Friday, August 16, 2013

Our August Gifts

  • A celebration of life love and family;
  •  could no other make of such a joyous occasion. 
  • Brought together through love,
  • Bound together through commitment and loyalty,
  • Our times together have made for celebration. 
Ben (8/16), Mike (8/25), Aidan (8/25), in ways that differ from night to day,
you have made August a rare and beautiful month for this family.
Happy Birthday to the three unlikely Musketeers
that will forever be our family stronghold.  

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Facebook post not sure you saw...but for the record...

Once there was a "little girl" who dreamed of happily ever after...then it all went wrong...Two miracles survived that dream, so hope was not lost. Then in 1977 a Knight on a shiny red motorcycle appeared and began to make life complete again. He convinced that girl, by process of elimination, that he was the one that could make her dreams of forever come true. It all happened so fast but she knew was that he was smart, ever so handsome and she loved the way he adored her.

As you might have guessed, that girl was me and today, well almost, July 9th, 36 years later, I am still living the dream. It's been the best of times even in those few days when times weren't so good. He is still my knight in shining armor, fighting my windmills and encouraging me to fly as well as to walk by his side. He has loved our children and been the man they could count on, always keeping our family united. He invited God to be the center of our home and with that we are strong. He made me more than I ever thought I could be and for that I am indebted.

Maybe I went too far and got too personal but all this is to say, "Happy Anniversary TLC"! This year I am publicly saying (well, to my children and other readers of Chatterbox):  YES!, I WILL marry you again.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day to the BEST!

Nothing says, "I love you", like Terr, Mike, Shannon, Tom, Alan and Daddy...
I guess the word Daddy sums it all up; makes you really special.
Happy Father's Guys.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mother Turns 86...

I say that softly and with much respect, for this is what a lady of 86 years deserves.  

Personally speaking...

She has known me all my life.  She has been there for me through the good and the bad.  Her home has always been mine and those whom I love, hers.  I love her like I want to be loved and she will always be part of who I am.

 Happy Birthday, Mother.  May God bless your every breath.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Moving On

Wow, what a month this has been!  Tonight, we had our fourth 8th grader graduate from middle school, that means four grandchildren moving on to high school this fall!...

Congratulations to Joe, Emily, Keegan and Morgan!  This marks a big milestone for all of you and we are very proud.  May the next four years be the best years ever, may they give you time to grow into the person whom you want to take into the next level of your lives.  We are here to back you up and support you with all you need to be successful.

Awards and summer activities:
Joe:  Is moving from the only school he has ever attended, St. Martin's, to St. Pius where he will begin his high school experience.  At St. Martin's, for the second year in a row, Joe was selected the Most Valuable Player on the baseball team, which won its first championship in school history!   He finished strong academically and is very popular with his classmates and friends.  He is playing on two baseball teams over the summer and ready to be a team player for St. Pius, attending football workouts three mornings a week, football camp in late July, followed by practice to begin soon afterwards! 

Morgan is graduating 8th grade at Woodward.  She has been on the Honor Roll every semester there.  She will be a Counselor in Training at the Pine Lake Arts Camp.  She came in 2nd in the Southeastern Region in Rock Climbing, but will be taking a break from competitive climbing this summer (Though she will climb some outdoors for fun in Minnesota and around the South).  (Personally, I am hoping this will give some time for the three young Ya Ya's to have a few lazy days at Northcroft this summer!)

Emily:This morning, at Wesleyan's Awards Ceremony  Emily was recognized as one of the two outstanding artists in the middle school, and had one of her drawings unveiled and added to the School's permanent art collection.  She also received an award for her "quiet leadership in history studies".    

 She is swimming this summer on their country club's swimming team and will be a camp leader at Camp Issy and Emily for the third year in a row! .

Keegan:  Keeg had a successful ending to his career at middle school. He is headed for a strong academic finish the year, around a 3.7. He will play on the All Stars team for junior's baseball and plans to work at a baseball camp while he is in town this summer. He's really looking forward to Grayton and seeing his cousins!! ... (Aren't we all, Keeg!)  

Now, la piece de resistance: Our first High School Graduate!
Ford Gilman Croft
Graduated Magna Cum Laude, (with great distinction) 
 from Woodward Academy

Ford Croft's Woodward Accademy Graduation from Croft on Vimeo.

...a day we will not soon forget.

Ford graduated from Woodward and will be going to Georgia Tech in the honors program, where he plans to major in Industrial Engineering.   He finished his baseball career with a Varsity Letter!  He was on the "Golden Eagle" Honor Roll every semester at Woodward, and graduated Magna Cum Laude.  He was a national Merit Finalist.  This summer he will be lifeguarding at Georgia Tech, and working as a camp counselor for Bill Melvin's baseball camps.

Honorable mention:
Today, we attended  two award and and honors programs at The Wesleyan Schools.  Eighth grader, Emily's, as well as the high school awards.  It must be noted that Andrew was honored with the "Outstanding Male Sophomore" award and also achieved the Iron Wolf Award, for his sustained contributions to the school.

The following was read aloud before receiving this award...

The good work these kids are doing is mind-blowing, and this is only the tip of the iceberg...Aidan is doing incredibly well with his new love, the skateboard, and also in baseball.   Issy is headed for another championship with her cheerleading squad!  She leads a dynamite (and prosperous) summer camp with Emily this summer; and she was also beautiful tonight as an Acolyte for her brother's graduation service at St. Martins.

I know I write often about good news...but this is exceptional!  "To those that much is given, much is expected."  Great job parents, they are not falling far from the tree!  Continue to guide and love unconditionally and let's all commit to pray daily for these precious children that God has given us.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day

I am going off tomorrow to deliver special kisses and hugs to my mother.  I am so grateful for the privilege.  I am leaving my daughters, who are mothers, in the good hands of my grandchildren, where I am sure they will be honored for the superMoms that they are.  I am so proud of you all.  Proverbs 31:2
(and of course Keegan is 14!...almost the same day as Em!)
For Mike, Kate, Shannon and Ben (as well as Tom, Alan, Adrienne and Simon), you are the cream of the crop and it is a privilege to call you mine.

Happy Mother's Day my blessed Mama!  See you tomorrow!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Youngest Has a Birthday!

The only recent pictures I have of Kate, that you haven't already seen on Facebook, are snaps taken late at night from our chats on Skype. I've tried to capture her essence as we've talked, but due to a slight delay in the camera, I seem to always to get her mouth open or her eyes closed but the smile is always there. Skype is a wonderful tool even though not the same as being with her, especially on a special day. Today (Korean time and tomorrow, our time), I will use the trick Kate and I learned a long, long time ago and I'll be there to sing to her...
I'll just turn on the quiet,
 and close my eyes
and listen inside

     and I'll be there to sing to her...

   Happy Birthday to you, 

Happy Birthday to you…

 Dad and I celebrated your birthday together and...
together we wished that all your dreams would come true.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Visit from Alan and Kristin

Terr and I feel lucky that Alan and Kristin grew up in Atlanta and both have parents, family and friends here for even though they live in California their ties brings them back home.  .

On this trip they were coming to support and witness the wedding of a friend they went to school with.  I'm told it was a lovely wedding at Trinity Church with the reception and sit down dinner at the Piedmont Driving Club.

Shannon came to pick Kristin up for breakfast this Sunday morning.  We had just come in from church when Shannon brought Kristin home and Alan was coming  down the stairs.  I couldn't stop myself from hollering out to Terrence, "Honey, the children are home!"

How blessed is the man/woman whose quiver is full!

More dressing up events in April!

  Kim and Tom going to the Wesleyan Gala, 4/14/2013

Mike and Issy, father-daughter dance, 4/20/13.

Emily ready to go to the 8th grade formal, 4/5/13

The Shuler Awards, 4/18/13

Such loveliness. :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Just Takes a Little Magic to Make a Better World

It's a lucky day when a little magic comes into your life, especially when it comes in the form of unconditional love.

That happened about eight years ago when the S. Croft family rescued and adopted a retired racing Greyhound named Magic...and he adopted them!

Magic gave the first part of his life to racing; with his powerful legs, deep chest, flexible spine and slim build, he seemed born for the job; besides Magic was bred to be a champion.  But when champions get a little slow they are retired from the business and left to the mercy of adoption.

Then the real magic happened!  The Crofts and the Gray's paths crossed at just the right time in their lives and unconditional love flowed both ways.

The Crofts knew Magic had worked hard in his life, and needed a place to rest and be loved for the years he had left.  Magic was grateful and did all that he could do to love his people and be a good dog.  It was a good match.

 Eight years later...
Magic died in his sleep this week, resting in his favorite place on the lounge chair at the end of sofa, on his blanket.  The family had gone to school and work so he slipped away before the (middle of the day) dog walker came to care for him and warned Shannon so the others wouldn't have to see him lifeless.  I think that was a pretty magical plan for Magic to have.

Magic will live on in the lives of his people.  He taught them patience, responsibility, consistency, selflessness and yes, unconditional love.   I  am sure they will pass these things on for the rest of their lives.

The Crofts are building a garden deck Magic didn't live long enough to enjoy, but his ashes will be buried nearby.  The new addition has now been named, "Magic Garden".  Fitting, don't you think?

The making of "Magic Garden".

Goodbye Magic...and thanks for loving our Shannon, Molly, Ford and Morgan.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Work Selected for Art Show

Both Keegan and Aidan had their artwork selected to be part of a White Hill Student Art show.  White Hill Middle School has approximately 650 students, all of whom take art.  Approximately 22 of those students were selected to have their artwork on display.   There was an opening reception last Friday evening and their work will be on exhibit for the remainder of the month.

I taught them everything they know.
(Okay, So I wish I could spend more time with them so I could learn their techniques!)

Whitehill Middle School
Student Art Show

By Keegan Pedersen

By Aidan Pedersen


Congratulations, boys, I am so proud of you!!!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

April 13

What a special day...

Happy Birthday you two.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Keegan Going Through a Rough Spot

I am asking each of you to keep Keegan in your thoughts and prayers, an MRI revealed that he has a "syrinx" which is a cyst on his spinal cord.  At best this will mean more tests and reduced activities (which are many in his young ball playing life) until doctors can figure things out and decide what, if anything, should be done.  

I will keep you informed as I get any news about his treatment.  God watch over Keegan.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Happy 15th Birthday To Joe!

It is near the end of Joe's 15th birthday.  He played another good game of baseball today and I imagine, as soon as possible, he will have his learner's permit so he can drive his parents to future games.

Be careful, my handsome grandson, be wise and may God protect you, as he has Ford and Andrew, while you learn this year to be among the best drivers ever!  You will always be in my prayers.

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Just another Family Easter

Okay, Easter morning was incredible...amazing...GLORIOUS!  The Sabonis-Chafee's led a sunrise service for about 30-40 people on the golf course of their neighborhood.  We then met up with them for early morning services at Apostles where Mike, Mary and family opted to join us in lieu of going to their home church so we could share the experience together.  After church we headed to the Commerce Club Atlanta for our annual Easter Brunch, adding to our numbers, the Shannon Croft family as well as Tom Croft and the girls!

You know, we're really privileged in this family, privileged in love, generosity and respect for one another.   Just like most of you who read this blog, we have a dang good time when we get together to celebrate.

Heck, I'm going to shut up now and let the following video prove my point...

Hope you had a Happy, Happy Easter too!

Thank you Easter Bunny.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Join the Chorus


Easter is the ever shining Light
in The Valley of the Shadow of Life
Whose gleam dispels the darkness
Of men's minds;
Whose radiance penetrates the hardness
Of men's hearts;
Whose glory transcends the outreach
 Of all time.

Easter's Victory has robbed death of its sting;

Easter's Vitality is regenerating a new humanity;

Easter's eVentuallity is the Kingdom of God on earth.

Mabel Smith Brown


Crusts of earth are opening
Green shoots are peering through
Buds on trees are bursting
New life's coming into view.

Nature tells us Christ has risen!
Freshness of life appears.
Spring-time is unfolding
Nature shouts triumphant cheers.

Man too may join the chorus;
Sing out with clear accord.
For life anew is ours
Through Jesus Christ The Lord!

Mable Smith Brown

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

It's Friday...but Sunday's Coming!

Everywhere I look today, I am reminded to look to the cross as I wait for Sunday's celebration of the risen Christ.  These are heart felt moments that I share with those I love because that's what we do with the ones we love; share our hearts.

Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf in Springtime.  Martin Luther

It's Friday...but Sunday's Coming!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Palm Sunday

I hope everyone has had a blessed Palm Sunday.  It was glorious this morning at Church of the Apostles as we sang uplifting praises to God and waved our palm branches.  William and I wrote word phrases from the preacher's sermon and drew doodles on our bulletins to "keep us awake and focused".  The best were the Easter Eggs we drew.  William's were of mountains celebrating "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!!".  I in turn had written on my bulletin, "The very mountains themselves will cry Jesus!".  It was nice to know we were connecting to the same words.

After church, Tom, Andrew, William and Grandad went off to Shane's for lunch and the girls: Kim, Emily and I decided do a little shopping, hoping to find something pretty to wear for Easter.  Emily was a perfect hanger for everything she tried on even when we goaded her into trying on the ugliest prom dress we could find!  We did find a delightful treasure or two, had a good lunch at Nordstroms, shopped a little more then rushed home to homework and preparations that had to be made for an early morning installation by Regas Interiors.

A few other noteworthy things happened this week.  First all, Kristin started the week with her 44th birthday!  Unfortunately, the family dog was very ill and much time, lots of effort and love had to go into saving his life.  I understand though that Teddy is doing well and is expected to recover.
(note: I need pictures from California to go here.)

I've heard reports that Keegan injured his neck and had to play a less strenuous position than pitching the last game or two.  Wishing him a speedy recovery.  Congratulations to Aiden for a near perfect report card and a successful soccer team tryout.
(note: I need pictures from California to go here.)

 On Wednesday, God answered our prayers by helping Ben through surgery.  We are thankful to report that he is healing with the love and help of Adrienne and going to be fine.  Thank you Adrienne for keeping us informed throughout the process and keeping us from worry.
(note: I need pictures from California to go here.)

You California folks, I need reports of GOOD news asap!  Really, I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that we are hoping good health reports keep rolling in and you are back on the road to happy adventures as I write.

Grandad and I had a really nice Grandparent's Day at St. Martin's Middle School on Friday.  Joe and Issy were the perfect hosts, sharing friends, breakfast and a delightful program (where Joe sang!).  They then took their four Grandparents on a tour of the new Middle School building.  It is always a pleasure to see the children in their school environment; the things they are working on, meeting their teachers and the friends they have made.  These school days are so important in a child's life.

Equally important this past week was Joe's successful baseball games!  His pitching was impeccable and he hit his first home-run of the season!  (His date to the Daffodil Ball wasn't too shabby either!)

I am still struggling through PT and painting a little.  Grandad was honored by a Supper Lawyer's reception this week and life keeps giving us many moments to be grateful for...

So, get your best Easter bonnet and bright colored dresses, pull out your pastel ties and get ready for Resurrection Sunday!  Sing Hosanna in the Highest and rejoice, for wherever you are, our hearts will join yours in praise and gratitude for our risen Lord and Savior.
Happy Easter Week!

P.S.  Remember your Nana this Easter Week.  She is back home and is planning another Easter celebration with the Murfreesboro family bringing a dish and gathering at her house.  You can send an email  to, phone: 615-893-0498 or snail mail to Gwen Patton, 600 North Church Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37130. :)

Note:  The pictures of Emily in the green hat and the rose and navy dress were given in delightful fun to her mother and me while shopping for a real Easter dress last Sunday.  Thank you Emily for your good sense of humor!

Friday, March 22, 2013

...and we ate pie!

Did I tell you about about my Christmas gift in mid February?  Well, if I didn't I certainly intended to!

Last Christmas, the children and those they love (as long as I'm living, my babies they'll be) gave Grandad and me gifts of time as our special gifts.  One of those gifts included, for me, a girl's night out to be taken in February.

Well, time came and because of surgery I wasn't up for travel so the girls brought the gift to me!

Kim and Emily arrived early to wash and fix my hair (couldn't do my own at the time) and brought a fantastic catered gourmet feast (from everyone) to be put on hold while waiting for the rest of the girls to arrive.

What a night to remember, we laid the table with the delicious food and wine, sat together for great conversation, even picked out the dresses we would wear to the up coming  Oscars, (that is if we were going)!  We talked so much that we had little time to do other things we'd planned.   The young girls made their way to the basement den and eventually a big pallet on the floor where they could settle down to popcorn and a late movie.  We tried to join them for a while but the events of the day gave way to tired bodies and soon we all found a bed where we could get a good nights sleep before our Sunday School teachers had to get up early the following morning.

(I should add a note here that pays tribute to my steadfast husband who did not join us for dinner but stayed and ate quietly in his sealed office upstairs never once giving us cause to shout, "Man in the Hall!".)

Soon, after a happy early morning breakfast, everyone was gone and we were off the church with Emily to meet the others already there.  Wow, was it quiet Sunday afternoon, the giggles and chatter absorbed into the walls made it a place I still wanted to be.

Talk about a gift that keeps on giving; it couldn't have been more valuable had it been  Frankincense and Myrrh, for it is another added treasure to my memory box.

Oh, I forgot to tell you the very reason the thought came into my mind that I wanted to write this post in the first place...WE ATE PIE!  Sure wish I had some. ;)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thing of the Past?

With facebook being the first thing we sign into these days, it seems familychatterbox is becoming a thing of the past.  All my spare time has been used seeing what everybody else is doing, instead of recording my favorite moments and feelings for the hand full of people who faithfully check the box for news of family.

Anyway, Mom made a trip to Northcroft this past weekend and I want a record of her coming.  My sister Judy and her husband Louis gave of their time and energy to bring her and pick up the slack, with the work that needed doing,  because I am still one handed/armed/ from having rotator cuff surgery almost 5 weeks ago.

Really, Louis was recovering from minor surgery too so it was up to Sister to take care of us all!  I pushed to do more than I otherwise would have, so now, as usual,  I am stronger for the time spent in the mountains. (photo by Judy)

The early morning hours, evenings and nights were cold enough for a roaring fire yet the days were perfect for a long walk and a hike to the waterfall and to Egypt. Louis and Judy even did a little firearm shooting to stay in good practice with the guns they own.

Between us we brought enough food to feed our mountain appetites and enjoyed it at a candle-lit table.

Mom did great, getting from one small place to another.  She was a trouper and left with a promise to return.

Thanks guys for making the effort to come and spend time together.  Please know the doors of Northcroft are always open to you...  Speaking of doors, because of what my brother did for me this same weekend, I can now view the inside front door area by internet whenever I want and hopefully soon (next time I go) the outside as well.  I can do this through the eye of a camera; ordered and installed by Hugh!  

(From #1 security camera.)

P. S.  Terrence stayed home and attended a Board of Governor's meeting of the Georgia Bar.  He is so faithful to his profession and so generous not to begrudge me time in the mountains.  Hope we can make it there together this weekend!