Saturday, November 20, 2010

Morning Walk

YES, I took these! These were just a few things that caught my eye on a gorgeous fall morning. I am so glad I ran back in the house to grab my camera before going on this walk! It seemed like every time I would take a few steps on my walking path, I'd see something else that I had to catch with the camera. These images are now filed under the heading "More reasons why I love living here".

I think it really is often the case that we really stop 'seeing' those things that surround us every day, simply because they are so familiar. Fall gives us the chance to notice everything again. Familiar places become riots of color. We take off our blinders and notice once a gain what a glorious world our Father in Heaven gave us to live in and how blessed we are!

Only now I am faced with a pretty serious dilemma: Do love North Carolina more in the Fall or in the Springtime? Tough one...
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

You're Somethin' Else

We had an excellent time at the 2010 Ward Halloween Party! I wonder what the chances are that next year we can get dad to dress up?
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Halibut has been working very hard at school. I always get really good reports from his teacher, but hitting the highest rung of the 'behavior chart' has proven a little difficult. On this day, October 4, 2010, he decided to memorialize the fact that he made it to "Exceptional" by writing it in a card (he "exed" out the other half of the card that was his birthday message from Grandma & Grandpa).

A while later, he decided that we needed to have a behavior chart here at home. So he made one up himself for our family with everyone's name on it and posted it on the bulletin board. He is doing great around here now that his performance is tangibly recorded where it can be seen. We are very proud of him.

Today, he even moved me to 'Super'! I feel pretty good about that...

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Pot Pie, oh my!

We love pot pie around here! The turkey leftovers were getting a bit tiresome after a week, but, it semed like they were always scarfed up when I put them in a pie. This one turned out especially pretty... so I had to show it off!

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Saturday, October 30, 2010


There is nothing in the world I can think of that Gigi loves more that Wings! Looks like she's sure enjoying these, Wouldn't you agree?
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Princess G!

I love this funny, Amazing, Beautiful girl so much! But can somebody please tell me how she can already be 12 YEARS OLD!!!!

It is not possible!

It seems like just yesterday she was playing dress up and carrying all of her toys around in various bags and backpacks.

Gigi is such a joy to have in our family! her sweet spirit and loving personality is truly remarkable.
Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So Excited for Scouts!

Halibut just can't wait until he is able to go to Scouts! Even though he has several months let before he can start, he decided to wear his Scout shirt to school yesterday and proudly showed it off to his teacher. He had a fantastic day and came home with a note saying he'd been "Exceptional". He told me that wearing his uniform was what helped him be exceptional. Maybe what we wear does matter...
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Going Green

'Going green' in the summertime around here means fingers, toes, and hair (!) colored in the official colors of the Heritage Hills Hurricanes.

Halibut was half-way to neon-green hair when he decided he liked his 'beach-bum' bleached blond locks well enough to stop right there.

That's what the Psyche -up party is all about. Well, that and throwing pies at the coaches!

The Butterfly

I'm still giggling over the phone conversation I had with Marlan a few weeks ago. If you know Marlan, you'll know why.

She was lamenting the fact that she had promised to drive a friend to an appointment and back the next morning. The commitment would last about 4 hours. None of her other friends were in a position to extend this help to the girl for one reason or another. She was just realizing that this meant that she could not take off to her boyfriend's house right now like she really wanted to.

I specifically remember her asking: "I mean, when did I become 'The Responsible One'?" When indeed?

Our adventurous, fun-loving, dramatic Marlan has travelled a long, windy road of less-than-logical decisions and their consequences. We finally learned that a lot of her erratic behavior was being caused by MS. Unfortunately, her self-perception suffered as well as just about everything else.

She has worked really hard and overcome tremendous obstacles and struggles during the past few years. She has made a lot of progress towards creating a stable, productive, and meaningful life. Which is what we all strive for in this life, isn't it?

Marlan has always been smart. Sometimes too smart (for her parents!). But now she is able to harness all that brain power and focus it on her goals. MS had been robbing her of that. Our most recent conversation involved how she is working on tackling calculus and juggling a full load of classes and a part time job. Calculus?, yes, of course you have to pass calulus when you're majoring in Chemistry. What? Isn't that just about the hardest major in the college catalog?

Marlan recently started a new medication which seems to be a game-changer for her. She feels better and seems to have more stamina than she has in the past. Such a blessing!

Reclaiming faith in herself and in her Divine Nature as a daughter of God has been challenging. I want her to know how very proud her family is of her and how important she is to us. And I know His love for her dwarfs even ours.

One of the most amazing things to watch in nature is the butterfly emerging from her cocoon. We are in awe...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Funny Little Things He Says

It was blissful this morning as I lay in bed, lazily contemplating getting up at 9 am. (Just a few more weeks until school's in session and these kinds of mornings will just be a distant memory...)

Now, I don't normally consider myself a cranky person in the morning. Then why, I wondered was this the first thing I heard:

"Mommy, I'm going to play Wii, so if you hear something can you not mind?", for the rest of the day I will be wondering how, exactly, my children see me.


Last night I found an unwelcome visitor dining on some sort of goo that had spilled near the trash can in the kitchen. Apparently somehow it had squeezed under the door and come inside. It was about four inches long- HUGE in 'girls&bug' terms - and at first I thought it was plastic 'fishing bait'....until I touched it curled up into a ball.

Amidst the 'eew-ing" and "ahh-ing" of girls and Dad, we heard a quiet and very serious plea:

"Dad, I very, very want to collect that."

sadly for him, the animal was released back into the wild...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The other day as I was swimming laps in the pool a woman in the next lane asked me, "are you Starfish's mom" (Starfish was at home). "Yes, I am," I replied.

"I thought so," she said, "you look just like her".

Now, I've heard this comment many times from friends. This was a first coming from a complete stranger. And also the first time that I was soaking wet! I've even been told we are "twins" before.

To me, this is the best compliment, ever!

While I think there's a resemblance, I don't think we look that much alike...she gets her good looks from her dad, but she is even more beautiful on the inside!

I have to admit that I am totally flattered and never get tired of hearing it!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Trouble Sleeping

Dear Heavenly Father,
please help me not see stuff that isn't there,
not have bad dreams,
and not be scared of the dark...

...oh, how simple and heartfelt are the prayers of a little boy who has faith.
(these are his actual words, not mine)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ya got Trouble

Ya got trouble,
Right here in River city!
With a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "P"
And that stands for POOL.
We've surely got trouble!

I had a fun evening with Gigi tonight. We watched a Monty Python movie and listened to Broadway show-tunes on Pandora - noting the next classic musicals that we need to add to our DVD collection: The Music Man, Fiddler on The Roof.

A few weeks ago we borrowed The Music Man from the library. It was quite a hit - but nobody took to it quite like my Gigi. She says that she watched it 5 times. I think it was more.

Tonight was like being in a place where there is usually a constant noise in the background, like music in a store or traffic near a busy street, noise I've become used to, but then having that noise stop, and realizing that there's something really wonderful going on that I haven't noticed before because it's been drowned out by the noise.

Gigi is the classic 'middle child' caught between two remarkable sisters. She is very flexible, easy-going and independent. Of all our kids, she demands the least of my attention, but she always, always has a smile and a hug waiting for me. Well, tonight the other two girls were away. That background noise I'd become accustomed to was strangely absent.

She quotes the movie at random during dinner with the Missionaries the other day.

Are certain words creeping into his conversation?
Words like 'swell?"
And 'so's your old man?"
Well, if so my friends,
Ya got trouble

I never really thought about how funny she can be, how silly, how much she enjoys fun movies and music. She's the first to mimic Tevye's little jig with me: 'If I were a rich man, Daidle deedle daidle daidle daidle deedle daidle dum....' Only Gigi shares my Tim Hawkins addiction.

When she found this song, 'Ya Got Trouble' from The Music Man, on the internet, she just lit up - singing and dancing around. She knows most of the words...I think we just might have a Broadway Star in our future...

This girl already shines!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


So it seems that Miss Orca has found her true calling...or one of them anyway: entrepreneur! She and her best buddies from the 'hood set up a stand for selling jewelry. they braided (or weaved, not sure) bracelets and rings as they sat under the big tree on the corner. They were quite the salesmen, er, 'saleskids" They actually made quite a haul

They are planning their next event soon!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Heart and Soul,.... and a Little Fishin’

What do you call it when you realize that you’ve been missing something wonderful that has always been there, seemingly waiting, for you to just shift your focus enough to find it?

It was just by chance that we ended up staying in a house on the Intercoastal Waterway this year at Holden Beach. We had waited until the last minute to book a beach house and happened to luck into one situated just a hop away from the bridge, which made it really easy to get to Provisions...and WINGS, of course. It also had a dock right on the Intercoastal Waterway. We didn’t realize at first what this meant.

Grampa brought fishing poles and gear…and found a bait shop for worms (after bologna and hotdogs didn’t do the trick).

What a wonderful experience it was for the kids to get to fish with cousins or an uncle after a day in the sun, sand, and waves! In the evenings, all three families (Cleggs, Prices, Fishers) and Grandparents would converge at the house for dinner and to visit. After dinner, kids and adults would inevitably drift down to the dock to throw in a line and stand waiting, talking, or not talking. Some nights, just a few croakers and pinfish took the bait, other nights, (once the bait got upgraded to the leftover shrimp...absolutely do NOT mention this around Grandma) they were being reeled in fast and furious.

On the East side of the Island, it’s all about the ocean. The waves, the wind, the sand. The colors are always the same: varying shades of blue and grey sky and water and miles of beige-brown sand. We are lulled by the steady rhythm of the waves and tides that never end, like the steady beating of the heart.

On the West side, it’s peaceful. Quiet except for the occasional boat or jetski, … the splash of a jumping fish, the low murmur of a father and son’s fishing banter . Maybe a cool breeze will arise, maybe not. The colors are dark blues, greys, greens, the sunwashed pastels of weathered beach-house paint, or bright oleander flowers, and everchanging shades of yellow, orange, pinks, purples, and red sunsets. Just being there brings joy to my soul.

After 14 years of focusing purely on “the big show” a few steps to the East that is the Atlantic Ocean, I have finally become aware of the peace, beauty, and fun that has always been there, waiting to be discovered…just on the other side.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


After so many years it seems like we've just about done it all at the Beach. Actually, we are totally happy doing the same old things: wave jumping, skimboarding, shell hunting, reading, etc. We never get bored with our comfortable routine, but don't really expect anything different. And that is fine. Everything's fine when you're at the beach!

But lo and behold, this year a little something out of the ordinary popped up.

We had been working on burying Halibut in the sand:

When we noticed that someone had drawn an immense sand maze! The kids had fun trying to work their way through it without crossing any solid lines. FUN!

I was so impressed that the person who created it with painstaking detail had spent so much time doing it, and then left it to entertain strangers...knowing that the waves would eventually come and wash it away.....

It made me think about how we often spend so much time doing (or working to pay for) things that are temporary: decorating a house, gardening, etc. Do they really matter in the long run?

Mothers know that a lot of what we create is temporary: meals, Halloween costumes, science projects, clean laundry, cupcakes for the class, family vacations.....

We do it anyway. Each day mothers create seemingly fleeting moments of comfort or joy, but the memories won't be so easily washed away. When we do the same old things every day, we are investing our time and talents building families, strengthening relationships... those things last forever.

I like looking at it from that perspective!