Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! What a wonderful Christmas we have been having at our house. I was reflecting on how this has been a hard year economically for our family, as it has been for most families, but how this has been a wonderful Christmas. We have enjoyed family time together with extended family. We spent last weekend in Gatlinburg with extended family. We were hoping for snow so badly, as we get very little in our area! Well, on the way there, the snow started coming down! And I mean it really started coming down!! It was beautiful. As we got closer to our cabin though, the roads were not so wonderful. We had some trouble getting up the hill to our secluded spot in the woods, but we finally made it. My older brother, who was supposed to meet us later that night had to end up staying in Pigeon Forge for the night. He was able to get to the cabin on Saturday. It was so much fun! The cousins played in the snow on Saturday and had a blast. The cabin had a theater room, which was awesome, so we watched movies and played Disney Scene-It. There was also a game room with a pool table and an arcade game that was loads of fun. It was a great way to start our Christmas vacation!

The cousins.
The Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg.

This is Ober Gatlinburg. We wanted to check out the snow tubing and the ski slopes. It was opening weekend for skiing and it was packed with people!

My crew!

The boys decided to try ice skating. I think they really enjoyed it. It was hard work at first! There were plenty of skaters on hand and the atmosphere was great!!

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year! I will be taking a break from blogging for the next week to spend time with my family and enjoy the holidays. I will be making some changes to my blog in the next week, so be sure to check back!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday

Thanks to Susan at for hosting Outdoor Wednesday. I love reading all the participants posts! Last Saturday, my middle son participated in Wreaths Across America. This is conducted nationwide by the Civil Air Patrol. In the fall, the cadets sell wreaths to be placed on the graves of those who served our country in military service. The cadets started early, 7:00 a.m. on a chilly 25 degrees southern Saturday morning. They worked on placing the wreaths until the official ceremony began at 12:00. The ceremony lasted until around 1:30 p.m. Yes, those cadets were out in the cold from 7:00- 1:30 to honor those who served our country.

Below is my cadet. He absolutely loves CAP.

The ceremony was moving. All branches of the United States Armed Forces were represented. The ceremony reminded each of us not to take our freedoms lightly. Freedom is not freely given, it is hard fought for and must be valued as such.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Service Project & First Snow of The Season

We participated in a service project this morning with members of our Honor Society. This project was connected with Prison Ministries. The group got the name of a child of an inmate. They went this morning and bought Christmas presents, then wrapped the presents and finished up with a Christmas party. It was great seeing them pick out presents for this child. The Christmas party was so much fun! They wrapped the presents, ate some pizza and other goodies, then enjoyed a really fun Christmas game.
They even let us moms get in on the game. We divided up into three teams, boys, girls, and moms. It was a Christmas trivia type of game and I have to say, some of the questions were quite hard. The boys ended up winning, with the girls coming in at a close second. Sadly, the moms ended up in last place. We will be ready for them next year though:)

A very exciting thing happened this morning here in the South. We had our first snow of the season!!! Well, most of you who regularly get snow would probably laugh at this snow, but down here we will take what we can get. We were so excited this morning to look out and see a white lawn. I'm glad we got out in it early, because by afternoon, there was no trace of snow left. Now, we are anxiously awaiting the next snow event!!

I'm off to watch some great college games today!! Enjoy a super Saturday!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday

It is Outdoor Wednesday time! Thanks to Susan over at www.asoutherndaydreamer for hosting this weekly event.
This is at Red Top Mountain near Atlanta, Georgia. Notice the tree in the lake. We really enjoy this Georgia State Park for its beautiful scenery, hiking trails, and picnic areas. They also have a lodge with a nice restaurant. This park suffered some flooding a little while back when the Atlanta area had all that massive rain in a short time period. Some of the picnic tables were under water for some time.

I just love this old bridge. This is at the Chattanooga and Chickamauga National Battlefield Park in Chickamauga, Georgia.

Another view of the bridge. When you look at it, I think you can't help but think back to the Civil War. This park now gets quite a bit of use from joggers, walkers, cyclist, and families enjoying a day out. It is a beautiful park with loads of history.
I hope you enjoyed my Outdoor Wednesday. Have a super Wednesday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Menu Monday

This week I am participating in Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday. Be sure to check out everyone's menu for this week!

Happy Monday! What a marvelous weekend we enjoyed. Our family had our movie night Friday night, with Star Trek being the movie of the night. I have to say I enjoyed it. I didn't watch alot of Star Trek growing up, but my husband certainly did. On Saturday my hubby and my boys worked at their grandmother's house blowing leaves and cleaning the yard up. I stayed at home to clean house and get grocery list and menus together for the upcoming week. We ended Saturday night watching our favorite football games.

Yesterday, we enjoyed a wonderful day of worship with our oldest son in Atlanta. After a great meal at The Olive Garden, we headed home to prepare for the upcoming week and to rest!! My middle son and myself are headed out this morning to volunteer at Life Care Center. We will be packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Later today I hope to continue on with that housecleaning!! We are taking this week off from school to prepare for Thanksgiving. My oldest son will be home for a few days and I want to thoroughly enjoy that time with him. This week we will also be putting up our Christmas lights and decorations. So much fun!! We always do this the day after Thanksgiving. I just love this week!!

Our menu for this week:


Vegetable Lasagna

Garlic Bread





Chicken Tenders

Baked Beans







Corn Muffins


*Pie Supper at church


Turkey Day!!!


More Turkey!!!!


Homemade Pizza




Enjoy your Monday!!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunday's Thoughts

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalm 100 KJV


Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heavn'ly host; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Words: Thomas Ken, Music: Genevan Psalter, Segue To "FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH"

Have a blessed Lord's Day,

Friday, November 20, 2009

Giving Back

A couple of weeks ago, our chapter of The National Homeschool Honor Society, participated in a service project. The local LifeCare Center was having a carnival to raise money for Operation Christmas Shoebox. We were to help set up for the carnival, then help to run some of the booths. We had a great turn out! There was much to be done before the carnival and the students jumped right in and did their jobs. As you can see from the picture below, Chic-fil-A was there and working hard!This was the "morning crew", ready to begin work.
The boys cleaning the grill and getting food ready for the concession stand.

Ready for customers!

If you cook it, they will come!!

It was a great day of volunteer work. These students helped out and had a great time also. It reminded me that I need to always be instilling in my boys that giving back spirit by giving back myself. Sometime it is easy to get caught up in "everyday life" and forget that we are to give back to our communities, our churches, and our country. So, this weekend we are making a list of ways that we want to give back this Christmas season. We have come up with two that we are very excited about. We are collecting items for our local animal shelter and we are collecting food for our local Ronald McDonald House. Last year, we volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House and enjoyed it thoroughly! We cleaned the house so the residents didn't have to that day. What a great work the Ronald McDonald House performs! We hope to be able to do that again.
Have a super Friday and remember to Give Back!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday

Thanks to Susan, over at www.asoutherndaydreamer, for hosting this weekly event. Be sure to check out all the participants in Outdoor Wednesday. We recently took a field trip to Cloudland Canyon State Park. This is one of Georgia's beautiful state parks. I have shared pictures from here before, but the day we went was absolutely one of the most gorgeous days we have had!
We have received so much rain lately that the waterfalls were wonderful. We have been there when there was just a trickle, so this was nice to see.

This is at the bottom of one of the waterfalls. There are hiking trails down to both waterfalls. These trails have stairs that make it a little easier to get down to the bottom.

I just love seeing the waterfalls and being reminded of the majesty of our Creator!

This is a view of the top of the canyon.

The leaves were putting on a spectacular show for us!

We thoroughly enjoyed our day at Cloudland Canyon State Park. The ranger took us on our hike. He was able to share lots of great information about the park.
I hope you enjoyed seeing one of Georgia's great state parks.
Have a super Wednesday!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week in Review and Upcoming Activities

This past week my sister, sister-in-law, and niece took my Mother out to eat for her birthday. We went to a wonderful tea room that was decorated for the holidays. It was the first night of their holiday open house. I loved this snowman decorated tree! This wreath was just beautiful. We were able to have the Mother's Room, which is basically a private room. It was great for our birthday celebration!
This picture is a little fuzzy. This was the tree that was in our room. I wish I had gotten a better picture of the top of the tree. It was stunning!

This is my Mom opening her presents.

This is my niece holding my sister's baby boy. This niece is my brother's daughter and she is a sweetheart!

This is Mom holding my nephew. My older brother's wife is in the red sweater. The room we were in was decorated so lovely. I just wanted to decorate my house the minute I got home!

It was a great evening with the "girls" and our sweet little "boy" guest. We hope to make it an annual tradition. The decorations were amazing and the food was wonderful. Another great plus, which was a wonderful surprise, was our server. The daughter of one of my friends was our server. She is the sweetest, most beautiful girl. She did a super job and I was grateful she was our server.
This coming week, along with our schoolwork, I hope to get alot of deep cleaning done in preparation for Thanksgiving. I think this year I would like to get our outside Christmas decorations up in time for Thanksgiving day. I love Christmas, but I like to wait to put my inside decorations up the day after Thanksgiving. So much to do!
I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Saturday!