Monday, December 16, 2013


I sensed I was to share this great word on resting that a friend shared on fb this morning.  I have heard a friend say many times, "Rest is an action verb!" I Love it!  I takes so much more work to rest than it does to work!

While this is a timely word for me, there are five words that stood out in this devotional the most, "He started late in life . . . "

I started late in life.  Because I chose to be irresponsible and selfish and outright stupid by choosing alcohol as my escape, and honestly . . . . not taking life seriously until the last few years, I am behind in planning for my future.

The future that is already here.

And that scares the begeezies out of me.

By today's standards I should have ample savings to live on and know what I am going to "be when I grow up." Hundreds of times a day (and that is no exaggeration) I continue over and over to give my fear of the future to the Lord. I am often comparing myself to others with what they have acquired and their financial stability, which only brings me to a deeper discouragement.  Oh it's easy to compare apples to apples, but my story isn't like your story, nor is your story like my story . . . . so why even compare?

My fear became so overwhelming I began searching out scripture for financial peace and how to prepare for the future financially.  My favorite example of preparing for our future monetarily is Joseph's.  (Genesis 41:1-32) He gathered the people and they all worked together to prepare for seven years of famine.  What an amazing story of triumph and discipline!

But that's not where this is going this morning.

While there are several scriptures that teach us the benefits of preparing financially for our future, it is obvious that the Lord's concern is more for our hearts future versus our pockets future.

In my quest for preparing for the future, over and over scriptures appeared with one goal in mind.  Being ready.  Be watchful.  Anticipate it.  Having a ready heart.  A heart of love.  A heart of peace.

While in the quietness of the morning He has given me a financial plan that brings me comfort, and one that is attainable for our lives, I have learned it is not the monies in the bank that brings peace, nor prosperity, but having a heart ready for Christ and helping others prepare for their future in the same manner along life's way.

James 5:8 states, "You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near."

"Oh Father, teach me how to prepare, guide my steps to savings, but more importantly, guide my heart. Amen."

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sideline Blessings

Have you ever wondered why God made you the way He did?  I have.  I wonder that a lot.  Sure, I wonder why I carry a strong gene of obesity, why I have knobby knees and a nose with a line down the middle . . . But the wonder I'm referring to is more selfish. There are times I wonder why I care so much that others needs are met and I bury my own family's  needs.  Why do I do that? Why do I care if a homeless person is warm or not? Why do I care if a friend has all she needs for the holidays or that others know they are loved and are making a difference?

I don't know why God gave me the heart for others that He did, but I'm glad He did. I believe it goes back to Ezekiel 36:26, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." I believe when the Lord saved me, He began chiseling away at my heart of stone. It was then, the heart of flesh began to beat and pulsate, thriving and growing and yearning to make a difference in this world.

This past week I have struggled over these whys and I have asked God what He was thinking several times. I began feeling guilty and doubting my own heart in regards to some personal struggles and wondering how in the world I'm supposed to make a difference in the world when I can't even manage my own home-front.

Satan will do that you know.  He is great at sliding one liners in that cause us to doubt or take the focus off what is to be. He's been doing it for ages . . . since the Garden of Eden when he first caused Eve to doubt God and sin entered the world.  He tried it on Jesus in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11), but it didn't work.  Christ gives us the foundation on how to handle those darts from satan . . . the scriptures. 

During my heart's whiny why's moment, I received a phone call from my neighbor.  She had something she needed to bring over.

Do you see this?  Whoa.  And the two items in the background are two quilts for the kiddos made by some ladies in my neighbors quilt group from church.


I. Am. Blessed.  

I had become so worried over my own family and the whys that I missed out on the blessings of being on the sidelines.  Sure we were obedient to what the Lord told us to do, but I had missed it.  My heart wasn't right because I wanted to be selfish and focus on me when the Lord had mine covered all along.

I am so thankful He knows best.  

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bread of Life

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

I was really discouraged this morning.

I bombed my Humanities test with a 62 last night.  :(  I did great on the arts and recognizing which Renaissance period they were from as well as knowing which artist did what, but with 4 or 5 chapters covered, I was simply memorizing the facts and not trying to understand them, so when the teacher re-worded/re-phrased the facts, I knew nothing.  (Yes, I do believe there is a separate blog post about that!)  Lord willing I will never take another D term again with 16 weeks crammed into nine.

But that wasn't all that was getting to me.

Christopher has been acting out and become very clingy since I've been gone/unavailable more with school.  His hyperactivity is worse, his emotions are worse than a woman 8 1/2 months pregnant!  Agggh!  The stress is getting to me.   And then there is the check engine light that came on last night in the car.  The car is not switching into gears so the concern is it's the transmission.  The list of burdens is rather overwhelming.  Because the burdens are so great, I did the one thing I haven't done on my own in months.  I opened the Bread of Life (Matthew 4:4)

I opened my devotional to today's date.  The title read, "You are an Overcomer."  I couldn't help but smile.  "Okay Lord, I'm listening."  As I read the simple yet perfect daily thoughts, Kayla turned her phone towards me to show this adorable duckling hanging on for dear life to the curb.  Under the picture it read, "Don't give up."


What perfect timing from a perfect God :)

Mandissa's "Overcomer"

Friday, November 8, 2013

Research Survey

I want to know your opinion.

Please take 30 seconds to answer one question at the link below.  In order to give a fair answer, you need to understand college students under the age of 24 are required to provide their parents tax documents in order to apply for financial aid.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Perfect Meal Or The Perfect Moment

We had to make a quick run to Sam's this morning.  The store was packed, but even in the busyness, I couldn't help but overhear a loud "conversation" that took place between a man and woman regarding how many turkeys they were going to fry this year and how much peanut oil they would need to purchase.

The man appeared frustrated and the woman appeared hurt. And I wanted to cry.

In the midst of the conversation, they were loading their buggy with a huge box of cookware.

Now I know absolutely nothing about this couple, but from exterior, I have to say that is going to be one miserable Thanksgiving Dinner if mindsets aren't changed.  I found myself wondering if it is really worth it?  No, I'm not talking about not having Thanksgiving Dinner, but is it really worth the chaos and the bickering over one meal, when in reality, it should be a day of peace and gratitude.  A day to spend with friends and family, and to be thankful, not slaving over a hot stove and in the kitchen all morning.  Shouldn't it be simpler?  Don't get me wrong, I love to cook and prepare a meal at Thanksgiving and Christmas for several reasons.  One is, the smell alone fills my heart and head with some of the most wonderful memories of my grandparents and the other . . . . . . I just love to cook, but have I missed it?  Have I been too concerned about preparing the perfect meal that I've missed the point?

There are families all around us that rely of food pantries for their Thanksgiving Dinners, as well as those that go without, and yet this couple was arguing about how many turkey's to prepare.  Oh my.  I hope they see how truly blessed they are.

Please, during the next few weeks and even through Christmas, don't miss the opportunity to look beyond yourself. A life can be changed for all eternity.

If you are interested in serving or donating to the ministries that serve the less fortunate, there are several opportunities in the Pensacola area.  I have posted a few links below.

Nothing Lost Outreach

Waterfront Rescue Mission

Manna Food Pantry

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dr. Pepper Tuition Give-A-Way

In case you missed my last post, I have returned to college.  I won't get in to the details, but you are welcome to read it at the above link.

Tonight, I received an email from my school with a list of scholarships.  I've applied for several, but this one is different.


Would you PLEASE click on the below link and cast your vote.  

I was only given 350 characters to share my story.  That in itself was a miracle to accomplish!  

Once you do that, would you please share it on your fb page for me? 

The top 5 votes are eligible to receive a $10,000 scholarship.  I am getting a late start as voting started on August 15th.  It closes on December 13th.

You can only vote once.    :(

Thank you in advance to all who vote!

Dr. Pepper Tuition Give-A-Way

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A "Not-So-New" Journey

The timing of this post was impeccable.  It's been twelve years since I was in this particular place, but I too, am in a U-Turn.

Christopher is now in therapy 10 hours a week and during the school year he is in PATS every Friday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

That is more time alone than I have had in years.

With the transition of his schedule, I began praying, asking the Lord what he wanted me to do with this time of availability.

Selfishly, I wanted a part time job to help with our finances.  The day to day struggles are more than I can process at times.  I just had no peace about that decision.

So . . . . . I continued to pray.


Over and over "going back to school" came back to my mind.

Literally.  OVER AND OVER AND OVER, to the point I thought I was going to be sick if I didn't at least make a call about my status at PSC.

(I previously attended is 2001, but dropped out when I was offered a full time job at my church with full medical and dental benefits.  As a single mom, it was a chance of a lifetime, but it still had consequences.  I left and was placed on financial aid warning.)

Nonetheless, I applied for a FAFSA grant.

Contacted the school to see what my standing was.

My heart sank when I was told I was in bad standing.

I met with a class adviser as well as with a financial adviser.

Wrote a letter of appeal.

And waited.

Strangely, the wait didn't take 10 to 14 business days as it usually takes.  Within 48 hours I received word I could attend school THIS TERM for a trial basis, with limits being placed on the number of credits I could take.

Since the term had already started, I was advised to start October 15, the D session.

I registered with a dual degree status to receive an AA in Journalism and an AS in Photography.

What a combination, but I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that is what the Lord was directing me to do.

I love writing and photography brings such joy to my life.

After checking to see if any of the classes I took prior could be applied to either degree, we (Chris and I) had complete peace about me starting with the Photography AS degree.

Unfortunately, my financial adviser informed me, after the fact, the expenses that come along with that degree are very high.

I let fear lead the next decision and switched to the Journalism degree immediately.

But God had his way.

When I switched to Journalism, my appeal became null and void.

There are several hands involved in the process of registering for college.  Sadly, none of them communicate with one another, making it very frustrating for the student.

Regardless, the degree was switched, again, back to photography.

Appeal left in place.

Everything went through with really very little effort.  Doors that appeared to be shut were opened for me.  I couldn't figure it out, and still am baffled by this experience.

My only hope . . . . . believing and knowing the Lord will provide for the expenses required above and beyond for the basic courses and books for Photography.

I have been hesitant in sharing this information publicly because there are so many critics, and the last thing I needed was more criticism.

I have spent most of my Christian walk giving and giving and giving to others.  In the last year I have completely stopped serving.  I have nothing left to give.  Was I serving in my own strength?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe it's just been time to rest. What I do know is it is time to do for me to learn and go into the direction the Lord is leading.

What's so crazy . . . . .is if I completely bomb and fail.  I'm OK with that  (I don't think that will happen though.).

There is no doubt I am supposed to walk through these doors, so please . . .. please . . . . instead of asking, "How is she going to juggle this on top of everything else she has?" please pray and ask the Lord to guide my steps, to honor my heart, to bless my obedience, give me clarity and help with studying, directions on time management, for him to provide for the expenses involved, and peace of mind.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Child's Bedtime Story

Just about every  night, I read a Bible Story to each child in their room at bedtime. This is a particularly special time for me because in the stress of the day, it gives me a few minutes of down time with each child, one on one to just be ourselves.

Several years ago, Christopher was given "God's Mighty Warrior" devotional Bible by Sheila Walsh.  We have read through it multiple times over the years.  I can't tell you how God has used these "child-like" stories to speak volumes to my heart.

The most recent happened just a few nights ago.  It is a story about Moses and Joshua in Exodus 17: 9 - 14. Here it is, just as it was read to Christopher . . . . .

Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some men and go and fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill. I will hold the stick God gave me to carry."

Joshua obeyed Moses and went to fight the Amalekites.  At the same time, Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.  As long as Moses held his hands up, the Israelites would win the fight.  But when Moses put his hands down, the Amalekites would win.  Later, Moses' arms became tired.  So the men put a large rock under Moses, and he sat on it.  Then Aaron and Hur  held up Moses' hands.  

Aaron was on the side of Moses, and Hur was on the other side.  They held his hands up like this until the sun went down.  So Joshua defeated the Amalekites in the battle.

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Write about this battle in the book so people will remember.  And be sure to tell Joshua.  Tell him because I will completely destroy the Amalekites from the earth."

Now, let me say this, I had to read this story twice cause I didn't get it.  God did not bless me with the gift of comprehension.  I was getting tangled up in what the friends had to do with the battle.  I didn't get it.  I have to work very hard to study and understand.  Part of that is because I try to make things applicable to my life and that means it has to be simple! (Which is another reason I love reading these stories to the kids.)

 . . . . . but . . . . . as I was reading through it the second time.

I got it!

I re-read the most important parts (what I bolded) to Christopher, raised my hands and said, "Christopher, do you see this?! Moses couldn't fight the battle on his own so God supplied two "helpers" (friends) to hold him up through the battle! When Mose's arms would get tired, they held them!"

I had a few moments of excitement to see how God used a child's story book to open my eyes.

Then, the very  next day, a friend sent me this picture on fb.

I cropped the words out because it is the because that is important.

The rooster is protected by his buddies.  His support system.  His encouragers. His entourage.

I often isolate during tough times.  These last few months have been bad for me, but there have been a few to reach out, to encourage, to love on me.

They are my "Aaron and Hur."

I wouldn't have survived without them.

Thank you.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Busy Woman Planner

On March 8, 2009, I wrote this post about the "busy woman purse planner" that I had purchased.  I do not know why many of my pictures are no longer visible on my blog, but that's not the point here.

The one item that has been searched the most and brought more viewers to my blog is this:  "busy woman purse planner."

I used my bag until it fell apart.

While they are no longer available, I was recently contacted by "The Busy Woman" and was sent an enormous file of forms to try out.

Can I tell you, I love them!

I had a little bit of difficulty getting them to view on my ancient computer, so my husband downloaded them on a jump drive and I took my handy dandy coupon for 25% off printing to Office Depot and got the job done!

I did not print everything, but picked and chose what I liked, according to my lifestyle and schedules.

For less than $6 I printed 90 days of daily calendar pages (I will print more, but was watching my expenses to see what I needed), the address & phone number pages, important dates pages (2), devotional pages, budget pages,  medical pages (for each of us), and menu pages (which I forgot to take pictures of, but I have a menu page that I now carry with me in my coupon book.  That helps me to glance through my menus, double check weekly adds and have my coupons . . . . all in one binder, which I got on clearance for .88 at Walmart).

There were other different forms with different layouts, but again, I chose what worked for me.

I have enjoyed having everything in one place and in order (at least in that area of my life! lol)

Here are a few pics.  Please understand, I put very little in this.  I had colored tabbed dividers already, so did not have to purchase that.  I did purchase and additional 4 packets of  white dividers for .89 (each packet) to divide the months. The soft binder was on clearance for .88.  I did purchase a 5 pack of pocket binders so I would have pockets to put lose pieces of paper in.  It was $2.47, and that is it.  I like that all the variety of forms to choose from.  I like that I have a personalized planner that cost less than $10 (for what I chose to use) but I still need to add the remainder of the 2014 year . . . . I like that if I had chosen, I could have filled all the information in on my computer and then printed it, and of course, the cost . . . . to get what I have would have cost much more in the stores.

I hope you will check out her facebook page and her web site.  On her web site you will see the many, many forms available.  You can also choose the size pages to have printed.  I chose the standard notebook size.

I did have all these in the upright position, but for some reason, they are now sideways and probably upside down.  I've tried correcting it and it just isn't working, but you get the point :)

My hot pink binder

Opening page

Important Numbers Page

 Special Occassions (which I'm not sure I will keep as on the Important Numbers page is a place to put special dates, etc.)

 On this daily planner page is a place for appointments, phone calls, menus, priority sections and notes.  I have filled in my  menu pages that is in with my coupons, I just haven't transferred the information over yet.

 Budgeting.  There are three pages that go with this page.

 Address and Numbers

 Spiritual Journey Pages

Devotional pages

I've had the worse time correcting these pages, but they are now all upright!  I had to go into the documents and rotate every page incorrectly for it to appear correctly on this post.  Who knows.  But I think I got it now!

Can't wait to finish getting all my pages set up.  Very thankful to have them!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kaitlyn's First Sunrise

Kaitlyn snapped pictures of the sun-setting Saturday evening as we drove across Pensacola's three mile bridge to go to her first sleep study.

Creation.  It is still stunning.

On the way out, two songs came on the radio.  The same two songs came on the radio last Sunday morning as I drove to church.  Mandisa's "Overcomer" and Philip's Craig & Dean's "You are God Alone."  I chuckled at how "convenient" that was, knowing the words of the songs penetrated deeper than I wanted to admit.

I am so thankful He still loves me enough, through  my stubbornness, to use music to woo and love on me.

Baby girl did great with the wires.  She had a few moments of anxiousness, but did very well.

Our wake up call came right at 5 a.m.  Ugh.  What a night for momma!

As we were leaving, the thought came to mind that Kaitlyn has never seen a sunrise and since no one in their RIGHT mind would ever be up at that hour . . . . why not seize the opportunity to make a memory.

McD's was open so I got a Pumpkin Latte' for me and a biscuit for Kaitlyn and we drove to the beach.  I must say, I tried Starbucks Pumpkin Latte' a while back . . . .it was burnt.  Very disappointed.  McD's was better and I got a large for less than what a small one was at Starbucks.

We stepped onto the neatly cleaned sand.  I hated to mess up the prettiness . . . . kind of like walking across vacuum cleaner marks on a freshly cleaned carpet!

There was only one other person on the actual beach, other than the John Deer Tractor pulling the clean up machine.

My heart broke at the amount of trash people left behind last night.  Much of it being washed out to sea.

Once the sun started peaking, we grabbed as much as we could and tossed it on shore so the machine could get it all.

People, when you visit a beach, or a state park, or are even walking from your car to a building or whatever . . . . take your trash with you!

We didn't get to see the actual sun rising because of the buildings, but we did have fun.

Driving over the three mile bridge back home, the sun was just rising.  It was remarkable.  I pulled over and soon as I could.  While these don't do it justice, it sure was a beautiful morning for a first sunrise for my baby girl.

As I was uploading pictures this morning, the song 10,000 Reasons came to mind . . . . "the sun comes up, it's a new day dawning . . . . . whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes."

Worship: to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Little Eyes and Mouths . . . . .

I am not sure where this post is going, or where it will lead, but I have this burning desire to write so here goes . . . .

My heart is broken because I have lead my youngest daughter the wrong way.

My son too.

My walk with the Lord has been like a weeble wabble the last three years.  Trying to cling on to a faith that was once so strong and invincible, but not willing to do anything to keep it that way.

Sure, I've had hot moments of worship and mountain top experiences, but the majority of the last three years have been deep in the valley.

I can only blame myself.  I have allowed bitterness, anger, and hurt to root deep in my heart.  Even my oldest daughter sees the hardened heart and has been quite vocal on calling me out (she gets her boldness from someone, but I can't quite figure out who! lol).

My tongue has become rather flippant with two phrases the last six months.  "What the h**!" and "Well that just p***** me off!"  fly out regularly now.  At first it bothered me, but the more I said it, the less I cared.

A few weeks ago during one of Christopher's melt downs, I was thrown for a loop when the words, "It p***** me off when you don't listen to me!" came flying out of his mouth.  The melt down stopped as I sat on the floor and cried with him, asking him to forgive me and vowing to not use that word or phrase again.

Then tonight, my precious Kaitlyn . . . . .tears fills my eyes as I think on her words. . . . .  We were laughing in the car when the radio blares so loud we both screamed in horror and laughter.  Amongst the laughter came rollings the words, "What the hell made that happen?!"

Once again, I found myself having to apologize to another child for leading them down the wrong path, for not setting the example of who I am (supposed to be) in Christ.

I've recently attempted to evaluate my choices over the last few months.

I've seen the Lord's hand in my life time and time again.  Even with me rejecting Him these several months; He has continued to speak to me and guide me.

Several nights ago, I laid in the bed and cried.  There was no long prayer.  No explanation or excuse, just, "I can't do this."

I was raised to "suck it up and do what you gotta do."  "Pull up your boot straps . . . ."  "Take the bull by the horns . . . . "

I've done that my entire life.  Before Christ, and with Christ.

It ain't workin' though.  I'm tired.  Dog tired.

I'm wondering, is that what our walk with the Lord is supposed to be?  It seems to me, (and I might be way off base here . . . ) but if that is what I'm doing, then I am depending on me and not on the Lord.  I'm not saying one shouldn't ever do, heavens no, but how much of life have I spent trying to do this on my own . . . . "you know, sucking it up and doing what I have to do??"

How does a person really and truly release self will and personal agenda to rely on God?

I don't have that answer.

Right now, I'm not even searching for that answer.

But . . . . . . .

I do know my heart is hurting.

I do know I miss my Jesus.

I do know I love Him.

I do know I am struggling with trusting Him.

I do know I am angry.

I do know I am jealous.

I do know I am disappointed.

But . . . . .

I also know, when tragedy comes to others, He's the first person I run to on their behalf.

I do know . . . . I want better than "where I am now."  

I do know I miss my deep rooted faith that at one time would not be shaken.

I do know that means opening my Bible even when I don't want to.

I do know that means discipline.

I do know that means forgiving others and myself.

I do know that means trusting Him despite my current circumstances.

I do know I can't live this thing called life without Him.

I do know I am more miserable without communion with Him than I am in my current circumstances . . . .

so I guess that's where I need to start.

Slow Fade by Casting Crowns came to my mind while jotting these words down tonight.  The last few lines of the song . . . . "Be careful little eyes what you see . . . . . . "  are sang in a child's voice.  I've always said, "If it's not good enough for a child to see or say, then it's not good enough for me."

"Oh Lord, heal my wounded, angry heart.  Set me free.  Amen."

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Child's Persistence

For two years, Kaitlyn has asked me to let her join the running club at her school.

I ignored her request for those two years until it was too late for her to join. I had no desire to run and sure didn't want her doing it because it would make ME have to be accountable. . . . . . . UGH.

Well. this year . . . . . yesterday in fact, she brought home a piece of paper and said, "I'm doing this. PLEEEAAASSSEEE!"

The requirements are simple. Practice every Thursday. But they must enter a be able to run 3.1 miles before the end of the year. A real race. Oh. My. Word.

I have pinched nerves, shinsplints, degenerative discs, and ow I have to help my daughter train to run. She demanded I wake her at 5 a.m. TODAY to start training.

As a high schooler I was very active in sports, loved them. As a young adult, enjoyed my early morning runs daily. I loved running. Took little or no effort, but obesity and car accidents have taken its toll on this body of mine.

Nonetheless, my husband set the alarm for 5 a.m. today. I vividly remember only one thing.  

Rolling over. 

BUT very soon . . . . and way to soon, that pesky alarm went back off. Failing myself is one thing, but failing my daughter in something that is obviously important to her is not an option so I did what I said I would do.

Kaitlyn was slow to wake as well; until I told her she had to start running today or I was going back to bed. She immediately jumped up and said, "OH Yeah! I forgot!" (She wanted to sleep in her running clothes so she wouldn't have to get dressed that early.)

We took a friends guidance. Stretched, walked and trotted in 30 second increments this morning. Can I just say my fat jello legs are KILLING ME! Do I have to walk around today? Can I just sit and take a nap? Oh my word!

Kaitlyn asked me if we could get up that early tomorrow (Saturday). I told her absolutely not, but that we would continue our "training" tomorrow, just at a better hour :) 5 a.m. definitely came too early for this momma!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Widget

Monday the kids and I came home to find we had forgotten to crate our dogs.  Pack mentality took over when they escaped, killing one of our cats and badly injuring another.

I've added a fundraiser widget to the left side of this page.  Please help share this so Shelby can receive the treatment she needs.

Thank you.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Remembering With A Thankful Heart

As I searched for this picture, I cried.  This day, on separate years, I lost two very important people in my life.  Even now, the reason for the emotion behind it has been a secret.  When I first stopped drinking, and a few months later, came to know to Lord as my Savior, it became my hearts desire for my grandparents to see a change in my life.  I had stolen and manipulated them for years.  Oh how I loved them, but I was hurting and selfish during those horrible years.  In my spirit, I began asking the Lord to give me two years of sobriety and changed life.  I begged Him to not take my grandparents before I celebrated those two years sobriety for no reason other that they could see a changed, repentant heart.  In the year 2000, on July 7th, I celebrated two years of sobriety.  On July 28th, the Lord took my Granny home.  I am often torn between thankfulness that God granted me my heart's desire and guilt that I cut her life short by not asking for more years.

The other person our family lost on this day, my Pappow.  The Lord took him home on this day, 2010. It was my Pappow's words to me that one day cut me so deep that promoted the desire to change.  I had been evicted because I used my rent money to drink. The same money he and Mammow had sent for the rent.  I arrived in Pensacola from Beaufort with nothing but a dog (yes, once an animal lover, always an animal lover) and black bags of clothes.  Kayla had been visiting my Mammow and Pappow for the summer when the conviction came so instead of taking her back to Beaufort, they brought her to Pensacola.  My grandfather looked at me, looked at my pack of cigarettes on the table setting on the porch, and with disappointment and probably disgust, told me, "you are pathetic and will never amount to anything."  He then walked away.  My heart was broken.  The man I idolized was disappointed in me. I pray I will never forget that moment.  It was then I quit the cycle of lies.  I had lied so much I didn't even know the truth.  While I am not financially successful as I yearn to be, my Pappow died knowing I adored him, and I know he adored me.

I miss them both every day.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Weighted Blanket Give-A-Way

As many of you know, my children both have sensory issues. I found this website today and they are giving away a weighted blanket, valued at $200!

If you, or anyone you know, has a child with sensory issues, take a few minutes and enter this give-a-way for them.  I know they would be so thankful!

Weighted Blanket Give-A-Way

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pallet Chicken Coop! Don't Laugh! ;)

I have had several people ask me about pictures of my pallet chicken coop.  I have intentionally not posted them because . . . . . well, as the pictures will show, it leaves little to be desired; BUT, it serves the purpose!

The roof is not complete and I continue to pray nightly for the safety of those hens! A friend from our church has some metal sheeting that we can have; we just haven't been able to arrange getting it with Chris' school/work schedule; HOWEVER, with spring break this week, I am hoping to get that taken care of!  There is a huge gap all the way around for predators to easily enter in, so when that is finished,  I will update with another picture.

The coop cost less than $30 to build and that was for screws.  I had to use screws with the drill because when I tried hammering, it killing my shoulder, or it would have cost less.  My mother purchased the mesh, so if we had to carry that cost, the total would have been $50.

I DID NOT try and level this thing.  I eye-balled it.  I did that because with pallets and not have any electrical saws, I would have stressed myself out trying to make it "perfect," so I set the standards from the beginning that this was to keep the hens warm and dry from bad weather.  Nothing else mattered.  OK.  OK.

I originally wanted to have an enclosed run as well, but changed that to keep cost down.  They free range throughout the day and return to their spot nightly.

 Front of coop

 Inside.  It's funny how God provided.  The beam in the middle standing up, was buried on the side of the yard.  We needed a central support for a roof.  There ya go!

 The nesting box, is an old toy box of mine from 1976!  Removed the front two panels and turned them vertical, giving them an entry.  The hens slept in it until they learned to roost!  The ladder was made out of pallets as well.

 This is the back of the coop.  

This is the window in the back of the coop.  It is not screened it yet, but will be for summer time breeze.

All the research I did said most chicken coops (especially in the south with the heat) are not ventilated enough.  One site said, "take whatever you think is enough, and double it and even that might not be enough."  Soooo, I left the entire top left of the coop open (facing my neighbor's garage . . . hehehehehe) and put up mesh.  I was storing the feed inside, but quickly moved everything out after cleaning poop off the lids!  Ick! lol

This is the side view.  I use a pallet to keep the food bins off the ground to keep moisture under control and another pallet I use to contain the tools I use for the hay and cleaning.  In other places, instead of filling in the spaces that didn't line up plum or where pallets were split or broken, I left them open and put mesh up.  As mild as our winters are, I was more concerned about them having fresh air than I was being warm.  

So, there ya have it.  Not finished, but getting there and serving the purpose!  This coop can easily hold 12 hens, so that is a good thing ;)