Saturday, October 31, 2009

We are to walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, no matter the arrangement of our DNA.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, "Glory!"
Psalms 29:9

photography by Hannah Queen

Monday, October 26, 2009

More Pictures from our Retreat and Good News!

cades cove

Cades Cove


sarah & catherine

Sarah and Catherine, good friends


House in Cades Cove

More Fall!

NOW, some good news!!!!

I spoke with DeGina this morning and her son did not break his back, but some of the pedicles, which are bony pieces. And he has some broken ribs. Good News!! He may even be released today!

photography by Hannah Queen

Etsy Store

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mother/Daughter Retreat and Something Unexpected


DeGina and I had a wonderful get away with our girls. The cabin was cute and the weather was mild.

We went to Cades Cove, which is one of my favorite places. It is so serene and fall is a beautiful time to visit. We had a picnic while we were there.

14crazy days

We laughed until our cheeks hurt. Watched Tim Hawkins, which didn't help our cheeks. Cooked some great meals. And did a little shopping.

The second night DeGina and I heard scratching in our bedroom. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from, but I KNEW if it was inside that room with us, one of us was leaving! We would about get to sleep, and it was start again. Finally I decided I was going outside, trusting it was out there not inside, to see what was going on. (it was late ok, you become fearless and I took a broom!) I looked in the direction is was coming from and didn't see anything, then around the corner came a raccoon! Oh my word!!!

I hollered for DeGina, who mind you, was not running to my rescue, but finally came out. Hannah, listening to me yell, couldn't figure out how to get out of her room in the dark, ending up in the closet before getting out.

He and I had a stare down and he finally walked off. I can be intimidating!! Or just scary in my gown and holding a broom!



Catherine and Sarah doing something, I think?!

Saturday morning we got ready to leave the cabin and do a little more shopping before we headed home. Unfortunately DeGina got a call that changed our plans.

She received a call that her oldest son, Will, had fallen and broken his back. We headed to Atlanta, instead of home. Things change in a moment.

Instead of looking at the changing colors of fall, we looked at this.


Waiting to see this.


Dining here with DeGina's parents after they visited in ICU.


Eating this.

Looking at a very different night landscape than expected.


And sleeping here instead of my own bed worrying about a young man's health and future. Trusting Jeremiah 29:11 for him.

Catherine, being under 18, couldn't go in ICU, so I took her and my girls to a hotel for the night to allow DeGina to be with Will and hopefully meet with a doctor.

Will is still in ICU, but he is able to move his arms and legs. His back is broke in 4 places and he is on a morphine drip. The doctors haven't said much yet. He will probably need rehabilitation once he is released from the hospital.

God's provision is amazing. We had a GSP, which I didn't need for going to Pigeon Forge, but we used to get from there to Atlanta. I had extra medication for myself. I had the ability to get us a hotel room. DeGina had someone to take care of Catherine so she didn't have to worry about her. Praise the Lord!!

photography by Hannah Queen

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When Funny Isn't So Funny Anymore

The boys had scouts tonight, so the me and girls went out for dinner. Our usual Tuesday evening. UNTIL....

We were on our way home on the back roads and I noticed that the lights were dim in the interior. This has happened before, you put it in neutral, cut the engine, then start it back up. Oops, it didn't start back up. Ok, no problem, let it sit a minute, then try again. NOTHING. Hannah says "is it the transmission", Sarah says, "No, it's the iggnition". (say in a southern accent and drag out both words, hilarious)

Great, call the hubby.

Honey, guess what?? (already not amused, remember he is at scouts) The car won't run. Where am I?? On the side of the road. (still not amused) On one of the back roads on the way home. (I explain where)

The girls and I sit and talk and laugh.

He comes with one set of jumper cables, not good. I drive a big diesel and it takes TWO large sets of jumper cables to get this hoss up and running.

He tries, the sweetheart. Doesn't work though. Calls our pastor and goes and gets a second set. IT STARTS!!! Hooping all around....





For about 2 minutes. I start up the road, notice things getting dim again. (no I am not passing out, that comes later) Car stops. Great. So he says he is going to push me to a flat spot on the side of the road. (remember we live in the mtns) Flat spot?? I think I see one, start to steer to the right with NO power steering. OH NO, it is a ditch. I stop.

Next thought, he is going to pull me. Ok, this is where it goes downhill fast. I have never been pulled before. I have no power steering or power brakes. I AM A GIRL!

I am not laughing NOW. We are in the dark, on curvy roads with hills. I don't know when to brake, I feel like I am going to run into the back of his truck (did actually) and I am SCREAMING!!! Hannah calls her father and says, "momma is freaking out, you gotta pull over". (my sweetie is loosing patience, classic male/female difference) He knows what he is doing, I on the other hand DO NOT.

He tells Hannah we will go to his fathers which is closer than our house, but he misses the turn because of my screaming. (now, I question this excuse, I am in the other car, Hannah has the phone) Anyway, so we have to go farther. UGH! Not laughing...

We have to pull out onto a main road. Now, granted, a main road here doesn't mean much at 8pm. Traffic is not a problem, but mentally for me it is MAIN road. I am not breathing at this point. He pulls out, I freak, I am trying to turn the wheel and I am, you guessed it, SCREAMING.

We only have another 200 ft to go to get to a parking area, but it could have been 200 miles for me. But, we make it or I make it without dying or passing out.

NOW, tomorrow off on our mother/daughter retreat!!! Relax and breathe....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blessed Sunday

tea & honey

We had a blessed morning at church. Our pastor taught from John 3:4-10 where Jesus speaks to Nicodemus.

Jesus does not entertain Nicodemus' flattery; he goes straight to the point. You must be born again. Nicodemus does not understand who is standing before him and thinks only in the physical realm wondering how can a man be born from his mother's womb twice.

It is God alone who initiates and produces this birth from above. Jesus tells Nicodemus this in v. 8 by using the wind as the analogy for the Holy Spirit. He doesn't understand.

We see this problem in too many churches today. Pastors are not preaching the doctrine of the Bible, therefore the congregation sits in ignorance. They get ear candy.

We praise God that our pastor speaks the truth!

photography by Hannah Queen

Friday, October 16, 2009

"My Husband Rocks" Friday


Tomorrow William is taking a group of Boy Scouts on a day hike. Of course, our son is one of the boys going. I appreciate so much the time he continues to give to Hayden and the other boys.

He is a Commissioner, which means he oversees another troop and cub pack to help them thrive and stay on track. He also works to bring training to leaders in our area so that they can be more effective in their troops.

And he is letting me and the girls take a 3 day mini retreat next week to the Smoky's! DeGina and her oldest daughter are going. It is going to be crazy and fun!!! He is very giving to allow me this time away from all we have going on here.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie


We made the most wonderful Chicken Pot Pie tonight so I wanted to share the recipe. This is with our revisions because we are unabashed English pea haters!


  • 2 bone in chicken breasts
  • 1 cup sliced carrots - fresh
  • 1 cup broccoli - fresh
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  1. Cook chicken in advance, allow to cool and then cut.
  2. In a saucepan add carrots. Add water to cover and boil for 10 minutes. Add broccoli and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

We doubled this recipe and used a 9x13 pan. Worked wonderfully and was delicious!!! ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thoughts and other Stuff

oh, fall.

happy first day of fall!


The trees are beautiful here in our mountains. Fall came with one fell swoop. It is just lovely. I am so thankful to God for the seasons.

Next week we girls leave for a mini retreat to the Smoky's. It certainly should be gorgeous there. Hannah will get many great pictures no doubt.

We are on our 3rd week of a book study. We are reading "Desiring God" by John Piper. There have been rewarding moments, then some frustrating ones. I have read the book previously, but reading it as a study with questions to answer as proved cumbersome. There are times I feel that Piper tries to complicate the Word or almost over think some things. I also realize this may be my little brain that can't comprehend his thoughts.

This year has been much better for our business than the previous two. Unfortunately the stock market was not so kind and much of our savings is gone. Of course, this is the one area that my faith is weak. I struggle between knowing I am provided for today and worrying about the next 10 years. Good grief... I have had abundance and I had little; God has always taken care of me and my family. Can't I just get that?!

The last month or so has brought much contemplation on my part and some depression. I realize the a valleys are necessary, but I do not suppose I will ever like them. I can embrace them though.

I have looked back over my life and the choices I have made. I have missed having my parents here to be apart of raising my children. I have struggled with aging and feeling the aches and pains of a body not meant to go on forever. I have attempted to justify the mistakes made and struggle to grasp that God is merciful and just at the same time.

My blessings out number any perceived deficits or wants. Just the fact that I am sitting in a dry house with clean running water, inside plumbing, and food in my pantry while typing on my computer puts in the 'very rich' category. But, that is not the real blessings. The real blessings are the people in my life and the heavenly Father, who having no obligation, chose me.

If I can just grasp that completely; rest in that daily. The God that put the universe in place, that knew me before the foundation of the world, and spoke life into being, chose ME!

Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalms 98:8 Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy;

Psalms 22:10 From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Meet Otis.

This puppy is a rascal. He is the busiest thing I have ever seen. Last night at 3AM I felt something in my pillow case, it was a chew he had hidden! His chews are hidden all over the house; he has hid them in the dirty clothes basket!

He truly is a hoot and if he wasn't so cute I'd put him to the curb, except we don't have curbs out here in the woods.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

simple shoes
there are two kinds of people: those who work and those who take the credit. try to be in the first group; there was less competition there..."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Big News

Baking and Sewing 005

Hannah was getting new followers on her blog at a faster rate than normal yesterday. She decided to go check her site meter to see what was going on.

She saw where a Michelle Branch had tweeted about her. She thought that couldn't be THE Michelle Branch, pop/country singer. Oh, but it was. Michelle Branch tweeted about Hannah and said the Honey and Jam was one of her favorite blogs!!! Get out of here!!

Anyway, Hannah was very flattered. Then she found out that Michelle Branch was doing a shoot for the country issue of People magazine and she was making Hannah's homemade Poptarts. If she mentioned Hannah and/or Honey and Jam in the article, we may have to do CPR on Hannah.

Above you will see a picture of Hannah, soon to be famous food blogger and her faithful photography assistant, Sarah. Hannah would never had made it without Sarah's selfless help and awesome sheet holding skills!! (it is a photography thing)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

mums the word.

Today is our 23rd wedding anniversary!!! 23 wonderful, trying, blissful, hard, sweet years!

It seems like yesterday and it seems like 100 yrs ago. Does that make sense?

We dated 5 yrs so we have known each other 28 yrs; almost 30 yrs. This year a have been married 23 years and I married at 23 yrs. old.

In 23 years we have had 3 children, lost 3 parents, lived in 3 places, gone to 3 countries. (don't know what is going on with the 3's) We have experienced abundance and less than abundance, but God has provided all our needs.

Happy Anniversary to Us!!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those
who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
--Thomas Jefferson

just saying...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Day At the Pumpkin Patch


Today I took the kids, the Scoggins kids, DeGina's DIL and her baby to the pumpkin patch. Though we do not celebrate Halloween, we love to decorate for fall. And fall means pumpkins.



The kids had a great time looking at all the pumpkins, going on a hay ride and eating popcorn. (not sure where the popcorn fits in to this)


Caroline loved the baby pumpkins.


Dylan was not sure what he was sitting in the middle of.


But isn't he the cuteness!!!


Hayden, well, he is Hayden! He makes us laugh and enjoys life!!

The weather was fabulous, the pumpkins were plentiful, and a good time was had by all!!!