Saturday, May 21, 2016

Summer Vacation is Here?

Has it really been since February that I posted? Our lives are always busy so I am not going to go into the whole "we've been so busy" excuse. We are living our lives, doing what we have to do. Sometimes I have time to blog, most times I don't. Anyway...

I've pretty much always cleaned houses to help out with our family budget. I worked a public job for the first four years of our marriage, then my husband wanted me to stay home. He had just started preaching and wanted me to be able to go with him when he preached. So, I quit my job. Not long after that, my sister's mother-in-law asked her if I would be interested in cleaning for her one day each week. She asked, I did, and the rest is history. I cleaned for several years, right up until I had Emily. Of course, once she was born I just wanted to stay home and savor her. lol  Since we had a Christian school in our church until Emily finished second grade, I volunteered in the school. After our campus school closed and became a home school academy, we started homeschooling. Emily was now in third grade. We decided at that time that I could probably go back to cleaning. We did ACE curriculum exclusively at the time (which is super easy to transport) so Emily could just take her work and go with me. Soon, I found a house to clean and I met one of the sweetest ladies I have ever known. Her name was Phyllis. I started cleaning for her when Emily was in third grade. She was as kind to me as anyone I've ever known. She treated me more like family than an employer. She paid me very well, was never over demanding, and gave me bonuses every year on Christmas and my birthday. I loved her so much. Which made it so, so sad for me this past January when she passed away. She had been very sick for a long time (which was the reason she needed help cleaning). She grew continually worse over the years. She was a precious lady and I miss her so much.


And of course, after the busyness of the holidays, it was back to work. I always begin preparing for our ladies meeting (which is in May) right after the holidays. There is much to be done to be ready for it. We also host our home school formal in April. The kids really enjoy it, even though there are only a few of them. I am so happy that we can do this for them. Here is a picture of Emily.
                       ***not sure why, but I couldn't find the group picture***

Btw...I spent about two hours curling her hair and this is how it 
looked shortly after we arrived. Barely any curls left...

A few weeks ago, we are able to go to Bryan College
to watch their production of Oklahoma. (of course, if you've
read my blog at all, you know that Emily absolutely ADORES musicals,
especially the old classic ones)
The drama team did a wonderful job with it as well
as the music department. Wow! The music was awesome. It was like seeing it
on Broadway. 

My husband was blessed to be invited to preach
two different revival meetings out of state in April.
Emily and I didn't get to go to the first one, but we
did go the second time. We made a stop in NC and I was
so excited to find this. Typically, I don't drink soft drinks,
I usually drink only water. But, I couldn't resist this and it
was totally worth it. lol

One Wednesday night, my sweet little Kyeli and I, were
matching. We couldn't resist a little pic. I love these little
sweet kiddos. I helped pray them here and I adore them. 
They call me Noni (the name Becky and I chose for
her children to call me so they wouldn't have to say "Mrs. Tammy-it's 
italian for grandmother)  lol   One day when Emily has
children, that's the name I want them to call me too. 

And of course, Mother's Day! Here I am
with my sweet daughter. She has been a joy to me
all of her life. She has grown up to be so sweet and kind.
I could not have asked for a better daughter. 

She has now finished her junior year of high school. For now,
the plan is for her to do dual enrollment at our local community college
in the fall. Hopefully, that will go well. She is a great student so she should
do fine. She hasn't completely made up her mind on the college stuff.
She hasn't really applied anywhere (except Roane State for the dual enrollment)
Soon, she will need to do that. I am looking forward to a slightly less busy
school year next year since she will have a lighter load. 

But for now...
I have a page long list of things that I need to accomplish...
chores and housework that get neglected during the school year.
It doesn't look like much of a vacation, but I am ready to get to it. 
I know that I want to spend some time 
After all, one can't work all the time. ;)

Monday, February 29, 2016


CHANGE...I've never been one who likes change. If it's good, leave it alone. To quote MONK, "let's not change anything...ever!" lol  But, things do change, whether we like it or not. And our kids growing up and changing is a BIGGIE. Where does the time go? I have no idea. It seems as if one day she was a tiny baby, the next day a chattery little toddler, and then BOOM! She is a almost grown up young lady. It makes me sad, and HAPPY, but still sad. She has grown up to be a very sweet, compassionate, and kind young lady. That makes me happy. We waited sooooo long for her, I was afraid she might be spoiled rotten. (she is a little but not bad) ;)

Anyway, we think she has made a decision about college. For now, she has decided to go to our local community college and study business. She may (probably) go on to get her BS but will have to do that somewhere else. The nicest thing about her going here is that she doesn't have to leave home yet. She can live at home and still be able to attend our church. And since she has decided to go in that direction, we have also decided to allow her do the dual enrollment plan, which means that she can do her senior work there and get college and high school credits. She has been an excellent student, all of her school years. She is really smart, so in all honesty, it hasn't been a struggle. She has an unbelievable ability to memorize or just remember things she's only read once, so it has made some of it super easy for her. (the upper level math and science hasn't been as easy but she's done well in them) 

***For the majority of her schooling, she's done ACE (School of Tomorrow for some). In high school she's used mostly Abeka math (with the exception of Saxon freshman year) This year has been the first time she's done Abeka exclusively. That being said, I just want to brag a little on ACE. I realize that they DO need to update their material. Much of it IS out of date. ***Emily and I would get so tickled at the 80's hair and clothes***, but she got a very good education using their curriculum. I've listened to a lot of criticism over the years about it and how it's so lacking. It may be, in some ways. But, Emily has taken ACE English all of her school years, and she got a 32 on the English part of the ACT. She got a 33 on the Reading section. She made 31 on the Science part, and with the exception of this year, she's only had ACE in Science also. Her overall composite score on her ACT was a 29, and this was her first time to take it. So, really, I can't help but brag on them. She's gotten a good education, she's learned what she needed to make a very, VERY good score on her college entrance test. We do plan for her to take it one more time (just to see if she can get her composite score over 30) I just thought it might be nice to encourage some other home school families who get criticized for the choices. ACE is a good curriculum. If you choose to use it, your children WILL get a good education. Don't listen to the naysayers. :)
                                  OFF MY SOAPBOX

So, if all goes according to the plan, my part of home schooling may be done (with the exception of my guidance through her next year). 
:(   High school has been hard, but she has done very well and we are so proud of her. Please do pray for her. She's seeking what the Lord's plan is for her life, but she's still not sure. She just wants to be right where the Lord wants her and do what HE has for her to do. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Goodbye 2015~Hello 2016

YES, I realize it's a little late for a New Year's post, but I am just getting around to blogging. It's been such a busy last few months. Honestly...I know I always say that, but it's always true! lol   Anyway, this is Emily's junior year of high school, and it's a really hard year. She has Geometry, Chemistry, English, Life Management/Health, and Civics/Economics. She is doing all Abeka this year for the first time. It has been time consuming and HARD, but she is doing very well. I am not sure we could have gotten through this year had it not been for the DVD's. And, I have hesitated about sharing too much online, but I have been so excited! She took her ACT (college entrance test) for the first time in October and she made a 29!!! (which is a very good score) I know that the testing shouldn't be such a big deal (and it doesn't bother her, just me, thankfully she is NOT a nervous test-taker) But, I have always wanted to know that we were giving her the absolute best education we could and still teach her the values and convictions that have been so important to our family. She has always done well with her standardized testing, but I admit that I was a bit concerned with how she would do on the ACT. After all, this one would affect her college options. Turns out, we (I) didn't need to be concerned. She did great. She got a 33 in Reading, 32 in English, 31 in Science, and a 21 in Math. We plan to let her take it again to try to get the Math up a couple of points. If she can do that, she can get her composite score up from 29 to at least a 30 which would really give her a ton of options. So, that was an awesome happening.

In November, we had Bro. Andy Wells preach for us in Revival. He comes almost every year in November to preach...and hunt with my husband. They have been very good friends for years as they are the same age and have very similar interests. This year, he was able to bring his son with him and they all hunted every day and Bro. Andy got a very nice buck on the last day. Since, he had gotten a license for the whole season, Bro. Andy came back on two different occasions and hunted. My husband was blessed to be able to harvest the biggest buck he's ever gotten this year so of course, he plans to have it mounted. Not only that, but he was able to put two deer in the freezer (including the buck). Thankfully, we have plenty of meat for the coming year.

December was busy but we also had so much fun! We were blessed to be be able to take Emily to see The Sound of Music Broadway tour in Knoxville. It was our first time to see a Broadway show and our first time to attend a show at the Tennessee Theatre. We loved it so much and Emily got to meet some of the performers at the stage door.

There were no pictures allowed so this was all we got. :(  She loved the show and it was a great way to start out our holiday season. The same week we also had tickets to see Scrooge at the Cumberland County Playhouse and as usual, it was a beautiful production.

Emily has really gotten into making and decorating cupcakes lately. She loves to make them and takes every occasion to do it. She's getting pretty good at it too. She's always enjoyed baking so now she's just expanding on that. Here are some pics of some that she made to take to my Mom's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And of course, in December we always have our Ladies Christmas Banquet, our church Christmas dinner, and Christmas play. Busy, busy days for sure...
Here are a few pictures from our Ladies Christmas Banquet. I love all our precious ladies. The Lord has blessed our church so much. What a blessing for me, as a pastor's wife, to have such a sweet group of ladies to be a part of.

Mrs. Michelle gave the devotion and she always does a great job.
She really speaks from her heart and it is a blessing to all of us. 
Please be in prayer for her...her youngest leaves the nest today and
goes away to college. This is a hard stage of life.

Here are some play pics. 

And here are a few random pics

Me and My Sidekick

Pictures from my husband and Bro. Andy's successful hunting trip

Me and sweet Momma

My favorite preacher...who also happens to be my husband! lol

Emily and her little buddy

Another pic of me and Emily

Our family
Christmas 2015

My sisters and I with our Momma 
Christmas 2015


Me and my man

I made it successfully through the holidays without cheating
with the exception of Christmas day.
My honey got me some Krispie Kreme's which are 
my absolute favorite treat in the world.
And of course, it just wouldn't be Christmas without
at least a little bit of Egg Nog.
(I should never have looked at the carb count
though- because once I looked I only drank one glass) 

And for a bit of a diet update. We began Atkins on April 10.
With the exception of my husband's 50th birthday party
and Thanksgiving and Christmas Days, we never cheat.
We stick to it.
We've both lost about 25 pounds. I need to lose
another 10 or so and he needs to lose about 20.
I have gone from a Cato 16 to a Cato 8.
(Cato is about the only brand I buy so that's my gauge) lol
Atkins works for us. We like the food, and it's manageable,
even with eating out. We're doing good.
We don't use any special products (other than
an occasional Atkins bar or shake) We eat regular
food that we can buy in a regular store. 
Excited to lose the rest and begin to maintain. 

That's it for now. 
Looking forward to finishing off this tough school year
and start preparing for our annual ladies meeting in May,
I've got other things to share too, but that it is for another day.