October 31, 2011

Homecoming 2011

Mike's worst nightmare came true this past Saturday.....Victoria was old enough to attend her FIRST homecoming dance in High School. I think he had heart palpitations all evening and probably gave himself a couple of ulcers in the meantime.

Victoria and I went dress shopping several weeks ago and for the first time no one walked out in tears - score!

I helped her pick out the cutest little Jessica McClintock cocktail dress. She wasn't too keen on it while it hung on the hanger but once I begged her to put it on she didn't want to take it off. She looked amazing in it. I was also secretly happy that she chose the dress because I wore Jessica McClintock dresses for all of my formal occasions in high school. Her designs are always classy and sophisticated; you can't go wrong with that.

Victoria attended the dance with a group of friends and her "date" was a young man named Spencer who is a really sweet Southern boy. He got the "okay" from Mike and I was charmed with his manners. I think they had a good time and secretly if she had to choose a boyfriend he ranks #1 on my list. He is one of the schools mascots and his step-father is the Principle of the 9th grade Academy. Vic seems to have surrounded herself around a really good group of kids and that is always a nice feeling for a parent You are always going to worry about who your child hangs out with but this group seems to be grounded and most are involved in honor classes, sports and academic clubs. They come from good families who stay involved with their children's life. That is very important these days. I admire the parents that know what their child is doing and where and who they are hanging out with. It's hard to keep up with your teenager so when the parents know their child's "business" it shows me that they care and are on top of their children's every move. Some may call it overbearing but I don't...I call it being responsible.

Of course, Brody had to have a picture with his Sissy all dressed up. Too bad he couldn't have been her date....or at least old enough to keep his eye on her during the dance ;)


October 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Pappaw!

Today my Pappaw would have turned 80 years old. I am so lucky to have had him in my life for the past 32 years. I was his "Darling" and in his eyes I hung the moon. I will always remember our trips to Kure Beach, taking Sunday drives listening to CCR but most importantly I will remember how much he loved me. I am blessed that he was able to spend the past 3 years with Brody teaching him all the "old tricks" he taught me...."how the horsey eats the corn" , "I got your nose",  and "singing "Picking up Paw Paws".

Happy Birthday, Pappaw. You are loved and missed.

October 20, 2011

J. Lancaster Photography for my Concord peeps

Several weeks ago before things became a major roller coaster ride for my family I had a very dear friend of mine take a few pictures of Brody and I on her parents land. It's lovely when you can use God's background as a backdrop for your photographs! We had a pond, weeping willow and a red rocking chair; sounds lovely to me.

My friend Jennifer Lancaster owns J. Lancaster Photography and she does an excellent job with all sorts of occasions, people and pets. I highly recommend her and I am not just saying that because I have to...she really is talented and has a great eye.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from my mini session with her:

October 16, 2011

Things I am missing...

With my Pappaw being so ill the past year it's taken me (mentally) away from some things that I find joyful and theraputic. I am going to get back to that....like yesterday. I have been all consumed in everyone elses business that it's time to self consume so here is my list:

I am truly missing my photograhy so that is going to start again soon!!

Church! I have missed a couple of Sundays now. I need to get back to my people.

Fall Fashion!! I am itching to get all of my fall clothes out and start wearing them!!

Fall Leaves -- So beautiful

HALLOWEEN!!!! I can't wait to decorate!

Baking and decorating Halloween sweets with Victoria

Going to Marks Melon Patch to pick out our family pumpkins <3

Getting a good book and reading it start to finish....promise.

Coffee Dates at Starbucks <3 <3 <3

October 15, 2011

Georgia On My Mind and in My Heart

Got Georgia on my mind....can't wait to get back to my home, husband and daughter.

~ My Life and all things in it are good ~

Georgia, Georgia,
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I'm say Georgia
A song of you
Comes as sweet and clear
As moonlight through the pines

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

I said Georgia,
Ooh Georgia, no peace I find
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

No peace, no peace I find
Just this old, sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I said just an old sweet song,
Keeps Georgia on my mind

October 14, 2011

James Martin Carriker (A Family Tribute)

Today we laid my Pappaw to rest and the following Eulogy was written and read by my Great Aunt Janet Green whom did a wonderful job this afternoon.

James Martin Carriker was born on October 26, 1931, to Allison Conner and Mary Elizabeth Cullins Carriker. He was their second son and fifth child. He was little brother to Nellie, Todd, Dean and Son and big brother to DeWitt, Ivey, Janet, Bill and Shelia. Named for both of his grandfathers, James Monroe Carriker and Martin Luther Carriker, he was proud of his heritage, coming from a strong Irish, German and Scottish lineages. Mama always felt like he looked like her side of the family with his dark Irish looks. He loved his big family and remembered fondly growing up during the hard depression years with a loving Mama and Daddy who managed to feed their household and any of their friends who happened to be at the house during meal time.

Jim was educated in Concord City schools; however, he had innate skills that were not taught in the classroom at that time. He understood construction and could build an addition to his house or even a garage with little or no training. He loved to refurbish old cars and trucks throughout his adult years and had an active business reselling them. It seemed he could do anything with his hands that one could ask of him. At an early age he went to work for Cannon Mills and later trained as an electrician. During his career, he worked as an electrician for both Cannon Mills and Jim Vending Company.

As a young man, Jim was infatuated with cars. I understand that he may have received a few tickets after he got his drivers license. He was even known to out run the police one night when he did a strange rigging of a bicycle inner tube to his tail pipe and evidently was disturbing the sleepy town of Concord's evening peace. The only problem was the police knew where we lived and was parked in the driveway when he got home. And as we all know that did NOT set well with Daddy. I can remember Mama telling me that after a boy turned 16, you just had to give them to God and let Him take care of him. I think she was referring to her errant son Jim, just to name one of them.

However, it did not take long for him to leave his adolescence behind him and settle down. He met Eva Bell Carroll, the love of his life, and they married shortly thereafter in April of 1951. She was his loving companion for 55 years until her death in 2006. They gave birth to their one and only child, James Delany Carriker, whom his Grandmother Carriker renamed Jimbo as a little boy. When he outgrew that "love name," we later called him Little Jimmy. Jim remained a proud Daddy as long as he lived, welcoming Terry into his family as his only daughter upon hers and Jimmy's marriage. The birth of a granddaughter, Jamie Cullins Carriker, gave him great delight. He eas her Pappaw, and she was his little darling. She did little to no wrong in his eyes and together they were quiet a pair. When she married Michael, he immediately became family as Jim's grandson and Victoria, his great granddaughter. They became part of his loving family. He lived to see little Brody, his great grandson, born and took great pride in telling me what a special little one he was and chuckled when he told me what mischief he could get into.

Jim's hobbies included hunting and fishing, collecting guns, NASCAR races, cars and the New York Yankees. He also loved listening to and singing Gospel music. He was one of the few Carrikers of our branch of the family who could carry a tune. He loved the Statler Brothers and the Statesman Quartets in particular. Jimmy had a hard time making him appreciate Rock music with the exception of the Creedance Clearwater Revival. He loved teaching Jamie and Brody their childhood songs.

Jim, as is characteristic in our family, loved children. He used to tease me and say "Just let me have Jay and Jann for about two weeks, and I will spoil them so badly, you will never get it out of them. I'll make them mean as snakes." He loved to tease and play with all of our children. He was always a supportive big brother to me, and I always loved seeing him. He and Eva always welcomed me into their home. When I needed to earn money to return to college between my freshman and sophmore years, they hired me as their summer babysitter for Jimmy. When Marty was running for Judge , they manned a voting station, believing in him and convincing others that he was the best man for the job. Those who knew Jim knew that if you did not want his full opinion on a subject that you better not ask him. He was a straight talker. He told you what he believed was "God's Truth".

Jim stole our hearts and at our last "Most Like Momma's Cooking Contest, when he won first place for the dish he entered in the contest. And he cooked it himself. He took probably the hardest dish he could have chosen and made it taste the most like Momma's. He even made her turnip greens and cornbread dumplings. However, we did learn his secret. He boldly told us that Eva Bell taught him how to make it. He said that after she got so sickand could not cookthat she would sit at the dining room table and would dictate every detailand technique he needed to know in order to cook their meals. And that was how he learned to make the turnip greens and dumplings.

When Jim was fearful that he may have had cancer last December, he told me he was ready to die and meet his maker, but he did not want to die. Once he was diagnosed he gave it a valiant fight. He told me more than once during his struggle that he had lived to see another day and was grateful. Although he was noticeably growing weaker, he told me just last week on Monday that his pain was great and each day was gift. We talked at length that day, sharing family stories and reminiscing about growing up. His mind was sharp, but his body was weak. Just three days later he was in a coma, fighting for every breath with Jimmy, Terry, Jamie and Brody rarely leaving his bedside. They were great caregivers (second to Scooter, his pet dachshund), giving back the love that they had known from him and Eva Bell.

Now Jim is cancer-free and joined Ivey this week in rejoicing in Paradise in  the loving and welcoming arms of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is now reunited with Eva Bell, Mama and Daddy, Todd and Ray, Dean and Elmer, Son and Frankie, Terry, Ivey and Dewey. He now knows that joy unspeakable. Let's work on trading in our grief for his joy and rejoice with him.

Written by:
Janet Green

October 1, 2011

A Trip to Hodges Pumpkin Patch

Since it's OFFICIALLY my most anticipated season we *had* to visit the local pumpkin patch for some Fall fun! We visited the Hodges Family Farm & Pumpkin Patch in Charlotte, NC and we were not disappointed.

I had never heard of this local patch but my artsy friend, Beth Feedback told me about it and turns out she was setting up a face painting and pumpkin painting booth at the farm for the season.....so that was a bonus!

We rolled up to the farm thanks to my handy GPS system and I was not disappointed. Red wagons were waiting on families to fill them up with pumpkins of every size!! And believe me.....they had every size imaginable and Brody wanted one of every size available.

Mom and him settled on one large one, one mid-size and two smaller gourd like pumpkins. Brody walked away a happy camper and Mom was just as happy to have pumpkins this early to adorn her front porch. 

We battled the breezy weather and took our pumpkins home to decorate the front steps of the Carriker bungaolow....pine cones were added by Brody. I think that the steps turned out good for being decorated by a 3 year old! He was mighty proud of himself!!

After arranging the front steps it was time to do our evening ritual.....feeding the deer in my parents back yard. Even though they live in the city they still have a family of deer that come and eat dinner in their backyard every night that corn is laid out for them to dine on. There are 4 smaller deer and one large Buck that makes his nightly appearance. As usual, Alex slept through the whole ordeal but Brody was squealing from the inside out with excitement.  He loves feeding the deer just as much as the deer love the corn.

Groupon Love and Painted Ladies

Several weeks back I purchased a Groupon that I couldn't pass up from Insect Lore. It was a coupon that was for hatching your own butterflies. I am not sure if "hatching" is the correct term (I'm sure it's not) but that is what it felt like we were doing.

I was probably more excited than anyone in our house when the larvae finally arrived! We had 5 tiny wormy like things that turned into HUGE caterpillars overnight. It was o-mazing! After a few days they do their thing and bundle up in a cocoon for several days. Before you know it you have 5 pretty orange butterflies fluttering around in your butterfly net house. It was so cool. We all enjoyed the experience....even us big kids! It is definitely worth buying the kit if your little ones love bugs! It's neat to see them start as little tiny worms and end up beautiful Painted Ladies!