Sunday, July 29, 2007


The past week has been one of those weeks where I begin a project that I plan on getting done by the end of the week, but then I'm needed to do other things. I was also planning on not posting until I got the project done and I could show you what I had been up to, but that will have to wait. Instead I'll post some pictures taken over the past week or so!! Enjoy!

"Would you like a green bean Sissy?"

"A Baby!!" (note: Sawyer calls camera phones and cameras "babies" as he has seen pictures of babies on them)

He wasn't to sure what to think of raw green beans!!!

"A Boy & His Dog"~ Gus followed Tristan and the tractor home one day and has been here ever since! He is the sweetest little dog that we've ever encountered!! He and Sayre pal around; they go fishing, on canoe rides, and tramps through the woods together. It's sweet to see.
Sayre & Sawyer~ I asked Sayre to watch Sawyer while I ran in for the camera, and this is what I came back to!! Sayre had given Sawyer some orange pop and they were goofing off with it!
A absorbed Tristan. This is a normal "chair" for him to sit it.

My dog, Jasper. Take a good look and tell me what you see! I did not take this intentionally!! The bird flew into the picture right as I was taking it!!

"Farmer Collin"~ he would roll his eyes if he knew that I called him that. He really is our "farmer" as he's the one that picks all the vegetables or asks us if we're ready to can tomato's! He has also worked really hard at "de-weeding" the garden.

Thinking of the Father Daughter Retreat

My Dad and I have attended Vision Forums' Father/ Daughter Retreat for the past two years and we have really enjoyed it! It is held at Calloway Gardens in Georgia at the most beautiful time of year~Spring!!! It's absolutely breathtaking as the azaleas are in full bloom and many other flowers and shrubs are starting to bloom!
The retreat is full of sessions on the Father/Daughter relationship which are extremely helpful, encouraging, and challenging! The highlight of the event is the High Tea that is held in place of lunch on Saturday. The girls get all dressed up in their special dresses and the Dads wear their suits or Armed Forces Uniforms. This is a special time and everyone is encouraged to make it memorable! Here are a few pictures from last year's and this years retreat!

My Dad and I at last year's retreat! This is at the High Tea!! There is PLENTY of food and you don't go hungry!!! There are scones, tea sandwiches, cream, sweet rolls, sweets, and I'm most likely forgetting something. The neat thing is that you are able to keep the tea cups that you use!! I have mine sitting up on my dresser, and I think of this special time each time I look at them.

Me ~ at last years retreat. As you can see everything is beginning to bloom and is incredibly bright and beautiful!

After the tea, you have all afternoon to explore Calloway Gardens and the first stop for most people is the Butterfly Conservatory! This building has a good sized butterfly habitat that you would enjoy spending a lot of time in. It's neat to see the different types of butterflies and to have them land on you!!

Did you know that God created some Butterflies with camouflage? This one looks like an owl's eye at first glance. Our God is an amazing God!!

Me ~ last year outside the "Azalea Bowl". Daddy and I didn't walk very far into it as we didn't have much time left. I love the colors in this picture!!
This year we had the privilege of attending the retreat with Pastor Johnny Franco and his two daughters. We had a fun-filled time driving to the retreat along with some great fellowship during the event!! Pictured with me are Bethany and Haviland! They still talk about our drive to and from the retreat.....let's just say it was a rather "wild" drive!!! I have NEVER seen two girls laugh and giggle so much at one person (that person being ME!! and I wasn't even trying to be funny!)!
My Daddy and I outside the Butterfly Conservatory. If your Dad ever asks you to attend this retreat, do it!!! Jump up and get excited at this God Given opportunity to build a better relationship with your Dad!!! You will not regret it!
I ordered the CDs from this years retreat earlier this week and I'm so anxious to go back and listen to the sessions!! It's so encouraging to see other like-minded young ladies and to know that "I'm not alone in this".

Monday, July 23, 2007


Sundays' are a special day of rest for me and my family. It's a day where we worship the Lord by reading His Word and singing praises to Him.
One of the things that I do on this day is my laundry, as it doesn't take to much work and I enjoy the peace it gives me. I honestly delight and even look forward to doing my laundry! It is such a fulfilling task!

I like to hang as much of my laundry out as possible~ My favorite shirts, things that I have had to pre-treat for grease stains, skirts, or things that I just don't want to put in the dryer. I have found that if any of my clothes come out of the dryer with stains on them, that I'm not going to be able to get them out. So I prefer the "prevention plan"!!!

I especially enjoy hanging out my sheets!!!! I absolutely love crawling into a bed made with sheets that have dried out in the sunshine with a gentle breeze blowing!!! Makes goose bumps come out just thinking about it!!! I think it's the crisp cool feeling of the sheets that I like! I HIGHLY recommend trying this at least once in your life!

My Mom recently decided to try a new laundry detergent call "Charlie's Soap" and she really like it! You only use about a Tablespoon (don't quote me on that) of detergent to a load of clothes!! It sounds to good to be true, but it really is!!! The soap is scent free and causes your clothes to come out of the dryer soft, with out using fabric softener. I've been doing the laundry of late, and I must say that it is true! The boys filthy pants are coming CLEAN and they seem to be softer!!!!! I HIGHLY recommend this soap!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


People have canned fruits and vegetables for many many years, but yet I've never seen it done or taken part in the process. Yesterday that changed for me as Mom decided that we had to do something about the cucumbers that were accumulating in various and sundry containers in the addition!

This picture depicts what we do with freshly picked vegetables! We are beginning to wonder if they grow over night in those containers!! Maybe the squash will quit producing????? Maybe.....

Mom decided that she wanted to can both Bread & Butter pickles and Dills. Here she is getting the cucumbers and onions ready to sit with crushed ice to firm them up.

Then, she washed and sterilized the jars.

Finally, she made the brine and cooked the onion/cucumber mixture. Next she ladled the mixture into mason jars. I wiped the rims, put the lids on, and wiped the jars off.

Here the dills have been packed into jars and are awaiting their particular brine.

The Bread & Butters' waiting to be lowered into the water.

The B&Bs' had to boil 5 minutes and the Dills 10 minutes.

The Finished Product!!!! The cucumber plants are still producing so I'm sure we will be adding many more pickles to this picture before the summer is over with!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Friday Nights.....

For as long as I can remember, Friday evenings has been our Pizza and a movie night! I think it's our way of saying "the week is over with; let's relax"!!! Mom was telling me last night that her family always watched a movie when they had pizza, so I guess this runs in our family!!
It takes four or five of these pizza's to feed the hungry boys!!! If we want leftovers for Sunday evening we need to make an extra one!!
Here we are watching "Pride & Prejudice"! In times past we have put out a picnic blanket for the younger boys to sit on. This prevented them from getting crumbs and smears of food on the sofa or chairs. There were also plenty of spills, and the blanket was perfect for cleaning them up. Sawyer is the only one left to sit on the "Care Bear Blanket" (as we called it). Everyone else has graduated to the sofa!!
Have a terrific day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Various & Sundry Things....

Busy, busy, busy has been the theme of the past several days!!! I'm thankful for it as I keeps me "out of trouble"!!!
Yesterday was my Daddy's Birthday!!! I am priviledged to have him as my Father! He works so hard to provide for his family, even though we all know he would rather be here working with us! What I admire the most in him is his desire to do what's right for his family even though other people might not understand. He makes his decisions based on what the Bible says and not on what man says. That's what I admire most about him. Today I was able to get out to my sunflower patch and attempt to harvest some seeds! Sawyer needed something to occupy him, so he tagged along!! His job was to put the sunflower heads into the basket as I handed them to him!! He seemed to really enjoy helping out!!!
This is all the seeds I've collected from my garden so far!!! There are two bowls of marigolds, a bowl of Love In A Puff, and a small bowl of Gerber Daisies! It's been so enjoyable to sit in my garden and think about next year's garden as I harvest seeds!!! These are some Spider Plants that my neighbor, Mrs. Ashley, gave me over the weekend!! They are doing very well and I have BIG plans for them that include hanging baskets!!! I can't wait to see their tendrils fall over the sides of their containers!!! That will happen next year I'm sure!!
This is all for today. Have an enjoyable evening!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Gift Giving

This past June my family and I were up in the Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown (Virginia) triangle to take part in a week long celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown that was coordinated by Vision Forum. It was an eye opening time as we learned about God's providence in many of the "firsts" of our country. While we were there, some friends of ours (who were also attending the celebration) took us to the HUGE Yankee Candle store somewhere in the vicinity. Actually, let me rephrase that~ the LADIES went to the Yankee Candle store!! Of Course I had to buy some samplers for my "consumption" and a few extras for friends! Pictured above and below is how I packaged them up for my friends. I was quite pleased with the results!!

I didn't just want to hand them to my friends with a "here you go"~ I wanted to get creative for a change!!! I finally decided on mailing the gifts, even though they live 20 minutes away from us. I know how much I enjoy getting gifts or even letters in the mail, so I thought this would be special for them too!!! I "wadded up" a half sheet of tissue paper and put it as the background in a cello bag. Then I arranged the candles to my satisfaction, and secured the top with raffia. I also wrapped up 2 half bars of soap that I make (our family business is handcrafted soap and sundries) in red gingham tissue paper. I included a note letting my friend know that I had been thinking of her, affixed the address, and sealed the box. It was so much fun thinking about her as I packaged her gift!

Sawyer was "spending time with sissy" as Momma was out grocery shopping today (believe me, it's an all day affair!) and he had fun puttering around as I made two batches of soap and did various and sundry other things out in "The Shoppe". Here he looks as if he is ready to make a run to the Post Office for me!

I sent out a box to one friend last week and I was so tickled at her gift in turn (which I wasn't expecting at all!). Right after she received my "box of goodies" she went and baked some special treats and made this card for me! THEN, she called my brother to stop by her house on the way home and pick up MY gift. I was so touched when I saw what she had fixed for me....... She spent TIME (which she doesn't necessarily have a lot of anymore) fixing those goodies for me! Adah, Thank You!!!

This picture and the one before it are of the card that Adah made for me! I need to get some of that paper!
I really do enjoy giving gifts! I give them because I know it's going to make somebody's day and make them feel loved. You never know how much your gift, even if it is small and simple, will mean to somebody! Mmmmmmm...... now I'm Inspired..... :o)
Supper calls. Oh boy, it's taco's tonight with (hopefully) homemade salsa!!!! Must go cook! Have a terrific evening!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I just love sunflowers and this is the first year that I've been able to plant them!! I'm tickled pink with the results!!! Our old house was heavily shaded so that ruled these sun loving plants out. My 1-1/2 year old brother Sawyer is pictured here helping me out in the patch!!

This is one of my Favorite pictures!!

They are all different colors!

I love the contrast between the red and the yellow!!

Last but not least!!
I HIGHLY recomend the sunflower seeds from Gurneys!!

My Garden

I wanted to share some pictures of my garden with you today! My garden is very much like therepy to me; I can be all upset or disturbed over something when I go out to pull weeds, plant something, or even just water, and with in 15 minutes I can feel all of those worked up emotions just dripping away! It truly is therepy for me!

My garden is also a place of inspiration and solitude for me. I go out there with my thoughts and ideas and before to long the creative juices are flowing FULL FORCE!! I usually come away inspired to try something new!

This is my Echinacea plant! I love daisies and sunflowers so this was a "must have" for my garden this year!! I love the striking contrast between the "bright" purple flowers and the green foliage (which, of course, you can't get the full effect with the picture).
I first saw echinacea from one of my Mom's friends who happens to have an herb garden and I was rather inpressed with it's size and beauty! I've been hooked ever since!

Off to the left of the marigolds are some wildflowers that I purchased from Gurneys. They are getting tall and I've noticed that the bees, butterflies, and the hummingbirds have been visiting them quite frequently!
They were easy to grow too! Just planted the seeds in rows and water! No thinning of the plants required!!! I love easy maintenance!

These are just a few of the marigolds that I planted from seed. They have gotten so big and smell so good!! I've heard that marigolds deter certain bugs so I'm glad to have them!! I've been deadheading the flowers AFTER they have dried on the plant and am saving the seeds for next summers garden! I think I'll have more than enough!! :o)

I think the best plants for a garden are ones that are given to you or that you find and dig up from your property!! My Mom has had beautiful gardens where many of the plants were given to her! Each plant is a reminder of the person who gave it to you, or maybe it's a memory of a certain place. Either way, they are very special to you!

I pulled this flower out of an overgrown garden here and just plopped it in the ground. It seems to be enjoying itself!! I've been told that it's some kind of a Hollyhock, but I'm not real sure on that.

This year I planted seeds that I had harvested from my Grandparents house in Michigan. These seeds were over a year old so I wasn't surprised when they didn't "sprout". Here is one that did!

This is my obnoxious Love in a Puff. I planted 5 seeds and I now have this! It's about three feet tall and two and a half feet wide! I've given it one "hair cut" already and I know it's going to need another one before to much longer!!

Behind the Love in a Puff are my strawberries. This is their first year so I didn't let the bear fruit. As I'm sure you can see, I'm letting them grow all together. I thought about doing rows, but I decided not to since that would require more weeding and pinching back of the runners. I can't wait to see how they do next summer!

I must be running along~ the garden is begging to be watered! Have a Blessed Sunday!