Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Morning...

I will not speak for anyone else, but, for me, the warmth, joy and the very presences of love on Christmas morning 2012 was truly a miraculous gift from God.  It is only through Him that such love is known and I know He was there because I invited Him.  Thank you Kate, Kristin and Ben for being with us  through  phone calls or an email, you were truly there with us in spirit and my quiver was full.  I know no better gift, but I must mention a few of mine because they were  exceptional.

1)  gifts of sound, beauty and prayers
2)  gifts of humor, art and music
3) crosses... I loved being thought of, by so many, as a recipient for this gift.
4) the many gifts of family time:
a.  Miniature golf at Pirate's Cove, followed by a cookout at Mike and Mary's house for all the family.
b.  over night trip with the girls (daughters and granddaughters!)
c.  a family-leadership challenge (ropes course) at Georgia Tech.                  
d.  a surprise family outing to be announced at a later date (from everyone!) .
5)  gifts of comfort
6)  precious gifts of love from Korea

My cup runneth over.  You all knew just what I wanted.

More joy comes in the morning...Kristin, Alan, Keegan and Aidan are here and we have yet to share our love gifts with them!  Just having them here is enough.
Wait for it...

7)  Gifts produced in California (Aidan designed the grocery bag for me!)

Merry is indeed merry!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

More Sights and Sounds of Christmas from Atlanta

1.  Kim enjoys the company of a client's pet.
2.  Making cookies and chili for the annual Carolling Party.
3.  S-C's and neighbors give their time and love by Carolling at a local Nursing Home.  (Another annual tradition!)
4.  Me getting ready for a Christmas party.
5.  I bought myself 5 golden rings. :)
6.  A package arrives from Korea filled with Christmas gifts!

IMG 2320 from Croft on Vimeo.

7.  We went to hear the glorious singing of the Messiah...It was powerful and reminded me of why we celebrate Christmas.  I am sorry that my phone stopped recording at such a pivotal moment, but none the less my heart and mind heard every word and felt the glory.

Occasionally, I have also felt a loneliness at Christmas, now that all my children are gone and making Christmas happen for their own families, but then I am reminded (by scenes such as those captured above) how exciting the season truly is for those blessed by the greatest gift of

Three days 'til Christmas!  Are you ready?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Some of my Sights of Christmas 2012

1.   Handmade gift tags from Kim and Tom.
2.   Nana's new Christmas tree.
3.   Kate sends a picture of extraordinary flight.
4.   Kate's Christmas tree.
5.   Joe at home while Mom puts up their tree.
6.   Shannon, Molly, Ford and Morgan's tree.
7.   Mary and Issy shopping in New York.
8.   Regas' tree.
9.   Shopping at Phipps.
10. Small group loading packages for our troops.
11. Small group Christmas dinner.
12. Annual lunch with Santa at the S-C's club house.
13. Lawyer's Club Christmas party.

Six more days until Christmas!

Christmas with Kate

Christmas with Kate 2012 0003 from Croft on Vimeo.

I look forward to each precious Christmas moment I will share with those I love.  Count days!

Merry Christmas, Kate.  I will see you in my dreams.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

To the birthday girl...

Oh happy day!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tom and Kim Teach the Children of the Kingdom

John Alden and Priscilla Mullins

TA love story of colonial America
Immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1858 poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish, John Alden's marriage to Priscilla Mullins was one the earliest romances in the American colonies. While the story is not verifiable, many experts do believe it in fact happened.
Alden and Mullins arrived on the Mayflower in 1630. Shortly thereafter, Standish, "a blunt old captain, a man not of words but of actions," according to Longfellow, took a liking to Mullins, "the loveliest maiden of Plymouth."
However, although Standish was fearless in battle, he was too shy to confront Mullins directly, so he sent his young friend, Alden. The soft-spoken Alden was
"Fair-haired, azure-eyed, with delicate Saxon complexion
Having the dew of his youth, and the beauty thereof. . ."
After Alden had pleaded Standish's case, Mullins said, "Why don't you speak for yourself, John?" It was clear that Alden and Mullins were in love, but the couple was afraid of offending Standish. When they received word that the captain had been killed fighting Indians, Alden and Mullins agreed to marry. At the end of the wedding, Standish, who had not been killed after all, appeared, and seeing what had transpired, gave the newlyweds his blessing and asked their forgiveness for his previous behavior.
Alden and Mullins had 11 children and were among the founders of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts.

The Aldens have many distinguished descendants. They include Presidents John AdamsJohn Quincy AdamsHenry Wadsworth Longfellow, and many other well known figures in American history. Although Priscilla was the lone survivor of her family from the Mayflower, she and John were thankful on that first Thanksgiving for God's blessings. Today their descendants are thought to number well over a million of Americans who have looked to God for guidance and served their country well.

Happy Thanksgiving all of you! Be grateful and teach your children well.


Story told in Apostlot, by the Kingdom players, Sunday morning, November 18, 2012

*note:  This was Williams' debut with the main characters of Apostelot.  (Great job Will!)


Friday, November 16, 2012

My Sister Danced at her Daughter's Wedding!

Mrs. Nathan Crocker and her mother, Judy.

(See Queentalks for details!)

Thursday, November 08, 2012

It's his Birthday...

Happy 16th Birthday, Andrew!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Halloween Hauntings!

Matey Willy Will and American Hero King Joe! 
(I just made those names up but aren't they GREAT!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Message to Felly

For Felly,
You are so thoughtful,
your loving kindness always takes me by surprise!  
*Note my beautiful scarf.

Auntie Merry 

Halloween 2012!

Send me pictures of yourself in costume!
So far I've got:

The Rock Star!

 Emily (and her friends)
The Scarecrow! 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mama's Poems...and more!

Reunion in Watertown/Commerce, Tennessee

On Friday I journeyed back to Murfreesboro to stay with Mother for a few days while she is recovering from a fall and many other blows life delivers to us when we grow older.  Saturday was a day of long-standing tradition (the third weekend in October): we got up early and traveled an hour or so to enter the doors of the old Commerce Church, in Commerce, Tennessee, which once again received the descendants of the Floyd Family for their 15th annual reunion!

Floyd Family members have gathered from miles around to honor their deceased, tell their stories, share their crafts and adventures and entertain one another with their music and games.  These activities are outdone only by the kitchen staff, who work diligently, preparing and serving many delectable potluck dishes, desserts, cold drinks and huge pots of hot coffee…Of course, none of these things happen before a prayer is said, the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America is recited, and the National Anthem is sung.

This year featured:  Family Sharing Time

                                    Special music by brother Hugh, Cousins Mike and Nicholle.

                                    The cutting of a special cake that was designed to disclose the gender of Aunt Polly’s (now called Mimi) first grandchild.  (IT’S A GIRL!)

                                    A Tribute to Uncle Edsel Floyd, who died this year and after whom a local bridge was named and dedicated by state officials.

                                    Paulette shared her journey of receiving a miracle; the Cochlear transplants!   She told us that she is learning to hear sounds that she hasn't heard in years; and it is getting better with every day that passes!  Unlike her father and her grandmother before her, she hopes to recover up to 78% of her hearing loss in time.

                                   Then a wonderfully illustrated lecture about quilts was offered by my sister-in-law Natalie, as she told us about her introduction to quilts, and the way her hobby grew into competitive quilting, guilds, forums and a business!  (I love this lovely Ukrainian lady who makes the most out of everything she touches…including her family!)

                                  Because I had the good fortune to know at least something of the above material, the next item on the program I had been waiting anxiously to hear…Mama’s Poems.

Uncle Kenneth stood up to tell us about a very special woman, one responsible for many of the Floyd family members that came this day to honor her.  Uncle told of a brave and dignified woman that came to the Floyd family with “fine” things, who dressed for dinner and who had an eighth grade education.  “She accepted whatever was happening in her life”; but it seems to me that her life wasn't at all easy after marriage, though she remained dedicated to Christ and family and was determined to use her God-given gift of rhyme to glorify her Lord and Master.  She wrote on every scrap of paper she could find, woke up in the middle of the night to write down what came to her in a dream, wrote every chance she got, then put the rhymes away in boxes and other places out of sight.  Never did she write for her own glory, just for God’s …and for the joy of it, just because she could!

Well, long story short, these poems were retrieved by my Uncle Kenneth (her grandson) and he re-typed the brown, torn, faded scripts as he found them, and compiled them in three separate volumes of ‘Mama’s Poems’, the Poetry of  Ethel Mai George Floyd.

I only knew Ma as an ancient, old great-grandmother who couldn't hear, and who was therefore hard to talk to.  She was always kind, and gave us packaged sweet cakes and strawberry soda brought down to her from my grandfather’s grocery store.  I remember her loud, deep voice and the way she pushed strands of her gray hair back up off her face and into the bun on the back of her head and later at the nape of her neck.  I tell these things because it never ceases to amaze me that I was not told what an incredible great-grandmother I had, and that she never read her rhymes to me…I guess because I never asked her to.  I don't think anyone else did either.

“Ma” (great-grandchildren’s name for her) died in 1958.  I was eleven years old.

Today, along with each grandchild and great-grandchild who attended the Floyd Family Reunion, I got to read aloud one of the poems from Ma’s collection.  As each descendent read a poem, chosen and meaningful to the individual, there was a powerful and sweet sense of pride that we could honor her work at last.

Thank you, Ma for the gift of your poems.  Thank you, Uncle, for painstakingly putting them together in book form and offering them to us to read.  They are now among my dearest treasures.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Adventures in Boston/Cambridge

Boston Tea Party
Freedom Trail
Longfellow Bridge
Old Ironsides (USS Constitution)
Harvard University
Boston Commons and Public Gardens
John Hancock Tower
Trinity Church
Paul Revere House
The Old North Church
Paul Revere Park
The Cheers Bar
Bunker Hill and much more!...

Last weekend Boston provided me with many wonderful things to see while Terrence was learning, sharing and perfecting his craft with the International Academy of Mediators ("127 of the best commercial mediators in the world!").  We also found some time to walk the campus of Harvard together, sit and read in the Law School's lounge and have dinner at the Harvard Club.  Alone I took a walk near the university campus and stopped in the "Coop" bookstore for a look around and a quick sandwich.

It was really interesting to be in the places where so much of our nation's beginning took place...and the fact that the air turned cold and the leaves were beginning to change just made it that much more invigorating and exciting.  Those of us who went on the tour of Cambridge and Boston were treated to an articulate and knowledgeable tour guide who threw out a lot of information for us to absorb.

...and by the way, I crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon!

Monday, October 08, 2012

The event:   Lakefest
                     Shannon, Molly, Ford and Morgan’s new house open house!

Where:        Lake Shore Drive

New Home for the SSC Family! from Croft on Vimeo.

Okay, so there was no LSD involved on this Lake Shore Drive but some of the artsy things we saw there were wonderfully strange!   I mean, have you ever seen a Floatzilla? 

Local art, wonderful food, music, face painting and chalk drawing contest were among many things to do at the annual, local Lakefest but the most fun of all was seeing where the family is now hanging their hats.  It’s a terrific home and we wish them many happy years there.

P.S.  Note the playground just across the street from Shannon and Molly’s deck (where I zoomed in and took pictures of Andrew being a good big brother, playing with William, and the girls getting a little play time in after taking them freshly baked cookies), well, there are picnic tables there…a perfect place for a family get together for pot luck!  I'm just saying…

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

So What's So Special About Oct. 3rd?


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Where I Come From

Some things are buried deep within and are part of who we are.
  It's good, it's bad,  it's beautiful, it's who we are.
  We share it, we respect it, we try to understand it and grow from it...
It's who we are.

The familiar still makes me tap my foot and lift my head high.

I joyfully explored the Saturday morning Farmers Market on the square of Murfreesboro, Tennessee the last time I was in town.  Thought you might like to go and take a look at small town living...although  M'boro isn't so small anymore, it's where I come from.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Berly's Having a Birthday!

Thanks for bringing so much joy into our lives each and every single day.
You grow sweeter with each passing year.  
I am so lucky God gave me you.
Happy Birthday, Kimberly!
September 19, 1966 was a very good year!
I love you baby girl.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A passing thought...

I remember when they were little; well, Mike, Kim, then Kate (18 years later).  I thought it couldn't be any better, until we all finely became a real family...Mary, Joe and Issy, Tom, Andrew, Emily and William, Shannon, Molly, Ford and Morgan, Kristin, Alan, Keegan and Aidan, Ben and Adrienne, with Terrence at the head.  That's when I found out that, "Love is the only thing you get more of by giving it away".  We EXPLODED!...and we are all the better for it.  My babies have been given a good family and for this I am so very grateful.

My love is too big for words.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Issy turns TWELVE

A big shout out to ISSY for a very, very Happy Birthday!  

You are so full of life, talent, accomplishments and joy.  We are so lucky to have you as part of us.  Keep growing as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside and just watch what will happen!   


"they didn’t have you where I come from
never knew the best was yet to come
life began when I saw your face
and I hear your laugh like a serenade
how long do you want to be loved
is forever enough, is forever enough
how long do you want to be loved
is forever enough
cause I’m never, never giving you up"…

On September 4th, Ben and Adrienne celebrated their 1st wedding anniversary by renewing their vows and making their marriage and commitment to each other legal in the sight of the law.  
Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to Ben and Adrienne!
  Happy Anniversary wishes go out to Kristin and Alan as well!
Sept. 5, 2009

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More August Birthdays!

Another year has rolled by and once again our August birthdays make us rejoice!   I am grateful for all of you born in August but on Friday I will be singing all day (quietly to myself), Happy Birthday to You to Mike and Aidan.

Michael, one of the most memorable days of my life was the day you were born in 1965.  To me you were a miracle that happened before my very eyes.  My boy, a son that I would love forever...and I will.  Despite that 18 year old mother you had, you have done well for yourself and I am so very proud of you.  Just remember, the one thing you did get from me, in abundance, is my love and devotion.  You're proof, love goes a long way.  I love you so.

As for you Aidan...I hope you have a Happy, Happy Birthday.  I sure do wish we could play a game of pool together but I'll be sure and give Uncle Mike extra kisses and tell him that he will just have to take them because I can't give them to you on your birthday!  I love you and I love the way you are growing.  I'm still hoping we can Skype sometime.  You could tell me all about your new school and the things you are doing.   You are so interesting to talk to.

Terr/Grandad and I are sending our best wishes and all our love to both of you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Special Celebration for Ben

August 16, 1972

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mimi's Project

Each year since 2003, our family of 22 has vacationed together for a week in Grayton Beach, Fl. That first year I bought red suspenders for each of the grandchildren, who put them on and sang a song to Grandad who financially made our vacation possible. Since then, the children and I have spent an hour or two each day of vacation working on a "Mimi's project" that marks our time together for that year. We have done art shows, movies, plays, talent shows, photo perspectives of Grayton Beach, a music video and this year a scary movie, all of which make me smile to go back, watch and remember.
My Grands are growing up. This year the gift of their time was for me. In participating in Mimi's project, older teens who would have much rather been doing other things than playing with their Grandmother, unselfishly joined in to my whimsy and played a role in our 2012 project. Thank you, precious grandchildren for again giving me your time, love and devotion.
The result is, "I Know Where Your Beach House Is". I hope you look back on it, years from now, with a smile, for these are the good years and we made them that way.
Thank you, Andrew, for helping edit the film; you saved me hours of work putting it together.
Forever our time at Grayton will bring me good memories.

And now ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, may I present this years 'Mimi's Project"...

Let us know what you think!

Monday, August 06, 2012

We're home!

(Ben and Adrienne already headed for home...but where's Shannon?)
More later!

P1100915 from Croft on Vimeo.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mimi's prayer

I pray for safe travels for all those who are flying home today for summer vacation, for that safety to continue tomorrow on our car trip to Grayton and finally for a sweet, happy, trouble free time together as we enjoy each others' company at the beach.  I give thanks for the opportunity to have you all together once again!  Amen!

Double the Celebration!

Today our day will begin and end in celebration!  It's Ford's 17th birthday (count 'em, 17!) and tonight our children and grandchildren will be coming in from California and Korea for the start of family vacation.  But it doesn’t stop there!   We will continue the celebration Saturday morning, on Molly's birthday, as the caravan begins its annual trek to Grayton Beach, where we will meet up with the rest of the family for a week of fun and sun together.

Joy, joy, joy, oh, happy days!

Happy Birthday to Ford and Molly!!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A visit with Mama

 Boy was I blessed when I arrived at Mom's on Saturday night to fried chicken, homemade pimento cheese sandwiches and fresh sliced tomatoes from my sister's garden!  I know how hard that was for Mom to do and it touched my heart that she went to so much trouble.  She hasn't fried chicken in years and had to take frequent periods of rest to make this delicious meal for us.  It was not in vain, I enjoyed every morsel!
 Morning smiles are hard to put on her face, pain keeps wanting to interfere with her happiness, but this one she managed and, even without make-up, it becomes her.
 Again, Mom rose to the occasion when we (she, Judy, Louis and I) decided we needed to take a trip to Kentucky to see my Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Bob.  They have been having terrible health problems but rallied, received us and we once again were able to love on each other.  Their lovely daughter, Sally was there caring for them and that was a bonus for us!
I thought brother, Hugh, and his wife Natali were at their mountain cabin but while we were gone they dropped by Mother's and we missed seeing them.  I wish I could have made that happen; spending time with my birth family is such a blessing to my life.  To this day, they feel like home.

I hope you always stay close to yours too.

My trip ended with a visit, with Judy, to her daughter, Abby's new home with her husband to be, Nate.  Afterwards we all went to a wonderful Tea House and talked of weddings and Abby's recent mission trip to Haiti.  I regret that I didn't get pictures of this, another memory made.

Thanks family for spending such quality time with me.  I love you for always.  (Hugh/Natili, come visit us in Atlanta! Better yet, come to the mountains and show us how to install some security cameras at the cabin. :))

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Count Down to Grayton!

Can't wait to make more memories!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Sunday, July 08, 2012

To Terrence...

You and me, for better or worse...

I'll be the there.

May our Golden Pond always be beautiful!