Monday, August 14, 2017

Things are a little quiet at our country retreat today. 

Most of the kids were home yesterday afternoon for Sunday dinner. I love making a big Sunday dinner for after church. I have fond memories as a child going to our family plantation home for big dinners where our extended families got together and everyone brought food and we enjoyed fellowship together. It really makes this Mama happy when my children are all gathered around the table and enjoying their favorite home cooked meals and hearing them talk about the various things going on in their life. Our Sunday table talks usually involve discussing the pastor's sermon and everyone usually shares something that they learned from the message that morning. One thing I know for sure is that in raising our children we never failed to point them to God and to His Word as the standard for living.  As they each move on in this life it is our prayer that in every thing they do that they would honor God and serve Him.

I was outside at our country retreat this morning and tried to catch a picture of a hummingbird enjoying this zinnia but the little bird was too quick to catch on camera! But I saw this beautiful zinnia with its flower starting to curl and fade and it reminded me that even though the flower may fade and the things of this world may pass away, the Word of the Lord will stand forever!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

As summer break is coming to an end and a new school year begins, I am thankful for so many things. This summer has looked different than most of our summers have over the past 28 years and I went into this uncharted territory not knowing what to expect. This was our first summer that for the most part we didn't have any children at home. I LOVE having our kids at home and I wasn't really sure that I was going to cope very well with them all being away. But it has been a great time of being together with my husband and we have really enjoyed having the time to ourselves.
 We certainly missed our children....a lot but we have really enjoyed having some time for just the two of us. I'm thankful that we were able to get a small taste of what the empty nest will look like and that there are things to enjoy in the different seasons of life. With that being said, I'm also very thankful that things are getting back to normal. The washing machine is going now with smelly clothes from the boys being at camp....but it makes me so happy because I know they are home!
I am so thankful for each of these that call me Mama.
Our oldest 
Thankful that our oldest child turned 27 this summer and she's been working for the last year at a job she really enjoys. 
Our second oldest
We're so thankful that our son who is a 3rd year student doctor has passed his boards this summer and is now doing his rotations at a hospital. His first rotation is surgery! 
Our middle child
So thankful that our middle child spent the summer in Japan teaching English at a christian school. Even more thankful that she's now safely back home.  Although she just left to return to the university to finish her masters degree. But she's back on this side of the world!

our two youngest sons
So thankful that both these boys spent their summer working at a christian camp. They've been learning to lead and to serve all sumer.  Really glad they are home! Smelly laundry and all!!!!!!! Thankful that the Lord is good no matter what season we are in.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

And Another Graduate!

And another graduate!!! This one has been a long time coming for sure! My husband received his Doctoral degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary last month. I am so very proud of him. He has worked long and hard and kept at it even during difficult seasons.

My husband receiving his Doctorate
 I was so proud when they introduced him as Dr. Phillips. 

3 of our 5 children with their Daddy
We enjoyed being on the beautiful seminary campus but my favorite thing (apart from seeing my husband walk across the stage) was the sound of the singing in the chapel! Such exuberance and expressive voices lifted up in worship and it was beautiful.
My husband with his parents
We all are so proud of our graduate. Our family has been very supportive and encouraging for my husband to keep pressing forward to earn his doctorate. I think he grew weary at times but he just kept plugging away and pressing on. Our prayer is that God will continue to use us to be an instrument to teach the Gospel, for my husband to preach, and for our family to be a witness and bring glory to God with our lives.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


And just like that.....we have another college graduate!!!!! Summa cum laude and was inducted into the Delta Epsilon Chi Honor Society of the Association for Biblical Higher Education! We are so proud!!!!!
Congratulations to our middle child
We loved celebrating her yesterday! I don't know where the time went but it seemed like we were just taking her to her freshman year of college and dropping her off and now here she is a graduate. She has graduated with high honors, no student loans, and is already working on her master's degree. Hard work and diligence certainly paid off!
Our graduate and her siblings
 Her graduation fell in the middle of exams for one of our other sons in college but he rescheduled it to be with her. Our son in medical school has been in extreme study mode for medical boards but thankfully worked it out to be with us. I love how much the kids are supportive of each other. They really do a great job at encouraging each other.
Silliness (or maybe the heat was getting to them)
Our graduate and her grandparents
Speaking of in-laws always try to be at anything that the kids have going on. They have a lot of grandchildren but try to support them all as much as possible. I'm so grateful and thankful. I hope that when I have grandchildren that I will have at least half of their energy!
 I'm also thankful for the great relationships that were made during my daughter's college years.

She has made some wonderful, lifelong friends and that was an answered prayer.

One of the greatest highlights of life is seeing your children press on and accomplish their goals. I can't wait to see what the future holds. For now, I'm glad to have her home for a few weeks before she heads off to volunteer overseas for 6 weeks. I know that God has some great adventures in store for her!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Early Spring Outing & Sleepy Goats!

We had the opportunity to take a little family outing today. Since we were already headed up to the upstate to pick up the college boy for spring break we decided to see if the "love birds" were free and surprisingly they were! No med school today! So we picked them up along the way and headed up a little further north to a favorite little spot we like to visit in Flat Rock NC. 
The sun was bright and it was a gorgeous day! The wind still had brisk chill to it but it felt great in the sun and in the spots that were protected from the wind. The goats at the Carl Sandburg Home were feeling kind of lazy in the sunshine. I think we caught them taking their afternoon nap!

 They did seem to enjoy a little ear scratching and head rubbing though.
 This one was sooooo sleepy! It paid us no attention whatsoever!
 Cute little barn kitty named Joshua seemed to enjoy the snuggling and extra attention from our daughter and daughter in-law.
 Can't believe our middle child above will be graduating from college in just a few months!
 Also it is hard to believe that these 2 in the picture below will be celebrating 2 years of marriage in a few months. My how quickly the time seems to fly by. Can we slow it down a bit?
The day ended too quickly and we had to head back home. We had a great time together. Cherished moments for sure.

Monday, January 16, 2017

It has been awhile since I have posted. I guess I haven't really wanted to see it in words on a page so I have avoided writing about it. We've experienced a great loss in our family with my mother passing away in December. The weeks leading up to her death were excruciating. She became very ill and was hospitalized at the end of October and then eventually passed away on December the 3rd. I am comforted by the fact that she was a christian and that she is now in heaven and is suffering no more. But I miss her.
My sweet Mama

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Painting again after 30 years of not painting.

When you are a busy mom raising 5 children and managing the responsibilities that go along with being a pastor's wife you don't often have time to pursue interests in hobbies that you once enjoyed.  I used to like to paint, draw and participate in creative hobbies.  I had not even picked up a paintbrush (well not the kind you use for painting pictures anyway) in over 30 years!  Now that I only have a few children left at home I recently decided that I wanted to see if I had a spark of creativity left and pick back some hobbies that I once had interest in.  My husband suggested that I try to paint again.  So once the college kids headed back to school I decided to get out the oil paints and take a class with an artist that would help me get back some of the basics that I had forgotten.  This particular class she teaches helps you to paint a painting from a photograph.  Since we loved our time living on the coast of South Carolina I knew right away that I would paint a marsh scene.  I took this photo below at one of our favorite Lowcountry spots that we enjoyed walking at frequently. This at an old rice plantation in Charleston. Caw Caw Interpretive Center Park is a must see if you ever visit the Charleston area.
 Here is my painting that I painted using the above photograph as a guide. I just finished it yesterday! It felt really good to paint again. I'm realizing that I still have some of that creative ability that has been dormant for a long time.  I really enjoyed trying to capture the feel of the lowcountry marsh in my painting. No, it's not perfect and I made a lot of mistakes but I'm learning! I'm also learning that we are  never too old to pick up a former hobby or start a new one!!!
My painting
One of the things I enjoyed most while painting this picture was thinking about the beauty of the marshes and how God didn't have to create them with such beauty but He did!  As our family walked this old rice plantation on many occasions our talks would be about God and thanking Him for His beautiful creation.  We have wonderful memories meandering our way through the old rice plantation looking for alligators and birds and just enjoying being together as a family. Picking up the paintbrush again has been good for me. Every time I walk past this painting I will be reminded of special moments with my family and our enjoyable times together at Caw Caw. (Minus the killer mosquitos!!!) Notice, I did not include those in my painting!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Annual Apple Orchard Outing

I'm a little behind on posting. I was trying to hang on to the last bit of summer but packing up the college kids to head back to school and starting school for our youngest still at home I found myself in a whirlwind and here we are smack dab in the middle of Fall! Weeks ago we took our annual trip to the mountains to our favorite apple orchard.
 We've been going to the same place since our children were really small.  It is always such a fun outing.  Our favorite little orchard that we fell in love with years ago was somewhat off the beaten path. But just like our children, the orchard has grown and changed over the years. This year was very crowded.
 Other people must have found our little secret orchard and realized what a great place it was too!
 We filled our baskets with fuji, granny smith and a few honeycrisp apples (they had mostly been picked by the time we went apple picking).
 Wonderful family memories have been made at this old apple orchard. I like looking back on the pictures from year to year to see how much the kids have grown.

What a beautiful day it was in the mountains!
Our children
 I'm so thankful for the chances that we have to all be together at the same time. It seems rare these days with the kids away at college and medical school and everyone has different schedules but these are treasured moments indeed.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Summer Vacation

When pondering our vacation this year we decided to keep it close and head to one of our favorite spots on the coast. We enjoyed walking miles and miles on several different beaches.
 I seem to be most like myself when I am at the beach. Something about the smell of the coastal breezes combined with the sound of the waves and the feel of the sand makes my mind slow down and rest. Maybe that's how God intended it to be. You certainly can't look at the vastness of the ocean or the beauty of a magnificent beach sunrise or sunset without thinking about the greatness of God.
 Vacations seem a bit different now that we have one son that is married. Due to his schedule with medical school already in session they weren't able to make it down but for one night. One thing though that never changes is the inability to get a great snapshot of all the kids looking at me with everyone smiling and eyes open at the same time. It's just not going to happen!
 We had a birthday girl during our vacation and she wanted to celebrate by going to an old plantation and having tea at the cutest little tea room there.
 Our lovely southern belles!
 Such a flair for the dramatic!
 We really enjoyed our vacation and family time together. It went by too fast though. I'm already looking forward to our next trip to the coast.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Our daughters were heading out for a some sister time today and they just looked so beautiful that I had to snap a few pictures!
Our daughters
 They are a bit like night and day in their personalities. But both of them have just the best personalities!!
 I am so proud of both of these young ladies.  They love the Lord and desire to serve Him. I'm excited to see how God will guide and direct their paths.  Here is what they look like when they are tired of me snapping pictures!!! Ha Ha!!!!
Happy Saturday!!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Country Retreat

We sold our city house a few months ago and have been concentrating on fixing up our country house. We have a "fixer upper" on some country property that we own. There is always a work in progress and we are in some stage of various DIY projects at any given time. Here are a few scenes from today at our country retreat.

It's a quiet retreat in a peaceful setting inspite of needing some "fixing up".  We have wild blackberries growing in abundance. They are just beginning to turn.
Lots of pretty wildflowers and things growing that I can't identify. I think it's fun though to look up plants and herbs and try to figure out what we have growing wild on the property.
 We finally finished the driveway. It was under water for months last year resulting from the great flood that we had in our part of the state.

 We try to walk the property every day with our aussie. He's going on 13 years old now and has to take a little break once in a while on our walk.

 Our first tomato has made its appearance in the garden.
 The evenings are beautiful this time of year with a pleasant breeze. The night sounds were beginning to start. Crickets chirping and the sound of the mourning dove made me want to linger a while longer this evening hoping to get a glimpse of the deer as they come out and feed.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Celebrating major achievements

Quite a bit of celebrating going on lately! Watching your children work hard and meet goals and achievements is so rewarding and makes my "Mama's heart" swell!  Our daughter in-law graduated yesterday and we are so proud of her. It seems it was just weeks ago when our son graduated from the same college and these two were about to get married. A year went by way too quickly!
Our daughter in-law and our oldest son
 Such a gorgeous day it was!!!! Perfect for an outdoor graduation ceremony. I really enjoyed the message to the graduating class and felt like it should be an encouragement to all of us. We shouldn't settle for less than what God has planned for us. Keep persevering and press on!!!!
Our oldest daughter with her sister in-law
 We are also excited to announce that our oldest son recently accepted the air force scholarship for medical school!  We have watched our son persevere as he has pressed forward in the direction that he feels God wants him to go.  He has worked so hard and been so faithful. We were not surprised one bit when he received word that he had been selected for this scholarship.  I can't wait to see what adventures are ahead for these two!
Our son and daughter in-law