Sunday, August 15, 2010

Update with Blessings

Well, after posting my Friday fill-in and promising to return with pictures my computer died! Yep. Dead. Blue screen. Beeping. Not pretty.

I have the equivalent of a brain surgeon for a computer fix-it guy/husband and by last night he had me up and data lost. I do not take this for granted. I am blessed.

This afternoon he had to tell me how to operate the machine sitting on my desk, but I can at least converse with the world again. Yay!

This morning I took a few minutes and wrote out the blessings we encountered this week to try and get my focus BACK into right perspective. Here are a few:

1) After being told Mark's car was totaled, the insurance company priced the estimate and we will have some money to put down on a new vehicle.

2) We have good insurance so once the issues are ironed out (which I'd rather not share on my blog, since it involves others outside our family), Ashley's accident will be covered.

3) My daughter is fine. She only has bumps and bruises, although it looked like it should've been worse.

4) On Thursday our family doctor said to come in right away. He saw us within 5 minutes, even though the waiting room was full. (Sorry, folks.) He did a VERY thorough exam and confirmed that Ashley had no shearing or bleeding in the brain.

5) We still have a car to drive (and share!)

6) I still have all my pictures and documents...amazing.

7) We can still have fun. The gang is upstairs painting the girls' room yellow, pink and purple. I'll show you the renovation when we're done.

The Lord walks with those who put their trust in Him. He didn't change; just our circumstances. The One who could be trusted 2 weeks ago when things were going well, can still be trusted when trouble is around every corner. He is faithful and that's what I choose to focus on today. Nothing else.

I'll continue my project 365 updates later this week.

Have a blessed Sunday, everyone!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Fill-In & Update

You can join Janet's Friday Fill-ins for a quick post today.

1. Music is melodic Scripture to my soul.

2. Quiet time is what I like first thing in the morning.

3. The first thing I said this morning was, "I'm stressed out; leave me alone." (not proud of that one!)

4. Potluck BBQ; it's what's for dinner tonight.

5. It's all been a little too much lately.

6. Praying and crying is what I feel like doing right now.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting to know Mark's worship group better, tomorrow my plans include housework, laundry, etc. and Sunday, I want to get a good night's rest for the water park on Monday!

**Sorry it's a little melancholy. Since Wednesday morning, we've encountered the news of a totaled car (my husband's accident the week before), a 90 day letter of termination for my husband because his government contract is ending, my daughter's car accident in which she shattered the windshield with her head (she's fine after time in the ER and Dr. office), and the news that we may have issues with the car insurance. # 5 & 6 is just how I feel, but I TRUST COMPLETELY that all of this is not news to God and that He has us safely in His Hands.

When I am afraid, I will trust in You. Psalm 56:3

**I'll be back later with a project 365 update.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Project 365: Week 29

If you've been following along, I'm updating my daily picture project for the summer. I was supposed to post my pictures every week, but it didn't happen. Life happens. I'm catching you up this week so I can get back into the groove of things and connect with Project 365 pals this weekend. Here goes...

Sunday, July 18

This is one of my mother-in-law's famed dinners. It's simple to make and delicious. You can find the recipe here.


The boys headed out early Monday morning to spend a week in the Bahamas on a Boy Scout Seabase Adventure.


Science Experiment time. The girls and I set up a crystal garden growing kit.

Just two hours later it was already beginning to grow...

Four hours later, a little more...

Before going to bed, this is how far it had come.


We awoke to a beautiful garden ten hours later... (a little more snow on the "grass")


It didn't change a lot, but here we are on the third day! Wouldn't time lapse on this project have been fun. Too bad I'm not that technical.


Katie is my little foodie around here. She took a regular cream puff, one of her favorite treats, and kicked it up a notch with chocolate syrup and powdered sugar. Then she snapped a picture. I have a food blogger in the making!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Random Dozen is Back!

Come join the fun at Lid's 2nd Cup of Coffee. Just cut and paste her questions, share your unique answers and link back to the Random Dozen Meme. It's that simple. You'll have fun, I promise.

1. When was the last time you laughed until you cried?

The last time I laughed until I cried was when I saw this video on my husband's IPhone as we're pulling into church on Sunday morning. What a fun way to start the day!

2. If you found $10 today, what would you do with it?

Tuck it in my wallet and save it for paper, office supplies or chocolate - my splurges. OR, give it to a needy college student - whichever came first.

3. Do you volunteer anywhere?

I've spent the last 3 years setting up a library at church and volunteering as a leader and registrar in my daughters' American Heritage Girl troop.

4. What is your favorite summertime veggie or fruit, and how do you eat it?

Green Beans - Sauteed. See the recipe here.

Love all kinds of fruit - blended in a cold frosty smoothie. See recipe here. And...maybe a cold slice of watermelon. Love that too. (A three for one answer! We like our food around here, what can I say.)

5. Is your social sphere (circle of friends) small, medium or large?

How subjective! At first, I thought, small. My closest friends are limited, but I have a wide range of good friends. So my answer is "just enough for me!" That'll leave you guessing. :)

6. When was the last time you attended a family or school reunion? How did that go?

My kids, mom and I attended a family reunion at the end of June. It was a lot of fun; see this post.

7. When you're feeling blue, what is the best way someone can cheer you up?

Not much. I usually have to find a way out of the blues myself. Flowers and chocolate help.

8. Have you taken a vacation this summer?

We took a trip to clear out Grandma's house. It did not feel like a vacation. My boys went to the Bahamas. I saw the pictures. I'm hanging in there until our annual vacation this fall.

9. What is the most unnecessary item you carry with you all the time?

Gum. I hate gum, but my girls like it.

10. What is the best summer flick you have seen so far?

Despicable Me - loved that movie. (I want a glow-in-the-dark minion!) Need to see Inception.

11. Describe a perfect summer day.

One with air conditioning, a cold glass of lemonade and maybe an old movie or good book. Now, if you asked me to describe a perfect autumn day, I'd have the details. I survive the summer. Be gone, hot weather, be gone!!

12. Please a share a favorite photo from the summer so far!

Peppers at the Farmer's Market. Gorgeous!

Project 365: Week 28

Sunday, July 11

This is a shirt I bought while in the Midwest. I do not wear loud clothes or orange. This shirt is both. I LOVE it. Don't know why, but I would've paid full price for it (but didn't!) We've all got to have something our kids can blackmail us with later. BTW, it was bad lighting/kid operated camera that made my face red - not the color of the shirt. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.


The girls were invited by friends to go to a local water park for the day. Here they are waiting just outside the front door. They were ready to go!


I inherited my Grandma's quilting and embroidery materials. Here is part of the embroidery stash. She had thread that cost 15 cents - love that. (I'm guessing I'll have to check for colorfastness.) She also had a set of Farmer's needles. I don't know what half of them are, but look forward to finding out. I love carrying on the traditions that Grandma left behind.


I needed quick and easy meals to cook once I got home. This one is fast and delicious. See the recipe here.


Speaking of 8-year-old snapped some pictures of her brother while he was getting his hair buzzed off. I included a pic of him with a full head of hair so you saw the transformation. Why do guys love to fool around when getting a haircut? (Am I jealous? maybe.) Anyway, we got a laugh out of the curly Mohawk, but I think he looks best with a short shave. Perfect for the upcoming vacation.


We needed to get shoes with non-marking soles for Rhett to wear on the boat in the Bahamas. We went to Sports Authority and the girls hung out under the tent awning in the entry way while the boys made the purchase. The girls pretended to be mannequins and people coming into the store got a good laugh!


Eat. some. cake. This one is to die for. See recipe here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Project 365: week 27

Today is the third installation of my Project 365 catch-up! If you'd like to see what's been happening around here this summer check out any of the Project 365 posts that I've put up in August.

Sunday, July 4th

We didn't go out and see fireworks this year, but watched the National fireworks on tv via PBS. It actually made us cry to see our hometown's spectacular display and miss it. We knew right where Mark, Grandpa, Ashley and Rhett were as they watched the fireworks over the Mall. Although we were homesick, we made the best of the night. The girls collected their own "fireworks" - fireflies! Several evenings they headed out to the backyard to chase the the flickering bugs. Their top score was 30 in one jar.

Wallpaper. Do you have any memories of your grandparent's or great-grandparent's homes? I remember wood burning stoves, outhouses, wringer washing machines, clocks, quilts, gold painted rooms, but I will never forget Grandma's favorite wallpaper hanging in her kitchen. It just makes me smile because it is "Sooo Grandma!"


This is the last time we'll be at Grandma's house. We may drive by years from now, but it will be like my childhood home - just a memory. It will have another owner's stamp on it. We miss you, Grandma!


We drove to the cemetery on our way out of town. Grandma's grave will be dutifully colored with seasonal flowers thanks to my uncle. I'm looking forward to her getting her gravestone. We say good-bye, one last time.


The car is PACKED! jam. packed. Every available space is being used. Even then, our 4 foot Santa, that the girls stipulated "HAD" to come home with us, had to catch a ride in Grandma's car. At first Santa was in my passenger seat, but when we got laughs at the ice cream stand I figured I didn't need Santa riding shotgun thousands of miles across the country. Now that would've been a good picture!


"On the Road again..." Yes, my mom was listening to Willie in her car and we often serenaded each other over the walkie talkies. It's always so good to reach the hills/mountains of West Virginia. Then we know we're almost home. Love the flat corn fields too, but the mountains have my heart.


It's so good to sleep in your own bed after three weeks! I awoke to my girls and husband making animal pancakes in the kitchen. While we were gone, Mark's mom sent him a cookbook that he had used as a kid. They opened it up and provided a fun breakfast.

I spy an elephant and a duck? ostrich? We had many representations of the animal kingdom and they were all delicious!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Project 365: Week 26

Hello, Friends! What a busy summer! I'm sure it's been that way for you too. I'm sorry I haven't been hanging around blogworld that much, but I have been enjoying my family and getting some things done.

Even though my Project 365 buddies are far ahead of me in posting their pictures, I'd like to spend this week catching up. I've got lots of pictures to share and want to have them posted for posterity (and for family far far know who you are.)

Since I left you with a prayer request, I will let you know that the boys made it home safe and sound and had a wonderful time in the Bahamas. Can't wait to share some of those pictures with you too. So stop by each day this week and see what's been happening this summer in my family!

Sunday, June 27th - Family Reunion

My immediate family has never been to one of our family reunions and it has been over 20 years since I've been to one. We had such a fun time! It was so good to see my cousins who were in their early 20's when I saw them last. Needless to say, we've all changed a lot.

FOOD - My son knows that I come from a southern family, but he has never seen so much fried chicken, potato salad, oyster casserole and jello salads in one place before. He said it was a southern feast and it was! Love coming from a family of good cooks!

FAMILY - My Great-Aunt Ellie was holding one of the newest little ones and I knew Tara would be making her move! She can't resist a baby. In the second picture she's gotten her way. Hang on little guy! Ashley got in on the baby-holding and I wondered how many years from now will she be holding one of her own. She'll be a natural!

FUN - My cousin, Ray, brought a game called Washers for the whole family to play together. It's a lot like Horseshoes, but portable. The plywood box has sand or carpet lining the bottom with a center pvc pipe circle for the goal. Rhett got roped into playing and did well. Katie was desperate to try and got her wish.


My family, my Aunt (left), and my mom (right) all celebrated my Uncle's 60th birthday. The girls gave him dog toys (to play with his dog) and homemade cards. I'm sure it's been a while since he's received such thoughtful gifts! :)


When I was a child this tower was sheer terror for me. I am extremely afraid of heights. I wanted to share the tower with my girls since they don't share my fear and I made it out alive with only yelling once, "Don't lean over the side!"

Tower Background: The Peoria Heights Observation Tower is a one-half million gallon water tower with three observation decks on top. The decks are designed to provide an unobstructed view in all directions. This structure is the only one of its kind in the country.

View of the Illinois River - where I grew up.

My brave observation party!


Some things are best as memories. As I was clearing out Grandma's house I came across these two records. I would lay on the floor by Grandma's record player and play these two over and over again. Lee Greenwood's "Love Song" is my favorite! I just wanted to snap a pic and remember the good times.


We had to get out of the house! So I took the girls to the SMALL local library to get some books. Their whole library was smaller than our kid's section back home, but it was good to get out and do a little reading together. Here the girls occupy themselves with toys while I peruse a current magazine.


One of my favorite bloggers, Traci, at Beneath My Heart, loves Hobby Lobby. There are only TWO stores in all of Virginia (cause I just stopped typing and googled to find out.) Thankfully, one is on the way to my daughter's college. I will be making an extra stop from here on out.

Anyway, I saw a Hobby Lobby while in IL and stopped in to see what all of Traci's fuss was about. Oh, MY! I redecorated my home mentally while I was there. I LOVED Hobby Lobby! LOVED, LOVED, LOVED! Words can not describe.... Thank you, Traci, for singing the praises of Hobby Lobby. I will be shopping at a store near me. (or one at least a few hours away.)


We held a garage sale to get rid of Grandma's things. It was so hot and I wasn't even thinking of taking photos. However, at the end of the day, my girls climbed into their uncle's truck while we loaded items to be taken to a church for donation. Such a "country" thing to do for two city girls.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Project 365: Week 25

Hello, Friends! What a busy summer! I'm sure it's been that way for you too. I'm sorry I haven't been hanging around blogworld that much, but I have been enjoying my family and getting some things done so I'm ok with taking the time off.

Even though my Project 365 buddies are far ahead of me in posting their pictures, I'd like to spend this week catching up. I've got lots of pictures to share and want to have them posted for posterity (and for family far far know who you are.)

Since I left you with a prayer request in my last post, I will let you know that the boys made it home safe and sound and had a wonderful time in the Bahamas. Can't wait to share some of those pictures with you too. So stop by each day this week and see what's been happening this summer in my family!

Sunday, June 20 - No Picture

Monday - no picture (sorry, frantically packing!)


A field of concrete corn? Read about this sight here. See close ups here. It's near a hotel that's our home away from home!


We don't have Steak N Shake where we live so it's one of our favorite spots on our way to the Midwest...Brownsburg, IN, here we are! This is part of the crazy crew!


Not long after parking in Grandma's driveway, we found a little froggy friend. (This with a point and shoot camera; I love my Nikon!)


After two days in the car we climbed back in and drove four more hours to attend a family reunion. We made a stop at Dairy Queen for lunch where Tara quipped, "Mom, I'm a spoonicorn!" That girl needed some fresh air! :)