Saturday, March 26, 2011

promenading into the past....

   Dear Readers,
 Thou shalt travel back into a time when knights raged, elephants were given as gifts, and stunt men juggle chain saws. Okay - maybe not the last part. But if you travel to Apache Junction, AZ, you will find all of those things - even the stunt man!
  For our home schooling excursion this week, we went to the Renaissance festival. And may I say it was a blast!  There were buildings that looked exactly like that from Renaissance time, and in them we got to watch a glass blower at work, see two knights duel, (although the beautiful paint horses were my favorite part), watch a stunt man juggle a chainsaw, knife and apple, and THEN (as if that weren't enough to give any decent person sitting in the second row a heart attack-I was praying!) he held the apple in his mouth and sliced it in half with a chainsaw. I was thinking 'I would really hate to see this man go to the emergency room just for the enjoyment of others.' But you know what? No one was injured and that was Benjamin's (who was sitting in the BACK row!) favorite part of the visit. 
   I had the amazing oppurtunity to -are you ready? - RIDE AN ELEPHANT!

oh, to wear such old-fashioned splendor as this!

It was amazing. And I loved how he flapped his ears every time he took a step. So magestic! Cate and Mom had a great experience,too - they got to ride a camel! The camel was so sweet looking and I took about a dozen pictures of Mom, Cate, and Sahara.
     We also heard an Irish folktale over our lunch, held a goose in a diaper, listened to a Travelers' Saxophone, heard a beautiful harp, and just had an amazing day learning. Field trips are my favorite way to learn! So, now, allow me to stop talking and put up all the pictures!

I love the colors here...
See the strength in this beautiful horse?
And the only slightly cheesy performance!
And go to this...

We watched a vase start as this...

And end as this! I hope you'll excuse the not-so-great photos.

My real life Dumbo was precious!
  I know that chain is for safety, but can't help but think of Mrs.Jumbo. : (
I love the curled up trunk - but hate the chain. Just sayin'.

My view - looking down from my elephant, I snapped a shot of his friend!

Sorry if my pictures are blown up - I'm having difficulties with Blogger, and can't figure out how to fix it. Please keep scrolling and enjoy! Each of you are in my prayers. Your Blogger,

Friday, March 18, 2011

The loose ends...

 Hello, my sweet Readers! We are back in sunny AZ, and I've got more pictures! (I told you I would need to do a Mississippi in recap post! )
 Well, that picture is showing Dad, Cate and Princess. The second Dad walked in the door, Princess lunged for him and followed him everywhere he went. She was CRAZY for him!
  And Cate in that picture has her hair done up beautifully, all set for the wedding.
I love love LOVED the mason jars on the trees!
Aren't those mason jars beautiful? Really, the whole wedding was beautiful. The bride was beautiful, the church was beautiful, Cate was beautiful,-it was all so sweet and beautiful!

Uncle George and the triplets!
It was SO great seeing him...

Moving on once again, let me add this one photo of Bess and I. (my mom took this so I couldn't add it to my 'friends' post!)
 Did I mention how much I love that girl?!

Cate- another one of my dear ones! She shined at that wedding, and so deserved some play time!

 We went to Joyner playground with Nana and Papa,
and so I loved taking pictures of Mom's former school - which is beautiful!

I told you this post was to tie loose ends, right?! I'm looking at it thinking, 'How in the world did I get  from Dad to the wedding to Bess to Joyner?AH!'
  But, really, this post is to add all the lovely pictures that A.) I took after I last blogged, or B.) My amazing live-in photographer (who we call mom) took and only just now got them downloaded to our computer. So, please excuse the hopping around, movings on and so forth! : )

One of my favorite things to do at Grammie's house is to dig. I delight in searching all the closets, drawers and purses the lady owns. The best things to find, in my opinion, are those little bits of a person's past found in a  book. I guess you don't think about it, but I bet nearly every book on all of your bookshelves has a piece of paper, ribbon, or picture tucked inside.
  So, as I searched Grammie's bookshelf, I found a scrapbook with lots of pictuers tucked into the back of it. What treasure!! I took pictures of nearly every one, but the above is by far my favorite. I know it's not the best picture, but isn't GrandDaddy Mason so handsome? Even though I was disappointed to find no family videos, I found such joy in the pictures I found. I encourage all of you to take lots of pictuers! Moments that may seem minute today will probably mean a lot in the future. Through pictures and stories, I feel like I know my wonderful GrandDaddy Mason. Readers, never underestimate the importance of a good story, or the legacy a picture can hold.

                                                              Staying true to my words, let me show you what happened in the Shrader household.  Mason, Mom and I got new glasses! Mom's are so cute with bright designs on the side. She looks ravishing. Can you guess what mine have on the front?! Calico! I love them...

Well, my Readers, I hope you've enjoyed this post and have a wonderful weekend! Your Blogger,

I took this upon arriving home and thought it would make a nice 'closing photo' to this post! Love to all of you! : )

Thursday, March 10, 2011

So thankful God made...

     Friends. As we are in Mississippi, we have been blessed with so many great reunions with dear friends.
Monday night, we were blessed to have the Sheltons visit. Bess and I have been penpals since I was in third grade! We have talked so much by mail (and email!), that  it's always a blast when we get together in person.

Cate,Bess, and I
              I'm so blessed to have her as a friend. I'll share more pictures of us that my mom took when we get home. She's taken some great photos, so I'll have to do a Mississippi in recap post with all her pictures! 
Riley Hailey and Cate
                       Mom's dear friend Mrs.Carol drove from Meridian yesterday. She and mom have so much in common - same name, they both homeschool, have two 5 year olds, are from MS, both worked at Garaywa, and both can still sing all those camp songs beautifully! So, of course they're friends.
 I had the best time photographing these two dear ones. They are naturally beautiful and were wearing the perfect colors!
Nick Bell's picture and State's logo
 Another thing I'm grateful for - Mississippi State! Without State not only would I not exist, (my parents fell in love there!) but we also would not know many, many wonderful people. As soon as we walked in the door to see a dear friend, a man came to us, welcoming as ever, and got us the cutest Jr.Bulldog club t-shirts. Mississippi  State really is something special.     
     Another blessing, I believe, lies in the spirit of family fun!
We had such a good time the other night, filled with hooting and hollering, laughing and screaming, and my camera flashing about a hundred times. We stayed out of the rain by  playing  Scattergories and Bible Trivia. Grammie made delicious finger desserts, and we had the best time. (I've said that a lot this week!)

I hope all of you, sweet readers, have had a wonderful week as well! Please remember to keep thanking God! This week, we've been showered with so many blessings, and yet I find my prayer time almost only intercessory. I'm working,though, to praise God as the blessings come - and encourage you to do the same!
Another thing I'm grateful God made - all of you! Thank you, my wonderful Readers, for allowing me to share a corner of my life with you. I hope I've been able to lift you up and encourage you along the way!
 Your Blogger,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

From Grammie's House

 Dear Readers,
   Oh, this has been such an amazing trip so far! That is exactly the reason why I've adopted my mom's habit of blogging during the trip, so I dare not let one detail go untold.
  My Mom has wanted to go to the McCarty Pottery sale for two forevers. And we both had a blast! Grammie was kind enough to hold her seat these last several months, and stayed outside with the boys and Cate while Mom, a lot of our family, and I went inside. It was amazing. I loved the feeling that everyone was family as they found something and passed it along, shouting that it was "Nearly perfect and only 10 dollars!"
As y'all all know, I love the Mitford books and felt like I was inside one.  I took a few pictures, but I had a big bag that I was too busy stuffing with pottery to take  many pictures.  But that's exactly how it looked - big wooden boards covered in pottery. There was pottery on the boards, under the boards on the ground, in people's garbage cans - everywhere! I think I've found a new love and appreciation for both the South and pottery. I loved it, and know my mom did, too - she was grinning from ear to ear all day!

We saw this sign on the way to Merigold - we miss you,too, Daddy! : )

Grammie's street - lined with mailboxes! YAY!

One fun  morning Cate, Princess and I walked.

GrandDaddy Mason's brick at the Veterans' Memorial
We went to the Veterans' Memorial, and it was gorgeous. The geese came to greet us, and it was a photographer's paradise. The bricks were a beautiful way of honoring your dear ones, I thought, and it was sweet seeing GrandDaddy Mason's name there.

   Our Mississippi visit has been so amazing. Really. God outdid Himself with the blessings He's lavished upon us. Grammie has made delicious treats for us, and we've enjoyed just 'being'.
There's much, much more to share, so let me publish this and I'll download a whole other set of pictures! I will try to make each and every one of you feel like you're here with us, as I always like to feel that way.
  Love to all our Arizonian (and other) friends! And Dad, Lenny and Pluto! (I hope the fish is being fed...) : )