Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

However, as we all know, looks can be deceiving.

The halls may be decked...

And the reindeer may be ready to fly...

The holly and mistletoe may abound in every nook and cranny...

Christmas pillows may adorn every bed, chair, and sofa...

The kitchen window...

The fireplace mantle...

And the stockings may be ready...

The courtyard wreath may be hanging...

And it may look a lot like Christmas here in my neck of the woods...but with the temperature near 70 and the daffodils starting to sure doesn't feel like it! Oh well...Merry Christmas to you all anyway!:) May God richly bless you and your families in the coming year!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Carson's One Year Anniversary

This weekend was an anniversary of sorts for Carson. Our local volunteer fire department has an annual BBQ and Homecoming Event the first weekend every November. This community gathering is complete with vendors, games, food, live entertainment and a parade. Last year Carson was invited to perform her first show ever. You can read my post about that here. She played a thirty minute set in 38 degree weather. What a way to start out!

This past weekend she was invited to perform again. This time she sang for an hour in weather that was a little better. Although it was a bit windy, the temperature was in the mid fifties..much better than last year. The group after her cancelled due to the wind so she was asked to sing again after a short break. She is such a trouper.

I am amazed to look back and see how much she has accomplished with her music in a year's time. She has written quite a few original songs...had two produced and sold on itunes...and performed numerous shows. It makes me tired just thinking about it all. Oh, to have the energy of a thirteen year old again! Anyway, in honor of her first music anniversary I thought I would post a link to her youtube channel for those of you who have asked about what she has been doing lately. (Does that make me a proud mama?) I hope you enjoy!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Have a nice weekend!

I hope your weekend is full of happiness and beauty!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It Can't Be Done.

It can't be done....just four little words. Have you ever had anyone tell you this? I have. Just the other day I was reminded of one of those times when someone told me that something just couldn't be done. I was taking some fall pictures of my house and garden when I remembered the time that this conversation with a neighbor took place. I had just returned from Charleston, South Carolina where I fell completely in love with the courtyard gardens that I could barely see past the iron gates. One of the objects of my affection was a particular planting, creeping fig. This beautiful vine was growing everywhere giving off an air of timeless elegance. I wanted so much to turn my little courtyard area into a Charleston garden. Then it neighbor...the one with the greenest thumb in the whole county...said those words to me. "It can't be done. We don't live in a warm enough climate to grow creeping fig. If you plant it, it will just die the first winter."

Well, as you can see I ignored her and bought three tiny pots of verigated creeping fig. I figured that it would be protected somewhat by the three walls surrounding it and the heat from the bricks may keep it alive during the cold winters.

Here it is four years later. It took it a couple of years to take off and the winter does take its toil on it just a little bit, however, it always comes back in the spring. In fact, I think it needs a little trimming right about now. What do you think?

I couldn't help but chuckle when taking my pictures the other day. My neighbor's words resounding in my mind. I am so glad that I chose not to listen to her.

I tell my girls often that anything is possible and to never let anyone tell you that something can't be done. Carson has heard a lot of "it can't be done" and "do you know how many talented people want a music career" lately. Her dad and I counter those statements with something like "if you really want it and if you are willing to work hard enough anything can happen." Isn't that what we are supposed to tell our children?

I think I should tell her the story of the creeping fig and remind her of the Bible verse that says, "With God ALL things are possible." Matthew 19:26

Friday, October 28, 2011


One of the most important necessities of life is shelter. This necessity is often taken for granted. We have already had quite a few cold, rainy days this fall that have made me pause and thank God for my nice warm home.

On a recent dreary day I noticed a little fellow that did not seem to be as fortunate as myself.

I wonder why he is choosing to sit in the rain?

And just when I thought he was strange, I noticed that he wasn't alone.
Are there any reptile specialists out there that have an explanation for this?

From the warmth of my own place of shelter, I noticed something else. The Camellia was almost ready to bloom!

After a couple of days of rain, the sun came out again...and so did the blooms!

I am so thankful that God has provided me shelter from the weather! I am also thankful that He chose to surround it with the beauty of His creation. Is there something that you are thankful for today?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I must admit....

I must admit that blogging has been on the back burner for sometime now for me. I must also admit that I miss it. Although I am trying to read and keep up with your blogs, I have not been communicating much with my blogging friends. I didn't realize how much I enjoy your I am going to try to do better. I am going to try to carve out time for my blog no matter how busy my schedule may be.

One thing I have failed to do in my busyness is to thank Patti for the wonderful gift that I received in the mail sometime back. She hosted a give-a-way at her blog and I was the lucky winner. She sent me this lovely book and a sweet note.

Thank you so much, Patti. This package in my mailbox brightened my day! Patti has a lovely blog that is very uplifting. If you have a few minutes you should pop in and visit her.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful fall season. In the next few days I will try to share some of our fall happenings here in North Carolina!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rainy Day

We finally had some much needed rain today. One of my favorite things to do on a rainy day is to just sit and watch the raindrops splash on the pond. What do you like to do on a rainy day?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Preview

The past couple of months have been very busy here in our household. I ended up taking a little break from blogging. Now that Catie is settled into college life and we are settling into a new year of homeschooling our schedule has finally gotten back to normal. I have missed many of your posts, but hope to catch up soon. Our long, hot summer came to a sudden stop today with temperatures hovering around 60 degrees. I think we are getting a little fall preview. What a welcomed change!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene

One of my favorite places is starting to feel the effects of Hurricane Irene. Although these pictures of Oak Island were taken on a beautiful summer day, our good friends are now experiencing rain bands from the storm.

Please join me in praying for all of those on the east coast in the path of this large storm.

If any of you are in the path of Irene, please stay safe and know that I am praying for you and your families.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blogger Issues!

I just wanted to apologize to some of my favorite friends. I am having issues with commenting on some of your blogs. On most, I can comment as usual. On some, I have to comment using Name/URL. On others, I cannot comment at all. It is almost as if I am signed out when I try to comment. With that said...If I usually comment on your blog and you haven't heard from me in a while, this is the reason why. I am still reading all of my favorite blogs and keeping up with you. I do terribly miss getting to interact with you though. If anyone knows what I can do to fix this problem, please let me know.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Where Did the Summer Go?

This summer has gone by too quickly. Between getting Catie ready to go off to college and taking Carson to her singing gigs, there hasn't been much time for just relaxing. However, I'm not complaining. Spending these summer days enjoying my girls is exactly how I want it. I know that all too soon they will both be grown up and gone. I wish somebody had told me how fast time goes when they were babies. Maybe someone did, but I was too young to understand. Oh well, I must change the subject before I am in tears.

On a happier note, Catie is excited about going to college and Carson is excited about having two of her songs on Itunes. Both girls seem to know exactly what they want to do. Maybe I haven't made too many mistakes along the way. Thankfully, the ones I have made have been covered by an awesome God!

Carson has been working really hard on her music and is trying very hard to get some more followers on her music sites. If any of you have some free time and like country/pop music. Please check her out. I'm sure she would love it!

Carson's website
Youtube channel

I hope each of you have had a summer filled with love and laughter! Remember to enjoy every moment.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Carolina Inn

This summer is flying by for me and my family. In just a few weeks we will dropping our oldest off at college. Wow! Time goes by way too fast. Last week Catie and I spent a few days in Chapel Hill for orientation. The two days of sessions were long and boring. There was a lot of information packed into a short amount of time and my brain was on overload. Has anyone else ever experienced this? Fortunately, I decided to splurge and spend my nights in the historic Carolina Inn instead of the dorms. The inn was built in 1924 and is located on the university campus. I couldn't have made a better decision.

From every angle the inn is beautiful.

Dinner on this porch would be wonderful, wouldn't it?

The landscape was so pretty here and all over the campus.

I can only imagine how beautiful this lobby must have been in 1924.

The walls of the hallways were lined with historical pictures and information. One could walk and look for days and never have time to read it all.

The huge hall lined with windows was one of my favorite spots.

I just loved the benches tucked in between the trees.

There was beauty to be seen at every turn.

Of course there was only one thing that mattered after a long day of sitting and listening...


You thought I was going to say the beds, didn't you?

Another bonus of this trip was getting to meet a fellow blogger, Richella. Her blog, Imparting Grace, is one of my favorites. She is every bit as gracious as I expected her to be. I felt as though I had known her for a long time. Isn't it nice to know that behind all of these blogs are wonderful people that we can also call friends? I would encourage each of you to meet face to face with your virtual friends if the opportunity ever arises. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Corn is probably one of my favorite summer vegetables. Getting to sink my teeth into that first sweet ear of corn is certainly on my list of summer pleasures. The childhood memories of shucking corn with my mom, dad and grandpa are sweeter than the corn itself. When I was a little girl I was amazed at how three tiny corn kernels dropped into a little hole could turn into a plant much taller than me in less than a summer. I was even more amazed at how that plant could produce ears of corn so neatly wrapped up and protected by green, leafy shucks. Now that I am all grown up...I still stand in awe of this beautiful miracle. I guess some things never change!

There is only one thing I can think of that I don't particularly like about this summer treat. Once it is ready to be picked you have to work fast. It doesn't produce a little at the time. It all seems to be ready at once and you can't eat it all at one time...or at least I wouldn't recommend it. This is why I have spent the day consumed with corn.

After getting started at seven this morning shucking corn with my brother, niece, and dad (in humidity so thick a knife couldn't cut it); I then had to silk and wash it. Later, after taking a quick shower to cool off, I spent the rest of the morning freezing it to use in the wonderful soups and stews that will warm us in the winter.

It is really easy to freeze, so I thought I would share my method for those of you who may end up with more corn than you care to consume at once.

No, I am not getting paid by ziplock (although I would love some compensation if any of you know someone who works for the company). I do love the ease of closure with this particular brand, however.

After all of the shucking, silking, and washing blanch the corn in boiling water for four minutes.

Then, quickly remove each ear and place in cold water to stop the cooking process.

After the cold water bath, I place each ear on a clean kitchen towel to allow some of the water to drain. Then, I just cut the kernels off of the ear with a knife and scrape each ear to release all of the juices.

After all of the kernels have been cut from the ears of corn, I simply use a large spoon or scoop to fill the freezer bags with corn. I always lay the bag flat and try to get out as much of the air as possible. After I seal the bag, I place them in the freezer making sure they are flat. You want to freeze them that way to be able to stack them and conserve space. After years of watching my mom, I think I may have learned a thing or two....maybe.

When there isn't enough corn to completely fill the last freezer bag, just do what I do...add some butter or olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook a little longer for a little midday treat!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oak Island, North Carolina

Do you have a favorite place to vacation? I sure do. Fortunately, one of my favorite places is only about three hours from home making it easy to visit often. Oak Island is a wonderful North Carolina island where summer days are spent on the beach enjoying the salty breeze.

Beach days for our family consist of bike riding, beach sitting, game playing, picnicking, and dolphin watching. We don't spend a lot of time watching television or shopping. My girls have never experienced the beach any other way. What about you? How do you enjoy spending your vacation?

This week my girls are at Camp Caswell, a Christian camp on the island. John and I are going to have a little beach time to ourselves. I think I'll plan a couple yummy meals to enjoy on the beach...any ideas??

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Simple Pleasures of Summer!

It's summertime! And I don't know about you, but I just love the lazy days of summer and all of the simple pleasures that come with those days. Simple pleasures like...

...fresh blackberries

...homemade cobbler

...homegrown tomatoes

...with fresh green basil

...taking a plunge in cool water

...beautiful hydrangeas

...boardwalks and beaches

...breathtaking reflections

...and summer sunsets

What simple pleasures do you enjoy during the lazy days of summer?