Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oak Island, NC

All of you know how much I love my home and where I live, but there is another place in North Carolina that comes in at a close second- Oak Island. Growing up, I always went to the South Carolina beaches for vacations with my family. I didn't think I would ever love any other beaches until I worked at a camp on Oak Island when I was in college. I fell in love with the natural beauty of this place. After visiting me at camp, my parents felt the same way. They eventually bought a home there and the love affair continued. All of my children's beach vacation memories center around this wonderful place.

We were able to go this weekend to have our yard sale which turned out very successful despite the threat of early morning rain.

After getting rid of some of the clutter in my house at the yard sale, I felt free! Everyone should declutter once in a while. It's a good feeling.

But an even better feeling comes from standing on the dock overlooking the beautiful Inter coastal waterway that separates our little island from the main land.

Some of my girl's earliest vacation memories are of bike rides to the crab dock to watch the sun shimmer on the water.

When the tide is high, the view is magnificent. When the tide is low, the birds and crabs steal the show.

The other side of the island overlooks the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. In the fall we enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets over the water. Most people that I share that fact with don't believe me since the sun sets in the west. However, because of the curve of the beach it is possible.

When my girls were little we would spend weeks at the time at the coast. Most of that time was spent on the beach or riding bikes. They didn't need to shop or go to arcades to have fun. They were pretty content to just be.

Occasionally, we might go antique shopping in Southport or throw in a game of Jungle Golf, but who needs that when you have an entire ocean for a playground?

When my kids hear friends talk about going to the beach to do things like shop, go to amusement parks, or go to water parks, they don't understand. I am thankful that they have always been content just wasting the day away under an umbrella, reading a good book, while listening to the tide roll in and spending the evenings under the stars waiting for a turtle nest to hatch. I can't imagine a day at the beach spent any other way.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Busy Bee

As some of you already know, I have been as busy as a bee this week getting ready for my yard sale. This weekend I am off to the beach to have my sale and a little fun in the sun. I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Memorial Weekend!

Busy Week

This week has been very busy in our household. I haven't had time for blogging much due to all of the other activities happening around here. However, I am having withdrawals. I need to post something. So here it goes.

Most of the time we show our best sides in the blogging world, but I need to confess something. My house is a wreck! It looks like a tornado has been through it. Look at my beautiful sunroom.

I do actually have an excuse for this mess. (Doesn't everyone always have an excuse?) Really, I do. We are getting ready to have a yard sale this weekend at my mom and dad's beach home. I ususally donate our items to Goodwill, but we decided that it would be good for the girls to see what a yard sale is all about. Carson has already learned a lot just from the planning of the sale. She was surprised at how her items were priced much lower than the original cost. It has made her think twice about spending on items that are short lived. That's a pretty good lesson to learn.

We have also spent a good bit of time this week getting the kittens used to being outside. Although, they are perfectly content being inside, it is time for them to help me out a little. You may remember my post about my vole problem. Well, these kitties were added to our family to help Mo and it is time for them to get busy.

First, they have to get to know their fellow vole killer, Mo. I'm not sure that they fully trust her yet.

Even though this week has been very busy, we have still been enjoying some of the simple pleasures of living in the country. My favorite pleasure this week....grilled broccoli fresh from the garden. Just drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then grill. Yummy!

Now, you know what I've been up to this week. What's been going on in your household?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Strange Gifts

When you live out in the country, you sometimes receive some strange gifts. Last week my cousin brought us one of the strangest things ever. He brought us a catfish! Now isn't that interesting?

He thought that this fish might be happy in our pond.

Maybe he will. We do have other catfish to keep him (or her) company. How do you tell if a fish is a girl or a boy?

What is the strangest thing someone has ever given to you?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Joys of Homeschooling

Frequently I am asked the question...Why do you homeschool? There are many reasons why I chose to homeschool my girls, but this week I was reminded of some of the main reasons.

In school, could Carson enjoy doing her work on the porch....

....enjoying a view of the beautiful sky? the company of a playful hummingbird?

I think not!

I guess the biggest reason that I love homeschooling so much is because once in a while, when you least expect it, your children will say or do something totally on their own that makes you realize that they are getting it. They really do listen to what you say. A moment when you realize that you have passed a little piece of what matters to you on to your children.

This weekend held a moment like that. In the mist of all of the news about the oil spill in the gulf, Carson decided that she needed to do something about it. She wanted to do what she could to prevent off shore drilling in our beautiful state. She spent her Friday evening (after I had gone to bed) writing letters to the President, First Lady, Governor, and a Congressman about her concern for the environment. Saturday morning, to my surprise, the letters were completed and ready to mail.

This was not a school assignment, mind you. It was just the actions of a young lady who wanted her voice to be heard; a young lady who has been taught to love and care for God's creation.

Now, that is the real reason why I homeschool. Little moments like this would make any mom proud!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Want More!

Today the weather was absolutely beautiful. The day was cool and breezy; a perfect day to be out and about. I just took my camera and sat quietly in a chair on the patio enjoying the cool breeze. During that time of quiet contemplation, I noticed several things that I wish I had more of in my yard.

One of the things I noticed was a lonely little ladybug crawling on a green leaf.

Why do they invade the house in the fall but seem to be extinct in the spring?

Seriously, in the fall I have them all over my house. I would rather have them invade my garden. I would like to have about a million of these little fellers.

I would also like to have some more of these.

My mom and dad have so many hummingbirds that dog fights are constantly breaking out near the feeders. I want more!

Now these have the most heavenly scent that permeates the air around my patio.

I only have two dwarf gardenias in my landscape. That is not enough. I want more!

Are you seeing the pattern here? Is there anything that you would like to have more of in your garden?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beauty Abounds

The thing I enjoy the most about my picture taking obsession is that it makes me constantly aware of the beauty that is all around. I am always looking for something that is picture worthy. I only hope that I have passed on to my girls the importance of searching for and appreciating the beauty that God has placed all around. I pray that they, too, will learn to enjoy the simple things that life has to offer- the little glimpses of heaven here on earth. Things like...

...the pure white petals of a lily floating on the water.

...the brilliance of a pink oleander swaying in the warm breeze.

...perfect drops of rain that quench a thirsty flower.

...the intoxicating scent of a gardenia drifting through the air.

...dancing daylilies who share their joy with all who pass their way.

All of these are evidence of a creator who loves beauty-the beauty that abounds in his creation!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Then and Now

Isn't it funny how time changes things? Last week it was hot and so very dry, but after a day of rain (a little over two inches) everything is green and beautiful again. It made me think about how just a couple of months ago I thought that the winter was going to last forever. I knew it wouldn't, but it just seemed like it would.

I spent some time today looking at some of my late winter posts to see exactly how much things have changed since then. Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while may remember my post about our new vegetable garden. It is hard to believe that we have now harvested some wonderful romaine and broccoli.

Then (early March)

Now (a little overgrown, but producing broccoli)

Then (February, I thought John had ruined my knock out roses.)

Now (His 'tough love' did them a favor)

Then (Our landscaping looked dull and drab.)

Now (It is my favorite place to sit and drink coffee or dine.)

Now (We have baby tomatoes on the vine.)

Now (We have heads of cabbage on our plants.)

One thing in life is certain.....things are always changing!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Country Weekend

There has been a lot happening in the country this weekend. The vegetable garden is growing by leaps and bounds. We now have tiny tomatoes growing on the vine and sweet basil to go along with them. Some of our broccoli was ready to cut. How exciting!

I have been taking pictures of anything that will be still for any length of time...



...tiny frogs

...and turkeys!

Well, only one turkey.

It has been paying a visit to our pond each morning for a drink.

Today it put on quite a show.

After strutting around for a while, it decided to roll around in the grass and shake out its feathers. I'm not sure what it was trying to accomplish, but it sure did look funny.

Life in the country is very laid back and relaxed, but it is never boring. Right now we are getting some much needed rain. I think I'll turn in for the night and fall asleep listening to its song. Hope you had a wonderful weekend!