Archive for the ‘home life’ Category

20 years

Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Whitten

A look at 20 years of marriage!! Made up of ingredients of laughter and tears, blissful joy and sorrow, selfishness and giving, love and hate (at times if we are truthful); all bound up in a dependence on God to mold us into him image, causing us to love like he loves, and to give like he gives. We still have many rough edges but God has been gracious in showing us our faults and giving us a heart of repentance.


on our way

On our way!


Honeymoon – hiking in North Carolina


Honeymoon – Kitty Hawk









Honeymoon – We traveled from Mississippi to North Carolina to Virginia and D.C. and back again.


Then we were on our way to Texas.

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After 18 months in Texas we moved to Greenville, South Carolina – the best place on earth.

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We bought our first house!

new baby

And… eventually brought home our first born.

Just a short 21 months later, we brought home our second born.

Just a short 21 months later, we brought home our second born.

We eventually added onto our little house.

We eventually added onto our little house.

The house grew and the kids grew.

The house grew and the kids grew.

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We have enjoyed many friends’ and family weddings throughout the years. It’s always a reminder of our own commitment to one another.

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My precious family!

Daniel and Karen horsepature river trail 2

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My Love!

My Love! Lets make it another 20 plus years!





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I had some crazy dreams when I was growing up. I’m sure that’s normal. It’s funny how these dreams drop from our desires and are replaced by more realistic ones and other ideal ones.

One of my dreams was to climb Mt. Everest. I use to think about how difficult and trying it would be and craved the challenge. Then one day I woke up and knew that I would never climb Mt. Everest because I really don’t like to camp and I have developed an aversion to frigid temperatures. The amazing thing is that I was okay with dropping that dream.

Another dream I had was to take up sky diving. The idea of falling and then gliding down to the ground filled my adolescent mind as the most thrilling thing I could do. But along the way (I think it occurred when I bore my first child), I developed a great fear of heights. One day I was okay climbing along cliffs and standing on the roof of a tall building, and the next day I was feeling dizzy, faint and sick to my stomach to climb to the top of my children’s playground. I now have a daughter that wants to sky dive and I smile and think, I wonder if her dream will last. I don’t discourage her, but I feel ulcers developing just thinking about her jumping out of a plane.

One dream that I had as a young girl, though, has stayed with me. Fear and discomfort has not rid me of the idea of being a beekeeper. Earlier this year I took a class, talked to other beekeepers, and read books and articles filling my head with everything I could. I prepared. My parents obliged my request for a bee hive for Christmas and I bought other supplies. IMG_6884 copySo this past Saturday, I became a beekeeper. As with everything my ideals and the actual reality didn’t match up. Handling bees is not easy! Before taking my bees home, I watched my instructor install a package of bees and it looked so simple. The bees were not very active. The instructor didn’t even wear gloves and took off his veil early on. So, I thought, I’ll do the same. My bees were a bit more active, though, and they let me know that they were not too pleased with me by giving me a couple of stings.

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My bees!!


I humbly donned my veil and gloves after that and the rest of the installation went well. I am super excited with my bees. After 48 hours I peeked in and saw they were making comb and cleaning house (they were pulling out bees who had died in the package).

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Building comb.

I’m thankful to be able to have bees. I have learned so much about God’s creation and amazing design just in learning about this small insect. We have an awesome creator!

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I saw a funny saying a couple of times on the internet that said something like, “We never really grow up. We just learn how to act in public.” I find there is much truth in that. I think a lot of my mother when she was my age and wonder how she seemed so much more grown up than I do now.  I now look at older people and believe that there is a kid inside, but they are just acting all grown up. I feel all my insecurities and still live in a dream world too much of the time and still feel the same about Christmas as I did when I was ten years old.  So I imagine my mother and maybe my grandmothers and teachers felt the same, but they knew “how to act in public.” My kids probably think that I am all grown up, but I won’t disillusion them at this point. 🙂

I thought of this saying at breakfast one morning when I found myself a child again.

When I was little, I loved nothing more than biscuits and honey.  My daddy called me Honey Bunny. 🙂


honey jar  Side note: One of those dreams that I like to muse on is one day having a farm with honey bees and rabbits. And it’s name – what else but Honey Bunny Farm. That’s probably a bit too cutesy for Daniel, but that’s okay for dreams.

Back to the story: When my mother fixed biscuits, I would grab a couple, pour honey on my plate and know that this was a bit of heaven.  When I finished my biscuits but still had honey on my plate, I would get another biscuit so as not to waste the precious nectar. Then I would have to get more honey to finish the biscuit. This could go on until I felt sick.

This was delightful except for one thing – I was a messy child and honey is sticky! I would get sticky honey in my hair, on my hands and who knows where else. Honey was always in my hair before I remembered the stickiness of my favorite food. I wasn’t overly concerned with this problem, obviously. How could I be, I was a child and honey was gold.

My childhood sticky messes came back to me this one morning as I ate breakfast. I toasted a bagel and spread coconut oil over it, and then poured warm honey on top. I love the taste of honey and coconut together! As I ate, I noticed the side of my hand had honey on it, then honey dripped onto my jeans. I was becoming uncomfortable with the state of myself. Then my chin felt sticky and my coffee cup was honey-up too. “Have I not grown up yet?” I wondered. Apparently not. So I laughed, cleaned up my mess, and remembered the sweetness of childhood with all its stickiness.honey pouring 2

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A pie in the making

My sweet husband bought me a lemon tree for Valentine’s Day last year. After waiting a few weeks, we found that there was a misunderstanding with the company, and no lemon tree was on its way. After clearing up the matter, we waited again. Finally a box arrived, and I ripped it open; only to find a clementine tree, not a lemon tree. A clementine tree is very nice and all, but I really wanted a lemon tree. Again, I called the company, and they said they would correct the error and send a lemon tree. After three weeks and no lemon tree, I called again. “Oh, we are out of lemon trees. We’ll send you one as soon as they come in.” Grrrrr!

But at long last a lemon tree found its way to our house. And soon we had blossoms! And the bees did their work!

bee on lemon flower

All summer we watched these green little fruit get larger and larger.

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We were beginning to think we had a lime tree because they stayed green for such a long time, but not long ago they started changing colors.

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Lemons!! Beautiful yellow, enticing lemons! I loved just looking at them.

Daniel asked several times, “What are you going to do with your lemons?” To be honest, I figured when I cut them open they would be dry or rotten or flavorless, so I just let them hang on the tree for a little while longer. Then, by accident I bumped one and it broke off and rolled onto the ground. I figured that meant it was time to cut the lemons opened and see what was inside.

I was pleasantly surprised to find lots of flavorful juice, much more than I imagined!

lemon juice

Terrifically exciting and enough juice from the two lemons to make a pie! One of my favorite pies!

lemon pie

I have great hopes for the three little green lemons that are hanging on the tree right now!

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