Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gam has a birthday!

Today is Gam's birthday. She is 21 years and 1 week older than me. So there's your hint as to what her age is. But as my mathematical husband would say, you would have to know my age to figure out what x is.

We celebrated her birthday on Sunday after church. We had Sunday lunch and of course some bday cake and nofat no sugar icecream. I can't say the same for the birthday cake, it was the REAL thing.

a Publix birthday cake...yummy
Shek picked this out, and Karl had them put the happy bday gam in her favorite color purple. 
 Shek lights the candles.
 Say Cheese.
 Jolie loves birthdays...because that means cake and ice cream. 
Happy birthday to you
happy birthday to you
happy birthday dear GAAAAAAM!
Happy Birthday to you!
We love you Gam/momma!
Hope this birthday is the best yet!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Indian NIGHT...Konos Homeschool Style

Shek has been studying Indians at Konos Kids Co-op.  We happened to find some cute teepee cupcakes on Pinterest. AND when Shek saw them he said, "Please, Momma!" 
So We did

We made the cake batter and poured into sugar cones, and then baked them in the oven right side up. The trick is to stab holes in an aluminum pan and have them bake that way. Then clip off the ends, while hot so that pretzel sticks can be added to the top for a tee pee look.
We dipped the ends in melted chocolate, and rolled in green sugar, to seal and make the edges look like grass.
We also made one of our fall favorites, Trail mix with peanuts, chocolate candies, pretzels, bugals, and candy corn. Shek took it to join in the celebration where they tried other Native  American type foods. 
Shek in his 'Indian/native american attire'...
Shek and some of his native american friends from his class.
The group acted out a poem, Hiawatha 
Shek had fun with his classmates. I did not get to go, but Karl took him and they had fun. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Journey to China

 Last week,  an old friend of mine from our former church called to ask if I would come and share a little about China with the G.A. group at her church.  G.A.'S stands for girls in action and they were having a mission study on Friday night. China was the theme of their missions study she wanted me to share about our experiences, since our family had been there.
 SO I organized a few photos from the trip, scratched out a few notes. Karlie and I grabbed some special items we brought from China, and ONE very special item and headed out.
 We brought Jolie's silks, she didn't really want to put then on because she was hot, but she wore them for the little presentation. The GA leaders had really decorated everything nicely with Chinese items, and lanterns, and some teachers were even wearing Chinese silks too. 
 Jolie's been home almost two years, and I thought I had this talk ready to go, and what do you know,  but ole martha had to go and  get emotional...I can so do without that. BUT when I share about the road that got us to China...and how God used something 'bad' in our lives to lead to something totally awesome...well, leave it to me to squall. I finally got past the emotional parts, and pressed on. Just flash a photo on the big screen  of a squatty potty and explain what it is to a group of elementary girls and well, tears fade away. Also, the girls were full of questions and very interested in our journey to Jolie. She was quite talkative with them when it was over, and even opened her mouth wide to show them her repaired palate, I totally was not expecting her to do that, but she did. I told her that the girls loved seeing her beautiful mouth. 
It was a pleasure to share our journey to china and back. I just wish all Christian parents would go. 
James 1:27

Friday, October 19, 2012

a brief visit

 Last weekend, Zach came home for a brief fall break. He had to head back to classes on Tuesday afternoon. He had a busy visit while he was here, visiting with friends, and voting, but we enjoyed our time with him. Jolie seems to think he's coming home tonight too, she misses her Zach. When he arrived home late last Friday, Jolie would not let him out of her sight.

My four kiddos...Jolie is all frowny-faced because she wants to play football and doesn't have time to take photos for her momma.
When I saw this photo, I just laughed out loud...she has her football stance.
 whooo..that was a close one. 
 Fun with big bro
The driveway is always full of kiddos playing ball when Zach comes home. Shek loves playing with Zach, and now Jolie enjoys getting into the scene...sometimes the rest of us join in and sometimes we just cheer.
 While he was home, he played and sang some of the songs he's working on at school. 
He grabbed his bro's guitar and played some Vince Gill... You know Vince Gill's "everybody's Sweetheart but mine" was Zach's lullaby when he was a baby. Anytime he would cry, I'd play that song and he'd hush just like magic, it would  finish, and he'd cry again...that was in the days of rewind the cassette, I work that tape out. Now he has it on his iphone...got to love Vince Gill music.

Well, We all miss you Z...hurry back. Jolie thinks you're coming home tonight, but I told her not tonight. but not too too long.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Are you ready?

This past weekend, my AdvoCare friends and I headed to a Ladies Weekend. We had  lots of fun.
Dinner with friends
Enjoying the conference...
Dr. Judith Smith from AdvoCare Science-Med Board shares about the products. AdvoCare products are good for disease prevention.
This is a chart of the countries and their percentage of obesity. America is the leader in obesity.
Products great for cognitive health.
More Advo friends
One of our leaders, Tonja, sharing a recipe for success.

The theme of our conference was Radiant. One of the leaders, Wess, shared what  Radiant means to her.
It's great to have friends on your team. Glad Carla and Melissa are on mine.

We walked away from the Ladies weekend full of knowledge and encouragement. We are all excited that we have a tool to not only help us look feel and perform better, but we also have a tool for a plan b income, or even plan A.
So are you ready, to look, feel, and perform better? I've got something that will help with that.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baking with the girls

My girls want to bake all the time, but we don't bake because then their momma would have a temptation sitting in the house. BUT every now and then, after hearing too much begging I will let them bake. Karlie found a recipe for s'mores cupcakes, we bought the ingredients and made them.

Karlie mixes the graham cracker mixture.
After the crust bakes for 5mins., add marshmallows and a few chocolate chips. Then spoon in  chocolate cake batter from a mix.
After the cupcakes bake, top with a large marshmallow and a chocolate chip or two, toast topping in the oven for a few mins.

All that baking, makes a body tired.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Climbing around the family tree

As part of Karlie's schoolwork this week, she had family forum. She had to ask about an ancestor who was alive around 1900 and write a little history about them and maybe share a photo or two. I knew that my great grandparents would fit the bill for this project so, we went downstairs to talk with Honey, and get some scoop on her parents.

 Karlie wrote a page about her great great grandfather, William Gilbert Creel, of Catahoula Parish, Louisiana. She included some pretty neat photos too. Honey has quite the collection on her wall and in scrapbooks.

 Karlie's assignment was interesting to me. I love history, because to me history is more than names of people and dates, it's about real people with real stories. AND we need to capture the stories and life events for our memories not just when such and such happened.  Since I walked down memory lane with both she and Honey, I thought I would blog about it here too. After all, these ancestors that she had to research, the ones that lived during 1900, well, I actually knew them, spent time with them, walked in their home, heard them sing, and ate their cooking. So what was history to Karlie, is life experiences for me.

Honey got out her scrapbook 
to share some photos and stories with us.
William Gilbert Creel born in 1899 and Martha Ann Massey Creel  born in 1897 were married in 1924. To me, their oldest great grand and their other 'regular' grands, they were known as Papa and Granny Creel. For the record, I was born on his birthday, and named after her. I've mentioned that before in a blog post, but it's just too sweet not to re-mention. She was two years older than he was, and she was probably considered an 'oldmaid' at the age she was when she got married. Many of Papa Creel's siblings married Granny's siblings making for a lot of double first cousins. 

She always carried a coin purse with her with two silver dollars inside. One was a 1924 dollar for the year they were married and one was a 1896 dollar it was just 1 year older than "granny" was.
Here's that coin purse with those coins. When I took it out of my special drawer and took it downstairs, Honey had forgotten she had given it to me. She thought my mom had it and that it had been stolen when her house was robbed a few years back. 
Gilbert and his brother Albert play their instruments. Papa played his fiddle until he had an accident with a table saw and cut the end of one his fingers off. This happened prior to my birth so I never heard him play the fiddle, but I did hear him sing. He often would say, "If you can't sing it right, leave it off."
It's too bad that some people today do not heed this advice. He was a farmer, worked in the firetower, and was a song leader  in church. He often sang in gospel groups and even published a few songs. The music gene that GOD gave him has been passed down to many of his descendants in multiple generations.
Granny and Papa with their three kids.
Gilbert and Martha
Hannah, Shirley, and Shelby
The Gilbert and Martha were pronounced differently by their kin. Gilbert was pronounced GEERT and Martha became Martheee. 

The Creel family were devout Christians. Apparently papa was considered a Jesus fanatic, which that gene has passed down several generations too. Granny would not go to church on Sunday mornings, but would stay home and cook a huge meal. The story goes, that you never knew who was coming for dinner and, she worked on making sure there was plenty for all. She always went to church at night. AND when her baby was listed as missing in action in the Korean Conflict, she held strong that he was indeed alive and coming home. She quoted and claimed a particular Psalm everyday for his safety, but no one I've asked knows which one, and she would not dare of writing in her BIBLE...so I'll have to ask her that when we all get to heaven Her baby boy did come back after almost 4 years in a POW camp.
 Papa died of cancer in 1977, thirty-five years ago yesterday, he often quoted the 23rd Psalm and is said to have been quoting it as he died. He died with a smile on his face. On his tombstone, his family decided to take the titles of his songs and have them inscribed on his stone.
"I'm bound for that city, that heavenly home where I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever, so be ready for His coming where there will be peace down in your soul."

I am very thankful of a rich heritage of  Christian ancestors. I know these great grands of mine did some praying over their children, grands and greats. And I know the peace that he wrote songs about because of the Christian faith and examples of my family.

  Embrace your family, talk to your relatives, and record those family histories. AND listen to those older wiser relatives, they might just have a little advice to help you live your life. The older I get the wiser my relatives become.
(my great grands, my grand, my mom and me)

Don't learn from your mistakes, learn from other people's mistakes. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


"We do not remember days, we remember moments." ~Cesare Pavese 

 A photo taken of Jolie and Zach, when she first got a glimpse of him after not seeing him in weeks. She had been saying I just wanna see his face. She had been frustrated when facetime on the phone would not connect. She finally got her wish...and got to see Zach.
 This boy loves to take photos, but usually dodges getting his photo taken, but  I was fast enough this time to catch him.
 The kids always ask, "who's your favorite, mom?" This fellow right here, that's who, he's my favorite!
 Crazy love...or sore shoulders or a little of both
 Shoe tying moments happen frequently even with double ties.

No photos of the mom...
All I want for my birthday, or Christmas or some special gift giving occasion, would be some professional photos taken of the family...hint hint hint hint.