Monday, December 4, 2017

My Big Decision

Well, I guess y'all  have noticed that I have been absent from blogging for seven months. I can't believe it myself, seven months. It really didn't seem like that long until I looked back and realized I had not blogged since May. Boy, do I have a lot of catching up to do. There have been some good things and some sad things that have happened in the last seven months, but I am going to start off by telling you about my big decision.

Nine years ago I graduated from a local community college with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. I wanted to transfer to a four year college and continue with my education, but was told that all my credits would be lost and I would basically be starting over. I was devastated! I didn't want to do that, so I just decided to stay home, raise my kids, do a little babysitting and give up that teaching degree dream.

Fast forward to March of this year and I decided to look into school again, just in case something had changed and to my surprise it had.

I discovered that I could transfer almost most of my credits and go into the school at almost junior status. I thought why not apply, so I did and I was accepted. The next few months were a whirlwind of paperwork, financial aid headaches and advisement meetings. In August I started my first semester at one of our state universities and it has been one more exciting semester. I only registered for two classes, per advice from my adviser, and I can tell you I am glad I did. I spend so much time each week reading, working on papers and discussions.

I have been stressed to the max!! 

Image result for college life is stressful image

One of the things I love best about it is the that all my classes are online. I don't have to drive all the way to campus and I can do schoolwork in my pajamas.  I do miss one thing about being in a classroom, raising my hand to ask a question and getting an answer right away. The thing with online school is emailing your professor and then having to wait for a reply.

This week is finals week for me and thankfully one professor has decided not to give us a final exam, because of all our hard work this semester, but I do have to study for the one tomorrow, then the semester is over. I get a few days off and then go right into a mini-mester for the month of December, it is going to be a wild and busy month.

Image result for textbook and pencil

This new journey I am on is both exciting and scary, but anything worth doing is.  

  "That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The little things

The other day I got to noticing some things I had never really taking the time to appreciate before. They were not big things, not major events, just little small things that I had noticed, but never really paid that much attention to. Each one brings me happiness in it's own special way and I wanted to share just a few of these things with you.

1. I love how my youngest daughter automatically takes my hand when we walk side by side:
It never fails, just as soon as we start to walk anywhere if she is beside me, she will reach out and take my hand automatically and I am going to enjoy it while it last.

2. I love how my little dog Dixie looks up at me with such love in her eyes:
I just love so many things about my Dixie, but the love in her eyes is so real and true. Humans can fake or hide their emotions, but dogs do not have the ability to do that. There have been many days that her love and comfort have seen me through difficulty and I hope to have her around for a very long time.

3. I love how my husband always holds my hand as we are driving down the road:
I hardly ever drive anymore, unless I just have to. I like being able to ride as a passenger and just watch the world around me. You see so much more when you are not driving, but I like holding my hubby's hand the most. There is just something solid and comforting in knowing that he is there and taking care of us. 

4. I love how my oldest daughter and I can sit just reading together without saying a word:
So many times we feel the need to fill up our days and the days of our children. It seems as if everyone's kids have sports, music, and all sorts of activities planned each week. I am so thankful for the quiet nights at home when we just sit around with our books, not feeling the need to talk or go everywhere, just content to be at home and share our love of reading.

5. I love how all the kids around call me Tink:
Eight years ago a little boy named Hunter came into our family and since them I have been known as Tink. It is a nickname that is short for Tinkerbell.  All the little ones in my family and some in my church call me Tink.  It just seems so natural that they all use that for my name. I am so glad to have so many wonderful little ones in my life.  I was privileged to finally meet "myself" on our most recent Disney vacation. I have to say I was very impressed.

6. I love snuggling up on the couch with the girls for movie night.
My husband doesn't really care for the whole cartoon thing, so if the choice for the night is a movie of the toon variety, my hubby just lets me and the girls do our thing.  There is always fighting over space and the last bag of popcorn, but I love our time anyway.

7. I love how my youngest daughter "plays along" with our pianist at church:
Every service as we are singing in the choir I look down to see my 10 year olds little hands playing right along with Ms. Sherri.  She gets so upset if she has to stand in a different spot and can't see Ms. Sherri play.  I am so glad that she has a talent for music and I pray that she will use it her entire life.

8. I love how a cool breeze is just what you need on a hot day:
Southern summers can be hot, but not just hot, they are humid.  Sometimes you can just stand outside and not be doing a thing and the sweat will just be rolling down your back and legs.  Then all of a sudden the Lord will send a nice cool breeze along your way and it is like instant air-conditioning.

9. I love how the acoustics in our church bathroom are perfect for speaking whale.
Really, I am serious! I guess it comes from watching to much Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, but the way that bathroom makes your voice sound is perfect. Speaking whale is so cool!!

10.  I love older television shows:
I know it sounds strange, but I just love to sit back and watch old tv shows from when I was a kid.  When I say older I mean they were in reruns when I was growing up.  I am so glad to have the chance to introduce shows like, Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, Little House on the Prairie, etc.  That was when television, was good and decent.

You see, the little things are important. They are the things that we never really notice or we do, but just don't appreciate.  I am going to start trying to find the little things around me each day and to appreciate them even more.

   "That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Why I Adore Country Living!

I have traveled some and been to some pretty big cities and I love seeing new things, but there is no where I can imagine making my home than in the country. I know a lot of people would absolutely hate it. They would ask, "How can you be so far away from everything?". You see the thing is I don't see myself as being far away from everything. Sure the closet town to us only has a population of about 2500 and I have to drive at least 30 miles to get to a fairly good size city and that I have to travel at least one and a half hours to get to a major metropolitan area, but I like it that way. The way I see it, I am close enough if I want to get there I can and far enough away that I don't feel the "big city" creeping in.

I know there are good things about city living, I can't deny that, but let me share just some of the reasons I adore living in the country.

1. The quiet: I know this will not be a plus for some people, but I absolutely love sitting on my back porch listening to the quiet, peaceful sounds of nature. You can always hear the frogs at night or the birds during the day. In fact lately we have a mockingbird who has decided that singing at 3:30 in the morning is an appropriate thing to do. I remember my trips to the big city and it always stuck out to me that even in the parks and natural places I couldn't hear nature. All I could hear where horns honking and people yelling.  I much more prefer my quiet little country oasis.

2.The wildness: This sort of goes along with the first point, but expands it some.  When I say the wildness I mean the actual wildlife.  I really enjoy watching the kids chase frogs and toads across the driveway and catching fireflies on a hot summer night. I enjoy those cool autumn mornings watching the deer drink from the pond as I have my morning coffee.  I know that these wild animals have started making their way into the more populated areas, but there is just something magical about seeing them in their own environment and being able to share that with my children.

3.The people: It seems to me that most people see us country folk as rednecks, hicks or backwoods people. I have heard all the stereotypical terms used to describe us and to tell you the truth those words don't really offend us. We might go at a slower pace, talk a little slower and do things differently, but we are a true, loving and compassionate people.  I don't think you can really appreciate the country without knowing it's people.  We are kind and would give you the shirt off our back if you needed it. We live, laugh and love just like city folk, but yet we are looked at as if we are ignorant and backwards. I admit some people do fit that bill, but for the most part you can't find a better group of people anywhere else.

4.The lifestyle: I think that I have already covered this some in my previous points.  Living in the country is just a slower, more laid back lifestyle. We have a different way of living and being. I am thinking about one thing in particular. My Daddy wanted to buy a hen from a man. He really wanted this hen, she was what we call a good sitter, which just means she would be good for raising baby chicks. The man didn't want to sell the hen, but was willing to trade her off for a turtle. Yes, you read that right, a turtle. His plan was to cook and eat said turtle. Yes, we do eat turtle around these parts. So, my Daddy has spent the last week trying to catch a turtle to trade for a chicken. I just had to laugh and say only in the country.

I know that our way of living may seem strange and foriegn to a lot of people. but I hope that after reading this you will have a better appreciation for the country and maybe you will even want to visit it some day. It will be somewhat of a culture shock, but come on over! We'lll brew up some sweet ice tea, bake a pound cake and sit on the back porch visiting and enjoying some country living.

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Money Saving: Dimes for Disney

A couple of months ago I shared with y'all one of the ways I am saving for Disney, recycling cans. Well today I am going to share another of our projects, Dimes for Disney. 

I got the idea for this project from Pinterest. 

After reading about some other peoples experience I decided to give it a try. 

I started out with an empty two liter drink bottle. If this seems to extreme at first I have read that some people start out with a small water bottle,doing this makes the task seems less daunting. We decided that we would just go for the big payoff from the get go.  After washing the bottle and allowing it to dry, it was time to decorate. We wanted something that was Disney related, since it was a Disney saving project, so we cut out a picture of Cinderellas castle from the Lego catalog and glued it to the front of the bottle. We then used letter stickers to label our bottle Dimes for Disney. 

Making the container was the easy part, now we have the task of filling it up. All of us, my husband included have started saving our dimes. I have even started asking for my change back to be as many dimes as possible. That gets me some strange looks from the cashier, but then I explain why and most of them totally understand.  I read that when the jug gets completely full you would have somewhere in the neighborhood of about $650, but no matter the amount it will be a huge help in paying for our vacation. 

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Bucket List Project 2017 (part 1)

I am sad to say that my 2017 Bucket List challenge has not gotten off to a very good start.  I have been overwhelmed with life. I have the job of wife, mother, teacher, daughter, sister, Tink and church member.  All these things have keep me extremely busy the first quarter of the year.  I have learned a few new things this year, nothing I really wanted to, but that is just how life goes.

If you had read my challenge from last year, you would remember my goal was to cross twelve things off my bucket list, one for each month, and I accomplished that. I had so much fun in doing it that I decided to go for a repeat this year.  As I said it is not going as well. That being said I guess now would be the time to write on how my twelve bucket list things in one year challenge for this year is going.  

January 2017: 
NOTHING!!! That is right I got absolutely nothing done that month.  January was filled with dealing with trying to get things started with my Mama's estate, not a chore I wanted to do. We had one of our birthdays to celebrate without our Mama. We tried to stay positive and be happy, but honestly it just wasn't the same without her.  The weather here was cold and rainy and I honestly hardly ever left home.  

February 2017:
And again another month of absolutely nothing crossed off my list. February was filled with all the above things mentioned, plus preparing for a birthday party in April and the Senior Citizens banquet at our church.  We had a quiet Valentines Day, nothing special, just me and the husband getting a couple of hours to eat out alone.  I guess in my hectic life carving a couple of hours really is accomplishing something.

March 2017:
Amazingly this month it finally happened, two things on my bucket list!! We decided to take the family for a quick little get away over spring break.  I has been on my bucket list to go to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, so that is were we headed. Unfortunately the week of our spring break was cool and not the perfect weather for the beach, but we made the most of it. I won't go much into Hilton Head itself, I did a post on that earlier, but I will say the beach was beautiful and quiet, just what I was looking for.

The second item was checked off on this trip as well. I have always wondered what it was like to just sit on the beach, watch the kids play and read a book. Every time we go, there are always shows, aquariums and other things to see and I never get to do that lazy day on the beach.  Well at Hilton Head you have to pay by the hour to park at the beach access, so I didn't get a whole day of sitting on the beach and reading, I only got a couple of hours. 

I can honestly say after trying it for a couple of hours, I don't think I could stand a whole day. I don't know how people do it. I learned that I am really not a beach person. I am more of a lets go somewhere different and see lots of different things type of person, as long as the hotel has a pool. 

So now here I am into the month of April, by now I should have three things done, but I am only at two. I am not concerned though, the summer months are coming and there are so many fun things on my list to do that hopefully I can still make that goal by the end of the year. 

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Paris Wife: Book Review

This post will be completely different than any other post I have written.  I never really thought about doing book or movie reviews, but after my latest read I just had to share my opinion. 

First off, I really did not know that much about Ernest Hemingway, just the basic facts that I had picked up over time. I will admit I have become somewhat fascinated with him since we visited Shakespeare and Co. in Paris. This is a little book store that was often visited by Hemingway, Fitzgerald and other great authors of their time. 

I never knew anything about his marriages, other than he had several of them, but I was intrigued to read this story about his first wife Hadley, Hemingway's Paris Wife.  

Hadley Richardson Hemingway

I love the fact, that even though fiction, this book takes you through the intense love and passion that Ernest and Hadley held for one another. From the very beginning you can see that their relationship and marriage would be tested not just by others and family, but also by the Hemingways themselves.

Paula McLain does a fantastic job of bringing 1920's Paris to life. I could just feel myself walking around the streets of the city right alongside Hadley and Ernest.  It brought back wonderful memories of our time there and presented what life was really like during the era of the Roaring Twenties. Paris was so different from the Mid-west United States that the Hemingways departed from and that Parisian life would not only test them, but would change them both. 

The only issue I had with this novel was the use of some profanity. I can see that this is exactly how a man like Hemingway would have spoken, but I do believe the story could have been told just as well without it. 

Overall I give the book four out of five stars. It is beautifully written and presents the story of a regular girl caught up in a romance for the ages. 

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Break Getaway 2017

Spring break, for us, started off cold, rainy and windy! In other words, not very spring like.  We had already decided to take a few days off that week, since there was no school and head to the beach. This year we went a little further south than usual and ended up on Hilton Head Island.

We took our time driving down and stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  When we arrived we stopped by our hotel and was able to check in early. After a little rest we drove down just to get a look at the shops, the beach and Harbor Town. One thing different about Hilton Head is you just can't go to the beach at any spot. Most of the island is owned by individuals and private resorts and you can not access their beaches. However we did visit two beaches, Coligny and Folly Field.  Coligny has free parking and there is a fountain where you walk in, makes it easy to find. There was more people there and lots of dead jelly fish washed up on the shore.  Folly Field has to be driven too and there is a fee of one dollar an hour to park.  We spent about an hour at each beach, then found a Dominos, ordered supper and  headed  back to the hotel.

Lighthouse at Harbor Town

Coligny Beach Park

Just one of many jellies

On Friday, we slept in, ate breakfast and hung out in the room watching cable, something we don't have at home. Around lunch we headed out for shopping at Barnes and Noble, Goodwill and then Dairy Queen for lunch.  As always, I had to find an old cemetery to visit. Afterwards we headed back to Folly Field beach and spent a couple of hours walking on the shore, reading and picking up shells.

Toes in the sand

It was pretty chilly

Feeding the sea birds!

On Saturday we got up early, ate breakfast, checked out and headed up the coast line towards Myrtle Beach for the car show. Just let me say that place was so crowded you couldn't find a place to park. We did find a public beach access, parked (two dollars an hour) and then walked down to the beach. It was so cold we only stayed about 30 minutes and we didn't try to tackle that car show crowd. We stopped for a quick break and then headed home. Instead of stopping for supper, we had stew waiting for us at home, we just stopped by The Berry Patch for an ice cream treat to tide us over.

Now for my opinion of the island. It was beautiful and if you like riding bikes or playing golf it is perfect for you. My children love looking for shells and unfortunately there was not a lot to pick from.  The ocean is very calm there, not many waves, so the shells just don't wash up. After the trip we all agreed, that our favorite beaches of all are our very own North Carolina Outer Banks.

Folly Field Beach Park Hilton Head
The ocean was very calm and no waves or breakers. 

Myrtle Beach
Just 221 miles north of Hilton Head and the ocean is rougher and has lots
of waves and breakers. 

It was  a wonderful little relaxing vacation. Sometimes all you need is just a couple of days to get away, recharge and spend time with your family. My husband likes to say, "If you don't "come apart", you will come apart."

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"