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Sunday, October 26, 2008




Time for what?

This is the first year that Benjamin has been able to have active participation.
I must say, he really enjoyed it. Although, he does insist that his box is going to,
"A little boy like me in Manya-manya."
Too sweet.

Most of you comment that there are never any photos of me on the blog, so Barry has become quite handy with the camera and took a few.

If you aren't familiar with Operation Christmas Child, please click here to find out more:

Friday, October 24, 2008


Barry and I enjoyed yet another weekend in the "cool" mountains, lavishing in all the beautiful colors.

Matt and Terri's wedding was outdoors and loaded with lots of color, love, and chill bumps.

Many of Matt's family traveled all the way to Boone from New Orleans.

Terri and his little girl, Terri Lynn.

My daughter, KT, had the same reaction to this picture as I did when I looked through the lens:

"OOOHHHHH! That's weird!".

Yeah, Matt is a twin.

BTW, she also wanted to know how Terri knew she got the "right one."

; o )

Instead of birdseed, rice, balloons, doves, bubbles, etc...., Matt and Terri incorporated a New Orleans tradition in their wedding:

Second Line Napkins.

They all grabbed an embroidered napkin and danced around (mostly in a line), waving it over their heads while "When the Saints Go Marchin' In" (plus a few other choice songs) blared through the speakers. It was pretty neat.

Afterwards, Matt and Terri joined hands, ran out the door, over the hill, and into the darkness together. It was quite beautiful and effective.

Thanks again, Matt and Terri. Best wishes for an unbelievably happy future together.

Thursday, October 23, 2008



One of my most favorite songs sung by one of my most favorite musical groups of all time. I hope it encourages you.

Below is another sample of their worship.

God is so good. Praise Him that Jesus DOES loves us.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I think that the kids are finally settling in to our new surroundings. Jackie is taking Lyrical Dance at the local fitness center. She loves her teacher, Ms. Leslie. Ms. Leslie is 58 years old, and therefore has her head screwed on right, therefore I LIKE HER (which may be more important!). ; o)

As a matter of fact, I was invited to join in the class last night during some of their moves. YEAH, RIGHT! I never was much of a dancer, but it seems to suit Jackie just fine. She has forever been twirling around the house, usually singing some type of opera or spiritual to the top of her lungs.

Benjamin also had a soccer game yesterday. He has definitely let go of both my hand and his thumb. He hops right in and loves to play. Yesterday, he was on the "orange" team.

It was kind of funny as he was the only boy on his team.... he didn't seem to mind (what male would?).
He did score (and I was sitting right behind the goal to get some great shots!). However, you can see from the reaction of the little girl to his left that she must have wanted to. Plus, the little girl with her fingers in her mouth to his right began crying profusely after Ben scored. She wasn't too fond of losing and "orange" always scoring.
Afterwards he was one happy little booger.

(this last photo courtesy of Joe---he did good, didn't he?!?!?)

I will try to get some photos next Monday of Joseph in his karate class and both KT and Jackie start basketball next week. In the meantime, KT is keeping me busy running to and from the library!

As far as house hunting is concerned, we have found 2 that we are deciding between. We like both, but 1 is at the lake and so obviously we have 2 girls pulling for that one. The other one is just down our street and Joe is pulling for that one because his new friend, Robby, lives just two houses down.

We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Barry and I have decided that we would like to change professions. Yep. That's right.
We want to be....... (drumroll, please)........
Now, not movers in the traditional sense. We want to be the ones MOVING, not the movers themselves (although in our case, we are both!).
So, it's true. The rental house that we have been enjoying for the last 2 months has sold. We knew that it might, but assured the owner that it would be fine to leave it on the market as he was convinced that it wouldn't sell (it hadn't been shown in over a year, and given the current economic situation, well----enough said). So, surprise!
It seems we will have to find another home in about 2-3 weeks. We knew when we moved to Etown that we wouldn't be staying in this house (it's a little too little!), but we had hoped that we would be moving on our terms, not someone else's. Are we up for the adventure! You bet!

If you look closely at the front door, you will see a little 3-year-old stinker standing in the doorway in his Spongebob (cringe!) underwear after getting away from his three older siblings who were supposed to be holding him hostage while I finished the photo.
Notice the pretty pines and long shadows. Little? Yes. But pretty anyway. Definitely a blessing to have had it in the timely way we did.
So, be checking back in frequently to see the new pad.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Now, I'm normally not one to be brash about politics, but this elections just has me all amuck. I'm sincerely hoping that the American public will act as if they have some sense as they vote. "If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and PRAY...."
Enough said.
Following is a link to a funny ariticle a friend of mine sent my way.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


In a rare exchange of words yesterday, I realized that Benjamin is really understanding some things about life. Things that, for some of us, take years to understand---IF we ever understand it at all.

We happened to catch the start of "An Adoption Story" on TLC. Normally, we don't have the tv on during the day (unless it's for Blue's Clues or Sesame Street), but for some reason, it was on and was on this particular channel (we have NEVER watched a show on this channel before!). OK, so when we found out that the adoption story was about a little boy from Guatemala, we call gathered into the living room for a little break. When they first showed the sweet little guy, Benjamin exclaimed, "He looks like me! Look! Bwack hawr (black hair) and bwrown stin (brown skin)! Him from Manya-manya (Guatemala) too!". My heart just melted. It brought back so many memories!

Afterwards, I was cutting canteloupe in the kitchen and Ben was "helping". It was quiet and Ben was on the countertop beside of me. Without any prompting, he said, "Mommy, Mama Rosa took care of me in Manya-manya." I responded with, "Yes, she did. And she did a good job, too." His reply? "Yeah, her did. Jesus took care of me, too." My knife stopped. My heart stopped. My eyes teared.
"Yeah, baby..... He did. He sure does love you."
"Yeah, Mommy. Me know. Mommy?"
"What, Ben?"
"Someday me see Mamaw." (Mamaw is my mother who stepped into Heaven just weeks before Ben's homecoming).
"I know. Me too. I want to see Mamaw. She sure will be glad to finally give you a hug!"
"Someday me see Mia, too. Mamaw and Mia both in Heaven with Jesus." (Mia, our St. Bernard got hit right before we moved. Ben LOVED Mia.).
"I wonder if your Mamaw likes Mia?"
"Me don't know. But me take Jack-jack (our bassett) to see Mia. I guess him have to get hit by a car first."

Yeah. He gets it. He gets it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

One Hundred Things About Michelle

So, I was reading a friend's blog the other day and she had this really cute link on the side that said, "100 Things About _______". I thought, "WOW! How neat! I wonder if I did that if my husband would learn anything?" So, in a neat twist of fate, the subject came up just last night. Somehow in the course of conversation, I asked him if he knew my favorite flower..... He guessed----wrong. Well, wrong in a sort of way. So, it was then I knew I had to do this. I would say that 99% Barry will know, but the remaining 1% I think I'll give him a quiz on. How much do you know? Easy to find out: there's only 100 questions, so take the number that you knew and that is your percentage (yeah, I've been teaching percentages at home, can you tell?). Let me hear from you....

1. I am a born-again Christian.
2. I was saved at the age of 7.
3. My dad was pastoring the church that I was saved at.
4. My dad baptized me.
5. My dad married me.
6. My dad's name, Jack, is not his legal name.
7. When I was young, I wanted to change my name.
8. I have known my husband for over 20 years.
9. I was drum major in high school.
10. I was drum major in college.
11. My husband is my very best friend.
12. People used to think my husband was my brother (YUCK!).
13. I homeschool our four children.
14. My middle name comes from my maternal grandmother.
15. I used to be horribly teased from my classmates (mainly the boys) about my middle name.
16. My middle name is Lucille.
17. The boys used to sing, "You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille..." as they circled around me.
18. I hated history in school.
19. History is my favorite subject to teacht o my kids.
20. I am a homeschool mom.
21. I love my job.
22. I love photography.
23. My mother is in Heaven.
24. My mother was the most unselfish person in my life.
25. I love to teach Bible (especially to women).
26. Memorizing is easy for me.
27. I don't like cats.28. I am a dog person.
29. I am allergic to horses and cats.
30. I love to play piano/keys.
31. I have been playing piano since I was 7.
32. I play french horn.
33. I play clarinet.
34. I met my husband when he was my private french horn instructor.
35. He tried (for a few weeks) to be only my instructor (that didn't work!).
36. I am the youngest of 4.
37. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother.
38. I was, and still am, spoiled by my siblings.
39. My siblings are 15, 13, and 10 years older than me, respectively.
40. I was an aunt at age 5.
41. I knew only one great grandparent in my life.
42. I have a very unique maiden name: Smith.
43. My favorite music is contemporary Christian, R&B/Soul/Jazz (Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra), and shag.
44. My favorite contemporary Christian artists are: Rich Mullins, Michael OBrien, Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, and Newsong.
45. I love to listen to Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore.
46. I also like TD Jakes.
47. I played in a contemporary praise band, Exitup, until we moved to the flatlands.
48. My favorite color is yellow.
49. I like to write.
50. My fourth child grew in my heart, not under it.
51. I have traveled outside of the US 3
52. I hear Guatemala calling my name everyday!
53. Adoption is one of things closest to my heart in the whole world.
54. The most important thing I experienced from our adoption experience was a small taste of God's love for us as His adopted children.
55. I have 3 straight-haired children and 1 who has enough curls for the whole state of NC!
56. My most favorite place in the whole world is the Outer Banks of NC.
57. I prefer living in either the mountains or on the coast, not inbetween!
58. I have coached softball, basketball, and even soccer (yeah, that last one was pretty funny!).
59. My favorite foods are salads.
60. I love sunny days.
61. Rainy days make me sad (and it could even be said that they make me grumpy!).
62. I don't think that I could live in London.
63. I like playing in orchestral bands, but don't really like listening to band music unless I am familiar with the piece.
64. I prefer brass over woodwind.
65. I only had morning sickness 1 time in all 3 of my pregnancies.
66. I prefer salty to sweet.
67. One of my favorite movies is, "The King and I".
68. My favorite actress is Julie Andrews.
69. My favorite actor is Antonio Banderas.
70. I like to do laundry.
71. I hate to dust.
72. My favorite subject in school was English (except for band).
73. Many people mistake me for hispanic or American indian.
74. My ancestry includes black Dutch and Cherokee.
75. My grandmother's name was "Fannie".
76. I prefer silver to yellow gold.
77. Reading is a favorite pastime (when I get the chance!).
78. Favorite books: Shepherding a Child's Heart, Millie Keith Series, and obviously the Bible.
79. I like Canon gear better than Nikon.
80. When I was little, I figured I'd grow up to be a teacher.
81. I just didn't think that teacher would be to my own kids.
82. At one point I wanted to be a horse jockey.
83. That was before I found out 1)allergic to horses, and 2)too tall.
84. My feet grew 1/2 size each time I was pregnant.
85. I tend to fall asleep while watching a movie.
86. My favorite flower is a zinnia.
87. Swedish Fish is my favorite candy.
88. I lived in the same place for the first 25 years of my life.
89. I don't like mini blinds.
90. I know that last one is weird... I like sheer curtains.
91. Hard wood floors are better than carpet.
92. Japanese food is my favorite, although I eat lots of Mexican.
93. I think video games are a waste of time (just ask my kids).
94. I like to hike.
95. I like to play ball even better.
96. My sister taught me to swim at the age of 6.
97. I nearly died trying to learn (OK... that's a little exaggerated, but that's what it felt like!).
98. I like reading blogs of people I've never met.
99. I am incredibly conservative in political realms.
100. I hope you read to the end of this as it took me a long time to think up. : o )

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


The fam and I enjoyed a special treat this past weekend:

Meet Matt and Terri Lynn.

This was the weekend for engagment shots for this sweet couple .

Their session was scheduled on the BR Parkway and to begin with, I was somewhat concerned. It had been raining for a whole day beforehand and I was wondering if we would even get to shoot.
But, the rain slowed down to a drizzle, and we shot on the porch.

Then the fog settled in (YES, that IS fog all around the lovely couple below).

Then, it pretty much stopped all together and we wandered around to some different vantage points and had a great time together.

Their wedding is in a few short weeks and I'm sure that Terri and Matt are busy finishing plans up, but looking forward to a beautiful ceremony.

If it's anything like the fun we had getting a few shots together this past weekend, it's sure to be a blast.

Thanks, guys for including us in this special time in your lives. We wish you all the best and God Bless.