Thursday, April 30, 2009

April Mornings

This is what I see when I look toward the east in the mornings.  The hotter daytime temperatures coupled with the still-cool nighttime air cause the mornings to be misty.  These were taken a couple of weeks ago.  It's even foggier now in the mornings since the days are getting hotter.  This will happen again in the fall.  I love a misty morning!  

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quote of the Day!

"I like cooking with wine,
Sometimes I even put it in the food."

An Amazing Blog

I didn't go to church today due to having a cold.  I spent a little time reading blogs.  Many of them are so inspiring to me spiritually.  

A new one I've found is called Holy Experience.  This woman writes like I wish I could.  I think she's me in another body but with better writing skills.

I was reading one of her posts about how our children have within their bodies all the seeds of our future grandchildren and great grand children.  Her husband is a farmer and he was planting his crops.   She tied the two together in a way that made sense; much more than my words here can.  I had to stop reading in the middle of it.  I was crying too hard to see the words.  It's called 'How To Parent Thousands of Children' from April 24.

Two more that left me in tears were the posts on April 8 and 14th.  Read the conversation she had with her six year old as she led him to know the Lord.  You'll never look at your role as Mother in the same way.  We are, indeed, on a divine mission here.

  "Oh Lord, please give us eyes to see and ears to hear.  Break our hearts.  Take the world out and put your love in.  Help me be the instrument you use to bring your little ones home.  Amen."  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What To Do, What To Do?

I tasted my first kumquat last month at the B&B in St. Mary's, GA.  It's going to be an acquired taste for me, although it wasn't an unpleasant experience. 

The hostess/owner had picked them off a tree in her backyard.  I asked her how you eat them not knowing whether to peel or not.  The skin looks like an orange peel.

She said you just pop them in your mouth and start chewing.  I tentatively did so and found them not unpleasant.  It's just strange to eat a citrus rind.

Yesterday at Laurel's house, she had a bowl full of them.  She had gotten them at a local grocery store, so I went and bought three packs.

Now, the question is...what am I going to make with them?  I was thinking maybe marmalade?  I love orange marmalade and don't see why you can't make marmalade from kumquats.  

Laurel and I are meeting in about an hour to pick strawberries.  I wonder if you can mix kumquats and strawberries?  Any ideas out there?

P.S.  The bottle behind the bowl is one I got when we were staying in England for a week.  It's called 'Washing Up Liquid' and is used for washing dishes.  I keep it on my laundry room sink and use it for any clothes that need handwashing.  I love how the British call things by different names!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Made It!

The engagement party went off without a hitch on Friday night.  We had a cookout at a local state park.  Here's the cake I made for them; camo and girly pink.  It was a cute idea, but my execution left a lot to be desired.  Cake decorating is not on my list of talents!  Oh well, everyone thought it was cute anyway.

We had a crowd for Easter dinner.  Lots of good food and fellowship.  The kiddos had a great time hunting the eggs.  I had a great time hiding them.  I kept finding myself smiling and remembering the past when all the cousins would gather at Grandma Collins' house to hunt eggs.  I was telling my mama what a good time I had hiding the eggs and remembering all the hunts we had at Grandma's house.  Mama said that she just loved hiding the eggs too.  There were probably a hundred or more since there were so many cousins hunting them.

So hopefully this week will be a little slower and calmer; at least until Friday.  The whole weekend will be spent in celebrating our church's 25th anniversary.  There'll be lots of friends back to help celebrate, so it'll be good to renew relationships.  Summer, please come quickly!  I'm ready for a laid-back state of mind.  All these schedules are makin' me crazy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Midweek Assessment

Here are a few pictures showing springtime at our house.  Is there anything sweeter than a little boy bringing a flower to his Nana?

Well, I've survived three days this week, and they've been good.  God has been gracious and allowed me to get everything done on my lists for those days.  The baked beans for Friday's party are made as is the dip for Sunday's appetizer.  Darcie's Easter dress is cut out and ready to be made starting tomorrow morning.  The engagement party is all planned; so is Easter dinner.  

There have been unexpected delights such as the cake Laurel made me for keeping her three little darlings last weekend.  So now I don't have to make dessert for bookgroup on Friday.  For Friday's party, several kind ladies have offered to bring desserts which means that I don't have to make as many now.  I wasn't counting on any of those things.  They've taken away lots of stress and work for me.  Thanks Laurel, Montell, and Marissa for your help too.

I'm going to try and make a special cake for the happy couple which I'll post on Saturday.  Mallory reads my blog, so I don't want to spoil the surprise!  We may all be surprised, since I'm not a good cake decorator.  We'll see...camouflage icing covers over a whole multitude of sins, right?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Our Cherry Tree

This tree is amazing!  Our whole family anticipates it's annual blooming.  I don't know the exact name for it, only that it's an ornamental Japanese cherry tree.

When the petals start to fall, the whole ground turns pink.  I love to stand under it when the wind blows and have the petals swirl all around and over me.  It's like being in a snowstorm of pink!  Fabulous, fabulous tree!  It  makes me happy!

P.S.  Those are seashells we collected last summer on the picnic table.  I don't want to throw them away but don't know what to do with them, so for now they're here.

Here's the Thing....

I've over-committed myself this week; BIG TIME!!!
But nothing can be moved, so it is what it is.                                                                                                  Here's what my week looks like: Monday-Three children over for art and music 11-3, two friends over for tea at 4:30 this afternoon with their four children under six to plan Garrett & Mallory's engagement party this Friday.
Tuesday- Take Darcie to tutor at 12:00 and pick up at 3:00.  Shop for her Easter shoes then take her to youth chorale at 4:00 and then horseback riding at 5:30.
Wednesday & Thursday-Fairly normal days with Garrett coming sometime Thursday.

Friday (the killer)-Bookgroup at my house at 12:00 with the engagement party at 5:00.

Sunday-Multiple family members coming over for Easter egg hunt and Sunday dinner.

Lots of cooking to be done and homeschooling in the midst; not to mention cleaning, cooking,  and laundry.

Here's the thing...I don't do well with a week like this.  I don't enjoy this much busyness.  But I'm committed and have to deal with it.  I'll have to be super organized with many lists in order to get it all done.  The older I get the less I like weeks like this.  I try to have a 'summer state of mind' year round and wide margins around events and less to-do lists.

How I wish I could just have a happy-go-lucky attitude, relax, and do everything in a leisurely manner.  On the outside I've learned to at least look like I'm calm.  After all, aren't older people supposed to be wise and unruffled?  

God gave me my personality along with all it's nuances and quirks.  I read somewhere recently that our temperaments are gifts from God.  I think so too.  Temperaments aren't sinful, but we sure sin plenty through them.

The key is to learn how to respect the way God made me and not sin when I'm overwhelmed or too busy by being short-tempered, angry, or frustrated.  

One of the things I do that I hate most is that instead of living in the moment and enjoying every second of whatever I'm doing, I find myself wishing things would hurry and be over so I could have some peace and quiet.  Yes, that is my biggest idol of the heart.

This is what I see as the solution; pray that God would make me more tolerant of noise and activity and to enjoy the moment and not look for it to be over, to try and avoid busy weeks like this one, to be gracious as I possibly can, and to love all these people I'm surrounded by more than myself, which is the reason I crave solitude in the first place.  I mean I love myself more than I do others.

Any suggestions or words of wisdom floating around out there?  Do you agree with my assessment of the solution?  What do ya'll think?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Recent Getaway

Gayle and I recently went to Raleigh where his company was honoring several of their salesmen for selling the most nation wide.  He was one of them but would never tell you that!  The place where we stayed was called The Umstead.  It was very relaxing and oriental.  I'm not crazy about oriental gardening or decorating.  I do like the big pots in the ground, but that's about it.  One thing I did really like was  how quiet the place was.  Calm music drifted through the restaurants and everywhere else was just really quiet.  

One of my biggest gripes with our present culture is the thought that blaring music needs to be in ALL public places.  Most restaurants are so noisy you have to shout to have a conversation.  Grocery stores  have rock music going so loud I can't even think about what to buy.  There's one exception in our town and that's Bi-Lo.  They play music from the 50-60's, and I find myself singing along (much to Darcie's embarrassment).  I have even been know to throw in a dance step or two.  

As usual, it was nice to get away from my life for a few days.  But coming home is always the sweetest part of a trip.