Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day



Memorial Day is a day to reflect on those who stood on our behalf to continue to keep freedom in our country! Do you know when Memorial Day originated?

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to honor the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Logan declared in General Order No. 11 that:

The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.

This 1868 celebration was inspired by local observances of the day in several towns throughout America that had taken place in the three years since the Civil War. In fact, several Northern and Southern cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, including Columbus, Miss.; Macon, Ga.; Richmond, Va.; Boalsburg, Pa.; and Carbondale, Ill.

In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.


By the late 1800s, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day and, after World War I, observances also began to honor those who had died in all of America's wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May.

Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Also, it is customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.

We hope each of you has a wonderful and blessed Memorial Day. We are ever so thankful for those who have fought for our freedom....

(Stephen, Wesley, Madison,James, & William)


Because you never know who will be called to help continue the fight!!!!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Caramel Popcorn

Blog Catch Up #5

Over the winter and spring we became "hooked" on homemade caramel popcorn! It's fun and easy to make!


Ruth Ella enjoyed helping pop the corn.....


And as soon as the popping began a crowd would gather around quickly. A few to watch the popping and some just knew that before long a tasty treat would be served:)


This recipe is as easy as 1-2-3 !!!


Yummy golden caramel popcorn, once you taste it you'll be hooked!


Easy Caramel Popcorn
:

1 stick butter
3/4 cup of mild honey
8 cups of popped popcorn (1/3 cup unpopped)
1/2-1 cup of peanuts (optional)

Melt butter and honey together. Bring to a boil and let boil for about 1 minute stirring constantly. In a large bowl pour over popcorn and peanuts and mix thoroughly to coat. Place popcorn mix on a baking sheet (we like to cover our baking sheet with parchment paper, makes for less clean up later). Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Stir and bake for 5 more minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Garden Time

Blog Catch Up: PART 4


When weather started to warm here the end of March first of April, we noticed lettuce growing in one of our vegetable boxes. We were a little shocked since we hadn't planted any lettuce since last spring. After we were done with the lettuce (it didn't grow well last spring) last year we then planted cucumbers in that box.

To our surprise the lettuce really began to take off, so we sat back and watched it grow!


And grow it did!!!!!


William was so excited to help Elizabeth pull up the lettuce. We ate on this huge bunch of lettuce for over a week, and it was delicious! Next spring we are going to try and plant lettuce, and hope it does as well and our surprise lettuce:)


The end of April we decided to get our vegetable beds ready and planted. Our little herb box had oregano come back from last year and it is doing fantastic.


William helping to turn the dirt and ready the beds for plants.....


Miss Ruth Ella was helping in the zucchini bed...


Wesley was eager to help and carried the plants to me.....


Bell Peppers....


Our little garden has taken off and growing, we have blooms on our zucchini, a few tomatoes, 2 small bell peppers, and our cucumbers are now big enough to start to climb....we look forward to eating our fresh veggies soon!



We would love to have a "huge" in ground garden BUT, due to our....

Lake Front property when it rains it prevents us from having our dream garden!

No, we don't live next to a river just a very active creek, and you never know when it will decide to spill over into our backyard! The picture above was from last spring. We placed our above ground beds on a raised area in our backyard, thankfully the water never got higher than you see in the picture. We hope we don't have a flood this year, and then we won't have to worry our little garden.

Blog Catch Up!!

I have been working hard over the past few weeks to catch up on our family happenings and post them on the blog. I have had lots of pictures loaded and awaiting words or a story to go along with the pictures. I now have several blog post scheduled and working on a few more. Some may wonder why in the world at this point I would even bother to share these past happenings. Well, these happenings may not mean much to those who stop by our blog, but it means a lot to our family. This blog was originally created to chronicle our families milestones, day to day life, and happenings ....in hopes one day I'll get it made into a book for our family to have for years to come.


I just wasn't aware that in creating a blog that it would be more than just to chronicle our family life. But it has become so much more, it's opened our family up to share with our friends and family. The added bonus is all the "new" friends we have made, what a blessing it has been!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Memories Monday: Piggy Tails

Memories PAST.....


Ruth Ella

January 2010
4
months old

Ruth Ella had thin small piggy tails:)




Memories PRESENT.....

Ruth Ella

today
May 23, 2011
20 months old


Silly & Outgoing


Curious


And a lover of flowers!

Ruth Ella is growing fast
in
mind, body, and
HAIR...
She now has full piggy tails!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mary Ann's Birth Story

Sunday
May 8th, 2011

Mother's Day



Mother's Day morning I woke to my kiddos, making a yummy breakfast. They even made me something special with my breakfast, my favorite a banana smoothie :) Since we had such a full day on Friday and Saturday, Arthur and the children allowed me to sleep in until 7:45AM. We ate breakfast and the children gave me some very sweet Mother's Day presents after breakfast. For Mother's Day we had another full day planned, we were going to meet with my mother's side of the family for a Mother's Day picnic. We were to meet at Harrison Bay by 11:00AM. I was slow moving that morning, yet, my sweet family were all ready for the picnic before breakfast. While they cleaned up the kitchen from breakfast and were getting all our picnic goodies ready I decided I needed to lay back down for just a few more minutes. Arthur came in our room a little before 10:00AM to tell me I might want to get up and get ready, because we needed to leave our house by 10:30AM to get there on time. I told him OK, but still just didn't feel myself so I sat a few more minutes. Then I had a very sharp pain and within a few moments realized my water had just broken! I looked at Arthur and said "my water broke, guess we won't be going to the picnic". From that moment on the house was a buzz with excitement! As for me I was off to shower, pack my bag, and get a Mother's Day picture with my then 10 children:) My contractions weren't coming regular like they had on Friday and Saturday, I began to slow my pace a bit. I didn't want to get to the hospital and then have to just sit and wait, so I sat and talked with Arthur and the big children. A little before 12:00 noon, I announced I believe it's time to leave for the hospital now.

We arrived at the hospital a little after noon, and I was checked in quickly...I was also told that I was 6-7 cm dilated. I was thrilled that meant not much further to go before baby arrived! At that time the nurses were also trying to track down my midwife, it wasn't her weekend to be on-call. I continued to say she'll be here, I know she's still at church. In no time the door opened and YAY, Linda my midwife was there...she had been at church. She told Arthur and I that when she woke up that morning she just knew that Baby Munck would arrive that day, as I have said the sweetest Mother's Day gift I have ever received!





At 3:08PM, Miss Mary Ann made her grand appearance into this world! Her delivery was very easy and the whole experience was wonderful.



Mary Ann was our biggest girl.






Mary Ann with her very proud Mama and Daddy!!!!!





This is my very sweet friend and midwife Linda, she is such a blessing to me...and my family!!!!


By 4:00PM the children arrived to welcome their new sibling. We didn't tell them what Baby Munck was until they arrived at the hospital. Then we introduced them to their new sibling and ask each one by what they saw what was the baby a boy or girls....only 3 children thought that Mary Ann was a girl! They were all very surprised and excited. Each child had some time to hold Mary Ann, you can see those pictures on the girls blog here and here.


Then it was on to take Mary Ann to the nursery to be properly cleaned up, we all followed along.


Mary Ann didn't seem bothered to much from the whole experience. The hospital was pretty quite on the maternity floor, there was only one other baby/mother there. The children left the hospital and I was taken on to my room, where the tired hit me! This tired wasn't the tired from giving birth, but a tired from all the go, go, go, we had done over the past few days. At this point Arthur saw how tired I was and wanted me to rest. We talked and decided something that we haven't ever done before, we decided to keep Mary Ann's birth low key. We called a few of the family and then ask for no visitors! This was hard to do because we were very torn. Part of us wanted to announce Mary Ann's birth to the world and have everyone come and see our precious gift. Then there was the part of us that knew I needed the rest and quite with our newest addition. That is just what we had quite and rest.


(Miss Mary Ann in her car seat upon arriving home)

Mary Ann and I were released to come home the next day 24 hours later. This was a big surprise I have always had to stay for 48 hours. I was thrilled to be back home with Arthur and all my children.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

1 week old

MISS MARY ANN
IS
1 WEEK OLD
TODAY!


Prelude to Mary Ann's Birth Story


Friday May 6th, Arthur and I left home at 6:00AM heading down to Atlanta for the day. I was feeling really good, and ready for a day of homeschool shopping and attending the conferences. We arrived to the convention center around 8:30AM. Upon entering the convention center we saw a few of our hometown friends that we haven't seen in awhile, so we took a few minutes and chatted. While talking a lady and her sweet family walked up to us, it was Vicky a blog reader/friend. She has been reading our blog, and we have emailed a few times but I had never met her. I knew she would be at the convention and we had hoped to get to meet in person and we did! It was so nice to now have a face to go with her name and to have been able to also meet her husband Greg and children. Arthur and I were so excited to see our sweet friends Emily and Jeremy, we were able to talk with them a few times. We have had the joy of fellowship with their family and hope to again soon. There are so many neat things about having a blog and the special people you meet through it.

Next we were on to the used book sale, and conferences. We very much enjoyed hearing Voddie Baucham, Kevin Swanson, and Ken Hamm. I don't believe you could ever go and listen to any of these men and not walk away enlightened and with added zeal for homeschooling, family, and most importantly Christ!



I was pleased with the used book sale, even though I moved slower around the sale than in years past. I found some really good deals and walked away with a buggy full. Here are a few finds from the used book sale....


A starter set of Math-U-See blocks, for only $10. We own the complete set, but thought having this set would come in handy. Often the boys take their math to the store and needed blocks, problem solved:)


OLD readers...Oh they are one of my weaknesses! I purchased each one for $1!


Here is a look inside one of the books, aren't the pictures cute?!


I found these 2 readers and I paid $2 a piece for them. This series is great, and we own 2 of the books already....they were Arthur's books from childhood.


The love the way the stories are written and the values they share.

I know some may not enjoy my love for old books, but as they always "one mans junk is another mans treasure"! Yep, these were just a few of my treasures, and all 5 books for under $10 :)

After the used book sale, lunch , and going to 3 of the conferences I was beginning to get tired. Arthur at that point suggested that we go and purchase our new school items. We bought things from Vision Forum, Math-U-See, Rod & Staff, Answers in Genesis, and a few other small places. After our stop in the curriculum hall Arthur said he felt we needed to head home, he could tell I was winding down pretty fast. We hit a little Atlanta traffic on our way out of town, and I was feeling a little fearful because I was having some hard contractions. I kept the contraction information to myself until we were in Calhoun an hour from our house, at that point I shared with Arthur my contractions were coming every 10 minutes! We arrived home at 9:00PM, and we were both worn out, but it was a good day....yet, our next thought was is Baby Munck coming tonight? We knew Saturday we had BIG plans and we were praying Baby Munck could hold out another day or 2!


***************************************************************


The next day Saturday morning at 7:00AM our family all hoped in the van for a road trip, now we were headed for NASHVILLE, TN! We were on our way to the Bass Pro Shop at Opry Mills Mall to attend the awards ceremony for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program, which is put on by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Elizabeth has entered this contest for the past several years and placed honorable mention each year, but this year she was awarded 3rd place in her age group. We were all so thrilled for Elizabeth and being 11 days from my due date wasn't gong to keep me from attending....Nashville is 3 hours one way from our house.


Here are a few of the winners, the picture with the purple ribbon won best in show for the state.


Amanda and Elizabeth looking at all the artwork, before the ceremony began. On our daughter's BLOG you can go and see more pictures there.

Elizabeth receiving her ribbon and plaque. She won't be getting her picture back until February of 2012, it will go on tour and be displayed in multiple locations across our state. After the ceremony we looked around the Bass Pro Shop and then back in the van we went to head back home. We stopped off and ate lunch at Cracker Barrel, we pulled into our driveway around 4:30PM. Now it was time to unwind and rest:)

This was a wonderful day of celebration and family time, we were so happy we were able to attend the awards ceremony....and that other than some contractions Baby Munck stayed put another day!