Friday, July 29, 2011

Flowers, Food and Family in Boonetown

I just love the berries and flowers one can find during the summer in Boone. Beauty certainly abounds!


And of course, whenever our family gathers, there has to be plenty of good food!


But most of all, I just love being with our family. From walks in the park, to mealtimes, to kisses, snuggles and swings on the porch, I can't seem to get enough! Have a blessed weekend wherever you might be.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Faithful Servants

Bobby Ray and Odis Morris...two mighty men of God
In April 2010 during my hospital stay, Linda told me that Bobby and Odis had come over and mowed our lawn. They are part of the Stony Hill Baptist Church grounds maintenance crew, and every Thursday they faithfully groom the yard and bushes around our church, the Family Life Center, the cemetery and the parsonage. We live right next door to the church, so Bobby and Odis expanded their duties to include my lawn. That was fifteen months ago! Since that time, even with my expressed request that they do not have to mow my yard, they have continued to do so. Bobby and Odis are true friends and faithful servants who believe that there is no such thing as retirement when it comes to service for the Lord. Linda, Ginny and I are so honored to have them as family in Christ. We truly love them.

Well, about two weeks ago, our water went out (we have a well). I called Bobby for a recommendation as to a well repair company, and within an hour not only had a repair group been called, but both Bobby and Odis appeared at our front door to assist with diagnosing the problem and to see if there was anything they could do to help us during the repair. They just plain care. At that time I finally got them to stand still long enough for the picture above. We usually find them riding the lawn mower, blowing or weed eating!

We thank the Lord for Bobby and Odis. They can be seen at every church service or function, supporting, helping out, or participating  They never stop, and have truly set an example for us of ministering to one's neighbor, selfless service, hard work and "walking the walk". They have done what I couldn't do. Our lives have certainly been made easier during my cancer diagnosis and treatment because of them, and we are forever grateful. The following verse epitomizes these two men:

Joshua 22:5 - " love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul."

P.S. I can't speak for Bobby, but Odis is 85 years old!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - How to Beat the Heat Samuel and Samantha Style!

Skinny dipping at dusk! Of course you must feel the water first to make sure its just right!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Four Wheelin' and More...The Mountain - Part 2

I knew EZ was anxious to try sitting on the 4-wheeler, but I of course worried that he would hurt his progress by putting pressure on his damaged sacrum. Much to my surprise he was able to ride, with all four grandchildren and a little help from an extra pain pill...and he loved every minute of it! We all know he's a big kid at heart.


These are the berries Nathan and Natalie picked with very specific instructions from them...they were to be used on ice cream for our dessert, which we gladly did!

Next the Nats were off to the garden to pick whatever was ripe. They found beans and tomatoes to bring in!

Tara took Nathan and Natalie for a long walk to see all the interesting things God created in the forest. They found a wild mushroom and enjoyed walking on the trails, big logs and rocks.

These blocks are over 50 years old, made by Pop-Pop for Ernie and his siblings when they were young. How special to see another generation at play with these simple wooden blocks, using their imagination and creativity to build "masterpieces"!

Tara's blog post, entitled "A Mountain of Memories", perfectly summarizes our time together on the mountain. Head there to read all about her childhood memories, complete with lots more pictures!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Introducing the Grands to "The Mountain" - Part 1

EZ's folks live on 300+ beautiful mountainous acres outside Black Mountain, NC, where he spent many a summer and winter day as a young boy. From the time our children were babies, we would make the trek from Florida to North Carolina to spend part of the Christmas holidays on "The Mountain". It was now time to introduce the two sets of twin grandchildren to the place where so many memories were made for their Mommy, and Ernie couldn't wait! We loaded up two cars and headed west with Tara and her four little ones last week to spend an action packed four days. (Unfortunately their daddy, Jamie, couldn't join us on this trip as he had pastoral responsibilities back home.) This first picture was taken using the timer...very creative crooked shot, but we're all in it!

What a precious time the kiddos had just being kids and getting to know their great grandparents and the place they call home. From eating Grammy's homemade sourdough bread and chocolate chip cookies, to exploring the great outdoors on bikes and the four wheeler, they had a ball! It will take a few days and lots of pictures to capture it all, but I hope you enjoy seeing life on "The Mountain" through the eyes of a child.

The night we arrived, Grammy had her famous homemade sourdough bread baking in the oven. Our favorite way to enjoy it is warm, with butter and brown sugar. I think it quickly became a hit with the kids!

The next morning began with powdered donuts, blueberry pancakes and bike rides on the covered porch and front yard. Nathan and Natalie loved it, while Charlie, the resident dog, kept a watchful eye.

It was a bit rainy off and on, so we headed inside to make cookies with Grammy.

Then it was back outside to explore the woods and outbuildings where the four wheeler was discovered. Nathan's expression was priceless!


A black bear had paid us a visit in the night to eat a few plums from a tree out back. I grabbed the camera so Ernie could snap a picture, but in the darkness, it only shows Charlie alerting us to the danger.

We inspected the tree in daylight and managed to use EZ's cane to reach a few plums for the Nats to bring inside for ripening.

Samantha was our little moviestar loving Nathan's sunglasses!

Samuel is always happy when he has cars in his hands!

Ernie loved every minute of seeing his grandchildren spend time on the mountain with his folks. Stay tuned for a very busy day two exploring the woods, on the four wheeler, in the garden and so much more!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fabulous Food Friday - Grammy's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nathan and Natalie watching Grammy at work!
Yummy homemade chocolate chip goodness...Grammy style
The Dews enjoying the cookies Grammy made!

There are some things you can just count on. One of those things is chocolate chip cookies in Grammy's cookie tin whenever you go to visit. With all the convenience refrigerated cookie doughs, it's rather unusual to make cookies from scratch anymore. Well, not for Ernie's mom! She assembles her ingredients, uncovers her KitchenAid mixer, and goes to town. No telling how many batches she has made in her lifetime, and we are thankful that the great grandchildren got a taste of this yummy goodness on a recent visit! The tradition continues, even at 87 years old...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Decision: No Pain or Tradition?

Have you ever had one of those decisions, where in the end the choice was really not hard? This last weekend we traveled to Black Mountain to visit my folks. Thirty some years ago my folks purchased a large track of wooded mountain acreage and built a home there. Over the years my dad put in access roads to most of the property. We all grew up driving his old 4-wheeler all over the mountain. In 2009, to replace that older worn out ATV, I bought a new 4-wheeler for Pop-Pop off the Raleigh Craig's List. During the few days we had before bringing it to Black Mountain, the Nats, then two and a half, enjoyed nightly rides with Daddy and Grandpa:

Natalie, Grandpa, Nathan and Jamie enjoying the 4 wheeler - August/2009

Nick and I then delivered the new 4-wheeler over to Grammy and Pop-Pop:

Grammy and Pop-Pop August 2009
We have always loved riding the 4wheeler on the access roads. I remember taking Tara (Nathan and Natalie's mom) on 4-wheeler rides 25 years ago. However, this time I knew that it would be quite uncomfortable for me. On the other hand, how could I not share the tradition with Natalie and Nathan?  Decisions....Decisions....In the end we had a great time.

Day 1, lots of rides including a long trip to the top of the mountain
Day 2, More rides and a trip Black Raspberry Pickin'
I am blessed to be able to enjoy times like these with my grand kids. Although it was very uncomfortable for me to sit on the 4wheeler (even after I took extra pain pills), I enjoyed every minute and absolutely made the right decision.