Monthly Archives: July 2008

“You could make that” “Oh…could I?”


My sweet, talented, amazingly wonderful mother used to look at things and instinctively know how to do it herself.  In addition to teaching 3rd grade, church youth group, adult Sunday School, and heading up the Junior Miss Pageant, in her spare time she was very VERY crafty.  She made this:

And she made this cute wooden personalized purse for her mom/my Mimi:

And when her grandchildren were born, she made them each a quilt.  Here’s the BabyKid’s:

(Don’t tell the first 3, but they got better each time…on this one the bear’s eyes are buttons from a dress that I wore as a little girl.  I mean COME ON!!!!  How cool is that?)

Then after my dad died in 2000, she made a quilt out of his shirts.  Go on and get yourself some Kleenex:

I know.  It is a TREASURE.  She finished it in 2002 with the last of her strength as she was going through chemo & radiation for a brain tumor.  She died a year later in October 2003.  Heavy Sigh.

**By the way, he didn’t have shirts that were red & flowerdy or yellow polka dots…the non-manly pieces are just accent fabrics.  I just thought you should know that.  He would appreciate me making that clear.**

So even though MY MOM could “make that” and she assumed that I could “make that,” I usually didn’t believe her.  My retort, sometimes verbal, was always, “No, YOU could make that.”  Well, much to my surprise, I have found myself becoming my mother (not such a bad thing in many ways) and have recently heard myself saying to myself before I can stop myself, “OOOOhh, I bet I could make one of those…D’OH!  I did it again!”  Here are some things that made me say that recently:

This is a 2 Corinthians 13 bracelet.  Love is patient (bead for patient) Love is Kind (bead for kind)  cute, huh?

This is a bag I got at a conference.  I have seen people here with ones made out of towels.  Hmmmmmm…

flip flop wreath

flip flop wreath

And THIS is a darling wreath on my neighbor’s door.  I haven’t met them yet, so this photo was a “drive by.”

So what do YOU like to make?  Tell me about your craftiness!  (Recipes count too).



I’m not sure why, but my newest post “Cuzzin Time at Grandview” ended up  waaaaay up there in the top right ABOUT corner (?)  Go ahead and click up there to read it cause I don’t know what I did, much less how to undo it.  What EVER!



For years and years and years (even before I knew them, but all throughout my 20+ years with the family) my Parents In Law have talked about making a home on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC.  Well, somehow, someway, by the grace of God and their attention to detail, that dream has now become a reality.  Still serving in the ministry after 45 years, Grand and G-Daddy have made their very first permanent home, and it is a doozy!  I feel so privileged to be able to benefit from their years of planning and vision.  All of us are sharing in their well-earned and much deserved joy as they open their gorgeous home to us for the first of many fun family memories.  It’s like we could almost visibly see the hand of God moving as they were transitioning from south FL to western NC the very same weeks we were packing up our MI home for the VA coast.  It is an easy 6 hour drive to them from both Atlanta and Virginia Beach that all agree is worth every minute of “stoptouchingme!”

GDaddy & Grand on Bald Mountain, NC

GDaddy & Grand on Bald Mountain, NC

We had a wonderful time not only with the Grands, but also with our Atlanta Cuzzins.  (The Houston contingent was sorely missed)


Here’s what greets you when you enter the front door:

Two levels of Bee-EEE-AAAAA-UUUUUUUUtifulness meets the eye immediately everywhich direction you care to turn.  Check out the stacked stone fireplace:

Walk straight through to the kitchen, AKA:  Grand’s Domain of Yummy Goodness.  See the giant chocolate chip cookie bar?  Can you smell the fudge sauce?  Behold the fresh lemon pie! 

Q: How’s that pie like my hand?

(It’s got “ma rang” on it.)   I don’t quite fit in here, but they love me anyway.  See how gracious they are?

If you can pull yourself away from the kitchen sweets & smells, you can meander on out to the screened-in porch where it is a perfect 70something degrees and breezy.

And…oh….the….view!  Be still my heart:

Saturday evening when we got there it was a tad hazy, but GDaddy says that on clear days you can see 80 miles out.  The altitude here is 4000 feet. 

marching upward to Zion

marching upward to Zion

HELLOOOOoooooooo down there!  

HERE’S what it looked like at sunrise on Sunday am:

I mean, come ON.  That is one GOOOOOOD God! 

He makes everything glorious. 

He makes EVERYthing glorious.  He makes EVERYTHING GLORIOUS! 

(and YOU are His!  What does that make YOU?  I’m just sayin’…)

On with the tour.  The master suite is to the left of the kitchen, past the stairs going to the lower level.

  To the right of the bedroom is a sitting room for Grand:

  To the left of the bed is a massive bathroom with Water Closet, Walk Around Shower and a make up area.  Check out the unique coolness factor of these flower shaped rugs:

Yes, that’s my camera-loving son again (wondering why in the world I would take pictures without him in them).  He totally would have sat down and acted like he was putting on his grandmother’s make-up.


INSIDE the bathroom!  What a concept!

INSIDE the bathroom! What a concept!

How do you like it so far?  AWE.  SOME.  N’est ce pas?  But wait, there’s more….

We are Family


I come to you LIVE from Raleigh, NC a mere 4 hours west & south, according to LaShonda, our newest family member & extremely helpful GPS.  HOW have we LIVED without you, LaShonda?  Our family is at last COMPLETE!  Fun was had by all on the drive and now it’s time to swim.  Hubby will be joining us in a few hours around the time the Hotlanta Cuzzins appear.  We are all excited to see Sr. Cuz play in a soccer tournament.  Oldest is quite excited to watch the rising sophomore GIRLZ play as well.  For multiple reasons.

Then post-game we will frolic on across NC to West Jefferson for some quality time with the Grandparents in their new mountain-top abode.  You can BET pictures will be forthcoming.  Have a great weekend, all ye in cyber land!

Surfin USA


I had some profound moments of thought at the beach recently.  It is, right now and for the foreseeable future above and beyond the temperature for mere lolling & reading on the shore.  Yes, indeedy, the time has come, and is here that calls for more than periodic cooling off measures at least every 20 minutes.  In case ya’ll (that’s right…I said “Y’all” just like I grew up doin’) haven’t been to the beach in a while, the kind of cooling off I’m speaking of entails knee deep splashing and, later in the day, wet hair.  Therefore, it is just as much fun to go on and get (or “git”) all the way in and have some fun for a while.  This I had already determined to do a few days ago, so I had bravely brought along one of our boogie boards for some pseudo-surfing.  Now, I don’t know much about actual surfing, but I do know the one cardinal law is to Be Particular.  As in, don’t paddle out 1/2 way and turn around for any old puny or ill-timed wave…wait for a Good One.  This useful rule can carry over into SOOOO many areas of one’s life, hence the afore-mentioned profound thoughts while pseudo surfing.  As I paddled to & fro and kicked around to find and stay in a potentially worthy spot to catch a tasty wave (Spicoli?  Where’d you come from?) I thought about waiting.  Specifically, how I am right now, even as I wait for a Wave of Significance, also find myself waiting in life for the next LifeWave…of parenting through the teen years, of beginning and developing a new career at 40, (what’s that?  you can’t believe I’m 40?  why thank you eversokindly!) and waiting for a new wave of friendships & loyalties, and experiences and memories.  How very good and faithful God is to remind me through His creation that waiting is not horrible but can be pleasingly restful and provide those quiet waters we are so longing for during hurricane season.  Even when we think we are overdue for a Good Wave.  Enjoy the wait and, when the time & the wave comes, Hang Ten Honey!

Neighorhood Mojo


We are currently back to our pre-move status as Hang Out House.  3 young ladies the ages of our boys, as well as at least 1 sweet young dude-to-be (at last count) the age of our daughter are engaged in all sorts of DDR/playstation/billiards summer joy.  I have just issued the “one more song then you can come back after dinner” warning.  It’s nice to have some hang-out buds and the tension that was exponentially mounting has been swiftly relieved.  Hallelujah!  I’ll try & skulk around undetected and collect a few candid photos, being the invisible adult that I am when outnumbered by the adolescent community.  Stay tuned.

Midnight Madness


So the very day I got the go-ahead to purchase Guitar Hero III Aerosmith, I hauled bootie over to our Friendly Neighborhood Game Stop.  The super peppy dude…you heard me, I said “super” PEPPY Dude at the checkout effortlessly talked me into pre-ordering NCAA football for $5, also mentioning that there would be a “midnight madness” PARTY for the release.  Woo Hoo!  A Party!!!  My calendar is currently so very empty we are using squares in the month of July for grocery wish lists and notes to self.  Since my offspring are aging almost as fast as I am, with nary a compliment in my immediate future, I thought they might consider me for Coolest Mom Ever if I plunked down an additional $5 for the latest and greatest PS2 entertainment.  (That’s right…we are soooo 2003 with our gaming.  Some technology, and the dollars it takes to procure, we just refuse to progress from).  I mentally envisioned the Madness to include a packed-out Game Stop with trays of cucumber sandwiches, or maybe little weenies in crescent rolls, quite possibly mini “Cokes” of every flavor (we are in the south, after all) and many MANY people behind me in line waiting to get what I was going to have before them.  My boys would look at me so lovingly and gratefully heap praises on me, rising up and calling me blessed even, for being so generous as to bring them along way past midnight to get something that would, no doubt, bring them hours of seated, air-conditioned football bliss.  The girls would have a smashing time at the closest thing to Mardi Gras that they will hopefully ever experience this side of 25.  But it didn’t quite work out like the Game Stop Midnight Madness of my dreams.

Yawning that evening way before 10:00 pm, I began to slink into “what was I thinking” mode, but alas, the Midnight Party Plan had already been announced and prepared for.  The younger kids & parent went on to bed at a decent hour while I sleepdrove my two excited night owl tweens to the “bash.”  The mulititudes I was expecting didn’t quite turn out.  There were maybe 5 other people wandering aimlessly up and down the one aisle from roughly 11:25 when we got there.  These were not normal people.  Even compared to the DMV.  These were Die Hard Gamers and not one other mom-type person was in sight.  Fortunately, there were snacks.  Unfortunately, however, Combos are about my least favorite snack cracker wannabe.  There were no takers on the multitude of Combos so carefully and symmetrically laid out on the counter.  Fortunately, there was also a “game” for “prizes”.  Toss the football through the cut up poster & win a snap on cover for your Wii.  Unfortunately, we were given only 2 tries, so no Automatic 7-ing.  Phooey.  Oldest was having no part of it.  Neither the Girl.  Unfortunately I tried and missed.  Automatic 2 I guess.  But FORTUNATELY there were also other prizes.  Free deoderant samples.  The red one with the ship on it…what is that one again?  English Leather comes to mind, but that’s not it.   VERY unfortunately no one wanted free deoderant samples.  EXTREMELY unfortunately (for us) they really could’ve put them to good use according to PreTeen Daughter who has a shark’s nose for all scents–pleasant and non.  That was one reeking store, according to SharkNose and she was wishing they would ALL take their samples and use them with abandon.  So with no interesting snacks, nothing good to smell and nowhere to run/hide.  What could we do but begin texting each other to pass the time.  This proved to be doubly entertaining for both Daughter and me since Brother had recently lost his phone on the Gryffon at Busch Gardens and was getting more & more irritated by the second as we stood near him snickering and checking our messages.  From each other.  And reporting the time every 30 seconds.

Finally FINALLY the clock struck midnight and we left at once with game in hand to go home to bed.  Brother stayed up until 5:00 in the morning playing an entire season with not so much as a Thank You yawn.  Ah, adolescents in the summer time.  Madness indeed.  Anytime, all the time…it’s not just for midnight anymore.

O.K. … FINE!


I’m not too proud to admit I’m a Messie with 3 Messie offspring.  I’m also not too proud to make my faithful commenters happy by posting AS IS photos of those rooms I slid past in the last post.  Here ya go:

Toldja so

Toldja so

  He has a great view, but too much light screws up the photo.  The only things in his otherwise empty laundry basket are about 4 wet towels that I put there myownself.  Here is where the clean clothes SHOULD be:

Here’s a redeeming shot, though I promised myself always that I would NEVER let my kids have a TV in their room.  Never say never…you may find yourself with 2-4 less rooms than you had before!

Never Say Never

Never Say Never

Here is the FROG.  It has potential.  I shoulda taken the photo last week when we finished cleaning and unpacking together.  The sofa/bed was bought for $10 at a garage sale and he LOVES it even though many humans would consider that mattress unworthy for the garbage.  Plus we can’t find sheets for it and he refuses to use ones I constantly cram on there.  See?  I tried to shelter you, but you asked for it!  I hope our friendship can survive such knowledge…

He’s dying to sell that Gretsky poster (by the TV) on ebay.  It has the Twin Towers in the background so I think it’s beyond cool and historic.  I won’t let him part with it…even if I have to rebuy it myself.

  Note the empty bookshelf and laundry basket.  ???  The only light in the FROG is that flourescent number you see reflected in the mirror.  There’s tons of natural light, though, but again, with the shade up, it makes the photo look like heaven beckoning, which is not an awful thought, just hard to see what you asked to see…

Boy Bathroom

Boy Bathroom

I neglected to include kid bathroom shots in the last post.  Since this bathroom is used by 2 parts boy and 1 part tomboy, I put the sports team pictures in here.  Look at the cute gender neutral shower curtain rings I got at Bed Bath & Beyond:

  Below is the guest bathroom all for you.

And because I’m feeling particularly generous, I will include a shot of the Pool Table Room.  I can never hold a grudge.  Although, I’m sure to get a call or strongly worded text message from my Wise Friend who will be sorely disappointed in me for losing the battle AND the war. 
Pool Table Room

Pool Table Room

Do not be concerned, my well meaning friends.  Here is where we have eaten every family meal together since we moved in on June 15. 
The Real Dining Room

The Real Dining Room

And here is where you can loll afterwards. 
This was taken at 11:00 am.  Rest assured that it is shady and relaxingly cool post beach trip/supper/dessert.  Beth is fake reading “BBQ USA.” 

I hope you’re happy now!

Ya’ll come!


Well folks, we are no longer overwhelmed with boxes, so I’d say it’s about high time for some comp’ny.  Just in case your summer of 2008 is already completely booked, here’s a short tour of the place where you & yours are always welcome, any time of the year for a coastal getaway.

My sweet & artsy mama painted this and had it hanging outside our front door in TN.  From there it moved to just inside the garage door in MI,

which was the mostly used door.  It isn’t hanging in its new spot yet, over our front door, but the sentiment remains.  Here’s what you see as you stand just inside the front door.

  You have two choices…walk straight ahead or turn right.  Let’s turn right.

To your immediate right as you enter the front door is the Livin Room.  (You have to say it like that too…LIVINROOM).  It is the same basic set up as the TV room in the Michigan house, without the TV.

  This is the rest of the LivinRoom, complete with sofa back table computer desk wannabe.  Oldest just looooooves having his picture taken.

If you walk through the LivinRoom, you will bump right smack into the pool table.  A very good wise friend advised me to “Just Say No” to pool tables in the DininRoom, but that was a battle I had no strength to fight.   Besides, we eat most of our meals outside.  But I will not put a picture of the “pool table room” here.  So there. 

Beyond the DininRoom is the kitchen.  

I spend a lot of time in this space.  Ignore the full sink and empty wine glasses and look beyond to see the beachy items of joy!  On the right window is a sweet plaque from my friend/neighbor/co-worker Debbi.  It says “Dream BIG and grow into it” and I love it.  It’s not particularly beachy, but I think that is a great spot for me to remember that thought and pray with/for her and myself and others to do so daily.  Also, to the left side is some smelly sticks (I think normal people call them incense or something of that sort) given to me by another neighbor friend.  They smell like Michigan apples and are a reminder of my beloved friends up north.  My neighbor friends took me out to dinner & gave me these things before I left Michigan and told me they would miss me.  Even though I hardly ever came to the bus stop like the other good moms.  (Tune in next week to read what my Ypsi neighbor is STILL DOING for me!  You will LOVE this story.  I have been very blessed with neighbors).  Needless to say, I have VERY high expectations for my new neighbor friends here in South Shore Estates.  This kitchen nook is a fun spot since many items were previously in the bathrooms.  They are so happy to be in this new sunny spot of perpetual attention.

  This is another fun spot since most all of these fridge magnets are from 2 houses ago…York Court!  The kids are 5+ years younger in the photos and therefore so am I.  I also unearthed a favorite picture of 3 of my parents from my wedding day…my actual parents with Nana Shirley who continues to parent me even to this day.  What a treasure.  The joy in their faces (mom’s & dad’s) in this snapshot cannot begin to compare to the joy they are constantly feeling now in the presence of God.  Shirley looks good too, but we still long for that day.  Heavy sigh.  Now on to….

  The TV room.  This shot was taken while there were still Webkinz tossed from the upper level hallway to the way high shelf over the mantle.   Here’s the new & improved look:

  The girls are having a moment of sisterly Bliss  Now onto the bedrooms….

This is most likely where you will stay.  BigSis is always willing to bunk up with LilSis and/or sleep on the Green Couch when we have a visitor or 6.  This is the only bedroom on the ground floor and it has a bathroom just outside and a twin mattress on a trundle underneath.  BigSis is Queen of Sheba these days with her very own little ‘partment.

Now lets go upstairs

  Once we hung these pictures (and put a few more on the shelf…again…come see it yourself) it really felt like home. 

  The mom of one of my Kindergarten students gave me these 4 frames.  She said it was mandatory to update them every single year.  I love them and we all get a kick out of comparing the kids at the same ages.  And the very obvious differences between same kid each year!  This is at the top of the steps. 

Upstairs we have BabyKid’s room of which I refuse to put a picture at the moment due to his inability to remember the difference between clean & dirty clothes and their subsequent intentional roosting spots.  LilSis is much better about this.



She did the polka dots herself.  Very festive, don’tcha think?

BigBro isn’t quite ready to publish his FROG (finished room over garage) but it is PS2 Central.  A nice teen cave with a multitude of sports posters.

Now for the piece de resistance, the Master!

  This was the only room I didn’t like on the first visit, and it is the only room I truly LOOOOOOVE right now.  The paint is that rare baby-poo-green which I immediately thought was hideously nasty when the room was bare…and I soooo don’t even usually care about colors all that much.  I said to Hubby at that time that we would “definitely need new bedding.”  The curtains were left for us and the bedding we have now is exactly what brought with us from Michigan.  Do you detect the perfect match here?  I just find this another instance of this being the exact house God picked out for us, knowing so much better than me and loving me so much to patiently watch me figure out over time what a good thing looks like. 

  The bathroom is just as awesome:

  I have used this tub more in the month that we’ve been here than I used my Michigan tub in the 3 years we lived there.  This one has jets which makes it a very bubbly hot tub experience.   I read in the tub today from about 3:00 – 4:00.  Heaaaaven!

  Even thought my dad taught college level French, I didn’t pick up too very much, but one thing I do remember is the W. C. which stands for “water closet.”  That is what you see here…a fully walled off and closed off with an actual door “dooblay vay say” as the southern student of Francais would say it.  This was the perfect place for the Civil War artwork Hubby is so very fond of.  Very manly.  Balances out the flowers strewn all over the rest of the bathroom.  Still the baby-poo-green, but a surprisingly decent backdrop for all the brassy Civil War picture frames and all our various & sundry maroon flowery items.

So there you have the highlights.   When you come, we will cook you barbeque and boat you up & down the canal.  If the water’s low we can tow you walking.  After that you can read in the tub for as long as you want.  Then we’ll drive thru Sonic or Chick Fil A on the way to the beach and afterwards dine on fresh seafood.  It’s great fun here whether you go or stay put.  Hope to see you soon & very soon!