Monday, November 30, 2009
So, don't want to miss a day not being Christmasy - only I'm having a hard time changing my colors on this blog -
I want to redesign it and was going to get help from Laura Beth or Kate during Thanksgiving - but there never was a time for that.
I'll do it over the phone. Maybe Ann can help me.
Tomorrow is a crazy day. Andrew's surgery is tomorrow. Mary Ann got here last night. She'll be here to get Ellie and Luke at school. Charlie and I will get E. and L. to school early, then go over to H'ville to check on the Barbers before we drive to Auburn for Sarah's Senior Art Show from 4:00 to 6:00 in the afternoon. It's a big deal and I am really looking forward to all of that - I just wish Andrew's surgery didn't have to be on the same day. We'll all be fine - it's just the anticipation of it all. Ellie and Luke are spending tonight with us.
So - back to this blog and posting. I'm at least trying to change the Christmas colors and want to share some 1950's photos with any reader. The ones to the right are of Mary Ann and me one Christmas. I was probably in the 4th grade and Mary Ann in the 6th. Mother had a friend take the picture with her Polaroid for a Christmas Card - only we didn't realize until much later that my zipper was unzipped. I have done some touchup with my computer photoshop to close up the zipper. Mother didn't use that for Christmas cards that year.
The next picture is our Northcutt Christmas gathering at my grandmother's house. It is so typically a 1950's Christmas. I am in the bottom right corner with the cowgirl hat on and holding my doll. Mary Ann is on the small couch with Mother. She's holding her doll. I remember that doll of Mary Ann's, her name was Kay. Mary Ann named her that and I have the blanket to that doll, here at my house. I named my doll, that year, Leta Sue, after a friend of mine who had moved away. That was the year I got my cowgirl vest and hat and guns. In those days, there were some really cool cowgirl TV shows on, like Dale Evans and Annie Oakley. I loved playing Cowgirls. So - as girly girl as I was, it fit for me to get the guns and holster and hat and vest. The other folks in the picture are Daddy, my uncle and cousins. It was all fun, and magical. Notice the tree, if you can see it - not designer stuff in those days. Just glitter and color.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I have noticed on my girls' posts and some other blogs I read -
everyone chose to list things they are thankful for this season.
I just named what we did and all the next things we have to do.
I guess I sometimes see life as a project - I enjoy projects - and I like to do them well - and I like to complete them.
This is what I thank God the most for all the time - when I lie awake at night, sometimes unable to sleep, I think of persecuted believers who are suffering for the sake of Christ and their love for him. I think of how uncomfortable and in pain, often, they are while in prison - having been beaten - or just being in a cell that is cold and hard. And I thank Him for my comfort but know in God's economy they are more privileged than I - having the opportunity and courage to suffer for Him. I'm thankful that God revealed Himself to me and has given me healthy children who have given their hearts to Him. He has chosen them to love Him passionately. I am grateful for that - so grateful. I am grateful for a loving and healthy husband who is still here and with me. We've grown together through thick and thin and as my cousin-in-law, Martha, says, we've learned the dance. She understands that - and her husband, John, is with the Lord in heaven now. They definitely learned the dance.
As I think of those believers who are in prison, I also think of nonbelievers who are in prison for crimes they've committed and I pray for those dark places - and I pray for them and their darkness - I am grateful that God provided me not only with the knowledge of Him and His grace, but an understanding of life and discipline and order and obedience and rules that have to be followed for our sanity - not for our salvation but for a civilized world. He allowed me to be born to parents and into an extended family who taught me sound living. I pray for those who didn't have that and are suffering greatly for their misdeeds. I pray that God's grace and light will be revealed to them.
I have so much to be thankful for, it seems endless.
Mostly I'm thankful for eternity. I really really am. Not just saying that because it's the best thing to say. I want to really look forward to that, the closer I get to heaven. I know that the day I trusted Christ and was brought to life in 1968, that day I did enter the eternal kingdom. But I'm still on earth and I am so thankful for life after this life. And for God who gives me abundant life right now on this day. Always hope. Always light.
Anyway, I could go on and on.
I am thankful for simple pleasures. I love those. Getting up in the morning - going to bed at night - and the daily tasks in between. Nothing too complicated. I am thankful for the moon and the stars in the sky at night that remind me, in a physical way, of the greatness of God - as if the seasons and the birth of a baby don't already do that. Still, every night, in the sky, that vast night and the stars up there and the moon.
I am thankful for little hands that touch me - Ellie's and Luke's and Ada's and Andrew's. So sweet and so cute.
See? There's no stopping me.....
You get the picture.
:-) Thanks everyone for reminding me to name what I'm thankful for.
Friday, November 27, 2009
He really really liked them.
Ellie taking a bite.
Ada deciding to just "use her hands".
but it turned out rather pleasing - so he's planning to take on that project himself. After he returns from driving his mom back to Pensacola.
They left this morning.
The Moores have left for McDonough - so here I have taken down all the pumpkins and gathered them on my kitchen counter. Transitioning from Fall Decorations to
Have to decide which ones to use this year. My family doesn't think I'll do it, but there's so much going on - Sarah's Senior Show, Andrew's Surgery, Sarah's graduation and moving from Auburn - I'm planning to keep my decorating very simple. I'd rather just use what I can reach without climbing. Pull out something here and put it there. Easy - no digging or climbing - just place it on the table and it's done. That way clean up after Christmas will be easy and we can concentrate on the arrival of our little John, in February.
staring up at my Christmas Decorations....
in my large closet
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Saturday Day 1: For Dinner, we had Taco Soup out at Ann's house, but that afternoon, Ellie and Luke and Andrew played in our front yard. Ann took lots of photos of them in the leaves. She left with Andrew and we had some fun Grandchild/Grandparent moments - I took a few pictures and will show those later.
Sunday Day 2: Early that morning learned that Luke had been up with coughing and fever. I volunteered to stay at home with him during church. Ann teaches Sunday School and had nursery duty. If I was going to have to miss church I preferred to be at my house instead of in the nursery subbing for Ann. I do not like missing Steve's teaching. But for a sick little Lukie - maternal takes over.
Scott and his dad dropped Laura Beth and Ada off at our house, up in the morning. Sarah and Kate went to church and Charlie left for his meeting at Point Clear. So - the people mix is starting to change. Minus Charlie - Add Laura Beth and Ada.
Lunch was at my house which is what we do. Had a Beef Casserole, English Peas, Rolls and a Mrs. Smith's Pie. I hate to be a food snob - but my pastry and pies and cobblers are so much better than anything storebought. They just are and I resented eating those storebought calories when my homemade calories would have been so much better. The casserole is one of my favorites, but 2 of the Barber family members don't really like it. I like to please everyone. Including myself. :-)
Monday Day 3: Woke with Ada early - she wakes up full throttle - so funny. I made us both coffee(foffee) she takes hers with mostly milk - I take mine black. After a shower, Kate and I went to Wal - Mart to spend a whole lot of money on the final Thanksgiving stuff. Charlie had already done some preliminary shopping for me - but this other had to be done.
Afternoon - Ann came by to get Andrew after leaving him while doing her grocery shopping. Went out to the car and there was Luke who was much worse and looked rough. After Ann made a quick phone call to Dr. Powell's office and after making some quick decisions about children and where they would stay - well - here Ann and I go off to H'ville with Luke, who wanted Near closeby. I could say he wanted Near to be near. I was very near. I held him all during the Doctor's visit. He doesn't have strep but has an "adnois or is it adnoise" virus. I don't know how to spell that word.
Brings us up to.....
Tuesday Day 4. Charlie will drive over to Pensacola, pick up his mom and they will be here tonight. We're having Potato Soup for Dinner. I'm looking forward to that - but first - have to get the sheets changed on Lib's bed(Lib is my mother in law - her name is Elizabeth but she is affectionately called Lib) We are both Elizabeth Rhodes. And the bathrooms cleaned....and....some dusting.....and then start on soup....and one more run to the grocery store. I'll probably send one of the girls.
This concludes my post which keeps anyone checking in up to date on Thanksgiving at 1412 Byron Road.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Planning your Thanksgiving Celebration? Is it for traveling or hosting or just eating a snack alone in front of your TV watching your favorite TV shows. See? That doesn't sound bad to me - but then to say that sounds like I'm not looking forward to my rather sizable family being in my house and around my table. I am looking forward to it and I tend to make it quite an event - I've had the huge stack of recipes out for a couple of days - looks like I'm an event planner - going over all this stuff. I like to use the china and the crystal and the sterling silver - and create ambiance and we get casually dressed nice, except that I don't have anything to wear - oh well - had hoped to get to H'ville and find something, but I don't think that is going to happen. I look forward to a day when I can do a bit of remodeling and have a larger dining space.
So - wonder what folks are having.
I made the cornbread yesterday for the "dressing". It's in the freezer now. I am going to make yeast rolls today and freeze them for "brown and serve" rolls. Who knows that trick? Well, I know we usually just rely on Sister Schubert, but I'm wanting to make my own this year. Anyway - can be made ahead...do a slow, low cook in the oven - cool - and freeze. When ready to eat, thaw them out and bake. Fresh yeast rolls.
Also - am going to bake sweet potatoes today and get them mashed and in the freezer for the casserole - and also making a pie that is part pecan/part sweet potato. Looks yummy. Charlie has to have a pecan pie and Sarah has to have a pumpkin pie - but I am also going to return this year to a recipe called Pumpkin Crisp. Used it one year and it was delicious! Served with Ice Cream. So good.
Have to have those spiced peaches - a recipe I have made with canned cling peaches and with added spices and sugar and a pinch of vinegar they become those great Spiced Peaches. I love them. Also I have to have the cranberry congealed salad. One of my favorites and I also love the cranberry sauce. Laura Beth prefers the jellied and I prefer the whole - so we have both.
With all of that we'll have rice which is a tradition that comes from Charlie's family. We used to go down there for Thanksgiving - and they always had rice. Always - alongside the dressing - not stuffing. So...gravy goes on the rice and it goes on the dressing as well. All so good. I do have the wholegrain rice. Love the crunch.
When Ann was small she insisted on the Green Bean Casserole - you know, the one with the cream of mushroom soup and the Fried Onion Rings in a can. I embellished it quite a bit and made it especially good - but we've steered away from that recipe in the last few years. I think Ann's pallette has moved on to other veggies or veggies cooked a bit differently.
I am going to have either canned or fresh green beans as well as cooked carrots. We have to have some color and something a bit lighter.
I think that's it - Have I left out anything? I've been known to leave out important items.
Another task for today is to cook the chicken to get that good broth which will go into the dressing and into the gravy. Love the good homemade broth, seasoned with celery and onion and sage.
No..I haven't forgotten the Turkey - except in the last couple of years I have begun buying a Turkey Breast instead of the huge Turkey - actually, last year I bought 2 and this year I'm going to buy 3 to cook. Also, last year for the first time I did "Brine" the Turkey Breast. I am all about that now. Really helps with the juicyness of the meat and its not getting dried out. I found my Brining Bags at Williams Sonoma and used the recipe for Brine on the back of the Bag Box.
Charlie has some "meetings" at Point Clear this weekend. Always this time of year, right before Thanksgiving. Whose idea was that??? to plan business meetings out of town a couple of days prior to T'giving??? Well, we make it work for us because Charlie then drives over to Pensacola to bring his Mother up here to be with us during Thanksgiving. She is sharp and alive and well at age 86. She'll get to see her 4 great grandchildren and that will be fun. Ellie used to call her Great Near - since she calls me Near - she just did that on her own - Great Near. I don't know if she'll still do that, but it was cute when she did it. My girls call her Grandmother - so probably that is how they'll name her. They are around her so seldom to develop a regular "affectionate" name. I think one will happen this trip -
I have to go and get on with my daily tasks - but wanted to post.
Did all watch the news and the weather? Thanksgiving morning should be our first morning "freeze" - looks like we'll have a fire in the fireplace - ahhhh - those scents - wood smoke - spices and seasonings wafting up from the oven and stovetop in the kitchen - the warmth and almost too much warmth from all the cooking. Lets not forget that first cup of coffee in the morning. Can't beat that scent and probably there'll be bacon - Charlie does that in the microwave. He knows just the right amount of time to get it very crisp and not so greasy.
Well - that's my Thanksgiving preparation for this year - it's been a week - rather emotional as I've been on the phone with Sarah and Kate regarding a couple of crises that come with being seniors at Auburn University. One is that Sarah is finishing her senior project and all the pressure that goes with that performance - she's in fine arts - and the instructors have to instruct - translation - criticize - ugh. It all culminates tomorrow and then both girls will be coming home on Saturday. Scott, LB and Ada get here on Sunday. Charlie and Lib arrive on Tuesday.
Mary Ann, per my request, is delaying her visit for a "post Thanksgiving" visit. She is coming on Sunday following Thanksgiving. I requested that because Andrew is having some surgery on Tuesday December 1. That happens to be the day that Charlie and I have to drive to Auburn for Sarah's senior show. Mary Ann is going to be here for "maternal purposes", in my place - plus some sweet folks from church will also be "looking after" the Barbers.
Mary Ann doesn't require it, but I promised her that I would make a special meal for her on that Sunday Night - since she'll be missing our yummy meal on Thanksgiving Day. So - drum roll - guess what I'm having? Well, while Charlie is in Pensacola returning his mom to her home - he is going to stop by Joe Patti's Seafood Market and get us some fresh shrimp - I have a luscious looking Shrimp Casserole which is from Mother's collection - I'm going to make that with some delicious sides and a dessert - and will have some of those rolls with it, that will be in my freezer. I know Mary Ann will read this - so I just "gave that away". I'm really excited about the shrimp casserole. I don't cook with seafood very much - but would like to. I just want it fresh from the gulf - and not frozen. And to get it fresh up here in North Alabama - well, it's so expensive.
That's all - I suppose this would be a food post - wouldn't it?
Have a great day.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Imagine these beautiful blues in November!
but I had to get off the old post...
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Just this summer, these same crepe myrtles had those bright pink blooms all over them - now they are dressed in these brilliant orange and yellow leaves. If we love color and beautiful images it's because we're made in God's image - He is the creator of everything beautiful, isn't He?
The structure is simple enough for parents to ad-lib further verses as required.
Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird won't sing,
Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring turns to brass,
Papa's gonna buy you a looking glass.
And if that looking glass gets broke,
Papa's gonna buy you a billy goat.
And if that billy goat won't pull,
Papa's gonna buy you a cart and bull.
And if that cart and bull turn over,
Papa's gonna buy you a dog named Rover.
And if that dog named Rover won't bark.
Papa's gonna buy you a horse and cart.
And if that horse and cart fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Yesterday morning I installed some software which came with my camera - now my computer sends me a message if I try to open up Microsoft Word - It says I don't have enough memory or disc space to open up word. As Ada would say, "Awww Mam". (except I think she is now saying aw man, instead)
Ada calls Kate, "Kake" or "Cake". She refers to anything having to do with birthdays as "Happy Cake".
I have every intention of redoing the look of my blog - but I don't know how and Kate and Laura Beth seem to be the ones who know that stuff. I just forget to get them to help me.
I am riding to H'ville with Ann today.
Sleep doesn't happen naturally for me anymore. It's broken all during the night. I'm not worrying during the night - I just don't sleep much. Which is fine to me - I've never been big on spending too much time snoozing - Last night I just got up - sometimes I do that when I can tell that no matter how still I lay, no matter how much I work to keep my mind clear of thoughts, I still will not fall asleep. I can sometimes detect a hint of drowsiness that I can tap into and eventually will fall asleep. Last night I got up. Sometimes I take care of tasks - other times I read God's word. Last night I was very hungry for His word. Very hungry to be met by Him and the power of His word. It's a true thing - that reading the very word of God is penetrating - it's the absolute truth that really does pierce into the heart. It's God speaking. It's powerful and real and is the only truth about anything having to do with reality.
I was just going to continue reading in the Old Testatment - I'm back in Genesis again and it increases my faith to read in the Old Testament - all the incredible ways God led those men and women and children and how He communicated Himself to them - and all their weaknesses and God's grace and power. It's all such a story. A great narrative that is true. I like stories that are true and it is the truest of all. But I was distracted by many devotion books on my bookshelf and pulled a few out, saying to myself - don't get led away by words of men - it's God's word you need tonight. I agreed I'd read those quickly and get to God's word. One book was from Mother's collection - It is by Richard C. Halverson who was Chaplain for the United States Senate - I suppose during Reagan's Administration - the dates are the early 80's. His devotion led me into Philippians and I read all of Philippians - Paul - who was in chains and writing to those believers in Philippi and saying that it would be better for him to depart and be with Christ, but yet it would be better for them if he remained in the body for their progress and joy in the faith - He said his prayer was that their love would abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that they would be able to discern what is best, being pure and blameless until the day of Christ. He also said in verse 27 - "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ". Penetrating Truth.
R Halverson's book - Mother had scribbled notes and dates - her familiar handwriting - in pencil - little notes - little dates - Mother.
Then I read in The Andrew Murray Daily Reader - just skimmed through some of those - good stuff.
Then on to a daily devotional by Martin Luther - Faith Alone. I think one of the girls left it here. It's good. So old and has been edited and translated to be understood in 21st century English.
Then to my book, The Gospel According to Job by Mike Mason - recommended by my cousin John, who died at the age of 51, suddenly, unexpectedly, a snatching from our family. He was here, healthy and then he wasn't here. Because of Christ in him, his life, living, impacted a lot of people - including me - and his death impacted a lot of people, including me - so I read some more in that book - I always have to restart it and have never actually finished it - it's has so much depth to it and it puts the reader well into the life of Job and his walk with God.
Then to Genesis - where I spent most of my time reading - and I'm in the part where Moses left Egypt because he killed that man - and then the calling of Moses and all of Moses' self doubts - there's so much there - and all that God said to Moses about all of that -
So - by then I was sufficiently sleepy - and was in awe of God's love for me - because of the reality of His dealing with men - and how He sets His love on us - I am amazed and encouraged and inspired by all of these lovers of God who have lived in this flesh and are now in heaven - Paul, Martin Luther, Mother(with her scribbled notes), Andrew Murray, Moses, Aaron(brother of Moses), Job, those Philippian believers, John(my cousin), and Daddy because I think of him too and have reminders of him all around me - I know these hearts and their desire was obedience - but then there's the flesh we all strive with - but it is God who loved us first - it is God who completes the work in us that He has begun.
In all my prayers for all of you I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (phil. 1:4)
Therefore, my friends, as you have always obeyed - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. (phil. 2:12,13)
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Laura Beth traveled here on Friday to get Ada. They returned to McDonough on Saturday - leaving during the yard sale. There were so many people in my drive I almost mistook Laura Beth for a shopper - only she was walking through my front yard, followed by little bitty Ada - because at 4:30 a.m. Ann and I had moved our personal cars out of the drive and waaaaayyyy down the street.
So....Ada has returned to McDonough to be with her mom and dad. The yard sale is behind us. I have less "stuff" in my closets and under my beds. YAY! It's Sunday evening and we are looking at Thanksgiving.
2 Blogs Posts I recommend if you are reading this and need encouragement from God's word. Today's posts on Sarah's and Kate's blog. Both daughters are in Auburn - both about 5 minutes apart with rather separate schedules. Their social lives do connect and their biological genetics keep them connected - but neither had any idea that the other was posting this morning out of their "word" from God. I highly recommend reading their posts today. www.sarahonlinesketchbook.blogspot.com and www.katherinerhodes.blogspot.com
Tomorrow is Monday and I will clean my house - and begin getting ready for Thanksgiving.
Aren't the colors beautiful here in North Alabama? November colors are different than October colors - more burgandies and deep brownish reds - less leaves - still a bit of green and orange and yellow. The air is cooler, definitely, this week - yet the sun remains ever so warm.
I regret the new health bill that has been passed in D.C. I fear that the government won't be so kind to my grandchildren in their old age. It probably won't be very kind to me in my old age - but even less and less kind as the decades go by. I am grateful that I need not fear man - because I belong to a sovereign God who set His love on me in the beginning - and if the worst I have to fear is pain and death - well - that can only lead me to eternity with the King of Kings who shed His precious blood for me.
There are believers in the world right now who are suffering that pain and that death I can only imagine - they are suffering because of their faith in Christ. Remember to pray for them.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
If you care to play this game...and if you are a reader of Laura Beth's blog....then can you guess what these pictures are telling you, the reader of this post?
Monday, November 2, 2009
Grandchildren at my house.
Luke sporting the hat Mary Ann had just given him.
She drove up on Thursday.
Andrew hanging out on my bed.
Everyone stayed until Monday morning and then everyone vamoosed....except for Ada. She is staying the week with me and Laura Beth will get her on Friday.