Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas from our house to your house!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Grand Opening

     Repost & spread the word!!!  Come next Saturday & you just may win the new 270 Ruger rifle!Doors open at 11:00!  The 1st 100 customers will receive a free t-shirt!  There will be a free smoked deer sausage lunch at 11:30!  Around 12:00, the drawing will be held!  Other prizes include several gift certificates to the shop & Bass Pro, deer stand, deer camera, corn, cooler, knives, & MUCH more!  Most of all, enjoy the fun & see our new show room!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I KNOW there is power in prayer!
I KNOW Jesus saves for
I KNOW salvation has changed my life!
I KNOW He heals
because I have experienced it!
I KNOW God has blessed us
with 5 beautiful, healthy children!
I KNOW God can make a way through financial battles
when money is low & bills are high!
I KNOW He can calm a storm
& bless with peace & joy!
I KNOW He can put families back together
because I have experienced that exactly!
I KNOW He forgives our mistakes
because He has mine many times!
I KNOW He sends GRACE through troubles & trials
because I have overcome!
I KNOW He will not back down
& leave His children alone when things come our way!
I KNOW it doesn't matter
what anyone else thinks or says!
I KNOW He loves me!  I KNOW He lives!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


    Ever found out something has been stolen from you?  Taken right out from under your nose?  Felt run over, even abused & betrayed by someone you trusted & loved?  Felt love replaced by bitterness & hatred during the turmoil?  Having those that hurt keep turning up & smiling right in your face?  Don't know if you'll ever erase the pain or recover that joy?  That's the world we've been walking through...trying to look for the place to break free. 
     Nathan & I both have been really hurting...trying to walk together through a shattered valley...trying to pick up the pieces & find His grace.  We are clinging to one another as we transition from a nightmare into our dreams.  The road behind us has been marked all along the pathway with scars & difficult circumstances.  I am ever so thankful that our children are still little...that they don't have those memories.  They see progress, they are full of excitement, they bring us hope for a brighter tomorrow!  Trying to make sense of the situation doesn't bring any peace.  Trying to bind our wounds doesn't bring joy.  Struggling to breathe as the storm passes by is where we are.  I can feel joy of the weight lifting.  I am trying to find God's GRACE!  As I lay in bed early this morning pondering way too much I hear little footsteps waking up.  Marianna strikes up the wrong chord on the piano.  She begins to sing...
"Somebody loves me
Somebody cares
Somebody loves me
He answers my prayers!"
     She is ever so cheerful.  She is playing in one key & singing in another.  She believes.  I hear the joy in her voice crying out from her heart. I hear His GRACE calling out for me.  He is near to us in the storm.  He loves us.  He cares.  If we don't ever understand this trial...if they forever try to devour us...His GRACE is what we cry out for & run to.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slowing Down the Pace

     Knowing we've had big changes ahead for our family, I've taken time to prioritize and slow down the pace.  I want to enjoy this season in our lives.  I want to take time for what's important and leave off what is not.  I want to relax and have fun together while we build and move.  There is much work to do, but I didn't want it to be rush, rush, rush! 
     First, I began by asking myself what my priorities are and what really matters to me.  God is, of course, the most important.  He is our very existence.  Going against or leaving Him out of our plans is not an option.  That only calls for hard times and no peace.  So many times, it is easy for us to get busy and tied up with our own lives that we forget the one who blesses us with life.  He will lead and guide us into the best ways if we let Him!
     Secondly, family fits in.  My relationship with Nathan and our children is tops!  If Nathan and I don't make time for us, everything else will surely suffer.  All of us having fun together is also a must.  These were two very important priorities that I was determined to keep up!  This would require us visiting and helping with the building progress constantly.  Family meals have now turned into easier dishes.  We are all still sitting down together though, and that's what makes it special.  Dates have turned into Home Depot runs with all of the kiddos in tow!  lol  You should see the looks we get pushing/pulling 4 carts with a kid on each one and still another walking with us!  I am truly blessed with a lot of smiles at how well they are behaving with us taking several hours picking out and deciding what to buy.  The extra riding has given us opportunity to talk or else sing at the top of our lungs!  It has all been fun!
     Next, our life revolves around our church activities.  We are planning a Homecoming & revival this month.  Plus, this week will be the completion of our first building project.  Everyone has really pulled their weight to work and make that possible.  I appreciate the labor that has been put forth by various members and especially the ladies who volunteered to decorate!  I never even had to think about it and what was picked out is absolutely gorgeous!  I can't wait to see it all come together in next few days!!!
     The last thing I had to learn has been the hardest lesson~to let go of everything else!  There are so many "extras" and opportunities that come by grabbing at you that really don't even further your goals in life.  I have always been a very social person, so this has been the ultimate hurdle.  I have learned that we do not have to attend every single invited event.  Now that I have started weeding things out, I am having to make myself go to anything at all!  lol  It's crazy!  It's just like I've let that go.  Our  family of 7 (and those that are so close that they are family) gets our attention.  That's it.  I'm over it.  We make time for those who we have a special relationship with.  Other invitations literally go straight into the trash.  Some things no longer seem as vital as they use to be.  Before long, we'll probably be invited to less and less!  Hehehe!  What a blessing that would be!  Please don't take that wrong.  I don't mean this as selfish at all.  In fact, we encourage giving time for others.  It just is more meaningful things than useless, empty activity.  In the past few weeks, we've fed more strangers (those hired to work various jobs on the new construction) at our table than ever before!  The kids rush around all excited before hand.  They much more willfully help pick up the house and set out the dishes.  They help plan and mix up special desserts.  They giggle silly and anticipate someone new coming in.  Seeing their reaction and eagerness to serve people they don't even know has been long overdue just because before we were "too busy."  I've learned through this that if we put things off by being so caught up in the swift pace of this world, the opportunity to instill these values in their young hearts will soon be gone as our time vanishes away.  The enemy of our soul will be slyly stealing our gift of time.  I've pondered a statement that a church elder often shared, "People usually do exactly what they want to do."  This is so profound!!!  If we don't prioritize and do those things that we know to do that is so simple yet right and wholesome, will we ever get around to it?  It's so easy to put things off~especially special times for our spouse and children because we easily take for granted that we will have much time to share with them later...Sadly, most often those works we put off usually go undone.  So here lately, it has been a joy to just stop everything and actually do something as simple as going outside gazing up at the stars together before bedtime.  If we don't, will our children ever slow down enough to stand in awe at such miraculous creation?
     Thus far, this has been a wonderful journey!  God has truly strengthened us!  Like today, I can hardly believe what all has been accomplished~reading & praying, a few loads of laundry, lots of ironing caught up, picked up the new central unit that we ordered & hung 1/2 of the new playroom walls for the shop, home cooked meal, returned a large load of unused materials to Lowes, picked up some other materials at the hardware store, drove an hour to the hospital to visit our newest church member (a beautiful, precious baby girl) & an elderly man that is there sick, a visit to my parent's on our way by, & still we were at home at a descent time with all the littles in bed asleep!  I am relaxing in the quiet now and very thankful!  I am happy to be slowing down our pace, embracing our dreams, and fully living in the joy of each moment.  I haven't missed even one "hurry, hurry, hurry!"

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sneak Peek at the Progress

Last week we rounded up supplies!
Then the concrete was poured & finished! 
 Johnson's Concrete Finishers are the BEST!
This week best friends arrived
ALL the way from Mississippi!
That is a deeper rooted love than family!
Thanks to Trent, Dean, & Big J's Construction,
this was Monday morning...


  & this was Friday afternoon!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Baby Graham is the BIG O~N~E

                            EE's famous creations!
 Pooped out in Uncle Matt's lap!
But the after party is usually the best...

Time to go home guys!

Kaley's 11


      Kaley had a fun 11th birthday! It was her day...her choice.  We went to the mall, bowled, ate at Chic Fil A, & opened a few presents.  She was most excited about her new Bible!  The time together as a family is always the most fun!  We love this girl even though she is growing up way too fast!  Thanks again to EE for the beautiful day & all of you who made this day special for her!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Changes Underway

     Changes here are underway!  Excitement is an understatement!  For the first time in our life, we are now on our own~owning our own land & only operating our own businesses!  The time has come!  Our dreams have only just begun...12 years into our marriage & with 5 kids in tow!  lol  After MUCH prayer & many years of indecision, we have reached our limit with trying to "find our own way."  We have let go of the reigns & begged God for direction.
      First, He called Nathan to pastor.  That was definitely out of our plans & away from our comfort zone, yet has proved to be one of the greatest blessings in our lives!  After almost 2 years of being there, we still felt like there was more..more missing pieces & way too many unhappy circumstances that we were merely surviving through.  We began searching God's word & asking again for His leadership.  We have studied out debt & have been amazed at what God has opened our eyes to. 
     Second, we decided to begin our journey to being debt free.  That meant giving up plans to build (at least for now).  We have made several other steps in that direction, & God has richly blessed us for following Him!  This past watermelon season was a great success.  Yet after praying & fasting, Nathan felt led of the Lord to let go of the family LLC.  This made for a time of uncertainty for us.   This meant giving up a paycheck we depended on.  Farming was his life as far back as he can remember.  I have also really enjoyed learning & applying it to gardening.  It has been something we have both enjoyed together & as a family.  In just a few short weeks though, we have seen God's hand at work again in our lives!    
     Breaking the news that we would no longer be involved in the family's farm seemed so HUGE!  We didn't want to hurt anyone...especially at the expense of our own income.  Yet again, it has been a blessing to all involved!  With the money from this years watermelons & the extra from the LLC buyout, we will be completely out of debt & have extra $!!!  This is where the "dreams coming true beings!"  Plus, the two families remaining as part of the LLC will now be able to make more just splitting profits in half now.  I'm amazed!  God takes BIG situations & works them for our good!  JUST TRUST HIM!
     Now, we have purchased 4.94 acres from the farm.  This is the land we have always wanted!  It is a beautiful small pecan orchard with main highway frontage~no more dirt roads, no more living on land that is not our own!!!  Our dreams beginning today...
A new 48 x 40 shop!!!
     Our new plans~that his business will continue to increase with a better location & also opening an indoor vegetable & flower stand this coming spring!  This new shop will have 2 different sides to accommodate both businesses with a playroom/schoolroom in between for the kiddos.  We are TONS excited!  Progress is underway today!  We now have power & soon concrete!  After this project is completed, we will move our existing home here for now.  Yes, we could drain every penny & borrow more to build our dream home, but God has changed our hearts.  We couldn't be happier!  Yes, there has been opposition hurled our way.  Even just yesterday we were told, "We think y'all are making a bad decision" by some well meaning people.  This is our life, & we have finally come to terms that it's almost impossible to please people.  If we flop, we will flop together as a family.  We will dust one another off, believing God must have something better in store.  He hasn't let us down yet! 
     I have several more happenings to blog about soon~more birthdays, some wonderful books I have read!  We have weeded out some less important things in our lives to allow for the next few busy building & moving days ahead!  I'll try to make time for sharing all of it with you!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Princess Raegan Turns 4

Sisters are the best!!!
     Everyone that knows Raegan knows she has the biggest imagination!  She loves dress up, pretend, & singing!  She loves to preform at church and anywhere else if given the chance.  She'll make up a song and sing in a minute that makes you cry to tears.  She has a big heart and very loving.  Birthdays are her favorite.  We celebrated her big day with close family & friends.  Yes, she picked out her own dress!  Thanks Meme for the party!  You are the BEST!  Thanks EE for the beautiful cake!

Monday, August 12, 2013



     With Nathan's birthday recently and mine yesterday, our church threw us a birthday surprise party after church last night!  Have I mentioned that our church is the greatest?!!!  We love each one so much!  They are so thoughtful!  His side of the cake was camo and mine was the beach.  Don't they know us so well?  The food was delicious!  The gifts, money, and cards were greatly appreciated!  Each one was just perfectly what we love!  We love y'all bunches & bunches!  Y'all are our heart!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Detour Ahead

 Lord, help us put our faith in You 
& feel Your presence near
Through each moment of uncertainty,
whatever we may fear.
Give us strength & understanding,
and the reassurance, too,
That You're always here beside us
when we put our trust in You.
Sometimes only God Himself
can help us understand
When life starts going differently 
from what we may have planned-
When things we used to count on
don't seem certain anymore,
Or when we're facing challenges
we've never known before.
Sometimes only God Himself
can put our hearts at rest
By showing that He loves us
and He always know what's best.

      Apparently this will be a year of change for us!  For years we have prayed, fasted, & begged God to lead us.  Maybe sometimes without really wanting to be led???  There is such a fleshly comfort in doing what you've always done.  There you know the road ahead & the challenges that are all too familiar.  This summer has been a real eye opener for us.  We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the church we pastor & know that this is God's will for us.  Several times during this watermelon season, it has been a work vs God's burden.  We were needed in both places at once.  For one, watermelons are a delicate, perishable produce that are ripe when they are ripe & must be moved quickly.  They don't wait on our convenience.  Another issue involved is that no one can feel or carry this burden that God places on our hearts.  This summer has seen a peak of a long battle.  We have been pleading with God for direction.  We became open to His will.  As always, He answers right on time!  Our hearts have been heavy with decisions basically because of debt.  We have felt trapped with no other option but to stay right in our situation.  The Bible is so true to expound that debt is a burden!!!  You become slave to the debt.  You cannot make your own choices.  You cannot live freely.  Be warned, you tie your future down by debt decisions you make today!  As soon as we were willing to obey God no matter the situation, God began working things out as He always does!  He is so faithful!  We are so thankful!  This year we faced the worst weather yet watermelons have made a great yield, sold higher & easier!  PTL!  Our carnal debt will be paid!  So in short, we will no longer be a part of the farm's LLC.  This is huge for us.  It has been our life for over 10 years!  However, the Lord has called us out of where we are.  He has made the way.  Please keep us in your thoughts & prayers as we follow Him.  We have countless decisions ahead of us.  We will eventually move from where we've always been & no, we don't have answers to many questions that obviously arise.  We are now awaiting His divine leadership for our lives.  Yes, we are excited!  God's ways are best!  There is a peace is knowing we're in His hands!    

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

St George Island

     We enjoyed an awesome vacation with my entire family at St George Island, FL.  It is a very non commercial place to go.  My parents rented a private beach house with a private pool for all of us to enjoy.  My parents & sister's family also went.  She has the twins boys that are 7.  Thanks Meme & Papa for the great time & always striving to keep your family close!  We all had a BLAST!  Even baby Graham enjoyed the sand & sun!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Under His Armor

     Every year our family participates in Calvary Holiness Youth Camp.  It is one of the highlights of our year!  It is held in June each summer.  Each day is busy with fun filled, spiritually filling activities!  It starts in the mornings with breakfast followed by chapel, VBS classes, lunch, choir, talent, games, supper, & nightly church services.  This year the theme was "Under His Armor."  Our kids LOVE it & so do we!!!  Here is a picture of the 13 and under choir singing in one the night services.  Marianna is standing on the front row on the right with the red flowers on her dress.  I can't seem to pick our Kaley out of the crowd.  Our 3 little ones were probably asleep on pallets in the floor.  They tuckered out most every service from having just too much fun!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our Harvest is Plentiful

What you see here is one end of our garden~
mainly the cabbages & okra.
The other end is the squash, beans, & peas.  The sweet corn runs the entire length along the back.
The cucumbers are climbing their fence
higher & higher!
      The potatoes are almost all gone into our tummys!  The tomatoes are our favorite and just beginning to turn red.  Only 1 of our carrot plants survived.  Obviously we don't know how to grow carrots!  The onions are steady growing but not ready yet either.  Need I explain why I haven't blogged lately?  lol  We are busy picking, canning, packaging, & freezing veggies for the winter!  This is the most wonderful time of year!  We LOVE gardening!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Celebrating Motherhood

     Mothers are such a special blessing!  They set the tone for the entire family.  They work a lot of non-stop shifts.  Middle of the nights after a long, hard day are no match for a mother.  Cleaning up in circles & lots of laundry just comes along with the territory.  Some rock, some co-sleep, some breast feed, some bottle feed, some cook organic, some opt for take out & drive thrus, some homeschool, some make the best classroom mothers, some bring home mega bucks, some are over worked at home & way underpaid, some perfect their yards & houses, some sit & read for hours with their children, some are in super great shape, some are unselfish to a fault, some are stern, some are pushovers, some carpool & attend every event possible, while some prefer the comforts of their own home.  Motherhood doesn't come with a manual.  There's no right way or wrong way.  There's only mine & your way.  We are all different, but our kids unite us.  Next time you see a friend whose mothering totally drives you nuts, encourage her!  Motherhood can challenge us beyond belief & stress us to the max.  At the end of the day, we all have the same agenda~to raise the happiest, healthiest kids possible.  We are in charge of the future of this entire world!  Encourage one another!  We all could use more of that in our life.  Your words may make a difference in another's life & family.  United we stand!  Divided we fall!  If you would have told me years ago that Nathan & I would have 5 kids, I would have laughed & called your bluff!  You know what?  Yes, sometimes it gets hard, but we love every minute of it & wouldn't change it for the world!  Chances are, every mother feels that same love for her unique & special family.

     This Mother's Day, I would like to take the time to introduce you to my mother.  Her name must remain anonymous as to deter all kidnappers!  She is best known as Meme.  She is truly one of a kind!  As Daddy puts it, "She's not happy unless she is with one of her babies!"  She birthed 2 daughters, 5 years apart.  She is a very strong, hardworking person.  She taught 1st grade for 30 years & hardly ever missed a day.  She survived raising 2 hormonal teenage girls that were strong willed & knew better than her!  lol  My sister & I both got married in the same year, just 3 months apart to the guys we dated forever.  She has welcomed 7 grandkids with open arms.  Her jumping right in & helping is the biggest understatement ever.  She loves them more than words can express.  She is practically their other mother.  In fact, they probably prefer her over us due to her constant spoiling!  She is the most unselfish, giving person.  It's really so much so that it is to a fault!  She comes over, helps out, buys 99% of their clothes/toys, feeds her whole crew at least 3 times or more per week, shows up unannounced bringing loads of groceries to cook & help out for the day, attends most every single Dr visit & knows the grandkid's Dr by 1st name basis, takes all of us on fab vacations, hosts the best birthday & holiday celebrations, & so much more!  No, she isn't rich.  She's just completely involved.  If she had just $10 left to her name, she would spend it on us with no thought of herself.  She isn't just our mother, she is our everything.  Even our husbands think so for they will even call her or visit without us!  I wish we could afford to show her our appreciation by buying her some once in a lifetime present, but she knows we barely afford the normal gifts for each occasion.  She doesn't care though.  She just loves us, her family.  That's all she wants!  You know, surely everyone reading this is a free moral agent.  Time is a gift.  We spend it & our hard earned money on what matters most in our lives.  I'm honored that I'm a huge part of that in the life of my mother.  If I turn out half as great as her, I'll surely do!  My kids would love that any day!

Happy Mother's Day!  Have a blessed day!!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It's Springing Up

      It's that time of year again here~planting season!  Our family enjoys this special time together.  This year Clay was really into riding the tractor with Daddy.  The girls loved picking out the plants as usual.  I thought this time we would "liven" things up by making signs to mark our plants & planting marigolds for both beauty & keeping pests down.  Besides, other years we had a hard time remembering what was coming up where!  We have planted potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cabbages, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, squash, okra, beans, peas, & sweet corn.  Also, the girls bought wildflower & sunflower seeds.  We are looking forward to the harvest time ahead.  Eating the fresh veggies & also putting them up to enjoy all year long is a great blessing for us!

The girls really did most of the planting this year with just some supervision!  Even little  Miss Raegan enjoyed her share of it!
We planted during the boy's naps.  It was a cool afternoon.  Now, it has warmed up here in South GA!  Clay really enjoys helping Daddy in the garden, too!  & look how much it grew in just 20 days!  Harvest will be SOON!
What's more fun, watering the potatoes or the truck???
Or mama behind the camera...
Thanks as always to Meme & Papa!  We couldn't grow this garden without you!  & yes, we will share the picking as well as the eating!!!  ;)  & also a special thanks to Papaw for helping Nathan lay off the rows with plastic.  It will sure save us from having to hoe & pull weeds so much!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Veggie Tales LIVE

Just plain AWESOME!!!  The kids were ecstatic!
Our church group was even drawn for pictures with Bob & Larry, too!  :)