Thursday, May 28, 2009

CELEBRATIONS! ...Walking Their Predestined Paths

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD..." (Jeremiah 29: 11-14a)

Woo Hoo! Ooo rah!
Graduation and Completion!

Last night we celebrated and recognized the accomplishments of two sons.
Both of them are honorable and accomplished young men. They are deserving of their accolades and honors, and we as a loving family, applaud them.

Jonny has been awarded his diploma for finishing up his home school endeavors. He is the first of our four to have gone through his entire schooling process here at home. Katie and Justin attended a private Christian school their first few years of schooling, before we began our homeschooling journey. So, Jonny has endured! We are pleased with his fortitude and long suffering to finish up. He has been attending Central Piedmont Community College to get his finishing classes and credits.

Justin has completed his journey on Parris Island in boot camp to become a Marine.
This young man, too, endured much... more than we will know, I'm sure, to finish that particular race and calling. He graduated, and received a meritorious promotion to Private First Class. For this feat and triumph, we honored and thanked him for choosing to serve us and all peoples in our country by defending and protecting our rights and freedoms we know and experience.

We had a wonderful evening with Grandmama and Granddaddy Shaw hosting in their home.
Their was plenty of food - Greg's Barbecue, and all the fixin's to go with it. YUM!

After stuffing ourselves, we headed out to Grandmama's sunroom, our traditional "recognition room". Another tradition in graduation celebrations is the photo board of the graduate's life. Below is Jonny's.

click on the photo to get a closer view of the photos.

Next is Justin's photo board of his journey from taking his oath at the MEPS center in Charlotte on January 13th to Graduation Day at Parris Island, SC on May 22nd.

After speeches, sharing, presentations, and gifts, we had delicious cake and ice cream!

Kudos to the wonderful lady in the bakery at BJ's Club (employment stomping grounds for Katie, Justin, and Jonny) for decorating this cake with instructions from Katie. She applied the "edible photo" from a sample pic we provided of the eagle, globe, and anchor symbol. (even though Jonny's name was spelled wrong, we think she did an awesome job.) :-)

...and of course, photos, for memories. We will recall and remember and thank our God, when we look back over our lives at the many milestones and celebrations He has brought us through!

Psalm 46
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."

This scripture we claim for our walk through this life. God, the Lord Almighty is with us. He is our fortress. He WILL make the wars cease. He will keep us and shield us as we live for Him and through Him. We are covered. Our children are covered. Praise the Lord.

Many pics today, but again, this is one mom's e-journal as she posts and scrapbooks her memories of family and God's workings in this life.

I close today with one of Justin's favorite musical selections. :-)
With a grateful heart full to overflowing,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Nester is doing a Lampapalooza, and giving away some of her awesome tassels with a drawing from all who participate/post. So, I thought I would get my little post in there pronto for a chance. :-)
Here's her link, if you want to join in the fun:

Metal and chrome in my bath with some crystal accents. Found this little clearance lamp at Target a number of years back... matched perfectly. Now, what to do with that cord????

I like blue and white ware, so when I found this little lamp at Goodwill sans shade, I grabbed it up, added a beaded shade, and placed it in this corner in the living room. (always on in the evening)

This little distressed white Southern pineapple lamp fits well in the corner of the kitchen. I placed it on top of an architectural candle holder (from GW) and found a black polka-dotted shade with colorful beads to top it off. I like to have a few black decor items sprinkled through each room. (Stays on all the time)

Ack! No mudroom or back entry catch-all area, so what to do?....add an Industrial steel rolling rack to catch all the shoes, sports equipment, and doggie hardware. To give a more homey look, the top rack holds this little country shabby Rooster lamp I found at a thrift shop. The red shade adds the perfect touch. I just added a small red berry wreath around his neck. Love it!

This little bronze pineapple lamp I got at a discount ALDI grocery for under 5.00. It stays on day and night in the Dining room. (nice little night light) I like the feathery fringe.

This was a hanging globe I found at GW. I took all of the hardware off, and then screwed it to an antique floor lamp post that belonged to my Grandmother. It stands in a corner in the dining room.

Dining Room chandelier - basic plain brass with no shades on the bulbs. Being the very "eclectic, do what YOU like" person I am, I added Christmas tree crystal decor, and hanging blue beads, neutral shades, gold ribbon, and glittery floral berry stems up the hanging posts. Works for me. :-) Easy to change, too.

Brass/navy marbled base Desk lamp, yep, again from Goodwill. Just added a glittery star ornament and a pair of vintage costume glass bead earrings (GW). Done.
Adds some sparkle to my working desk area.

This corner in the Living Room has no light. Below this lamp is our "puzzle table".
Definitely needed some brighter light. Found this at GW, sprayed it white to go w/ the other wicker items sprinkled in the LR. It needs some more work, and a cord cover, but that's on the back burner. (simmering but not forgotten!)

I know, I know, this isn't a "lamp", but I call it my night lamp. All of my outlets in the Living Room are out of the way, so I have no place for a nightlight to show. So, this is my nightlight, for when I get up at 3 am to see what my dogs are barking at out the front windows. Stays on all the time. So, I included it... if for nothing else, just to stretch the ever widening boundaries of how we inspired women can light up our homes! :-)
Hope you enjoyed. This was fun. Hop over to The Nesting Place and show us your creative lamps and lighting.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 Musings

Iowa Jima memorial

When you drive down the main street, you know right off what Parris Island, SC is all about.

Meet Hummer, the Devil Dog Marine Corp mascot. Great dog!

Memorial Day weekend Sunday. Honorable Dress Blues...

My honorable Marine set out this morning to buy a few supplies and rations, and before I could say Memorial Day, he had come back, mounted a new bracket with a new "Old Glory" waving from the front porch. (this slow mom had not put out our faded flag because of the rain last night).
And so we remember...
This day is historically set aside to remember all who have given their lives as the price that our country has had to pay to keep our freedoms. May we never forget the cost of what we hold so dear.
God Bless America.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to "Taps."

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

God bless our military.
Remember our heritage. Remember those who gave their very life for your freedom.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our Marine.

Justin Kyle Smith U S Marine - Private First Class

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart... No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet,so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
(Hebrews 12: 1-3, 11-13)

After an awesome and glorious Family Day and Graduation Ceremony at Parris Island, we have our Marine home with us for a brief stay, before he heads off for Camp LeJeune. Just posting a few pictures to journal our visit.

First Recruit Battalion Alpha Company colors > RED!!

Our very first glimpse glimpse of Justin!!! (in the motivational run at 7am Thurs.)

third from the left.

Finally, we get to talk, hug, and reunite with him for the first time since January.

In the barracks, very spartan, orderly, clean. Justin's "rack" where he slept (or tried to)and proud big Sis!

His uniforms and cammies

Care to bounce a quarter on that bed???

Granddad taking pics... a LOT!!!

Graduation Morning - waiting to march out in front of the crowd (almost 600 grads !)

Marching on the parade deck. Justin - 2nd from the right.

the awesome and inspiring United States Marine Corp band.

Headed for home and 10 days of well deserved ease Marine!

One VERY tired Marine :-)

proud, Proud, PROUD mom and dad of our honorable and much loved Marine.

Kam and Jonny. They so respect and admire their brother for what he has accomplished!

Proud Grandmama and Granddaddy. Prayer Warriors!!!!

An array of photos for a memory post here in my journal of life. :-)

God has been with Justin through it all. WE are thankful to HIM for watching over Justin and helping him to accomplish his first step in training. We are thankful to all who have followed along and prayed for his journey.