Posted in Budgeting, Couponing, Health, Homeschooling, Inspirational Thoughts, Marriage, Medical, My Lady, Once a Month Cooking, Organization, Saving Money, Truth and Honesty

Enough is Enough

Tonight, I had this overwhelming feeling of being suffocated by debt.  I hate that feeling. I hate the fact that I am a slave to money.  That is not how it is supposed to be.  When we moved into this house, about 10 years ago…we had no debt (other than our previous house).  We do not do the whole credit card thing (learned our lesson from that), we didn’t have new furniture…if we did, we paid cash for it.  Our cars were paid for, no student loans…nothing.

Now…..shazaam……we have a van payment, a student loan, an equity loan, another type of loan, a house loan, medical bills, bills from where things have broken and they have to be fixed.  It could be worse.  I know that, but I feel like, right now, this is worse because I know better.  I know what Jesus teaches us and instead of walking that narrow path that He chose for us….we saw the bright shiny-ness of the wider road and we took it.  Now, we are standing on the little strip of dirt between the wide road and the narrow road.  I equate it, in my mind, as those little pieces of dirt between the different lanes of the interstate.  Where it is posted no U turn.  That is where we are standing.  The wide road is so shiny and it is filled with new vehicles, coach bags, sports obligations, vacations, and movies.  The narrow road is not so shiny, but it is being protected, from the elements, by these beautiful weeping willow trees.  It is filled with discipline, being trusted with little, tithing, paying cash, not serving two masters.

I am over it.  I am ready to walk on that narrow road…not sure if Big Daddy is, but I also know he is tired of it too.  This is scary.  It is a hard road.  We’ve walked on that road.  We’ve made sacrifices.  We succeeded.  We can and we will, in the Name of Jesus, succeed again.  It is time to hand over this endeavor and because we are so weak…..we need to lean on Him because He is SO strong.  He is our Strong Tower.

Another issue that we have given lip service too is our health/weight.  We are fat.  We are fat people.  We are not fluffy.  We are not round around the edges.  We are not jolly.  We are fat.  Straight up.  Our health sucks.  We get winded walking up the steps to the bedroom.  Big Daddy can’t hardly walk because of pain.  We have purposed, for years, that the next year will be the year.  It is the magical year we get fit.  We give it a week…we only lose 4 lbs of pee weight and we are done.  We want a double quarter pounder super sized with a coke the size of my face and a side of a double decker death by chocolate cake.

I am over it.  Done.  Just done.  I do not want to give the illusion that we eat crap all the time.  Frankly, I do not buy sweets (now there are other people in my house that do, then eat it all in one sitting). I do drink coke.  I am going to try and cut that down to 1 a day.  We only drink water.  I cook with tons of veggies.  We do not eat much bread or pasta.  We are fruit eaters…..we do not do things badly BUT we are completely inactive and we do not blink if we want to eat out…we eat out. So, we are affecting our health and our finances by poor choices along those wide roads.

I will be documenting our journey of getting out of debt and getting this fat off of us.  You are welcome to follow along.  You can subscribe to my blog >>>>>>>>in this side bar>>>>.  You can also follow me on any social media platform (also on that side bar).  If you have suggestions, by all means, give them too me.  Suggestions on stay at home jobs, how to make some extra money on the side, healthy recipes, or exercises.  Anything.  I am open.

Here’s to having my belly full of ENOUGH.

Onward and upward.

Posted in Adoption, Everyday, Giveaway, Inspirational Thoughts, Medical, My Lady

Nichole Nordeman Review and Giveaway


Every Mile Mattered

With life getting in the way of …. well …. life …. it is nice to have a respite of sorts.  Music is my respite.  I’ve been making long long LONG drives to Louisville, more times than not.  My co-pilot is always wanting MORE music.  So, I play more music.  This has been on loop in my van.  When you go through life with a child who has OMS and the uncertainty of things…it is nice to be certain of one thing.


He is good ALL the time.  He is good on the days Hunter walks and He is good on the days Hunter cannot walk.  He is good when we are home.  He is good when we are getting chemo.


Take some time….enjoy your surroundings….listen to some music.  Let Christ soothe your soul.

I will be drawing a winner for this giveaway on July 26, 2017.  To enter, simply “like” or “comment” on this post or any social media post (you can find links to those on the sidebar to the right).


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Buy links at:




  • You can also PREORDER her new book “SLOW DOWN”, which is due out in August!
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Posted in Everyday, Health, Homeschooling, Inspirational Thoughts, Marriage, Medical, My Lady, Once a Month Cooking, Organization, Truth and Honesty

Motivation Monday

This funk has GOT to go….so go it will.  As my Lady always says “pull yourself up and get outta that pit.”  With that being said….I’ve got things to do, places to go, and people to see!

  • Get thank you cards mailed
  • Email G her letter from the kids
  • Make a dentist appt for me and Noah
  • Make dentist appts for the three younger boys
  • Reschedule eye appt.
  • Schedule ACT for Noah
  • Let him drive (insert me vomiting)
  • Pack for Lville and our next drs appt
  • Call dr with update on Hunter
  • Wear makeup
  • Work on Family calendar
  • Pull some homeschooling stuff together
  • Get my letter of intent finished
  • Call OT to cancel appt
  • Reschedule said appt
  • Clean my bedroom
  • Go through and super clean the boys’ rooms cause there is a nasty smell that, frankly, scares me.
  • Call my mama
  • Go see V’s new apartment
  • Set my month’s goals (yes, we are 1/2 way into July but why wait)
  • Start my Bible reading again
  • Clean of and prepare homeschool computers and tablets
  • Read to my baby
  • Finish Freezer cooking
  • Baseball……….Baseball………….and more baseball
  • Go and see my Lady.

This season has sucked.  This year has sucked.  I have not enjoyed any of 2017 and not a whole heck of a lot of enjoyment was had in 2016 LOL.  What holds me together is knowing that known of this surprises Jesus.  He has got all of this.  He has my family.  He knows the beginning from the end.  I just have to buckle in and deal with the twists and turns of the rollercoaster I have been living on for the last year or so.

Time to live.  Time to breathe.  Time for a new season of life.  Time for new beginnings…..this is where Eccl. 3 comes into play.

Ecclesiastes 3 (NLT)

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.

What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

14 And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. 15 What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.

Posted in Everyday, Inspirational Thoughts, Marriage, Medical, My Lady, Truth and Honesty

Happy 83rd Birthday to My Lady


This is my FAVORITE picture of My Lady.  It was taken 2 years ago after she made a miraculous recovery from her TIAs and her stroke.  She is wearing my absolutely favorite shirt that she owns.  I love her in the color red.

My Lady captured my heart so many years ago.  Her presence is one that demands acknowledgement, in my opinion.  She is tall, regal, beautiful, honest, and she has a smile that lights up any dark spots.  Little did I know that underneath all those worldly attributes was a deep love for her Jesus, her hero (Jerome), her children, her grandchildren, her church, and her community.  She knows everyone and who is related to whom and how to get to, not only their childhood homes, but to every home every person has ever lived in and what job that they held.

She is a master cook of things like Poke Salad, Cornbread, white beans and ham…she knows everything to know about everything in the kitchen and how it relates to health.  She has taught me how to love more deeply.  How to sacrifice without complaining.  How to make decisions when I am confused.  She has held my head in her hands as I have cried over my marriage, my children, and my family.  She prays for me faithfully.  I cannot fully put into words what she means to me and how she has affected me and my life.

I am better for knowing her and being loved by her.  She is my dearest friend, mentor, and confidante.  I wish her circumstances, today, were different than what they are, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she *feels* the love and prayers from everyone around her.

Happy Birthday, my Lady……………

Posted in Everyday, Inspirational Thoughts, Marriage, Medical, My Lady

Because Depression is a Real Thing

It should be discussed without judgement.

It should be dealt with….without shame.

One should not be embarrassed.

Since Ms. Jo and Hunter’s illness…..I’ve been a bit back on the struggle bus.  Not as bad as I was for the last 6 mths…I mean, I had a couple of weeks of feeling “normal”…now….I’ve taken a few steps back.

I am uneasy.

I want to cry.

I want to sleep.

I want to hide.

I want my husband to hug me more.

I do not want to be around people.

I have to force myself to be happy.

The fact of the matter is…I’m not happy.

I have peace.

I have joy.

I know that happy is circumstantial and true joy comes from the Lord.

Even in my darkest moments….I have peace.

Joy *always* comes in the morning.

For tonight….I will hide in my bedroom.

Hug my husband.

Remind myself of Truths.

Be thankful that I have medication to help me.

I will not fear.

I will not be shamed.

I will not be judged.

I am who I am.

I am a wife.

I am a mother.

I am a daughter.

I am a sister.

I am a warrior.

I am strong in the Lord.

He is my Sustainer.

He is my Refuge.

He is my Strength.

End the stigma.

Talk about depression.

Get out of hiding and ask for help.

You are no alone.



Posted in Everyday, Medical, My Lady

My Lady…Go Big or Go Home

Flashing back to June 2, 2017…I went to check on my Lady and when I got to her house, she was no where to be found.  I walked around, gathered laundry, straightened her house and then called her son and granddaughter to see where she might be.  I knew she had not felt well, what I didn’t know was that she had gotten significantly worse since I was there a few days earlier.

While I was on the phone with her youngest son, her granddaughter was walking in the door with her.  My Lady’s belly was huge, tight…her legs were so swollen.  She could hardly breathe and all she wanted to do was to lay down in her bed.  She rarely does this when I am there.  We got her in the bed and I spoke with her granddaughter.  The doctor’s thought that she needed her gallbladder taken out, so they had scheduled an appointment for the following morning to consult with a surgeon.  However, upon more discussion, it was decided that if they happened to keep her, she needed to be at a hospital that her neurologist was in because of her stroke a couple of years ago.  So, her son took her to the ER and I was going to run to a baseball game for one of my kids and then head to the hospital to spend the night.

Once at the hospital…we realized how severe this was.  Doctors were coming in right and left and they were throwing out terms like “cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease, congestive heart failure, UTI…”  We must have looked like we were from a different planet cause we were not prepared for all of that.  UTI, sure…she has those a lot.  The rest, we had NO CLUE on.  We were constantly asked how we didn’t know and who her doctor was.  We kindly told all the professionals that she is always at the doctor and no one had even begun to mention any of these things…only that she needed her gallbladder removed.

Little could be done because she is on a blood thinner and that had to be out of her system for 5 days before any invasion testing could be done.  Lots of tests, lots of sharing her info, lots of little sleep and being watchful ended up with one of the doctors saying call the family in.  It was one of those moments that seems like the person talking is talking in slow motion and that all you see are their lips moving but you hear no words coming out of their mouths.  I stayed with her until that following Monday.  We took turns sitting with her and watching her.  It was a struggle for her to breathe because of the 2 gallons of fluid on her belly…she had little energy…and she was simply tired.

I knew on Tuesday that her oldest son was coming in town and some of her grandchildren and great grandchildren were flying in (what a legacy this woman has and she is SO well loved by her family).  I decided that I would not come to the hospital that day because I wanted to be respectful of her family and their precious time together.  I played catch up around here and ran some errands.

Nothing out of the ordinary……………….


I got a call………………….

Posted in Everyday, Inspirational Thoughts, Medical, My Lady

From Pity Party to Birthday Party

So, the other day, I posted Enough is Enough on my blog.  I was in the pit and whining.

Things are still falling apart, but the Lord has been gracious enough to show me the true meaning of life.


Love one another.

Love thy neighbor.

Care for the orphans and the widows.




Today, we celebrated my Lady’s 81st birthday!  I am SO thankful that the Lord saw fit to bring us together in what started out as a mentor/mentee relationship.  It has turned into so much more.  The love this woman has for me, for my husband, for my children…what a blessing.

Last month, I was frightened, sad, humbled, and honored to walk with my Lady down a scary health path.  She came to my house, early one morning, bringing me a beautiful American flag.  She left after a lovely visit.  She called me later and was confused, not sounding right, and tired.  I hung up the phone and I was preparing to go to her and check on her when I received another call, from her granddaughter’s fiance’.  My Lady was in the ER and I needed to get there.

While I was talking with her, on the phone, she was in the process of having her first stroke.  I stayed by her side for 48 hrs.  I never closed my eyes.  We talked, cried, laughed, remembered, and I listened and I soaked up every single bit of her.  During that time, I was blessed to be holding her hand, listening to her love story with “her Jerome” as she had her second stroke.  My heart sank, but I knew that she loved me and she loved her family and she loved her Jesus.

We are on the other side of that traumatic event.  She is still tired and her vision isn’t great, but she is home and doing well and today is her BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I came over earlier in the day, just to hug her neck and to see what she needed from the store.  We had another fantastic visit.  Our plans were for my family to head over, with supper in hand, and occupy her evening.  We had fried chicken, hashbrown casserole, green bean casserole, squash casserole, rolls, baked beans, and salad.  We had cupcakes too!  My kids made her a birthday sign, my daughter drew her a picture, and we all had cards for her.  We ate, laughed, sang, and ended the night with all my kids surrounding her at her table and playing with an activities booklet.  It was wonderful.

She is my Lady.

Oh, how I love her.

DSCN6901  DSCN6909  DSCN6914   DSCN6921

Posted in Everyday, Inspirational Thoughts, Medical, My Lady


Do you know what the word CHAOS stands for?






I do not know if it is because my life, for the last month and a half, has been CONSUMED with baseball  or if the last few marbles that reside in my head are slowly falling out….I just don’t know.

Life has been nuts and the summer is halfway over and I don’t even feel like I’ve had a moment to stop and enjoy it.  I haven’t been in the pool….at all.  Sadness.

Our vacation to DC was amazing.  It was 10 days of togetherness and we didn’t kill each other.  That is a huge plus.  There were moments.  You can’t be a large family and not have moments.  I’m not going to lie….I almost threw one or two kids out of our vehicle, but it was a short lived moment and we all ended up surviving.

Once we were home, life hit us square between the eyes.  An issue that emerged, before our trip, had to be confronted and dealt with.  The blow of this issue caused my health to flip flop around and I ended up with bronchitis and a double ear infection.  I was slow pressed to do anything.  My cousin passed away, unexpectedly.

A few days after that, my Lady had a couple of strokes.  I stayed with her as much as possible during the time that she was in the hospital.  In between hospital stays/runs/visits, we had a minimum of 4 baseball games a week.  One boy plays in one county and another boy plays in another county.

Let’s add in we got another dog (gasp), but the dog was going to be put down because A) he is old B) he is blind C) he is toothless.  All that added up to the fact that he needed me and I needed him.  He hadn’t been home a week when one child decided to take him out and in the process broke his leg…I was at *you guessed it* baseball when it happened.  We took him to the vet, the next day, and the bill was going to be WAY more than what we can afford.  We were prepared to put him down.  I explained to the vet how the dog came to live with us and our family situation.  His kindness began to shine and he did the needed surgery for free.  We have still paid out way more than we are comfortable with, but he wrote off a huge amount.

My Lady finally came home and I go over probably more than I should LOL.  I like to take care of her and I love to glean all knowledge out of her head!  She brings me joy.

Lets add into this fun with one child getting strep throat and then a couple of weeks later contracting a bug.  A car died…completely and totally.

One girl got a job for the summer and it is her car that died.  Sigh.

One girl got a new job where she is driving more.  Panic.

A broken window…thanks to boys and said baseball.

A leaky roof.

Broken gutters (that are brand new).

A fridge that has leaked so bad (no, we didn’t know) that it has RUINED my floor.  A kitchen sink that leaks so bad, it ruined the cabinet and the other part of my floor.  A broken microwave door,

and a broken down truck….do you get the picture?

I’m going to blink and the summer is going to be over and I will have no school work ready.


Kids have gone to movies together.

Family has gone to baseball.

They have played in the rain.

Our garden is growing.

They swim until 9 pm.

We have planted/weeded/cleaned my Lady’s courtyard.

A friend and I are putting together and AWESOME mentoring meeting that we hope to spread across all local churches.

Kids sat in the laundry room floor and matched socks while giggling hysterically.

Tether ball.

Hamburger/movie nights.

Lots of books being read.

Family get together.

Bible school.

Lessons learned.

Tears shed.

It has been CHAOS in my house.

Parts, I would not like to repeat.

I would love for a money tree to sprout in my backyard (I actually had one of those and it died.)

I’m glad baseball is ending next week (Boo won the whole thing and earned a gold ring with his team).  I plan on doing a whole lot of nothing during the month of July.  I want to get my house cleaned, get people to fix the things that need to be fixed.  I want to repaint the laundry room (due to the water damage).  I also need to get schoolwork put together, so I can take that concern off my plate.

The older I get, the more time FLIES.  It is flying but I realize that we are getting closer to the Lord’s return.  When He returns, we will be in the new heaven with no more pain, no more sadness, no more water leaks, no more broken down vehicles, no more darkness…..O, what a GLORIOUS day!!!!!!

Posted in Everyday, Inspirational Thoughts, My Lady

Our Story: Ms. Jo and Me

Our Story of one girl who had the courage to ask and one wonderful Lady who had the courage to say YES!

Mentoring….something that has peaked my interest for a long time.  I never knew where to begin, so I just pushed that thought on the back burner.  I am too busy, I have too many kids, life gets in the way, I’m too screwed up, no one will understand me, and I’m closed off emotionally.  All these thoughts filtered through my mind.

When my family and I decided to start looking for a new church, I went into it looking to fly under the radar.  I’m loud.  I’m outspoken.  I can be misunderstood easily and I certainly didn’t get along well with pastors.  We found a church and one of the very first people I saw, sitting in the pew, was a TALL, white haired woman who looked to be in her 70s.  Her presence was commanding.  She was faithful to attend morning, evening and Wednesday night services.  I could hear her sing above anyone.  One could almost read her story in her wrinkles.  I was captivated.  I watched her for about 2 years.  I never spoke to her.  I would hear people say “someday, you need to ask Ms. Jo about her love story.”  From that moment, I was determined to ask her…but fear of rejection would pound in my head and I would not ever ask.

One year, we were doing a type of “trunk or treat” for Halloween.  The ladies of the church transformed our fellowship hall and our downstairs children area in a giant Candyland game.  I went to help out and to bring my children.  As we walked downstairs, I saw this tall precious woman sitting in a rocking chair and the children would come and sit out her feet and listen to her tell the story of how much Jesus loves them.  I went in, without my children (they were in another area) and I sat at her feet and I was captivated by her ability to quietly and strongly tell this story.  There was not one child who didn’t have their eyes on her.  I sat, right by her, entranced by this woman.  When the children left, I asked her if someday, she would share her love story with me.  This smile that could light a thousand Christmas trees flashed across her face.  She simply replied with “my Jerome.”  You could feel that love that she had for him.  She told me that she would be glad to tell me, sometime.

Another year or so went by and I got up the courage to always hug her neck when I saw her.  Her smile is so inviting and welcoming.  I knew, though she didn’t know me and my scars, that she loved me.  She loved me completely and unconditionally.  She was my peace.  She started correcting my words towards my children if she felt I was out of line.  She would talk to me about how I spoke to my husband, at times.  She is bold but never condemning.  There was a particular moment that I had been in the pit of depression for over a month.  I mustered up enough courage to go to Wednesday night ministry and I saw her come through the door.  I walked up to her and hugged her.  She asked me how I had been and I just looked at her, fighting back the tears, and said “I haven’t been well.  I’m struggling with depression and I can’t seem to shake it.”  She stood as straight as I had ever seen her and she said “well get over it.  You are loved by our Jesus, your family, and me.”  Her boldness took me back and I thought…well, she is right.  I am loved.  God is bigger than this depression.

That moment, I knew what I had been praying for so long, my prayers had been answered.  That next Sunday, I went to get my hug and I sat by her. Her sweet aged hands, with that one crooked index finger (I seriously love that crooked finger) held my hand and I put my head on her shoulder.  At that moment, there was no one else in the sanctuary.  It was like the Lord had blacked out all the chaos around me and allowed me to focus on her and me, at that particular time.  I leaned into her and I said “Ms. Jo, I have a question.  Would you consider being my mentor?”  She looked puzzled and she said “well, I don’t know what I have to offer you, but whatever I have, you can have.”  My thoughts started whirling and I know I looked like I could catch a thousand flies with my open mouth.  I just looked at her and said “seriously, have you met yourself?  How you love your Jerome, how you love your boys, your grandchildren, how you love the Lord…..I want that and I want you to teach me that.”  We agreed to set a date for that Thursday.  I was thrilled.

I showed up that first Thursday and we sat on her back porch.  I sat in the swing and she sat in her chair.  When I say she knew NOTHING about me, other than my name and my family’s name, I mean that.  The Lord drew our souls together.  She looked at me and said “how can I help you?”  In that moment, time stopped again.  In an uncontrollable moment, I started weeping.  I could not stop.  I rarely cry…I fight it, I suck it up.  I couldn’t even get a word out.  Then I heard her sweet voice say “well, for goodness sakes, let’s go in the house and work through this.”  She tells me, a lot, that I am “almost there but not quite yet.”  I wholeheartedly agree!  I am teachable and I am learning.

There was a day, recently, that my heart….was shattered.  Normally, I would fall into a depression and not get out of bed.  This time, my first thought was to get to my person!  I vaguely remember driving to her house and I knocked on the door.  She opened it and said “hey girl, how are you?”  I fell into her arms.  She wrapped her arms around me, not asking me any questions and she hugged me so tight that I not only felt her love, I felt Jesus’ love through her.  We made it to her table and I muttered out, through tears, what had happened.  I laid my head in her beautiful hands and she caught every single tear.  She made a phone call and after that, she put her sweet hand on my head and prayed for me and for my family.  She carried me through such a tough tough time.  She never judged, condemned, fussed out, bad mouthed anyone. She loved.  She prayed.  She encouraged.  There are not many people who would do that.

The love, the encouragement, the lessons, the simple joy of being in her presence, and her love story with “her Jerome” has been a staple in my life.  There isn’t many days that I don’t either speak with her or see her.  I run errands for her, we go to lunch, I take her suppers, she holds my hand, and she has the best ice cubes on the planet.  We run around town, we talk, we pray, she encourages, I have heard a thousand stories and I love each and every one of them.  I have learned how to love my husband, my husband LOVES her too!!!  My kids WILLINGLY do yardwork because in moments where we are resting, we all sit on the back porch and we just listen to her wisdom.  She exudes the Proverbs 31 woman and now she is the living example of the Titus 2 command.

The Lord knew I needed her and she needed me.  I’m blessed to help her in any way possible because I can never repay her for her love and graciousness she has shown me, my husband, and my children.  She will forever be a part of my heart and my family.  Oh, how I love that woman.  Oh, I am thankful that the Lord granted me the desires of my heart and brought forth the most precious mentor and friend a girl could ever have.  She’s my Lady.  She’s my person.

I encourage those who are curious about being a mentor or is in need of a mentor to pray for the Lord to meet those needs and to raise up those who can mentor.  You don’t have to be 80 to be a mentor.  You just need to have a willing spirit to vest in the lives of others.

I had a sweet sweet friend ask me to mentor her.  My first thought was “I have nothing to teach you.”  Sound familiar?  I went and spoke to my Lady…..she said that I am perfectly equipped to mentor this sweet friend.  What I have learned through the trials of my life, what I’m learning through my Lady, I have passed onto this sweet friend.  She still has a long way to go, but she is getting there!  What I learn from my Lady, I pass onto my friend.  My Lady prays for this friend, which is what it is all about.  Again, I am blessed.