July 2, 2012


Have you heard of the SodaStream System?  If not, you need to know what this is!!!  It is a device that allows users to take ordinary tap water and carbonate it to create carbonated soda (or water) to drink.

I bought Jad one for his birthday.  There are different types of the SodaStream.  I decided on the Genesis.  It wasn't the top of the line, but it wasn't the bottom either.  The machine comes with the carbonator (that I already installed before I took this picture), two bottles and caps, and a pack of 12 samples.  There are over 50 flavors to choose from.  I started with buying Orange and Cola.  I was very happy about the sample pack because it allowed us to try flavors that we probably would have never tried.   

One of the things I love about SodaStream is the fact that we do not have to lug in anymore heavy bottles or canned drinks anymore.  We do not have to worry about storing all those bulky 2 liter bottles and cases of canned drinks anymore either.

To set it up, all I did was pull it out of the box, insert the carbonator.  
I washed the 2 bottles and caps and we were ready to make some carbonated beverages!   

Jad and Tanman made our first bottle of Orange.  It is so easy to make the soda. 
All you have to do is fill the bottle with tap water up to the line indicated on the bottle. 

Then screw the bottle in to the cap holder on the device. 

Give the button three pushes to put the carbonation in the water, unscrew the bottle. 

Then you pour the syrup in the bottle. 

Gently turn the bottle over and under a couple of times. 

Then pour the drink in a glass. 

And Enjoy!!

Ummm...Amazingly delicious!!!!  I am so impressed with this product!! 

This would make a great gift to someone or yourself!!


*Disclaimer: The opinions stated in this post are 100% mine and I have not been compensated for this post in any way.

June 16, 2012

RC/Moonpie Festival

If you are not from where I live, then you probably have not heard of the RC/Moonpie Festival. 
It is held annualy in Bell Buckle, TN.
AND if you do not know what a Moonpie is....
This year is actually the first year that I have been to the festival.
The weather was nice and we had a great time!!

Don't we look adorable??

Tanman got to make some awesome sand art!

Tanman L.O.V.E.S. trains! 
So, when we heard the train coming we had to stop and watch it go by.
Daddy and Son watching the train.

There was a parade and Tanman loved it!
He had a blast running around gathering candy that was thrown.
Good times! Good times!

The above picture of Tanman playing a trumpet was a hoot!
I had to stop and use the porta potty.
Jad and my MIL were waiting for me with Tanman.
All of a sudden, Tanman drops his hat on the ground turned up and started playing his trumpet
like a musician on the street trying to earn money!!
It was hilarious!!!!
When I came out I saw this.
A older gentleman walked by and saw him and started dancing.
It was the sweetest thing and made my day!!
As you can see, Tanman earned $0.25!
Pretty good for tootin' his own horn.

All in all it was an awesome day!!
Especially watching this little guy have a blast!


June 14, 2012

2 Years and It Is Not Any Easier...

On this day, two years ago at 12:30pm, I watched as my Dad took his last breath and his heart beat its last beat.  I would not take anything for the priviledge of being there, but oh how that moment plays in my head time and time again.  Cancer took my Dad's life.  I truly believe that every single person has been or knows someone that has been affected by cancer.  Cancer is a monster that usually wins.  If not at first, in the end. 

My Dad was the strongest person I ever knew.  He knew how to do anything and everything.  His hands were so big and strong.  He was rough around the edges but oh how big his heart was!  He was a truck driver for over 30 years, but was able to enjoy retirement for over 7.  He had over 3 million safety miles.  That means that he drove over 3 million miles without having an accident.  That is huge!  He hated driving that big ole truck, but he did it for his family.

He was a cowboy through and through!  He.loved.horses.  He loved them since he was a little boy.  I used to say that I bet he had a butt of leather from riding horses so much.  One time, one of his horses had a baby and she wouldn't let the baby nurse.  My Dad was in that barn every two hours for days feeding that baby horse with a bottle.  Because of what my Dad did, that foal bonded with him and she loved my Dad so much.  When he would come around she would walk up to him and put her head and neck around him as if to hug him.  She is the sweetest horse (and the biggest!!) I have ever seen!!  When I was younger, he built a big barn behind our house for his horses.  He would "shoe" his own horses.  I bet he rode a million miles on his horses.  =)

Later in life he fell in love with motorcycles, so he bought one.  He crossed this country multiple times on that bike.  He rode with two of his good buddies.  They would be gone for two or three weeks at a time.  They would say that whenever Dad's motorcycle started heading back east (to come home), it was "hammer down all the way buddy."  He loved home.

My Dad saw many things in his life and lived his life to the fullest and that I am so happy about. 

He died at the age of 68, which I feel is a young age.  Especially when he kept himself in good shape.  My Dad first found out he had cancer in 2002 when he when to urinate and it was pure blood.  The testing showed he had Stage IV bladder cancer.  But what is amazing is the fact that the doctors were able to remove his bladder and create a new one with part of his colon.  The "new" bladder learned to work just like it was supposed to.  My Dad didn't have to go through chemotherapy nor radiation.  What a blessing!

Then on September 11, 2009, I was at my best friends house that is in Ohio (I live in Tennessee).  My mom calls me and says, "Happy Birthday.  We got the results back about your Dad.  It's cancer.  It is behind his stomach this time.  They are going to start chemotherapy in a few weeks....blah, blah, blah." At that point, I really didn't hear anything else she said because for one I didn't even know he was sick again.  Two, I couldn't believe she just said, "Happy Birthday" to me because obviously how could it be a happy birthday when the next words out of her mouth were, "it's cancer." Three, I was almost 400 miles away and I wanted to be holding my Dad right then.  The diagnosis was not going to change in the next little bit, couldn't she have waited until I got home? 

God works in mysterious ways.  I was working at a dentist's office at the time and within a couple of weeks of finding out about my Dad's cancer, I was let go from my job.  I was upset because Jad and I definitely needed the income.  However, me losing my job was such blessing because when my Dad had his chemo treatments, I was there sitting next to him.  He had to have a procedure a couple of times and I was able to take him.

This is when it really got hard because I watched as my Dad got weaker because of the chemo.  Oh my goodness!!!  How sad it is to watch what chemo does to someone.  I wish so much that scientists could come up with a chemo that would just attack abnormal cells, not the good ones.  The red mustache I had always known my dad to have was gone.  He was already bald and what little hair he had on his head he shaved. =)  So, that was not a big deal.  But, seeing him without that mustache was sad.       

His cancer went into remission in April of 2010.

May.2010.  I don't know what happened, but that cancer came back and it came back with a vengeance.  It had metastasized to his lungs and liver and other places I probably don't know about.  He had to walk with a cane and he had to lie down a lot.

His family reunion has always been the first weekend in June.  That year his brothers and sisters had moved it to the second weekend.  My Dad wanted to go just like every year before and he did.  He was only able to stay for about an hour and most of that was lying down on my aunt's bed.  I remember lying down next to him on that bed that day.  That day was Saturday, June 12th.

June 14th, Monday morning came and I was at work (I had started my new job on May 3, 2010).  My brother-in-law called me at 9:30am and he said, "You know I told you that I would always shoot it to you straight, right?" I told him yes.  Then he said, "You need to come on down here.  Your Dad is not doing well." I knew my Dad wasn't doing well, but I didn't know it was that bad.  So, I left work and drove so fast to my mom and Dad's house praying the whole way to God that he wouldn't take my Daddy.  When I got there, he was lying back in his recliner and my oldest sister was sitting in a chair next to him.  By the way, she and my brother-in-law had moved to Washington, D.C. a month prior to this and by the grace of God they had come down to visit and go to the family reunion.  When I walked in, she told Dad I was there.  He looked up at me with those big ole blue eyes.  But he couldn't talk.  He.was.very.sick.  He was just lying there with his head turned to one side and then he would turn it to the other side.  A little bit later, my middle sister got there.  A very good friend of my Dad's that my he had met years ago because her horses needed shelther in a snow storm came with her daughter, Courtney, that is a nurse and is a friend of my Dad's as well.

When my Dad woke up that morning, he vomited up black stuff (probably dried blood) and he told my mom it was time.  It was time to call Hospice.

My poor sweet dad in the past was very resistant to pain.  He had even broken a finger before and just let it heal on it's own.  Of course, he never could bend it all the way after that.  Well, when he could muffle up enough energy to talk, he would tell Courtney he needed morphine.  When I think about this it saddens me because he must have been in so much pain.

Courtney talked to the Hospice representative and asked her to call in medication and oxygen for my Dad, as well as a hospital bed.

They were in route.

My Dad and his sister Ruby are very close.  She had just been there that weekend for the reunion.  She had left the night before to go back home to Texas.  My mom called her to let her know that she needed to head back.  She wanted to talk to my Dad.  My mom held the phone up to his ear.  Aunt Ruby was telling him to hold on because she was on her way.  He said, "You better hurry."

A little bit after that, my mom, my two sisters and I were sitting around my Dad right next to him.  We were touching him and talking to him.  He wasn't talking.  Then, my mom whispered in his ear, "If you need to go you go, we will be alright."  I thought I was going to lose it right there.  I silently sobbed because I knew the inevitable was coming.  Within a few minutes, my Dad's eyes shot open and he started breathing real hard and loud like he was fighting for those last breaths.  We hollered for Courtney to come.  She came running and put the stethoscope on him.  My reflex was to tell him to keep breathing, so I was crying, "Keep breathing Daddy! Keep breathing!"  Then I soon realized that was not going to happen.  I looked over at my sister and said, "Is this it!?"  I wanted my Dad to know I loved him, so I made sure I told him.  He layed his head back and that.was.it.  I looked over at Courtney and she shook her head no to tell me there was no heartbeat.  All I could say was, "Oh Daddy. Oh Daddy." 

The phone calls started.
Hospice was told to turn back.  We did not need to see them show up.  They were too late.
My mom called my Aunt Ruby.  She was devastated that she didn't get there in time.  But she was still on her way.
My mom called the rest of my Dad's brothers and sisters.
I called my husband that was on his way with Tanman. 
Z was in the next room, but I did not want him to watch his Papa die. 
My mom went in the room where he and my sister's boys were and told them.

This was something that I am not sure what to make of.  Z had been outside when Dad's heart stopped.  Z came in the house and when the door closes, it kind of slams.  When Z came in and closed the door, my Dad's heart started back up.  Courtney still had her stethoscope on him.  His heart beat a few more beats and then stopped again.  It was like he thought Hospice was there because he had been asking if they were there yet or if they were close.   

My Dad had told my Mom a couple of weeks before that this was like a freight train.  He couldn't stop it.  He just hated that he wouldn't be able to be here to protect her anymore and that he wouldn't be here to watch his grandsons grow up to be men. 

Time.stood.still.  The first grandson had passed away at the age of seven in 1996.  My Dad was with him now.  The other four grandsons that he would not get to watch grow up to be men were 13, 9, 8, and 2.

When I had got there that morning, he said he was burning up, but on the outside he was really cold.  So, when he passed we didn't have to feel his body go cold.  I touched his hands and face as much as I could and I kissed the top of his head as much as I could because I knew the funeral directors would be there to take him away sooner or later.

I would never get to talk to my Dad again.  Never. Ever. 

My Dad had always told me, "I'm gonna live forever."  He didn't realize that it would only be in our hearts.


May 31, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge...Day 31

Why I Blog

This is the last day of the 31 Day Blog Challenge.
I have enjoyed it so much!!
I just started this blog recently and this challenge has helped me grow.

There are many different reasons people blog.

Just like there are different reasons I started this blog.
I wanted to record things in my life to be able to look back on.
As well for my family to look back on and reminisce.
It's sort of a .com scrapbook if you will.
I also wanted to connect with other bloggers.
There are millions upon millions of blogs out there in the blog world
and if I connect with just a few of those, it will be awesome!
I also hope to inspire, even if it is just one person, in one way or another
through my blog.
To be honest, at this point, I really do not know what direction my blog will go.
Right now, it is about my life and my family
and it is perfectly fine with me for it to stay that way.
I just want it to go on the path that my God wants it to go on for His glory.


I am linking to

May 30, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge...Day 30

What's in my Makeup Bag

I am one of those that put my makeup on in the car.
Yes, I'm one of those people that you get mad at that is driving with one knee,
putting on eyeliner with one hand while holding my eyelid closed with the other hand.
I have put my makeup on like this for YEARS.
I am not really sure why.
I guess I need something to do while I'm driving.
Seriously, I do get bored when I am driving.

So, my makeup bag has almost all of my makeup in it.

Then I have a lipstick/lipgloss bag that I keep in my purse.

What's in your make up bag?


I am linking to

Wordless Wednesdays


May 29, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge...Day 29

Where I Have Traveled

Unfortunately, I do not have readily available pictures to share of all the places I have travelled.
So I am just going to list them.  Ok?  Ok.
Here goes in no particular order...
  • Florida
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Kentucky
  • Ohio
  • Indiana
  • Virginia
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Texas
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Bahamas
  • Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Mississippi
  • Washington, D.C.
If you notice, I have never been overseas.
I would love to go to London someday.
Other than that, there are a lot of places here in the States that I want to visit.

Where have you traveled?


I am linking up to

May 28, 2012

Memorial Day


31 Day Blog Challenge...Day 28

What I am Looking Forward To


My husband and I are on the Dave Ramsey plan.
We attended Dave's Financial Peace University last year
and are still working his plan.

I CANNOT wait to be debt free!

To owe money is such a burden.

"and the borrower becomes the lender's slave."
Prov. 22:7b

That is exactly how I feel!
I feel like this debt rules me!
I feel like we can't do the things we want to do because of our debt.

It is very hard getting out of debt.
But I know the end is in site
and when we pay off that last dollar
we will get to give ol' Dave a call and say



I am linking to

May 27, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge...Day 27

My Favorite Recipe

Some of you may have never heard of this recipe
and some of you might think it sounds gross
but it's not.
And it is my favorite recipe in the whole wide world!
This is a recipe of my Mom's
and when she makes it
it is such a treat!!!!

It is called...
Chocolate 'n Biscuit

Chocolate Gravy:

  • 1/3 stick butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar  
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups whole milk

Heat butter in a cast iron skillet over low heat.  Mix in sugar, flour and cocoa.  Slowly pour 1 cup of milk into the skillet and wisk well to remove lumps.  Whisk in remaining milk, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, being careful not to scorch.  Serve hot over biscuits.


I am linking to

The Ball Claw Giveaway at Organizing Homelife

Ginny over at Organizing Homelife is giving away a set of Ball Claws.

These are the coolest things!!

They are made of hard plastic, but are slightly flexible.
A ball pops in or out very easily.]
They come in several sizes for all types of balls including,
soccer balls
and even kids' bouncy balls!

They attach to the wall easily with the screws and anchors provided in the package.
A cover hides the screws and makes it look really cool!!

You can win a set of 3 ball claws!

Just go to Organizing Homelife to enter here.

If you would like to purchase the Ball Claw, go to their website here.


May 26, 2012

31 Day Blog Challenge...Day 26

An Old Photo of Me

Oh yeah!!
Check out the banana clipped hair!!
I think I was around 13 or 14 in this pic.
Whew! I was putting a hole in the ozone layer back then!!


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