Saturday, December 9, 2017

boys on a cruise

Boys on our bed.
These are some of my memories...
Some sweet faces I want to remember always.
That's what my blog is...
A journal of the days of my life.

We often found ourselves at the front of the ship.
On the very top because that's where our cabin was.
Dress up night!

Top bunk boy...
a great place to snuggle in and be rocked to sleep by the ocean.

Granddaddy and Jake.
Eli had gone to get pizza.

We lost count of the number of ice cream cones this boy ate.

Soaking up the sun at the back of the boat.

Snorkeling at Half Moon Cay.

Jake bought a "ship in a bottle" in Nassau.
I love what kids this age buy.
Granddaddy gave them both $20.00 and they quickly bartered it away.

I chose this picture because it captures this boy's spirit.
Eli is a is Jake.

What a blessing to have been able to cruise with our grandsons.
Thank you Lord for this special gift!
My dream is still to take all seven of our grandkids for our 
50th wedding anniversary in a couple of years.
We might take their parents along too.
🚢 ☀🌟

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

happy birthday lucy!

Lucy turned twelve yesterday
and what a party it was!

She requested wings and Grammy's potato salad.
For dessert she choose Atlantic Beach Pie.
Her tastes as well as her body are growing up (too fast.)

We spent some time around the big old farm table last evening
telling our favorite Lucy stories.
There were quite a few.
From tossing a plate in our favorite restaurant in Washington DC when she was just a baby,
to her pumpkin spice nursery in her home in Arlington Heights, Chicago,
to us pulling her arm out of socket at Lou Malnati's pizza place, also in Chicago,
we relished in having lived our lives with her. 

Lucy is a delight...
a precious young lady who loves to sew and cook.
One of her gifts was citrus acid to make scented bath bomb fizzes.
She has plenty of opportunity to help with her new brother Walt.
She loves to eat crab legs with me at the Crab Shack.
I am so glad that God placed her with us to be her family.
Thanking Him today for the gift that is Lucy.

Happy 12th Lu.
I love you to the moon and back 100 times.

Monday, December 4, 2017

amanda & me

I am so very thankful for my daughter.
Here we are on our cruise...
sun dappled.
She makes me happy.
God's gift!
Love her!

This morning at 7am, last's night's 
super moon 
was still shining brightly in the western sky.
God hung it there you know.
He called it the lesser light.
There is nothing like seeing it rise over the ocean.

Aren't the ways of God amazing?

Saturday, December 2, 2017

my sentiments exactly...

I finally found it...
that island I've been searching for my whole life long.
The place that literally took my breath away.
That white, silky sand...
that water,
a color I cannot even describe,
so clear I could see to the bottom.

This beach...
as close to perfection as I will ever see!

You can rent one and two story cabanas.
We chose lounge chairs right by the waves.

The pine trees had tiny little pine cones.
We wanted to bring some home for Christmas decorating,
but decided they wouldn't make it through customs.

Amanda and the Elation.
You can see the tender beside.

This black chicken was native to the island.
He was strutting around on the beach
 cock-a-doddle-doing for our enjoyment.

Picture point ~ picture perfect!
Yes....take your grand babies with you when you cruise.
They make it so much fun.
I have a thousand happy memories stored away.

There was even a tiny church on this completely uninhabited little island.
As we skimmed along over the deep blue sea,
I was constantly scanning the sky for pictures in the clouds.
Finally, on the day we left this amazing island, I saw it...
a heart!

Look up into the sky my friends.
You will see His handiwork....
you will know that 
He is God.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

port of nassau

I got up early and went to the very front of the ship to photograph the sunrise!!
No man could do this wonder....Only God.
Such beauty.

Raising the flag of the Bahamas as we head into port.

As the boat glided slowly into port to dock,
the city of Nassau was deserted,
but not for long.

Truly, Iv'e never seen blue like this before...
water that is!
Just absolutely gorgeous. ❤
We got off the boat here but didn't stay long.
Too many super aggressive cabbies and vendors wanting our money.
The streets were crowded and smelled like gasoline.
Would rather read and relax on the ship.

Late in the afternoon as we were leaving the port,
I caught this lovely sight with my camera.
Think I will make a canvas from this one.
That is the Atlantis in the background.

The evening dinner is always a high point.
Four courses!
I loved the appetizers the most.
One night I got three different ones.
You can do that you know!
*phrase to remember...
Cathy's little kale salad.
I had one every night.

As we left Nassau and headed back out into the ocean,
the captain warned of rough sea.
True to his word, the ship rolled all night.... 
back and forth, back and forth!!
What an experience!
Best sleep ever!!

Just got back from Disney World with Bubba.
Home for Christmas now!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

sunday was "at sea" day

The first night I slept like a log. 
Felt the gentle rolling of the ocean while in my bed.
Named the rocking "the lull."
We were "lulled" to slumber by the ocean.
Went to sleep thinking about all of the sea creatures swimming below.

Imagine waking up to face a whole day just sailing on the deep blue sea.
We started every morning with room service.
 Promply at six o'clock there would be a soft knock on our door.
Freshly brewed coffee and a croissant with orange marmalade would quietly appear...
just enough to get us through until the "Sea Day Brunch."
What a great way to watch the sun come up!

Loved sitting on the balcony reading God's word.
I read this verse the very first day...
"The Lord on High is mightier than the noise of many waters,
than the mighty waves of the sea."
Psalm 93:4

Late morning ~ sunbathing by the pool watching Jake and Eli swim.
After leaving winter behind in Savannah we have definitely found summer again.

A restful Sunday afternoon on deck reading a good book.
Looking forward to Cruise Elegant...
a four course meal served by a great wait staff,
The first picture above is of us 
"dressed for dinner."

After dinner Amanda and I took in a show.
Then ready for another good night's sleep.

Every night we would find towel art on our bed.

The light on the front of the ship that leads the way into the dark waters of night.

God is so good to give the gift of this very special trip.
Thanksgiving with a house full of people is my favorite holiday of the year.
This year my loved ones wanted me to do something different.
So thankful for this past week.

Friday, November 24, 2017

chasing summer

Last Saturday,
the six of us pictured above,
boarded a cruise ship and set sail to chase after summer.
Needless to say,
we had a wonderful time.
It has been thirty years since Bubba and I went on a cruise.
This one did not disappoint!

This is the big bridge that we cross over when we travel to
The Hollingsworth house,
Town Center in Jacksonville,
Disney World.
This time we went under it instead of over.
Our Captain turned this big ship around in the middle of the St. John's River.
Then he took us right out into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean where we headed south.
Nassau, Bahamas,
Half Moon Cay, an amazing private island.
The excitement level was extreme at this time.

After we passed under the bridge,
the sun put on a show for us.
That's the city of Jacksonville in the distance.
We had lots of small boats to escort us to the mouth of the river.
In the picture below,
you can see our balcony.
The highlight of everything for me was to sit out there and watch the big blue ocean go by.
We kept the door to our suite open so that we could hear the sounds pf the ocean.

I kept a little bit of a journal along the way.
I will share from that in the next few days.

First Impressions

It's finally here ~ the day of our cruise.
When we first booked I received a notice by e-mail....
55 days until you sail.
Well 55 days sped by and now we are on the way.
We will meet Amanda & Mark & Jake & Eli
on the dock in a couple of hours.
I packed everything in one suitcase.
(Bubba bought me a big one)
We have a suite at the very top of the ship
and our own private balcony.
I plan to spend an inordinate amount of time there
looking at and savoring the ocean that I love so much!!

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights in whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
James 1:17
This trip is a gift from God...
a celebration of coming back to life after more than four years of
the deepest and darkest of depression.

As Jake so aptly said as we were boarding the ship.
"Let's get this show on the ocean."

The Carnival Elation stands tall and regal by the dock
with it's wide expanse of staterooms 
and it's whale tail shaped stack.
Since we have a suite,
we are considered "priority."
Because of this we are whisked through all of the 
long "get on board" stuff and set off to find our room.

Tiny House Living

King size bed, sofa and chair, a nice bathroom
and the most glorious view of the ocean.
This will be different ~ this will be good.😃

Lunch on the Lido deck and then two little ice cream cones.
I could get used to this!🍦

Then off to set up our room.
Organize ~ everything in its place.
That's what will make tiny house living for almost a week work for us!

The best part of the day was the "Sail Away."
Once the "muster drill" was over,
we headed to the very front of the ship
 to pass under the beautiful bridge
 and watch the sun set on our first day.

Thank you Lord for letting us do this!!
I am amazed and so very thankful@

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving

Honestly friends,
the older I get the more thankful I am.
Blessings are everywhere.
God's goodness flows daily into the tiny little details of my life.
Today my heart is full to the brim,

"Rejoice always.
Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks,
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful!!

*Thursday afternoon...
Just got back from our Thanksgiving week cruise.
I will start my trip blogs soon! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017


The pool at our condo is undergoing a makeover.
This is the sandblasted version.
Cannot wait to see the finished project.

Thinking about some things....

My friend who lost her husband a few weeks ago.
We all know about death.
We know it is a part of life.
But when you live with someone for many years
and they are suddenly taken from you,
it is very traumatic.
My heart breaks for her.

My niece Grace.
Just when you think that she is making progress,
slow but sure improvement,
there is a setback.
Things look bleak and it becomes hard to keep on 
expecting healing.
 You have to start all over again.
You have to keep on believing and trusting God.....
for His good will to be accomplished.

The state of the world.
Can any more ugliness present itself?
Chaos reigns.
"Everyone does what is right in their own eyes."
There is no contentment.
Not many are thankful for what God has given.
People are driven to kill innocents for no good reason.

God wants us to have hope....
to be thankful in all things.
He wants us to love Him and trust Him.
He wants us to find our joy and contentment in Him alone.
God alone can satisfy the broken heart.

Thank You Lord God for the blessings that You give,

Sunday, November 12, 2017

beautiful words

The Valley of Vision

Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,
You have brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see You in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Your glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite heart is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from the deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Your stars shine;

Let me find Your Light in my darkness,
Your life in my death,
Your joy in my sorrow,
Your grace in my sin,
Your riches in my poverty,
Your glory in my valley.

The Valley of Vision
Arthur Bennett

Please pray for my niece Grace.

Friday, November 10, 2017

what do you do.....

...when it's dark before six
and you're feeling a little blue
and it's cold outside
and you don't quite know what to do?

You light some candles
 and you plug is the white Christmas lights around the windows
and you make a root beer float
and you start working on your Snow Village Christmas scenes.

Thank you God in all things,
even in the dark cold days of winter
because You are God and all of your ways are perfect!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

seeing hearts

You never know when one will show up.
They come out of the blue...
I'm speaking of hearts and how they appear in my life.
I am holding an oyster shell.
The colors behind are the sky, the ocean, and the sand.
I'll tell you how I came to have it.

So....Lucy and I were at the beach.
We brought a bucket, two kites, and two nets.
We tried for a long while to get a kite up,
but it wasn't happening.
I retreated to my low to the ground beach chair.
Lucy decided to take the bucket and the net to catch some minnows.

When I looked up,
she was approaching with the bucket saying,
"Grammy look what I caught."

She pulled out the black oyster shell and handed it to me
thinking she was playing a joke.
(She had not noticed the heart)
I started rejoicing quite loudly.
She thought I had lost my mind.
I showed her the heart and then she understood.
She had found her Gram a great treasure.
Lucy already knew about my obsession with "seeing hearts."
The last one she found was a chocolate chip cookie in the shape of a heart.

Friday, November 3, 2017

grandparents day ~ 2017

Grammy & Gus
First Grade
Veritas Academy

Granddaddy and Harry
Fourth Grade

Archie and friends
Second Grade

Gus' first grade class.

Archie's second grade class.

Harry's fourth grade class.

There is nothing like the look on their faces when you appear in their classroom....
Utter joy and happiness!
For just a brief shining moment,
we step into their world and see them in action.
We get to see the work God has them doing preparing them for the rest of their lives.
I could not be more thankful to have had this sweet glimpse.