Monday, January 28, 2008

Mama's Lasagna


Sunday for lunch, Emily made my mama's lasagna. It was so yummy. It wasn't quite as pretty as it should have been. Her crazy mama forgot to tell her to put the hamburger in the casserole, so we had to go back and try and raise the noodle level and tuck in the hamburger in. :-) It tasted just as great, just not as pretty!! Artie shared a plate with a friend who couldn't believe that an 8yo made it. (That reminds me of a wonderful blog entry I read yesterday - talking about how to start training you your daughters when they are young and not waiting until they are 12 or even 18 trying to teaching them how to care for a home)

Here are the directions for the lasagna ...
1 large can of tomato puree
2 cups tomato paste
2 cups water
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Then add...
1 cup onion (we just used onion powder)
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 pounds browned hamburger
Mix in bowl...
1 pound ricotta
1 pound mozzarella
1 egg
Layer in casserole pan...
sauce, noodles, cheese
Repeat.
Sprinkle with Romano cheese.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
My mama was such a good cook. This is one of my favorite dishes!!!

Friday's Stamping Class



Here is a picture from the girls' stamping class on Friday night. I tried to get a good picture of Susan - the group's teacher/leader, but she kept running from the camera. I am hoping next time that we can get a good picture of the girls with her!!


Susan is so great to open her home every month and teach the ladies. They have so much fun. This counts towards the girls' art in school. (cause, their mama sure isn't a very good teacher in that subject!!!)


Here are two of the cards they made (uploaded from Susan's blog)...


Troy's Haircut


Troy had his ROTC promotion ceremony last week. Here's Artie cutting his hair, so he will pass inspection.
I am so blessed to have a husband who can do anything!!! Troy said it was the best haircut he's ever gotten.

Emily's Rachael Ray - American All Star Burgers



Emily's cooking turned out great last week. Here she is with her Rachael Ray burgers.

Menu Plan Monday



Here are our plans for the upcoming week. I have some hamburger left over from yesterday's lasagna - so we are gonna add it in to some vegetable soup tonight.


Monday - vegetable soup

Tuesday - Ham, Macaroina and Cheese , .....

Ray's Chicken Cordon Blue Roll-Ups - Emily's school recipe this week

Ravioli and Cheese Bake (from the Kraft Food and Family cookbook) - Brenda's school recipe this week

Jim's Casserole (didn't have this last week)

Roast, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls (left from last weeks plans)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Return of the Daughters

videoI'm so excited. I just ordered a new video I've been wanting to get. It seems to go so with the desires we have for Brenda and Emily.

Check them out. I'll let you know how the video is when it comes in. We'll watch it with Artie and the girls and then study it more in school.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Blog Roll




I've been working on my blog a little this morning. There are some new blogs added in my blog roll on the left. Check them out. There's some good stuff there.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dawn's Meme

Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight had a cute meme. I thought it would be a fun one. I so love books...

Here are the rules...


Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
Open the book to page 123.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the next three sentences.
Tag five people.

(I did cheat a little, the first book I picked up (Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola) didn't really have 3 good sentences on that page. I used a book that I like page 123 better) :-)

This is from my all time favorite book. It tells about Emilie's life growing up...


Those were hard years after my father died, when Mama and I shared three rooms behind her little dress shop. Mama waited on the customers, did alterations, and worked on the books until late at night. I kept house - planning and shopping for meals, cooking , cleaning, doing laundry - while going to school and learning the dress business as well.



The Spirit of Loveliness by Emilie Barnes





Okay, so if you read this - tag you are it now. Please leave a comment and let me know if you take up the challenge. :-)



Things Checked Off Today's To Do List - So Far...

1. Heat up Artie's breakfast - Jimmy Dean Croissant

2. Gather Artie's lunch - 5 Day Rachael Ray soup leftovers (the soup was wonderful!!)

3. Run twins through the bath

4. Oversee twins drying and dressing for school

5. Help gather coats, shoes and book bags (Stephen still ran off and left his book bag here)

6. Help Stephen finish his homework - lot of good this did since he forgot his book bag!!

7. Take twins to elementary school (we overslept a little this morning and missed all the buses)

8. Stop and pick up MORE milk - I don't know anyone who goes through more milk that we do!!!
9. Take Troy to high school

10. Prepare Brenda's school assignment

11. Prepare Emily's school assignment

12. breakfast

13. breakfast cleanup

14. Check e-mail

15. Write Susan back

16. Work on a surprise for Artie (shhhhhh, don't tell)

17. hang out Brenda's comforter and one of Troy's blankets on the clothesline

18. wash Artie's work clothes

19. gather all dirty dishes and take to the kitchen

20. gather all dirty clothes and take to the laundry room

21. clean living room

22. sweep living room

23. help Terry with his morning work - dress and shoes, breakfast and breakfast cleanup, brush teeth, make bed, dirty pj's to laundry room, take bathroom trash to outside trash can, practice writing his name

24. work on blog

25. unload and load dishwasher

26. check blog feeder - By Sun and Candlelight, Real Learning and Money Saving Mom are my favorites right now

27. fix lunch for Terry - Ramen noodles - he loves these things and begs for them. I try to have them at least once a week for him.

28. work through today's mail

29. gather all dirty dishes and take to kitchen

30. gather all dirty clothes and take to the laundry room

31. set up video for Terry - Talking Letter Factory - Leap Frog

32. plan dinner - wrestling night - sounds like pizza!!!

33. lay out Artie's clothes for work tomorrow (pants and socks, the rest are in the wash)

34. fold up dry clothes

35. hang Artie's work clothes on the clothesline

36. wash twins clothes

37. ......


When I look around my house - it doesn't look like I've gotten much done today. I need to clean my porch, dining room, more in the kitchen, bedroom, wash more clothes, cook dinner, lay out clothes for Troy's ROTC Promotion Ceremony, go by the bank, go by CVS, eat some lunch ... but at least, I can look back and see I have got a lot done so far. Much more to do and the rest will still be there tomorrow!!! :-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Countries


I've had so much fun with my blog. I am getting to talk with people from around the world. It's weird to me that there are people reading what I write!!

Here are the latest coutries I've had readers from...

Costa Rica - this is my good friend Gwyn - who doesn't leave me a note when she drops by!!!!

Canada - I've had my cousin Terri read some I think, but there are other people from other places in Canada too.

United Kingdom - I'm hoping this is my friend - Phillipa - but not sure??

Australia

and Greece

It's so much fun to meet people from other parts of the world. If you drop by, please leave a little comment and let me know you were here and where you are from. :-)

Teaching My Children to Read

This is the 13th year I've been a homeschooling mama. We've gone in lots of different directions over the years with all children at home and then some children at home and some in public schools. We've always had someone home except the one year Brian and Troy were both in public school - 4th grade and Kindergarten - and I volunteered at school that year with Brenda a baby in tow.

Currently we have the two girls at home and all the boys (except Terry who is only 4) in public schools. Artie and I feel that it's a man's place to be out in the world and a woman's to be home - so we might as well start them on their way. I would rather my boys learn to handle school in elementary years rather than be thrown in at high school or college age. My girls are already learning to be Keepers at Home. That still might change. Maybe as Troy gets older, he might have the opportunity to work with his daddy and then homeschool in the evenings or down time at work? Who knows, it seems to be different every year here!!

One of the things that has always scared me is teaching the children to read. Brian went to a Christian public school after a very hard first year Kindergarten homeschool program (that was wayyyy to hard for him). We went into debt to get him in this school. What were we thinking? We soon transferred him to public school and still took a couple more months to pay his back tuition. So, I didn't really teach him to read.

Troy went to public school for Kindergarten and first grade and then to homeschool. So, I didn't teach him to read either.

Brenda homeschooled Kindergarten - and didn't learn to read that year. Then she went to public school and the first grade class already knew how to read. The teacher made me feel very lousy and behind. So, I didn't teach Brenda how to read either!!!

Stephen and Bobby went to public school for Kindergarten and currently for first grade. They are reading well, but I didn't teach them.

Emily went to public school for first grade and didn't learn how to read - many in her class were - she just wasn't ready. Each child really moves at their own pace. (one of the great advantages to homeschooling) So, when school started this year, we started at the beginning with her reading. She has reviewed her letters and is doing great learning. Just today she finished her second box in Hooked on Phonics. She has learned her single letters and now her blends. Tomorrow we start on Box 3 with the ending blends - st, mp... We've enjoyed it so much. Finally I'm getting to see my child learn to read - WITH ME!!! God's so good. It isn't as near as hard as I thought it was going to be!!! We're really liking reading!!! Both of us!!!

(She's finished the yellow box and now the orange. We start the red tomorrow)



My friend Gwyn is beginning to reteach her son - who didn't learn in his public school either. Please pray for her that this time will be a joy for them.





He's such a doll!!

And FULL OF LIFE!!!! :-)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sandy

Sandy,

I can't get my chat box to work right now - I don't know what's up with it.

The kids go back to school tomorrow (they've been out for 5 days - 1 snow, 1 teacher work day, 2 weekend and 1 MLK Jr day) so anytime tomorrow morning will be good. It's the only day I'm here all day.

Love you,
Kelly

BTW, did you see the old pictures I posted of my cousins Chrissy & DeAnna and Tami & Terri? I guess I shouldn't let you feel left out. I'll have to dig a really good one up!!!! :-)

Do you have my cell number?

My new griddle



This is one of my favorite Christmas presents. We take a present to Artie's family's Christmas and play a Chinese or White Elephant game. I brought a small griddle and wanted to come home with it. I was hoping to exchange it for a larger one. I ended up with a large one in the end anyway. Artie's sister Kathy brought one too. I think his other sister Carolyn got the one we brought.

(Artie got a cool flashlight that you shake to get to work - no batteries - and a small pocket knife)

We've cooked bacon, eggs, sausages, and now hamburgers on them. I think they will be great for pancakes too. Maybe next week???

Menu Plan Monday




Sunday - Rachael Ray's American All-Star Burgers (another of Emily's recipes) These were great. I wasn't too keen on the relish (I don't really like pickles) but everyone else loved it. Emily did great cooking them on the griddle.


Monday - Amish Meatloaf - Trying this one again. Brenda didn't read the direction carefully when she tried this the first time. She cooked all the hamburger meat and was then ready to make meatloaf with it. It's in the oven right now and smells wonderful!!


I'm leaving off the days. We just kinda see what works for each day. This is what I have ingredients for this week....
Chicken and Dumpling Soup - trying it again!!!


Jim's Casserole - This is from Mrs. Connie. Jim use to like it. You fry up potatoes and hamburger and layer it all in a casserole. It's covered with Velveeta cheese. SO yummy!!!


Roast and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls


Vegetable Soup


Skillet noodle pizza


Mama's lasagna - I'm so looking forward to having this again!!!


Wednesday - peanut butter and jelly for littles - Artie and I - out to dinner

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mrs. Connie

God is so good. I thought I would introduce you to one of my best blessings God has given me. Most of you have heard of Connie. All the time I find my self saying "Connie says ..., Connie does it like this...., Well, I know that's bad, but God was faithful to Connie and..." She has been such a source of encouragement to me. I have been reading her teachings for many years now. She holds such a special place in my heart. It's funny to me that we've never met in the "real world" - the feelings I share for her are so much more "real" than for many of the people I am in contact with in my life (there are some exceptions - you know !) :-)

Jim (Connie's husband) passed away last year on Terry's birthday. He was such a doll. Connie would write to the ladies and every now and then - Jim would send out an e-mail to the husbands. Artie always was so blessed to read Jim's writings. He would always tell the men to work hard and love their wives and children. A man who didn't support and love his family - that was unthinkable to Jim - not a Man in the true since of the word.




Connie's Story....

Jim and I met in 1966 - he was 25 I was 18. He was wild and so was I. When we met he had already been in and out of prison for about seven years, and was going back again for two years. We married in the prison six months later. Soon after I had our son. A few months later I miraculously came to Christ. Because of the prison term I didn’t live with my husband for another two and a half years. After being home a year he began a crime spree.

He deserted us over and over again. I had nowhere to turn except to God. No one knew where my mate was. Some of the time my heart would rage like a forest fire out of control on the dry and windy land. I would run and scream like a woman out of her mind searching for her mate in the raging fire. I’d scream curses at God only to faint from exhaustion and weep bitter tears of repentance. I’d get back up, begin running again and fall again and again until finally I’d surrender my will to Christ’s will. And then I’d wait, maybe for another six months, knowing God was in control.

In the beginning I thought about divorce. Well, wasn’t that what a woman does if her husband leaves her repeatedly? And yet Jim kept coming back and repenting. He would mysteriously end up at my back door after being missing for four or five months, looking like a mad man. But beneath the dirt and sun-parched face he was still mine.

I’d bring him in the house, give him dinner, and speak peace and rest to him. I’d run the bath water for him to wash and feel like a man again. Compassion would rise up in my heart - I had the Lord, and my Jim didn’t. I would reverence and praise him.

I would shut the door on the world and be alone with my mate. No matter what he had done to me, we were still one flesh. He was my first and only husband - a terrible, ungodly, unfaithful husband, but he was still my husband. His healing came again and again as I forgave him and opened my love to him. I held nothing back.

There would be times when putting dinner on the table, I’d notice he was awfully late. I’d listen for the car and begin running again and again to the window. The old familiar fear would rage, knowing that he had deserted me again. This scene happened about thirty times in the first twelve years of marriage. He would suddenly disappear without warning. The children would run in from play crying, “Where is daddy, where is my daddy?” I’d tell my little baby Jimmy, “Daddy is sick but Jesus is going to heal him.” I taught my little ones to pray, “Thank you, Jesus, for bringing my daddy home.”

His mother died and no one could find him. My prayers went out to God day and night and seemingly to no avail. The years went on and the crimes continued as if I had no God. I felt like a motherless and fatherless child. I was completely exhausted and my mate committed still another crime and went to prison for almost four years.

I loved him. I felt he was demon possessed and yet he was my husband. Yet at times I hated him. Your arms and legs belong to you even when they hurt, you can’t cut them off. I was like this about my husband. He was mine. I hated it when he deserted me, but I was married to him no matter what. Adultery to me was the worst of all sins. At night before I entered my marriage bed alone I’d cry out to God to keep me pure even in my dreams and that I would never dream of another man.

Many mornings I’d wake up and think, “Lord, why did you give me another day to live?” Often the world seemed so black to me but sweet Jesus would come to me and speak life and joy into my tired and depressed soul. One time God supernaturally took all my burdens away. I forgot he had left me. It was so hilarious. I even wrote myself a note to remember to pray for him.

The day-to-day message from the Lord was, “Now Connie, you just get up out of that bed. You straighten your shoulders and you believe God. This problem isn’t bigger than God. Don’t you prepare your day as though Jim won’t be home. You get up and prepare your home for a miracle.” Each evening when my husband was gone I’d fix supper for him and put his plate at the head of the table. No one was allowed to sit in his chair and no one was allowed to bad mouth him. I ran the house as if he were home.


I survived and lived on the Word of God. I whispered His name all day long. He walked with me in the valley of death and guided me to a straight path.

All our phone conversations at the prison were censored. I’d speak faith into the phone and say, “I’ll see you in a few days, honey.” The guards thought we were planning an escape because Jim had been given a 10-year sentence! People laughed at me and said that he would always leave me and be in and out of prison. The prison guards told me that Jim was institutionalized and was hopeless. Hopeless or not, he was my husband. I knew I could never forsake the Lord by not forgiving my own husband. Also, as a young wife I wanted to be a teacher of women when I got older and I knew I couldn’t be divorced. I’d sing, “Keep me Jesus as the apple of thine eye.”

The Lord would tell me to speak to the mountains in my life and not doubt in my heart. I would speak to the mountain, which was Jim. I would woo him and call him home with my prayers. Every muscle in my body cried out to God to save him. I fasted and prayed continuously.

Jim was healed in 1979. After he had been in prison for the last four years and home for about three months, he asked me to have another baby, our fourth. I was so fearful and yet was praying for Jim to be healed. I said No. I was not going to have another baby. I walked away from him and the Lord spoke to me. “Connie,” He said, “You have come this far by faith. Don’t give up now.” After much heartache I obeyed the Lord my God.

“Yes,” I told Jim, “I’ll have another baby for you.” I placed my future in his hands. When Jim saw that I still believed in his life as a human being something released within him. The fear left his eyes and He was delivered. He lifted his hands up to His Father and received the anointing of a sound and unfettered mind. He began to slowly give more and more of his life to Christ. He took over the bills and began to work steadily.

The Lord did exceedingly and abundantly more than I could ask or think. He gave me joy unspeakable. He showed me He was there all the time. Satan had come in like a flood but the Lord raised such a standard against him. All Satan did was build me a grand testimony.



God gave me a new batch of fruit. I had David in 1980, Dan in 1982 and Mary in 1985. We now have six children. I was queen in my palace. I raised the children for Christ and to honor their daddy. I taught them to jump when daddy walked into the room. I taught them to get Daddy a cup of coffee or honor him in some way.

The guys at work say to my husband, “You don’t go out and drink and party.” Jim says, “I have a wife to go home to. I spend my time with my family.” One guy said, “Boy, when work is over you run home.” The guy thought something was wrong with him!

I sit here thinking of Jim and the man he is now. He has been home sitting at the head of our table for twenty years! Who is this Jesus we serve? Surely He is the Son of the living God - a God who saw me crying and feeling so forsaken, a God who knew the very moment Jim would be healed. Jim is my walking miracle to always remind me that nothing is impossible with God. He showed me that if we don’t give up we would see the glory of God.

Proverbs says, “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.” A woman must gain the trust of a man such as this. His healing comes as he feels safe enough to give Christ his heart and his wife his heart. When Jim was healed he went from not seeing me to taking care of me. He turned from Satan and took dominion over his Eve. He came into his responsibilities as a man. I come under my husband and I don’t desire to do anything else. I don’t always agree with him and I tell him I don’t. But in the end his word is final. I want to be as Esther and not as Queen Vashti.

Dear wives and mothers, don’t give up give up on your husband. He sees your heartache. He won’t leave you or forsake you if you trust in Him. I know for I’ve been to the other side.

Connie



Here is a link where you can read more of Connie's writings - http://happyhousewifery.com/ There is also a Yahoo group if you want more. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Hidden_Wisdom/

I first read Connie's testimony when I was in the hospital with Bobby when he was young and having problems with his breathing in a little tiny magazine - Kindred Spirits. I couldn't wait to get home and look her up online. When I found her group and realized I could actually talk with her - I couldn't believe it. I had no idea what lay ahead of me. She's a hoot to know. She has an attitude, she's a storyteller, she's a writer (who doesn't believe in only one way to spell a word or the normal use of punctuation), she's a visionary, a Revolution leader, she is not one to do things the way other people do them (kinda like Noah building an ark when everyone else was just standing around laughing at him).

I have gained so much strength from her. Survived things I don't know if I would have been able to make it through without her teachings. Everything she teaches points you back to Jesus and his role for you to be a Keeper at Home. May you all be blessed as I was.

DC Talk

videoDC Talk is raining supreme in my house lately. It's so funny. The little kids - from Brenda on down are just getting to know them. Brian and Troy grew up on them. Jesus Freak came out the year Brenda was born. But, it's had a revivial here in the Quinn home. They can be heard playing on CD's, loudly on MP3 Players through earphones, and even on DVD's on the TV. They are everywhere I turn. I am thankful that the children have good music to listen too, even though some days I'm ready to turn it down a little!!!! :-)

So here's my latest DC Talk trivia. TobyMac (all their favorite) is four years older than Artie and me. Brenda couldn't get over that. Kinda like ... but he's so cool, how can he be older than ya'll. He has five children - 2 adopted - 1 sings some with him.

I'm gonna try and get some good singing for ya'll to check them (the littles) out!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Riding in the car...

jumping into the middle of the conversatation ...





Brenda - "Me too"



Emily - "Me too"



Terry - "Me too"



Brenda - "No Terry, not you"



Terry - "Thanks okay, I don't even know what ya'll are talking about!!"


Grandma Moses


I finally decided on Emily's Artist Study for this semester. We are gonna study Grandma Moses. I don't really know much about her - other than she didn't start painting until she was in her 70's. I like that - shows me I have lots of time to still learn new things!! I guess I will learn along with Emily. We will get some books from the library to study over. I do like the feel of her paints - kinda feels like the Amish to me.






So, anyone know any good study ideas for Grandma Moses?

Tackle It Tuesday



So, it's Tackle It Tuesday. Last time I sorta went along and tackled the same thing 5 Minutes For Mom did - Christmas Shopping - one of my favorite things in the world to do. :-)

Today, Mom's Tackle didn't really apply to me (she's working with birthday parties), so I will come up with my own.

I am missing some papers that Artie is wanting to see. He really wants me to write more and I wrote a few things for him over the summer. Now he wants to see them and I can't find them. It's not really I can't find them - I know exactly where they are - they are on my hope chest in a BIG pile of papers and books. So, I'm gonna go through all that mess and find them for him. (don't get excited, I'm not cleaning or filing anything in the pile - just looking through!!) :-)

How do you write if you're not a writer? How do you start? What do you say?

I'm great if someone has a question about my sphere - being a Christian, homeschooling, large families, mothering, children, husbands, ...but to just put my ideas on paper, kinda lost. Any advice?

Anyway, I'm off to find my stuff....


Edited - Okay I did throw away some stuff - but most importantly I found the papers Artie's wanting. They are all nice and crumpled and laying on his side of the bed. :-)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday





We're trying to get back on (and stay on) track for the week. I think I'm still catching up from Artie being off work over Christmas. He went back to work last week, but between taking all the little children to the dentist and then our after school appointments I didn't feel like I got much accomplished. With horseback riding on Saturday - I didn't get to go to the grocery store for our weekly groceries. I'm just gonna see what I can do with what I have in the house and then have a big grocery day after pay day.



Monday - grilled pork chops (Artie's the cook on the grill)



Tuesday - leftovers - BBQ hash, stew beef and baked potatoes, Manwiches - fix your favorite of what's in the frig



Wednesday - chicken noodle soup for the littles (me and Artie out to grab a bite alone while they are in church classes)



Thursday - Little Caesar's Pizza (wrestling night)



Friday - Mama's lasagna



Saturday - Chicken and dumpling soup (Rachael Ray- Emily's school cookbook this year - it's called Comfort Foods)



Emily tried to cook this last week. It turned into a 5 day soup. She had to dice celery, peel and dice carrots and potatoes, chop parsley, cube and brown chicken...it took forever. 30 min? Forget it!!! :-) She did a little bit each day. Yesterday, we went to finish it and I ruined it. I had a new pot and turned it up on high to get the broth to boil to add the dumplings in and the pot melted on the stove. Artie did taste it before it was boiling and said it was the best soup he had ever tasted. It never made it to boiling - I scorched it. I called Artie's mom and she said that kind of pan can't cook on high - it didn't say that on the pan!!! So, I'm hoping to go and find another good stock pan this week before I try the soup again. I'm gonna get it ready as far as Emily had it and then let her finish it up. I felt so bad about ruining it, she had worked so hard. We had BBQ hash with a roast Brenda had cooked earlier in the week instead.


Sunday - roast, gravy, mashed potatoes, rolls, green beans

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Stephen's Second Wrestling Tournament



Stephen went to his second wrestling tournament last weekend. He did so good!! It was at Eastside High School in Taylors. Troy and Brenda with us.

If you remember from his first tournament, he wrestled Bo - the boy who won the whole competition for his weight class and age. We arrived at Eastside and went through skin and nails check and then weigh it (Stephen's wrestling in the 60 lb group - Bantams). When we went to the chart to see when, where and who Stephen was wrestling - there it was...BO AGAIN first!!!

Wow, that was hard!!! The first time he wrestled - it went for about 10 seconds. This time Stephen held on for 4 1/2 minutes with him!!! Bo still pinned him, but wow what an improvement over last time!!!

I tried and tried to upload the video, but it didn't want to. Maybe because it was too long? :-) (4 1/2 minutes!!) :-)

So, anyway, he's doing great and learning so much. Bobby had so much fun watching the first tournament that he's joined too. Maybe he can be in the next matches - I think they will probably be at Belton Honea-Path in February.

Mama and Emily's birthday!

We had such a fun day. Emily and I got to celebrate our birthdays together. We went to Shenandoah Farms right here in Gaffney and went horseback riding. It was the first time any of the children had got to ride a horse. We rode for over an hour through all sorts of trails.

Troy and his horse Fat Boy acted up a couple of times and my horse - June - had to put him in his place!!! (I really did ride - I'm just not in the pictures - I was the last one on my horse so I was able to get a picture of everyone and then had it the whole ride)

Everyone loved it. Terry loved riding with "no hands" !!! We kept having to tell him to hold on with both hands!!

Brenda's ready to go back for her birthday in August!


Edit: I got the volume turned off the pictures unless you want to turn it on. It was driving me crazy!!! :-)

Emily's Birthday


Salutations friends, (Emily's favorite word from the book)

We celebrated Emily's and my birthday yesterday.



I am hoping to post some pictures later today.

When we got back we enjoyed cake and Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream. It was yummy. Emily's cake was beautiful. Emily and I just finished Charlotte's Web on Friday afternoon. (Actually Artie got to finish it with her - I was reading the last chapter with her and then Stephen got sick and I had to run to CVS -is there another store now?- and get some more Pepto and ginger ale for him - Artie said he would help her and they finished the book - so here I read here the whole book and Artie read the last 2 pages and Emily says Daddy and Mama read Charlotte's Web to me!!)

I've been getting children's cakes now for 17 years and this is the first cake I've ever seen with Charlotte's Web on it before. (maybe there were there and I just wasn't looking for them?) This was perfect!

For anyone not up on their Charlotte's Web - that is Fern (the little girl) and Wilber (the pig) on the cake - Charlotte didn't make the cut? :-) And doesn't Wilbur look Radiant?

Monday, January 07, 2008

I am from...


I found an old post from Elizabeth at Real Learning today and decided to try it for myself. Wow, it made me cry to write it.

I am from...


I am from Count Chocula, Spaghettios and Little Debbies, shopping at malls and eating Chick-Fil-A and Long John Silvers (anywhere in a day's driving distance), grabbing a quick chili cheese a plenty from the Beacon (where my mama and daddy use to date) and listening to Elvis.

I am from bike riding, Girl Scouts, dancing and gymnastics. Reading more and more books, the older I get, the more I love them.

I am from a two story white house trimmed in brown, with a room of my own and a play room beside (one of the benefits of being an only child) with a piano in the living room waiting on me to practice!!

I am from a old fashioned Baptist Church - filled with my family and friends and stained glass windows on the sides.

I am from a little southern town, full of yes mam's and ya'lls. Summers spent toasting my body in the warm Myrtle Beach sun, watching the leaves change in the fall and even every now and then enjoying a little snow (even here in South Carolina!!)

I am from THE USC - a converted gamecock through and through.

I am from the USA, my daddy and grandfathers all serving in different branches of service, with my son blazing straight ahead to follow in their footsteps (against all his mama's better judgement!!).

I am from my nanny and papa's house, the one you had to get to by driving up the road covered in trees. I loved to look at the sunshine peeking through every time I road up the hill, sleeping in my papa's night night shirts and helping my nanny cook chicken pot pies for his lunch (we knew there were green peas hiding there - shhhh!! papa doesn't know) and then later playing nurse to my nanny as she was sick and dying.

I am from my Mimi and Grandy, who moved back home to help take care of me when my mama died.

I am from the Oxendines - the most loving people I have ever known, always good for a laugh and a hug, always make you feel better about yourself than you know you really are.

I am from the Clarys - strong, sturdy, God fearing, always there.

I am from my Carolyn, who always stood by my papa's side - even though she wasn't always appreciated for all she did by everyone - she has all my love and respect.

I am from Daria, who taught me what it looked like to love Jesus on the outside of your life.

I am from my daddy, a hard worker with a big heart.

I am from Artie - we grew up together. Picnics at Miliken, days at Carowinds, nights eating tacos and watching movies, hours upon hours planning our lives together (seems like there was talk of having a baby or two?), :-) lots of smooching in a little white Celica. :-) I am who I am because of him.

But most of all, I am from my mama. My heart and soul. My desire. My example.

Looking back over my life as I write, the coolest thing is seeing everyone who made me who I am - all love Jesus. I have been so blessed with such a godly heritage. God is good!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Here's an old end of year meme I found. I just updated it a little.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?

First Triple Sale

Artie and the children had many more firsts than I did...

Artie - skydiving
Brian - got a scholarship
Troy - got driving permit
Brenda - went to youth beach camp with church
Emily - cut hair for Locks of Love
Stephen - started wrestling
Bobby - started gymnastics
Terry - started speech class

2. Did anyone close to you give birth? no - what a shame!!

3. Did anyone close to you die? my Uncle Jimmy - what a sweet man, it hasn't been to long since I also lost my Uncle Bob.

4. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? a clean house!!

5. What was your biggest achievement of the year? learning how to save more money on our families groceries

6. What was your biggest failure? yelling at my children

7. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, praise God. Brenda did break her wrist - first break out of seven children - pretty good huh?

8. What was the best thing you bought? a zippy little car from my daddy

9. Whose behaviour merited celebration? Artie - he's a doll, such a hard worker and great husband and father - they should give out an award!!

10. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? skipping this answer :-(

11. Where did most of your money go? still with all I saved, the most went to groceries!!!

12. What did you get really, really, really excited about? starting back to church, homeschooling the girls, school days at their grandparents', saving money at CVS :-)

13. Compared to this time last year, are you:

happier or sadder? happier
thinner or fatter? same
richer or poorer? richer, in many ways

14. What do you wish you’d done more of? relaxing, playing with the children, having more dates with Artie

15. What do you wish you’d done less of? cleaning floors (I want to have floors clean - just wish it took less time to do it!)

16. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with? Artie - this answer would have been the same over the past 25 years!!! :-)

17. Did you fall in love in 2004? still in love!!

18. What was your favourite TV programme? The Unit

19. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? nope

20. What was the best book(s) you read? Real Leaning by Elizabeth Foss and lots from Beverly Lewis

21. What was your greatest musical discovery? YouTube

22. What did you want and get? a new camera

23. What did you want and not get? a clean house - (a theme here?)

24. What were your favourite films of this year? not from this year - but still Legends of the Fall and The Notebook

25. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 29? 39? Yeah, I think it was 39 - guess the memory is the first to go? We are going to celebrate this weekend - all going horseback riding

26. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? sticking with the theme - a clean house!!

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? can't even answer that one - no fashion concept here!

28. What keeps you sane? Jesus and only Jesus :-)

29. What political issue stirred you the most? none yet, beginning to research presidential candidates

30. Who did you miss? Daria still and now Gwyn. I miss Sandy too - even though she is still nearby, I hardly get to see her.

31. Who was the best new person you met? LeighAnn - Brenda's discipleship leader