stories 2017 | I want to remember


I did a blog post back in July titled, "I want to remember  |  Hanging out with Mom". I wanted to make sure I put the story into our Stories 2017 album. It is something I want to remember after all. I kept the page super simple using 2 - 6 x 8 pages and an Ali Edwards brush from her Prompts collection. Because Mom is holding her youngest great grandSON I kept the colors blue. 


I copied and pasted the journaling from the blog post directly onto my the right page and into a text box. I 'stamped' (because it is digital, it's a digital stamp) the I want to remember before each paragraph of story to remember. Easy peasy and quick!

stories 2017 | story of this meal


The first time I visited Jeff in Augusta during a weekend he had to work I was still on Whole 30 so our meal options were limited. In fact, both nights for dinner we visited TBonz, a really tasty steak place. But, this past weekend when I visited - not on Whole 30 - I searched Trip Adviser for restaurants in Augusta. Some of the top choices didn't appeal to me but I kept hunting. Way down on the list was the Genghis Grill, a Mongolian BBQ restaurant. 

It was amazing! You are given a small bowl and go to a buffet where they fill it with the meats you want grilled. Moving down to the raw vegetable buffet you fill beyond the brim, packing as many vegetables as you can in your bowl such as mushrooms, cabbage, onions, (water chestnuts, and baby corn for Jeff), green onions, and more. In another small small bowl you add whatever sauces desired, such as teriyaki, garlic water, ginger water, mongolian bbq, etc.

Then, you head on over to the grill and select your starches. We both had fried rice and ubo noodles. Your food is grilled and brought to your table. 

This place. For the win. We asked for Yum Yum sauce but were reminded it was a Chinese grill not 'that other country across the border'. In fact, we didn't even need the coveted shrimp sauce we like so much. The flavors were divine without it.

Stories 2017 | Details Details


Saturday morning pancakes requested by Ashley and homemade by Grandpa. The deal: the kitchen would

close at 9 am so Ashley and her crew would get themselves out of bed as they are in the habit of sleeping in

just in time for lunch. The little guy, Samuel, wasn't feeling very well with an ear infection (although we didn't

know the specifics at the time) so he picked at his food. But, Ian and Wyatt appreciated the effort Grandpa

Jeff made. 


I had stopped by Cracker Barrel on my way home from work the day before for their maple syrup knowing Jeff

would be making pancakes and Cracker Barrel syrup is the only syrup I can eat that doesn't give me a foul

after taste.


Of course, Jeff made a double batch and of course there was a gallon- sized bag full of pancakes left that got

put away in the freezer for breakfasts for the rest of the week, more than likely.


Technically, the pancakes aren't a secret chef's recipe but Jeff beats the egg whites before folding them into

the pancake batter which makes the pancakes extra fluffy - and then there is the simple fact that her

(Ashley's) daddy makes the pancakes the best. And she wants her kids to experience their grandpa's special

pancakes and give them the same memories she enjoyed.

stories 2017 | what did that say


It has been 7 years since everyone gathered around Jeff for the reading of The Monster at the End of the Book, in Grover voice character, of course. Like then, first there was one snuggling in to listen. Then, everyone else settled in to hear Grandpa Jeff, in his infamous Grover voice, read the classic book - the first book I purchased for the bookshelf ledges Jeff put up in the hallway.

The Monster Book copy 1

Oh, the memories!

stories 2017 | the details


Not quite done. But, very close. A picture to hang here. Another to hang there. One for Jeff's bedside table. A few touches for the bookshelves. Then, I'll be done.

No - really.

That wall. The #3 above. I love it. Yet, I could add just a couple more if I wanted to. I have a picture ready to hang on the right side where the #3 is, actually. 

A couple paintings Elizabeth has done for us. Tigers. We both love them. They are our favorite. Indigo blue abstracts. 

And, there are those three Lord of the Rings trilogy posters I ordered from Etsy and had them framed. We hung them with the bookshelves. Fitting - as they are books we've read. In fact, I read the trilogy out loud to John and Jarrod so they have a very special place in my heart.

Beautiful lamps. Lovely blue and white quilts fill the ladder quilt rack and atop the cedar chest. My quilted lap blanket my mom made out of Dad's shirts after he passed away. It's my go to snuggle blanket when I need comforted. It remains draped over the back of the red leather accent chair (with ottoman) I always sit in when I need some peace, and quiet, and comfort.

Loving this room more everyday. When it's all clean. When the clothes are put away. When it is freshly dusted and vacuumed. When everything is in it's place. I love this room. It makes me smile just to enter in.

stories 2017 | yes


Ashley mentioned this past weekend that I haven't blogged in quite some time. In fact, she knew the specific

date I had blogged last. I'm trying to rectify the situation. Not just because she mentioned it, but also because

I missed scrapbooking and scrapbooking leads to blogging because I always share what I've created. 

I had a lot of photos from a recent bowling adventure, but not too to many, plus, I wanted to showcase the

photos plus words rather than scrapbooking product. I realize it is how I prefer to roll. Fairly clean pages,

simple product, photos, and words.

I think what I was trying to say, because I realized this this past weekend when Ash and crew were here;

spending time with them is finding it's new normal. Having them in our lives, regularly, is becoming normal for

us. I love this. Whether we go do something or just stay home. We are making memories out of normal.

My grandsons are getting to know us better and better and we will be normal in their lives, too. This makes

me happy and makes me smile - big.

stories 2017 | and so the adventure begins


For John and Jarrod's 20th birthday we gifted them each a Pistol Safety Course. And, we went along with

them to join in the fun. For three hours one Friday evening we learned pistol safety and then experience a

wonderful session of pistol shooting. We were hooked!

The boys tore up their targets, as well as Jeff. And me? I didn't do so bad myself! We decided before we even

left the shooting range that we would be back. This would be a new family hobby. We loved the experience! It

was a grand...and the adventure begins.

what I've been reading | august


One of my favorite times of the month when I link up with Modern Mrs Darcy for her Quick Lit round up and sharing my own latest good reads (and not so good reads). And, of course, I created my monthly 12 x 12 scrapbooking page documenting what I read which I will include in our annual album. 

I read fairly consistently and completed 10 books and have begun two more (which will be finished soon!)

51Sz0tsLGALRed Rising by Pierce Brown. I became intrigued by Red Rising after reading several blog post reviews then visited Amazon and realized it was highly rated, as well. Yes, it is YA. Yes, it is a dystopian novel. But, I hit buy in my cart without a hiccup. I'm glad I did because, surprisingly, I enjoyed reading this youth centered book, but, while reading, one forgets the characters are, in fact, youth. 53/100





41vrUXPRhcLUnveiled by Francine Rivers. This is actually the first in the series; I've already read Unshaken, the story of Ruth. This is the story of Tamar. Rivers remains true to scripture but still weaves a beautiful, yet-fictional story of the life of Tamar who is the first women God specifically named in the lineage of Jesus. Forever will we know the name Tamar because of that alone, but Rivers gives us another possibility. I'm really enjoying these novella's, a short 130 pages, a quick read, but an intriguing look into the lives and customs of God's people. 54/100




41RA0y6uVhLLooking Glass Lies by  Varina Denman. Very heavy, mostly depressing fictional novel about the war women wage against themselves, and the struggle to see beauty reflected in a mirror not distorted by society and men's unrelenting expectations. I can see how approaching the subjects that many women who struggle with or are facing, like pornography, emotional abuse, extramarital affairs, and cutting through the lens of a benign fictional read, but, it also makes the reading for enjoyment not so enjoyable, even difficult and depressing. That said, I did find good wisdom throughout its pages. 55/100




51mVNFGnIzLThe Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis. A very quick, yet truly delightful read, that tells the tale of how Narnia was spoken (sung, actually) into existence and where the Wardrobe came from. Loved reading the FIRST book in the Chronicles of Narnia. 56/100






511+vb-17jLMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Any time I read any Agatha Christie murder mystery I know I'm in for a clever story. This was an engrossing novel and I read it in one sitting and it doesn't even matter that I figured out whodunit before the end because it was just as exciting finding out how it was done. My intention is to see the new movie coming out this year so I wanted to read the book, first. 57/100





51erHMLhIzLThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It has been more than 15 years since I read what I once believed to be the first in the Chronicles of Narnia, but, alas, I have been set straight. I read this aloud, all those many years ago, around the dinner table to my family for many hours of enjoyment. Surprisingly, I was able to finish reading it on my own in one sitting. It is so good! 58/100





51zBzHmoXxLThe Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan. I have been on a roll reading a book a day the first week in August and picked up this book about books mostly because I wanted to mark another book off as read on my 2017 Reading Challenge. So. The Bookshop on the Corner. The beginnings were somewhat - frustrating. Over and over the main character, Nina's woes at losing her job, what's she to do, woe is me, this going wrong, that going wrong but then suddenly everything fell into place, including the book, and I began to like it ever so much. 59/100




71FdTl2+OhLGoliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio. Lots of fiction this month, when my most favorite reads are mostly non-fiction. I'd recently read a good review so I dropped this title into my Smile Amazon cart. I read, first, who gave the book praise. Because names like Ravi Zacharias, Christine Caine, and Charles Stanley gave the book high praise I expected great things. Goliath Must Fall did not disappoint. I took copious amounts of notes in my Poppin notebook (my go-to notebook for notetaking). 60/100




41OZ+ylez7LUnashamed by Francine Rivers. The second in the A Lineage of Grace series, one of five women who changed eternity. This one is about Rahab, the prostitute of Jericho who hid two Israeli spies because she believed in the God of Israel. Honestly, it is my favorite, so far. Love the possibility! 61/100 





41eF7fYlSoLKitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. A very strange yet enjoyable read. I loved every single mention of food and recipe and menu. This book captured the truth about how family and relationships and community always, at their best, and worst times, centers around food. It chronicles the life of one women from birth to chef stardom, and the characters that move in and out of her life for better or worse. 62/100



stories 2017 | I see you being brave


Tybee Island, July 3, 2017  |  Because I knew he would need to acclimate himself to the sounds of the sea, to the shifting sand under his feet, and to the crashing waves, so I went out with Ian to the water's edge, and stayed close. All the while I talked gently with him, making everything happy and content. Pretty soon he found his brave.

I am beginning the long list of stories I want to tell about when all four of my kids were home and all my grandchildren were together with us. So many stories to share. So many pages to create. I am planning on doing a mix, I imagine, of both 6 x 8 and 12 x 12 sized pages all of which will go in our Stories 2017 album.