Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winding Down 2010

One of my 2011 resolutions needs to be to do a better job at blogging. I think about it.. I even say "I need to put that on the blog."  But life has a way of happening and I get caught up in it and don't blog.

I didn't think I would ever get in the Christmas spirit this year. Not sure I ever really did.. at least not the way most folks do. God has a wonderful sense of humor. Christmas Eve night I slammed my foot.. little toe to be exact... into the leg of a chair and did a bit of damage... swelling and bruising commenced... I was certain it would be fine by Christmas morning. Nope!  Couldn't walk on it at all. So I spent Christmas and the day after sitting with my foot propped up ... being waited on others. I say often that I want a day like that... I lie! LOL!  I got tired of it quickly and then it hit me..... like so many things in my life, it is about control. I wasn't in control and it was driving me nuts. Could my husband and son really bake the brunch casserole (which I had made the night before) as well as I could? Would we have all the foods I planned? Would it be done "right" (which means done my way)? 

Guess what... we had plenty of food and it was great... it was a lovely day and whether it was done my way or not, it was right.  It ended up being one of the most relaxed days I have had in a very long time. That was the best Christmas present ever, just wish I could have gotten it without the pain in my foot! LOL!

As always, my husband decorated the house in and out... it was magical... here are a few pix....

Mia loves to chew on our coco mats!  We have tried so many things to stop her, but nothing has worked. See her handiwork on the bottom corner?

This next photo has nothing to do with Christmas. It is just so rare I get a good photo of Mia.  I think she is an Amish dog and fears taking her photograph steals her soul!  I caught this shot of her truly by accident. 

Mac stood at the front door while I took pictures. He couldn't understand why I was outside without him! LOL! Look at that sweet little face watching his Momma.

My husband will tell you he doesn't care for wiener dogs... he prefers big dogs and wants a chocolate lab. Ha!  I have evidence that he spoils them... he is giving them a sausage and cheese ball (actually a pinch off one not a whole one each!) They both adore they Daddy! 

On a different note... I do a word of the year each year... well, I have for the past 3 years. My 2010 word was Change and it has been perfect!  There have been a lot of changes in our lives... 1 child graduated from High School (I homeschooled him all the way.. no more homeschooling is a big change!)... and he started college... the other graduated college. She was headed to grad school in another city.. ended up staying home.. is working.. and seeking God on what she needs to do next. Lots of changes with my level of activity at church (all good!)...  changes in income as retirement deposits and insurance premiums have gone up.. but also changes on deeper levels... and with priorities.  So it seems fitting that here at the end of 2010 I would make a big change. When I was a little girl I had long blonde hair... then in junior and senior high I went short.. Dorothy Hammil Wedge!  In 1996 I mentioned I needed a hair cut. My husband said "Let it grow" so I did. Over the years I have had small trims and given hair to Locks of Love twice.. 10" once and 12" another time. On Dec. 16 I donated 14" to Locks of Love and then got about 2" more cut off to create the new do.

Here is a before and after of the back of my hair:

I am pretty sure the friend who cut my hair added all that gray in the process! I don't remember it being there! LOL!  Maybe that is another one of those 2010 changes!  Wonder if 2011 will bring more...

Happy New Year Y'all!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

We had a most wonderful Thanksgiving this year.  I truly think it is my favorite holiday.  Unless we are traveling to see family, we open our home to anyone who needs a place to come. Over the years we have had a number of elderly widows (friends of my mom's), an exchange student, and friends who are estranged from family or live to far away to go visit.  This year it looked as if we would have just the 4 of us and my mom.. which would have been just fine. But at the last minute, God sent us some folks to love on.... 2 of my daughter's co-workers and a friend of my son.

My husband is very artistic and loves to create lovely decorated tables for the holidays. He is a master at using things we have had forever (many bought at thrift stores or on clearance) and he always brings touches of the outdoors inside. Here are some photos of this year's Thanksgiving Table....

I think the kids and I take for granted having such a lovely table, but our guests always love it and feel special because of his efforts.

I wish I had taken a photo of the table filled with people.. it was a lovely sight.

After the big day, we spent the rest of the holiday hanging out at home.. enjoying each other's company... working on various craft projects... watching movies... reading... doing yard work (the boys not me! LOL!)... Mac and Mia loved having everyone home.

Mac guarded the iron while I was sewing....

but his resistance was weakened by the sunshine and he fell asleep....

Mia enjoyed sitting and sleeping in the sunshine too.... she is our pretty princess girl and she knows it!

Mac snoozed with on the bed with out daughter....

and Mia choose the couch.. I found this position interesting!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Here's looking to a lovely fun Christmas season!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Catching Up... Looking for Fall... Flower and Garden Show

I have been woefully negligent with blogging.  I am too busy enjoying the journey to blog about it, I guess!   We are in search of Fall here. I live in the deep South and Fall isn't really a season here. It is more like a guest for a few weeks.  We have had hints.. some cooler temps and breezes.. but then the heat and humidity came back. I think they were jealous of the attention we were giving the crisp cool weather.  That taste of Fall is enough to send us into Fall mode. My husband is a very artistic and creative fella and he loves to create with flower and leaves and such. He had a blast decorating the house for Fall.

Here is our front door....

I love that he also decorates the back door. You have to come through the garage to get here, so pretty much the only folks who see this are us... he figures we deserve some loveliness too!

Of course there has to be some decorating inside too...

the Breakfast Table

I was given some pears... these are just a few... they have been peeled and sliced and cooked until nice and soft. Tomorrow they get pureed in the food processor and then they get turned into Pear Butter.  My first time to make it.  Hope it is good!

Last Friday, Hubby and I went to a Fall Flower and Garden Expo. It is in a small town south of us and is a huge deal. The largest show of its kind in the Southeast with 1000s of folks coming. It was really lovely and I am sure it will be come a regular excursion for us. Here are just a few pics of things we saw...

That is the joy I've been finding on my journey... I hope you find a bit every day as your journey through life.  Look for it.. it is there!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Semper Fi!

I have a number of nieces and nephews (and now great ones too!).  My niece, De'Ana, was the first.. born just 19 weeks after my 9th birthday... the last is my nephew, Collier, born 1 day after my 27th birthday. Most of the crew lean towards De'Ana's end of the age spectrum. In fact, my mother call all the grandkids born before my daughter (who is 19 months older than Collier) the big kids.  My 2 kiddos and Collier are the little kids... although at 23, soon to be 21 and 18 they are not so little any more!

Being wedged in age between my 2 kids, Collier and my 2 spent a great deal of time together at our their house.. and often at Mamaw and Papaw's house.  In many ways I feel like Coll is one of mine.  I have no doubt he has no concept of house much I love him. He has one of the best smiles that stretches all the way to his beautiful blue eyes.  There is a mischief behind those eyes and a wit that is very similar to his dad.  Like my kids, no matter how grown he is I still picture Collier as a little boy with a blond bowl haircut running around laughing as he played.  

Today that sweet child of my heart graduated from Basic Training and is now a Private in the United States Marine Corps.  I am proud for him and of him! I know this was more rigorous than I can begin to imagine, but I also knew he had what it takes to persevere... and persevere he did!

Funny thing... when I look at this picture of Collier.. the man... the Marine... I still see glimpses of my Collie-Bug behind those serious eyes.

I love you, Coll....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Turn Around and You're a Young Man Walking Out the Door

There is a song from the 60s called Turn Around.  Part of it goes like this...
Where are you going
My little one, little one
Where are you going
My baby, my own

Turn around and you’re two
Turn around and you’re four
Turn around and you’re a young girl
Going out of the door 
I am experiencing a bit of this today... only it is a young man who walked out the door. The younger of my 2 children... my son... had his first day in college today.  I am not nearly as emotional about it as some thought I would be. This child was born running towards an independent life.  But it is still one of those moments where you stand back ... watch... remember... and ponder what is ahead.  
I sent an email to my husband that said "The strangest thing happened today. I was in Luke's room this morning... he was playing in his crib all cuddly and sweet... I turned around to put some things away and when I turned back he was up and dressed and headed out the door to college!"
I feel as if it really were just that fast at times... but then I also have 18 years of memories that prove it wasn't quite as quick as that. I had the privilege of homeschooling my son from 1st grade through graduating this past May.  I would not trade one minute of that time with him and his sister (whom I homeschooled from 5th grade on).  It was a precious season of my life. And soon I will be able to sing more of this song and a new season will begin...
Turn around and you’re tiny
Turn around and you’re grown
Turn around and you’re a husband
With babes of your own 
"And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him." Luke 2:40

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bath Time!

Mac & Mia are our 2 miniature long-hair dachshunds.  Bath time for the pups is always a trip here.  Mac normally jumps in the tub before we are ready and we have to lock him out while Mia is being washed or he will jump in with her too!  Mia, on the other hand, hates water with a passion.. except to drink.  The fall out afterwards is the best!  Here is a video (created by our daughter) of the fun. Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Super Summer!!!!

The title of this post isn't a rousing endorsement for the summer... although it has been a good one so far... super HOT, but good!  Super Summer is a Camp... a Christian leadership camp for students. You start the summer after 8th grade and go through the summer after your senior year.  The cool thing is you stay with the same group of kids for your entire run. Some will drop out along the way, but no new ones come into your group. Each year you are in a different Color School... the main track is red, blue, yellow, green and purple. From the time you finish red school your goal is to get to purple school.

Now I have to stop and say there are ways for kids to come into the camp who haven't gone the main track. There are other schools set up for kids who jump in mid-stream... silver, gold, brown etc.  It is all about the colors!

And there are a ton of kids there! I believe this year, which had record numbers, was close to 1500 kids. How terrific is that!!!

And each night they have a big rally with a worship leader and speaker... it is their Rainbow Celebration... very cool! Lots of Bible study.. small group discussion... mission projects... some free time and rec each day.

And friendships... the kids who stick with Super Summer year after year make so many friends.. many they only see at SS each July... others they will run into throughout the year. It is not unusual for my son to see someone and say "Hey, don't you go to Super Summer at MC?"  They might not be in the same color school, but they have seen each other from year to year.

My son started SS the summer after 8th grade and has gone all the way through... today is his last day of Purple school and I must admit I am a bit sad. I have seen him grow into an amazing Christian leader over the last 5 years... and part of that growth is the result of Super Summer and of the people he has met there. It has also been a very special time for him and his best friend. They met when they were 5 and are like brothers. They room together each year (and oh my the things they take for their room!).

With all the color themes, the kids go crazy.. some more than others. You dress in your school color... many dye their hair to match... paint faces etc.  Each year each color school has a name... some I remember are the Green Meanies... True Blue... Purple People Eaters...

My son and his buddy got together and spray painted some shirts for them to wear...

they both got one that says this...

and my son did this one for himself...

                                                                     "Speak Love"

and then when they got to SS, their purple school leaders gave them their school shirt...

They are the Purple Pandas. I like the panda on the shirt alot.

In about 90 minutes I will pick my man-boy up for the final time from SS. Seems like yesterday he was coming home from red school (1st year) and telling me all about it.

I feel certain he will be back as a worker in the years ahead. He loves SS and he knows the value of it.  Still... it seems like there have been a lot of endings this year... and yet I know the beginnings are coming soon....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We're having a heatwave.....

Heat is the norm in my part of the US 3/4 of the year... but whew!  it came back early this year! And it came with a vengeance and the humidity decided to kick it up a notch and play while the rain ran away to cover other parts of the world.   So what does this mean for me & mine? Well... it means running errands early in the a.m. and being inside with the a/c during the heat of the day (which arrives around 10:30)... it means vehicles that run hot and need water added regularly... it means dogs that come in panting and flop on the cool floor after being out 5 or 10 minutes at most ... it means mowing the yard and then watering it so the grass doesn't burn up... and it means sad flowers...

We have lots and lots of daylilies in our beds... big bright fiery orange daylilies... even my friend, Jules, who doesn't care for the color orange would love them... and much to my delight I noticed a few bulbs a day or so ago and today we have a gorgeous lily...  but just 1 so far.

Normally I have a sea of them.  But here is why the sea will be a trickle this year...  the heat has devoured our plants and even though we have watered, they just don't thrive as well on tap water as they do on rain.

My shasta daisy greens look well, but there are very few blooms.

I think I need to remove my welcome spring banner and replace it with a summer one!

No pix, but we still have purple and white petunias blooming like mad.  I thank God for every little bit of color!  It is but a minuscule glimpse of what we will see in Heaven!

On a different note.. summer here brings some of the best and yummiest goodies.. fresh veggies!  A friend gave me a big bag full of green beans. Cooked half of them earlier in the week. Have the other half going tonight.

I normally cook nice and healthy, but I decided to honor my Southern heritage with these green beans and loaded them up with ham.  No bacon fat though!  The Ham is bad enough, but oh they will taste sooo good!

The official first day of summer is still over a week away.. someone forgot to tell the South!

Stay Cool!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm Still Here...

I cannot believe it has been a month since I posted here!  Life has been rather full and at times crazy. But all in all good!  I have been working on a number of quilting projects lately.. you can read about them and see pix on my quilting blog.. the Quilting Belle 

Church has me a bit busy right now.  We just started our summer session of  FAITH ... an outreach program we do throughout the year.  Normally we go out on a week night, but this summer we are making our contacts on Sunday afternoons.  Great time to reach folks, but whew!  it sure is hot!

I love our church... it is far, far, far from perfect.. mainly because it is made up of human sinners just like me!  But it is one of the most caring and real groups of people I have ever known.  And we have a pastor who preaches the Word with boldness and grace.  Check out our blog:  Come to the Woods .. you will find some great messages and encouragement there.

I received the sweetest card in the mail recently from a new friend. She is a scrapbooker and loves to make cards.  Isn't this cute!?  I love pink and green! 

I have also been cooking a lot lately... for others!  Friends who have been in the hospital or had deaths in the family.  I've baked several pasta bakes and chicken spaghettis and of course, Mississippi Fudge Pies.  My hubby tweaked and experimented with a recipe years ago and came up with this amazing creation. (Just might be one of the reasons I married him!) It is now a tradition for our family to give this to friends and neighbors for Christmas, births, deaths, illness.. any occasion that warrants food.. and in the South that is pretty much anything!  They aren't the prettiest pies in the world. They puff up while baking and then fall as they cool.. but oh my the taste.. pure fudgy goodness.. especially with some whipped cream on top!  Hmmm... I have one in the freezer.. maybe I can think of an occasion here that calls for pie!

Be Blessed and Joy-filled!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What a Week!

This past week has been a full one here leading up to one of the biggest "bestest" weekends in our family!  On Saturday, May 8, 2010 our older child graduated from college and our younger child graduated from High School. Yep, all on the same day! It was truly a whirlwind!  College was at 10 a.m.  High School at 4 p.m. We hosted an open house at our home between the 2 and then had folks follow us home for a kick back party afterwards. It was a day FULL of blessings!  I can never truly put it all down in words.  Here are a few pictures from the day....

Our Family

 Our Crazy Kids!

Time to Celebrate!!!!

Mother's Day was this weekend also....  Church... loved Baby Dedication!  Wonderful Message and Worship!  Hubby grilled out (YUM!)... then an afternoon movie and little cat nap!  Got some lovely flowers from hubby and the kids.... and some neat happies including a great journal!

These are actually for graduation.. the white are for me and the pink for our daughter, the college grad.. the one pink at the top with small darker pinks were given to me by our son, high school grad, at his ceremony... yes, Momma cried a lot of Saturday!

These are from the kids.. Son picked them out.. He knows his Mom well.. I love BRIGHT and PINK!

Do you see a color theme here? 

One of the best presents for me this weekend came Saturday Night... after everyone had left and the house calm.  My Husband had place candles around our yard and patio in these neat Luminaries we got last year.  The effect was amazing!  I sat out in the glider swing and just drank it in!  After a week of 80s and 90s with horrible humidity, God sent us a day in the 70s with breezes and no stickiness.. it was a treasure!  These photos really don't come close to doing the setting justice, but you can get a bit of an idea...

That is just a taste of our big weekend..... earlier in the week I discovered some blooms in our Iris... so beautiful...

The pups went to visit their friends at the vet's kennel this weekend. With all the folks coming in and out and our going to and from it seemed best for them... but today I am missing them!  Ready for tomorrow to get her so I can get some puppy kisses.  It will be Miss Mia's 1st Birthday... I hope she is speaking to me! LOL!  She was not happy about the kennel one bit!

Be Blessed and take time to look for the joy in the journey.. it is there!