Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy 2012!

As 2011 draws to a close, we wanted to stop for a moment to count our blessings. We are all healthy, we have each other, and we work hard to appreciate what we have.

May 2012 be the best year ever! Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

My turkeys and I would like to wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving! We have so much for which to be grateful: family, friends, faith, home, health... What more do you really need?

We devoured a delicious turkey dinner with Logan's mom (and brother, top left). Her housemate, JC, just got a new "baby," a chihuahua she's named Philippa.

Do you have big Black Friday plans tomorrow? Not I! I can't stand the crowds, and I didn't see very many items on our wish lists. Saturday will bring more turkey with my side of the family. What a wonderful long weekend! Hope you're enjoying yours!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quotation of the Week: Harvest or Seeds?

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap
but by the seeds that you plant."
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quotation of the Week: Interacting with Others

"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again."
~Og Mandino

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

Please pause today and give thanks for our veterans! We owe them so much, especially our appreciation and gratitude. Thank you, veterans, for your service to our country!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween! Tonight was our town's "Hometown Halloween on the Square" where local businesses and organizations set up tables, the square is blocked to traffic, and the kids have a great time!

Ansley dressed up as Abby from NCIS, complete with Gotchic black hair and spider web "tattoo."

Federal Agent Macey kept us all safe and protected.

Lil Haley was a secret agent.

Sister Amy (the "nun") and Spiderman passed out candy at the SADD table (she is one of the sponsors of the organization). Batman joined us to trick-or-treat.

At the haunted house at Fort Sorghum, Batman got scared! (I learned that he is heavier than he looks since I had to carry him through it!) Little Spiderman loved it and went through four times along with Agent Macey.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


From pumpkin guts... a cool "Frankenstein" jack-o-lantern, complete with tack stitches.

Thank you, Aunt Amy, for a great time!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Aaargh! Pirate Birthday Party!

Aaargh! All ye scurvy lads and lasses will walk the plank if you don't have a grand time at Alex's 5th birthday party!

(Aunt Amy watched several YouTube videos to learn how to make balloon swords- and more. They were great fun and much safer than plastic swords would have been. She kept cranking them out for any of the pirates who lsot or popped theirs. The pirate ship bouncy slide was a huge hit!)

Monday, October 10, 2011

She's Home!

Our gal's home from her fantastic trip to DC! She's had breakfast and a shower, plus sorted all the dirty laundry. Now let the fun begin for Mom!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

DC Trip

It is hard for me to believe that our older daughter is leaving this evening on a school trip to Washington DC for the long weekend! We have Fall Break next week, so she is only missing one (excused) day of school.

It is hard for me to believe that her Daddy and I decided to send her without one of us. We could have gone on the trip, not as a chaperon but as a guest (according to the principal). We decided that it would be a good thing for all of us if she went without us. She will be extremely well chaperoned with 12 teachers, the principal and assistant principal, school nurse, and numerous parents (two on my speed dial).

It is hard for me to believe that she will ride the charter bus Thursday night, tour DC all day Friday, check in to the hotel Friday night, tour DC all day Saturday, check out of the hotel Sunday morning, tour DC & Gettysburg Sunday, and ride on the charter bus all night Sunday to arrive home Monday morning. (Now do you see why neither of her parents are going?)

It is hard for me to believe that we broke down and got her a cell phone, but it is certainly giving me piece of mind for the trip. And yes, the GPS tracker feature is turned on. Not only is Big Brother watching, but so are Mom and Dad!

It is hard for me to believe how much my baby is growing up! Rationally, I know that this is supposed to happen and I know that she will have a great time, but it is really, really hard for me to let go. This sweet girl is growing up to become a beautiful young lady. Please pray for a safe trip!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Quotation of the Week

Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious. ~Bill Meyer

Happy Fall!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quotation of the Week

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
~John Powell

Friday, September 16, 2011

Quotation of the Week

"Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day."

~Author Unknown

Sending a little sunshine your way!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Quotation of the Week

You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.

~Mary Manin Morrissey

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Quotation of the Week: Motivation

Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.

~Author Unknown

What a powerful message this quotation sends!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quotation of the Week

As school begins today (for students), I thought this quotation would be great food for thought:

"Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality."

~Les Brown

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back to School!

Today is my official back-to-work start date. The kids come tomorrow afternoon for a drop in "Meet the Teacher," and then the first day of school is Thursday. (And no, two days of preplanning is NOT enough.)

Goodbye, Summer! We love you and will miss you!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dell Review

As many of you know, my computer crashed. Dell tech support has been very helpful, even if the gentlemen I've spoken with have been a bit hard to understand. They have all been very patient. I wish that I had not let the first guy talk me in to restoring my computer to the factory settings when he suggested it. Before we did that, I could still access/use my pretty pink 'puter, and I wish that I had gone in and tried a few things of my own.

I more than likely got infected with some kind of contagious computer crud, probably on our trip up Nawth and back. FYI: Norton did not catch it because somehow it got disabled. (I had just figured that out before I called Dell.)

Long story short and many $$ later (because of course the warranty had just expired a few weeks earlier unbeknownst to me), I have a new hard drive and everything seems to be working properly. (Yes, I did purchase the three-year extended warranty!)

Yesterday afternoon, I received a call from an 800 # so I almost didn't answer it. It turned out to be Dell support, just calling to make sure that everything was okay. Funniest thing is that my touchpad has been acting a little squirrely. When I type, the cursor will randomly jump to some other part of the screen and my typing will continue there. It hasn't mattered what program, website, etc., that I've been using. My new BFF Manu helped me fix the problem by installing the correct driver for the touchpad. (Hmm, Rajdeed did NOT do that when he remotely accessed my computer Friday.) Thank you, Manu! And thank you also for giving me your personal extension number (voice mail available 24/7) in case I need you.

Today's experience has helped me revise my opinion of Dell and helped heal my bad attitude toward my bad pink 'puter. Happiness is a normal keyboard!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Carbonite Review

The absolute only thing that has kept me sane through the ordeal of my laptop's hard drive's jump off the deep end and subsequent crash (that you can read about that here) has been the hope of the promise of my Carbonite back up. (Carbonite is an off-site back up system that will back up your computer regulary for only about $50/year.)

Since I purchased the Carbonite back up (and you get a free trial), DH has given me a really hard time about it, calling it "Kryptonite" and saying that it will harm my computer. I have attempted to ignore him and carry on with the hope and eternal optimism that my pretty pink 'puter is protected. (Say that fast three times!)

These past few weeks put Carbonite (and possibly our marriage) to the test. DH went so far to say that if Carbonite worked he would kiss my pretty behind. I told him that he better get ready to pucker up! Of course that led to some (heated) discussion about how it would take him a long time to cover all that ground. But I digress...

When we got home from our camping trip Thursday evening, a little package from Dell was waiting at the front door. I was too tired to worry about installing the new hard drive, so I waited until Friday afternoon while the girls were gone with their Grandmother. Logan took out the bad hard drive and replaced it with the new. I called Dell and was assigned to Rajdeed, my helpful techie who walked me through all the steps I need to get the system operating. He was even nice enough not to notice any possible tears or sniffling while we were on the phone together. We were on the phone for literally several hours, until we finally had the darn thing running again with the factory settings. Rajdeed even went in remotely to install drivers, programs, etc.

After all the trouble (shooting) and reloading of software, it was time to visit Carbonite. Fortunately I remembered my password on the first guess. (My RoboForm password-filler-in-er had also been lost in the Great Crash of '11.) The directions on the Carbonite website walked me right through the process of restoring my files. Then it started working. And working. And working. At 1% with 19 hours to go I could see that a few items were being resurrected. I went to bed that night with the hope that indeed, all would be well. I even dreamed about the puckering that would be coming since I was right and DH was, well, wrong. (Nah-nee-nah-nee-boo-boo...)

At 5 AM Saturday morning, DH woke me up because the Carbonite was done. (I guess he was really looking forward to some early morning kisses!) The screen said that all files except three were replaced and that two files had to be filed somewhere other than the original location. I scanned the list, and four of the five files had "/snapfish/" in them somewhere. I have no idea what the fifth file was at all. No big deal.

Before doing the happy dance, I checked my photos. ALL THERE. Every one of those sweet smiling faces was returned home. Then I realized that I forgot to install iTunes. Does that mean all my music is lost? Crud! No biggie, I've got all the CDs, my iPod is fully loaded, but off to iTunes I went. After two downloading attempts, ta da! There they were! All my music was immediately back in my library!

At this point, DH is trying to get me to come back to bed, but I am too busy with the laptop to fool with him. My RoboForm was back, even my favorites were back on my internet toolbar! Hallelujah happy day! The only thing that Carbonite didn't replace was my Solitaire score, so I was at 100% wins for a very short while. That's okay, my current win percentage is still way better than it was B.C. (before crash).

Let me know if you'd like to purchase a ticket to the Great Butt-Kissing Event. They're really cheap, but I definitely want some witnesses. Carbonite, you saved my butt! I would be one deeply depressed gal without you! Too bad I don't have any referral codes to share with you. (Maybe I can give you a free ticket to said kissing event.) Carbonite is absolutely worth every single penny, and it doesn't even cost too many pennies (about a dollar a week) to use. Thank you, Carbonite!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Adirondacks

Here's a small sampling of some of our pictures from visiting the Adirondacks. The weather didn't cooperate very well, but we had a good time anyway! The Adirondack Museum was well worth the visit. The girls especially loved the hands-on experiences, like the Adirondack lean-to, doing the wash, and the canvas tent.

We also visited Fort Ticonderoga, which was an interesting historical stop.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quotation of the Week

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

~Dalai Lama

Monday, June 20, 2011

New England Adventure

{Author's Note: I am writing these posts AFTER our trip, but posting them on the correct days of our trip. I do not like to broadcast when we are going to be out of town and would rather share it when we get home.}

We loaded up our 5th wheel camper and truck for our great New England adventure! Our destination is my cousin's wedding in New Hampshire this Saturday, but we are making a family vacation of it (before and after).

On the road again...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quotation of the Week

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.

~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Quotation of the Week

When you reduce life to black and white, you never see rainbows.

~Rachel Houston

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Fun!

Since our invititations must have been lost in the mail, we had our own royal wedding party! My mom has a great post HERE about our royal fun and frivolity last night in honor of the marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton. Best wishes, Will and Kate!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoppy Easter and a Happy Birthday!

The Easter festivities began with dying eggs (with help from friend/neighbor Morgan) on Saturday.

Later that evening, Macey and I made "birds nests" for Easter, complete with (M&Ms) eggs and (Peeps) chicks.

She woke me up to the tune of "Happy Birthday to Me" at 6:25 (Ugh!), but we did get to see this beautiful sunrise on the water.

Unfortunately I didn't think to take any pictures at church (which would have probably been frowned on anyway). Both girls were torchbearers, and it was a beautiful service!

The traditional Easter Hunt prior to St. Clare's Easter Feast

Look Mom, no shoes! (Better traction maybe?)

The "family" birthday party for our birthday girl! Can you believe that she is 10 today?!?

Friday, April 22, 2011


Yesterday, the girls and I went to my parents' house to visit with long-time family friends and their children/grandchildren who are visiting this week. Because it was so nice out, we decided to try the zip line- that goes across the lake- and ends on the other side.

Our little dare devil was happy to go after Uncle Brian and our 15-year-old guest. Ms. Cautious was a little hesitant, but since her little sister did it, she did too- and loved it! They would both have ridden time and time again if we hadn't had company!

Here's a view from where we were standing looking to our right, across the lake, to the landing pad. (Grammie and I learned the hard way that the landing pad needs a bit of work!)

Even though he is supposed to be horizontal babying a torn muscle in his knee/calf, Grumps could not resist getting in on the action! He *says* he dragged across the water to slow himself down...

Finally, I couldn't be outdone by my girls, so off I went too.

Click HERE if you need a laugh or want to watch my Dad and me!

Zippidee doo dah, zippidee yay!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Memory Lane

Today was such a walk down memory lane for us! Ansley had her first chorus festival, and it was held in Cumming, where we lived when we were first married. First, both of our middle school choruses (6th/7th and 8th grade) did a great job! (We have no idea what they scored though because we left before we found out.) It turn out Logan was in chorus through middle and high school (How did I not know this?!?), so the performance brought back some great memories for him.

We drove by our first home, which has been changed somewhat since we lived there, and we admired the Bradford Pear that we planted. It is huge now and was in full bloom! We also ended up driving through Dahlonega, past NGC&SU where I got my Master's, and then by both the Kindergarten Building and the elementary school (LCES) where I taught for six years. Such wonderful memories!

The girls probably felt like my brother, sister, and I did as kids driving through Atlanta, going by Tech, the V, and 1st Atlanta Bank, when my parents drove us down their memory lane. Hoepfully the girls will have fond memorie of our old stomping grounds too.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Today, Logan's Uncle Gordon will be laid to rest. He passed away Wednesday after being really sick. Our sympathies go out to Greg and Brian, who have now lost both their parents. Now Uncle Joe is the only brother (of the five) left, and everyone really feels this loss. We love you, Uncle Gordon, and will miss you!

Friday, March 4, 2011


Ansley will be heading out soon on the 4-H bus to go to Rock Eagle for the weekend for 4-H DPA (District Project Achievement). In 6th and 5th grades (at right) DPA was held at our local middle school, but now as a Junior 4-Her, she's away for the weekend with the other Jr. & Sr. DPA participants. Her project this year is about hypnotherapy.

She was pretty nervous about DPA and being gone for the weekend, but at the same time super-excited to be going away for DPA! One of her girlfriends painted matching shirts for them to wear Friday, and she had to pack certain things so that they would all match over the weekend. Ahh, I remember the days when my cousin Beth and I would plan to wear matching outfits! I know there are several photos of us in my parents' photo drawers/boxes of us in our matching ensembles.

But I digress... The sweetest thing was that as I was helping Ansley pack, she asked if I was going to write some notes and tuck them into her suitcase. Of course I am! How could I not continue a tradition that she obviously loves?

We love you, Ansley, and wish you the best at DPA! You've prepared a great speech and practiced it well, so go show the judges your knowledge, poise, and confidence! We're cheering you on from home. We love you!

EDIT: Ansley came in 3rd place in her category! Way to go!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Visiting Uncle Jack

We took BJ to visit her brother Jack in their hometown of Cullman, AL. It was definitely a walk down memory lane, and we all enjoyed catching up with Uncle Jack.

Part of our Saturday was spent visiting family members who have passed. Here Logan and his mom stand between two of their Westmoreland kin. (Westmoreland is Logan's middle name.)
The girls were excited to see the marker for one of BJ's grandmothers, Hannah Jane. (I believe it is through her that they are descendents of the Cherokee Potatoe- aka Bear- clan, but I will have to double check.)
It was a lovely weekend spent with family, including Uncle Reid. We couldn't have asked for better weather! The only downside was Logan earning a "fast driver award" from an Alabama Trooper. YUCK. It may be some time before we're ever back in the area...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Happy birthday, Dad! Today is his birthday, and even though we won't be able to spend it with him, he's always in our hearts! Enjoy the warm weather for your birthday. We love you!

You can wish him a happy birthday yourself over at Traveling Bells if you want to pop in and say hi.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sleepover Fun

My sister and her husband are celebrating their 10th anniversary by getting away for the weekend. The boys stayed with Nana Thursday night, us last night, and Uncle Brian tonight. Lucky guys!

Here they are jamming out on the recorders, clarinet, and guitar. What a racket! I mean, what sweet music! At bedtime, Alex did NOT want to go to sleep, so I ended up laying down with him in Ansley's bed (my former twin bed, BTW). Needless to say, Aunt Haley fell asleep before he did! (The first time I returned to my bed was too early.)

In the morning (after Macey came it at 6:30 to let me know they were all up), Alex told me that he had wanted me to sleep with him the whole night. Yeah, but so did Uncle Logan! Who knew I was such a popular gal? Don't be fooled by Will in this photo; he is NOT asleep!

Alex had a soccer game, and we got to the gym at about 8:45 (the 2nd team player to arrive! Yay me!). I was very impressed that all the players and coaches circle up, hold hands, and say a prayer before each game. (Upward Sports is sponsored by some of our local churches.)

Number 6 may not make it to the World Cup, but most of us had a good time!
Then, this afternoon, at a balmy 67 degrees (and nine days ago was a snow day...), we went for a pontoon boat ride! Our mission was to search for the missing dock float that we didn't find. :(
The girls have been wanting to go see the Justin Bieber movie, so I agreed to take them. Since I really don't have "Bieber Fever," I opted to sit in the car for the duration of the movie (with my popcorn and book). Lo and behold, though, Faith and her daughter Haley arrived to see the movie, so she offered to bring the girls home. Twist my arm! They really did enjoy the movie, so it's a hit with the tween crowd.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Singer/Songwriter and Amazing Guitarist, Jack Williams

Last night we drove to Jasper to a Jack Willliams concert. We'd never heard him before but had been told that he was one of the best guitarists in the world. We were not disappointed! He was absolutely amazing, and we were all enthralled, especially our budding guitarist. I've never seen fingers fly and pick like his!

We were introducted to Jack (literally) by our new priest, Father Frank. (Frank+ has not only inspired Macey to buy a guitar, but he has been teaching her to play.) When he told us about Jack and the concert, we decided to make a night of it, and Frank spread the word among our congregation. We ended up with a group of eight (the Dockerys, Kay Cahoon, and Father Frank), which fit perfectly in our big "bus." We had dinner at a local Chinese restaurant and then drove out to the Episcopal church in Jasper. Jack isn't a Christian singer/songwriter per se, but his music was certainly fine for church, for the most part at least. He did throw in a little Elvis! He's been classified as a folk artist, but his music ranged across many, many genres.

The girls talked us into buying two of his CDs, which he autographed, and our budding musician was on cloud nine when Jack mentioned her by name several times during his improv.

If you ever get the chance, you should definitely go hear Jack sing and play. He was an amazing one-man show, and his CDs do not do his playing justice. All eight of us were blown away and highly entertained.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wear Red TODAY!

Today is the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" day. Did you know that heart disease is still the #1 killer of women in America? Get your red on, show your support, adopt a heathier lifestyle, and spread the word!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Role Reversal?

When I picked up our eldest from 4-H after school, she was very upset because she had gotten into some trouble at school. It is not major trouble, but trouble nonetheless. (One good thing about a perfectionist firstborn is that she is a lot harder on herself usually than we are/have to be. Plus, on this occasion, the teacher's punishment is appropriate.) So she promptly spills her guts and sheds some tears. The tempest has finally calmed down more or less when she says for the umpteenth time, "I am so stupid!" (Typical teen, right?)

After a pause, from the backseat, the nine-year-old says, "Well, someone's got to be the mom here. First of all, you're not stupid!" I have no idea what the second point was because I was trying so hard not to laugh and drive the car right off the road!

After I apologized for not doing my duty, I reassured the girls (again) that no one was stupid; just sometimes we make dumb or bad choices. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes and try not to repeat them. New mistakes, however, are another story...

Someone's got to be the mom here!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Quotation of the Week

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says “All right, have it your way.”
― C.S. Lewis

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pink Eye

NOTE: Ansley is very embarrassed by this although we keep telling her that there is no reason at all to be embarrassed!

Last week, Ansley's right eye was bothering her a bit. We thought maybe a sty was developing, so we applied a warm compress every so often and OTC eye drops as needed. Off we went with life in general.

Saturday morning, she woke up to a horribly red eye and a bit of goop. We decided that we'd better not mess around with this, so off to the Clinic at Wal-Mart (run by Union General and friend Dr. Debora). The nurse was great. She checked Ansley's eye for abrasions or foreign objects, with a black light after adding some eye drops first. You should have seen that eyeball glow! No problems there, so probably bacterial pink eye since the problem was relegated to one eye only. Start a round of antibiotic eye drops and if things don't improve, take her to the eye doctor. Oh, and by the way, she could be contagious for up to 24 hours after starting the eye drops.

We stayed home from church yesterday but would have gone to school today had it not been canceled due to the ice that is still lingering on the back roads (and our driveway). Her eye has cleared up some so we will wait and see about going to the eye doctor.

The good news is that she will go to the orthodontist this afternoon to get the wire that came off of the back left bracket over Christmas fixed. Whew. What a sentence. Hopefully it won't be any big deal at the ortho. Shouldn't be.

Also, today Logan went and had bloodwork done as part of his routine physical. I'm proud of him for taking better care of himself!

Quote of the Week

"The time is always right to do what is right."

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Review: "Hothouse Orchid" by Stuart Woods

Product Description (from
"A brand-new page-turning Holly Barker novel from the perennially entertaining New York Times-bestselling author Stuart Woods.

"After Special Agent Holly Barker lets international terrorist Teddy Fay slip through her fingers for a second time, the CIA thinks she might want a long vacation, at least until Teddy is captured and the bad publicity has blown over. So Holly returns to her hometown of Orchid Beach, Florida, where she had been police chief for many years. But a very unpleasant surprise awaits her. Many years earlier, Holly and another female army officer had brought charges against their commanding officer for sexual harassment, attempted rape, and rape. Holly had managed to fight him off, but the other woman, a young lieutenant, had not. The officer in question was acquitted of all charges, and has also left the army-for a job as Orchid Beach's new police chief.

"Will Holly return to the CIA? Or will she challenge her old nemesis for control of the Orchid Beach Police Department?"
If you've read the Holly Barker novels up to this one, then you will definitely want to continue the saga. It wasn't as nail-biting as I had hoped, but I did enjoy reading it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Days (AKA Spring Break in January)

Today is the 7th day of school we've missed due to snow (the 3rd day this week). I am not holding my breath that it will melt and be safe to travel the rest of the week either, although with 4-wheel drive on both our vehicles we go where we please. ;)

Here are the highlights from our fun in the snow. The girls made this adorable snow person. Don't you absolutely love the goggles? I couldn't resist a shot of the snow-covered jet ski in the background. Definitely dreaming of warmer weather...

Next is the snow man Uncle Reid made by our driveway.

Finally, here are the freeloading, piggy birds that I so enjoy!

Thanksfully Ansley spotted the woodpecker on this tree by our front door! I would have been disappointed to miss him.