Tuesday, May 31, 2016


My Silas needed to have his eyes checked.  I prepared for all the things that would happen for a routine eye exam.  He really didn't remember having it done a couple of years ago, so he listened intently.  He was also quite excited that we were turning this into a Mommy/Son date with lunch afterwards.

As they checked us in, I reminded him of the "puff" of air that they would probably do first.  As they put his chin in the proper spot, I stepped a few feet from him, but not far.  The first "puff" caught him off guard. I could tell he was about to panic as he put his cute little chin on the holder, ready for the next "puff."  I encouraged him with, "You're doing good, Silas, one more and this part is over."

 Trying to keep real still and keep his head in place, but starting to get too nervous, I saw his right arm reach out to the side as he began searching for me with his arm.  I stepped closer so that he could hold onto my arm.  Then, he was real still, the puff went in to the left eye, and he looked up at me with a huge smile that said, "Thanks, Mom!"

It was sweet to see that just knowing I was there was the comfort that he needed.  I was there.

As we got back in the car and I thought about how well my little guy did and how it was sweet that he still needed me to be there, my mind recalled the devotions I had been having that week.  God had been pointing out to me some truths to dwell on, that reminded me a lot of my Silas at the eye doctor.

"Thou God seest me"  Genesis 16:13
"For I know [her]" Genesis 18:19
"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Genesis 18:14

Just as my Silas needed to know I was there and with him, I, too, need to know that my God is there, He sees me!  He knows me!  And just His presence can calm my heart.  Sometimes the circumstances stay the same. My little guy still had to stand there and get that "puff" of air in his eye.  But, having the presence of the Lord to get me through whatever may come my way, is a priceless gift from the Lord.   It gives me a confidence in Him to say, "There is nothing too hard for God!"

Friday, May 27, 2016

Welcome Jenna

 We figured it's time to add something new to our (wanna-be) little farm. Silas wanted a pig or a goat.  A sweet man at church has been telling Silas all about owning a goat and the responsibility and how they give good milk.  Silas was sold!  When the Lord opened up the door for us to get a free baby goat, we said, "Yes!"

 This goat  belongs to all of us, but it is Silas's special responsibility.  He's in charge of pinning her out everyday and giving her feed and water.  Silas, Callie and Micah chose the name "Jenna" for her.  How cute.

 It's so cute to watch her follow Silas around the yard.  When he goes inside she calls to him (very consistently) MAAAAA!  Cute.  Sort of.  Actually, hearing her call like that when the sun comes up is quite annoying!  :o)
 Her job is so start chewing down the greenery in our woods.  Eventually we would like to clear a bit and make a basketball court.  She better get busy!!

So thankful for this beautiful property that God gave us.  So happy to use it to teach my kiddos responsibility and the joy that can be had from hard work.  Loving this life!!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dear 40-Year Old Self,

So, it happened.  I turned 40.  I've always looked at the old, old age of 40 and thought that it is a milestone age.  It's like turning 1, 10 and 16.....it's a big one!  Then, I realized that God has placed so many Godly women in my life that I want to glean from.  I wondered, if they could go back to when they turned 40, what would they tell their self?  What would they want her to know as she turns this very important age.  So, I wrote to those women.  The responses I received were beautiful, convicting, and exactly what I needed to hear.  I compiled all their thoughts together and wrote a letter.  This letter is to me, my 40 year old self.  

Dear 40-Year Old Self,

                40.  You know, you are really not that old.  40 is a great age to be!  In fact, some people (so what if they are older) even say that you are in your prime!  You’ve learned a few things.  You’ve had some experiences.  You’ve lived a beautiful 40 years.

But, with turning this “milestone” there is still much to think about and to learn as you seek to live your life fully for the Lord and to please to Him.  So, just a few things to think about and strive for.

                The 40s will bring many changes to your family.  One by one, all 6 of your precious kiddos will leave home.  It will be hard.  It will hurt.  But, it is necessary.  Let go.  Let them live their lives without the guilt from you missing them too much.  Enjoy this stage of your life and try to enjoy the changes.  Look for the good in them.  I hear grandchildren are great!  I know you’ll enjoy them. 

As your babies are growing up, keep your marriage strong and alive.  Keep Patrick first.  He comes before them.  He will love you for it and so will they.  It’s what he needs and what they need as well.  Enjoy growing older together.  Gray hair is so attractive on that man of yours!    
You’ve chosen to start eating healthier, eating for fuel, not for only pleasure.  That’s a great choice.  Pat yourself on the back and keep it up!  You’ll benefit from having more energy, better skin, brighter eyes, and I could go on and go.  But, what about those sweet kiddos?  Are you teaching them healthy eating habits?  Are you teaching them to truly enjoy the flavor of real food?  Or are they hooked on the flavor of chemicals and processed fake foods.  Don’t do that to them.  That’s not training them to take care of their bodies, and it surely isn’t giving them the best foot forward as they quickly plunge into adulthood.  Let them eat good right along with you.
                Slow down some.  Now, I don’t mean the natural “slowing down” that someone with many more years than you actually experience, I’m talking about slowing down and enjoying this life.  It’s easy to stay busy with your “to-do” list and get so busy trying to cross off the next thing that you forget to actually live.  Take time to breathe in the fresh air.  Then, enjoy hearing the sounds of birds chirping and the wind blowing in the trees.  Take time to really look at that drawing that has been hand crafted just for you!  Then, find a special place to put it so that special artist will know you care and are proud and thankful.  Look your family in the eye.  Stop and really listen.  Try not to say too often, “Not right now” “Maybe later” and “We’ll see.”  Say “Yes” more and jump right in and have the time of your life. Take time to make memories, act silly and have plenty of laughter.

                Enjoy this beautiful life that God has given you.  Do things that you would like to do.  Put others first, especially your family.   But, it’s okay to do things that you would like to do as well.  Remember how you want to do more hiking?  Do more hiking and explore this beautiful area God has called you to!  Still want that funny looking 3 wheeled bike?  Save up and buy one!  Want to plan a trip to the coast and explore the beaches in your area?  Do it!  Don’t put off what you would like to do now. Watch more sunsets.  Smell more flowers.  Take more walks.  Do!  Have fun!  Enjoy!

                 Strive to be saturated with God’s Word.  Completely saturated until the Word of God oozes out of you should be your goal.  You haven’t arrived, so keep working to get closer to Him!

               So, Hello 40s! Here we are.  Let’s make the most of it.

With Love,


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

So very blessed for my 40th

Last week, I turned 40.  Eek...did I really just type that?  Yup, it's true!  So very blessed I truly am!

The day before my birthday my church family had a birthday fellowship after church.  Some very special ladies decorated for me.

  We had yummy snacks and I received many sweet gifts.

My sweet ladies also planned a week's worth of dinners to be delivered to my home each night.  What a wonderful blessing!!

Then, to make my birthday celebration even sweeter, my parents surprised me and were sitting in my row at church!  It was so special and sweet, and made me feel so loved!

Then, on my birthday, my family took me to a Quilt Shop in Trenton.  What a neat place this is!  It's an old Coca-Cola factory that has been converted to a Quilt Shop. There are over 7,000 bolts of fabric...Wow!  The choices!

For my gift, my parents let me pick bunches of fabric.  I can't wait to get started on a project soon!
I'm hoping to do a wall hanging American Flag.  I also picked some fabric for a fun dresden quilt in coral and aqua.  Fun!

Then, to top it off, they took me to a restaurant called Hobos.  It's an old house in downtown Trenton.  The inside is so historical and had a lot of memorabilia from when the railroad went through town.

What a wonderful day I had.  God has blessed me with 40 wonderful years.  So thankful!!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hydrangea, Hydrangea!

 When we first moved to our home, we noticed that, at one time, someone had taken care in planting many different kinds of plants.  Next to the front porch were 3 hydrangea bushes with big (completely dried up) hydrangea flowers.   After doing some trimming and pruning, my hydrangeas didn't bloom last summer.  The leaves looked healthy and green, but no flowers.  Had I just imagined the dried up flowers?

 Well, this year, we have beautiful hydrangeas starting to grow and bloom!  They are still teeny, tiny, but, they are beautiful!! Any other hydrangea-wanna-be-farmers out there?  Any tricks of the trade?

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Callie's Day

 Callie had a wonderful birthday!  As usual, we started the day with a yummy breakfast and then opening presents!

 This little girl is so easy to please and loved all of her gifts.  She was excited to get a princess dress for herself and one for her doll to match!

 When I went shopping for her and saw Cabbage Patch Dolls, I knew I had to get her one.  I had one growing up, and Beth and Brenna had several, but Callie has never had one.  She fell in love with Becky Magnolia just like I did!

 For lunch she wanted to have a tea party.  After being made over by Brenna, we had a yummy lunch of tea and goodies.

 You can tell Silas has watched Felicity.  He said, "I shall have no tea."  What a cute kid!

 Then, for dinner, Callie wanted to go for a hike in the woods and to bring our dinner with us.
  It was so fun!

 Shortly after finding our spot, Bo joined us.  He somehow escaped from his pen and sniffed his way to us so he could join the party!

 Then, per her request, we sang Happy Birthday and had chocolate cupcakes.  Such a fun day!

My 6 year old girl

 My sweet baby girl, Callie Grace turned 6!

 This sweet girl is so full of joy and love.  She is a pleasure to be around.

She loves to help in the kitchen and has gotten really good at cracking eggs!  Her eyes light up every time she keeps the yolk whole!  I love the sparkle in her eye when that happens.  A few morning ago she had six in a row! :o)

 She is doing so well in K-5 and is almost completed with her first year of schooling. She is reading very well and did a great job reading her own birthday cards this year.

She is growing up as a young lady and also growing in Christ.  I love her sweet heart and I'm so thankful for my girl!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

New Mercies every morning.

 April. It was a month that didn't quite go as planned.  I've not felt well.  The doctor has tried some new medicines for me.  Most give me side effects, or as she calls it, "Positive responses."  It's been difficult.  I've had days on the couch.  Days of sitting on the porch in my jammies.  Days of tears.  I had so many big ideas for April.

 But, I'm learning that His mercies are new each morning.  The sun continues to come up.  And God still has a plan for me.  These are days that the best thing for me is to do the next best thing.  Take the next step, just a step at a time, not the leaps like I have planned.  He's truly faithful during times in the valley.  And He shows me that during those times in the valley, He is holding my hand, seeing me through, and giving me hope and love.  Isn't God so good!  So, each day is a new day.  I want to live it exactly how He would have me to.  He knows what's best for me!

And just for fun, here's some pictures of what is happening on our little farm.  Spring is here, and actually summer as well.  That's life in North Florida!! :o)

 Our hens are growing to be quite big!  No eggs yet, but soon!

 Yay for beautiful blue blueberries!

 It's a pomegranate!!

 Our garden is taking off!!


And cutesy little Brussel Sprouts.

God is so good and so faithful!  I can't help but look at these pictures and be reminded of His unchanging goodness!