Living with Grief and Heartbreak

January is off to a quiet start here on the blog, partially with intentionality and partially completely out of my hands. When I scheduled my carpal tunnel surgery for Jan. 5 I knew it would be hard to do a lot of my daily tasks, including computer work, which was fine because I wanted to spend some time focusing on my purpose and vision … [Read more...]

I Didn’t Choose to be a Pastors Wife

As I was teaching my children to write during my many years as a homeschooling mom, I never dreamed that one day at least one of my kids would enjoy writing like her mom and would wield the pen as a mighty sword. Rachel is so much like me with the way her writing comes from a well of deep emotions. Inspiration strikes and lives can be … [Read more...]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery and Word for 2016

Last year at this time my husband had just gone through two surgeries; one hernia repair and one rotator cuff repair. Little did we know that 2015 would hold some of our greatest challenges ever. God knew better than to give me a glimpse because I would have pulled the covers over my head and stayed there until 2016! 2016 is already … [Read more...]

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for the Family

When I was a little kid the Sears Christmas wish book contained all of my heart's desires. What in the world was that, you say? It was a hold in your hands, cut pictures out, dare to dream and drool over, catalogue of toys for every kid (and Sears way to empty the parents' pockets!) Today we have the internet, tv and Toys 'R Us to … [Read more...]

Mexican Wedding Cookies

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BIGDeal #CollectiveBias. My sister Brenda and I were born 15 years apart, with just enough time in between for her to be like a second mama to me.  I’m sure my birth caused her much grief and embarrassment because she had to help … [Read more...]

Motherhood: Rewarding and Heartbreaking Journey

As I watched my oldest daughter's journey to motherhood I was grateful to play an active part in her life and now in my precious grandson's life. From the very beginning Rachel was full of questions and transparency. Did it take you long to get pregnant? Did you have morning sickness when you were pregnant with me? When did you get over … [Read more...]

First Birthday Ideas and a Letter from Nana

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BIGDeal #CollectiveBias. There's just something so incredibly unique about a child's first birthday. Is there any one year in life where more change and growth is experienced? From a helpless newborn infant to a mostly walking, … [Read more...]

Is Your Baby 6 to 12 Months? What You Need to Know!

Ah, how things change in such a short time when you're a new parent! It's been so much fun being involved in the life of our first grandchild as these first few months have flown by. My daughter Rachel and her husband Donny are here to share some parenting tips on the second six months of Aiden's first year. It's been several months … [Read more...]

Rustic Cabin with Western Theme Decor

Most years our family goes on vacation to the beach but just a few weeks ago we headed to an amazing rustic cabin owned by friends of ours. Located in the mountains of North Carolina, this jewel of a cabin barely had room for all of us. Okay, I'm totally kidding because this getaway has three levels and  is … [Read more...]

New Puppy Checklist and Tips for the Early Months

Our lives have been way too crazy since last December and filled with a whole bunch of crises and one beautiful life changing event thrown in.  In the midst of all this madness my kids and husband tried to convince me to get a new puppy. Can you believe it? Our boxer Annabelle passed away last July and my hubby would send … [Read more...]

The Call No One Wants to Receive

"Hi, I'm calling from Costco. Your husband is here with us now. He's fallen out and had a seizure. We have EMT here with him now. He is not fully conscious but he is breathing." And with those words heard on a voice mail the direction of our lives changed. Several weeks ago my husband Tim had just returned to his job as a painting contractor … [Read more...]

Easy Family Scrapbook Ideas: Print Those Pictures!

I was away scrapbooking this weekend, trying to catch up on my Project Life album. These weekends usually consist of a little blogging, some extra sleep, a few delicious meals and some easy family scrapbook ideas. When I started scrapbooking 18 years ago I labored over the pages (and cut many a kid's head with patterned scissors. Can anyone … [Read more...]

5 Things Every New Mom Should Know About Cloth Diapers

I remember when I was pregnant with our now 22-year-old son Joshua. I was planning on quitting my job and staying home which would require cutting corners everywhere possible. To help our budget I took the plunge into the wild, unknown world of cloth diapers and got a real education. I loved it. Okay, I loved the fact I was saving us money. I … [Read more...]

Stretching Exercises for the Heart

Recently I've been learning how to stretch in many different ways. In the foods that will keep me healthy. In stretching exercises for the body that will keep me active for my grandson Aiden and (hopefully) many more to come. In the challenges of juggling work and life at home after concentrating on my family for over 20 years. As I … [Read more...]

3 Keys for Healthy Snack Ideas

There's a little secret I've been hiding from my readers.  Come a little closer, my dears. Are y'all envisioning the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz? You better not! This is good stuff! Since I hit the dreaded "50" (plus a couple or three more) there have been a few obstacles in my path to staying healthy and vital. Other … [Read more...]

What Happened to the Duggar Family?

I am not one to dive into the realm of public opinion but I DO have opinions on most topics (and my husband would definitely agree!) I just choose not to air them on the blog where my desire is always to encourage, inspire and empower others. I have been a huge fan of the Duggar family and their show 19 Kids and Counting. We don't have cable so … [Read more...]

Summer Memories in a Pop Up Camper circa 1970’s

"This is a sponsored conversation written by me of behalf of Ball Park® brand. The opinions and text are all mine.” My family didn't have a lot material possessions during my growing up years but some of my best memories are of camping in our little pop up trailer at the beach. My mom spent a lot of time making sure we had … [Read more...]

No Longer a Slave to Fear

We have just concluded 21 days of prayer and fasting with our church (Daystar Church) and it has been both a wonderful and challenging experience. The goal of this period is for our church family to refocus our attention on God and His purpose for us as a church and as individuals without earthly distractions. As best I … [Read more...]

Are Your Kids Preparing for School and Life?

How many of you heard it said when you were little, usually accompanied by a pat on your head, "You're just growing up so fast!"  Or something along the lines of, "You can't possibly be old enough to go to school!" Seriously, it's a theme among well meaning relatives everywhere. I think they come in the door of every family … [Read more...]

Glass Half Full of Half Empty?

Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person? I struggle to look at my life and blessings as a glass half full sometimes because life can be hard. Honestly? It's easier just to look at the negative side of life. Have you listened to the news lately? Did I mention life is hard? Can I get an amen? But my life is also an … [Read more...]

The Truth I’m Afraid to Share

I'm afraid to even put these words to paper. Fear. Shame. Guilt. Confession. I used to be THAT mom. I had it all together. The one with the clean house, the kids that seemed to mostly get along and usually had on clean clothes with their hair brushed. (Still asking for forgiveness for the years with the bowl cut. Sorry, … [Read more...]

5 Ingredient Peach Cobbler Recipe

Yes, I'm a good Southern belle. No I don't like warm weather.  Some people live for summer. The tropical breezes, the longer days and sun kissed tan. Me? I get migraines from the sun. I do not perspire. I sweat. I want my air conditioning and I'm perfectly fine if my tan comes from a bottle. Yet one of my fondest childhood memories … [Read more...]

Encouragement Notes for Homesick Kids at Camp

Some of the best family traditions are often those that happen by accident, like our family blessing jar. What started out as a way to teach our children gratitude is now a deeply held celebration of thanksgiving every year. It's even incorporated into the marriage contract between our children and their spouses! (No, not really, but Thanksgiving … [Read more...]

Picture Frame Front Door Wreath

I love to craft and DIY while I turn yardsale and curbside junk into beautiful treasures for my home. But I do have a confession to make. Since blogging is now also my job being creative is sometimes a necessity, not a luxury. That can sometimes put extra pressure and stress on me to come up with the "latest and greatest." I believe God … [Read more...]