Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it's the last day of 2008! Where has the year gone? There are so many things I'm thankful for this year:

1. First of all, I'm thankful for salvation through Jesus Christ and my personal relationship with Him! My life would mean nothing if not for my hope I have in Jesus!

2. I'm thankful for good health...both for me and my family.

3. I'm thankful for modern medicine! Neal is a walking miracle right now!

4. I'm thankful for friends. I am blessed with many friends...some old, some new.

5. I'm thankful for my brothers! Even though we live far away, we're just a phone call away or a thought away. Even though they are much older than me (LOL) we always have lots to talk about! I always thought I wanted a sister, but I wouldn't trade my two brothers for anything in the world!

6. I'm thankful for my church! We are so blessed to be involved in a good church. Our church family was so instrumental in ministering to us during Neal's surgery and aftermath. What a blessing it is to be involved in a good church!

7. I'm thankful for my on-line friends. I've met many people "online" and a few of those are now "in real life" friends. Thank you for your friendship!

There are so many things I'm thankful for this year, and those are just a few.

This morning I went to breakfast with my best friend, Tammy. She and I have been best friends since 1982! We went to high school together in Ohio and then moved here together to go to college. We met local boys and got married, and now live about 3 miles apart. What a blessing!

Last night we got together with our good friends Bill and Colleen (and their girls). We've known Bill and Colleen for over 20 years. Our friendship has been very sweet through the years. We both have two children, and we were both pregnant at the same time -- twice! Thank God for old friends!

Tonight we are gathering with our friends the Gordons. We met the Gordons a little over four years ago. We quickly became friends and camping buddies! We have homeschooling in common and lots of other things. Even though we've only known each other for a relatively short time, we feel very close to them and are deeply thankful for their friendship! Thank God for new friends!

I pray that all who read this will be blessed with a happy and healthy 2009! Happiness does not always have the same face...sometimes it's obvious and sometimes we have to dig deeper to find it. True happiness can only be found through a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray that if you do not know Him personally, that 2009 will be the year that you make that decision! If you want to know more about how to receive Christ as your Savior, click here.

Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Weekend Before Christmas...

and all through the house, lots of creatures are stirring...except for the mouse.

Okay, I don't know where that came from, but I'm going to leave it. ;o)

On Thursday I went and got my haircut. I love my new hairdresser. My friend Tammy recommended her and she is awesome! She likes to take chances and do different things...and she's inexpensive! She doesn't wash my hair (which is fine with me), but she spritzes it with water and then cuts it, and then she styles it. She's quick too. I'm usually out in under 30 minutes. She only charges $12.00! I think that is quite a deal. So the pictures in my earlier post are of my new haircut. I've fixed it myself now, and although it doesn't look as good, I still like it.

Thursday night I went to Neal's work Christmas dinner. I had a yummy steak dinner, baked potato and marinated mushrooms. Neal and I split Tiramisu for dessert.

Last night we went to see lights at a nearby Elks Home. They have over 60,000 lights on display with lots of different things like the nativity, santa and his sleigh, etc. I made homemade pizza rolls and we had a picnic supper! It was lots of fun.

Today my friend Tammy and I went shopping and out to dinner. I finished up my Christmas shopping and just have to work on a project I'm doing. Hopefully I'll get it done by Christmas!

Well, that's what's going on around here! Now we're going to watch Wall-E (is that how you spell it?).

Have a good night!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Photo Shoot

Neal and I had a Christmas dinner to go to last night, so Beth took a bunch of pictures of her Daddy and I before we left. We had fun, and she did a great job!

More Shadow People

For those of you who have been reading my blog the last few months, you've seen our shadow people make appearances at Myrtle Beach, an amusement park and various other places. This time they followed us to Colonial Williamsburg!

We were done shopping, but the shadow people were lagging behind.

I think they spent some money, too!

Here they are standing at the stocks.

Oh no! Her head is stuck!

Mom found these people on the side of a house.

Okay, I know I'm weird...but we have lots of fun taking pictures of our shadows! It's the little things...ya know?

Colonial Williamsburg

Two weeks ago today, my Mom and I went to Williamsburg, VA. We did this last year and had so much fun that we decided to do it again! We left Friday morning and arrived in Colonial Williamsburg three hours later. All of these pictures were taken there. I took a ton of pictures, but these were the ones I thought I'd share.

This was one of our first stops. It was a little garden and a place where the workers made wreaths, table toppers, etc. This cute little fireplace was by the entrance and we warmed up before we headed on down the street.

This is a view of one side of the street. I love these houses and how they decorate at Christmastime.

Here's a shop where a couple of the "Colonial people" were outside. You can see the firewood stacked just imagine the smell of wood smoke and you'll know what we were smelling.

Here are some of the decorations.

A Colonial Woman staying warm.

There were several horse and buggies traveling along the streets.

Another "Colonial Woman" walking across a lawn.

Do you see the apple in the wall? There were recessed areas about every 1 1/2 feet on this house. They alternated red and green apples along the front of the house.

The Governor's Mansion

I love this candle holder. Maybe I should try this with one of Neal's Granny Smith apples!

Another decorated door.

Mom and I had lots of fun looking at the decorations and going in the shops. After we finished here, we went shopping and out to dinner. We ate at a nice steak house, which was unfortunately too expensive! We didn't want to walk out, so we ordered the cheapest thing on the menu. My meal ended up being better than Mom's, but we wished we had chosen a different restaurant! Live and learn!

On Saturday we spent the day at the outlet stores. That was lots of fun! I did a bit of Christmas shopping and Mom bought me a new purse from Aigner for Christmas.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Our Advent Candles and the book I use that tells about Advent (and many other wonderful Christmas traditions)

Neal reading the Bible during our family devotions.

Our Advent Hershey's Kiss calendar chain. Starting on December 1st we give Beth and Ben a candy Kiss each day.

Before they get their candy kiss, they have to give one of us a real kiss.

When I'm doing it, this is my favorite part. I think Daddy enjoys it, too!

Here's a close up of the chain. It's fun and easy to create, and makes for some great memories!

Happenings in the Hive

Our neighbors have chickens, and although they usually stay in their own yard, sometimes they wander into ours!

6:00 am...the day after Thanksgiving! Ben's first time hunting.

Mighty hunters are ready to go get meat!

Neal's Dad gave Neal and his sister Janet tickets to a Virginia Tech football game a couple of weeks ago. It was really cold and there was even snow on the ground. See all the orange? If you look close, you might even see a Hokie bird!

Touchdown! I was on the phone with Neal when the fireworks went off. It was loud even on the phone!

Tech wins! (Sorry Duke...)

Beth's 14th birthday! Beth had her party a month early this year, so we had our family come over for dinner. I made Beth's favorite: Mexican! In this picture is Neal's Dad, Neal's sister Jessica, and Neal.

Beth and her Mamaw (my mom)

Beth and Grandma and Grandpa

Beth being "gangsta" in her new jacket and sunglasses.

Aunt Janet being a friendly gangsta

Aunt Jessica being a bug (she said the sunglasses make her look like a bug!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Dec 1

Please visit The Simple Woman's Daybook on Mondays, to learn more and find links to other ladies who are participating.

For Today...

Outside my window...naked trees

I am thinking...that I'm glad our Christmas tree is up and decorated!

From the learning rooms...along with our "book learning" today, our kids have been working on their housekeeping skills! :o)

I am thankful warm home and the smell of soup cooking on the stove.

From the kitchen...Turkey Vegetable Soup

I am sweatpants and a Navy t-shirt.

I am Bible and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

I am hoping...that the weather is nice this weekend when Mom and I go to Colonial Williamsburg.

I am creating...a mess! (putting up Christmas decorations)

I am from my daughter's blog.

Around the up after decorating, laundry, need to write Christmas I made soup, wrote out bills (and hand delivered one), did school with the kids, caught up on my blogs, visited briefly with my best friend.

One of my favorite things...listening to Christmas music.

A few plans for the rest of the week...tomorrow is a Ladies Night Out and cookie exchange, Wednesday is church and shopping, Thursday is piano and shopping, Friday and Saturday will be spent in Williamsburg with my Mom (our 2nd annual Mother/Daughter Christmas shopping trip)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Memories from our weekend away at the cabin.

Booked for the Holidays

I am so excited about the book Linda (at Mocha with Linda) is giving away this week! I love Amish fiction books, and this is one written by a new (to me) author! The title is "Plain Perfect" by Beth Wiseman.

If you'd like a chance to win this book, click on the Booked for the Holidays button in the sidebar and enter the contest. The deadline is this Wednesday - Dec 3 - at noon.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Quiz

I found this on Linda's blog and thought it looked like fun:

You Are The Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.

People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

I'm not too sure how I feel about this!!!


I had one of the happiest days in my life fourteen years ago today! My daughter, Elizabeth Jayne, was born! Life has never been the same. She has brought so much joy into my life. She was a good baby, a cute toddler (except at bedtime!), a fun preschooler, a sweet little girl, and now she is a funny, interesting, helpful, beautiful, caring, and Jesus-Loving teenager! I've always been told "just wait until she hits the teenage years!" Well, I'm so excited about these teenage years so far! My daughter is just getting better and better! We have lots of fun together, whether it's at home or shopping or going to church...playing games or doing school work. I love her and I'm so thankful to God for giving me such a precious daughter!

I love you, Beth!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am thankful for

so many things!

Tonight we had a Thanksgiving service at church. We were given a time where we could stand up and give a testimony or tell what we are thankful for. I wanted to stand up so badly, but every time I started to do so I'd feel the tears start to come. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to be understood through my tears, so I didn't say anything. :o( So, I will say what I wanted to say here:

I am thankful for my husband and for modern medical technology! For anyone that doesn't know, my husband Neal was diagnosed in March with an aneurysm in his aorta. His only real option was to have his aorta replaced. If he let it go he would be a walking time bomb, and his aorta could have ruptured at any time.

(Miracle #1 was that they found the aorta!)

On April 8th Neal entered the hospital and had a catherization. Other than the aorta and his defective aortic valve, his heart was very healthy. No blockages (Miracle #2).

On April 9th at around 5:30 in the morning, they wheeled my beloved off to surgery. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. We had enjoyed a wonderful time of prayer together around 3:00 in the morning. He told me that although he wanted to live, that he was also okay with dying. He was sure of his salvation through Jesus Christ, and everything would be okay.

The waiting room rapidly filled with my family and friends. It was a wonderful testimony to Neal that so many people came out to support him! There were even more people who were supporting us through prayer that could not be at the hospital. We are so thankful to all of them!

The next 8 days were an emotional roller coaster. His heart didn't start back on its' own, so he had to have an external pacemaker. The bottom of his heart wasn't working at all. I prayed and asked others to join me in prayer that his bottom half of his heart would start working. The doctor didn't give us much hope on Saturday. He was very discouraged. On Sunday morning Neal's heart was beating on its' own! Praise God! The top and bottom were not "communicating" but his heart could beat without the pacemaker. They took it off on Monday. He was discharged Tuesday. We had a couple of days at home and went back on Thursday for them to check his heart beat and see if the top and bottom were communicating yet. Not long after we arrived at the doctor's office his heart rate dropped into the 30's and they could not get a blood pressure. (Another Miracle -- it happened at the doctor's office). I immediately took Neal to the hospital and he received a pacemaker the next day. (Thank you, God, for modern medical technology!)

Friday night we returned home and that was the start of his real recovery. He spent two months at home before he went back to work. It was another miracle how God provided for our financial needs during that time!

Today Neal is healthier than he has been in years. He is stronger and working out more and more. His color is good, and he feels good. I am so thankful to God for giving Neal good medical attention, good friends, and a new lease on life!

I love him more than I can say, and if I could have said anything tonight at church, I would have at least said "Thank you, God, for my husband!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Neal's Addition to the Husband Meme

I know many people do not read the comments, so I thought I would post what Neal wrote about the previous "Husband Meme."

I would also have to add liver, cooked carrots, and salmon to foods I don't like.

I like any kind of sandwich that I happen to be eating that particular day - but my favorite is a Whopper with extra pickles. Other than that I will eat anything if necessary. I am ready for the Great Depression II where we have to eat rocks and twigs and stuff like that including the parts that now go into souse and hotdogs.

I REALLY dont like sweaters - they are hot and itchy and you can't take them off.

So, there you go...Neal's revision to my aforementioned post! But my question is "what is souse???"

Monday, November 24, 2008

Husband Meme

I read this over at Marsha's blog, and thought it would be fun to do!

1. He's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen? He's watching Fox News or Spongebob!

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? It would depend on the restaurant and the salad. If he gets his favorite Buffalo Chicken Salad, then he would order Blue Cheese Dressing. His favorite dressing at home is Ranch.

3. What's one food he doesn't like? There's not much he doesn't like, but I'd say his two least favorite food items are sweet potatoes and cinnamon.

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order? We don't go out to bars, but he occasionally has to go with work. I think he orders sweet tea or a soft drink.

5. Where did he go to high school? Amherst County High School in Amherst, VA.

6. What size shoe does he wear? 9.5 wide

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Hmmm...probably tools

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? This is so difficult because he doesn't get stuck on one of anything...however, I would guess and say a Club sandwich from Subway. (what would you say, Neal?)

9. What would he eat every day if he could? Probably a spinach salad. He loves anything green!

10. What is his favorite cereal? He doesn't eat cereal anymore, but when he did his favorite was Basic 4.

11. What would he never wear? As soon as I'd say he'd never wear something, he'd probably wear it. But I know he has a strong dislike for sweaters!

12. What is his favorite sports team? This one's easy: Virginia Tech Hokies Football team!

13. Who did he vote for? McCain/Palin!

14. Who is his best friend? That would be...ME! :o)

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Snore!

16. How many states has he lived in? Two: Virginia and Georgia

17. What is his heritage? Redneck! lol No, I'm not really sure. His family's like mine...we've been here in America for more years than any of us know!

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what would it be? Trouble! He hates cake (oh, I forgot that one up above!!) I usually make him a big cookie or a cheesecake.

19. Did he play sports in high school? No, with his heart condition he wasn't allowed to play sports. He did like to play football in the front yard though!

20. What could he spend hours doing? In the summer he could spend hours working in the yard and garden. He loves working with his plants and doing landscaping.

21. What's something cool about him? The "coolest" thing about Neal is his love for our family. He would rather be home with us than anywhere else. It was not a problem at all when he had to spend two months at home earlier this year. It was hard for us to have him leave and go back to work!

Neal is a great husband and father and I love him very much!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fridays Fave 5

I had so much fun doing Fridays Fave 5 last week, that I decided to give it another go. Again, Susanne at Living to tell the Story is hosting it. If you want to read more, or join in, click on the picture above.

Here's my Fave 5 for the week of November 16th:

1. Our Fireplace: When we built our house six years ago, we did not put in a fireplace. Neal said that if we wanted to add one down the road, we could get a mantle and gas logs. We did that at the end of the season last winter, but we are really enjoying those logs now! This week has been unseasonably cold. When we woke up Thursday morning we were out of gas! Yikes! Neal filled up our tank and we had a fire again Thursday night. The Fireplace has been one of my very favorite things this week!

2. Fat Ladies -- no, not real fat ladies...just cookies that will make ladies fat. I got this recipe from the blog Mocha with Linda:


1 roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 6 oz. package chocolate chips
32 caramels, unwrapped
¼ c. half & half
1 c. chopped pecans (or your choice of nut)

Cut dough into ¼ inch thick slices and press into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Melt caramels in half & half and spread over top. Sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate. Indulge!

3. Home school Moms: Home school mothers are a special breed of ladies! I'm not just saying that because I'm one, but after spending the evening with 14 other HS moms last night I know how special they are. As I listened to these ladies share their joys and struggles, it was so evident how much time and effort each one puts into their children's education. I'm proud to be a home school mom!

4. Lower gas prices! I was so happy to fill up my gas tank for $20.65 instead of $40!!! Yaah! I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

5. Time with my best friend - I've had two times this week when I was able to spend time with my best friend, Tammy. On Wednesday we spent time menu planning together, and this afternoon she rode along with me to take Ben to basketball practice. We had a couple of hours to talk and ride around. It was so nice! We've been best friends for about 26 years. We went to high school together in Ohio and came here to Virginia at the same time. We met "local boys" and got married and only live about 3 miles apart. She is such a blessing to me!

Thanks for reading about my week and some of my favorite things!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Christmas Present

Check out what Neal got me for Christmas (just a wee bit early)at my cooking blog:

Teresa's Table

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


while the kids were playing their Wii:

Ben to Beth: "You've got the brains, and I've got the bronze!"

(sounds like we need to increase our vocabulary class!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christian Book Give-A-Way!

I love give-aways...although I've never one an on-line giveaway before, it's fun to post my little comment and hope for the best! I absolutely LOVE to read Christian fiction books, so this is a double whammy!

Linda over at "Mocha with Linda" is starting a give-away tomorrow (November 17th). I can't wait to see what book she's giving away. So, if you want to join in and have a chance of winning a free book, click on the "Booked for the Holidays" link above on Monday. Good luck!
Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."