Thursday, December 13, 2012

Almost Christmas!

Last night I worked on large covered boxes to hold a craft I am putting together for my granddaughters and niece.  This will be given to them on Christmas Day - when I finish this project, I plan to show it on this blog - so stay tuned!

Also, I had planned to use the following picture for my Christmas card this year.  Unfortunately, it is not going to happen (not this year anyway!)

Love this picture!  Last year, Mike's birthday was on Thanksgiving Day and he turned 60.  So, we left after lunch on Thanksgiving Day and I surprised him with a trip to Grove Park Inn.
Once Santa left his sleigh, I talked Mike into letting me take this picture.

Of course, Grove Park Inn was having its annual Gingerbread House competition.  Here is a picture of the winning entry.

The detail was unbelievable on this - The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe!  I could even see the little bunk beds inside the door on the second floor!  This was showcased within a glass window on a turn wheel - amazing!  Everywhere we went at Grove Park Inn I saw little Gingerbread displays.  There were probably as many guests staying at the Inn as some little towns in eastern, North Carolina.  Hopefully, we will get to return another year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like. . .

Thanksgiving is over and so are our birthdays. . .  Mike, Garrett and I all have birthdays the week of Thanksgiving:

Here's a close-up picture of my flowers from my surprise birthday party!!

Bri playing in the leaves that did not get picked up BEFORE Thanksgiving!

 So, now it's on to Christmas!  Here are a few pictures to show my early decorating "attempts!"  Garrett thinks my tree looks funny, but Madison and Bri loved it.  They came over to help me decorate Sunday night.  I went back to some of my older ornaments and do not have the right topper for my tree yet.    

 Winter Wonderland Quilt I made a couple of years ago.  Below is a close up of the snowmen.

 Sweet little church!  I bought this ornament many years ago.
Madison did not like the nativity under the tree so she helped me rearrange the living room to put in on this chest.
 Cute snowman for our 1/2 bath!
 We might not actually get to see a snowman this year if we have a warm winter as predicted!
The view of my living room coming down my stairs.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Some Things I Am Thankful For

Now that I am up and running again - here are some recent pictures I took.  Also, many of these pictures show a few of the things I am thankful for:

 Nancy Hale came from Texas to do research with me on her Roberson family from Martin County.  My husband, Mike, is her third cousin.  Uncle J. T. is her second cousin once removed.  I corresponded with her through Ancestry.Com.  When she was in the area, she came to visit us!  How cool - meeting new relatives!!!
 I am thankful for my granddaughters, Madison and Bri.  Here they are dressed up for Halloween as 80's Girls!  So, I told them "You dressed up like your Mom!" who was a real life 80s girl!
 I love to craft and am very thankful to have met Sharon Stewart, Debbie Powell and others who have helped me learn all sorts of new skills!  I am thankful for all the crafts I have made for my home.  This Santa was finished by me last night!
 Accidental Artist is a fun place to visit!  I painted this pitcher there!  Also, I am thankful for the friends that I have met there and all the nice staff that help me paint : )
 A penny mat that I made at Sharon's home
 Another Sharon design - I had to learn to quilt (Debbie Powell was my teacher for quilting) in order to put these Calendar Girls together in a quilt!!
 One of my first pieces.  A pattern from Sharon.
 After meeting with Nancy Hale - we discovered Smithwick Creek Primitive Baptist in Martin County.  So, a couple of Saturdays ago Mike and I went searching for it!  It was built in 1803.  Uncle J. T. said that his dad, Henry Hodges, use to attend church there.  I am thankful that we have freedom of religion in the US!
 The Baptismal that was moved to the church site to avoid flooding.

 A picture of part of our farm in Washington.  I am thankful for being able to grow a garden and spend time outside because of our farm.  I, also, love the area and being among so many of Mike's relatives!
Mike planted this pine tree the year after we were married.  I am thankful for my wonderful husband of 40 years!

Hope all of you have many things to be thankful for, also!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I was playing around with my site set-up a month ago, and I could not figure out of to sign back in to update my blog!  Hooray!  Today I figured how to sign-in - so, to honor this here are some recent pictures I took!

 Some crafting friends at Sharon Stewart's home.  We were covering boxes with material and making pin cushions - simple things make us happy : )
 Some more ladies being happy and we even had chocolate!
 One of my scrapbooking "sisters" from church, Anne Heritage.
My "Christmas in July" group at St. James UMC.  People ask me "when do you sleep?!" since I am lucky to be involved with so many groups!

Hopefully, like me, your problems today are small and you are able to figure out how to correct them!

Friday, September 28, 2012


Mike and I went to the Outer Banks a few days ago.  It is fun to visit the OBX once the kids go back to school and fewer folks are taking vacations.

We stayed at a lovely old B&B in Wanchese called the Island House of Wanchese.  Mike and I spent a lot of time in Manteo.  It was great spending time just talking to folks we had never met.  We found several people that were on "beach time" and had some great conversations!  I did not agree with all they had to say, but that didn't matter.  I like hearing other people's opinions and figuring out how they came to have them! 

This is the beach at Ocean Waves Campground.  We use to camp there a lot when Heather and Greg were younger.  We were surprised at how much the sandy beach area has increased!  The sea oats aren't doing bad, either!

After a new inlet appeared after a storm last year, the Army Corp of Engineers built this new makeshift bridge on Hwy 12!

They were having a surfing competition at the pier.  I don't think the waves were as large as the surfers needed!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cold Mountain, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Blood Done Wrote My Name, etc.

So, what do all these books have in common?  A couple of things actually!

1.  They were books that became films.
2.  The authors have (or did) live in North Carolina.
3.  The authors of these books were all at the Literary Homecoming at East Carolina University this past
     weekend (and the list of books above does not include all the authors that attended!)

I was at the event Friday night and Saturday.  What fun it was to listen to the authors of these books plus many more!  Some of the writers were subdued, one especially outspoken, one a little eccentric. . .

At lunch, the author of The Big Fish, read letters he would leave under his mother's bedroom door when he was 17.  If she woke up, she would know he had made it home.  The letters became little stories about the relationship between Brenda and her boyfriend, Lee.  As he read us the pages his mom had kept about Brenda and Lee, the audience couldn't stop laughing!!

I took a couple of writing workshops that were taught by James Dodson and Lois Duncan.  They both shared some great tips about writing.

Except for lunch, the event(s) were free.  It was an enjoyable night and day listening to their tales, hearing their insights about films and writing, and learning about their personalities.

Can't wait until next year!

This picture is of Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.  It has nothing to do with the event this past weekend, except that Charles Frazier said that he would meet with people at this inn when they discussed filming Cold Mountain!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Greg!

My middle child, Greg, turned 30 today.  So, he is no longer a child.  However, I enjoy looking at his childhood pictures.  He always had a smile and  usually you could see his dimples!  In most pictures, he is goofing off or looking very mischievous! 

When he was a baby at daycare, a television crew came by to take pictures to advertise their channel.  Greg was the only one that would give them a big smile, therefore, he was the only child at the daycare to be in their commercial.  Mike's grandmother loved this commercial and would always tell us when she spotted Greg on tv.

Today, he seems much more serious but still has a great smile!  Happy Birthday, Greg!

                                                  Greg with his nieces, Madison and Brianna

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pear Jam

My son-in-law, Anthony, gave us some pears from his grandparents' tree. His grandmother has a recipe for pear jam that he said was delicious.  He, also, gave me a copy of her recipe.

The recipe indicates that the jam be cooked for three hours, but his grandmother cooks her jam for six.

So, last night was jam night for Mike and me!  I got home from work and Mike had already cut most of the pears and had them in the pot.  He decided to add a little water so the pear slices wouldn't turn brown.

We weren't sure how much the pears weighed.  Also, the recipe indicated using 5 pounds of sugar plus two cups.  Since we figured we were using about half the pears, we intended to reduce our ingredients by half.  However, we knew we did not have five pounds of sugar in our container, so we guessed and poured it into our jam.

In a few minutes, the pot was totally filled with water (since Mike had added water and then the pears created their own juice.)  We removed some of the water.

As you can see, we don't worry too much about precision!

Our pear jam cooked about 3 1/2 hours but I was worried that the mixture was still too loose.  So, I called Anthony to ask him how his jam looked just before he put it in jars.  When I told him what we had done (adding water - I didn't tell him about the vast amount of guessing of ingredients that went on!!), there was dead silence on the other end of the phone.  We really shocked him with our cooking abilities : (

So, we cooked the jam a while longer before putting it into the jars.

Our taste test went well - I'll go home and open a jar tonight to see if I have jam or pear soup!

I consider it another life adventure!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Go Pirates!!

My office moved to a new location in March.  My window looks out onto the ECU practice football field.   How cool is that?!

It is fun to watch the players as they get close to the end of the field where I can see them.  Since I am about eight feet away from the fence that separates us, I am very close.  (Of course there is some protective covering over the fence that makes it a little hard to see them very well!)

During the spring I was able to hear the announcer for the baseball games if they were played during my working hours.  I had been told that before the actual football games begun they would add crowd noise.

Exactly at 5:00 pm it began (I guess they are trying to respect us workers in the nearby offices.)  However, I feel that I am actually at a game!  Lots of noise, cheering and music!  When the music starts (like now!) it makes me want to get up and shout "Go Pirates!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nature at Play

I have been part of a scrapbooking group at St. James UMC that has been "Scrapbooking My Spiritual Journey."  During the class, we had talked about God's creativity.

I love the fact that God loves variety in nature and that is why He gave us many different types of landscapes (that is what I like to think anyway!!!)  He, also, has a sense of humor and that is why He made things like porcupines, cactus, blow fish, etc.  I feel sure a scientist could come up with a variety of reasons for porcupines, cactus and the like, but to me it is all about God's handiwork.

Anyway, after the class, I said goodbye to the other ladies and walked to my car.  My car was parked at the far end of the lot near the grassy area.  It is a large area - where the Boy Scouts somethings camp, the youth play, and we setup for our Spring Fling in April.

We were in the twilight time of day and it was a little cooler than the past few weeks.  As I approached my car, I saw the most beautiful sight!  Dozens of dragonflies where surrounding my car and the area in front of it.

I tried to call to the other ladies to "come see!" these dragonflies at play.  However, they had already left.  So, I stood there a while and watched them swoop down and fly in circles.  I had never seen so many dragonflies together and thought how wonderful that they would put on a show just for me!

If I go again tonight, I wonder if they will come out to play again?


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Do I Dare?!

I thought about it.  And thought about it. . .

After some cajoling, I persuaded Garrett to let me take his picture in uniform.  I had taken a picture of him leaving out the front door his first day of kindergarten as well as his first day of high school.  Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to get a picture of him in his Fire/Rescue uniform the first day he wore it.

Since we live in the same house, it is nice to be able to track time with pictures.

However, I decided not to post the picture at this time.  When I find the other two pictures, I might revisit this decision.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

12U Pitt County Girls Softball World Series Winners!

I just heard that our 12U girls won the World Series Softball Tournament in Florida.  Mike said the news was that they beat the California girls twice to win the title!  My granddaughter, aka "Bow-Wow" is in 10U and they did not have a World Series.  Hopefully, that is something she can participate in one day.

Greenville has in the past been named "Sportstown USA" and Pitt County lived up to that reputation this week.  Our 16U girls are currently playing in the World Series in Wilson, NC.

Congratulations to the 12U team!  They will be flying in today as winners!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Christmas In July

Last month, Mike and I joined a summer Bible study our Bridge Builders group sponsored.  It is titled "Christmas In July."  However, it is based on the book The JourneyThe Journey is actually based on a series of Christmas sermons done by Adam Hamilton a few years ago.

It is the story of Mary and Joseph.  Adam Hamilton is a wonderful story teller.  We last studied Joseph.    It is amazing how little is written about Joseph.  However, from other research done by Hamilton and by going to the area, Rev. Hamilton was able to develop the history and character of Joseph a little more.

Journey w/LG

Every week we watch a film pertaining to the sermon on that week's subject.  Adam Hamilton, also, shows clips from his trip to the Holy Land.  The nice thing is that Rev. Hamilton's sermons can be found on-line.

I have enjoyed studying about Jesus' earthly family during the summer without all the craziness of the Christmas season.  Christmas in July has been a nice change of pace!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pitt County Girls 10U Winners of Southeastern Regionals

Our granddaughter, aka Bow-Wow, and her teammates from Pitt County were winners of the Southeastern Regionals 10U!  Second runners up was the Washington, NC girls - many of which are on Bow-Wow's traveling softball team including the head coach.  Washington was also runner up in the State Tournament.  Therefore, at the end both teams took pictures together and were giving each other hugs.

We had storms throughout the tournament, including a microbrust late Friday afternoon.  A couple of folks were injured, but are doing ok now.

Way to go Pitt County and Washington, NC - the big eastern NC teams!!!!

Scenes from the Storm Damage

Bri shows off her softball style!

Tyler sports his winner hair do for his sister's team

Pitcher catches ball hit to her

"Good game!" lineup

PCGSL 10U Southeastern Regionals Softball Champs!

PSGSL with their Washington friends

Team Trophy