Welcome! I'm a stay at home mom with a degree in education. I love to share teaching ideas, recipes, crafts, how to sessions, reviews, do giveaways and more! I enjoy meeting new people! My family is everything to me and want to leave behind a piece of our lives for future generations to come.
Happy Monday!! I hope you are doing well today :-) It is sunny and very hot and humid here today! So far I managed to get in a mile and a half walk and hope to get back out there this evening if it cools down a little bit. Yesterday we went to the YMCA and I walked 2 miles and started back on lifting weights, arms and legs :-) Have to start really taking better care of myself, right now we are currently without health insurance which is very scary... we've always had it but due to circumstances not in our control we are getting by until we can figure something else out. That's a whole other story.... I've been neglecting healthy habits since losing my mom, but I know she wouldn't be happy about that so for her I'm trying to get back together again... the best I can....
I was surprised to find out that blogger is no longer notifying me by email when I have a new comment on my blog. So last night around midnight I checked my comments pending on blogger and there were over 70 on different posts! I was not happy I didn't see notifications and missed responding to so many people! Today I am hoping to devote time to visit and catch up with those who have left me such lovely comments. I'm so sorry I didn't see them sooner!
This post is a quick little this and that to get updated and I have lots more to share, coming soon! :-)
Elvis is enjoying the sunshine while lounging in the A/C all day. He moves from this window, to the sunroom, to the bed in our guest room, lol.
This was taken about a month or so ago, (I'm a bit behind posting, lol). But my clematis vine opened up so lovely this year. Every house I move to I always make sure to have one to enjoy. When we lived in Ohio there was a mature one already there on the back side of our house and it was so beautiful! Tons of glorious blooms on it and throughout the summer too! If you've read my previous posts for awhile you may have seen me posting pictures of it. :-)
Ruby and Annabelle are doing great! Enjoying the sun and fresh green grass. They are also happy our pecan tree has bloomed as they absolutely love the leaves!
We are seeing a bunch of little lizards all around the yard. They are quite adorable, but boy I have to admit I've let out a scream or two when they jump down and catch me off guard! LOL!
Right before school ended poor Kathleen came down with a bad cough and sore throat and her glands were very swollen. They had to put her on some antibiotics and ibuprofen for pain. It wasn't strep so the doctor just felt like she had picked up some other kind of virus. Luckily at that point we still had insurance coverage.
She didn't complain a bit when the doctor suggested ice cream to soothe her throat, and the cats were trying very hard to get her to share.... well that didn't happen.... lol! See the blanket over the recliner? That was hand made by a dear family friend for me years ago... she passed away close to 20 years ago now, but such a remarkable lady. Our home is filled with memories of those we love and we work it into our own special decor. :-) I think of her every time I wrap up in it on a cold night.
Hayley was recognized and honored again for another piece of art work she designed. It was a really nice ceremony they did and these were 2 of the other students that won. The lady to the right is Mrs. James her art teacher :-)
Sorry for the graphic nature of this photo... Our 13 year old Jack Russell developed a huge mass that he broke open, it came up very quickly on him.... We didn't have it biopsied because we fear it is cancer so we are assuming the worst and praying for the best. He is in great spirits, eating, drinking, playing, etc. So no other signs there..... our amazing neighbor is a vet and he removed the tumor and stitched him all up....
Resulting in this picture below.... which ended up being 2 ecollars because the first one was too short and he ripped out the stitches and had to go back in and have it redone! He is a persistent little guy when he wants something, lol. He has since had the collar taken off and seems to be doing really well!
Jerry used to work for a water filtering business called Emperor Aquatics back when we lived in PA. This year he got a chance to put one of the big filters he had on our pool to cut down on chemical use and it looks amazing! Last year we could never get the green out of it no matter what we tried or the fortune we spent on chemicals. Now it looks beautiful and smells amazing! So happy we got it all set up :-) We will be enjoying this pool quite a lot this year!
Kathleen was definitely giving it the thumbs up!!! :-)
They've been enjoying it almost every day!
I enjoy an adult beverage to cool off while I'm hanging out with them in the evening sometimes too, lol ;-) This is Hayley's glass (not the drink of course), she is planning on going to Appalachian state after she graduates. :-)
This is how Kathleen sun bathes after getting out... She says she is cold so she wraps up in the towel and lays on the float and chair cushion in the sunshine :-)
Hayley even brought out her record player to plat some music one day... though I warned her records don't like the heat... but it was cool for a little bit to do under the canopy we have out there. :-)
I'm off to visit your blogs and respond to some messages! Thanks for stopping by!!!
Summer break is officially here! I have lots of catching up to do. Quite a few blog posts to come! :-)
Hayley researched the area and planned out Mother's Day for me and it was to visit a lovely historic home called Harper House located in Hickory, NC. We had a bit of a drive to get there but it was worth it! We love touring historic homes! We also enjoyed a nice meal out and enjoyed spending the day together.
Harper House is an absolutely beautiful Queen Anne's style Victorian home, that was so beautiful to tour and learn about it's history. A lovely restoration job has been done on the home with a lot of original possessions from the family that once inhabited it.
We sure don't see homes built like this anymore.... so beautiful and so much attention to details!
An amazing wrap around porch perfect for entertaining and relaxing after a long day at work.
The interior was just as exquisite. I took many pictures, too many to share them all, lol... but I wanted to highlight some features of the home to give you an idea of how lovely it was inside.
It has always amazed me how much cooking was done in such tiny little kitchens back then! Not to mention no A/C and extreme temperatures here in the South! Like today for instance it is over 100 degrees with humidity! I can't imagine cooking in a small kitchen with not much ventilation back then. I don't do well with the heat as it is! ;-) But there was no fast food so if you wanted to eat, you had to get cooking! ;-)
Gorgeous ceilings, some of which had to be reproduced due to damage and neglect over the years.
Beautiful antiques all throughout the house. A time when families still took so much pride in what they had. Sadly today not everyone sees it that way.... Just so quick to get ahead but never taking the time to slow down and enjoy what is right in front of them.
These are original silhouettes of the previous homeowners that are all around the walls in the upstairs room. Beautiful stained glass windows through out the home as well.
Dining room was all set up and ready for the next meal. I love how much love and effort was put into family meals years ago. In our home we always have dinners together as a family and share about our day. I still enjoy entertaining with fine china and cloth napkins too. In fact we eat off china plates every day. Each day we are here is a blessing so we should live it to the fullest.
This was part of the original chimney out on the porch.
This last building is the carriage house/garage in the back but it hadn't been restored fully yet so we couldn't go in.
We also found out that underneath the porch at the back of the home there was a bomb shelter... unfortunately that area was closed off too but I would have loved to see it. From the outside you would never know it was there.
On the way back from our visit we saw a sign for Bunker Hill covered bridge. It is the only covered bridge that has not be moved from its original spot and is still standing. That was really neat to stop and see too.
Sadly some very disrespectful people decided it was ok to spray paint graffiti on the sides of it and all through the inside walls. :-( Just breaks my heart to see history treated that way.....
Just imagine all the stories these walls hold.... can you hear the clip clop of the horses hooves as they tread along?
It was such a gorgeous day and I found myself wishing my mom could be there with us to experience it all...
Though beautiful... we got some eerie feelings being out and about in these woods and the surrounding area....
For a special gift for me, Hayley did one of her paintings of a favorite picture I had of my mom and I. It turned out so beautifully, I cried when she gave it to me. The reflections make it a little hard to see, but I tried to capture it as best as I could. :-) Thank you Hayley for such a precious, treasured gift.. I love it!
This is the original and it was taken a few years back on Mother's Day at a local park and lake we were visiting. Always fond memories with my mom.....
Both my girls made my day so very, very special. I love them more then I can ever put into words and I treasure every single day I have with them. Hope you all had an amazing Mother's Day too!!
This photo has always been one of my favorites of my mom and I. It was May, 2001 and I was due to have Hayley any day..... Doctors told me I'd never have children, yet through a lot of prayers God blessed me with 2 beautiful, amazing girls I couldn't be more proud of.
My mom was always by my side, every step of the way through all of life's good and bad moments. I miss her terribly every moment of every day. I also focus on the positives and I feel so very blessed to have had her in my life, as she was such a loving, caring, inspiring person and so much more. Her presence is deeply missed...
My beautiful Hayley.......
My beautiful Kathleen.........
My beautiful mom.......
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! I hope you all have an amazing day and cherish each and every moment!
In the mean time of my life being upended again... I thought I'd take some time to post some of the good things that have been happening in our lives.
Hayley had her art gala, if you follow my page on Facebook you may have seen her picture that was entered and could be voted for. It was also placed in a local branch at Piedmont Bank for voting as well.
The sponsors did an amazing job of decorating it like the academy awards. She had her name in a Hollywood square, tables all decorated nicely, red carpet rolled out, delicious food, etc. Very nicely done.
These were a couple of her friends who went along, the girl also had a piece of her artwork submitted.
We were so excited and proud of her to find out her piece of artwork won people's choice for the bank hers was placed in!!!!
It looked pretty cool up on the big screen too! :-)
Way to go Hayley!!! You're an amazing artist and make us so very proud! Nana is shining down from heaven smiling with her pride as well. Nana was an amazing and inspiring artist and you have definitely inherited that part of her.
Some more of her friends and fellow artists from the gala. They all did amazing pieces of artwork!!
I'm still seeming to have some glitches when trying to upload photos here.... it is frustrating when trying to get my posts caught up. Sometimes when I scroll to upload photos it will kick me back to the beginning of my pictures before I can select them.... anyone else have this issue? I may be considering a new platform to blog on.... I'll keep you all posted! Hope you are having a wonderful week!!
A whole month has quickly passed by and I haven't posted in awhile.... been thrown for another life curve and trying to deal with that at the moment. I promise a few posts will be coming soon as I have a lot to share.... and for brand new readers the posts will be coming more frequently.... don't give up on me yet. To those of you who have reached out to me through emails.... thank you... I am very grateful for your friendship!
Happy Spring!!! Hope you all of you that celebrate it had a wonderful Easter :-)
It was very difficult without my mom this year as this was one of her favorite holidays, and also my sister and her family couldn't make it down this year. We celebrated the best we could while missing them all.
The Easter Bunny was good to the girls and they enjoyed their baskets and the egg hunt. They found money and candy in their eggs and Kathleen won the grand prize egg with $20.00 inside! She's been lucky the last couple of years, lol.
As you can see here she's pretty happy :-)
Kathleen also likes to do an egg hunt for all of us; so she fills and hides the eggs and then she has grand prize eggs where we can pick from several prizes. This year she had them sitting out in her little wagon :-) She is always so thoughtful and puts a lot of time into her planning.
This was Jerry's plate at Easter... we had chicken as well and desserts too of course :-)
We had such a beautiful day to enjoy!! I was quickly wondering why I had a light jacket on, lol... it did come off after the photo!
My dad spent the day with us and then the girls went back to his house to stay a couple days.
Our ducklings have grown so much so we recently had to move them out to a dog kennel we had in the yard. We had to put boards around the bottom as we quickly learned they tried to escape. The dog house is for their shelter.
Of course they have a pool to swim in and they love it! They are so very fun to watch. The kennel is completely enclosed, on the top too so nothing will get to them as they are growing.
They are so adorable!!!
We have 3 original ducks left from when we first moved here. They still run right up to us for their food each day.
The goats got their Easter treat.... peaches! They were quite happy :-)
The other day I had my annual doctor visit and they had this sign in the window that made me laugh... just had to share it :-)
While there my blood pressure was 175/108 so she has put in a referral for me to see another doctor and I'm still waiting for that call. I had several recommendations for the Dash diet... has anyone else tried this one? I went to Barnes and Nobles and picked up a few of the books, then found the new Pioneer Woman magazine and a new book from Maria Shriver that was also recommended to me. I'll be busy as I'm already reading another book and listening to an audiobook lol.
This was my lunch one day... I am part of weight watchers online, but don't keep up with the tracking like I should..... lifestyle changes are hard and after losing my mom I just have been stress eating :-( I know I need to change things around to stay healthy for my girls... baby steps....
I also had a great coupon for Erin Condren and this is the first time I've ordered her products. They are just lovely!
Kathleen is back to finding 4 leaf clovers!!
I keep them in a vase she made a few years ago, always makes me smile :-)
Found this little beauty on our egg hunt... we have several throughout the yard and they are so pretty.
Even the dandelion brings a smile to my face ;-)
Jerry is standing next to our redwood tree we planted last year, it is rapidly growing and doing well near the pond.
This was also sent to me and I wanted to share as I'm sure we can all relate to this feeling... I know I can lately! So much going on and life keeps spiraling so quickly forward... rarely time for rest.....
On a happier note..... Hayley's artwork has been selected for a recent contest and if you are on Facebook you can cast a vote for her using this link If you love her artwork as much as we do, we'd love to have you vote for her :-) When you get to the page scroll down until you find her photo and then click on it, it should highlight around the edges. Then scroll down and hit the submit button. Thank you for supporting her!!!
Kitchen reveal will be coming up soon! Just a few more finishing touches!!!
Happy Spring!!! Ours arrived with lots of rain and dreary today! But I'll take that over the snow my family and friends are currently getting in Maryland and Pennsylvania! If you live up that way, stay safe and warm!!!
A project that has been keeping me very busy and away from blogging is making over our kitchen on a budget! Our current home was built in 1968 and the kitchen I don't think ever changed, lol. It was almost a deal breaker for me when we saw the home, but we loved the property and so many other features so Jerry promised we'd fix it up as soon as we got some money saved... so March 18th marked 2 years we've been here and all this past week we have been making some changes. Can't wait to share it all with you but here's a sneak peek! :-)
One of the ducks we have just walked off her first egg she laid this season. Usually predators get them, but I'm hoping this one has a chance!
Sadly we are only down to 3, we had 8 when we moved here. Some from the prior owner and others are our neighbors, they love our pond! They go back and forth between his and ours. He told us he has had them over 20 years!! I didn't realize ducks could live so long.
So our new family additions, also keeping us busy are baby chicks and ducklings! Even since I have taken this picture they have grown so much!
So stinkin adorable!!! :-)
We will be getting their coop together soon and as soon as it is warm enough placing them outside. We had chickens back in Ohio and Jerry and Hayley built the most amazing coop! We were sad to leave it behind. I'll be featuring more about them soon.
Ruby and Annabelle were loving their treat of celery the other day and little Annabelle just turned a year old on March 10th!
Having 5 dogs we take turns taking each one out for some love and attention one on one, the other day we had Bella out with us... she was having a grand time! :-)
Filling the bird feeders is a full time job here thanks to the squirrels and I always think it's so interesting to see the strength and determination of a little seed to grow anywhere no matter what the circumstances may be!
We found them sprouting and thriving on the bird feeder platform Jerry built for them!
This past weekend we spent the day with my dad and went up to the train show. We had a great day. Then the girls spent the night with him at his house and Jerry and I ran some errands, went to dinner and worked on the kitchen. We were going to try Texas Roadhouse but being St. Patrick's Day the line was wrapped around the building! So we popped over to the mall and got subs, big date meal, lol. ;-) But hey just having the time alone to talk and enjoy each other's company was nice.
Kathleen was very festive for the day! :-)
This was such a sad wreck.... the bell is basically all this is left from it.... lives lost, injuries.... so awful! Here is some more information to read about it if you are not familiar with the wreck.
Just a quick post today to catch up! Soon I will be posting our kitchen reveal :-) Hope you are having a wonderful day!!
There's nothing quite like Spring to reawaken our souls :-)
To have new growth and unlimited possibilities... how the strength of one small, determined seed can change everything!
Here is one of my squash plants that reseeded itself and has started to emerge from the soil... although something is mighty hungry and already beginning to eat it's leaves!
Our blueberry bushes are also starting with new buds. We planted 3 last Spring and are anxious to see how they do this year after some growth!
I found this beautiful bird bath that is solar powered and lights up at night at our local Big Lots. My mom always loved hummingbirds as do I, so I knew it would be the perfect addition to our yard.
We have this beautiful mature Camellia shrub that is absolutely beautiful! It has many blooms on it, but the other day after this was taken the colder temps. hit and made a lot of them close up and die :-(
I love how pretty the blooms are :-)
Kathleen's strawberry plants she put in last year are coming out too! Now I just need to find a way to keep the squirrels out of everything!
I'm pretty sure this is another tomato plant that reseeded itself, unless the birds dropped another kind of seed into the tomato container! :-)
With the death of certain plants and trees, there is room for new life and new beauty....
Dried leaves and seed pods and pine cones galore!
Wild violets popping up all over the yard too! So pretty!
Little hard to see as it blends in so much, but the butterfly bush I planted last year is coming back really well!
Still keeping our feeders filled until it gets warmer again, the birds are just in heaven having food readily available and 4 bird baths to enjoy!
Our Rhododendrom has lots of buds getting ready to bloom soon. This one is always so very pretty!
Small new bud on one of our dogwood trees.
Well hello little "guy"! :-)
i love walking around the yard and seeing all the new things growing, despite every odd they make it through with determination!
Our pecan tree! Not many leaves yet, but boy do the goats love eating them when they do come in!
Weeping cherry is always so pretty too... this is one of Jerry's favorite trees :-)
More dogwoods starting to bloom.
Green grass beginning to show.....
I was excited to see my tulips starting to come back up, but NOT happy to see the squirrels digging up the bulbs to eat them! My dad said squirrels don't seem to like daffodils and I see a ton of them blooming around town and in our neighbor's yard so may have to plant those for next year!
We've had a lot of rain lately and it has finally gotten our pond filled back up! Yeah!!!
Spent some time sitting and talking with mom as I was walking around the yard. Miss her terribly...... I could feel her with me, but I just wanted to give her a hug so badly.....
Birds are getting ready to lay their eggs, we have several bird houses all around the yard.
Walked down to say hi to Annabelle and Ruby :-) Didn't have treats on me so they were trying to nibble my fingers, lol ;-)
This is our sunroom and I was trying to get a good shot of my stained glass windows, though the sunlight reflection makes it hard to see. Two were my moms, and the hummingbird window Jerry had someone paint for me :-) I love sitting there enjoying the warmth and watching the birds.... my mom always like dit too. She always said she could spent the whole day in there when she wasn't able to get outside.
Another perk to Spring weather coming is finding more and more delicious fresh fruit to enjoy! When the strawberries arrive nice and sweet I'll be making several dishes with them!
Just had to include these pictures of Elvis.... he's so spoiled!
The other day Jerry and Kathleen got to spend the day together and they had a blast at an adventure place that had an arcade, go carts, mini golf and more! Enjoying the beautiful weather!
Can you find Kathleen on the porch in the little house? She kind of blends in there, lol.
It's good for them to get a break as they have been so loaded down with homework every night. Hayley made this delicious guacamole that she learned how to make in her foods class. :-)
The excitement of being in Disney World is all around and for young girls experiencing the Bibbidi-Bobbidi Boutique, it is all about the moment, the pampering, the magic......
We bought Kathleen a Merida dress to take to Disney so she could experience the excitement one last time at the boutique. When she was younger she also did it with Hayley and loved it! 12 years old is basically the cut off age, but luckily Kathleen was just 11 when we had this done last June :-)
The staff is wonderful and truly gave her a memorable experience! Though I will say a larger area would have been better as it was very packed and hard to move or get good pictures in there. Luckily we paid for the photo pass so we could have great pictures from different perspectives.
Now for the magic sparkles (a.k.a. glitter) ;-)
They give them a face shield to keep it from getting in their eyes and all over their face.
The final reveal! She was so happy and excited! I just love the smile on her face!
When they are done, they announce them to everyone :-)
We got the package with a bag and she was able to keep her makeup and hair supplies.
Then we went to another part of the castle to have some professional photos taken. Another benefit of the photo pass as all the ones the photographer took were loaded on the card. :-)
She looked so beautiful and yes mommy had a few tears in her eyes just thinking of how quickly she has grown up!
Walking around she had a permanent smile on her face, she was on top of the world. Everyone commented on how pretty she looked and staff members addressed her as Merida as they saw her walking around the park. It's these little moments that make the most amazing memories!
Of course she wouldn't complete her look of Merida without her bow and arrows! So we had to buy them for her too.
Look out bystanders!!! ;-)
Or should I say daddy? LOL
All good, he recovered pretty quickly ;-)
It was so incredibly hot while we were there and I don't do well in the heat at all, plus the sweaty and red look I am sporting here, lol.... but I had to jump in the picture for a selfie with my sweet girl. :-)
Next she was on the hunt for Hayley and Breanne! LOL ;-) We had a blast and it is something she will remember for a very long time.
I love taking pictures and recalling all our amazing memories we create as a family :-) I am posting some of my favorites from Disney World but not all ;-) It is nice to be able to go back and enjoy them for many years to come all in one place :-) Bear with me through several more posts sharing our fun times there.
Breanne loves Alice in Wonderland so we made sure to get as many pictures as we could with the Alice in Wonderland theme.
Hayley of course loves Stitch and the Lion King is one of her favorite movies!
Kathleen was happy to find places she could play games to win prizes and enjoy carnival like rides.
She also loves the movie Brave and Merida!! Nice to see a red headed princess ;-)
Taking some time to get refreshed from the heat :-)
We had such a great time with Stitch :-)
Her smile says it all.....
I love riding the ferry back and forth, it's my favorite way over to the Magic Kingdom!
The parades are always great too! Here is just a few of the many pictures I took that day.