While we were home, we decided (read that TONYA decided) it was time for some updated family photos. The gal we usually use isn't doing much photography lately, so we tried someone we met at a family wedding.
I dug around in the laundry room closet to see how close I could get to matching us all without shopping. My goal is always a few textures or patterns with several colors being pulled from one of them, but times 6 people, it can be HARD!
This time, the theme pulled from my red and yellow floral top......
Our photographers name is Brian, and he is a full time photographer that is amazing at what he does. His 3Twenty Photography name is a nod to his favorite Bible verse, so cool! I can't recommend him enough. He came out our direction to shoot in our neighborhood, and immediately had the kids laughing and at ease.
Dale and I also needed some updated head shots as well.
I think these ones of us not even looking at the camera are some of my favorites!!!
We also needed some family ones in front of our new to us RV!
You can check out more of Brian's work here:
June 30th, we hit a MAJOR goal of ours we have been working hard towards......
In fact, we are the 1st doTERRA Blue Diamonds in Kansas! Cool bonus. :)
Blue Diamond is the 2nd from top rank in doTERRA, the top 2% of its leaders. I am so honored to have a team under me of educators, influencers, and hard workers with the same goals as we do. Financial freedom and opportunity to bless and give!
Are you looking for health and healthy finances? Dale and I are always praying and asking the Lord to bring us new people to run this race with. Maybe it's you!
The business plan in a nutshell, is love oils, love people and be generous. We teach you the rest and while you may be in the business FOR yourself, you are never in the business BY yourself.
The numbers below are averages, some will make more, some will make less, and it all depends on the factors as you reach that rank and how solid you hit it. The point is, you can do this and go as far as your heart desires. It is possible!
In what other business or educational institution, after 4 years of hard work, offers an you average of around a 6 figure income? Not many!
If this peaks your curiosity at all, then simply contact me and we can chat some more. :) First step is getting some oils in your house!
On June 30, 2018, we hit our December 2018 goal, 6 months earlier than planned, praise God!
We used to say we never wanted to go past the Diamond rank, because who are we to need more income than that?
We were so boxed in our limiting beliefs and small mindset!
The Lord has shown us amazing things between now and then. He had Dale and I in tears at leadership 2 years ago when something a speaker said, it rocked our world and changed EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!
"Many of you out there are saying, I don't ever need to go past platinum or diamond. I would never need that kind of income!"
We are all nodding like yeah exactly. Then he says.....
"I know that feels humble and all, right? Bur I need to ask you something, when has this EVER been about you?"
"Who are you to deny 5 families life changing, Gold rank income?"
We turned to each other with tears in our eyes, and it was in that moment we knew......
As far as the Father leads, we will go!
I am so excited to see what is in store, and so overwhelmed at the thought of endless possibilities!
What a blessing to have the Lord trust us with Blue Diamond leadership. I am in awe of His glory and the way He works things for those that love Him.
When my heart fills up and overflows emotion, I get the urge to write.....so I did! This time a letter to my daddy. He was the first person I wanted to tell that we reached Blue, but as you know, he isn't here anymore. He is with his Savior in paradise as of December 2018! I sure miss him, but I know he is having so much fun, so that helps.
Here is what I wrote:
Hi there Daddy,
I wanted to call you so bad tonight, to tell you some good news, but alas I cannot. So I guess this note will do.....
You have always been my biggest cheerleader, I appreciated that. You always showed interest, and cheered me on with encouragement and words of wisdom!
When you were in your hospice bed, and I was chatting away to fill the space (I wasn't even sure you always heard me) but when I told you that night in December, that we were 75% of the way to Blue Diamond, you shakily raised your hand to me.
At first, I thought you needed something, and then I realized....
You were high fiving me!
In the midst of your own difficult journey between life and death, still cheering me on. Tears filled my eyes, and that is when I knew, I WOULD hit Blue Diamond in 2018, and I'd do it for you!
So here we are, daddy, we DID IT!!!!!! We are Blue Diamond leaders with doTERRA. Thank you, Jesus!
I love you, dad and I miss you, every single day. Xoxo
Always your "punkin".....
God is so so faithful to allow us this life and I am deeply grateful. Not a day goes by that I don't breathe a prayer of thanksgiving to a Father who gave us beauty from ashes so long ago, and continues to fill our storehouses so full of blessings that we need to build new storehouses to hold it all.
Ty is the MASTER Lizard catcher around here. But this time, well this time takes the cake.....
Meet Boris the Broadhead Skink.
The kids created a nice habitat for him and fed him a huge cockroach. They hung out for a while and then decided ol Boris was probably ready to go home to his family, so we released him back into the wild.
A fun part of living in Florida for the winter, is that my brother and his wife are nearby, as well as my step momma. That means loads of family dinners, cousin play times and even date night OUT! Woot woot!
We love when Grammy drives up to stay at the farm apartment and work with Uncle Chad at the furniture store because it means we get to see her for dinner and church and have some fun.
We always like to go to brunch after church, have you ever heard of First Watch?
Man, they have unique foods. All fresh and local too. This is the Gruyere and Ham omelete, I split this and the lemon ricotta strawberry pancakes with Dale. Mm mm amazing!
That night, we headed out to a great sushi place with Chad and Lauren! It's so nice to have a built in babysitter.....thanks Destiny!
We have a lot of fun with these two!
Speaking of Lauren, she shared a great recipe with me I wanted to tell you about. Now, in true Tonya fashion, I changed it up a lot, but it was so so good.
I'll try to explain what I did:
I added more parmesan cheese, used the refrigerator noodles and the already made pesto, I like cold fresh better then canned. I added porta bella mushrooms sauteed in butter with the julianned zucchini and garlic before dumping it all into the pot and stirring it together with the fresh basil and tomato.
We served it with french bread, olive oil and dipping spices. YUM!
We had a good weekend of star gazing, moon watching, class teaching and preparing for my Momma to come from Kansas for a nice, long visit!
We are finding happiness again, here on Papa's beloved "Florida farm". The kids adore being here, and I think the happy memories are taking over the sting of the loss of our precious Papa.
I love their joy and giggles. The stories around the fire again.
We have been eating our way around the favorite places! Mmm, MOJO's has the BEST black beans and rice!
One of our favorite things about living somewhere for longer than normal is that we can get a LIBRARY card! Eeek! There is NOTHING better than paper books, real ones you can hold in your hand.
We have been lounging around in chairs and hammocs after school and just enjoying! :)
Even MOMMA gets to read! Ahhh, guilty pleasure.
We chalk, we bake, we play after school each day and enjoy the sunshine.
We eat outside a LOT, we miss being able to all fit around the table, plus its SO pretty out!
Look how sweet and precious my family is.....
OH WOW. Nice kids.
How about this one?
Really Ty? ONE more chance guys.....
MUCH BETTER. :)
Mmm! I love having an oven to cook in, Drea lets me use the apartment kitchen. We always have to make Creamy Hamburger Casserole.
Do you remember that one from the blog? Click here.
Speaking of cooking, I have a NEW favorite recipe from Drea. You are going to want to make this!
I bought a 5 pound bag of Brussels sprouts from Sam's.
Cut ends off and wilted leaves and halve.
Drizzle with olive oil and generously salt and pepper.
Roast at 425* until fork tender.
Drizzle with balsamic reduction, add craisins and goat cheese. And walnuts if you'd like.
Serve hot. Mmm, I can eat bowls of this stuff for my WHOLE MEAL!
We took the kids skating on Saturday! As a child of the 80's I grew UP skating all over the tiny town I grew up in.
The kids are used to bladeing, but seemed to transition well to skates. It was a cute little rink and an easy way to pass a Saturday afternoon. They had a ball!
I feel bad, blogging our Valentine's Day activities from half a month ago!! I am THAT behind. Oops! BOGO week was such a blessing and a busy time, so I am giving myself some grace. So many of you joined our Oil Team and I am so excited about that! :)
So for Valentines Day this year, we had a date night earlier in the week at a restaurant called Sky Bistro. Oh my word, it was amazing!
Dale and I got fixed up to meet my brother Chad, sis in law Lauren and step momma, Drea for a FUN night out on the town!
My pixie grow out is going ok, but not great....so I had to quick think of a way to pin back the akwardly long short sides. (does that even make sense? different blog for a different day)
The menu was phenomenal! Upscale asian food, and because of a mix up on our fried rice, we got a FREE dessert platter of bread pudding and some kind of funnel cake fries with drizzle. Mmmm!
My funny little Valentines and the love of my life, hid love notes all over the RV for me to find. Precious! 😍🍓
4 Oaks Academy students attended their second ever, fancy lunch for their Valentine's Day party, and they loved every minute of it....I sent them out to work and play and got started with food prep.
The restaurant was the oh so fancy "La Cruiset a la Rv Désirer". (None of us actually knew what they meat except fancy cuisine in the desired RV, but it sounded ritzy.)
Dale and I carefully set the table, poured the bubbly, and went to see if there was a line at the door for lunch service....yup!
On the kids' assigned spots was a clue, as to where their valentines treat was hidden, around the RV.
The menu included: (you have to read it in a fancy french voice)
*Mini tea sandwiches in both egg salad & cream cheese cucumber dill
*Veggie a la raw (you had to take one of every color, chefs orders)
*Raspberry lemonade jigelette
*Le Puffs of de Cheese
There was a Strawberry Creme Tarte next to each plate, and a glass of Cranberry Bubbly.
Prayer and then CHEERS!! Time to eat!
They sure had some crazy wait staff! One of the waiters even got fired I hear! 🤣😂 (Several times.)
Riiiight, Dale Ferguson?!
After they went on their scavenger hunt for their chocolate hearts (no pics, sorry) it was arts and crafts time!
Last surprise was the Valentine's Olympics!!!! ☀️
First event: Relay Run
Race to rake leaves till the pile is as high as your ankle, run to tag your partner.
Partner has to find a silver torch (spoon), poked in the ground before proceeding.
Run "torch" to your awaiting team and together run with it and clang swing handle.
Second event: Water Relay
Using a spoon or lid, run relay style to fill up your measuring cup.
Fullest at the end of 2 minutes - wins!
Girls pulled the Gold at the last minute by 1/4 a cup.
Third event: Partner Color Guard
Link arms with partner and never let go.
Race from color to color as they are hollered out by the announcer.
You must both touch the color!
So hysterical to watch them, they loved it! :)
My thoughtful kiddos begged to get Grammy a Valentine gift so she would feel happy on Valentine's Day too......look what they picked out!
They displayed it on the table so she was sure to see it as SOON as she got home. :)
It was a happy Valentines Day, all the way around....
My Ty Guy is 11?! How is that even possible?
We have always let the birthday kid be the king or queen of the day, lounging while everyone does their chores, getting to pick the meal of the day, the dessert...all of it.
Thank goodness, because that has been an easy thing to maintain in our RV life!
The kids decided King Tylan shouldn't have to do his own hair either......
We also like to focus on EXPERIENCES not STUFF! We did make an exception this year because Ty is super into legos, and doesn't have many. Easy to pack along in the RV and big time on sale at a closing Kmart.
Everyone wins!!! :)
Someone VERY ornery in our family, also decided to wrap up something extra special for him......
The Kindle he had misplaced a few days ago! Hahaha, his face!!!!
Since we are currently living in Florida, Ty wanted his Uncle Chad, Auntie Lauren and the cousins to come join us for dinner.....
He picked a GIANT 30 inch pizza from 5 Star Pizza, and mom insisted on a salad.
There is this amazing local bakery called Betty Cakes, oh my heavens!
I have never ever tasted a more moist cake! Double layer, white frosting in the middle and on top and then this luscious chocolate ganache poured over.
Birthday boy was happy! :)
But when he opened up his gift, Uncle Chad was not......
HEY! Lauren, I wanted that one!!!!!!!!!!!!
Avery's gift to Ty, was that she spent the last week learning how to play Happy Birthday on the keyboard so she could play while we sang to him. SO special!
Happy 11th Birthday to my Ty-guy! ☺
This miracle baby, all grown up, is such a joy to my heart. You are kind, gentle and loving. I love that you are SUCH a bookworm and we have go to the library 2 times for you to our every one.
I love how you love to be a gentlemen and pitch in. You've done that since you were old enough to run ahead and get the door. You are smart as a whip, and do so well in school. You infectious giggle reminds us of your Papa Clay.
You have the biggest grin and an even bigger heart.....♥️
Happy birthday buddy, today we celebrate YOU!
Love, Momma xoxo
So remember how I got my nose pierced last Christmas! I wrote about it here....
Nose Rings: The Things No One Tells You
After I waited my time and could FINALLY change it, I bought a gorgeous gold and diamond stud from Beyond Body that I LOVE. It felt safe and nice, but I knew all along, that eventually, I'd want to try a HOOP. Eeek!
Fast forward a few months, and I get this great little package in the mail from a blog reader, Amy. Sweet Amy was so excited and thankful for the nose ring post, that she literally went out the next day and got hers done. WOW! Rock star status!!! :)
She wanted to send a little token of her thanks. Here it is! What a FUN piece of mail to get!!!!
Amy found these cool sterling silver hoops in 3 sizes per set, at Abbie's Jewerly in Ashville River Arts Mall. They are called the Goldilocks Hoop set.
The reason they are called this name, which by the way is so stinking clever, is that there are 3 sizes to try!
One will be too big, one will be too small, and one will be just right for your nose. I wouldn't have had ANY idea what size to order, so I was really thankful for a set of 3 to try on.
The sizes are 8, 10 and 12 mm.
Once upon a time, Goldiltonya wanted to change her nose ring to a hoop! She was so excited to have been gifted a box of not one, not two, but THREE! 3 beautiful nose rings!
She went for the 12 mm first, because it was big and shiny, and when she measure it up to her nose piercing and nose hole, it seemed to be correct.
She gently opened the ring and stuck it up her nose. Would she EVER get used to this part? ICK!
She fished it around in there a bit, surprised how easily it found the piercing hole and peeked through the other side.
OH MY, she exclaimed, this nose ring is TOO BIG!!!!
Even before she closed it, she could tell it was going to be huge. No go. Out it came.
She carefully pulled it out and tried the Momma Bear medium. It had to be JUST RIGHT.
Nope, still too big.
That left the teeny tiny baby ring! How would something so so so tiny and dainty ever fit inside her giant nose hole without getting LOST on the way?! Should she leave a bread crumb trail? Give up and go back to the L bar diamond stud?
She fished and twitched, she worked and worked, and viola, out it came out. Lo and be-HOLED, it FIT!
YAY!!! Just right!
And she squealed to herself and tried not to go cross eyed looking down at it because it was so shiny and pretty. And she lived happily ever after, the end.
Ready to SEEEEEEEEE?!?!?!?!
I am going to show you 2 ways to wear it.
So cool thing about this nose ring, is the little bead moves. You can leave it out, mid way, or tucked inside for different looks. COOL!
So, what do you think???
I am totally digging it! Its sassy and fun, also super light weight.
Dale? Not so much. That stinker! But he hasn't liked it from the get go so his opinion doesn't count this time around. ;)
Thank you, Amy for your thoughtful gift! I LOVE it!
My timehop took me on a walk down memory lane this week, with a photo of me 38 weeks preggo with Paxton Clay.
7 years ago this morning, at 4am, I woke up uncomfortable and rolled over to hear a POP POP sound. Apparently, I heard my own water breaking because by the time I got to our master bath, that became QUITE obvious.
I am not going to re-tell the whole miracle story of this precious baby's miracle gestation and birth, but listen, I'd be super honored if you'd go read it here, on our old blog:
The Story of Paxton
This photo *ALMOST* makes me wish for another. Ooo I just wanna kiss those squishy lips! Eeek!
Say it with me now, 4 and NO MORE, 4 and NO MORE..... ;)
In the midst of apartment finishing, Avery and I had a birthday! I love sharing my special day with this sweet little lady. 08-01-81 and 08-01-08 :)
Since moving in the RV, we have stopped doing actual gifts and have been focusing more on experiences, out to eat, bowling, a movie, queen of the day, picking the dessert etc.
But this time, there were actually a couple things that made sense to give her gift wise....
She was at camp on her birthday, so she opened her gifts early, while Papa and Drea were here!
She got a Kindle fire to read books on, a bonnet she BEGGED for at a museum and we said no to, and some play food. She wants to create a little house under her loft bed in the apartment!
Right after she opened the food and pots and pans from Grammy and Papa Clay, she says, I sure wish I had a little kitchen to use this stuff in.......out walks Daddy with a KITCHEN!!
I bought this for her 3 years ago, during a huge sale, knowing she'd want it. Well, that was right about our RV move time, so it never happened. How PERFECT to unearth it in storage and be able to give it to her now. God is good! :)
Once we find loft beds, it will tuck underneath!
Oh her big day, she headed off to church camp. Camp Kanakuk was an AWESOME experience for our kids! It they ever come to your local church, be sure to check it out. Tons of hype, excitement, Bible learning and adventures like rock climbing, bungie trampolines, ziplines and more.
Since it was her bday, Avery got to give a pie in the face to her counselor and go up on stage! :)
After camp was over for the day, we went out to a restaurant called The Barn, with amazing plate sized chicken fried steak and homemade mashed potatoes, rolls and pb pie. YUMMO!
I share a birthday with my best friends husband too, so we all went out together! :) SUPER fun!
My momma got me a gift card to my favorite local restaurant, and my bff got me darling earrings, which I promptly got the matching set to! I had the perfect occasion to wear the set because.......
Dale and I were privileged to take the first Diamond on our doTERRA Dorothy team, out to dinner with her hubby, while we were in town to CELEBRATE!!!!!!!
Meet Amy, the momma of the Emerald City Rock Stars! She is the second Diamond in the state of Kansas, after Dale and I! Isn't that awesome?!?! Eeek! We are THRILLED for her!
Then it was back to the reality of apartment work, paint clothes and all! After a month of painting and construction dust, I don't even bother changing out of my paint clothes to go to town anymore. I NEVER thought that day would come, but alas, function over fashion.
In the midst of it all, I even discovered I could fit not one, but TWO, toilets in my car. Impressive, right!? ;)
I'll give you an apartment update tomorrow!
Hugs, T :)
It's been a year since we have had family photos done for the doTERRA leadership magazine article, so while we were home moving, I had the genius idea to book family photos too.
So yeah, we were all super tired and our photographer friend, Kalene from Blue Muse, had to work hard to get us all with eyes open and happy smiles, but we got it done!
I am LOVING all the bright colors from this fun session and am adding them to this website as we speak!! :)
I got my nose pierced Christmas of 2016. I had decided that August, when I turned 35, that it was time to do it. It wasn't until Florida that I found a place, as we walked around the Christmas light strewn downtown area.
Yes, I was more than nervous! Yes, it hurts. But only for a second, its a big ol' needle, so don't LOOK! They really have to push hard to get it to go through your skin and tissue. (shudders)
All in all, after the big owie, its not even as hot as your ears get. However, your face will feel hot and will be swollen like you got in a fight. doTERRA Lavender oil to the rescue!!!! It was down substantially by the time we got to the car.
I grew up in a conservative farming community and have Amish roots. My grandmothers family left the Amish church when she was 8. We grew up in the Mennonite church, and this the single, solitary rebellion of my life. Or an early mid life crisis? Hee hee! :)
You can call it whatever you want, I call it SASSY.
Well, being at the 6 month mark, means I can finally CHANGE out the piercing stud thingy. It used to fit fine, but the closer we got to half a year, the more it stuck out. SUPER ANNOYING!
Looks normal enough right?
BAM! Silver booger.
So apparently, the nose is SO swollen from the needle trauma the first 6 months, they have to use a large L shape nose ring to accommodate. As you heal, the nose swelling inside goes down too, and this original nose ring becomes too big, and rotates around and sticks out.
(Phew! I was glad to learn this, I thought it was just the shape of my nose holes or something!)
This size difference means as I am talking, it works it way out of my nose hole. Middle of an oil class, middle of church, laying out by the pool, talking with someone, washing my face.....out it comes! And that means I need to push it back up in.....
Well, I am telling you right now, no matter how sneaky or intentionally you try to do this, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE PICKING YOUR NOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That means its time to change it out! I found a highly recommended company called Alluring Body, to order a nice quality gold and diamond nose ring, and had it shipped ahead to my Colorado hostesses address.
They really take the time to visit with you and see what fits your look and needs, so I'd recommend you email or call before officially placing an order. I learned from the consultant, that you have to get the L shape nose ring until the year mark, or you can tear your hole and damage it.
No hoops, corkscrew or the rod style with the little ball on the end until later, like after a year. These things take lots of time to heal up!
Eeek! Here goes nothing, I have been having nightmares about changing this thing out!
What if I can't find the hole again?
What if the new nose ring sticks out just like the old?
What if I drop it down the sink and have to spend more money to get a new one AND deal with the silver booger longer?
A towel in the sink in case I get dropsy and here goes nothing:
EEEEK! I am freaking out! It feels so weird.....
PHEW! That wasn't so bad. Only took a second to get this one out and the new one in!!!!! YAY!!!!!!! No more silver boogers! (Or gold in this case!)
Look at the size difference:
TA DAAAAAAAAAA!!!! I am in love! its gold and sparkly and not too big at all inside my nose hole!
So what have I learned this past 6 months?
1 - KELOIDS are REAL!
And they are yucky and hard to get rid of. I didn't take a photo, but here is one from google.
A Keloid is basically a piercing bump. Here is a photo, not mine, but it looked about like this.
I was so sure I would never get a keloid, because I cleaned my nose ring religiously with on guard soap and followed instructions. I was super duper careful not to hit it or get makeup on it. And I didn't break the rules and change out my nose ring too soon, either, because that's what rule followers DO! ;)
Things went well for a few months, but then I got hit in the nose by my buddy Pax. RIGHT on my nose ring. Oh my, did my eyes ever water!
Next, I caught it on my washcloth, bam, pulled almost clear out. THEN (it musta been swollen at this point) I caught it on the blanket at night while rolling over....OUCH!
And there it is, a yucky ol' Keloid.
This happened about 3 different times, with various reasons of trauma, and lasted several long weeks before I found something that worked to reduce it in just days. I tried EVERYTHING.....
Silver Shield to the rescue!!!! I'd put some colloidal silver on a q-tip and cleaned around the keloid outside and the nose hole inside. Was very cool and soothing and worked like a charm!
2 - BOOGERS
BIG, giant plate like boogers that build up behind that little L shaped hook.
It snuck up on me at first. Your nose is super tender and you don't want to touch it. One day I realized I couldn't breathe out of my left nostril. I don't like to dig and pick even when my nose isn't sore, so I grabbed a q-tip.
HOLY BOOGERZILLA! No wonder I couldn't breathe anymore. It was like the wall of China, huge, long and nothing was passing through!
So use a q-tip and be careful, but get those boogies out regularly so you don't sufficate.
3 - Re-Learn How To Blow Your Nose!
The first cold is the worst. You can't quite squeeze and wipe like you used to, so you almost have to learn all over again. Kinda like when you were a kid and couldn't figure out the art of the Kleenex.
At one point I just rolled the Kleenex really skinny and shoved it up in there to sop it up so I wouldn't have to squeeze.
4 - You MIGHT Be Allergic.
Jewelry containing nickle, cobalt or white gold can cause allergic reactions. I had peeling skin and a super itchy nose until I started using coconut oil on it regularly. I knew I couldn't change for 6 months, so I kept at it, and kept the peeling and itching manageable.
My new piece is called the 2mm Stunning Diamond 18k gold L shape post stud, and shouldn't cause any issues.
5 - Make Up Sponges Are Sneaky Little Nose Ring Snatchers!
Beware! When doing your make up, you WILL get caught on the prongs of your earring, and it WILL pull out of your nose part way, down to the L.
Slow down, take your time on that area, and you will reduce your chances of watering off all your eye make up, as you do lamaze to breathe through the pain and gag reflex.
6 - You will LOVE Your Nose BLING!
I cannot believe what this did for me. It makes you feel pretty, a fun new something, but not bold enough to cause a scene. Just a wee bit of sass to add a lift to your step and a sparkle to our nose! After the year mark, I want to buy a little hoop!
Good news is, after a whole week of having the new one in, I literally cannot tell its even THERE!!! Super light weight, no silver boogers, yay! I love the bigger diamond in a nice finish. I can blow my nose again!
If you decide to go for it, find a clean and well rated place to do it, buy high quality pieces once you can change your ring out, don't mess with it, or change to early, and enjoy the new, bolder YOU! :)
Today is our 15th wedding anniversary, and tomorrow marks 5 years since our journey to beauty from ashes. What a journey it has been, and what a joy it is to be living in a restored marriage. To have been given a second chance at a once in a lifetime love.
I wrote this tribute to Dale, 4 anniversaries ago, in the throws of it, but I'd like to share it with you again today...
Because it is important to remember, Love. Wins.
Can't wait to unpack and find this coffee table book and proudly display it on our home once again!
Never give up, the Lord still has a plan, even when it all feels lost. Go read about the hope of Jesus and the restoration of broken marriages at our other blog, 4 little Fergusons, under the Surviving Infidelity series.
Somebody today, needed to hear this. Go read Love. Wins.
Happy Anniversary, my beloved!
Our schedule always gets super full when we are home in Kansas, but only because we have so many fun and amazing people in our lives! Here are some of the HOME Happenings and a camera dump so to speak....
We took a homeschool field trip to Aviate trampoline park with my best friend and her family, and had a BALL! Great way to get some exercise and play too....
We hit up all our favorite local restaurants, including Braums! Mmm good beef for burgers and amazing milk and ice cream.
Poor Paxton, sometimes your finger looks JUST like a fry, doesn't it?! ouchie. But we all had a good chuckle over it.
School is going well, although I can tell we are ALL anxious for a summer break....
After 2 years of loving our Chore Sticks, and each kid drawing two to complete each day, it was time to buckle down and get a little stricter again.
We made a schedule for the fridge of how the day should go, and a chore chart under the shower schedule on the shower door.
Isn't it amazing how that pendulum swings too far one way, and then it has to go too far the other before you find a new middle ground?
After 2 amazing years on the road, we were getting sloppy. Obedience was going down and voices were going up! Not cool.
This has ALREADY changed EVERYTHING! We are getting yes ma'm, we are seeing the kids quicker to obey (slow obedience is no obedience). Avery says, oh mommy, I LOVE our new schedule, I cannot WAIT for tomorrow when we can use it again!
Seriously?! Pretty awesome, and proof kids crave boundaries....
It rained and rained and rained and then it rained some more....sigh. We can only play so many games, and read so many books, and play playdough for so long, before its time to get creative!
We decided to play Dictonary Pictionary:
Sooo, it was still dreary and raining! Ugh ugh ugh. (this cloudy overcast weather went on for a WEEEEEK)
Time to break out the big guns.......movie time, but FIRST, a picture scavenger hunt!
I hid in the back and quickly made clue cards....while they cleaned up our other activites, I meandered around the house and hid them in the correct spots.
It hurts my brain to do these but I LOVE THEM! The key is to flip them over and write the correct location of where each clue should hide, to lead to the next clue in the right order.....
In the end, it all ended happily with the new SING movie!
All that rain made the ticks come out in force, good thing we have an awesome homemade bug spray! I am so so thankful for doTERRA, and how we have literally replaced all the products in our home with something simple I can buy or make myself. When you are ready to makeover your home, I'm your girl! :)
I did 10 drops of each oil listed with water to the top, shake and spray. Smells amazing!
For Sophie the wiener dog, I do a mist on her legs and belly and use the terrashield oil dripped on her collar as a natural flea repellent. You can shop products here at www.mydoterra.com/rvoilers but I'd rather you message me on this website so I can help you get everything at cost! Friends don't let friends shop retail!!!!!
I am so so thankful for doTERRA, and how we have literally replaced all the products in our home with something simple I can buy or make myself. When you are ready to makeover your home, I'm your girl! :)
We are blessed to have about 3,000 people on our doTERRA team. We call ourselves the Dorothys as a little nod to our Oz Kansas roots, where it all began.
While we are home, we try to get together with the builders and just reconnect and encourage each other...this time, we had some new paperwork to cover, so we planned a business training. It went great!
Did you know you can cook with your doTERRA oils? You sure can! They are like the most beautiful cooking extracts, straight from nature. Lemon rosemary chicken, cilantro lime rice, lemongrass ginger stir fry...the list goes on.
For our meeting we made Wild Orange Dark Chocolate brownies, Double Chocolate Cinnamon Brownies and Triple Fudge Peppermint brownies. YUMMO! They were all amazing.
We did like 6 drops orange in the batter, maybe 4 peppermint and 8 cinnamon.
A trip home would NOT be complete without a GIRLS NIGHT.....
We started off with a ditch your bra party! Yup, its a thing. And yes, you can be comfortable and much healthier for your body when wearing these awesome cami's! UNDERWIRE is HORRIFIC for you, it blocks the flow of your body and causes all kinds of issues for womens health, so does deo. That's a different subject for a different day.
I choose a molded cup non wire bra carefully, but this is even a step better. (*Note, since writing this post, I have had it for nearly a month, and I NEVER want to take it off. The day I wash and hang it to dry, I am sad to have to go back to regular bra. I am LOVING how it makes my tummy feel too. SO stretched out from babies!!!)
Ruby Ribbon is the name of the company. I haven't worn my regular bra since this party. Why would I when I can lose 2 inches, have a smooth back, all while being FREE in this cami bra?! ;)
Check out www.rubyribbon.com/stephaniearnold She'll take SUCH good care of you!!!
After checking out, we went back to Momma B's house for cards and homemade PEACH pie with ice cream. (Oh my lanta was it good!)
And DigestZen essential oil shots to help us deal with ALL THAT FOOD in our bellies.
And then, for fun???? we all ate some kind of nasty year old fermented pickled stuff that helps your tummy. My mom is into all that.
It worked amazing!!!
Unless your me.
Then it just makes you gag, and dry heave and bloat and get gassy. Pffft!
Just sayin.... ;) Guess I need to eat year old food more often???
Slide show of all the fun
That's it for now....we are hard at work on the apartment we are building for our Home Sweet Hub to stop through as we travel.
Hopefully I can blog that soon, but right now, its just kinda the boring stuff like HVAC and electrical. All important, but not that fun to take photos of! :)
Destiny got home from our Florida winter in time to compete in a Nazerene youth competition called Extreme. We found out the rules last minute, and realize the things we prepared over the winter, weren't going to work after all. YIKES!
We quick ran outside with the camera for 2 shots, one landscape and one portrait, and hoped for the best. It was VERY brown in Kansas at the time, so we had to work with what we had. Bleh.
I had her use my "big" camera, and after a quick photoshop tutorial, let her go to town. She did great!
Then the song, we went round and round and round, and at the last minute, she came up with Francesca B. "This is the Stuff" since she knew all the words from the radio.
Here goes nothing......
You can watch the video here.
She was super nervous and swayed alot, hee hee, but still got a 1 rating on both her photo entries and the song and moved on to MAX, the regional competition in Olathe. YAY!
We decided to make a fun weekend of it, go to IKEA, book some essential oil classes and see our friends in the area.
I fell in love with these lamps from IKEA for our retro kitchen. LOVE the pop of orange!
We got this HUGE hanging one, and the matching lamp one that will be altered for hanging above the sink.
To give you an idea of how huge and awesome this one is, let me share another pic with the kids in it, for perspective!
On to the FERCHOS for some F U N!
Remember the RV family we met last Spring? I LOVE that the Lord orchastrated all the details for this amazing meeting. Dale and Dawson met, then Tiffany and Tonya, Sophie and Summer the dogs, and all those fun kids that fell stair step to each other and got along AMAZINGLY from the start.
It was a Ferguson Fercho reunion! :) We went to church together, hung out at their house several days, just talking and catching up while the kids played.
We drove in to watch the competition several times throughout our stay.....
Avery found her photo right away!
We got to hear the College choir sing, that was super awesome!
Here is Destiny's performance:
We found out at the end of the weekend, that she got 2 perfect scores from 2 different judges on the Avery photo, the log one also got a 1 and her singing got a 1. YAY Destiny!
Now that we had our girl back, we planned to hang out with Fercho's and get all caught up! Tiff took us to the Freezing Moo, a super COOL rolled up ice cream place!
I got the Pink Lady, which was vanilla base with graham cracker, fresh strawberries and sweetened condensed milk. I got to pick 3 toppings so I just did those 3 again, SUPER yum!
Watch how they do the ice cream rolling here:
They had a printer so you could print your rolled ice cream selfie.
We also got to go enjoy a day at the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. Free after 2pm during the week and SO DARLING!
It was a gorgeous warm spring day, and perfect for goat feeding, enchanted forest walking and playing on the barn playgrounds. They had so many cool animals, and exhibits too!
The old school room was really neat too!
Check out these CRAZY rules for teachers of 1872!!!!!
The GIANT wind chimes in the Enchanted Forest was my favorite part. They sounded amazing! I made sure to get a video of it, but its on facebook, so use this link to go take a listen.
Is that not the BEST sound?!
Hope you all had an amazing weekend and start to your week! Sending blessings and hugs from the Fergusons...
We were blessed to be home for Easter, and enjoyed each of our families for this celebration of a Risen Saviour!
Dale's 36th birthday fell on Good Friday.....
We didn't have anything big planned, but as is tradition, the birthday boy gets to pick what we do that day, what we eat, or where we GO eat, if they want to eat out.
First stop was headed up to his momma's restaurant for lunch. While we were there, he noticed a guitar case in the corner.....
"Whose guitar?" he asks his mom.
"I don't know!" she says perplexed.
"Guess you better open it and see....." the kids and I chime in.
Oh the look on his face when he realized HIS. Love it! He kept sputtering,
"But - but - but I don't know how to play it...."
WELL buddy, then owning one is a GOOD FIRST STEP! Right?! :) hahahaha
Destiny, Avery and I had snuck down to the guitar shop on the guise of "shopping to use a certificate" Destiny had won at a downtown boutique....got a heck of a deal, and slipped the gift into the corner while Dale was in the kitchen visiting with his chef brother.
We picked that gorgeous multi colored one they called sunrise or something, you can see it about 5 guitars back. The nice guy at Sparks music, Todd, threw in a case, a strap, pick and some instruction to boot! YAY! :)
As long as I have known Dale, he has wished he could play! Well, now is as good a time as any, since he is retired and has TIME on his hands! Besides, how amazing will this be, when we can all sit around a fire at an RV park, some quiet starry evening, and have worship time. (chills already!)
He is already doing a good job using you tube to teach himself some chords.....
He sure must love us, because he picked MY favorite sushi place for supper, Freddy's for their amazing ice cream sandwiches for dessert, and Lego Batman movie for the kids afterwards.
We have a cool domed screen movie theater in town that shows full length movies at a lower price. I love that you feel like you are moving because of the dome shape, pretty stinking cool!
Love the first Lego movie, I wouldn't waste my money on the Batman one, unless you need a nice place to nap! Dale and I both had a nice siesta. Shh, don't tell!
The next day was our first Easter celebration with Gigi and Nana.....they had been hard at work preparing a two house egg hunt for the kids.
They were SO excited I was actually going to let them EAT whatever was in those eggs!!!!
Some had gourmet jelly beans (supposedly dye free), some had marshmallow eggs, some had chocolate pb, some had money, some had slips of paper that said book or movie. I unearthed a bin of gifts, New Testament Jesus movies and the Christian Bearnstein Bear books. PERFECT!
We played Hand & Foot, the awesome card game with Skipo cards, and then ate Ham sandwiches, veggies, chips and all kinds of yummy stuff. We headed home by 7, for pie making, showers and early bedtime.
It was going to be a busy Easter Sunday with Destiny singing in all 3 services with the youth, and Dale's big side of the family getting together after.
The Easter service was fantastic and the worship had me in tears many many times. It just hits you at times, how incredible the gift we were given. The gift of VICTORY, the power of the BLOOD OF THE LAMB, the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. The sacrifice. Wow.
We headed the 40 minutes out to the farm to spend the day with Dale's side of the family....I used to try to coordinate our outfits every year. This year, I was just happy to dig in our storage and find things that were warm enough for everyone on this coolish day! Hahah! Priorities have changed :)
Lunch was incredibly delicious, and as soon as they were allowed, the kids changed out of their nice clothes and headed out to see the animals and play with their cousins.
I have to show you, Avery and Pax made the CUTEST carrot dip....it was 2 things of cream cheese softened, green onions, a couple tablespoons dill and ranch dressing powder. Shape like a carrot, pat with cheddar cheese and allow to harden. Before serving, carefully lift top of carrot to add washed parsley. Serve with crackers.
IT WAS DELICIOUS and darling!
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a really happy Easter celebration! HE IS RISEN! Death had no hold on our Saviour.....Hallelujah!
Many April Fool’s Day’s have come and gone without me “celebrating”. However, there were a few occasions I participated in the fun of it all.
The first trick I ever played on Dale, was filling his toothbrush with Orajel. It was so stinking funny....
"My mouff is num......why ith my mouff numm?" Hahahahaha!
But, the BEST April Fool’s joke I played on Dale was this:
Meet Elvis. Our lovable mutt who has since gone to doggy heaven. You’ll need to know who he is for this story to make any sense.
So, many many years ago, I called Dale’s phone while he was at work, hoping he’d answer, but it went to voicemail.
Darn. Oh well, this could work on voice mail.
So, I started working the tears and tearful voice up, as it was time to leave a message. When he played it back, this is what he heard:
”[sob sob sob] Dale? [sob sob sob] Elvis [sob sob sob] Blood [sob sob sob] Dead!”
And hung up. Oops! I instantly feel guilty. I hadn’t lied, right? I only said 4 words with pretend sobbing in the middle. Oh man, what a mean message!
With no chance to go back and say “April Fools” at the end, I quickly called him back and left him a second message laughing hysterically and telling him it was all an April Fool’s Day joke. There, now my conscience was a peace. The rest of the story I had to hear from Dale and his brother:
Apparently, Dale had just stopped over at his brothers house, to hang out between insurance appointments, when he saw he had missed a couple calls from me during his last appointment. He quickly called voicemail to retrieve messages. He hears my sob message and in an instant, springs to his feet: “I gotta go!” he yells, throwing down the remote and bolting out of the house. “What the heck?!” says his brother, watching Dale run full speed out to his car.
About the time Dale reaches his car door, and flings it open, fully prepared to jump in, speed home to my rescue and see poor Elvis’s demise, he gets my second message.
“Ah, geez." he says. "She got me. SHE GOT ME!” he yells back to his brother.
Hahaha, this is still my favorite April fools memory!
One year we saran wrapped the door the kids have to walk through before coming to the kitchen, another time, we tried to switch the boys into the girls room and the girls into the boys bunks while they slept. We had just about done it when toddler Pax pops up, NEW BED?! Darn it!
We got Dale good with a mid dinner water glass switch. He took a huge gulp of water one drink, and by the time he picked it up again, it was 7up. He about spit it across the table! hee hee :)
It's harder to think of tricks in our tiny RV house we now live in, but we did our best.
Here is a breakdown of how the day went:
We started the day with school and chores. I carefully wrapped a rubber band around the kitchen sprayer, so whoever ran it, would get a watery surprise. Poor, poor Avery got sprayed with a rubber band wrapped kitchen sprayer during morning chores. She turned on the faucet and WOOSH! She is short enough it got her face and neck. She stood there for a second completely dumbfounded before reaching to shut it off. She thought it was hysterical! So did her siblings!
One down, 4 to go. ;)
Destiny was at a youth event and wouldn't be home until the next day. So, I simply texted her that we had changed our mind and she needed to come home:
We were rapidly approaching supper, and I had yet to trick the men in my life....we were cashing out some Book Its at Pizza Hut, so I had a devious idea hit me on the way home.
I was going to take out the boys personal pans and put something gross in the box. They, of course, wanted to devour the pizza as soon as we got in the door, but I made them go wash up and put on jammies for bed, to buy myself some time.
I quickly hid their personal pan pizzas inside the large pizza box, and grabbed 2 brown banana I use in my smoothies and dropped them inside. It was actually about the right weight, and felt very "real". Yessssss!
Now, we wait.......
Ty opened his box first.
Then it was Paxton's turn......his look in this image says it all. Avery found the whole thing quite hysterical!
Ahh, so funny! And yes, I gave them their pizza back right after this photo! In the end, I never did figure out something to do to Dale. I will try try again!
Mr. Ty got me good.......I took a HUGE swig from my water bottle and spewed it all over the place when it was apple cider vinegar. GROSS!!!!! Little troublemaker!
I dumped a glass of cold water on him in the shower later to get him back. Before you feel sorry for him, know that he has done this to me 3 times, NOT on April fools day!
I hope this made you smile and brightened your day. I am always honored when you come visit us on our blog! :)
The images in this blog post are not mine, but from news articles and friends facebook messages and posts, as I am not there to take any of my own.
A few weeks ago, a dear friend of our called an encouraged us to plead the blood of Jesus over our home and lives, and even our unfinished shed house in Kansas. It was a great conversation, encouraging as always, but because of her prayer burden for us, we took her call extra seriously.
So pray we did, the blood of Jesus specifically and often, over everything we owned. This is something we usually do in passing, like angels of protection in Jesus name, but we specifically asked for the blood of Jesus AROUND our home.
So Sunday night, we start getting calls about evacuations happening because of wildfire in our neck of the woods. We prayed and prayed and prayed some more. It almost didn't seem real!
Then we start getting messages from the neighbors that the fire was literally traveling down our road! And boy did we feel helpless, but we know the important things are here with us. Right? The rest of that stuff, is just stuff. (ooo, and photo albums and home videos. Sniff sniff!) But just stuff we can't take with us anyhow. It will all pass away when we move on to eternity.
That's how I slept that night...I just kept telling myself that!
Because I have sweet neighbors and friends who love me, they were out checking things at our place, as SOON as the evacuation was lifted, and the sun was up.
One friend in particular called me bawling....it's overwhelming, I think, the smoke and the burnt prairie. The homes just a few feet away from the line of black! The video she showed me was mind blowing! I had to sit down and breath a little to take it all in.
You all, the fire literally traveled down our road, crossed behind our neighbors home and kept going north.
We have one burnt tree. One.
I was shaking, crying and praising God for being so faithful to answer the prayers of His children!
This is taken from our neighbors drive. That is our tree row over across the road....
Here is our neighbors home and how close it came to her before moving on north behind her property! God is so good to have protected her home.
Sadly, despite fire crews parking out there all day and watching hot spots, AND bringing in the National Guard to drop water on the area, the wildfires STILL started back up again Monday night. This time the wind shifted and blew TOWARDS town.
They called in firefighters from all over the state to help, but by Monday evening, were instructed to all line up on the road and stop the fire from spreading to town. Its SERIOUS business when they go with that line of action.
That means its going to run wild and free in the country, before being contained as best as possible at the road to city limits. Oh I pray for peoples homes and barns. Horses and animals. Livelihoods and dreams.
All of our country friends north of town, were evacuated. From our new home site northwest of town, all the way over to the property we sold to move into the RV, northeast of town, asked to pack up and leave their homes. All looking back towards a flame filled night sky.
I have got to go to bed. I have been super sick the past few days, but I will finish this when I wake up tomorrow and hear what happened. Until then, I am praying without ceasing!
Thankful to all these heros from near and far coming to help!
It's Tuesday morning, here is what I am learning:
"Reno County officials estimate 6,000 acres have burned in the county; 4,500 acres of that is from the Highlands Area subdivision grassfire. At least 30 homes are destroyed, with the possibility that more are damaged. Local officials have been unable to get into the area to asses the damages." The fire continues to burn and has not been contained. We have been unable at this point to determine damage estimates. However, a fly-over is planned today with a Hutchinson firefighter and Kansas Highway Patrol to get a more accurate picture of the damage.
We know many residents were evacuated and anxious for information about their properties and homes, so we hope to begin damage assessments later today so we can give out accurate information.
The evacuation area remains closed. The area is Hendricks Street to Hwy K-61 from 30th Avenue to 108th Avenue/county line. However those with physical addresses on 30th Avenue have been allowed to return. All areas north of 30th remain closed.
We have heard reports of residents returning to homes to collect belongings. We strongly emphasize the importance of remaining out of the evacuation area. When the wind shifts and there is a great deal of unburned fuel, there is no way to be safe. Also helicopters are doing water drops, and if they spot people in the area they must abort their operations.
Law enforcement officers continue to provide security in the evacuation zone.
The shelter at the Encampment Building at the Kansas State Fairgrounds remains open and there were 70 evacuees in the shelter this morning. There is also a pet shelter open at the fairgrounds, including space for horses.
For information and updates, residents can call 2-1-1, which is an information hotline run by United Way. Also the United Way of the Plains will be taking financial donations for those impacted by the fire. You can contact 2-1-1 about the donations; 100 percent of those donations will be back to the local community.
Also evacuees are encouraged to register as “Safe and Well” on the American Red Cross website: www.safeandwell.communityos.org so that loved ones know you are safe.
We have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the community in donations for our first responders. If you wish to donate items please bring them to the Garden Center at Wal-Mart, 1905 E. 17th. Requested item include: water, Gatorade, high protein snacks, eye drops, contact solution, baby wipes, over the county allergy medication, and phone chargers. Please do not bring items to the fire stations. Salvation Army and Red Cross are coordinating the feeding of first responders.
National Guard will continue air drops throughout the day. Just a reminder to local drone operators that they are prohibited during these air drops. If a drone is spotted, the air drop operations will be halted immediately.
Currently there are over 230 responders still out on-scene from 116 agencies. We are asking for everyone to remain out of the areas so the first responders can do their jobs safely; because this is a long way from being over.o assess damages due to the fire."
This was taken from the clubhouse of the area we live in. Praying for everyone involved!!!! I will update as I learn anything new.
This momma is WAY behind on blogging! Just a testiment of how CRAZY the last 2 or 3 weeks has been!
Getting you caught up today on TYLAN's 10th BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
So if you read the 4 little Ferguson's blog, you know we like to make birthdays a big deal, not in piles of presents and parties, but in the days activities.
The birthday boy is the KING OF THE DAY! That means he gets to laze about while everyone does his chores for him.
The birthday kiddo also gets to chose what we have for dinner, and dessert. Tylan didn't want traditional birthday cake, or even the ice cream I offered. He just wanted some jelly beans to eat while he relaxed and read a book.
Kid after my own heart.... ;)
Except the ice cream part, WHO DOESN'T WANT ICE CREAM? Come on now!
We usually do experiences over gifts, but these kids are SO into their imaginative play at the moment, that we went with it......
And yes, I don't have wrapping paper, so a scarf will do just fine! hahah!
We got him a black full face ski style mask for becoming invisible at night when they play Invisible Hide and Seek, and a whole set of SPY GEAR!
He thought it was WAY COOL! There is a motion sensor alarm, a sound amplifer, telescope (called something way cooler and spy like), an invisible ink pen and decorder light and a few other things I can't recall. They have been playing ever since! Love it!
The other kids wanted to give Ty something too. So Avery and Destiny made Tylan coupons to cash in for back rubs, get out of one chore, have their piece of dessert and several other clever things.
Not to be outdone by his thoughtful sisters, Pax ran back to his wallet and got out his $5 from his own birthday, to give to big brother. AWWW! Ty later spent it to buy Paxton a turn on this cool bungie jumping trampoline things at the mall. Love how they love each other!
Ty LOVES him some Taco Pie so that was the requested dinner. I only have one Pampered Chef stone in the RV, so I had to use disposable pie pans, not as good, but still delish.
The Taco Pie recipe can be found HERE on the 4 little Ferguson's blog! There is a funny story about Ty on THAT post from when he was just a wee little thing.
We haven't ever had someone pick Jelly Beans for their birthday treat, so we decided to put the Valentines Day party cakes to good use, and let Ty blow out a candle on one of them.
We only had a #9 candle, but whose counting? We have learned to ROLL WITH IT!
Happy 10th Birthday, Ty Guy! You sure are loved!