Monday, October 14, 2013

Seasons of Change

You can't live this life very long without embracing the changes of seasons in ones life.  Life can change suddenly, sometimes in seconds.  I'm not talking about the seasons of age that we all go through.  I am talking about seasons of living. I am talking about maturing in faith.  Life is a journey.  The journey may at times be long, hard and weary for even the fittest person.  There are also times of refreshing and rest along the way.  Either way the journey requires us to stay steadfast with our eyes on the shepherd.  I love the song by Michael Card called Joy in the Journey.
We've had some recent changes in our life and as we have gone through some of these changes I have been reminded of this song so many times.  I am learning to look for the JOY in the journey. God's blessings are so good and His mercies are new EVERY morning.  He continues to show us that He can work in great and mighty ways in our life.  Living a life of obedience to Him and following His leadership and direction in our life is the only way. When we go our own way and do our own thing, that's when we make a mess of things.

Here are some recent changes we've encountered along the journey.
Middle child moved in her dorm at college
 Our middle child headed off to college this semester. Ouch! That was hard! BUT....we are so excited for her.  She earned scholarships that covered her entire expenses except for books. She is at a fantastic christian university. We are so proud of her! We know God has great things in store for her.
We've gone COASTAL!
 The other big change is that our family has returned to our home state!  We feel very blessed to live in one of our favorite places in the world!
Our 5 blessings!
 Our kids are enjoying the coastal life so much!  We like to go for long walks on the beach.  Our youngest said it feels like vacation everyday!
Jelly Fish
 We enjoy looking for neat and interesting finds on our beach walk.  Our middle son is studying Marine Biology this year in our homeschool and we are certainly in the perfect location for that!!!
Horseshoe crab
We love it when the dolphins are out!  We enjoy watching them play as we walk along the shore.  The other day they were literally yards off of the shoreline.
 Dolphin watching has become a favorite thing we like to do as a family!
We also are enjoying our evening walks along the beach trying to catch a picture of a perfect sunset! We are enjoying the journey!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summers are for weddings! 
Our niece, the beautiful bride
We had a family wedding this past weekend. Our niece got married. 
 It was such a pretty wedding held out in the country.
The wedding couple exchanged their vows in front of this huge tree.

Exchanging vows
 The decorations were so beautiful and fitting for a country wedding. Mason jars, lots of burlap, and cute signs set the scene. Absolutely beautiful!
Our middle child
 We even had a special guest show up in the picture below. If you look closely in the middle of the picture there is an alligator that showed up to see what all the commotion was about.
Alligator in the pond
 Of course, no country southern wedding rehearsal would be complete without boiled peanuts!
Wedding rehearsal decor
 Mmmmm, they were delicious. Lots of sweet tea and lemonade were flowing as we celebrated a southern family wedding.
My mother in-law and our younger 3 children enjoying porch and peanut time.
 In my last post, I mentioned that I made handmade soap as wedding favors for the guests. I thought that the display looked so pretty. I hope everyone enjoyed the soaps as much as my daughter and I did making them.  We made a variety of cold processed soaps in lavender, mint and rosemary.
Handmade soap as wedding favors

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Summer is for enjoying some family time together. We were able to get away for a little bit and enjoy some R & R before the kids go back to school. I've had so much going on I haven't had a chance to post about it.
Our kids at Fort Caswell
Summer is for making soap....and lots of it! I've been busy! My daughter and I made batches and batches of soap for favors for a family wedding (more on that soon, the wedding was today). I had soap drying and curing all over the house for weeks so that it would be ready for the wedding. We wrapped soap until 1:30 in the morning the other night.
Handmade soap
 Also Summer is for birthdays! Our oldest turned 23 last weekend! My time sure does fly by.
Our oldest child
Summer is also for VBS! I was the missions expo leader this week. 
Group of VBS students prayer walking during missions expo class
Summer is also time for enjoying beach sun and fun!
Our kids on Oak Island 
 We have a "secret" beach we like to go to during the summer.  Don't tell anybody, because we like our own deserted beach in the middle of summer.  Where can you walk on a beach like this in the middle of the summer? Fort Caswell, NC!!!  We love it there.

Some of our family walking our "secret" beach

We love the walk on this beach.  We often see dolphins swimming along the shore.
 At the conference center at Fort Caswell the rocking chairs on the back porch face the water.  We enjoy sitting and rocking and watching the boats and ships go by. It's so peaceful!
Family devotions on the porch
Rocking and talking and enjoying some time together before 2 of our children go away to college in a few weeks.  I treasure these moments when we are all together.

Cargo ship at the tip of Oak Island
 We also love to go to nearby Southport and browse through the shops.  The window display in this shop window caught my eye with the lovely blue and white English china.

Shop window in Southport

Sunday, July 14, 2013

One of the best rewards of being in ministry is to have the privilege of praying with and for young couples who desire to have a baby.  One of those couples gave birth just this past week and what a tremendous blessing for my husband to be able to hold this new baby who is a gift fresh from heaven!

 Of course, my husband is a natural with babies.  He has had a lot of experience! We look forward to the day when God will bless us with grandbabies. We have a while to wait though.  Speaking of babies, our youngest child just turned 13! We have a new teenager in the house.
Our youngest turned 13
 All he wanted to do for his birthday was go fishing.  Even though he didn't catch any fish
we still had a great time together.  The weather was nice and breezy.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer is for Picking & Porch Sitting!

Strawberry Picking!
Middle daughter & middle son in the background
We love to pick fresh strawberries right out of the strawberry patch. It was about the end of the strawberry season and we found a farm that was selling for 1/2 price.

Our youngest child
Our youngest wasn't in the mood much for picking strawberries that day but he made a good effort anyway!
 We loaded them up and headed for home to make Strawberry preserves.
Our younger 2 sons smashed the berries
Strawberry preserves took teamwork to get them done quickly.
Middle child washed and chopped
 We picked and preserved the same day. In the morning the berries had been in the field and by evening they were in the canning jars.
Fresh Strawberry Preserves
Now where are those homemade biscuits!!!
Porch at the Tally House
Summer is also for porch sitting! We spent a perfect evening visiting the Tally House. We rocked on the porch with a wonderful breeze blowing.
Then we had a delicious meal of fried chicken and biscuits. The fried chicken was ALMOST as good as my Grandmama's used to be. ALMOST!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Graduation Day!

Our middle child on graduation day!
We spent the weekend celebrating our middle child who just graduated from high school.  We are so proud of her.  She is so bright and talented.  We know that as we release another arrow from our quiver 
that it will hit the mark!  We can't wait to see how the Lord leads her and what He will accomplish through her.

My husband, my middle child & me
 We feel so blessed that God allowed us to be parents. This child has made parenting easy! She is extremely self motivated, excels academically, she's gifted musically & she loves the Lord. She's beautiful inside & out!!!
Our graduate & her brothers
 Her brothers and sister adore her too!  We have lovingly called her "Sunshine" since the day she was born because she brings in light & laughter with her presence. She was born laughing.
Our Graduate with her Grandparents
 We had a gorgeous day to celebrate our "Palmetto Princess".
Our Graduate & her Grandpa
My husband's father, who is also a minister, presented her with one of his Bibles. It is always a special gift to be the recipient of one of "Grandpa's" Bibles. It was quite the emotional day.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beach Fun

Trying to catch up a bit here in blog world. Here are a few pictures from our recent beach trip. All I wanted for Mother's Day this year was to spend it on the beach with my children all together.  So that is what I received this year for my Mother's Day gift.
Our children
 When I take pictures of the kids it is rare that everyone is smiling and looking at the camera at the same time but this was a pretty good shot.

This is what usually happens when I try to take a picture.  Someone likes to jump in the way at the last second when I snap the picture.

The Palmetto Princess
 Our middle child "the Palmetto Princess", loves the beach and all things SC. She enjoyed the sun and the sway of the palmetto trees.
My husband and me
We all had a great time of relaxation, fun and sun, enjoying the waves and watching the dolphins swim along the shore. I'm ready to go back!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I love my chickens. But...

I love our chickens but cleaning out the chicken coop.....not so much.  But to keep the girls happy and laying eggs they like a clean chicken coop so I spent the afternoon with some help from the children cleaning out the chicken coop.  
I'm sure to get lots of eggs in the morning from these happy hens!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Is it the Weekend Already?

 Is it really Friday? I haven't recovered from all of the festivities of last weekend yet! This week has gone by so fast I haven't even had time to post about last weekend.  We had a great time visiting Laurelwood Plantation and seeing the tremendous amount of restoration and preservation being accomplished. I could hardly believe the transformation of this former slave cabin.

My husband checking out the renovated slave quarters on the grounds of Laurelwood
 Here are a few pictures from the event held at Laurelwood last weekend.

Mike Bedenbaugh of the Palmetto Trust greeting the guests on the steps of the Big House
You can also head over to my Legacy of Laurelwood blog to see more pic's and info.  If you are newly visiting my site, Laurelwood Plantation was home to my Grandparents and to my father and was in our family for almost a century. It is being lovingly restored by its new owners.
The rear of the house
Laurelwood family representation from left to right with the new owner, Seay family descendent of the original builder, the director of the Palmetto Trust and me from the Campbell family
   Our 3 youngest enjoying the hard hat tour
We enjoyed the chance to see the renovations up close and personal. Our children always enjoy the chance to visit Laurelwood and have me talk about my childhood memories being at this home. I am so thankful that the new owners are allowing me the opportunity to experience seeing the renovations.