the car, he said to me, “Mommy, let’s take a picture. You look beautiful.” Be still my broken heart!

A few minutes later, as I was sorting through his work, I found a little book that he had made.

This page touched me to the core.

Other than the obvious fact that someone’s missing, my best friend Kaitlin pointed out that Mason drew himself with a frown. I asked him if he meant to and he said, “Yes, of course I did. That picture is on the day of your divorce.”

There are no words….

Other than I encourage you to pray for your marriage, your family, to put Jesus first. I tried but not enough, and now my kids are suffering.

Master Mason and Miss Julia Caroline {Christmas Photos 2014}

I am so blessed to be friends with the absolute best photographer around.  If you are in the Tallahassee-area and looking for someone to capture your family’s special moments, I highly recommend Tammy Rabon Photography.  Tammy does both natural-light and studio sessions, and she is professional, flexible, and affordable.  Please check out her Facebook page for samples of her lovely work.

I treasure every magical shot she takes of my babies, and adore these toothless grins she was able to coax out of both little ones this year. Miss Julia Caroline sticks her tongue out when she smiles just like her Mommy. I have never noticed that before.

Christmas Cards 2014 D

Christmas Card 2014 A

Here is Miss Julia Caroline, age 4, ready for Christmas 2014.  By the way, this is the first formal session I have done without her wearing a smock dress.  I just could not resist this red dress I found at Target, though.

Christmas Cards 2014 Julia

Then there is Master Mason, age 5,… Or should I say Kristoff, as his little girl friends like to call him?

Christmas Cards 2014 C

All photos are shared with the express permission of Tammy Rabon.

Papaw Bandy’s Pecan Pie

Papaw Bandy died when I was five, but I fondly remember him baking pecan pies. Mama always thought it was neat the way he would fill his and Bomba’s small trailer kitchen with them.

Last week, my cousin Steve Chesser sent me the actual recipe he used!!! Apparently Papaw would call Steve’s grandmother, my Aunt Bee (Bomba’s sister), and get it from her every year. She had it written down in a book for him.

Do you know how grateful I am to have this? Amazing!

Uncle Bandy’s Pecan Pie
3 Eggs
2/3 Cup Sugar
Dash of Salt
1 Cup Dark Corn Syrup
1/3 Cup Butter (Melted)
1 Cup Pecan Halves
1 Pie Crust unbaked

In a mixing bowl beat eggs slightly. Add Sugar and Salt stir until dissolved. Stir in Corn Syrup and melted butter.
Mix Well. Stir in Pecan Halves. Pour into unbaked pie crust.
Cover edge of crust with foil an bake for 25 minutes at 350 remove foil and bake for another 25 minutes or until a knife come out of the center clean]
cool on wire rack.

The kids and I decided to try it out since I am teaching myself to cook. I used a store-bought uncooked pie crust and a pie cover for half the baking time.

I love sharing special family memories with Mason and Miss Julia, because they just joyously soak everything right up. They talk about Bomba, Papaw Bandy and Granny Cheshire like they have personally known them. Who knows? Maybe they did, before they were born.


Our oven tends to over-cook, so I think I’ll take the pie out a few minutes earlier the next time I make it. However, it was delicious and very easy. It even set well with no special effort.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

God Bless, The Bandy and Bonfantis

Mason’s Christmas List 2014


Mason is 5 years old, about to turn 6. He is huge and has just grown out of all of this jeans. His tennis shoes are getting tight, too. He wears a size 7 in clothes and a size 2.5 in shoes now.

Here is his list in his own words.

1. I want a new Wii game. ✔️
2. I want a Hot Wheels set. ✔️
3. I want a new Lego City set.✔️
4. In want a Lego Movie Lego. ✔️
5. I want a “Chima” Lego, like in my comic book, and I want a Ninja Lego.
6. I want a new Lighting McQueen car.
7. I want a new stuffed animal.
8. I want a new Iron Man costume.
9. I want a new bat minton set with a net.
10. I want a new Match Box car.
11. I want The Avengers movie.
12. I want movies about Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry. ✔️
13. And I want a volleyball.
14. And I want a new FSU football jersey– #80, Rashad Green!
15. I want a paint maker that makes colors.
16. I want some new sweat pants. ✔️
17. I want a board game. Minneapolis game….. I just figured out he means Monopoly! Lol
18. I want an FSU hat. ✔️

Miss Julia’s Christmas List 2014

Mommy, all I want for Christmas are my two front teeth!” ~Miss Julia

Each year, I have the kids make a Christmas list. My friends and family have asked me to do it for them this year so that they can help me shop for deals and save money.

Miss Julia is presently 4 years old and wears a size 5 or 6 in clothes and 10 in shoes. She really needs some new boots, and I’ll probably get them in an 11.

Here is her list in her own words.

1. I want a new Dolly. I want dollies and a doll house.
2. I want a new dress with red and pink sparkles on it.
3. I want new bracelets and necklaces.
4. I want my little own cup.
5. I want another pink dress-up box.
6. New underwear with candy canes on it.
7. New pajamas with Cinderella and Ariel
8. Bubbles that I can blow
9. Bubble bath
10. I want dark pink lip and light pink lip gloss.
11. I want a new Elvis movie.
12. And I want my very own castle! 👸


This Sunday morning as I lie here in quiet, anxiously waiting for my babies to return home, I am thinking of all the words of encouragement and prayer I have received over the past two-and-a-half months. These have sustained me.

One of the kindest, most powerful things you can do is to tell someone you are praying for them. Then actually do it. I do not do this enough, but I am going to really focus on building my prayer life and being an encourager of others.

Prayer works, Praise Jesus! I am a testament to that.

I am also blown away by the number of former students of mine who have reached out to me in love, faith and support. Nikki, Anna, Sheila, Taylor, Maddie Dee, AJ, Kaitlin, Lauren, Kyle, Brandi, Ashleigh, Brooke….. The list goes on and on, reminding me that being in the classroom is exactly where God wants me to be.