Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Christmas Angel

Since Jakey was about two years old we've had a Christmas tradition called "The Christmas Angel". It all started when a lady at a yard sale was tossing out a bunch of stuff- put it in a  FREE box and sent it home with my kids. The box had all sorts of junk in it- and one little blue mailbox with Santa Clause on the side of it.  Jakey seemed particularly fond of the little Christmas mailbox and its red flag. So, one night- just on a fluke I put Christmas candy in the mailbox. Sometime during the next day he found the candy in the mailbox and Sarah spontaneously  said "The Christmas Angel mailed you candy, Jake-Jake!!" And that was the beginning of one of our favorite Christmas traditions!

The Christmas Angel comes each night beginning sometime around December 10th  leading up to Christmas- bringing small toys, candy and various treats- usually wrapped up in a scripture verse telling about the birth of Jesus.  The Christmas Angel does not come on Sunday  Morning- because it's a "holy day" and she doesn't want to interfere with church preparations :)

The Christmas Angel is "magical" in that- sometimes.....she leaves a trail of glitter. And somehow-we know that the angel is a "SHE".  There's LOTS of speculation on Jakey's part regarding the Christmas Angel....last year he thought she was very tiny (like Tinkerbell) and she flitted about the world bringing good tidings. This year, he figures that she's VERY BIG and  I quote, "probably can hardly fit in our house because she has to carry Christmas Angel gifts across the whole universe. Probably even Mars!" Other speculations for reasons unknown to me- the Christmas Angel wears a braided bun like Princess Leia in Star Wars. And she has wings- but they stay under a cape. (A cape??? Hey, it's his Christmas Angel!)

This year the Christmas Angel has been particularly forgetful that to cover up her forgetfulness and not disappoint big blue eyes and a believing heart.....Mommy had to explain to Jake that maybe the Christmas Angel was playing a game? Maybe SHE DID COME....but, she wanted Jakey to search for the treat......and mommy had to scurry down the hall and tend to some very quick business!!!!  The Christmas Angel has sent Jake on a treasure hunt three times (so far) this year.   !!!!
 So, this explains our little Christmas Angel tradition. I'm seriously considering writing a children's book about the Christmas Angel and how she comes to homes with the special mailbox to bring Good Tidings of Great day....when there's peace on earth....and a silent night...I just may be writing about a little angel that puts the anticipation of the Christ child in the hearts of little children....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mothering In A Pinch....

Last night the kids and I were getting ready to go to the Fox 8/ Sealy Christmas concert at the coliseum.
Jacob reminded us that last year we went to the coliseum to see the Toy Story 3 on Ice program. He recalled that we bought popcorn, drinks and that we listened to Amy Grant music on the way there....then- he reminded me that I sprayed him with invisible spray.

WHAT? I asked him.  He said, "Remember that I didn't bring my coat with me and it was really cold and you made me wear Rebekah's pink coat and I started to cry because I didn't want to see Buzz Lightyear in a pink coat??"

Oh Yes! The memory was coming back......

He continued...."And you said that you had 'invisible spray' in your purse that would make it so that no one could see the dumb pink coat."

I was grinning from ear to ear at this point.

"Did it work?" I asked.

"Yes! No one ever saw that I had a pink coat on!!"

I now remember us standing in the coliseum parking lot and I pulled a travel size can of hairspray out of my purse and hosed him down with it.....and WAH-LAH.....the coat was invisible!!! :)

And, we enjoyed the show- without tears and without issues. ;)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Channeling Christmas

So, I'm not feeling all that Christmasy yet....and it seems the older I get, the harder it is to conger up the excitement that used to surge through me regarding the Holidays. It all seems so "chorish" now.

Anyhow, I'm not going to droll on about my lack of "Excelious Deo"....and will spare you the Bah-Humbugs. :)  In a true effort to embrace the "Spirit of Christmas Present" I drug my sled (that I bought for only $15 last September for this very purpose!!) and decorated it.  This is the first (and so far- ONLY) sign of Christmas  :/
I've got Christmas music on and sprayed some "Christmas Berry" air freshener.....may the Glorias in Excelious Deo's commence! :)


UPDATED:  I guess the Cmas spirit is slowly descending upon me....I managed to get a few more things done this afternoon....

Antique milk can makes a handy container for a fake $3 tree freshened up with fresh magnolia and cedar clippings.

Not too pleased with my door garland it needs to be spiffed up, but hey! it's hanging! :)  I have a small container I'm placing in front of the sled which will be full of winter greenery to hide the bottom of the sled....and I still have to put out my Christmas Welcome mat.....for now, this chick's Christmased out.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Family Fun Day

We attended Mt. Calvary's family fun day on Saturday. The kids and I had a great time. Here are some pictures from our afternoon....

A church family hosted the you can see the giant pot of chicken stew he spent all morning cooking over an open fire.

The Fun Day was at the homestead of a family that has farmed the land for at least two generations. There's a lot of history and vintage finds all over the property.

Jakey and I getting ready for the hayride

Instead of Wii's and television the children played on haybales almost ALL day....good wholesome fun!

You can't take the country out of the country! :)

Baling wire hanging from the back of one of the outbuildings.

One of the many beautiful views while we were on the hayride....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Community Table

I can't believe that I haven't taken the time to tell you about Greensboro's  first annual Community Table Dinner that I was able to attend earlier this month (courtesy of my boss and his wife!)

Howard & Jessica- my generous boss & his wife

The dinner was beeyootiful. At $125 per ticket, I have to say, it was worth every single penny spent....(which is probably easy to say, since I didn't buy our tickets....but seriously, it was absolutely wonderful!)
The dinner was hosted at Summerfield Farms and organized by Iron Hen Cafe and Southern Roots (one of our FAVE restaurants!) The evening started off with music, roaming barnyard animals, networking and conversations over drinks at the main barn.

Then, we were given a tractor pulled hayride through the beautiful grounds and property of Summerfield Farms. The sun was sinking and the evening sun was magically turning everything gold and beautiful...the way the sun tends to do. It was truly beautiful.

The music and serenading continued once we reached our destination. The dinner table was set and glistening with china, silver and stemware for 300 diners. It was fantastical!

All of the food served was grown and raised in the local community- by local farmers. The menu was delicious with salad, beef tenderloin (raised on the farm), fresh vegetables cooked SOOO deliciously, apple cider from the nearby North Carolina mountains, local grown grapes provided wines from North Carolina wineries and even the dessert was a tasty southern sweet potatoe pie with homemade cream on top provided by the local dairy.

Much of the food was prepared and cooked on site. The dinner conversation was entertaining- most of it was prompted by "Talk Of The Table"  topic cards which were on the table for the guests. The night was enchanted....they even lit and released floating lanterns from the top of the magical.

You shouldn't be surprised when I confess I was one of the last guests to leave. I loved watching the sun set, and seeing the oak tree lit up with hanging lights, flickering candles and the sweet strains of violin music still filling the night sky. It was a night I will always remember. :)

Shine all your light & Buy Local!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We're Going To The Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

If you have kids- you probably know the Raffi song, We're Going To The Zoo. I can't help but sing it E.V.E.R.Y.T.I.M.E. we go to the zoo, zoo, zoo. ;)Last Saturday we went to the zoo (zoo, zoo...and you can come too, too, too!). I was being especially lazy Saturday morning and Rebekah and Jake we're pulling, prodding and pretty much driving me nutso until I agreed to get dressed and go. I was especially delighted when we called my eldest son Gabe and he agreed to go with us!! Yay! :)

Sarah with her hand on top of a polar bear prints actual size.

With as many trips as we've made to the zoo, we've never had the opportunity to see the zoo keepers give the elephants a bath. This is ARTY the bull elephant. Arty is trained to obey hand signals. The zookeeper instructs him to turn around, come close, lift a foot (to be scrubbed and nails clipped) and to back up with simple hand motions. It was really neat! She even had him lift his truck so that they could clean the holes where his tusks used to be.

Arty awaiting a pedicure.

Kids on the tram. All four of them. Happy sigh. :)

Friday, September 2, 2011


The substance of things hoped for....but not yet seen.

We all have had trials of faith. Sometimes we have victorious, spiritual moments of complete triumph. No doubt. No fear. No questions. No condemnation. Absolutely overcoming.

And sometimes we struggle with just the simplest concepts of faith. Trust. Blind trust. Putting our faith in what we cannot see...cannot touch...and sometimes don't feel....not even deep inside-where our soul is most sensitive. Our faith is blinded by what we do see.

That's why the above quote from Elisabeth Elliott is so inspiring to me...

"Faith's most severe tests come not when we see nothing, but when we see a stunning array of evidence that seems to prove our faith vain."

Shine. Always.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Jakey started 1st grade at a new school yesterday. Last night was our first PTSM meeting. PTSM is like PTA- but it stands for "Parent Teacher Support Ministry". I like that. School is not "school" it's a ministry. And, if you've ever been involved in private schools, co-ops or homeschooling- you know exactly what I mean.

I was expecting a regular sit down-read the minutes- principal make some nice comments- pass around a volunteer sign up sheet- type of meeting.  I was very surprised. The pastor of the church came to the meeting and gave one of the best 15 minute, most convicting, passionate and love filled exhortations. EVER.
The seromon had four points to parents and I really want to share them with you.

  • DELIGHT- Relish the moments. Your children are more than laundry pile makers, orthodontic bill stackers, food eaters, mess makers. When was the last time you TRULY stopped and delighted in your children?
  • DISCIPLE- It's our HOLY OBLIGATION to disciple our children. Lead, guide, direct, nurture in the admonition of God. You disciple by demonstration. Discipling is done through scripture and love. It's different than punishment and judgement.
  • DEVELOP- train our child way they should go. Develop character, respect, honor, loyalty. These things are developed and cultivated in our children. Sometimes it takes punishments to "develop" character.
  • DISCIPLINE- Pastor Callahan made a distinct difference between "Disciple, develop and disciplining" our children. Discipline. You cannot love your children and NOT discipline them. 
Another wonderful thing from the meeting last night is that Pastor Callahan "made up" his own motto- inspired by I Corinthians 13.

Now abideth school, church and home, but the greatest of these is home.
Gentle reminders for an overwhelmed mom on the go. Delight in the Lord. Delight in your children. Delight in the small stuff. Delight in the mundane. Delight in their very presence and being. Sounds easy. But life comes at us so fast, harsh and unyielding. 


Wednesday night was our last night of summer. I told Jakey I would take him out to dinner for ANYTHING he wanted. He chose SHRIMP! So he and I headed out to a seafood restaurant. He talked about SHRIMP the WHOLE way yummy, good and wonderful it sounded. He asked if he could get it fried and boiled. He asked all about catching shrimp.Cleaning Shrimp. Cooking shrimp. Have people ever had shrimp as pets? How big does a shrimp have to be before its not a shrimp anymore? Have shrimp have ever been trained to be in the movies? We talked about every aspect and angle of shrimp imaginable. And when we got there- the "little shrimp" ordered cod-fish. LOL. Isn't that the way things go? But ya know what? I was DELIGHTING in my little man. It was just him and I. 
 DeLIGHT yourselves in the Lord and SHINE all your light!  :) 

Love, Cass

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Eyebrow Whisperer

I had one of those experiences Saturday that leaves you chuckling to yourself and wondering, "Did that just REALLY happen?

I needed to have my eyesbrows waxed-and ran into a store and the lady there was surprisingly able to get my right in. The place was VERY busy with manicures and pedicures and I was surprised that the waxing lady wasn't busy as well.
So, they bring me back to this quiet little room and have me sit up on a table- very much like you would at the doctors office.
Then, she turns on a bright examination light- very much like they would use at a doctor's office. 
Then, she puts on gloves. I was starting to sweat, because I have an acute case of doctoritis. I don't like being "examined". And I was feeling very much like I do when I'm at the doctors office.
The little asian lady pulls the blinding light closer to my face. Her eyebrows knit together as shes looking me over. She kept staring. Thinking. I was beginning to think maybe this was all a misunderstanding? I wasn't asking for anything other than having my eyebrows waxed. I was truly concerned for a brief moment.
Then in her clipped accent and broken English- while still scrutinizing my face she very matter of factly said, "Whoevah do your eyebrahs mess up your face. Your eyebrah too fahr apart. Make you nose big." (she demonstrated the obtrusive length of my nose by drawing in the air with one hand- while still holding my bangs back and staring at my face.) "You face too long.Too skinny." Then to really drove the point home, with her doctors lamp, gloves and table and all the bedside manners of a..... buffoon (?) she re diagnosed me to make sure I understood. " Your nose too big. Really mess up your face."
She gave me a moment to let this sink in. She seemed very grave...and politely gave me a minute to handle the heaviness of the situation. She even turned her back from me to allow me a moment. The seriousness of having a messed up face should have hit me with a little more emotion. Surely, this news must have deserved a moment of silence. I bit my lip. Not to restrain tears of sorrow....but, because I was trying to retain a giggle. I had to be mature and allow the solemn seriousness of the matter take hold. For goodness sake! This was VERY serious. I needed to pinch myself. Obviously. I mean: I have a messed up face. Why hasn't someone told me?? All this time I thought my big nose was genetics.....but NO!! It's been my waxers fault alllll these years!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe I should have been feeling anger? You know- all these years with a messed up face could really cause a person some real emotional scar tissue. Dark  bitterness could take root. Uncertainty and trust issues- just around the corner! But the dark cloud of bitterness lifted suddenly- and a bright ray of hope and sunshine came into the room: With a big smile she cheerily said, "I can fix!"

The lady took about 20 minutes to un-mess up my face. She was quite pleased with the results.She kept admiring my eyebrows. She's a legend, I tell ya!
I couldn't really tell the fact, I don't FEEL "un-messed" up...nor does my nose appear any shorter...but she was very, very pleased with the results. Without asking she booked me another appointment for a few weeks from now- so that no one dare mess up her art of arching. She also gave me very firm instructions to NOT sleep on the right side of my head. It's causing one eyebrow to be too short. Hmmmm. She may be on to something there.
She gave me my appointment card. With a set date and time- which I guess I'm just EXPECTED to make work with my questions asked. I don't want to upset the Eyebrow Whisper.

SHINE- and ARCH!! :)  Cass 

Friday, July 29, 2011

These Moments

Jacob has been a very keen piano student lately. His eagerness to expand his repertoire from early beginner Alfred songs like "Left and Right" to songs like "Glorious Day" by Casting Crowns is pretty ambitious. After each lesson he asks, "Do you think I can play the piano in church.... tomorrow?" I'm not sure if his desire to be used by the Lord supersedes his desire to be admired. We'll have to work on that. :)

One thing is certain:  nothing supersedes his enthusiasm and motivation. He works very hard to make sure his hands stay curved, his back stays straight and that his chair is just the right distance from the piano. He keeps his shoulders back and leans slightly forward....just like the drawings and how I instructed him.

There's nothing sweeter than a little time with your little one imparting to them something that you love. Music has been a lasting gift and refuge during my life....

Shine all Your Light- Cass

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mother Goose Has A Day Out

Mother Goose knows where to go to get her bargains! She was having a girls day out with her other mother friends :) Great bird brains thing alike. ;)

She's quite nosey, in my opinion.  She was shopping for back to school deals- well ahead of the rest of the mother hens out there. She wanted to know all the details of what I had left the store with.

She followed me all the way to my van. I told her how nice it was to catch up with her, but that I really did need to go home and take care of my own little gaggle of ducklings. ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Highland Games: Where You Get Your Kilt On!

 This year was our second pilgrimage to the Highland Games. Honestly, we're really not there for the 'games'...but for the atmosphere, the people, the music, the clans that are dripping with tradition and the love of heritage and motherland. There's a mixture of vibes in the air: gypsy, hippy and tradition. People camp on the mountain from Thursday-Sunday. The tents are wolly-wompus (as far as I can tell) piled on top of eachother- tartan and confederate flags flown with equal pride side by side.

I am- and always have been a people watcher. There is no shortage of sites, people or "what the heck?" moments on Grandfather Mountain during the games. :)  At the end of the day- when all was said and done- everything had been touched, gawked at, tried or tasted- it was the music that is everyone's favorite part of the day.

This man was my fave last year- and this year too. I don't know his name nor his bands name...but he's a high energy performer doing it all: drums, bagpipes, singing and even said he wrote a few songs too.

This picture was taken by Sarah. Don't know this bass players name or band name either...but he was in Maxwell House the last drop. ;)

A warrior with a soft-heart. He was more than willing to pose with the girls. Jake wouldn't get near him.

One of the clans had their booth set up with the history of their ancestry being that they guarded the Kings Castle and properties. This helmet was on display to let the kids see how the clan dressed during the reign of Kings and Queens. The helmet was suprisingly heavy.

By mid-afternoon- Rebekah was positive that she was a Scottish Lass from the yon heather moors. I kept telling her she would LOVE the Highland Games.....and it didn't take long for her to believe me.  She was given the opportunity to participate in a celtic fiddle workshop while there.

Tartans, tartans and more tartans. I think I dreamed in plaid Saturday night!

The Highland Games: Barbarians Welcome and Celebrated!

Sarah me lass with a Scotland Flag.

We met the neatest vendor. Her name is Syntheia Finklepott. (really, it's her name!) She threads silken fiary hair into your hair....they're really pretty and she said they can last as long as 8 months!

Jakey had quite a day- at the end of the afternoon he caught his second wind and was ready to tackle this rock wall- and his fear of heights. Well, at least he tried to.

Cello at the fiddle workshop

This is the fiddle player (no, really?!) from Mothergrove the Celtic rock band. They are a powerhouse of energy and fun tunes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

OHIO: A Celebration of Small Town USA

This barn is somewhere near Dublin, Ohio.

Nelsonville, Ohio.