About Me

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I am a person who loves life and loves capturing it in pictures and recording it in many ways. I have been happily married for over 40 years to my wonderful husband Mike. We have raised 4 daughters, were foster parents for 11 years and are now raising 2 of our grandchildren. They are the love of our lives and the light in our eyes. At this time in our lives, we would expect to be planning for retirement, but instead we are planning for the future of these children. Starting over so to speak. At the ripe old age of 50, I found myself as a mom of a pre-schooler again so it's the second time around for us, thus my title. We attend church and teach Sunday School. Life is never dull, as you can imagine. Enjoy the pieces of our lives and allow this grandmother some bragging rights occasionally, ok very often.
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Today was a wonderful day spent with family. We ate until we couldn't eat any more and then we ate some more. Here's a recap of our wonderful day.
Of course we all had to do our "thankful cards" we guessed who wrote each card. Even the kids were involved. Too cute!
The children's table was outside and so bright that Ellis needed sunglasses. It was such a beautiful day.
Paige, Greg and Austin joined us.
Autumn and Robert had to hurry and eat to be at another Thanksgiving meal at 3....the sacrifices we make for family!!
Our wonderful hosts. Amy hosted Thanksgiving, I will be doing Christmas in Alabama.
After we stuffed ourselved, the sale papers appeared and here is Ellis showing us what he wants for Christmas.
While waiting on the sales to start we decided to go see this movie. Kayleigh and Aunt Amy went to see "Twilight" while the boys and I went to the fun movie. Then we walked around Atlantic Station and found this.....
Don' these little guys look sooooooooooooo excited??
That's all folks. We enjoyed our day and missed Penny being with us but she will be here for Christmas. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and spending time with those you love.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Name Art

I received a housewarming gift today from my Alabama BFF (thanks Karen) and it is AWESOME. Let me share.....



It's our last name.....she went around our beloved campground and found the letters that spell BLACKWELL. How cool is that? Here's a closer look.....


B and L

A and C (the C was ivy growing out of a tree)

K and W

E (really cool tree)

L and L (the last L is actually our dock)

I think this is one of the neatest gifts I have ever received. Now I just have to find a spot worthy of it in my new home. Thanks again Karen, you are the best!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Alabama vs Auburn ~ Sorry Georgia Fans....

First of all, a disclaimer to all my Georgia friends who are Georgia fans. I am not turning my back on Georgia, but I just finished a project for McKane's teacher and thought I'd share. Evidently there is a HUGE rivalry between Auburn and Alabama. The school has a reading contest between Aubie (Auburn tiger) and Big AL the (Alabama elephant). McKane's teacher rescued two plastic trash cans-turned robots from the trash heap and asked me if could do something to them to represent the mascots. I sooooooooooooo wish I had taken a "before" picture so you could really appreciate them. They started out blue, red and yellow. I spray painted both cans, one orange and one gray. Then downloaded coloring pages for each mascot. Out came the glitter, crayons, markers, ribbon, mod podge and VOILA!!!! Here is what we ended up with. I took them to her today and she was thrilled! So glad my talents are being recognized here in the great state of Alabama. Oh, while reading to the kids today a story about things found in the rain forest, we talked about oak trees. I asked the children what came from oak trees and one little boy said "Okra!" How cute is that? All kids are awesome no matter where you find them.



 

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Adventures in Canning

 

It all starting with a partridge in a pear tree.......I mean a pear tree. Mike's brother in Alabama has a pear tree so Mike decided he wanted some pear preserves. I do not care for pears myself but hey, if he wanted to make some, who was I to stop him. So he goes to his brothers house and brings these back to me. Mr. Harlon is our resident know it all at the campground. I do not mean that in a bad way, he just knows a LOT of stuff. So he came by while Mike was gone and brought me all this canning stuff and told me what to go buy at the store to make the preserves. He said "You ARE doing the cooking aren't you?" News to me I said. I told him I didn't even like pears. So, I went to the store and got all the stuff and read thru the recipes and peeled about a million (little) pears. Did I mention I don't care for pears? Anyway, after all was said and done. This is what I ended up with.


 


24 Pints of pear preserves.......AND I DON'T EVEN LIKE PEARS!!! I hope they turned out good, I will never know because, well, you know.


 

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I have this many more pears to do something with. I wonder if horses or cows like pears??? I could get rid of them tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

GOD Is In Control

Update on Kayleigh's accident:

Last night Kayleigh was visiting her mom who lives on a farm and she jumped on a horse bareback. (I know, I know) The horse got spooked and took off running and Kayleigh was thrown. She suffered a concussion and broke her left arm. She was "out of it" and was alternating between screaming fits of rage to semi consciousness. We immediately took her to Tanner Hospital which was closest to her mom's house. They were not equipped to deal with children and "trauma" so they sent her by helicopter to Scottish Rite. When we arrived at Tanner, guess WHO was on duty?? Heidi from church was one of her nurses.(isn't God good?) They took such good care of her and we were so impressed. I usually like to be in control of situations but she was completely in God's hands. The ride to Scottish Rite was the longest in my life. I think I aged 10 years. When we arrived at Scottish Rite, they didn't realize we were in the waiting room and we didn't see her for about an hour and a half but when we did get to see her it was amazing the change in her. She was coming around and talking to us and answering questions. Talk about being thankful, you cannot begin to imagine. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that God had touched her and answered our prayers. There are so many who have to deal with children with brain injuries 24/7 and I just got a few hours of that kind of life. It was one of the worst things I have EVER experienced! When your child is hurting and incoherent, and there is NOTHING you can do except pray, you better believe you pray and pray hard. So she began to come around about 2 am and they put her in a room about 3. They kept her for observation and were amazed at her speedy recovery. When checking in they asked if we had any religious preferences that would affect her treatment and I said "We believe in MIRACLES". Then she ate a little and drank some, had lunch and drank a little more. After getting her cast and x-raying her arm again, we were discharged. She wanted to go to church tonight but fell asleep on the way home and we felt she needed the rest. The trauma nurse said that for her to be discharged so soon after arriving in her "altered state" was "tremendous" but I like the word "MIRACULOUS" better. Many heartfelt thanks go out to all who held our family up in prayer during this time. You will never know how much it meant to us to know you were praying for us. Kayleigh is fine and playing with her Ipod and annoying her brother so all is well in my world tonight. A far cry from last night, let me tell you! Thanks again, good night and God Bless

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Heart Is Heavy Today


Here are my two oldest daughters. Penny is in the purple and she left for Guatemala today to teach English for two years. While I am so very proud of her and so happy for her, I am really struggling with "letting go" again. First, we left her at college. That was tough. I thought I would hyper-ventilate on the way home. I couldn't breathe and I couldn't swallow and Mike wouldn't pull over so I could die. I just had to keep going. Then I moved to another state while she was still in college so I had to leave her again. I cried all the way to Georgia. (7 hours straight) Now this is the third time and it does NOT get any easier people. She is extremely independent and very capable of doing anything she sets her mind to. She is a definite leader. We wish her only the best in this latest adventure in her life. She loves children and is looking forward to this career move. Every parent wants every wish their child makes to come true and it does not matter how old that child is. We want our children healthy and happy. We will miss you Penny. Good luck and stay safe. We love you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Fun Part of Moving

 


Here is what I worked on today with the help of a dear friend (thanks Karen). We got some of my many scrapbook supplies organized. We made this space so pretty and ready for creative minds to enter. This is a sharp contrast to the garage that houses box after box of items that need to find a home. The plan for the summer WAS to go to the Georgia house during the week and pack, pack, pack. Then bring a load over every weekend and unpack, hang up, and put away. Much to my dismay, it hasn't quite worked out that way. See, I sort of thought the packing fairy would come and help me out but she must be on strike or something because I haven't seen her. The more the Georgia house gets emptied, the sadder it becomes and the harder it is to stay there to pack. Most of our previous moves have been for the company and they moved us. I just took my little packer girls for granted. They came, they packed, they went. I'm having a hard time getting in the groove. Now, when we go to the Georgia house, we pack to stay for a week. It's the reverse of what we have done for 5 years.

Not to mention, the calendar is mocking me. The kids start school in 3 short weeks. I have much to do in that time. But we are slowly making this home our home. Kayleigh's room is a work in progress that may take a little more convincing that she has no room for all the stuff she wants to keep. I will post pics when we reach that place. The kitchen is done and all the painting is done except for McKane's room. He keeps going back and forth from wanting an army room (green camo) to dirt bike decor. I personally would love John Deere so I could use all his stuff from Georgia. But he definitely has opinions. And he keeps reminding me that his room is the ONLY room in the house not painted yet. We know, McKane,just be a little more patient.

SO that is all for now, will post more pics of progress next time. I promise.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

VBS Week

Well, we have been in Alabama for 2 weeks enjoying getting to know some of the locals. The kids attended VBS at Pine Grove Baptist Church.

 

 

To say I was amazed would be a huge understatement. There were fabulous decorations and lots of helpers. There were over 700 kids there. Let me just say that this VBS ran like a well oiled machine. The Pastor's wife (Mrs. Joan) had it under control. They had the kids for 3 hours every day. I think she has done this before.
 

 

I stayed and offered my services and was put in crafts. (Are you surprised?) Didn't think so. Here are a few of our crafts. The theme was "I Love NY" so all of the crafts had to do with New York City, the big apple, etc. Did you know that New York had over 17,000 traffic lights? Neither did I.
 

 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ellis' Birthday

This little guy turned 3 over the weekend. Look at that face.... Isn't he precious? I am a (tad bit) biased grandmother, I'll admit.


 

His family joined us at the lake for some fun. Had to go on a boat ride and see the lake.

 
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The boys deemed this sailboat "The Pirate Ship". I tried to explain it was a sailboat but evidently, 6 and 7 year old boys know all there is to know about pirate ships.

 

He got baseball stuff from us. He eats, sleeps and dreams baseball. He got a ballglove, bat, a baseball T (which he promptly broke on the first swing), and plenty of extra balls. Whiffle of course. We had some batting practice. Doesn't he look cute?
 

He swings for all he's worth. If it's 32 degrees or 100 degrees, if you will throw him the ball he will swing every time. Mike is hoping he will be our athlete in the family.
 

Sharing a cupcake w/Gigi his great grandmother (my mom) who joined us.

 
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kayleigh's Baptism

Today Kayleigh was baptized by our children's pastor Garry Tanner. I can close my eyes and remember when she was dedicated. We are so proud of her and the young lady she is becoming. She has a heart of gold, we pray that she always has this tender heart and seeks to live for Him. Our awesome friend David White took this great shot for us. Thanks David.

 


Kayleigh had both sets of grandparents in attendance, her brother and her mom and dad. She is one loved little girl.
 


Her Aunt Penny was also there and treated her to lunch at Red Lobster after church. Obviously this isn't Red Lobster. They went to the mall after lunch to look for luggage. Penny is going to Guatemala to teach English for two years. She is leaving in July.

 
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Interview with Kayleigh about Baptism:

Me: What made you want to get baptized?
Kayleigh: Well, I wanted to get closer to God and to show everyone that I am a Christian.
Me: What does it mean to you now that you are baptized?
Kayleigh: It means that I am going to learn more about God.
Me: What do you think you getting baptized meant to God?
Kayleigh: That I'm a better person and I'm closer to Him now.
Me: Why do you think people get baptized?
Kayleigh: Well, some people do it so they won't go "you know, down to the devil" and I did it because I don't want to take Him for granted.
Me: What did it mean to have your family there?
Kayleigh: It was awesome because I want them all to know I trust in Jesus and I have him in my heart.

Note: Kayleigh opened a card from her grandmother and a smaller envelope dropped out. She read the card and said "awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. That's so sweet." Then she opened the envelope and it contained $$. She said, "Wow, I should get baptized more often!!"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Our Little Graduate

 

 
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Here's our little graduate. Isn't he precious?? He was soooooooooooo excited to be graduating. I don't even think he realized what it meant to graduate. He began crying with an earache about 4:30 so we weren't 100% sure he would even get to participate but he did. His mom got to go see him graduate, Mike got home from work in time, My mom went and our good friends Tony and Stacy joined us. After the graduation, we went to Dairy Queen where he was treated to a hot fudge sundae. It was a great night. We officially have a first grader now. Where have the years gone?

 
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Here he is with his wonderful teacher, Mrs. Forlaw. Doesn't she have perfect hair? But thou shall not covet thy neighbor's hair...... She has been a Godsend this year. We pray so hard for the right teacher for each of the children every year and God totally answered our prayers with Mrs. Forlaw. Mckane just adored her and she truly loved each and every one of her students. I hope we can continue to stay in touch even after we move. Good bye Kindergarten, hello first grade.

Limo Ride and Teacher Gifts

 

Kayleigh was treated to lunch at the mall in style. Her whole class was taken out to eat in this awesome limo. It was her first time riding in a limo. They were all so excited. Here they are!!


This was a reward from their awesome teacher for exceeding their AR goal in reading. Not to brag or anything but Kayleigh exceeded her goal by 22 points. Told you she loved to read. Anyway they had a great time. Kayleigh is the 4th girl from the left standing up. Now, on to teacher gifts.


My very talented friend Ashley paints stained glass windows so we ordered this little baby for McKane's teacher who is also awesome. (We really do pray for their teachers) After I got the window, I had the children place their little thumbprints all around the frame of the window. I then turned the boys into bees and the girls into butterflies and dragonflies.

 

Here they are presenting it to her. They were as excited as she was. McKane is f left wearing number 6.

 

First the happy tears.......

 


Then the excitement...Can you tell she LOVED it.

 
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