Thursday, February 28, 2013

Happy Birthday

Happy 20th Birthday,
Katie Lynn!
I love you! 
I pray for the Lord to richly bless your life ~ today and everyday!

Can't wait to see you next week!

Love you!



Wednesday, February 27, 2013


When listening to our sermons last week ~ the term TULIP was preached/expounded upon/explained

Here is an explanation of each letter of the acrostic~

The central assertion of these canons is that God saves every person upon whom he has mercy, and that his efforts are not frustrated by the unrighteousness or inability of humans.
  • "Total depravity," also called "total inability," asserts that as a consequence of the fall of man into sin, every person is enslaved to sin. People are not by nature inclined to love God but rather to serve their own interests and to reject the rule of God. Thus, all people by their own faculties are morally unable to choose to follow God and be saved because they are unwilling to do so out of the necessity of their own natures. (The term "total" in this context refers to sin affecting every part of a person, not that every person is as evil as they could be).[27] This doctrine is derived from Augustine's explanation of Original Sin.
  • "Unconditional election" asserts that God has chosen from eternity those whom he will bring to himself not based on foreseen virtue, merit, or faith in those people; rather, his choice is unconditionally grounded in his mercy alone. God has chosen from eternity to extend mercy to those he has chosen and to withhold mercy from those not chosen. Those chosen receive salvation through Christ alone. Those not chosen receive the just wrath that is warranted for their sins against God.[28]
  • "Limited atonement," also called "particular redemption" or "definite atonement", asserts that Jesus's substitutionary atonement was definite and certain in its purpose and in what it accomplished. This implies that only the sins of the elect were atoned for by Jesus's death. Calvinists do not believe, however, that the atonement is limited in its value or power, but rather that the atonement is limited in the sense that it is intended for some and not all. Hence, Calvinists hold that the atonement is sufficient for all and efficient for the elect.[29] The doctrine is driven by the Calvinistic concept of the sovereignty of God in salvation and their understanding of the nature of the atonement.
  • "Irresistible grace," also called "efficacious grace", asserts that the saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save (that is, the elect) and overcomes their resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing them to a saving faith. This means that when God sovereignly purposes to save someone, that individual certainly will be saved. The doctrine holds that this purposeful influence of God's Holy Spirit cannot be resisted, but that the Holy Spirit, "graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ."[30][unreliable source]
  • "Perseverance of the saints" (or preservation) of the saints (the word "saints" is used to refer to all who are set apart by God, and not of those who are exceptionally holy, canonized, or in heaven) asserts that since God is sovereign and his will cannot be frustrated by humans or anything else, those whom God has called into communion with himself will continue in faith until the end. Those who apparently fall away either never had true faith to begin with or will return to the faith.[31]
The entire article is found in the following link ~
Greg has planted Tulips in our yard....hundreds of tulips ~ they are coming up through the pinestraw and we are looking forward to seeing the blooms ~ a beautiful reminder of the Grace of our Lord~

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What To Do?

What to do ~~~
When you are a car passenger ~~~
8 days ~~~~
2400 miles ~~~

We ~
*listened to lots of sermons on Grace/Election/Salvation that Greg downloaded onto his kindle
*listened to "Wretched Radio" downloads
*talked about the sermons, family situations, future plans
*listened to "Go Fish" ~ needed some peppy music to keep us going
*cross stitched ~ ALOT!  Got my Coke picture finished and started on the prestamped quilt top for a baby quilt (same as Roberts I made last year, Amy picked some different colors)
*prayed for a safe journey, for our family
*the kids read books (I can't read in the car anymore but can sew)/ and they studied Bible Drill
*Discussed wedding plans & rehearsal dinner menu
*Enjoyed the time together
Here is a link for the sermons we listened too ~~~

and the link for Wretched is ~~~

Monday, February 25, 2013

Homeschool Conversation of the Unusual Variety!

Last week, I had a Homeschool conversation of a very unusual variety from an unexpected source.  This individual approached me and said..."so I heard that you homeschool"!  Knowing where she got this info from and the informers views on it, I was leery. 

But, she wanted to know why/how I made the decision to start, how our days went, what curriculum we used, field trips we had been on, etc.  Basically, she didn't seem come into the conversation with any preconceived notions about how "weird" homeschoolers are and how wonderful public school is.

She listened, didn't interrupt, asked intelligent questions AND ended the conversation by telling her husband that if she had to start school over again she would want to be homeschooled (by me).  Needless to say, I was shocked ~ especially given the family relationship.

You just never know where support/appreciation is going to come from!

And did I mention ~

She was a public school teacher?!?

Friday, February 22, 2013

It Hit Me This Week!

As we were wandering around DC on Tuesday and went into several gift shops ~ I was looking at all the fun puzzles and books and activities.  Then it Hit Me ~ I didn't NEED anything....I am at the end of homeschooling.  Can I just admit that this was somewhat depressing?  I was definitely bummed about that revelation.  It did "skew" the enjoyment of looking at stuff and I didn't spend a penny. 

When my little Robert is older, I will get to buy him some goodies for school and future grandchildren !

On a side note...I pulled out my "Future Christian Homemakers" book that Amy Lynn and I are going to use during her "apprenticeship" with me next year and discovered that she already knows most of the first 4 lessons!  "How to Crack an Egg", "Making Quick Breads ~ Muffins", "Baking Bread" and "Ground Beef".  

I am sure when we go to the "Family Economics Conference" in ST. Louis in May ~ these feelings will resurface full force!  The Conference is in conjunction with a homeschool curriculum hall conference. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

No Words are Necessary ~

Many, many thanks to the United States Marine Corp. for their service today and everyday!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Day In Washington DC

Our day started early....really early....before the sun came up early!

We decided to take the bus from my sis in laws house to downtown ~ we needed to make sure we were there for our tour to start at 9.  We were slightly paranoid about the possibility of traffic, walking, etc. and we took the 5:40 bus ~ thats AM.  Yikes!

We got there with plenty of time to spare.  We ate our breakfast bars, fruit, and cheese sticks and guzzled down our drinks while waiting to enter at 8:30.  Ya have to eat everything or toss it!  Then we got through security and waited for our tour to start.

"Tom" was our tour guide and he was a fountain of information!  The tour was several hours ears could have lasted a couple of more hours, my feet could not!  We got to go in a Congressional Hearing Room, a House "theater" (they showed the new Lincoln movie there to the senators and their wives before the movie was released, we walked down the hall that the Presidents walk down to take the Oath of Office,  got tons of details about backstage areas, statues, building materials etc.

Then lunch, the Botanical Gardens, and the Air/Space Museum.  It was a full long day and we had a great time with Sabrina & Charlie and Sarah & Billy.  Here are a few behind the scenes photos.....

a piece of the plane that hit the Pentagon ~ Tom was working there at the time and picked it up the night of 9-11

the exact center of Washington city

Charlie needed a nap after lunchtime

Will, Me, Greg, and Amy

Thursday, February 14, 2013

50 Gifts

When we started planning Gregs birthday bash ~ I thought of the idea of giving him 50 gifts for his 50th birthday.  Will, Amy and I started scouring/exploring/hunting for these gifts.  Mom got into the action and Allen & Jennifer contributed.
My original goal was to take them on the cruise ~ so they had to be relatively small.  And I wanted all 50 wrapped.  This was all accomplished on Friday, before we left for the cruise Sat.
However, these goodies took up an entire suitcase ~ so we "gifted" him on Friday night and held back a few things to give him on Monday (his actual birthday).  Here is the list, I probably won't remember everything.

2 little diecast green/yellow tractors for his collection at work
John Deere jigsaw puzzle
Monte Carlo racing puzzle
2 small jigsaw puzzle's
"Family" picture frame (for our new family pic from A & A wedding next month)
"Duck Commander" book on Kindle
2 small pocket multitools
drawing pencils
drawing pad
watercolor pad
Peanut M & M's
Sweet Tarts
Disney Bolo Paddle & Ball (for the kid in him)
a Hot Wheels Boat (he wanted a boat!)
a Hot Wheels pickup truck (we need a truck)
a 50's decade hot wheels car (its His decade now!)
Chocolate/marshmallow candy
chocolate/caramel candy
Ribbon type candy (to start his grandpa candy jar)
2 aspercream
bandaids (mac & cheese motif!)
Vicks vapor rub
label refills for his label maker
MSU bumper sticker
movie: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
movie: The Hunt for Red October
Batman washcloth (we used to play batman as children)
"Uncle Si" t-shirt
a 3 drawer plastic box for his art supplies in the kitchen
his b'day cake on the cruise

 All that doesn't equal 50, so that means there is more that I have forgotten.

I gave him a card on his birthday with a "Gift Certificate" enclosed for 2 tickets to the Atlanta Motorspeedway for the races over Labor Day weekend ~ he likes to watch the races on tv (sometimes through his eyelids), and has never been to one.  So me thinking of this was a huge surprise for him.  Oh, the 2 tickets are for him & Will to go!  

We had fun finding everything.
He had fun opening 50 gifts!
And lots of the goodies did go on the cruise ~ but not all 50!

Amy picked this years official birthday hat!

most of the gifts had notes attached

he is reading notes

the birthday suitcase!

the Happy Almost Birthday boy!
Happy "late" birthday to my honey!  I hope you had a fantastic day!  I enjoyed spending it with you and cruisin' the Gulf of Mexico!

I love you!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dresden Plates

My almost daughter, Amy Kate found a cute idea on Pinterest for Quilted Chair Decorations for the wedding reception.  She asked me to make them and the fact that I had never made a Dresden Plate square didn't keep me from saying No.

We spent several fun hours at Hobby Lobby & JoAnns picking out fabrics in all the wedding colors.
Then the fabric sat on a shelf on my sewing table for months.  Just sitting there staring at me, waiting for me to get my nerve up.  In December, I decided I had better get busy.

I traced and cut out all the pieces on one day.  And started sewing the next day.
I got the blocks done and then started attaching the embroidery machine parts to the sewing machine to embroider the Mr. & Mrs. into the middle of the plates.....and it would not connect.  A wire connection wasn't reading on the computer ~ I tried for 45 very frustrating minutes.
Then I picked up the handy phone and called my friend Angel ~ she took the squares, embroidered them for me, and saved me more frustration!  After the embroidery was done.  The "plate" pieces were pinned onto the squares and sandwiched with the batting and backing & then the hand quilting started.  The piece of the fan is quilted & the outer rim of the "plate".  Hand quilting is a great thing to get done while watching TV at night.

The original pattern called for the squares to be "framed" into cross stitch hoops and hung on the bride and groom chairs with ribbon.  My squares turned out so large that I couldn't find hoops to fit....14" is too small and 18" is too large.  And there was no 16".  (Well there was online but they wanted $35 each for them.)
Greg and I wandered around Hobby Lobby on Sat. and he came up with the great idea of using styrofoam wreath forms.  We bought 2 large ones and he trimmed a little off the outside of each.
They are each wrapped around the styrofoam and held on the underside with pins.  A piece of fabric is tacked to the back of the wreath to cover the messiness and the wreaths are "wrapped" in a floral ribbon to neaten it up some. We had seen some gorgeous frames but they would be too heavy to hang on a chair!

I am pleased with the result & I know Amy Kate will be...
but these could be the only 2 dresden plates that I ever do.  There is probably an easier way to do these that I don't know about ~ but I was winging it!

I've got white satin ribbon to sew on the back of each one ~ so they can hang on their chairs at the reception.  We are using them the night before at the rehearsal dinner also ~ but there will be a rectangle of paper pinned right about the Mr. & Mrs. that will say....Almost!
Love to you Andy & AmyKate


I am thankful...

for a safe, uneventful cruise
that our ship was not named "Triumph" (its stranded in the Gulf)
for safe passage ~ there and back
for working bathrooms
for plenty of food
for a crew that kept everything clean
for family fun
for seeing friends from our previous homeschool group (Liesl & Laura Ashton)
for games of Uno at night
for a scrabble board
for chocolates & towel animals
for beautiful sunsets
for chocolate frozen yogurt
for fresh, yummy cantaloupe in January
for salads
for choices
for peace & quiet
for relaxation
for staying well until the last day
for wipes & hand sanitizer
for finding out Mexico sells Mirinda (yummy orange softdrink manufactured by Pepsi)


Monday, February 11, 2013

Its Monday, Again!

Happy Monday!

My body has decided to favorably respond to the new medications and I finally feel somewhat better.  At least a lot better than I have felt in 1 1/2 weeks.  I am thankful for medication but hate taking so much of it.

On Sat., the weather here was gorgeous (well, it could have been that way all last week, but I was sacked out on the couch and didn't care).  I sat outside for a little bit in the sunshine and watched Greg and Will fix our boardwalk that goes from the deck to the driveway.  It also passes the chicken coop, so we can feed them and collect eggs with somewhat unmucky feet ~ unless we have to go into the fence.  We had some rotting boards and unevenness and they fixed it.

While sitting outside I was noticing the signs of spring that are taking place.  My fruit trees are about to burst forth in blooms.  My peach tree in the backyard is covered in buds.  The daffodils are blooming and the tulips are sticking their heads up from the ground.  One of my strawberry plants is covered in blooms.  The grass is kind of changing from crunchy brown to a little green.  Its way to early to plant anything, but we are thinking toward that time.

Sat. night it started to rain and kept  it up all day Sunday.  Then the really nasty weather started south of here bringing several tornadoes to that area.  One that hit Hattiesburg, went through/around Amy Kate's grandmothers neighborhood and thankfully didn't cause any damage to her house.  There is a video on FB that someone took during the tornado.  While the footage is spectacular ~ getting in my car and driving around is never anything I would think about during a tornado.  I am the hunker down in the interior room with my family & pray type person.

Its still raining today, but it seems all the awful weather was yesterday ~ I hope it stays that way.

This week, we are eating from the freezer/pantry, without a big shopping trip.  I will need a few things from the store ~ ran out of apples yesterday & potatoes on Sat.!  Last night we had Chili ~ thawed from the freezer.  Tonight is Lasagna & garlic bread (made before our cruise and the leftovers frozen).  The rest of the week, we will have pork loin, potatoes and hamburger gravy, chicken tortillas, sliders, maybe a chicken pot pie.  Nice variety and I will only need to buy a few things!

I am praying for a calm week with renewed health and strength!  I am awfully thankful for my comfy couch with the recliner ~ makes for some cozy naps!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review for Booksneeze

"Threads of Grace" by Kelly Long

"This book is about the riveting story of a young Amish girl, Grace.  Grace's parents are deeply in debt and make a decision that will change Grace's life forever.  Throughout the book, she is faced with struggles, consequences, and  threats as a result of that decision.  Years later, she moves to a new community, to "start over" again and build a new life, but the trouble follows her.  All through the story, she is shown the Lords love and grace toward His children & He leads her to building new relationships & places trustworthy people in her life.

It was a riveting story and the first I have read by this author.  But it won't be the last.  The author kept my attention and there were many unexpected twists in the plot ~ all to enhance the story.  I would love to read a sequel to this story and keep the characters going.  I did not want the book to end!"

I received this book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Still Sick

I hate to be sick.  I hate everything that comes with being sick.  This stupid illness has held on for a week, and not showing positive signs of leaving.  In fact,  its just as bad or maybe a little worse.  Went back to the dr. today and got more medicine. 

Coughing, runny nose, congestion, sneezing, sleeping, running a low grade fever, etc.  When I get sick, I do it right!  No halfway job of being sick here.

Since all I have done is sit on the sofa for a week, I did get a baby quilt ~ hand quilted.  Hopefully the fair ladies won't look at it and accuse me of being under the influence while I quilted...I really don't know how straight those stitches are!  But its done.  In between napping, I've finished a small cross stitch project too.

Amy has done a great job fetching me drinks, tylenol, etc. and fixing our meals.  She & Will have kept the house going, feeding all the critters, and straightening up.  I love having 2 older responsible kiddo's that can help.

Greg is working on finishing his Masters Thesis.  He's also been doing lots of computer work to have all our household accounts on one computer, easily accessible to both of us. 

And me.....I just sleep, cough, blow my nose, stitch a little, and watch the world pass by in my "fog".

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Review

"Pocket your Dollars" by Carrie Rocha

"Many folks today are looking for ways to stretch their dollars to supply their needs & even their wants.  In this book are many practical, easy implement, ideas to help your household budget. Unlike other finance books, "Pocket your Dollars" doesn't give you charts, graphs, or percentages ~ it instead tells the story of the authors family, their struggles, their accomplishments, and victories in the area of family budgets.  She is very open & honest about the family she grew up in and the family she and her husband formed upon their marriage. The author deals with the fact that as humans, we sometimes think we deserve something, or we should be able to get a treat, or its been a hard week & we need a break.  When in all honesty, we need to be responsible, save for our treats, and work hard to accomplish our goals.  I would highly recommend this book to Newlyweds, folks wanting to get a handle on their finances, and folks wanting to dig out of the hole they've dug themselves into.

We follow many of these principles already in our own family and the benefits are wonderful.  Our younger 2 children are learning how to save, bargain shop, budget, and be rewarded in special family times ~ one being our cruise last week.  I am also going to be adding this book to their "to read" lists for school"

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Senior Pictures

While not a senior pic~Amy loved bottle feeding this baby cougar at Progresso, Yucatan!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

More Pictures

Here are some more pictures from our cruise....these will all be food pictures from dinner!


shrimp cocktail

flat iron steak & vegies

Our waiter had a sense of humor ~ this is the gator!

My sweethearts birthday cake!

pork tenderloin with jerk sauce

Our waiter Dante, leading the birthday song

frog legs

Will LOVED the frog legs!  Ribbit!

I was not impressed!  Probably would have been better fried!
The cruise illness is still lingering.  We've been to the dr., Greg got 2 prescriptions.  I got 2 shots & 2 prescriptions.  Argh...the asthma kicked in  and the wheezing has started.  Not fun!  I finally got some sleep last night when I pulled out the pres. cough meds.  Ahhhhh, sleep is wonderful!

Next pictures, will be the Senior pictures we took on the trip!