Thursday, December 31, 2015

celebrate ~ new years eve style

Just getting started!

Granddaddy got these super big neon sparklers.

Harry lights up a pink one.

David and Erika renew their vows.

Arch spells the first letter of his last name.

We all had party hats!

Gus says Happy 2016 to everybody!

My Lu Blue says Happy New Year too.

Wishing everyone a
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

grace got married today

I wish I could have been there!

My sister's first child Grace
married her best friend,
Ivan today at the 
Mission Inn
Riverside, California.

All of our best wishes and prayers go out to both of them
for a most blessed and happy marriage.

It was very hard being here
when all of that wonderfulness was going on there.
So thankful for pictures and texts
and the very modern way that we communicate now.

I love falling in love,
and happily ever afters.

God bless you both Grace & Ivan!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

mark ~ my hero

We had a hot Christmas!
Lizards have not gone away like they usually do this time of year.
They are kinda half alive ~ half dormant.
They shouldn't be out and about,
but the very warm days have them confused.
I will preface this post with that bit of information.

We were late getting our tree this year
because of all the fallings
and when we did,
we left it outside for a few days,
leaning up against the house.
We even gave it a few dousings with the hose to moisten it up
before we brought it inside.

Decorating it was a process...
the grand kids helped.
There was a lot of "up close and personal" time with the tree for me...
 I was in and out, under, and way up top.
It turned out perfect,
and then the beautifully wrapped presents
finished it off.

We enjoyed it so much shining brightly there in the corner.
On Christmas Day it was lit before the sun came up.
We gathered around it,
took presents from under it,
and just relished in its beauty.

Christmas Day afternoon we gathered back
around the tree after our naps.
I forget who,
mentioned that there was a LIZARD in my 
that had been removed and set free by my
son in law Mark Hollingsworth.

At first I thought they were kidding me,
but they weren't.
Mark, sitting next to the tree,
noticed the LIZARD
lanquishng on the branch, 
listlessly watching
the goings on.

Mark....very quietly,
not making a big deal at all, 
captured the mini-dinosaur and set him free.
Immediately I began to wonder...
how many more are in there?
What will I do 
if they come out and are all over the house?

This is my worst nightmare come true, 
and to think,
 I was all over that tree
and I didn't know "he" was there,
watching me and laughing his head off.

Thank you Mark!
You are my hero!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

christmas day with the family

Sausage & egg casserole with
Erika's delicious homemade sweet bread.

Lu Blue and Harry Potter.

Gus got an R2D2 backpack.

Jake reading his 
Lego Mini-figure encyclopedia.

Eli opening his first gift.
This picture was taken WAY before the crack of dawn
on Christmas morning.

Lucy's new big girl bike has a
Georgia tag.

Lu riding followed closely by Arch
in his brand new Star Wars boots.

Grandaddy got a gift from the official
Duke University Book Store.

Grammy got a KitchenAid Mixer.
So glad...
never had one like this.

Gus opening his gift from Jake and Eli.

David is always a gift in and of himself.

Christmas was....
 filled with love,
a bit chaotic,
trash generating,
Very thankful for a time to celebrate together.
Warm, sweet memories remain.

Visited with Frankie yesterday afternoon.
He is doing very well.
Was nice to see him home,
in his chair by the fireplace,
with his family,
for Christmas.
God has truly blessed us all!!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

twas the night before christmas....

...there was a star in the house,

an angel descending,

some shepherds about.

six little children at the foot of the tree,

dissolving into laughter as quick as can be.

And just before bedtime,
in front of my eyes,
a vision of Christmas pajamas

Just a short little peek at our Christmas Eve night!!!

Friday, December 25, 2015

"for unto you is born this day.....

It has been a crazy, wonderful Christmas!
In spite of
 3 falls
 and an open heart surgery scare,
we have had a magical
3 day 
Christmas marathon
of laughter, feasts, gift giving, and love.
So thankful for the grace of God to all of us!

I hope that each of you have been blessed as well.

"For there is born to you this day
 in the city of David, 
a Savior 
who is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:10

We rejoice today and worship
this Gift 
that was given on that night so long ago.
There was no greater gift ever given!

My prayer for all of you who read is this...
that God will draw you to Himself,
that He will open you heart to receive His truth,
and that you will know Him.

Our babies are growing up,
but the message they bring never changes.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

merry christmas everybody

May the knowledge that 
came to the earth 
to do the will of His Father
on our behalf
make your Christmas filled with
Joy & Peace
in the understanding of that

Merry Christmas 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

seeing hearts again

This one is on my tree.....
front and center.
It is made of buttons.
Every time I see this heart,
 I am reminded of how much God loves us...
enough to send His son into the world
to die on the cross,
to shed His blood,
to reconcile us back to Him.
Christmas is the baby in the manger.
It is God becoming man and paying the price
for our sin nature,
Now that is the perfect example of love!

My Florida little boys are here...
snug in their bunk beds,
sleeping on their brand new
Avengers sheets,
reading by the clip on lights that granddaddy got for them.
As I left the room I reminded them...
Tomorrow is
Christmas Eve, Eve.

There is absolutely nothing like the love of grandchildren.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

i think i'll make Christmas

a couple of reports.....

That picture up there is me, today.
First outing since the second fall.
I am doing so well.
Off of the pain meds and feeling pretty good.
On the right side of my face
you can see what is left of the black eye.
There on the top of my cheek
and over my eye is the scar  
from the first fall.
Bubba took me out to lunch.
Nice treat.

Frankie is out of the hospital.
He and Sally are staying with Lindsey
 until he sees the doctor one more time,
and then they will head for home
just in time for Christmas.

This is a time of thanksgiving.....
a time of miracles,
second chances.
It is a time for rejoicing because Christ has come.
Can't wait for our family to get here
so that we can celebrate this good news together.

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift
II Corinthians 9:15 all you friends and my daughter out there,
I hear you about the flip flops.
No more climbing ladders with floppy shoes on my feet. :)

Friday, December 18, 2015


I fell again.
This time I was on the six foot ladder
putting lights into the greenery on top of our hutch.

Yesterday...just after noon...home alone.
This was a zig-zag fall.
Losing my footing,
I bounced back and forth for a while
before I hit the floor....
Christmas lights and greenery on top of me.

Lying flat on the kitchen hardwood,
wedged between the island and the Viking,....
after regaining my breath,
I made an assessment.
hmmmm....I seem to be fine!

Ahead of me scattered on the floor
 was a sea of broken pottery,
Christmas lights,
my flip-flops,
and various ceramic figures
broken in half.
I couldn't even look at all of my much loved decorations.

The one thing I do remember
is seeing the hutch rocking back and forth as I fell.
It had not hesitated to spew most of its contents on the floor.
How it did not topple over is beside me.

I got up and walked to the bedroom...
laid myself out on the bed,
and waited for Bubba to get home.

A couple of hours later we were headed into town,
in a rainstorm, back to the ER.
Of everything, my back (left side) hurt the most.
We decided to go do the X-Ray thing again.

Exactly four hours later,
we were on our way home.
(See results above)

Nothing was broken,
no brain bleeds,
not as much blood as before even.
Slightly embarrassed,
greatly sore,
but held up by some really good pain pills,
I went to bed
thanking Him again and again.
 It could have been so much worse.

Before we left, my sweet husband cleaned up the mess
of broken cherished items...
I couldn't even look.
He sweetly said,
its not as bad as you think it is.
He had salvaged what he could,
and tried to put Humpty back together again.
He did a good job!

This has been a month of sorrows and pain but,
In everything God has blessed
the outcomes.
Somehow these times of our lives draw us closer to Him.
Christmas is not about glitter and gold,
it is about that tiny little baby
who grew up to be the Savior of the world.

To God be ALL the glory,
great & wonderful things
He has done!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


He and his family were at Disney last week,
celebrating Lindsey's birthday,
enjoying his favorite little spot on the earth,
riding the boats, 
enjoying it all through the eyes of Cameron and 
sweet little Charlotte.

He was having some pains,
but they would subside.
He kept on going in the true tradition of an
O'Quinn man.

Early Saturday morning there was no more waiting.
He knew immediately that the fun was over.
The hospital was waiting for him,
welcomed him in,
and told him...
"You will be staying here for a while."

Frankie had a heart attack...
He would need by-pass surgery and he would need it very soon.
As my friend said to me...
"Oh Wow, Cathy....
your baby brother
who I remember from 35th street."
Yes, that would be the one!

It was very hard to wait,
knowing what he was going through.
My brother had told Bubba the night before,
"If my heart doesn't start back beating,
well.... I'll just go on to be with Jesus.
The faith was there for all of us,
but it is still very hard until you hear.

Sally called late in the afternoon.
The doctor say he had done so well.
He came through...
God granted his heart new life.

This morning he was up in his chair drinking some water.
God's amazing grace to my sweet brother,
a gentle soul who is always there for us.

Get well soon!!!
Get home for Christmas!
We'll save the gifts until you feel like partying!!
I love you!!!

ps...I just talked to him!
Doctor is calling him a miracle.
He sounds so good.

Monday, December 14, 2015

our florida boys

Jake and Eli
all dressed up for their Christmas program
 last week at school.
Notice Jake's bowtie...
It has whales with candy canes wrapped around them.
I love these boys who are
8 & 10.

My tree is almost finished.
I always think...
 "this one is the most beautiful tree I have ever done."
Its the bows and gold bead garland
that send it over the edge for me.

Thankful tonight for the good report Bubba got at the doctor today.
all clear now from the fall...everything looks good.
For that longed for yet unexpected
 answer to prayer.
For the beauty of the 
Christmas story.
For that tiny little baby in the manger
who grew up to be our 

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift."
II Corinthians 9:15

Sunday, December 13, 2015

odds & ends

The fall....
This is the text that Lu sent out to
 David, Erika, and Bubba
 when I fell.
We were all real proud of her quick thinking.

I am getting better,
but still have a very sore left hand.
My black eye is dissipating...
moving down my face and becoming less and less visible.
Ribs still sore.
Hard to get up and down.

All the people in church this morning who saw my fall
were very impressed with my progress.

Lucy, Harry, Gus and Archie
helped me decorate our Christmas tree yesterday.
Harry was allowed on the ladder
to hang some of the ornaments,
then all of the others had a turn as well.
No catastrophe!!
I am still working on it tonight.
My perfectionist tendencies make this a tedious job for me.
The tree is real...
it smells great,
I love it!

Lu and her friend 
were designing leggings for a contest to
raise money for cancer research.
We both decided that I would look great in these.
I choose the skinny leg side for myself.

I let Lu have full creativity last night in
setting the table.
She mixed and matched all of my 
Christmas dinnerware, glasses, and napkins
and came up with what I think is 
a stunning display of talent.
I am teaching her how to throw an amazing dinner party.
I found the wooden candle holders
at the Goodwill while foraging with Amanda one day.

Got to get back to the tree.
It takes me forever,
We are late getting it up this year,
(because of my fall)
but it is worth all the effort...
a true masterpiece
made more beautiful by the little hands of my
grand babies.

Friday, December 11, 2015

get air with a friend

This was supposed to happen last Friday,
the day before Lucy's birthday.
Because of my untimely fall,
going to "Get Air"
was cancelled 
until Grammy regained her senses and quit bleeding.

Today, one week late,
I picked these two up after school,
took them to Chick -Fil-A for an awesome lunch,
and then off we went
 to the newest rage in Savannah.

"Get Air"
 is a huge expanse 
in the old Sam's building on Highway 17S.
The floor is covered with trampolines.
 obstacle courses,
basketball goals,
and those big plastic balls
that you bonk together in.

Lucy had a bit of a hard time standing up in hers.

But, she had no trouble at all bouncing as high as the sky,

or making a basket.
this makes making a basket so much easier.

Friends make jumping even more fun
when they do it together.

I want to take the boy grandchildren now...
They will love it!

Ten year old girls are so much fun.
You definitely keep me young,
Lucy Blue!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

eli in the snow....

This is one of my favorite pictures of Eli,
 back when he was a baby,
back when he lived in Virginia where it snows
once in a while.

Everything about this picture makes me smile.....
His rosy cheeks,
those eyes,
the knit hat that my mother gave him,
the red coat,
the sprinkled snow.

Thankful today for the grace of God
that carries us through the hard times of life,
that brings remembrances to mind of happy times and places.
That reminds us that God is our
That He has written a book
that tells us
"Everything we need to know
pertaining to life and godliness."
That sent His own Son,
"God very God,"
to reconcile us back to Himself
and to provide for our eternity.

This season, 
amid all of the rants to the contrary,
let us proclaim the 
"Goodness of our God in the land of the living."

Praise to that little baby in the manger.
Praise to the risen Lord that
"Sits at the right hand of God
constantly praying for us."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

me too ( this was written last Friday morning)

Last night was a big night for Lucy and Archie.
They were singing with their friends
at Independent Presbyterian Church 
in beautiful downtown
Savannah, Ga.

After dinner at Johnny Harris,
(the children looked so adorable all dressed up
in their Christmas finery)
off we went to start our Christmas Season with song.

Hurrying in with Lu,
I got my foot caught up in a metal tree fence,
(they are around all of the trees in
downtown Savannah)
dove headfirst into the brick sidewalk,
and was soon surrounded
by everybody that I know in Savannah.
Knocked cuckoo
and bleeding profusely from a laceration on my head,
almost like a scene from a disaster area,
 they all sprang into action.
Someone ran in and got me a chair...
someone else found towels
and applied pressure until the bleeding stopped,
another took their warm coat 
and covered my, by that time, shaking body.

Just like that,
they formed a circle and had a conference...
Yes they decided, 
we need to call an ambulance
 and have her checked out at the hospital.

never making it in to sing and drink hot chocolate,
they loaded me up instead
and took me on a long, bumpy ride to
Candler General.

My injuries were minor...
They glued my head wound back together,
(I will have a scar).
The took xrays of my ribs and my hand,
an MRI of my hard head,
gave me two percocet
 and a tetnus shot.

My angel last night was a guy named Brandon
who works in the ER at Memorial.
He stayed with me until I left in the ambulance.
One thing is for sure...
we will track him down 
and give him and his sweet wife
a gift card to where ever they had planned to dine last night.

Couldn't let Bubba get ahead of me.

I am sore,
I have a nasty black eye,
a sprained thumb,
and bruised ribs,
but once again God was faithful.
It could have been so much worse.
I am resting and healing
 and decorating my house for Christmas.
I curled my hair and took this selfie!!

*"Momentary light affliction."

Sunday, December 6, 2015

lucy's party

The gifts!

You are special today!

Our very lovely ten year old!


Her granddaddy gave her a fishing pole.
There will be some surf fishing at the beach.

Grammy's pecan pie for dessert.


Her bird named "Pinkie."

Growing up!
I love this little girl so much.
She is a mixture of
riding bikes,
pretty clothes,
fishing poles,
messy room and cats.
She is not quite a tomboy and not quite a princess.
She is caught somewhere in between
in a perfect place
where dreams and reality come together
to make an absolutely perfect
I love Lucy!!!