currently | june 2016


Photo taken by Lynne Leftwich (a friend who goes to our church)

reading aloud to John and Jarrod the Harry Potter series, beginning with Harry Potter and the Sorcerers (Philosophers) Stone. This is a great time! The boys spent their last year of high school at Point University with other responsibilities and no time for Mom to read aloud, even for enjoyment. As they are taking a year off before college we are making the time to do something we enjoy immensely. Me reading aloud is something we enjoy!

creating pages and pages of Project Life for May. It was a busy, eventful, fascinating month. Looks like I'll be able to call it good at 6, 2-page spreads

slowing down this month from a busy, eventful, fascinating month of May.

inviting peace into my home. Desperately need some peace.

struggling at times with various pain levels in my back and hip which sometimes translates down my leg. And then there are the headaches from pinched nerves. Nuts! But, the days of recently...such bliss and


running on emotional upheaval lately. 

celebrating a grandson's birthday and Father's Day. Ian received his gift and flipped (in a really good way), but for Jeff - hum? Maybe new work boots

missing tremendously good hearty gut-wrenching, stomach-aching laughter brought on by my seriously hilarious and quick-witted daughter, Ashley.

studying The Children of the Day, a Beth Moore study. We only have two weeks next. We're not sure what we're going to do next. I just ordered A Women's Heart by Beth Moore. It is a study on the Tabernacle. Really looking forward to it. A Women's Heart was my first Beth Moore study I ever did - so it's been awhile and will be fresh and new.

Exciting news. The boys have real jobs! A friend of Jeff's who goes to our church owns a large lawn care company and hired John and Jarrod on his irrigation team and ground maintenance team, respectively. They start today!

Driving lessons for John and Jarrod. We decided rather than put ourselves through the emotional turmoil of teaching the boys how to drive we'd let the professionals do it. Thus far, both boys have received rave reviews by their various instructors with their knowledge of rules of the road and all-around driving knowledge. They are doing so well! We are using and I can't say enough about this amazing service. Plus, they get to drive around in a Cooper Mini!

Worshiping God in our new 2100-seat worship center for the first time - fabulous! Welcome to our new home!



currently | may 2016


celebrating Mothers. Our plan is for dinner out somewhere. I've received half of my Mother's Day gift from John and Jarrod and Jeff's gift to me is on it's way. They're beautiful and comfortable and will look awesome on a front porch. But, right now they're gracing our front lawn, under the gorgeous oak tree. 

graduating two high school Seniors this month. We joined a local homeschool organization, mostly, so the boys would be able to participate in a graduation ceremony and walk across the stage for their diploma. I'm glad we made that decision. We're gearing up for a day focused on John and Jarrod, the last of the grandchildren to graduate high school.

planning a graduation party for family and friends to gather and celebrate with John and Jarrod; one of those revolving parties with a come-when-you-can-between-this time and-that time. Pulled Pork sliders, deviled eggs, fruit and decadent fruit dip, homemade salsa and chips, etc.

ordering a photographer for a morning photo shoot of family pictures and Senior photos - the day of graduation. Call me crazy! And it is when all four of my children will be together in one place plus their kids, plus grandmother slash great grandmothers. I cannot pass up this opportunity for family pictures.

hosting a houseful of family around the boys' graduation. I absolutely cannot wait! I am seriously stoked at the idea of all my kids together, staying under one very small roof. We are going to be jam packed! It's gonna' be good. And crazy. Crazy good. Gotta' play Apples of Gold!

taking some days off soon to spend with family and to get done everything that needs done. As the Creator of the family, God's got this!

challenging each other to move more. Jeff, John, Jarrod and I have began a Bike, Walk/Run, Swim point challenge. Biking is worth 1 point per mile, Walk/Run is 5 points per mile, and Swimming is worth 10 points per mile. After day one, even though I swam and walked, Jeff still accumulated more points from walking then I did from Swimming and Walking. This is going to be a feisty, fierce competition. Jeff made me laugh the other night when he was walking to his truck, parked at the far edge of the parking lot at church, he zigged and zagged the whole way across the parking lot lane so he'd get more steps, thus more distance.

Purging and cleaning first, the den. The reason is twofold. One, because I'd like to begin using the den again as my card making and scrapbooking studio again and for creative endeavors, and two, we're going to need the space for sleeping when the kids come into town. While Jeff and I were away this past weekend the boys pulled everything out of the den that was on the floor. I mean everything! They vacuumed, and brought all the stuff into the living room so I could go through it all, purging it, or finding a place for it to go. Just not the floor. I'll have to tackle the closet too. Lots of purging will be happening in there.

Studying Children of the Day by Beth Moore with John and Jarrod. We are changing up who leads and directs the study each week. It's not just on me and gives the guys an opportunity to lead.

Bulleting. I recently ordered my first bullet journal. I read this and this post from Modern Mrs Darcy and this post from the Lazy Genius, who simplified the idea enough. The reason: I'm losing control of what needs to happen that I needed something to reign in the loss. I decided to begin bullet journaling. I need this simplicity. This beautiful book is what I'll be using to begin bullet journaling. Did you see it? Like I said. Beautiful.

Considering heavily ordering Essential Oils for chronic back pains, my joints and bones, muscle pains, and my immune system. I've taken notes for over a year, researched off and on, but I think I really need to take the plunge and - see. I've literally heard no negative results regarding essential oils. I think it might be worth the price.

Walking - like crazy! It's been months and months since my heart app read over 10,000 steps but with this family challenge we've begun, I'm hitting 10,000 steps again. I have to be purposeful about walking, but it's good - and painful with hips, knees, and low back flare-ups.

currently | april 2016


reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry. Covey's book is hefty, it's wordy and intellectual, and I am having to read it in multiple sittings. Very slowly. Because, like I said - it's intellectual. And I'm not. This one might take me awhile; sort of pick up and put down, pick up again and put down again kind of read. The Templar Legacy is so, so good. Reading Steve Berry's book was by invitation from a trusted friend; and the Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball.

writing a new series for the blog of short essay's from A to Z, a random selection of subjects that begin with the letters of the alphabet. I'm working on a couple before I - begin.

beginning a blog series this month 50 States, 50 Recipes. I've been remiss in posting recipes but I'm changing that up as well as feeding my family 50 new recipes from our 50 great states, those iconic state recipes that just say, Georgia, Alabama, Pennsylvania...super excited about this series and the many recipes we'll try.

finishing our Bible study, The Beloved Disciple the first half of this month. John, Jarrod, and I will begin a new study, again by Beth Moore, called Children of the Day immediately following. I love that the boys had a 'taste' of the book of Revelation during our The Beloved Disciple study. Very eye-opening, and applicable for the day.

filling a month with events: Joan's birthday (we've already had her birthday dinner and gifted her a present), a super special reveal - woo hoo!, Ashley's birthday, we gifted some friends with 3 kids a child-free date night by watching their kids; we're heading south to Mom's for a bit of Spring cleaning of her house and property - it'll be a working weekend; and the last day of the month Jeff and I are off for our anniversary weekend. 

swimming and swimming and swimming. It's becoming easier to hit that one mile mark. Monday's and Wednesdays are my swim days to hitting that one mile lap - or keep swimming.

needing desperately to lose weight. move more eat right. find some balance. eat breakfast. fruits. vegetables. I know the drill. My sons need to see my discipline. If I can do it, they can too. 

counting down the months on one hand before our house is paid off - bam!

celebrating that special reveal - Ashley's having a BOY - if you hadn't already guessed!



currently | march


Missing these guys tremendously. Ian and Wyatt had their spring break this past week and Ashley and Brad took them to Sea World.

Already planning and booking our anniversary weekend for the beginning of May. We will be heading northeast to the upper hills of South Carolina to the Red Horse Inn, an upscale and private bed and breakfast.

Hoping to schedule in a white-water rafting trip that same weekend.

Boys are taking their SAT's. Oh, boy!

Jeff is laboriously, dredging through an on-line 30-hour construction safety course.

Eating a couple of new recipes this month: Pepperjack Cheesesteaks from Creme de la Crumb which I modified, of course, and Extra Crispy Oven Baked Fries. Both turned out wonderful. And new favorites like Bacon Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin and Bacon Onion Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, homemade pizza and family movie night, and of course, homemade Tacos. And more fresh fruit for me.

Going to a 1-year-old birthday party for two of my most favorite, adorable little people from church. The gift theme is Books. Read: The Three Trees, The Monster at the End of the Book, and Where the Wild Things Are 

Swimming TWO days a week (instead of one) as the indoor pool on Hunter is now opened a couple more days of the week until 8 pm. Yippee! I succeeded in reaching the 1-mile milestone. Excited beyond words.

Reading from my bookshelf and recent orders: Daniel Silva's The English Assassin and The Confessor, Reaching Your Prodigal by Phil Waldrep, Soul Survivor by Philip Yancy, The Heist by Janet Evanovich, Unikely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Dr. Barry Prizant, A Praying Life, by Paul Miller, and The Book Thief. Hoping to order I Love You, Ronnie, The 5 Love Languages, The Screwtape Letters, and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Maybe not all this month.

Deciding I just need to do it. Start walking. Even if it hurts. Because, it will hurt. Just one mile a day to begin - again.

Watching Downton Abbey Season 4, and I imagine Season 5 before the month has ended, and Stargate Atlantis with the boys - and Numb3rs - again.

Preparing our tax files, ready for our most favorite tax lady, Sherri. Each year we have an hour (or more) fun having our taxes done. Then we usually set up a double date with her and her hubby. Just a ton of fun. Sherri. Not the taxes.

Recording a 1-minute graduation spot, Jeff will speak at John and Jarrod's graduation ceremony. Gonna' be pretty cool!

Compiling photos of my twin boys for their graduation ceremony. More coolness.

Making lists. Reading list. Purging and organizing list. Cleaning list. Grocery list. Blog idea list. Menu list. what needs to be done around the house list. What I would like to see done around the house list. Clean the scrap studio list. a year of lists list. 

currently | february



navigating major changes in my medicines

missing my grandkids, tremendously.

enjoyed a wonderful time with my sister Sandy.

antiquing is fun, fruitful, tiring, and dangerous.

drinking more water lately. That's a good thing.

going to many doctor's appointments this month for ultrasounds, new medicines, new hazards to my health with uncertainties.

studying The Beloved Disciple by Beth Moore with the boys

hoping to swim, again, this Friday. I miss the water!

beginning a 7-week personal Lent study tomorrow through She Reads Truth.

excited for Jeff as he completed his brotherhood this past weekend for the Order of the Arrow, a Boy Scout brotherhood.

watching, intermittently, Downton Abbey with Jeff. I'm not allowed to watch it without him:)

needing to put in an order at Persnickity Prints. I have a bunch of 8 x 8 pages that will go in two different albums, both as gifts this year. Part of my One Little Word - GIVE.

getting down to business about cleaning my scrap studio, organizing my home, purging, and cleaning. Let's do this!

clearing out our bills box, filing them away and compiling everything for taxes - yuk!

shaping up to be a long month even though it is the shortest month of the year.






currents | january 2016


planning a trip south in early February to visit my sister, Sandy.

waiting impatiently for our visit to San Antonio

hoping a family camping trip is in our near future - March time-frame.

recently, since the temperatures have been cooler, drinking a small pot of coffee, 2-3 cups, each morning at work

enjoying our (John, Jarrod, and I) Bible study by Beth Moore in the book of Genesis and now enhanced by the Genesis study at She Reads Truth.

loving full use of my laptop again, you know...for scrapping. And blogging; now that John and Jarrod have their own laptops. 

looking forward to date night tonight...hum...wondering where we're going to go eat.

watching Stargate Atlantis with John and Jarrod - again!

making those sweet little journals. The drawing and coloring part was the best part.

desperately needing to get the den slash studio purged and organized and usable again.

reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. It's good!

knowing I have to do something about the bin of paid bills and receipts this weekend before too much of the new year gets away from me.

putting clothes away is at the bottom of my like to do list. That's probably why the stack of clothes recently folded in the living room gets moved to the bedroom and stacked on the pile of clothes not put away previously. Following me? Yes, it's on my to-do list, too.

deciding on whether to do Project Life this year is a difficult decision. I feel like the squirrel crossing the road when a truck is coming closer. Maybe a monthly documentation...

currently | december


considering December Daily by storing up words + photos - in case I make a definitive decision.

reading The Applause of Heaven by Max Lucado and Praying God's Word by Beth Moore. Both are older selections, but so good, so far!

ruminating on my One Little Word for the year. Rather than Thrive this year, which was my One Little Word for 2015, I did anything but thrive! This years word will be different in so many ways.

studying the Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with John and Jarrod for our sixth Beth Moore Bible study.

hoping we can see Star Wars in theaters this Christmas season.

keeping Christmas simple this year.

purchasing gift wrap this year rather than brown paper (bags).

dressing up for Jeff's work Christmas party - new clothes, new earrings, new shoes, having my nails done - and I dyed my hair red!

making a selection of Christmas cookies this year - definitely - from the traditional to the new. First on the list is Magic Cookie Bars. It's all Jarrod can talk about lately.

giving a couple special gifts this year for Christmas I'm super excited about giving.

crushing on this bracelet in Turquoise - of course! (it's on my Christmas list), this gratitude journal (also on my Christmas list), this painting for above our bed (Christmas list), this calendar/planner (um, yeah, Christmas list), this lunchbox (yoohoo - Christmas list), this quilt for our bed (yep, you guessed it - Christmas list), and serious crush on this, this and this for our front porch.

listening to Christmas music on the radio on the drive home - His Radio 91.9.

hurting for Jeff as he struggles with work stresses and just being worn out physically and mentally.

anticipating a weekend without my punks (it's a term of endearment - just so you know).

watching Stargate SG-1 and White Collar. 

purging my stuff again after reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, although the book didn't magically change me it did move me to begin simplifying again.

desiring joy. Closer still, contagious joy. 

currently | october.


outside temperatures are generally cooler, leaves and acorns are falling, and John and Jarrod are riding bikes to school. Bringing the outside in with house windows opened. Morning sunrises from the sixth floor of the air traffic control tower are glorious!

inside we've pulled out the lap blankets to snuggle in when the house is cooler, we're sharing cups of coffee (Jarrod and I), and we're watching a weekly Bible study video. I've actually had a few minutes computer time to flush out some project ideas

looking forward to November and - a visit from my daughter Elizabeth - and my grandkids, gifting a date night to a young couple with five adopted children, celebrating Jeff's and my birthday, participating in 30 Days of Thankful.

delighting in the time we spent last month with new grandson, Noah. 

hounding Elizabeth for pictures of Noah...she posted to Facebook...thank you, Elizabeth. Hey, I am making a one-year album. I need pictures people!

remembering Elizabeth saying, "People, focus on me!" at her graduation gathering (I think it was graduation) when everyone was talking around her and - well - not focusing on her.

getting some physical therapy for my back and hip, slowly improving flexibility and I'm experiencing some relief here and there, but still not where I'd hoped I'd be. Although the last couple days have been mostly pain free. When I say pain free I really mean less than a 3 of 10.

swimming is my most important thing right now - I have fairly recently accomplished a 1 mile swim but have not been able to get to the pool since (over a month now). A friend of ours has an outdoor pool that she is willing to let me use any time, even if she's not there. The pool is not heated, and the weather is turning, but still, I might have to brave the temperatures

watching Once Upon a Time (Season 4), but, have put that on the back burner because it got frustratingly too evil, Blacklist (Season 2), and, chomping at the bit for Season 3 now playing on prime time television, Hawaii Five-O (Season 5), but, recently finished, and Blue Bloods (Season 5), and needing to watch the current season because it is so good, and Psych - all on NetFlix. Then, there is Stargate SG-1 on DVD

rejoicing with John and Jarrod as we held their Eagle Court of Honor this past month and the quiet relief and a new endeavor as Assistant Scoutmasters, and a weekend hiking trip as all three, Jeff, John, and Jarrod, going as scoutmasters.

eating oatmeal for breakfast most days during the week. Although this past week it has been Panera Bread bagels with chive and onion cream cheese.

hoping fall stays for awhile

beginning the Armor of God Bible study by Priscilla Shirer for our, the boys and I, next study. Then, I'm thinking Nehemiah by Kay Arthur for a different way to study the Bible and a great study on leadership - but - we really like Priscilla Shirer so maybe a study on Gideon.

remembering all the laughter I shared with my daughter Ashley on her short visit in September and missing her so. It was good to laugh with her the kind of laughing that takes your breath away.

planning my 30 Days of Thankful album (it's coming up in November). I'm thinking 8 x 8 this year and maybe turning it into a digital album, but I love my turquoise albums, so, maybe not.

dreaming of a front porch to welcome fall in...ok, maybe winter. It is the south here...and a back deck too!

relaxing, finally, with no big commitments looming ahead.

wishing I was scrapping more...taking more pictures...miraculously have a clean scraproom and an organized bedroom and bedroom closet...and a front porch.

wearing boots and sweaters more




currently | august.



experiencing lots of pain recently when I thought I was on the road to remission

finding ourselves entrenched in the world of college, yet still high school; meeting some difficult hurdles head on - and some not so much.

challenging periods of 'oh boy! what have we gotten ourselves into.'

realizing I was making an album for the boys Eagle projects and their scout life harder than it has to be

formulating a plan for both albums and super excited now that I can envision the results

needing some good, long, uninterrupted-by-pain sleep.

treasuring up the Word of God. Spending hours at a time studying and meditating on even just one verse is amazing. Currently, John 15:13.

filling a notebook, page after page of notes, on just that - John 15:13.

looking forward to date night. It's an expectant feeling of hope and joy.

trying new recipes is fun. Especially when recipes, like a loaded baked potato salad, turns out tasty and is noted as a 'keeper'.

hoping to watch the War Room in theaters with our small group.

reading a new author, Brad Taylor and a new series. Hoping I'll enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed Vince Flynn's series on Mitch Rapp. Currently, reading time only happens at work during lulls in weather.

sending out invitations for John and Jarrod's Eagle Scout Court of Honor. They turned out beautifully if I do say so myself.

meeting with the caterer for - yep - John and Jarrod's Eagle Scout Court of Honor. She authorized me to purchase everything and step back and let her work it out. Oh, the freedom!

checking items off my to-do list, but adding more almost as fast.

watching seasons of Bones and the crazy, but interesting, Revolution on Netflix.

wondering if I'm ever going to be able to walk for distance again, and when, for that matter, will I be able to swim again







currents | july 2015


liking my new Fluffy Towels car freshener by Yankee Candle.

loving all the Vince Flynn novel re-prints on the bookshelves; I'm getting them all and...

enjoying reading the Vince Flynn novels, the Mitch Rapp series, in order as they are being re-printed in bunches of four.

savoring delicious food this week which began with a decadent Cowboy Quiche. I added a cup of sharp cheddar cheese to the bottom of the pie before pouring the remaining ingredients and, boy, was it ever good! 

putting the final touches this afternoon on our Blessing Bags, gallon-sized Ziploc bags filled to the brim with food and hygiene products for the homeless we meet on highway exits, etc., that we will tuck in our trucks for just such a time.

exciting week for Jeff, John, and Jarrod of rafting, Yaking, and kayaking on the white-water river rapids in north Georgia and southern Tennessee. Already experiencing wild rides and made some amazing memories.

praying my rheumatoid arthritis is going in remission as I can now walk unencumbered, albeit with pain.

needing to finish up some work-related activities, get them off my plate, and move on to another project.

planning on spending an hour (maybe two) in the studio continuing my purging, cleaning, and organizing project; because I need to get started on my big photo project, desperately.

looking forward to attending the summer dinner theatre, a stage play with dinner, our church is putting on this coming weekend. We will be sitting with our small group and enjoying fellowship as well.

starting another Beth Moore Bible study with John and Jarrod next week, Living Beyond Yourself - a study on the Fruit of the Spirit. We enjoyed her conference this past weekend so much. John and Jarrod were probably two of about 20 men in a coliseum of 11,000 women.  

reading Executive Power by Vince Flynn, Becoming Myself by Staci Eldredge, and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. The boys and I are creeping through The Hiding Place. It is one of 18 books we hope to finish in their 12th grade year.

drinking alot more water in this oppressive southeastern Georgia summertime heat; alot less Sprite (because alot more water); found out over this past weekend that I really enjoy Sierra Mist; and, drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, along with my to-go mug and maybe another cup (or two) when I get home.

considering doing something like this: creating a memory book of all my blog posts; now, that's cool!

walking more now that I can walk without pain. While I am still in pain it isn't painful to walk. Recently, I've even made it over 10,000 steps in a day.