Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thanksgiving and Other Stuff!

It seems like forever since I have blogged. It has been a busy month or so for the Queen family with co-op, business, etc.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of yummy food. Then we decorated for Christmas! This is done with great flourish and enthusiasm! Before you know it everything that doesn't move is decorated, sometimes even if it does move!

Two weeks ago the kids and I went to the Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta to see 'A Christmas Carol'. We had a wonderful time and the play was fabulous.

Lots of pictures below!!!


Sarah did each of us a place setting w/ our name on it.



Hannah made a wonderful pecan pie for her dad.







William wove lights around the laurel going upstairs.


Shakespeare Tavern




Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

30 Years Ago

This past weekend William and I attended my 30th high school reunion. 30 years??! Wow! When did that happen?

I had worked on the planning committee, but I didn't have any specific expectations regarding the reunion. I knew it would be great to see my class as it was not a very big graduating class and we were pretty close. I had heard some updates on various people and was interested in learning more about their lives after all this time. But, I wasn't prepared for the emotions when a former teacher and our administrator spoke.

Our favorite history teacher attended and he had a major impact on most of us. His wife, now deceased, was our English teacher and we loved her also. He spoke of her and the tears began to flow. Then he spoke of his own struggles and his spiritual bucket list; more tears. He moved us all over again and gave us much to consider. A classmates wife noted that we all sat enraptured with what he said like we must have in high school. Good observation on her part. I am thankful for this teacher as he gave me the tools to succeed in college and for the love of history he imparted. I am a history buff to this day!

Then our administrator, who is 80, spoke to us. He was so moved by the reunion and spoke kindly, like a gentle grandfather. He said that he loved us, but that he didn't tell us that 30 years ago. We understood, he had a tough job that required him to be the disciplinarian; and trust me, a disciplinarian he was! I am thankful for the 'fear' I had of him; he taught me much.

Finally, it was a joy to catch up with my classmates. What a great group of people!!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Burt's Pumpkin Farm

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Today the whole family went to the pumpkin farm!! We are making the most of this fall since I kinda ruined last fall with my embolism and all.

It was freezing, but that just made it better. Note William's pose below.


Two of my favorite girls! Aren't they purdy??!!

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There was music playing so Hayden and Sarah decided to bust some moves. Talent runs deep in this family!


Hayden had to suffer through one of Hannah's 'lets get you to sit on that cold ground over there and take off your coat, but don't look cold" photo shoots. Bless His Heart!

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The wonderful, amazing, selfless parents.

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We had a blast, enjoyed each others company and got some pretty pumpkins. Hannah actually likes the ugly pumpkins; she thinks that they need a home too. You know those 'artsy' folks.



photography by Hannah Queen

Saturday, October 8, 2011

One Year Ago


One year ago today I was in the emergency room waiting to be transferred to Erlanger in Chattanooga. We had just found out that I had a massive pulmonary embolism and we were trying to wrap our minds around what that meant.

Now we realize that it meant I probably wouldn't live, but live I did!

A year later and 90 lbs lighter, I feel like a different person, inside and out. There is no way to describe how blessed I feel to still be here with my family and friends.

This fall has been wonderful for us since last fall wasn't so good. We have enjoyed going to festivals and just being outside looking at the beautiful leaves.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil

”When the time comes for you to die, you need not be afraid, because death cannot separate you from God’s love.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

Saturday, September 24, 2011

can the world stay this color all year round?

I absolutely love this time of year. The mornings and evenings are cool, the sun is bright during the day and all my favorite holidays are drawing near. Our anniversary (yes, it is a holiday!), Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Also, we have a new celebration this year. October 8th. The day I stared death in the face and found that it was not my appointed time to go home. I am thankful that I have more time with my sweet husband and children. I am thankful for God's peace that I felt so clearly and completely during that time. I remain in awe of how God orchestrated the whole event for His glory. God is good!

So enjoy the beauty of this world. Enjoy your family.

“…for “‘In him we live and move and have our being;” Acts 17:28

photography by Hannah Queen

Saturday, September 10, 2011

taking time to stop & smell the roses


Hannah caught our boxer, well, being a boxer. They are like children, very curious and into EVERYTHING.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Home School Co-op

hydrangea dreams

Today was the first day of home school co-op for us!! AMAZING!!!

What an a wonderful group of people working so hard to make learning fun and interesting. I feel humbled to be teaching in this environment and very blessed that Sarah and Hayden are able to attend.

I am teaching a class called 'Names of God' to 3rd - 6th graders. These kids are so attentive and appreciative that they make teaching easy. I am excited about sharing the character of God with them and introducing them to the Greek and Hebrew languages along with the culture of the 1st century.

Sarah and Hayden had a wonderful first day and met some great young people. I know this will be a positive experience for them.

Though the picture below is a year old, to me it sums up these two!

the siblings.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


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This beautiful and gracious young lady turned 17 yesterday. 17 years ago she entered this world after scaring her momma half to death. Hers was a difficult birth, but she has since brought nothing but joy to my life.

Sarah is our deep thinker, an old soul with a beautiful spirit. She is creative; we call her our own 'little martha stewart'! Each season our home is decorated by her with garlands, drawings on the chalk board and other assorted homey creations. She already knows how to make a house a home.

Yesterday the boys were camping so we girls celebrated her day with lunch at a local deli, window shopping, a cupcake at The Sweet Shoppe and dinner at Sarah's favorite pizza place. Definitely a girly birthday.

Thank you Sarah for being my wonderful daughter and a great sister.

the earth laughs in flowers.

John 16:21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Seeing Gods Hand

terrain at styers

Our family is going through a difficult time, as so many families are now. The economy continues to be unstable, prices continue to rise, but I know that our God is never changing and faithful.

Yesterday I grieved, today I see His faithfulness. I have counseled others that sometimes when God wants us in a particular place, the move can be painful. We, in our finite minds, cannot see what He is doing and our faith waivers. My faith waivered yesterday because I couldn't see nor can I see today what He is doing. But, in His faithfulness, He reassures me.

Yesterday, as a family, we determined to walk in faith and continue to be pro active in all areas possible. Today, the Lord has encouraged us and we are thankful and overwhelmed. Is everything great? No.. Are we carefree? No. I'm I growing? Oh yeah.

Today doors were ever so slightly cracked open to give us another glimpse of His faithfulness. The path isn't clear, but we know who is leading the way.

I promise more specifics later. :)

I Corn. 2:5 So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

James 1:3 Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Road Trip: The Story

just started

This is me and my girls, smiling and relaxed, before two epic storms, a drive through the 'can't think of an adjective' town of Washington DC, a detour through gangland, too many one way streets in Philly, seeing a car upside down, a stop under a bridge due to hail, one hour parking in Philly once I figured out the one hour parking and horns blown at me multiple times and too many people walking across the street without looking!

Yesssss, this is us riding through farm land with mile after mile of corn, silos, cows, small quaint towns and easy driving. We are smiling because we HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS AHEAD FOR US.

We are enjoying this.


We have NO idea that we will face this.

storm in philly

We encountered two storms that were horrendous. The first slowed us down to a crawl, then from somewhere a wall of water hit us and I couldn't see a thing. My mind working over time to decide what to do when suddenly the windshield cleared. We pulled off the interstate and took a break. The second (see picture above) came off the Delaware River and was equally as frightening. The rain was so heavy with hail accompanying it that we had to pull off under a bridge. There I warned the girls that we could get hit from behind and to be prepared. Nothing like a pep talk from mom!!

While going through Virginia, Hannah decided that we should detour through Washington and see the sights since it had been awhile since we had been there. I (remember smiling face above) thinking what an easy trip, decided 'why not'! I should have said, WHY??!! So, off we go to the land of 'taxation without representation', which evidently makes people touchy and rude. I think they need to plant corn in town and bring in some cows. It would make people nicer.
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The White House

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The Washington Monument

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The Lincoln Memorial


Pinkberry frozen yogurt: Yes, this is as important as the monuments! And it just opened in Washington in May.

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The Shake Shack: Evidently as important as Pinkberry and Washington. We bought one burger and fries and shared. Not bad at all, but over hyped if you ask me. Evidently foodies give points for eating here.

on the road
still smiling....I don't know, Sarah looks a little dazed.

After seeing a Secret Service motorcade with flashing lights and all, multiple monuments, having yogurt, a hamburger and a good dose of traffic, we decided it was time to head to Philadelphia.

Before getting into Philadelphia, we encounter the storm from the picture above. The wind was blowing leaves, hail was bouncing off the car and people were stopping all over the road. Good times!!

As we arrived in Philadelphia our GPS decided that we needed another detour. We turn, as instructed by the evil thing and see shoes hanging over the wires. (several weeks ago Wm. explained to me that this indicated a gangs territory and not that someone was mad at their sibling) GREAT. And there was NO doubt we were not in the right location. We turn again and there is a policeman arresting someone. FABULOUS. We turned around and made plans to run over the GPS with the car as soon as we had a chance.

Finally we made it to the hotel; a very fancy hotel with valet parking ONLY. (at this point I am reliving NYC, getting out at the Westin) Here we are, everything packed into this VW arriving at this expensive hotel with our drinking cups, snacks, etc.

fancy pants hotel

Fancy hotel room. Nice!


Sweets waiting for Hannah from Terrain in hotel room. Nicer!

While Hannah spent the day here...

Sarah and I braved the streets of Philly. Ok, ok, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but I am use to driving in Blue Ridge, Ga. If someone blows their horn, it's because they know you and are saying hi. If you throw on your brakes in town, it may be for a chicken. If you want to park, you ride around and find a spot and there is no complicated kiosk to deal with. If you smile, the other person smiles back.

We didn't have a camera with us that day, for some reason Hannah thought she needed hers! We went to the Reading Terminal Market and ate at Dinic's which was on Man Vs Food. The market is all inside and a hub of activity. There is everything imaginable.

We went to the oldest existing Presbyterian church and toured the graveyard. We saw the outdoor Italian market, China town, the library Benjamin Franklin started and went to Starbucks for a break. Venti black tea lemonade unsweet!! YES

NOTE: After an hour or so of the GPS saying in a British voice, "recalculating, take next right (which you can't because it is ONE way the OTHER direction) one gets a bit peeved. I promise you that I detected an attitude in that GPS's voice. "recalculating, recalculating, in .3 miles take next left, take next left, then right". OH MY WORD

Hannah returned late Tuesday evening with a bag full of swag. Terrain even personalized it for each guest according to their interests and what type of blog they did. We enjoyed looking at everything and hearing about her day. Check out her blog post here for all the details.

Sarah and I found a restaurant a block from the hotel that was terrific. It is called Marathon. Amazing!! I had their turkey burger one night and a salad the next. Sarah had hot roasted turkey and a burger. (not at the same time) Everything was great and we sat at the window the second night and watched a mass of humanity go by. And watched bikers run red lights, can you say scaaarrry.

We were ready for wide open spaces after two days in Philadelphia. We headed to Amish country and on south. We stopped in Lexington, VA where Stonewall Jackson had his home. The gardens behind the home were beautiful as was the town. Washington and Lee University is here along with Lee Chapel where Robert E. Lee is buried.
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Gardens behind the Jackson home.

in lexington, vare lee memorial church

R.E. Lee Memorial Church, just beautiful.

Somewhere in all this we went to Bull Run in Manassas, VA. A sobering site. It is so quite and peaceful there, but I kept thinking how loud and frightening it must have been for those soldiers.
bull run

Did You Know?
During the war, the North generally named a battle after the closest river, stream or creek and the South tended to name battles after towns or railroad junctions. Hence the Confederate name Manassas after Manassas Junction and the Union name Bull Run for the stream Bull Run.

We had a memorable girls road trip. We sang, laughed, enjoyed every corn field, silo and cow, prayed to make it through the bad weather, made side trips through adorable little towns, ate peanut butter and almond butter sandwiches in the car, plotted against the GPS, collectively panicked in the big cities, hurriedly made change for toll roads, and enjoyed people watching. Truly, good times with my girls!

"In Your presence is fullness of JOY!" Psalm 16:11