Monday, December 31, 2007

New Calendar and Background

I changed the background several
times tonight when I figured out
HOW to do it! I put a Wolf Kahn:

It looked GREAT with the green
background but too summery.
I have this living Vermont -NY artist's
Calendar for 2008.

I replaced my 2007 calendar:
Carl Larsson, Swedish painter,

The background above
is his painting called Kitchen Scene.

God is there and He is Not Silent

Last day of this year and I think
about the Lord's goodness unto me!
He hears so well my voice. That amazes
me. He heard today as I prayed to find
a lost folder for my oldest son. He needed
to post on this day, Dec. 31, 2007,
a form for the CPA exam to be
paid for ~~ and I prayed to see that which
is lost! There it was on a book shelf, right
in front of Elizabeth Goudge! What a
combination ~~ a tax firm and an English
writer! All full of character! I praised God
that I know He is there, He is my Hope
(Sunday's sermon) and a new song continues
into the New Year!

Here's a link to a beautiful photo on Elizabeth
Goudge's site:

There's a Christmas poem of hers on the
front page and a tranquil home in the snow!

Sing hey for the God who fashioned for us
This bountiful splendour of earth,
Sing hey for courage and wisdom and love,
For beauty and healing and mirth.
But most for the Child Who on Christmas Day
Took upon Him our human birth.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sweet Basil

Christmas gift giving got over
on Thursday at one of my older
brother's house in Chapel Hill.
Fun evening with cousins and
in laws and 2 brothers and 1 sister.
I am one of 8 ~~~ so quiet is
something I treasure because there
was always some sort of commotion
going on! Such good memories nestled
in my mind to pull from for a good
story! We stopped in Southern Pines
to see the Christmas trees decorated
on every corner on the main street,
to eat at Sweet Basil ( lovely homemade
soup served in these colorful small bowls
that make it like a work of art) and then
to Mary, Mary Quite Contrary ( fun gift
shop) and the Country Bookstore. Stopped
by my mother's grave on the way out of town
to see sprays of holly, magnolia leaves and
nandina berries on each of her families graves.
All from my grandmother's yard! She loved
flowers and planted for every season to bring
into the house!

I'm reading some Elizabeth Goudge
Christmas short stories while preparing
for an "Odyssey" with my high school students!
Never read that epic! We'll celebrate when
done for such a feat! The Lord keeps giving
me a lightness to that journey of Odysseus!

May the Lord Jesus become more
of a lover of your soul. Amy Carmichael wrote:

"Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Girls finally WIN

Emma and I were a
team last night in the Scrabble
Tournament. It was against the
two winning brothers and a dear
friend of ours. She is sort of like
an Aunt to my kids! Emma got
all the high counting letters and
used them.....with a little help from
her Mom, the scorekeeper!

Warm and cozy on Christmas
Day Eve!

Monday, December 24, 2007

It was 7 degrees in Charlotte

24 years ago when our oldest,
Bryan, was born today! Actually,
it was at 12:59 a.m. which could
account for his night owl hours
today! It was one of the coldest
Christmases in Charlotte . Ken
brought all the presents to the
hospital the following morning.
A baby at Christmas.....!!!

We have a Scrabble tournament
going on during the holidays while
these college guys of ours are home
and with anyone who wants to play.
Bryan has won two games and Gordan
one. Their dad is awesome at it.
Emma and I do pretty well to keep
up. Now we all are trying to beat
Bryan! Watch out. His first word
on the first game was TAX ~~!!

Merry Christmas
and a Happy Birthday
We love you!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Silent Night

After a wonderful, fun dinner
last night with my Bible Study
girls and husbands, tonight was
quiet. We watched an "angel"
movie ~ an old Cary Grant called
The Bishop's Wife. He's the angel
akin to It's a Wonderful Life. Black
and White and it's a snowy Christmas
in the movie. I always want to be
there , a sort of warmth to snow,
you know!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007


That small town hasn't changed much.
You'll be able to see it in "Leatherheads"
which comes in April! They filmed
up there for parts and in SC and in
Charlotte ( which my husband got in
on as a Press Agent). I smiled when I heard
from the media about filming in this
crossroads that my roots come from.
Oddly, I only have been there 3 times!

  • April 4 2007 : Filming in Tobaccoville, NC
  • April 5 2007: Filming begins in Charlotte, NC.
  • April 9 - 10 2007 : Filming in Spencer, NC at North Carolina Transportation Museum
  • April 11 - 13 2007 Filming in Salisbury, NC at Salisbury station.
  • April 16 - 20 2007 & April 23 2007 : Filming in Charlotte, NC. Memorial Stadium. Closed set.

  • Clooney paid some children 20.00
    at their lemonade stand for a drink
    in Tobaccoville!

    photo of Leatherheads,  George Clooney

    Sweet Funeral

    Emma and I met my sister and her
    husband up in Tobaccoville yesterday
    for the funeral of my mother's cousin
    who was 94. Yes, there is a town , south
    of Mt. Airy ( Mayberry) right near Hanging
    Rock and north of Winston-Salem that
    has that charming name! Gail and I
    had been up to see the "Old Homestead"
    after Mom died and to do some geneology
    work! (even gravestone rubbings!) Evelyn
    helped us identify Who was Who in old
    photos. My sister whispered to me the first
    time we went to the retirement home: "You
    will remember her! She will remind you
    of Mom." THAT was an understatement!
    I walked away thinking I had meet a sister
    of my mom's. Gail and I conclude to this
    day that Mom was so busy with 8 children
    that we didn't go up to Tobaccoville with her.
    No memories , but the GRACE of God is
    sufficient. We sat yesterday with all these distant
    relatives who have the same BROWN
    eyes as my mother and 7 out of 8 of her
    children. (there's a blue eyed one from
    her father's side!)

    Amazing to hear that 5 generations were
    present AND her oldest son sat with us.
    He is 74~ imagine knowing your mother at

    We sang a hymn called "Ninety and Nine"
    that Evelyn had chosen because she
    remembered her grandfather singing it
    to her. That would have been my great-
    grandfather. Evelyn was a charter member
    of this small town church since she was 21.
    Such deep rootedness! I found out the origins
    of the hymn today and it birthed from a collegue
    to DL Moody while in Scotland . There's a
    connection to Northfield, Mass. in the late
    1800's . My older brothers went to Mt. Hermon
    in Northfield for their high school! Imagine
    that! I wish I had known that yesterday or even
    when we visited Evelyn.

    Sunday, December 16, 2007

    Tree Lighting

    Emma was given some tiny Christmas
    tree lights for her dollhouse, that is
    all decorated for the holidays!
    Thank YOU to a dear friend!
    We'll take some photos to post
    when the head of the house gets
    home! We are just bakers and
    wrappers today ~~ decorating
    the Christmas cookies and wrapping
    some presents!

    Saturday, December 15, 2007

    Advent Devotion

    I sat down with my Bible to do
    an Advent reading from a handout
    from church. Psalm 72:18-19

    Blessed be the Lord God,
    the God of Israel,
    WHO alone works wonders.

    And blessed be His glorious
    name forever;
    And may the whole earth be
    filled with His Glory.
    Amen and Amen.

    From the short devotion:

    Out of silence came the prophet,
    John. Prophets come at God's
    good pleasure for His purposes.
    OH , how glorious a purpose was
    the coming of John! The wonders
    of God's greatest work began in
    Zachariah's house. God glorifies
    His name from the front porches
    of His people~~

    That was what happened in
    my previous blog ~~ wonders
    to show His good pleasure for
    His purposes.

    ( not my house, but a bit similar)

    Relax on the front porch and watch the snow ball fights and sledding! - Big Bear Vacation Cabin Rental Big Bear Vacation Rental

    Those angels

    I watched and heard God's fingerprints this week
    upon two lives~ my sister's and a brand new
    homeschooler. The latter needed courage to
    take a step of faith with her 4 dear little ones
    to bring them home. The angels surrounded her
    amazingly. The first morning she saw another
    mom walking with her children. Never saw her
    before. She had prayed and God brought this friend
    of mine into her path on the very first morning of
    her homeschool. My week was bookended with
    Ann. Late yesterday afternoon we got Ann a
    babysitter ( my sweet neighbor who is Emma's
    dear "older sister" in so many ways) so she
    could go to a Christmas Party to celebrate! God
    certainly does work deeply in our lives. He sort
    of weaves this amazing , colorful tapestry as Edith
    Schaeffer wrote about. I think this part has a
    golden thread in it!
    Monday and Friday were only the second
    and third time I have ever seen Ann. I think more
    times are coming!

    Fra Angelico
    Perugia Triptych: Angel of the Annunciation. 1437. Tempera on panel. Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia, Italy.

    Fra Angelico. Perugia Triptych: Angel of the Annunciation.

    Thursday, December 13, 2007

    Just when you think it's quiet

    An angel sounds!
    It's been full of those sounds this week!
    Fra Angelico

    Angel Playing a Trumpet, detail from the Linaiuoli Triptych (1433)

    Sunday, December 9, 2007

    Songs of the Saviour

    Tonight is the second performance
    of The Songs of the Saviour at church.
    Ken and Emma are in choirs and last
    night was absolutely magnificent. Part
    of the Charlotte Symphony plays with
    harp, flute, strings, harpsichord, oboe,
    brass......and most of the songs are from
    Handel's Messiah. By the time we got to
    O Come All Ye Faithful, you had to contain
    yourself for that is right after the Hallelujah
    Chorus from the Messiah! How can you
    not pour out in praise unto the Lord.

    Emma said the audience looks so colorful
    from the stage! She said it like she was looking
    at a Christmas Tree!

    another Angel from Fra Angelico

    Saturday, December 8, 2007

    Laundry hung and Angels singing

    Listening to Mass of the Children by
    John Rutter. He wrote it in 2002 because
    he had never written a Mass. Performed
    first in Carnegie Hall . The Children's
    Choir opens with Awake , My Soul
    and frame the ending with Glory to Thee.
    In between , the Adult Choir sings as one
    waking up to the end of the day and
    falling asleep!
    It's very, very heavenly and
    angel like! Don't you like when the
    composer tells you , just as an author in a
    Preface, what and when it all happened ~~
    that spark of creative energy, sort of electric!

    The laundry is hung on this very warm
    day in Advent as the third load is in the

    Karin By The Linen Cupboard,1906

    A Walk with Jane Austen

    Thursday night our Book Club gathered
    with a festive spread that included "Rout Cakes
    for Mrs. Elton" ~~ IN Jane Austen's day, a rout
    was a fashionable evening party and these were
    ( a shortbread cookie from Tea With Jane Austen
    by Kim Wilson)
    and a telephone call to the author! What
    fun! We were all so excited to hear her voice
    and ask her questions. Imagine doing that with
    other authors! Lori Smith's second book is
    about her journey to England to follow Jane's
    steps and she wove her spiritual journey right along
    side it. Very well written and I missed Lori's
    voice when I closed the book. Her honesty and
    struggles as a single , amidst the joy of knowing God,
    reached past the issue of singleness-marriage.
    Such delight in God's grace in her book:

    " And this is where my walk with Jane Austen
    comes in again, because Jane taught me
    something about the value of an ordinary life~~
    things I'm not sure I understood before I
    was stripped of being able to do the ordinary."

    ....."there's no end to God's grace -- which is big
    enough for every single day that I got up..."

    Good book to recommend! Thank YOU Lori for
    the blessing you gave us in a conversation with
    you! Check out her blogs: and
    You'll find her in good company .
    May God bless you , Lori and answer our prayers for

    From a friend's blog:

    Whose Head?

    Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    Got Tagged!

    This is a first ~~ being tagged!
    It's from a lovely blog called
    Letters from a Hill Farm. I was
    introduced to Stacey Kent's magical
    voice from Nan's blog and even had Ken
    look up her blog when I was at Borders
    to find this singer's name!
    So here goes:

    What is your most enduring Christmas memory?
    Getting our puppy collie on Christmas morning.
    How my mother kept it from us 8 kids, I'll never
    know. My older brothers knew Brandy was in the
    house Christmas Eve , but we younger ones didn't.
    She came bounding out into the living room Christmas

    Do you have a favourite piece of Christmas music?
    I keep listening to different versions of
    On a Bleak Midwinter, in particular a CD
    from Redeemer PCA in NYC....
    and the Hallelujah Chorus!
    Can't help but sing from the depths of my heart
    ..And He will Reign Forever and Forever! Amen!

    Do you stick to the old family traditions?
    Yes, because they always feel good like my
    old slippers. We have introduced some new
    ones as the boys have gotten to be young adults.
    One is going out to lunch on Christmas Eve to
    celebrate our oldest's birthday, we started when
    he turned 21. A friend told me
    that they do "secret" gifts within the family. Her
    neighbor picks the names out of a hat and they
    have to give something that doesn't cost anything.
    She likes to get the ones still at home ~~ she makes
    their bed and picks up their room every morning for
    a year!!! I wanted to be in her family! May start that
    tradition this year, once my college sons are home!

    What makes your mouth water at Christmas time?
    We have lamb on Christmas. I love to light candles
    and put on music with dinners. We have Christmas cookies
    and we have a Honey Bake Ham dinner sent by
    Ken's brother on the week of Christmas. That is such
    a gift ~~ the boys always ask if it has arrived!

    How soon do you put the Christmas tree up and
    when will take it down?
    I grew up decorating the tree on Christmas Eve!
    My dad would get the biggest tree for a bargain.
    We now decorate it about 2 weeks before Christmas
    and keep it up until just past New Year's. This year
    I may keep the white lights I strung across the mantle
    up all year. They have brought a warmth as soon as the
    sun goes down! Even my husband said "That is so nice!"

    Tuesday, December 4, 2007

    You'll have to read Evan's letter

    Those were Emma's words about her
    letter from her brother away for one more
    week ~~ in college! She giggled while she
    read it late this afternoon. I was trying to
    do Yoga. I did and hopefully can keep it up
    to stretch out these old limbs!

    I also got our second Christmas card-letter
    today. The first being the Fairy Calendar and
    card! Both are from those called by the Lord
    to serve in missions. These know much about
    prayer and communication!
    I'm trying to get cards to college students
    before they come "home for the holidays!"
    It can be a lonely place and mail always
    brings a hug.

    I do love this card maker who makes
    them to support college ministry~ Coalition
    for Christian Outreach. I've never met
    Bonnie , the artist. I do help evaluate her
    new cards she's designed, which is a blessing
    to a letter writer!

    Gold Foil G-clef against the stars
    And suddenly there was with the angels a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased. —Luke 2:13-14

    Merry Christmas

    Will let you know what the giggles were about
    when I read the letter!

    Monday, December 3, 2007

    Shepherd's Abiding

    We started the morning at the library
    for the Symphony Talk to hear the
    Baritone from the Opera , one of the Wise
    Men in the production of Amahl and the Night
    Visitors. I picked up several new books
    and the audio of Shepherd's Abiding.
    Jan Karon's book (Christmas story) came
    out 4 years ago. I read it out loud to my
    mother, who was out of the hospital
    with 24 hour care! We started just about
    when the story does ~~ October 1st. She loved
    Mitford and Father Tim. She fell asleep with
    the lull of my voice reading
    about Father Tims' surprise for Cynthia.
    She only heard half the book, for God
    took her on the 22nd to be HOME for
    Christmas. How she longed to see her
    parents and she had healed down to the
    bottom of her soul with any bitterness
    towards my father. ( divorce) I saw
    the Gospel ringing true to Jesus' words.
    "Forgive those who trespass against you..."
    He healed a deep wound in her.
    We sang Hallelujah as my dear sister
    in tears said "We have to sing!" She
    was Home for the Holidays!

    We're listening to the audio in the car and
    the rest of the day was a "Mitford" one.
    Heard from a good young mom this morning.
    That blessed me! Saw my neighbor at the
    grocery store. Then a quilter friend of a friend
    right after that. Two at the Harris Teeter!!

    Here's what we need ~~ from the first
    chapter, the first paragraph:

    "The rain began punctually at five o'clock,
    though few were awake to hear it. It was
    a gentle rain,rather like a summer shower
    that had escaped the grip of time or season
    and wandered into Mitford several months

    Jan Karon's site has the first chapters
    online. You turn the pages of the books
    on the bottom corners of the page JUST
    like you would with a real book. Amazing

    Saturday, December 1, 2007

    Christmas Fairy from Worthing

    A dear friend's friend in Worthing,
    England sent Emma a Fairy Calendar
    and a sweet Christmas card that is
    an English mailbox. They are different
    over the great ocean.
    We were so surprised and so deeply
    touched that someone thought of her
    from afar! She writes:

    "and may 2008 be a good year for
    you all as you learn more about Jesus."

    Something so sparkly and magical in the
    Spirit of God!

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