Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cracker Barrell, Coming and Going

With no Florida scenes to take pics of left that catch my imagination, I was at a loss of things to take pics of down here. But, I got an idea to make a scrapbook page of Kelly at the Cracker Barrell. We go there on our trip up and down, each time so when I saw the big fireplace behind him on our way down, I decided to do a scrapbook page of Kelly at the Cracker Barrell. He even has his Genral Lee shirt and Confederate hat on. He is cheap to feed there, as he always gets biscuits and gravey and a root beer. So here are the pics I took to celebrate our Cracker Barrell memories.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Young Girl's Dreams....

   Today I was fixing a picture frame on my computer desk that had a picture of me in it when I was about 13 1/2 years old. I remember the day I had the picture taken many years ago in Michigan. My mom took me to a photographer, probably Olan Mills. I remember the color of my dress, although the picture is in black and white. The dress was tan and I think I had just had a permanent. My skin was fairly tanned so it must have been at the end of summer about the time school started. It was the beginning of my 8th grade year in 1958.
  Since the picture is on my desk, I often have a chance to look at the face of the "little girl" in the picture. As I gaze at her face, I see her eyes full of innocence and wonder. What must she have been thinking? Was she thinking about the school year about to begin? I think I see in her eyes the thoughts of the future. "I want to be happy and have a little house with flowers and sunshine all around. I want to have a handsome husband and lots of babies to take care of. Happiness, love, hope, a family- that is all that I want." If I went back in time to that very day, my hopes and desires for my future would still be the same as they were back then.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

From North Carolina to Arizona in Three Days

Ellie was having her third birthday and I wanted to get her gift in the mail one day this week. Gatlin was with me so I boxed it up, got my internet postage added and he and I took it to the mailbox. I took the cutest picture of him putting the box in the mail. A few days later, Katie sent me an email with pictures of Ellie getting her box all the way in Arizona. I thought it was a neat thing to share these pics with each of the little ones. I plan to do a scrapbook page soon with the pictures we took.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A History Lesson-Moroni and The Title of Liberty

I got this summary of Moroni and the Title of Liberty from the website:

A History Lesson For Our Day?

Moroni was just twenty-five years old when he was appointed chief captain over all the Nephite armies. He was a strong and mighty man with a firm faith in Jesus Christ. Moroni rejoiced in the liberty and freedom of his country. He did not delight in bloodshed, but had sworn an oath to defend his people and their freedom, even to the loss of his own blood..There was in the land another man by the name of Amalickiah who wanted to be king of the Nephites. Strong and large in stature, Amalickiah above all wanted honor and power over other people. Already he was the leader of a group of Nephites who had become proud because of their riches. They would no longer listen to the words of their church leaders nor would they obey Heavenly Father’s commandments. Under Amalickiah’s wicked influence, they had grown to hate the Church and even wanted to kill some of its members.Through lying and deceit, Amalickiah convinced his followers that the Nephite form of government was wrong. He told the people they would be happier if they were ruled by a king instead of a chief judge. He promised that if they would appoint him their king, he would give each of them important positions of honor. Amalickiah soon had great support for his wicked plan to take over the Nephite government.Moroni knew that a king would destroy the precious freedoms for which the Nephite people had fought so long, especially if the government were lost to a selfish, evil king. Then the righteous would no longer be able to worship God as they desired. He also knew that their wives, their children, and their homes would be in grave danger.Moroni determined to do something about Amalickiah. Finally he removed his coat, tore off a piece, and on it he wrote a message: “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” Then he fastened it to the end of a pole and called it the “title of liberty.”Girding himself in his armor and carrying the title of liberty, Moroni “bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should [be] a band of Christians … to possess the land.”After he had poured out his heart in prayer, Moroni went forth among the people, waving the banner high in the air so that everyone could see the message written on it. While waving it, he cried in a loud voice, “Whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.”The message was sent forth throughout the land, and from every direction people gathered themselves together, put on their armor, and were ready to fight for the cause of freedom.When Amalickiah saw that most of the Nephites had chosen to join Moroni to preserve the government, he became frightened. He knew his cause was unjust and that he would be defeated if he went to battle against Moroni and his people. In desperation he took what followers he could and fled to the land of the Lamanites.Moroni’s title of liberty had awakened in the hearts of the Nephite people a renewed love for their country. As a reminder of their great blessings, Moroni caused “the title of liberty to be hoisted upon every tower … which was possessed by the Nephites.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Mom's Shadow

I have an account on Facebook and chose for my profile picture the one here from when I was the Bud Princess for Pier School in Coloma, Michigan in 1951. Berrien County has a big Blossom Festival every spring in celebration of the "heart of the fruit belt" theme for that area. Each elementary school chooses a Bud Prince and Princess and each High School chooses a Blossom Queen and one queen is chosen to preside over the festivities and parade.

I am sure my mom was so excited and honored that her little girl, Carol Jean, was chosen to represent Pier School as the princess. Darrell Fikes was the prince. We rode in the Kiddie Parade and the big Blossom Parade.

This picture shows me in front of our home near Lake Michigan. I thought it was a cute picture to have for my profile picture on Facebook. One thing about the picture that was "photography" incorrect is the shadow of the person taking the picture being over the subject, me. It kind of bothered me and the other day I thought that I would take the shadow out with my picture editing software program. As I started to do it, a thought came over me, "that is my mommy so proudly taking that picture of her little girl." My mom is the most special of all mothers on the earth so after I thought a moment I decided that I could not take that shadow out. She is 86 years old now and I know that she was so proud of me back then that to take her shadow out after all these years would make me sad. So I left it in to be a memorial of the love that a mom has for her child. The love she has for me and I have for her.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Another Trip With Grankids No.2-Carolina Hemlock

Adding to the post below I have pictures of the boys having fun at Carolina Hemlock.

Another Day Trip With Grandkids

It seems that this summer I just can"t get enough of summer day trips with grandchildren. Last week I took the girls this week I took the boys. Gabriel, Josh, Caleb, and I hopped into the car this morning and picked up Ian in town and then headed for Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. I decided they needed to get away from video games and learn something about the beautiful area that we live in. They were cooperative and cheerfully ready to go with good old "Grammy". It is a really winding road up Highway 81 to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the next 16 miles to the Mt. Mitchell Park. The boys really were interested in the museum and walk up to the top of the trail where there is a nicely reconstructed look-out post where you can see a 360 degree view of the mountains. The boys had a fun time climbing and jumping over rocks. The air was so cool and pleasant and the mountain views so beautiful that it makes you want to spend a little more time there, but soon we were off to Carolina Hemlock.

Not a long distance, about 23 miles, is our family's favorite campground, Carolina Hemlock. The Toe River runs through the campground and I thought it would be fun for the boys to spend a little time climbing on the rocks and playing in the cool mountain water. They had a lot of fun on the river rocks, climbing, sliding and jumping into the river. I hated to make them leave, but a storm came up and since the water pump there got hit by lightening last week, I decided we had to leave.

By then they were all hungry, so on the way home we stopped at MacDonalds for a bite to eat. All the boys said thanks and that they had a great time. That was all I needed to hear to make this a special time for me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trip to Valle Crucis

I love to travel an hour or so up the mountain from our home to enjoy the beautiful NC mountains. On Tuedsay I decided to take grandaughters, Rahlee, Chloe, Michaela and son Kelly, for a little day trip. We stopped first at the cabin of my daughter Kristen and her husband Billy who were up from Florida. It is so good to have them owning their own place near us so we can feel close to them all the time.

Next we stopped at Banner Elk to eat our lunch at the McDonalds right on the highway. Banner Elk is famous for its two ski slopes, Beach and Sugar mountain. In the summertime it is full of tourists enjoying the cooler weather in the mountains. We filled our tummies and so.....

....On to Valle Crucis, a tiny town near Boone, NC. It has a very old general store "The Mast Store" that has been turned into a tourist attraction. They have kept it just as it use to be but now sell all kinds of old fashioned items just like the old folks bought at the store over a hundred years ago. I bought a set of retro dish towels for my kitchen and a nostalgic-like sigh to put on our new back porch. I will make a post to show you my purchases later. It even has a working post office that is unchanged from the past. The little girls loved our other stop in VC, at the Candy Barrel where you can go from to barrel with a basket and fill it up with your favorite candy. Of course there is a price to pay at the cash register. Kelly's candy added up to $11.00. I was glad he was paying for his own. I told the girls that they could choose 10 candies each. It is surprising how long it takes kids to make their choices when there is so much to choose from. I just started Weight Watchers, so it was very hard for me to pass up the dark chocolate malt balls. I did settle on one "Ice Cube" and one "Reece's Piece". Need I say that it was not very satisfying, but I stuck to my diet anyway.

We went on to Boone, a nice college town (Appalachian State University) with lots of things going on at any given moment. If you get a chance to visit Boone, be sure you go to the older section where you can visit lots of shops and enjoy the unusual (at least for me) sights of people and aura of an old college town. The Boone Drug Store is a good place to grab an old fashioned hamburger and coke.

On to Blowing Rock and the park that is on the main street across from all the little shops that each sell different items. The girls, Chloe and Rahlee had a fun time doing the kids "zip line" and climbing rock.

We were all finally worn out from all the "fun", so headed home which was about fifty miles away. A summer day well spent in the beautiful NC mountains!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Walk With Gatlin

I got an opportunity to be with Gatlin for about an hour last night so we decided to take a little walk down to the river. We sat on the bench and enjoyed watching another family on a dock fishing. He saw a boat, a tiny frog, a motorcycle and lots of other things that little ones notice with their eager to learn eyes. Gatlin is really smart and is talking very well now. I missed him a lot while I have been gone so it was so good to be able to spend a little time with him.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Being With My Mom

Being here in Florida with my mom for two weeks has been a little bitter-sweet. When a parent begins to fail in health it elicits all sorts of emotional ups and downs. You begin to realize that time is short and every minute spent with them is precious. You are especially cognizant of every physical variation from the norm for them. For my mom, one day will be good and my emotions are high then she might have a little physical problem and down my emotions go. With all of that you are constantly thinking about the little memories of their past and wanting to hold on to time and make it stop. "Just keep her where she is right now and don't let her fail anymore, Dear Lord". Tears come often. But you fight them back and try to put on a happy countenance and have faith that God is in control and knows best. I realize that everyone has to go through this time with their mom and dad and someday my kids will experience this with me, but it is still hard. So, I get up each morning and try to do all the things I can do for her that make her comfortable and happy. I try to bring up little stories of that past that we can laugh about and ask her questions about things so she can enjoy her memories too. I am blessed to have many good memories to enjoy with my mommy, Marian-the best mom that a girl could possibly have.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Little Beach Time

Making memories is what life is about. And with Gabe and Chloe here in Florida with their other gramdma and poppy, Jane and Mike, it is nice to be able to go to the beach with them. We had a good time watching Gabe and Chloe play in the waves of Daytona Beach. I hope Gabe and Chloe will remember these good times.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ellie and Her Cakes

Ellie loves cake. We found that out when she was visiting us two weeks ago. (Is it already two weeks that they have been gone? Miss you little girls.) She kept wanting a piece of Chloe's baptism cake that I got at Ingles. It was a big cake and we did not use much of it before I threw it out because we did not like it too much. Several other times she asked for cake and we began to laugh about it. So here is a picture of her with a Father's Day cake she helped her mommy, Katie make for her Dad this weekend. I especially like the look on her face so wanted to post it for all to see.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What's Happened Since May-Pictures

Here are a few more pictures of our family fun this last month. You can read about it in my post below. Don't you think Adam and Trish's family looks special in this picture? My first grandchildren are graduated from high school, twins, Caitlyn and Bryan. Bryan awaits his entry into the Marines and Caitlyn is anxiously waiting to see if the Army will take her inspite of a tiny health problem. The next picture is of my mom's yard in Florida. They had 26 inches of rain in a few days. More flooding than any hurricane there and in the 49 years she has lived in this house.

What's Happened Since May

A lot has happened since I last blogged on Mother's Day. We went to Florida and Caitlyn and Bryan's graduation. The rain there was atrocious and my mom's yard was flooded. Adam and Trish got married. Chloe got baptized. Katie and her family came to visit. We took some of our family to Carowinds. School got out. We finished our big remodel project. At least it was big to us. Now we are looking forward to a pleasant and happy summer here in the mountains of western North Carolina. Last summer was a bummer so I look forward to a nice and peaceful season this year. When I think of my childhood, I think most often in terms of the summertime. No big things happened, but just the usual memories of a 1950's summertime in Michigan. That is what I want this year for myself. Peace, happiness, pleasant days, and some little memories of family. I hope the Lord will bless me and all of you with these things. I am posting some pictures of the activities I mentioned.