Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Chicken Whisperer Turns Nine


And just like that, our baby turned nine. He was a difficult pregnancy and birth and was born at only twenty nine weeks, so tiny, but you'd never know. He's one tough little cookie. He's my early riser, always has been. Try as I might, you just can't tire this one out.



It's pretty interesting being mama to one boy that's grown and married and one that's just turned nine. That's a pretty wide spread. It seemed like a small undertaking at thirty nine, but now at almost fifty, whew it's hard to keep up sometimes. This wild child keeps me on my toes.


He's still young enough to find wonder in everything around him, and boy I love that. I try to see the world through his fresh eyes and let me tell you, it's such a wondrous view. What a blessing this last one has been. We gathered together to celebrate this little life. Matthew wanted a white cake and white icing, and that's exactly what he got, thank heavens he shared with the rest of us because boy, it was delicious!


And my favorite part of birthdays, the gathering part. Nothing is ever better than the coming together of family around a table, sharing so much more than food. Such a lovely day.

Hoping your week is a wondrous one! Happy Monday y'all!
xo,
Amy

Friday, April 8, 2016

Chickens


We spend an awful lot of time over here on chickens. Feeding them, coop cleaning duties, egg gathering, but mostly we watch them. They're hilarious! If you've ever been on the fence about whether to get chickens or not, I'm hoping that I can convince you today to jump right off that fence and find you some chickens. They are the best addition to this little family of ours and even though they're a truckload of work, I wouldn't trade it for anything.





This year, we are starting to see a surplus of eggs and we've been selling them, no big profits mind you, but the chickens now pay for their own feed, ka-ching! And then there's Matthew. Who knew we'd have a chicken whisperer for a son? He loves these chickens to pieces. I've even read studies of how beneficial a pet they are for special needs children, especially ones with Asperger's. Crazy, right? Chickens are awesome.




You don't have to live on a farm to be a chicken keeper either. A quarter acre's all you got? No problem. A few little egg layers in a coop with a small fenced in run area is just what you need. See? Chickens are for everyone {wink}! I'm just sayin', if you've ever thought about owning chickens, maybe this is your year of the chicken! Are you convinced? Are you on the way to the feed store right now? What's keepin' you? Get going!
xo,
Amy

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


The other day, I pulled out my old cookbook that was handed down to me by my mama. She used that cookbook when I was growing up, and it still has some of the best recipes around. I know that the internet is full of recipes, but there's something about holding a book in your hands that your mama used to hold in her hands that just seems so right. I love that old book, I even have recipes clipped inside of it that were handwritten by my granny so very long ago. Nothing beats a good tried and true recipe.


I was in search of cookies and settled on an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie that was perfection. It's the same one my mama made for me, they were delicious then and just as wonderful today. Soft and chewy, completely divine! Sometimes, it's the absolute simplest things that are the best. Thought I'd share with you sweet friends today..........

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg

3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisins
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar and eggs till light and fluffy. Stir in buttermilk. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats, raisins and vanilla. Drop from tablespoon onto parchment lined cookie sheet two inches apart. Bake at 400* for about 8 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from pan onto wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen.

Enjoy y'all!
xo,
Amy

Monday, March 14, 2016

Down The Rabbit Hole


It seems that I've taken an unexpected, unplanned blogging break. Life, it's always full of surprises!

As moms, we don't get sick days or time off. We are always on the job. Last Wednesday, life as I know it, ended. I went to sleep Tuesday night just fine, and woke up Wednesday morning with a pinched nerve. It was as if I fell down the rabbit hole. All the things that had filled my days, were now overshadowed by pain.

I now have a huge respect for those of you out there that live with chronic pain, bless your hearts. On day number six, I waved the white flag and sought medical intervention, the pain was just too much to bear. It seems that there's not a clear cut treatment plan for a pinched nerve, only many, many different opinions. Choosing the right path has been extremely confusing, as I think I've figured out, there is no right path, just opinions, ughhhhhhhh. Now, if you notice that this post seems a little wonky and has lots of misspellings, hey, I can blame the meds {wink}!

So with all my free time, I began thinking about y'all, especially y'all that have to deal with a chronic condition of any kind. How strong you must be. I began to realize that I take my health for granted every single day. What's that saying?, you never know what you've got till it's gone.

I'm a firm believer that all things happen for a reason and that all things are for our good, whether it seems so or not. If there is a lesson I need to learn, I pray that I get it now, so that God doesn't have to bring it before me again, in an even mightier way. God, let me learn it now! And sometimes, the lesson is not for me at all, but someone close to me needs to learn through my suffering. For the past thirteen days, I've proudly watched my family come together to take over my usual duties. I've watched my daughters take charge of cooking, baking, and cleaning. Maybe the only way for them to truly learn how to take charge of a household was if I was completely out of the way. With me always hovering, well, lets just say that I may be a bit of a control freak and I really have a hard time delegating. With me on the sidelines, my family has been able to soar without my interfering assistance.

I found this little poem{hymn} as I was reading..........

A Little Bird I Am
A little bird I am,
Shut from the fields of air;
And in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me there;
Well pleased a prisoner to be
Because, my God, it pleases Thee.

Nought have I else to do;
I sing the whole day long;
And He whom most I love to please,
Doth listen to my song;
He caught and bound my wandering wing,
But still he bends to hear me sing.
Thou hast an ear to hear;
A heart to love and bless;
And, though my notes were e’er so rude,
Thou wouldst not hear them less:
Because Thou knowest, as they fall,
That LOVE, sweet LOVE, inspires them all.
My cage confines me round;
Abroad I cannot fly;
But though my wing is closely bound,
My heart’s at liberty.
My prison walls cannot control
The flight, the freedom of the soul.

Oh! It’s good to soar
These bolts and bars above,
To Him whose purpose I adore,
Whose providence I love;
And in Thy mighty will to find
The joy, the freedom of the mind.

                             -Jeanne Guyon

For you all that may be suffering today, my prayers are with you.

xo,
Amy


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Let's Go Camping!


It's been a whole year since we purchased our Little Pop Up Camper . What adventures we have had! We're already planning trips for April and I'm just giddy! Do you and your family camp? I wanted to share with you a little about what I've learned this last year, but first a little sharing about me..........


I'm a girly girl. You know the ones, they don't like to get dirt under their nails, they powder their noses when out and about, they 'hold it' forever rather than go in a porta-potty, yeah, I'm one of those. So, needless to say, I'm not the roughing it type. Having to potty in the woods just isn't my thing.


We tried tent camping when the kids were little- hated it big time. Hearing little animals scurrying around my tent all night just wasn't my cup of tea. Shoot, I was terrified and didn't sleep a wink! Now, I have friends mind you {you two know who you are ;)}, that are camping aficionados! You should see these women camp. I promise you would be in awe of their campsite! Tents, screen rooms, organized totes filled with food and supplies, they literally put women like me to shame! It just wasn't for me or my husband, so we wrote camping off our list. We decided that it just wasn't for us. Huge mistake!



It then took years and years of wasted time for me to consider camping again. I say wasted time because there's just something about our children, that they deserve to be raised out in nature, unplugged from this world we live in, as often as possible. Traveling and hotels is one thing, camping is totally different. Camping brings your family together in a way you'll never experience in a hotel.


It's so much easier to start your kiddos off early with this lifestyle, the camping lifestyle. It's much harder to convince teenagers that camping is awesome. Our girls have been real troopers and I've been so proud of them for their good attitudes. Sometimes they're a bit whiny, but I see the gains of our adventures and it's worth a little discomfort on their parts.


So why all this rambling on? Spring is upon us, and if you've ever wondered if camping might be right for you, YES, yes it is! I don't want you or your children to miss out on the benefits of camping. If someone as girly as me loves it this much, you may just love it too! Don't like sleeping on the ground? We planned and saved for a whole year for our pop up, so worth all the sacrifices.


And the price? Camping is so inexpensive, especially if you tent camp, and you don't have to go far. A state park just down the road or in your own state is a perfect landing. The point is to be out there in nature, unplugged around a campfire, hiking, game playing or just talking, remember that?,  just talking with one another. That's the whole point of the camping experience, connections, re-establishing connections, strengthening connections.

This world that we live in pulls our families apart, camping brings our family back together. So, if you've never tried it, maybe this is your year! Are you already a camping family? Give me a shout out!
xo,
Amy

Sharing Here: In The New House Designs   McCall Manor

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Thousand Words

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then, oh boy, there's oh so many words here! I'm terribly behind sorting through all my pictures, so I'm proclaiming today phone dump day! Does that ever happen to you? Life gets so crazy full that you forget to go back and soak up all those memories. Well, today's the day, let the memories roll.......

{yum}



Here's a few more from our wedding trip out west. Still can't get over the fact that my son is married! Oh Happy Day!





I never tire of our evening skyline here, heavenly.........


Now, let me take a selfie-ha! Showing my teen girls that I'm hip and cool too!


And last but not least, my son and daughter-in-love's cat. Isn't she gorgeous?


There's still a hundred more on my phone, but I don't want to overwhelm y'all all at once! How do you keep your photos organized, or are you like me and forget to download them all? Mercy, there's so many it can be overwhelming! 

Glad you're here today!
xo,
Amy

Thursday, January 28, 2016

God, Angels, And A Mountain




Share time, k? Two secrets about me that you may not know, I'm deathly afraid of heights, and I get big time lost on many of the adventures I find myself on. One or the other isn't really all that bad per se, but combine the two and watch out honey, you're in for a wild ride. 

The other day, both girls had friends over for the night and it was an unusually warm winter's day, seemed like the perfect day for a little hike. There was a nearby mountain that my girls had been wanting to explore and it sounded like a perfect fit for the day.
 




The mountain is pretty high and sports some beautiful views of multi counties at it's peak. The girls' particular attraction was in the fact that the mountain top is all rock and a favorite place for hikers both young and old alike to paint the rocks in some way leaving their mark. I've seen pictures that others have posted on Instagram and Facebook and it's breathtaking, not only the views but all the beautiful colors and writings on the rocks.




Sounds perfect. Off we go. Me, four teen girls and Matthew, I know, I know, poor little guy, he's used to being surrounded by lots of girls!

Once we found the gravel road entrance, I began looking for a parking lot of some kind. Didn't see anything, no apparent signage or anything like that so I continued down the gravel road. I began thinking that, whew, this is the longest lead in road to a hike that I've ever been on before, but I remained confident that I'd see somewhere to park soon. 



The road began to narrow making it hard to imagine that another car could pass in the opposite direction, not that I'd seen another car, we were apparently the only folks hiking the mountain on this winter's day. I noticed that we were definitely heading up, and up,  and up.  Okay, this is a little weird I'm thinking, the road was really bumpy with large potholes from all the recent rain we've had, our suv struggled a few times. The road had without a doubt become a one car at a time road, making it impossible for me to change my mind at this point, I found myself with only two options, back  down {yes, I do mean put the car in reverse and literally back  the car downthe way we'd come or keep going. Yeah, I chose the keep going, backing down a mountain road is not an item on my bucket list y'all. 


So, it's winter ya know, all the leaves are off the trees so I'm beginning to get a pretty good view off the sides of the mountain, and let me tell you, I'm not liking what I'm seeing, everything's really tiny y'all, houses, cattle, farmland, teeny, weeny.


Okay, at this point I'm starting to wonder if this road is even supposed to have a car on it, what if somehow I messed up and I'm driving on the actual trail, the walking trail, freaking out y'all, literally freaking out, and,  still driving up. 


As I look out over the mountain's edge, my fear of heights maxes out and panic sets in. Gotta stay calm, gotta keep my cool, five kids in the car, it'll be okay.
 




We continued on and I see the colorful rocks just ahead, what?! ,  the colorful rocks?, people hike to those, more freaking out........ the girls start squealing, here we are, here we are, they're so excited and oblivious to my panic-stricken-about-to-have-a-panic-attack-at-any-minute self. Let's get out, they say. No, not just yet, I say. I know that I've got to keep going as much as I don't want to because I have to find a way to turn around on top of this mountain. We keep going, still up, just a little further to the summit, where praise God, it's large enough for me to turn around.



I turn around and instead of feeling better, my panic increases by leaps and bounds because now I'm terrified about going down. It had been a bit of a struggle going up, so I began thinking that there's no possible way I can get down without slipping and plummeting off the side of the mountain, I was paralyzed by fear, completely paralyzed. I'm thinking of my kids and the two precious girls that have been entrusted to my care, and what have I gotten us all into?

I drive slowly down back to the colored rocks and pull over slightly to let the overjoyed girls out, they have arrived at their destination and they're thrilled, me, I'm a basket case. I've managed to keep my sunglasses on hoping that they can't see my eyes and my struggle to keep the tears at bay.




The girls run off and begin painting their names on the rocks, they're having a blast. Me, not so much. I pull out my cell phone and pray big time that it will have a signal, I need to call my hero, the bravest one I know, I need to call my husband. To my surprise, the phone works and my hero answers on the other end. He tells me all the things I need to know, all the practical advice that heroes are so good with, but my fear, it's hard for him to help me much with that because it's my  fear, and it's fully irrational. I thank him and tell him how much I love him {Lord knows I'm thinking I may never see him again} and I walk over to the side of the mountain sheltered by a huge boulder, now I call on my other hero, God above. I begin praying big time y'all, praying for God to send my guardian angels, because there's no way I can do this on my own, no way. I fight back the tears.


I walk back over to the car and try to find peace and a calm spirit. I talk to little Matthew just like it was any other day. He says, mama, are you afraid, I know you don't like being up so very high? No, I assure him, it's all good I say. I'm not sure he believes me, but he goes on along exploring the rocks anyway. 


What happened next is the whole point of this really, really, long story. It's amazing and miraculous and hard to even believe, unless of course you're a believer and you already know that God's going to show up. He showed up right on top of that mountain and saved me from my own irrational fears, He saved me from my own self. 




I heard a noise and looked up the road where we had turned around at the top of the mountain, and down was driving a truck, the most beautiful blue truck I'd ever laid eyes on, I swear it had the wings of angels. Where could it have come from? I had just been up there at the top of the mountain and turned our car around seeing nothing and no one. I swear I leaped for joy and went running over to the truck which slowed upon seeing me. The driver rolled down her window and I began to unload my burdens upon her, she must have thought I was nuts, but no matter, it was a truck, a truck that was going to drive down the mountain, and if they could drive down with no problem so could I. I was as light as a feather and positively giddy. Thank you God for hearing my pleas {as ridiculous as they may have been!}.


When the girls were all done painting, we loaded up and started down the mountain. I was a little shaken but my fears had mostly subsided and I felt pretty silly for being so worried. 


I'll have you know that I praised God all the way down that mountain, all the way down. As we were pulling out of the gravel road back onto the main street to leave, I saw this tiny little turn around that is the 'parking' lot for the hike, you've got to be kidding me? For whatever reason, on this particular Friday morning, God and I needed to meet up on a mountain top.


xo, Amy




Linking At:  Thoughts From Alice

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Snowy Day


I'm interrupting my post I had planned for today due to...... SNOW.  In the deep south, when it snows, everything stops,  everything.  I'm just sayin' it's kind of a big deal around here. Snow falls fast and furious and then poof, it's gone, so you've got to be quick cause if you blink, you may miss it altogether. 




At the first sign of a flake, we run like mad men to our closets digging for our hats and mittens that we never  wear, and we layer up like the next ice age is coming, we'd make the Alaskan's proud. Northerners think we're crazy, and they're not all that far off honestly.




We do go a little overboard with our 'snow'. Bundle up good, I'd hear as a child, don't want to catch your death of cold. Sounds reasonable enough{?}, so bundle up it is!



For some reason, Matthew figured that it would be all kinds of awesome to ride the go kart in the snow, something about cool 'drifting' moves he could do? The go kart had other plans- too cold. It sputtered a bit and little impressive puffs of smoke came out of the engine, but in the end, no kart.




This equaled one disappointed little boy. He quickly moved on to snow angels though. Sounds pretty enough right, but remember it's Georgia, tiny snow + mostly mud = more laundry for mama!




Still, we take what we can get around here as far as the white fluffy stuff goes. Hope you're staying warm in your little neck of the woods. Until next time sweet friends.......



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