Monday, June 29, 2009

Pat-A-Cake, Pat-A-Cake... Baker's Woman!

Pat-a cake, pat-a cake baker's man... or in my case, baker's woman!

My baby cousin Sara Grace and I have always had a special relationship. She is 10 years, 5 months and 8 days younger than I am, so she was like my baby doll when she was born. I loved being her little mama. She has such a free spirit and truly lives in the moment each day. I admire her in so many ways and wish I had her love for life!

She recently decided to enroll in culinary school and become a pastry chef. She took a cake decorating class a few months ago at a local cake shop in my hometown, and she really did well. Since then, she has been asked to make several cakes for our family and friends. Here are just a few of them...

An orange daisy cake for my grandmother's birthday


An engagement cake for a pink and black themed party!


A zebra patterned cake for my cousin's bridal shower


Sorry for the small picture... Palm tree cake with milk chocolate coconuts for bridal luncheon


Again, sorry for the small picture... Blue basket-weave cake with sugar flowers


She is still learning, but for a couple of classes, I think she is fabulous! Her dream is to open her own bakery - "Graceful Cakes" - in her hometown. 

Sara Grace - I am so proud of you and the young woman you have become! Keep up the good work and never settle for less than you deserve. I hope that all of your dreams come true!

Blessings!
Paige

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Country Road, Take Me Home

So a few weeks ago I blogged with photos from my grandmother's house. A very short distance up the road is the house my aunt and uncle live in. I went home this weekend and got to spend some time at their home with them. I remember as a little girl when their house was being built. It has gone through two additions throughout the years. Here is a photo from my grandmother's road, across the cattle pasture, of their home.


Here is the front of their house taken from the horse pasture that is
 directly in front of it.


Here is the barn and shop that sits on their property. To the left of the barn is an arena they use to race barrels and poles, as well as breaking their horses. To the right of the barn is my uncle's wood shop. He makes these beautiful mirrors and frames out of old barn wood. There is also a muscadine arbor in this area and a shed where they park the horse trailer, tractor, etc.


Here is the swing set by uncle built when we were little girls. Every once in awhile we will still play on it. The small swings have been replaced now with a bench swing.


Here are their horses. They currently have six on their farm. (Funny note - all the houses in the background have been built within the last three years. They had no neighbors for years, and now they have a whole subdivision! Needless to say, their neighbors have had a hard time adjusting to a farm across the road from them, and the lights from the horse arena.)


Here are their long-horn cattle. They have three new babies - the 3 amigos!


Here is one of my favorite places. I love this swing nestled under trees on the edge of the woods on their property. It is so relaxing to sit out there with a glass of sweet tea and escape!


And nothing beats a clear sky on a summer day in the country! These clouds were breath-taking!


I love going home and being able to visit my family who live in the country. There is something so calming and tranquil about being outside, in the country with nature.

Hope you all have a great week! I promise I will not go a whole week before I post again. The past week has just been very crazy and I have not had a lot of time to sit and blog.

Blessings!
Paige

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day

In His eyes, she will always be His little princess, the light of his life.

In Her eyes, he will always be the brave knight who slayed the monsters in the closet, her hero, her protector. He will always be a shining example of all things a father, and a man should be.

Happy Father's Day Daddy!

Love, 
Your Baby Girl

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Pictures

I had the privilege to coordinate and direct the wedding of my cousin Casey in May. Casey is so special to me, and I was honored to be a part of her special day. 

One of the fun highlights of her wedding (yes, there were lots) was that Casey and Lance left the church in a 1956 Chevy truck that my aunt re-built. The truck is fondly known in my family by the name of "Wilbur"! I got to see a sneak peek of the wedding photos (it pays to coordinate/direct the wedding), but so I don't spoil the surprise for the family, I will show you a couple of the photos from her bridal portrait session, which included "Wilbur"! 

Enjoy!

Blessings!
Paige

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Things To Do

It was a loonnggg day.. but a good one! I have a very, very busy weekend ahead. Here is a quick rundown of events:
  • Alumni Reunion Brunch for our 1999 graduating class
  • Benefit tournament for our student Kayla, who is in remission from cancer
  • Surprise 60th birthday party for my "adopted" dad when I was in college
  • Hall of Fame induction banquet where one of our alum is being inducted for being an Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Annual Tiki Hut Party at our president's home
  • Trip home on Sunday to spend Father's Day with the three most important men in my life - my dad, my uncle and my grandfather!
Somewhere in there I need to fit in washing clothes, cleaning bathrooms, emptying the dishwasher, folding clothes and buying groceries! 

I think I can, I think I can...

On a lighter note, I came home tonight and ate some yummy edamame. This is one of my favorite appetizers when we eat at a Japanese steak house. I bought some this past weekend on my way through Georgia at the Whole Foods market. Yummy!


Blessings!
Paige

Pray for Stellan

Just read this post on MckMama's blog...

Please pray for Stellan!

Blessings!
Paige

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Singleness

Sin-gle-ness: the art or state of being single

Single... What a little word, but one that can cause such BIG feelings! This word is a word I have struggled with for the past couple of weeks. Until I turned 30, being single did not bother me. I was content in my life and I knew that it was in God's timing and his plan. The day I turned 31, something about the word single started to bother me. At first, I was able to suppress it and just laugh it off. But a few weeks ago, it was screaming at me and since then, I can't shake it.

See a few weeks ago, I attended a baby shower at church for a very dear friend. They are expecting their first child in a few weeks, and I was so honored to be apart of her shower. I was enjoying oohing and aahing over all the cute little baby girl clothes when it hit me. I had one of those moments where time kind of slowed down, and I realized I was the only *gasp* SINGLE girl in the room. I was among new mothers, mothers-to-be, grandmothers, soon to be married girls... get my point! I became very uncomfortable (not my personality) and the word single started rushing through my mind, over and over and over again.

Normally, I would snap out of it and carry on. But, these past few weeks, I have been reminded many more times that I am single.

I have spent my quiet time focusing on why I am bothered so much with this 'status' that our society labels us with. And of course, I have questioned "Why?" And you know what I found, that God always is ready to provide us with the encouragement we need. In reading other blogs that I follow, I noticed that I am not the only young woman who is dealing with this in my life, and I am so thankful that I have been able to read their feelings and thoughts, and gain wisdom and encouragement from their blogs. Thank you for letting me read along and pray for you!

It has been helpful for me to remember Paul's words in Romans 11:36: "For from him and through him and to him are all things." Wow! All things? Even my feelings of singleness? I have reminded myself that Christ's power is made perfect in weakness. He can handle my feelings of sadness and loneliness, and he will never leave me.

I pray that as I continue to focus on God and my attitude about the state of being single, that I will be protected from doubt and damaging lies, and that I will allow the Lord to pour out the things He has for me and my life.

Blessings!
Paige

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

God, Grits and Grace

I finally had the time to run to Books-A-Million (wishing we had a Barnes & Noble) and pick up my own copy of "What Southern Women Know About Faith." I can't wait to get into this book. So I am going to get a glass of *sweet* tea, sit in my pink adirondack chair and read about God... Grits... and Grace.

Blessings!
Paige

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Birthday Fun!

I went this weekend to Calhoun, Georgia to visit with one of my best friends from college - Brooke - and her family. It was her son's 3rd birthday! She is expecting her second child in August (they are those weird people who don't find out the sex of their baby until its born!). Anyway, it was so good to visit and catch up with them. Here are a few pictures from this weekend (and no, we did not take one together.. Something about being pregnant and both of us wearing no make-up because of the pool party kept the cameras away - Ha!).

Here is her precious son Hagan...


Hagan LOVES baseball! Swing batter, batter, batter...


Showing me his backstroke at the pool...


The kids loved the balloons in the swimming pool...


Taking a break from swimming and snacking on some good BBQ chips...


Loved his birthday cake. It was the perfect cake for a little boy who LOVES sports...



The "Happy Birthday Hagan" picture I drew in the driveway while we gave mommy a little break...


What a fun weekend! I am truly blessed with great friends.

Blessings!
Paige

Friday, June 12, 2009

I feel pretty... Oh so pretty!

Why is it that something as simple as a haircut can make you feel so much better about yourself? I was long overdue to a visit with my favorite person in the world... my hairstylist! Kerry is fabulous and has never, ever steered me wrong when it comes to my hair. 

Here is a before and after photo... with disclaimers!! My camera was charging so there were taken with my iPhone (hence the bad, bad lighting) and I have on no make-up! Sorry if that scared some of you. Just wasn't a priority when I took these pictures.

Before - 

After - 


Headed to the little town of Calhoun, GA to visit with one of my best friends from college and her family. Brooke's little boy Hagan is turning three, so "Aunt P" has to be there for the pool party!

Have a great weekend and I will be back with pictures.

Blessings!
Paige


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pictures

Here are the last of the photos from the weekend at my grandmother's. I meant to post these a few days ago, but other posts got in the way. Hope you enjoy!





Watching "So You Think You Can Dance" and eating homemade chicken salad. Not sure life can get any better right now!

Happy Hump Day.

Blessings,
Paige

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Devil Comes to...

Good evening...

I too was one of the many... almost a thousand "followers"... who kept up with a blog that first appeared in several bloggers posts asking for prayer for a single, young woman pregnant with a baby who was facing death. I went back each day looking for an update, praying over the situation and reading about the amazing amount of faith this young mom had. I was amazed at her willingness to help others, creating "His Will Wednesdays", where she posted numerous prayer requests on behalf of others who were hurting.  And like so many others, I fell on my face night after night praying for her, the father and those who were providing her care.

So this morning, when I went to check on this family and the baby they welcomed into this world two days ago, I was shocked to find that the blog was missing. What? Did I enter something wrong?

Now, let me say that over the past few weeks, because of medical knowledge of the issues this baby faced, I became skeptical of the blog and the story being told. However, I prayed each night that I was wrong and that I was allowing Satan to place these thoughts of doubt in my mind. 

To my shock, my skepticism tonight was confirmed. My heart is now broken for all those bloggers who followed and posted on her behalf on their blogs. My heart is broken for those who may not have had a relationship with Christ that came across this blog and was reading the words of someone who claimed to be a "daughter of the King", posting about her faith and giving biblical advice to those who read. Lord, please do not let them be discouraged or turned-off to you and the blessings you have for their life!

Two very popular bloggers, Angie and MckMama, have posted on their blogs about the situation! Thank God for these two women who have reached out via their blogs and tried to ease the pain, shock, broken-heartedness, sadness... that so many are feeling tonight.

I ask that you pray for all those involved... On the blog they were known as "B" and "D". Pray that the grip on their heart by Satan is released. Pray for all those bloggers who prayed, donated money, sent gifts, asked for prayer and posted on their blogs for this couple and their baby. God knows all of our hearts, and our actions of kindness were not in vain. He will receive the glory from this situation.

We live in a world that is tainted. A world that is weary.  A world that Satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy. Thank God that this world is not my final home.

"Some glad morning...
I'll fly away;
To a home of God's celestial shore."


Blessings!
Paige

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Boomerang Express

Vacation Bible School... what GREAT memories that brings back for me! I remember the fun arts and crafts (think Mom still has a few in a box somewhere), bible stories, music time, play time and of course, snack time. (There is still nothing like eating the butter cookies with holes in the middles off your fingers and drinking watered down kool-aid!) This week our church will be holding VBS. I am not able to participate as a teacher this year, but I was able to go today and help with the final details. There are lots of pictures following... 

This is the scene in the sancturary. Part of it is from the resource kit and the other part was made by a church member. ALL ABOARD!!


Here is the main bulletin board located in the children's wing...


This board is in one of the rooms that will be used this week for bible study. Love the colors!


This board is downstairs in our snack area. So cute!


This is the greatest idea! Black electrical tape used to make a track in the preschool bible story room. Those kids are going to love this!


The scene is from the 3-year olds room. It is a barn with sheep in front of it. The barbed-wire fence is made out of aluminum foil. Can you say PRECIOUS!! 


Palm trees in the music room. These were made out of carpet rolls, brown paper bags and green butcher paper. It has a koala bear in it, but I didn't take a picture where you could see him good.

A koala bear...

A kangaroo...

A platypus...

The country of Australia... Love the colors!

The theme this year is "It All Comes Back to Jesus!" These colorful boomerangs are all over the church with the theme and bible verse displayed. Again... Love the colors!


Cute bulletin board. I love how they made the words spin like a boomerang does!


Thanks for making it all the way to the bottom of this post. If you are planning to work in VBS, please feel free to use any of the ideas posted here.

Hope you all have a great week!

Blessings!
Paige

Sunday Summary

What a long, tiring week is has been! I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted and as if I didn't already know it, my body started telling me about it on Friday. I had big plans for this weekend, but instead, I gave in and rested. It is so hard for me to be still and rest, but this weekend, my body had other plans. I feel so much better today!

This is VBS week at church! I will not be able to help this year as I have in the past, but I have been able to help with the "getting ready" part! It has been so much fun and I hope that all the kids who come through the halls of our church will be blessed this week. I am going to try to take some photos of the different rooms today when we complete set-up! I will post some tomorrow hopefully.

What a boring post! This week has just been *blah*. Hopefully next week will be a better one for me. 

Please continue to pray for Megan's family. Their story is mentioned in my post Heavy Hearted. As her dad posted today, he is now having to ask "What do I need to do?" and worry about himself and his sons now, instead of taking care of his wife and daughter. Please pray that they all make the adjustment and find a new normal in the weeks and days ahead.

Blessings!
Paige

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Heavy Hearted

I have been at a loss all night for words and how to express myself and title this post. Heavy hearted is all I have come up with.

You see, at lunchtime, this was a day that I was celebrating how great our God is for leading our precious student Kayla through her cancer treatments this past year... no more chemo... CT scans clear... bone scans clear... Only two more weeks of radiation! Praise God! Yet, in all my praising, I sensed a sadness in this day. 

There is another brave little girl in this story, Megan. These two young ladies were diagnosed with the same type cancer, just in different locations. Megan relapsed in February 2009 and over the past few days, our community has interceded on her behalf, petitioning our God for a miracle. I learned today at 4:15 p.m. that our sweet Megan has met her heavenly father and that he performed a miracle. She is now whole, cancer free, and at home with not only her Heavenly father, but also her mom. Megan lost her mom to cancer (seven-year battle with breast cancer) shortly before being diagnosed herself. Can you imagine the scene in heaven this afternoon when she not only met her heavenly father, but ran to the arms of her mother? Oh, what sweet joy in our sorrow!

Megan leaves behind a precious dad, and two precious brothers. This family has been an AMAZING example of faith to the body of Christ. She also leaves behind a community of friends who have forever been impacted by the life she has led. Please pray for her Children's Hospital team - doctors, nurses, support staff - and all the other children and their families who are facing cancer. Please pray for Megan's family. Please pray for our community.

I will rise when he calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise!

God Bless you Megan! No more sorrow, no more pain. RISE!

I have praised my God today for healing Kayla, and at the same time, have fallen on my knees at his feet in sorrow for Megan's family. Heavy hearted... it is heavy tonight both in praise and in sorrow.

Blessings!
Paige

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Healthy Treat

We are often blessed at the school by good cooks! Mrs. Howell, a substitute teacher, brought by a treat for the staff and teachers in my building on the campus before school let out for the summer. She sent me the recipe today, and I had to share it with you. It is a light, fruit treat and would be so yummy for a brunch. (I did not get a photo of it!)

Baked Apples, Strawberries, Blueberries (or Blackberries) with Granola Topping
3 or 4 apples, cubed
1 to 2 cups blueberries or blackberries
1 to 1 1/2 large container of strawberries, halved
1/2 to 3/4 cups of sugar or Splenda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 cup Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola Cereal (or your favorite granola cereal)

Mix apples, blueberries (blackberries) and strawberries in a bowl. Add sugar (Splenda) and mix again. Add cinnamon and cloves, and mix again. Pour into a medium baking dish. Top with granola cereal. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.

This is suppose to be a *gasp* HEALTHY recipe, but Mrs. Howell did share with me today that her husband enjoys putting this warm on top of his vanilla ice cream. I hope you enjoy as well.

Blessings!
Paige

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