Monday, November 23, 2009

Catching Up...

Ok...I'm so far behind on my blogging, I'll never get caught up. So I thought I'd share a few highlights of what we've been up to...

Most recently, we've celebrated a couple of birthdays around here... Will turned 11 and DH turned 41. Since both their birthdays happened to fall on a Wednesday, we decided to go out to eat with friends after church. However, I (the one who usually always has her camera with her) forgot to take it along, both nights! So no pictures to share (except the one I did take at home). In addition to eating out on his actual birthday, Will also celebrated with a party here at home with some of his friends. This year we (or rather I) opted to forgo the usual theme party (which as you probably know, quickly adds up to be quite expensive) and had a variety of foods along with a cake I made myself. And the kids just played... with no organized activities. And I must say they all seemed to enjoy themselves very much! And so much less stress for mom!

He prefers brownies to a cake

the kids playing at Will's party

He didn't care that the icing barely concealed crumbling cake layers (lol)
We also enjoyed our church's annual fall festival on the Saturday morning of Will's birthday party. After the fun and games and hayride and lunch, the children were all given a pumpkin and a carving tool my kids and some of their friends decided to carve their pumpkins at the party. They had fun and the pumpkins turned out quite cute, I think!

My family joined a new home school support group this year, as our local group has pretty much disbanded. There seems to be fewer and fewer of us in my county who continue to homeschool. Most are opting to send their children to the local Christian school. I can't complain, since that is what we did with our oldest child when he was in 9th grade. He is very competitive and into sports and our homeschool group has never been big enough to support a sports program. I love living in "SmallTown USA," but there are definite downsides to rural living... so we sent him. He did very well academically, socially, emotionally...I just missed him...alot! And now our daughter wants to go next year, as she will be in 9th grade.

Needless to say, I really want to continue to homeschool, but I also know how important sports are to her. In the meantime, I joined a larger group in another county (still it's not big enough to support a sports program), hoping that she will enjoy other activities and make new friends. Recently we took a field trip with this group to an orchard and enjoyed a corn maze, a hayride and a pumpkin patch!

DH is off work this whole week and oldest son is home from college...yaayy! We won't get much school work done these next few days, but that's ok...we enjoy having the extra time with them. We'll be heading out to Alabama in a few days to spend Thanksgiving with our families. We're all looking forward to that! I am thankful for the time we will have with them. I am thankful for so much! The Lord has been good to me; I am truly blessed!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by those you love most...Blessings!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What Jesus Is Teaching Me

Hinds Feet on High Places...we just finished reading it yesterday. My friend is reading it right now, and as she has said, I think that it has blessed me as much, if not more than, it has blessed my children. How much of the main character (Much-Afraid) I can see in myself! How I so very often give in to my Fearing relatives and listen to their voices, inviting them into my abode! How so often I forget to call out to my Good Shepherd and listen to His voice, instead! God, help me to seek You all the days of my life; give me hinds feet so I too can run to meet You on the high places; help me to humbly and gratefully learn the lessons that You are teaching me on this journey.

Children of the World...the Lord recently used this team of children to minister to me and to my family, as well. They are an international children's choir comprised of 15 orphaned and disadvantaged children from several different countries around the world. This inspiring group travels across the U.S. for 10 months, putting a voice and face to the desperate needs of children whose lives have been devastated by civil war, famine, poverty, unclean water, and preventable diseases. It also allows the mission field to be brought to you.

I cannot adequately express what the Lord has taught me through these children! We were a host family to two of the little girls for two days while they were in our town. Their presence in our home opened our eyes to how very blessed we are, and sadly, how very spoiled. We take for granted (and I'm just speaking for my family) the basic necessities of life, even clean drinking water! Drinking water!!! No thank you, I'll have sweet tea, please. See what I mean by spoiled? They were so excited when I made green kool-aid to serve them!

No one has ever had to convince me that children are precious and a gift from the Lord, but being with these children most assuredly cemented that feeling in my mind and heart! I can't begin to tell you how the Lord has burdened my heart for orphans! I certainly pray (along with my family) that He will open for us the door to adoption. But in the meantime, there are other ways in which we can help meet the needs of these precious boys and girls. Our church has agreed to raise $15,000 to provide a well for a village in an underprivileged country. Our family has committed to sponsor two children through this organization. All three of my children volunteered to give up their allowances to help us sponsor these children! Because they volunteered without our even suggesting it, we agreed to take half their allowance to help with the monthly commitment. God certainly softened their hearts as much as he did my dh and mine. It will be a sacrifice for our one-income family, but hasn't my God promised to supply all my needs through His riches in glory?

I know that there are many worthy charities who seek to bring the gospel to hurting people while providing for their basic needs. However, if you are interested in having this special group visit your church, I would encourage you to visit their website, to find out more and to see their tour schedule.

My children with Pashi and Aljane
Playing balloon toss

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Calendar Says it is Fall...

The calendar says it is fall here, but the weather doesn't seem to agree. But then again it rarely does in south Georgia.

We spent the latter part of September putting in a swimming pool. The above ground type. We did all the work ourselves and it has taken us quite awhile. But it has been a worthwhile project for our family to undertake. It has been so good for us to work together! We're still not completely finished. The pool is up and it is filled; the deck is built, except for the rails around it and the steps to get up onto it. But the children have managed to improvise (lol). And they are enjoying it despite the fact that even though it still feels very warm outside, the temperature of the water is only about 78 degrees F. Sounds warm enough, but although 78 degrees is warm in air, it is not so warm in water.

So, I've only had a dip in our new pool twice. And I think that is going to be it for me this season.
But I imagine the children will probably continue to enjoy a few more afternoons in it!

Daughter and Son taking a turn using the tiller to prepare the ground for leveling
Father and Son, "shooting measurements"

Working together

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Right Where God Wants You

I have posted this link to a blog that I enjoy reading so that you, too, could read this and be encouraged. I don't know about you, but I sure can become discouraged looking around at my circumstances sometimes. So many times I fall into the trap of thinking that if my circumstances were different, how much happier I'd be...if only I had a bigger house, if only my husband were more romantic and attentive, if only my children would get along with each other all the time; lately it's been "if only we could sell our house and buy a farm"...blah, blah, blah. For that is really what it is, just a bunch of blahs. The Lord knows exactly what each of us needs in our lives, and He has our best interests at heart. He can be trusted even when we think everything is going all wrong. How encouraging it is to remember Joseph and his plight and how God worked everything out for good.

So, hop on over and take a look at Kate's post. I'm sure you'll be encouraged, just as I was! ALBRIGHT ARCHIVES: Bro. Ron's sermon on Joseph#links

Monday, September 28, 2009

Houston, Texas

Greetings from Houston, Texas! Dh has a class in Houston for three days this week, so we decided that I would tag along. We drove to Alabama to leave our two younger children with my sil (eldest child is in college) on Sunday morning. We had a nice lunch and very brief visit with my husband's father, then we were off to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.

This was my first time flying, so I was very excited! My, how crowded and busy the Atlanta airport is compared to others I've been in (seeing my hubby off on trips)! My husband told me that it is the busiest airport in the world. I believe many people, so many nationalities! LOL... What can I say? I've mentioned before that I'm a country girl from a tiny little rural town in south Georgia. (Actually, I'm a transplant...I grew up in a tiny little rural town in Alabama.)

Well, the flight was great, with no problems. A little minor turbulance here and there... made me think we were driving down our dirt road (lol). When we landed at Houston-Hobby Airport, I couldn't believe the crowds at all...everything was moving at a much slower pace than at the Atlanta airport! The only problem we encountered here was that the secretary at dh's work forgot to reserve a rental car for us...which really wasn't a problem, as we were able to take care of that ourselves. So, all in all, a nice trip out here.

I took alot of shots of everything, from people in the airport to planes coming and going, to tremendously awesome views from the sky. The only problem is the computer I'm using here at the hotel doesn't have an sd card slot. So unless I buy a usb-cable connector while I'm here (I didn't bring mine along), I will have to wait and post pictures when I get back home.

I'm looking forward to sightseeing around Houston...can't wait for dh to be out of class today! He has to do all the driving when we are in big cities. I have no sense of direction and can get lost in a hurry. He bought me a Garmin gps last Christmas, but I'm afraid she is a little like I think she has no sense of direction either!

Well, I'll post more later!

Friday, September 11, 2009


"Where were you when the world stopped turning?"... Doesn't really seem like eight years, does it? I can only imagine how it must feel for those who lost loved ones on that morning, September 11, 2001.

I, probably like you, vividly remember where I was... what I was doing... when I got the call. I was sitting at the kitchen table with my then 5-year old daughter, working on her phonics. My oldest son (then 10 years old) was occupied with his school work. My then 2-year old son was quietly playing.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Letting Go...

Letting go... saying goodbye... whatever you want to call it, it is hard. You tell yourself it's time, that he's ready, you're ready...but are you really? I know he is, but am I? My momma heart says no.

I can't write what I am feeling right now because as I sit here pondering it all, I feel that uncomfortable lump in my throat, and the words blur as my eyes fill up with tears for the thousandth time this weekend.

So, until I can adequately express my thoughts here, I will just leave you with some photos of moving day...
father and son, trying to get the wireless connection for their laptops
son and roommate, still working on the wireless connection
all settled in now

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A New School Year

We started school this week. So far, so good...

I always look forward to the new school year! I get excited about our new books, what we're going to cover for the year, etc, etc. The kids get excited about their new books...for a little while anyway (lol). The newness wears off quickly once we settle into our routine...getting up early again after being lazy for most of the summer seems to be hard for us. I always say I'm going to be more disciplined through the summer break -- stay on a schedule, not letting them sleep in so much, continuing with our reading, etc. -- that lasts for about a week! So it is usually a little difficult to get back into the swing of things for us.

But I have to say this week has gone relatively smooth...considering it is the last week that my oldest son will be here with us - tear, tear - and we have been somewhat busy getting last minute things ready for him. Tomorrow's the big orientation for him, letting go for me. But, I digress...

I was a bit concerned about what curriculum we would use this year. I had intended to use Heart of Dakota for both of my kids. A good friend of mine uses that with her kids and they absolutely love it! However, we had some 'slight budget restraints' this year...the truck needed a new tire, the van needed 4 new tires, among other things that needed to be replaced, college fees and amazingly overpriced college textbooks (which was a very large sum despite the fact that I bought them on for half the amount it would have cost in the college bookstore). Anyway...with all the other things clamoring for our money, I decided to just buy the bare necessities this year and use all the other stuff that I've purchased over the years and never got around to using.

I decided that both of my kids need a good dose of grammar study this year, so we are using Easy Grammar for both my 8th grader and my 5th grader. My daughter (8th grade) is using A Teaching Textbook's Pre-Algebra, Apologia's General Science, Sandi Queen's The Standard of Modesty Bible Study for Young Ladies, a writing unit and copywork passages from Learning Language Arts Through Literature, and a few biographies and some other classic works of literature to round out her language arts.

My son (5th grade) is using A Beka Books 5th Grade Arithmetic, Apologia's Zoology series for science, cursive handwriting practice and spelling lists from A Beka Books, and some of the books he will be reading this year are Christian Liberty Nature Readers and biographies of some great Americans like Noah Webster, Billy Sunday, and Ben Franklin.

We also spend time reading together each day. I read to them from the Bible each morning, as well as from books which have spiritual significance. For instance, right now we are reading a readaptation of John Bunyan's classic, Pilgrim's Progress. I also try to read biographies to them; we are reading Eric Liddell by Catherine Swift. For history, since I have SO many books about American history on my bookshelves, I decided we would spend this year delving into American history. Right now we are reading George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster.

The Lord is so good; He provides! I may not be using what I thought would be the best for them, but He knows what we need and He always provides. I am excited about the new school year and I can't wait to see what it holds for us!

some photos of Kate doing her first science experiment of the year...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Simple Things

I just finished reading a friend's post over at At His Feet.... She has posted some pictures of her girls in a sunflower field. Simple things...that's what she talks about. How right she is! It is amazing how much joy we can glean from the simple things in life if we will only take the time. So many times I feel like I am rushed or on the go too much to truly appreciate life's little treasures (provided by God, of course).

Lately though, God has been speaking to my heart about this. You know from my previous posts how my children and I have been trying to make a little sanctuary in our backyard to attract birds. We have truly had a delightful spring and summer from that little bit of effort we put forth. We sit outside on the patio or at the kitchen table and watch the birds come to our feeders and birdbath. We keep a basket with bird guides and binoculars handy and when we see a different bird, we pull out that field guide and learn all about the bird. What joy we have found in this simple little act!

Another "simple" act we enjoy is just sitting outside with the puppies. They are so playful, we all sit and laugh just watching their's hilarious...and so good for us as a family. Laughter is good bonds us together.

Another simple pleasure for me is a daily walk my husband and I take each evening down our dirt road. Sometimes the kids accompany us, sometimes it's just the two of us. And lately, the puppies have been tagging along. It's amazing how much joy I have received from just taking a walk! But really, it is more than a walk...the talks dh and I share...the flowers we see on the side of the road, the bugs we see (and try to identify, lol) scooting across our path, and lately the deer tracks that my husband stops and points out to me ("let me show you how to tell if it's a buck or a doe," he says). I don't know how much of our walk is truly exercise (lol), but I do know that it is definitely food for the soul.

God knows this, and He wants us to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. It is His way of blessing us. I don't know about you, but I sure feel alot less stressed and alot more blessed when I use the eyes He gave me to enjoy the simple (yet amazing) beauty that is all around us.


Monday, July 27, 2009

On the Road Again...

You may remember that I posted a while back about my dear fil having hip replacement surgery...well he was never able to return to living alone at his home. He has been living with his daughter and her family. She (and her family) have gone on a short vacation for a few days, so we drove to Alabama to stay with him. We've had a nice visit, and my sil will be back today.

My dh decided to combine this trip with a business trip he had to make anyway. So my neice came up to stay with fil and my kids, and I came on this trip with dh to corporate offices in Birmingham, Alabama for two days. I'm enjoying my time alone with dh, but I sure do miss my kids. Will be glad to see them tomorrow ;) I went out to sit by the pool to read, but all I could think of was how much fun my kids would have in the pool if they were with us. Sad, I know, but dh is not here with me during the day and I can't help but think about my kids.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Our Beach Vacation

We are back, and I am missing the beach already! My family loves the beach and we usually choose a beach vacation each year. Sometimes we go other places on vacation, but usually it's the beach.

My husband loves to go to different beaches, and this year he found a place for us to rent for the week at a place called Indian Shores, Florida. It's between Clearwater and St. Pete Beach, in the Tampa Bay area. It was so nice.

I love everything about the beach...playing in the ocean, snorkeling, searching for shells, building sand castles (as well as other creations from sand), sitting under a big umbrella reading a good book, feeling the breeze on my face and the sand under my toes, watching the beautiful sunsets. I love sitting on the balcony at night, listening to the waves crashing on the peaceful. Yep, I'd love to retire to a little place on the beach some day :)

Of course, I really love all of God's great creation. From listening to the waves crashing on the ocean shore to seeing beautiful mountains ablaze with color in the fall to just sitting in my own backyard in the evenings listening to the crickets chirping, I enjoy it all. Isn't He grand to share all this beauty with us? And shouldn't we be so grateful? He is so good!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Independence Day Celebration

Our July 4th celebration lasted all weekend long.... on Friday, we bought a few "little" fireworks to do at home. We always have fun...even if they are not the big magnificent ones that we see at fireworks shows!
On Saturday, the 4th, we played outside (well, first we did alot of yard work...trimming shrubbery, etc.) Then dear hubby grilled out for us...yum! The puppies enjoyed a leftover bone from our meal!

We went to see the "big" fireworks! Here we are waiting for the show to begin...

Watching the fireworks....

And on Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed our time at our church's annual picnic at the lake....and there was much fun to be had by all...from swimming in the lake to watching the kids from the shore or the dock...from riding in the boats to riding the jet skis...from tubing to skiing. And of course, there was all the great food!

Of course, we had a great time. And this weekend is certainly a reminder of how blessed we are to live in a nation where we have so many freedoms...especially the freedom to worship the One, True God in a right and proper manner. And may we always remember those who gave their lives to ensure that we live in a free nation. While we owe our forefathers and the service men and women a debt that can never be repaid, may we never forget the One who gave His life to truly liberate us from darkness. How grateful I am to be blessed so abundantly by a God who loves so greatly!