Sunday, December 11, 2011

My family is such a blessing!  We have been enjoying being together with the college boy home on Christmas break and the college/working girl through with exams. Even though we have been busy with various activities, it's been great to all be together.
Our family

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I love the Christmas season!  It really is a wonderful time of year as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We start celebrating the weekend after Thanksgiving with decorating the house and setting up the Christmas tree.  Each of our children receive a new ornament every year which they put on the tree first.  Then we pull out all of the ornaments and I just let them hang them wherever they want to put them.
Decorating the tree
 The activities of Christmas are in full swing now with various events, performances, and parties. Two of our children participated with the church youth handbell group and rang bells on the riverwalk.  It was a beautiful evening out with the riverwalk lit with luminaries. Our daughter is on the end with the teeny tiny bells.
Ringing on the River
 This past week started out with our youngest receiving his TENDERFOOT badge for boy scouts.

We continued with the youth ringing and singing at church. Here is our middle son on the right end with the big bells.
 Our oldest son was invited to play with the college praise band at a downtown activity called Gifts for Giving.
 He is in his element when he gets a guitar in his hand.  I love to see him shine!
Oldest son 
 The girls and I enjoyed an evening at the ballet watching "The Nutcracker".  It was such a beautiful performance.  Our oldest has been dancing off and on since she was four and was in the Nutcracker as a cherub when she was little.  She's back doing ballet again and after seeing the Nutcracker tonight she has hopes of performing in the ballet next year.
Our daughters at "the Nutcracker"

 The girls and I enjoyed our evening out at the ballet. I love spending time with my children!
Me and my girls!
There are so many things going on this time of year. I hope you take some time to enjoy the activities in your community this Christmas season.  A lot of hard work goes into planning events and parties and celebrations. Get out there and enjoy the activities with family & friends. It might provide an opportunity to make some new friends & you might just have the opportunity to tell someone who doesn't know that Jesus is the reason for the season!

Friday, November 25, 2011

I love to have all my children together at the same time.  We have enjoyed so much our family time the last few days with college boy home on Thanksgiving break and college/working girl off for a few days. We decided that while every one was home at the same time we had better try to get some family pictures. I took this one of our children today at a local park.  It's hard to get a photo of all of them smiling, eyes open and all looking in the right direction but this one was pretty good!
Our Children
Children are a gift from the Lord and I am so thankful for each one of these precious gifts God has given me.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas, the "Gift Giving Season" is just around the corner. Some of you may have even completed all of your Christmas shopping & have your gifts already wrapped, waiting to be put under the tree after Thanksgiving.  I wish that were the case with me.  Every year I say I am going to have my shopping done before November so that I can enjoy doing the other things I want to do during the season. Things like baking Christmas cookies with my children,
Image from Joy of Baking

caroling, going to the Christmas parade and church activities etc., 

without the worry & hastle of fighting the shopping crowds. However, another November is flying by and I have not purchased the first Christmas gift.  Oh well, there's always next year!
Thinking about gifts and giving and loving on others, I was reminded today of an analogy that I heard many years ago from author and speaker Florence Littauer.  She says  
"Our words are to be like silver boxes with bows on top that we give to others".  

     I was listening to a recent podcast of Living With Joy which aired a 3 part series of Florence speaking on this subject.  Please, please, please click on the link and look for the past programs at Living With Joy and listen to the series.  Florence is such a gifted speaker and you will be greatly encouraged by this series.  You will laugh too if you listen to her!
Our words are so powerful.  The tongue has been described as the most powerful muscle in the body.  Our words can either build up or tear down.
 I don't know about you but I want to be a builder-up-er!!!  I want to give out little silver boxes with bows on top all day long!!!!
We have such tremendous potential to build people up and help others become who God wants them to be.   Start today!!!

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers . Ephesians 4:29

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A True Friend

"A true friend is someone that knows the song of your soul, and sings it back to you when you have forgotten the words."- Anonymous
Jasmine &; Me at the Women's Enrichment's Fall Fling
I love the quote above! True friends are hard to come by.  I am blessed to have some of those "true friends" in my life.  My friend Jasmine is one of those true friends.  She and I have been friends for almost thirty years!!!  We met at Baptist College (now Charleston Southern University) in Charleston SC.  We've come a long way since the '80's!
Jasmine & Me at Baptist College
Jasmine has been that kind of friend to me that knows the song of my heart and reminds me to "tune my heart to sing His praise".  When I am negative, she helps me see the positive.  When I am stressed out she reminds me to focus on the One who calms the storms.  
And to top it off, she loves my children! They've started calling her "Aunt" Jasmine!
Jasmine & my youngest child
I hope you are blessed today to have a friend or friends like that in your life.  If not, try being that kind of friend to someone else.
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Thinking about friends and friendship, here is a cute video!  We might just have to do this routine!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Missing the College Boy!

I am missing the college boy so much!  I know we are supposed to raise them to leave one day & I am so excited that he is in college and doing well but goodness gracious I miss him!
Child #2 "College boy" performing at an outdoor concert
And no, that's not a wedding ring on his finger, it's a purity ring.  He is a young man of God who makes it clear he is striving to live out his faith.  He loves to play the guitar and lead in worship services with the praise band. He has also had a chance to do some recording with the group below called "True Vine".
Child #2 playing with the group "True Vine"
He's on the pre-med track in college and staying really busy studying (too busy I think!) But he's coming home this weekend, so Mama's gonna make sure the college boy has a good time at home and spends some time laughing and having fun with his family.
Already looking like a doctor
CHILDREN #4,#3,#2
I can't wait for him to come home this weekend and crank up the electric guitar. Oh, and I will be fixing up one of his favorite meals, Shrimp & Grits. Y'all come on over!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Festival

We enjoyed helping out at the Fall Festival & Trunk or Treat last night at church.  Child #3 helped to make sno-cones.
Child #3 assisting with sno-cones

Middle son helped with one of the games.
Child #4 & #5 playing a game

All while our youngest son helped himself to several sno-cones.
Child #5
Thankfully the sno-cone operators refused to give him a third one.
Child #3 & Mrs Christy
We had a good evening with friends & got to see some really adorable little ones in their outfits! Sweet!
Cute as pie!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Benefits of Blogging

I started blogging several years ago not to necessarily become a "Blogger", but to develop my writing skills and for a way for people that know us from all over to keep in touch with the things going on in our lives.  I never imagined all the good that would come out of my rambling posts and unprofessional photographs. Here are a few amazing things that have come as a result of my blogging.  Some of you may know that I was very distressed about the state of disrepair and abandonment of Laurelwood Plantation that belonged to my family for almost a decade.  See, I really am a true southern belle!

Laurelwood Plantation
 In 1994 the house was sold after it had been in my family since 1908.  Not sure exactly what happened with the new owners but the house & property became neglected and eventually abandoned for years.  The Palmetto Trust acquired the house in an effort to save it as it is on the National Register for Historic Homes.  I contacted the Palmetto Trust with concerns about the property which led to the director asking me if I would consider writing a blog about the house.  I really didn't realize at the time that his hopes were that my blog would attract a buyer.  I just began writing about Laurelwood and hoped that my love and passion and memories of the property would be relayed to the readers and that they would catch the vision for what a special place Laurelwood is.  Well, Laurelwood now has a new owner and I couldn't be happier. In fact he told me recently and I quote the new owner as saying to me "in reality the only reason we went to look at Laurelwood was because of you and your blog".   I can't tell you how good that made me feel, just knowing that I branched out in an area I was a bit quite uncertain about but tried to share my thoughts anyway and that it made a difference.  Of course, I am in no way responsible for the sale of a house or the saving of Laurelwood I am just glad to know that in some way, I made a difference.  The day the house closed we had a gathering at the house that connected descendants of the original builder and first owners to my family and the new owners. It was great! You can read about it here.  
   Also as a result of blogging I have met family members that I did not even know that I had.  We
I'm on the right holding the painting of my Grandfather

have been connecting and getting to know each other and it has been GREAT!  Last night some of my

"new" cousins and I had dinner together and Florence who found out about me from my blog presented me and my cousin Becky paintings that she painted of our grandparents. My Grandfather and Becky's Grandmother were brother and sister. Florence's husband was the grandson of another sister of my Grandfather's. Florence is in the middle and Becky is holding the painting of her Grandmother.  What a blessing!!!! I certainly have benefitted from blogging.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Look what I saw today in the road near my neighborhood and just down the road from the local middle school!  At first I thought it was dead and then I saw his tongue flicking in and out.  I think it must have been warming itself on the asphalt as it wasn't the least bit bothered that I was gawking at it and taking pictures.  I am just glad that I was driving the car instead of being out on a walk and stumbling across this snake.  If I had been out walking and came upon this snake I would have quickly taken up the sport of running and wouldn't have stopped until I was safely home.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple Pickin' Time

Family outings are the best, aren't they? Taking a break from the daily routine to go do something together that is fun and memorable can strengthen your family relationships.  Every Fall we have a family outing to our favorite apple orchard in NC.  We have been going to the same place since our children were real small. We always have a great time.
Our children
 We were a little later than usual taking our annual trip and we missed some of our favorite apples but there were still plenty of fuji, granny smith and golden delicious apples to pick in the orchard.
 My husband and I always enjoy the chance to have all of our children together at the same time.  Having two in college now makes it difficult to all be together at the same time.  We dropped by our son's college on the way and picked him up so we could all be together.
Me and my handsome husband
 I can't believe our firstborn is 21 years old now. Whew! Where did the time go?
My husband and our firstborn

My husband and our middle child

Our oldest 3
We picked a lot of apples.  Once the baskets were filled nobody wanted to carry them back.  They were heavy with some of the largest apples I've ever seen.
Me with our three sons and a scarecrow
 It was the most beautiful Fall day with a crisp breeze in the air.  We love going to Stepps Apple Orchard and look forward to it every year.

I made homemade apple butter again this year with the apples we picked and even canned some using the Candy Apple Butter recipe from Sugar Pie Farmhouse.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I saw this sign in the SC Museum shop the other week and loved the saying.
The South
The place where...1) Tea is sweet and accents are sweeter 2) Summer starts in April.  3)Macaroni & Cheese is a vegetable.
4)Front porches are wide and words are long. 5) Pecan pie is a staple. 6) Y'all is the only proper noun  7)Chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy. 8)everything is Darlin' 9)Someone's heart is always being blessed.

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's family week and E-mealz is sharing a menu with you to help you and your family get back to the table. I love E-Mealz and my family has enjoyed every single one of the recipes from their menus.
Head over to E-mealz and check out the menu.  E-Mealz takes the hastle out of meal planning and it will save you money too.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I heard a new song today (new to me anyway) called Edge of the Water by Tammy Trent.
Tammy Trent
 If you've heard Tammy Trent's testimony you will know why she sings this song with such feeling and deep devotion to God.  If you have not heard Tammy Trent's testimony take time to head over to Living With Joy and listen.   I've had the privilege of hearing Tammy speak and sing in person and she always leads me to a place where I am reminded of God's great faithfulness even during the most difficult of situations.  I know you will be encouraged by Tammy's message.  After you hear  her speak, come back and listen to the song Edge of the Water and it will have a deeper meaning.  Be encouraged today.  God is faithful.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Snake in the Grass

We had one of these in our yard recently.  I was wondering when we would come across one because at least once every summer or early fall we see one in our yard.  Usually it's me that gets the shock and surprise when I come across one in the yard but this time it was my youngest son who saw it slither across our front porch!
I have no idea what kind of snake this one is. If you happen to know what type this snake is please leave me a comment. We were fairly certain that it was not poisonous so my husband gently put it in a container and let it out in some nearby woods.  Non poisonous snakes are actually good to have around because they eat rodents and insects.  Even though there are good and bad snakes, I still do not like to be startled by them unexpectedly.
It makes me think of an old spiritual song that we used to sing in my college choir called "Sword in my Hand". A verse of this song says, "Satan is just like a snake in the grass, I've got my sword in my hand, he's always crawling in some Christians path, I've got my sword in my hand."  We should be prepared for the unexpected in life and to do that we must have God's Word in our heart.  His WORD is that sword in our hand.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Discipline in the Desert

Discipline in the Desert
I would encourage you to listen to one of my favorite programs Revive Our Hearts.  As usual the program airing right now is a timely message.  I am always encouraged by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and the ministry of Revive Our Hearts.  I am sure you will be encouraged too so head over to Revive Our Hearts and take a listen!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My blog posting has not been quite reliable or consistent.  Maybe due to the fact that I am always busy doing something thus the name of my blog The So Dizzy Life.  Here is a quick update of some of the things that have taken place over the summer.  Our youngest child turned 11.  I can't believe how quickly time flies. It seems it was just yesterday when we were blessed by his arrival. He is a true gift from God!
 Our oldest child turned 21.  She wore a tiara to celebrate.  Here is my husband and our firstborn while we celebrated a special dinner at the Olive Garden.
 She wanted a cupcake instead of a regular birthday cake. Isn't this one adorable! It was so delicious too! Amazingly delicious.  It came from the most precious little cupcake bakery in downtown Columbia.
You can get one too from the Cupcake shop in the Vista.
 Here she is with her younger brother, our oldest son. Both are attending college. One close to home the other several hours away.
 Our #4 child also celebrated his 14th birthday!  He is the tallest one in our family. Already 6 ft. tall!!! Not sure where he got that from.  He is our curly top gentle giant!!!
 We packed up the oldest son who headed off to college for the first time.  Here he is below setting up his dorm room.  I think my youngest child likes to steal the spotlight or maybe he is just excited thinking he is going to get his brother's room now that he is gone.
Lot's of changes taking place. It's great to know that in all things God holds us tightly in the palm of his hand.