Wednesday, December 26, 2012

happy Christmas!

this picture is the only solo picture we took of Levi...he was already in a coat, shoes & hat ready to go outside with his new tool bag & hammer something. his motto for life is "a rolling stone gathers no moss."
clay went outside & burned most of the trash from the present opening & levi wasnt about to be left out.

hope you and your family had a happy Christmas.

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Luke 1:8-14

Sunday, December 23, 2012


i can honestly say i will never buy a can of cinnamon rolls again. i found a recipe for cinnamon rolls off of pinterest. i thought they would be good on Christmas morning with a side of bacon and coffee. i made them tonight to see if they were as easy and as good as the pinterester said.......she didnt lie. abigail will be thrilled. she is my cinnamon roll girl. dont get me wrong...we all like their sticky, gooey goodness...but it puts abby in a good mood when she finds out we are having them.
click the link for the super easy & super good recipe for super good cinnabunns!!

homemade cinnabuns

i love pinterest and all of the recipes and ideas about fashion, decorating, education, crafting....

now for whatever reason the mention of bacon in this post made me realize i need to buy salad fixings for Christmas to cut through the carbs.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

christmas is coming

well christmas is almost here again. wow!! seriously?!! where did a year go? a WHOLE YEAR!!!
it's been a big year.

here is a bit of review:

  • January: We went to SC & suffered through a vomiting child all the way home & everyone got sick within quick succession. Rachel infected her recently cut out wisdom teeth wounds. It was very unpleasant.
  • January: Asher celebrated his 5th birthday. 
  • February: Rachel celebrated her 17th birthday.
  • February: We re-homed Readen, our cocker spaniel, since she was fighting with the other dogs.
  • February: We were shocked by the death of Whitney Houston.
  • March: Found out Ruth was coming!!
  • April: Had a long round of bronchitis & croup run through the house.
  • April: Esther celebrated turning 3.
  • April: Abigail celebrated turning 7.
  • May: Clay & I celebrated 19 years of marriage.
  • June: Sadly, Mr. Simmons passed away at almost 76 years old.
  • June: We went to Nashville & Memphis, Tennessee for a family vacation. Graceland was awesome.
  • June: A vicious bout of Strep Throat ran through the house.
  • June: SCOTUS upheld Obamacare! (Boo SCOTUS!!)
  • July: Elizabeth turned 13 and went to New York City with Clay to celebrate.
  • July: We picked up our 2 sweet bunnies: Dynamite & Diamond
  • August: Clay celebrated his 48th birthday.
  • August: All the kids & I were in a accident in the van. My first ambulance ride!!! 
  • August: Asher went on his first airplane ride.
  • August: Rachel and I killed a lot of snakes!!
  • September: Asher learned how to ride his bike with no training wheels
  • September: Rachel started her Senior year of high school.
  • October: Ruth Eleanor arrived.
  • October: I had my first limo ride ever.
  • November: I had my 42nd birthday.
  • November: Levi celebrated turning 2!!!
  • November: Barack Obama was re-elected as my absolute horror.
  • November: Went on a visit to GA/SC for Thanksgiving.
  • December: Received my 2013 seed catalogs! 

So those are some highlights of 2012. I'm sure i'm missing tons & i couldnt put it all on here...the happenings of this year.
looking forward to what next year holds.

in the meantime:
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Monday, November 26, 2012


i am so thankful for my family! we spent thanksgiving in Georgia with Clayton's Mother. we rode up to South Carolina and spent Thanksgiving Day with my family. Clayton, his Sister and his Mother worked hard to clean up around the house. this is a picture after a long day of cleaning up, with all of the kids on Beba's tractor.

here is a picture of my Mom and Dad on Thanksgiving Day with Ruthie. this was the first meeting of Ruthie and my Dad. it's always amazing to me that no matter how much time passes between visits all of the kids act like we were just there they never left. i love that because it shows a bond and a comfort that   i pray never goes away.......which should because we are family!!

i hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting." Psalm 107:1

Sunday, November 18, 2012

sneak peek

here is a sneak peek of family pictures we had made yesterday.

here are a few more of Ruth's newborn photo shoot.

we are heading to GA to stay with Clay's Mother for Thanksgiving. We will actually be in SC at my Mom's house for Thanksgiving Day. praying for a safe, peaceful drive & a wonderful time visiting our families.
we have so much to be thankful for in our lives. Mainly for God's Son, Jesus Christ...and His Mercy & Grace!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ruth is Here!

Ruth Eleanor
19.5" long

we had her newborn pictures made yesterday. when i have more energy & more time I will write an extended post. Ruth is a delight. a quiet baby...very calm & not demanding. she is beautiful & we are all delighted with her.
we had her pictures made though a young girl we went to church with long ago. She isnt a young girl anymore...she is a grown woman, married, with 2 children. She has an in home studio & is starting to specialize in newborn photos. Journey Through Life Photography.
I can not wait to get the rest of the pictures. this was a sneak peak one & i am thrilled!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

more for Ruth

i have been super motivated these last few days...really keeping my mind busy or else i will be an emotional mess.

here are a few other things i made yesterday for Ruth:
and elf hat in purple/pink/white & a cute Owl Hat. I love Owls!!

and this is another elf hat in a varigated yarn with a matching diaper cover. the buttons are antiques from Clay's grandmother. i cant wait for Ruth's newborn pictures! she's going to have a few outfit changes in them!

 I'm going to attempt some booties later today. this website that i found off of Pinterest has free crochet patterns (***LOVE***)... . this lady's blog is wonderful for food & crochet crafts & ideas.

Monday, October 1, 2012

ready for Ruth

i have been preparing a few things in anticipation of giving birth to Ruth. I like to embroider & crochet. i like to make things or add to things that the kids can keep & possibly have for their own kids one day. who knows. i have tried to make each of the last 4 children their own personalized receiving blankets....basically add a crochet edge to the blankets. i am one of those women who, when she has a baby, she dresses them immediately in the clothes she wants for them & swaddles them in their own blankets. I dont like to use the hospital gowns or hospital blankets. thankfully at the hospital we use, Depaul, they have no problem with that & seem to really go to great lengths to make sure all of the new baby things are returned each morning after the baby's bath.
so here are a few things that i have made (or purchased) for Ruth.

This is a cocoon. i love a baby in white. Ruth will be having newborn pictures made within 3 weeks of her birth so she needed a special outfit. the big green flower is just clipped on. and i also made an additional pink beret with pompom because it was a quick, easy hat to make.

these are all of the receiving blankets i edged for her. I went to the fabric store, picked out some sweet, different prints & edged them with a crochet edge. they are all different & i cant decide which is my favorite. it will be interesting to see the one we use the most. the one with the gray edging will be used more for Sundays as it seems a bit more elegant or dressy to me. and the plaid one stands out right now as the front runner because it's just different. i use to go buy a pack of receiving blankets & then edge them but i liked the idea of choosing the very blanket pattern also.

and these bibs were a spur of the moment purchase. i'm not a fan of stamped cross stitch. i prefer counted. but i found these on clearance at Wal-mart & decided to whip them out for Ruth while i have waited at many different appointments or practices with the other kids. we only have a few bibs for girls that we have these turned out kind of sweet. i finished the cow one today.

i didnt make these gowns but i did add the little crochet flowers to the gowns to turn them from boy gowns/sleepers to more girly gowns/sleepers. these were Levi's and i couldnt bear to get rid of them as they are in the softest of cottons, worn & true...and they easily converted to something Ruth will wear.

and these are the biggest purchases i have made for the baby. we had an infant carseat but it was gray & green for a boy. so i bought a carseat cover. and of course i had to buy a silky blanket for Ruth. all of the kids from Rachel on down have special blankets that they sleep with and she will be no exception. her's is the palest of pinks & has a heart on it. it's soft & wooly on one side & soft & silky/satiny on the other.

the only other thing we made/purchased for Ruth was this dresser. she needed a dresser in which to keep her sweet baby things. i found a solid wood dresser on craigslist for $30. clay spray painted it a "ballet slipper" pale pink & it holds her little clothes perfectly. he painted the bail pulls a brushed nickel. i love the way it turned out.

so now we are waiting for Oct. 4th....7:30 AM i will be on the operating table....and our new precious one will be with us. i can not wait!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

a visit with a hummingbird

i have been meaning to post these pictures of the trip that Clay & Asher took to Georgia.
they had a unique experience. they caught a hummingbird. i'm sure when they let the beautiful little bird go he was mocked by his counterparts, but what a delight for Asher.
God is amazing in all of His creation!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Clay & Asher

most people who know Clay know that he was never big on having a boy. actually he was never big on having children to begin with...he liked the idea but the practicality of walking it out was always hard for him.
when we found out we were having Rachel he hoped she was a girl. one of the only men i ever knew who wanted a girl over a boy. and God, being gracious, loving & ever mindful of what we need, gave us Rachel.
Rachel has been a joy....and still is. then came Elizabeth & Abigail.
And Elizabeth has taught him real sacrificial love. Our friend, Ron Braaten, a missionary in Belize, always said that when he holds his adopted kids & smells their heads...he smells Jesus. Clay understands that now with his relationship with Elizabeth. She is doubt about it.....but it's definitely a relationship that builds your walk with the Lord because it's a spiritual DNA that connects us.
Clay has said over & over again that Abigail...out of all of our kids, gives him an unconditional love that builds him up that he has never experienced with any other person.......only his dog, Georgia, provided that type of Godly love before for him in a very real, almost tangible way.
then came Asher. Asher has truly shown Clay that having a boy is a unique bond. The maleness factor is strong! Boys have this built in gene or need to play with guns, air planes, dirt, dogs, cars, trucks, swords..... a built in gene that predispositions them to wrestle, giggle at the mention of the word "poop", tease their sisters & pull daredevil stunts, like climbing to the very top of the swing set & sitting or standing on the roof of the treehouse, that scare their mamas senseless.
Clay has truly, truly been blessed with Asher. He enjoys having a little male around that wants to go to air shows & gun shows........ that wants to ride in his truck & use his drill & ride on his tractor.

Last week Clay had a house torn down. He had me meet him with Asher so Asher could go with him to see the "coolness" of the destruction of the house. Not only did Asher get to see the house getting crushed to a big pile of rubble...he got to participate! I think Clay was as excited for Asher as Asher was at getting the experience. (that's Mr. Paul helping Asher.)

Here is a picture that Clay just sent me from the trip he & Asher took to see Mema in Georgia.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

just an update

with our child in the wilderness....we, thankfully, have a wonderful pediatrician that put this child on a mild anti-depressant. it does run in both Clay & my families & it wont hurt to give this child a boost to help them cope.

thankfully there is no thyroid issues or anemia issues.

we are expecting a turn around, because God loves us, we have called on Him & are believing for His help for this child.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

in the wilderness

we have a child that is feeling a bit out of sorts these days. they are feeling lost and depressed......basically lost in the wilderness. it makes me very sad for this child as this child is such a joy most of the time.... a blessing to us all - a person with so much potential.  we instructed this child to take captive their negative thoughts concerning life & life's circumstances. the best way to do that is to find scripture that pertain to what you are dealing with & memorize it & speak it....say it out loud...pray it. believe it.

this precious one found this scripture...particularly verse 10. God is so good. this scripture brought tears to my heart for this child as it was exactly what they needed to hear & know...that even while we may be in the wilderness God is there with us. He encircles us. He is our protector, our strong tower, our fortress, our ever present help in the time of trouble. i have been praying this along with our precious one & asking God's favor & peace to be on them. 

Deuteronomy 32:1-43

The Song of Moses
1“Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak;
         And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
2“Let my teaching drop as the rain,
         My speech distill as the dew,
         As the droplets on the fresh grass
         And as the showers on the herb.
3“For I proclaim the name of the LORD;
         Ascribe greatness to our God!
4“The Rock! His work is perfect,
         For all His ways are just;
         A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
         Righteous and upright is He.
5“They have acted corruptly toward Him,
         They are not His children, because of their defect;
         But are a perverse and crooked generation.
6“Do you thus repay the LORD,
         O foolish and unwise people?
         Is not He your Father who has bought you?
         He has made you and established you.
7“Remember the days of old,
         Consider the years of all generations.
         Ask your father, and he will inform you,
         Your elders, and they will tell you.
8“When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
         When He separated the sons of man,
         He set the boundaries of the peoples
         According to the number of the sons of Israel.
9“For the LORD’S portion is His people;
         Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.
10“He found him in a desert land,
         And in the howling waste of a wilderness;
         He encircled him, He cared for him,
         He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.
11“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
         That hovers over its young,
         He spread His wings and caught them,
         He carried them on His pinions.
12“The LORD alone guided him,
         And there was no foreign god with him.
13“He made him ride on the high places of the earth,
         And he ate the produce of the field;
         And He made him suck honey from the rock,
         And oil from the flinty rock,
14Curds of cows, and milk of the flock,
         With fat of lambs,
         And rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats,
         With the finest of the wheat—
         And of the blood of grapes you drank wine.
15“But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked—
         You are grown fat, thick, and sleek—
         Then he forsook God who made him,
         And scorned the Rock of his salvation.
16“They made Him jealous with strange gods;
         With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
17“They sacrificed to demons who were not God,
         To gods whom they have not known,
         New gods who came lately,
         Whom your fathers did not dread.
18“You neglected the Rock who begot you,
         And forgot the God who gave you birth.
19“The LORD saw this, and spurned them
         Because of the provocation of His sons and daughters.
20“Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them,
         I will see what their end shall be;
         For they are a perverse generation,
         Sons in whom is no faithfulness.
21‘They have made Me jealous with what is not God;
         They have provoked Me to anger with their idols.
         So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people;
         I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation,
22For a fire is kindled in My anger,
         And burns to the lowest part of Sheol,
         And consumes the earth with its yield,
         And sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
23‘I will heap misfortunes on them;
         I will use My arrows on them.
24They will be wasted by famine, and consumed by plague
         And bitter destruction;
         And the teeth of beasts I will send upon them,
         With the venom of crawling things of the dust.
25‘Outside the sword will bereave,
         And inside terror—
         Both young man and virgin,
         The nursling with the man of gray hair.
26‘I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces,
         I will remove the memory of them from men,”
27Had I not feared the provocation by the enemy,
         That their adversaries would misjudge,
         That they would say, “Our hand is triumphant,
         And the LORD has not done all this.”’
28“For they are a nation lacking in counsel,
         And there is no understanding in them.
29“Would that they were wise, that they understood this,
         That they would discern their future!
30“How could one chase a thousand,
         And two put ten thousand to flight,
         Unless their Rock had sold them,
         And the LORD had given them up?
31“Indeed their rock is not like our Rock,
         Even our enemies themselves judge this.
32“For their vine is from the vine of Sodom,
         And from the fields of Gomorrah;
         Their grapes are grapes of poison,
         Their clusters, bitter.
33“Their wine is the venom of serpents,
         And the deadly poison of cobras.
34‘Is it not laid up in store with Me,
         Sealed up in My treasuries?
35‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution,
         In due time their foot will slip;
         For the day of their calamity is near,
         And the impending things are hastening upon them.’
36“For the LORD will vindicate His people,
         And will have compassion on His servants,
         When He sees that their strength is gone,
         And there is none remaining, bond or free.
37“And He will say, ‘Where are their gods,
         The rock in which they sought refuge?
38‘Who ate the fat of their sacrifices,
         And drank the wine of their drink offering?
         Let them rise up and help you,
         Let them be your hiding place!
39‘See now that I, I am He,
         And there is no god besides Me;
         It is I who put to death and give life.
         I have wounded and it is I who heal,
         And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
40‘Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven,
         And say, as I live forever,
41If I sharpen My flashing sword,
         And My hand takes hold on justice,
         I will render vengeance on My adversaries,
         And I will repay those who hate Me.
42‘I will make My arrows drunk with blood,
         And My sword will devour flesh,
         With the blood of the slain and the captives,
         From the long-haired leaders of the enemy.’
43“Rejoice, O nations, with His people;
         For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
         And will render vengeance on His adversaries,
         And will atone for His land and His people.”

Thursday, September 6, 2012

rachel is a senior

Rachel is a senior today...officially! before this year is out i will find her first day of kindergarten picture and post it in this space.
i can say with all honesty, that i blinked.....for a moment.....and she grew up. as much as i want so much to hold on...i know the time is coming to let go. i am so proud of her. i cant wait to see what God has for her in the years to come.
i have posted it before, but i will do it again. this song is one that a group called Lady Antebellum sang. the moment i heard it i was reminded of Rachel. i will post the lyrics & a youtube link.

She grew up on a side of the roadWhere the church bells ring and strong love growsShe grew up goodShe grew up slowLike American Honey
Steady as a preacherFree as a weedCouldn't wiat to get goin'But wasn't quite ready to leaveSo innocent, pure and sweetAmerican honey
There's a wild, wild whisperBlowing in the windCalling out my name like a long lost friendOh I miss those days as the years go byOh nothing's sweeter than summer timeAnd American honey
Get caught in the raceOf this crazy lifeTrying to be everything can make you lose your mindI just wanna go back in timeTo American honey, yea
There's a wild, wild whisperBlowing in the windCalling out my name like a long lost friendOh I miss those days as the years go byOh nothing's sweeter than summer timeAnd American honey
Gone for so long nowI gotta get back to her somehowTo American honey
Ooh There's a wild, wild whisperBlowing in the windCalling out my name like a long lost friendOh I miss those days as the years go byOh nothin's sweeter than summer timeAnd American HoneyAnd American Honey

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day

We have a small list of things to accomplish BEFORE Ruth gets here. Time is short & we are really trying to fit it all in. Last night I actually spent the night up, alone, contracting....seriously contracting. from about 10:30 - about 4:30AM. I basically didnt get any sleep. the contractions were hard & had the potential to progress but they didnt. they didnt hit that certain "peak" that contractions have to hit to be considered "unbearable" for me. but nonetheless they were hard good contractions that kept me awake for most of the night. So with time getting short & if contractions like last night's continue we might not be able to complete our list BEFORE Ruth's arrival.

our list consist of the following:
*night of camping (Rachel's request)
*fishing with Elizabeth, Abigail, Asher & Esther. (all of the listed request)
*the zoo (Esther's request)

we also have a consistent request for picnics. so yesterday we went to a very close park & took a picnic lunch & allowed the kids to play on a very big playground. this is the same park where Clay & the 3 little ones ran into a copperhead about 2 weeks back. it's actually a camping park with hiking trails & a huge river that runs through it with paddle boats & canoes. thankfully we didnt meet any venomous visitors at Northwest River Park yesterday. we did meet a nice Russian family with a beautiful little pomerian dog. The children were very cool in that family...a girl & a boy & they both switched back & forth fluently between English & Russian. those children played very nicely with my children. we also ran into a young family with one little boy, who was younger than Levi, but walking. when we got on the trail that leads from the playground to the picnic, this little boy tried to join us. I told his Mom that he was fine...he would fit in nicely...but she decided to keep him.

here are some pictures from yesterday. i actually remembered the camera!

Esther wasnt happy that she had to eat her sandwich BEFORE she got any of the extra goodies.

 Levi has become a master at the slides & he loves them now.

Clay playing on the swings.

i love this picture of Abigail. she has a drop of kool-aid running down her chin. to be a kid again & not worry about things like that!

and this is Asher on his motorized motorcycle. it actually goes about 15 mph & he does great on it.