Friday, October 31, 2008

Geocaching with the Boys!!

Willam and Hayden have been introduced to geocaching by our friend Kevin. Thanks Kevin, now the girls and I can sew in PEACE!!

Geocaching is high-tech treasure hunting using a GPS device to locate hidden containers called geocaches outdoors.

FYI - There are 678,197 active caches worldwide.

Cache In - Trash Out
is an environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community. Geocachers are dedicated to cleaning up parks and other cach areas; just like the Boy Scouts!!

Yesterday the boys went out and Hayden found one!!

Hayden's first real geocache find

So if you want to get outside and need a reason, go to

Christmas Garland

We are ready for Christmas so we are making Christmas Garland to go up around the house. And we are using a new sewing machine; not sure if we like it yet though; had a few problems. Operators or machine??

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But, alas, we are continuing forward! By Christmas our little cabin should be full of garland and cheer. Or at least garland; the dang cheer may go out the window before we finish.

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We will post pictures of the finished product, along with any bloodshed that may occur in the process.

Here are my favorite girls!! Cute aren't they??!

The Girls

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ladies Retreat or Bible Studies and State Troopers

Where do I even begin?! We had a wonderful, crazy weekend with 14 christian ladies ranging in age from 18 yrs to 75+ yrs. The weather was beautiful, the Bible studies inspirational, the fellowship was wonderful and the games were hilarious.

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Our Bible studies were on peace and DeGina had some interesting things to share. We have been doing the Fruit of the Spirit; we did love and joy already. We had three sessions all together. DeGina used a wonderful example by handing several of us a piece of fruit and named each one a fruit of the spirit. Then she brought out a bowl of fruit salad. She told us that we couldn't just have one fruit of the spirit, but needed all of them together to be effective. It was a great visual.

We cooked lasagna Friday night, breakfast casserole for breakfast, lunch Sat. was make your own sandwich and Saturday night we had Taco Soup which was fabulous. Sunday morning we did bagels, fruits and cereal. Then after shopping we took the ladies to the Applewood Farmhouse for lunch. It is wonderful. They bring you apple juleps and apple fritters with apple butter. YUMMY!!!

It is such a blessing being with these women. Each brings something different to our retreats. We have a precious older woman that loves to clean up after us; she is such a blessing to us. We would be in a mess without her. Others tell wonderful stories and others love to play games. Each of these women enrich my life so much. Hannah, my oldest that goes, enjoys the wisdom of these sweet ladies and loves playing games with them.

Now for the reason for my interesting title. On the way home DeGina was driving my car because my shoulder has been bothering me. Since we never have a dull moment...

She gets pulled over by the NC state patrol!!

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Of course, the two vehicles following us have to pull over; one of them being our CHURCH VAN! The state trooper told us that they were laughing at us. She didn't have on her seat belt. $100.00 fine later, we are off again singing all the songs we could think of about police and the law. Think: " I fought the law and the law won", "I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy", "That's the night that the lights went out in Georgia". Oh my, it was bad.

Oh, here is the criminal!! SAD! (her husband got a speeding ticket last week in NC)

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ladies Retreat and tomorrow I am preparing for our Ladies Fall Retreat to the Smoky Mtns; we leave Friday. We rent a cabin and have Bible studies, games and food!!! It is always a great time away and God always blesses us tremendously.

I work up some 'get to know you' games since we always have one or two that haven't been before. DeGina is doing the Bible study this time as I did the Spring one. We have a gift for each lady that goes at her place setting Friday night.

There is time for personal reflection and walks. After dinner and Bible study we have game time which is always a HOOT!! We play "Catch Phrase" which never fails to lay some of us in the floor. My favorite, "Rummykube"! Last year we played "Name that Tune"!

Let me go back to "Catch Phrase" for a moment. One year we were playing and the hint was 'something black and white and stinky'. Doreen, who is so hilarious but doesn't mean to be, said, "a Zebra"! Well, that set everyone off; we rolled! See she spent time living in overseas, so to her it wasn't a far reach. For those of us born and raised in the South, well we thought she had lost her mind. We still haven't let her forget that one!

Anyway, it is alot of work before hand; schedules, grocery lists, games, gifts, etc.; but is always, always a HUGE blessing. A will post pictures next week!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 was one of "those days". I ran in circles and got very little done. I HATE days like that. We had to redo a batch of Whoopie Pies because something happened with Hannah's filling. Grrrr. It went downhill from there. I managed to get dinner cooked and the floors swept. Oh, and did I mention our dishwasher isn't working, so we have been washing by hand. I don't mind particularly, it just takes longer.

Today Hayden is sick, so I'll snuggle with him and not worry about stuff. Poor boy, I hate when they don't feel good.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Do you know what these are???

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These are Whoopie Pies!! They are called Whoopie Pies because when you eat one, you yell "whoopie!"

This is our newest addition to our baking lineup. Our customer that buys our bread needed some small items to sell, so we decided to try baking these. We used an Amish recipe and they are wonderful! The cookie part is so easy to throw together and the filling is alot of powdered sugar, egg whites, milk and vanilla.

Here is the recipe:


1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch processed)

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tbl. unsalted butter, softened

1/2 vegetable shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl and set aside.

Place butter, shortening, and sugars in electric mixer fitted with paddle. Mix on high until smooth. Add egg, mix until pale and fluffy. Mix in half flour mixture, then milk and vanilla. Mix in remaining flour mixture.

Drop about 2 tbls. dough onto baking sheets that have been greased or lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 in. apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.


2 egg whites

1 box or 1 cup 10x sugar

1 cup shortening

4 tbl. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Beat egg whites till stiff. Add shortening and vanilla and blend. Add milk and then add the sugar. Beat until smooth.

Spread on bottom side of one cookie, top with second cookie. Store in refrigerator or freezer.


Disclaimer: not responsible for family members or friends running in circles yelling "whoopie" after biting into one of these delicious little devils.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sewing Again

The girls sewed last night and created another apron. They are crazy about sewing and that makes this momma very happy. They talk and work and sometimes break into song. That makes me even happier and I can forget the less cordial times they have with each other!!!

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NOTE the nice pleats on the front. Hannah pinned them and Sarah sewed it. I am very proud of them. They are sewing on an old machine that takes longer to fix than it does to sew something. If I had a dime for the number of times the bobbin has to be taken out and put back in. Good grief...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

God Does Redeem The Time


Many times I have felt guilty when the kids and I do something and I think, "why didn't we do this when they were younger". Why didn't I teach them this earlier. Like sewing, baking, etc. The Lord always reminds me that when they were young, William and I were caring for my mom and I couldn't do a lot of things.

My dad died suddenly when Hannah wasn't quite 2 yrs. old. The next year my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimers. I am an only child, therefore her care fell to us, which I never begrudged. Sarah and Hayden were born during this time. So, I had 3 children 7 and under with a mother that could not function on her own. We took care of her for 8 years, much of that time in our home. Survival was the word of the day many days.

By the time Hayden was born in 97, my mother couldn't tell the difference in a baby doll and my baby boy. I could not leave him in a room with her, or wouldn't; she never put him at risk.
She would eat a loaf of bread not knowing what she was doing, so I had to lock up all the cabinets and the frig. (we always laughed and said that we bought the baby locks for my mom instead of the kids) Once she set her coat on fire in the bathroom by laying it on a candle; she didn't even realize what she had done. I happened to see the flame from the reflection in the mirror and ran in. Needless to say, we had no more candles in the house after that! God was faithful, she never hurt herself or anyone else. The kids accepted her as she was and William was a wonderful caretaker for her also. He did many things that were above and beyond the call of duty.

I say all this to say this: God does redeem the time. William and Hayden are doing scouts. The girls and I are baking and sewing and planning other new ventures. He honored our sacrifice and has given us the time to do so many things. Blessed be the name of the Lord!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sewing Lessons

The girls have shown a desire to learn to sew. My mom wasn't very domestic except for cleaning and caring for me, so I never learned myself. It is exciting to see my girls wanting to learn more domestic skills. It also gives me a good excuse to learn something new.

Since we cook and bake alot, we decided to start with aprons, which are always in short supply around our house. This will allow them to work with simple patterns and straight stitches.

So off we went to the Wal-i hate this store-Mart to get material, thread and a pattern. They couldn't wait, so last night they started and completed an apron.




Both Sarah and Hannah are fans of 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'Sense and Sensibility' so their taste in fabric design runs on the toile side.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Stables and Horses


We went to the stables today for Sarah's riding lesson; so Hannah and I went into the barn to see some of the horses.

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I love horse noses; they are soft and so cute. And I could go on... My grandfather boarded horses and I rode during my teen years. I am glad Sarah wanted to take lessons; it gives me an excuse to rub noses!!


Here is Sarah, on the right, leading her horse out of the barn. She is having to learn to take charge of these big animals and show them who is boss. Come to think of it, that is not hard for her!

Photos by Hannah Queen

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Jn. 1:1-3: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all people."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Today we burned our church note!!!! I can't even describe the miracle and blessing this is. Our church had a huge split 6 years ago; many people left for all the wrong reasons and truly desired to see this church close its doors. We had just joined the church and thought God had planted us in a whirlwind. For the next several years we labored in various positions trying to encourage the body and stay encouraged ourselves. At one point, I served as treasurer during a tough time after the split when we thought we might have to put a "For Sale" sign out front.

God has continued to show mercy and grace. With a congregation of 70 we paid off the remaining mortgage. Many of the people that left had signed a pledge to a loan of $900,000.00 and walked away with over 200K left. In my flesh I thought there is no way we can carry this with the remnant left. But, God loves His remnants, doesn't He! What is impossible with man is POSSIBLE with GOD!!!!

Luke 1:37

For nothing is impossible with God."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

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The drive to our home constantly reminds me of the awesomeness of our God. He created nature for us to enjoy and care for.

The Earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof - Psalm 24:1

Psalm 96:1, 11-12: "Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth . . . Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy."

Rev. 4:11 "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

Isa. 66:1-2: "This is what the LORD says: 'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool . . . Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?' declares the LORD."

Creator, Sustainer, Reconciler, Consumator, true Imago Dei, Heir of all things, Lord

Thursday, October 9, 2008

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William just completed Wilderness Survival Training for the Scouts and he has the patch to prove it!!! I am proud of him, this is not required but very important when you take boys into the woods away from medical help. He works hard to take advantage of classes available to adult leaders so he can offer more to the boys he leads.

Nutella Crash

Hannah bought some Nutella yesterday; a treat we do not buy often I assure you. If you have never experienced Nutella, I do not know what to tell you, except go quickly to your nearest grocery store and purchase some NOW! It is chocolately, hazelnutty goodness in a jar.

Yesterday Hayden discovered that he really likes Nutella. Following you will see pictures of a Nutella crash. It happens when you taste Nutella for the first time, eat several spoon fulls, desire more; but there is no more to be had. The realization hits you that this heavenly stuff has changed your life, that there is no taste like it, but alas, there is NO more Nutella in the house.

Those with weak stomachs may want to look away now.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sewing Class!

We received an email two days ago requesting help for a woman that recently had a stroke. She does craft shows and needed help completing some of her inventory. Her husband is self employed and they need her income from a big show coming up.

The girls and I had just been talking about how the church should always come to the aid of other believers in need. Whether it is to finish a job, make a repair, etc. and whether you know them or not. Well, God just said, "Put it into action"! So I gave the lady a call, we went over and picked up a bunch of simple sewing.

I called Jan, a great friend and seamstress. She graciously agreed to come over and help. Perfect opportunity to teach Sarah some basic sewing. My mother never taught me and I want my girls to know something about sewing.

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So here are Sarah and Jan working away making Princess Tiaras! I was the string cutter; I know and I know, but somebody had to do it.

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And Sarah playing with the tulle.

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Of course, as you can see, I cut myself. Twice.

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At least I bleed well. My momma always said "if you gonna do it, do it well"!!! Oh and Sarah, she picked up on sewing like a dog picks up a bone!!

1 John 3:18

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.