Friday, August 10, 2012

Oh, how I have missed this!

Has it really been a year since I last posted? *considers running off to go hide my face in shame* ;)

Really, though, in all seriousness, I am shocked that it has been so long since I last frequented my humble little corner of blogland. If anything, this one year hiatus does prove that....drumroll please....

I am a procrastinator. What? Are you surprised? ;)

That is the sad truth. But while I do feel like I have wasted a lot of time in this past year where I could have been actively updating my blog, I will say that I believe some good has come from it-I have a new-found love for blogging. That's right, I miss it and I'm aching to jump back in! (Yes, I know I shouldn't end sentences with a preposition! ;) )  While there were times a few years ago when I would feel really burned out with this whole blog thing (maybe the idea that I had to update every single day had something to do with that?), I don't feel that way now. So, while it is true that I have wasted a lot of good writing time that I cannot get back, perhaps my blog will be all the better for that year-long break from posting. Maybe I'll be able to serve my readers better. Maybe my newly amplified enthusiam for all things writing, living, memory-making, etc., will rub off on y'all. And maybe we'll all be the better for it.

So, without further ado, I'm off to go brainstorm and then roll my sleeves up and get down to business. The business of formulating content that will inspire, encourage, challenge, and bless you. For, what could be better than that? ;)

Until then,

P.S. Thanks for sticking by me, y'all! Your patience will be rewarded, I promise!
P.P.S. Blogger has made a ton of changes since I was last on here. There are crazy new features. Wow! :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Life as of Late (Or, Summer 2011 Recap!)

For the past couple months, my poor little blog has sat sadly neglected. I hope that you, my faithful readers, will soon find that that has changed. For, while I have been absent from the blogosphere for some months past, you all have never been far from my thoughts, and I do have several topics I want to share with you in the near future.

     For today, however, I thought I would share with you what my eventful summer has consisted of so far, and give some of the reasons why I have not been on my blog in some time, so that you may get a glimpse, however brief, into what I have been up to. After you have read this post (and-hopefully-enjoyed taking a look at just few of the pictures taken this summer), if you would like to share with me in the comments section a little about your summer, I would really love to hear from you!

May Fun and Memorial Day Busyness

I enjoyed several fun get-togethers with friends during the month of May, including our homeschool group’s annual trip to our local amusement park, Lake Winniepesaukah (aka Lake Winnie). A great group from our church went and had a wonderful time together.

 A group of very dear friends. :) l-r: Isaac Morse, Taylor Poe, me, Owen Hargraves, Haleigh Poe, Hannah Morse, Logan Poe, Geneva Morse, and Spencer Morse

 Together again at Lake Winnie, just like last year! :)

Me and Owen

Such a sweet picture of Mama and Daddy.

 Owen, me, my brother Andrew (who is getting so tall!) and Daddy in line for the Cannonball Roller Coaster!

 Brother and sister. :) Can you see the resemblance?

 Silly girls. :) l-r: me, Haleigh, Hannah, and Geneva

Best friends forever...Haleigh, me and Hannah
Following that fun weekend, my dear friend from church, Haleigh, and I went to see some of these same friends of ours perform in our local homeschool group’s annual play (this time it was Gilbert and Sullivan's hilarious play Ruddigore). the next weekend, which was a resounding success. That evening, Haleigh spent the night, and we enjoyed some much needed girl time, culminating in a fun time of shopping the next day.
 Our silly group up on stage after the show. ;)

 Haleigh and me with two of the lovely bridesmaids, Hannah and Geneva

The car buddies! lol So many inside jokes from that night! :) Logan, his sis Haleigh, and me.

 Here we are portraying our more sane side! ;)

Some of these pics are a little out of order! :( This is Haleigh and I at Taco Bell the day after the play (we don't look too bad for having no sleep the night before, right? ;) )

 Haleigh and I in the middle of our sleep-never. ;)

In the car ready for some shopping! :)

I also had the pleasure of getting together with two other sweet friends, Brittany and Rebekah, for a lovely time of tea and visiting near the middle of May. As I said, some of my pictures are a little out of order, so you can see one of the three of us a bit later...

For the past few years, it has been our family’s custom to travel to Indiana to visit my great-grandparents around the time of the Memorial Day weekend. This year, however, has been far from the norm in various respects, and our Memorial Day was no different. As most of you know, my grandfather on Daddy’s side passed away in February of this year, and so in late May, we moved my grandma from where she was living in Arkansas back down to Texas to be with my uncle who had been living with Grandpa. That trip contained some hard work and deep house cleaning, as well as a hard time visiting Grandpa’s grave, but it was also characterized by some great fun with my dear relatives.

Daddy doing an amazing job of driving the U-Haul and pulling Grandma's car behind him. We were impressed! :)

 Me with both of my dear grandmothers. :) Dad's mom (Grandma) on the left and mom's (Grams) on the right. We have such fun when we get together!

Me and my lovely Mama at Grams' house

 hehe We're silly. ;)

 Me with my dear friend, confidant, mentor, and Grandma. :)

 Mama working on the flowers for Grandpa's grave site.

I have to say, it does look nice.

Mama and Daddy remembering Grandpa. We sure do love and miss him!

The Good and Bad of June

For us, the month of June got off to a bad start when, on the 4th, the grandma we had just helped move days before suffered a terrible fall and sustained several injuries, including a crushed left wrist, cracked left clavicle, and several broken facial bones. By God’s glorious grace, however, she did not have any bleeding on her brain, which is what had caused Grandpa’s hospitalization. This was truly miraculous, for she had hit her face pretty hard when she fell. Grandma was in the hospital for some time, during which she suffered some serious setbacks, at which time we truly didn’t know what the outcome of this ordeal would be. But God has shown Himself very gracious, and I am truly thankful to be able to happily report that Grandma is now back at home and doing much better.

Not all of June was bad, however! We had a lovely time at our church's monthly fellowship meal, on June 5th.

Me with our pastor's newest little one, Blessing Amelia. To call her precious is an understatement!

Me and our pastor's oldest, Hannah. :)

Me and Haleigh. Love you, sissy! :)

Showing that my pictures are once again out of order, here is the promised picture from my time with Rebekah and Brittany:

 Me, with Rebekah Grisso in the middle and Brittany Hargraves (Owen's sis-in-law)

 Grandma in rehab at the beginning of July; yes, once again, out of order!

On June 18th, we enjoyed hosting a lovely wedding shower for a sweet couple in our church.

Mama working on the food table.

Lovely decorations. :)

 So pretty! :)

 The gift table starting to fill up, with pictures of Ethan and Alanna gracing the wall behind it.

The adorable couple, Ethan (Owen's brother) with his lovely Alanna.

Members of the Hargraves family....

Mama with her buddy, adorable little Grace Ramsey from church

Advice and enouragement cards for the happy couple! :)

Sorry for the blurriness!

Me with sweet friend, Hannah

Gift time! :)

Then, on June 24th, a great group of guys and gals from church went white water rafting together and enjoyed a great time of laughing, talking, eating, singing, swimming, and, of course, rafting! :) There may have been a time or two when one or two of us also fell out of our rafts….but that’s a different story! ;)

Taylor, Logan, and Spencer

me, Haleigh, and Hannah

The lovely Hiwassee!

Our group, except for Geneva, who was taking the picture. We were giving our best shot at a tv show poster. :)

The Joys of July

So far this summer, July has been the month filled with the most fun for me. The month began brightly (in more ways than one! ;) ) with a great fireworks presentation at a veteran’s memorial park in our area on July 3rd.
 Me and Owen

Me and Brittany, Owen's awesome sister-in-law

Mom captured a pretty cool shot with this one.

 Mi familia. :)

The next day, we enjoyed a full day of fun, which ended with us buying, and then proceeding to shoot off, our own fireworks. That was definitely an experience!

 That was our grand finale!

Daddy shooting off bottle rockets. He had so much fun! :)

Daddy and Owen working together to launch some more!

Yours truly with an awfully loud Roman candle!

July 12th was my 19th birthday, and it was great fun, as was the Sunday just before it when we celebrated by joining a very dear family from our church, the Hargraves, at Cracker Barrel after church and then on to see Cars 2

Mrs. Hargraves cracking me up. :) I love this family! lol

Me with Owen and the wonderful birthday gift he gave me! :) North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Me with Owen's adorable niece, Naomi, at the theater. I think she liked watching the cars! :)

Me and Owen in front of the Captain  America poster! :)

Here's a small assortment of pics taken from my birthday:

 The amazing Peaches and Cream Cheesecake Mama made me. It was delish!

Opening up some awesome dishes for my hopechest! :)

What? A girl loves her lip gloss! ;)

Lovely packages.

Sweet birthday balloons!

The next weekend was sweetly memorable, as we, on Saturday, July 16th, celebrated the wedding of the couple we had held the shower for the month before

The getaway car...yet again, out of order pics! Notice the Dr. Pepper cans? Those were not empty cans! ;)

Me and Owen with his adorable little nieces, Naomi and Olivia at the reception.

The lovely wedding ceremony

Cutting the groom's cake!

Mr. and Mrs. Hargraves dancing at the reception. :)

Mama with Olivia :)

The sweet father daughter dance, to Cinderella by Stephen Curtis Chapman. :')

Ethan, an awesome tenor, singing "Love Thee Dearest" to his lovely wife. SUCH a sweet moment!

Then the next weekend we enjoyed helping out at our homeschool group’s (of which Mr. Hargraves is the president) annual Curriculum Fair, after which we went out to eat with Owen and his sis-in-law Brittany that night (Brittany's husband-Owen's brother, Caleb-is away overseas right now).

Me and Hannah at the Curriculum Fair. Boy, do we ever have inside jokes from THAT day together! hehe ;)

 Me and Neva. :) Love you, girl!

Me and Owen being silly at Ryan's that night. :) Mama manages to get the funniest pictures of us.

The next day, being Sunday, we went to church and afterwards enjoyed a delightful girl’s lunch with Ruthie, a sweet girl who is engaged to one of the guys form our church, her sister, and several ladies from our congregation. It was a great time of sweet Christian fellowship…..and, of course, girly talk of the ring, honeymoon trip, apartment hunting, etc. etc.! ;)

Ruthie's sweet sister, Ali, holding Blessing.

The inseparable trio! ;)

Our pastor's wife, Mrs. Morse on the left with Mrs. Poe

Ruthie (can't wait for her to move here after she marries Sean!!) with me and Hannah

The girls!

The entire group.

Then, during the last weekend of July, we enjoyed another great time with the same family from our church, the Hargraves, this time going to see Captain America and on to TGI Friday’s afterwards. A fun time was definitely had by all this month!

Owen Hargraves, aka Captain America ;)

He looks the part right?

Mrs. Hargraves, Brittany, me and Mama waiting for our table

Love you, Mama! :)

Most of the gang...

Other Happenings

Life has been very busy, but what else is new, right? ;) Since the beginning of March I have had the joy of once again babysitting precious little 2 year old Adalee Grace from our church two days a week (I had babysat her a couple months back when she was just a little infant). It can be very tiring at times, but I enjoy it so, so much. Not only am I making many sweet memories with this adorable little girl, but I am also blessed with the opportunity of having an impact on her life each week which I wouldn’t trade for anything. It’s so special to be able to watch her grow up and to be able to teach her new things each time I’m with her. It’s definitely great preparation for the future!

 I adore that girl!

Me with little cutie pie. :)

Looking so sweet in her adorable little outfit. :)

The aspiring gymnast. ;) lol

 Silly girl! ;)

I’ve also been doing a lot of…you guessed it-reading! I have come across a new favorite Christian fiction author, Karen Kingsbury. Her books are amazing. Actually, I don’t even think that word does her writings justice. Each of her works is so encouraging, always pointing the reader to Christ and showing that we truly can trust our Savior, regardless of what may be going on in our lives. Her books each contain such sweet stories of redemption, trust, love, wholesome romance, faithfulness, and wonderful teachings from God’s Word. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a great new book to read! Other books on my desk as of late have been Elizabeth Gaskell’s wonderful masterpiece North and South, , The Hobbit, which-yes!- I am finally reading, and Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship by Joshua Harris. This last book was such a refreshing, yet convicting read. It was solidly Biblical and presented some wonderful guidelines on how to conduct a relationship in a God-honoring, pure, enjoyable way. What was so refreshing about it, though, was that it was also so balanced and was not at all characterized by some form or other of legalism. I truly could not recommend this book enough! I think all Christian parents and any young men and women approaching marriageable age should take the time to read it.

In other news, I am so thankful for how the Lord has been blessing my home business, Cozy Tea Treasures. Tea cozy orders usually do exceptionally well just prior to Mother’s Day and then again during the Christmas buying season. But I was unsure of just how many orders I might receive during the summer months. The Lord has graciously surprised me, though, with just how well business has gone so far this summer. So, needless to say, my weeks have also been filled with sewing and shipping out various tea cozies. At the same time, I am also in the process of looking into beginning a new home business, as well, this one being making and selling covers for Kindles and Nooks, and possibly even Ipads and Ipods. So, as we get closer to Christmas season, be on the lookout for more announcements about this new endeavor!

The "English Cottage" tea cozy

 Blue Porcelain

In regards to writing, the Lord has laid upon my heart a new book idea-this one being a work of fiction, of which I am currently working on the fifth chapter. I will post more info about this project in the future, but for now, I simply ask that you pray heartily for me and this new work. I daily come to the realization that unless the Lord has His hand on this work and blesses it, it will prove to be of little good to anybody. So, please do keep me and this new book project in your prayers, that the Lord would bless it and also lay on my heart the content that he would desire it to have. Thank you in advance for your kind and faithful prayers! As always, they are greatly appreciated.

Working on the book!

In Closing…..

Well, that’s what has been going on in my life as of late! But What about you? Do you have some exciting news to report, some memorable event to share, or some prayer request or praise report to offer? Well, that is precisely what the comment section is for, so comment away! In the meantime, I’m going to continue with some blog posts I’m currently working on, including a few video posts, so be on the lookout for those! Have a blessed day in the Lord, y’all!

Until next time,