Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just an Update...

Ok, it's been a little while since I've updated the family blog. :) It's not for lack of anything to post's been busy...I've just been lazy about updating. :) So what's been going on? Well, since you asked....

Jacob has started college and is loving it. Seems his favorite class so far is a computer course he's taking. He's learned a lot and is very interested in it. He's already been fairly busy writing research papers and essays. He has been VERY the beginning of the year, he received the Pell Grant, which covered his tuition plus there was almost half of the grant money leftover to use for "incidentals". Then just a few weeks ago, he was notified that he had been awarded a scholarship!! What a blessing!! We are very thankful. Rachel has started with the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra and she is in hog heaven!! :) It's an altogether different experience playing in a group like this. But she loves it. I think it'll be a challenge for her and usually, that's a good thing. Violin just seems to be her "thing". She spends anywhere from 1-3 hours (occasionally more) practicing. I've never ever had to make her practice...she does it because she loves it! Here's a picture of a big gift basket Amy sent to Rachel as a "congratulations" for getting into the orchestra. Wasn't that sweet of Big Sister?? :)Katie is doing very well in school. Sixth grade can have it's own little challenges, but she's doing great. In fact, I mistakenly got her the 7th grade math book this year. I considered sending it back and getting the 6th grade book, but thought I'd at least let her try it. I'm so glad I did because she's just flying right through. She's also working on a Civil War project. She's always been fascinated with that time frame in history. We're hoping Amy will be able to come in for a visit soon...she really wants to be here for Rachel's first concert. She has started taking some pre-med courses...which she says are quite "intense"...I can only imagine! :) But she seems to be really interested in them. Working and going to school is always difficult, too.

Let's see, in farm is practically over now. Okra is still quite abundant. The plants are way taller than we fact, Matt can't even reach some of the okra to cut it! :) We have been so blessed with rain all summer long. Last year, during the drought, he was having to bend over to cut it. LOL! Rain makes all the difference, doesn't it? :) The cows are doing good...besides the Angus, we have a few little Jerseys that will be next year's beef, and we also have a little Jersey/Holstein mix (named Hershey for her chocolate color). Lord willing, we "may" eventually use her for a milk cow. The chickens seem to be cutting back on production lately...I guess they're getting ready for winter. :) Hopefully, the pup in the picture below will make a good farm dog one day. So far, half of the time, he's doing this....

The other part of the time, he's fighting with the other pup. :) He hasn't shown much interest in the cows...and thankfully, hasn't been concerned with the chickens. :)

We'll be getting things ready for winter very soon...moving the potatoes into the cellar, bringing wood on the back porch, cleaning out the chimney, etc... We are already having some very cool nights. I wonder if we won't be having an early winter this year.

So, for now, that's a brief update on what's going on here. Hope all is well wherever you are!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Audition Results!

I mentioned before that Rachel recently auditioned for the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra. She actually auditioned last Saturday...and has waited until today for the results. The coveted letter finally arrived in the mailbox today and I'll let you guess if she made it or not by looking at the picture....She made it!!!! :) In the photo, she was already on the phone calling people!! She is so excited! We are very proud of her...of course, we'd have been proud had she not made it...but there are some moments in life worth celebrating! This is one of those. :) Yay, Rachel!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Rachel auditioned today for the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra. It was a "first" for her. Surprisingly, she wasn't nervous or anxious...UNTIL she went in for the actual audition. :) Then she was shaking like a leaf!! :) There were four judges and no one besides Rachel and the judges was allowed in the room. They asked her several questions, then asked her to play a scale. Her audition piece was Gavotte by Thomas. She has practiced and practiced and practiced for over a month!! The judges told her they were limited and could only hear one full minute of the piece. :) (All that practice time for just one minute!!!???) When I asked Rachel how she felt it went, she said, "I think I did pretty good." :)

Anyway....that part is over...and now...we wait.....

I'll post the results of the audition on the blog when we find out. They mail out "acceptance" or "rejection" letters so it will probably be later in the week. :) Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yep, We're Still Here :)

Wow, has it really been almost a month since I posted anything here?? I guess I've been busy with life and just didn't realize it had been so long! :) Maybe you're wondering what's new. Well, let's see here....there's a new puppy named Ed....
a new calf named Hershey.... a new car (I think I'm in love)....
about 75 new jars of green beans adorning my pantry shelves....
and though I don't have pictures...we just started a new school year! :) I'm down to just two left in school now. Seems kinda strange. :) We have been homeschooling for quite a few years now, probably about twelve. That's a long time! We've got quite a supply of schoolbooks we've acquired over the years, so we only had to actually purchase just one textbook this year! That was nice.
The garden is doing well...but so are the weeds! We've been REALLY blessed with rain this much that it's been hard getting in the garden! We actually flooded one day...both ponds overflowed. Considering we had two years of drought...I'm not complaining!
Rachel's audition is quickly approaching (Aug. 22) and she's been working very hard to prepare. :) Unfortunately for her, she will have to wait on an acceptance/rejection letter in the mail...hopefully the week after the audition. That'll be a long wait!!
So anyway, lots new going on here. Hope everything's good where you are!!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Not sure if I mentioned it on the blog or not, but this summer, Rachel started with a new violin teacher at the recommendation of her old teacher. She felt like it was time for Rachel to move on to a new level of teaching. She's learned a lot from the new teacher, who is a very talented musician. She has "strongly" recommended that Rachel audition for the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Being as though the orchestra is (obviously) based in Knoxville, and we're an hour and a half away, we gave it a lot of thought and prayer. But we have decided to let her audition. No matter what happens, it'll be a good experience for her.

Her audition time is on the afternoon of August 22. She is SO excited/nervous/happy about this! In fact, she's already had a dream about receiving the acceptance/rejection letter in the mail...but in the dream, the letter is blurry and she can't tell if it's good or bad! LOL!

I remember when, at the age of seven, Rachel first mentioned wanting to play the violin. I also remember thinking..."hmmm, I wonder how long this will last. a week? maybe two?" :) It wasn't long after we got her a half-size violin and I saw the pleasure it gave her, that we prayed and asked the Lord to gift her with a talent to play for Him. We feel He answered that prayer. We are very thankful to Him and very proud of her.

I'm mentioning this well in advance because I'm sure she'd appreciate any prayers well in advance!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lazy Days of Summer

We're full swing into summertime now and I thought I'd just post a few pics of what we've been up to these days.
After two summers of drought, we've been blessed with an abundance of rain this's been great for the garden and pasture!
Summertime around here means fishing in the Nolichucky...
Swimming in the Nolichucky...
This summer has meant graduations and birthdays...
And it's meant fun times with each other...(*somebody* needs a bit of a tan, but we won't mention Rachel's name. Afterall, you have to go *outside* to get a tan) :)
And Ah! Yes, we mustn't forget the *lazy* days of's tough being a farm dog...but somebody's gotta do it...

Might as well be these two lazy dogs...
Hope you're enjoying your summer as much as we are!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy 18th Birthday, Jacob!

My son officially turned 18 yesterday. All I can say is that the past 18 years went by in a blur! It all happened way too fast and I'm left standing here in disbelief! :) Nonetheless, it's happened and I only know there's nothing I can do to stop it! :) Of course, I wouldn't stop it if I could. As much as I loved having babies in the house, I've so enjoyed watching this boy (all my children, for that matter) mature into a young adult.
Seemingly overnight, he went from being a curly-headed baby, to a Hot Wheels-loving toddler who loved being around grownups, to a serious 4 year old who memorized all the Presidents of the United States just by studying the encyclopedia!! LOL! He entered kindergarten as a self-motivated learner who taught his Mama many things...asking questions so far over my head that I almost always had to send him to his Daddy!! Many of his questions were so deep...I simply had to exasperatingly admit, "Son, I just don't know!". :) He has always been a *deep thinker*. He finished high school having two very difficult college courses under his belt....with A's in both classes. In late August, he'll be entering college full-time aiming for a degree in Business. I have no doubts he'll accomplish that goal if the Lord is willing.

What a blessing he's been through the years. I'm grateful for a son who is a sober-minded, hard-working, responsible CHRISTian young man. (CHRISTian being most important) Proverbs 10:1 says, "A wise son maketh a glad father..." I can heartily add that it makes a glad mother too. :)