Outside my window...an absolutely beautiful spring day in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley with temperatures almost reaching 70. Unfortunately, the much-needed yard work was postponed until next week, but I did make a trip over to Jonathan's in-progress house today for the first time in quite a while--pictures further down in this post.
I am thinking...that Spring is my favorite season. I'm looking forward to pitching fresh mulch in my flower beds, filling the new bird feeders, and planting annuals in the watering cans down the front steps. Spring is a busy season!
I am thankful...that Sarah and baby boy are doing okay so far and are hanging in there! We traveled to GA to visit them over Easter weekend. Since Sarah was on bed rest while we were there, Hannah and I stayed busy in the kitchen:
Granny and my sister were able to travel with us to see Sarah and Eric's home for the first time and enjoyed getting to see them again. I'm sure Sarah would rather have been up and about hostessing us, but she was being a good girl and taking it easy:
We are praying: that the baby will wait quite a few more weeks (or months!) to be born! Sarah is now in the hospital on bed restfor the duration of the pregnancy.
We left Hannah in Georgia with her sister, originally to help out in the home with cooking and homemaking duties, but now she keeps Sarah company in the hospital each day.
Please pray with us that the Lord will sustain Sarah and the baby and keep them waiting patiently. Full term due date would be in August.
I am creating...a soft minky baby blanket for our little grandson. My sewing machine came out of hiding to get this finished before our trip:
Granny is creating...a custom basket for a customer. Once she began feeling better after a compressed fracture in February, she again started making baskets. I think it must help her recuperate faster to do something she enjoys so much:
In my kitchen...well, as you can imagine...once Sarah got married in November and she wasn't around to help in the kitchen, there was some adjusting for me to do!
Now...I'm adjusting even more since Hannah has been in Georgia with her sister. A very dear friend and her husband came over and brought the whole entire meal one night recently. Here we are working together in the kitchen. What a fun blessing!:
I am visiting...our local Farmers' Market this morning:
Since the season started the first weekend in April, today was the first time I'd been down to the Wharf. Hannah and Sarah's Spot 22 was looking mighty lonesome, and their two smiling faces were missing since they both retired from vending at the end of last season.
I enjoyed walking around and seeing some familiar faces. Here's Farmer Brown's booth where we've made some delicious purchases in the past:
I am hoping...to get a lot more painting done on Jonathan's cabinets this coming week. We moved six over to his house this morning, and Tom worked on installing them.
On these six cabinets I've applied the primer coats and the first coat of paint. The final coat will be painted once installation is finished. I've been busy!:
I've been promising some pictures of the house, and here's the open living area with the hardwood floors finished and the painting done. All the paints are from the Williamsburg Color Collection, and all the downstairs is painted Cornice Tan:
I think Jonathan likes his house! He's done a ton of work on weekends and long nights since construction first began in September, 2014, and we're so proud of him:
The upstairs rooms are painted a variety of colors, and this is the beautiful gender-neutral green nursery, a shade called Levingston Green:
The carpet still needs to go down once all the trim has been painted. And there are several other work projects inside that need to be completed. I'll update again in the future.
I am learning...to wait patiently on the Lord. "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waits for him." ~ Isaiah 64:4
One of my favorite things...showing hospitality to friends. Tom's best man in our wedding and his wife stopped by last week for an overnight visit. What a very fun reunion and time of catching up. I love new entries in our guest book!:
Whew! I hope that caught you up on the happenings around the Mountain Musings homestead. I've not been very faithful in writing on the blog this spring, have I?
But stay tuned...hopefully I won't be away as long next time!
"She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands."
~ Proverbs 31:13
Last Friday my alarm went off at 4 a.m., and amazingly, I jumped up excited to get going! This was traveling day!
My friend, Chris, and I had signed up for a workshop a month earlier with Lisa Bongean who was teaching at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, and this day was the start of a quilty weekend! Our quilty itinerary:
attend the quilt show on Friday to get inspired, seeing all the wonderful quilts on display
shop the vendor booths for fabric and/or sewing supplies or kits we might need
attend the all-day wool applique table runner class on Saturday and have tons of fun!
I arrived at the Hampton Convention Center and checked in, along with hundreds of other quilt-loving ladies: Here I am with my friend, Chris, in front of a beautiful red and white quilt on display: Chris and her mom enjoyed browsing all the vendor booths for ideas and inspiration: Here's a beautiful floral quilt named Flower Garden on display using Kaffe's fabrics: This was one of our favorites below...an up-close photo of a crazy quilt with lots of handwork, including the spider's web, typically found in crazy quilts (this was new information to me...but we searched, and sure enough, there was the spider's web in one corner!): Here's another section of the quilt featuring a watering can, dragonfly, and beautiful embroidered flowers. We stood there for quite awhile oohing and aahing over every birdhouse, rake, thimble, bee, and hummingbird: A perfect display for me to pose beside:I took a picture of this quilt especially for my accountant son-in-law, Eric. It's called A Piece of Pi, complete with each number circling the quilt: Can you tell we were having a fun time? The next day we began our Wool Applique all-day class with Lisa Bongean: Chris quickly traced and cut out her pattern and was ready to start fusing the shapes to the wool:Here I am cutting out my pattern. It was so fun to take a class with a friend:At the end of class, we were able to get a picture with our very knowledgeable teacher:Here's a photo of the table mat I was working on....it's still not completely finished and needs more handwork done and the backing added: Here's Chris' mom standing beside a quilt she recently finished. We didn't even need to go to the quilt show to see beautiful quilts! She brought this one over to Chris' house for me to see: Our girlfriends' quilty weekend passed so quickly, and soon it was time for me to head back home.
We ended up not having time during the weekend to raid Chris' stash and work on an Easter wall-hanging project she had planned for us to do. But look at this....she worked on hers this week and sent me a photo.
It looks great and makes me want to get started on this one titled He Is Risen from Carried Away Quilting blog.After all the ER trips and medical appointments for Granny going on in February after she experienced another compression fracture, it was good to get away for a fun weekend. I think Granny's recuperating well, and we're very thankful for answered prayer!
I'm also hoping the quilty weekend will get me energized to start back on some quilting projects! We'll see!
Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward. There is none to compare with You: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. ~ Psalm 40:5
We've been highlighting some special times and remembrances from 2015. Part 1 ~ Winter/Springwas posted here. And today begins Part 2 ~ Summer/Fall.
July, 2015...Georgia Visits Virginia. In July Eric and his family came to Virginia for a "courting visit." Fourth of July celebrations filled a fun weekend! Here's the gang around the picnic table: At the end of the weekend, we took a picture of both families together. Very fun times:Also in July we celebrated Granny's 87th birthday. Jonathan, Hannah, and Sarah brought in her favorite pound cake with a candle in the middle. I think turning 87 should certainly be a highlight to a year, don't you?August...Virginia Visits Georgia.
On this particular courting weekend we toured a historical home, painted a garage together, played games and more tennis, and visited an Olive Oil store. Here's Hannah tasting some flavors of vinegar: My friend, Victoria, and I visited a flower garden:There are actually so many pictures that I could post of visits from this summer between our families....but everything can't become a highlight! This is just a smattering to give you an idea.
This photo of Sarah and Eric together after church on Sunday is a nice highlight from our trip to Georgia:
In August Tom and I celebrated our 35th Anniversary in Alexandria, Virginia.We wrote last year about our anniversary trip near the end of this post, along with other happenings around that time.
We wrote about Eric and Sarah's engagement on this post back in September. These are some extra photos from that weekend.
Here are Eric and Sarah after hiking to the top of Humpback Rock: A grilled fish taco picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway: Labor Day finally arrived, and a fun scavenger hunt took place. Here's everyone trekking around the yard trying to find clues...Sarah was looking for "something." Look what was waiting at the end of the hunt! Highlight of all highlights!!Here are the rest of us back at the house watching and waiting for Eric and Sarah to return from the proposal site: Now that the engagement was official, a wedding was planned for November!
Looking Back at 2015...Fall.
Since the wedding to-dos kicked into high gear, posting on the blog in October was almost non-existent, although there are three newly written posts I'd like to link to.
I dated them with October dates so they will appear on the blog in the order they happened back in October, 2015:
Most bloggers write their previous year's highlights post in early January. Well...Hello, February! How did you get here?!
We're finally getting around to "looking back" at a few of the memories of 2015...some photos may not have made the blog the first time around and others you might remember. And some events/happenings we didn't take time to put on the blog. Take a look:
Winter, 2015....A big portion of the winter was spent over at Jonathan's house helping with various building chores. My main job was writing verses on the studs all over the house. We blogged about it here and here:Last February, Tom's sister came to visit...fun times! We're anticipating another visit from Aunt Toots at the end of this month and hope that she isn't greeted with lots of the white stuff again: Also in February friends from over the mountain came to visit...we had lots of fun talking and playing games: Here I am with my friend: On the week leading up to Valentine's Day each year, Sarah makes meals for our family..lots of delicious and varied meals all week long! We all just love Sarah's Cooking Week!
I wonder if she's told her new husband, Eric, that she has to leave Georgia and come home to Virginia to cook for us all next week? Somehow I doubt it since it's his birthday week. We'll miss her Cooking Week for sure this year!
Last March Hannah introduced a new product, Beard Oil, on her website and blog. Jonathan was her tester, and here they are together after Hannah gave him a sniff to check out the fragrance: Also in March, Hannah and Sarah met with their friends Anna and Abigail for a delightful picnic lunch and some girl talk. These are the girls who were such wonderful helpers for Sarah's wedding in November....but who knew back in March that she'd be getting married last year? In March we also hosted our friends from PA, Nelson and Sarah and their family, who were overnight guests: Spring, 2015...In April we made a trek to Atlanta for the Civil War History Tour with historian, Bill Potter. Lots of families were on the tour, including our Atlanta friends here: Little did we know that Eric and Sarah's first real conversation in this graveyard on the tour would lead to friendship, courtship, and marriage:
Market Saturdays beginning in April were a huge part of 2015 for both Hannah and Sarah. Here's Tom with Granny and Hannah at the Memorial Day market: In June we made a trek to Michigan to honor Micah as he graduated from his Residency program:On our route back to Virginia, we met up in Ohio with Eric and his family who were also traveling back home to Georgia from a weekend away. It was a great family lunch date and their first face-to-face meeting after their long-distance courtship started:Here we are getting better acquainted with the family: Well, that's just the first half of the year! More wonderful memories to come in the second half. What highlights will be next?
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.~ Psalm 103:2
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