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Monday, September 22, 2008


Today is the 3rd Anniversary of my mama's HOMEcoming. She left this world to wait for us in another and in her honor I post this poem by an anonymous person:
Who fed me from her gentle breast, And hushed me in her arms to rest, and on my cheeks sweet kisses pressed? My Mother.
When sleep forsook my open eye,Who was it sang sweet hush-a-by; And rock'd me that I should not cry? My Mother.
Who sat and watched my infant head, When sleeping on my cradle bed, And tears of sweet affection shed? My Mother.
When pain and sickness made me cry, Who gazed upon my heavy eye, And wept for fear that I should die? My Mother.
Who ran to help me when I fell, And would some pretty story tell, Or kiss the place to make it well? My Mother.
Who taught my infant lips to pray, And love God's Holy book and day, And walk in wisdom's pleasant way? My Mother.
And can I ever cease to beAffectionate and kind to thee, Who was so very kind to me? My Mother.
Ah no! the thought I cannot bear, And if God please my life to spare, I hope I shall reward thy care, My Mother
When thou art feeble, old, and gray, My healthy arm shall be thy stay, And I will soothe thy pains away, My Mother.
And when I see thee hang thy head, 'Twill be my turn to watch thy bed, And tears of sweet affection shed, My Mother.
I look forward to seeing your face again, Mama. What joy awaits those who believe.


Yep. That's right. Ben is multi-talented.

How many three-year-olds do you know that can suck their thumb with one hand, hold their mommy's hand with the other, and kick a soccer ball into the goal all at the same time?

That was the sight that KT, Jackie, and Joe all got this past Saturday. It was Ben's very first attempt at organized soccer.

By the end of the practice, he had dried the thumb off and let go of my hand.


Now we just have to get him kicking the ball INTO the goal instead of behind it, beside it, out of bounds, and it probably would be good if he didn't steal the ball from his own teammates.

; o )

photos courtesy of KT (I was busy holding a hand!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


OK, back to where I left off.

After Barry went home to finish out the week at the school, I loaded up and went to South Point on Hatteras Island. It's near the lighthouse and juts out into the Atlantic like a little peninsula. Lots of folks go there to fish and you can drive on the beach. It's one of the most beautiful places you can imagine.

Some guys from our group went to go fishing on the point. So, a few of us ladies joined in the fun. Three wanted to shell. Another wanted to "shoot"---yeah, you've already got me figured out.

This is Ronnie, my brother-in-law. His wife refers to him as the "Great White Hunter". He loves to fish and hunt deer. So, as he was sitting in his beach chair drinking Nestle's Quick (no joke!) and waiting on a bite, my sister Shannon, my sis-in-law, Donna, and I were getting a little action ourselves......

We were enjoying the wildlife just yards from the ocean. I had never seen deer so close to the beach before. They were beautiful in their surrounding (I am used to seeing them on the parkway or on the hood of someone's car in Alleghany County!), but skinnier than the ones in the mountain. Shannon had me clicking my camera and Donna clicking hers because she just insisted that Ronnie and Mike would not believe her deer story without proof. So, here it is.

Shannon and Donna found so many neat shells that it took two of them together to carry them in!

This is one of my most favorite photos of our whole vacation. I didn't do a thing to these shells or sea plants. They are just like the Lord put them there on the beach. You know, I think He did that just for me. He knew I wanted a little something special and He even sent the surf right up to the edge just in time for my "click". Thanks, God. If this is what it looks like in seven days down here, I can't wait to see what You've been working on for so long up there...

These are the true colors of the beauty on South Point.

And this is my "Pa" (Daddy to me). He has a yucky week this week as he had some eyeball-gouging on Monday (it's so intense that I'm not even going to go into all he had done) and then the next Monday is my Mama's HOMEcoming anniversary of three years. He always makes sure that he is at the house for her birthday, their anniversary, and her HOMEcoming. He keeps her earthly grave looking good and puts fresh arrangements on it often. We all miss her terribly, but I know that it can't even come close to how he misses his soulmate. Love you Daddy, and thinking of you this week.

This is another one of my daughter's incredible photos. KT has an unfailing eye for the things that most people don't notice. The clouds were reflecting in the van windows which were in turn reflecting in the side mirror. She happened to notice this as we were driving down Highway 12.
Our beach house was very close to the Rodanthe Pier. The waves were awesome the whole week we were there. It seems to take a while for them to calm down after something like Hannah and then with Ike still reaping havock.

We took an entire evening for family photos. The ones of the whole family are courtesy of my sister, Shannon and her friend, Donna. Thanks for taking time out for us!

KT does a fine job, huh? The only problem is that Barry and I find her hurling in the sea oats after she is finished taking shots of her Daddy and I together (she doesn't get "into" all the smooshy-love-stuff, yet..... that's a good thing).
He's just way too cute for his own good.
Jackie is turning into quite the lovely young lady..... still looks like her Mamaw, though.
KT loves modeling the latest sea-wear.

What a stinker! Just look at those chinquipin eyes!

And I won't even "go there" with KT.... she is growing up WAY too fast!

Ah, my boys.

Yeah, I think I'll keep him. : o )
I mentioned in the earlier post that this was my sister, Cathy's, granddaughters first time to the beach. These are one of her little one's feet.......
She was pretty brave to bring those little boogers to the beach all by herself. This is the sister that had the major knee boo-boo back in March. She has just returned to work after two surgeries and was bold enough to bring those cute little stinkers to join us. Chasing them is rehabilitation in itself. Add my three year old to the mix, and you've got yourself a regular "Three Stooges".

Barry and Jackson share a special BOND... hee-hee.
They shared a whirlwind... uh, I mean a ride together from ETown to the OBX. There is enough hound dog hair in his car to knit an afghan and Barry enjoyed the whiney howling even more than me. As a matter of fact, I saw tears in his eyes when he pulled out of the driveway to come home without Jackson. ; O )

He finally got in the surf up to his nose (course, that's not too deep given his height).

Already I miss the sights and sounds of Hatteras. Another year seems just too long to wait.

For information on keeping Hatteras Island and it's beaches open to the public, please visit It's imperative that we speak out on this issue.


It all started with Barry's first football game performance on Friday evening. My dad and his friend, Deane came to see our new home and so they got a chance to see the monumentous occasion. They played just fine and Barry seemed right at home and back in the band saddle.
The very next morning began our trek to my most favorite place in the whole world, the Outer Banks of NC. Yes, Tropical Storm Hannah was whipping around on the Eastern seaboard and yes, we were right in the middle of it receiving over 4 inches of rain within 24 hours, but the clouds and minor aftermath couldn't have been more beautiful.
We were stopped for a while on the bridge over Alligator River as they were working on the drawbridge. Then, we found out that the bridge over Oregon Inlet was also closed due to high water covering all of Hatteras Island. Both Joseph and Jackson got tired of the waiting.
Katie, however, found interesting ways to amuse herself.
Our days were filled with lots of fun, yet relaxing activities. My sister, Shannon, taught the girls a few volleyball moves in the pool.
Katie began practicing for the 2012 Olympics.... (yeah, right!)

Dad and Deane enjoyed getting out and doing whatever they could so as not to keep up with all the faster and (much) louder younger generation.

As always, the evening sunsets over the sound were unbelievable. The best camera in the world simply cannot catch what the human eye beholds when looking at His creation the very second it is created.

Putt-putt was added to the agenda this year. Joseph (and Barry--who was by this time already back at the high school, teaching) is our avid golfer and he was the only one taking it seriously. He never went over a par 4 when the rest of us were taking over 25 shots to hit the hole.

Some of us even had to climb the walls just to get in position.

Others of us just invented a new way to play the game: line the balls up, have a 3 year old smack all the balls at the same time, then run around like loons to see who could get the ball in the hole first while dodging everyone else's flying putter.
The three older kids picked out the spot for our putting, and being Indiana Jones-crazy, they picked an explorer/adventure site complete with a mine car ride.
One of the most exciting milestones for our family was finally having Benjamin out in the water on his own (with us watching, of course). The evening before our departure home, he decided to enjoy the new floatie-swim-vest and be a little brave. He had a couple of good teachers in Gracie and Mikayla--- my sister's granddaughters are fearless and had all of us on our toes the whole time!

It was Gracie and Mikayla's first time to the beach and they really seemed to like it a lot.

Here is a photo of Gracie, better known to her grammie as "porkchop".

My sis-in-law, Donna spent lots of time on the sand while her husband and my brother spent lots of time with a line in the water. Here is Donna with Mikayla......

Two Bathing Beach Beauties.

Much of my time was used in snapping everything I looked at. The dunes and sand barriers were especially pretty this year.

I have no idea why this picture turned out so dark, but I like it.
Jackson had no problem whatsoever in doing what he does best:
NOTHING (well, except the early morning hours when he decided he needed to go out and relieve himself and would commence whining, howling, and pretty much sending himself to an early grave).

I always thought pictures like these were so sweet and cute til I tried to get my brood in line to take one. It was like stacking whiny sumo wrestlers covered in sand.
"Owwwww.... he's too heavy!"
"I can't stay still! Her suntan lotion is making her greasy, slippery, and nasty!"
"Hurry, Mom!!! I can't do this much longer!"
"Children, try to relax, smile, and look natural!"
(OK..... maybe that last one is not a true reinactment.... it was more like:
"Sit down, Shut up, and ACT like you like this! SMILE whether you want to or not!")
They tell me that honesty is the best policy. I guess blog-honesty is no exception.

We visited the Children's Museum on Roanoke Island in Manteo. The first thing we saw was the Elizabeth II. It is a replica of the boat that the English came to America on. Pretty neat to see all the differences between it and the USS North Carolina.

The Elizabeth II and the Settlement had folks dressed up in authentic dress, complete with English accent, telling stories, giving information, and answering questions. That was my favorite part: hearing them talk. At some point during our visit, Benjamin got tired and fussy. I asked one of the guys, "What would the settlers do when a little one got fussy?" His reply? In a thick English accent: "Smack him on the butt and tell him to shut up." Hmmmmmm...... some things never change.

The kids and I enjoyed learning how to play "Skittles", an early settler game kinda like bowling with wooden pins and a wooden ball (called a "cheese"). They also enjoyed old games such as balancing the broom and the hobby horse.

At the museum there were lots of opportunities for the kids to dress up and experience the dress of the coastal area through the ages......

I have an affection for a cute boy in a derby....

I kept telling the kids that these clothes were from the Elizabethan era, but they insisted on playing "Star Wars"..... humph.

Jackie is such a natural at this. She insists that she was born in the wrong era. Her idea of the perfect life is running through the meadow in an ankle length dress and bonnet with a doll in one hand and a freshly-caught frog in the other.

The kids and I also made it to the Inlet to see some of the day's catch, which on this particular day was all dolphin.

After several mornings of near-death experiences for Jackson (due to lonely howling), we finally figured out that all he really wanted was to be near someone. So, I broke down and let him sleep in the beach house. Jackie was more than ready to oblige for dog-sitter during the night. He seemed to just make himself at home to begin with.

More of my most favorite thing to do while at the OBX. (Well, that statement IS true, but the only reason I got to catch shots like this was because of that whiney-hound needing to get up early. I guess he is good for something, afterall.)

All of Mike's time with a pole in his hand finally paid off when he caught this 27" Red Drum in the surf right at our house.

Jackie spent lots of time chasing frogs and hermit crabs. This little guys somehow got lost in the house..... and as you can see was eventually found: IN THE SINK!

My sister's cockapoo, Buck, went along for the adventure and kept Jackson in line.
Our beach house had a pool table, and Benjamin invented a new way to play pool: sit on the table with all the balls, throw them one at a time at Uncle Ronnie to see if 1) you can hit more than one finger at a time, and 2) get it into a corner pocket.

The day that Barry had to go home (sniff, sniff), I traveled to South Point on Hatteras with a few family members and Tim and Donna. The sites there are beautiful, pristine, and seemingly undisturbed.

OK..... so I'll have to post more later as I am taking up math and spelling time now.