Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Fading Days Of Summer

Right now I should be at my beloved bible study with all the ladies I love to surround myself with every wednesday night. Instead, I am home... ALONE! With the exception of a sleeping Penelope and a very noisy kitty.

The rest of my chicklets and hubby are at church while I stay home and rest. I don't feel very good, nothing serious but since hubby has no school this week, this is the one wednesday I can take a breath and relax while he takes them to mid-week service.

Honestly, Im loving the peace and quite. This is sooo rare for me. I can actually clean without being interrupted... 

Or at least thats what I should be doing. Instead, Im drinking coffee and chatting with you.

My back door is open and the perfect carolina air is blowing thru my house. The last few days have been completely Glorious!!! Thats the only way I can explain it. The days are warm and the evenings comfortable. I believe we have just one more day left before the cold weather comes back for a visit.

Im not ready to say hello to a new season. We have been enjoying this time right now. 

Every evening we find ourselves outside. The kids are laughing and screaming. Sometimes we invade the backyard and other times we walk down to our neighborhood playground and play till dark...

I think our souls secretly know our time is limited before the frosty air comes. We soak in every day and just pray for "one more."

Penelope has discovered the swing. She loves to go really high and giggles with complete joy with every swing.

Molly finally mastered swinging herself and Noah is right behind with learning.

Even my "too cool" teens couldn't resist some rolls down the hill and twirls on the merry go round. How could you with perfect nights like these.

We play ball in the street and the kids have scooter races down the block. We take over and we run.

The holidays are coming and pretty soon we will be watching the weather for threats of snow...

a sight so rare in the south...

With the first snowflake sighting, the neighborhood kids search their garages for anything they could use as a sled...

and then our winter fun will begin.

But Im not rushing it. 

I want just "One more..."



Sunday, October 23, 2011


Yesterday was Miss P's big day... her very first birthday party.

Quite frankly, Im exhausted. Friday night my older girls and I were up very late cooking and baking and decorating, followed by a very early Saturday morning doing more of the same.

But it was worth it all. The day was great, the company was even greater and the weather was perfect.

Penelope loved her toys that she received and I LOVED the clothes she received. More Tutu's and sparkly dresses were added to her collection. This week, I will get her bows to match and I just found the cutest place to buy all sorts of precious leg warmers. Since she is still a crawler, the leg warmers really work well to keep her legs warm and protected from the floors.

The day was a success.

After everyone left, the kids still remained outside and hubby and I just relaxed on the couch for a bit.

Before long Couz Neal was back through our doors for round 3!! After all, it was Saturday night and nothing gets in the way of our WING NIGHT!! He helped us clean the mess, I bathed the littles and off to bed they scrambled.

We {GULP} ventured off our usual and ended up with an A-MAZING Taco plate!!

There we sat, as the hours got later catching up on each others lives. It wasn't long before our conversation turned to biblical discussion. Bibles were brought out and we ate our dessert happily discussing things that are near and dear to our faith. The Arc of the Covenant and eschatology theories based on scripture were tonights hot topic.

And it was good.

It was a great end to an amazing week full of edifying conversation.

Friday at our co-op, I happen to get in deep discussions with other homeschooling moms that ranged from the foster care system and the devastation drugs and alcohol have on fetuses, to backpacking and hiking through Israel. I was able to share our desire to live on land with other moms who recently just moved onto their homestead. 

I can feel connections being made and once again, its where I belong.

Today my joints hurt bad. It will truly be a day of rest for us as we prepare for the busy week ahead. November comes quick and I have lots to do... I will be inviting several groups of ladies over for Lunch to fellowship and get to know them better. Others, I know very well and we use this time to chat and pray.

Then... HOLIDAY BAKING!! I can't wait! But first I will take this day of rest and emerge myself in Beth Moore's BREAKING FREE. I have homework to catch up on and some devotions I want to do with my children.

Enjoy your Sunday



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tweet Tweet

Lots to do

Party is in 2 days, co-op is in 1 day... followed by many more commitments I volunteered my family for.

Thats ok, its all good.

In case I can't keep up in bloggy-land, just follow me on TWITTER.

I update all thru the day and if you tweet at me, I will be sure to tweet back. I love my twitter friends!!

You know, social media has a bad rap but if you run with the right crowd, its a HUGE blessing...

Just sayin



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Penelope Came To Town... A Year Later

October 13th was a day I was dreading since Labor Day. Quite honestly, I never handle any of my baby's first birthdays very well but this one was just a bit different. Perhaps because deep down I knew the realization of this being my last first.

You know, FIRST birthday!

Some may think Im actually so silly and thats ok. I never claimed to be perfect nor do I care to be. I love my children and love who they are growing up to be, but a big piece of my heart mourns how tiny they used to be.

This saturday is her first birthday party!!

Im so excited and have been frazzled to bits finalizing the menu, making the decorations and games.

Yes, you read that correctly. MAKING the decorations. Im simply a glutton for punishment and insist on making most of the decorations for P's extravaganza. Thats ok, Im sure by now you know I secretly love every single second even though every day leading up to the party I swear I'm never doing this again.

Right now scraps of tulle are all over my house. Link is in hog heaven and has gotten locked in the laundry room more than once due to his... um ... behavior.

Last night at my church,3 other ladies and myself were asked to speak on different topics. It was call red Recipes for Living. My topic was organization and home management. I wasn't nervous till about 1 hour before it was my turn to go up...
It didn't help that traffic was horrific, it was raining and I got in a small accident on the way. Poor guy. I smashed into the back of his nice trailer but I think he was more afraid of the crazy, crying, frazzled woman jumping out of the big black van than any damage that could have occurred.

THANKFULLY no damage and a friendly wave got us on our way.

I flew thru the doors of the meeting room wet, late and 100% stressed.

How ironic that 1 was speaking about organization.

But I knew the ladies in the audience. They were warm and kind and familiar. I was able to make a joke about my entrance and went on from there.

Below is a picture of my friend Connie... one of my hero's. She spoke on Recipes for healthy living. Lets just say I will never view fruit the same again.

 In one of her demonstrations, grapes represented kindness. Plenty for everyone. You pluck one off and give kindness to another. Inside that act of kindness is a Kindness seed. Thas seed then grows in the person it was given too. They too pluck off a kindness grape and hand it to someone else...

Love was a watermelon.

When you cut into it, it drips and oozes to everyone around you.

Patience was a Kiwi. (or at least I think it was a kiwi)

Growing patience can be ugly and hard, but when its established and you cut into it its beautiful and sweet... Of course I can't explain it as beautifully and humbly as she did but now can you see why fruit will never be the same???

She is my hero because she home schools her 8 kids, has patience and wisdom and is SUCH a character!

I learn a lot from her whenever I am around her.

Others spoke on raising Godly kids and having a godly marriage with no divorce.

It truly was an amazing evening. I was blessed so deeply by what these other women shared. I just wish so much that MORE women could have come and heard.

And God.... well, lets just say He is amazing. None of us 4 ladies had conversed prior to our speech and God just spoke to all of us and tied each recipe into the other one. They flowed and connected more than it ever could if it we tried to plan it that way. God is always SO good.

So, I just know you want to know what tips I gave last night??

Well Silly girls, I can't get into that right now...

I have a party to throw remember??

Maybe next time.



P.S Don't forget to LIKE GiGi's Place on FACEBOOK!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fresh Air

Yesterday was our co-op's annual Fall Harvest Party. One of the families opened up their home and 25 acres for us to invade to have some fall fun... So, we packed up our big black van and our six kids and trekked out to the good 'ol country. Some people might not consider where we went "the country" but long roads and all trees equal country to this city girl!

I don't think the littles knew what to do with themselves with so much space to run and play. No barriers and land as far as their little eyes could see. My heart smiled as I saw my video game addicted son play in dirt and throw every stick he could find in the air. ( and almost taking out his little sister every time.) On the property was a river. Not a creek, or a stream or a trickle... but a ri-ver! Perhaps if I would have known that before my teens went miles away to play in it, I would have demanded adult supervision. But Thankfully no one drowned or floated away into Georgia.

Its the Saluda River to be exact... and could also serve as a place to go water rafting. I will remember that next time!!
When the big.. ( BIG ) dinner bell was rung, kids came out of the woods, river, fields and crevices to partake in hot dogs and homemade chili around the fire. Appetites were worked up and my kids thought the hot dogs "were the best ever!!!"

Plates were licked clean, the sun began to set and off the kids ran again... into the darkness. Sticks became their toys and imaginations were put to good use. The adults huddled closer to the fire as the warm air began to turn cold.

You know, I don't consider myself a country girl. I love the idea of it but Concrete and salt water run through my veins. Its what I understand. When first stepping onto the property I panicked about letting my kids roam. I couldn't tolerate the smell of the horses and roosters that roamed and I felt like hosing myself off with lysol....

But as the night went on, and the kids played, I relaxed and mingled. Everyone else felt completely in their element and I gained yet another perspective on life.

Although the lights and business of a city are wonderful....

Their is something about country life. A life that reminds you what this world is all about. Family, faith and fellowship. Simple warm food and hearty appetites, dirty hands and your imagination...

and the roar of a river.

My hubby swears he is moving us out to the country. Where our kids can roam free with no boundaries. Where we can shoot things and fish.

If its anything like last night, Im in.

After all,

We only lost one kid in the woods. ;)



Friday, October 7, 2011

The Fall of...

Since this school year has started, we have made many changes to our home and our homeschool schedule. New programs, co-ops and curriculum replaced some of our old methods we used last year.

One big change was our iMac. It now is upstairs in Noahs room. Which, basically is the playroom since Noah will only sleep in the little girls room. Emma uses the iMac during the day for her online school. Hannah uses it for any additional research she needs to complete her daily school assignments... and I, hardly ever get a chance on it.

Hubby doesn't quite understand why but I'm sure every other mom in bloggy-land can give 1,000 reasons why this arrangement will just not work!!!

Besides being distracted by the mess on my way to Noah's room... which results in forgetting why I went upstairs in the first place and cleaning all the rooms...

I am followed by about at least 3 of my kids who peck at my brain chat the entire time I'm upstairs also causing me to completely forget why I went upstairs.

And on the rare non-existent occasion I go upstairs and find it clean, empty and quiet, sitting on the floor causes pain in my legs which makes me very cranky and then I forget why I was up there...

Do you see the connection here??

Yes, I knew you would.

Well, yesterday, I managed to run upstairs right after the morning feeding chaos. I had some travel work to do and emails to respond to. Within 5 minutes of my bottom connecting to the floor, Hannah and Penelope were right next to me. Hannah began chatting my ear off as usual. I have grown accustomed perfected  half listening. If I fully listened every time someone yelled MOM and began babbling away, I would never ever be able to do anything. Seriously. 

So I nodded and was just about to ban her out of the room so I could have one. Just ONE complete thought when the words ..." bent shelf" caught my attention.

I quickly shooed her out and told her I would be down in a minute to check what she was talking about... I just HAD to finish this work first.

As I turned back to the computer and tried to remember what I was doing, I heard crashes and screams coming from downstairs.

I come to find, one of my bookshelves... my BIGGEST bookshelf somehow collapsed and my living room was in complete shambles.

Surprisingly, I didn't have a nervous breakdown but quickly put the kids to work picking up the small pieces of broken wood and making appropriate piles.

Any homeschooler knows how vital bookshelves are. Not only are they vital, but they are precious. Every book is valued and kept.  No book will ever make it in the discard pile.

Thankfully no one was hurt during the fall of our small Babylon...

But despite the shambles our living room was in that day ( and still is until we replace the bookshelf) we are having fun re-discovering some of the books we have ignored for so long. New piles of books have been made... books that need to be read, re-read or books that now Molly is capable of reading.

Photo albums were looked thru and memories revisited. We also realized how many more books we needed to get to complete our various collections. 

Half our shelf was salvaged and therefore half our books now have a home... for the time being... but majority of them still sit in piles by our fireplace. New clutter to add to our already chaotic house.

But thats ok, the day definitely ended differently than it started.


How did it fall you ask??

We are not sure, but I will tell you this,

It took Link 2 hours for his hair to stop standing on end... and he still won't go anywhere near the scene of the crime...

Makes me wonder what will happen in our Little Red House once we put up our Christmas Tree....



Monday, October 3, 2011

Apple Butter

Last night I delivered 13 pounds of large juicy gala apples to my Aunt's house just a few doors down from me.  Penelope and Emma joined me for the quick walk on an almost perfect fall evening. The air was nipped with crispness and the chill was just enough to want a warm blanket to snuggle with.

My Aunt and I have been planning for a few weeks to get together and make some Apple Butter. I had some remaining apples from our trip out to the farm and I think I ran out of what I could create. Apple Butter was the next challenge.

It requires canning and precise, consistent direction... all which I greatly lack. My biggest fear is I would make some delectable treats and hand them out to the world... only to cause a cataclysmic food poisoning epidemic. 

I mean, I really want to go down in history... but NOT that way!!

Today was the day. I love spending time with my Aunt. I think she is a woman FULL of knowledge just waiting to be tapped into. She is a woman of deep faith and one of my only sources of family history. I can sit at her counter forever, re-heating our coffee and she will tell me stories of my great-grandmother and her love of cats. I can see myself in her. I often say my Aunt is really my sister's mom... because they are alike in almost every way possible. Old black and white pictures adorn her walls. Images of flappers and world war 2 soldiers are recognized as dear loved ones. I see the faces of my children everywhere I turn.

So, it wasn't a surprise that I happily knocked on her screen door and let myself in...
Her house OOZED with the smell of sweet warm apples bubbling in her oven. Canning jars drowned on her stovetop in just the right temperature needed.

And before long we had a small assembly line going as clear, clean jars were filled to the top with the most amazing Apple Butter this state has ever tasted.

I came home with a few in my diaper bag. Tomorrows breakfast will be a sweet treat of cinnamon toast and goodness.

Other jars will be put up in my pantry and a select few will be given out to some friends.

I think this event will be repeated in a few weeks, right before we kiss goodbye another apple season. One last batch before winter....

With the cold right at our doorstep, my crocheting needle has once again called my name. I think some scarves will be made as gifts this year. I also have been knee-deep in week 3 of Beth Moore. What once was an anticipated journey has turned into a hard one.

One that resulted in a short break, but thanks to some prayers of 2 very dear ladies who won't let me step off this train... I will continue and pray I can completely break free!!!!

I also received my very first "happy" this past Thursday. A dear friend gave me a red coffee mug!! My FAVORITE color...

A color meaning "warmth and love."

Little did she know our red plate philosophy.

Have I shared that with you all yet?

Oh, I will save that for another day...




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