FREE ebook giveaway….When the clouds roll in: Finding contentment in the midst of the storm



Have you been experiencing the cloud of doom more times than you would like in your life? Does it seem that the clouds get heavier and heavier until they engulf you and you don’t know how to make them go away? This book has been written to help women overcome the obstacles that cloud out their vision of what God has for them. it covers four areas that are stumbling blocks for women: unforgiveness, taking offense, the need to control, and devaluing ourselves.

God wants you to have fullness of Him and a life that is filled with overwhelming joy. We should be experiencing him in our lives everyday. When those storm clouds start rolling in, it can be hard to see the goodness that God has for us. This study is meant to remove those clouds and allow you to find contentment in the midst of the storm.

I am giving away FREE copies for the next 72 hours !

How do you go about bringing change in women?? You spread the word! I am asking that after you read the book you do the following:

  • Give a review on Amazon.  Here is the link
  • Write a review on your blog with a link back here
  • Share it with another woman that you think would benefit from applying principles used for healing and change
  • Let me know what you think–send me an email

Spread the word for the next 72 hours that this will be FREE as a download!

Experiencing the “Cloud of Doom”

It’s 7:00 am, you awaken to the sound of a crying baby. One look at the alarm clock, makes you realize that you overslept, again. Time to jump out of bed, grab the baby, and sit down to feed her. If only she could eat faster, sigh. Your head is foggy from the lack of sleep last night. It seems the toddler, wakes up more than the baby and the preschooler is having a hard time sleeping through the night lately. You looked at the clock multiple times throughout the night and realize that you have been awoken every hour on the hour. You sigh and wonder if life will get any easier?

As you lay the baby back down, you decide to shower for a quick pick me up. It seems that this is the ONLY time that you are able to have a quiet moment with the Lord. It happens only as you are rinsing the shampoo out of your hair because you know that if you take more than the allotted seven minutes, your morning is going to be put further behind than it already is. You pray for patience, peace, and happiness for the day. You ask God to fill you because you are empty and feel so incomplete. Your mind starts to wander and you relive the things that your husband had said to you that stung your conscious last night. You start to think of your friend, whom you had lunch with yesterday, and how content and easy going she appeared while you visited. You listened to her share all that God was doing good in her life, you outwardly rejoiced with her, but inside it hurt. Why wasn’t He doing anything good in your life?

Now your mind starts racing. You begin to question yourself “Why can’t I figure things out? I feel like such a failure as a wife and as a mom. I’m just not happy the way my life is going.

Will I ever get through this?”

As the rest of your day unfolds, your mountain begins to grow. Between the crying babies, busy toddlers, and fighting preschoolers it seems that life is overwhelming. Your husband may call and ask you to take care of something unexpectedly and you get offended at him because of the bitterness you are still seething from last night. Doesn’t he realize all that you are doing now? What he asks of you, you do it. But all the while you are thinking what a jerk he is for not realizing that you are busy enough.

As you continue to constantly dwell on all the negativity in your life, you feel like this cloud of doom is overtop of you. It is a heaviness that won’t go away. The storm clouds continue to roll in day after day and covers you. Does it every go away? You pray and ask God for clarity and it seems He doesn’t even answer. Inside you feel empty.

Any of this sound familiar? For myself, this was reality. It seems that life was overwhelming and I felt the cloud of doom rolling in, more times than I‘d like to admit. I tried to read my Bible and pray, but it just seemed that God wasn’t listening to me, was He? It took me awhile to get out of my misery. It took the prayers and help from some good faithful women who were willing to teach me and help me with my walk in the Lord It seems I would get on track and do good for awhile and then something would happen and I would be back at the place I was before I had my “breakthrough.” That isn’t the way it should be.

When the Lord showed me to write this book, I sat down and all of the information just flowed.  These are all issues that I have dealt with in my past. Things that have held me back from the goodness that He has given to me.  Once I started “opening my eyes” and being set free from the things that have weighed me down, then life changed.  Things got stirred up and all of the years of bitterness, anger, stress, not feeling good enough, not going anywhere, were slowly being lifted and I was a new person.

God  wants to use us as moms, wives, and women who will move forward and operate with Him as the center of our lives.  We have so many great things to accomplish but if we are all not doing our part and what God has for us, then we are missing out. Don’t just think that you are not good enough or that you are too busy as a mom of little ones.  God has such a great plan and expectation for your life, but we have to WANT to have it, to enjoy it!

It covers four areas that have been huge stumbling blocks in my life:

  • Unforgiveness
  • The need to control
  • Taking offense
  • Devaluing ourselves

Where do you begin???  How can you let go of past abuse from someone, whom you don’t want to forgive?  What do you do when you live with an unsaved spouse and you feel like if you allow things your family will be destroyed?   How about the years of guilt from holding onto things from your past that you just can’t seem to get over?  What about the roots of bitterness that have grown in your marriage that you just can’t seem to cut loose from?


You come back tomorrow and grab a download of my book!  It will be available for 72 hours for FREE!

Start changing your life because you deserve so much more!!!

See you tomorrow!


A day at the Lake……large family style.

One of the wonderful benefits of living here in Western North Carolina, are all the wonderful places that you get to explore.  One of our very favorite spots is in Pickens, South Carolina.  Table Rock State Park has been our family’s favorite outing, so much that we have gone almost every weekend this past year.

During the cooler months it was more desolate with not as many people.  We enjoyed hiking in the mountain and along the natural springs flowing down the boulders.  We would take our dinners and BBQ while the children enjoyed playing on the play equipment.

Then Memorial Day happened and the lake opened up!  The park became a happening spot for tourists. This never stopped us, we enjoyed going every weekend, among the crowds.  The only thing we did different, was not to rely on getting a grill, because there were so many people and not enough of them to cook on.

Here is a typical day of what we do and how we prepare:

Each person grabs items that they are responsible for, this can be:

Daddy and Evan–fishing gear, fold up wagon, foldable chairs for everyone, umbrella for beach, bucket of sand toys, 10 blow up inner tubes, foot pump, and swimming noodles.

Brooklyn–grabs our reusable shopping bag and gets 11 beach towels.

Jadyn-makes sure to get a pair of clean clothing all rolled up for each child for after swimming.  We may put a rubber band around the clothing to keep it into place.  We place in a tote bag.

Autumn-fills up all of the waters and places them in the smaller cooler along with string cheese and a box of crackers for mid day snack.  I also put small bathroom cups in this cooler to keep all of their snacks contained while eating on the beach.

Lauren and I -take care of the food. Normally I cook chicken breast and chicken drumsticks on low overnight in my oven.  I might marinade it in Italian dressing or cook it with a BBQ sauce.  In the morning we have very tender, pull apart shredded chicken for sandwiches.  We grab pita bread, pickles, mild pepper rings, cheese slices, lettuce, and ranch dressing to make our sandwich complete.  I take a bag of chips and a whole watermelon.  I take along a baggie for the remains of the watermelon as well as a knife and plastic cutting board.  We serve all of this on paper plates for easy cleanup.  Sometimes we take veggies and hummus, depending upon if we have them for the week.


Here is the van all loaded up and ready to go!  We are looking at it being 100 degrees in Pickens this day.  IMG_20150808_123255

Here they are all buckled in ready to go.  We put Madelyn up front, she is the child most likely to get car sick while driving.  We place an empty ice cream bucket under her seat for such cases.  I try and put an older child in each of the rows.  It makes it easier when traveling in case someone needs something.IMG_20150808_133350

If we leave out early on a Saturday, we might stop and pick up $5 pizzas at Little Caesers.  I keep a pair of scissors in the van to be able to cut the slices down smaller for little ones to eat easier in the van.  I brought along paper plates before we left.  This makes for an easy lunch, while driving.  We also will stop and grab a Starbucks for my husband and myself.  An iced hazelnut macchiato with coconut milk—-my favorite little weekend treat!IMG_20150808_133359

Here the girls were being silly while driving.  We only need 3 large pizzas and I grab a Greek salad for myself to eat.  We also get some crazy bread.  Inexpensive and easy.IMG_20150808_144102

As soon as we get to the beach, we spray the little ones down with sunscreen and they jump right in the water.  As I am watching them, Dad sets up the Sport Brella—a wonderful thing he purchased this year and the fun begins.  He originally got this umbrella so that we could have a little place to escape from the sunshine and the little ones love to go and sit under it for awhile during the day.  We have found that it works great for those Carolina storms that seem to just pop up out of nowhere.  Usually it rains for 5-20 minutes every day and then completely clears up.  Something about the way the mountains are situated in the embarkment, well whatever the reason, we have just grown accustomed to the fact that it is going to rain while we are out.  Usually we just sit right through it but hubby got the Sport Brella and now we have protection!  He sits up there and starts blowing up the inner tubes.  All 10 of them!IMG_20150808_144114

Here is our base by the water.  You can’t set up umbrellas in front of the life guards so we have two zones at the lake.  We use the PVC tube stuck into the sand to store our tubes on in case a storm blows up.  It will only last for a few moments but enough to blow our tubes far away!IMG_20150808_144126

The lake is very child and family friendly. It is covered with life guards.  Lots of watching and a great place for my little ones to swim in without me worrying.  IMG_20150808_144159

These tubes are great.  We picked them up at Walmart for $5 and they have been a huge hit all summer long.  We pump these up and deflate them at least 3-4 times per week.   We go to the local lake and use them during the week, Dad will take them tubing with the older ones, and then we use them for the weekend.  We have plenty and usually someone else at the lake asks to use them as well.  Well worth the $5 investment. IMG_20150808_144205

Here is our pile of sand toys.  I use buckets from Sams Club to hold everything in.  Lots of shovels, trucks, boats, and even some water dolls.  IMG_20150808_144416

Here I am taking a selfie for a friend:)  Loving the sunshine!IMG_20150808_163037

The children are enjoying a snow cone treat.  A nice way to cool off.  If you notice they are all wearing matching swimsuits.  It is much easier to scan a crowd and find all of the matching outfits.

They also have a huge diving platform that Evan spends his entire time on.  Lauren and I jumped off it and it was fun, I am just getting too old for stuff like that.  Safe in the water:)  The lake closes at 6 and then it is time to move.  We start deflating tubes around  5:30 and then Dad packs us up.  We head to the van and I start changing children.  Someone holds a towel over the door for privacy and we put them in their dry clothing.  I stack all of their wet suits and towels into a dishpan that I have stored in my van and then when I get home it goes right in the washer.  IMG_20150808_190812

At this point, most of the park vacates, we are left with only a few stray families.  Then it gets quiet.  We set up the chairs and the children start fishing.  IMG_20150808_190826

It is a beautiful view, very calm, and peaceful.   IMG_20150808_191033

Here Brooklyn helps Stephen with his pole.  IMG_20150808_191159

My husband has taught the children the importance of being quiet while fishing.  As soon as I walk over to see how they are doing, they are already in a hushed whisper.  Far from the loudness at the beach!

We then pull out our food and make sandwiches to eat.  Easy and simple.  Clean up is easy and then they go play on the play structure or continue on with fishing.IMG_20150808_191934

Before we go, we find a grill and roast marshmallows.  We miss this as we had a fire pit at our old home and do not here.  This is something the children look forward to doing each weekend. I bought a pack of 100 wooden skewers and that should last us all summer.  IMG_20150808_192232

Here Jentzen is enjoying his Kit Kat candy bar smore.IMG_20150808_192242

Stephen likes the Reeses peanut butter cup ones.  Another simple and easy desert, that the children are making fun memories doing this summer.IMG_20150808_202245As the sun sets, it is time to head back home.  We look forward to driving through the mountain ranges from South Carolina to North Carolina.  It is a sight to behold.  Pictures don’t do it justice, but it is our favorite place here on earth.

Home to unload.  All of the chairs, wagon, and toys get put on the deck.  In the morning we will make sure that the sand is off them and completely dry before putting away.  The tubes we lay over the railing to ensure dryness.  We then stack them back in the baskets and put in our storage area.  The wet bathing suits go directly into the washer.  I hang up the suits when they are finished and put the towels in the dryer.  The coolers get emptied and set out to dry before closing.  The van gets a good sweep and then our weekend is complete.  Baths are given and children tucked into bed.  Everyone should sleep good tonight.

large family organization part 3

large family organization series

Our large family organization series takes us to our dining room and hallways.  We have the same table that we have had for a few years now.  It is a heavy duty, commercial style table.  That  means that it can take its wear and tear from our large busy family.


We have used this table for:

  • all of our meals
  • cookie roll out and decorating
  • playdough playing
  • my husband’s woodworking, when he needs a large flat surface to paint on
  • a holder of towels when we fold towels during the week
  • a painting table for the children
  • our homeschooling area
  • a place to stack all of our meals when making our market meals for the tailgate market
  • a place to play family games
  • a holder for groceries when our once a month trip unloads
  • a play table for lego creations
  • a place to draw pictures
  • a place to sit and have coffee and talk
  • a gathering place for friends

We use our table for all kinds of activities.  I had my husband make us benches for everyone to sit on.  They take up less space and are real quick to wipe off.  I could not imagine sticky fingers and dirty chair rungs that I would have to wipe off each week. I absolutely love it!

IMG_20150629_140630I also love that we have wood floors throughout our home. It makes clean up a breeze.  I would never trade in any other type of flooring.  This works great for our rough family.  My favorite is when our youngest will ride his bike in the home and people look at me like “Did he just ride a bike through here?”  Fun, fun!  Probably would have never allowed that with the older children—but as you get older, you get a little more lenient and not so strict on everything—well at least I did:)!



Our walls hold all of our family and friend memories.  I started making these Modge Podge photo collages and now it has become an addiction.  I will never just throw photos on a CD to be left in my hope chest again!  Every year, I go through my photos and choose some to be printed off.  Then we adorn our walls with them.    IMG_20150629_140640

This is my favorite—because it is kind of a conversation starter.  Let me share the story.  When we moved here, we did not have sufficient basement space.  We need our large freezer and we had to put it upstairs.  Unfortunately I love the old style ones that will last and last and last.  This has been in rotation for probably 30 years or more.  But it is full of rust and not so pretty looking.  We were going to paint it, but I would need to remove the food and take it back outside to paint it, something that was more hassle than anything.  So I decided to adorn it with my photo collages.  Every person that comes over is like, “Is that a freezer?”  So fun.IMG_20150629_140647

It is a fun thing to look at, good memories!  On top we hold our baskets for the tailgate market.  We do this every Thursday and it holds our money change, our signs, and all of our paperwork that we take.  It is out of the way so we keep it here.  IMG_20150629_140655

I have our clipboards that we used Modge Podge on in our dining/kitchen area as well.  I hold our chore lists on it now and any other important paperwork for the children. As school begins, I will give each child one so that any reminders can go on it.  IMG_20150629_140744

The  hallways hold our photo collages.  We made a simple wood frame out of wood slats from Lowes and painted them black.  Inexpensive and easy.  IMG_20150629_140758I told my husband  in our next home, I want long hallways or one big room dedicated to my photo collages.  How neat that would be to decorate the entire wall with family and friends? Hmmmm just an idea.

Dining room and hallways are simple.  Up next we will tackle the children’s bedrooms.

Homeschooling our large family for FREE this year part 2

I put together a video of how we are going to be homeschooling our large family completely free this year.  Watch it and see how I organized and put the information together.  You can do all the same stuff—using the resources here and from your local library.  Be blessed!



Here is a PDF of our schedule this year:

Download (PDF, 243KB)