Saturday, January 31, 2015


Well, I figured if I went to chrome I could get my pictures to upload!  I wanted to post some sweet memories from over the holidays.

McKenzie was sad that she was missing out on family birthdays.  She asked me about doing something special for Mariah while she was here for Christmas.  A couple days before Christmas I took Matthew and Mariah out to finish their shopping.  It was a great excuse to get her out of the house so McKenzie and Madeline could set things up.  Mariah loves ALL things sweet (She comes by that naturally!), and McKenzie had the idea to do a snowflake themed hot chocolate bar.  She had every topping imaginable!

 Mariah was very surprised when we walked in.  Everything looked so pretty!
 My heart is happy when I see my children having fun with each other and loving each other!

                                       I sure do love these girls!

After Christmas Madeline went home with McKenzie for a few days.  They had a great time visiting and running around together!  I am so grateful that she is close enough to still get to spend time with her!

                                                   ~Deer Season~
So, I used to think the whole hunting thing was strange and eating deer was gross!  Then I got tired of the price of grass fed beef! :o)  We were blessed last year with an entire grass fed cow put in our freezer!  It has been wonderful to have, because I sure couldn't afford organic meat at the grocery store!

Several years ago Marc and Matt started deer hunting.  We had some friends that showed them the ropes with processing it themselves.  It is kind of cool that they can now go out and kill a deer and several days later my freezer has meat in it!  (I have NOTHING to do with any part of it except cooking!)

                                               Malachi going on a hunt with daddy!

And.......... they came home with a deer!

This was a funny story.  The back of our property is wooded behind the barn.  Madeline told Matt she would go hunting back there with him.  She walked back there one evening and waited on Matt to come.  He literally walked back there, she whispered,  "Look over there."  He watched it until he had a good shot and he got his first deer of the season!   Easiest hunt ever! :o)

                                                  She is a pretty cute hunter!

Another night Matthew went hunting down the road from us.  He was determined to get another deer so he could give some meat to McKenzie and Daniel.  He came home with another one!  We were definitely blessed this year!

I can't believe that January is gone!  It has been a cold one and I am glad to see it go!  We have had sunny days in the 50's this week.  I am looking forward to spring!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

late night ramblings...

I have had several  posts that I wanted to write, but my computer that has all of my pictures on it won't let me upload for some reason.  
So, tonight I am sitting in my bed with my laptop.  Marc bought me this Dell laptop last fall and it drives me crazy!  The touchscreen is very "touchy"! I am not very techy.  I love when things work and get very frustrated when they don't.
I was scrolling through some old e-mails and found this poster that Madeline sent to me shortly after McKenzie got married.  She wrote, "I hope one day we have what you and McKenzie had."  She is such a sweet girl.  As McKenzie got older she did become one of my best friends.  I probably talked to her more than anyone other than Marc.  I am very grateful for that time with her and I think because I know how quickly it goes, I am soaking up the time with my next oldest children.  Madeline has really stepped up to the plate.  There is a lot of responsibility in a large, busy homeschooling family.
McKenzie has been busy doing lots of different things since she got married. She is teaching piano lessons, sewing lessons, helping a busy mama with her little ones, and she has also been helping an older lady with some cleaning/organizing.  The lady commented on how she is the first girl that has really known how to clean.  She said she had hired many girls even older than her from the college and they didn't know how to clean.  That is so foreign to us, but it made me realize how important it is to train our children in practical things.  I thought about that today when I told one of my younger ones to do a task and when I went back it was done halfway.  I sent the child back and told them to finish it completely.  I always expected excellence out of McKenzie and it has paid off.  She is a very capable young woman now and I want that for all of my children!

I know it is the end of January and most people aren't thinking of their New Year's goals anymore.  Every year Marc challenges us to write down some goals we have for the new year.  I am a perfectionist by nature, and I tend to shy away from making too many goals because I don't want to fail.  I am trying to learn that I can work on things and any improvement is a good thing.
One of my goals for the year is to do more field trips with my children.  I've already signed up for two really cool ones!  I did so much of that kind of stuff with my older kids, I feel like my younger ones don't get to go and see things as much.  I am going to try to change that!  I want to spend more one on one time with my little guys reading to them.  My fondest memories of home schooling over the years is the time spent reading out loud to my children.  Myles loves to be read to. He will sit and listen to book after book.  I want to spend more time reading my Bible.  This is a hard one for me at the stage that my family is at.   Most people read their Bible in the morning or evening.  Both of those times of day are extremely busy.  I end up reading short bits during the day. I don't always feel like I have long meaningful stretches of time to really focus on my reading.  I have to have quiet to focus and my household is anything but quiet!  Another goal that I set was to start doing some different exercises.  I have been a distance runner for years.  It is nothing for me to run 55-60 miles a week.   I love running!  It is as much for my mental health as it is for my physical.  I bought a kettle bell set and I have added a workout that I do three days a week.  Matthew told me this week that he can tell my arms look stronger. Ha-ha..  He may just be trying to make me feel good. :o)  The last goal I made was to try to cut our budget.  Marc and I did the Dave Ramsey course this past fall.  We are hoping to get our house paid off early and to do that we are going to the cash envelope system.  I have never been a big spender and we don't have debt except the house, but I have never given it much thought as to what I spend each month.  Groceries are probably going to be the hardest thing for me!
Well, I probably should go to bed.  It has been a long day today and we have an early morning tomorrow. Hopefully I will figure out what is wrong with my desktop and I can upload some of my pictures.  Life has been busy!


Friday, January 23, 2015

And the winner is....


We put the names in a hat and Matthew did the drawing! :o)

 If you will send your full name and mailing address to I will hook you up with Elizabeth so you can pick out your clip!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015


There have been lots of you on here and only five entries for the flexi-clip give away!  You have nothing to lose.... so enter! :) (And with so few entries a good chance of winning! )

I will draw a winner on Friday and announce it late Friday evening.  So hurry up and enter for your chance to win a FREE flexi clip!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's A Giveaway!!!

 My friend Elizabeth with Lilla Rose asked me if I would like to do a giveaway on my blog.  I have never done one before, but here we go!
  She has sold Lilla Rose for a couple of years and gives a portion of her proceeds to missions.
 If you have never tried flexi-clips you should enter the give away!
The clips come in different sizes and styles.  They are a pretty alternative to the big plastic claw clips.  My girls have lots of hair and it is an easy way to get their hair out of the way but still look pretty and feminine.

The best thing about them is that they are easier on their hair than most hair clips we have tried.  

        The up dos are my favorite!

So, if you would like to win one of these beautiful clips, all you have to do is leave  a comment and sign your first name to it. If you would like to have more than one entry you can post about this giveaway on your website or blog as well as share about it on Facebook (Just make sure you comment to let me know that you have done so!) You can have up to three entries. If you post about this giveaway be sure to link back to this post and share Elizabeth's business page!
*This giveaway is open to readers who are not currently registered as Lilla Rose Customers since her goal is to spread the Lilla Rose love and give someone the chance to try the flexi-clips who has not yet had the opportunity.

The winner will need to register on Elizabeth's site as a new customer and she will send the free flexi to you.

Offer valid in the US only. Offer is for one free item $16 or less available on the Lilla Rose website. Offer good for new online customers only, one per household. No cash value or exchanges. Must be 16 years of age. Registering on the Lilla Rose website with a valid personal email address is required to take advantage of this offer. 
For readers who are not currently a Lilla Rose customer, she is also offering a Buy 3 get 1 free coupon.  All you need to do is register as a customer at and purchase 3 items. *Offer valid in the US only.  Offer is for one free item $16 or less available on the Lilla Rose website.  Offer good for new online customers only, one per household. No cash value or exchanges.  Must be 16 years of age.  Registering on the Lilla Rose website with a valid personal email address is required to take advantage of this offer.

So... there you have it!  Start entering!

Friday, January 9, 2015


One of the many Christmas traditions that I have fond memories of from my childhood is making our Christmas Advent calendar. 

I remember each year being so excited as my mom would be drawing the lines on the poster board and I knew it meant a fun evening of making square calendar tags to put on each day.  She always had tons of stuff to use because she was such a crafty gal!  I on the other hand.... we usually have crayons, colored pencils, markers and lots of glitter!  I remember years ago using ribbon, but that was before I had all these little boys! :o)

I remember thinking that my mom and my brother did the most amazing calendar ornaments!  My brother's were always so elaborate! :o)  We don't get into it quite that much around here.  The kids had fun with a huge pack of glitter glue this year.  I think the boys just liked squeezing it all out!

To me the finished calendar is always beautiful!  I always pick one that each child made and tuck it away.  I realize now that I am older and my mother is gone, that you do those things for yourself.  My kids will wonder why I saved them all, but to me they are a memory from the past and a treasure!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

LiFe is mEsSy...

when you have boys!
                            I'm not sure why I buy baskets.  Nice idea....

"Look mommy!  I'm just like Bubbie!" :o)

These two are quite the duo.  Why have a bowl of Cheerios when you can have the whole container!?

We have a sign in their room and it says:

Boy:  n-  "a noise with dirt on it"


Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy Birthday, Mariah!!!

My New Year's Day gift 12 years ago!  I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was a cold, rainy New Year's Eve and I was big pregnant and trying to celebrate my seven year old little boy's birthday.  I went to the midwife and then headed to Brusters to buy an ice cream cake (feeling like a failure for not making one! ;o)  I was contracting pretty much that whole day but was determined that I would celebrate Matthew's birthday before I went to the hospital.  I think my midwife thought I was crazy for heading home.  (We were living in the Atlanta area at the time and the hospital was a good 45 minutes from us!)  We got through our family party, and I even bathed Madeline (my "baby" at the time) and tearfully tucked her into bed.  (It is always sad to me to see the little one booted out of the "baby" spot.)  My mom was there to watch my children and at about 9:00 that evening Marc and I headed to the hospital.  By the time I got there I was hurting pretty bad and the contractions were coming very close together.  Mariah's birth was one of my most peaceful births.  While no natural childbirth is easy, it was one of my best births. 
 All of my deliveries before Mariah (and the three after) have always had others attend the birth.  I have never minded, but there was something sweet and peaceful about this new little life entering the world in the middle of the night with just Marc and I (and our midwife) there.  Mariah is my only baby that was born with no "glitches" at all.  We have had transitioning issues with several of our babies and other minor things.  Mariah was born, they left our room and we just enjoyed our baby.  It was a very peaceful birth. (And she was the first baby born at that hospital for the year 2003!  She even made the paper! :o)
Mariah has brought much joy to our family!  She has always been a funny little girl.  She says funny things, but does NOT want to be funny.   You would think with her personality that she would like to go and "do" things, but she is my biggest homebody!  This year for her birthday I asked her what she would like to do.  I even suggested that we load up and go ice skating.  She told me she wanted to stay home.  When I asked her what she wanted to do, her response was,  "Just hang out."  Contentment is one of her strong character qualities.  When she was younger she would try to give all of her stuff away.  She was always throwing stuff from her room out because she "didn't need it."  I have the hardest time shopping for her for Christmas and her birthday because she never asks for anything.  I hope she is always that content!

One of the things she wanted to do on her birthday was go shooting.  Marc took her back in the woods to let her shoot.

She loves horses just as much as McKenzie did.  She spent her afternoon (until dark and she had to get off!) riding her horse "Candy".

The crown she is wearing in the above picture was given to her when she was born.  She has had her picture taken every year since! 

This sums up her personality!

                                                                    My middle three!

The only thing she asked for was skirts.  She also got a purse, tea pot and a camo hat.  Quite the mix, huh!? :o)
She requested tater tot casserole and a chocolate sheet cake.  My birthday kids were pretty easy on me this year! 
Matt ate dinner with us before he had to head to work, but he missed the cake and present time.  When he got home he gave her a gift and then he had more than his share of cake and ice cream! :o)

My prayer for Mariah is that she would continue to grow and mature as a Christian.  I pray that she will always seek after the Lord's ways even when it is tough.  I pray that she will always be willing to stand alone and do what is good and right.  I pray that she will always be content to live simply and enjoy the everyday things in life.  I pray that the Lord will bless her and keep her all the days of her life.
 "For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, and to keep His commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess."  Deuteronomy 30:16
I love you "Lou"!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 19th Birthday, Matthew!

On New Year's Even nineteen years ago I sat snuggling my newborn baby boy.  It is hard to believe that he is grown!  I couldn't be more proud of the Godly young man that he has become.  I have seen him grow and mature so much in the past two years.  He went from being a boy that just went along with what his parents taught and believed to a man questioning things and having a faith of his own.  The last few years have been hard in some ways for our family.  Years full of changes and some trials.  One thing that has been hard is trying to find a church home.  One positive that has come from being in different churches though is our oldest children have learned the importance of evangelism.  My "introvert" son has turned into a man that doesn't mind standing alone,  talking about his faith or passing out tracts.  His coworkers and classmates know he is different and Matthew doesn't mind that.
I am so thankful that he comes home after being out in the world and talks about the things he has encountered.  He doesn't waver from what is good and right.  We are proud of his A's in his college courses, but we are even more proud of his character!

 At our house we have the tradition that the person having the birthday picks the meal and dessert.  Matthew usually picks fried fish, but this year he requested "Five Guys Burgers and Fries".  It made things easy on me!  I thought he would just go with his daddy while I got things ready at the house for our New Year's Eve/birthday celebration, but he wanted me and Malachi to go too. :o)

He asked me to make a butter finger ice cream cake.  I had to google that one!

Yes, that "9" is an upside down "6"!  You never know what numbers you will find in our kitchen drawer! :o)

Myles is ALWAYS the helper at birthdays. :o)

Like every year we eat Chex mix, have birthday dessert and watch movies.  At midnight Matthew went outside and lit some fire crackers and shot his gun.  I think we woke up our entire tiny town! :o)


My prayer for you on this birthday is that you will always know your parents love for you and most importantly your heavenly Father's inexhaustible love for you.

"that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19

I pray that you will stay close to God's side even when it is the road less traveled and you feel alone.  I pray that you will live with conviction and always stand for TRUTH.
I pray that the Lord continues to bless you and keep you safe, both physically and spiritually!

I love you!