Friday, January 24, 2014

"Grow Your Blog" Party!

Hello, readers, new and old ~ Welcome to Oriental! Today is the annual "Grow Your Blog" Party. Hundreds of bloggers are sharing their lives, opening wide the front doors of their online homes and welcoming in many new friends. This party is organized by Vicki at "2 Bags Full."

I'm M.K., and I live in Oriental, North Carolina, U.S. It's the sailing capitol of North Carolina, and (some say) the cruising capitol of the east coast. Oriental is a beautiful, relaxing village on a seven-mile-wide river, on a 30-mile-wide sound, just off the Atlantic Ocean.

My husband Adam is a pastor here at a cute little Presbyterian church just outside of town.
We have four great kids; three of them are out of the house and living college and post-college lives.
Oriental is a small village that invites everyone to be active and involved. Lots of sailing happens here, of course.

my daughter in the sunfish
That's me, all bundled up last winter!
And my hubby Adam, sailing last fall
What do I do? I homeschool child #4 each day. And I have a small home business -- I make artisan soaps, hand lotion and lip balm.
 I knit and crochet a lot, and sell all these wares at our small local farmers market each Saturday morning.
I also write. You can read some of my books, short stories, and poetry right here on my blog. (See the tabs along the top.)
Residents of Oriental tend to walk, bike, and visit around town every day, with their dogs in tow. If it's raining, they just don their foul-weather gear and go out anyway! Adam loves being a pastor in a town like this; it's easy to meet everyone. He also keeps bees a little. (Note the bee page among the tabs.)
He teaches a class on making telescopes too, and teaches chess at a local school. I participate in a prayer shawl ministry, direct a hand-chime choir, and teach piano lessons. We've been on a weight-loss journey this year. Together, we've lost 80 lbs. thus far. We feel so much better! This year, Adam hopes to be a rower on a dragon boat in the town's annual race ~
Yes, we do. We have dragon boat races ... I kid you not :)
Most of all, we feel very blessed that God has planted us here in this spot. It's full of beauty.
Smith Creek at sunset
the Neuse River, late afternoon in winter

sunset over the big bridge
sunrise over the Neuse
In addition to these activities, we love to read, cook and bake, occasionally visit B-and-Bs, and brag about our dogs, Sandy and Beau.
Beau, last fall -- he's fluffier now
Sandy
We both love to study the Bible with our dear friends at church, and sometimes I write about those things too.
Thank you for stopping by! Please come back anytime. Leave a comment before you go ~ I'd love to hear from you :)

75 comments:

  1. loved your post and the photos, putting up my post tomorrow.

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    1. Looking forward to it, Sandra -- your life on the farm is always interesting to read. Photos from the beach too, please?? :)

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  2. What a lovely post about your life.

    Thank you for more glimpses into your life.

    FlowerLady

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    1. Hello, Lorraine! I hope you're having a fine Saturday down in warm Florida :)

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  3. Wow love where you live it's so pretty :) Have added you to my blogger. Blessings Amanda xx

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    1. Hello, Amanda! Welcome to the east coast. Thanks for coming by! Now I'll go look in on your blog.

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  4. I love the quote in your header; it's in my sidebar on my blog, too. Beautiful pictures. What a lovely area you live in! Visiting from GYB. Love your taste in books, too!

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    1. Hi, Deborah, and welcome! I'll have to go check our your quote -- I found it from Tasha Tudor, whose books I love. I was trying to figure out where you live -- "GYB" -- 'some part of Great Britain?' I thought. Haha!! It's Grow Your Blog. I guess we're all from there today, yes?

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  5. Hello, so nice to meet you I feel like I am travelling the world today. I live in the uk!
    .....popping by as part of the 'grow your blog day' Its such a lovely way to find super new blogs to read...I am joining along with you too
    bestest weekend wishes
    Daisy j

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    1. Glad to have you visit here, Daisy! I'm enjoying today's blog tour as well - how fun! I LOVE reading about people who live elsewhere around the globe. I'll go check out your spot too :)

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  6. Love your blog and your photos. Oriental looks like a slice of heaven on earth

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    1. Thank you, Nan! We really love it here, even though it's been pretty cold lately :) Thanks for visiting.

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  7. You certainly live in a beautiful place and I can tell you enjoy doing beautiful things, I want to know more so I'm a new follower and I thank you for stopping by Dogwood Lane too.
    Patrica

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Patrica. Isn't this fun?

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  8. hello, your blog is beautiful!! I'm following now!

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    1. Thanks so much, Janina! I've had such fun seeing new blogs today. Now I need to go find yours :)

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  9. Your Oriental is a beautiful place! It's the stuff of fairy tales, right on the water, with lots of dogs and people out and about. Thank you for introducing us to your world. Finding you from GYB -- isn't this fun?!

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    1. It IS fun! I've had a grand time today visiting blogs all over the world, and wonderfully discovering so many ladies with whom I have much in common. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Great post MK. Even thought I've been visiting you awhile I liked this and learned a few new things about you.

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    1. Thanks, WW/Leslie :) It's been a very fun day in blogland with this blogging party, as they call it. I've visited many new, great blogs, and found a few new ones I think I'll enjoy following :) We forget, sometimes, to tell the simplest things about ourselves b/c we forget that people don't know them! I've realized that as I've browsed other blogs and wondered, "What's her name?" "What country does she live in?"

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  11. Thanks so much for visiting and joining my blog on GYB! From Brevard to Oriental --- what a difference. My husband's older brother and his family live in Brevard, and we visit often. Looking forward to following you here. Have a most blessed day!

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    1. Welcome, Mary Ann! We do love Brevard, and I treasure the visits I have there with my parents. I lived there on and off, so I really know the town and area. What a beautiful location Thanks for popping over :)

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  12. i'm visiting from the GYBP and the area you live in is just gorgeous. You are a lucky girl!!

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    1. Thanks, Dawn, for stopping by. We really are thankful to live here. It's pretty much my ideal setting b/c I adore the water ... the more water the better! I love the mountains, but I must admit that big stretches of water soothe my soul. Have a great day!

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  13. Hi, MK. - dropping by, helping out Vicki with her blog reading this morning...welcome to the Blog Party - glad you've joined in. I must say, Oriental looks like something out of the movies - absolutely charming!!! Beautiful family (and the pups!) - looks and sounds like you're one busy lady! Have fun with the blog hopping - I know you're going to make as many wonderful, new friends through this as I have over the years - will be back later to do some more reading. Happy Saturday - Tanya

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    1. Tanya -- many, many thanks to all of you who have worked so hard to make this day "work." What a blessing it has been to so many people! I've thoroughly enjoyed spending much of today visiting so many blogs, and I KNOW I have found a few true kindred spirits out there. Isn't it marvelous that we can share the beauty of our lives, in so many divergent places, with people around the world? Thanks again!

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  14. Sounds like a wonderful life and a beautiful spot to live in. I am visiting from the GYB party.

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    1. Welcome! Thanks for stopping by and seeing beautiful Oriental on the Neuse :)

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  15. Hi M.K., just dropping by, as part of the blog party. I love, love, love the pictures in your blog !! My goodness, I think I will visit your area one, it just looks divine! Enjoy the blog hopping, it's nice to meet others with like minded lifestyles.

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    1. Yes, it's been a very fun day, hopping from blog to blog and meeting everyone. Vicki has done a huge favor to us all! Thanks for stopping by!

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  16. I loved reading about your life M.K! You do such interesting things, all working within God's purpose for your life! Oriental looks beautiful! I'd love so much to live by the sea! Your crafts that you do for a living ate really impressive too! Thank you so much for sharing! X

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    1. Hi, Kezzie -- thanks so much :) I am thankful to live here, and it seems that after years of moving us around "hither and yon," as they say, God has decided to allow me the blessing of living here by the big waters. I hope we serve Him well here.

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  17. What a gorgeous place you live in M.K.

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    1. Thanks, Dasha! And thank you for dropping by my blog today!

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  18. Hi MK, Joining in from the Grow Your Blog hop. I enjoyed stopping by your blog. You sound like a really nice person who loves her family and her faith. I enjoyed your pictures very much. The Dragonfly shot was one of my favorites. I am now following your blog. Have a wonderful day.

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  19. What a wonderful space you inhabit - such a sweet post.

    Popped by from GYBH. Stop by and visit me some time ~
    www,thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi, Tami - welcome to Oriental, NC! It's been a fun day of blog surfing today. I'll come visit you too.

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  20. Thank you so much, Ida -- and welcome to Oriental!! I was so thrilled with that dragonfly photo. I'm not really much of a photographer, but my hubby did buy me a better camera. My old one would NOT focus on anything close up. That photo was really a gift :) Thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to chatting with you later!

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  21. i love your pics in this post. you could link that church up to our link we have every Saturday "InSPIREd Sunday" but that is not the reason i am here ... back to the subject at hand. ha. ha!! hi there. i'm Beth from E. Lizard Breath Speaks - so nice to meet you through the Grow Your Blog get together/party. ( :

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    1. Thank you, Beth! :) It is a pretty little church. When people ask which church he pastors, we always tell them it's the pretty white church, the prettiest one in the county. This has been a fun bloggy day. Now I'll go over and find YOUR blog spot!

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  22. Hello, I'm visiting from the GYB party. Your quaint little town of Oriental sounds like a wonderful place to live. Your church is very pretty and you have a beautiful family.

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    1. Thanks for visiting here, Judith! This blog party visiting is amazing, isn't it? I've had such fun.I'll come find your blog home too. Blessings to you!

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  23. Beautiful scenery picture and lovely handworks too. Nice to meet you through GYB party:)

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    1. Welcome to Oriental :) Thank you for stopping by and being part of the party!

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  24. I've loved stopping by your blog and will definitely be following! My husband proposed to me in Duck, N.C. years ago and we love the beaches there. I also used to go to Nags Head every year with my parents during the summer. Such good memories.:) I'm a homeschooler and Christian mom, too! We have lots in common! Please feel free to enter my giveaway and I'd love it if you followed me, too.:) Lori

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    1. I'll definitely be jumping over to your blog soon -- so many lovely comments this morning to respond to, when I woke up!! NC is a beautiful state, with so much variety. And I'm so very thankful to at last live by the water. I find it so soothing. It's nice to find kindred spirits out in blog land :)

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  25. That sounds like a very nice place to be in the ministry. My father pastored a small church in a small desert town when I was a child and it was one of my family's better experiences as far as being a part of the lives of the people in our assembly and being involved in the community.
    Btw, my husband's family is from NC. :-) We're hoping to visit there again this year if the Lord wills.
    I am visiting your blog through the Grow Your Blog party, but I was too late to join, so I'm not linked from the page - just blog hopping. :-)

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    1. Hi, M.E. -- I'll come see your blog today. Thanks for stopping by Oriental :) I do love being here, and Adam has at last found a place for ministry that really corresponds to his gifts. It's a good fit. Blessings to you and yours!

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  26. Great page :-)

    Your Beau has me longing for another Pomeranian ... so I've showed him to my husband {{several times since tuning into your Page ;-)}} hoping I will have another one this time next year.

    Following too.

    ~Val

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    1. Hello, Val -- yes, we do love our Beau. We're actually a Sheltie family (well, my husband is a devout lover of Shelties), and we happened upon Beau as a kind of personal rescue dog. Some boaters couldn't keep him, so they gave him to us. He's pretty barky, but I adore him -- I've always wanted a lap dog, and boy, does he qualify! haha :) I hope you get your new Pom this year.

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  27. What a busy lady you are! Your life sounds positively idyllic ... especially to someone who lives in another dimension (California)! ;o) I'm here tonight on a quick pass for Vicki's GYB, but I'll be a frequent visitor...Sara

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    1. Welcome to Oriental, Sara Kate! Thanks so much -- life here is great. I do try to leave out the onerous parts :) Don't we all? It's been such a fun blog party. Glad you stopped by!

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  28. Thank you for showing me around lovely Oriental which I had never heard of before today! It must be very satisfying that people want to buy your knitting and crochet. I will be following your happy blog.

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    1. Thanks, Una. I really enjoyed visiting your blog. (I don't 'follow', but I do read a blog list on my feed reader, and I've added yours, so I'll be there a lot :) ) It is good to have buyers for my yarn stuff, because that means I can BUY MORE YARN. That's so important for us yarn addicts, haha!!!

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  29. Hi MK, thanks for dropping in on one of my blogs earlier...... Now it's my turn to drop in and visit with you, and such a lovely time.....and yes, it seems we share a passion for handmade soaps, crochet and God! With this in mind, you may also enjoy visiting my other blog when and if you feel the inclination. Hugs from Sharm in Australia
    www.countryfragrance.blogspot.com And www.the7pillarshome.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi, Sharm -- I did very much enjoy visiting both your blogs, and you're right -- I'll probably spend time at 7 Pillars. Really like what you have to say, and I will thoroughly enjoy reading about your homemaker ideas and the new retreat!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  30. I'm visiting from the Grow Your Blog party. It is so nice to meet you, Sandy and Beau. plan to look around a bit more and then be on my way to visit the others. I do hope you will stop by for a visit and enter my giveaway. Have a wonderful weekend! Hugs – Donna

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    1. Hi, Donna -- I'll definitely be over to your blog later today. Thanks for stopping by! It's been a very fun blog party, hasn't it?

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  31. HI M. K. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such sweet comments. I have been very slow about getting around blogland today....but every visit brings such nice people into my home. Your church is lovely.....and your hometown and family sound wonderful. I love that you make your own soaps and lotions.

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    1. Welcome, Catie An -- thanks for coming by. It's been a lovely blog party, and I'm also slow at visiting all the ones I plan to. THere are SO SO many! Have a blessed day.

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  32. Hi and thank you for visiting my blog! I love your blog and your photos are just lovely. I was born in Morehead City and still have family there but have never explored the coast as much as I'd like. Am looking forward to following you :-) Hugs, Terri

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    1. That's neat, Terri! I really like Morehead, and we go there fairly often for a date (or to Beaufort), and of course to go to the beach at Ft. Macon. It's a great area. Thanks for stopping by!

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  33. Hello M.K.
    Visiting from the Grow Your Blog Party. You live in a beautiful place. Love your post and photo's. Living in the Netherlands. ( I'm a preacher's daughter :).
    Will follow you.
    So fun to meet so many bloggers.

    Blessings to you and your lovely family !!
    Wilma, shabbyroyale.blogspot.nl

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    1. Welcome, Wilma! I'll hop over to your blog too. This has been a great party, and I've already met such interesting kindred spirits out there in blog land. Have a great day!

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  34. I participated in last year's blog party, not this year's, but couldn't help scanning the participants for interesting new-to-me blogs! Sounds like we have some things in common: Christ, homeschooling, beloved dogs, and knitting to start with. I'll be back!

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  35. I have been working my way through the blog hop slowly and enjoyed your post and your reflections on the hop as well. It made me realize I should have a picture of myself a little easier to find! I will get on that. We are beekeepers in SC and dream of running my own small business someday. Thanks for sharing the glimpse into what you do. :)

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  36. Hi MK - thankyou for visiting my blog - I have enjoyed looking around your blog and learning all about you!

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  37. Good Morning! I'm from NC too! Love your part of the state!

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  38. Wow, you are busy! Greetings from the west coast!

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  39. Hello MK
    - how lovely to meet you here! You live in a beautiful corner of our amazing world.
    I love your blog and we have much in common.
    Yours is the first blog to mention yachting!
    We love boating too and live in Auckland, New Zealand with a great harbour and islands to sail to!
    You are talented - I can almost smell your lavender soap!..

    I'll be back later when this party quietens down.
    I would love you to come over and meet me and enter my Giveaway - a vintage fabric and lace collage.
    Have fun and enjoy the party!
    Hugs and blessings to you all.
    Shane




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  40. Hello MK, firstly thanks for coming over to my blog in the party, I really appreciated it and now here I am taking a nosey around yours. I'm exhausted just reading about all the activities you do! How on earth do you find time to get everything done particularly as you are also home schooling your kid. I'm impressed! Your photos of the views around where you live are stunning, I love the dragonfly. So I look forward to finding out more about you as we blog along together.

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  41. The coast of NC is such a beautiful place and you are lucky to live there. Visiting from the GYB and a new follower as I love reading your many and varied posts.

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  42. Oriental, NC. I've never heard of it before. Have family in NC and a best friend, too. It certainly sounds like a lovely little town. Anywhere that encourages walking and outdoor activity all year long is a very good place to be in my book. And when you are in a small town, it is easy to get involved in so many wonderful causes, to give back and to connect. Your space at the Farmer's Market sounds fabulous. Blessings, Tammy

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  43. So nice to meet you!! I had never heard of Oriental, NC. Your creations are beautiful - I knit and crochet as well and I look forward to visiting often!! xoxo Silke

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  44. Hi, nice to meet you and your family here. Thank you for sharing part of your life with us here. You seem to have a very full and rewarding life. Happy hopping!

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Hello! I hope you leave a word ~ I will get back to it as soon as I can!