Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Picking Time with Papa

Today we all went to Papa Whittle's house to go pick blueberries and grapes in his backyard. He has always had a big grapevine in the backyard and over the past few years it has been producing more grapes. The kids were so excited to go and help pick. I think they ate more than they picked, but, thanks to Pop, we came home with a container full of blueberries and grapes to snack on today. What special memories to have with their great grandfather.
Laura Beth eating some of her blueberries.
Carter enjoys eating the blueberries as well - they taste better right off the bush!
Papa Whittle showing Cecily, Laura Beth and Carter how to know the blueberries are ready.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Special Lunch with Friends

Our afternoon began at McDonald's in Jackson. This McDonald's has a HUGE indoor playland. We met our very dear friends, Stephanie, Kinlee, and Parker, for lunch and an hour of play there. We enjoyed just being together and not having to be rushed. The kids got a long so well and Steph and I just loved catching up on everything under the sun.
From McDonald's we went to Chuck E. Cheese to just have fun!! The kids had a blast running around the area playing anything and everything they could get their hands on! I was so surprised how well Carter and Parker got a long considering a big age difference. Parker was so kind to include Carter and treat him just like a big kid. LB and Kinlee picked up right where they left off - talking 90 mph and going 100 mph!!
I am so glad that, even though there is distance that keeps us from seeing each other more, when we do get together the times are wonderful!

My Own Personal Concert

This morning I was treated to a wonderful concert. This is really not an unusual thing in our house. My Laura Beth is always going around singing something (and I am also known to break out into song whenever I feel like it). Today's was special because Cecily, the 2 year old I keep, joined in with her. She has watched Laura Beth enough to know how to do it! She was so cute with her microphone and dance routine!! What a joy to have such sweet sounds in the house!

Laura Beth was not to be out done by Cecily.

Arika's Mommy Shower

Last night we threw my friend, Arika, a Mommy Shower. She is expecting her third boy at the end of August. When she had Lawson, we had a church shower for her. When Jagger was born, we had a diaper shower for her. With Rhett, we brought things for Arika! We started doing the Mommy Shower last year when my friend, Sandy, had her third boy. I told both of them that if the third was a girl we were going to have an all pink shower, but DNA did not work that way, so we showered the mommy instead. Arika received all kinds of things for her (and a few for Rhett). She was given bath items, pajamas, a movie basket, gift cards for clothes after Rhett is born, manicure/pedicure, etc. Being the humble person Arika is, when we were packing her things up, she said, "I feel so undeserving for all of this," but I quickly told her she was very deserving!! We served chicken salad on a lettuce bed with crackers, slices of watermelon and cubed cantaloupe.
Here is the recipe for the chicken salad:
4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
celery, diced (3-4 stalks)
raisins or craisins (2 small boxes)
black pepper to taste
salad dressing - stir in just enough to get the consistency you want
We sometimes add apples or grapes
Combine well and chill.
We also served my Grandmama Whittle's fruit tea to drink. Here is the recipe for it:
Steep 7 regular bags of tea in boiling water 5 minutes. Remove bags and pour in a gallon jug. Add 2 cups of sugar and 1 can of Five Alive (or 1 small can of orange juice and 1 small can of lemonade). Stir well and fill the jug with water.

My friend, Sandy, made these baby rattle cupcakes for dessert. They were a big hit!
3 generations of amazing women!
Arika and Brittany are due within days of each other. I don't think any of us have had to have babies by ourselves. One of the great blessings of such a wonderful church family!

Girlfriends - July 26, 2008

These girls are the best! Some of my favorite people in the world are found here in this picture. We have been with each other through the good times and the bad. A few months ago I posted a picture like this, but we had to take another picture on Saturday. While we are missing a few - still, we added a few to the last picture. Each lady is so special in her own way and adds so much to our class and our friendships. Thank you, ladies, for all you do and mean to me!

Lawson's 5th Birthday Party - July 26, 2008

Lawson is a very special young man to our family. I started keeping him when he was 3 months old or so. He and the rest of his family are just an extended part of my family. How blessed we are to have friends and family like that! On Saturday, we went to celebrate his birthday. We had a cookout and let the kids run wild! Everyone had a great time! Lawson's mom also blogged about the party here. Eating the wonderful hot dogs and hamburgers
Lawson and his Transformer cake.
Happy Birthday, Lawson!

Just Like the Big Guys - July 17, 2008

The baseball obsession continues in our house where Carter is concerned. He wants everything to be just like the big guys. We have been around and around this year with his room and his not keeping it clean. Most of the time it is not clean because he wants a dugout just like the big guys. Not being in that mind set, I had no idea what to do to solve this problem. However, Damon to the rescue!! He spent Thursday night transforming part of Carter's room into a dugout area. What a great guy!! Carter was absolutely thrilled. He even made signs to put on his door that says "Braves Dugout." So, part of our problems are now solved, but does anyone know how to place a baseball field into the house? Carter leaning over the dugout "just like the big guys." Thanks to Laura Beth for the use of the pink stool!
Carter sitting in the dugout ready for his turn on the field.
Damon even organized the equipment - hats in the top bucket, gloves in the middle and catcher's equipment in the bottom.

Horizons Carnival - Junior Week, July 14

On Monday night of Junior Week, we held a carnival for the campers. We had jumpers, carnival games and snow cones for the kids. Since I was in charge of it, my kids and their friend, Tucker, were able to test things out before hand. They had a blast!! Tucker, Carter and Laura Beth waiting patiently for the carnival to begin on the FHU lion.
Going down one of the inflatable slides all togehter . . . .
They LOVED the obstacle course - here Carter is climbing up the wall.
They kept going back to the obstacle course where they could race each other. Here they wait for permission to go.

Andrew Lee McKnight's First Visit to Henderson - July 11, 2008

On my prayer list we have been thinking of and remembering my cousin and his wife, Jason and Jenny McKnight, as they awaited the arrival of their son. Andrew Lee McKnight was born on June 25, 2008. On July 12, 2008, Andrew took his first trip to Henderson to see his grandparents, great grandparents and other family. My kids were very taken with Mr. Andrew, especially Carter. They were so sweet and I love these pictures. Carter and Gran taking a look at Andrew for the first time.
Great Papa Whittle with his great grandkids - doesn't he look happy?
Laura Beth had her turn with Andrew. She was so good with him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Falling Behind . . . .

I know I have not blogged in awhile, but I have learned that I do not like to blog without putting pictures up with my writings! Our computer that has all my camera software and pictures is in the shop right now. Therefore, no pictures and I am so sad! Hang in there with me and I promise to be back up and running to my usual self soon!

Until later . . . . .

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mary Louise Cobb Whittle

Yesterday morning at 5:30, my beloved grandmother, Mary Louise Cobb Whittle or Grandmama, went on to be with her Lord. She had been in so much pain until Thursday. They took her off all her medicines except for morphine and she was very peaceful. She went to sleep Thursday night and never woke up. It was an answer to many prayers. Grandmama was a lovely Christian woman. She had told us many times over the past few years that she was ready to go to her eternal reward. While we are missing her so much and so sad that she is gone, we know that she is in heaven with her very best friend, Hagan Wilcoxsin, and the rest of the saints who have gone on before. We have laughed about how heaven will not be the same with Sis Jess (Hagan) and Grandmama up there. They could get lost anytime and anywhere. I asked my mom while we were at the nursing home if she thought they were already lost in heaven. My aunt laughed and said, "No, that is why there are pearly gates all the way around!" During my grandmother's life her ministry was sending cards, an art that I am afraid is being lost. She would send over 300 birthday cards a year as well as countless sympathy and get well cards. Every time a new family came to church or someone was baptized, they would receive a card from Grandmama. There is no telling how many cards she sent each year. I would encourage you all to become the Louise Whittle of your congregation. You may not be able to afford stamps for everything, but make a point to send at least one card a week to someone who may need it. Thank you Grandmama for your life, love and example. We love you and will miss you every day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Slip-n-Slide Fun

Tuesday was a crazy day for me at Horizons. We were having a drive-in movie by the tennis courts. 10 of us spent all afternoon putting things together for the screen and other items needed for that night. I wanted to come home for a little break before it was time to go back to pop popcorn. When I did, I was greeted by the kids saying they were going to slip and slide. I was hot, sweaty, hot, gross and hot. My first thought was, "I am going with them!!" They thought it was great that Momma was slip-n-sliding with them. It was a great way to relax, to spend quality time with the kids, cool off and get rid of some stress. You will NOT see a picture of me slip-n-sliding. I am not THAT brave to give my kids my camera!!!

Got to Love a Rain Puddle!!

The kids are such good sports when we have to go down for night activities at Horizons. On Monday, we held an outdoor concert and went down early to help decorate the commons area. While Damon and I were inside blowing up balloons and setting out things for Coke floats, the kids discovered this puddle from the earlier rain storm. They took great delight in jumping in and out of it. I never have my camera when they do this, so I loved catching these moments. It reminds me you have to take time to enjoy the simple joy of things, even in the midst of a crazy week!! I look at these pictures and just smile . . . . . and remember why I do what I do.
Moments later (when the camera had been put away) Carter came in soaking wet - in the front only. I asked him what he had done, and he smiled his biggest smile replying, "I slid into home plate and was safe!!!" Yes, he slid head first on the concrete into this puddle!! Where was my camera when THAT happened?

Finally, I Finished It!!!

My dear friend, Kristi, had a little girl almost 2 years ago. I made my traditional baby gift for her - an ABC book (I will blog about that later). However, I wanted to do something else for her. Kristi and her husband, Doug, are living in Baton Rouge, LA, while Doug is working on his PhD. Kristi and I share a love for many things, including Alabama football!!! My heart has just gone out to Kristi as she is having to live in LSU territory. I found a smocking pattern that had elephants holding footballs and crimson banners and knew I had to make this for her little one (and mine!!). I wanted to have it done last year for Miss Eden's first birthday, but that did not happen. I am proud to say that this year when Kristi came to Horizons I was able to give it to her. This was my first picture smocking attempt, and I was pretty proud of the way it turned out. Now, I have to start on Laura Beth's so it is ready for football season.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Horizons, Yo!!!!!!!!!!

I have been blessed for 17 years now to be involved with a camp at Freed-Hardeman called Horizons. I took 2 years off - one in college and another to get married, but other than that I have found myself at FHU's campus no matter where I have lived on the first full week of July. My role has changed each year with the camp from being a camper, to counselor, to teacher, to now being in charge of teachers and night activities. I have seen the camp grow from one full dorm and one floor of another dorm my first year to 2 weeks with 2 1/2 dorms full each week. While the time before Horizons is pretty stressful (a complete understatement!), the days of Horizons are full of great times. Sometimes Horizons is the only time I get to see special people that have helped me grow as a Christian.
My kids and wonderful husband were great helpers yesterday as we were getting preparations ready for the girls to come today. The kids and I put name tags on the doors of the 2 1/2 dorms. They did a great job pitching in and helping Momma. Damon has a huge help as usual, lugging boxes and bottled water all over campus for Mrs. Hope.
You may not hear much from me this next two weeks. Please keep us and the precious souls coming to Horizons in your prayers.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July 2008!

As we ended our family dinner and cleaned up, the kids could not wait until it was dark to set off the fireworks they had bought earlier today. They also wanted to do it while Papa was still with us and before the Braves game! So we headed out to the front of the house to see what kind of special effects we would see on this special holiday. Damon setting out the fireworks for our viewing pleasure. What a great guy!
Carter, Laura Beth and Papa stand by watching.
Laura Beth declared them to be loud - just like herself some would say!!
Precious Carter
One of the fireworks shot up an American flag after all the sparklers and smoke. The kids loved that declaring it "very cool."

Happy Birthday, Papa Whittle!

At our 4th of July family BBQ supper tonight, we celebrated Papa Whittle's (J. Walker Whittle) 87th birthday! What a blessing this man has been to all of us! He has taught us the value of a dollar, the faithfulness to stay by your spouse when she does not even know him some days, to love of God and His word and how to pitch a baseball!!! To help fight against his diabetes, he still walks 2 miles almost every day and will most always stop by the house to say hi or watch the Braves, if he is walking outside. A love for those who are lost and for the God who can save them, he has taught so many about the way back home. To the grandkids (of which I am his oldest one and only girl!), we always love his stories of growing up on a farm in Georgia during the depression and his "coaching" in sports, as well as in life. To the great grandkids, they always know Pop is up for playing outside, rides in the wagon and strawberries and cool whip for a treat!
We love you, Pop!! Happy 87th Birthday on Sunday!
Opening one of his gifts.
Papa Whittle and Laura Beth
Papa Whittle and Carter discussing baseball - a favorite subject for both
Pop with 2 of the great grandkids, Carter and Laura Beth

Can I Have a Friend Come to Play?

Laura Beth is my social butterfly and is always ready to go or to have someone come over. Last night she looked at me and asked if she could have a friend come over to play the next day (today). Don't they always ask at the most inappropriate times? I asked her who she wanted to come over, thinking it would be one of her friends her age, and she quickly replied, "Jessica and Anna Catherine because they don't have to babysit tomorrow!!" I told her I would email them to see if they could, but, since they were about to leave on a mission trip, they might not be able to come. I did as I said and asked the girls if they had some spare time if they could come over for a little while to play. This morning when I checked I had emails back from them saying they would love to come. What a surprise for Laura Beth this afternoon when the girls pulled in the driveway!! They were so sweet to spend the nextt 2 hours playing Wii, Uno Attack and just hanging out with my kids. These two young ladies have always been special to our family. They were our flower girls in our wedding and were amoung Laura Beth's first visitors after she was born. I am so glad that our lives have been filled with these 2 lovely ladies and thank God that my children have them as role models. I will always remember special things about these two, but the 4th of July - the day before they left for the Guyana mission trip - when they came over to play, will always be a special memory for me. Thank you, Jessica and AC for all you do for and mean to my family!

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