It’s a GIRL!!!!!


I just returned from the Kansas City area after taking maternity pictures for my “Grandbelly”! I have SO much to write about our trip, but not enough time right now! Very soon I will make an entire post about all the fun we had and the wonderful time we had meeting & spending time with Brittney’s family!

For now, here are a few pictures from our 2 day photo shoot! I can’t begin to describe the joy I felt while taking these photos. It was such an honor and I had a great assistant! 😉 We can’t wait to welcome Chloe Savannah in July!





A furry addition

Wow! How things work out sometimes! Who knew after losing our beloved family pet of almost 12 years that we would have another furry addition 1.5 months later!

We have never been in a position to have an indoor pet before. Hershey had been indoors as a pup, but got big pretty fast and needed to go outside. By the time we would have been able to bring him inside, he was already too old & definitely set in his ways to house train.

We finally got to the point we could look at dogs again without crying. Of course, we certainly didn’t expect to find one. We had been looking on Craigslist and at the Humane Society. We knew it would be easy to find someone who bred puppies, but we really didn’t want to start with a puppy. Plus, we thought it would be great it we could save an animal.

We went to the Human Society one Saturday….actually the Saturday it snowed. We looked at all the dogs and found one we really liked. We took her our of the cage and walked her in the snow. We thought she was a great dog, but it was hard to make that decision. Partly because we knew it was a BIG responsibility and partly because we wanted to be sure we were ready.


We drove to Tractor Supply and looked at crates, dog beds and other dog items. We talked about how we knew the dog we had just seen wouldn’t last long because she was such a great girl. Sure enough, as soon as we got home, I saw a friend on FB had adopted her.

We had another dog we were scheduled to look at that week, but that didn’t work out. She was an older dog that needed a good home due to a divorce situation, but she had some other issues that wouldn’t work out for us.

Even though we were disappointed those two dogs didn’t work out, we trusted that we would eventually find the perfect dog for us! We knew what we were looking for, we just had to find the perfect dog for us.

A few days later, we received a message asking if we wanted the dog we had seen at the pound. (Just that morning we were going to talk to another rescue about a dog they had.) There were circumstances that wouldn’t allow the sweet people who adopted her to keep her. There were lots of things that transpired and we had lots of people help is in making it work. So, 1 week ago tomorrow, the perfect dog came into our lives!

Her name at the shelter was “Jill” but we named her Sadie (because we liked the name & Duck Dynasty). She is 10 months old, house broken and she does great without a crate! She brings such joy to us! I only wish everyone could find an animal that brings them as much joy!


Sadie greets us at the door every day so happy to see us and jumping around and “talking” to us! She makes noises that sound like she is trying to tell us about her day! She snuggles with us and makes us laugh. She is a very quiet dog most of the time and is learning not to beg for food.


Please visit your local shelters and rescues if you are looking for an animal. We have several in our area that do great work in trying to find these animals good homes. Also, if you are unable to care for or keep your animal, please find someone who can. We appreciate the ones who called us. They can see pictures & video of the girl they cared for for almost a week. They loved her for us and we are now loving her for them. 😉

The Making of a Soldier — Part 2

So, I got a few texts from my soldier yesterday! BOY, did that make my day! He is enjoying it so far and has already been given 2 nicknames–1 is SGT because he is taking a leadership role and helping those who don’t know what to do and the other is Crimson Chin (never heard of this before, but Hunter had) because he has a large chin. I think it must just look larger without hair on it! LOL!

Charley 1

So, they finished with Reception yesterday and today he is beginning his actual Basic Training Combat or BCT!  Weeks 1-3 are called Red Phase. Here is some of what he will be doing and learning this week:

  • Ballistics & Rifle Marksmanship Fundamentals
  • Personal Financial Management
  • Law of Land Warfare
  • Uniform Code of Military Justice (Military Law)
  • Dismounted Land Navigation (using a map & compass)
  • Fundamentals of Physical Readiness
  • Nutrition
  • Rappelling & navigating rope bridges
  • Drill & Ceremonies (marching)
  • Nuclear, Biological & Chemical (NBC) Defense (Gas Chamber)
  • Fieldcraft
  • Patrolling

These next 3 weeks are very compact in learning. We should hear from him this weekend with his address–he will have apprx 2-3 min to talk–then we won’t hear from him during the next 3 weeks and possibly more. They do this to help the soldiers get into their routine, help with homesickness and keep them focused on the training they are going through.

This is a hard time for them because life as they know it changes drastically during this time, but there are lots of things they will enjoy as well. I know Charley will really like the shooting, rappelling & gas chamber. Well, maybe he won’t “enjoy” the gas chamber, but I know our oldest Chris felt a sense of accomplishment when he completed that part! It is tough!

I can’t wait to get an address and be able to get letters from him! It will be nice to hear how he’s adjusting. He told me yesterday that he had made some friends, but that he was the only person from Tennessee there. I just told him to make TN proud! 🙂

The Making of a Soldier – Part 1


Our middle son left for Basic Training Monday. Oh, how it is hard to let them go, but it’s going to be SUCH a good thing for him!

Sunday, one of our friends said some great words about him and us and the church had prayer for him. Jim said that the Army will do what Christ does for us, they will strip away all the old and make him new. He will not only be a soldier for The Lord, he will be a soldier in the Army.


Monday morning we dropped him off and he was on his way to Ft. Jackson, SC. Some people don’t know what goes on at Basic Training, so I’m going to keep you informed on each “phase” of his training.

This week, Charley will be Re-doing some things he’s already done due to already having reported for National Guard drill a few times as well as some new things.

They get dental, visual & medical evaluations, blood drawn, shots and also such things as setting up their pay. They are paid twice monthly active duty pay for Basic Training (BCT) and Advanced Individualized Training (AIT). AIT is the second step where they train you in your particular field of specialty. Think of it like going to a Community College and then transferring to a University. 🙂

So far, we haven’t heard from him. When you have a family member go to Basic, they are adults, so they (the military bases) aren’t required to let you know they have arrived safely. Since our oldest son Chris has also gone through this process, it has helped us to know what to expect.


We should hear from him sometime this week once he is finished with Reception and knows his Brigade & Company assignment. That is how we will know what his mailing address is…..and I have already started my letters! I want to encourage him as much as I can during these first few weeks because they are the hardest.

I just ask that you please pray for ALL of our military and especially for these new young men & women who are preparing to enter a new stage in their lives. I am collecting encouraging bible verses for him, so if you have any that would encourage these young soldiers, I would be honored if you would share them.

I have a friend that has also offered to have her class write letters to Charley as part of their writing for school. I know he would LOVE to get letters and especially homemade cards or letters from kids. He most definitely has a place in his heart when it comes to children. Just let me know and I will send you a private message with his address. He is not able to receive care packages or anything beyond cards & letters (no money, candy, etc.).

Thanks for all the prayers so far and for the encouraging words. We know he is doing a great thing, so that makes it much more rewarding even though we will miss him. Keep checking back because I will devote several blog posts to “The Making of a Soldier”!


I have seen some posts on using cake mixes to make cookies before. I have a surplus of Cinnamon chips from Christmas (because they are hard to find) and I’ve been trying to think of recipes I can make with them. I don’t NEED the sweet stuff, but sometimes it’s nice to have a cookie! 🙂

So, here is my Recipe for cookies made with a cake mix.

Spice Cake Cookies with Cinnamon Chips

1 box Spice Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 bag Cinnamon Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Mix cake mix, eggs & oil together. Batter will be stiff.
3. Once mixed, add Cinnamon Chips.
4. Use small scoop or drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.
5. Bake 10-12 min or until golden brown


I would imagine you could make any combination of these you want — Chocolate cake & chocolate chips, Chocolate cake & peanut butter chips, Red velvet cake & white choc chips, etc.

What kind of cookies will you make?