Friday, December 31, 2010

Happiness is....

....speckle-dy eggs =)

Yes I have been raising chickens for several years. Yes I have been getting fresh eggs for that long......and yet for some reason when I get those occasional speckle-dy eggs, I just can't help but smile. My heart is filled with joy by the smallest and strangest of things.

but nontheless....I still love those speckle-dy eggs. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Wonderful Memory and Georgia Snow!

This Christmas was so very special to me. Everything about it was wonderful. There was one incident that positively blew my mind, made me cry, and reminded me how remarkably blessed I truly am with such a wonderful family.

It was dark. The day had passed with such a joyous fervor that everyone was finally beginning to grow sleepy. Daddy told all of us to head to the living room, sit down, and get comfortable. So we did. He turned on an instrumental Christmas song, turned the overhead lights off, and came to join us in the living room. He was holding a piece of paper. We all were there, sitting, waiting...perhaps slightly confused and certainly curious. There we were, all six of us...sitting in a warm home, together, with the lights from our Christmas tree shedding a little light there on Daddy. And outside, yes, out there were huge, beautiful snowflakes quickly making their way to the ground. It was beautiful. Then Daddy took that paper and began reading. I cannot even begin to tell you what he said. All I can say is that his love letter to his family, each one of us, from the youngest to Mama, had us all in tears. Happy tears. Tears of peace and joy and the realization of such wonderful love. It was incredible.

Yes, Christmas, it is a lovely day; but when you receive a gift like that...a gift that tells you how much you are loved by your father, and how special it is to be in such an amazing family, well, all I can say is that this is something I will always....always... remember...


but yes, as I said, it did snow! I thought I would share a few photos of the pretty white powdery stuff we got to see the next day. =D

:) :) :) :) :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

"It's that time of year, when all the world falls in love..."

Note: this blog post is for my followers who happen to be un-spoken-for and un-married young women... :)

Yep, it's that time of year......when all the world falls in love! Well, so they say. And I think there is some truth in that. Well, you know...IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME! The time that you most certainly would want someone in your life to share in the magic and joy of the season. Right?


I have a confession to make.

I am lonely. I am bona fide lonesome.

How many of you other young ladies out there are feeling the same way I am right now?

I'm about to become really transparent here. Okay? Just bear with me.

I don't like it. I am having a hard time with the fact that the Lord has not brought my man into my life yet. I don't like the fact that I am still un-spoken for. I am struggling with the fact that it seems like EVERYONE around me is courting, or becoming engaged, or getting married. I feel like a barren woman around a lot of women who are with child. I don't like it.

I am human, a female human at that, and so I am prone to self-pity. I am prone to doubt, to fear, to insecurity, and to psycho-analysis. :P It's hard. Yes ma'am, it is quite hard. I simply cannot and will not sit here and pretend to be content; pretend like I am a perfectly patient woman and will be all smiles until God brings me and my man together. I refuse. That is not healthy. It is not natural. I have cried myself to sleep I don't know how many times...and that's all right. It's okay. There is a reason we have tear ducts. See, almost every time I have cried, I have been in prayer. When I express myself and my feelings to my Savior, I cry; especially when it concerns things of this nature. He hears me; and He cares. I know He does. After all, He is the one who made me a woman. He is the one who has called me to one day be a wife and mother...He is the one who has put those desires and affections in my heart. It's the way we are programmed!!

and that's when He catches each one of those tears...and He leads me to a passage of Scripture. He has His own ways of putting His hand on my shoulder, of hugging me, of telling me that it's all going to be all right. He whispers "Fret not" into my ear. And then I am covered in peace.

Until the next time something reminds me of just how lonesome I really am, and how badly I want that kind of companionship....and how everyone else around me has it, and then I get to thinking "well then, something must be terribly wrong with me..."
a million miles a minute....thoughts...fears...insecurities...boom, boom, boom...
back at square one...........where did that peace go? Where did that contentment run and hide?

Ha! It's ridiculous!! It really is.

I am sharing all this in hopes that I am not the only one who has these feelings. These swings. These loony ups and downs. I am just stating the fact that I am a very imperfect human who is struggling right now.

Yes you need to keep yourself busy while you wait for your man. Yes, you need to be filled with the joy of the Lord. Yes, you do need to pray and seek and pray and read and pray. Yes, you do need to help your family and be a blessing to those you do have in your life currently.....I am by no means dis-crediting those things! By no means! I am just trying to communicate that it is not easy waiting. It ain't easy a'tall! That it's (hopefully) normal to struggle, to have ups and downs, to be a crazy loon at times. Just keep seeking God and His will and ask for the grace to pull through.

And that's the thing. It WILL happen! It will! One day I will be very happily married to the most amazing man in the world.....I'll be pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen...I will have several other young'uns all running about me, and I will be incandescently happy. It will be my dream come true. And I'll say it one more time! it will come true. One day. And that's where the problem lies....we females don't like it when we don't know things...and in this situation the question is WHEN? It's enough to drive us mad. Right? Of course. That's one of the reasons we cry ourselves to sleep. Yep. Oh dear....

but like I said, it will happen one day and that is EXCITING! Very much so! :)
The waiting will be all worth it.

So, in the meantime....l

--love those you have the ability to love! Your parents, your siblings, your godly companions

--find ways to bless others

--explore and persue your personal interests--it's okay! I promise! I like chickens and gardening, SO, I am going to have fun this Spring with chickens and gardening!! =D

--smile, and find joy in the little things we take for granted every day...get drunk on sunshine....catch sight of a bluebird...get lost in the eyes of your youngest sibling...take note of every time your mother blesses you...and sigh often...sigh contentedly with the overwhelming-ness of the love you already have in your life

yes, pray, and pray hard. Pray for God to bolster your heart with give you the grace to get through the ups and downs, to lead you by the speak to cover you with peace.

and pray for your man. No, you still don't know who or where he is. Neither do I. But we can pray nontheless. Pray for the Lord your God to keep pour out His love on him, to abundantly shower him with His blessings...and one day, in His perfect timing....well, you'll know that you know that you know. :)

So ladies, be strong and of good courage. But don't be afraid to cry. Breakdowns are expected and Mama's hugs are remedial. Read the Word of our Lord. Ask Him to hear you; He does. And one day.....we will all be happily married and expecting our sixth child and we will smile...and think to ourselves...."oh Lord, why did we ever doubt you?" :)

Psalm 37:5
"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass."

oh, and go read Psalm 139 while you're at it. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Handsome Lil' Fella...

Sooooooo, I was driving home from work, window down, enjoying the warm weather, and I turned onto the paved portion of Old Good Hope Rd.....

I was driving a little quicker than I should have I reckon (blame the city! they're the ones who paved it!) since I was on the home stretch, and I passed a big ol' snake in the road. Oh that's neat, that's a pretty nice snake there.....a SNAKE!!! I hit the brakes, put that car in reverse....sure enough....a nice snake all right...a COPPERHEAD! I was so excited. I slammed the car in park and grabbed my camera out of my purse. Yes, I had my camera. And yes, I did get out of my car in the middle of the road to take a photo of a venemous snake. I did. I truly did. And I was thrilled. It made my day!! =)

See how handsome he is? Too good-lookin' to pass by... :)

After his photo shoot I got back in the car, and promptly ran over the poor thing. Bless his heart. If only he weren't venemous...

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Here...

It's here. I hear it in the early morning before the sun awakes. It whistles through the trees. It shakes them, and throws their ruddy leaves to the ground. It sends the geese away. It makes the clouds smile when the sun decides to wake up. With the fog it hides the tranquil deer, as they graze in the field. An auburn fox bounds across the dusty country road. The squirrels play and chatter incessantly. The goats all run about, glad for its cool, whispering voice. And I know it has arrived.

My close friend, Autumn.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today, I was changed forever. It would be impossible, utterly impossible, to write down the whole episode exactly how I want it recorded, just as it would be impossible to explain all that I have personally learned since that cold, fall night.

But I will attempt to at least recount some of that awful, yet glorious day of my life. Or, as it was, the first day of the rest of my life.

Yes, it was a cold, yet lovely fall evening. Josh, Coley, Makayla, and I were all a part of Social Circle's community play, it was our fourth year being a part of it. We always enjoyed our time at the theatre, and this time around was no different. It was the sixteenth of October, and that very night was going to be the opening night of the play! We were all very excited! Us four young'uns had to get there early for roll call, so we loaded up in my Durango and headed towards the town of Social Circle. I was driving us there, and Mama was planning on meeting us there at show time. I remember that we were all very giddy, because there was a mixture of excitement and nervousness, a result of all plays and opening nights I suppose. We found a good Country song on the radio, and sang along as we drove on to the theatre.

I don't remember much of this evening, but I do remember some. I know that the show went really well, and we all had a wonderful time. I do remember one thing very distinctly, however. After the show, right after I had changed and we were about to leave, a woman came up to me. This was a lady I did not know and had never even seen before. She had been talking to Mama and then came straight for me. She boldly blessed me, and encouraged me in some things I was going through at the time. I was stunned. Here was a lady who didn't even know me, and she, after talking to mama for only a few minutes, was speaking God's blessings over me. And I was blessed. I was so touched by her words and I was so encouraged. It truly was a blessing.

Well, after this remarkable moment, I headed outside with my family. The plan was for me to take Joshua to Victory Baptist Church in Loganville. They were having a function, and some of our friends had invited him. Mama would go ahead and head home, and take Coley and Makayla with her, since it was so late already.

We got out to our vehicles and exchanged all our hugs and kisses and 'I love you's".
Makayla asked if she could ride with me and Josh out to Loganville. We said that she really needed to get home and get to bed instead. I am so glad she didn't ride with us. So glad. Just another piece of the providential plan...

Well, Josh and I loaded up and drove away, en route to Loganville....and to so much more that we would have never been able to imagine.

Soon enough Mama got home with Makayla and Coley, and pulled into the garage. Before getting out, even before they opened any doors, Mama said she felt like she needed to pray for mine and Josh's protection. And so they did. They prayed for God to keep His hedge of pretection around us while we were on the road and to keep His angels encamped around us. They prayed. And God heard them.

Meanwhile, and later we learned it was at the exact time they were praying, my little Dodge Durango slammed into the front of a Winder/Barrow school bus.

I don't remember much. Not much at all, I do remember a little, but it was as though I knew I was asleep, and I was dreaming I was in a car accident. It was just a bad dream, and I knew I would wake up. It was hazy, I remember there being lots of lights, an EMT worker, and a tremendous amount of pressure on my left leg. But that's about it. And it's all very blurry.

But, there were lots of stories I heard while I was in the hospital, so here's a little information according to other eyewitnesses.

The first people that showed up on the scene were horrified. The vehicle looked awful. They called the police and checked on us. Josh was okay, but delirious and deinitely injured in some way. They came over to me, but walked away to call Georgia State Patrol. After all, the driver was dead. She was bent underneath the steering wheel, and they couldn't get to her... but there was no respiration...and yep, no heartbeat.

Soon more people came to the scene, one of them "happening" to be a nurse. She "happened' to be riding home that night at exactly that time. She got out and came over to me and Josh. She checked me. No breathing...and yep, no heartbeat. I was gone. There was nohing she could so. She walked away. Then, something inside of her said to go back, and just try. So she obeyed. She came over to me but couldn't really get to me. The seat was now so close to the steering wheel and dash. She got another by-stander to go through the back window and pull on my seat. He pulled, and managed to get that seat back just enough to where she could grab my hair and pull me upright. She began one-hand chest compressions, and then, after some time, I let out a scream. She told me later that the scream sent a thrill through her. It meant that I was alive and that now there was some oxygen in those lungs!

Well, the medical personnel got to work. Between pumping morphine and trying to keep me calm, they worked diligently. I was so entrapped in the vehicle, that they had to obtain the extraction equipment from three different counties. It took them a full two hours to finally get me out. My left leg was so terribly swollen and the emergency brake pedal was lodged into the lower leg, it was indeed a challenge. Actually, I was just minutes away from being an amputee. I am so grateful for their determination. Forever grateful.

Once they got me out, they wheeled me over to the helicopter and life-flighted me to Atlanta Medical Center. Meanwhile, Joshua was taken to Gwinett Medical Center.

Before I was even extracted, Mama, Coley, and Makayla were at home getting ready for bed. The phone rang, and Coley saw on the caller ID that it was my cell phone. He said "Mama, it's Jess." Mama told him to go ahead and answer it, that I was probably lost. He did, and heard a voice that was not mine. He froze, and quickly handed the phone to Mama. She took it and could barely answer, because she knew something was terribly wrong. Coley ran to wake Daddy up, and very quickly they loaded up and started towards that terrible Bay Creek Church Road. Soon they arrived on the scene, and I am so sorry that they had to witness all of that, because I was still in a very bad state. But the Lord upheld them and they prayed and prayed.

They decided to drive to Atlanta Medical, to be with me, and my grandparents went to Gwinett to be with Joshua.

Well, of course I remember nothing of that, and nothing about ICU. My injuries included a concussion, broken femur, broken fibula, three broken metatarsals, a few torn extensor tendons, and a really nasty gash in my lower leg from where the brake pedal was lodged. They immediately rushed me into surgery. They rodded my femur, repaired the tendons, and cleanded all the glass and metal out of the gash.

Josh had sustained a concussion, and a gash in his head and his arm, but praise the Lord, no broken bones!

What is amazing to me is the fact that we had no internal injuries. We were indeed blessed.

Well, after a long week in ICU, they moved me to rehab. And after a long week there, I was finally able to come home. There are a million stories I could tell about the time in the hospital, all good and some funny, but there simply isn't the time or the space. One of the things that meant and still means so much to me, was all the visitors I had. Oh my goodness, I cannot begin to describe the joy that brought me. And to all of you who did visit me and got to witness me and my "out of it" state, I am so sorry. Pain and drugs can make a person so weird! ha! But in all seriousness, I cannot begin to thank each and every one of you who came.

And then there are the phone calls, the cards, the letters, the meals, the flowers, the prayer journals, the Bible verses, and the PRAYERS. God is so good. And He heard every single prayer. He blessed me beyond measure. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Each and every person who thought of me during that time, thank you. I could start listing names, but I am not even going to attempt that. All I know is I could never adequately share my appreciation and my joy.

So here it is, a year later. I am whole. Josh is whole. Our family is whole. And God is good. And He still would have been good had he taken me or Josh. Yes, even then. But I am thankful that we are still here. Still alive, still breathing, and still we have the opportunity to live out our lives for His glory. He ain't finished with us yet. What a remarkable miracle, And what a lesson. We are only one heartbeat away from eternity. Be ready.

And in all things, Praise the LORD!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Oh Social Circle, might be a one-light town....

...but finer people on this earth cannot be found, Oh Social Circle, one by one we do our part, in this close-knit town with love of God, and family at its heart."

and so the song goes. The opening song of the community play we are in once again. "Stories from the Well", it is called, and this year's theme is THE BEST of ten years. Our family has been involved for four years now. I cannot begin to express how much this play, the people at the theatre, and the town of Social Circle mean to us.

The play is always a lot of fun, and although the main plot is always a bit different, the setting is the same. You see, our playwright, Sue Lee, goes out into the community, collecting stories from some of the native Social Circlians. Folks like those that own Claude T. Wiley's General Store. Those that know what life was like during the thirties and forties. Those that know how close family should be. Those that can tell of the traditions they kept. Those that know the stories that were told. Even stories like...oh that one of the old scary woman named Soap Sally...the one who would wander around Alcovy bridge, searching for wandering children. Those that know the effects of being bitten by a rattlesnake. Those that know how Mabel prayed for Buddy after he was bit...and how his daddy didn't end up shooting him after all. Oh and those people who know how hard it was to tap dance, especially if you don't know your right from your left. Oh, and then there's that one time a Yankee dandy visited the General Store, and poor Abner had to drive him out to the William's place...

See? Good stuff, huh? and you poor folks don't have a clue as to what I am talking about. And you won't, unless you come and see the play this weekend! ;)

For those who can't come, I will post a few pictures (although they are very low-quality) so you can see all the fun we have. =)

Even though we are bonafide Good Hopians, we become Social Circlians for one month out of the year, and we have such a good time!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Truth...and how beautiful it is

It's a fact that chickens have to eat. It's a fact that cell phone and insurance bills need to be paid. It's a fact that gasoline is sometimes needed. Well, it's also a fact that I have to find money somewhere. I have been blessed with some small jobs helping a couple ladies with their house-keeping, and have enjoyed that immensely. However, I feel I need something more, since I am barely keeping up and I want to start saving a lot more. Well, I filled out and dropped off a few applications in Monroe. One of them being at Chik-fil-a. Well, a few days passed and I was called back for an interview.

During the course of my second interview, which was with the store operator, he asked me a very profound question.

"So, what would you say your long-term goals are? What is your goal in life?"

I was dumbfounded. Not because it was an unusual question, but because I knew my answer would stun the poor man. Thoughts and words raced through my mind and I was strugging for words to say. "Oh Lord", I thought, "what am I supposed to say to this?"

I sure couldn't say, "Well, I am going to attend college and pursue a career in ______."

What was I going to say? Oh dawg this was hard!

about ten seconds passed while all this was going through my head, I looked the man in the eyes, and told him the truth.

"Well, um, to glorify God, and um, to one day be a godly wife and mother, Lord willin'."

His eyes did not drop. His brows did not furrow. His face did not take on a skeptical expression at all. Instead, a smile spread across his face. A smile crept across mine, and I continued....

"I know you probably don't get that answer too often, but it's true, and those are my goals."

His smile lingered, and he said, "Well, I think that's great."

Now, I was very blessed to get this person and I am so thankful for his kindness.

But ya know. Think about it. I am a 19 year old un-married, un-spoken for female, and my desires, my goals, everything I want to be, well, it's so RIDICULOUSLY different than what everyone else around me wants. I see other girls my age, and all they can think about is education and career. Or maybe their boyfriends. Or maybe going to that party next weekend. I see what they want. And I see what they're getting. And I don't want it. But what about what other folks want for me? When they ask me questions similiar to that asked by Mr. Store Operator, they expect a good answer. They expect a smiling gal like me to tell them of the college I am attending. They expect me to tell them of my latest boyfriend, and how that's going. They expect me to tell them of all the things I am learning in my classes. They expect to hear how I hope to grow in the career they think I must have chosen. After all, I am a smart gal.

I stand there, wondering how on earth to respond. My mind is criss-crossed with a million thoughts. How would they respond if I told them I have absolutely no desire to attend college, and that I don't think it's necessary for everyone. Especially for me. And if I were to tell them, well, that one day I hope to have as many children as the Lord sees fit to give, well Lord have mercy, some folks might just faint. How are they to understand that my heart is yearning and praying for my future husband. And they sure don't wanna know the kinda books I've been reading!! (see previous post ;)

It's a hard thing. It really is. And all you girls out there with similiar convictions-- I am sure you've been placed in the same situations.

I dunno. I'm done. I am done with it. I am done with being afraid to share what my desires really are. I am done with standing there, struggling for things to say so I won't offend anyone or I won't confuse or astound them with my radical "goals." I am not ashamed. Nope. That's it. This is my life, for God's glory. And if anyone ever asks me (and good gracious I know they will), well, I will tell them. With a huge smile on my face. A sincere smile. And certainly with peace in my heart. "I think the Lord has called me to be a daughter and sister for now. And one day, (oh glorious day!) I will be a wife and mother."

Monday, September 20, 2010

They shout for joy, they also sing...

"Which by His strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power."

..."Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: Thou settlest the furrows thereof: Thou makest it soft with showers: Thou blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness; and Thy paths drop abundance....

...They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side."

Psalms 65:6; 10-12

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Few Good Books...

Well, after reading sooo many good books over the last year and especially in the past several weeks, I thought I may as well do a post on what I have been reading lately. First of all, let me say, that this post is directed to my female followers. :P Just so ya'll know.

I am not a fast reader. Sadly. But it's true. But at the same time I truly enjoy reading, especially information books.

After reading Debi Pearl's new book Preparing to be a Helpmeet, my eyes were really opened as to how important reading is. I am specifically referring to the chapter on knowledge. Wow! She makes some awesome points and some pretty good book recommendations. However, there are so many more on my list---either that I have already read (long ago or recently) or am planning to read, and so I thought I'd share those and get some of you girls' feedback.

Well, the main categories Mrs. Pearl lists are wonderful, and she lists some outstanding resources, but like I said, I have a few that I would like to recommend to fellow young women like me, who are preparing and waiting on that glorious day of becoming more than a daughter & sister. (meaning wife & mama.) =)

First of all, in regards to health & herbology, some that I have found useful are Prescription for Herbal Healing by Phylis Balch and Dr. Christopher's Herbal Home Health Care. I really do like Dr. Christopher's works, I took an online course through his School of Natural Healing and enjoyed it immensely. Though they are not Christians, it has some wonderful information. Ms. Balch's book is just a plain ol' must- have. I don't have much to say about it other than the fact that you need it. :) And there are a million others out there that are just wonderful. I just wanted to list these two specifically since Mrs. Pearl did not.

These next few categories I am going to combine. This would include womanhood/marriage/courtship/etc.

Of course, and even though it's mentioned in the book, Created to be His Help Meet just goes without saying. Personally I think it's a great book for young women to read, even if they are unmarried. I would love some feedback on this one. ;) But seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a great deal from it. I actually read Created before I read Preparing, and I have to honestly say that I liked Created the best. I highly recommend it and will read it several more times.

Another recommendation is this: Fascinating Womanhood. (Yes, another book for married women, but as I said, if you are of marrying age and your parents approve, I think it's extremely beneficial.) You will have to read it for yourself--and tell me what you think! It is similiar to Created in some ways, but it is MUCH more detailed and I learned quite a bit. It is remarkable.

Now, there's no need to list all the books out there regarding courtship, but there is a small one that she failed to list: Of Knights and Fair Maidens. Certainly a must-have. Along with a million others.

This next part is geared toward the knowledge you'll need in preparation for the blessing of children. :)

First of all, I say start with anything and everything by Dr. William Sears. Specifically Christian Parenting and Child Care and The Breastfeeding Book.

Another good one is Attachment Parenting, by Katie Granju. I highly, highly recommend this one! =)

...and of simply can't go without reading Mrs. Nancy Campbell's outstanding, compelling, positively awesome book-- Be Fruitful and Multiply.

I wish everyone in the world would read that book. I really do. Just imagine.

Hopefully this list will help some of you choose what you wanna get at the library next. =) Or maybe you can grab one of these off your Mama's bookshelf. :) Either way, go start reading! And gain some good knowledge too!

(I wanna mention here that books are books, written by humans. The only book I believe in with ALL my heart is the one written by God. So, do realize that I may not agree with every single little tiny thing in some of these books. As with everthing in life, you gotta savor the meat, but spit out the fat. ;)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bitties do grow, ever so quickly :)

Oh dear!!

I have come to the realization that I have no recent pictures of my sweet chickens on here!! I shall remedy this at once. ;)

They have grown so fast, and I must say I am so very proud of my girls. =)

They are perfectly beautiful, and sooooo very friendly. Yes, I do make friends out of my chickens. Makes me so happy....

See, here are two of my Orpingtons... :)

I think that the Orpington has got to be my favorite breed of all. Well, of course I say that, and then think of ten other breeds that could be my favorite--oh well, suffice it to say that I LOVE my Orpingtons!

Now the big hen you see in this next photo is my Dark Brahma, who we lovingly named Alma, after one of the characters in the old film, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. She is such a sweet bird!! and huge too!

a sweet Brown Leghorn (or in my case, "Leg'rn ;) and a sweet Hamburg

Such a lovely sight...

I don't know why I get so ridiculously excited about my birds. I have had so many, and for a while now I have been raising them. It's just with each new generation, it brings me so much joy.

This new generation just recently started laying. Imagine the happiness that surrounds me each time I make this discovery. I simply can't describe it. I guess I'm just crazy. ;)

but I do enjoy my scrambled eggs every morning...

and they are just so very beautiful, don't ya think?

It has been said by some women that they would have a hard time going through life without chocolate, but in my case, I would have a hard time without the joy of my chickens...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back from the Island :)

Our family was blessed to go on a vacation again this year to Hilton Head, South Carolina. We had such a wonderful time!! I am going to share a handful of photos with ya'll. Hope ya enjoy seeing 'em!

First of all, This is the pond that was behind the house we stayed at. :)

and I am sure that all my friends and readers can imagine how ridiculously happy I was when I saw this handsome fella. :)

Gators!! Oh me! What other gal can get so much pleasure from seeing a crocodilian? Only me. I am crazy. I wanted to bring one home to put in Tal's lake, but no one would help me wrastle the thing.

The trip was filled with so much fun! (even apart from the gators. ;)
We spent a lot of time riding our bikes, going to the beach, going to Harbour Town, the lighthouse, hanging out at the pool at the house, and just being together. :)

Hope everyone is enjoying this Summer (and boy is it flying by!!)