Monday, April 30, 2007

A Portrait

I take painting lessons from a wonderful lady named Kaly.
She teaches out of her home. Madison takes on Mondays with 3 other kids.
I take on Friday mornings with two other ladies.
I usually work in oils while Madison will either work with acrylics or do sketches.

Kaly asked me Friday if she could paint a portrait of Caroline.
Let me think a moment.....

She has chosen the close-up from Caroline's day in the tulips.
I can't wait!

Mailbox treats

So I ordered these precious tags on etsy from a sweet seller. I may use the #'s and the days of the week to make a huge family calender on a 24x24 black framed cork board from , where else, Target. Thought I would use it as an inspiration board, but when i saw these I couldn't resist!

Then my fun Heidi Swapp treasures came too.....could she be any cuter! The clear butterfly ghost are so adorable. These images are from her gallery. I need to get going on some creations before my girlies are out of school & the quiet inspirational-free time is shot!
My hydrangeas are still hanging in there. I bought these about 3 months ago & they are still as gorgeous. I just love them on my kitchen table but we'll get them planted outside along with the others soon.
Today I began reading Purpose Driven Life. I have the daily devotionals emailed to me each morning. They are wonderful. This book is desinged to be read in 40 days, so I'll do my best! I would love to create a journal to store my thoughts as I go along. We'll see....

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Madison Grace

Madison Grace....
.I love your name. I thought of naming you Mary Grace, but daddy Gregg would have nothing to do with a name that sounded so southern! So his fave name at the time was Madison. I think its so fun that since you started your new school they call you "madison grace"....such a beautiful name for a beautiful girl.

It drives your sisters crazy , but you were the easiest pregnancy, delivery, & baby! You were the tiniest one at 6 lbs 6 oz! You never cried! Since I owned the gift shop when you were born, I would bring you with me & you would sleep in the moses precious!
You have the most gorgeous striking blue eyes. Your great grandmother's eyes were that same gorgeous blue. People stop us all the time to comment how pretty your eyes are~ & that dimple is a knock out too!

You are my easy tempered child who is always a help. You are kind & gentle. When you were little mimi & poppy called you fearless because you will try anything!
You began dancing ballet when you were 3 years old~ now 9 years later it has been a joy to watch you perform. What a thrill to see you dance on stage at the Fox Theatre with the Atlanta Ballet in the Nutcracker!! I pray you always sense the joy of the Lord as you dance!
You love the to help in the kitchen. And your family loves your signature home made croutons! Most days I can find you watching our fave girls on Food Network~ Giada, Rachael, Ina & Paula too! You love looking at our growing collection of cookbooks & helping me think up new recipes to try.

You have a wonderful fashion sense & look great in your new 3 inch wedges!
You are always wanting to make sure I'm ok~ that warms my heart. I think you & I will be great friends as you grow up

You love to shop with me & don't mind a public hug!
You love to read , but that wasn't always the case. You discovered Harry Potter books & never looked back. You most recently finished Pride & Prejudice.

You are historical fiction, painted toes, pointe shoes, lime green iPod shuffle,
& a great walk on the beach.
You are Junior Beta Club, all A's, art class & coffe drinks.
You are salads, the color purple & very easy to please.
You have a strong faith & love to ask others if they believe in Jesus.
You are a tender hearted young lady & whose blue eyes can spill tears quick as a wink.
You are a leader, a loyal friend, & a warm morning snuggle.

I'm so proud to call you my daughter & my friend
I love you little bird.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Leaving the nest

Chicadee nest
Originally uploaded by jody.z.

For several weeks now i have been so enchanted with the mr & mrs chickadee who have made their nest in a birdhouse on my porch. I love to watch them daily flutter in and sweet. Their little song has become familiar to me & I enjoy listening to their music all day long!
A few days ago i heard the chirping of their babies...loud chirping I might add!

Each night this week we have eaten our dinner outside on the porch near their nest. Mom & dad chirp away while we dine & I remind the girls not to make any loud noises to scare them away.

Well...last night as we were eating we heard a thump. There, just below the birdhouse, was one of the babies. He was laying on his little back. OH goodness....we all were so distressed-- do we touch him? is this normal? do we try to place him back in the nest? where were mom & dad? is he big enough to be out yet? After what seemed like an eternity, but in actuality was only about 5 minutes, he flipped himself upright & began singing. By this time the girls were all inside...teary might i add... & I am frantically calling any vet in the yellow pages trying to find someone who was open at this late hour & is familiar with birds.

I finally get sent to a wonderful kindhearted woman. I tell her the story, how we heard the mom & dad singing for days but tonight they were no where in sight. How he fell out and was just sort of jumping around , now in the pine straw area of our yard.
So she tells me--chickadees learn to fly from the ground. Unlike wrens & bluebirds which fly from the nest, these little guys actually drop out of their nest....who knew? She then tells me that mom & dad are probably out nearby under a shrub with the rest of the family waiting on this little guy & that he's doing exactly what he is supposed to be doing. She tells me I can calm my girls, one of which is truly upset by this sweet is that?!
She also tells me it takes these little guys about 3-4 days before they can fly. By this time we can now hear mom & dads song. The late bloomer is chirping away. I decided to go ask my next door neighbors if they would kindly keep an eye on their indoor doggie as the little chickadee has now crossed the picket fence & is hopping around in their yard.

A happy ending for my family of animal lovers.
Whew...all that & then the tear-jerker Idol episode.
Needless to say, by bedtime I was completely emotionally wore out!

This morning I hear their happy song. What a blessing! I am in awe of God's creation. He is aware of every living creature.

Luke 12:6-8
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sweet Emily Austin

Sweet Emi....that's been your little nickname for sometime now & you are just that....such a sweet girl. This summer you will turn 11 years old~ I can't believe how grown up you are. I am so proud of how well you have done in school this year. I know last year was maybe harder for you than you realize, but you have done great. You are a hard worker & you love to learn.

You have been "playing school" since you were a little girl. Each year you are so in love with your school teacher. Every year we think, how will next year beat the last & it does! You love to come home & act out the events of your day--so sweet!

You began asking to play violin when you were about 7 or 8 years old. I love listening to you! You make such a beautiful violinist!

You love Dancing with the Stars & American Idol. You love spaghetti , macaroni and cheese, and our new Robin miller recipe-creamy fusili with chicken and mushrooms. I love when you help me in the kitchen.

You are my sweet spirited, non competitive, kind , tenderhearted, gentle child. You are compassionate. You are a deep thinker. You usually full of laughter and on the days you aren't, it just means you have a full load that day. But Emi, if I could choose my favorite word to describe you it would be loyal. You are an amazingly loyal friend. You are an amazingly loyal sister. When we saw the movie "Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" ( part of the Narnia chronicles) Dad & I were both so moved the character Lucy. She so quickly forgave Edmund. She asked no questions- just loved him. That's exactly how you are!

You were only 10 weeks old when your daddy Gregg passed away. But the amazing gift the Lord gave me was that you look just like him! You have the same happy spirit that both Grandma Miller & your great grandpa Sousley have! When you were a baby, our friends called you Gregga for that very reason.

One of my favorite memories...You asked me if you could join me on my daily walk/jog. You reached for my hand & held it the entire two miles....what a memory in my heart....the feel of your sweet hand in mine.

I am so proud of you. I love you dearly. Please know you have a special place in our family that no one else can fill. God created you to be YOU!

I love you my angel baby!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I love this little book. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is someone whose life fascinates me. Her love of art, literature , especially poetry was the inspiration for this little collection. Caroline Kennedy shares a glimpse into her mother's heart through some of Jackie's favorite poems.
One of my favorites...

Sea Joy
by Jacqueline Bouvier
When I go down by the sandy shore
I can think of nothing I want more
Than to live by the booming blue sea
As the seagulls flutter round about me
I can run about- when the tide is out
With the wind and the sand and the sea all about
And the seagulls are swirling and diving for fish
Oh~ to live by the sea is my only wish.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tiny tears

Sometimes there are those sweet little conversations that you just want to hold in your heart.
Yesterday we had one of those.
I had to work late the night before. When Caroline woke the next morning she told me to come into her room,
she had something to show me.
She takes out her pillow and begins to point to about 10 random places on that pillow.
She then says, "This is where all my tears were that I cried last night because you were gone"
sniff ....sniff....sniff....

by the way....i only work one evening a week & she was home with daddy....i didn't desert her ~but i did feel loved!
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Friday, April 20, 2007

Grains of sand

Psalm 139. 17~19

How precious to me
are your thoughts , O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them
they would outnumber
the grains of sand.
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Thursday, April 19, 2007

For you Savannah Miller

I would never wish to put my girls in a typecast box. Nor do i want them to believe that who they are is simply made up in what they do & the things they accomplish. That being said....I was motivated by the fact that Savannah will graduate from middle school in a couple of weeks. Both at school & at church we will come together to honor these children and award them for accomplishments. I will spend my next few blog entries with journals about my girls & how I see them now~things they love, things I love about them, things that make them unique, things that make me so proud to be their mom. I will begin with Savannah.

Your due date was to be February 28th, but honestly I knew you'd come on Valentines Day. As I told friends & family no one believed me. Firstborns rarely come early. But, you did!
My sweetheart warmed my heart Valentines Day 1993. I had talked about my baby-girl-to-be "Savannah" before I was ever even married. Your daddy Gregg would be so proud of you cutie, so proud. My heart hurts for you that at such a young age you had to witness loosing him to cancer. You were so special to him. Don't ever forget that....hide that in your heart in a special place & always go back to it!

You were such a bright young little girl. I know you have heard us talk about how you memorized the "birthday girl" book on your 3rd birthday. You loved books. You loved your preschool. You were my best little buddy those few years without a daddy~always my helper, always my sweet little friend. When I look back I realize you were always so much more mature than your actual little age. I guess being forced to grow up quickly will do that to you.
However, I hope when you look back on those days you remember being days full of joy, games, books & fun.
I will never forget telling you I was to marry Dan. You so sweetly looked up at me & said
" I will always love my first daddy and miss him. But I'm really glad we are getting a new daddy". You are an amazing big sister. They all look up to you.
You have always had leadership qualities , an outgoing friendly personality, and such a cheerful happy disposition. Honestly I was quite concerned when I knew we would move you from the little private school you had grown up in to a huge public middle school.
But -wow- you never missed a beat. You have been so inspired by the academic and social opportunities only a large school can truly offer. I am so proud of you!! Except for two pesky B's, you have made all A's your entire K-8th grade, and all A's in middle school. Many of those grades were made in advanced placement classes. You were chosen a leader in FCA & a leader in your church youth group. My heart just leaped when Randy ( our beloved youth leader) introduced you as one of his favorite people....what a compliment! Your hearts desire since you were about 3 years old has been to be a cheerleader. What a proud moment for me a few weeks ago to witness you making the JV Football & competition squad at Parkview!

When I think of you I remember ~ pink & green, chocolate chips & peanut butter waffles, Harry Potter, IM, winning an iPod, tumbling class, poms, a new chi, your bff Annie, wonderful days at Seaside, silver hoops, all A's, confidence, loyalty, wisdom, laughter, secrets, a girl with more friends than she can count, and an amazingly beautiful young lady who loves the Lord.
I know the Lord has so many wonderful things ahead for you. I can't wait to witness!

You can do anything!
I will always be here for you!
I am so proud to be Savannah's mom!
I love you sweetheart!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Recent layouts

Sharing some of my recent layouts...i finished these last week. Some of the color in the last one is way off....oh well. Found some great new product at my lss- scrap chic boutique. Such a wonderful little shop with beautiful displays & I love their grand chandelier!

Was totally blessed today with a visit from my dear friend Katie. She has been such a wonderful mentor to me the last several years. She will be 60 in a few weeks but is truly the most young at heart woman i have ever known. She truly loves the Lord, her hubby, her daughter ,her new grandbaby, and her "heart friends"--and what a treasure that is! I hope to be more like her when I grow up! Women mentoring women.....such a blessing God gives us. I love to learn from ladies who have "already been down the road" and have much wisdom to give. Not that everything in their life is perfect~ as that's what makes them even more real.

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

by Margery Williams, from The Velveteen Rabbit

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Carillon Beach

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-----hard to believe it's April 15th!!! But honestly i must admit i'm enjoying the late spring cool weather. We usually get two weeks of wonderful springtime bliss before the pollen hits & then on goes the air conditioner until almost, i am no complaining.
I love these pictures from Carillon Beach two summers ago. Some of my most treasured memories are precious times along those glorious shores....the white sand....the crystal blue water.....picket fences....oh my!!