Monday, August 30, 2010

Are You a Real Food Rookie?

Since becoming a blogger, I have repeatedly stumbled upon the blogs of Real Food Bloggers and been intrigued by what I've read.  I've been doing some of my own research and trying to incorporate some of the changes I've learned about into my family's diet.  One of my favorite bloggers is Kelly the Kitchen Kop.  I really like her friendly, readable style and the way she helps her readers take guilt-free baby steps towards a healthier diet.  Now Kelly has launched her new e-course to make it even easier for beginners to succeed -- "Real Food for Rookies."  You can read more about it and enter to win this course here.  I've entered this give-away and would love to win this course!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Real Treat!

I now know for a fact that Bloggers are Real People!  :) 

That's because on Saturday I had the Privilege of meeting one of my favorite bloggers   --   Michelle from She Looketh Well!!!

photo swiped from Michelle's blog!

Michelle and her husband are in Georgia for a conference this week, and by driving just two hours north, I was able to meet Michelle and hug her neck!!  Then I introduced her to one of those eateries that us southerners like frequenting -- Zaxbys, where the three of us enjoyed their House Zalad with grilled chicken, well seasoned with Christian fellowship.  We spent about two hours together . . . and it felt like twenty minutes!!

Isn't it amazing how you can meet some people and feel an immediate connection??  Michelle and Brian are very friendly and open, down to earth, and yet heavenly minded!   It was a joy to meet them!

And just in case you wondered, Michelle is just as sweet and precious  . . . . and beautiful . . . in person as she appears on her blog!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Night Without the Lights

This is the first time in three years that the high school football season started without us on the sidelines, cheering for one or more of our sons.  It feels a little strange and empty Not to be sitting on those hard bleachers, fanning myself with a program (both to stir up a bit of a breeze and to create a path through the gnats), glistening (but never sweating, of course!) in the late summer night humidity, scanning the field for #96 or #80 and cheering wildly for any good plays made by the Eagle team!   In my mind I can hear the sound of pads slamming into pads, the blowing of the official's whistle, the chanting of the cheerleaders' cheers, the rowdy yelling of the home crowd, and above the din, the soft but persistent little voices beside me asking for a drink from the concession stand.  Instead, this night seems too quiet and still.

Yes, believe it or not, I really miss the excitement of those Friday Night Lights.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Christmas in August!

You would have thought it was Christmas to see how excited the children were when the UPS man stopped at our house yesterday and delivered this:

Five boxes!!  Four from BJU Press and one from Savannah's Candy Kitchen!  :)  Believe it or not, we opened the candy (a gift from my sweet husband) last!

Each child got to open a box and discover the treasures within!

Looks like these kids are going to be Busy this year!  Here is Luke with his stack of new books!!  WOW!

Guess What?? I Won!!

I haven't been blogging much lately, because I've been using all my time getting ready to start school for the year.  I'm planning some posts about that in the days ahead. 

In my last post,  I told you about the book giveaway at Legacy of Home.  Well, guess what?  I won it!!~!! 

The book is a novel about homeschooling called, Bringing Them Home, and I am really excited to be bringing that book home!   ;)  Hopefully, it will arrive before my annual trip to the beach! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fact or Fiction?

Do you like to read? 

When you read, do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

When I was a girl, I loved to read!!  I can picture myself curled up on my bed or in my bean bag chair, so immersed in whatever I was reading that I never heard my mom call me!  Really, I didn't!  I mostly read fiction, and one of my favorites was the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Nowadays, I rarely read fiction!  There are just so many things I want to learn more about, and time for reading is so scarce, so I usually read non-fiction.  I love to read about homeschooling, homemaking, home organization, biblical womanhood, Christian living, and health and nutrition.  Right now I am reading The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife.  It is a fascinating book!

I also love reading blogs that discuss the above topics, but the more blogs I read, the less books I'm able to read!  What a dilemma!

I recently discovered a blog that I absolutely love -- The Legacy of Home.  It is full of old-fashioned wisdom for the godly homemaker!  Mrs. White blogs about many of the topics I love to read about!  Today I discovered that she is hosting a giveaway that I really want to win!  She is giving away a novel about homeschooling!  The book, which is called, Bringing Them Home, chronicles a family's journey from public schooling to home schooling.  This sounds like a work of fiction I could sink my teeth into!  :)

Just pop over to The Legacy of Home for a visit and leave a comment on this post, and perhaps you will win this new book.  Hey, if you do, will you let me borrow it??  :) 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Last Day Together

Yesterday was Joe and Abby's last day together.   Joe left for the coast, so he can go ahead and start school there next week, and Abby moves to the Gator State today with her family.  It will be a hard change for both of them!  Bethany was stuck to Abby all day like peanut butter on bread, so she insisted in being in this picture of Joe and Abby!

Then, Matt saw his chance to jump into the picture too!

And then Luke joined in!

So Luke's best friend, Jase, jumped into the picture too!  (He's practically a member of the family anyway!)  :) 

Finally, Chris squeezed into the picture just in time for a Silly Pose!  :) 

Then the silliness was replaced with tears, as the time for parting drew near.

Just one more hug . . .

Tay and Joe consult the directions from Dad, but find Tay's scrawled out notes a bit hard to decipher!!

And then they coudn't put it off any longer; the guys had to get on the road!  :( 

Abby spent the evening hanging out with us.  We watched a fun, light-hearted family movie and ate ice cream!   How else do you cheer yourself up when sad?!  :)   Then, Tiffany came over after her Orientation, feeling totally overwhelmed and exhausted after a very stressful week of getting ready for school to start back today.  I was so impressed by how quickly Abby gathered the children together and implemented a plan for encouraging and blessing Tiffany!  That is the foolproof way for cheering yourself up when feeling down -- look for ways to encourage and bless someone else!!!  It works every time! 

We're sure going to miss you, Abby!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bethany as a Baby

While looking through a dresser drawer, I found this picture of Bethany as a baby and thought I'd share!  I think she was about 8 weeks old here.  Wasn't she precious??? 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

First Day on the Job

Yesterday was my husband's first day on his new job! 

This is where he works.  His office is in this huge, historic building, surrounded by stately, old Live Oak trees dripping with spanish moss!    Doesn't it look magnificent???

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Babe's Birthday!

Today was my little Bethany's birthday!  Unbelievably, she is six years old!  I let her start off her special day by sleeping in as late as she wanted, which was 10 am!  Then, Luke fixed her a bowl of her favorite cereal -- multi-grain cheerios!  (She is a reformed Golden Grahams fan!) 

I wish you could have seen her face when she first awakened to the delightful realization that her birthday had finally arrived!  She was all smiles and giggles!  And just so Sweet that everyone wanted to smother her in hugs and kisses!   :)    (Oh, to be able to bottle up such times and keep them to savor in years to come!!) 

My little tomboy-princess, who unlike her older sisters when they were her age, much prefers jeans to skirts, actually chose this denim skirt and "new" shirt to wear for her special day because she wanted to look "Cute!"  :)  She even let me brush her tangled mane into a neat ponytail!   (There is hope for her yet!!!)   :)

The plan was for her older siblings to play whatever she wanted all day -- house, doll house, store, etc.  She usually has a hard time getting anyone to play "girl" things with her, so this was to be her special day!!  However, the plan was barely underway when the phone rang . . . . yes, you've probably guessed it.  It was a realtor wanting to show the house at 3 pm!!!  (I never have been able to understand why a house that is on the market is only shown on the days that are the most inconvenient!)

So, we put all fun and games aside and spent the next three hours whipping the house into shape.  Even baked some of those cookies that I had made and froze awhile back and left them on a platter on the countertop and lit a few candles.  I just love the way it looks when my row of twelve votive candles are lit on the mantle!  I think it is so warm and welcoming!

When we left the house, I rewarded the children for their hard work with a Frosty from Wendy's!  Then we ran a couple errands and hung out at the library.   We got home all hot and sweaty, and jumped into the pool to cool off.  Bethany loved the fact that I played "sharks and minnows" with her!  Then, I came in to make her requested birthday dinner -- "chicken bones" (drumsticks!), macaroni and cheese and buttered carrots.

 While I was cooking, her Daddy called to wish her Happy Birthday.  When he asked her if she had been having a good day, she said, "NO!  I had to work!  I had to clean and clean for that realtor!"   :) 

After dinner, it was the moment every birthday girl waits for  . . . present time!  :)

I LOVE this pic of Bethany with Hannah and Chris!   It is definitely a Favorite!

I love watching brothers and sisters give their gifts to the birthday child and watch with anticipation as they open the treasure!

Bethany got some new doll house furniture for her Loving Family Doll House.  Playing doll house is something that she loves doing and the boys will often do with her.

She was given these beach toys for her upcoming time at the beach!

The grand finale was this "My Puppy and Me" -- an 18" doll holding a puppy on a leash, which she loved! 

Bethany's birthday cake . . .

She was so eager that she had all the candles blown out before we even finished singing Happy Birthday!   :)

I think it is safe to say that Bethany thoroughly enjoyed her birthday!  :)

Bethany and "Emily" -- aren't they precious?!!?   :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

July Birthdays

We celebrated two birthdays in July -- Matthew's on July 3rd and Tiffany's on July 18th. 

This is the very reason that my husband did not accomplish his goal of having a birthday (cake) in every month!  Some of the children refused to be born in their own month, and joined another child in a month where there was already a birthday!!!    Such are the disappointments of life!!   ;)

Matthew was excited about getting to celebrate his birthday at the beach!!  Of course, he gets excited about celebrating his birthday any where!  He LOVES his birthday and starts counting down the days several months in advance!!!  He was up to eight candles on his cake this year!  Here are the highlights of his celebration:

Tiffany was the first to claim July as her birthday month!  Like Matt, she always gets excited about her birthday!  :)  This year her birthday coincided with National Ice Cream Day, which pleased her very much!!!  She loves those birthday cakes from the Publix bakery, but this year her cake "nearly caught fire" with those 25 candles blazing on it -- all of which she blew out with one big breath, I might add!  :)

Happy Birthday Tiffany and Matthew!!
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