Saturday, December 27, 2008

...and her new double-barrel shotgun!

Christmas day was lovely and the evening itself was quite a treat! Since we did have quite a few extra bodies than we had beds, we settled the children onto pallets (quite cozy ones, I'll add!) And it was such a treat to watch the children go to bed with what new gifts they treasured! (If that's not all-telling, then what is?!?)

There was one child in particular that was the most interesting to watch (I won't tell you which child it is, for I'm sure that you can guess)! She went to sleep with a water bottle (in case she "grew thirsty during the night"), a lantern (that Pawpaw gave her Daddy), her new Bible (we give our children their own grown-up NKJ Bible when they fully master and enjoy reading), her new lovey (Mimi managed to secure the only "Brownie" replacement available in the US),... and her new double-barrel shotgun, should there be any bad guys! Yes, of course, it's a toy, but our little Annie Oakley is so cute!

The morning after Christmas, my mom and sister and I (with my precious baby niece in tow, of course!) ran off to steal some after-Christmas deals! And when we returned we found that our little infamous Annie Oakley had handed out all of her toy guns to her cousins and had assigned position postings to everyone! When we first walked into the house, one could have heard a pin fall. And I said to Ricci, "The house is so peaceful! I'm so thankful everything was easy for you fellas!" Then he gave me a look that implied that the house had just recently been returned to order! Evidently, there had been a show-down at the O.K. Corral, fathers, uncles and grandfathers included! How cute is that?!?

You mean it's all over?!?

You mean it's all over?!? It seems like it was just yesterday that we put up our Christmas trees (one white Christmas tree in the living room and one colored Birthday tree in the family keep presents separated, of course!) and that my parents arrived for the girls' Christmas pageant (e'hem, Tiffy, pics?!?), ... then (as my life seems to enjoy!) we hit the super-speed time warp, and BAM...everyone was packing up to leave! Although it did seem like a whirlwind (and it was!) what a fun time it was!
  • Advent readings
  • Cooking yummy foods
  • Celebrating several family members' birthdays!
  • Meems and P-Daddy watched the girls Sunday evening when Ricci and I ran to friends' Christmas party...thanks again, M & P!
  • Last minute gift deliveries to close friends and neighbors (not that they're not one and the same!)
  • Spending one day driving around looking at houses/ search of a specific plantation home (that I want Meems and P-Daddy to buy!)
  • Last minute shopping in all of the craziness (I know some hate it, but I love it...every one is so cheerful and has a common goal, making their house a home for friends and family!
  • Awaiting more fam to arrive
  • Opening up our stockings on Christmas Eve!
  • Sending out my sweet brother'n'law to look for that dern ingredient that always seems to sneak up on me missing....thanks, N!!! You're the best! "Ta! Ta!"
  • Opening up Christmas gifts and watching others open their gifts! (I did receive a gift from my daddy that will be a gift to last generations...I can't believe it...thanks, Daddy!)
  • Spending Boxing Day with more fam
  • And celebrating my parents' 40th wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary!

Yes, sadly today everyone packed up and left...after celebrating two more birthdays (Happy Birthday, AngelWings and PawPaw!), and the house is once again quiet (relatively speaking!)...and we've all gone into detoxification! Even the dog!

Thankfully, the Lord is weaning us off of our high from the holidays, for tomorrow we're expecting friends that we sadly 'allowed' to move away this summer!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lovey's "gift" is giving!

Over the last couple of weeks, the girls have been giving gifts here and there to one could be as simple as a decorated, paper-towel tube to an elaborate, treasured item of their own that they know that their sister would love to have! It has been cute to observe...for a while...then Daddy and Mommy had to step in and make some general guidelines to help them see that we shouldn't be too frivolous nor too shabby either. (Just taking an opportunity to teach a lesson!)

Then this evening I've been continuing to wrap a few tiny gifts while everyone is asleep, and I literally laughed out loud when I realized exactly what the 'help' was that Lovey was giving me today...

Earlier today, she put her Santa hat on to help deliver the gifts to the Christmas tree...the sweet, little thing was watching me wrap things, then she'd sweetly ask if she could put the label on the gifts, and of course I said she could! (I know that there will be one day that I'd crave having her there helping me with her little 'almost' 6 year-old penmanship, so even though I'd love it to be done just so, I was cherishing her help.)

Obviously, earlier today I didn't take the time to oversee any of her work, for she was very helpful in putting a gift tag atop every, single gift and then placing the gifts under the tree...all of them are under there, signed From: Tressie

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Family RR line is "Under Construction"!

Thinking about the holidays now...I'm such an opportunist/perfectionist that I always feel the weight on my shoulders of "too many things to do and too little time" during the holiday season!

I like to be organized, for I love a list that I can check off or a neat label that I can affix to something! And I've cracked myself up this year, for I had stashed more gifts than I remembered in our 'coat/gift' closet, which is so neat and tidy now that we've taken the Christmas gifts out of it. (I try to purchase little things for our friends and family all throughout the year so that I'm not overwhelmed with last-minute shopping...although that's fun too! And I try to keep an updated list inside the back of my planner for my eyes only, of course!)

I'm hoping that Santa has my next Franklin-Covey calendar refill under the tree (when asked, all I've suggested is that and a candy thermometer), for I've already started to 'pencil in' my annual holiday notes to my planner what would be good ideas for next year...examples...what to take to next year's this/that Christmas party, what would be a good gift for this person, when to get the paperwhites/amaryllis bulbs ready, etc.

Anyway, we still have a few things left to do around here to ready ourselves for Christmas...we have until tomorrow, for that's when company starts coming into town!

And already thinking about the new school year...I have to admit that I'm already looking forward to the hum-drum days of January, (after the double baby shower I'm planning is over, of course)! I eagerly anticipate starting back to school in January; however, I HAVE to work on our daily schedule and try to structure it a little more! Of course, this time of year is always a little unusual with fieldtrips and other special things to do for the holidays, but we did start back to school earlier this year to allow us to have more time off during the was a little odd earlier in late-summer when people would say, "You've already started back to school?" But it sure is great now! I plan to do that from now on!

Anyway, the daily schedule that I have created for us accounts for every half-hour of our day; however, I have only used that as a "guide," and recently even that has gone by the wayside!!! It's time to regenerate and renew our school schedule! And what better time of year to do that than January! If you have one that you think works particularly well for your family, please feel free to share!

I'm really looking forward to the new year so that we can start afresh with some newer for those of you that are reading, Laying Down the Rails, I think you'll appreciate this announcement....
From now thru January 2nd, the Chan**** Railroad Line is "Under Construction"!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Are we going somewhere special today?"

As a typical first half of December, it's been a little hectic around here...the girls wake up asking, "Are we going somewhere special today?" "Who's coming over today?"

Last week, we had a nice visit with Ricci's mom, dad, aunt Carolyn, and uncle Jim, who were staying at some cabins not too far from here. We were able to meet them for supper at Canyon Grill (yum!!), and then they all went on to see the Christmas lights at RC (brrr!) before joining us at our house for some coffee and hot chocolate...and the amaretto-chocolate pecan pie that I had promised to Ricci's mom. We had hoped to see them the next day, but a dear friend of ours had a death in her family, so we were busily helping her make arrangements to attend the funeral and be with her family. Then ahhh....Sunday....a day of rest! Isn't it so true that when one has a true need for something, one so much more greatly appreciates it?!? Rest to the weary! A friend to the friendless! Money to the needy! We've all experienced some form or fashion of such a gift when needed! God gave us such a gift when He created the seventh day, so after church we came home and crashed!!!

Then Monday night and Tuesday morning I hosted my annual Christmas Open House. This year I hosted the open house with my friend Kelly Raschall (as Cricket calls her), and it was so much fun to collaborate with her. We already have bigger/better plans for next year! Toss in a fun birthday party and prairie club that afternoon, and it was early to bed that evening!

The next morning we went to see some friends in the Nutcracker, had lunch with good friends and their adorable daughter Mary Alice, made a last-minute doctor's appointment, did a touch of Christmas shopping, and then headed off to pick up Efrem and go to our Christmas banquet at church where Cricket and Lovey performed Matthew's Begats (for the last time for a while)'s time to learn a new somethin' else, AP?

On Wednesday afternoon, when I squeezed in a doctor's appointment to check my thyroid levels (for I was completely out, and they wanted to recheck my levels before prescribing more of the same dosage), it was all in God's perfect timing for me to be forced to squeeze that into my schedule, for when the doctor looked at me and then my throat, he said, "Uh, you need to be on an antibiotic!" I thought everyone felt worn out and tired at this time of year...with a touch of a sore throat! Whew...I feel so much better after having had a course of Z-pack! A new woman! I hadn't realized that I was feeling so poorly until he said that!

Today and tomorrow I'll (hopefully) wrap up my Timeless Treasures orders and get them delivered, so that's great! And for those of you that joined us, I so greatly appreciate your friendship and support! I do enjoy giving/selling monogrammed jewelry and embroidered gifts, and I also enjoyed getting some of Kelly's new books!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nourishment of the heart and soul

What a great day Miss Craig had today...Doctor Henry came in today to say that her heart rhythm's were looking great and that she hadn't had a fever in almost 24 hours, so he said that she could go home today or tomorrow...her children wanted her to stay at least until Monday, so we think she'll most likely come home tomorrow. As a treat to her close friends and loved ones, her children have "given her permission" for her to come to our home versus going to a rehab, and I think she'll do just great! What a treat this is for those of us who have usually been on the receiving end of her sweet love...e'hem...custard, anyone?!?

Yes, I'm confident and trusting that she'll do really well in making a full recovery to her usual busy self! And if I do say so myself, I come from a rich heritage of ladies that can make a mean pallet on the divan (must be said with all of southern accents) as Alal always called it. She's already looking sooo much better! I've got the house ready, menus planned, a fire in the fire place, and she's sure to have plenty of rest and recovery...although I've teased her about having quite a bit of laundry to fold in her awake hours! [;)] Seriously, I'm just kidding!

Back to her day today, I have to say that the hospital does have a problem or two here and there (what hospital doesn't?), but to hear scripture and prayer over the PA system really struck a tender nerve with priceless is that?!? And this afternoon, it was so wonderful to see those, dressed in their church clothes, coming to visit their loved ones...and then the pastors that also came to minister to the weak. I just really enjoyed observing the nourishment that so many of the patients received both in heart and soul. Yes, it was an unusual Lord's day, but a blessed one at that!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

National News Alert - Craig turns down trip to Walgreens!

National News Alert - Craig turns down trip to Walgreens!

On Friday ( was just on Wednesday...I'm so tired, I don't know what today is), as I was finishing up a newsletter that I'd been working on here and there, I kept getting odd phone calls from a sweet friend...and I offered to run her down to Walgreens and the grocery store with us...she turned it down! Then after getting a call from her daughter, we went over there to check on our sweet friend, and she really wasn't herself; she was extremely weak and dizzy. So after talking to Julie, a friend that's a cardiac nurse, we decided it would be best to go ahead and "go on to the hospital to get checked out."

Well, in true Miss Craig fashion, (I just have to paint this story, for it's hysterical!), she certainly didn't want to put anyone out by taking up any more of our time, but after we convinced her that it was the right thing to do, she said, "Well, what do you think I should wear?" We told her that she looked fine wearing what she was (it looked comfy to me!), and she said that she would be right back...she was going to change her clothes regardless. So Julie took our girls with her (a huge treat to them!), and after Ricci and I waited for Miss Craig for a minute or so, I went to check on her...and she had completely changed her clothes from head to toe!

She dressed as if she was going to a Christmas cantata...after just the right outfit was assembled, then we had to pick out just the right pin to put in her lapel, her favorite perfume, grab some new tic-tacs and then pick out the Fall-season Kleenex! Although I was really anxious to get her to the ER, it was hysterical and I couldn't help but laugh at her! She does remind me all too much of someone else!

I'm thankful that God was faithful in allowing us to get down there to the ER in our timely fashion (key word "fashion" not "timely"), for when we got there, they took her immediately in, for her heart rate was really high (an understatement)! After a really long afternoon/evening in the ER, they finally admitted her to the hospital, for her heart was still in fibrillation.

I will never/ever forget how immensely kind she was...even when they had so many failures getting two IVs started, she'd sweetly say, "I know; you're doing the best job that you can do." Then there was the common unenthusiastic but still cheerful, "Oh, happy day." She was continuously so kind, sweet and gentle to everyone, even though she wasn't feeling well at all. After 8 hours of staying in the ER, she was taken to another floor for a couple of hours before being admitted into her own room. Bless her heart, her kind, sweet, gentle, appreciative spirit never once left her; she is such an inspiration to all.

After Ricci saw that we were settled, he went on home to get a couple hours of sleep before retrieving the girls...who were enjoying their sweet digs...especially Annie, who came home with a gorgeous brown egg laying sweetly in a make-shift baby bed of hay and straw, and she excitedly told us that she also brought home some fresh goat's milk that she would feed to her baby chick once it hatched! Thanks, Jen and Julie!

This afternoon, her son Paul came to be with her, and I'm just now getting back home (I know that she'd do that for any of us in a heartbeat), and it was a real honor...but I'm exhausted! Ricci's mom graciously offered to move the family's Thanksgiving celebration to tomorrow (Friday), so we'll be driving down to be with them tomorrow...after a good night's sleep!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm too old for this!

If this month gets any crazier, I'm going to drive myself down to the nut farm...I know that they at least have clean sheets down there; right?!?

Trying to get back into the swing of things after this last little trip ('vacation detox' as Auburn calls it) has been for the birds! We all came back home pooped and flirting with colds...then just as I was trying to get back on top of laundry, homeschooling, etc. Annie walks through the room with her hair doin' something funky! Looking at her across the room with my early morning eyes' squinting at her, I asked her what was up with her hair. Upon further (and closer) investigation, I realized that it was gone! G-O-N-E! Reflecting back onto one thing that Nancy Wilson said down at the beach...."Remember to act, not re-act." So I calmly walked upstairs to find what was "gone" only to see that I couldn't find any remains, so I calmly asked her to come upstairs and show me where it was....she had hidden it. Uh....then...I re-acted! I fell apart, and it was a downward spiral from there! I knew that whatever occurred that morning would "make a memory" so I was being careful about what I said or did, but oh...I cried and cried and cried! (For those that know me really well, they know that I don't love change, and I don't love false teeth or hair...I know...I'm weird! So this really sent me over the edge in a horrible way!) And before you mention it to her, please don't...we went out and purchased quite a few new hats, so we're hoping that we can keep it respectfully quiet around her for a Charley optimistically pointed out, it's hat season after all! And she does look really good in hats!

So as I've tried to recover from that "episode," I've also struggled with a birthday that I didn't want to see come...or go...but who can stop time? And the elections....but we won't even go there...other than to say that some of us (me!) need to remember to vote once more in this election run-off! Urghh...I gotta remember that!

Knowing that I'd had a difficult week, sweet L said that we needed to get out and just enjoy some fresh air and laughter, so we got our fams settled and then hit the town (shopping, dinner, coffee and lots of great conversation, serious and hysterical)...just what I needed! We had such a great time that we didn't even pay attention to the time, and when we was already morning!

Knowing that I was supposed to meet another gal-pal at Barnes and Noble at 7AM for a book signing (who signs books at that hour?!?!?), L knew that I just couldn't do it if I drove back home to drive right back out there, so she and I quietly slipped into her house (closer to B&N) and crashed for an hour or two before sneaking back out to go catch up with Rebekah, our other nutty gal-pal, who got me psyched about meeting Glenn Beck! L didn't have much interest in Glenn Beck, but she went anyway to show her loyal friendship...and because she hoped in the slight chance that Martha Stewart might make a surprise appearance in being there signing some of her books! Sadly, she wasn't! But Glenn was!So after recuperating from that all-nighter that I'm feeling too old to be able to pull off anymore, I once more tried to get back to the land of the living. And after all, this is when life really speeds up! "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" (Hope you don't mind that great Christmas song stuck in your head as it is mine; I love it!) A little shopping for the day and some cooking for our traditional "friends' Thanksgiving" over at Kendall's (fun/fun...thanks, Kendall, Shell & Co.!), then we thoroughly enjoyed getting together that evening with our supper club for a little bday party for LarLar and myself (fun/fun...thanks, Leah and Cici!) Note to self: get more Woodchuck Amber Draft Cider for the next supper's soo good!

So the rest of the week has been filled with a little of this and that...homeschooling, laundry, housework (um...I think I dropped the ball on that one), shopping, cooking (that's the fun part!), finalizing this next month's newsletter for our homeschool group, etc.

We're all getting that great feeling of excitement with the chill in the air as well as the adrenaline rush of jumping into the shopping crowds as we prepare to celebrate our season of Thanksgiving and our Lord and Savior's birth! Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And we're off....

This time of year is just's's hectic, but it's amazing! Just some of the enjoyments of the season....the glowing colors of fall (and this year has proven to be more spectacular than anyone could have predicted!), the beautiful sound of the fall leaves' falling and blowing around (especially as little feet swish their way through them!), the incredible smell of the heat coming on for the first time (yes, I'm sure it's not good for you, but you will find all of us gals' hovering our heads over the vents to breathe it in with joy!), the excitement of seeing who is going to play the first Christmas commercial (will it be Cool-Whip or Hallmark?), the remarks of criticism that we hear and make regarding which store that plays Christmas music "too early" while we secretly hum along with it?!? November is always full of pleasures both great and small!
This November seemed to hit me without warning! I swear the other day I was thinking, "I wonder if we can get in one more trip to the pool?!?" Then Jen's birthday (November 1st!) was here...happy birthday to you again, sweet sis...I love you with all of my heart!
Trying to take advantage of the glorious weather, we invited the college students that attend our church over to our house for chili...our church parish group and friends helped host it...there were over 40 here, and although I fretted about our not having enough food, the weather, etc., it turned out great! There was more than enough food, and the weather could not have been more perfect!
And then that week we were off for a trip that I knew was off in the distance...not until the beginning of November! Well, before I could sit down and think about it, it was November! It was time to go and cast our votes...then go get our free Starbucks...then send the dog and fishie on their "vacation" and then begin packing our things while anxiously watching the electoral votes' accumulating. After doing all of that we put a few last minute clothing items for our trip in the wash and went to bed knowing that our great God is providential and knew all along that our nation's politics would be 'changing.'
The next morning, we awoke to find that perhaps we should have inspected all of the little pockets before washing our favorite clothing items....aghhh...there was ink all over our clothes! And we're not talking our 'stay-at-home clothes' but our 'go-clothes' as the girls call them! Some of our nicest 'go-clothes'!
Thankfully, some of our friends that were traveling with us as far as B'ham, reassured us that it couldn't be all that bad...until they saw them! But they whisked them away (no pun intended) ahead of us on our trip to B' Motown where they spent their first day of vacation in the capable hands of Mo, my new best friend! And we met up with the rest of our travel peeps and drove on to B'ham to visit the Birmingham Museum of Art where we visited the incredible DaVinci really was great! There are things that I just didn't know about DaVinci before that exhibit...for instance, he was left-handed and drew from the right to the left to avoid smudges, etc. He hid many drawings inside of other drawings or writings. He did many dissections (until the pope put a stop to it) just so that he could know the intricate details of how muscles/bones/etc. worked together. And there were several writings of his that could only be read by looking at it in a was fascinating to get to know him better!
After spending some time there, we drove on to the B'ham Zoo to catch up with Lars, Bubs and Nan. And K-ren even came to join us! It was a great afternoon to enjoy the zoo...I can only recall seeing one other couple there with a child, so we pretty much had the run of the zoo! And again...the fall leaves were amazing!
After a fun romp through the zoo, we went to have supper with K-ren (it was sooo good to see her!) before heading over to the hotel! There we met back up with Lars, Nan and Mo....who is a big-time-bad-time hero! She got almost everything out of our clothes...they were practically as good as new! I will never figure out how she did it! I've been told that Mo has this spiritual gift of laundry stain removal, and now I believe it! was a long but fun day!
The next morning we awoke early to have breakfast with K-ren before she headed on to work; then "we" repacked the car and headed on further south via Dothan, AL to have lunch with sweet Uncle Charles. We had a wonderful afternoon with him...albeit too short, for my cell phone kept ringing, and it was my nephew saying, "Ya Ya, are you here yet? Well, where are you and my cousins?" And prayers were answered...Uncle Charles set us up with lots of fresh pecans and peanuts, raw and boiled, a couple of jars of muscadine jelly... hmmm! The love we have for him and feel from him is immeasurable! He is so wonderful! And as the mayor of Graceville, he's quite a busy fella, so we had to let him go, and we once more hit the road.
The drive down to Sandestin for the conference didn't seem to take that long...we stopped for groceries and then drove on to the condo where Meems, P-Daddy, Jen and the kids were awaiting us. After "we" unpacked the car, we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed over to the conference center just in time to hear Steve Wilkins begin a session on "Friendship." The conference this year was especially great...Steve spoke on friendship while Doug Wilson spoke on the different rooms of the home. I'll be happy to share my notes with anyone...I want to re-listen to the sessions, and I can share the link to hear the audio recordings.
Later that evening Nate came in, so we all put the kids to bed before spending some time together...trying not to wake the parents, ours that is!
The next day we raced from here to there...not my favorite feeling, but that evening Cricket and Lovey were in a talent show...they sung Andrew Peterson's "Matthew's Begats" once more and tied for first place with our friend Brittany! Woohoo, girls! The only thing a little skeptical is that the prizes were awarded in $2 bills...something that only one man I know carries....hmmm...I still have to ask P-Daddy about that! When our family friend Andy interviewed them after they sang, Cricket leaned into the microphone and said, "We've even sang this on stage with Josh Groban!" And Lovey quickly corrected her..."You mean..Andrew Peterson!" It was too cute! I just least Cricket mistook AP for Josh Groban and not one of the other cd's in the car! (Not that there are bad ones....we just have a pretty well-rounded appreciation of music!)
The next day was rushed once more...too many things to see and do when at home! Jen, Nate, Eric and I threw (with help from Drue and MaryAnn! Thank you!) a little 40th Anniversary party together for Meems and P-Daddy...if they had known about it, they wouldn't have gone, but we were able to successfully pull it off! Woohoo!

Then a little shopping at the outlets (there's a sign when you enter the Beaches of South Walton that says that one must not visit the area without shopping at the outlets), so that's just what we did! Then we raced back to the condo to get everyone dressed for the ball! The entire trip was such a blurr that I didn't even slow down enough to take all of the photos that I should have, but here are a couple of cute photos from the evening!
Mimi made the granddaughters matching skirts...they are so beautiful! Thanks, Meems!

Cricket and her dance partner were dancing so well, but I could only catch her photo from the back!

Sarah kept trying to convince Mimi to swing her like YaYa...I made the mistake of twirling her through one too many Virginia reels...and that gal's getting too big to hold and twirl, but oh the twinkle in her eye made it so worth it! She loved it!
The girls ended up having a few fellas in line to dance with them...AngelWings did say that the "McPherson boys" were quite good dancers! I thought you'd get a kick out of that, Joyce! What a fun evening it was!

The next morning, I awoke before the sun came up, so I gently woke up Cricket, and she and I hurriedly ran down to the beach and sat quietly on a towel, wrapped in blankets, as we watched the sunrise. It is something that is there every, single day...and we don't even think twice about the glory that it is! What a special moment it was when we watched it so quickly rise up over the gulf waters and move so quickly away from the horizon! Thank you, dear Lord, for that special morning!

Then at church later that morning when we took communion, Cricket looked up at me and said, "That bread's not too bad!" Then after we 'partook' the wine, I have to say that Cricket had me about fall out of my chair with laughter when she looked up at me and said, "And the wine doesn't taste too bad either!"

That afternoon and evening....I loved sooo very much! We had such a relaxing Sunday dinner...relaxing all but for the face and stomach muscles that ached from laughing so hard at Mom's telling us every detail that she could remember about a family from her childhood that had a chest full of confederate money. She had us all rolling! Then the afternoon consisted of peaceful rest and then a mad dash back to the beach to watch the evening sunset.

Then we returned to the condo for a yummy dinner (if I do say so myself...Mom, Jen and I all took turns preparing the meals at the condo, and I had BBQ chicken slow-roasting all afternoon in the crockpot). And after dinner, the grandkids began a highly competitive game of hide'n'seek. A game that not even the adults could resist! And although we limited the hiding places to the bottom two floors of the condo....there were more hiding places than anyone could have imagined! Even baby Quinn got in on the action!

I'm still not sure who won the many games...AngelWings who stayed hidden the longest by standing in a hidden corner of one of the showers, Drewby who stayed hidden wrapped inside a comforter that was rolled and laying atop a piece of furniture, Cricket who stayed hidden laying under a coffee table/ottoman that had only three visible inches under it, Lovey who was hidden behind a chair that clearly had no room behind it, Ricci "and others" who were hiding in a long closet...each time one was found, they'd step out to give themselves up...all the while they were quickly closing the door to keep other peeps hidden. It was a hilariously (word?) good time!

The next morning, we requested 'late check-out' just so that we could hit the beaches "just one more time" to breathe in that good, salty air!

"Sring me 'round one mo' time, Ricci! Pwease?"

Then we sadly packed up the condo, said our goodbyes and drove over to Meems and P-Daddy's house for a few minutes before heading back to the winery....I mean, home!

It's hard to believe that we were swimming in the gulf earlier that day, and as we traveled closer and closer to home, we were having to adjust the car temperature to warmer and warmer. When we stopped in B'ham for a late supper with K-ren, it was freezing...relatively speaking not literally...but by morning, literally!

Little vacations from temperatures, seasons, etc. make one realize just how blessed we really are! And it often makes coming home all the more special...even if it does mean that we're back in the rat-race of this hectic, crazy but amazing season of life!

"Home again~Home again~Jiggety Jig!"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Calling all early voters!

Did you vote early?!?

I didn't, for two reasons: one...I'm slightly OC, and I want to know that my vote was cast on "the" day and two...mainly for the fact that I love the hype of standing in line with my fellow voters...friends/neighbors that I haven't seen in a long time!

Anyway, a friend of mine sent this to me, and I thought some of you early voters might be interested in this website...

I would assume that most states would have this web-opportunity to make sure your ballot was officially received.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Electing a US President in Plain English

I have to admit that I've never fully understood the entire US election process...all I keep remembering is a confusing conversation in high school in my government class, when someone said, "So although we have elected them to be our representative to the electoral college...they can vote any which way they choose?!?"

And I remember the answer being "Yes!" Aghhh!

Why couldn't I have paid attention more closely?!? (No comments please, Mom and Dad!)

So I was thankful when a friend (thanks, Karen!) sent this three or four minute YouTube video to me and the breaks the electoral process down into simple English!

"Do you need some deodorant?!?"

Cricket LOVES to go through the Sunday paper with her daddy! Me...I just like it for the sale ads! Not that I can clearly remember any of them and match them up with savings, but I like to think that I do!
But I just think it's so humorous the way Cricket is attracted to the same sections that her daddy is attracted to! I just think it's so cute the way they both think so much alike! But one area where she thinks like her momma...she loves to look at the ads and clip out coupons...however, she thinks that if she has a coupon for this or that, then we just have to hop in the car to go and get it!

Last night, while she was sitting at the foot of our bed she said, "Momma/Daddy, do you need some deodorant?"

"Um...excuse me?"

"Do you need deodorant? Or dishwashing detergent?"

It took us a second to notice that she was clipping out the Walgreen's coupons from their sale ad!

And if you're wondering...yes, they are having a great sale on deodorant and dishwashing detergent! Now...if I can just get my act together and combine those with other coupons...then I can pretend that I'm a coupon-savvy gal like some of my other friends!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mental soup, anyone?!?

Tonight I served lentil soup with smoked sausage, cornbread and sweet tea. And while the girls were setting the table, Lovey hollered, "I love mental soup!"

This colder weather (I'm freezing!) has me in the mood for yummy soups and chilis! Hmmm! I need some new soup any?!?

Boiled Peanut Restriction

In our house, no one wants to be put on boiled peanut restriction! It's the worst! Growing up, I thought that everyone had the sophisticated taste for boiled peanuts, grits, sweet tea, etc. But now I appreciate that there are those that haven't developed their taste for these fine's all the more for us! Yes, we LOVE boiled peanuts, so when Meems and P-Daddy brought us up some of the biggest peanuts we've ever seen, we immediately started them a-boilin'! Hmmm....they're so good! And these angels of ours can put'em away! Actually, we all can, but Angel Wings in particular had us crackin' up...we eventually had to put her on 'boiled peanut restriction'!

We told her that she had already eaten half of them, and she said, "I know...this is my last one!" Then we'd turn around, and she was still eating her honest, sweet voice, she humbly said, "I know...I know! I thought I had stopped, but each time I look down, there's another one in my hand!" Bless her heart!

So as the tomato season vanishes, God has provided us with our yummy boiled peanut season! And we'll soon start clammering for the pecans that sweet Uncle Charles sends up to us from Graceville, FL (other side of the state line from Dothan, AL).

Thanks for the peanuts and pecans, Mimi, Pawpaw and Uncle Charles!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A whirlwind of a week and a day!

Whew, doggy, have the days sped up! Every year at this time (beginning of fall) as the days grow shorter, the to-do lists seem to grow longer! What's the deal?!?

Last week we 'almost' finished up the fall cleaning (I'm almost caught up on my laundry...and by that I mean 'under five loads' to do! I still have hope that I'll get there!); we had our first day of prairie club; the girls and I manned the house while Ricci was away on a business trip! Then Meems and P-Daddy came to visit...Mimi's annual October 'flee from town so that no one throws me a surprise bday party' visit! And before I knew it...the week was over, my head hit a pillow, and I was out! Too much to do~Too little time!

What a fun visit we had while Mimi and PawPaw were here! On Friday, Dad was able to spend some time out on their property while Mimi, the girls and I hit the town looking for deals, eating at Taco Roc (of course!), and meeting L and kids at the playground for an impromptu play date.

Of course, there were several funny things that occurred while they were here, but one really funny thing was that Mimi brought me a 'bag of stuff' that she had found under my bed at that bag was a ton of notes written in high school. Why I saved them back then? I don't know! But it was fun going through them...most of them written between myself, Lorrie, Chip, Adam, and I haven't finished going through them...they are too funny! "If I knew then, what I know now!" Anyway, while I was reading them...out of the blue, Mom asks, "Have you ever heard anything from Eryn Ferguson?" I told her, "No, I don't think that I've seen her since the evening we graduated from high school." Then as I walked into the family room (where our computer is)...there were TWO emails from Eryn Ferguson! Aghhh! ISN'T THAT CRAZY?!? I screamed and told mom, and she knows that Jen and I always kid each other about our lives seeming as if we're on the Truman show (you know...that our entire life is actually a TV show). So she kiddingly acted as if she was holding something up to the lights as if they were our sponsor for that episode! Aghh...yes, we have a crazy (FUN!) family!

Then after Ricci returned home from his trip, we went to the corn maze...lots of fun getting lost and riding the hay rides! Then we attempted to make it into the Wilderness Temple downtown; we waited in a slowly moving line for about two hours, and as the sun set we grew cold, tired, and hungry! We were probably going to be the next in line, but we all decided at the same time...we were out-a-there! (Has anyone been yet? Is it worth our going back?) So Dad took us all to dinner, then we went home and had a little bday party for Meems!

From Saloon to the Prairie!

"From Saloon to the Prairie!" This is the title of the pattern that I've begun to use in my making prairie dresses for the girls.

Now... I've never sewn before other than decorative sewing (pillows, curtains...and other things that don't require a pattern...and cross-stitching, of course!), but L promised that if Mom got me started that she'd help me finish them up before the girls' next prairie club! And ohhh..I can't wait until they're finished...they're going to be so cute!

Mimi, thanks for shopping with me for the fabric...and keeping me on track! (I'm not crafty, but I am creative, so I always aimlessly walk through Hobby Lobby looking at all of the endless 'possibilities'!) And thanks, L, for getting me started in this new endeavor! It's sew much fun!

Surely, I'll post some pics when finished!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The girls on YouTube!

This weekend, we were invited to an Andrew Peterson concert for his new album's release, Resurrection Letters, Vol. II.
It was a great concert; the first half was the story behind each song on the new album, and the second half of the concert was songs by request. So of course, Annie and Tressie thrust their little arms into the air, and once they offered their request, it was followed by "I can help you!" And if a momma and daddy's heart could have ever burst, this was one of those times...we were so proud of the girls! It was too precious!
Annie ran up on stage, followed by little Tressie, who walked up there following big sissie's lead. AP ever-so-kindly shared the stage with them and even cracked up a couple of times when Annie improvised the bass guitar...something that we hear every day but that he wasn't expecting.
Of ALL times, guess who was without a camera?!? Me!!! I couldn't believe it! I ALWAYS have my camera! Thankfully, there was a great couple sitting behind us that overheard my dying request for a camera, and they captured most of it on video! new best friends!
And thankfully Eric's friend, Drew, who was promoting the concert, captured this great photo!
Thank you sooo much, Drew, James & Becky! And Andrew!!
And Tif... don't worry about giving us a CD for Christmas; we got one while we were there! ;) Thankfully, this one too was avoid any future confusion..hee hee!

"If you are experiencing a mental health emergency..."

I just find it amazing the way God made men and women so differently! You know...the way men have to rationalize and 'fix' things while women are more emotional and often turn things into something irrational and make it a bigger deal than it actually is! "Bless our hearts!"

Yes, us women are pretty emotional at times, but how I love being a woman, a weaker vessel. I can't imagine carrying the weight of the responsibility for an entire family! I guess that's a reminder for us wives to pray more fervently for our dear husbands.

Within the last two days, I've had two good girlfriends call and say that they were basically getting ready to freak out....well, let me join the club! Please!!! Perhaps it's just the business of this time of year...or perhaps it's the change of the season...I don't know, but I feel it too!

As a wife and mother, there are many stresses that can pull us down (duties in the home, caring for our loved ones, friends, extended family, commitments in the church and community, etc.), but somehow we manage!

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
I Corinthians 10:13

I'm so very thankful for this promise! He does always provide us a way out; doesn't He? I also find it amazing the way we can feel our blood pressure drop... by smelling or just holding a sweet baby (shout out to Baby Kate!), seeing a cute puppy, or just laughing with good friends.

At the end of one of my phone calls, my sweet friend and I were laughing so hard about her calling her insurance company about something totally unrelated to what she heard on the other end of the phone..."If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please hang up and dial 911." Now that's funny!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lions, Tigers, and...Sea Monsters, oh my!

The weekend...ahhh...we can't wait until Friday evening's arrival, for that's when Daddy comes home from work and promises not to go back until Monday! And staying up late on Friday nights, sleeping in late on Saturday mornings...mmm!

But this Saturday we had a rushed start to our day...we were all enjoying the warmth of our beds and then all of a sudden, we remembered...we were given free tickets to the educator's preview of the new National Geographic IMAX movie, Sea Monsters! And we didn't want to miss it! And I'm so glad that we didn't, for I have to say...this film is actually one of my favorite IMAX films yet!

It's a fascinating film that follows the life of a Dolichorhynchops, named Dolly, and her brother.

The movie begins with a little girl following her dog through the woods, and she comes across a washed out cliff that is revealing a wonderful fossil. The film flips back and forth between computer generated images of what was once under the ocean's surface ('thousands and thousands' of years ago!) and what is now above the waters' edge...say in the middle of continents (Kansas, Israel, etc.) where paleontologists (1900's to present) are finding the most amazing fossils of "Dolly's" and her other seamates.

The film takes us through Dolly's lifetime of what she would have seen and experienced (including a shark attack... that she survives...carrying with her a shark-tooth souvenir!); then as the film ends we follow the last few days of her life...and then merge back to the present day and watch archaeologists uncover the fossils of a Dolichorhynchops... with a shark's tooth embedded in its right wing.

Armed with knowledge/common sense, it's such a wonderful film to 'bring to life' what the earth perhaps looked like at one time (pre-flood?), and it helped me to realize that when the earth was indeed covered with so much water (and hmmm...fewer people) it makes sense to me that the waters would have been more alive! More water...more large animals of the sea! Following this logic (post-flood), it also makes sense to me that as our Creator promised to never flood the earth again AND as He promised to Abram (later called Abraham) that He would bless him with as many descendants as the stars in the heavens [Genesis 15:5] makes sense to me that we descendants would need more land!

I'm not sure if too many remember the many emails immediately following the deadly Tsunami that struck Sri Lanka during the Christmas holidays in 2004...the emails were full of U-G-L-Y (and very strange looking!) fish/animals that were supposedly washed ashore as a result of the Tsunami. Whether they're a result of the Tsunami or not, it's all very fascinating to me to think that our Creator created so many different species of animals...for our enjoyment, which in turn gives Him praise!

I highly recommend this film! The music, the information, and the scenery is amazing! But do take caution that it's not for those with slight water anxieties! As if Jaws wasn't enough!

Time is a-fly-ing!

I'm not sure how my bloggin' girlfriends get an opportunity to keep their blogs up to date...I don't!

How do you do it?!?

I seem to be in this pattern where we get so busy that blogging isn't anywhere near the top of my to-do list, then I have to go back, download my photos, jog my memory, and then 'post' my posts!

I guess it doesn't bother me all that much, since it's still way faster than scrapbooking, and I know that my blogging (and back-blogging!) will one day assist my scrapbooking...which one day I hope to get back to doing, for the girls sooo love looking back at our fun memories!

So now for a little back-bloggin'!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A sweet act of love...

I have to post this, for I just think it's one of the sweetest gifts of the week/month/year....and I've been in puddles over here...and I think you might be too!!!

Knowing that some of our dearest friends had opened up their home this week to a little girl in need (the girl's single mom works outside of the home and needed childcare for her daughter during her school's fall heart is already saddening), yesterday Ricci came home and told me a sweet story about something that had happened.

After a couple of days of my friend's watching this little girl, the little girl is really enjoying the new atmosphere in which her mom is leaving her every day. So one day, it was apparent that the girl needed extra love (she was wearing the same clothes from the day before,...), so my friend initiates the gentlest, overwhelming gift of love...she offers the little girl a bubble bath!

What a kind gesture of love! When Ricci told me this...I burst into tears! Isn't that precious?!? There are opportunites all around us to show God's love to others, and this one just hit me like a ton of bricks! I just found this kind gesture overwhelming, for it was so gentle and yet so impacting! What a sweet way to show God's love to this little girl in an effective way. She (her clothes, spirit, etc.) was washed and made new!

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. James 3:12-14

Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. Matthew 18:5

Friend, you are truly a friend to have, and I'm so thankful to call you know who you are! I love ya!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Thank you, Daddy!

This afternoon, Cricket received a piece of mail out of the mailbox! Her "very own piece of mail" as the girls squeal!

After reading about Cricket and her love of flowers, Pawpaw sent her a sweet note with some photo slides of beautiful flowers that my Pawpaw had taken. The slides are beautiful, but even more is the love and care that they invest in one another's lives. The girls each have their own individual relationships with my parents (and my sister and her family), individually. And it's so cute to observe.

After Cricket opened her letter and had Angelwings read it aloud to her (it was written in his beautiful, fancy handwriting), she immediately wanted to call him. So she did...and I have to admit that I did overhear her leave her message on the such a big girl! She was so excited, and her voice was so animated in all of her appreciation! And it's so funny to listen to her when he calls her back. They'll stay on the phone with one another forever (especially with Aunt Jenni!)...just to talk...and to see what each one has been up to!

I just so greatly appreciate that my children have such a close-knit relationship with my parents. Thank you, daddy, for taking your time to invest yourself in their lives! And for so many other reasons...too many to count!

Friends, fieldtrips and fun!

This time of year is so much fun for friends, fieldtrips and fun! This week's weather has been spectacular, and our homeschool group hosted a fun picnic and fieldtrip to the Tennessee River Gardens & Nature Preserve/Butterfly Pavilion, a private/non-profit organization, which is a spectacular wildflower garden and wildlife preserve in the heart of the Tennessee River Gorge!

Once everyone arrived (we had over 200 people), we took a short, guided hike, which included wildflower gardens, duck and rainbow trout ponds, a real fossil bank and a Great Blue Heron rookery!
This is a photo from the rainbow trout pond...Greg W. wouldn't believe it! They were HUGE! And our guide had each of the kids take a handful of fish food (no, not Ben and Jerry's, Jen!) and toss it into the water at the same time...the fish went piranhas! It was an amazing site to see!

After the hike, some of us enjoyed a tour of an enclosed butterfly pavilion which houses 20 native butterfly species both in flight and in ALL stages of metamorphosis. Open late spring to early fall, the pavilion includes eggs, larvae, chrysalis and butterfly, as well as species-specific host plants and nectar plants. We've been there at a different time of the year, and there seemed to be more butterflies then, but it was still fun to watch the kids' faces as they found a chrysalis or butterfly!

After a long afternoon picnicking, playing and visiting with friends on the grassy banks of the TN River, picking the last of the beautiful summer wildflowers, and doing some art sketches, we went on home....perhaps it was just all too much for this little Lovey, who fell asleep sitting at the dining table!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What's his name?!?

Cute conversation that I had this evening with just proves how well/poorly (? decide!) balanced our music selections are:

Lovey: What's his name again?
Me: Who?

Lovey: That guy!
Me: Who? (So I started tossing out random names making her laugh/think.)

Lovey: That guy that sings! It's not Josh Groban. It's not Michael Buble. It's not Andrew Peterson.
Me: PonyMan? (aka Gordon Lightfoot)

Lovey: ma'am. The one who has the symphony? Oh, yeah...Beethoven! Whoever has Beethoven in their head, raise your hand!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Long weekend! Late nights!

This weekend we had the pleasant surprise of getting to see some long-time, family friends that we haven't seen in a looong time! And what's even better is when you're able to pick up where you left off! It was a pleasant surprise that they were going through "our neck 'o the woods"! Pastor Schneider is the one that married Eric and I, and we've known them...forever! So after church, we had the Steves over for lunch along with the Schneiders, and it was a great afternoon to just be able to catch up with one another (along with a little chaos of all of the little peeps running here and there!)....after lunch the fellas just stayed at the table ALL afternoon while us gals sat in the living room and enjoyed a great Sunday afternoon...else called 'a day of rest.'
Then today... we're getting back into the swing of the 'work' week. Mondays...else called 'a day of detox'! (We're having to wean ourselves off of a fun weekend with daddy at home with us!) So this evening at devotions, everyone stayed awake...then after each individual was finished by one 'we lost a good soldier' as my dad has always said.

First, Lovey prays; then (if it's late at night) we jiggle Cricket, our early riser to pray; then Angelwings, our late-night gal, prays; then myself; then Ricci. But this evening everyone's so tired, so after each prayed, each fell asleep.

Lovey, trying so hard to stay awake, fell on into sweet slumber sitting on top of my purse while she held onto Pandi and her cute, little ballet backpack that Mimi gave her.
And then there's Cricket who gets more snuggly the sleepier she gets! All who know her well know that she just can't stay awake too late...not for anything!

My early riser!

Capturing a still, quiet moment!
Two things my little Cricket loves...cutting flowers and the peaceful, early moments of the day!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Geaux, LSU!

After the girls played HARD outside ALL day long, it was bath-time before anyone was allowed to sit down for a spell to watch the LSU~MSU game! Well, Angelwings had to have been pretty tired, for she took her shower and went on to bed...or maybe sick...that's really not like her! And Cricket and Love just had to watch the "big game" so I told them that they could watch it if they'd sit still and quietly, knowing that it was just a matter of minutes before they would fall asleep! Yep...momma was right!Now we just have to wait until Daddy comes home, for I can't pick'em up...sweet things are just getting too big!
And while the B-man's bed is in the wash, he was plum-tuckered as well, so look where he found a comfy place...big fella crammed himself into the top of a laundry basket...long day for all!
While Eric has run down to Walgreens to get some last minute sales, I'm working on making his favorite fall cake for Sunday dinner tomorrow, Irish Cream Pound Cake. The Schneiders are in town, so they'll be joining us Chans and Steves! I'm looking forward to seeing them!

A lovely night on the town!

Last Thursday night, we had 'the' most amazing evening! But first...a little background history...
This year, I 'broke away from the mold' [AO curriculum] and scheduled our composer studies to follow the Masterworks Series being performed by our local symphony, and this year the Masterworks Series was going to open with the magnificent music of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony featuring the CSO orchestra and chorus and guest pianist Sin-Hsing Tsai. So we've been over-indulging ourselves in Beethoven's music...he was such a talented being that had such an interesting life!
Then I asked Ricci if we had already gotten our tickets, and he said that we hadn't....aghhh! So we frantically added up the costs, and it was going to be $70 for some cheap-o seats. Not exactly what I was dreaming of! Then the next day, Ricci called home from work and said that he had won us tickets! Not only did God give us tickets....He gave us Center Orchestra tickets!
So on Thursday night, when Ricci came home from work, the girls and I were dressed and ready to go...shocking to him, I know...and he took us down along the river to the Bluff View art district, which is a lovely unique neighborhood originally fashioned in the style of a small European Village. Very apropros, I do say! We ate some delicious food at Tony's Pasta before heading off to the symphony at the Tivoli theatre.
The music was unbelievable, and the girls loved it! They were sooo well behaved! And at intermission, it was great to see some friends that we haven't seen in some time.What a lovely evening it was! I'll always be thankful!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The South will rise again!

Last Friday, our family and some dear friends had the honor of attending the 145th Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga. It was such a fun, exhilarating day! There was not a cloud in the sky and also a gentle, cool breeze in the air! We had the best day, but I'm afraid that we all received a full month's worth of Vitamin D in one day (hence the "not a cloud in the sky")!
When we first arrived, we checked in and then listened to a brief lecture by the Port Columbus National Civil War Naval Museum from Columbus, GA. Their exhibit was so educational on 'technology' of the time with the ironclad ships and other various weapons used by the Union and Confederate navies. We'd love to go see their museum one day...we're coming to see you, Ivey!
Then we went through security (somehow there was even a metal detector out in the middle of the field) to have an opportunity to hear VP Dick Cheney deliver a great speech! There were lots of secret service agents...they even had something to do when the largest part of the stage fell prior to Cheney taking the stage. And the color guard from The Citadel was there as well!
Paying tribute to his great grandfather, Samuel Fletcher Cheney, who was a Union soldier (e'hem), Cheney spoke a very moving speech, reminding everyone that in just 48 hours, 145 years ago (to the hour!) the battles fought at Chickamauga were the second (next to Gettysburg) bloodiest battles fought in the Civil War. He and his family were then presented a beautiful, commissioned painting of his grandfather in full uniform on horseback. Here you can read a great report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
After Cheney's moving speech, Labronda and I just sat on the ground and rested while the daddies took the kids to see more/take more photos! (Shayne took much better photos than my little camera ever could, so as soon as I get the CD of photos he made us, I'll post them...they're really good!)
Cricket striking up a conversation between her, her 'friends' and World War II Medal of Honor recipient Charles Coolidge!
This is what we call a 'field trip'!
A line of canons that were occasionally fired during the day. The canon closest was actually used during the battles of Chickamauga.

There was lots of shopping to be done on sutlers row for various period wares... and all of the foods and drinks were 'period' as well. All of the drinks were sold in beautiful glass bottles with either corks or bottle stoppers. For the bottle that the girls and I selected, it was initially $6 and $1 for each refill.

Not knowing that there was going to be so much to purchase for food and drinks, we all had brought coolers with us, so we headed back to the cars and 'tailgated' before gaining more energy to head back and do some more exploring and shopping before the battle re-enactments. I have no photos of that fun...perhaps, I was too know to actually stand up and get my camera. ;)

After our picnic, we took some time to walk through the camps...Cricket enjoyed speaking to each and every re-enactor. All (except General Longstreet who acted as if he were conducting strategic business) were more than kind to converse with her...although we weren't always certain if we were speaking to the person or the re-enactor.

This kind lady even invited us to come back later that evening for fried apple pies, baked beans and coffee. We all found it interesting the way the ladies would step on the inside of their skirt hem to avoid their dress swinging into the fire.This was a yard goods shop that Labronda, Cricket and I really enjoyed.

This store clerk (I was actually taking a picture of his sign...not him!) reminded me of Nels Oleson...very kind but of few words. But Cricket had him crackin' up with her going on and on about this and that!

The girls with the fans that Shayne bought for them. Thank you, Mr. Shayne!

Tressie literally tried on every, single hat that was sold in this booth and checked herself out in the little mirror.
Macy, of course, shopping for shoes! And we did find some that would be perfect for the ball in November! Hmmm...I'm thinking that these fine fellas aren't shopping for us gals...I think they're in the market for some well-deserved shade!

I just had to take this photo of Eric with his camping chair, pink backpack and a bottle of somethin''d been a long day for this fella that thought he'd marry a woman that wasn't still carrying a grudge against the north and that would give him lots of boys! "Bless his heart!"

Tressie enjoying a swig of yummy sassafras fizz! Macy and Savannah, truly two lovely Southern belles!
Again, Shayne took much better photos so when I get them, I'll be sure to post some of them...but until then, here are a couple of photos that I was proud to have taken!

It was such an amazing day!!!

Such a lovely day that we hated to go home!

But rest assured, the South will rise again!