Everyday is an Adventure. Embrace it

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

Thank you Jesus

The Lord woke me up today 🙂

Butterfly on Mint

Butterfly on Mint

He allowed me to get out of bed on my own 🙂 There’s coffee & rich delicious creamer all morning. The children God gave me are healthy (one with healing swimmers ear) and Old Man Puddy is still kick’n.

Our faithfully dedicated pup protected me from a vicious looking pool float on our morning stroll. (Ha!) And my sweet husband was right beside me when I got up early to taxi my boys to & from work.

Our land is healing & our home is cool in this summer heat. My vision is blurring but the Lord provides glasses so I can still see.

Life is short…shorter than we think. God’s love is powerful…stronger than anything. Grace is a gift…one not deserved. Faith is a must…not occasional as needed. Salvation is sweet…enduring and promised. Blessings are gifts…not to be forgotten.



Funny How Things Just Hit You

As I sat drinking my beloved coffee this morning, I rummaged through a year’s worth of pictures so the before/after photographs could be posted of the house.  I am downright excited to publish a post of gratitude and rightfully thank everyone that has blessed our family over the last year.

As I was reviewing the first 1,000 photos or so, I was flat-out excited! Creating a folder to move the photos into and ensuring they were in the right order was not bothersome at this point. After an hour had passed, I had successfully completed my first pot of coffee.  I was amazed that I took so many pictures & had parsed through several thousand at this point. Going into my third hour, I was mentally exhausted. I was becoming frustrated at myself for taking so many pictures of everything under the sun. I questioned myself even, “why did I snap that?” “Did I think that was funny, cool, or that I’d never see it again?” “What is that?” I caught myself being upset with myself for clogging up my computer with pictures of random stuff when it hit me.

It is defined by: Wow, I’ve had a great year! I’m not including the boys or their feelings in this either. They may see the last year in a different way. Since they have become strange creatures others call teenagers, I can no longer speak for their feelings really. Would you allow me, gentle reader, to share this with you?

Please do not think me boasting or giving gratitude to anyone other than God! I have honestly had a great year of healing without even noticing I was. I mean, I’ve noticed sort of, but I took each day and placed it in its own little boxed adventure and hadn’t lined all the boxes up together to see the whole picture.

Over the last year: I went from thinking I was moving on with my life and realizing I hadn’t moved an inch

– to mourning the loss of my husband again

– to recovering from a nasty concussion (PCS)

– to beginning the heart wrenching work on the house

– to moving away from home

– to leaving state several times and seeing new places

– to meeting new people

– to realizing I had fallen in love again

– to watching the boys grow closer to each other and healing (PTSD & grief)

– to taking our first ever family vacation

– to learning a new trade (kind of)

– to definitely learning new skills

– to learning to open up and share myself with someone again

– to renewing my faith

– to really learning forgiveness (PTSD)

– to letting go of the anger (PTSD & grief)

– to helping a few friends along the way

– to meeting some cool people in other countries (you know who you are…Paul)

– to being a Mom again instead of working too many hours each week

– to bringing another child into our family

– to finally agreeing to “let it go” and just be.

And I documented all of this through my pictures. There are thousands of magical pictures with time stamps and GPS locations to remind me just how far I have come and how unquestionably blessed I have been and still am.

I am happy that I was side tracked while trying to locate all the photos of the house for you. I apologize that you must continue to wait too, cause I’m only good for one post per day per blog.

🙂 May God bless you

We moved back home!!

It’s been a while since I have written anything and for that, I apologize.  I do have some fabulous news though…we moved back home on October 31st!

The boys were a tad perturbed that they didn’t get to keep their Halloween plans made with friends, but we needed every available body to help lift, carry, and unpack.

We moved practically everything on that day/night. Afterwards, I went back to the rental property we were residing in and cleaned it up. That didn’t take long though – just a few hours. We left it looking far better (and a lot more clean) than when we moved into it 🙂

If you have followed the blog for a while, maybe you remember the house flooding? (It’s okay if you forgot, you can catch up if you read here.)

Maybe you remember the house sliding off its foundation almost a year later? (No problem if you forgot. You can catch up if you read here or here for details.)

I stopped writing about the house in February 2012 (I think) because I didn’t want the house to become the entire focus of this blog. And I decided that I would write once we were moved back into the house. I didn’t know that it would be the last day in October that would happen though.

I am going to do a reveal post soon and show some before and after photos so I can publicly thank everyone that helped us during this time in our lives. The project started the last week in December 2011 and was completed Oct 31, 2012. I am filled with joy to be back home again and I hope your hearts are touched with the story I reveal soon 🙂


Give me some feedback :)

Brother’s Love (a PTSD check-in)

A brother’s love is a strong, sensitive, and unfailing.

While we were on vacation earlier this week, I saw so much evidence of my boys’ healing.  I noticed some changes in their interactions with one another over the last few weeks as we took in a new family addition. It is nice to see them bonding once more instead of being arch enemies with each other 🙂

On vacation, we went to a small non-commercialized island where we had the beach practically to ourselves. This of course meant we also had the ocean to ourselves for the most part as well. Before the trip, both boys had concerns about safety. Neither could swim and were worried that I may not be able to save them.  They worried about the heat, the sand, the frogs,…practically everything. I think they were afraid of a new experience, but knew I was not going to leave them home – they were going to see the ocean, like it or not!

On day 1 we drove all day and each of us crashed on our prospective beds at the hotel late at night.

On day 2 we drove the short distance to the beach and they faced their fears. Nick coaxed them out into the water as he laid down a few ocean rules. He showed them how to get past the breaks, not to worry about the sand, what brushed against their feet, and showed them the tranquility of body surfing the gentle waves. I was truly amazed. They did it – with no reservations. They went straight into the water, conquered that fear. Later that day, I watched my oldest son write in the sand to his daddy. I guess he was showing dad that he hadn’t forgotten him. Then, he wrote to his girlfriend (his name and hers in a heart) multiple times! It was sweet. I had a few minor concerns about their PTSD flaring up on this trip and wondered if they would reach out to my deceased husband. My concerns were confirmed, but not anything to worry about yet. image

On day 3 they experienced the beach again, this time with stronger waves. We drove about an hour and 45 minutes to Ocean City Maryland. We went to the beach and the boys were awarded the opportunity to witness commercialization. They experienced mass traffic, city culture, saw what they thought were hot bodies (very little bathing suits and a lot of skin), odd people, live musicians, men and women flirting among the masses, and much more turbulent waters of the ocean.  We spent about three hours on the beach and in the ocean before we toured the boardwalk. The waves were crashing into the beach, the wind was stronger and people were elbow to elbow. The boys approached the water apprehensively. Nick went with them, but warned them about the undertow currents and told them how to make it back to shore if sucked out to sea. image

I could see the fear written on their faces and I knew that I would run out there and save them if I could. They feared losing each other as much as they had feared losing their daddy. They feared losing me and were relieved that I stayed on the shore line this day. I stayed with the towels and our belongings. The honesty factor flew out the window when we left our favorite island on Chincoteague. This was wild, crazy, and chaotic. image

I didn’t interfere as they bonded together, encouraged each other “they could do it” and reassured each other that they’d be okay. I can’t express how hard it was as a mother to watch and not jump in there and erase all of their fears.image

They went into the ocean. Holding hands. Forming a chain of protection as they had vowed to save each other if the need arose. They stayed close to Nick in the water for comfort. Before long, my oldest was waaaaay out in the ocean on his boogie board. He was a natural. He took to the waves like a dolphin. My youngest was not far out though as he stood aside and watched his big brother adventure out into the deep. image

They had learned to swim and hadn’t realized it!! They had conquered a fear and were not aware. They were out there swimming with fish, crabs, jelly fish, sting rays, sand sharks, and lord only knows what else 🙂 image

From the side lines, I watched. From the side lines I was proud of them and couldn’t tell them. They’ve told me that they are fine if I just help them and not actually say “PTSD” or “Are you okay”. My Momdar (mom radar) is supposed to go off at just the right time in their minds to save them from their own thoughts. image

On day 4  we were back on Chincoteague Island and we went to the beach at Assateague Island. They were beginning to wear thin, tire down – like a tire going flat.  The hot sun, wind, and ocean water was beginning to take a toll of them. Irritable and grumpy, we promised them a break on day 5.  I saw more sand writing on day 4 to their daddy and they brought him up a time or two in conversation. No one cried, no one withdrew. They were healing nicely. image

On day 5  Nick rented a bike for my youngest son and Josh to ride around town. My youngest conquered another fear. He learned how to ride a bike! He rode that bike all over the town while Nick and I went to the beach. He conquered a fear of independence and being alone also. He was rather happy with himself that he rode as long and as far as he did on the Island. By car, the entire island can be crossed in less than 10 mins if you obey the speed limit of 25mph. It was very small. My oldest also conquered a fear of being alone in a new place. He didn’t tell me he was afraid with words, I read it on his face. He talked to his girlfriend all day (I’m guessing) as he walked around the island.  Both boys are still healing and growing on day 5 🙂

On day 6 the boys didn’t want to go to the beach, they wanted bikes again. Nick rented bikes for them and they rode all day through the town. It was day 2 of a new-found freedom and they loved it! On this day all three boys had an argument blow out and they resolved it mostly on their own. Nick and I only had to intervene slightly. They were growing, bonding, learning each other and developing a new brotherly love (whether they realized it or not). image

On day 7 we went back to the beach one last time for shell collecting. They had all formed a new bond and were unaware of it. Each of them I saw talk to each other, interact with each other, and show concern in a new way. image

This vacation was a healing experience for them. Therapy could not have provided what this trip did.

Praise you Jesus for your Love, Grace, Peace, and Healing!!  🙂

Sunshine Award

Wow, I won a Sunshine Blogger  award!

My blog was nominated for this award by Looser or Not “The art of staying Alive”.

Sunshine Blogger Award2

Sunshine Blogger Award

Here’s how it works:

  • Add the Award to your blog
  • Acknowledge the giver of the award and thank them
  • Answer a few questions about yourself
  • Nominate a few fellow bloggers with outstanding blogs for the award and include links to their sites 🙂


  1. What is your favorite color?  Blue
  2. What is next on your bucket list? Explore Chincoteague Island and see the wild ponies! (Thank you Tracey Angelbeck!!)
  3. What is your favorite number? 4
  4. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Coffee
  5. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter? Facebook…but Twitter is fast on its heels!
  6. What is your passion? Living everyday as an adventure while praising my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
  7. Do you prefer getting or giving presents? Giving
  8. What is your favorite time of day? Dawn
    Feb 2010 Sunrise

    Feb 2010 Sunrise

  9. What is your favorite day of the week? Sunday
  10. Favorite flower? Chickory

    Mountain Chickory

    Mountain Chickory

Now, I would like to nominate some wonderful bloggers for their awesomeness! Please do check out these other great blogs that bring Sunshine into my life!!

Another Year Here – A LONG Post!

Another year here?

With every passing day we grow, learn, live, and forgive 🙂

Sequoya Park

Sequoyah Park

Forgive? Yes, forgive. I find myself forgiving much lately. Forgiving words, actions, glances, thoughts, erratic driving, others jumping in front of us, and even the random stranger using my Kroger gas points before I make it to the gas station! I couldn’t finish this post on April 26th because I wasn’t mentally up to it. Another year here means what? When I’m ready to decide, I’ll edit this post and write more 🙂 Bye for now.

3 June 2012

I’m ready now. Reviewing one’s life can be traumatic, stressful, or fun. For me it was embarrassing that I could not remember the details I wanted to remember. I think my problem was that I needed to break it down into segments of life and I was trying to look at my whole life. I think my memory has improved dramatically after hitting my head last year and developing PCS. I have recovered much of who I am and the parts I can’t remember, I will ask my family to fill in for me. This is a recap synopsis of blessings, trials and triumphs that many continue over time. I really haven’t decided. I will ask one thing dear reader, please do not feel sorry for me. Rejoice with me in the blessings that God has bestowed to, for, and on my life and how he has allowed my life to touch others!  And…remember for me (since I’m not good with memories, that I am a very happy person). Family, please jump in there and correct my memory if it has gone haywire!!  Thank you 🙂 I am now 36 yrs old.

When I came into this world, My mother’s name was Janey and my father was Johnny. They were very young, had many issues of their own and A LOT of kids already. I and my oldest brother Jackie were given away. Jackie had a different father than I did. We didn’t go to an orphanage though. We were given to two loving people that could not have children of their own, Jim and Edna Hensley. I have heard arguments about how old I was at that time, but my adopted parents tell me I was 2 1/2 months old and my natural parents say I was 3 months old. My new mother was 42yrs old and my biological mother wasn’t 20yrs old yet. My new mom was nervous about having a sick baby and evidently I was a very sick baby. My new Aunt’s name was Evlou, she was my new mom’s sister. She had raised 4 young men already and was working on her 5th boy, whom was a year and half older than I (Ben). Mom looked to her as the baby raising expert and took me to spend my first night with my new family with my Aunt Evlou. She fell in love with me (a baby girl). After a short while, it was determined that I was too sick to keep at home and off I went to the hospital. I have seen old black and white pictures of me in an old iron rail crib at the Children’s hospital from that time, but of course I remember none of this. Doctor’s determined that I was “starved” because I vomited all formula for such a long time, my body was malnourished. This was no one person’s fault. Babies, kids, and adults get sick, it’s just how life goes. Anyway, I had a feeding tube in the top of my head and stayed in the hospital for a while, had a special formula, and got to go back to my new home.

Skipping ahead, when I was a toddler, I guess I was pretty happy and mouthy. My mom and dad didn’t baby talk me, so I learned to speak properly. Mom told me that people all over would tell her I was cute because I spoke like an adult and they would talk to me to hear me talk back. Evidently once I got started, I din’t want to stop talking though. Seems like I do remember them pleading with me, “Chrissy, just shhhhh, please stop talking.” Mom dressed me well in beautiful frilly dresses, shiny shoes, tights, and ruffly panties. My hair was naturally curly and hung down my back like an accessory.  My new parents were musicians, song writers, and singers locally, in Nashville, and rubbed elbows with many well known names. They were active participants in the community and very active in churches. Dad felt a draw to minister (as his father did) and mom was beautiful, talented, and had a no-nonsense business head on her shoulders. My brother they took in was given to musician friends of theirs to raise (because that couple couldn’t have children either). I was raised with a brother named Scott (which was the first child they adopted). My cousin Tessa was also given to them to raise. They promptly called another musician family that could not have children either and they gave her to that family to adopt. Because of my malnourished issues early one, EVERYONE in the family encouraged me to eat…eat!  So, I made them happy. I ate until it hurt. I became an over-eater. I grew, I got taller, I got FAT.

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School age: My new parents loved my brother Scott and I tremendously. They told us everyday that we were loved, had lots of hugs, and also told us that we were chosen, adopted, and not a mistake. I think I grew up thinking that I was truly special because I heard this so many times. It was nice to think we were special…chosen.   My mom and dad (which is what they will be referred to throughout this article) were great with us when we were little. They taught us a healthy fear of avoiding “wrong” and loved us dearly. They also took other people’s children in to raise from time to time. Our family size would vary dependent upon other people’s life situations. We traded/exchanged/borrowed new brothers and sisters pretty regularly as they came in and out of our home. We were not rich, but my brother and I thought we were.  We didn’t want  for anything, we were happy with what we had. We went through a 15 year gaming spree. Pong, Atari, Nintendo, Super NES, Sega, Sega Genesis, Commador 64, a pole table, UNO, ROOK, SkipBo, & the Playstation 1. We played as a family, we played solo, we danced and sang daily, we weight lifted, and we always had bikes to ride, we did everything together.  We even argued together. Mom and dad were not the Cleavers (which we watched everyday) and they certainly were not from Mayberry. They had disagreements, arguments, had rough times financially, and we struggled like any other family does. If my recovered memory serves me correctly, as money became very tight, the arguments increased significantly. I think my Middle School years (6th-8th grade) were the worst for mental anguish. The constant bickering took a toll on my mental health and I constantly thought about suicide. My spiritual convictions about taking ones own life prevented me from completing the task though. I saw dad attempt to hurt himself and I watched mom cry for days and days. I had very little self confidence. Mom resorted to verbal abuse. She would attack anyone and everyone that dared to tick her off.  If there had been an Olympic sport for ripping someone to shreds with a tongue lashing – she would have walked way with the Gold medal every time! I was a very heavy (over weight) child, wearing women’s plus sizes by 5th grade. I was so tired of hearing people say, “but…you have such a pretty face”.  I thought no one would ever love me as chunky as I was and just knew I’d always be rather round! Mom’s constant reminders of my figure were bad enough, but when I factored my friends words into the mix – I thought I was doomed forever. I fell in with a crowd of teenagers that thought hurting themselves was cool. I tried some of their methods and determined that my mental anguish was enough, I didn’t understand the physical harm to oneself. So, I was pretty miserable. I stayed depressed, wanted to withdraw from life, but something kept pulling me up out of it – every time.  Dad’s music store that he owned we out of business, we almost lost our home, food became scarce, and we all prayed to survive from day to day.

My Brother Scott, Mom,and I

My brother Scott, Mom,and I

Something changed in December of 1990 though. Dad finally followed his heart and began studying his bible more. He had felt a strong pull on his heart to start a non-denominational church. Through the years, I had church traveled with daddy. We had “visited” almost every church in east Tennessee and he had evangelized for many years. Everywhere we went in public, there was someone that would invite daddy to come preach at their church – so he and I would go. Mom was wrestling with her own version of salvation, so she and my brother would stay home most of the time.  I loved being exposed to so many variations of Christianity. From backwoods daddy-called-and-momma-taught churches to the big commercialized denominational organizations – I found God’s love in every church and in every person. It was harder to find in some people than others 🙂 But it was there!  So, fast forward to 1991, dad was pastoring, mom was growing spiritually, my brother and I were being typical preachers’ kids, and life was getting better. I wasn’t as depressed as often. We had food!

Graduation 1994

Graduation 1994

In 1993, I began my own spiritual studies, completely independent from the church. I wanted to study outside of Christianity so I had a better understanding of why people believe what they believe. I studied Buddhism, Wica, Hinduism and the Ajna chakra, and many other types of faith. I developed an understanding of why people believe, what they believed, and always came back to Christianity in the end. There’s just nothing like my Jesus! I graduated in 1994 and got married the day after. I was 18, young, stupid, yet – knew everything! That lastest only a short while. I met Nick in 1995 and immediately fell in love ❀ It was as if Edgar Cayce had told us many moons before we would meet. I had been waiting for him & he had been waiting for me! We married, had 2 beautiful boys, and stayed together for 14 yrs…until he passed away.

I’ve gotta run…I’ll write more later!!

I swear, we are not inbred!

Well, it appears as though my grand baby has been playing on my phone and possibly erased the largest part of this post. Excuse me a moment while I re-type it…

I swear, we are not inbred. Don’t listen to that kid!

Yesterday for Easter, the boys & I went to visit family. My oldest son wanted to introduce his girlfriend to his sisters, so we took her along with us. On the long trip, I heard him explaining to her several of the people she’d meet. This is how we became inbred in one very short conversation, hosted by a 15 yr old boy!

Just to set the genealogy straight, the boys have 4 sisters. 2 of which they are very close to & 2 that they do not see very much. On Easter we went to visit the 2 youngest girls (Audrey and Ashley) at their mom’s house (Vick – but the boys call her Bebe). Bebe has another daughter (Sheri – called She-she).

Sister Audrey’s Family: Audrey, Justin (boy friend) , Eli, Anikan, Mara

Sister Ashley’s Family: Ashley, Emmie, and Miles

Loving Friend Sheri’s Family: Sheri, Justin (boy friend), Triston

Dad’s Ex-wife Vicki’s Family: Vicki, David, Audrey, Ashley, Sheri

Loving Friend Deb (who is Vicki’s sister) Family: Deb and Allie

Now that this is laid out about as simple as I can, here is what my 15 yr old son told his girl friend. I placed a star next to the incorrect statements:

You’re gonna meet all 3 of my sisters. There’s Audrey, Ashley, and *She-she. Audrey lives with my *brother in law* Justin and they have a lot of kids. They have Eli, Mara, and Anny. Then there’s Ashley. She has Miles and Emmie. My other sister, *She-she is married to *my cousin Justin and *their kid is Triston. Their mom is my *aunt Bebe and she is married to my cousin David. Then there’s my *aunt Deb and her daughter Allie, *my cousin. Oh yeah, we are *part black, so if you’re racist, that’s not good.

And you don’t want to mess with me cause they all love me and would be very mad at you.

No one will see the humor in this that our family did, I am sure. But we laughed and laughed over this dissertation of our genealogy.

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