Wednesday, June 29, 2011


9 years ago today, I


 witty, handsome, kind-hearted, wiley, successful, agreeable, punctual, wonderful, knowledgeable, cautious, generous, ambitious, calm and protective man.  
In another words, amazing. 

And haven't looked back,

except to thank my God.
"...a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
Ecclesiastes 4:12

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Wonder what she'll do when I pull this one out on her first date in another 50 10 years?

Playing along with "Sweet Shot Tuesday".

and "Wordless Wednesday" over at 5MinutesforMom.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mirror image

Join in the photography challenge at iheartfaces.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Found: A Fabulous "Familial Friday" Full of Fun!

As my "Meet the Wemmick's" intro. in the sidebar shares, we're of the mind that a family that plays together, stays together (that is if they're first "praying together").
Bowling happens to be one of our favorite games.

And when one extremely important and special guy takes some time off work to join us ,

well, the atmosphere surrounding our summertime tradition of spending Friday afternoon's bowling
 becomes as heady as a school girl in the throes of her first crush!

Nonetheless, given our collective competitive nature, it should come as no surprise that the guys,

especially one particular little booger fellar,

has to make it a competition!

{Players in order from top to bottom: Mad, Sam, Mom, Dad.)

However, never one to turn cheek to a challenge, us girls

rose to the occasion.

Well, a few of us did that is!
Other's of course would never mention any names, PUNK got a bit sidetracked

and was sabatoged by the competition!

There's just no containing our sincere familial love! ;)


Friday, June 24, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

Classic Without Edge 5x7 folded card
Modern greeting cards and party invitations by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Redefining frugal

In the beginning, it was a "desperate times call for desperate measures" kind of deal.
Now, 2 years and 8 months later, it's become something more.
There's an addictive quality to it, a personal challenge.
How much can I save this time?
Even more than that, it's as Sugar so aptly puts it, "Those who have money, don't spend it.  That's why they have it."
Why spend more, especially for a necessity such as food, than I have to?  

Today, I outdid myself.
(And "yes", all the items bought were items our family will use.)

Watch out big dogs, this pup's on her way off the porch!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Homemade Happiness

In our home,
(Figure with the unforgiving heat of late, we could do with a reminder of cooler days to come!)

Dad rocks!

 The sun sets on him for two special little girls.

 And it rises over him,
 for an equally special little guy.

Which is why, for that little guy, he made sure his "Best Bud" had nothing less than the best for Father's Day.

And you just can't beat "homemade".

Mr. Personality

Nothing like some good ole' fashion brotherly love!

Entered in iheartfaces photo challenge.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Priceless Perspective: From the mouths of babes...

{Scene: Scurrying through Hellmart Walmart on Father's Day night, mySamuelson & Mad in tow, looking for "Dad" gifts from the kids.  Briefly side-tracked by display of children's watershoes in middle of aisle (blasted Marketing Dept. does that on purpose!)

Mom: "Ooooh!  Punk needs a new pair of shoes for the pool." (Poor child's toes are hanging off the end of the sandals she's currently wearing! (and touching the ground!)

Mad: "Look Mom! (in partial, excited shock while stabbing her fingers at a pair of shoes)  It's the same kind of shoes the Easter Bunny brought me!"  (mySamuelson & I both did a double-take!)

mySamuelson: "The Easter Bunny must shop at Walmart, Madalyn." (dismissively) 

Bye-bye bb's, hello buckshot!

 First time shooting the real-deal, a 410!

I thoroughly enjoy participating in "I Heart Faces" weekly photo challenge.  Not for the possibility of actually winning the contest, though I would definitely never turn away such an honor ;) but for the fire she lights under my tail-end in getting me out there taking pictures!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Madalyn'ism VI

{Scene: Driving home from dropping off sleeping bag and air mattress to Sugar and mySamuelson at their Father/Son Campout at our local Chick-Fil-A.  Mad beside me.  Punk in back.}

Mom: What do you want to be when you grow up, Madalyn? (Curious, for unlike her brother, she's not one to express herself, nor just offer up personal information - even to her parents!)
Mad: Spongebob. (casually matter-of-fact)
Mom (almost careens off road) : What!?!  Spongebob?? (Could have knocked me over with a feather!  I knew she liked Spomgebob.  He was her birthday party theme this year after all.  But to want to grow up to BE him????)
Mad: Yeah. (sheepishly smiling)
Mom (chuckling): What would you do as Spongebob?
Mad: Play with Patrick. (Cheshire cat grin)
*Both of us burst out laughing!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Green Mile of POO

     My Mother-in-law and I were out shopping at a rug outlet a few towns over a couple years back.  It was my first outing as a "mother of two"; son was 2 and newborn daughter but a few weeks old.  On the return trip we had stopped in one of those restaurant/gas station deals (this one a Burger King) for lunch.   At one point during our meal, our noses picked up that extremely obnoxious, yet familiar smell.  As I reached in to check my infant daughter's diaper, my fingers encountered the "goo" before I even managed to touch her.  It was EVERYWHERE!  All over both her AND the carseat she was half-asleep in!  How in the world ANYONE, even a child, can sleep through something like that, I'll NEVER understand. (shaking head in consternation)  Although have a pretty good grasp of the English language, words seriously fail to convey my UTTER mortification when I reached in the diaper bag, in the midst of changing my precious girl on the proverbial changing table in the Ladies handicap restroom stall, and came up with naught but an empty pack of wipes, tube of vaseline, travel size bottle of Magic baby lotion and a handful of toys.  NO, I repeat, NO diaper.  And NO, oh my, NO spare change of clothes.  (Refer here to afore-mentioned "New Mom of two" statement!).  Couldn't leave treasure on table unattended.  No wipes to clean her up.  NO WAY was I going to attempt to carry her, covered in feces the way she was, out to the PACKED dining area (height of lunchtime) to enlist mother-in-law's aid.  So I did what any semi-experienced Mom in said situation would do: I waited.  I knew my mother-in-law would come search us out eventually.  Little did I realize it would take her 25 minutes!  Thankfully, that time is but a blur in my mind now.  When she returned from being sent to the gas station next door with nothing but wipes, the situation quickly took a turn toward the satiric.  The gas station was OUT OF DIAPERS!  I'm sure the expression on my face when I heard this could have "moored a thousand ships".  No "Helen of Troy" here!  Ingenuity saved the day in the hated form of the maxi-pad.  Funny how the gas station was stocked with those.  Guess they didn't want to risk a PMS'ing woman coming in for a pack, to be told they were out.  Talk about incurring wrath! ;)  Once I arranged my cherub, naked, in the carseat, with the pad situated under her bottom and tucked between her thick thighs, we walked the "Green Mile" to the car.  I never once looked back: until now!!!  Thanks 5MinutesforMom for the trip down Memory Lane!

Burgeoning Writer WINS Music Scholarship

Received notice a few months back of a writing contest sponsored through the Fountain Inn Civic Center.  It was open to the chidlren who were residents of the cities of Ft. Inn and neighboring Simpsonville.  To enter, children ages 5-14 were instructed to write an essay, "Why I like music" accompanied by a drawing (optional).  Those who were too young to compose an essay were encouraeged to just draw a picture about why they liked music.
Winners were given scholarships to local Summer Music Camps, worth $150.00+!

Having a love for writing myself, shared the opportunity with mySamuelson and Mad.  Showing a bent toward mathematics, versus English, Mad reluctantly agreed to participate.  Personally, I think the only reason she didn't put up a fight is due to the fact that she was to "draw" a picture: child LOVES art.  "Art" and "Math"???  Go figure!  Maybe a blooming architect?  mySamuelson, however, took the task and ran with it!  He set me back on my heels with a one-and-a-half page composition penned in very good handwriting, with a picture that told the exact same story as his written word!  It was a moment I'll never forget.  My mini-me. ;)

A few weeks ago, a lady from the music club where the camps were to take place, called to share the news mySamuelson had won a schoalrship in his age division and would we be willing to attend a City Hall meeting to have the award formally presented by the Mayor!!!!

We are one PROUD family!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pulling back the pages: 2011 Summer Reading List

One of my earliest memories is of sitting in my Mother's lap listening to stories from a series called, "The Value of..."  The stories taught characteristics such as determination and perseverance using historical figures like Eleanor Roosevelt and Helen Keller.  I now read that same set to my own children. 

Have been the proverbial "Bookworm Nerd" since discovering Laura Ingalls Wilder in 4th grade.  This fascination continuued on through adolescence where my most memorable Christmas present was a large, brown cardboard box filled to the brim with books of different genres and caliber.  I packed the love off to college with me, applying it to my education in the form of a Minor in English.

Unfortunately, like most, have little account of what I've read during the course of my life, other than what my memory will recall and what I've managed to hang onto through moves, marriage, children and sweeps for Yard Sale fodder.
I know, it's a tragedy.
But now that I'm keenly aware of the gross oversight, am responsible for reparation.
Therefore, have decided to throw myself in front of the buck and stop this atrocity here-and-now!
Below are the 5 books I’ve selected for my summer reading, along with either the information from the back of the book, a review from, or both.
You'll probably notice the wide variety the list contains.  Some are for pleasure, some for educational purposes.  No matter the intent, am looking forward to a summer of reading fun!   

Running With Joy: My Daily Journey to the Marathon
Ryan Hall
Harvest House Publishers/ February 2011

"From the fastest American-born marathoner of all time, here is an intimate, day-by-day account of what it takes—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—to be one of the best in the world. This journal chronicles Ryan Hall’s 14-week preparation for the 2010 Boston Marathon, providing practical insights into the daily regimen of someone training at the absolute peak of human performance. It also reveals the spiritual journey of an elite athlete who is a follower of Jesus Christ.

Discover how Ryan deals with nagging injuries and illness, bad weather, disappointing workouts, and a slavish focus on results that can take the fun out of running. Ryan runs 140 miles a week, often at altitude and a blistering pace. Yet millions of everyday runners will identify with and appreciate his intentional return to running with joy and his lifelong goal of glorifying Christ on and off the racecourse."

The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck
Penguin Classics/ March 28, 2006
(First published in USA by The Viking Press Inc. 1939)

"Set during the Great Depression, it traces the migration of an Oklahoma Dust Bowl family to California and their subsequent hardships as migrant farm workers. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 1940. The work did much to publicize the injustices of migrant labor. The narrative, interrupted by prose-poem interludes, chronicles the struggles of the Joad family's life on a failing Oklahoma farm, their difficult journey to California, and their disillusionment once they arrive there and fall prey to a parasitic economic system. The insularity of the Joads--Ma's obsession with family togetherness, son Tom's self-centeredness, and daughter Rose of Sharon's materialism--ultimately gives way to a sense of universal community." -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus
Lee Strobel
Zondervan/ September 1, 1998

"The Case for Christ records Lee Strobel's attempt to "determine if there's credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God." The book consists primarily of interviews between Strobel (a former legal editor at the Chicago Tribune) and biblical scholars such as Bruce Metzger. Each interview is based on a simple question, concerning historical evidence (for example, "Can the Biographies of Jesus Be Trusted?"), scientific evidence, ("Does Archaeology Confirm or Contradict Jesus' Biographies?"), and "psychiatric evidence" ("Was Jesus Crazy When He Claimed to Be the Son of God?"). Together, these interviews compose a case brief defending Jesus' divinity, and urging readers to reach a verdict of their own."

The Screwtape Letters
C. S. Lewis
Harper Collins Edition./ 2001
(First published 1942)

"Who among us has never wondered if there might not really be a tempter sitting on our shoulders or dogging our steps? C.S. Lewis dispels all doubts. In The Screwtape Letters, one of his bestselling works, we are made privy to the instructional correspondence between a senior demon, Screwtape, and his wannabe diabolical nephew Wormwood. As mentor, Screwtape coaches Wormwood in the finer points, tempting his "patient" away from God.

Each letter is a masterpiece of reverse theology, giving the reader an inside look at the thinking and means of temptation. Tempters, according to Lewis, have two motives: the first is fear of punishment, the second a hunger to consume or dominate other beings. On the other hand, the goal of the Creator is to woo us unto himself or to transform us through his love from "tools into servants and servants into sons." It is the dichotomy between being consumed and subsumed completely into another's identity or being liberated to be utterly ourselves that Lewis explores with his razor-sharp insight and wit.

The most brilliant feature of The Screwtape Letters may be likening hell to a bureaucracy in which "everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment." We all understand bureaucracies, be it the Department of Motor Vehicles, the IRS, or one of our own making. So we each understand the temptations that slowly lure us into hell. If you've never read Lewis, The Screwtape Letters is a great place to start. And if you know Lewis, but haven't read this, you've missed one of his core writings." --Patricia Klein ( reviewer)

To Train Up A Child
Michael & Debi Pearl
No Greater Joy Ministries Inc./ August 1994
(Read this book about 5 years ago, in dire need of a refresher.)

"Three thousand years ago, a wise man said, "Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." Good training is not crisis management; it is what you do before the need of discipline arises.
Most parenting is accidental rather than deliberate. Imagine building a house that way. We don't need to reinvent training. There are child training principles and methods that have worked from antiquity. To neglect deliberate training is to shove your child into a sea of choices and passions without a boat of compass.

This book is not about discipline, nor problem children. The emphasis is on the training of a child before the need to discipline arises. It is apparent that, though they expect obedience, most parents never attempt to train their child to obey. They wait until the behavior becomes unbearable and then explode. With proper training, discipline can be reduced to 5% of what many now practice. As you come to understand the difference between training and discipline, you will have a renewed vision for your family, no more raised voices, no contention, no bad attitudes, fewer spankings, a cheerful atmosphere in the home, and total obedience from your children."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Of Mice and Boy

While pulling everything out of garage for a good pressure wash, discovered two baby mice (I mean BABY, like eyes not even open yet!) that had fallen out onto the driveway from something we had moved. This is my sweet, sweet mySamuelson shielding them from the rain. I overheard him tell Mad that they had to sacrifice themselves.  He nurtures my heart.  He humbles me anew.  He reminds me about the important things in life like dancing to "Alvin and the Chipmunks" songs, spontaneous hugs and of course, the importance and art of sacrificing for another weaker than you. 

Green Thumb

Mad's first tomatoes from her first tomato plant.
One of my most beautiful and favorite memories from childhood is that of working beside my Memaw in her vegetable garden.
Am so thankful to have the opportunity to pass this love and tradition down to my own children now.

Picture entered in iheartfaces photo contest.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

So many stories, so little time, soooo far behind...Summer 2010

*O.k, bet you're wondering why in the world I would make this so small. Especially being that it's the Intro to the post! Well, just imagine my mortification when I opened this post to FINALLY FINISH it, and the last edited date was 6-24-10!!!!!!
I know, "For shame!"
 Now maybe you can better understand the eensy-weensy print?

You are about to enter a "catchup" zone. (No. Not the condiment! That's spelled. "c-a-t-s-u-p". ) This is an attempt to bring myself up-to-date in my journaling. Some will have pictures accompanying the story. Some will have many pictures. Few others will not. Some will be short. Others a fragment. None lengthy due to the sheer number of stories. A dose of Wemmick History to follow...

Not every day can one claim to buy a gun. Next to never can one claim to have bought it from their Pastor!
June 22, 2010 deal sealed on this 380 Kel Tec that will accompany me everywhere.

Some form of illness hit every one of us this past summer.

 I was under the obvious mistaken impression that viruses hibernated, for the most part, during the summer months. Sugar ended up with Swimmers Ear after a botched dive off our diving board. Poor fella. Woke for a midnight snack and discovered him sitting in the office with his head in his hands. One of the kids came into contact with a virus some child left in a public place their irresponsible mother took them to! picked up a virus that cut a slow path through our entire family. Started with Miss Grace, then Punk, mySamuelson, myself (over our long weekend at the Lake, to boot!), and ending with Sugar. It was a nasty, packing with it a fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat and explosive headache.
And that's all I have to say about that!

Have made all the talk, "should's" and "could of's", a reality and ironed-out a bi-weekly budget.
Although going to be a bit challenging, have already encountered my reward in seeing a good deal of stress slide off the shoulders of my Sugar. A little bit of sacrifice for providing the continued blessing of one of us remaining "at-home", eliminating debt, ensuring our children benefit from a private christian education, and overall "breathing room".

Miss Grace finished up her first Summer Art Camp. She's our "artsy-fartsy" one. ;) Painting is her current passion. One of the absolute joys of parenting is watching to see if that "current" sticks around and flourishes from an interest to a full-blown hobby, or can be chalked up to a passing fancy.
*She's in the black top.*

Spent the day (June 25, 2010) at Discovery Island Waterpark: just me and my boy.
It made my heart sing with zeal!
 I must be getting old, however, because four hours in blazing 102 degree sun had my lids drooping at 8 p.m. on that Friday night!
Enjoying a cherry Icee!

Sam hanging on for dear life!

VBS June 27-July 1, 2010
The motley crew who ran Preschool Recreation (Me in the pink shorts in the middle.)

Chickens have dearly departed.
And I must admit to my mourning phase lasting all of about 2 minutes (maybe). Sold a handful to mySamuelson's Science teacher, Mrs. Kahue. The remaining 8 or so went to a man she recommended: the head maintenance man at mySamuelson's school. Was an interesting ride, as usual, Sugar led us through in another of his short-lived interests! Wouldn't trade the experience, or Sugar for that matter, for anything in the world though!

Ariel Star...
turned out to be an "Aaron Seth"!

Rick got a call from the vet a few hours after he dropped her it him off for spaying and front paws declawed. We had decided to make her a strictly indoor cat. The vet was calling to ask permission to, "... neuter, ummm, Ariel." We haven't broke the news to Mad. And have no plans to.

Mad adores dotes on loves that cat.
And as any "girly-girl would, unsurprisingly, she loves that he's a girl. I know, I know. That just didn't sound right at all! Have no doubt though. Aaron Ariel would be cast aside amidst heartbreak and tears were his her real gender exposed. I told Sugar we had a drag queen cat now: can't get a much better stage name then "Ariel Star"! LMBO! :) Yes, am aware that was a bit crass, but still absolutely hilarious!

A magical number for a little guy.
We celebrated mySamuelson's 6th birthday two different times: a tradition we started years back. On the actual day (March 4th), we had a private, family-only party at our home.

The "Scavenger Hunt for the presents" tradition we started when he was 5, once again was an H-I-T!

Two peas in a pod...

It's amazing to see how far the Technical Age has brought us.
From this...
which is what I played with when I was mySamuelson's age,

to this...

in 30 years.
 Sorta gives me the heebie-jeebies to think what another 30 will bring...

What we dub the "Friend Birthday Party" was thrown at a local bowling alley (mySamuelson's favorite pasttimes) with a number of friends invited.

A friend-of-a-friend did the cake.
 I know, too cool.

Checking out the score.
"Competitive" his middle name.

The cake and ice cream room.

Miss Grace and Punk

The presents remain the most exciting part of the event.

I asked mySamuelson recently to please quit growing so fast. He matter-of-factly answered a question with a question (which is his Daddy through-and-through!) "Don't you want to meet your grandkids, Mom?" Jeeze Louise...what was I thinking??? ;)

A sweet age for a Wemmick Princess.
In honor of the extra-special ocassion, we celebrated extravagantly.
Just like Princesses should!

The morning dtarted off with a brand new helmet and...

bike waiting for her in the Office!

After a few spins on the bike, we toook off for an afternoon of "pampering".
Although a bit unsure at first...
those feelings soon faded with the distraction of a Princess cupcake.

The beautiful up-do.

A bit of glitter.

A tad of lipgloss.
(No other make-up until an adolescent!
Yep, Sugar and I are quite traditional!)

And a starlet is born!

Of course a mani...

and pedi.

Princess Madalyn

Princesses have to eat too, so we swung by "Stevie B's" for that awesome staple, pizza!
Neat thing about "Stevie's" is they'll make you just about any type of pizza you can dream up!

One of my faves,
Mac N' Cheese pizza!
I promise it tastes alot better than it looks!

Although a mac n' cheese lover, guess the sight deterred Miss Grace who stuck with the traditional, and safe cheese pizza.

Played a few games in the Game Room,

and won BIG!
(Of course we expected no less given the specialty of the day.)

Yes, princesses are known to enjoy an occasional sport.

We wrapped-up the "day out" with a trip to "The Glazing Pot" where Miss Grace chose a cat treat jar to paint.

While I painted a coffee mug, with her handprint on it, to memorialize the blessed day.

The surprise that awaited her at home.

Her friends
celebrated with her a week later at McDonald's.

Care Bear cake

Hello Kitty paraphernalia

and good food

made for a great party!

"Daniel and The Lion's Den"

mySamuelson found a black widow and scorpion, within 24 hours of one another to boot, on our back porch! They have been frozen alive (yes, my conscious still twinges a bit at that), thawed, sprayed with hairspray (to immobilize) and pinned to a display case hung in his room.

New camera.
Takes great pictures. "Great", that is, when we occasionally hit the mark and manage to maximize its potential. Those who write manuals for electronics, whoever they are, hang steadily in the top 5 of my TP List. We have no idea very little idea how to use it.

Army National Guard plaque
I surrounded the plaque with pictures of my little sister in varying military scenes; among them, building bridges on the Euphrates in the Iraqi Freedom War and learning how to use chemical warfare gear in a training session back in the States.  She surprised me with this gift, which contains an American Flag patch and reads:
"Presented to an American Patriot for support of National Guard Soldiers who are Defending Freedom at Home and Around the World. The American Flag in this Case is a Replica of Those Worn by National Guard Soldiers.
The Flag Insignia is Reversed to Suggest the Flag is Flying in the Breeze as the Soldiers Move Forward."

Honor, Pride, Love, Self-Sacrifice, and Patriotism are but a few words that come to mind when I think about this sister, this extraordinary soldier, this amazing young woman.
She is MY hero.

For the past three weeks, Sugar has been calling from work inquiring if the mail had run. "Was there a letter from the DNR?" A few months back he registered to win a tag to go alligator hunting in the lowcountry of our great state (South Carolina).

 Nope, you're eyes aren't deceiving you. It's so crazy its earned a repeat:
Point blank, he's nuts.
Told me he'll be able to scratch this off of his Bucket List.
Only if he's still got an arm and hand left to hold the pen to scratch it off!
N-U-T-S if you ask me! I'll stick with getting my "high" from running!

Speaking of "running", completed 2 more races since the last one I posted. On May 29, 2010, Memorial Day Weekend, I competed in Freedom Weekend Aloft's Freedom 5k.
I ran it all!
First race I didn’t take a walk break!
And I couldn’t think of a better race to accomplish this. With family members having, and currently serving in the military, as well as a love for my America, this race held special meaning that reached a peak the final fifty yards to the finish line. American flags lined the course, leaving us running in between the glory of the stars and stripes. Most humbling. Most proud.
I finished 101 out of 155 participants, with a chip time of 28:49. Due to an ominous-looking sky, officials shortened the race to 2.8ish miles.

The Go Drive Run 5k was...

And I'm not talking about "uncomfortably" hot.
I'm talking a heat index of 103 degrees!

Most miserable run, race or otherwise, I've ever ran.

 looking fresh.

anything but "fresh"!

I did manage a 33:57 chip time, landing me 124th out of 212 and 6th out of 11 in my age group.
Given the weather, I'll take it!

I do have to share the humor Sugar wrung from something only the likes of him would pick up on!
Pay special attention to the black gentleman in the next three pictures.

Sugar teases me he crossed the finish line before me!
We don't know where he came from or what he was doing.  What's not pictured is how he walked off the course immediately following crossing the finish line!
Maybe he just wants to be able to say he "finished" a 5k!! 

Part of the reason for running this particular race was the perks.
The "Greenville Drive", for which the race is named for, is our town's Minor League Baseball team.
Runners were granted free admission to the game, free food and beverages and a special VIP lounge area at the stadium.
Enjoyed a rare date with the hubs!