Sunday, March 31, 2013

Resurrection Sunday (Easter)

I hope your Easter celebration isn't focused on bunnies, eggs, candy, and meal preparations. Those things won't last and have little meaning. Instead, I hope it is filled with sincere reflections on all Christ gave for you and how very much the Father loves you. Those are eternal and point to our future!

Matthew 27:50-53 
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

Matthew 28:1-10
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

Friday, March 29, 2013

Behind the Dunes in Corova and Corolla

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Some roads are closed. Be respectful.

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dune protection

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over dune road closed

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Dune and Wetlands Protection
Some of the dunes used for access to behind the beach roads have been closed while other dunes are now being opened to cross.

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Some road work is being done.

Roadwork to begin on Ocean Pearl Road

Ocean Pearl Road Improvements in Carova 

(above link has picture of a Jeep stuck in a puddle)

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We always look for tracks on the otherside of a puddle.
If the people who live there won't go through it, we probably don't want to either.

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big mansions

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small abodes

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typical road behind the dunes

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Some of those "puddles" are deceptively deep and will wash over the hood of your 4WD.
This man's truck was cut off in the middle of the puddle when we first saw him.
In the picture, he had managed to move it forward out of the water and was running his engine to clear the water out. We waited to see if they needed help, but they managed on their own. That is his wife in the Jeep behind him.

Thy Right Hand Shall Hold Me

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Psalms 139: 9-10 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me

Thursday, March 28, 2013

OBX Community

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While I did not take a picture of all of them, every fire department we passed had respect for Chief Morrison on their sign.

Fire Chief Morrison was operating at the scene of a brush fire when he collapsed from an apparent heart attack. Morrison was treated by fellow responders on scene and en route to a hospital where he passed away from his injury. source

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Fund-Raiser

Shonda Parker is a woman who has blessed many lives, including my own, through her knowledge of herbs. It was through her book, Naturally Healthy Pregnancy, that I learned how milk thistle can help with hyperemesis gravidarum. I also found a lot of value in her book, Mommy Diagnostics

From the site: "Shonda Parker has spent her adult life working for the health and benefit of others. Now she needs us as she combats bone cancer.

From a CT scan to a spine tumor. From one spine tumor to multiple tumors in spine and pelvis. From multiple tumors in spine and pelvis to tumors in lung, liver, spleen, and adrenal gland. From one very aggressive tumor to catastrophic surgeries. From multiple surgeries to spinal cord damage, liver damage, pancreas damage and plenty of platinum and battery-powered parts. From all that metal to no good way to monitor the remaining tumors. From the remaining tumors and all that damage to permanent pain management. From here forward, for the rest of her days: neurosurgeons, neurologists, oncologists, hematologists, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, electrophysiologists, urologists, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, functional medicine docs, physical therapists, counseling therapists, and whatever other –ists and --ologists become necessary along the way.
Instead of one foot in front of the other, it is one hour or maybe one day out of the bed and into the reclining chair. And on very good days when she presses hardest, making it out for an event for her children or to worship with the Church. And all through this, Shonda has pressed on. Her husband, Keith, and her seven children, Zachary, Emily, Eryn, Ellie, Zeb, Sam, and Simon have rallied around her and have been the reason for her to keep trying to get up each day, to try to learn to walk again, to learn how to manage a bowel that no longer works on its own, to trying to cope with nerve pain and bone pain that doesn’t even allow her to snuggle her children. She must steel herself for the pain of being hugged by friends; or held by her husband. She, who thrives on conversation and interaction, must live with the overwhelming isolation all of this causes, and- amidst all of this-- to try continue to meet the needs of and her commitment to the students of health she has served over the past 23 years.
For a good while, Shonda and Keith were able to keep up with the regularly arriving doctor and hospital bills, the expenses of traveling back and forth to Houston and their stays there. They cut household spending, and the older children got jobs to help out. When the costs kept rising, they refinanced their home and took out a second mortgage. Now, the financial undertow is pulling at them fiercely; adding one more burden. Given the out-of-pocket medical care costs, the travel-to-treatment expenses, on-going costs of care; the Parkers can't keep up without the help of those who love them.
Many of us have expressed wishes that we could help this family who loves to help others. Here's our chance: We can donate to cover the expenses that have piled up and those that are coming up in the next year. The goal is to raise $30,000 for them, to give them the abundance they have shown to us, to show that --beyond our words-- we stand beside them, to remind them that from brokenness comes hope."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What It Means to Pick Up Your Cross

"It is a hard calling to take up our cross daily and follow Christ, but the rewards are immense, not just later, but now. Consider Matthew 16:25: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” In other words, the one who does what he wants to do will lose his life, while the one who will lose his life in submission to Christ, doing what HE wants him to do, will find it." ~Randy Alcorn

Monday, March 25, 2013

If You Love Something, You Take Care of It

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Wire can entangle sea life.

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Balloons are mistaken as jelly fish by sea turtles.
They also kill livestock.

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another balloon

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a third balloon

Every trip to the beach, I remove trash. If you visit the beach, I hope you will join me in taking care of it. It takes very little time and energy to do and can make a big difference. Please don't let go of balloons! People use balloons to celebrate or remember a life, but that will mean DEATH to sea creatures. There's a more responsible way to celebrate life than causing death, don't you think?

Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I Already Want to Go Back

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This was taken in Corova on the Virginia side just past the fence.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Driving on the Beach in Corolla and Corova

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If you click on the picture, you should be able to see several beam ends sticking up in the sand.

You need to drive slowly and watch carefully on the beaches.

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Wash Woods is an ancient maritime forest spread throughout the Corolla beaches. The stumps are all over the place, but sometimes are under the sand or just barely sticking up.

You can see more of Wash Woods and other beach scenery in the following blog posts:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sign the White House Petition to Help the Homeschooling Romeikes

"Uwe and Hannelore Romeike fled from Germany to the United States after their family was vigorously prosecuted (fines, forcible removal of their children, threats of jail and more) for homeschooling. Initially, the Romeikes were granted political asylum, but the U.S. government appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. That Board sided with the government. HSLDA then appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals—the federal court just below the Supreme Court.
After finishing the final appellate brief last week, HSLDA Founder and Chairman Michael Farris became convinced that the U.S. Attorney General’s argument revealed some very dangerous views of our own government toward our freedom." ~
You can sign the petitions to help this family be able to raise their children as they see fit here. And then, please share it everywhere you can. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Boring Sponges

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You ever see a sea shell with tiny holes in it and wonder what caused it?

It is caused by the boring sponge which is a parasite that uses acid to bore holes into the shells of mollusks. The boring sponge goes through two life stages. The excavation stage is while it is drilling into the host. The gamma stage is where it takes its form and no longer attacks other shells.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Personal Relationship

Psalm 56:8 Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll--are they not in your record?

Psalm 139:3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

Luke 12:6-7 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.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

I love these verses because they show us how very intimate God's love for us it. He cares about the details in our lives, even the number of hairs on our head. I hope these verses bless you as much as they do me.

Hatteras and Ocracoke Travel

I have heard tourists griping about the road being closed to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. 
There is a good reason for it.

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First S turn, north bound
The ocean is breaching the sand barrier and starting to over wash road at low tide.
On the other side of the road is the sound.
Water was right up against the road on both low tide.
During high tide, vehicles could be washed away.
The National Park Service, whom I am assuming was in control of the road, was working with people by opening it during low tide.

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Waves were breaking on the sand bags.

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Ocean and sound over washing road at low tide.

I apologize for not having better pictures depicting the proximity of the sound to the other side of the road, but we did not want to hold up the line. As you can see, there is a very good reason there is limited access.

There is one place where the road was completely washed away during Hurricane Irene. There is a temporary bridge spanning the gap. Areas of road near this bridge were completely covered with sound water during low tide.

3/19/2013 UPDATE: Governor declares state of emergency for N.C. 12

Saturday, March 16, 2013


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Of course we stopped at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and visited the original site.

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America's 1st Amphibious Assault of the Civil War Monument is located north of milepost 71.
If you click the picture, you should be able to read the writing and see more details of the painting.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Surf Side Hotel OBX

Clint and I enjoyed our stay at Surf Side Hotel in Nags Head, NC last weekend. Clint made the reservations over the phone after finding the hotel online. The online rate was $150 a night, but when we called, it was offered for $121.50. (Note: Rates may run higher during season.) Having booked it sight unseen, I was a little concerned. When we got there, we were both very pleased with the room. There is a hotel in our county with a Jacuzzi suite. It is smaller and certainly does not offer a view or champagne. It runs $180 a night.  

I had planned to do a review, so I looked for hair, dirt, and dust. At the time we stayed, which is before the season starts, the room was clean. I even lifted the mattress and did not see anything under that. The top of the inside of the microwave, where most miss, was spotless. When I asked for the sheets to be changed, I lightly marked them on a corner so I could make sure they were indeed changed. And, they were. We had 6 towels, 4 hand towels, and 6 wash cloths in the room so we never ran out or felt we had to ration them. Soap, shower caps, conditioning shampoo, lotion, and make up removing cloths were complimentary and replaced each day.

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This is the inside entryway to room 533 which is in the south building. There was a hallway with a locking door that also opened with the key card which added security. Only two rooms shared the hallway, so, if there had been someone in that room they would have been the only ones sharing the hallway with us. Vending and ice machines were easily accessible on the level below us. If you are challenged by stairs, you might want to choose a room in the other building where there is an elevator. There were three flights, but they were easy. The room is on the second floor, but there was a ground floor not counted. The ground floor contained sheltered parking for five vehicles. We heard no noise from other guests so our stay was very peaceful and relaxing.

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The king sized bed was made up with attractive linens.

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The mural made a nice touch to the sitting area. The couch contained a pull out bed.

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Champagne was chilling in the fridge with glasses waiting on the Jacuzzi.
Tip: I always fill the tub, run the Jacuzzi, and then drain to clean out the jets before we use it.
The jets can hold water from the last use and can grow bacteria over time.

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A coffee maker with coffee making supplies, small microwave, and small fridge were beside the flat screen tv. There was a Continental Breakfast each morning in the main building.

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The view from the balcony which held two chairs and a table. Beach access was through a door in the lower level.

There was also a heated indoor pool, hot tub, and outdoor sitting area in front of the building. We had a nice, quiet, relaxing stay and found the places we wanted to visit were easily accessible from this location. We can see why Surf Side Hotel has been rated the #1 hotel in Nags Head by Trip Advisor.

If you go, be sure to stop by Sam & Omie's which is right down the road and has been serving up great food to the Outer Banks for 75 years.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Many people are familiar with the words to the song “This Little Light of Mine.” The song is about not keeping secret the evidence of Christ’s work in our lives because our testimony is the best way of reaching others for Him. Transparency and honesty mark the lives of the sincerest Christians we have ever met, and we have tried to model their example in our lives. 

Countless lives have been changed by men and women who have been brave enough to share the difficulties in their lives and how God worked through them. Testimonies for Him are powerful and should not be kept hidden. That is why we share our faith in the blog. From the email we receive, what we share has been a blessing to others and for that, we are thankful and are encouraged to share more. We encourage you to share your faith in Christ with others too. God can take any experience you've faced and turn it into a ministry if you will surrender it to Him.

Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Luk 11:33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

Monday, March 11, 2013

So, I am NOT Losing My Mind...Just My Belongings...

I have loved and cherished every stage of my children's lives. Even the adult children give me reasons to chuckle:

Text to Amanda: "Do you have my debit card? ILY"
Amanda: "Yes. Do you need it? ILY2"
Me: "Let's see Sherlock, I am looking for it, so I probably need it :-)! Brandon took care of it. When you get home, put it in my wallet, please."
Amanda: "It's already in your wallet. I have that too. :-)"

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Free Knitting How Tos Online

I am currently teaching myself how to knit. I wanted to find a new craft that I could use to bless others. While I plan to learn both, I decided to learn knitting over crocheting first because: 

  • many say it is harder to learn (I like the challenge of learning it first.)
  • more detail
  • ability to make nice looking clothing
  • wider variety of projects
  • already have several knitting friends to draw from
  • projects I leaned towards required knitting

Here are some websites that I am using to learn. I have found them very helpful.

How to Cast On (long tail)
Basic Dishrag

Following the recommendation of friends, I purchased Red Heart Super Saver Acrylic Yarn from Walmart and Boye 10" long #8 aluminum knitting needles from Amazon. Walmart did not have the needles.

It will be slow going. I don't get much free time and find that when I do, I am often interrupted. I'll keep at it though. I want to be very good before my oldest two find spouses and start making grandchildren!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Here's Your Sign

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I gave Clint this sign for his shed on Valentine's Day.
I had originally bought him a wood one for the inside. Clint liked it so much, he casually remarked he wanted one for the outside too. So, I hunted and found a metal one for him. These signs make great gifts.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Is That What You Call It?

When my children come up with their own terms for things, it usually makes me smile...

A few months ago, Caleb and I were working outside beside the house while two other children were doing chores in the den. Soon, we heard Clint's voice, and he sounded stern.

Me: "Uh oh, Caleb! Are they in trouble with Dad?"

Caleb walks to the window and listens intently for a minute. Then he answers with a serious tone. "Yep, they're getting a "talking to."

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


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Little May has been with us since 1999. She has survived fires, floods, hurricanes, and a few coyote attacks.

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This is Weasel. He is a descendant from CFA Persians with CH bloodlines that we rescued and gave freedom on our farm. The Persians we took in had never been out of their tiny cages unless it was for grooming or breeding. They were heavily matted with filth in their fur which created open skin lesions. It took us over a month to coax one of them out of their cage. One of them was just fascinated by the rain and would watch it as long as it fell with sheer wonderment on her face. It gave us great joy to let those cats have a life and freedom.

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Our children name our cats. This is "Bites."

We also have a curious, half wild cat named "Window Cat." Thus named because she sits in the window when the children are at the table doing homeschool, crafts, or eating. She likes watching them like humans like TV.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Ugly Truth

Ray of Hope

Clint and I have been aware of sex trafficking since before we married through the sad story of a friend. It is a real problem affecting real people. We have tried bringing it up in Christians circles, but the truth is, most don't want to hear it. They'd rather ignore it than admit it happens and respond to it. Whether we ignore it or not, it's an ugly reality for far too many. It shouldn't happen, but does. As Christians and fellow humans, we need to take action against it.

Sex trafficking is a growing global enterprise driven by deception, coercion and force. Traffickers transport or detain their victims for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. This trade in rape for profit thrives in the absence of robust law enforcement to ensure the protection of the law for vulnerable children and women.  

After drug dealing, human trafficking (both sex trafficking and
trafficking for forced labor) is tied with the illegal arms industry as the 
second largest criminal industry in the world today, and it is the fastest 
growing. (U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services)
Worldwide, there are nearly two million children in
the commercial sex trade. (UNICEF)
There are an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 children, women and men
trafficked across international borders annually. (U.S. Department of State)
Approximately 80 percent of human trafficking victims are women and
girls, and up to 50 percent are minors. (U.S. Department of State)
The total market value of illicit human trafficking is
estimated to be in excess of $32 billion. (U.N.)
Sex trafficking is an engine of the global AIDS epidemic.
(U.S. Department of State)


International Justice Mission’s first priority in its anti-trafficking casework is to secure the protection of the law for trafficked women and children forced into commercial sexual activity. IJM investigators spend hundreds of hours gathering and documenting undercover evidence of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Using this evidence, IJM staffmembers then partner with local authorities to rescue victims from situations of ongoing abuse and ensure that they have access to aftercare services to meet their vital needs. IJM lawyers work alongside local authorities to secure the conviction and sentencing of traffickers and other perpetrators.

Sex trafficking will endure as long as it remains a profitable criminal enterprise. By freeing victims and prosecuting their perpetrators, IJM operations increase the risk and decrease the profitability of trafficking for those who would commit this crime. IJM works to combat sex trafficking in Bolivia, India, Cambodia and the Philippines. IJM investigations have resulted in freedom for more than 1,000 girls and women held by force in the commercial sex trade.

To learn more, visit IMJ.
To help, donate whatever you can here.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Life with Alzheimer's

A frank look at what one family is going through with Alzheimer's is at this link. Please lift this man, his wife and children, and all Alzheimer's patients up in prayer. If you can, leave her an encouraging word.

I have other Alzheimer's articles and links posted. Use the search box at the top left corner.

7 Free Family Business Audio Downloads by Greg Harris

The Noble Institute offers a free download every month. 

This month's free download is:

The Family Business Workshop
Seven Audio Messages from Gregg Harris

which covers:

1. The Biblical Basis for Family Business
2. How to Start Your Family Business
3. The Marks of a Christian Business
4. Home Banking & Strategies to Avoid Debt
5. Proven Business Ideas You Can Start
6. How to Find & Keep Customers
7. How to Manage Yourself & Your Time

Sunday, March 03, 2013

41 Free Open Ed Learning Resources

For 41 Free Online Open Ed Learning Resources click here.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Good to Know and Might Come in Handy

How to open a can without a can opener. I never would have thought of this, but it may come in handy.

Friday, March 01, 2013

How to Care for Your Wooden Spoons

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I love the feel of wooden spoons and love using them in my kitchen.

When using wooden spoons, you do not want to allow the wood to soak in water. This causes splitting. Do not put them in the dishwasher as this shortens their life. Wash them by hand and then dry them off. You can also extend their life by rubbing them with a cooking oil. Bamboo seems to handle being immersed better than some of the other woods.

I like to keep my utensils within easy reach when I am cooking. I didn't want to put my wood utensils in a crock. Instead, I found this pretty bamboo holder for them.