Wednesday, July 16, 2014

18th Anniversary -Day Getaway!

Every year Dan and I talk about doing a weekend getaway for our anniversary, but there never seems to be funds to do it. Hopefully one year soon! :)
We still had a wonderful celebration! We had planned to spend Sunday afternoon/evening at the beach. Our kids are old enough to stay home alone, but I knew they would enjoy spending the day at Dylan & Kayla Pickron's house. I checked with Kay (their mother) and she said "bring them Sat. already and let them stay overnight"! Well, I couldn't resist that kind of offer!
So Saturday night we dropped them off with friends and spent the evening just relaxing.....talking, talking, more talking and watching a movie or two.

We slept in longer than normal on Sunday morning and by 9:00 we were on the road to Beacon Hill, Mexico Beach. It was a cloudy day but still a bit warm. We didn't spend a lot of time in the water because of the cloud cover. When you got out and were wet, it felt a little chilly!

Had to try out my "barefoot sandals" I bought on Etsy over a year ago! :P

The seagulls could sense every time we got the snacks out! Silly birds!

Sand pipers

<3 In some ways it's so hard to believe that I have almost been married longer than I was single!! Time is going by so quickly! AND, we have lived in FL for half our married life! That blows my mind even more!!

It drizzled on and off till around 2 PM, when we decided to continue on with our day......

We drove to Panama City Beach and went mini-golfing at Pirate's Island. Mini-golfing was something we did often when we were dating and have not been for a long time!! It was fun again! 

Dan is a great score keeper! :)

The alligators looked real!!

We seem to be in trouble! ;)

We both got SO close on this hole on our first hit! :) 

Self-timer! :)

This is such a fun course!! It was pretty empty of people too, so we took our good ole' time and just enjoyed the day! By the time we were half way through, the skies had cleared and the sun was quite warm!! :) That's FL weather for you!

In May I had planned a surprise 40th birthday party for Dan. Friends and family blessed him with gift cards and cash. He asked me to put it all aside for our anniversary, so it was nice to be able to have some fun and spend a little more $$ than usual! :) 
He chose the Gift Card for Longhorn Steakhouse, thanks to my brother Lynn and Lisa!! :) 
Neither of us could finish our food! It was so yummy!!

After our early supper (we ate a later breakfast and then just snacked for lunch) we spent another hour or two window shopping at Pier Park!
Then we stopped for frozen yogurt at Milk & Honey (thanks to Scott & Amy Cloud).

It was a very relaxing day that we both enjoyed and needed immensely!! :) 

A BIG Thank You to everyone who made it possible in any way! :)

Monday, May 5, 2014


We have been so blessed by the generosity of friends over the past week!!

 As soon as friends heard of our miscarriage, we had offers for meals and so much more! I want to take this time to recognize some of our friends who went out of their way to make us feel so loved!

Tuesday night, Emily Gillis brought us a supper of Taco Salad and Fruit Salad!

Wednesday, some of the RHE mom's were planning to come and bring lunch and just hang out here with me, but then we had storms and torrential rain. It just seemed better for everyone to stay home and be safe! Turned out that Wednesday was a hard day for me and I know it was for the best that they didn't come!

However, Wednesday evening Danny & Brandy Hunter brought us chicken & rice, carrots, sweet tea and a delish chocolate cake!! We enjoyed visiting with them a bit too!

Thursday, our friends, Eric & Yolie Miller brought supper! Yolie had also offered to clean church for me, which was such a blessing and a weight off my mind! And then Sunday, she made extra food for Fellowship Meal, so I didn't feel like I needed to make anything! <3

Eric, Yolie and their children.....

Friday, Denise Williams came by and brought some homemade bread and chocolate chip cookies! :)
She also took the kids along to our Homeschool Park Day, which was held at the Hunter's house since it was so soggy outside and still raining a bit. I had a quiet day at home to just rest, relax and spend time talking to my Jesus! <3 A very needed time alone, but I sure did miss them!

Saturday was the GEMS 8th Annual Ladies Tea fundraiser. I want to thank everyone who took over the roles I was supposed to have that day! 

I was thankful to be feeling well enough to attend the Tea. Caroline Yoder blessed me with a lovely bouquet of flowers!!

GEMS ladies also sent me home with one of the table bouquet's from the Tea!! :)

Then today!! :)

Today I felt so spoiled! The plans we had for last Wed. got postponed till today! Brandy, Emily and Denise and their older kids came bearing lunch and their beautiful selves! :) I was ordered to stay sitting and relax while they got lunch ready and served! 

After lunch, Baylee offered to give me a pedicure! :)

She even gave me zebra stripes!! :)

Victoria giving Tamara a pedi.....

Denise was so sweet to help with my wash! :) I didn't even care that she didn't fold things like I do! I was just so grateful!!

 Shauna keeping her little brother entertained!

 Victoria and Ozzy

Getting pedi's and drinking Moonshine with my girl friends!! What could be better? :D
Before you panic, it's Good Girl Moonshine! :)

Later in the afternoon, I heard some noise outside. Zeb Hunter surprised us by edging our sidewalks!! If you need someone to do a super job on your lawn care and you live in the Blountstown/Tallahassee area, I highly recommend Lawn Enforcement Lawn Care!! Check them out!

Too bad I didn't have a "before" picture!

Tonight Heather Falb brought us supper.....and while it was all tasty, their homemade ice cream was the "icing on the cake"! She even brought my favorite! Salted Caramel!!! :)

I have tears in my eyes tonight as I think on each of the acts of kindness shown to our family in the last week!! Not just the people mentioned in this blog, but so many other's who took the time to let us know they care, in one way or another! I know I said it before, but we feel so cared for! It's the love of Jesus flowing through His people!! <3

Keep praying for us!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Shattered Dreams

Sometimes life goes along smoothly. Prayers are answered, relationships are good and you just have an all around satisfied feeling! Then there are hard times. Finances don't hold out, a relationship sours, things break down and dreams fall apart. No matter which place I find myself, I am so very thankful that I have a loving Heavenly Father who cares about every detail! I feel Him rejoicing with me when things are going well and I feel his hugs of mercy when life is rotten. If I didn't know God, my life would be a miserable roller coaster!

 This week, our dream of a new baby was shattered! I'm not gonna lie, the last few days have been so hard emotionally! But through it all, I feel God caring for us in a gentle way through the love and care of our brothers and sisters in Christ! And I am grateful! SO grateful!!

 Monday I went to the doctor after being concerned with some spotting I was having. I went more for my peace of mind than anything. I expected the Dr. to say this was normal and to take it easy. I was also really excited to be planning to go back Wed. for an ultrasound to find out our babies due date and just to be able to see life inside me and be able to comprehend that this dream we waited for so long was about to come true!

 When the Dr. did a "mini" ultrasound and told me there was no way I was 11 weeks, I started getting this sinking feeling, because I knew my calculation weren't far off. He immediately ordered a regular ultrasound. When the technician was done and offered me her hand to sit up on the bed, I was not prepared for the sadness in her face when she whispered, "I'm sorry, there is no life there anymore"! :( :( I thought I could be strong and save the emotion for later, but her kindness and sympathy loosened my resolve and I shook with sobs while she offered me a shoulder to cry on! It was hard to sit down with the doctor and discuss the options I was facing. He told me if I let me body work, I would probably miscarry the baby this week yet. But he could also give me pills (with undesirable side effects) to speed the process up. It was hard to make a quick decision when this type of decision was so far off my radar. After whispering a quick prayer to my Father, I felt at peace about letting my body do what it needed to do on its own time.

 I hid my tears as I walked out of the office and back through the waiting room full of glowing, pregnant women and momma's with adorable newborn babies. I even kept them in check while I walked across the parking garage to my van. The drive home was hard. I hated to call Dan with the news while he was at work, but didn't think it fair to make him wait, since he knew where I was going that afternoon and he was concerned about me.

 I really don't remember much of the drive home. It was full of groanings, prayers and hot tears! I did manage to control my emotions enough to call my Mom and share the news with her and Dad. I asked her to let my siblings know.

 We told the kids the sad news and that evening Dan took me shopping since we were running low on groceries. It was soothing to be with him and just do normal life together.

 It never fails to amaze me how God works things out in advance! Dan was scheduled for a regular day off on Tuesday and boy, was I thankful!! Tuesday morning, I knew this was the day. This was the day our baby dear was to be born, so small and unrecognizable, but already enjoying a place my heart longs to go! It was probably the hardest day of my life, Wed. not being much better. But even though it was hard and the tears flowed and emotions were raw, I felt carried! Carried by the love of my husband and children taking over the normal "mom jobs" and just looking after my needs while I rested, carried by phone calls and visits from friends, carried by friends offering to bring us meals and carried by so many who let us know they were praying on my facebook page and by email!

 This week is not over, but I feel God's love through this situation. I am not done crying and mourning, but I have Hope! And I have a new heartfelt sympathy for those who have had this experience over and over again!

 While this dream was "shattered", it is not the end of dreaming! Only God knows what our future holds. In the meantime, I have a deep desire to serve Him wherever and how ever He wants me to! He alone has a perfect will for my future and I'd be foolish not to follow His lead!

 I would covet your prayers for our family in the coming weeks as we work through this loss, as we see projects we were working on in preparation for our new baby and as we are again grateful for the two blessings we have been given, Danny and Tamara!! That we would not take for granted the gifts we dreamed of and WERE given!!  

~Leaving our future in God's strong hands!

Phillipians 4:4-7  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

A family is a circle of love, not broken by a loss, but made stronger by the memories.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Our Blessing-to-Be!!

Yup, after trying for #3 for 11 years, it has finally happened! :)

I have to share a short story....

After Tamara was born, I prayed that God would not let me get pregnant again till I lost some weight. I had gained 40 lbs. with Danny, and didn't lose very much till I got pregnant with Tamara. I only gained 12-17 lbs. with her. But I was a whopping 275 lbs.!! I knew that living like that just wasn't healthy and I was afraid another pregnancy could put me over 300!

So, out of fear, and a lack of self-discipline, I figured I'd better pray! Well, be careful what you pray for! God heard and answered that prayer. Since we moved to FL, I have lost over 50 lbs., 18 of them just since Feb. So I really shouldn't have been surprised right?

I don't doubt for a moment that God knew what He was doing, whether or not I had prayed that prayer!
It's been a journey of learning and growing and resting in Him in so many area's of our lives!!

So, we are Super excited about the next 7 months.....and the years to come! Our life is going to change drastically, going from two teenagers to adding a newborn to the family. :)

Pray for us, mostly that this can be a successful pregnancy. Although I have never miscarried, because of my PCOS I have a higher risk of that. But God is matter the outcome! :) We are trusting Him!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I took a break from Facebook and most media for awhile. It's time to get back to blogging. Look for a post in the near future! :) Yes, I'm still alive! :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Project 365 - 2/23-3/1

February 23

I had no picture for this day! :P It was a Sunday! The kids and I went to church in the morning, while Dan preached in the prison. Took an afternoon nap, then went with my neighbor, Emma, to participate in a service at the women's prison. One lady shared a poem she wrote about her life. It was full of heartache and sadness, but ended with God's grace carrying her through! It made me even more grateful for being placed in the family/community I grew up in! But my heart aches for those still living in horrible situations like that! :(

February 24

Our Crab Apple trees are really shooting out leaves!! Loving these signs of spring! :)

February 25

Dan & I attended a banquet for A Women's Pregnancy Center in Marianna, FL

February 26

A tablet I see on my desk each day! I am so thankful Danny understands Algebra I so far, because I'm afraid I wouldn't be much help! :P This looks like Greek to me! :( I probably should be taking it with him!!

February 27

We had Life Group at our house....this was only one side of our small living room. There were 8 people that you can't see (plus all the little kids in Tamara's bedroom)! Can we say "cozy"? :)

February 28

Took a trip to Colquitt, GA, Dan's birthplace, to pick up a birth certificate for him! Seems he only had a "Birth Record" from the hospital! :P We took a little time and drove around to see places he remembered from his first 8 years of life! :) And we found a cute little cafe where we got drinks for the trip home! :)

March 1

Seven kids from Riverbend Home Educator's were inducted in as Jr. Board members for the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement.
Front, l-r: Danny, Zebidiah Hunter, Ashley Hunter, Evan Hunter, Dylan Pickron and Kayla Pickron. Rachel Smith was missing due to chicken pox! :(
 Also pictured is the Main Board member and volunteers.

We got a tour of the grounds by Willard Smith (back row, second from left), who is the founder of the PPS! I'm excited for our family to get involved in this community project!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Project 365 ~February 16-22

February 16

We got to church Sunday morning and were surprised to see a music group was all set up to play! The Herrlinger Family stopped by on their way through the area. It was unplanned, but we are flexible! :) Very much enjoyed it! The girls did awesome on this violin medley!!
We even invited them to stay and share again during the evening program!

February 17

After a morning of school studies, the kids and I cleaned up the open area of our garage! It was getting messy and needed to be swept! We filled two garbage cans, one with burnable junk and one with other stuff! It felt so good to have that done!
Danny pulling his 4-wheeler back into the garage....with Tamara on it! Not sure why he didn't just start it up. Seems that would have been easier! Maybe this was his strength training for the day! :)

Same day....

Tamara shocked me when she told me that she would like to walk our road every day (1 mile). This same girl who would drag her feet anytime we even mentioned the word "exercise"!! I wouldn't let an opportunity like this slip away!! It's good for her and I!

February 18

GEMS (Gospel Express Ministries South) board meeting! Great group of people to work with!
We are in the middle of planning two Ladies Tea fundraiser's. One will be held in Tallahassee, and another in Grand Ridge! 

February 19

A beautiful day for a walk....and this is what we saw!

February 20

Look what is in our fridge!!! :)

February 21

Cleason Martin, a friend from PA, and the one responsible for bringing us that log of Lebanon Bologna above, came and spent the morning and had lunch with us! It was nice that Dan had off work that day so they could visit. Cleason is here to do some seminars in the local prisons.

February 22

We were invited to Evan Hunter's 16th birthday party! The boys had air soft wars all afternoon and evening!
Stopped a moment for supper! :)

The girls played a game of Monopoly, while the adults visited! (no pic) :)