Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I'm Just Me

The other morning I got to thinking, and I asked my Mom a question.

"Is there something wrong with me?"

Of course she had to ask what in the world I was talking about, to which I explained.

I don't sit and visit very well. Some of you know it, and I know some get irritated with me. I am very sorry I can sometimes come across as rude. I honestly do not mean it and it is nothing personal against you.

I'm just me.

My Mom told me it's partly anxiety and partly personality. Which, though I don't like to admit it, is true.

I always have suffered from anxiety. I was terrified of grocery stores as a little girl, or of large crowds of people. I didn't like the commotion or the strange faces all around.

As I grew older my old anxieties faded, but new ones grew.
I became extremely anxious when I heard of politics or if I followed the news. I didn't like hearing about all the wrongs that are happening in my world, or of the trials we are destined to face.
I was afraid to dream of a future for I felt, "What is the point?"
I felt a heavy burden. I must pray for my country. For my world. At all moments or it would come crashing down, and it would be all my fault. I wasn't praying hard enough.
I later came to realize that I can't save this world with my prayers and worries.
I can pray, of course, but I can't think the weight of the world is all on me.

God's got this.

He has it under control. All will be well. All is well. Nothing happens in this life without His knowing, and everything, good or bad, is just a curve in our road to Glory.

My heart knows this to be true, but my flesh as another story. I still can be sucked back into that mind set of before. I still can struggle with the thought of tomorrow and what lies ahead.
So, I stay away from it. Isn't that what we are to do? When we know we have a weakness, we don't go towards it?
You may notice I don't stick around when politics arrive into the conversation.
Or, when it is anything negative, really. Health, sadness, anger, depression. I emotionally can't handle it.
Maybe I'm the one in the wrong, but it is a daily struggle of mine.

God has showed me to not dwell on those things. For me, that is just staying completely away.
I have come to believe strongly in my heart that was are not to talk negative.
We shouldn't talk of what God hasn't blessed us with. We shouldn't dwell on the trials we have been given.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

That verse is just so clear to me. Think on these things.

Don't think about what evils are surrounding us. God's love always abounds.

Don't worry about your health. Thank God each morning you are here for one more day. One more hour. You are still here for a purpose. Don't think about what if God takes you tomorrow. Thank Him for giving you today.

Don't wonder where your life is going. What God has in store. Just believe with all your being that it is a far more beautiful life than you can even imagine.

Thank God for the rain that waters this earth.
Thank Him for the wind that blows the crisp leaves through the sky.

Thank Him you have two hands to work. Two eyes to see. Arms to hold those you love near.

Imagine what this world would be like if everyone played Pollyanna's "Glad Game"?
To find the good in everything. For there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

I think of Corrie ten Boom.
Her world as she knew it was shattered. Her home completely torn apart. She watched loved ones be taken away and die. If anyone had a right to complain, she did.

But she didn't.

Corrie and her sister Betsy were placed in a camp during World War II. It was a horrible life. They were worked. They were beat. They were covered in fleas.

They thanked God for the fleas.

For with the fleas, the guards stayed out of their rooms, and they were able to hold Bible studies.
I want to be like Corrie and Betsy.

How do I?

During family gatherings, it isn't uncommon to find me on the floor with a baby cousin. Laughing and playing in our own little world.
I have always loved babies. Which is where my personality part comes in.
I love to watch their little eyes light up and their toothless smiles flash. I love to hear little feet pitter patter across the floor and tiny voices singing through the air.
Babies are innocent and loving. They don't care what you look like. Whether you wear too much make-up or your clothes aren't what they'd wear.
Weather your hair is a mess or your skin isn't perfect.
They accept you for who you are and can melt the biggest fear away with their tiny arms around your neck.
I have learned, for my own sake, to breathe in the world of little ones. To embrace the beauty of childhood.
Because of my love for babies, I learned I can keep my worries down if I stop dwelling on what I hear and just focus on those faces.

So, if I don't visit you like you wish, I am sorry. I truly am. And will make a effort to do better at listening.
It isn't because I don't like you or what you are saying!
Because not all conversations around me are negative!
I think I have gotten into the habit, like my Mom said, of having a fear something negative might come up so I subconsciously learned to just, well, not listen.

This is just who I am. I'm just me.

I find my joy in my young cousins. I find my peace and my life.

I have learned they help me to remember not all this world is bad. That God is awesome.

That life is beautiful.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Spiced Apple Sweet Tea

I've said it before but I'll say it again, I love fall.

Many dread the Autumn season because it means winter will soon be coming behind. For me, the cold seasons are my favorite and I look forward to them each year.

The cold crisp mornings are like no other. The air feels clean and fresh and your lungs can breathe deeply. I love bundling up in warm sweaters and boots, watching your breath float away on the wind.
Fall recipes are also a reason I love it. Apple pies, pumpkin scones, pumpkin lattes, and Apple teas.
Yesterday I was craving something hot and sweet, so I whipped up this mouth watering tea for the family.

Spiced Apple Sweet Tea
3 cups water
6 cinnamon sticks
3 cloves
6 tea bags
3 cups apple juice
6 tsp. Truvia (or sweetener of choice)
Apple Slices
Place water, cinnamon, and cloves into appropriate sized kettle. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat.
Add your tea bags. I used "Oolong Tea" but you can use whichever you prefer or have on hand.
Cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
Remove cover. Add apple juice and your choice of sweetener. Turn heat back on and warm until heated completely through.
Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Peel apple (I used green) and slice into thin slices. Place three slices in bottom of each mug.
Pour tea over top and enjoy!
I used ground clove as we didn't have whole and once I took the lid off from steeping, the clove had clung to the edge of kettle. I scraped most out but had to drain the bottom of the kettle with a coffee filter. I think whole cloves would be much better. Although ground worked and it still tasted delicious!
I hope you have a wonderful Autumn day.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Currently In My Life

I've seen "currently in..." posts before, and enjoyed reading them. I have never sat down and done one myself though. I thought maybe it would be fun to try it out. We'll see what I think!

*Current Happenings*
Hm... lets see? What has happened recently that is worth writing about?

Sunday I took Kaysha & Roger's Christmas photo's along with Noelle's 6 month.
I was, as usual, nervous about how it would go. Especially with Noelle being so young! Then the weather was a problem. Rain, rain, rain.
It slowed to a drizzle though and Noelle was happy and smiley! I think I got some cute ones of her!
Of course, I won't be sharing any of the photo shoot as I am still in the process of editing and then going to give them to Kaysha and Shanoah.
Here are a few photo's though of after. I got to play with her for a few minutes before she decided it was time for a nap:

On the way to work Monday, I happened to glance to the right of my car. I was shocked to find at least thirty elk grazing in someone's field!
Now me, I love elk! But I have never seen them in the "wild" before so was excited to come across them! I pulled over quickly to snap a few photo's, then text my parents and let them know. They loaded up and went to see for themselves.
Have to say, it made my day.

Tuesday my dear friend Kaysha turned 21! Wow. Twenty-one. Seems like only yesterday we were twelve years old and talking about "when we grow up". Now we are (or so they tell us) "all grown up", Kaysha being married and living a new and exciting faze.
Life certainly has not gone how I figured it would but, it's been a wonderful life just the same. I am so glad God blessed me with memories and amazing friends.
I picked her up at 8:45 in the morning and brought her to a hair appointment! Then we spent the day hanging out at the mall, got coffee, and later went to her place where we were joined by Marita. Was a relaxing day just catching up on our lives. Something I needed!

"Life ain't always beautiful, but it's a beautiful ride."

I love Brewed Awakening's "real fruit smoothies".
They have no added sugar and are made with their own
fresh squeezed orange juice!
*Currently Eaten*
That's a random thing to share, in my opinion!
I guess if you care to know, I recently had a random craving and bought myself a can of Coke and a bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos. Actually, I drove to the store and my "baby" sister went inside to get them for me! I was all gross from working and didn't feel like being seen.
I never, ever, buy "junk". Especially with sugar! I felt so naughty but it tasted so good. *smiles*
*Currently Reading*
Umm... nothing. *ashamed smile*
I can't remember the last time I read a book. I do miss it though.
*Current Favorite Songs*
My sisters think I have the strangest taste in songs. I have quite the variety of styles, I'll admit!
What I have been currently listening to:
Wrong Road Again - Crystal Gayle
"I can't seem to learn not to love you. You get to me every time. Your someone I just can't say no to, and your sure good at changing my mind.
Here I go down that wrong road again. Goin' back where I've already been. Even knowin' where it will end. Here I go down that wrong road again."
From This Moment On - Shania Twain
"From this moment life has begun. From this moment you are the one. Right beside you is where I belong. From this moment on.
From this moment I have been blessed. I wish only for your happiness. And for your love I'd give my last breath. From this moment on.
I give my hand to you with all my heart. I can't wait to live my life with you, I can't wait to start. You and I will never be apart. My dreams came true, because of you."
Sparklin' Brown Eyes - Wanda Jackson
"There's a ram shackle shack down in old Caroline. Keeps calling me back to that man of mine. If I had the wings of a beautiful dove. Well you know I'd fly away to that man I love."
Blue Blue Day - Don Gibson
"It's been a blue blue day. I feel like runnin' away. I feel like runnin' away from it all."
It's Not Easy - Helen Reddy from Pete's Dragon
"It's not easy to find someone who cares. It's not easy to find magic in pairs...
Life is lollipop's and raindrops with the one you love. Someone you can always be with. Argue and agree with, climb the highest tree with."
It Won't Be Me - Tanya Tucker
"Somebody aught'a tell that girl she's living in a dreamers world. That boy is gone as gone can be. But it won't be me. No it won't be me."
Louisiana Man - Connie Smith
"At first Mama and Papa called the little boy Ned. They raised him on the banks of a river bed. A house boat tied to a big tall tree. A home for my Papa and my Mama and me."

Endlessly - Sonny James
"Higher than the highest mountain. Deeper than the deepest sea. That's how I will love you oh darlin', endlessly."

There Is A Reason - Alison Krauss
"I've seen hard times and I've been told there isn't any wonder that I fall. Why do we suffer, crossing off the years? There must be a reason for it all. I've trusted in You, Jesus, to save me from my sin
Heaven is the place I call my home. But I keep on getting caught up in this world I'm living in and Your voice it sometimes fades before I know."

*Currently Watching*
If you know my family, you know we love old TV shows. It's my favorite way to wind down from a long day of running back and forth cleaning this or that. I almost never sit still during the day! But I am right now as I write this blog. *blush*
We like to watch TV series together as siblings. We've done "Hogan's Heroes", "Leave it to Beaver", "The Dick Van Dyke Show", and "Gunsmoke" to name a few.
We've recently began watching a "new" to us TV series called "Father Knows Best". For some reason we started in Season 4.
It always takes awhile to "break in" the new characters but I have come to love this show. It's funny and serious all rolled into one. My parents even are enjoying this show with us! That's a first. *wink*
We've also been re-watching (for the 100th time) Road to Avonlea. No matter how many times I watch that show, I still love it.
Well, there you have it. A little bit of what is currently happening in my life.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

My Top Five Favorite Historical Books

I love history. Always have, always will.

Some people think that's crazy. "It's just about dead people." But to me, history is fascinating. These people lived. They thought, they felt, they cried, they laughed. Just like you. Just like me.
They had dreams and fears like anyone else. They lost loved ones. They seen battles fought and a country be born. They struggled with the same struggles as anyone else.
I thought I would share with you my top five favorite historical books.

1. Jim Bridger - Mountain Man by Stanley Vestal

Now I know I have mentioned this before to people. But, I love this book! It was so neat to learn about the real Jim Bridger. I'd heard stories about this wild mountain man all my life but never knew who he truly was.
You'll discover he was a brother struggling to support his sister. At a young age he headed into the mountains where his legend would be born.
He fought Indians and bears.
He married. He buried his wife. He married again. He buried her as well. He married a third time.
He was a father to six children. He buried one and another would be killed at the Whitman Massacre.
I highly recommend this book!
I loved it so much, I bought it for myself.

2. One Woman's West by Martha Gay Masterson and Lois Barton
Recollections of the Oregon Trail and Settling the Northwest Country

This autobiography intrigued me the moment I picked it up. I've always loved the pioneer days and grew up listening to stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was neat to read another girls experiences of the days when our country was expanding.
Laura grew up in the Midwest while Martha's father settled them in Oregon during the 1850's. I think I enjoyed it so much because Oregon is near to my heart and it was easier to picture the scenery she described.
This book shares almost all of Martha's life from a child to a old woman.
She suffered hardships with weather, snakes, Indians, and death.
Later she would marry a man who had wander lust and would move her over twenty times! I don't know how she handled it all.
Very neat!

3. Lost in Death Valley by Connie Goldsmith

Why this book interests me so much, I don't know. It was written so well I could almost feel the sun beating down on me as I turned each page.
As the cover says, it's about four families during the California Gold Rush. They decide to take a "shortcut" through "Death Valley" which proves to be deadly.
I advice to keep a glass of water near by as you will get thirsty. *wink*
A sad, interesting tale!
4. Davy Crockett's Own Story as written by himself - David Crockett
Everyone knows, I love Davy Crockett. I first fell in love with the character played by Fess Parker as a young girl. That voice still sends shivers up my spine. *smiles*
As I grew up, I wanted to know about the real Davy. I was a little nervous, I'll admit, to dig deep and find out. I was afraid my hero would no longer be fit to be my hero.
I searched and discovered that, though it is sometimes said he did not truly do this, a book was supposedly written by the great Davy Crockett. I searched my library and was pleased to see they had a copy! I placed it on hold and was ready to find out what the real man was like.
I knew a little about his life, but not a lot.
I discovered he was a spirited young boy, a young man who had his heart broken, a woodsman, soldier, Colonel, congressman, friend of Andrew Jackson, and a lover of his country.
Though he had some qualities I did not approve of, such as drinking, I fell in love with him even more. I laughed when he did, I cried when his dear Polly passed away.
Did you know Davy, a father of three small children, went on to re-marry a widow?
That he knew the famous river man Mike Fink?
That George Russell was a young man whom he had a small relationship with during his war years? But someone whom he greatly respected.
That the song "Farewell to the Mountains" sung in the Disney films was actually two verses from a long poem Davy himself had written?
That he met a young boy whom he only calls "the beekeeper" and who would later die in his arms at the Alamo?
That Davy kept a journal during that time? Which the second part of this book is?
If you want to know Davy, I suggest reading this book!
I would like to add that I would read this version pictured, published in the 1950's. It has Davy's autobiography in the beginning and then at the end is his journal from his Texas times to bring more closure to the story.
5. Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Did you know, before the Little House books, Laura wrote an autobiography of her life? That she was told it was not interesting enough to be published and to go home? That maybe if she wrote it in story form, changing a few things, maybe then people would want to read it?
I am so thankful that now they have learned Laura's life was fascinating in all it's truth. Forgotten since the 1930's, today Laura's true life is finally becoming known.
Did you know that Laura's beloved Jack did not travel with them west?
That during the Long Winter, a married couple was also stranded in their home, whom "Mother" (as Laura calls her) delivered a baby to?
That Laura thought herself to be in love with another young man?
If you love the Little House books, and Laura, read this and discover that her real life was filled with excitement, fear, and joys new to us!

Oh Tomorrow

We all have those "what about tomorrow" questions. I have. Especially lately. Though I know my life is in God's hands and His plan is perfect, sometimes we all just need to ask questions. Questions that can't be answered, but need to be asked just the same. 
Oh Tomorrow
Oh tomorrow, when will we ever meet?
When shall the sky clear and with you I will greet?
I wonder who you are and what you have in store
What hides behind your curtains; what awaits upon the shore
Will there be happiness for me some glorious day?
Will my dreams come true? Oh tomorrow, what will you say?
I have waited so long, I almost give up hope
I get tired of climbing this sometimes steep slope
Oh tomorrow, I know we will meet when our time is due
I must live for today, for you'll come when today is through
I'm sorry for my impatience, I'll try to be still
To remember you will come when it is His will
- Felicity

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Work In Progress

9 months. 35 weeks. 281 days.

That's how long I have been slowly but surely straightening my jawline and teeth. Some days it feels like I have had metal in my mouth for, well, forever. Other's, I can't believe I am already over halfway done.
My last appointment was on Monday. We did the usual photo's of my face, profile, and inside of my mouth. My doctor then took a look at the photo's, myself, then told me what key's to turn this month.
"Almost there."
Some days it feels like he has been saying those words for months! Which, I believe he has. *wink*
But he did tell me more recently that it seems to be going so well I may be done by the new year!
For me that is exciting because that would make it just over a year. Originally I was told over a year and a half before I'd be through. Praying it is so!

The movement is so slow that I didn't have a dramatic change over night where I seen improvement. But I know there is some. Especially when I look back at before photo's.

I know I can chew more easily. That is a big deal! I had a hard time breaking down my food (too much info?) before. Only two sets of back teeth on both sides used to touch. Being both my biting and chewing. Ripping food with my fingers before putting it in my mouth and then pressing it to the top of my mouth to "chew" was easier. I didn't realize I was different until my dentist told me so!

I think I grind my teeth less at night? Though I know I still do it, occasionally anyways. Really would like that to completely go away! Which I was told it should once my work is all done.

All in all, it is slowly coming along. I will be ever so thankful when it is all done and over with!
I would like to be "normal" in how my teeth will look, and the fact I don't have wire in my mouth.

Please don't mind my gross faces
The photo to the left was taken on my first day wearing the appliance. 
 It took about a week for my cheeks and teeth to adjust. I ate smoothies for the first while! My teeth ached so back and my cheeks bled. *shutter*
I still can't bite an apple with my front top teeth, they have a slight constant ache from being pulled downward, so I use my bottom teeth. Getting there though!

*shutter* that beaver smile! But you can definitely see how
my mouth is much more narrow compared to my sisters.  
August 2016
Can you see a difference?