Thursday, June 22, 2017

Happy Birthday, Kirsten Jean

Today is the nineteenth birthday of my dearest, deepest friend, Kirsten Jean!
 You've heard me mention her on here many times, so she isn't a complete stranger to ya'll. *winks*
Being a cousin, I've known her since she was born, and we've made a lot of wonderful memories together. <3
 Her family moved back East when we were still young, but we kept in touch with letters, and visits back and forth, so we never really grew too much apart.
 Although I was just a tad bit more girly, we were tomboys when we young, running around with wild hair and barefeet.
 When they did move back out West, it was like she had never left, and I began to grow closer to her, and now she is the sweetest, greatest friend I've ever had.

 Kirsten has blossomed into a beautiful, lovely young woman, and I respect her so much for her attitude towards life, wishing I could be more like her.
  She has a kind, caring heart, plucky, happy nature and she just shines God's light when she walks into a room, that sweet smile of hers making everyone feel loved and wanted.
 Always ready to serve, to listen to what I have to say, even when it gets old.
Whenever I'm feeling blue, I tell Kirsten.
 Whenever I'm feeling happy, I tell Kirsten.
I can go to her with anything, and I know she'll listen and understand, and always has some wise words for me whenever I'm feeling down.
 She seems to draw me closer to God, and I pray I can be as uplifting as she is.
When I feel like giving up, she shows me that everything happens for a purpose and to stay strong.
 She can get pretty crazy at times, and we all love her for it! <3
I'm shy and reserved in public, but Kirsten Jean seems to somehow draw me out of my shell, and helps me step out of my comfort zone.
 She has her insecurities like all of us, like feeling too goofy at times, (never!) and feeling like she isn't pretty enough, but that makes me love her all the more!
 Am I the only one here who thinks she's beautiful? *dies because she's just so cute!*
Kirsten is the picture of a Proverbs 31 Woman, (even though she isn't married) she serves her family with a caring attitude, even when I'm sure it gets hard and tiring, and she seeks God with a sincere heart.
 She adores her siblings and parents; although she isn't verbal on the subject, and she shows how much she loves her family through her actions.
 She's the greatest girl I've ever known, and I'm so blessed to have her for a friend!
It'll be a hard day when some nice young man comes and takes her away from me. *winks*
 And he better be a good guy, because she deserves the best! *takes fighting stance*
I love you, Kirsten Jean!
 Stay true to who are you, and who God made you to be.
Thanks for being there for me, thank you for being you! <3

 Happy Birthday!!!!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Where Do I Go From Here?//Learning to Live

You all know my issues with being single, having anxiety, and all that jazz.
 I've written about it before.
Why hasn't he come yet?
What am I supposed to do with my life?
 Whine, whine, whine.
This is partly why I took that wonderful vacation to New Hampshire; to get away from things, to take a moment to breathe, and to simply enjoy being with family.
 And it was amazing.
I know, I keep saying that, but I had such a great time, ya'll!
 I snuggled with my sweet little cousins that I miss so much, hung out with a cousin who I haven't really talked to in a long time, got to know him better, and I stepped out of my comfort zone to do things I would never have here at home.
 I went Glow Bowling, I drove a stick-shift (NEVER would have dreamed of it before) went to a gathering where I didn't really know anybody, and went to volleyball....
 Sounds like nothing to you, but to an insecure introvert like me, it's a big deal.
I was so... happy.
 I didn't realize how unhappy I had been until we flew out and I saw how other young people live.
One night, Tyrel took Daminika and I to volleyball, and we didn't really talk to anyone.
 Just sat up against a brick wall and watched the game.
But as I was sitting there, the thought occurred to me.
 I can be content with where I am.
So I'm not married.
Obviously God knows that I am not ready for marriage just yet.
But, you know, I can still be quite happy.
 Sitting around pouting because I haven't a boyfriend isn't the way to live at all.
I'm nineteen years old!
 It isn't like I'm an old maid, with no future in sight.
I enjoyed hanging out with the guys, without looking around and wondering if there were any available.
 All the guys I hung out with were my cousins, anyways. lol
But I realized that I should simply enjoy living.
  If I can't be content with being single, then how can I be content with the problems that arise if I do marry?
 It isn't what life gives you, it's how you respond.
I guess, what I'm trying to say (and doing a terrible job at that) is that God finally got through to me, and told me to relax.
If you've read my sister Felicity's blog, you'd know that she now has a man of her own, and that she once had a similar revelation.
 I love the way she put it.
"Wait. It's going to be beautiful."
 I have been job hunting for a while now, with no prospects in sight, and it can get pretty overwhelming at times.
 But I have learned to breathe.
I have learned that life is beautiful, with all the bumps and curves, the storms and turmoil, and God gave me a great, wonderful purpose.
 To live for Him.
In any way He sees fit.
'He makes all things beautiful, in His time.'
 I still have my problems, but the trip to NH did wonders for me, and God opened my eyes to things I have never seen before.
 Showed me that it's all in His hands.
'I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.'


Monday, June 5, 2017

New Hampshire 2017

And I'm back! *throws arm out wide*
 Oh, my, it was a wonderful, amazing trip, full of lots of fun and laughter, and it ended with some tears.
 Getting up super early, *like, 2:00 am!* we drove to the airport, hugged my parents goodbye, and headed through security.

 It went well, even though Kirsten and Daminika both had their braided hair patted down. *laughs*
Then all of us gals had to have a picture taken of our feet on the famous carpet, of course, so we did that before heading in the direction of our gate, McDonald's for breakfast, and restrooms.
 Soon it was boarding time!
Emily and I waiting to board

Our first flight went all right, although I was super nervous about take-off, and Kirsten and Emily managed to get seats behind us, so none of us were separated.
 I sketched a bit while flying, drawing a face of a woman and one stewardess said it was amazing. *grins with pleasure*
 The second flight was delayed, so we ended up wandering around Chicago Midway for hours, dragging our feet, complaining, laughing, and finally sitting in some chairs lined against the wall, reading, charging our phones, and doing word searches.
 It was fairly late when we finally arrived, and there were Grandpa and Grandma when we stepped off, waving and grinning. Ah, at last.
 On the drive to Grandma's, we chattered like magpies, laughed, and bounced around in the backseats, glad to have finally made it. It had been a long day.
 Honestly, the next few days are fuzzy, and all meshed together, so I can't tell you word for word, step by step how each day went, like Daminika probably can. *winks*
 My Grandma always has a bike-a-thon each year for St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and she asked if we could be 'counters'.
 So we girls sat a table in the freezing cold, shouting out numbers as every bike went by, me looking and sounding like a crew chief in my Grandpa's eighties jacket, dancing to keep warm.
The kids did great, some as young as six years old, pedaling in the freezing cold, and doing as many as 100 laps around the course.
 Sometimes large groups of them would come by, and shouting out the numbers taped to their bikes was fast-paced while the writers quickly marked them down.
 It got so fast at times I felt like an auctioneer and ended up bouncing on my heels, slapping my hands to warm them while singing, "Well, all right, sir, open up the gate, lead em and walk em in, boy.."
 It was a lot fun, and the kids were the cutest things.
 I ended up catching a terrible cold, so for the first few days there, I was pretty sick and miserable. (My cousin Tyrel gave it to me, I think. Shameful man.)
Guess that's why I was so exhausted when we took a hike..... *blushes*
 Honest, people, I've never had a problem with hiking before.
Here at home I can run up Bell's Mountain, and I have always enjoyed climbing mountains.
 But it's different in New England!
The mountain was mainly straight up and down rock that is so smooth your sneakers slip and slide, and I had a fever the night before, so I was feeling..... *chest burning, throat on fire, face aflame, and knees trembling.*
 We reached a little flat spot, and I sat down, dying.
"I can't do it!" I wailed, panting.
Daminika: "You need Tyrel to carry you?" *joking, of course.*
Tyrel hands Daminika his water bottle and steps up to me.
"What are you doing?"
"Daminika says I have to."
"No, no, no, no,...." I squeal while he literally slings me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and starts jumping from rock to rock with me on his back.
 I am sure we got a lot of stares as this young man bounces around on the rocks with a hyperventilating girl slung across his shoulder.
 He put me down after a while, because my panic wasn't helping my breathing at all. *laughs*
Well, I did manage to make it to the top, although by the time we reached the bottom, my legs were vibrating so badly I could hardly stand.
So that was an adventure. lol
 We also took a trip to Boston, MA!
Kirsten, Felicty, Tyrel, Daminika, and I

Walking to the Wharf

I LOVED the wind and fresh air

And headed back to the rig. 
(Thanks to Emily for pics, because my phone takes terrible ones)

Tyrel drove, while Kirsten, Felicity, Emily, Daminika and I rode along, gazing up at the sights and exclaiming over how many people there were.
 When you take small-town girls from out West to Boston, you're bound to get some looks.
We pointed and gasped, squealed and hollered, acted like tourists and drooled over the historic buildings.
 First we went to the Aquarium and that was fun, but the Freedom Trail!
That was amazing. <3
 History geeks are the coolest. *flexes mucsles*
 "Look at that! I'm standing where Lafayette stood. I'm breathing the same air!"
"Paul Revere touched this!"

 The old buildings were awesome, and we went to Paul Revere's house, the Old North Church, and walked down Little Italy, where the streets are so cute and vintage.
 Then we walked down to wharf to breathe in the fresh air and gaze at the boats sailing in the cold, misty weather.
 We snapped pictures of the water and Daminika, Tyrel, and I did the Monkee Walk on the way back to the parking garage, much to our companions embarrassment, just because we're cool.
 When we got back.....
we found that our mischievous uncles had TP our room

The skilled guys managed to get an air mattress in the bathroom

We went out to ice cream, sweated in the muggy Eastern weather, snuggled with my adorable little cousins *heart breaks because I left them* played games and enjoyed family time.
 Cormick and Callen, the twins, are the sweetest little things you'll ever see, and when they run up you with arms stretched wide, your heart does a little flip-flop and you want to just die. <3
 Once, Callen was sitting at the table eating his lunch when he randomly rambled, "BlaKaysha..."
I was like, "Oh, my, did you say my name?"
 He just smiled and went back to eating, but my heart was officially his from that moment.
Those two ramble in adorable baby-talk, shout and run about, getting into everything.
Twins. Are. Double. Trouble.
 They LOVE hearing elk bugles, so whenever they were being grouchy or ornery, one of us would get out our phones and put some going.
 When someone asked Callen what an elk says, he'd grin adorably and wail, "A-eeeeeeeeeee..."
This is Cormick and I. 
The expressions he makes....*hearts*

 Aunt Mary is fun and sweet, and I enjoy being with her. *mentally sends her a hug*
Daminika beat me in Trivial Pursuit, so I was getting a little bit of an inferiority complex.
*counting fingers...let's see, she climbed a mountain with no problem, drove a stick like she was a truck driver, and beat me in Trivial Pursuit...What's wrong with me?!*
 But I made supper alone, (I do it all the time) and she still doesn't do that often, so I've got the edge. *winks*
We even went to a 'youth' gathering, which is a big deal for me, and had a wonderful time listening to adults give wise advice and tell humorous stories.
 I left with a warm feeling in my heart, and Kirsten agreed it was such a wonderful time of fellowship.
 Another first time for me; I did Virtual Reality!
My aunt and uncle have a system, where you wear goggles, have these little remotes things, and you can fly around a city, do some sort of archery game, and walk the plank.
 The plank....
They had an real wooden plank set up and measured so that when you walk on it, it is exactly like what you are seeing in the VR goggles.
  They even had a fan blowing on you, so it really does feel like your stories up, staring down at the city.
 I didn't want to do it, and was enjoying laughing at everyone else do it, but Tyrel dragged me over and put the goggles over my eyes, muttering about how little my head is.
As soon as the 'doors' opened and I saw the plank hovering over the city, I screamed, flattened against the wall, and started gasping, "No, I can't do it! I can't!"
 It was so real!
Tyrel tried to 'throw me off', and he and Kirsten started dragging me to the plank, but as I screamed and struggled, I managed to click the button with my little remote thing and shut the door.
 Skill, I'd say.
I never did go out in the plank. lol
 We girls also went with my Grandma and Aunt Mary to the famous Pickity Place for lunch once, and the Cathedral of the Pines.
 Soon Kirsten and Emily flew back home, and we were feeling a little, 'now what?'
But Tyrel hung with Daminika and I the rest of the time, and we enjoyed getting close to him, like we once were as kids. *he's now my adopted brother, and we were 'The Three Musketeers', running around town together*
 Cousins are the greatest. <3
He took us out to teach us how to drive a stick.... *face palm*
 Guys, I'm terrible!
Daminika climbs in the driver's seat.
"Ok, press on the clutch and shift to first."
With a calm face, she does it perfectly. Like a boss....
I killed it so many times, and Tyrel would say, "Shift to third."
I'm like, "Ok....third....."
He'd have to tell me which direction, while Daminika just did it like she'd done it her whole life. 
 Hmmp.... whatever, man. 
I also drove (automatic this time) to the store, even though the roads there are sooooo confusing, and made it just fine, parked straight as an arrow, and got home without a single mishap. Proud of me? 
 Afterward Tyrel took us to volleyball, but there was only Jeremy there.... 
Where is everyone? 
 Tyrel and Jeremy tossed the volleyball back and forth and tried to convince us to join in, but I laughed and refused. 
Me, play volleyball? You jest, sir. 

People showed up after a while, but Daminika and I just sat against the brick building, content and happy to simply watch. 
 It was actually quite fun. 
And Tyrel took us bowling!
 I was so nervous, because I had never been, and some cousins I didn't know very well were coming along, but, man, oh, man, was it fun! 
 We went Glow Bowling, starting at nine and stayed until midnight. 
The music is super loud, the lights are bright, and you have to lean until your faces are almost touching before you can hear each other, but after a while, the noises fade into the back of your mind and you get used to it. 
 I even won one game! 
Memorial Day was wet and cold, so there wasn't much of a celebration at the square. 
 My dad had wanted us to experience the great festivities that he grown up with, but the weather wouldn't permit it. 
 It was an ok day, though. :) 
Tyrel and Ryan (cousin) also took us to the outlet stores because I wanted to buy a new sweatshirt, and as we are driving down the road, Tyrel says, "So we are going to an outlet mall, and it's supposed to rain?" 
 Ryan: "Thunder and lightning, actually."
Tyrel claps his hands and grins. "Brilliant." 
 It was actually pretty warm and muggy at first. 
Being the rather silly small-town people we are, we wandered around in circles all over the mall, trying to find Aeropostle, and finally decided to actually look at a map. 
 "Oh....It's way over there."
Well, we did manage to find it, and I got my sweatshirt. *Snuggles it to my heart* 
 As we stepped out of the shop, I felt a raindrop. 
Oh dear. 
 Pretty soon is was pouring rain, unlike any rain I've seen out west, and we were running, ducking under every canopy we could find, getting soaked to the skin. 
 We ducked into a chocolate shop for cover and Tyrel ended up buying a bag of 100 chocolates. 
*holds stomach* wayyyy too many. 
 The sky looked pretty cool after the storm passed over, but I didn't get any pictures of it. Sorry.
Our last day in NH, my Grandma had a 'Fun Day' for all of the kids who rode in the Bike-a-thon, and we helped set it up. 
 Tyrel and I blew and tied balloons while Daminika found a place to hang them. 
Ryan showed up later, so Tyrel had him draw on the balloons, and soon we had a pretty good system going. 
 Then we sat for hours beneath a canopy, just talking and enjoying the sunshine.
Roger and Kaysha had flown out to surprise family, so they were there, too, and it was an enjoyable time. 
 My Grandma had rented a Fun House for the kids, and they informed the guys that it can hold up to 500 pounds...
 So of course they had to race each other through it, nearly plowing down little kids as they went. 
I even raced Tyrel through it, and lost miserably. *cough* 
 And then....
Tyrel and I were playing catch that evening, and I was doing pretty good, I gotta say. 
 One time Tyrel tossed it, I jumped to catch it, stepped into a hole, and fell, ker-flop. 
I didn't really think much of it at first. 
 "Ow. There's a hole in the yard." I quipped and got to my feet to throw back the ball. 
We tossed it around for a while, and I even raced Tyrel through the course, before we started back towards the house. 
 By then my foot was really starting to hurt. 
"I think I really hurt myself." 
It was aching pretty bad, and I had scraped in pretty good when I fell. 
 Tyrel scooped me up and carried me to the house, despite my embarrassed pleas to put me down. 
 I sprained it somewhat, I believe. 
I had it up the rest of the evening, on ice, and hoped it would be better by the next morning. 
 Tyrel and Ryan wanted to take us out to breakfast before we left, so I got up and showered. 
While showering, my foot started aching again. 
 By the time we left for the Diner, I was limping around again. 
Of course, Tyrel carried me to the truck. *covers face* 
 After breakfast, we asked if they could take us to Market Basket to buy snacks for the flight home. 
I had to hold onto Tyrel's arm and shuffle around the store, but he got tired of that and gave me a piggy-back ride. 
 In the store!
I was quite befuddled. 
"People are going to see,"
Ryan: "They'll just think: 'Oh, what a happy group of people. They're so much fun, they even give each other piggy-back rides."
I convinced him to let me go back to shuffling around, holding onto his arm, but when we left the store he saw how far away we parked and said I was way to slow, and it would take way too long. 
 So, he scooped me up and carried me to the truck again, me trying to pretend that nobody was looking. 
 After we got back to the house, it was time to get ready to go. 
All packed, and waiting, I felt like crying as I sat there and stared at the clock. 
 I didn't want to go home! 
But it came time to head over to Mary's, so we hugged Tyrel goodbye, ordered him and Ryan to visit us soon, and piled into the car. 
 At Mary's, it got worse as Cormick greeted me with a grin, and my throat tightened. 
I sat outside and watched him play for a while, and then it was time to go. 
 Just like that, my vacation was coming to an end. 
I snuggled them both close and kissed them, hugged Mary goodbye, and started for the door. 
 Callen grinned and rushed to me with open arms, thinking I was taking him outside, and I thought I would break down then and there. 
"Oh, Callen...." 
We finally left for the airport, and it was a quiet ride.
 After checking in, we hugged Grandpa and Grandma goodbye, which caused me to get all choked up again, and we then we headed for security. 
 Tyrel had given me a brace for me foot, so I had to take it off and have it scanned. 
My bag was searched, too, but there were no problems, so we headed for our gate, me holding into Felicity's arm and shuffling slowly through the airport. 
  The first flight was ok; not very long. 
The second one, I had a migraine, my ears hurt, my ankle was swollen beyond recognition, and I was lonesome for everyone I was leaving behind. 
 So.... I cried that whole flight. 
3 and a half hours of misery. 
  The last flight I put my foot up on top of Felicity and Daminika, so it didn't swell as much, and I managed to keep my tears in check. 
 When we stepped off the plane and saw the family waiting, I wanted to just drop into their arms and die. 
 I was tired, in pain, and so lonely. 
But it was good to see them all. 
 Chancy was taller than I remembered, and Liberty looked so old! 
We stayed up until 2:30. talking about our trip, and when we finally dropped into bed, we were thoroughly exhausted. 
 It was 5:30 to our bodies!
And that ends our trip to New Hampshire. 
 It was amazing. 
Even spraining my ankle made it an adventure. 
 I made so many wonderful memories, and I am so thankful it was possible for us to go. 
I'm going to hold those moments in my heart for the rest of my life. 



Thursday, May 25, 2017

I'm Still Here

Hello, everybody! *grins ands waves!*
 Yes, I'm still alive, but have been much too busy here in New England to write any posts.
 It's been a wonderful visit, and we have one week to go!
In these last two weeks, I climbed a mountain (that's a story in itself) drove in the East for the first time, walked the Freedom Trail in Boston, and drove a stick-shift... *wide eyes*
 But, all that will be told in a much more lengthy post when I get back home.
You excited for this?
 I am! This has been an amazing trip! <3
So, just a quick update to say, I'm alive and well, and will be back soon!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Leaving on a Jet Plane// I'm Going On an Adventure!

'L.A International Airport, where the big jet engines roar...'

'I'm sitting out here watching airplanes take off and fly...'

And soon I'll be off, going up into the wild blue yonder, and heading for an adventure back East, where lots of family is waiting. 
 I gotta say I'm a little nervous, and will be glad when this whole flying deal over with. 
Ya'll gonna miss me? *winks and laughs* 
 I am not sure when I'll be back on here again. 
So I thought I'd give my blogger friends a quick goodbye. *sniffs* 
 Say a little prayer for me, because flying is nerve-wracking for someone as motion sick as me. 
So 'happy trails until we meet again...' 
 I'll be back before you know it!
                                                                             Signing off, 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Old-Time Wisdom

 Hello, everyone!
The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been absolutely gorgeous, although I hear the rains will be coming back soon.
 Fine by me, if it means a nice safe, comfortable summer with no forest fires or air so hot and dry your lungs burn. lol
I'm leaving for the East in a week, and I'm a jumble of emotions as the time grows nearer.
 Flying without an adult? (Yes, yes, my family is always pointing the fact that I AM an adult, but I surely don't feel like one. lol)
 But I'm going to be gone for a quite a while, guys! Will you survive without me?
*winks and laughs hysterically because I know you'd get along totally fine if I dropped off the edge of the earth*
Anyways, our post for today is little bits of wisdom from great people of yesterday, today, and forever. :)

This one just brings a smile to my face and makes me think
of summer here in the Northwest. <3 paradise




Well, I know it's short and sweet, but haven't the time or the inspiration for a nice, long, jabbery post. So sorry, folks.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017


My Grandpa's ranch....
 I've mentioned it before, and we recently took a trip up to that beautiful place, so you may have heard all about it.
It's been a huge part in shaping me into what I am today, how I look at the world and life, and what a blessed gift family, friends, and love is.
 My mom was carrying me one of the trips there, so I guess you could say it was in my blood before I was even born. lol
 It was a great place for a kid, where you could do nothing but run wild and free, nose burned, freckles across your whole body (if you have skin like mine) and your hair bleached from the sun till nearly white.
 Dust got in your nose, in your mouth, and in your eyes, but you loved every single minute of it.
It was pure bliss.
 Grandpa would be there in his straw cowboy hat, with a large turkey feather tucked in the band, his dark mustache tickling your cheek when he gave you a hug.
 Grandma, with her wide, beautiful smile and great big bear hugs.
In the evenings, gathered around the fire, you'd burn your face and freeze your back while listening to the uncles and cousins play and sing, and in the background you could hear the sound of young cousins running and playing in the dark.
 The river, clear and sweet, was a place for happy play, swimming and dam building, and it was there, on the last trip when she was healthy, that Grandma taught me how skip rocks.
 Grand, beautiful days.
And then Grandma got sick, and soon, she was gone.
 My life was changed forever; turned upside down.

And things began to change, oh, did they change.

 Grandma was gone, her smiles no longer there, or her hugs, Grandpa's dark mustache turned white, and I began to change, too.
I began to grow up, and everything around me was confusing, frightening.
 Grandpa re-married, to a good woman, whom I have grown to love, but it was hard, very hard in those first days.
 I was emotional, alone and bewildered in an ever-changing world and nothing seemed solid; nothing on which I could hold to.
 But the ranch.
It stayed as beautiful, free and special as it had always been, the hills just as big, the trees strong and tall, and the river as musical as ever.
 Here I could come and forget for a while, with nothing but beautiful wilderness, the wind in my face and a song in my heart.
 It was my solid ground, unchanging and ever-true, and it became even more special to me.

And then my world came crashing down again.

It is being sold.
 Last weekend Grandpa, some of the grandsons, and my uncle w/his family went up there to empty it out, clean it up, and say goodbye.
 No, I didn't go with.
I have to admit I was pretty crushed when I was told that this was goodbye, for real.
 I hurt. but it was a kind of numb, empty sadness, and I didn't even feel like crying.
I tried to once, thinking it would help, but it didn't work, and I was bitter that this was happening.
 It didn't seem fair that I had to say goodbye so often in my life.
In saying goodbye, it was letting go of the last link to the old days.
 My childhood had officially ended, and little LaKaysha was forever gone.
I had hoped to have my honeymoon there, to bring my kids there and give them the childhood I had.
 Now that would never happen.
 Then the truth slowly came to me, and it was a hard lesson to learn, but God got through.

It's just a place.

A very special place, that will hold a place in my heart, and many blessed memories that I can tell my children about, even if I can't show them, but it's still just a place.
 My solid ground is no longer a piece of land or a memory-filled house, although I will never forget them, and will always love them deeply.
 My solid ground is the Rock of Ages, my blessed Redeemer, Who I have learned to cling to because of these goodbyes, these trials I have had in my life.
 I guess there will always be a small part of me there in those hills that I will never truly find again, but that's ok, and the way it should be.
 To me, in my heart, that house will always be filled with singing, Grandma's smiles and warm laughter.
 The river will always run clear and free, the trees will always be swaying in a musical breeze, and the flowers will always bloom each spring.
 No, in my memory, the land will never change, and Grandma will never leave it.
 The music, her smile and the peace will always be in my heart, and I will carry those precious gifts for the rest of my life.
 So, goodbye, blessed land of enchantment.
Goodbye, you beautiful days of old.
 It's to time step out of the shadow of the past, holding the precious memories close, thanking God for all those blessings He allowed me, and to hold His hand as He leads me on to the unknown.

'Some trails are happy ones, others are blue. It's the way you ride that trail that counts...' Happy Trails by Roy Rogers


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Funeral, a Family, and a Legacy

My Great-Grandpa, Orville West, passed away recently.
 He was my grandma's father, and because he was sick a lot these past few years, I didn't see him often, therefore I didn't know him too well, personally. 
 But he will be missed by all of us, although we are all so glad he is finally home, away from pain, and no longer missing Grandma Betty, or 'Ma' as he called her.<3 
 My Grandpa Warnke had been very close to Grandpa Orville, after marrying into the family, and it was hard for him to say goodbye the last earthly 'father' he had on earth. 
 He loved 'Pa' very much, and it does hurt me to see him so lonely. 
But I know he is rejoicing to know that Grandpa Orville is in the arm's of our Savior. 
 We all are. 
Grandpa Orville was quite a man in his day. 
 I wish you could hear some of the stories that the West children pass around, laughing about 'Pa's antics as well as their own.  
 Nothing I can say will ever explain the musical talent he was gifted with. 
The way he played piano was unique and beautiful, filled with trills, his own little notes and chords, and he played completely by ear. 
 He could play practically anything, and he was the most gifted man I have ever known. 
That gift was passed on to his children, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren, and it's still going strong! <3
 When he passed away, it brought relatives from all corners of the nation here for his funeral, and I was so happy to see loved ones that I grew up with, but long since moved away. 
 The week was long, with plenty of late nights, but it was filled with singing, playing, and catching up with family. 
 Roger played guitar with Great-Uncle O'Neil, my cousin's husband, Jed, played his violin, while cousin 'Little' Darlene, Great-Aunt Darlene (or 'Big Darlene') and Great-Aunt Eunie sang along, bellowing out throughout the house beautiful songs of praise. 
 The harmony was absolutely amazing. <3 
Great-Great Uncle Marvin came from the Midwest to bid his brother goodbye till we meet again, and it was nice to see him, for I had always known of him through his Christmas letters but didn't remember him. 
 He was in WWII, you know, and was in the major Battle of the Bulge. 
He wears hearing aids because of the loud artillery he loaded, but when asked about the war, he avoids the subject. 
 'I can't really talk about it.' (may be misquoting a bit)  
When asked about the Bulge he says, yes, he was there, at the last, hard part of it, and it 'just went downhill from there'. 
 That's the most he's ever told us history buffs about it. 
My Great-Aunt and Uncle, Becka and Tim, drove all the way from down South, and it was so good to see them. 
 It was just a wonderfully sad weekend, with a lot of singing, some tears, and laughter. 
I just love gathering with family. 
 It warms my heart to see different generations together under the same roof, extending their hand's in God's peace and feeling His presence there in that crowded house. 
 Grandpa Orville had 280+ great-grandchildren! 
I am happy to say I am one them, and so blessed to have been born into such a large, wonderful family. 
 Grandpa Orville would have been so proud to know the legacy he left behind. 
The blessed songs of Zion, in each and every heart. 
 Rest in peace, Grandpa, until we meet again. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Modest Dresses

So many of us wish for pretty, modest dresses, right? 
 I personally love classy, retro cuts, below-knee length or mid-calf, fitted waists and pretty prints.
But with today's styles of off-shoulder, low-cut, short dresses, it's hard to find anything worth wearing. 
 Hello, internet! ;) 
I have found a few stores through the years that have nice products, some a little pricey,but I have found that dressing modest is pretty expensive in general.

Lately this site has been a little more boho or modern for my taste, but you can still find some nice ones. This is the more pricey company. 
 I actually haven't ordered anything from them, even though I've been a member for quite a while *blushes* but I never had the money. 
 I know other people who have, though, and their dresses seemed very pretty and of nice material.  

This site is pretty cool! 
 You can change the sleeve style, neckline, and length to your own taste, plus you have the choice of sending in your measurements and they will make the dress to fit your figure perfectly. 
 Swell, huh?  
I'm a little picky and some of the dresses are of too stiff material for me, but that's not a problem for some people, and they still have plenty of dresses of soft fabric. 

I wish they had this dress before I ordered.... *groans* 
 Felicity got the same dress, but a different print and I really liked the waistline. 
But I ordered a different style (crosses fingers) and it hasn't arrived yet. 
 These dresses aren't as classy as I usually prefer, but they are soft and dainty, and the price isn't too bad. :) 
 They are having an Easter sale right now! Hurry! 

This company is in England, but they have a USA site, so just make sure you click on the name I have up. 
 These are retro! <3 
Some of the prints are much too loud for me, but they have some nice soft colors, too, and most of the cuts stay true to us hard-core vintage lovers. 
 I prefer the Audrey style (above)

And that's it! 
 I hope you'll go check these sites out! 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Living in the Love of the Common People

Nothing much happening in my world, folks.
 Our computer went turbo on me and hasn't been working, so I haven't had much motivation to do any writing. 
 The laptop just doesn't have that pleasant 'clickety-clack' that our computer keyboard does. 
Hopefully sweet Uncle Clint can get it fixed, because I don't exactly like the thought of having lost ten years worth of pictures, plus four years work of my BOOK. 
 Yeah...let's not even think about THAT. 
I honestly can't think of much to write about, but the title is nice, isn't it? ;)
 Thought you'd all enjoy the pic of my delicious nacho, It was very good, thank you. *laughter*
Let's see....My Grandpa had open-heart surgery, and is doing much better, thankfully, but it gave us all a little scare just the same.
 My sisters, cousin(s) and I are considering flying out East to help out while he gets back on his feet, but it hasn't been decided yet.
 Money, money, money is always a problem.
Praying about it and seeing what God has in store.
 Spring is finally here!
The weather here has been typical spring for the Northwest.
 Rain, then sunny, then rain again, all in one afternoon, and I've been loving it. <3
Other than that, 'everything is the same old same..'
 Living the life, doing dishes, laundry, chores.
Split a little wood and stacked it. (Yes, with an ax. *flexes very small muscles*)
 I wore my cowboy boots, yes, it was raining, and no I did NOT slip and do a face plant again.
*grins with a sense of pride*
Every time wear my boots while working outside, my siblings look at me with raised brows and say, 'Don't slip!'
 But what are boots for if not working outside? Goodness, people.
I learned my lesson and watch where I step. LOL
 I even cleaned the gutters in the pouring rain, standing precariously on a rickety ladder, with my boots and didn't slip once. Let's have an applause all around. *thank you, thank you*
 Enough of my silliness.
The rain has turned out yellow grass green again, and the fields look so lush and inviting, I have to refrain from jumping the fence and frolicking through the grass.
 The cows would certainly give me an odd look, wouldn't they?
Not to mention what the neighbor's reaction would be to see a full-grown adult running through HIS cow pasture, her hair streaming behind her and her arms waving as she screeches, 'I feel so alive!'
 It would be interesting to hear his thoughts on the matter.
I once climbed our tree in the front yard, to see if I still could, just to have that very same neighbor stand under the very same tree to chat with my dad.
 I held my breathe and tried to remain perfectly still, not wanting to try and explain just why an eighteen-year-old girl is randomly sitting in a tree.
 I don't know if he saw me or not. *laughs out loud*  
Now that we had my random little chatter...

Just bought myself this CD. 
Have you heard him? It's amazing! <3  

I've been doing a little SMASH booking lately. 
This page is filled with ranches I drool over in LAND magazine. 

Wonderful memories with old friends... <3 

I am slowly mastering the art of a lattice crust! 
This one is a little crooked....*sighs*

Some humor for your day. 

And a little bit of wisdom before we part ways.