Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Surviving the storm

Yes..as many of you have seen on tv, good old West Virginia got hit pretty hard by "Frankenstorm Sandy"!  We are surviving here in my neck of the woods.  But sadly..with no electricity.  :-(  I'm just hoping we don't have to wait a whole week for it to get restored like back in the summer.  We are holding up well though despite the circumstances.  There are several inches of snow in my front yard..something that we never see this time of the year here!  Trick or treating was delayed due to the storm and won't be taking place until saturday.  All I can say is thank goodness for a generator and kerosene heater!

Were you or anyone you know impacted by 'Sandy'?


Walking by Faith

Sometimes in life, you just don't understand why things happen to you.  Or others you know.   We can't always understand why good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people.  We wait for answers to our problems.  Praying and hoping things will change.

Then they do.  But not the way we thought they would.

That was me today. 

As alot of you know, my husband (Damon) has been laid off from his job in the coal mines since March of this year.  It has been a rough year for us.  We've done alot of praying.  We've worried alot, especially here lately.  We are currently on an extension of unemployment benefits.  For anyone who's never been there before or doesn't know what that means, its basically the last of the last of anything you can draw from unemployment compensation.  Its the end of the line, basically.  After that runs out, your on your own.

We were due to run out right around Christmas.  I have been worried alot lately and Damon had been too.  So much so that both of us has lost alot of sleep.  We've had more restless nights than restful ones in the past month or so.  I've prayed like never before. 

Believe me, don't ever think that this can't happen to you.  When he was working, things were going great.  We didn't have any worries in the world.  Then our world was turned upside down.  I thought it couldn't happen to us..but it has twice in the last 4 years. 

Damon got the call today.  But it wasn't the call I had hoped for.  The job he has been offered pays probably the same as what we've been drawing while unemployed, maybe even less.  Its not the answer I thought God was going to bring us.

I was upset.  I cried alot this morning and thought how could things go from bad to worse?  You know how the mind goes to the extremes when you get news you don't expect.  But after I had alot of time to get settled down (and take a much needed nap after a yet another sleepless night), I realize that God knew this was going to happen.  He knows why this is the job he needs right now.  I feel like he's preparing us.  For better things. 

Sometimes you have to walk in the valley to appreciate the view from the mountaintop.

I realize things could be worse.  The job could be really far away (which its not..its only a couple minutes drive from our home) and what pay he did get...alot would go to gas money.  He couldn't have gotten this job at all and in a couple short months we'd find ourselves trying to live off of our savings. 

So I'm thankful.  Even though he's not started yet (there are still a few more things he has to get taken care of like paperwork and drug tests), I'm praising God for the prayer He answered.  It might not have been what either of us had hoped for, but its an answer. 

We're walking in faith right now, knowing that even though we can't see whats ahead of us, God does.  And we're totally trusting in Him that He knows what is best for us and will sustain us.

Psalm 55:22 "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."


Monday, October 29, 2012

Channeling my inner "Pioneer Woman"

I love this woman!  Talk about someone who seems to have it all together..she can cook, homeschools her kids, is an amazing photographer, an avid blogger, stylish, and lives on a ranch with her family.

And she's totally turned me on to something I've not been a big fan of before.


I've never been a coffee drinker (except when I was little..with a lot of sugar to rid it of that bitter taste, of course!).  I do like (ok, loooove) me a caramel frappe at McD's.  But iced coffee?  I didn't think so.

And then I came across a blog post the Pioneer Woman (aka Ree) had done on her insanely good iced coffee.  She talked about how much she loved it and had to start her day with some.  And what caught my eye, was she tried several recipes until she nailed it.

That's the mark of a good cook.

I thought well..if I'm gonna give this a shot..I'm gonna do it her way since she's tested several methods.  First..you start with cold water and coffee.  I halved the original recipe just because the full version makes ALOT and I didn't know if I was going to like this or not.  You mix the cold water and coffee and let it sit 8 hours or overnight.  Then you strain the coffee mixture using a strainer and some coffee filters, and filter the coffee into a clean container.  Its alot of work, but worth it.   Then you chill your cold brewed coffee in the fridge until its good and cold.

When your ready for a glass, just fill your glass up with ice (though I normally don't do this..I'm thinking once the ice starts to melt its gonna dilute everything..frozen coffee cubes would probably be a better idea).  Fill  your glass about half full of the coffee.  Then you add some nice half and half (I bought fat free cause lets face it..its gonna pack on some pounds!) and any flavorings you might like (caramel is my weapon of choice).  She also makes it sometimes by adding a couple teaspoons of sweetened condensed milk and half and half.  I have tried this.  Oh my word..its good! 


If you would like to make this..(and I think you should!)..head over and try Ree's iced coffee.  You won't be disappointed!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I've been trying some new things with my hair lately.  Not so much style-wise..but accessory wise! 

You see..I'm a big fan of headbands.

Love them.  Can't get enough of them.  Can't have too many of them.  Wear them every..single..day.

My blog friend Callie made a really cute headband a while back..an idea taken from Pinterest.  A fantastic idea I might add!  So I had to go and make one for myself.  I want to make a few more of these..especially one in black since I wear that color alot.  And gray would be very versatile too.  I also made one for my BFF and sent it to her in the mail..she loves it!

So I did some searching on good ol' pinterest after making this headband and took a look see on what else I could make a headband out of.  Ties were a big thing oddly enough so when I came across some for a $1 each I couldn't pass it up.  Here's what I came up with.....

sorry for the 'bluriness'

I think they turned out rather well!!  Oh and my hairstyle lately has been pulled back..but with a twist.  Since my hair is still curly from my halfway grown out perm (I so want to get another one..but not until Damon is working again obviously..they aren't cheap)..I thought this was a nice change from the same old boring ponytail.....

All I did was after I put my hair in a low ponytail, I made a little hole with my fingers right above where the elastic was holding my hair and flipped my 'tail' through the hole and pulled through! 

You can also work the above style into something a little 'neater' and take the loose ends..roll them up..and pin into place..something like this (I of course did this for picture purposes only and didnt really take the time to make it as neat as it could be)....

Something else I want to try to make is a scarf headwrap.  Anyone else think these are the cutest things ever?!?

Pinned Image


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

When your not looking..

If you have a toddler, you know what I mean!!  I was rinsing out Makayla's pjs in our spare bathroom..turned around..and this is what she did when I had my back turned...

The toliet paper terror!

Off to my room where mom won't suspect a thing!  Oh and I just had to get all of my books out of my bookshelf in a mere few seconds to boot!

"Hey Mom!  What's up?"

"I'm not in trouble, am I?"

"Ok!  Back to playing!!"


Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm guest posting today!

Hello all!  I'm guest posting for Callie today at Through Clouded Glass..I hope you'll head over and read what I had to say about what being a new mom has taught me!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Autumn..in my 'town'

I don't know if you'd really call where I live at a 'town'.  More like a community I guess!!  Anyways..its been lovely here lately and I've been out enjoying the nice weather and snapping pictures away like a wild woman photographer!  Here is life in my town..in autumn-time...

Are the leaves turning to shades of orange, red, and yellow where you live?


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Too much...

There are alot of ways this subject can go...

Too much is something that happens to all of us in one form or another.  It got me to thinking tonight.  Sometimes we feel like we have too much to deal with.  Too many problems.   Too many burdens.  And we want to ask "Why?". 

I think sometimes (not always..), some problems start with ourselves.  Let me explain a bit...

This verse came to my mind..
~~Psalm 55:22 ~~
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you: He shall never suffer the righeous to be moved.

Notice that it says to cast your burdens on the LORD.  Not each other.  I know we are to help one another..especially in times of need.  Thats the great thing about being a Christian, we can reach out to one another and PRAY for one another when one is in need.  But there is a limit.  Dumping all your problems on someone over and over again isn't a healthy relationship.  Especially when you consider we ALL go through trials in this life.  God didn't promise our daily walk to be a bed of roses.  Just because someone else's life may appear to be smooth and stress free doesn't necessarily mean that it is. 

We all reach our limits.  The great thing, though, is that God knows what that limit is.  He knows how much we can handle.  He also gives us the power to say "no" when we need to.  We don't have to keep taking abuse.  We can tell our friends "no" when we've had a hard day and need to talk about more positive things.  It doesn't mean we don't care.  It means we're trying to stay sane.  And trying to stay a good friend.  Though we can sometimes sense when someone has had 'too much'..but sometimes we can't. 

No matter what you may be going through right now, there is or has been someone who has walked down the road your traveling.  Someone has felt the same way you do now.  Someone has felt taken advantage of.  Felt cheated.  Has felt betrayed.  Or used.  That life has handed them a bad 'hand'. 

It gets better.  It may not get better in our timing.  But God has it all worked out in the end.  And thats what matters most.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Ours was good..we had some GREAT weather for getting outdoors!  Makayla enjoyed stomping around in the leaves....

How was your weekend?

(Linking up here and here)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An Update on the Homefront...

I thought you guys might want to know what all has been going on around here lately with our family! 

  • Thomas is healing from his lawn mower accident really REALLY well.  Maybe a little too well!  He's been driving us completely NUTS the past couple of days (we were having to keep him inside due to the stitches) and just went totally bonkers last night (he came rip roaring through the house at top notch speed and about jumped right on top of Ravey making a bee-line to the couch).  Ravey was NOT happy.  :-/  Today we threw him outside for the day.  He did totally well and isn't bothering his stitches any..so I think thats what we are going to have to do is just keep him outside until 'stitch removal day' comes on monday (unless it rains). 
  • Damon has still been busy job hunting.  In case you didn't know or are perhaps a new reader, my hubby has been unemployed since March of this year.  It has not been an easy time for us by any means, but God provides and has seen us through and will see us through until the end (when he gets a new job).  We want it to happen NOW..but of course thats human nature.  God has His own timing and we're trusting in Him as best as we know how.  However, I think looking ahead to Christmas in a couple of short months, I've never been more bummed.  I know..its not about the presents..it really isn't.  But sometimes its hard to be in a joyful mood and feel celebratory when your going through such a rough time in life.  If you don't have anyone else to pray for, pray for us. 
  • Our church started a choir a few months ago and I can't say how much I have enjoyed it!  When they first mentioned that they were going to start one up I was totally on board.  I truely enjoy singing even if I don't sound that great!  We have sang as a choir in church now probably 3 or 4 times and I just love, love, love it!
  • I have still been making alot of things homemade.  The two I'm totally hooked on for life though are fabric softner and laundry detergent.  I don't think I'll EVER go back!  Oh and using hydrogen peroxide for window cleaning is even better than vinegar water I've found!  Can't tell you the last time I bought a bottle of Windex (total waste of money)!
  • Makayla has reached a couple more milestones.  I try to steer clear of saying too much of what she is or isn't doing at the moment (I'll explain more in a bit)..I just don't want other moms to possibly feel badly that their kids should be doing things at the rate she is.  Don't get me wrong..I'm not saying she's a genius or anything (of course she's a perfect 10 in my book..but hey..she's my one and only kiddo!)..but I've read blogs where kids start talking at an early age or walking at a ridiculous age and I feel like I'm doing something wrong.  Am I the only one who does that?  Anywho..on October 1st she nursed for the last time!  I decided once she reached 1 year old (back in May) that I'd let her nurse for however long she wanted to.  I figured she'd push me away when she was done.  And that she did.  I was a little shocked..but not totally suprised either.  What suprised me even more was what happened the VERY SAME DAY.  She just took off walking!  Guess she decided she was going to become a big girl all in one day! 
  • Now..yes..Makayla was 16 months old before she started walking (though she'd been taking a few steps for a whole month prior)..but that was ok with me.  My peditrician told me at her last wellness visit (at 12 months) that they don't even look for them to start walking until at least 15 months old.  Anything before that is fine of course, but she just let me know that was the norm.  I know with experience from everything else..kids learn things at their own pace, in their own timing.  Just because a book says something doesn't mean your kid is going to do it exactly that way.  It doesn't mean they are going to do it in exactly the same time.  They might do it earlier..or later.  I had a run in with someone in the community (who shall remain nameless, but is the same person who said I looked like a 'fat cow' when I was pregnant..for anyone who remembers!) the other day and when I told them Makayla was walking..their reply was, "Well I was starting to wonder about her!".  Wonder what...thought myself..your NOT trying to say something is wrong with my child developmentally!  Let's just say my mama bear instincts inside were roaring..but the Christian in me prevailed and with God's help my mouth stayed shut!
  • Oh..and today we got our car paid off!!!!
That's about it for now..hope you've enjoyed catching up!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

It's the Great Pumpkin!

Linking up here and here today!

On Friday, we headed to one of my favorite festivals our great state of West Virginia has to offer.  The Pumpkin Festival in Milton!!  We try to go to this every year..they have the biggest pumpkins on display that were grown around the state as well as some tasty treats (pumpkin ice cream!).    The weather was perfect and it was a great day!

The pumpkins!

The biggest one this year..it weighed in at 951 pounds!

Baby Girl had a good time too!

We had to take a picture here instead of the 'prettier' display..a certain other mommy and her little daughter were hogging the display area taking pictures..which I don't mind..but give other people a chance too!

Who cares about the pumpkins..walking in this grassy/hay-like area is more fun!

Not much into looking at the camera...

The one picture I managed to get of Damon..he got some fresh roasted corn to eat..yum!

Cute old stage coach

I thought the display of american flags on the bank this year was absolutely gorgeous!  Usually they line up (in rows) pumpkins that the school children have decorated here..but this year they put them somewhere else (right where you come in) and put the flags on the banks this year..MUCH better and so nice!!

After all the craziness from the previous days events, the trip to the Pumpkin Festival this year was definately what the doctor ordered!!