Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Clean Slate

What is it about the New Year approaching that makes me want to clean and organize??  Is it because it's a clean slate and a fresh start??  I know I am not the only one as I see all the bins, totes and organizing supplies being displayed prominently in the stores right now.

Actually, the cleaning and organizing bug start as soon as Christmas is over and I put away the decorations.  This week's project will be my bedroom/craft closet.  I had a garage sale last summer and had fabric up for sale.  What didn't sell went back in the closet but it's still in the boxes.  Things have been piled on top of the boxes until you can't even see the closet floor.  It is really ugly in there - I will not be sharing pictures.

Do you get the same bug this time of year?  What will you be cleaning and organizing?  Do you have any tips to share?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Blessed Christmas

I hope that you enjoyed a blessed Christmas.  We sure did! Christmas Eve was busy with last minute baking, delivering goodies to friends, church, dinner and a quiet evening at home.
I got help with gift wrapping (which I hate to do) from Elf Stephany.  By the time she got done her Christmas cheer had diminished a bit.
Christmas morning we opened gifts at home and then went to Missy's for brunch and more gifts.  Christien, Stephany and Emma had a great time.  This was Emma's first Christmas and she was so cute with lots of smiles to share.

Santa brought Emma a new dolly - her first. It is a sweet Precious Moments dolly that says "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep."
Daddy and Emma shared a special Christmas moment.  He loves her so much and is such a good dad!
Nana and Grandson #1 being silly with my new camera.

Now it's time to take down the Christmas decorations and prepare for the new year.  Wishing you a Happy New Year and may it be filled with God's richest blessings!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Cupcake Gift Tags and Ornaments

How cute are these cupcake gift tags??  You can download them free at Bake It Pretty.  I am printing them out and will add glitter - you can never have too much glitter.

You will definitely need some cupcake ornaments to go with the tags.  Find the tutorial at Bake It Pretty.

These are another quick version from Goldiloks - too cute!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Cards

I miss getting Christmas cards. I know that it's expensive and it is so much easier to send an electronic card.  But there is something so personal about receiving a card in the mail.  You know that the person that sent it took time to fill out the cards, buy the stamps and go to the post office to mail them.  I will admit that I don't send cards anymore either. 

Not so very long ago, and especially when I was growing up, it was exciting to go to the mailbox in December.  I'd see all these brightly colored envelopes and could hardly wait to open them to see who they were from.  Sometimes there would be a letter inside telling all about that has happened in the sender's life in the last year.  We would take the cards and tape them around the dining room door frame.  It would be fun to see if we could get enough cards to go around the whole frame by the time Christmas came.

A few years ago I started putting the cards that I received in a basket on the coffee table.  Then, when Christmas was over, we'd take one card each day and pray for the person and/or family that sent it.  I miss doing that.

I am going to send cards next year.  Today I thought that if I set aside a little money each month then the expense of sending cards wouldn't be so bad when next Christmas rolls around.  I want to personalize Christmas again, even if it's just from my little corner of the world.


PS  I just checked the mail that came today and I got 2 cards.  One from my sister and one from my dear friend Elodie.  It made my day!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ArtFire Artisans

My ArtFire studio was featured on the ArtFire Artisans blog today!  What an honor!  My friend Marilyn from Casual Cottage curates the blog and looks every day for unique artists to feature.   If you haven't visited ArtFire before take a moment to check it out.  While it's not as large as Etsy, there is the same level of talent, you don't have to sign up to shop and I find the whole shopping experience a bit easier.  If you're a seller it is only $9.95 a month to sell no matter how many items you list or sell.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Shelf Pictures - Not!

I promised a picture of the organized shelf but haven't gotten it taken yet.  But it is all organized and looks os nice.  I've been busy with this -

and this -

Promise the shelf picture tomorrow!!


Monday, December 6, 2010


My dining room is a mess!!  All of my supply orders came in last week plus I've been working on product.  Because I don't have a separate work or storage area, it is all done in my kitchen and dining room.  I have supplies in the front closet and under the sink in the guest bathroom.  Every time I want to work I have to drag things out from all over the downstairs.  I finally got a shelf put in the dining room and am now organizing so things can be more efficient.  Here's what my dining room looked like until about 10 pm tonight.

And it's all going here.

I will show you the new and improved dining room tomorrow!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Santa Came Early

Santa brought me an early Christmas gift - a new camera!  I have never had a brand new camera and this one is fantastic.  It is a Canon PowerShot SX120 IS - whatever that means.  All I know is it takes awesome pictures and my blog will be more colorful.

If you have read my blog for a while you will remember Sophie, our cottage kitty (she is in the photo at the right with Stephany).  She was only 4 weeks old when we brought her home and we didn't think she'd make it for a while.  I had to hand feed her formula, she had an eye infection, and numerous other things.  Sophie has grown into a lovely young lady and now has a friend named Jude.  We got Jude when he was 8 weeks old and he is now 7 months old.  I wasn't sure how Sophie would react but they have been like two peas in a pod from the very first minute.  They are always together and when we had to take Jude to the vet overnight to be neutered, Sophie cried and cried.  There was no consoling her until he got back home.

Here's the first picture from my new camera showing both of the babies laying behind the couch watching squirrels out the sliding glass doors - one of their favorite things to do together.

Tomorrow's picture will be of the explosion of soap supplies in my dining room!  I am going to bear it all and show everyone how messy it has been for the last week.  But I am organizing and will show the after pictures too.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Tree Ideas

I would love to have a Christmas tree that looks like this.  Hundreds of lights and all twinkly.  However, I have 2 cats!  Last year we only had 1 cat and Miss Sophie knocked the tree over 5 days in a row.  I finally took it down and put up a small one on the mantle.  This year Jude has been added to our family.  He is only 6 months old and into everything.  I know how it's going to go if I put up the tree.  Sigh.

I need some ideas on a cat proof tree.  Help!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Small Business Saturday

Today is the first ever Small Business Saturday! American Express started the movement to encourage everyone to shop at local and online small businesses on the day after Black Friday. Did you know that 68 cents of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the local community?? About 60 to 80 percent of jobs created each year for the last decade are attributed to small businesses.

In honor of the day I am having a sale in my Etsy shop - 20% off everything until 6 pm tonight! All you need to do is enter the coupon code THANKS1127 at checkout and the discount will automatically be deducted.

Shop small today!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is almost here! It is my favorite holiday. I love cooking the meal and just having time to spend with family. Everyone will be at my house this year except for my grandson Justin. We will have lots to eat, play games, and enjoy each other's company. I have put off my grocery shopping so I will have to go on Saturday. I am sure the store will be crowded and the lines will be long. I am praying for a good attitude because patience is not my virtue!

I have so many things to be thankful for this year. God is always so good and so faithful. I am thankful for God's grace and sending His son Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of my life. I don't deserve the grace but He gives it freely to me every day.

I am thankful for my beautiful family, for our nice warm home, for having food to eat every day, and the daily blessings that God provides.

This year I am particularly thankful for Stephany's sobriety. Four months ago our life was in chaos. Day by day everything has gotten better and life is starting to feel normal again. My beautiful daughter is sober, happy, and thankful for her second chance at a wonderful life. God has blessed us in this situation too, and because of what we've gone through, we have the testimony of His love and grace to share with others.

I am thankful for all of you who follow my blog and return again and again to read my ramblings. Thank you for your comments - they are a blessing to me. Thank you for your prayers for our family. I love you and cherish you!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Boot Camp

I never thought I'd be going to boot camp but I am! I started Etsy's Holiday Boot Camp today (it actually started 9/23 so I have catching up to do). It is a series of newsletters with homework designed to help you get the most out of your Etsy shop for the holidays. For me it's about the business of getting down to business. I need to treat what I do as a business and not as a hobby. I need to learn how to run my business so I'm going to boot camp. If you have an Etsy shop and would like to sign up click here and sign up for the Etsy Success newsletter.

Today one of the assignments was to write a mission statement for your business. I hate stuff like this. I don't want to have to think, I just want to create! But it's part of the process so I did it. Once I got started it was good and really made me think about what my mission is for The Rustic Cottage. I am baring my soul here and it's not something that I am comfortable with so here goes.

My mission statement:

To always maintain my priorities in the correct order - God first, family second, and business last.

To create high quality, handcrafted bath and body products using natural and organic ingredients.

To share information and educate others on the benefits of products made with natural and organic ingredients.

To build a rapport with my customers so they don't feel like "just another sale" and provide them with products that are helpful and benefit them through healthier skin.

To be fair and honest in all my business dealings.

To be a full-time business woman running a socially and environmentally conscious business doing what I love and providing for my family.

I hope that by reading this you will know where my heart is and I hope that it may help you with your business too!!!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Google and Lotion Bars

Have you ever Googled yourself? I occasionally check my business name to see where it is in the rankings. Today I Googled "quilters lotion bar" to see how many others are making them. I was very pleasantly surprised when my lotion bar came up #1!! Even had a picture!! How cool is that??

Friday was my last day of work. The business I work for has just not recovered fully from the financial downturn in 2008. I was working full-time and laid off in May 2008. I was blessed to be called back part-time and have been back to work for almost a year. Now I am unemployed again but, quite honestly, I am glad. Everything that our family has been through this past year has let me drained emotionally and physically. I need some time off to clean my house, get rested, and work on my business. In fact, I am hoping that I will be able to remain self-employed. It is pure joy to me to create and work with my soap and lotions. I have spent the day working on my Etsy and Artfire shops and that leads back to why I Googled myself!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Barn House And Vintage Gathering Sales

Emma took her mommy and me to the Barn House sale in Battle Ground today! This is the first one for all of us and the first sale for Missy & I in a long time. We got there at noon and the place was actually starting to get emptied of wares - it's that popular! I did find lots of things to inspire me though. After Barn House we traveled down the road to the Vintage Gatherings sale - loved it! Lots of vendors, lots of vintage treasures, and reasonable prices! I got pictures at Barn House but not at Vintage Gatherings (Nana was carrying Emma around so Mom could shop). Enjoy!

This wonderful old bath tub greeted us as we walked in to the gate. It was filled with straw and pillows.

Isn't this chandelier the best?? It was accented with dried hops.

Love this chair and the pillow! I want to learn to screen print. The sun was so bright that it washed out some of my pics - sorry.

Linen apron - these were just the cutest things ever! I'm inspired to sew again. Now to get my hands on some linen.

Beautiful displays everywhere - sunflowers make me happy and the vase was so pretty.

I am so in love with this bolster pillow by Maison Douce and the chair's not too shabby either! Can't you just see the bolster at the head of a bed covered with a fluffly down comforter, quilts, and lots of pillows?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I've been working on my blog design today, adding music, and visiting other blogs. One thing I know for sure - I need to take pictures!!! I have this fancy new phone that has an awesome camera so I no longer have an excuse. Hope things will be a little more colorful around here in the future.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Back On A Schedule

It has been a busy summer and now is turning into a busy Fall!! Steph is enrolled in school and will start on Monday. She is going to Summit View High School which is an alternative school in the Battle Ground District. We had her orientation last week and I am so impressed with the school!

She goes to school two days a week from 1 to 4 and then the rest of the time is independent study. She has one on one time with each of her teachers for up to an hour. That is exactly what she needs and this will help her get back on track. She has lots of credits to make up but that's ok. At least she wants to go to school now!

Our life has settled into a happy routine and is much more calm now - if that's possible with a teenager in the house. We still take it one day at a time but each day is a blessing. I have been so wrapped up in Stephany for so long that I'm having to learn to do things for me again. I started attending Al Anon and I know that is a start. The soap shelves are totally bare and it's time for me to get busy with that again. It's soon to be bazaar season and I plan on doing several this year. I need to get my creative juices flowing again.

Emma has brought so much joy into our family! I love to go visit and just hold her. There is nothing better than that sweet baby smell. Missy brought her over last Saturday for her first visit to Nana's house and I even got a smile!

Christien started Middle School last week and seems to like it really well. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that he is old enough to be in Middle School!!!

God is so good and so faithful!!! I see His mercy every day when I look into the clear, bright, happy eyes of my daughter!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Welcome Emma!

My beautiful granddaughter Emma was born on July 26th!! She is a tiny little thing and only weighed 5 lbs when she was born but she and her mama are doing fine!! She now weighs 5 lbs 11 ozs. Emma is like a breath of fresh air in our family and we have all needed that.

The same day that Emma was born we left for Yakima for 3 days of family therapy at Stephany's treatment facility. I wanted to wait at the hospital to meet my new grandbaby and she waited until 6:17 pm to arrive. I held her for 5 minutes and then left because we had a 4 hour drive ahead of us.

The therapy went very well and Steph's dad and I were able to tell all the things that her use has done to us and to our family. One thing that we learned is that our whole family has been sick - not just her. It was a very helpful 3 days and opened our eyes to many things. Especially that we are not alone in this as the room was filled with 20 other families going through the very same thing. My heart just broke for the families - many were adult patients who had a wife or husband attending as the family member.

Steph graduated from her treatment on August 5th and is now back home. She has had 38 days of sobriety and is doing so well. She attends 3 outpatient groups a week and has been going to AA meetings. That has been her decision and is a huge step in her recovery. There is still a long way for her to go but we take it one day at a time!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's Been A Month Since I've Written???

A month is way too long to go without writing on my blog. I could make the usual excuses of being busy with summer gardening, canning, etc - not the case. It's been a very painful and emotional month for me and for Stephany. It has been one of the hardest periods of my life. I had to be able to find the right words to post on my blog.

If you are a regular reader then you know the struggles we have been going through with Stephany's drug use. She started outpatient treatment and things were going along pretty well for about a week. Then it went from bad to worse. After the last time that she ran away she quit smoking pot only to replace it with alcohol.

I talked to Steph's outpatient leader and we both agreed that she needed to go to inpatient treatment. Stephany agreed that she needed to go and on July 8th she checked into a facility near Yakima, WA. I had to spend two days there in parent meetings and both of us had to meet with psyhcologists. During that time Steph said she wasn't staying - I think she realized she wasn't going to be on vacation. In the state of Washington a child can make their own decisions about that kind of thing. She cried, begged, and pleaded. She got mad and lashed out at me. On Friday we had to meet with a counselor at 12:30 and when we were signing paperwork Steph looked at me and said "I assume by signing all these papers that means I'm staying." I just said a very matter of fact "yes." She was so angry with me that she would hardly tell me goodbye. We hugged and I walked out of the room and out of the door of the facility. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Steph has been there 2 weeks and has had some very rough days. She could have no contact with us for the first 7 days. That is a very good thing as that is a crucial time for a new patient. I was able to write to her and have sent her a letter every day. We got to talk for the first time last Thursday and I was amazed at how good she sounded. On Friday she had a very bad day and they let her call me. She said she wanted to quit and come home. I told her to give it through the weekend and we would talk on Sunday evening. When we talked on Sunday I could hear a strength in her voice that I haven't heard in a very long time. She said that she was staying because she was going to complete something that she committed to. That is a major step and something that hasn't happened for a couple of years.

Steph said that she is learning so much from the lectures, videos, and the AA meetings that she attends. She has to go to 2 meetings a week and really likes them.

But all of this has not happened by chance. It is God!!! So many people have been praying for her and I have made sure to let her know that. I have been in constant prayer for her. She is working hard and He is giving her the strength. Next Tuesday we have to go to her treatment facility to spend 3 days with her in family counseling. I am sure this is going to be a hard time as it is probably going to open lots of wounds. But sometimes the wounds have to opened to let the poison out so that they can heal.

It has taken me two weeks just to let go of much of the stress that I have been feeling for months. There has been so much turmoil in our home. I can put my head on the pillow at night and not have to worry about where she is.

Steph will get out of treatment on August 5th. I know that coming home is going to be hard because the temptations will be here. But I also know that God is faithful to her and to me. He will walk her through this journey. She may have a relapse. I pray she doesn't. But if she does I know that there is nothing I can do about it. I have to let go and let God work on her. He knows the plan. I just have to go along with it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Melvin Baines was, and still is, my hero. He wasn't a perfect dad and made lots of mistakes in his life. He only had an 8th grade education and wasn't a polished man. Dad wanted to go to high school but it was during the Depression. His family had a farm outside Farmersville, IL and needed his help. He quit school to work on the family farm.

Dad proudly served his country in WWII and it was one of the greatest accomplishments of his life. He left his wife and 3 month old son to go to Okinawa Japan for 2 years. Daddy was one of the hardest working men I have ever known. He was a diesel mechanic by trade. I remember many cold IL winter nights when he would get called out to work on a truck that had broken down. He would lay in the snow by the side of the highway to fix this truck to earn money for his family.

What I remember the most is the unconditional love he had for all 3 of his children. He supported and loved us no matter what. When I was a senior in high school and had to tell my dad that I was having a baby he never criticized or got mad. All he said was "I love you girl and I will support you and the baby no matter what." That's just how he was.

In later years. when I moved to Washington, we would visit by phone. We talked every Saturday morning to catch up. I loved those phone calls. He always had a funny story to tell about one of the grandkids and a joke to tell me. What I wouldn't give for one more phone call so we could visit.

I am very lucky to have had him for my dad. I love you Daddy and I miss you so much!! Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Back Home

Stephany is back home. She came back on Monday. It's been a rough few days but hopefully she's back on the right track. She goes tomorrow to meet with her group leader to discuss in-patient treatment. We all think that may be the best thing for her right now.

Thank you for your kind words and your prayers! They mean the world to both of us.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Getting Closer

If you look on the left column of my blog you'll see a little ticker counting the days until my new grandbaby arrives! The days are getting close and I'm so excited. Missy and Sammy have decided to name her Emma. I think that is the sweetest name and so old fashioned.

This afternoon is Missy's baby shower and it will be such fun to see all the precious things that she gets for Emma. Nana got her something very special - a keepsake - but I can't share it here yet. I don't want to give the surprise away.

Don't you just love the smell of a baby?? I love to nuzzle my nose in the back of the neck just at their hair line. I've done that with all my kids. I will rock them and nuzzle, breathing in their beautiful baby smell. It's been 11 years since I've been able to do that. I'm getting the rocking chair all warmed up because Emma and I have miles to rock and time spent nuzzling!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Stephany Update

I feel like all I've been writing on my blog lately are unhappy things. I've always tried to keep it upbeat and happy. But, once again, I am posting asking for your prayers for Stephany.

She was doing very well, started rehab, and I thought things were going along good. But I was being fooled because all this time Stephany has still been using drugs. I knew it in my mind and in my heart but when I would confront her she would tell me lies. Last Monday she was supposed to be at Bible study, left the study to be with friends, and didn't come home all night. Things came to a head today and Stephany ran away from home. This time was different because she left with a full backpack and had planned it. I called the police and they will pick her up if they see her on the street but won't look for her. It's almost 11 pm and I have no idea where my daughter is.

My heart hurts but all I can do is pray for her, for her protection. God knows best and He will see both of us through this time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Saying Goodbye

My husband's grandmother is 93 years old. Grandma Jerry has lived in her own apartment until about 4 months ago when she had to go to assisted living. About a week ago Grandma fell in her assisted living apartment and hit her head on a glass coffee table. She was rushed to the hospital and an MRI was done. The doctors discovered a spot where there was blood on her brain. The doctor said that he could do surgery but Grandma would probably not make it through the surgery. Grandma said she did not want the surgery and they sent her home. The doctor said that she could live for a long time if the bleeding did not get worse.

This morning at 6:30 we got a phone call saying Grandma had been rushed to the hospital because she was having pain. As the doctors were taking care of her, she just went to sleep. An immediate MRI was done of her head and there was more blood on her brain and it had started to swell. The doctor said he didn't think she'd make it through the day. This afternoon Grandma was transferred back to the nursing facility and put in the hospice area. Since she has a living will and a DNR, she is now on end of life care.

Steve and Stephany were with Grandma most of the day. I was going over at noon but since they were transferring her to hospice I waited until this evening. Steve and I went over about 6:30 so I could say goodbye. It is always so hard because when you walk in the room the person just doesn't look like themselves. Grandma just looked so small and frail in that hospital bed. I leaned over to whisper in her ear, hoping that she could hear me tell her how much I love her and thanking her for welcoming me into her family 20 years ago. Then I told her to just rest and let go - that it was time for her to go be with Jesus and Grandpa Chet. Steve and I joined hands over her bed and each of us put a hand on her shoulder as we prayed. It was a sweet time of saying goodbye to a lady that has brought so much love and joy into our lives.

As we were leaving I thought about how death can be a peaceful thing. When you're a Christian you know that death isn't the end - it's only the beginning. For me, it makes it easier to say goodbye to a loved one. The tears are still there and so is the sorrow but there is peace. I shall miss my talks with Grandma but I know that we will only be separated for a short time. One day we will have eternity to have talks!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I'm making progress with the cold. Still coughing and nose is still a little stuffy but at least I don't feel like death warmed over!

Steph is making some good progress!! Last night she went with some friends, I told her the curfew and she was home one time. I was holding my breath. At some point I will stop holding my breath every time she leaves the house. She got home, came into my room, and sat on the edge of the bed to tell me everything she had done while she was with her friends. This is a HUGE step forward - the first time she's ever done this!! They went to Shari's, bought 3 orders of fries to share, drank cokes, laughed and talked. She told me how much fun she had and that she is having to learn how to have fun without drugs. But she had fun!!! When she left my room I gave a huge thumbs up to God for He is the one that is working the miracles in her life right now.

Her counseling is going great and we got the ok to make our move in June! We will be finding a place for her to go in IL but they felt that the change would actually be a positive thing for her. So in a little over 7 weeks we will be heading east to start our new life. We are both so excited. My garage sale will be 2 weeks from Saturday so I have to get busy pricing and organizing.

Thanks so much for your prayers for Steph and for me. She still has a very long road to go but the changes I have seen in her in the last 2 weeks are really good. It is a day by day process. God is faithful and we are both trusting Him with everything we have!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Under the Weather

Cold 1, Me 0 - enough said! Be back as soon as I quit coughing and blowing my nose every 30 seconds!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sometimes It Hurts To Be A Mom

When I brought my beautiful daughters home from the hospital I was so full of love, hope and joy. I looked at that little child in my arms and dreamed of what their future would be. My children are God's children first and He has entrusted them to me as their steward while they are here on this earth. I read His manual for how to parent, I prayed for them, and loved on them. I am so blessed that both of my girls have accepted the Lord. Missy, being my quiet one, came to know Jesus in her own private way. I had the privilege of praying with Stephany when she accepted the Lord at 5 years of age. When Stephany was 9 she made the decision to be baptized. This is the little girl that would come home from school so excited that she had prayed with someone on the playground at school and witnessed to them of the Lord.

I always thought that because my girls know Jesus personally they would somehow be "protected" from the things of the world. I know that is absolutely not true and I have been humbled because some of those terrible things of the world have entered my home. This is horribly hard for me to write, and embarrassing, but I feel that I have to. My blog is a place of release for me and, I hope, a blessing for others. These are things that I need to write about so that maybe the pain will somehow leave my body and soul for a bit.

Stephany has been struggling with anxiety and depression since she was in the 7th grade. Some of that is the fault of both of her parents who have had a bad marriage. Some of it is the fault of a dad who loves his daughter but is not an involved parent. But her problems are not all the fault of me or her dad. Some are problems of her own choosing. I have a former friend who would tell me on a daily basis that I just needed to be harder on Stephany. That I needed to be a firmer disciplinarian. You don't know how hard I have tried - and on my own because her dad refuses to be involved in that area. I have grounded her, taken away the cell phone, restricted computer use, and any other thing that I could think of to remove as a form of punishment. I know that this former friend probably still reads my blog. I'm sure that she will delight in some small way that what she has "predicted" for my daughter has finally come true. She has a son who has always attended Christian school, is on fire for the Lord, and never gives her many problems. This is the reason that we are no longer friends - I just could not take listening to another minute of having my daughter and her son compared and me being told I'm not hard enough on my daughter. But I also remember that my pastor and his wife went through the very same thing with their daughter that I am going through, maybe some worse things, and I know that they were good parents.

But when you're walking through this hard time with your child you begin to doubt yourself. I have come to realize that I am a good parent. I have been praying and fighting for my daughter every day since she's been born. Now I just need to say the words although it's hurts me so much. Stephany has become involved with drugs. It started with marijuana and has now progressed to experimentation with cocaine and ecstasy. There have been other issues that go along with this - stealing money from her dad to buy drugs, sneaking out of the house at all hours, taking all of her Christmas and birthday money to buy drugs, lying, and on and on.

What could I have done to prevent this? Probably not much. I have done everything that I know how to do as a parent. Stephany has been in church since she was 5 days old and has been raised in a Christian home. She has never seen these things in our home and has always been told how bad they are. Her father is a recovering alcoholic - sober for 21 years - so we don't even have alcohol in our home. But the bent towards addiction is hereditary - that is a medical fact - and Stephany inherited that bent. It also runs on my side of the family. That, coupled with her anxiety and low self-esteem, have pushed her to try things to make her "feel" better.

My daughter is a beautiful girl inside and out. She is a child of God and He loves her more than I do. She is smart, funny, kind, and compassionate. Right now she is walking in a dark valley. But the bright side - Praise God - is that Stephany is willing to go to rehab and counseling. She wants to be better and wants to turn her life around. She knows that Jesus is the only answer. She tells me that she wants to be better but doesn't know how. That is why we are getting professional help for her. Next Thursday Stephany will be going into drug rehab. Right now we don't know if it will be outpatient or inpatient. She is willing to do either to get better. Stephany and I were moving to IL in June. For now, those plans have had to be put on hold. We are staying here so that she can get the help that she needs. When the professionals say that it is ok to go, then we will move. I know there might be set backs for Stephany. I know parents who go through this with their kids their whole lives. I am praying that is not that case.

We have a long road ahead of us - especially Stephany. My comfort is that I know that Jesus is walking with us and holding our hands. If I wasn't sure of that I don't know if I could walk much further. Please keep Stephany in your prayers. I need them too. We will be able to feel them and will draw strength from them. I know that God has great things in store for Stephany. God will use this time in our lives as a testimony to His glory. God is good and He is so faithful. I was listening to a song on the radio yesterday - "I Will Praise You in this Storm". I am praising God in this storm. I know that the sun will be peaking through the clouds again. I am hanging onto that hope.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's A Girl!

I went with Missy last Monday for her 20 week ultrasound. The baby is perfect, healthy and a girl! We are all so excited. I'm not sure what the name will be as they have a couple picked out. Emma is one choice (which I love) or Amelia. Now I can start sewing girly things and making tutus. Our little sweetheart will arrive sometime in the middle of August.

I've been sick in bed for the past week with a horrible sore throat and just feeling rotten. I finally had enough and went to the doctor today. I have tonsillitis! I've never had that in my life. I did get some antibiotics so hopefully will be feeling much better in the next couple of days.

Spring is really here and also the on again, off again showers. We had a couple of gorgeous sunny days last week - love the sun!

I'm having a garage sale the middle of April so I need to get busy marking things. I have lots of books, magazines, fabric, craft items, vintage dishes, and some vintage furniture pieces that I purchased to refinish. I never got around to them so someone else can take them home for a redo! I'm also selling lots of kitchen items including a vintage blender and a food processor. Hopefully our Illinois Fund will increase in size by the time it's all over.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Is Finally Here!!

It's not officially the first day of Spring but it's arrived in our part of the country! The trees are blooming and there are daffodils everywhere! The bright yellow just makes me so happy and makes me feel good.

Steph and I were driving to her doctor's appointment this afternoon and saw a whole bunch of daffodils by the road. I told her that I think God makes them bloom early in Spring so that we can be cheered after a long, gray winter. It's just a taste of things to come and He made it all for our enjoyment!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Got In!

I got a call from the dental clinic at our church and I got in for an appointment!!! I get my root canal done on March 5th. Praise the Lord!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I have been neglecting my blog. I have a confession to make. I've been on Facebook! I've reconnected with old friends from high school, played on FarmVille and Country Life, and enjoyed reading what people are doing in real time. But I've neglected the friends that I have in the blogging world. I am sorry.

Am I giving up on FaceBook? Nope! Am I going to regularly post on my blog again? Sure!

The tooth, or non-tooth since it was pulled, is healing nicely. I can chew on that side again! I'm still trying to get an appointment for the root canal. I had the alarm set on my cell phone to call at 4:58 pm last Thursday. The alarm went off at 4:56. I said to myself "you need to call in 2 minutes" and held the cell phone in my hand to remind myself. At 5:18 I realized I was still holding the phone in my hand and hadn't called! I will try again this Thursday. I have another alarm set on my phone. Now I just need an alarm to remind me the alarm is going to ring so that I can remember to make the call!

It's still raining here. That is normal for a Pacific NW winter when you're on the west side of the mountains. I bet that my rainy, gray winter days don't look too bad to those poor folks who have had feet of snow this winter! The sun is coming later this week and I can't wait. All the rain makes you enjoy every little bit of sun that peaks through the clouds.

Spring is just around the corner!!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tooth Update

My broken molar is now gone!! Since that one was hurting the dentist and I decided it was time for me to part company with the tooth. I will call to get in for an appointment and he will do a root canal on the other broken tooth and then I will have to save to have a crown put on. But at least I will be able to keep the tooth.

I can't begin to tell you what a blessing this dentist visit was today. It was absolutely answered prayer. I walked into the clinic and it was like night and day compared to the other place that I had been. Dentists and hygenists in the area volunteer their time and there is no cost to anyone for any service. I had the most wonderful dentist today. He was so kind and so gentle explaining everything as he went along. As he was putting the needle in my gum the hygenist was standing on the other side patting my shoulder. I looked up once and she had her eyes closed and was praying for me!

Opposite the chair I was sitting in there was a picture hanging on the wall. It had been painted and given to the dentist that runs the clinic. It was a picture of a man in a dentist chair, the dentist working in his mouth and standing beside the dentist was Jesus!! It was just so peaceful and serene and I knew that Jesus was right there in that room.

I am having very little pain tonight. It is sore from where I got the shots but not much pain at all. Thank you all so much for your prayers!!! God was making me be patient in this situation and when I waited on His timing it turned out the best!!!

Dentist Update

I just had someone comment this morning asking about my dental situation. I still have 2 broken teeth. I have been to one community dental clinic 2 times and nothing was done except to tell me that I needed a root canal/crown on the molar or I could have it pulled. I have decided to have it pulled. I have an appointment there on 2/15 and hopefully they will pull the tooth. This place doesn't seem to want to do much of anything to anyone that goes there but they are happy to collect your $40 fee each time and then tell you that you need to be referred out.

I found out that the church we attend, New Heights, now has a dental clinic. They have had a medical clinic for quite some time which is free to anyone that doesn't have insurance. In order to get an appointment at the dental clinic you have to call in on Thursday from 5 to 6 PM. They only take 4 openings a week as it is a part-time clinic. I have been calling for the last 3 weeks and have been #5 on the list which means I don't get an appointment and have to call again next week. This morning New Heights called me and they had a cancellation!! Praise the Lord!! I am going this morning at 11:15 and they will do a root canal on the broken tooth that is more in the front of my mouth so I won't lose the tooth!! They will put on a temporary crown and I can save the money to get the crown put on in the near future!!

God is good and I so appreciate all your prayers.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have neglected my poor blog! It just seems like things have gotten so busy around here. When I went back to work it was for 2 days a week. The truck repair service where I work has really been hit by the economy over the past year and a half. But we have been praying for the business and it is picking up. So much so that for the last 3 weeks I've been working 3 days instead of 2! That probably won't be permanent but it's nice to have the extra income.

I keep busy chauffeuring my teenager around and being involved in all of her activities. Then there's the house to keep up, soap to make, and the list continues. I suddenly feel like I hardly have time for myself, to write on my blog, or do any of the other things that I like to do. But it's better to be busy than sitting around doing nothing!! I will make time before bed at least once a week to write on my blog and read other blogs.

The rain is back in full force here. I don't know about you, but I'm really ready for Spring. I get excited thinking about planting seeds, flowers, and veggies. I want to have some kind of vegetable garden this year even if it's on my patio. It would be nice to eat from the garden all summer. And I will buy locally in quantity so that I can put up things to enjoy next winter.

My little grand baby is growing and in another 8 weeks we will be able to find out whether it's a boy or a girl. For now, I'm going to knit a white blanket. I have to do something for this little one and can't wait another 8 weeks to get started on a project!! One more thing to add to my busyness!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Wedding

There was a wedding in our family yesterday! My oldest daughter, Missy, got married! It was a really nice small wedding at the court house in Vancouver. Afterward we went to The Nines Hotel in Portland for a small reception. The hotel was beautiful and we were in the restaurant on the 15th floor. You could see all the lights of Portland and it was just breathtaking! I snapped a few pictures but a friend of Missy and Sammy's took lots of pictures. As soon as we get them I will post more.

Here are my two girls - Stephany and Missy. They are so pretty!

And here's my handsome grandson Christien (Missy's son) and Stephany. Isn't he just the cutest thing in his tuxedo?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sophie Is Now All Grown Up

Do you remember this tiny little thing that we brought home at the end of May? My girl, Sophie, has grown up! Yesterday evening we took her to the vet to have her spayed. I can't believe that she is old enough for that already. In fact, she was way past time. I think she probably was a little slow becoming "mature" due to the fact that she was so little when she was born.

Steph and I got her this afternoon and she is doing just fine. About this time every evening Sophie turns into "The Terrorist" - running the house, trying to snatch people's legs as they walk by, and generally getting into everything she's not supposed to. Tonight, however, she is quietly laying on a blanket in the downstairs bathroom. She's still drugged up from the surgery! It's been pleasantly quiet. But we're so glad she's home because we missed her terribly.

The vet said to keep her confined in a small area for 7 to 10 days. Yeah right! That will probably last until tomorrow and then I'm sure she'll be wanting out. I'm just glad that this is over with, there will be no babies at our house, and maybe Sophie will mellow out a bit. Time will tell!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My First Etsy Treasury

My Cottage Rose soap was chosen for an Etsy treasury today! This is my very first. I'm not sure how long the link will be good but I'll post it anyway. It's a gorgeous treasury all about roses! Etsy Treasury