A Place Called Home

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

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Location: Wetumpka, Alabama, United States

I am a wife of 38years and a mother of six, mother-in-law to four, and grandmother to twelve. I just completed my 24th year of homeschooling. I have lived many years of my adult life in Italy and Greece.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Family Fun


This weekend was Brandon's last at home until January, so we all went to Justin and Chelsea's new house in Cordova and spent the night. From the guys all staying up until past 4AM, ice cream birthday cake for breakfast, and sharing crepes together in Collierville, we had so much fun all being together. We all went to Chelsea's store for one last time together and shared a prayer together (there was no one in the store at the time:) before driving him to the airport. He will be missed by all of us, and we will do our best to keep Kristen encouraged while he is away. Jon and Shayna came on back home with us for Jon to play in the Alumni soccer game (he made 3 goals). Dwight and Joshua Ireland were also here with us overnight for a tournament in Jackson. We went to church together this morning and then out for Mexican for lunch, before Jon and Shayna headed back to Searcy this evening. It was a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Reunion With An Old Friend



Sunday, July 2, 2006 This morning we worshipped with the Florence congregation. The faithful were all there- Luigi and Liliana, Paolo, Andrea, Gianfranco, Natascia with her children, Sarah, Mario and Marco. We had a wonderful worship time together and then left to have lunch at La Tortuga, a small neighborhood restaurant. We followed our lunch with our first gelato of the trip at Piazzale Michelangelo. It was a beautiful day with a wonderful breeze and we sat on the steps enjoying the view. As we headed towards the villa, taking the back "walled" road to Le Bagnese, we decided to stop at the villa of Terry's best friend as a child, Nicola Del Croix ( a descendent of the French painter). Terry was totally surprised when Nicola himself answered the door! They had not seen each other in 37 years! It was quite a reunion. Nicola now lives in Ethiopia and works for the EU. We visited about an hour as his family kept bringing out more wine, appetizers, bowls of pistachios, etc. They caught up on their childhood friends and talked of their school days, and their difficult teachers:) Those teachers did something right. It is interesting how many of their group are working as Ambassadors from Italy, a doctor in Uganda, PhD's, etc.--all from a little public school in a small neighborhood in Florence. Unfortunately, Terry was committed to speaking up at the villa so we had to say our good-byes. When we got home this evening we were able to get ahold of the children. They were all celebrating Brandon's safe arrival home from China at the Rainforest Cafe . It was a wonderful day.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Family Visit






This weekend we had Tim, Katie and Gabriel come see us. We enjoyed so much watching Gabriel spend time with his great-grandparents (he loved the airplane pillow that they brought him!) Gabriel especially loves to play with Christian's nice thick hair . Brandon, Kristen and Jon were over at Uncle Kevin's with Karen and Kathi and their families this evening for a barbecue, while Chelsea and Justin spent a weekend away in Nashville. We would have loved to be eating that barbecue:), but loved it even more that our children were surrounded by family, and sharing in the family stories.

Happy Anniversary, Terry!


Today Terry and I celebrate 28 years together. We have been blessed with good health, a lovely home, six wonderful children and two wonderful son-in-laws, one and a half grandchildren, and a sweet dog, Annabelle. We live two blocks away from the best father and mother-in-law that any woman could have. We worship with a wonderful body of believers in Bethel Springs, and Terry is blessed with a great job at Freed-Hardeman. We have travelled to many, many countries together. We have set up house in three countries. We have cruised the Mediterranean, floated down the Nile, walked amidst the Pyramids, and shared in the joy of watching four of our children accept Christ as their Savior. Daily, we continue to have the privilege of enjoying the lives of two adorable little boys ...soccer games, sharing good books, birthday parties, trips to Chucky Cheese. Thirty years ago Terry asked me to marry him. I was 17 years old and he was 20. I could never have comprehended in all of my wildest imaginings the life that I would share with him by saying "Yes".
"Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The New School Year



Our first two days back at school went very well. The boys seem to like the new daily spelling program, and having separate reading times works so much better. We have finished up our unit on Knights that we began this Spring and are currently reading "Mr. Popper's Penguins" for read-a-loud time and a Magic Treehouse book on the Civil War before bed. Last night were the boys photo shoots for their soccer pictures. They both have easy going coaches this year--thank goodness for no screamers! This afternoon the boys have been playing in the backyard while I made some rice pudding for dinner, and some food to take to a family at church who is losing a loved one. It's been a beautiful day outside and I am feeling so blessed to be able to be at home taking care of my family, living every day to the fullest.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Busy Weekend







The sun has set on another Sunday and I'm ready for a quiet week. We had two soccer games and a wedding shower, followed by a dinner engagement on Saturday.We had 10 for Sunday lunch, followed by a dessert fellowhip tonight after church.I'm looking forward to starting our new school year in the morning, and the routine it brings to our day. It's always exciting to me when I write up the next years goals and curriculum plan. There are so many fun activities to look forward to, and it is a joy to watch the boys make discoveries on their own. My goal for Jordan this year is to encourage a love for learning. With my "abstract" style versus his "concrete" style of learning I am going to have to adapt, and that is difficult for me to say the least:) What worked for five before him, does not work for him. Jordan picked out three new Magic Treehouse books that we will be reading at bedtime for the next couple of weeks. Please pray that he will continue to persevere and that he can feel successful in his studies. Brandon has his tickets back to China and will be flying back on the 27th. We will all miss him, but we are so proud of his faithfulness and willingness to serve.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Castiglion Fiorentino






July 1, 2006- This morning we awoke to a beautiful summer day in Florence. About 9am we started driving towards C.F. There were amazing fields of sunflowers around every bend in the road. Upon arrival, we strolled around the town to see what stores were available as this is very likely the location where we will be purchasing a villa. We ate at Da Muzzicone's at Piazza S. Francesco- a wonderful lunch. The owner was very kind and went and called the mayor of the town to join us after our meal to visit. There were pictures of the owner on the wall with the actor Roberto Begnini (the star of "Life Is Beautiful") who is from this little town. Afterwards we saw a wonderful bronze statue of the actor dancing at a park outside of town. After lunch we searched local grocery stores to see what was available nearby. We visited the Coop in Camucia and found a wonderful supply of gluten free foods for Terry . We visited the owner of Villa Schiatti and spent time looking around.I loved our apartment (if the sale goes through:) with it's big fireplace in the kitchen, the terrace area and the original red tile floors. It felt like home. As the sun went down we headed back to Florence to our favorite Chinese restaurant near the San Lorenzo market. I made a quick stop in the restroom and was hit with the funny memory of barely fitting in the stall during the last days of my pregnancy with Chelsea, over 20 years ago. After dinner we returned to "Antica Posta", our home for the week.We called and talked to Katie, Tim, Brandon, Jordan and Christian, who are all doing well. Another wonderful day in Tuscany.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Sunday in Florence


July 9, 2006 This morning the bus picked us up in Castiglione Fiorentino and drove us to church in Florence. The singing at church was wonderful and very uplifting. We had an appointment immediately after church to visit the Uffizzi Gallery. So much beauty at once is overwhelming. I imagined how each man, with God's gifting, envisioned each piece in their mind. After the Uffizzi we ate at Piazza Signoria, followed by a walking tour of Florence..by the Duomo, Piggy Market, and Piazza Repubblica. We caught the bus back home at 6, ate dinner at 7, and settled in to watch the final game of the World Cup at 8pm. About 15 of our friends joined us in our apartment, while Terry went back and forth betwen us and his Italian friends watching downstairs! Italy won 5-3 in penalty kicks. It was so exciting. There were horns blowing, guns and fireworks. It was an incredible evening to be in Italy.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Renata and Renzo


It has taken longer than I expected to get settled back in at home since our return from Italy. We had such a wonderful time renewing old friendships. One afternoon we headed out to the countryside, where our former housekeeper has a summer garden. Renata was more than a housekeeper for the villa. She was a grandmother to my children, and a very patient and dear friend to me. When I first met her I was a 26 year old young mother of a 4 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old, and was expecting my fourth in two months. With neither of us speaking the same language, she managed to show her love, care and concern for me at a time when I was greatly in need of reassurance. I was thousands of miles from home, my husband had almost been lost in a fire only 6 weeks before, and I was scared to death to give birth in a foreign country. She was and is so dear to me. Back to the story, on this beautiful summer day we stopped and Terry got out of the car and yelled over the hedge to see if they were there. What a homecoming we received!! They have a little tower that they have turned into a bedroom and kitchen for the hot summer months, chickens, flowers, vegetables growing everywhere, a fountain, outdoor oven, long tables for eating al fresco, etc. It's a bit of paradise. Without ever leaving her garden she served a meal for ten of us. We ate crostini with tomatoes and capers and eggs, mozzarella and tomatoes with fresh basil, proscuitto and salami, cantaloupe, a frittata, Florentine tripe, baked zucchini with cheese and onions, pasta salad, panzanella salad...it was all incredible. They had a TV set up under the portico so that we could watch the World Cup soccer game. We won that night 3-0 and every time Italy scored the men all danced, clicked their wine glasses and blew off the air horn. We ate from 8 until after 11. It was a wonderful night of remembering, catching up on all of our lives, and a thankfulness for the blessings of frienship that God had given us to enjoy.