stories from the files | observation.


I know.

It's a tree.

But, I love this 'tiny' oak in my front yard.


This tree, when we first had our house built with front yard landscaping, was skimpy, wimpy, didn't look like any sort of vibrant tree ready to live through harsh summers and cold winters. But, with some of Jeff's tender loving care...

our little oak has become a strong, full-bodied, gorgeous oak that is a beauty in our neighborhood.


stories from the files | november 2012.


I was longing for Project Life again. I completed almost two full years of weekly pages of our life together. Big projects. Big commitments. I really missed the process and style of my project life pages. As I was going through my older files, these from November 2012 I felt the pull of Project Life so I decided to complete a two-page spread of our month of November in 2012.

I modified a Cathy Zielske Project Life template by increasing the size of the photos to near full page (in other words, less white space). While I like white space I also like larger photos, plus, I wanted to use Paislee Press' new Minimalist collection. One teensy word art by Ali Edwards and tons of little stories and my November 2012 is scrapped.


I love the clean lines of the minimalist collections, type the same with a line underneath, a couple lines of journaling and a photo...repeat...repeat...


Super wonderful memories, a lot of firsts. Not sure if anything bad happened this month but sure will remember the good.

stories from the files | hello summer 2012


I don't think there is a summer that goes by without us heading out to Tybee Island for that first full beach scene, when we hit the beach early, when the beach is quiet of people, and when we, well, Jeff and the boys anyway, make a sand castle. I kick back in my chair, soak up the sun, read, relax, and watch the sand castle making action. After the sand castle has been made and water is added to the mote, then it's wave jumping time where we all head into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Because of their height, John and Jarrod can wave jump well past my wave jumping height, almost out to the alignment with the pier and hang out in the deeper waters until they tire and head back in.

Jeff and I will inevitably walk the beach, hand holding, waves hitting our feet as they sink into the cool, shell-laden sand, watching for the occasional crab, crab-shell or jellyfish. JUNE 2012.

stories from the files | school at the library.


One of the fantastic benefits about homeschooling is the ability to take our classroom anywhere, whether it is on a lengthy trip or it is just up the street to our local library. John and Jarrod always appreciate the unique little pleasures they have been afforded because they homeschool. This is just what we did one winter day: take our school to the library and then lunch at the mall which is right next to the library.

stories from the files | love gathering for homemade ice cream


Just plain good. Homemade ice cream is just plain good. It is a summertime delight, one of those little nuggets that we always try endeavor to do to make our summers stand out, like building sandcastles at the beach, watching fireworks on the river, camping trips, roasting marshmellows, picking strawberries, visiting the fresh markets, and making homemade ice cream...sweet gold.

stories from the files | today i am missing you


Going through old folders of photos, hunting up stories to tell from the files and I came across some photos we took at the end of 2011, around Christmas time; all you kids, plus your kids and Grandma Geer in some of them. I saw this photo of you and Ella, and I realized, unmistakably, that I was missing you. Your years in the I know how Pap Pap and Grandma felt when my years in the military kept me away from home for long periods of time.

It's painful reality.

One day soon - yes?

stories from the files | have more firsts


I still have journaling for this page. I will make a 6 x 12 journaling card to add to the center of the two-page layout. I used everything Ali Edwards, including some of her story kits that I subscribe to.

Jeff surprised me when he came home early one Friday afternoon, May 25, 2012 and asked if I was ready to go. Wearing leisurely clothes for our date that was beginning much earlier than normal, and Jeff not telling me anything, we headed out east towards the ocean.

Our first stop was the big surprise. We made it in time for one of the last dolphin tours of the day. I WAS SO EXCITED! A dolphin tour had been on one of those 'I want to do before...' lists for a very long time and while we have lived in Savannah for many years, and drive by the dolphin tour places many times, we just had never done it. I truly believe Jeff enjoyed my excitement as much as the dolphin tour itself.

And we saw dolphins. The tour lasted almost an hour and we saw numerous pairs of dolphins scattered about the tributaries and waterways our tour guide ventured to lead us. Ok, so the photos didn't come out great, and next time we'll take the big camera, but honestly, while I loved seeing the dolphins and want that experience again, it was the special afternoon, the surprise, the building excitement, the entire date night that I loved most.

After our dolphin sighting adventure, knowing without a doubt we had to have more of these kinds of adventures, we heading onto Tybee Island proper towards our favorite eatery on the island, A.J.'s Dockside Restaurant. It's name is perfect as it is a dockside restaurant with tables scattered about the deck leading onto the pier where various boats and jet skis have pulled up and docked, some of whom slip into eat at A.J.'s. Oh, that would be another fun adventure: slip into a dock, hop off a boat, climb onto the pier, and walk into A.J.'s Dockside Restaurant from the waterway to enjoy one of their choice appetizers or southern main courses.

I drank a beer. Yep, truly, I did. And it was good!! One beer about does me in, seriously.

And the food: For an appetizer, Shrimp and Grits with a Cajun cream sauce, to die for good! After this yumminess we each chose our own fair for a leisurely, conversation-filled dinner, enjoyed the amazing weather outside on the dock watching the sun set across the waters, past the marshes and land and over the horizon.

After dinner we finished out our evening with a jaunt on the beach, listening to the surf, feeling the spray of the water as it splashes our feet, smelling the thick, salty air, and holding hands and more conversation. A glorious date. One that needs to be re-visited - our at least something like it.

stories from the files | train them up.


This is what I love. I love catching those teaching moments when Jeff is training one of the boys in some life skills that will serve them well in the future. He is always patient, well, almost always. Sometimes, he gets frustrated when the skills he's taught have to be re-taught, re-trained, or re-examined later, but, that is life too. Mostly, the boys, like John was here, are very receptive to the time it takes to learn a new skill, especially the satisfaction they experience from a job well done. Thanks, Dad (Jeff).

stories from the files | hello missions.


John and Jarrod were afforded the opportunity to go on an overseas missions trip with a Savannah Christian Church GO Team to Ecuador with middle school students plus a couple adult leaders. In order for them to go they needed to raise money for the trip, $1400 each. They sent out letters to everyone we know who might be interested in supporting their mission efforts. In addition to the letters, I took backyard photos of the boys, picked out our favorite (the top photo on the page), added their trip information, and reminded everyone to pray for their mission trip. On the back of each photo I put a magnet so they could hang it on their refrigerator.