Somebody Bring Me Some Calgon!

Somebody Bring Me Some Calgon!

OK, it’s official.  I am so done with my husband being gone.  I already knew he was the solid one in the relationship, but after a week without him I am more sure than ever that he is the glue and I am all of the random pieces.  The mere sight of one more broken appliance will put me over the edge.

I don’t know how single parents do it.  Or military parents…seriously, you all have my mad respect.

It’s like the whole house goes into some kind of other dimension and the boys don’t get their chores done and as sweet as the girls are, they have been kind of out-of-it for the past several days. And after last week’s M-word situation, I was not sure I was the best person to be leading these troops.  I am fairly sure my 8 year old would have been a better option considering I walked around afraid of my own shadow all week.

Somebody get me the biggest box of Calgon you can find.

Despite being as jumpy as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, I decided to do something bold and get up Saturday morning to take the whole crew down to the city to participate in a protest at the nearest Planned Parenthood.  These rallies were taking place all around the country and we all felt we should be there.

I say it was bold because….

1. I was husbandless so that meant I was completely responsible for this crew and I think we can all see how that is going.  James and I used to attend these allies fairly often when the kids were little and I remember a few of them getting pretty ugly.

2. The Van.

I was going to have to crank up the old 15-passenger van.  And when I say crank, that’s pretty close to what it’s like.  This old thing has so many miles on it that it could be in the Guinness Book of World Records.  I don’t know how it is still working.  None of us like to drive it, it putters along, the A/C doesn’t work, it smells bad, it rattles like an old roller coaster and worst of all it gets about 2.7 miles to the gallon.

We only use it for emergency family outings, and even then we look into the price of a rental car first.

But I had to use it because we outnumbered the seats in my car and James left the minivan at the airport.  So we found the crank and off we went.

The event was very well organized and besides being so hot you could fry an egg on our foreheads, it went well.  The 600+ people there were peaceful and very upbeat about raising awareness of what is really going on inside that facility.  We saw lots of friends there and were blessed to have been a part of it.

Family participation in a rally

Afterwards I decided to run a few errands.  It’s not often we all go to the city together, it being over an hour away and us having to drive what basically equates to the Beverly Hillbillies’ vehicle to get there.  So we ate lunch then picked up some clothes for the boys.  We are going to Orlando in a few weeks for an awesome blogging event at Universal Studios called Family Forward and the boys needed shorts.  I also decided to get myself a hat, which I am not sure about yet.  Hats don’t like me very much.

We were all worn out from standing in the heat for 2 hours then shopping afterwards, so we drove home in the old van and collapsed.  Later that night we all ate dinner in my bedroom and watched the Duck Dynasty wedding, which was adorable and I cried through almost the whole show.  I love their style (except for the scraggly beards and head bandanas) and the values were so sweet.  Lord, bless them.

After church on Sunday we came home and worked on a video trailer we are making for my book that comes out NEXT WEEK!!!

It’s so close y’all!  Have you ordered yours yet?!

My 12 year old is the director and we had a great afternoon together shooting it.  My daughter Hope did all of the artwork and it’s the cutest thing since Princess Charlotte.  We are wrapping it up this week and you’ll be the first to see it!

working on a book trailer as a family

I fell asleep on Sunday night before the kids even knew I was out. They were all still awake and I just had to trust that they wouldn’t have any loud parties or burn anything because I would have slept through it all.  Mama was DONE.

This week is full of more book promotions and trying to keep my sanity.  Which basically describes my life in a nutshell.

Have a good one!

A Testimony to the Power of Prayer

A Testimony to the Power of Prayer

Back in the day when my kids were little, my husband would walk in the house at the end of his workday and say, “Hi honey, what did you do today?”  And I had nothing to say.  I felt like I had been crazy busy, but when someone asks you and you can only think of small things like diaper changes and spilled crackers and crying babies and nursing the baby it feels like you did nothing.

And that’s how I feel about last weekend.  My thoughts are a blur of activity, none of which are worth telling you about.

Unless you want to start on Friday morning.  That was pretty exciting.

I woke up and decided instead of doing my morning run I would exercise in the pool.  I just felt like a change of pace.  But it was a bit of a “if you give a mouse a cookie” situation because I discovered a big mess of pool toys left out from the boys swimming the night before. I so stuck my head in the house and called for the boys to come out and clean them up.  One of them was in the kitchen and he came out and started cleaning up with me.

But then as we put away the toys I noticed that there was rain water (from who knows when!) in the container where they keep the smaller toys, so we cleaned that out, and then I saw that the large toy storage was a mess, so I called another boy out and I had him straighten that and another boy came out and I had him start trimming some overgrown limbs that were dragging in the pool and the last, unfortunate son came to see where everyone was so I had him carry the cut limbs to the burn area in the back of the yard.

I finally got in the pool after half an hour of working with the boys. But only about 10 minutes into my exercises someone came running to tell me that our 16 year old son Noah had been bitten by “something”.  I got out of the water, wrapped myself in a towel and went into the kitchen where he was sitting with ice on the sting.  As I was assessing the situation he said he was starting to feel worse.  His hand (where he was bitten) had swollen to nearly double its normal size and he was covered in hives.  He said he felt like he couldn’t breathe and that’s when I started to freak.  My husband was walking in the house so I yelled for him to take our son to the hospital.  He rushed over to us and immediately agreed and while I helped Noah to the van while my husband ran to get his keys.  Our oldest son, Jacob, came out to see what was going on (I may have been screaming, I really don’t remember) and he jumped in the car with them.  They drove off and I ran to change out of my wet suit and I followed right behind.

Oh.  My.  Lord.

That was pretty much all I could say in prayers as I drove.  We live about 15 minutes from the hospital if you’re speeding.  A few minutes into my drive I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to ask people to pray.  I knew my son was already having blurred vision when they left so my mind was not working and I couldn’t think of who to call….so I just put it out on Facebook.

“Y’all please pray for my 16 year old son.  We are rushing him to the hospital.  More later. XO”

Two minutes after I asked for prayer my husband called me and said as they were pulling into the emergency room driveway our son just started breathing.  He kind of woke up, didn’t feel faint, could see and was breathing fine.  He said the swelling and redness was going down.


A beautiful testimony about how God answers prayer!

We decided that they would sit right outside of the emergency room while I ran to the pharmacy and got whatever the pharmacist recommended.  As long as he was breathing fine and didn’t have any other symptoms we didn’t think we needed to spend the morning in the ER.  But at the same time….we didn’t want to be far away if it happened again.  I took the bottle of Benadryl the pharmacist suggested to the hospital parking lot and gave the OTC meds to Noah, but honestly….except that his hand was still very swollen you couldn’t tell anything was happening to him.  He was completely fine.  I just stared at him amazed by God’s miracles.

Then I did what any mother would do…..I started to cry and pet him and kiss him and be generally annoying.  I announced that when we got home I would be sitting next to him and staring at him for the next 24-48 hours.

And here’s the message for you kids who might be reading this: If your mom was just scared out of her mind that you might die any second and she tells you that you will have to sleep next to her that night so she can listen to you breathe….there’s no point in arguing about it.

We waited there for a while then decided it would be OK to take him home.  He announced that he was really hungry and could we get him some food.  These boys are always, always, always hungry.

It’s as it should be.

So we fed him burgers and let him sit on the couch all day eating ice cream and playing wii because frankly I was too worn out from the morning to even think about him going back outside.  Plus his swollen hand was useless and he was a little sluggish from the Benadryl I gave him in the parking lot.

And the rest of the weekend after that is a blur.  While I am sure I did some other things, I really don’t remember much.  We cleaned house and went to church and to my friend Sara’s beautiful anniversary party and we shopped a little and I worked on book stuff and I barely recall any of it because the only thing on my mind was hugging my kids and thanking God for them and trying not to cry.

On Sunday evening I asked my husband if we could buy our son a pony…..or maybe a car.  He gave me this shocked look, “A car?!?!”

I know, I know.  I just wanted to do something for Noah so he would always know how glad I am that he is here.

He will have to settle for all the burgers he wants ‘cuz I can’t afford a pony or a car.

Have a great week!

R & R & More R

R & R & More R

What do you get when you cross a whirlwind trip to Ft Worth with a woman who has been detoxing from Disney and sugar?  I think you can imagine.  It’s not pretty.

I’d say that sums me up for the past weekend.  I’ve been tired and feeling low and pretty much taking naps between my naps for 2 days.

Last Thursday I popped out of bed early and my son and I drove for 6 hours, picking up a friend along the way.  The 3 of us had a nice visit while we drove and we were giddy about the Young Living meeting we were going to attend (OK, just my friend and I, my son doesn’t get giddy).  It was actually really fun and inspiring and on the way home Friday we talked about all we learned almost the entire way.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time with my adult son.  He and I rarely have one-on-one time together, but now that he’s doing Young Living with me, we spend more time together and it feels like a Mom-Bonus!


But no rest for the weary because we were having people over for dinner on Friday night.  Yes, that’s right, as soon as we walked in the door from the trip it was time to get ready for company.  Craziness.  A missionary from India was in town and this was the only night he could come over and we really wanted to hear his stories of miracles and God’s goodness to the beautiful people of India.  So we invited some friends and we threw together some tacos and picked up some store-bought cookies (none for me ‘cuz I’m sugar free) and really was a fabulous night!  My kids were especially blessed to hear about another part of the world.


After our friends left, believe it or not, one of my girls needed me to run an errand with her.  It only took about an hour, but that still put me getting home at 11:30 and by the time I rolled into bed I was so tired I wondered if I would be able to get up and exercise the next morning.  I actually wondered if I would be able to get up at all.

I did sleep an extra 30 minutes on Saturday, but then I made myself get up and go for my morning walk.  It does me so much good and since I had missed it for the past 2 days I was glad to back on my little road.

The kids had breakfast ready when I got home and we were all there together for food and sharing, which is one of my favorite times all week.  We sit at the table for most of the morning and talk over everything from the schedule for the week to why cows can’t walk over cattle guards.  It’s like a roller coaster conversation….up with rolling laughter then down into deep, theological discussions.  More flips and turns and it’s really a get-to-know-you time.

After that we kind of all go our own direction for the day.  Me, I took a nap.  Then I did a LOT of writing and ended the day with another nap before bed.  I think all of my travels were really getting to me because on Sunday morning I felt like I had been hit by a truck and I told James, “I don’t think I can go to church this morning.  I feel totally worn out.”

He took the kids to church and for the first time since 1989 I was completely alone in my own home.  I had no idea what to do with myself.  Sure, I could sleep more.  But the urge to clean my bedroom hit me so I started picking up clutter and putting it where it belongs.  I hung a few pictures and organized some drawers and hung some vintage style posters (that I bought in March and have been in the corner of my bedroom ever since) in the hallway.


Then I cleaned out my purse and filled a trash bag with junk and by the time the fam was home from church I felt a lot better.  I may have to make this a semi-annual event.  Or a semi-weekly one.

I spent the rest of Sunday just letting my soul relax.  It’s been a long, hard few months and I think my mind and spirit are telling me I need to chill out for a bit.  So I plan to just lie low for the next few days and let myself unwind.

I’ll be doing pretty much nothing this week but hanging with my kids and maybe even see a movie.  I’m ready for swim weather when I can jump in after my walk and float until the kids come looking for me.

Hey….speaking of Young Living (yes, we were speaking of Young Living in the beginning…the trip to Ft Worth, remember?!), I am sending some special things to all of my new May members!  I get so many questions about how I dilute my oils to make them last longer.  So this month I am giving you a hand with 10 ready-to-use roller bottles, a little sprayer and my favorite reference book!

Go HERE to join with the Premium Starter Kit and I’ll send you that stuff as a gift from me!

Have a great week!!!!

Which is Worse…Traffic Jams or Easter Egg Hunts?

Which is Worse…Traffic Jams or Easter Egg Hunts?

Am I the only one who is shocked that it is April?  And that Easter is behind us?  In fact, I’m still warming up to the idea that it’s 2015.  My mind says “2007” over and over.  Frozen in time.  I relate strongly to the song lyric, “Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999,” not because I’m a partier, but because I refuse to accept that we have actually survived Y2K.

I also wrangle with the fact that it took me 2 hours last Friday to drive one mile.  My friend Sara and I got up at 5:30 in the am and drove the 3 hours to Round Top, TX where the world’s best junk was waiting for us.  It was a gorgeous drive with Texas wildflowers flanking the freeway and spiced nuts from Buc-ees.

In case you’ve never been to Texas, I urge you to add “stop at Buc-ees” to your list of must do items when you come here.  It may look like just a truck stop on the outside, but inside it’s a little slice o’ Texas heaven.

After almost three hours, we got a couple of miles from our destination when we hit a trail of cars on the rural highway.  It was dead stopped….occasionally inching forward.  Sure the bluebonnets are amazing, but we didn’t need to see them each individually.


I kid you not.  I know I tend to exaggerate, but this is 100% true….we took TWO HOURS to drive ONE MILE.  Several times we discussed turning around and leaving, but we had already driven 3 hours to get there so we stuck it out.

By the time we finally got to a parking space and started shopping the flea market we had a great time.  We didn’t consider that it would take us about hour and a half to get back out at the end of the day, so all in all we spent about three times as much time sitting in the car as we did shopping.  But I bought a beat up old shutter with some slats missing, so of course…it was all worth it.

We found out later through Instagram that the whole Duck Dynasty cast was there plus some HGTV people.  That plus it being a nice Friday probably caused the crowd.  I have been to Round Top many times and never hit traffic like that.  Cuh-razy!

On Saturday morning I was good and tired from flea marketing and several of my older kids were going to an all day photo-meet-up.  So I decided to skip the kitchen work I had planned (I am getting close to finishing!) and just rest.  It was just what I needed.  I literally slept, woke up and watched a mystery movie, went back to sleep, repeat steps one and two.

So I have nothing to report to you about Saturday except that a huge box of books came from my publisher and I am having trouble deciding which ones to read first.  So many of them look good!  So good, in fact, that I am thinking of just passing them along to y’all after I read them.  I want to share the goodness.  I’m thinking I’ll just read a few then do a simple giveaway.  I could never choose one of y’all over the rest, so a random draw is the way to go.


On Sunday, after church, we had a little egg hunt for the kids.  On Saturday night I filled some plastic eggs with candy and wrote the kids names on them so they would all get the same amount.  I used a sharpie to write the names and draw some little pictures on each egg.  The older/adult kids each got 2 eggs….one with candy and another with money.  The under 18 crowd got 10 eggs each filled with candy.  Like, lots of candy.


Since pretty much the only other time all year they get candy is for Christmas, it’s a treat and they love it.

Our Sunday afternoon egg hunt turned ugly when, after searching for nearly 2 hours we still couldn’t find 2 of the eggs.  I had been the one to hide them and I was super careful to make it pretty easy, except for my 23 year old son who I tried to make practically impossible because, well, it was fun for me.  But he found his after about 20 minutes and the other kids all found theirs until we were down to 2 eggs missing.  I wanted to give up and just call it done, but the boys whose eggs were missing were highly driven to find them.

Another half hour and we found one of them.  The other kids each kind of went in the house and it was down to me, James and two boys.

Finally I stopped looking and went inside.  As far as I know they are still out there looking.

This week ahead is full.  In addition to the last touches to the kitchen, I will be running errands for James (tax season….CPA….lots of errands) and I am taking the boys to some thrift stores to find new jackets.  On Easter we made the annual sad discovery that nothing fits them.  So off we go to look for clothes that other people don’t want anymore.  Then on Thursday I have 2 ortho appointments and that night I am speaking to a women’s group.  Then on Friday, maybe, if I play my cards right, I will get y’all some finished kitchen pictures.

Don’t hold your breath though.  I don’t want to be held responsible for anyone dying.

Have a good one!  And remember….it’s April 2015.  You’re welcome.

A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess

Many, many of you have asked for updates on the situation with our daughter.  I have been hesitant to talk any more about it for several reasons.

1. There really is not much to tell since there have not been any significant changes.
2. Like I said in my original post, I only want to share my own story and not speak for anyone else.  (I have received a few emails of criticism for that, which puzzles me because I was only trying to respect the others in this situation.  But I certainly do NOT think this is all about me….in fact I think very little of it is about me at all, but a mother’s heart can break over her child no matter how old the child is and if you don’t understand that then you are blessed not to have felt this pain).
3. I don’t want it to be the focus of my blog.

BUT….I am not hesitant to share how incredible God is and that His hand has been so obvious through all of our sorrow and tears.  Despite the overwhelming agony of loss, the unspeakable joy that has cropped up all around me has to be shared!


In the beginning of this trial I asked Him to make me an empty vessel through which He could pour out His beauty and grace.  And He has used this situation to grant that prayer.  But let me warn you, before you pray that… ready for your world to be shaken up big time!  You can’t be empty if you are hanging onto idols in your life with a vice grip.  Trust me, I am the queen of that.  My knuckles are still sore from trying.

So, while I still hurt deeply, I am also experiencing a depth of faith that I didn’t understand before.   I know a greater joy through many blessings including a deeper, richer relationship with our other adult children who have stood by and supported the hard decisions that we have had to make.  I have learned to lean on God when things around me look bleak.  There is story after story I could tell you about how He has shown Himself to all of us in amazing ways.  Here are a few examples:

One afternoon I was crying in my bathroom and one of the boys heard me.  He knocked on the door and asked if he could pray with me.  He put his arms around me and cried with me and we prayed.  Suddenly, we both instantly felt a surge of strength and the burden lift.  Really…it was an actual physical lifting and a surprise to us both. We pulled back and looked at each other in amazement.  Afterwards my son offered me some incredible Biblical advice that was wise beyond his years. It gave me huge comfort!  God is using my pain to help turn my son into a man and draw closer to Him…!

During my time at the Summit several older women approached me and asked how I was doing.  They knew about our situation and wanted to encourage me.  These wise women poured the love of God into me and I could so clearly see that He gave me these friends a year before this happened because He knew how much I would need them now.  To have godly women who have been in my shoes tell me that I am on the right path and not to lose hope…..priceless!

One more story….on Friday night at the Oklahoma Summit the team members (me included) were standing in the front of the ballroom ready to pray for the women there.  I had prayed with a couple of ladies and was standing there waiting when a women came up to me….I was ready to lift her up, but she said that she came to pray for me!  She offered the sweetest prayer and words of encouragement to me!  I wept on her shoulder.  It felt like God sent an angel.

I could go on and on….almost every day since this all began He has used someone (many of YOU!) to lift me up and show Himself.  And every single time I am reminded of His love and I want to shout it from the rooftops!  GOD IS GOOD!!!!

Then I want to pour it all right back out to you.

When you are struggling with anything….ANYTHING….He is there to comfort you.  His Word is a balm that I crave more and more as I walk this path.  Don’t underestimate the power of the revealed Will of God.  Some things are so hard to see….but there is SO much that is right there in front of you.

Deuteronomy 29:29 says His ways are not just for us, but for our children! It is His will that we tell the truth (Ex 20:16), that His mercy does not depend on anything I do (Romans 9:14-24), He does not tempt us (James 1:13), that there is only one way to be saved (Mark 16:16), and much more!

I share those with you so that you know that when you can’t figure out what His will is for you, you always know what He reveals to us in His Word.  It’s a great place to start!  Then He will unfold the rest as you need it.


The bottom line is…..I don’t trust myself.  I make mistakes, I mess things up, I can look back on any part of this ordeal and see things I could have done differently and probably should have.  Yes, often I hear from God through the Holy Spirit and I do my best to make sure it’s not my own thoughts then step out in faith.  It’s all I can really do if I want peace, put my trust in God….I know that He will work it all for my good and for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).  I try my best and then leave the rest in His hands.

Thanks so much to all of you for being so willing to let God use you to bless our family!  I pray that it is coming back to you 100-fold.  And I pray that when you face trials that feel like you can’t survive that you find comfort and peace in the Word of God and His mercy and grace.

Now, back to our regular, lighter posts……


The Walk

The Walk

On Saturday I was feeling tired.  Between finishing my book over the holidays (although there will still be plenty of edits!), the struggles of Christmas and gearing up for the busyness of the new year, I was needing a rest.

I worked in our etsy shop in the morning, filling all of the orders and cleaning up since after the holiday rush we just closed the door and left the mess.  Once that was finished, I ate some lunch and laid down for a long winter’s nap.  You know the kind…where you wake up after two hours and can’t figure out where you are or what is happening….

I woke up feeling more tired and thought about calling it a day and just going to bed.  At 4:00.

But first, I decided, it would be good if I got up and put some Thieves on and drink some hot tea.  So, and this is the part that could be considered a mistake, I went out of my room.

As soon as I stepped out of my bedroom door, Levi (age 7) came rushing up to me, “Mommy!  Mommy!  Can I go for a walk with the other kids?!?!?!”

I didn’t know what was going on so I basically just said, “Sure honey.”  (mistake #2….)

He went rushing out the front door calling out, “Hey guys!!!  Wait for me!!!!”

My brain finally caught up and realized that my little one had just gone out into the street and possibly into danger since I had no idea where the older kids were.  For all I knew they were in the guest house watching a movie and Levi would be running down the street all by himself.

I stepped after him onto the front porch just in time to see him stopping at the end of the front walkway looking down the street.  No kids.  He slumped his shoulders and turned toward me, so disappointed.  The look on his face….oh my breaking heart.

And this is where those “Mommy Instincts” wake up.  No matter how we feel or what else we have to do or what our previous plans were or if we are still wearing our pajamas at 4:00 in the afternoon (mistake #3) we say to our child, “Hang on.  I’ll go with you.”

I grabbed an old sweater and my shoes and we went out into the street, hoping to find the other kids quickly.

He hopped along and begged me to “race to the next mailbox” at every driveway (which I did once….mistake #4) and he skipped and was so excited to be out on the street.  We talked about the sun and January and his apps on his ipod.  We made plans for school and how he wants to find a way to get some money and what books we are going to read together.


I vacillated between sinking into the feeling that I might be coming down with the flu and the joys of spending this unexpected time with him.

We did finally catch up with the other kids about a mile down the road.  They were stopping to take pictures, otherwise we would have been too slow to ever find them.  He rushed to them and was happy to be one of the kids, forgetting I was even there.  I waved to let them know I was leaving him with them, then turned and walked home by myself.  In my pajamas.  And a mess of hair.  I prayer that no neighbor would drive by and want to stop and chat.

I fell onto my bed when I got home….enjoying the empty house almost as much as I enjoyed my time with Levi.

And as I drifted back to sleep I thanked God for every “mistake” I had made that day.

The End.

(P.S. Let me know if you want any more info on my beloved essential oils!….they are amazing!)

Come to the Summit!

Come to the Summit!

Are you thinking yet about what to do after the Christmas excitement is over?!  ‘Cuz only weeks after the hustle and bustle of Christmas and the new year is the best thing this side of the Mississippi.  The Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit.  It’s a boatload of encouragement, refreshment and renewal!



If you’re wondering what it is, here are some recaps of past Summits from different attendees:

And here you can see for yourself what attending The Summit looks like.

And now, for the first time ever, there is a way to attend The Summit FOR FREE! Here’s how:

  • Round up 5 friends who have never been.
  • Print off 3 of these registration forms.
  • Fill in the info for yourself and your 5 friends.
  • Collect the money and write one check to cover the registration for those 5. (YOURS IS FREE!)
  • Mail to:

Winter Summit
c/o Roxanne Parks
2612 Meadow View Road
Edmond, OK 73013

Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t have 5 homeschooling friends, but I would love to meet some like minded ladies!” We would love to have you at The Summit, and to help you get there we are offering a $10 discount code. When you register, simply apply the code “Pennington10“.

Okay, who’s ready to win a $50 Amazon gift card??? Anyone can enter and there are multiple ways, so be sure to increase your chances by visiting each blogger who will be attending The Summit!

AND as a special bonus, one lucky winner will receive the cost of their registration refunded in a drawing on January 1st!

Simply, leave a comment on this post to enter. Then, hop on over to the the other participating blogs to enter there, too. You will be given one entry per blog, for a maximum of 5 entries. One winner will be randomly chosen on Wednesday, December 17 to receive the $50 Amazon gift card.

See you at The Summit!

When You’re Feeling Like a Failure

When You’re Feeling Like a Failure

This week on YouTube I am sharing some encouragement for you who are dealing with really hard times.

In the past couple of weeks many of you have opened up to me in letters and messages about feeling like a failure as a mom.  Oh my sweet friends!

Let me assure you that your child’s success in life does not depend on your level of perfection.

It would be impossible for you to not leave large gaps in your child raising.  That’s where God steps in and fills those gaps in ways you never could.  Yes, you mess up and sure, you could have done better.  I KNOW I COULD HAVE!!!  But I also know that my children have a heavenly father who is perfect in all ways and He will fix what I did wrong.

And your kids aren’t perfect either.  They will make some doozy mistakes in their lives and there is nothing you can do to stop it.  Trying to keep them from ever suffering will only keep them from knowing the truth of a God who is there for them in their deepest time of need.

Isaiah 41:10  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Read the whole chapter of Isaiah 41 for some deep encouragement!  When you are feeling like you are alone, turn to the Bible for comfort.  When you are consumed with the pain of heartbreak….He is there.  When He feels so far away and you don’t sense His presence like you used to, He is still there behind the cloud and taking care of your every need.


I am walking through my own trials now too and I know the depth of the grief many of you are experiencing.  Some days I think my heart will literally break in half from the pain I am feeling.  Then I read a passage in God’s Word that comforts me and gives me a break from the hurting.

And remember, He lost His son too.  He knows your pain.  He cares.  He is ready to rock you to sleep and give you unexplainable peace.

Be sure to check my YouTube channel for more encouragement.


The Most Magical Place on Earth

The Most Magical Place on Earth

I was quiet on the blog last week because my family went on vacation….to Disney World!


It was a dream come true kind of trip.  We had been planning it for about 6 months and even though we didn’t know it then, the timing was amazing.  We all needed a break from the difficulties going on at home.


It’s more proof that God knows what is ahead for us and sets His plans into motion to take care of us. 

With so many of us there, it was hard to stay together so we ended up splitting up most of the time and meeting all together for dinner each day.  We tried to stay connected, but you know how it goes.


We did manage to ride a few rides all together.


We would divide into groups and I ended up spending most of my time with the two youngest boys.


It was fun just to ride whatever they wanted and see the shows they were interested in.  We rode the train around Magic Kingdom and the carousel and everything the older kids had no interest in.


But don’t think I had a slow paced time.  I love the roller coasters and occasionally I would sneak off with the fast action crew for some thrill rides.  The more loops and twists and turns the better in my opinion. (the girl on the end is a sweet friend who went with us)


We would use our fast passes then run right back around to wait in line to ride the ride again.  Fun, Fun and more Fun.

Speaking of fast passes, I want to shout out how amazing our Disney travel agent was.  Amy, from Polka Dots N’ Wishes planned the whole thing for us and got us a great deal!  Plus she gave us tips for things we would never have discovered on our own.  I was thrilled with their service and will use them to plan another trip again for SURE!  If you’re going to Disney, contact them and let them know I sent you.


It’s so great to be in a place where you look normal wearing costumes.  But my Minnie Mouse ears were hurting my head, so the next day I made my own.  I may start wearing my hair like that all the time.


We met quite a few celebrities….including the biggest celebrity of all.


I even made friends with a Lego muscle man.  He’s a little angry, but he’s still cute.


While it was an amazing trip and I would do it all again, I am hoping to go back again with just James and I.  It seems weird at first to think of going without our kids, but then we realized we were spending the entire time doing what everyone else wanted, taking people to the bathroom, looking for lost hats, finding people to trade pins with, etc.  It’s what a parent does and we were totally glad to do it.  But it also sounds nice to do whole thing at our own pace.  So we are thinking of calling Amy and having her set up a “Mommy and Daddy only” kind of trip.  (ignore the black man in the photo with me – it’s from a ride – just pretend that’s James)


And another great thing about the trip….it was our Christmas gift to the family.  So my Christmas shopping is done except for a few friend and teacher gifts which I have already ordered.  Booyah!!!

Have a very merry week!


A Shameless Plug

A Shameless Plug

So, we have this YouTube channel that we started a couple of months ago.  It’s going really well and I really do like doing the videos as a way to share with you. When my daughter Patience came to me with an idea she had to make a promotional video for me I told her to go for it!  She could just do whatever she wanted and we would follow her lead. It turned out so sweet and I love her style. I had to show you…..feel free to share it with people who you think might be blessed. And it would bless me so much if you hopped over and subscribed to our channel. Out of curiosity, what do you use YouTube for anyway?  I like to watch Tim Hawkins videos and music videos. when I want a break.