Thursday, October 27, 2011


You know how some things seem to always be a work in progress? Well, this week I finally finished my living room....for now;-) Here's the shot I took when we looked at the house before buying...   
 Here's the living room as of this week...I have all my fall colors out now, but after Christmas I will put up new curtains and do red blue green and tan in the accent pillows and neutral curtains. The cornice is coming down since I need to finish painting the upper part of the windows and I am NOT trying to put that thing back up!! lol!

The neat thing about the before and after pictures is that everything, other than the couch, in the living room was either given to us, bought at consignment, or bought off Craigslist. We laughingly say that every piece of furniture we have has it's own "gotcha day" story...:-) Some are definitely unique! BTW, my couch is not cherry red...the camera ALWAYS makes it look like that! 

Next week I hope to have pictures up of my redone bedroom! Still have to hang trim and curtains:-) Now, maybe I can convince someone who has a green thumb to PLEASE come do  my flowerbeds...I have no imagination when it comes to plants. All I know is that they had better be the most hardy of their kind because they will have to learn to live through drought, extreme full sun heat all day everday, and overly helpful nephews who get a hold of the mini hoe's and think that they need to help "weed" Aunt Lauren's flowerbeds...hahaha!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Small Miracles

Just a quick little "happiness" to share....7 years ago when my parents sold their house in TN, they left behind a beautiful old refinished mantel that had been in my Mom's family for who knows how long! I remember the long hot summer my Mom spent in the basement of our house, stripping and refinishing the mantel.:-) It was a happy day when it was finally finished! Ever since then, my sisters and I have been trying to get that mantel back for our Mom. After numerous attempts over the last 7 years, I finally got the person I've been trying to reach for so long to answer the phone and I heard these happy words, "Yes, I still have the mantel". 
You see, the house had already been sold again, but this person took the mantel with them. When he and I finally made contact it was only two days before he and his family were to move out of state, the mantel going with them. 
To make a long story short, he sold me the mantel and my sister picked it up Sunday evening. My Dad will be going to TN to meet my sister on Saturday and by Sunday the mantel will be back with my Mom.

I know you're thinking...a mantel? what's the big deal? see, it's more than just a mantel. It represents the first house my parents had ever built and it was the nicest house they had ever had. My future husband (at the time:-) and I sat in front of that mantel and discussed our future. I brought my first child to visit her nana and papa when she was just a few weeks old and we took a picture in front of that mantel. That mantel is a reminder of some happy times that we all had before marriage, college, etc...started to move our family around. Now, we will be able to take a picture again, all of us together, in front of our mantel and remember the happy days of the past and look forwards to the happy days of the future!

The Lord worked a miracle in the story of the mantel and how we will enjoy being able to tell our children and grandchildren of how the Lord answered a 7 year request and gave my Mom her mantel back...just because He loves her and because He delights in His children! He rewards the faithful and gives us the desires of our hearts...yes, He even gives us temporal things at times just to remind us that He, as our Heavenly Father, doth delight in us as our Earthly Fathers do, and loves to give us things that make us happy! Isn't our Lord so good?!

Monday, October 24, 2011

My 31st Birthday...goodness, that's OLD!

Time just seems to be flying by, doesn't it? **smile** My silly husband put the numbers 1 and 9 on my cake to remind me that my 19th birthday was the first one we shared together. We had just started "dating" at the time and I came to NC that year just before my birthday to meet his family for the first time. His family and I took a day trip to the mountains and hiked a trail to an overlook that had some breathtaking views! His mom got some very nice pictures of us together that day and I'll never forget the beautiful display of color that I saw every where. So, here I am now, having now celebrated my 31st birthday with my now husband of almost 12 years, and looking back, I can honestly say that I wouldn't change a thing! 

I have three beautiful children, two of which I home educate right now, and two children waiting for me in Heaven, a wonderful husband who loves his family and daily leads and directs us according to the Scriptures, a great Mom and Dad and two sisters whom I wouldn't trade for anything, 14 nieces and nephews that I am absolutely crazy about!!, and the list goes on and on. This was kind of a strange birthday this year as it has had to be a little broken up as far as celebrating it goes:-) Friday was spent doing the usual "mommy-stuff" and that night was spent running errands to finish up decorating for a ladies meeting and delivering some stuff that we had sold on Craigslist. Saturday my parents had to butcher 35 birds, but after they got all that finished, my Mom brought over chili and we had dinner complete with an absolutely delicious cake made by my friend, Liz, from "The Cafe" in Forrest City. Stephen and I were then going to try to go out tonight,(Monday night) but Saturday night Caleb woke up around 11:30 pm with a 103 temp. and he (and us!) stayed up all night trying to keep it at 103 until 6 am Sunday morning.  He's trying to cut 4-6 teeth all at one time and it's a little much for him, poor baby:-( He's still sleeping as of 9:30 am today, so IF he's doing better today, we may be able to squeeze in something between the hours of 6-8:30 pm! If not, weeelll, I guess we'll try again next year;-) 

My girls gave me some sweet cards and Audrey bought me a pair of earrings and two beautiful Mums that I have on my front porch. I love Mums, but it's one of those things that I think about but never get around to getting...they are a deep red color **MY FAVORITE!** and they look so pretty on my porch. My parents gave me an apple peeler/corer/slicer.....I know you're thinking "WHAT???", but I've always wanted one, am always borrowing my Mom's, so she bought me one so she could have hers!!.....two beautiful "vintage" style necklaces {absolutely love vintage anything!} and another milk glass vase, of which I like to collect. My ever-so-busy-crazy-schedule-husband gave me a sweet card and a gift card to ebay, though he said he would much rather just take me out, but it didn't work out this year:-) I love ebay so I will definitely enjoy getting to "shop" and use that gift card!  I'm thinking "maybe some vintage red jewelry to go with my new red shoes I just bought a few weeks ago??"  LOL!

All in all, it was a good weekend even though I did have to turn! Thankful to have another year to enjoy my family, friends, and serve the Lord in all that I do!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"No Thank You!"

This was Adalyn's response to being offered chewing gum last night from an individual who was buying something we had listed on Craigslist.  Her Daddy was bragging on her this morning and he said, "Adalyn, you did so well saying "no thank you" all by yourself. You really wanted that piece of gum didn't you?" Adalyn replied, "No, I didn't" ( you have to understand that this is a profound statement coming from my child who used to go around asking people for gum at church because she loved it so much:-) "You didn't", replied her Daddy. "Why not?"  At this moment, all our training in the area of making wise food choices just came to light at her next statement..." I didn't want it because I know what's in it"

YES! They can be taught to make the right choices If you repeat the truth loud enough and long enough, children will take the truth and  make it their own.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Baby and Me

I just noticed something the other day...I don't have many pictures of Caleb and myself together. I guess it's because I'm always the one taking the pictures:-) So, last night when we went to my parents to celebrate my Dad's birthday, I decided to get some pictures of just me and Caleb! I also had Audrey take a couple of Stephen and myself together as well, because I don't have many of those either! LOL! It's kinda hard these days to get both of us in the same vicinity for longer than a few seconds, but last night we managed to get two photos in:-)

 Isn't he just so sweet?? I love this stage that he's at right now. Everything is funny to him and he loves laughing at himself in the mirror. Chewing on things is his favorite activity and he is always ready to smile, even when his teeth are bothering him. He's starting to eat more now and REALLY likes little boy doesn't like to eat all the time?)

Sorry for the slobber on my shirt in these pictures. He drools so much as of late that I kinda just stay soggy. I have enough laundry to do without changing my shirt every two hours of the day, so that's just how it is at this stage of my life:-)

We had a good time celebrating with my Dad and I got some good pics of Dad with Caleb and Adalyn. Adalyn always "fixes" Dad's hair when they stay the night with them, but since she was there last night for the party she decided it needed to be "fixed" again:-)

Last, but definitely not least, I got a picture of my and my sweetheart:-) We were talking on the way home last night about the first time I visited his family here in NC in October of 1999, of how this December we will celebrate 12 years since we got engaged, and how in just a few months we will celebrate 12 years of marriage. Mercy! I'm not old enough for 12 years of! Well, at least I don't feel like it, though I know this Friday I will be reminded once again that I AM old!! I thought turning 30 was bad enough, but 31 just reminds me even more that I'm only 8 years away from having spent exactly half of my life with my husband. OH GOODNESS! Time is flying away so fast that I find myself hanging onto each day more and more and enjoying each little moment of joy in our home and with our kids even more than I did a couple of years ago!

God has been so good to us and He has shown Himself to be the God that He has told us through His Word that He is. He has been so faithful to us and has provided every need we've ever had, and has given us the strength and grace to accept His answers when they've not been what we thought they should have been. 

I am thankful for each new day and more so lately because as of this month, I am now able to breathe for the first time in over a year without pain. I had blogged before about my dislocated rib and possible fracture and had mentioned some things we had started doing to help that heal. I have now been two, almost three, full weeks with the rib staying in place and no pain unless I do something stupid, like mopping my kitchen floor (I have over a 350 sq foot kitchen:-)!  I made some more dietary changes, retrained myself on some better sleeping positions, added a few extra strength training exercises, and now feel better than I have felt in 3 years since the accident! Praise God! I am so thankful that my Great Physician has given me the resources to aid in healing this body that He created to be able to heal itself in the first place. It has been a long journey, but in the end it has been worth it because no invasive procedures or surgeries had to be done that would have caused further complications later on down the road. They may have provided some immediate relief, but the risks for further problems was more than I wanted to risk. I give all the glory and credit to my Heavenly Father and am so thankful that He has worked this out in my life and has taught me many valuable lessons through all this over the past three years. God is Faithful!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Free or Not-so-free? That is the question...

Why are the protesters on Wall Street?

The folks who are  getting the free stuff don't like the folks who are
paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free
stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own

The folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop,
and the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff
on top of the free stuff they are already getting!

Now... The people who are forcing the people who pay for the free stuff
have told the  people who are RECEIVING the free stuff, that the people
who are PAYING for the free stuff, are being mean, prejudiced, and

So... The people who are GETTING the free stuff have been convinced they
need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people
who are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff, and giving them
the free stuff in the  first place.

We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now
more people  getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.

Now understand this.  All great democracies have committed financial
suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded.  The
reason?  The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from
the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the
treasury in exchange for electing them.

The United States officially became a Republic in 1776, 235 years ago.
The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying
for the free stuff. We have one chance to change that.  In 2012.
Failure to change that spells the end of the United States as we know

A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!

I'M 100% for PASSING THIS ON!!!  

Let's take a stand!!!
Obama:    Gone!
Borders:    Closed!
Language: English only
Culture:    Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!
Drug Free:  Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare!
NO freebies to:   Non-Citizens!  ***may I freebies...period...if you can't afford it, you DON"T BUY IT!***

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other
people's money".  --  Margaret Thatcher

**I received this from my Grandmother and thought it a good thing to think on. Now, we as Christians know that the real fix to the problems of society are for individuals to either get saved or get right with God, but great changes can be made if we, as Christians, start paying instead of getting.
Now, I completely understand that things are tight, but if you could bring home enough fresh food to eat on for an entire week for $50 or less depending on the size of your family, would you do it? 

See, if we start buying local, we'll have plenty of money to pay for all those other things we want/need instead of getting them "free" and making someone else pay for them.

The cost of food (government subsidized grocery store food) is on the rise because the government is trying to force farmers out of business by enticing society with "freebies", coupons, sales, the grocery stores. Once they have sufficiently shut down the farmer and gotten society dependent upon their freebies and deals, they will jack the cost up so high that no one will be able to afford anything to eat UNLESS you are willing to become totally government dependent and will promise to do anything they say in exchange for your "food". 

Fresh food from local farmers markets are about 1/3 to 1/4 of the price of what is in the store...for example...I bought (this past saturday at the Columbus NC farmers market) 3 heads of cabbage weighing 3 or more pounds each for ONLY $1.00 each!!! Now, where in the world can you even get a teeny tiny cabbage (that was grown in human excrement and sprayed with butane to keep it from rotting on it's 2,000 mile trip from dirt to table) weighing only 1.5 pounds for nearly $4? Not to mention that the "organic" teeny tiny cabbage would cost you upwards of $6 or more dollars? 
I also purchased bunches of turnips with about 6-8 turnip heads in each bunch with the greens for only $2.00 a bunch, 12 ears of corn for $4, and the list goes on and on:-) There is also a lady who lives right here in Shelby who is still growing and selling produce and herbs that you can purchase. I buy beautiful large green peppers for .25 cents each every week and they are delicious! Her green bean medley is superb and I can't wait to get some pecans soon!
Oh, the farmers market also offers huge broccoli heads for $1 a head and bushels of potatoes for $12 a bushel....

See, we don't need the government's freebie stuff!! It is affordable to eat and eat just have to be willing to go and get it:-) 

A list of local resources....  (local family in Shelby offering veggies, herbs, breads, and greens)  ( a great resource for bulk foods delivered near your door)  (excellent resource for fresh pastured meat and eggs)
Columbus/Tryon Farmers Market located in downtown Columbus, NC that will be open until the week before Thanksgiving. The market is open on Saturdays from 8:00 to 11:30 am  ( great resource for bulk grains right in Hendersonville NC) I just purchased 50 lbs of organic rolled oats for only $31.00!! Now, you can't get healthy cereal any cheaper than that!!! 

Have a great day and as my dad always says, "Here's to putting a face on the food".....Lauren


Thursday, October 13, 2011

7 months old and a party!

Guess who's 7 months old?? Yep, hard to believe it, but he is! So, here he is...

 Yummy, yummy, yummy, he loves his soaked oatmeal with pureed apples and pears!!

 He absolutely loves to be outside and cries incessantly until he can go out...well, I don't get much done sitting on the front porch (rain or shine:-) all day so I had to improvise...this option seems to work so at least for 30 min. a day, I can get something!

I think if he weren't teething so bad, he'd be happier with occupying himself, but alas...we have several more teeth on the way so right now we don't do much except try to keep the house semi clean, attempt to keep ourselves from looking like the Beverly Hillbillies, and comfort ourselves with the fact that "this too shall pass":-) 

Maybe I'll get a baby that decides to that would be a HAPPY day! He does say "mama" and sometimes says "dada", eats soaked oats with pureed apple and pears, is trying to sit up more on his own, loves to bang on the piano, and laughs hysterically at his sisters as they run around like wild Indians trying to entertain him:-) All in all, he's a sweet boy, just a little uncomfortable right now:-)

Now, the other big happening of the month was my nephew and nieces birthday party for which I made the cake. I posted pictures last week of a sneak peek and now I will post pictures of the party and decorations...turned out really cute!

 Such a happy little guy:-) Hard to believe he's now 4! and oh, how he reminds us all the time that he's a big guy

                     Don't you just want to go kiss and squeeze those chubby!?

All the kids had a hard time waiting for the birthday to start and we got some cute pictures of those anticipating little faces:-) So hard to believe our little Kay-kay is now 2 and JD is 4! I asked him the day after his birthday if he was too old now for hugs and kisses and he said "yeah" (with his sweet little drawl:-) and I then acted like I was crying and sniffing, of which he though was terribly funny. I then told him that was fine and that I would just give Baby Ethan all my hugs and kisses since he was too big. He stared at me for a minute and then said, "No, I'm not too big!" and gave me a big hug and a kiss:-) I love each one of my nieces and nephews and am so happy that I get to share their special moments with them...I love it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Just a quick sneek peek at JD and Kaylah's Farm Cake and cupcakes...

Will post pictures on Saturday of the whole set up complete with MaryEllen's decor...gonna be cute! Had a lot of fun doing this cake...probably will do it again in just about 5 months from now for a certain little man's first birthday;-)