Abigail Howell, age 22, of Glennville, is proud of the life she and her family have built together.
“I am so thankful for the life I have,” she said through tears. “I am thankful to have my parents and in-laws by my side, no matter what. My husband and son are the light of my life and bring me so much joy. I hope they each know how much I love them.”
Abigail grew up in a big family. She is the oldest of six close siblings: Jacob Smith, 21; Mason Smith, 19; Jaxon Smith, 16; Rylie Smith, 13; and Kennedy Smith, 9.
“We are all very close and especially love to aggravate one another. I am thankful to have grown up in a large family,” Abigail said. “I would like to thank my siblings for always being there, whether it is for a good cry or a good laugh. I will always appreciate the life we grew up with.”
She is the daughter of April and Jonathan Smith of Collins. Her parents taught her and her siblings many life lessons and provided them with advice to last their lifetimes.
“My mother taught me how to be independent and to always strive for what you want in life. My father showed me just how important it is to maintain a work ethic – you must work for what you want in life. I am thankful for all their life advice to make me the woman I am today,” she said.
Abigail met the love of her life, Tyler Howell, six years ago while attending Tattnall County High School. The sweethearts married in November 2019 and welcomed their baby boy, Greyson, a year later. Greyson will celebrate his second birthday this September.
“I want to thank my husband for all the love and support he has ever given me. I am thankful to have him by my side in life as a husband and father,” Abigail said.
Most of all, Abigail enjoys spending time with her family, at home or traveling. She also enjoys her job at MaxPower (a division of Rotary Corporation) in Glennville as an E-Commerce Analyst. In this role, Abigail maintains and uploads new items between Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Tractor Supply.
“This profession is one that I truly did not know existed. MaxPower is a retail company for lawn mower replacement parts. I had a lot to learn, because I was not familiar with any of these items, much less knowing what they do. This was a really big jump for me, and I cannot say enough about being given this amazing opportunity. I am thankful for my Rotary/MaxPower family,” she said.
Abigail is thankful for her job experience at Smith Farms in Cobbtown, where she worked for three years. Monica Smith brought in Abigail when she was 16 years old. This was Abigail’s first job, and Monica taught her most of what she knows about being a leader, taking initiative, and being a good coworker.
In the kitchen
Abigail is the cook of the house, a skill she learned from watching her mother cook every day growing up. She now has a helper of her own; Greyson is getting to the age where he wants to help Abigail and Tyler do everything. He loves to help them measure the sugar for tea and to help wash dishes.
Abigail’s favorite food is chicken tacos, and she admits she could eat tacos and cheese dip every day of the week. She also enjoys making a pot roast since it is relatively simple to cook in the crock pot.
Abigail Howell’s Recipes
(From Yvonne Rush)
1 pkg. Oreos
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3-1/3 cups cold milk
2 pkgs. Instant French Vanilla pudding mix
1 (8-oz.) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
Crush Oreos. Set aside two tablespoons of crumbs for the topping. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar. In another bowl, whisk the milk and pudding mix for two minutes. Add to cream cheese mixture; mix well. Fold in whipped topping. Place half of the cookie crumbs in the bottom of the bowl. Top with half of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle on top with remaining crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
MY DADDY’S DUMPLINGS
2 Tbsp. Roasted Chicken Better Than Bullion
2 to 3 pounds chicken breasts or thighs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick cold salted butter, cubed
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
3 quarts water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
In a large pot, add chicken, 2 tablespoons Roasted Chicken Better than Bullion, and water, and boil until chicken is falling apart. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Then add in 2 tablespoons of cubed butter. Combine, using your fingers, fork, or pastry cutter. Pour in the milk. Mix it all together. Dust your counter with a generous amount of flour. Place dumpling dough on the counter and dust it with more flour. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4” thickness. Be sure to add flour as necessary to keep it from sticking underneath or to your rolling pin. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, start cutting out your dumplings into squares. Dust dumplings with a bit more flour. The extra flour is all going to help keep them from sticking but will also thicken your chicken broth some as well when you add them to the pot. Make sure you add a little more water that has evaporated while cooking so you have approximately 3 quarts with the chicken; shred chicken with a fork and stir while it’s at a slow boil. Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream and the rest of the stick of butter to chicken mixture. Begin adding dumplings one at a time so they don’t all stick together. Stir frequently while adding them. Allow dumplings to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes on low-medium. You should notice your broth starting to thicken (from the extra flour), and your dumplings may start to sink a little to the bottom because they are soaking up the broth. (Do not walk off and let them stick and scald). Take one out and taste test it. It shouldn’t have a doughy taste anymore.
3 lb. chicken breasts, cut into nuggets
3 cups Mt. Olive dill pickle juice
2 cups milk (marinate chicken for at least 4 hours)
Mix in a gallon-size freezer bag - 1 cup flour, 1 cup plain bread crumbs, 1/2 cup baking powder, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 2 tablespoons seasoning salt, and 1/2 tablespoon parsley.
After chicken has marinated for 4 hours, heat peanut oil to 350 degrees F. Drop chicken nuggets into Ziploc freezer bag with breading and shake thoroughly. Once oil is 350 degrees F., drop no more than about 10 nuggets into the oil. Once they reach a golden color, pull them out individually, using tongs. Place on a wire rack for cooling.