Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Mountain

High above the world I stand
Mighty and tall
I hold my secrets deep within
Behind my hidden wall
Before your eyes I break the sky
I wear a robe of white
I dazzle pink within the sun
Behold! Oh, a sight!
Within my presence, a peace is felt
As none can ever find
Close your eyes; breathe my whispers
Find a peace of mind
 I spread my shadow far below
Covering all I see
I hide your fears and for a moment
I am here for thee

I am a symbol of strength
Of someone I have known
He placed me here upon this earth
To grace His mighty throne
-Felicity Stenersen

Favorite Photo

These are my selection of "favorite photos" from this past year of 20-16.
This photo was taken the night my best friend become a bride. What a day that was.
My sister captured our goodbye hug, just before her new husband drove her away. I love that smile on her face!
My two aunts and I. These girls have been in my life forever. And I mean, forever. We've shared joys, laughs, and tears. It sure has been one wild ride, hasn't it? This is us three on the beach when we made a last minute decision to take a little drive. There was eight of us total together that day! It was beautiful. If I remember right, it was near 70* outside! And in February!
One of many baby cousins whom I absolutely love. Sweet little Heather. This was my first time meeting her. Isn't she precious?
Aw, this girl. Need I say more? If you know Evelyn, you know what I mean. On this day, I gathered Evelyn on my back and we took a stroll through the woods. Me and her shared giggles together as we searched for "Robin Hood and Maid Marian" in "Sherwood Forest". All while singing a song together. Which one it was, I have forgotten. But it was a special moment for me! We picked flowers together and brought a lovely bouquet to her Mama.
The sweet couple. Taken by the falls while we were at "The Memorial Day Campout". I had taken a photo of them the year before, as a newly dating couple. Just one year later they were back, but this time, as newlyweds!
Yes, I tend to take photos of my small cousins. But what else can I do? With those faces? Who could resist. I took this photo seated on the front porch of my Aunt and Uncles. It was a hot Sunday evening, and my parents were gone to Texas. Us three hung out together, visiting about "Freckles" and Cinderella.
Ok, so in my opinion, there is nothing cuter than a dirty little boy with bare feet. Visiting Auntie A and Uncle T, cousin Chase introduced me to his sheep. His trusty broom in tow. For waving off the flies, perhaps?

August was the month I met my two baby twin cousins, Cormick and Callen. Any photo with them is my absolute favorite, but I thought I had shared enough of them on this blog! So, my next favorite photo for this month would be the one above. Three special people and me, at a very special place. We were about to head home after a very nice weekend, but first, photos!
Home from New Hampshire, it had been too long since I had seen this girl! So to her place I went and we walked the streets of Old Town. It was cool, but not too cold, and the sun was shining. An absolutely beautiful day spent with a very special friend. Oh! And that drink I'm holding? Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade. Best. Thing. Ever.
My favorite month of the year. This day was gorgeous. I was seated on my Mom's swing when I looked over to see the sun peaking from behind a tree dressed in orange. I just had to take a photo! Was a very peaceful moment.
Thanksgiving with the family! And some snuggles from cousin Joshua. Love those blueberry eyes and chipmunk cheeks! He had been smiling, I promise, just before the photo was snapped. He really isn't that terrified of me.

Last but not least, the month of December. Many photos have been taken this month, but I love this one best. This day was cool and crisp, with sunshine. Just the way I like them. Frost covered the earth and all was right with the world.  

“The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the
 beauty of life lies.”
- Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, December 23, 2016

Black and White

There is nothing like those good old "Black and White" films. They are simple, yet fun and unique. They just don't make movies like the good old days.
Also, I have yet to discover someone who can act like those well known faces of yester-years.

My family enjoys those old films and in the recent years we have started collecting them to watch. Usually, it's the handy dandy Library that helps us out.
Many films we would discover we loved so much, we now own them.
We find an actor or actress we like and start browsing their movies online.
When we come across an interesting one, we check to see if the library has it. Many times, they have! If not, cousin Kirsten has discovered her library does and she has brought movies down when she comes to visit. She too, enjoys a good old movie every once in awhile!

Here is a list of some Black and White I have enjoyed:
*note* I'll be listing who is in each film, but only the names of people I know from watching in other movies. Of course, the film has many other actors and actresses!

Gary Cooper is my favorite of the old films. I love how he's always gentle and quiet. With a soft smile and sweet way about him.
#1 for me!

Some of his films I have enjoyed are:
Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (1936)
Also staring Jean Arthur. (love her!)
Directed by Frank Capra

Sergeant York (1941)
Also staring Walter Brennan.

Meet John Doe (1941)
Directed by Frank Capra

The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
Also staring Babe Ruth, Walter Brennan and Teresa Wright.

High Noon (1952)
Also staring Grace Kelly.

These films star Cary Grant:
His Girl Friday (1940)

The Talk of the Town (1942)
Also staring Jean Arthur and Ronald Coleman.

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Directed by Frank Capra.

The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (1947)
Also staring, a teenage, Shirley Temple.

We all have to have some Jimmy Stewart:
You Can't Take It With You (1936)
Also staring Jean Arthur
Directed by Frank Capra

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Winchester '73 (1950)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962)
Also staring John Wayne and Vera Miles.
Other films are:
His Private Secretary (1933)
Staring... John Wayne!

A Tale of Two Cities (1935)
Staring Ronald Coleman

Little Old New York (1940)
Staring Fred MacMurray, Richard Greene, Andy Devine, and Alice Faye

Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Staring Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, and Teresa Wright

Miss Annie Rooney (1942)
Staring Shirley Temple and Dickie Moore
(Many of you will remember "Dickie" from the "Our Gang" comedies.
 It was strange, let me tell you, to see Dickie all grown up and dating Shirley Temple!)

So Proudly We Hail (1943)
Staring Claudette Colbert and Veronica Lake

Since You Went Away (1944)
Staring Claudette Colbert and Shirley Temple

Murder, He Says (1945)
Staring Fred MacMurray and Marjorie Mein.
(You all may know her better as "Ma Kettle")

Tomorrow Is Forever (1946)
Staring Claudette Colbert

And who can forget the westerns? The B-Movies. Those fun, low budget films where the cowboy saves the girl from a bad guy in the black hat. Serenating his lady while his trusty stead and comical sidekick watch from the side. Occasionally putting in their "two bits".
Nothing can beat those. Or, in my book.
To me, the old Westerns will always be classics. Everyone needs someone to look up to, and who better than Roy Rogers, Rex Allen, and Gene Autry?

I have watched many, many, old westerns, but here are a few of my favorites:
 The Santa Fe Trail (1940)
Staring Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan

Angel and the Badman (1947)
Staring John Wayne

Rim of the Canyon (1949)
Staring Gene Autry

Colorado Sundown (1952)
Staring Rex Allen and Slim Pickens
*Including songs "Down by the Riverside," "Under Colorado Stars", and "I'm Leavin' on that Pine Valley Stage"*

And what about Roy? The "King of the Cowboys". There are far too many Roy Rogers films to choose from. I've probably watched near 35! That's a tad too many to list, so I'll narrow it down to four.
Gabby and Roy
Billy the Kid Returns (1938)
Also staring Smiley Burnette and Mary Hart/Lynne Roberts
*Including songs "Born to the Saddle",  and "Sing A Little Song About Anything"*

Days of Jesse James (1939)
Also staring Gabby Hayes, and Don Barry
*Including song "Echo Mountain"*

Young Bill Hicock (1940)
Also staring Gabby Hayes and Sally Payne
*Including song "Up and Down the Prairie"*

Utah (1945)
Also staring Gabby Hayes, the Sons of the Pioneers, and Dale Evans (Rogers)

Black and White is the way to go! What do you think? Have you watched any of these?

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Year of 20-16

I've seen some "2016" posts and thought, hey, why not do one myself. I can't seem to remember exactly everything that has happened in the past year, so out comes the handy dandy journal and photos!


This was probably one of the busiest months out of the whole year!
For one, I began wearing my appliance, December 30th, and slowly adjusting to having it in my mouth. The first two weeks were very hard and my teethed ached bad. But I slowly adjusted to it and soon it became just a part of me.

Of course a major life changing even occurred on January 23rd. Kaysha and Roger said "I do".
My, that was one wild ride. We spent the month scurrying about, preparing last minute details, and buying last minute decorations. It was a fun busy time.
I actually ended up being sick during her wedding, though it wasn't so bad that I couldn't function. I had the worst cold ever and sounded like a deep dying frog. Every time I talked people would stare wide eyed at me. I remember Kirsten saying as I ran by hurrying to do something, "Oh my goodness! You sound awful!" (And so began the many long months of one virus after the other)
The last three days were the craziest, and I remember feeling so tired and fogged. Somewhat like I was dreaming. I can't imagine how Kaysha felt! If I felt fogged? And I wasn't even the one getting married!
I went through some times, emotionally. My best friend was stepping out on a new adventure that I couldn't be apart of. But it is so worth it!
I was afraid that our relationship wouldn't be the same but really, for the most part, it has. In fact, I feel we have become even closer. We talk about so much, for hours, and share our hearts to each other. (Of course I know she shares more with her hubby! And I want it that way!)
I love watching her grow in her marriage. And I am so thankful I was able to be a part of her special day.

In February, us "young kids" made a trip to the beach. It was an all day thing and I really had fun! I'm not much of a beach person, but the weather was lovely and I enjoyed walking on the beach and taking photos! Afterwards we stopped at a Pizza place and ate supper. I'll admit, it was almost as good as Rocky's and Uncle D's! Very similar to Rocky's actually!

We also began planning for Shanoah's baby shower! That too was an exciting time. I couldn't wait to meet the baby girl!
Nissa and Ethan announced their engagement and I looked forward to another special friends wedding.
At the end of February, I caught Influenza and was down for weeks. It was just awful. *shutter*

For the first two weeks of March, I was sick. I burned with fever and throbbed with a headache. I have never felt so sick in my life. Sweat just poured from my being and I slept my life away.
I almost never left the couch and drifted in and out of reality.
Slowly on the mend, I was finally able to move about. Shanoah's shower was fast approaching and I felt horrible for not being able to help Kaysha out like I had wanted.
But we managed to put it on and all worked out!
I was still extremely weak and wasn't able to move about much, but I made it!
Good thing we had it to! Because Noelle Jill decided to arrive a whole month early and surprise us all! She was so tiny.
April. A good month, and a sad month.
I believe it was on April 13th when we received the news a distant cousin, and brother of my boss, had taken his own life. It was shocking to hear. My boss flew to New Hampshire for the funeral and I didn't work for awhile during that time.
On a fun note, I decided to cut and "lighten" my hair! It was the first time ever coloring it and was fun to do! I really liked it. Not sure what others thought, but! It felt good!
My hair had been falling out by the handfuls due to being so sick for so many months, and I began to break out in bad acne. I needed a change.
I also turned twenty years old. That was a little hard for me. Knowing my teen years were gone forever. But I had adjusted to it and am just enjoying the life God has blessed me with today!
Another baby cousin also was born! Joshua Albert arrived April 30th.
Two more babies arrived in the world! My boss had her baby, Bridget.

Auntie A also welcomed a baby girl! We sadly were not able to meet her though for awhile.
During this month we all loaded up into the big ole van and headed out for the church campout! It was something new and fun to do.
Click the photo below to read my post on it:
For own personal reasons, this month was the hardest month of the year. I went through some struggles, fears, and plenty of tears. I won't share what they were, but I will say, it wasn't fun!
I am thankful, though, for this trial. It opened my eyes and brought me closer to my parents and my Saviour. He truly is wonderful!

During this time,  my parents and two youngest siblings loaded up old "Waylon" and headed on the road to Texas! Me and my two sisters were home alone for ten days. Though I missed them, and was very relieved when they safely arrived home, it was an enjoyable "girl time".
We giggled, fought, watched "Gunsmoke", and lived life. It was kind of fun being able to cook for just the three of us, and not have to worry about dairy sensitivity, and Trim Healthy Mama.
(Still love you guys! *wink*)
I'm sorry if I make some of these months sound "sad", but like I said, I was struggling. When I look back, I just re-feel all those horrible feelings I felt. I don't like it.
I struggled with my looks a lot during this time. Looking back I now wonder if the appliance, and the reshaping of my jaw, caused this. I broke out in acne and never felt so... ugly
Still, during the rainy days, sunshine peeped through.
We got together for the 4th and I enjoyed playing with my younger cousins. They really helped me through those days.
We also attended our rodeo! That was neat!

The family made a trip to Tri-Cities. We stayed with Auntie A and Uncle T, and had a wonderful time. I absolutely love being with them!
And we of course got to meet baby cousin Kaaren Sue. She was so tiny and soft!
During this trip, I made the final decision to fly to New Hampshire. Cousin Shiloh wanted to go as well, so we decided to fly together! That was a huge step for me, as I would be taking my first major trip. Flying for the first time without my parents, and spending two whole weeks away from home.
Once back, another friend would soon be married. Auntie Marita and I were to do her wedding flowers. It was my first time but I enjoyed it and am so very thankful I was able to do a small part of her wedding. On July 30th, Ethan and Nissa said "I do". Her wedding was beautiful.
This month was a huge turning point for me, emotionally. I was beginning to feel again and life, I realized, was not that bad. It was beautiful in fact.
I think the first thing that really helped me was our big trip to the Ranch! I won't go into detail about it as I did a blog post about it earlier! But, that was a very blessed trip. I am so thankful I was able to enjoy it so immensely!
Click here to read about our time in Eastern Oregon.
On August 24th, I boarded a jet plane and began my adventure across the country. And my what the time I had! God knew exactly what I needed. That trip was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I never felt so peaceful and content. And that peace has followed me all the way to today.
God works in mysterious ways? Doesn't He? If I hadn't been struggling, I probably would never had dared to leave. And oh how thankful that I did.
I met my baby twin cousins, hung out with my favorite Auntie Mary, visited with Grandma, and just plain breathed.
While there I visited Clark's Trading Post. That was a nice change of pace.
Still in New Hampshire, my New York City trip soon approached. That was a crazy time and I loved every minute of it! It was a once in a lifetime thing, and how thankful I am that I got to experience it! Being a "out West" girl, I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I'd see "the big apple".
 Read about it here.
On September 7th, I flew home. And how sad I was to go. I was going to miss everyone so much. Especially Cormick and Callen.
Cousin Abigail became very ill once I arrived home, and was hospitalized. We took the other kids and it was a long week. But I am sure much longer for sweet Abi and her parents!
During this month, I did some Christmas photo shoots, as well as Noelle's 6 month! That was a lot of fun.

My Dad completed our bedroom in the back of the garage! It feels amazing to have a real bed and a door where I can shut out the world for awhile. Someday we shall finally decorate it. But for now, it'll do.

I seen a herd of elk on the way to work one day!
And I received my NYC shirt!

Nothing too "exciting" or major. Just getting back into the routine of being at home!
Nothing too major happened last month.
We found our cats kittens and began the process of bottle feeding them as "Tinkerbell" had died! My, how many kittens I gave baths to. Sadly, out of seven of them, only one survived. And is she one spoiled cat! One of the spunkiest too. "Duchess" rules the roost here. *winks*
I did my usual babysitting and cleaning.
We had a harvest party!
I went on a few walks with some dear friends at a nearby park.

I did some babysitting, visited with family during Thanksgiving, and thanked God for my wonderful life.
This month has just been filled with preparations for Christmas. Shopping, setting up the tree, and Christmas baking.

One exciting thing is, I am no longer wearing my appliance!
Next week I am scheduled to have my teeth cleaned and then comes... braces! I'll admit, I am not looking forward to having braces but I am excited. Excited because that means I am so much closer to being done. I can't wait until all is done and I can see my new smile completed!
It has been a rollercoaster of a year, but one I am so thankful for. I have grown very much during all this. Spiritually and emotionally. And I am the most happiest and most content I have ever been.
I have learned to hold your loved ones near.
To cherish the little moments.
Thank God for everything.
To dance in the rain.
He makes all things beautiful, in His time.
That God needs to be my all in all. And "all else shall be added".
Trust in the Lord, with all my heart.
To be a friend.
May God continue to guide my feet, as a New Year approaches. With many more adventures awaiting me.