Monday, December 28, 2015

Too Long

Cousin Clayton surprised the family and flew out from South Carolina for Christmas. It had been eight years since most of us had seen him. 
He and I were both eleven years old! 
Cousins Casey and Austin made it for the family Christmas, after missing several years. We were all together for the first time since we were very young! It was so nice and I went home that night feeling very happy and content. My family means the world to me! 
 
Me, Marissa, Marita, Casey, Austin, and Colten 
2010
 
All of us (plus Clayton)
2015
 
All us older cousins (and two Aunties) that made it to Christmas!
 
I believe all of our cheeks were sore from smiling for so long, but hey! I think it was worth it!
Someday I would love to get the entire family together. Now wouldn't that be special?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Little Bit of Heaven on a Roll


One night I sat flipping through an old magazine. I came across a recipe for something called "Cream Cheese Coils." The photo looks so appetizing, I had to try my hand at making them myself!
Family Night came around and I was able to test my new found recipe. When asked if he had tried one yet, my friend's fiancé replied:
"You mean that little bit of Heaven on a roll?"
There the name stuck.

Cream Cheese Coils/Heaven on a Roll

3-3/4 - 4 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar, divided
4 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. butter, cubed
1 egg
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

GLAZE:
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 T. water

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 c. flour, 1/2 c. sugar, yeast, and salt. In a saucepan, heat milk, water, and butter until butter is melted and milk becomes foaming and bubbly on top. Add to dry ingredients; beat on medium speed for about two minutes. Add egg and 1/2 c. flour; beat on high for two minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour until a stiff dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. (I found the less flour the easier the dough is to work with. I even wet it some with water to help roll it out.) Take a small amount of dough and roll into about 12-15 in. long rope. Holding one end of the rope, loosely wrap dough around, forming  a coil. (This batch makes about 18 coils). 
Place coils 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Cover and let rise until double, about one house.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, egg yolk, vanilla, and remaining sugar, beat until smooth. Using the back of a spoon, make a 1 in. wide indention in the center of the coil; spoon one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into the indentation.
Bake at 400* for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
GLAZE:
In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough water to achieve drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled rolls. Store in refrigerator.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Tag of Happiness

I was tagged by LaKaysha at Calico and Lace to do the Tag of Happiness. Looks like everyone is getting in on it! We shall see how mine turns out and maybe I'll find some new things about myself. *wink*

Some movies that make me happy:
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
The Original Nancy Drew Movie Mystery Collection (1938-39)
Young Bill Hickock (1940)
Sergeant York (1941)
Miss Annie Rooney (1942)
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
San Fernando Valley (1944)
State Fair (1945)
Angel and the Badman (1947)
Disney's Cinderella (1950)
Disney's Peter Pan (1953)
Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier (1954-1955)
Davy Crockett and the River Pirates (1955)
Disney's Robin Hood (1973)
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
The Shadow Riders (1982)
Leave it to Beaver (TV Series)
Road to Avonlea (TV Series)
Bonanza (TV Series)
Daniel Boone (TV Series)

Some books that make me happy:
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Anne of Green Gables Series by L.M. Montgomery
The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Savings Graces: The Inspirational Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Davy Crockett's Own Story by David Crockett
Jim Bridger: Mountain Man by Stanley Vestal
The Warriors Path by Louis L'Amour
Jubal Sackett by Louis L'Amour
The Lonesome Gods by Louis L'Amour
Comstock Load by Louis L'Amour
The Daybreakers by Louis L'Amour
Sackett by Louis L'Amour
*How about I just say Louis L'Amour makes me happy? Lol*

Some songs that make me happy:
Amazing Grace
He, the Pearly Gates
Come Thou Fount
The Old Rugged Cross by Andy Griffith
Shall We Gather at the River? by Uncle Casey or Andy Griffith
When They Ring Those Golden Bells by Loretta Lynn
I'm A Getting Ready to Go by Loretta Lynn
Coal Miners Daughter by Loretta Lynn
Mama's Sugar by Loretta and Ernest Ray Lynn
Shenandoah by Michael Landon
The New Born King by Pernell Roberts
They Call the Wind Mariah by Pernell Roberts or Ed Ames
My Bonnie Lassie by the Ames Brothers
Hawaiian War Chant by the Ames Brothers
The Ballad of Davy Crockett by Fess Parker
Can you Hear those Pioneers? by Rex Allen Jr.
Family Bible by George Jones
The Black Hills of Dakota by Doris Day
Unclouded Day by George Jones
Where We'll Never Grow Old by Jim Reeves or George Jones
*I have found out that I love George Jones! Especially his Gospel*

Some foods that make me happy :
Chicken Pot Pie
Pasty
Rocky's Pizza
Horseshoe Sandwiches
Biscuits and Gravy
Thanksgiving Dinner
Caesar Salad
V8
Pepperoni Sticks
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Cheese Nips
White Cheddar Cheese Its
Sugar-free Chocolates my Mom makes!

Some words that make me happy:
retro
vintage
antique
ancient
wonder
simple
humble
western
Jesus
Love
Peace

Other:
Summer Sunsets
Quiet early mornings
hot coffee
fuzzy slippers
fire places
The Ranch
Crisp Fall Days
Snuggles from my cousins
Black and White movies
Music
Old books
Dreaming about my future house! Decorating, the works!
baby names
sweaters
Ancient Egypt
Cowboys!
Westerns!
Wagons
Prairies
Mountains
Buckskins
Mountain men
Lewis and Clark
Davy Crockett!
Kit Carson

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Time and My Life

Life has been a little on the crazy side for me! January is fast approaching and I am getting more and more anxious for the wedding. The thought of walking and standing in front of hundreds of people is enough to make me pull the covers over my head!
Oh, how many nightmares I've had of that day. For awhile it was every single night. Thankfully they have slowed down a bit!

It feels so good to have the Bridal Shower done and over with! And I think it went well?
Thanks to my sisters, aunts, and Shanoah! Just a few pics from the day:

Decorating






Shanoah - matron of honor, Kaysha - bride, and I
Missing bridesmaids Sharleen, Jayda, and Melissa.
 
I have had my second appointment with my Orthopedics doctor. I am to be getting a mouth appliance as soon as they can get it ordered and made, and will begin wearing it on the roof of my mouth.
My speech will be affected so I am a little nervous to see how it goes.
Once the appliance stage is done, I'll be getting braces. Dr. Ravi does things differently (always for health reasons, not cosmetics) than other Ortho's and is able to cut the time of braces way down! For that I am thankful. I never thought I'd see the day where I'd be getting braces. Sort of seems unreal.

The reason I am getting them for those who don't know, I have what they call an "open bite". My teeth do not touch in the front, leaving a gap when I smile. My back teeth get all the pressure of my jaw and by the time I reached my 30's I would crush them if I did not have it corrected. I'll be able to eat better (even be able to open a candy wrapper with my teeth! I thought it was "normal" when you couldn't do that), and Dr. Ravi says it'll improve my oxygen intake and help me feel more awake. I also grind my teeth in my sleep (my back teeth have been ground much farther down than my others) and correcting my jaw and the straightening of my teeth should correct that. If it really works. I just have a hard time believing it will! It will be so strange to not grind! I have for so many years, it has just become normal.

Yesterday I finally finished my Christmas shopping! I was getting quite anxious but finally accomplished it. The stores were crawling with people! How people live in cities and love it I'll never know.

We've been having an excessive amount of rain and flooding, yesterday being no different. Coming home was dark and rainy and very hard to see. Traffic was awful and at one point we were almost completely stopped due to the road disappearing under water. I was nervous to drive through it but followed the tail lights of cars ahead of me and we survived!

I am still working for Mollie and enjoying it. School has begun again so that takes up most of my time while there. Although, last week I went two days in a row so I could get the house cleaned.
It's hard to believe how much those kiddos are growing. Spencer just turned three and does not remember life before my coming. Mollie is now expecting a baby girl and I am excited to meet her! Aubrey is their last girl and was five when I began coming.
I love babies and especially hearing what their names are. I have this fascination with names. *wink*

Well there's my little "update". May you all have a blessed Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The First Gift


"The First Gift"
December 2014
 
 
Snowflakes are falling; stars are twinkling bright
The land sparkles gently in the moons soft light
Children laugh merrily as on their sleds they sail
Across the hills and through the valley their joy leaves a trail
 
It’s Christmas time again; family gathers round
In the stillness of the night, carols send their sound
Presents are wrapped beneath that great tree so green
A more beautiful tree no one has ever seen
 
Little ones sit round Grandpa’s knee, as he reads the story of old
The one read every year, though never too many times told
The story of that babe who was born far across the sea
A gift from the Lord above, given for you and for me
 
That precious child was born on the first Christmas day
Sweetly his Mother laid him upon his bed of hay
So remember why we have Christmas at this time every year
It’s a remembrance of that first gift we all hold so dear
- Felicity Stenersen

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Forgotten Town

I have always loved ghost towns, and the idea they would have a story to tell if only they could. We recently got a book from the library filled with pictures of some, and it got my imagination going.
 

 "The Forgotten Town"
 
As I wandered through the hills, behold what my eyes met
Upon the wind I heard a whisper “Please, don’t forget”
I once was tall and proud, my heart was filled with song
I stood great above the world, I was mighty and strong
 
My windows shone with light, my doors were open wide
Upon my floors feet were trod and laughter from inside
Now I sit still and quiet; my life has gone away
Upon the earth I stand alone, silently I stay
 
My curtains flutter in the wind, no one cares anymore
A doll lies upon her bed, a quilt upon the floor
Mama has left her dishes unwashed beside the sink
A world far from what you know, I hold a small link
 
Grandfather has left his glasses lying beside his chair
His Bible rests upon the stand with a forgotten prayer
My church bell no longer chimes to call my children in
I hold my secrets in my heart and my tales deep within
 
I can no longer speak to you, for my mouth has been stilled
My warmth has been taken away, I’m left empty and chilled
I once was filled with life, do you wonder who they were?
They’ve all gone away now, their stories never to remember
 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Oh! The Simple Life!


"Oh! The Simple Life!"

Have you ever smelt the air just before a rain?
Have you watched the leaves tumble down a country lane?
Have you ever tasted the sweetness of mountain air upon your lips?
Have you watched a hillside stream as it tumbles and trips?

Do you know the feeling of cool dirt in between your toes?
Do you know the joy of playing hide-and-seek down the corn rows?
Do you lay beneath the heavens and watch the silver stars fall?
Do you wonder at the majesty of a fir tree so tall?

Have you tasted the first honey-suckle ever so sweet?
Have you watched a kitten ramble gaily about your feet?
Have you walked through the earth, just kissed with the summer dew?
Have you felt the tender trust of a child’s eyes so true?

Oh! The simple life! How wonderful it can be!
For with all it’s peaceful ways my heart is light and free
I’d rather have my rolling hills; the beautiful blue sky
Than own the largest mansion with a tear drop on my eye
 
- Felicity Stenersen

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Being Content

With a friend getting married soon; planning a wedding and dreaming of their future home, it's brought my desire for a home of my own back in full force. Questions have returned like,

"Will that ever be me?"

I have felt more and more that I need to be content and I may never marry. I don't feel panic, I just feel sad. Yes, I know I am only nineteen years old (though my twentieth birthday seems to be approaching faster than I appreciate) but since I was fifteen years old I've been waiting. My biggest dream as a girl was to get married at seventeen. The Lord knew best and that dream did not happen. But it opened my eyes and showed me I can't plan my life and must leave it in my Saviour's hands.
I can't change what He has planned, and I shouldn't desire to.


This portion from Louisa May Alcott's lovely "Little Women" has stuck out to me from the first time I read it.

“Mother, have you ‘plans’ for us as Mrs. Moffat said?”asked Meg bashfully.

“Yes, my dears, I have a great many; all mothers’ do, but mine differ somewhat from Mrs. Moffat’s, I suspect. I will tell you some of them, for the time has come when a word may set this romantic little head and heart of yours right, on a very serious subject. You are young Meg, but not too young to understand me, and mother’s lips are the fittest to speak of such things to girls like you. Jo, your turn will come in time, perhaps, so listen to my ‘plans’, and help me carry them out, if they are good. I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good; to be admired, loved, and respected; to have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send. To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman, and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience. It is natural to think of it Meg, right to hope for it, and wise to prepare for it, so that when the happy time comes, you may feel ready for the duties and worthy of the joy. My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you dash in the world, marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes because love is wanting. Money is a needful and precious thing- and, when well used, a noble thing- but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I’d rather see you poor men’s wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace.”
"...Leave these things to time; make this home happy, so that you may be fit for homes of your own,
if they are offered you, and contented here if they are not.”

and contented here if they are not.

One of the hardest things I struggle with is being content. I was always told to be content today and just wait until God sends "the one". Then that line struck out to me. I must be content always. Even if I don't marry.

I still dream about my house (I have so many dreams about that place!). About teaching my children to read. About making my husband supper. But I know that God has my life planned to my very last breath and I must walk in His way to be happy.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Before and After

Hello all! We have been busy cleaning and painting. Here are some pictures of our progress:

Bathroom

Hallway
 
Liberty's room
 
Chancy's room
 

Monday, October 12, 2015

A New Home. A New Adventure

We've begun work on our new home!
Lots of hours of scrubbing and cleaning but we are:
 
"gettin' 'er done!"
 
LaKaysha and Daminika in Chancy's bedroom
 


The girl's room
 
Down the hallway
 

 
 
Kitchen
 
Living/Dining
 
Time to start cleaning!
 


 
I can't wait until everything is done and we can finally move in and settle down.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Autumn is finally here!

The air is a little chillier; the sun a little dimmer. The wind wisps through the tree's causing its coloring leaves to flutter gently to the earth below.

Autumn is finally here!

Some love hot summers filled with swimming pools and trips to the beach. Other's prefer the rain of spring. For me, one of my favorite seasons is fall!
After a very long and hot summer, the new season is very welcome. I love when it's cold and crisp outside and your breath floats away in little clouds. I love jackets and boots. Hot cider and flickering candles. Crackling fires, fresh baked bread, and pumpkin goodies covering the counter.
Mm... nothing beats Autumn in my book.

 
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from
the autumn tree.”
Emily Bronte 
 
 
What is your favorite season? 
 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Silver Star, finally!

Well we did it! We finally made it to "my" beautiful Silver Star!
Though it ended up being a very hot day, I still enjoyed it immensely. Who couldn't love those views of rolling hills and great white mountains that tower above you? I think I could stay there forever; leaving the loud and worrisome world behind me. Breathing in clean air and soaking in the sunshine.

Maybe I did inherit something for that place from my ancestors? I love hearing stories of my Grandparents who walked those hills before me, and their great love for Silver Star.



 
 
 
Stopping for a rest
 


Marita and Kaysha
 
All the girls (missing Sue, my Mom, and Liberty)
 
The men!
 
Made it to the top!
 

Breathtaking views
 
 
Roger, Kaysha, and Charlie
 



Stopping for a drink at the water trough!
 

 
 
Until next time...