Saturday, March 31, 2012


Shiloh National Military Park.  If you are from the South, you have probably heard of this before.  It was established to commemorate the Battle of Shiloh from the Civil War.  This weekend, they were celebrating the 150th anniversary of this battle.  We have a neighbor who takes part of the re-enactment & invited us to come.  Here is our story & some pictures, of course, from our adventure:

We had a reservation to camp Friday night & our plans were to be at the battlefield all day Saturday.  We had some old friends come by Friday for a visit & Avery had some last minute work things, so were going to be late leaving Memphis.  We decided it would be better to just make a day trip of it on Saturday.  (Not to mention our camper needs lots of cleaning before we use it).  So we leave our house at 6:30 Saturday morning and drive to Shiloh.  We knew there was going to be lots of people there, so we left early.  They are expecting 50,000 during the course of the weekend.  Once we arrived, there were no signs on where to park, where spectators were to enter, & no one to guide you either.  The entire area was covered in mud.  So much mud everywhere.  We thankfully, found a parking lot that was inexpensive, only about 1 mile away from the entrance, & they provided a tractor-trailer shuttle to the entrance!  As soon as we parked, we looked around & saw an endless sea of cars in line.  We made it just in time to avoid traffic congestions.  We were surprised at the lack of signs & help on the roads & with the parking lots, but thankfully we were not involved in it.

We arrived to the tent areas with the shops & workers of the day.  Here is Avery & the girls listening to the role of the undertaker from the Civil War:

My nephew, Micah, was also there with his Scout troop.  I was looking everywhere for him & told Avery every scout I saw began to look like Micah.  As soon as I said that, Avery spotted Micah!  Micah, who is 15, gave me a hug & we spoke for just a minute.  I forgot to take a picture with him, but I did spot him later walking with his friends.  I took this picture from behind.  Honestly, my hug from him & texting with him tonight about the day was the highlight of the day!

Avery looking for Micah
Micah is at the end on the left side.  Wish I had gotten a better picture!

The girls enjoyed seeing all the time period dresses

and dressing up in some hats too

As we were standing in line for lunch, Avery noticed a man smoking a cigarette, pouring gasoline from a water jug, into a running generator.  Avery felt it was his civic duty to let him know he could cause an explosion at any time.

It was time to go to the battlefield.  We bought tickets & were on our way through the mud with all the other crazys.  No one knew where to sit so you could see the battle.  And when you did sit, you were told to move by random people saying you were on the battlefield.  After multiple times of this chaos & watching thousands of disgruntled people, we calmly decided to get a refund & come home.  It was an interesting day to be surrounded by chaos, but also be protected from it.  We were so thankful not to be caught up in traffic or long walks.  All in all, it was a good day, &  but we won't be back anytime soon. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nail Salon

I got a free visit to the nail salon on Tuesday. That's right, a free visit.  My salonist was a cute little 7 year old with curls.

Welcome to Brook's Nail Salon!

Brook transformed the bathroom into a nail salon.  I got some compliments on my nails today!  Here are a few more photos from our evening:

Nail choices ~ organized  by color!

The finished product on my hand!

And she does toenails too!  
Thanks to Isabella for being my foot model :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


CMOM...Children's Museum of Memphis.  We had an afternoon playdate there with the Green family.  It was a great day at the museum.  It was not crowded and we saw some of their new exhibits.  It is always a fun place to go, but definitely more fun to go with friends!  Here a just a few pictures.  Between 4 of us there with cameras, lots more were taken though!

There is a new dinosaur exhibit there, which was quite entertaining!

Lillian & Brook

Group photo, minus the moms

FedEx assembly line

This was a fun way to start off our week, after a fun, relaxing weekend.  There is no major weekend recap here, except I did get our yard mowed, so I am officially ready for spring now!

Go enjoy your week & this beautiful weather!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring is here!

Welcome spring!!  The dreams of a well manicured lawn are coming back to us.  Right now it is full of weeds and a front porch covered in green pollen.  This reminds me of my life.  It is full of weeds, I have to pull and mow, cut down from my life.  Some days my life looks prettier than others.  One day, it will be without blemish, when I have been restored and see Jesus face to face.  I am studying Revelation 20 this week, so the end times are present on my heart.

On this first day of spring, the upcoming homeschool convention in Memphis has finally posted their schedule!  This is exciting news to people like me who look forward to this every year.  It takes much time to plan out the weekend, which is only 4 short weeks away!

With spring, a sign of growing older has come into my life.  Today, I got reading glasses! Until now, I have had  great eyesight. Within the past month or so, I have noticed a difference though.  Isabella asked me last week why the font on my phone looked bigger.  I told her I had to increase the font on my phone so I could read my text!!  Speaking of sweet Isabella, she often will write or find things to email to me.  This is just some of what I received in my inbox tonight (after I came in from another fun night of Canasta!).  I love that she found these & wanted to share them with me.

I am humbled and thankful for a daughter who longs to marry a man who
will love her and treat her as Christ loves the church.  Isabella is a romantic & 
my prayer is she will keep her dreams focused through the lens of Christ &
not what the world offers.  I have a high calling of teaching my daughters well.

Isabella dreams of being a mom one day.  For about 7 years now, she has
talked & dreamed about adoption.  She wants many kids, all through adoption.
She loves babies (& recently took the Red Cross babysitting class) & also
has recently shown interest in being a nurse after school.  This shows her caring &
nurturing side.  As she dreams of being a mom, she has really good taste in
nurseries & I look forward to being a grandmother, but I can wait a while too! :)

I am thankful this spring for a home to care for, good health, sweet friends, a church home we love, precious daughters, a husband who loves us, parents & in-laws that care for us well, & today specifically, an answered prayer. I know you are thankful for many of these same things too.  Take some time to reflect on God's goodness as we enjoy His creation, especially this time of year!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Break?

Spring break in the winter.  Interesting that schools have spring break when it is technically winter!   I am thankful for the break part though, regardless of the season. We for sure have had spring weather in Memphis this week.  If you care to read, below is a recap of our spring break:

Monday - We slept late, recovering from daylight savings time, then spent our afternoon sorting through winter & summer clothes. Always a fun time!
Tuesday -  We spent a few hours at my parents helping my mom with a project, & got to see my dad & nephew, Brett, home from college.  
The girls with my dad

Wednesday -  We visited with friends, the Greens, for the afternoon, went to church, & had playtime at the church.
Thursday - My goal today was to help Isabella with her new sewing machine. I realized we had no power cord though :(. Either it was not included in the box, or we misplaced it. I turned to chocolate in my time of frustration.  I am such an emotional eater. Probably would be 10 lbs. lighter if I wasn't! Our day continued with ballet, playtime at the church, girls spent the night with friends, the Ottingers,  & then Avery & I visited with friends, the Storys.
Friday - It was a rainy day, but I was able to run a few errands.  Quiet night at home for the girls & I, while Avery went to watch some basketball with some friends from church.
Saturday - St. Patrick's Day! I took the girls to donuts, & then we were able to exchange the sewing machine for a new one.  I was soo thankful!  We drove to Millington to see our friends, The Greens, in their homeschool presentation.  It was great & we love this family.  We then went to a St. Patrick's Day party for a little bit & also brought back the Green's youngest daughter, and later had the rest of the Green girls join us for a night on the back porch.  Very fun for all!

Brook & Lillian eating in their green shirts, with green plates, & green cups!

Lillian, Brook, Isabella, Lauren, & Miller

Sunday - We went to church, & had a visit this afternoon with our friends the McClarty's who were in town from Birmingham.  We met the McClarty's almost 8 years ago & have enjoyed their friendship.  They now have 3 precious kiddos. Our day was complete by none other activity than a playdate at church with the Greens!  
Caden McClarty
Micah McClarty
Will Mcclarty

Last activity of our Sunday was watching the movie, Hugo, complete with popcorn & M&M's, my favorite!

Looking back, I am so grateful God knew just what I needed this past week...time at home. Yes, I am a girl who loves to travel & looks forward to my next trip.  But I am also a girl who loves my family & friends more.  This week, I got time with both with not much else on the weekly schedule.  May this be a reminder to me that God knows even the little the things I need & will give them to me at just the right time.  I am feeling refreshed to begin the week ahead.  The next 3 months, life gets busier for us, but it is full of lots of fun!

Spring break or winter break, I am just thankful for my break!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Night Sky

I do enjoy the looking at the night sky.  It makes me happy to look outside and watch the International Space Station pass over our house. It is always during the crew's sleep time, but I think about the lives that are living in space, the people working on the ground 24/7 to make that happen, and the chance that one day, Brook may be living in space!  But mostly, I am in awe of God's creation.  How He spoke it all into existence and even named the stars.  My God is a genius!

Wednesday night, the girls and I stayed at the playground at church after service while Avery was at choir practice.  With our spring weather, we have been spending lots of time there with friends.  We are so thankful for our church and friends there.  God has given us more than we deserve, as He always does.  We stayed at church until it was dark and we saw two beautiful bright stars in the sky.  We realized these stars were Venus and Jupiter! We came home, pulled out the telescope to the middle of our street (we live at a dead end), and got a close-up view of Venus, since it was actually the brightest in the sky.  Here is my best attempt at a picture to share:

The faint light you to the left in this picture is Jupiter, and the brighter light is Venus.

That was our mid-week excitement of spring break! Or should I say, my excitement!  We are so enjoying our spring break.  I am thankful for the staycation.  We have been able to do several little things around here, even though a few more things are still on the list.  It has been great & makes me look forward to summer!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Best Sister in the World

I have the best sister in the world.  Some of you may be thinking you have the best sister in the world.  I'm glad you think that and I hope you do.  For me, there is no doubt.  I have the best sister in the world, Lynn.

Today is Lynn's birthday.  I was born when she was 3 1/2 years old.  An interesting fact, my sister is 3 years and 9 months older than me.  Isabella is 3 years and 9 months older than Brook.  Of course, Lynn and I have a brother who is in between us, but I still look at my own girls often and think back to what childhood might have looked like for Lynn and I.

Last night, Lynn and I enjoyed a delicious full meal at Chili's together, from appetizers to dessert.  Then, we went to an Art and Soul open paint night party.  We had a good time and enjoyed the experience.  We both came home with a painted cross.

I am so thankful for Lynn's zest for life.  She is so passionate about life.  She loves life, and she loves people.  She is first one to laugh with you or to cry with you.  She is devoted to her family.  She and Barry have raised  amazing kids and I'm so thankful they've allowed me to be a part of their kids life from even before birth!  She is a great mom, and her kids would all agree.  She loves her husband, Barry.  She has been a good big sister to John and I.  She is a special education teacher and is dedicated to her students.  She still looks for ways to make learning fun, even after teaching all these years, yet, she wants the very best for them personally.  She loves the Lord. She studies His word, she learns from it, and she shares it with others.

Lynn & I have lots of memories together.  So many from childhood and now fun ones from adulthood.  Like going to NYC together, meeting Donny Osmond in Vegas together, Thriller dance class on a cruise in the middle of the Ocean, and just summer days by her pool. Here are a few pictures from our most recent memory of painting together last night.

Check out Art and Soul for a fun night of painting!


My blank canvas

Lynn's blank canvas

The birthday girl hard at work

Our finished project!

Happy birthday Lynn!  I am so thankful for your life. You have touched thousands of lives and they are all blessed to know you.  I pray the Lord's best for you for the next 45 plus years.  I pray for healing, good health and strength, contentment, joy, understanding, and a continued love for life, people, and the Lord.  Thanks for being the best sister in the world, oh, and the best friend too!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Spring is right around the corner.  Spring break is next week.  Flowers are blooming. Aw, the long awaited spring.  With spring, this creates many things to get done next week during our spring break.  Some of my plans include sorting through the girls summer & winter clothes, review school planning for the remainder of the school year, organize pictures/scrapbooking, clean-up our back yard, and help Isabella learn her new sewing machine.  Sounds like I may need 2 weeks!!  In addition to home projects, I am so ready for a vacation.  It seems like so many people around me are traveling.  My dilemma is, where to go, who to go with, where to stay, & how to get there.  Unfortunately, gas and hotels are too expensive for our budget right now.  I think I have learned I need to travel every few months to keep my sanity, and it has been a long time.  I am also realizing I need to be content with my staycation that I am in right now.  So I hope someone else is enjoying staying close to home.  And if you have any short, inexpensive travel ideas for me, let me know!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weekend update

This post doesn't have an exciting title, but I have not been feeling well this weekend, so pardon my lack of creativity!  Friday night we had some friends over for dinner, which was fun, but I wasn't feeling so great.
Saturday, I spent the day on the couch all day. Today, I've spent most of the day between the bed and couch.  This is unlike me. Even when I have a cold, I still function and get things done around the house.  Not so much this weekend.  Avery has been kind to do the dishes for me and eat leftovers!  This afternoon, I finally took my temperature and I do have a fever.

In the midst of spending Saturday on the couch, Avery was gone working all day. Isabella spent 8 hours at a Red Cross babysitting course and got her certification!  I am so proud of her as she begins doing something she loves...caring for kids.  She is my one who wants to adopt a lot of kids and be a nurse.  This class was perfect for her loving, nurturing skills God has blessed her with.  My sweet friend took her and picked her up for me so I could stay home and rest.  Her daughters, two of Isabella's closest friends, also took the class.  Another sweet thing about the class is that this meant so much to Isabella, she paid for half of the class with her Christmas and birthday money.

Yea Isabella!

Brook, on the other hand, was living it up at Aunt Lynn's house.  My sister, Lynn, has been wanting to spend a weekend with Brook and her cousin, Eden, who is my brother's daughter, and just 6 weeks older than Brook.  She spoiled them and they had so much fun.  They got in the hot tub several times, had their nails done, doughnuts in bed, movie, dance party in Lynn's den, church, and out to eat.  It reminded me of when I use to spoil her kids before I was married (although I was probably never that great!).  It was nice to have a quiet Saturday.  Brook and Eden are now at our house to spend the night and we will take Eden to meet her  mom tomorrow.

Eden & Brook in the hot tub

Say a little prayer for me that I feel better. The last time I remember having fever was when I was in the hospital with Brook, 7 years ago.  Thank you friends and hope you had a great weekend!

Weekend Wrap-Up / Fall Decor ~ September 20, 2021

 Good Monday morning.  Life has been tough lately and is winning over my blogging time these days.  But, today, I am sharing some highlights...