Bridget Chandler stays busy with family, work, church
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
May 28, 2013 | 1473 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Twenty-five years ago, Bridget Reaves stood in a House of God and vowed to love and honor the man standing before her. That man was David Chandler of Albertville who, about three years before they married, had opened an optometry practice in Jacksonville.

They met at the First Baptist Church two years before they exchanged vows. They were introduced by a friend one Sunday morning. David called Bridget and asked her to go to dinner with him that night.

Bridget said they’ve had a wonderful life together. “We’ve been very blessed,” she said.

They have three daughters. Chelsea, who just graduated from the University of Alabama with a major in Spanish and minor in biology, will study optometry at the University of Alabama in Birmingham this fall. Courtney is a sophomore at the University of Alabama studying criminal justice and history. Cristen will be in the 10th grade this fall at Jacksonville High School.

Bridget is the daughter of Martha Reaves and the late William O. “Bill” Reaves. She graduated from Jacksonville High and Jacksonville State University with business and education degrees.

She managed Parisians in Birmingham before her marriage and, after her marriage, taught at Ohatchee High School. When her children were born, she realized she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Although she didn’t work outside the home, she stayed busy with her children, working in her church and helping David in his practice.

“I’ve always worked in the practice,” said Bridget. “Now, I’m hooked up by my computer at home and I can work from there. I take care of all the business affairs. We work well together. He does his part which is the clinical side, and I do mine, the business side.”

Bridget and her family enjoy working with the Honduras mission effort at their church. David and the girls spend a week in that country each year, while Bridget stays home to take care of the office.

“Our church stays busy much of the year, preparing supplies, medicines and even holding a yard sale to raise funds for the mission project,” she said. “It’s a year round effort. I’d love to go sometime, but right now, it’s just not possible.”

Bridget learned to sew and cook from two special people in her life -- her mother and her grandmother, Mary Brown.

“I’ve told my girls many times that as a major in home economics in college, I didn’t actually learn to cook or sew there,” she said. “You already have to know how to do these things before you get there. I was taught how to cook and sew at home by my mother and grandmother. My mother made many of my outfits I wore growing up and both my mother and grandmother were wonderful cooks.”

One of the first things Bridget remembers helping her mother make was spaghetti.

She believes what she learned from them helped her later in her own life as a wife and mother.

Nothing suits Bridget better than getting in her kitchen and preparing meals for her family.

Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmail.com.

Recipes

Grape Salad


2 c. red grapes
2 c. green grapes
1 c. sour cream
1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 ½ c. chopped pecans
1 ½ c. brown sugar

Cut grapes in half. Combine sour cream, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and mix until well blended. Add creamed/sugar mixture to grapes and stir until well mixed. Spread this mixture evenly in bottom of casserole or serving dish. Combine pecans with brown sugar and mix well. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over top of grapes. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Corn Chowder

4 oz. diced ham
½ stick butter
1 ½ c. diced onions
1 bay leaf
¾ c. white bread crumbs
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 c. water
3 c. chicken broth
3 c. diced potatoes
2 cups half & half
2 c. canned or frozen corn
1 T. salt
1 t. pepper

In a large saucepan, saute’ ham in melted butter for five minutes. Stir in onions, add bay leaf. Cover and cook slowly 8-10 minutes or until onions are tender. Blend in bread crumbs. Remove bay leaf. Mix in water, chicken broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer, loosely covered, for 20 minutes. Saute peppers separately in a small skillet in 2 T. butter. Stir in prepared peppers, half & half and corn to potato mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook until corn is tender.

Coconut Pound Cake

1 c. shortening
1 stick butter
3 c. sugar
6 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. evaporated milk
1 t. vanilla
1 t. coconut flavoring

Mix butter and shortening together until well blended. Stir in sugar gradually. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add small amounts of flour alternately with milk, starting with flour and ending with flour. Add vanilla and coconut flavoring. Mix well. Pour batter into greased and floured pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Cool and remove from pan. Frost when completely cooled.

Icing

8 oz. sour cream cheese
1 box confectioner’s sugar
1 stick butter
2 t. vanilla
1 c. coconut

Mix together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly add sugar, vanilla and coconut. Spread evenly over cooled cake.

Chocolate Nut Pie

2 unbaked deep dish pie crusts
2 pkgs. semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 c. pecan halves
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
2 t. vanilla
6 large eggs
4 T. butter

Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over bottom of pie crusts. Top with nuts. Lightly whisk together eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Pour liquids over ingredients in pie crusts. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
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Bridget Chandler stays busy with family, work, church by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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