Friday, September 28, 2012

The Jolly Lolly

My youngest child has a penchant for sweet things.  This is, I suppose, somewhat natural, but I think he has gone a little overboard in his love for sugary treats.  I try to moderate the intake of sweets and desserts in our home, because we all know that too much junk food is bad for you, right?

When Paul and I went to Charleston, we wanted to bring back something for each of our children.  We found a wooden cutlass for Josiah, and beaded bracelets for the girls, but nothing we saw seemed appropriate for Daniel.  That is, until we found a giant swirly lollipop!  I knew from the moment I saw it, that it would put a bigger smile on his face than any toy or trinket we could bring home.  So, I caved in and bought it…

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His delight is quite obvious in the picture, even though I told him that he could not eat it all at once! :)

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I really wonder how many licks it will take to eat the entire thing.  Has anyone ever finished an entire giant lollipop, or do they get tired of it and throw it away after a few weeks?  Just curious!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Pleasant Surprise

Anyone who has ever bought a major purchase (think house or vehicle) has been surprised at one time or another.  My first car had some serious surprises.  We are talking no AC, bad vacuum system, among other things.  Our first house had some surprises, too.  Nasty mold hidden behind paneling, due to leaks (of course, they said there were no leaks), non-functioning appliances – you get the picture.  This house we recently purchased was relatively free of these unpleasant surprises (we saw them all before we bought it – well, except for the termites).

The other day, I was in the back yard, plotting and planning my landscaping makeover (this will definitely be a long-term project) when a flash of color caught my eye.  Over by our dilapidated fence, some beautiful flowers had bloomed beneath the Crape Myrtle.  It was such a pleasant surprise that I had to take a few pictures.  I am not exactly sure what kind of flowers these are, but I think I will let them stay in my little garden plot.

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Aren’t these lovely?  I love nice surprises like this!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Together

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“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”  - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I just want to say how thankful I am for my husband.  God has given us over twelve wonderful years together.  We have had good times as well as difficult times, but in each season, God has enabled us to lift up and encourage one another.  I thought this picture was a rather apropos description of our lives together.  Two people with one shadow, separate but joined, standing side by side, showing a strength that comes from unity.  The shadow is long, indicating that we are continually being stretched, growing as God works in our lives.  By His grace, we will continue to live in the light of His love and care.  I am so glad that God’s plan was for us to be together! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Romantic Charleston

From time to time – like once every three years or so - Paul and I manage to escape for a few days together.  One of our favorite places to visit is Charleston, SC.  The beauty and history of the city appeals to me greatly.  It is almost as if we travel back in time to a more relaxing era. 

Two weeks ago, we spent a few days in Charleston.  After the hectic schedule of this summer, it was a welcome break for both of us.

One morning, we sat and watched the sunrise coming up over the Atlantic.  It was lovely.  Those of you who know me well, will be surprised that I actually got out of bed early enough to catch a summer sunrise (I am not a morning person at all). :)  It was so serene and peaceful, the cool morning air blowing on our faces, and rising sun warming us as we sat on the bench.  Ahhh…

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Here we are, taking our famous self-portraits again (I think they turn out better than having other people take them for us)!  You can tell I got up early – I look a bit weary!  :)

 

 

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They say that every cloud has a silver lining, but this one was definitely golden.  The sun turned those clouds on the horizon to a molten color that was breath-taking in its splendor.  God is so good to give us beautiful things to enjoy here on this earth.  Sometimes I wonder at the fact that He could have made everything in shades of black and white, which would still be amazing, but He took the time to make such a glorious world for us to enjoy.  What a great and loving Father we have!  He is worthy of all the praise and worship we can give Him!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Office/Guest Room

Well, one of our dreams was not only to have a place where Paul could study for his messages, write his books, and keep up his correspondence, but to have a place for people to stay when they come to visit.  When I first saw the house, this particular room grabbed my attention! 

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You can see the large built-in desk right in front of the window – perfect for studying!  This room is located right next to the master bedroom, and across the hallway from the downstairs bathroom.  It is also perfect for a guest room!  The door you see going off on the right is a large walk-in closet that is now housing my Christmas decorations and CVS stash!  (By the way, that seems to be dwindling… better get back to those coupons!)

The room was stark white, with guess what (?!) – a wallpaper border around the top.  The carpet reeked of cats, and was stained and threadbare in places, so it had to be replaced.  For the walls, I chose a lovely “neutral” green called Seamist  (it is also in several other rooms because I loved it so much!)  It was a relaxing, calming shade that I felt was not too girly to be in a man’s study (Paul does not do girly), while still matching my personal taste and style, such as it is! :)

This room really had the least amount of work to be done, so it was our kid central station while we were working on the other rooms in the house.  They hung out here and watched movies, played dolls, and fought amongst themselves. (Hey, I have to be honest!)  Here are Esther and Daniel with the one-eyed babysitter…

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When I uploaded my pictures, I found all kinds of weird shots of strange things that I know I didn’t take.  Hmmm… This picture of Esther reveals a whole new realm of speculation. 

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I wonder who took all those odd photos?

This is the first after picture, with new paint, new carpet, and a whole new look.  Of course, since then we have added blinds, bookcases, and other office equipment.  (We also put the doorknobs back on after painting, for those of you that are wondering.)  I am looking for a bed to go in this room since it is, after all, our guest room. We have an air mattress right now, but I am looking for something a little more permanent.  Just have to wait for that perfect yard sale find!

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Here is Paul, sitting at his desk to study.  You can see the few still-packed boxes of books stacked under the desk and next to the wall.  We are planning to build some floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in this room, to help with our library storage (we have a lot of books).  For now, though, we have just a few bookshelves in here for all of his theological books and history/hobby volumes.  It is a work in progress, to be sure.  He loves it, though, and it is an answer to prayer – every preacher needs a place to call his own and get away from it all to study the Word!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

School Days

With all of the hoopla of moving, school really crept up on us quickly this year.  I had (thankfully) ordered all of our books in the spring, so they were waiting, no – lurking – in a corner, threatening my summer happiness each time I happened to catch sight of them. 

However, life must go on, and with it comes schoolwork.  We were still moving and renovating the house when our  set-in-stone first day of school arrived.  I dragged out the books, and, flying by the proverbial seat of my skirt (can you do that?), I started school with no lesson plans made.  Argh!  Where was my brain? I hate it when I do that.  The kids do so much better when they have a plan to follow!  Anyway, that is the terrible truth.  I was unprepared. 

The good news is that we managed to get through the first crazy week, and a few subsequent crazy weeks, but now things have settled down into our normal routine.  Can I have a big “Woohoo!” right now?  :)

I did manage to snap some pictures of the kids on the first day of school.  They aren’t creative, artistic, or even great photos, but they are my babies, and I love them.  I think that their pictures capture their little personalities so well.

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Josiah is in sixth grade this year – I really can’t believe it!  He is a responsible and tender-hearted boy, who works hard and is a good student.  He gets more and more like his dad all the time.  It cracks me up!

Abigail is in third grade.  She is as ornery as her picture indicates.  She loves to help in the kitchen, and is also learning to sew a little.  It will be a fun year.

Esther, my first-grader, is a sweet, affectionate child.  She gives hugs that literally take your breath away.  The violence of her affection amazes me! :)  She loves to help in the kitchen as well, and her favorite thing to do with Mama is scrapbook! yay!

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Daniel, while not in school yet, had to be a part of the fun.  As you can tell, he is a crazy little boy who likes to ham it up for the camera.  These are the blessings I see every day – some days I appreciate them more than others, as you mothers will understand.  I do love them, though, and I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Heritage Handiwork

Many years ago (at least 25), my mother began working with my great-grandmother (Little Gramy) on a quilt for me.  They chose the pattern, a Sunbonnet Sue variety, and then began working.   Little Gramy made the blocks, since she was famous for her beautiful quilt tops.  The fabrics were also special.  Some of them were chosen from scraps of previous projects – my mom’s maternity dresses, mother-and-daughter outfits, or shirts that had been made for my dad when he was a child.

My mom did the embroidery on each bonnet, stitching flowers and French knots in lovely detail.  The quilt top was done, but for years it languished in a chest, unfinished.  Several years ago, my mom came across it again and passed it on to me.  I didn’t really know what to do with it, since I have never quilted anything.  I wanted to finish it, but really didn’t have the time or the equipment for a project that size. 

Enter my mother-in-law.  She has made dozens of lovely quilts over the years, and I approached her about helping me finish this special quilt.  She gladly took on the project, and when we moved into our new house, she sent the finished quilt to me as a house-warming gift!  What a lovely surprise!

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Isn’t it beautiful?!  I am so thankful for this piece of my heritage, wrought with care and love, preserved over many years.  Each time I look at it, I am reminded of the women who gave of their time to make this special treasure for me.

Here are a few of the individual blocks, so you can see the detail a bit better.

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Now it graces my bedroom wall in a place of prominence, and every morning when I wake up, it is one of the first things I see.   One day, I hope to pass it on to my daughters and I hope that they get as much enjoyment out of it as I do!

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Do you have a special family possession?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kitchen Pictures

I was advised that my album links were bad after I uploaded the pictures of the kitchen.  Sigh.  I don’t know what went wrong – some of the pictures posted, while others did not.  Here is another attempt.  If this doesn’t work, you will all just have to come and visit!  :)

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All the wallpaper is removed – what a job!

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Ewwww!  Termites!

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Paneling and woodwork

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Sweeping up wallpaper scraps – there were a lot of those!

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Preparing to prime and paint.

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Priming done – what a mess!

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Dark paneling is now gone – and the floor is prepared for new linoleum.

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Beautiful new floor!

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All painted!

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Moving in…

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Finished product.  I like it!

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New fixture globes from the ReStore.