Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh Dear Laundry...

Laundry. That word can strike fear into the heart of any mom. A million and one scenerios come to mind when one mentions laundry or lack of.
I love my laundry room beyond words. Perhaps a bit too much? Before you think Im bragging, let me explain to you why...
For 8 years I had an unfinished laundry room... on my back deck. No insulation no nothing. I had a washing machine and a dryer with no electrical hook-up. My dryer remained there for 7.5 years taunting me. When cold Long Island winters would come my lines would freeze and no laundry was done. Drying would be done by hanging clothes to dry or dragging them next door to my mother-in-laws house. The summers would bring bugs making webs near me and hot humid weather. When I moved I kissed outdoor laundry goodbye. No more putting on winter coats and boots (trudging thru the snow) to get wet socks. No more frozen water lines and NO MORE mildew clothes.
God (and My hubby) not only blessed me with a brand new built from the ground up Little Red House in the South, but he also blessed me with a laundry room on the main level AND brand new appliances... Maytag appliances. SO, please forgive me if I sound like Im bragging, I don't mean to. I just really really really appreciate them.
Many people near me would just turn their nose at the size of mine. Especially for my family size. After all 2500 sq. feet of pure beautiful living space for a family of 4 doesn't even make them happy. But for my 1850 sq. ft home and my laundry room, it is just fine! I have everything I need to do what I need to do and I don't need boots or umbrellas to do it! (not to mention I have a working dryer right next to it) It still amazes me that when I put the clothes in wet, they come out DRY!!! A pure blessing for sure!
Anyway, I, by nature, am not an organized person.
I have learned the art of organized laundry though... although this can not be really effective unless its actually done. Not my method... I mean the laundry. I think most women's problem with laundry is simple. Just do it!
Anyway. The older girls are the only ones with hampers in their room since I still change and dress the littles. twice a week they have a schedule to empty it into the green CIRCLE laundry basket right in front of the washing machine. I have only one basket for dirty house clothes and towels. This forces me to constantly have the wash going and get it clean.
Usually I'll ask Emma or Hannah (and recently I have been teaching Molly) to switch loads. This is a HUGE help!!! I load , start and fold. One of the girls gets hollered to to switch loads. They put the dry clothes in the rectangle basket in front of the dryer and push it off to the side in the living room. There the pile will sit (and get bigger) until I find the time to fold. SOmewhere during the day I go back in the laundry room, start another load and then holler to have it switched and the cycle repeats thru the day.
Folding takes place every other day?? Approximately! I really try to keep up. I do! I fold in certain piles and have been teaching the 3 oldest to do the same. I load them back in the basket by pile order and in the evening I separate to the proper rooms. Sometimes the girls do this for me, but most of the time I do it. I also tidy up rooms in the evening, right before bed and clean/organize closets. Since I do this almost every day, it never really gets out of hand. (even when I don't put clothes away, I clean all rooms daily or yikes!)
The blue basket on top of the dryer holds hubby's uniforms which I do a separate load for them once a week. They get hung in his closet, all ready for him to put on in the morning.
Most of my cleaning tools are kept in the laundry room as well. Swiffers, mops, dusters. cloths and such are organized on a dandy little hook. To the right of my dryer is my FULL SIZE ironing board (another bragging moment as I never had one in my other small house) I currently am getting a hanger for that to put up on the wall.
I also have a basket for loose socks that I keep on the shelf. Every few months I take them down and match them up. I have extra vacuum pieces, my vacuum, stain removers (store bought and homemade) the girls scrunchies and hairbrushes and of coarse a few odds and ends. All in all, I love my cleaning room and the method I use, It works and it gets the job done!!!


I added some new features to my blog, I have a topic section which lists all my blog posts by topic in case you ever want to look something up.I have over 500 posts so Im still working on getting them all labeled. Half are so far. Hopefully by the end of the day. I also added cute little "You might like" links to the end of each post. How cute is that? Now if only I can figure out how to get it to work all the time!!! Still working out some technical kinks. I sometimes really hate technology!
Don't forget to vote!!! Only 65 days left. I will announce the answer in 71 days with PICTURES. Glorious pictures... perhaps I will throw in a super cool giveaway as well.
And last but not least, I changed my blog background (obviously) Isn't it cute??? Now to get a new header... all in due time im sure.
Well Im off, my beloved coffee is waiting for me. Its cool and crisp and a bit chilly outside. I will sit in my back porch and enjoy the morning. I need to water my mums and then fix my birdfeeder for the 100th time. Thats a whole other blog.... ugh... but at least bird seed is all over my lawn so the birds will get fed regardless right?
I have a special heartfelt post coming October 1st. Its already written. It flowed out of me last night. I think thats why I have not posted much lately... all my thoughts have been towards this. So stay tuned!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How Time Flies..

Where does the time go? And why has it been days since my last blog? Shame on me!!! The weather has been rainy and gray for days, its making my brain a bit soggy.
Its Sunday once again. The start of a new week, new lessons and new challenges. IM half ready. I have tests to grade, my homeschool planner to fill out and pages to grade. Perhaps I should be doing that instead of typing away...
The weather has turned just a bit in the south. The mornings and evenings are crisp and breezy. The afternoons are just perfect. My windows and doors remained open to give my AC unit a break. The fresh air smells nice flowing thru my home. Its time to start ripping out and "winter-izing" my front flower bed. My butterfly bush and my morning glories are tired! They will be replaced by tall cornstalks and mums. Some of my outdoor plants came in. The cool fall night might be too much for them. They found new homes above my kitchen cabinet, they look beautiful and green! Just the splash of color my kitchen needed. My home is cozy and warm, just how I like it to be.
My knitting is not going as fast as I hoped but its still there. I enjoy every second and try to steal moments away. Abby-girl took my hooks out and after I almost threw up from freaking out, I took a deep breath and was able to slowly thread my hook back inside. Not too much damage was done but it definitely looks "home-made." Oh well, she is cute, what can I say?
So far no baby #6 but we are still going forth full force! I have a great feeling for October and pray this is the month our little blessing will travel down to earth to start her/his life with us. Say a quick prayer if you can, it will be a long prayerful road for us... either way. Im excited nonetheless. Just the thought of a new soft bundle gets me giggly. I miss having a baby around and hearing the coos and the cries. I know the kids would just adore the baby and he will never be put down. Talk about being loved???
This week will be a light week. Tomorrow I will focus on learning all letter recognition with Molly. She needs to master that sooner than later. She is determined to learn so she can play her computer game..."all by myself..." I want to make that happen for her. The girls will do some Social Studies to complete American History and some light spelling. Then reading comprehension. Done! A nice way to ease into a monday. EMma has a day off for math says her program and Hannah will review division on the computer. An area she needs to really focus on!!
Well I must go, its been a slow weekend thus a slow post. Im sure the house will be full of life tomorrow, when the sun will shine again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quite Random

I added some pictures of random activities that have happened throughout our little red house. If you peer in any nook or cranny, you will find someone is always up to something. The kids are forever using their imaginations and turning the oddest moments and spaces into an endless adventure. Its a good thing, even though my compulsive need to keep things orderly often interrupts their fun. Im trying, I promise... but sometimes the need for neat takes over. Perhaps its something that needs to be added to my prayer list. Maybe even prioritized to the tippy-tippy top. After all, wasn't I the girl who came home from delivering baby #2 and vacuumed my living room because it hadn't been done in 2 days??? Yes, I will work on that.
Tonight I had a wonderful moment with my oldest daughter. It was just myself and the first 4 headed home from church in our big black van. The other three watched Milo and Otis and Em sat quietly in the front seat. I knew I had to call my sis but something told me to put the phone down and listen to the heart of my child. Our conversation quickly turned to prayer. She told me how at youth group she went to their "prayer closet" and prayed to God something that was on her heart. After some gently prying, she confided in me. What was it?? Well, I'll never tell. I was sworn to secrecy. Don't worry, she is 12. It really was not life shattering or life changing but to her it was the secrets of her heart. We began to chat about what the bible said about prayer closets and how important prayer was. Thankfully, this was just discussed in my bible study that night, so I had plenty of advice to offer.
"Wouldn't it be neat if we had our own prayer closet? A place to go and shut ourselves off for a few minutes a day to focus on prayer." I said
She smiled. She loved the idea. Being the oldest, she craves her own space. Unfortunately, we don't have the room for one. Not now anyway and not for many years to come. Our little red home is filled to the brim and if prayers are answered... will be stuffed even tighter... but I did offer something else...
"Well Em, if their is a time you feel the need for a place to pray and seek God... NOT to color, draw or just hang out.. come to me and I will make a way. My closet is available to you whenever you need it..."
Before you choke at the thought of me stuffing my dear child into a dark closet, just relax and know I have a nice roomy walk-in and will be adding a cute bench for when I need private phone calls away from my very nosy kids....
She loved the idea. I loved the fact that she opened her heart to me even more. I said a quick thank you prayer and I pray the lines of communication will never close. My prayers for her will only grow longer and more frequent as she enters those tumultuous years. She is an amazing graceful little girl and I know she will make a great lady!

Wordless Wednesday...

Its another WORDLESS WEDNESDAY photo for you to enjoy.... these pics are oldies but goodies... its called Wii and Grandpa excitement.... equals nap time!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What Autumn Means To Us:

In our Little Red House Autumn is eagerly awaited and celebrated. When fall arrives on our cozy front porch, a few things instantly come to our minds:

Hot Chocolate
Apple Picking
Long cool walks
Hot Apple Cider with Apple Pie
Pumpkin Picking
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Cinnamon Rolls
Fall specials
Soups and warm bread
roasts and potatoes
Our Thanksgiving Tree
Fireplace chats
Church festivities

These are just a small few that come to our minds. Today the celebration begins. We welcome this season with open arms and can't wait to see what the next few months have in store.

Happy Fall From Our Little Red Home To Yours!

A Fall Song

Golden and red trees
Nod to the soft breeze,
As it whispers, "Winter is near;"
And the brown nuts fall
At the wind's loud call,
For this is the Fall of the year.

Good-by, sweet flowers!
Through bright Summer hours
You have filled our hearts with cheer
We shall miss you so,
And yet you must go,
For this is the Fall of the year.

Now the days grow cold,
As the year grows old,
And the meadows are brown and sere;
Brave robin redbreast
Has gone from his nest,
For this is the Fall of the year.

I do softly pray
At the close of day,
That the little children, so dear,
May as purely grow
As the fleecy snow
That follows the Fall of the year.

Author Unknown....

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Wish, I Wish With All My Heart...

While searching the aisles of my favorite homeschool bookstore this past weekend, I ran another book that I knew I HAD to have!!! It is a must have, another bible, if I do say so myself. A hardcover thick book filled with everything I need to know and everything I need to train up my 4 daughters. Its a book that will be passed down, a book whose pages will be familiarly wrinkled. It will be highlighted and written in. The kids will look back and remember the times we gathered around it learning new stitches or recipes or how-to's. It was $49 so I left it there.... but I will return in October to bring it home to me. It will be mine and it will be cherished. Even hubby thought it was the "Homemakers bible" and will most certainly find a place in our home.
It is called "Training our daughters to be keepers at Home" by Ann Ward. Its a 7 year homeschooling coarse on teaching our daughters (and myself) skills such as:

Godly Womanhood Flower Arranging Making a House a Home
Sewing Basketry Caring for the Sick & Injured
Cooking/Baking Family Finances Family Celebrations
Gardening Embroidery Childbearing
Knitting Child Development Infant Care & Breastfeeding

Making Greeting Cards

Child Training Raising Small Animals
Home Management Cross Stitch Soapmaking
Quilting Hospitality Candlemaking
Crocheting Caring for the Elderly Woman's Health Concerns
Comforting the Mourning Rug Braiding Home Business

I flipped thru the pages of the book and stared in wonder. Illustrated pictures on how to knit (you all know how much I need that) decorating ideas, wonderful recipes. The pages were thin and filled with small print from top to bottom. So much information was packed into that huge book. I didn't want to walk away, I didn't want to leave it but I knew I had to. The kids were getting wild and hubby was losing patience. It will be mine and it will be read from cover to cover. I will begin the study with my girls in the New Year. I can't wait. Of coarse as I put the book down I saw another treasure lying next to it... "Created To Be His Help-Meet" By Debi Pearl. I smiled... knowing this was a very good table!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

When It Rains...

The last 3 days in the south have been soggy and gray! Not that Im complaining. Every so often a soul needs this type of weather to cozy up and prepare for whats ahead. After endless months of sun and heat, this was just a brief reminder that cold cloudy wet days are soon to find us. I know the sun will be here soon enough, but until then I will enjoy the warmth of the cozy!!!
Saturday all of our fun family plans were cancelled. We had 7 very disappointed faces. Prayers were prayed all week for sun but much to our dismay, we could not find any! SO, we did the next best thing... took a detour out to the country homeschool "bookstore" and bought!
I went there strictly to buy "Teaching your child to read in 100 easy lessons." this book comes HIGHLY recommended by many experienced moms and I even have seen great reviews while circling Blog-land. I have been eyeing it for a while and quickly snatched it off the shelf. I browsed the wonderful books. Aisles and Aisles of wonders. I never know what to look at first when I go. My children ran off to try and find the cats that live among the print and I got lost in all the covers. A math book for Molly found its way in my arms. Great illustrations, colors and easy to do together. It will give her the basic sorting,counting and adding skills she needs. I also picked up another great read for me. "Little Women." Tis book is no stranger to me. I have seen the movie every year traditionally for 13 years. Every day somewhere in November, the girls and I cuddle and watch the adventures of the March Sisters. Next week I have a book club meeting and this was the book! I have a lot of reading to do in the next 12 days but I have faith it could be done!!!
I also noticed, on the clearanced table, they had a fictional story of a girl living in the lost city Pompeii. I just introduced that famous story to the girls last week. We studied the different types of rock and when we mentioned dried lava, our conversation switched to Pompeii and that devastating day in August. There went our science lesson as we searched the internet for every fact and pictures we could find. They were FASCINATED!!! Their eyes bright with wonder. I remembered feeling that same way when I too learned of its fateful history. We studied Mt. Vesuvius and saw the mummified bodies. That book was perfect! I snatched it up as well.
I could have honestly bought everything in that dusty old warehouse. We will be back in just a few weeks for their big sale and much more will be purchased. November is coming up, a time for us to study in depth, great heros of our country. The Pilgrim's Progress, and the American Patriots handbook will be recited and learned!!!
Shortly after we dropped our chick-lits off at a friends house. They surprised us with free babysitting so Hubby and I could have a night to ourselves. We were so blessed by their kindness. The kids had a blast playing on the playground, having a picnic and playing games!!! We indulged in delish Thai food. Spicy, hot and just right. The lettuce wraps are my favorite.
We returned to pick up our spoiled children and chatted a bit before we departed for home.
Home is always a good way to end a night. Always welcoming your return and smelling of good familiar scents. The kids and I chatted about our evenings and then scampered off to their own little beds. Tucked in and tired from a long day, they quickly all fell asleep. The morning comes quickly and church was waiting!!!
Today was a typical Sunday for us. We relaxed and I will spend my last few hours of the weekend lesson planning and knitting before I go to sleep. Monday is almost here. I don't like monday. Its always very off balance. Perhaps I will pray a little longer and a little harder so monday is not that bad. Im sure I will keep you posted!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What have I done Today?

Hmm, not much. Just :
~ made pancakes for 6
~ made 4 beds
~ changed 3 diapers
~ dressed 2 kids and instructed the rest
~ did 2 loads of laundry
~ made lunch for 6
~ cleaned up after feeding 6
~taught about the layers of the Earth
~ Explained the 3 types of rock.
~ celebrated Constitution day with worksheets
~ Blogged
~Practiced the A's and B's with #'s 3 and 4
~ made an alphabet book
~re-organized our storage closet
~cleaned the living room (like 3 times)
~ knitted a few more rows on my scarf
~ rotated old markers with new markers and threw out dried markers ( its quite a task when you have 50-something plus markers....
~ read a small informative book
~wrote an email
and its only 4:30... Whew...




I have come back to this verse several times in the last week. During bible study with the kids we read Psalm 4. I kept reading this verse and tried to explain how awesome it is. To me, its a fresh start. We wake to a new morning and begin by handing it over to the Lord. Our burdens are lifted as we leave our worries, requests, fears, anxieties, sorrows and all those problems at the cross. I leave my room slightly lighter than when I entered and have a joyful bounce in my step... knowing Jesus will take care of me. I will wait on Him and He will guide me. When I mess up, I just go to Him. When I have questions, I just ask Him, when I need wisdom, I just go to Him... I search the scriptures and get my daily bread.... always yearning for more.

Listen to the words "Sweetly Broken" on my playlist and wholly surrender!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Knotty Girls Knitting Night

Last night was our first Knotty girls Knit society meeting. As soon as everyone arrived, we got down to business!! Elizabeth kindly instructed us on how to make knots, cap on(?) and knit away! It was so nice to hear the squeals of excitement filter the room as one by one we "mastered" our first stitch. I have wanted to knit for so long, there is something so comforting about yarn. I was extremely intimidated by the two needles and images of older women flipping them around as if they were drumsticks danced in my head, but after last night my confidence rose! Long after the girls left, I sat in bed and continued to knit, not wanting to close my eyes. Always saying ... just one more. Perhaps this will become my new obsession? My house covered in all sorts of twists and patterns? Ok, maybe Im getting a bit ahead of myself, but I am enjoying it to the fullest. We also had a "master" crocheter teach us chain stitching and single looping? My terminology is strictly my own. Perhaps my craft store will have a home-makers dictionary I can pick up? Who knows. I learned how to crochet when I was pregnant with the boy-child #4. I was set on making him a blanket to wrap his little soft body in. I worked and worked hours on end but needless to say, my stitching needed help and his blanket (unfinished) remains in my yarn bag. Kendra happily showed me some tips to help me along and a new stitch, so I will buy more yarn and practice!!!
It was nice to be surrounded by women who had the same passion for learning. We shared ideas, projects we were working on and some even showed their own masterpieces!!!!
The circular rug shown above was crochet by bedsheets and will be a room size rug. It was beautiful! I look forward to our next get together where we can talk, knit, crochet and fellowship!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Maiden Of Virtue

Playing tackle football in the living room... she loves football. Can you tell who's winning??? Sigh... I try, I really really do but she makes me wonder if she is really my child. Perhaps if she were wearing fluffy pink shoes and a cute pink purse I could relate... but this? She is beautiful though!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I did not almost spontaneously bust into tears several times this weekend because of the reality of never having another baby... no, not me!

No, I did not have an anxiety attack as my children played football in the living room while watching the football game with their dad!!!... all the while, watching as the football came dangerously close to my beautiful, huge picture window.. no not me!

I almost did not cry again because the game was 3 on 3 and might never be 4 on 4... no, not me!

I did not secretly decide to buy every Item of the week at Old Navy simply because the price was too good to resist. No, NOT me!!

No, I did not almost throw out all of our pool towels simply because Im ready for fall and am sick and tired of washing them, no not me!

No, I did not complain and vent to the poor stranger on the phone (tech support for SOS) that I had no clue about computers thus this being the reason my husband should be calling and not me blah blah blah... no not me...

No, after my rant and rave the nice poor stranger did not quickly transfer me to someone else who claimed that there would be a 30 minute wait... no not me!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Socialization 101

What is socialization? It is a word often heard of often and thrown around with great pride concerning public school and home schooling. Many people tend to think sending their kids to school will make them "socialized." If they homeschool they will be unsocialized. Can someone explain please?
Does that mean if I send my kids to school they will be better equipped to pinch, bite, pull hair, fling boogies and self toilet train? If they attend a public school setting will they surpass a homeschoolers ability to fight with a peer? Pick and choose which drug to try first? Or perhaps win a debate concerning which political party to choose since schools have to make both parties seem just dandy!!??
Now, what about those quiet kids? You know, the one who sits in the corner and picks his nose all day? Come on, all classes have THAT one kid. What happened to him? Does he fall into the "well socialized" category since he DID attend public school??
Im so confused. The arguments for public school claim children who attend learn the art of sharing and caring and communicating with other people. Now, this is where it get SUPER confusing for me... I, myself, Little 'ol Gapgirl attended public school from K-college. Personally, I can't remember kids sharing and caring that much? Hmmm.
In the lower grades kids quickly learn the art of MINE. They master the technique of smelling out the weakest and attacking the lower status. Cliches are made and levels are established. They learn about bullying. Now, what happened??
Do you remember being in school? Do you remember the kids that were always bad?? The mean ones, the bullies, the ones that never shared or cared??? As they got older those "socialization" traits got worse...
In middle school you might have overheard your mom chat with other moms saying things like..." well, he wasn't raised properly..."
BINGO.... Did you get it??? Let me say it again... "He wasn't R-A-I-S-E-D right..."
Where do you "raise" your kid???.... at HOME!
So technically you pay money that you don't have to send kids( who should be with you ) to learn love, caring and sharing when in fact these are all things that need to be learned in the home. Thus, socialization begins and continues in the home. So why would I send my kids out of my home to be socialized when the home is where they should be???
There you have it folks, my random thoughts on socialization 101.
Now, don't be hating...


Today is Show and Tell Friday at KELLI'S house. Here are my favorite pair of shoes! What can be better than polk-a-dots and red!!! Hannah and Abigail graciously modeled them for me today!! I just LOVE wearing them...plus they are Mary Janes!!! Could it get any better? I think NOT! Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Im Getting My Soapbox...

Recently I read a discussion about children under 5 attending school. Some as early as 2 years old are send to "school." My husband and I like to refer to it as daycare. Plain and simple. You can dress it up but can't change what it really is. Some moms are just terrified that they can't send their Jon or Joe to school. Other moms quickly offered supportive advice, work at night to get the money, cut back and scrimp and save, send her for only 2 days instead of 3... and so forth. Im sure you get the idea. Now, if a mom must work due to financial reasons or if she is a single mom then you do what you must... if your a stay at home mom then I just don't understand.
I don't understand what the rush is? What's the importance of sending these tiny, precious, moldable gifts from God out of the nest so soon? I simply just don't get it. Its sad. Its sad that some moms feel that their little vulnerable child is better off in the hands of a stranger than their own? I guess in time the teachers become friends but they still will never have your childs best interest at heart.
I look at my children and regret the years I didn't have with them. I regret the time I too fell into the lies of "my time." I shake my head to think my kids were better off somewhere besides under my wing where they would be the safest. Yes, its inevitable that they will leave. I expect that, I look forward to the day they can confidently walk out into this world and blossom, but until that day, I will hold them and teach them and love them knowing that time is not at 2 or 3 or 4 years of age!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


This video is from one of my favorite large families. I first saw them in 2006. TLC did a documentary called "Kids By The Dozen." I have since been reading their blog and bought their books. They are an amazing Christian HOmeschool family. These pictures capture the happiness in their home and the gentleness in their voices.
***please pause the music player below so you can hear the video

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Country Kind Of Day...

Today we drove up to the mountains of NC to the Apple Festival. The ride was breathtaking!!! The mountains, bridges and gorges were so refreshing to see.We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as we drank fresh squeezed lemonade, ate caramel apples, funnel cake and saw many hand made wood crafts. Quilters were there, knitters, wood carvers... It was great. The highlight of our day was listening to THE HUNT FAMILY FIDDLERS. They were a large traveling Christian Home schooled family who played amazing blue grass music. I have a video I will upload shortly. Their CD will definitely be purchased!
We toured a cute little mountain mineral museum, saw a dinosaur egg and amazing gems from all over. Before long it was time to take the shuttle back to our car and head home. The kids were exhausted!!! Everyone but hubby napped for the ride home. All in all it was another day I thanked God for living in the south!

Us Southern Gals Love A Get Together....


Friday, October 9-Sunday, October 11, 2009

HGTV’s Erica Glasener, TLC’s Laurie Hick son-Smith and Sister Schubert Headline Weekend

EVENT: Southern lifestyle magazine, Southern Lady, will bring the pages of the magazine to life

with the seventh annual Southern Lady Celebration weekend in Savannah, Georgia.

The event will feature a weekend of inspirational speakers, delicious food, how-to demonstrations, a shopping tour of Savannah, on-site shopping boutique and fabulous entertaining ideas and tips from the editorial staff of Southern Lady.

PRESENTERS: Celebrity presenters will include the popular interior designer and co-host of TLC’s Trading Spaces, Laurie Hickson-Smith, HGTV’s Erica Glasener and Patricia Barnes, better known as Sister Schubert. Additional speakers will include artist Diana Hansen of White Flowers designs, devotional speaker Lael Melville, Southern humorist Bobbie Staten and the Editor-in-Chief of Southern Lady magazine, Phyllis Norton Hoffman.

DATE AND TIME: Friday, October 9-Sunday, October 11, 2009

LOCATION: The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa

One Resort Drive

Savannah, GA 31421

The Grand Ballroom

REGISTRATION: The $429.00 registration fee includes four meals, all speaking programs and presentations, how-to demonstrations, access to the Celebration boutique and a shopping tour of Savannah. For more information or to register, visit www.southernladymagazine.com

About the Speakers


Laurie Hickson-Smith was one of the first designers to hit the airwaves on The Learning Channel’s (TLC) hit show Trading Spaces. Now, in the show’s ninth season, fans see Laurie’s stylish designs each week as they remake a space in just 48 hours. Laurie’s self-described “modern classic” design style blends traditional and modern with her signature uses of color for vitality. Staying true to her Southern roots, Laurie resides in Jackson, Mississippi, with her husband, Brad, 6-year-old son Gibson Witherspoon, and 2-year-old daughter India Dawson.


Horticulturist and author Erica Glasener has hosted A Gardener’s Diary on Home and Garden Television (HGTV) for 14 years. As a Southern Lady contributor, Erica offers helpful advice for gardens large and small in her column, “Garden Inspiration.” In her own garden, Erica grows vegetables, fruits, heirloom roses, bulbs, perennials, shrubs, and trees. Her creative ideas prove that, with a little thought and planning, any garden space can be both beautiful and functional.


Sister Schubert has become a Southern household name synonymous with her Parkerhouse Roll. Sister began making her delicious rolls in 1989, and now Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls includes three bakeries, which together produce more than 5 million rolls daily. She credits her family, employees, and faith for her phenomenal growth. But Sister’s story shows that her tireless enthusiasm for excellence is at the heart of her success.


Phyllis Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief of Southern Lady will reflect on the 10 years of the publication and highlight some of her favorite features and photos. She will also share an exclusive look at her two latest books, Gracious Spaces and Honey, It’s All in the Shoes.


Diana Hansen was featured in the premiere issue of Southern Lady and is sure to inspire with her eye for beauty. As an artist and owner of White Flowers, Diana has created an ethereal world in her all-white shop located in Birmingham, Alabama. Her story will show that inspiration can come from the most unexpected and simplest of places.


Back again from the 2007 Celebration, Dr. Lael Melville is a gifted speaker who will encourage and motivate. She will offer her insights, humor, and practical applications on how to approach life’s challenges. Lael is a psychologist, wife, and mother of three teenage sons, and she lives and serves in Plano, Texas.


A North Carolina native, Bobbie Staten is a nationally recognized Southern motivational humorist who’s healthy and irreverent sense of humor focuses on people and the lives they lead. Her message reflects a universal theme as old as time, yet fresh and relevant to today’s hectic lifestyle. When you have your health, family, and priorities balanced, life just seems to fall into place. For the few times when it doesn’t – laugh!

About Southern Lady magazine

Founded in 1999, Southern Lady (www.southernladymagazine.com) magazine is published bi-monthly by Hoffman Media, LLC. The magazine celebrates, delights, and inspires women who live in the South-and those who are simply southern at heart. Highlighting a gracious way of life, it gives readers timely advice on everything from gift giving to grand gatherings, making Southern Lady a year-round lifestyle guide.

About Hoffman Media, LLC

Since its founding in 1983, Hoffman Media (www.hoffmanmedia.com) has been the leader in special-interest publications. Targeting the women’s market, the company publishes Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade, Cooking with Paula Deen, Celebrate, Victoria, TeaTime, Southern Lady, Taste of the South, Just CrossStitch, and Sew Beautiful.

Check out more at Southern lady Nancy's Blog

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pick Me, Pick Me....

I REALLY want to win this giveaway for my little Red House @ Raising Olives. Her blog is awesome (and so is her family size)

From A "Friends" Blog...


Dear Working Mom,

I see you nearly every time I'm out with my children. Sometimes you are very young, sometimes you look older. You might look happy one day and tired or stressed the next. You are different every time I meet you, but you say the same thing to me nearly every time: "You're so lucky. I wish I could stay home with my children but I just can't afford it."

Usually I smile and agree that I am blessed, but quite honestly I'd like to challenge you. You say you can't afford to stay home. Maybe you can if you're willing to make some changes.

  • Will you trade in your 2 year old car for a 13 year old mini van? The side door might not work very well. Yes, it will break down occasionally on your way to the kids' dental checkups, but that's ok. Your dentist will understand. Do plan to change a flat every now and then, since you might be driving on older tires.
  • Will you buy your clothes at thrift stores from now on? I know your clothes aren't terribly expensive now, but even inexpensive clothes add up when you buy them new. No, you won't always be able to wear exactly what you want, but you might find that it's not such a big deal if you're spending most of your time at home. Your kids won't make fun of your fashion sense. Well, not unless they're teens. Then I can't vouch for them.
  • You might have to reconsider cable TV. Anyway, the last thing you need is to watch the average 5 hours/day of TV. Too much of it is about working moms driving late model cars and wearing all those clothes you won't be buying.
  • Something as simple as grabbing pizza on Friday night might become a financial decision, carefully weighed out.
  • Your children should expect some changes too. Ballet lessons, karate lessons, and sports might go on the chopping block. They might be among the sad minority that does not possess a laptop or cell phone. They might never visit Disneyland. Summer camp might even be crossed off the calendar. Don't let the guilt get to you. Just like adults, children are notentitled to all the best in life. Children need to understand that these things are extras. They are wants, not needs. The sooner your children know this, the happier they will be.
  • Would you be willing to sell your house? If you're serious about wanting to stay home with your children, this might be what it takes. Are you willing to live in a smaller, older home, in a lower priced neighborhood?

To sum it up, are you willing to give up a middle class lifestyle? I know you're not rich now, but you could get by on less if you really had to. Is staying home with your children worth that much to you?

I realize that not every situation is the same. You might be a single mom, struggling just to keep the electric on. Some churches would help you, but you might not be in that sort of church.

You might be willing to make all the lifestyle changes that would enable you to stay home but your husband insists that you work.

Maybe your husband is disabled, and truly can't support the family.

Or maybe you didn't really mean that you'd love to do it. Maybe you just meant it might be kinda nice, if you didn't have to give up any of your current creature comforts.

But maybe, just maybe you really never thought of it this way and now you realize that you can afford to stay home. Will you do it?

****you can read it on her blog as well HERE****

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just Reflecting

Every time I turn on the news, read the paper or browse the internet I am bombarded with grim news. Last night was no exception. After a wonderful time celebrating the Mpact moving-up ceremony and feasting on cake with fellow believers and friends , we hurried home and tucked the kids in bed. The news was on and so was Aol. Latest news was read. My eyes and ears could not believe what was before them.
This comes as no surprise. To anyone with any biblical knowledge, know the events that must unfold... whether or not they choose to believe. How close it was at hand was what really hit home. A few years? If that? Guns being found in elementary school? Our health being handed over on a platter? Being forced to vaccinate or lose your job?? On vaccines that are not even done with testing? Laws are being placed into effect without our knowledge and when we finally get the "memo" its too late. The list goes on and on. Perhaps this was Gods way of knocking on my heart and telling me to get ready. Prepare our hearts and continue building our foundation.
I was chatting with a non-homeschooling friend a few weeks ago and we were discussing whether certain people feel that every Christian should homeschool or not. I have always stood on the grounds of..."its a personal choice..." its a calling from God and should not be done without His leading. As the world rapidly shifts so has my thinking. Last night as I prayed and thanked God that Homeschoolers still have this freedom, I realized that perhaps we should not wait for God to call us to home school. Perhaps we need to seek Him on this subject. Maybe us moms need to step forth in faith... as us home schoolers know, faith is needed in heavy doses. See, the world has blocked so much of our way to Him. So much muck and grime has slipped into our paths of us Christians that we sometimes don't know a clear line of Christian vs. worldly doctrine.
I started letting fear fill me last night. 100 scenarios filled my heads, all pertaining to my precious children. For one of the first times in my life, I lifted my head and asked the Lord to rapture us real soon....
I opened my bible knowing the only one that can calm my fears and ease my anxiety is Him. I would love to write that God led me right to this amazing prophetic verse... but He did not. Instead I "stumbled" across the life of Paul... an all to familiar missionary. I skimmed thru his letters and read about his persecutions and imprisonments... all due to his faith.
"Oh Lord" I prayed..." Im way to weak to ever go thru what Paul went thru... just take us now and guarantee our place..."
It was a cowards prayer but a truthful one, after all, God already knows what im thinking anyway.
I got too tired to even hold the book and had the most restful slumber. I dreamed of shopping (seriously) and for all of you that know me, know, God could not have placed me in a more peaceful sleep than that!! =)
This morning I felt lighter. "Joy comes in the morning..." as promised. I still was not happy about our current situation but knew I would have to pray it thru.
As I was doing the dishes and discussing our day with the kids, I (not so happily) reminded Hannah that her bible verse MUST be memorized by the end of the week. I write a new one on the board every sunday night from her list of "Must learn" for Mpact. I pick them in no certain order.
I glanced over at the board again and there it was. My answer to prayer.... in my own handwriting from 4 days ago... Its from the "End-Times" unit. I read it and smiled. God is so Good.
The very verse I needed for the exact reasons of why I was fearful was on my board in big bold letters... It was as good as if God had hand written it himself. Click on the picture, maki it bigger and read for yourself. Isn't God amazing????

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Our September 1st Apple Pie Day! (in pictures)

Our Apples
The cooking begins
Everyone has a job to do. Hannah starts to peel them.


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