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9 little kittens who lost their mittens……..

i have held on to these mittens for 30 years now….or at least 1 of each set:)

i am not much on sentimentality.  i am pretty much a suck it up and move on kind of person.  i toss things that aren’t needed.

except these mittens…for some reason.  and they always came out when it got cold and we would sort through them and put the unmatched ones and the ones that didn’t fit any longer back in the box.

until 8 years ago.

in our kitchen, we have a huge window….ok…in the nook/dining area.  i love the light it lets in!  but it is a big, bare window.

during our first christmas season in this house, it turned cold.  we pulled out the mittens and gloves.  there was this huge stack of mismatched and too littles…..and i had a lightbulb moment.

why not use them for decorations?  I hung a string from end to end of the window and hung the mittens like a clothesline.

it has become one of my most favorite decorations.  and it’s always is the topic of conversation…whether with friends or family….who’s is who’s and who wore that one and remember when’s……..

to fill in the empty spaces on the line, we even put our current, matching sets up there….its kinda funny when it snows and they are hanging up, to have the kids go get their gloves from the line:) they’ll even wear them mis-matched, which makes for great pictures!

i went to go find them last night.  they weren’t in their regular spot.  my heart skipped a little.  remembering back on last year, i remember pulling them out of our ever growing box (that couldn’t close any longer) and deciding they just needed to go with the regular decorations. we bagged them up and put them with the decorations.

they aren’t there.

this brings tears now, as i type….i am going miss all those itty bitty mittens….one pair was from my oldest when she was 6 months old.  they all held lots of memories

i am thankful for the tears…it means there is a part of my heart that is healing…a part that holds on to things that mean a LOT….a part that is sentimental:)

i am praying they are just misplaced.  i have this feeling they ended up in a ‘let’s clean the garage and anything that doesn’t belong needs to go’ spree…..

whatever the cause for the missing mittens….i am so thankful god prompted me to take pictures of them….just last year.

and i am thankful for the memories these little mittens hold.

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a little {f}unny


i have told this story several times, so if you’ve heard it before, just scroll on:)

i homeschooled for 18 years. during that time, the children were too young to be left alone for very long. we lived in mckinney, texas and there was not a walmart or sams close by (which is where all large families need to shop, lol). we used to make the day of it. it was a 30 minute drive to both, as they were side by side. most times, it took us 2 baskets to get what we needed. if it was during the winter, it took 3. one to hold all the coats:)we were a sight to behold, i am sure. all (at the time) 7 children, me pregnant with another and basket upon basket with groceries and kids piled in and on.

during this particular season, my children had gotten a little sassy with each other. one would say something and the other would respond with FINE….it got to where i was hearing this word more times each day than i cared to….and with an attitude.

so. i did what any good mom would do 😉 i grounded them from saying the word. if they can’t use it the right way, they lost the privilege of sayin the word at all.

and now we are at walmart. all three baskets brimming full, heading to the check out line. we are standing in line, when i realized i forgot something. i told the kids to all sit there quietly. i assigned who would put groceries on the belt and who would sit by the littler ones if i wasn’t back before it was our turn.

i am sure you know this feeling.

i am across the store….speed walking as fast as a pregnant mama can go (not very fast, lol) and all of a sudden, i hear screamed across the way……..


talk about humbling.

Naphtali - November 29, 2012 - 2:23 pm

hahahahaha. I LOVE that story.

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When cinnamon rolls are too much

I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back and decided to give it a try. Oh my. This has become my ‘go to’ for any event. It makes a great coffee cake or dessert or just a snack cake. It’s really not a ton easier than my cinnamon rolls but much more fool proof.

3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 T butter, melted
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 T flour
1 T cinnamon
2/3 cups nuts (optional)
2 cups powdered sugar
5 T milk

1 tsp vanilla

With an electric mixer, mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in 4 T melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9×13? baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nuts until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoon and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center. Place powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. stir until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature-or straight out of the microwave 😉

I usually make a double or even triple batch, but I always mix it all separately.  I just do all the dry ingredients at the same time in different bowls, then mix one batch up and pop it in the oven.  While that one is baking, I mix the next one up.  It works pretty well for me.

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its just a house….part 2


we got to town early and decided to run by the house. as we drove down the street, i was in shock. this house was not the house i remembered. it looked a tad bit familiar, but not at all like the house i lived in.

i asked chuck to slow down so i could take it all in. then i asked if we could pull up into the driveway and just let me look. as he always does, he said yes. we pulled up and a man walked from the barn to the house. he stopped and looked at us…hehe….you know that feeling when someone drives up to your house and you’re like ‘who is THAT and what do they want?’….well he had that look.

i introduced myself by my maiden name. his eyebrows rose up. i said ‘i used to live here’…he said ‘i know you did’….i told him about my friend messaging me and then he asked if i would like to go in and see the house.

of course i said YES!

we walk in, and of course i recognize the house, but it is different. it has been taken care of. Rick, the owner of the house, tells me of what he has done. as we walk through, i am able to recount the way things were, and what was here and what went there, etc…..he agreed with me and corrected me when i got mixed up…but that only happened once, maybe? i remembered with clarity the way the house WAS….

but this was a different house. it has the same shell….rick told me they gutted the thing. kept what they wanted and needed to, but for the most part, it was a brand. new. house.

rick did tell me that when they first walked through it, he noticed some things that looked wrong…he said he looked at his wife and said ‘child abuse has happened in this house’…well, that shook me to the core as you can imagine….and I told him-yes. It did.

i walked room to room like i did 19 years ago. some parts held a bit of a grasp on me, but it was like walking in a completely different place.

rick also told me of how they took the house off the foundation it was on and moved it 6 feet to prepare a solid foundation to replace the old one…..wow….6 feet and then back.

the love this family has for this house. the care they took in re-doing it. the detail they paid attention to. it was incredible.

so. so beautiful was this house.

we chatted, and then before things became awkward 😉 we left.

they did tell us they had lived in the barn while building and are planning on opening a bed and breakfast in the barn after the 1st of the year.

we got in the car, drove off and i asked chuck if he would drive around the block and let me look at it one more time. and again, he said yes…..as we drove up, i started shooting pictures….this is one of the pictures i got….

on to the game we go.

i am still in shock over what i have seen and can not completely comprehend it. i am silent as i absorb it all. but on to the game we go:)

a friend from high school got us some tickets and we were finding our seats when another friend came up. she asked how our day had been and i begin by showing her this picture.

she said, ‘that’s the house that’s in the football program’….i was puzzled and she insisted it was. she said, ‘isn’t it so beautiful??’…my response was, ‘yes, it is, but you should see the inside!…it is SO incredible.’

god spoke. he said, ‘that’s what i say about you’.

i just wept.

its been such a hard road. and *I* know what i have been through and what *I* have done. i know the ugly, the hard, the abuse, the old junk. but he took me…. he took me off the foundation i had grown up on. the shaky foundation. and he moved me onto a firm foundation. he basically gutted me, LOL….and restored the inside of me…kept what he wanted to for future use and created something so much better.

i could go on and on about the similarities, comparisons and pictures he gave me that night and he is still doing.

maybe i will continue to share as it develops.

the last thing: he told me: just as anyone driving by now would not know what happened in that house, people who know you now don’t know who you used to be. you keep trying to be the old house, when i made you brand new. let the old die. begin living in the new house i built for you.

i do know that i am hoping to be one of the 1st to stay in the bed and breakfast. i have asked them for that:)

i know there is deeper healing for me as i go and stay….and let god love on me and heal some of those old wounds.

if you’d like to see more of the house, visit this blog. leave a comment, if you wish. i know the new owners would love to hear what others are seeing and saying!! its http://horse-apple-hill.blogspot.com



SONJA - November 21, 2012 - 9:15 pm

I think I landed on your page through cinnabons on Pinterest!! :)

I have so enjoyed my visit here and hearing your heart about the home you grew up in, and the journey God has lead you through.

Thanks for letting me spend a few minutes being blessed!


Wanda Williams - April 19, 2013 - 1:15 pm


Yvonne Lowen - May 10, 2014 - 10:44 am

What a great & heart touching testament!

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its just a house…….part 1……

i have a fascination with houses…or maybe i should say homes.  i think because i didn’t grow up in a home….i grew up in a house.  many of them.  growing up military, i was in 2 schools every year, which meant i was in at least 3 houses a year, depending on the time year we were re-stationed.  if you have read {or listened} to much of my story, you know that i was abused most of my growing up years by my step-father.  when the abuse was initially revealed, i was in the 6th grade–in California.  he was given a dishonorable discharge from the Marines, but never formally disciplined.  i was removed from the home but was soon placed back in it.  i am still unclear as to why my mom went back to this man or why the military didn’t follow up with our lives, but things went back to the way they were before.   i am also unclear as to why we settled in commerce, texas.  there was a university there and my step-father got to keep his GI bill for schooling, that much is clear, but the why there is still a mystery.

we moved into what my mom called ‘a mansion’.  it was a fixer-upper.  i remember hearing plans of living there forever.  this was to be my home.  and it was in some respects.   because we were never planted any where for very long, this became my ‘home town’.  this home became my home. it also became the place of more abuse–and a deep, dark time in my life

i moved out as soon as i could.  i was 16.

and vowed never to go back to that house.   it held too many bad memories for me.

several years went by and i had walked through some healing.  my step father had died years before, therefore, it was safe for me to go back.


it was time to face some demons.

i got the courage to go to the house (even though every. single. time. i went back to commerce, i drove by it).

the woman my step-dad had lived with for many years still lived there.

somehow, i was able to knock on the door and ask if i could walk through the house.  she was very gracious.  i had never met her face to face–only heard about her.  i felt no urge to tell her how i had been treated by the man she lived with for years.

as i walked through the house, such a heaviness sat on my chest.  it was like i couldn’t breathe.  i couldn’t swallow.   we went from room to room and it looked exactly like it had when i left.  nothing had been done to improve it in any way.  it was creepy.  like a time capsule of my teenage years.

that house represented so much pain for me.  so much loss.  so much rejection.  so much abuse.  such a dark, dark, sad lonely place in my life.

i can’t look at that house without remembering.

i have driven by that house for years.  and  i can always remember.

a couple of years ago, a friend from high school facebook messaged me telling me a friend of his bought the house and if i ever wanted to go through it, he would set it up……in my mind i said thanks, but no thanks.

here is what the house looked like as i remember it….some of the windows were boarded when i lived in it, but mostly they were really windows:)

last week, i had the amazing opportunity to shoot a wedding in arkansas.  i was led to do this job but not sure why.

it did happen to be the same weekend as my high school homecoming.  as a small town, this game has always held a special place in my heart-as i think it does others, too.   i haven’t been able to go for many years. but really have wanted to.  so, this gave us an opportunity to head east and go to the game and then head on to the wedding.

little did i know what  message god had for me.

to be continued………. 😉

photo complements of www.horse-apple-hill.blogspot.com

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Kaye - October 31, 2012 - 10:34 pm

We serve an amazing, faithful God! Can’t wait for you to get to the good part!!

kelley nowlin - November 1, 2012 - 6:09 pm

Your story is amazing! Thank you for linking to my blog and saying such nice things about our home!
The photo you took is beautiful! May I purchase one from you? I would love to add it to my website! We are going to be on the Tour of Homes this December, and the group that organizes the tour wants a picture for the newspaper. I would also use it for the ad in the paper, giving you credit, of course!
You have a beautiful family!

ginny - November 4, 2012 - 9:19 pm

Kelley-of course you can have a picture! I will email it.

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