insights from a daughter of the King, teacher, farmer's wife, and Mommy


Thankful Thursday 2017 {week 2}

26.  Jessica, my sister in law - she gets me

27.  This song

28.  Fair Trade Friday!

29.  sermons that hit you in the heart and gut

30.  home

31.  students who bring hot tamales!!  like real, authentic ones

32.  rainy fall days

33.  honesty

34. -  I mean really who has time to shop

35.  students who take care of each other

36.  church homecoming

37.  God's plan that isn't my own

38.  teachers - you people are heros

39.  Addie's love of reading

40.  this boy - never ceases to amaze me

41.  running water

42.  friends who hand me coffee

43.  waffles - so much better than pancakes

44.  family gatherings

45.  Christmas shopping!

46.  my students working so hard

47.  the ability to change

48.  wiggly teeth

49.  new vocabulary words

50.  Every man and woman who has fought for our great country - Thank you for you sacrifice!!!

 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:12


Thankful Thursday 2017 {week 1}

1.  Jesus died for my me, despite all my badness and undeserving.
2.  My husbands support, love, kindness, and all the other things he does for me that I take for sirius XM radio and coffee.  
3.  Addie's successful surgery of tonsil and adenoid removal.  She came through like the rock star she is.  
4.  Owen completed another football season and never once complained about the running and hard practices or losses.  
5.  This statement that has stuck with me all week in my decisions, in my life just as with Ruth.  We must choose

commitment over convenience

6. My mom and dad :)
7. Have I told you how much I love coffee and I'M so thankful for coffee....everyday!
8. Letters from students that say thanks you made a difference
9.  Listening to Addie - sing all the time, talk all the time - excited about life all the time
10.  Christmas music - yes we are already listening
11.  Vacuum cleaners - how do we make so much dirt
12.  Sunday School Class
13.  Listening to Owen play music is one of my most favorite thing to do.
14.  We went on a family vacation this summer and the memories we made.  

15. All the people who help my family.  There is way to many to name, but I know that it takes a village and my children wouldn't be able to do a lot of things if there weren't so many people helping us out.  
16. TIME CHANGE - you know I love it
17.  the color in the leaves this year
18. the community I live in - the way they reach out to one another
19. my friend Kimberly - she makes me laugh and makes me feel loved
20. the way the holy spirit bugs you till you listen
21. my brother - who all my life has loved me just the way I am, he has never one told me to be different or to change or that I wasn't good enough or pretty enough, he just loves me the way I am - everyone should have a brother like mine
22.  my students this year -they are amazing, I am blessed every day to be their teacher
to see this boy smile

24.  basketball season!!!
25.  stolen moments of writing


To my middle schooler

It seems like yesterday we were reading Kissing Hand and you wore size 5T.  

Tomorrow you enter your first day of middle school, how is that even possibly.  I think I've been more emotional over this one than Kindergarten, perhaps because middle school is real to me. Sorry, not sorry, your mom is a middle school teacher and you might not ever get a cellphone in your life. 

I can you promise you middle school is going to change you and that some days are going to be bad and some days are going to be "ok" and some days are going to be amazing.  And some days ever emotion in the world will pass through you at some point.  You are going to grow and you are going to look in the mirror and not know what to think or what is happening or who you are.  You are going to learn about good things and bad things, sex and drugs, algebra and geometry, colleges and careers, your going to get your feelings hurt and your going to hurt other people's feelings.  

I hope you always listen before you talk, soak in as much learning as you possible can, have the wisdom to decide what is good and what is bad, file away what you need for your future and forget the petty stuff.  I hope that you make friends with those that aren't friendly, that you are humble and kind to all. I hope you wear deodorant every day.  I hope you laugh till your stomach hurts every day.  I hope you make a few friends that last your whole life.  I hope you smile at your teacher and tell them thank you even when the lesson plan isn't going well.  I hope you hold the door and say good morning.  I hope you wash your hands after you go to the bathroom.  I hope you give every day a chance to be better than the day before.  I hope you are true to yourself, don't change what you like for others.  I hope you share the love of Jesus with someone.   I hope you read when they tell you to read and ask questions when you don't understand.  I hope that you take your  punishments for rolling your eyes, running your mouth, lying, not working as hard you can, {insert other middle school behavior}, and work to be better. I hope you manage your time well.  But if at some point you need help with these things, I'll be here to dust you off and pick you up and hug you.  Someday's you aren't going to like me, but that's ok.  I know that, I'm still going to help you and grounding might be involved.  You'll thank me one day.  Remember, I'll be praying for you every day.  You pray for me too, it ain't easy being a mom.

Never forget that no matter what, I love you.

I'm here to listen.
I'm here to lean on.
I believe in you!
You are going to do amazing things!
God has big plans for you!
Have a blast! Enjoy every second! 💗



Keep throwing Starfish!

State mandated testing can cause teachers to hang their heads. 

As scores come in and the data is broken down, it's easy to get down on our self and to think that what we do isn't making a difference. We aren't getting high enough growth or even proficiency. 

But as my dear colleague, Shelley, reminded me we all have our starfish.  

Maybe it wasn't math, science, social studies, or reading that you made a difference, 
but in behavior, self confidence, writing, public speaking, conflict resolution, or leadership skills, 
OR maybe you grew one kid 21 points in math.

We all have some starfish that because we picked them up.....IT MADE A DIFFERENCE.

Heads up teachers, keep throwing starfish!  

Most of all remember, Jesus don't care about testing.  You aren't going to show up at the pearly gates and be asked about your test scores.  But you will be asked about this....

Colossians 3:23-23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 

Teaching is a calling.  It's ministry and Jesus work.   


what my daughter taught me today

"I made a new friend today," she says.

"He's nice."

"Well, he was today."

"He's not, he hasn't always, he sometimes isn't......"  thinks a minute

"He's learning to be nice, mom."

Aren't we all just learning to be nice?

Aren't we all just stumbling around, messing up left and right, or maybe that's just me.

And aren't we all just waiting for someone to be our friend.

Someone who is willing to accept that we are just learning.

We aren't perfect. 

Some days are hard.  

We are just one imperfect human looking for another imperfect human to say,

"Yeah, They are learning to be nice and that's ok, I'm still their friend.


inner demons

i'm not sure what you're fighting today......

self doubt


        financial worry


                    fear of the future


i know these inner demons they fight hard.  

they fight unfair.  
they pull from all the weaknesses. 

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

but i pray that you let the angels fight for you. i pray that you pray.  

your angels might be 




                                 the holy spirit

let them help.  let them in.

don't let the inner demons win.

and tomorrow when they come back.                       
                                                       fight again. pray again.


you are loved

In case you need to hear about true love this valentine's

(thanks Ann Voscamp for sharing)


 more than anyone or anything on this earth can

don't look for approval here

know that you are loved

you are beautiful

you are wonderful

you are His

"Because He loves you all the way, all the time"

every second of every day

He never stops


Happy Valentine's Day

I need for my daughter and son to know this.  I need my husband to know this.  
People will fail you, guaranteed.
But Jesus never will.


one word: influence

one word

one focus



the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something

where does it start, where does it end, one will never know

but we know we have


on our children, our family, our friends....everyone one we meet

1 Corinthians 12:2
 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.

Am I  being an influence the leads others to God or astray? 

How can I be a better influence?

2017 I want to be a better influence for health, technology, friendship, family, and most importantly the Lord.


2016 in review

16 for '16

1.   We traveled. Disney, South Carolina, Blowing Rock, Myrtle Beach, Galax, Morganton, Raleigh, Charlotte - Roaring River to Ronda.

2.  We watched a lot of movies - Finding Dory, The BFG, The Secret Life of Pets, Trolls, Sing, Moana - and all the ones I forgot.

3.  We listened to a lot of music.

4.  We played a lot of games.  Basketball, Football, Soccer, Uno, Battleship, Yahtzee.

5.  We had an amazing Christmas.  Favorite Presents:  Owen - XBOX (finally, he says), Addie - Mashems, Keyboard, and Barbie Stylist Doll, Matthew - Drone and new shoes, Me - new coffeepot!!

6.  We lost loved ones - miss you grandma Shupe!

7.  We got new pets and lost our dogs.

8.  We survived Pre-K and 4th Grade with success.

9.  We went to DISNEYWORLD and it was amazing!

10.  We spent as much time together as possible.

11.  We started new things at work - new grade levels - more welding.

12.  Owen went to Camp Caraway, Merlefest Jamcamp, Red, White and Bluegrass Camp, and Football & Basketball Camp.

13.  Addie is learning lots of new things in Kindergarten like how to READ and mom learned how to get rid of lice and survive hSP.

14.  We visited family and celebrated birthdays and holidays and life.

15.  We argued, cried, whined, and fought through the daily struggle of life, entitlement, worry, finances...struggle.

16.  We thanked our heavenly Father daily for the blessings of our life, let us not ever take it or each other for granted.

WinterJam Rocked

January snow came

my princess and prince with Belle

New Instrument and he's rocking it
Soccer Siblings

New family members Skippy & Doc
Soaking in the Summer sun

ADDIE TURNED 5 and had a Finding Dory party
(she watched Finding Dory at movie 3 times and got it for Christmas)
First Day of School
Addie Kindergarten
Owen 5th Grade
Mrs. Combs 7th Grade ELA/Math
Addie started Ballet and performed in The Nutcraker
Before school mini vaca - our favorite place 
Football team won the Super Bowl - lots of practice and memories

Cousins and Best Friends
Take a hike - Go outside
Owen was inducted in to Beta Club, was a school Science fair winner, and turned 11!
2016 thanks for the memories that made us who we are


Tears for Christmas

As I created Christmas treats I cried....
I cried for those who's loved ones decided to spend Christmas in heaven this year
I cried for those who are hurting so much that they don't know where to turn
I cried for students who are hungry
I cried for those who are sick
I cried for those who don't love Christmas 
I cried for those who don't know Jesus as their best friend and Savior

Help me pray. 
Help me reach as Jesus did all the way to the lowly manger, from the humble shepherds to the mighty kings.  
Help me share the joy of Christmas everyday of the year.  The hope it brings and the peace it provides.

How can I pray of you this Christmas?


Thankful Thursday [ week 4 ]

76.  I'm thankful for rain!!  We haven't had rain in over 40 days.  And this morning we got a shower. 

77.  I'm thankful for firefighters, with forest fires all over our beautiful mountains.  I'm thankful for those who are out there day and night fighting to protect.

78.  I'm thankful for Thanksgiving.  Not just for food, but for a time of gratitude and family.

79.  I'm thankful my sweet girl is resting.

80.  I'm thankful for Christmas decorations.  They make me happy.

81.  I'm thankful for cleaning out the play room.  

82.  I'm thankful for the dishwasher.

83.  I'm thankful for the new movie Moana, it made me laugh so hard, while I listened to my son laugh just as hard beside me.

84.  I'm thankful for my husband.  He's the best!

85.  I'm thankful for school plays.  Addie was a sweet pilgrim girl.

86.  I'm thankful for cough drops.

87.  I'm thankful for spontaneous texts from friends.

88.  I'm thankful for Owen's coaches, music teachers, and teacher.  These people have such an influence.  

89.  I'm thankful for the great moms I'm sharing life with, my own mom and grandma, my sister Jessie, my husbands sister, my best friends, my basketball moms.  Super moms surround me!

(photo bomb by Ryan, photo creds Lydia)

90.  I'm thankful for the gift of salvation and the ceremony of baptism to show the world you are a child of God.  

91.  I'm thankful I got to watch my nephew be baptized.  

92.  I'm thankful Walmart was not crazy last night.

93.  I'm thankful I live in a place people greet one another with a smile.  

94.  I'm thankful Addie loves dance.

95.  I'm thankful for middle schools.

96.  I'm thankful for imperfection.

97.  I'm thankful for my new favorite verse.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

98.  I'm thankful for Google photo!

99.  I'm thankful for the blessings I take for granted and forget to be thankful for.

100.  I'm thankful my faith, my family, my failures, and my future.  

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  Count your blessings!


Thankful Thursday [ week 3 ]

51.  I'm thankful my children and I got to go to Disney World this year with my parents.  We made lifelong memories and had so much fun.  We are ready to go back!

52.  I'm thankful for leggings.

53.  I'm thankful for my church family.  They mean more to me than they will every know.  

54.  I'm thankful for Addie's teachers, Mrs. Blackburn and Mrs. Ward, they are awesome!

55.  I'm thankful my mom and grandma's taught me to cook.  

56.  I'm thankful someone gave the teacher's a box of apples.

57.  I'm thankful for the cheers at Science Fair Project Awards.  We should all cheer students on whether they are shooting a ball or winning the science fair.  

58.  I'm thankful candy makes students happy.

59.  I'm thankful for forgiveness.  We all need it.

60.  I'm thankful for Christmas lights.

61.  I'm thankful my great grandmothers and even though I miss them like crazy.  I'm thankful for the memories I have.

62.  I'm thankful that we are all "weird" and that their are people who's weirdness complements your own.

63.  I'm thankful for Smokehouse Creamery.  It's our place.

64.  I'm thankful for my job.  

65.  I'm thankful for my eyesight, even though it's not perfect, and I can't see a thing without my contacts.  I'm thankful I can see.

66.  I'm thankful for travel mugs....makes coffee toting easier. 

67.  I'm thankful for the ability to type.  

 68.  I'm thankful for no longer being addicted to soft drinks.

69.  I'm thankful for prayers.

70.  I'm thankful we packed 100 shoe boxes!

71.  I'm thankful for bobby pins.  Stray hair savers!

72.  I'm thankful to hear this song this morning for the first time.

73.  I'm thankful next week is Thanksgiving break!!!

74.  I'm thankful for online shopping :)  

75.  I'm thankful God is still on His throne and still controls my every day!


Thankful Thursday [ week 2 ]

26.  I'm thankful for this article.

27.   I'm thankful for doctors and nurses.

28.  I'm thankful for technology that lets me bring people and experiences to my students.

29.  I'm thankful for courage and bravery.

30.  I'm thankful for laughter.

31.  I'm thankful for veteran's.

32.  I'm thankful for music.....calms my soul.

33.  I'm thankful for helpful coworkers.

34.  I'm thankful for snuggles with my girl.

35.  I'm thankful for basketball season starting.

36.  I'm thankful for Owen's love and gift for music.

37.  I'm thankful for best friends.

38.  I'm thankful for parents who parent.

39.  I'm thankful for sleep.

40.  I'm thankful for God's plan.  It's always better than mine.

41.  I'm thankful for students who stand up for one another.

42. I'm thankful for 44 days till Christmas.

43.  I'm thankful for handmade, beautiful toboggans.

44.  I'm thankful for duct tape.

45.  I'm thankful for fall weather.

46.  I'm thankful for new friendships.

47.  I'm thankful for shoes.

48.  I'm thankful for disney movies.

49.  I'm thankful for love that is greater.

50.  I'm thankful for summer vacation.

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