Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Spot of Tea


Life has been very busy lately and more than a bit overwhelming. I feel pulled in a hundred different directions. When things get this way it's hard for me to stop and just relax. The other day my 5 year old took care of mommy. She invited me to a tea party. She even made her own invitations. The dress was formal, but I persuaded her to just let me wear a pretty apron. :)

She made the tea herself-lukewarm mint green tea (our favorite). We even had snacks (nutri-grain bars she had cut up). Her table was all pretty and classical music was playing in the background. I sat still...relaxed...and had such a nice time with her. It warmed my heart to know she did this just for me. What a special little girl. What a special time.

One reason I love our 'school'

No walls to box us in!


For Cheryl


I have had a request from my dear, sweet, Canadian friend Cheryl. She'd like me to post updated pictures of our house for her to see. The power is on, some sod has been laid in the yard, every thing's inside except for the appliances and of course the sconces that Mark and I can't agree on! LOL! The wood floors will be finished this week. It's getting really close!



In the mean time we have until midnight Tuesday (10-13-09) to be out of our other house. We should close on it on Wednesday morning. We had a lot out and packed up, but the house had still been 'staged'. It's amazing how much can be tucked into one little house! Oh my word! Fortunately it's almost done. Just a few small things inside to load; Mark will empty out his little shed; Monday I'll vacuum, mop and touch up the paint in a couple of places. Wednesday we'll hand the keys over and turn the page.
So, Cheryl...here's a sneak peek at the next chapter in our book. By the way, perogies would be a perfect house warming (and tummy warming) gift. Love ya girl!

Come on in the front door. Don't trip over the little guy who is sanding. Next they'll darken up the door a bit.

Here's the living room.

One side of the kitchen.

The opposite side of the kitchen.The kitchen again! Behind the fireplace is the dining room. The doorway to the right is the mudroom.My wonderful pantry! My favorite room in the house. LOL!One of the upstairs bathrooms. All 4 look basically the same.My bathroom...all mine!!!! No more sharing! Woohoo!

Now, Cheryl and any other friends who happen to still be reading this-if you want to see the rest of the house, you have to come visit me!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Almost there....

The builder is saying we could be in in 6 weeks. I can't even fathom living in that house!
We also found out this week that our home of 15 years is sold. That news was bittersweet for me. Every room is filled with so many memories. Several friends gave me some really good advice: go through the house and take lots of pictures. Then when the new house is complete, take the pictures and the memories, sit on the back porch and just remember. I did just that. I took all kinds of pictures outside the house then moved to the inside where I got shots of every room and probably every angle. The only thing left to do besides wait on the closing and move our furniture and other items, is to dig up my Granny's rose bush and move it, along with us to our new home. It's always sad when one chapter ends, but exciting to start the new one.
(Mary walking to the new house)

Belize


Part of our summer was spent in Belize this year. What a gorgeous country! As usual with us, it was an adventure getting there. After 2 flights we arrived at Belize City where we had to retrieve our luggage to go through customs before proceeding on with our next flight. We, of course had a pile of bags. Mostly Mark's-seriously! He had 4 bags-3 of which had fishing 'stuff'. The girls and I each packed one small duffel and one carry on. We knew we'd end up having to carry his stuff too. LOL! Out of all of those bags...mine didn't make it to Belize!!! This is the 4th time this has happened to me. From now on all of my stuff is going in a carry on! Finally we get all the paperwork filled out and are able to proceed through customs and onto our next flight. All my anger at my missing bag melted away as I saw our plane:
I was ROTFLOL!!! The girls couldn't stop giggling. I wasn't even sure if they'd be able to fit our luggage on that tiny plane! The flight was very nice just hot. Obviously the AC wasn't working. We made 2 stops on little gravel runways right beside the water. The views from the air were breathtaking! This first week of our trip was spent in south Belize in Placencia. We loved our lodge and enjoyed getting to know the locals who worked there. Our time was spent by the pool, on the beach, sailing, picking up shells and fishing. We went into the little village a couple of times for dinner and once for a soccer game.
Our next stop (back on the little plane) was in the northern part of Belize at Ambergris Caye. We stayed in the small town of San Pedro. We had to board a panga boat to get to our lodge. We soon found out the water taxi was the only way into town besides a 5 mile walk or bike ride (which we only did once). The main difference between this lodge and the first was this one seated everyone together at one long table for dinner. We met several families from the states-TX, TN, AL, CA, NY etc and 2 from England. Mark did lots of fishing here. In fact, he fished in a tournament. Although he didn't win, he did catch the 3 fish-tarpon, bone fish and permit. His dream was to fly fish and catch a permit. Check that one off the dream list. The girls and I enjoyed exploring the little town, meeting the people and just 'hanging out'. One of our days there we went on a boat trip. After an hour ride we stopped at a private island where we were able to snorkel in the Caribbean. It was unbelievable! Not only did we get to swim/snorkel over the barrier reef (the world's second largest), we saw all sorts of coral-red, fan, brain-and tons of fish whose colors seemed to almost glow. It was like another world. Emma barely picked her head up out of the water. After doing this for an hour we came back on the beach where our guide had prepared lunch (always my favorite). Next we were back in the boat for another ride to a reserve where we saw several manatee. These animals are so beautiful-definitely my favorites. We stopped at another island. This one had literally been split by a hurricane a few years ago. From here we moved on to the 'aquarium'. This is just a spot in the Caribbean, near the barrier reef where the water is shallow (about 5-6 feet). Here we were able to snorkel with huge sting rays! There were tons of them, along with all kinds of fish. Emma was scared at first but overcame her fears and jumped in.
Belize was so very different than any other country we've visited. Beautiful scenery but unfortunately such harsh poverty. The thing is, that doesn't seem to break their spirit. Everyone we came in contact with was smiling and friendly. One little 6 year old, Jasmine, befriended Emma. She walked around the beach with us, holding my hand and even wrapping her arm around me at times. When it was time for us to board the boat and go back to the lodge, she hugged me and begged me to take her with us. When she was 3 weeks old her mother abandoned her. A lady named Mary and her husband are raising her-their own children are grown. If I could have figured out a way to bring her back at that moment, I would have.
My memories of Belize are mixed. There was the plush lifestyle at the lodges where we stayed then the poverty in the nearby towns. Such a beautiful, beautiful country. I'm so thankful we got to visit and that God opened our eyes to what these sweet people are going through. For now, we'll pray for them. In the future, who knows, maybe God can use us in another way there.

Back Again

I've been away from my blog for a while, if you didn't already notice. LOL! I get burnt out on things and have to step back and take a breather for a bit. That's just the way I am with everything. It's nice though to get a fresh start.
So...what have I been doing since Easter. This summer was so nice. The girls went to a couple of camps, I went with some great moms to a homeschool conference. 2 trips to New Orleans, several cookouts with friends and family, giggling girls over for spend the night parties and a little bit of rest and relaxation. I remember summers as a kid when I'd actually get bored b/c there was 'nothing' to do. Whatever happened to those days? I don't even remember the last time I was bored! LOL!
I'm going to attempt to get caught up here and in 'real' life. So many exciting things going on.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen!

He is not here; he has risen!~Luke 24:6
Happy Easter from our family to yours. I pray that you know our savior and the true meaning of Easter.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

3 years old

Happy birthday, Lizzie Beth.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reaching Goals


I've always been the type to set goals. My husband says that when I do, I put blinders on and forget everything else. One of my recent goals was to get back into running. I've ran off and on since college-but I would NEVER classify myself as an athlete. At the end of January, I decided to start running 3 days a week. It wasn't as hard to get back into as I had envisioned. (not to say that I didn't have days when I had to drag myself out the door) One of my friends told me about a running book. I checked it out of the library and started following his workout guide. My friend and I ran together one day a week. The other 5 days a week you could find me hitting the pavement with one of my girls following close by on a bike. My friend and I set a goal to run a local 10K race. Even though I had ran races like this in the past, I was a bit apprehensive the morning of the race.
My family was there to cheer me on and my friend was at the starting line with me. I would like to say the race was fun, but actually my favorite part was when I crossed the finish line! LOL!
My proudest moment was not me reaching my goal, but watching my 10 year old, Grace complete her first 2 mile fun run.
She's learning to conquer her fears and work hard to reach her goals. I had tears in my eyes as I watched her cross the finish line. Now we're off to train for our next race. Who knows, maybe one day we'll run a marathon together.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Our Classroom

Don't you love my office??? Nice and airy...great views.

I'd love to do school here everyday! I know the girls would agree.
Do you see the goose egg? There were lots more in the middle of the trees.

Some of our classmates. I'm partial to Canada's! Glad they made the long trip to join us.These two seemed to enjoy observing us. Aren't they beautiful?
Thank you sweet Mary for being the photographer (everyone likes Mom's new camera! LOL!)

Puppy Love

" Dogs are a man's (and woman's) best friend." In my book they are the perfect best friend. They don't say mean things, they don't hurt your feelings and they always look forward to seeing you. I love my 4-legged babies. The other night I took the time to sit on the porch in the rocking chair and just hold and love my fella and the princess. I was showered with kisses and affection. I need to do this every day!









A rainy day

Rainy days aren't exactly strangers here on the coast. In fact in the summer they're daily. It's been a while since we last got any rain. It's been pretty dry. Still, rain is not something I always look forward too. One of my friends and her daughter stayed in all day (actually in bed till 10!). Honestly, I thought about it. Unfortunately I like to stick to a schedule. The girls and I were up early and at co-op. Then we had dance this afternoon. Emma was left with me while the big girls danced. She feel asleep in the car during the drive over. That left me with my thoughts...and the camera. I drove down to the bay and admired the beauty...even in a rainy day. God continues to amaze and bless me daily.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Time to renew and refresh



Life seems to always be moving so fast. It's easy to get overwhelmed. When I feel like I'm being pulled in all directions I like to take a step back and stand still. Nature has a way of cleansing my mind and my soul. What a magnificent pallet God has put before us. How many times have I looked right past it in my busy-ness?
So far this month, I've failed to visit a friend with her new baby, I missed another friend's birthday, I don't have the 3rd school term schedule completed...the list goes on and on. Instead of trying to get caught up, the girls and I took an hour and went to the beach (on the bay). The weather was perfect-upper 70's with a gently breeze. The promise of not just spring, but summer was in the air. We took our shoes off and dug our toes into the sand. We watched a guy flying a huge kite. Grace and Emma practiced their recital dances right there in the sand with the waves for an audience.
It was a blessed, peaceful hour. It was like God had used the wind and waves to just wash away all the stress of my life. I left a new person. Who would have thought something as simple as a trip to the beach could actually be so meaningful. I think we need more beach days.