Revelation 19:7,9 " Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb."
Outside my window...It's been a rainy week so far, and clouds and fog were over the mountains again today. A cool day in the low 60s kept us inside listening to Christmas music (yes, we start early!) while we worked on various wedding planning for Sarah and Eric.
I am thinking...of the good time of renewed friendship we had last week with our friends, Kim and Annie, missionaries on furlough from Papua New Guinea.They stopped by for an overnight visit and showed us the printed gospel of John they've recently finished for the Tami people.
Here's Kim showing Tom some scriptures:
We are so very encouraged whenever we hear of the ministry they are doing among people in a faraway village whom we will never have the chance to see or talk with. Thank you, Kim and Annie, for your faithful diligence these many years in Papua New Guinea:
I am thankful...for the couples who came to our neighborhood ice cream social on Sunday evening. A new ice cream flag announced the event on our back deck as we waited for folks to arrive:
We've wanted to bring the neighbors together for quite a while, and five families took us up on our offer of homemade ice cream with all the toppings:
The light began to fade, but everyone was having such good conversations they stayed on to get better acquainted. And a good time was had by all....
I was delighted...when my cousin and her husband came last week to visit Granny. Granny always loves company and had looked forward to Carolyn and Bud's visit for a long time:
I am wearing...a red skirt, white top, and hand-me-down leopard bedroom slippers.
I am creating...a blog post--finally! Life has been quite busy with regular life and...all things wedding related!! Checking out a wedding venue, house-hunting in Georgia with Sarah and Eric's family, furniture buying, bridesmaids' dress fabric purchasing, wedding dress fittings, considering possible flowers for the reception, and deciding on food for the guests have filled our days.
Fun Times...here are Sarah and Eric picking out fabric for free pillows to match their sofa:
Eric, his sister Abby, and Sarah also picked out some favorite colors to repaint some of the rooms in the home they purchased:
Here's Sarah standing in front of her future home:
I am going...to be one happy Mama and one sad Mama...what bittersweet days. (Send tissues, please!) For those of you who've already gone through giving your baby daughter away, please share with me how I'll ever manage to cope...especially in the kitchen!
In the kitchen...lots of pies filled the kitchen table this past weekend! A bride hired Sarah to bake 15 pies for her wedding on Saturday...apple, blueberry, chocolate pecan, and lemon meringue are pies the customer picked. Whew! I was glad when Sarah delivered all the pies intact!
I am re-living...our 35th anniversary trip one month ago. I never posted on our travels to Alexandria, Virginia, but here we are enjoying ourselves in Old Town:
In the Mount Vernon garden...while on our tour of Mount Vernon, I especially enjoyed the gardens and all the flowers on the property, even though our tour guide told us the gardens were past peak and overgrown. Here's one of the more formal gardens:
A peek into one of my days...Granny wanted me to drive her back to her hometown of South Boston recently. One of my dear friends invited us to spend the night with her. Here we are enjoying a very encouraging time with Carolyn and Garnett:
And Carolyn happened to overhear Granny say she loved buttered biscuits, so she made sure she fixed some biscuits especially for Granny the next morning. Don't they look delicious? (Thank you, Carolyn!):
Another friend and faithful blog reader in South Boston--Carolyn's sister, Doris--came over to visit while we were there (Hi, Doris!):
Last weekend, most of us were able to go up to Michigan to celebrate with Micah as he completed his 7 years of general surgery residency! He has been at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and now moves on for 2 more years of specialization in vascular surgery. Granny was unable to make the trip because of her continued back issues, but she certainly enjoyed looking at the pictures and videos we brought back. :)
We were honored to be invited to attend the special dinner for the 6 graduates. It was a very nicely catered meal, followed by awards and speeches from all the chief residents being recognized. Some of them are staying in Ann Arbor after graduation, others are going to various other fellowship programs around the country. Micah will be moving on to a hospital in Chicago, as he wraps up the final phase of his medical training.
It's been a long road with lots of hard work and long hours. Congratulations, Micah, on finishing the program! We love you and will be praying for you as you start your fellowship.
Recently when I wandered over to Pinterest (as we all are inclined to do occasionally), I spotted something that I totally fell in love with. Surely that has happened to you, too, right?
In this case, I read about a build-it-yourself quilt ladder which I promptly shared with the woodworker in our family. And...I justhappened to mention to Tom that I would love for him to build one for me, but not just for me, but also one as a gift for a friend's birthday and one for my sister's birthday.
In other words...three quilt ladders! Tom's Honey-Do list all of a sudden became much more than one simple ladder. And this didn't end up being the quickie Saturday afternoon project I had envisioned...these ladders took on a life of their own!
Here he is after getting the wood cut to the exact dimensions suggested on the blog where I originally saw the ladder and then carefully measuring before installing the rungs:Back into the garage to get started putting it all together:Did you notice that the ladder has moved from the garage workshop into the living room?? For some reason, I've become quite accustomed to this practice! Ahem... Below you can see all three ladders being worked on...Tom's delicately putting wood glue into the pocket holes on the back side where he'll place wooden plugs over the screws that hold the rungs to the legs:Time to put on stain! Thankfully the ladders are back in the garage for this step: And then outside on the deck. Notice Tom's high-tech system of juice bottles for holding down the drop cloth on this windy day:This last one below is my ladder. Tom's re-sanding some imperfections in the stained legs and then will re-stain. I can hardly wait until it's finished so I can put some quilts on those rungs:Like I mentioned, one ladder was for my sister's birthday. So when we went on our Spring Break trip to Georgia (Day 1, Day 2, and Days 3-4-5), it was the perfect time to bring the ladder to her.
The girls rode 8+ hours with the ladder between them stretching from the trunk to the front between me and Tom. After the History Tour in Georgia, we brought it back to South Carolina. Here's a picture my sister sent me showing her ladder already laden down with quilts:The next quilt ladder made a journey to Richmond this past Saturday when we met with our dear friends Fred and Chris for a double date at Whole Foods:Here's Chris after I gave her the quilt ladder. I think she liked it!! Since we only get together once or twice a year, she brought me an early birthday gift--a Colonial Williamsburg bird bottle! I love it!Here I am with Tom on our double date. We had a very fun time with our friends.When my quilt ladder is all finished and I've figured out where I'm putting it, I'll have to show you a picture!
After the History Tour concluded, Day 3 of our Spring Break trip was spent with our friends in Atlanta...eating out at The Varsity (ever been there?), visiting an antique shop, psalm singing, and lots of good fellowship! We had never heard of The Varsity but found out that the main branch of the chain in downtown Atlanta is the largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world, and many U.S. presidents have visited the chain when they've been in Atlanta.
We ate at one of the six branches of the restaurant in metro-Atlanta:It's true! We heard, "What'll Ya Have?" a lot when we were there:Here we are deciding what to order: We all had a good time enjoying lunch together: First-time visitor Sarah put on one of The Varsity chef hats:Next up was a trip to Queen of Hearts Antique shop, with 500 dealer booths!: This was the scene just inside the front door. I could tell this would be a great shop, and it definitely was!I loved all the gardening items in many of the vendors' booths:I especially liked the red antique gardening tools but didn't purchase them...so sorry afterwards: Although I did bring a watering can home with me:We all had a fun afternoon of shopping, even the guys...I think! While we were visiting our friends, one evening we enjoyed a Psalm Singing. Here we are sitting around the living room in the next few pictures singing from The Book of Psalms for Worship.Abby took a turn on the piano:And here's the other side of the room: Then Alex took a turn on the piano:If you'd like to hear one of the songs we sang, Sarah recorded some of the music that evening. Click here to hear us singing Psalm 98! The pianist plays through a verse first, and then you'll hear all of us singing. It was very enjoyable!
Other times were spent playing games and talking together: Here are Emma and Sarah posing together in their matching shirts with big smiles: Well...all good times must come to an end. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Georgia and staying with our friends! Thank you for the hospitality!
Spring Break ~ Day 4: Leaving Georgia, we headed to South Carolina to visit my sister and Granny.
This was supposed to be the occasion that we'd bring Granny back to Virginia with us, but she's still not recuperated enough from her fall in January. Her broken back is still healing; and unfortunately, she's not up to a 6-hour drive quite yet.
Here we are visiting with Aunt Bet and Granny. It was so good to see them: My sister took me to a gardening center and antique shop while I was there, but I didn't get pictures of those special outings.
Again...all too soon it was time to head for home.
Spring Break ~ Day 5:Whenever we have a chance, Tom finds a church for us to attend if we're out of town. We always enjoy meeting new families in a new place.
On this particular Sunday, we met several families in this church, but one family stood out to us in particular...Todd and Barbara, who had adopted two little children. They began to tell us their 5-Day Adoption story. It was amazing!
You can find information and watch a 5-minute trailer about their story here: 5-Day Adoption. I'm sure they would appreciate your interest and support.
Spring Break was fun! Now that we're back home...it's time for many gardening chores!
Here is part of our tour group arriving at Atlanta’s Historic Grant Park on a beautiful spring morning:Our group gathered by the stone wall to listen to a lecture by historian, Bill Potter, before we continued on to the Cyclorama:Bill Potter speaks on the Battle of Atlanta to our group:Just before we left this area, one of the tour participants set the stage by singing Dixie: Below, we're headed into the Cyclorama, which is located right next door to the Atlanta Zoo. The lines for the Zoo were filled with moms and children on spring break and were extremely long...but not a problem at the Cyclorama, and we were able to walk right in:Here's a closer picture below of the entrance to the Cyclorama:Inside the museum we experienced an amazing cylindrical panoramic painting of the Civil War Battle of Atlanta. You can read more about it here.
Sarah wanted to take a picture by a cannon inside the museum to send to Jonathan since he wasn't with us on this trip: On display...this steam locomotive known as the Texas, made famous by the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862. Tom is a Civil War history buff, and I'm sure he enjoyed himself on this tour! Okay, time for lunch break! We headed back to our cars and joined the downtown Atlanta traffic to make our way to the Georgia Capitol: Here we are walking through Liberty Plaza. The day could not have been more beautiful! We made our way to Capitol Commons, a cafeteria located across from the State Capitol, and used by legislators, lobbyists, state employees, downtown employees and visitors to Capitol Hill every day--over 9,400 people each week! We enjoyed a new-to-us Southwestern Grill--Barberitos! Yummy Mexican food!After lunch we all gathered on the front lawn of the Capitol for the afternoon lecture by Mr. Potter:I wish I had taken notes, but I was too busy taking pictures! Mr. Potter tells so many interesting stories in his talks.
Here he is in front of John Brown Gordon's statue, and you can learn more about John B. Gordon, one of Robert E. Lee's most trusted Confederate generals, here and here:Tom and the girls enjoying the afternoon outside:All the families on the tour had their picture taken in front of John Gordon's statue, and here's ours: This statue below of Joe Brown (42nd governor of Georgia) and his wife holding a Bible on her lap is one of the few husband-and-wife statues in the world. You can read about him here and here:Okay, let's go inside the Capitol for some history lessons there: Here's the group learning about the various pictures and statues inside the halls of the Capitol. The portrait on the left is of John Gordon, mentioned above as being on the horse statue on the lawn: You would think that after being a home-schooling mom for 17 years that I would be familiar with history studies of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, but I'd never heard of this Georgia legislator below. Now I don't think I'll ever forget him because of his unusual first name!
We learned about Button Gwinnett, whose signature is one of the rarest and most valuable of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Here's his bust in the Georgia Capitol:At the conclusion of the tour, we were free to explore the Capitol on our own. Mostly, we gathered in groups to chat and say our goodbyes to others we had met on the tour:All in all, it was a wonderful two touring days full of history!
Hello, blog readers! Did you miss us while we were away on Spring Break?
We've now returned home from our trip last week down to Atlanta where we attended the Landmark Events Atlanta Campaign History Tour with historian Bill Potter.Bill Potter shared the accounts of great men and women of the area and interpreted history through the lens of Scripture.What a wonderful and informative tour! We walked the battlefields, explored the museums, and visited the graves that gave testimony to the great battle for Atlanta.
Here we are the first morning of the tour as we met the group of 20 families at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park Visitor Center: And here are Hannah and Sarah with their friends Abby and Emma who were also on the tour with their family: Tom looks at the map of the battle as he listens through the provided headphones as Bill Potter speaks on Andrew's Raid: And here I am below posing in front of a cannon at Kennesaw...if I only had a dollar for every cannon we've posed beside through the years of visiting Civil War battlefields on vacations...oh my! It was a beautiful day for a tour! Walking past the Confederate Earthworks to get to Cheatham's Hill: Cheatham's Hill area...the Dead Angle and the Illinois Memorial. You can read more about this here: Below: Looking towards the battlefield, site of probably the most intense fighting on the Kennesaw line in June, 1864: A group of young re-enactors hoisting the American flag and charging up the hill: After all the battlefield action, everyone was ready for a picnic lunch. Here we are enjoying the mid-day meal with our friends: Our group near the Gazebo in Glover Park in Marietta Square listening to Mr. Potter: And another view in the beautiful Marietta Square: We continued on to the Marietta Museum of History:One of the many interesting exhibits in the Marietta Museum was this old-time Westinghouse iron below. It caught my eye because I worked at Westinghouse for almost ten years before I met Tom: Our last tour stop of the afternoon was Oakland Cemetery. It was quite a lovely place with the spring-blooming trees and flowers on the property: We listened to another lecture here in front of the memorial for the Confederate dead: Here I am with my blog friend Victoria in front of the sleeping lion memorial to the unknown Confederate dead: We ended the day with a lecture on the Great Awakening in the Tennessee regiment and a delicious meal at the Marietta Diner: ~Deb
"Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death." ~ Psalm 48:12 - 14
It's supposed to be a rainy day here in South Carolina. I had planned to drive back to Virginia this morning from my sister's house...but then decided I'd rather drive six hours in the sun tomorrow rather than in the rain today.
I've been here since last Wednesday when I packed up and decided I needed to check on Granny. The couple of phone calls from her early last week made me think she needed perking up and checking on!
So the road to Brushy Creek to see Granny has been my route each day. Conveniently located ten minutes from my sister's house, the grounds of the rehab facility are very nicely landscaped, and I enjoyed seeing all the workers adding mulch to the trees and shrubs around the place...made me long for spring and working in my yard! It was almost 70 degrees here in SC yesterday!Brushy Creek is composed of 12 identical "cottages" with 12 residents in each cottage, and Granny has been here in the Magnolia Cottage for almost two weeks after being released from the hospital with compression fractures in her back: Here's Granny, smiling even through the back pain she's enduring each day: You can see her ever-present back brace a little better in the photo below. It is a huge contraption she says that is a real pain to put on and take off....but it does help to cinch her back tightly and is doing a good job of bracing her for some relief: The physical therapist and occupational therapist come in each morning and afternoon for walking, exercising, and increasing her strength. She's improving a little more each day.
Here's Granny in the exercise room doing upper body strengthening with the occupational therapist:She will be here at this facility at least another week if not longer, and then her case will be discussed and determined what happens next.
Thanks, as always, for your prayers for her that she will continue to recuperate and to be extra cautious and not fall again!
Of course, my sister and I can't stay with Granny every minute, so when she's resting and if my sister doesn't have a class to teach...off we go on an antiquing adventure. This was a new place for me:This was my only purchase...an antique butter knife for $1.50: I always enjoy being here at my sister's house. She's close to everything, and Hobby Lobby is two minutes away at the end of her street! Amazing!
Here's a picture taken from her foyer looking into a portion of the living room...taken mainly so Hannah can see where the scripture plaque was placed that she painted for Aunt Bet for Christmas. I love the green plaque and brown walls!Also when I'm visiting, if my sister is at school, I'm on dog duty with little Barney...who delights in hiding under tables and under beds so I can't take him out: On the kitchen front...I have two new recipes to try when I get back home! My sister made Cheeseburger Soup for us (I don't normally change recipes, but I think I'd add some cayenne pepper and substitute Pepper Jack cheese for some spiciness) and also Baked Asian Style Honey Chicken while I've been here. Yummy!
Well, that's a bit of an update. I'm headed over to Brushy Creek in just a few minutes, so I'd better get a move on!
As Mom mentioned in her last post, Sarah and I accompanied Jonathan for a whirlwind trip up north to visit Bethany and her family.
"The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps."
The reminder in this verse applied in more instances than one, from the deliberating over house details they did, to the change of activities we had planned, to the shortened duration of our time at their house due to wintery weather throughout the north-east and the need to travel home sooner than expected to bypass it.
In spite of the quick trip this time, we all had an enjoyable visit. We went bowling, so we 3 Americans tried our hand at 5-pin bowling, with mixed reviews on how we liked the smaller ball.
No, we're not competitive! And Libby is the cutest photo-bomb. ;)
Sarah took a turn holding baby Berea, who is going to be a big sister come this fall!
We meandered our way through a Chinese supermarket in Ottawa and browsed the interesting ethnic selections. The store was gearing up for Chinese New Year celebrations and displayed plenty of colorful signs and decorations....along with some not-so-appetizing delicacies.
Have you heard of the durian? It is a tropical fruit with a distinctive odor and flavor - and spiky appearance.
Although we left the durian at the store, we later sampled a variety of unique Asian fruits, courtesy of Caleb, including the sugar apple, dragonfruit, rambutan, and donut peach. The dragonfruit was my favorite and tasted similar to kiwi.
While I don't have any photos of this part of the evening, we later headed to an indoor laser tag center and played several invigorating rounds, a first for us 3! Our fun group, once again, was very...competitive with our triggers.
The laser tag tickets included games with which we amused ourselves while we waited our turn to enter. Jonathan and Bethany played air hockey, the next best thing to the real sport.
Racing against each other!
Mr. Yuck had plenty of backseat drivers, but he was calm and collected as usual.
It was all too soon that we headed back home to VA; we were thankful for the prayers on our behalf as we traveled through some snowy stretches of highway.
All three kids were away this past weekend traveling up to Canada again to visit a certain young lady and her family.
Tom and I were left with an extremely quiet and empty house! I'm not sure I'm fond of these empty nests that I've heard so much about!
Thankfully, it was only for three days, so we decided to make the best of it and plan some adventures of our own!
To start the weekend off, on Friday I traveled to Richmond to meet my friend, Chris, for lunch and some shopping. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of us together because I didn't take any! Sad.
The time together was a real blessing because it helped take my mind off the kids' long 11-hour drive, although I was still praying for their safety throughout the day.
On Saturday Tom and I packed our suitcases and headed off to Greensboro, NC, for a weekend get-away of our own.
Here's one of the places we ended up doing some fun antiquing:
I wasn't on the lookout for anything special, but this red and gold quilt caught my eye immediately:The asking price was higher than I was willing to pay, so I inquired if the vendor could be contacted to see if she would be open to a lower price.
It always pays to ask! Not only was the vendor willing, but she lowered the price by $30! I'm happy to say that the quilt now resides at the Mountain Musings homestead and is waiting to be cleaned and displayed.
Here's an antique tablecloth that I really would have liked to purchase, especially for decorating for our Valentine's weekend guests. Again, the price was higher than I wanted to pay, so this beauty stayed at the store:And because Granny is a basket-maker, I'm always checking out the antique baskets in shops like this. Here's an egg basket we saw priced at $95! It was very well-made, sturdy, and...expensive!
I'm sure Granny's baskets will one day be treasured antiques like this one.Speaking of Granny....most of you blog readers may not know that almost two weeks ago she fell at my sister's house and has compression fractures in her back...again! She was in the hospital in South Carolina for a week and is now in rehab trying to get stronger after this latest setback.
I'm sure she's missing making her baskets! And I'm sure she'd appreciate your prayers for a quick recovery!
On Sunday, Tom and I visited a local church in the Greensboro area and enjoyed meeting and getting to know some new folks. We always enjoy finding other like-minded fellowships and making new contacts.
Soon we were on our way back to Virginia to...a quiet and empty house, but very thankful that we were able to spend some time alone together!
Hannah, Jonathan, and Sarah are now back home this week after traveling through much of that winter storm up north. I think after that hazardous journey they've had their quota of snow for awhile, even Sarah!
And now we're getting back to normal again with lots of activity all around! Just the way I like it! :)
We hope that your Christmas holidays were ones of joy and happiness and enjoying being around your family! We sure loved being together here and celebrating the birth of our Savior.
Here's a quick look at our Christmas and New Year's celebrations:
Our annual Christmas Eve program with Hannah, Sarah, and Jonathan entertaining the rest of the family in song and music. You can click on this link to hear them sing one of the songs they sang this season: Jesus, the Light of the World...Christmas program 2014.
And a big highlight in the gift department this year...Granny received a tablet computer!!!
I'm not sure she knew what to think! She kept saying, "Oh, my! Oh, my! Oh my!"
She's been pretty cute trying to figure out how to use it. It's been a great way to keep in touch with her now that she's back in South Carolina until the end of March. We've been emailing her almost every day and sending her pictures. Very cute.And look who arrived after Christmas! Jonathan's fiancee, Bethany, was here with her whole family for several days and made herself right at home in the kitchen. It was fun to celebrate New Year's Eve with her family here just as we celebrated at their home in Canada last New Year's Eve.Bethany brought us a new family game...Crokinole, and we had so much fun playing! Have you heard of it? Here are Sarah and Jonathan playing with Bethany's sisters Honour and Blessing: Miss Libby was a fantastic Crokinole player and showed me some tips: Granny left instructions before she headed back to my sister's house that Bethany could pick out any basket she'd like to have for a Christmas gift from her. So...we all bundled up and trekked down to Granny's basket shed to check out the baskets:Success! Bethany picked out a Cottage Basket as her favorite. You can find a cottage basket almost like this one in Granny's Etsy Shop: And, of course, we traveled over to their future home still in progress. Unfortunately, I don't have an updated whole house photo showing all the windows in or the front porch built...so I'll just post this one which shows Jonathan taking Bethany to see what's been accomplished since she last visited in October: Jonathan spent some time measuring where the kitchen island would be located so she could envision how the kitchen would look: It always pays to bring a book along when adults talk a very l-o-n-g time!And then...it was time to come home and start working on more immigration paperwork. What a laborious task to make sure all bases are covered and everything is in order: Before we knew it, the time had flown, and it was time for everyone to head back to Canada.
Hey...let's Skype Granny on her new tablet so she and Aunt Bet can say hello while Bethany and her family are still here. That was fun!Well, I'll close out this first post of 2015 as we begin our 11th year of blogging. It's hard to believe we received the blog as a Christmas gift back in December, 2004, and started recording all our adventures!
It's been so much fun, and we've enjoyed getting to meet and know so many people we never would have known! Amazing!
Thanks for coming along for the ride! Wishing a Happy and Healthy New Year to you all! ~Deb