Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cold Weather Cooking #2

I hadn’t planned on doing a series on cooking, but I couldn’t think of a catchy title.

This is a picture of some thick, chickeny, dumplin filled goodness.


Are you drooling?  This is some good stuff, if I do say so myself.  Since it has been raining here in Arkansas for 40 days and 40 nights a long time, I thought Chicken –N- Dumplings would be a good meal to fix.  I don’t have a recipe, some of this and some of that but I do have a helpful hint.  DO NOT BOIL THE CHICKEN.  What?!?!?  I’ve always boiled the chicken.  I read somewhere that it dries it out and it does.  I thought, “what difference does it make, it’s in soup for Heaven’s sake?”  It makes a difference.  I used a rotisserie chicken and it is succulent in this dish.  I couldn’t believe the difference it made. 

Do y’all have a favorite cold weather meal?  Please share in the comments!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Before and After

This is the color of our dining room walls before Tom painted them, a very deep red almost a burgundy. Time for a change.

graduation 001

This is the color of our dining room walls after Tom painted them. The picture doesn’t show the color very well, but it is a really pretty green, “blanched thyme” Valspar brand at Lowe’s (if your so inclined.) This color will make it much easier for me to decorate for spring/Easter. I’m likin' it a lot. I’ve said it before, my husband is awesome and I love him so much~


Peyton’s bed before. Definitely decorated for a hunter. I was thrilled to buy that bedding for him. It has the Browning symbol all over it. (the rebel flag was given to us by some of Peyton’s friends after the accident, love the kids, but it is not something I approve of)


This is the bed in Peyton’s room after I bought new bedding. It took me awhile to build up the nerve to change it, but it had to be done. Every time I would walk in his room, it had the appearance that Peyton would be coming home any minute. I couldn’t leave it like that any longer. It was hard shopping for new stuff. I had that tightness in my chest that I had at the beginning of this grief journey. Shed a few tears right there in Kohl's. The deed is done and I am happy with it. I found something not too girly and a little countrified, so I am leaving the deer antlers and a couple other of Peyton’s things to help decorate the space. I’m not finished with it yet, but I will get there.


A close up of the pattern.


I’m going to have another post in a couple of weeks about “Before and After”. It has something to do with this post.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Little Lower than Fine

The title refers to this post. Except Wednesday, the day before Peyton’s birthday, I wasn’t even fine. I was distracted, grouchy and sad. I left work early, went home and totally talked myself out of going to church that night.

In the beginning of my grief journey, I was horribly sad and didn’t want to do anything. Even so I knew this was not a good state of mind and I would fight against it. I would list my blessings, praise the Lord, serve others, etc. to conquer the feelings of despair. I knew satan had stolen my son from me, but I decided early on he would not steal another thing. He could not steal my hope, my joy, my knowing that God loved me. It sounds contradictory, but the worse I felt, the harder I fought. (Most of the time)

Wednesday was not like that. The word that comes to mind is insidious. The grief trying to lull me into thinking, “I’ll be ok, it’s just a bad day, things will be better tomorrow”. lies. lies. lies. I took a hold of myself. I’m not settling for being better tomorrow. Things don’t get better on their own. I have to change them. I don’t mean change them in my own strength, but by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of my testimony. I have complete victory. and I will walk in it.

By the way, church was great!

I read over this post several times. I do not mean to make it sound like this has been easy. It is not easy. It is a battle, some days a constant battle. I miss Peyton all the time, even with tears. God gave me emotions and I express them, positive and negative. I am here to say, grief is not my friend and I will not cuddle up with it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


oct 22 2009 001

I will only focus on my blessings today. I will not sit around and imagine what he would be doing if he were here. That brings me sadness. This boy brought me more joy than I can describe. He was always challenging me to be the best mom I could be. I love that boy so much.

The day he was born he was 10 days overdue. I was hooked up to the drug to induce labor. Four hours later and NO LABOR PAINS, I had a C-Section. He was ginormous, 9 lbs 5 oz and 22 inches long. He slept through the night at two weeks old. I could set the clock by him, bedtime at 8:00 p.m., awake at 8:10 a.m. I am not exaggerating. If Peyton cried, it was because he needed something. He was a very, very easy and happy baby.

Since time in Heaven isn’t like time on earth, I can’t imagine him having a birthday. It’s Heaven, every second is awesome. I want to know exactly what it is like. I want to know what he is doing. He’s been there 21 months. I am selfish enough to want him here. I miss him; lots of people miss him.

This is a close-up of the sign we put in the middle of the flower arrangement. It is perfectly Peyton. Click on the pictures to see them up close.

gravesite poster 001

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Internet is a Good Thing

I have been reading over some of my posts and your comments, and thinking about the comments I have left on blogs. I've said it before but it's worth repeating. The internet is an incredible tool. The way it allows us to share, minister, encourage and make each other laugh is a miracle. I would never have thought I would be doing the things I am doing or writing the things I am writing on the internet.
Every good thing is for God's glory. We make a thing good by using it to glorify our Lord. Thank you for the opportunity to speak into your lives. I am forever grateful for you speaking into mine. Blessings to you all.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Went to the flower shop today to order an arrangement for Peyton's gravesite. Next Thursday is his birthday. I want it to look nice. I was doing well until I got into the florists. I've known the woman who owns the shop forever. Her son went to Heaven before her too. She was on the phone when I arrived so I had to wait a few minutes. Teared up some, but made it through just fine.

Football tonight. I have some posts inside me that are wanting out. I'm thinking it will be soon.

Have a blessed weekend!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Full and Blessed Weekend

Friday – Homecoming


parade amanda 2

This girl is beautiful inside and out. We have taken several vacations with her and her family. She and Peyton were good friends. She is a very serious and focused young woman. Her mom stopped by the house one day; Amanda had had a bad day and stayed in the car. Peyton went out to the car, opened her door and kissed her right on the lips and said, “Love ya Babe” and walked away. Made her laugh.

ll homecome 2 001

The picture above is when they were in 1st grade. She was a cheerleader for the little league football team Peyton played on. (This is the south; we start football EARLY) Each cheerleader was required to sell raffle tickets to walk in the Little League Homecoming. If you can’t imagine a Little League homecoming, picture a southern beauty pageant with approximately 150 contestants, each with an escort. It is quite a production and raises a lot of $$$$$$$$$ for our little league program. Whoever sold the most tickets on each team was the Team Queen. Amanda won the title. In Peyton’s 1st grade mind, “if Amanda is the Queen, then I must be the King. I’ll never forget that.

After the Homecoming game, we had friends over and had some good deer chili, etc.

Saturday Afternoon- Taylor

2007 Peyton & Taylor 001

Taylor came to visit us! We’ve known her since before she was born. Her mom is my BFF; she was holding Peyton in this post. We had a chance to talk about missing Peyton and how she’s been doing. She lives a couple of hours away and her friends didn’t know him. I know one thing that has helped the kids around here was having each other to talk to.

Saturday Night – 1st Runner-Up

We went to the Miss AHS pageant. The girl I mentioned in this post, got 1st Runner-up. Very proud


Sunday Afternoon – Project Graduation meeting.

Won’t bore you will details, but it was very productive!

As you can see, we had a busy weekend. Every event was good and had some difficult moments. I sometimes wonder if it is going to get harder when the kids graduate and are living more on their own and we don’t have them around nearly as much. I cannot dwell on or worry about things I cannot control. I can only believe that Tom & I will grow better and better. Our lives are changing all the time. The season we are in now will be replaced with another and we will be blessed in that season too. God has great things in store for us and we don’t plan on missing even one of them.

Father God, I am grateful for each and every moment. I am blessed and I know it. I am strengthened in my inner man with the knowledge of your unwavering, unfailing love for me. I plan to spread it to everyone I come in contact with. I am ready for anything and everything because You live inside me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We Are It!

I just received a text message a little while ago. It said, "I love you." I replied back, "I needed that, I love you too." That text lifted my spirits and made me smile. I was thinking on this and God brought this to my remembrance…………..WE ARE ALL HE HAS TO WORK WITH on this earth. He uses us to bless each other. He wants to flow freely and touch lives. He can only do that through His children, me and you. If something comes to your mind today and it will be a blessing to someone, DO IT. It doesn't matter how small you may think it is; it could be HUGE to them.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Caution – Dead Animal Pic

Yeah, my man shot us a deer with his bow and arrow.

Deer 10-5-09 003  

We do eat venison on a regular basis.  I have to admit I only eat it if it has been ground up for chili, spaghetti, lasagne, tacos, etc.  Tom likes to “chicken fry” his.  He usually does this for himself when I am out with friends.  ‘Cause he loves me. :)

It has been easier this year; Tom hunting without Peyton.  Of course it is not the same.  Tom got great joy teaching Peyton how to hunt and spending time together in the woods.  No matter what the situation, our focus on the positive is imperative to joyful living.

Hope the picture didn’t gross you out too much.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cool Weather Cooking

Fall weather brings out the cook in me. Bread making is something I really enjoy. The process of kneading and letting it rise, kneading some more and letting it rise again brings you to the baking in the oven with your house smelling oh so good.

I took some pictures so I could share with you, not the cinnamon rolls, the pictures.

This wooden bread bowl was my grandma’s. I don’t think she made yeast bread in it, but she did make “cat head” biscuits.


This is after the first rising. Fixin to roll ‘em out!


Rolled out and spread with butter then cinnamon and sugar sprinkled all over.


This is my new kitchen gadget, a cutter/scraper very handy for cutting cinnamon rolls.


Ready for the second rising. Can you see the swirls of cinnamony goodness?


Baked and iced, ready to eat. They did turn out really good. I hadn’t made cinnamon rolls in awhile. My husband appreciated them and we ate the whole pan just enough.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Me Shopping?

Last night I went shopping with a friend. She is a friend of Peyton’s and now she is a friend of mine. She is in the Miss Alma High School pageant next weekend.


For the record, I am not a shopper. We were looking for casual/sportswear for the pageant. She tried on a lot of stuff. We even asked for help from the salesclerk, something I never do. She was VERY helpful and was quite an accessorizer. (my spell check is telling me that is not a word, but I’m using it) The MALL WAS CLOSING WHEN WE LEFT. I have never closed the mall and don’t plan on doing it again. It was fun and tiring, but we got the job done. She is going to look very casual/sporty next weekend when she walks across the stage.

Peyton & I didn’t shop much, but I enjoyed buying him stuff. Smell is a powerful memory trigger and the mall is full of them. The colognes that waft out of some of the stores are very recognizable and took me back to easier times shopping with my boy.

Staying in the moment is key. Focusing on the present, finding things to look forward to (like a pageant) are what keep me from looking back thinking about what I do not have. I had a couple of hard moments, but not a tear was shed.

Thank you Lord for the blessings in the present and in my future. Thank you Lord that I can see the blessings You surround me with everyday.

I’m sure there are no malls in Heaven.