A Heart Toward Home

"...But as for me and my house, we will serve (worship) the LORD."
Joshua 24:15

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pet Chickens

It has been over a year since we started raising chickens, it's been great! These chickens have become pets and the kids have named each one. They enjoy feeding and petting the chickens...and holding them. Thought I would share a few pictures. 
The three younger kids have gotten a few of the chickens on their swing set and had the best time watching the chicken just sit there. The kids didn't swing the chicken they just set them up there, and was very proud that they could get that chicken to sit there.
Here is a picture of Elijah and Timothy feeding the chickens. We like feeding our scrap fruits and veggies to them. The chickens like it too! It is fun to watch them come waddling up to eat what is thrown out. 
Here is Joanna holding one of the chickens. The chickens do come right up to us. Isaac has 7 chicks that are almost to laying stage, will post about them soon.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Happy Birthday to my mom! She is amazing, loving, giving, and always there when we need her!  
Not only is she a great mom but she is a wonderful grandmother! The kids are crazy about her and love spending time with her! 
On Tuesday this week the kids and I met my parents in Priceville, AL and had lunch and then spent a couple hours at the park. We had so much fun celebrating my mom's birthday and spending time with them!

Happy Birthday Mom!!! We love you!! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

How God Changed My Heart

           I didn’t grow up in church. My parents and grandparents were not in church. Although my parents did not attend church they did not mind me attending a VBS or going to church with a friend. When I was 13 I began attending church with a friend, occasionally. At the close of one service several of the other teens walked forward and I thought that I should too. I did what ever it was the pastor told me to do and was baptized the following Sunday. There was never a change of heart, but I thought I was fine.

            Matthew 7:21-22 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’”. I said many times “I go to church”, “I prayed a prayer”, “I went to youth camp”, “I was baptized”, etc. Those were things I had done…God hadn’t done anything. I had no desire for the things of God.

            When I was 19 years old I went through some tough things that caused me to do some searching. To prove to myself and everyone else that I was “OK” I began attending church where my grandparents had recently started attending. For four weeks I went on Sunday morning only to service and had convinced myself that I was fine and didn’t need to worry about anything. Then the fifth week as I set there and listened to the preacher, God was removing the blinders from my eyes. I began to clearly see my sin and that the life I was living was not pleasing to God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I was broken that Jesus had paid the price for me and I was NOT glorifying God. I was dead in my sin and Jesus was the only one who could raise this dead body to life. Jesus was my ONLY hope. 

            That day God took out my heart of stone and gave me a new heart. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”)

            2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” God through Jesus had made me a new creation. The sin that I use to do made me sick. When I fail or sin now I have a heavy conviction, I repent, and run the other way. I now have a desire for the things of God- for reading His Word, knowing His word and living it, for prayer, for leading others to Him, for being a part of and being faithful to a church family, serving God, telling others about Him and how He has changed my life, and a hunger and thirst for righteousness.

            There has been a radical change in my life, a miracle has taken place. May God be glorified in my life as I try to live each day to please Him! The song All I Have Is Christ sums it up best…


I once was lost in darkest night

Yet thought I knew the way

The sin that promised joy and life

Had led me to the grave

I had no hope that You would own

A rebel to Your will

And if You had not loved me first

I would refuse You still



But as I ran my hell-bound race

Indifferent to the cost

You looked upon my helpless state

And led me to the cross

And I beheld God’s love displayed

You suffered in my place

You bore the wrath reserved for me

Now all I know is grace



Hallelujah! All I have is Christ

Hallelujah! Jesus is my life



Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone

And live so all might see

The strength to follow Your commands

Could never come from me

Oh Father, use my ransomed life

In any way You choose

And let my song forever be

My only boast is You


I long to see God change hearts of others around me. This is something that I want to pass on to my children and grandchildren. I would like to challenge you to write (or type) out your testimony (how God has changed your life) and share it with others. You are very special to me and I am thankful that God placed you in my life!!


With Love,


21 Years and Still Growing

Saturday was my 21st spiritual birthday! It doesn't seem like that long ago that God began changing my heart, but it has been 21 years. A lot has happened in those 21 years and I have been able to see God do some amazing things. He has been faithful to keep His promises and He has never left me or forsaken me. Even after 21 years I am still growing in my spiritual walk. This time last year I remember praying that God would grow me spiritually this year, and He has. It's not been easy and it's not always fun but I never want to get in a spiritual rut. My prayer this year is that God would continue to grow me spiritually, that I would witness more, and that I would know Him greater than ever before! 21 years ago there was a radical transformation in my heart and life...I will NEVER be the same!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Something for Your Hair!

I recently started selling Lilla Rose hair accessories and they are having a great sale this weekend. My girls and I have really enjoyed the mini and extra small size flexi clips. Everything is 15% off and a few items are 40-50% off. You can check out my web page at http://www.lillarose.biz/CantinaCamp and see what they have. These would make great gifts!!

Here is a picture of the extra small size in my hair. I can use the small size for pulling all my hair up in a twist or pony tail. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Isaac turns 15!!

The Monday following our return from our 12 Day school trip Isaac went to take his permit test. Bryan took him to Columbia for the test. Isaac had been taking the practice test online. 
He passed!!! An official driver!
Bryan and I have been letting him drive a lot and he has done a great job! Very proud of this young man! God has great plans for him and I am excited to see all that is in store for him. 

Happy 15th Birthday Isaac!! You are very loved! God is an awesome God and I love seeing Him work in your heart and life. Praying every day for God to use you for His glory!!

Day 12 of Our School Trip

When we first started planning a school trip we planned for a two week (14 days) trip. Our plan was to make a stop or two on the way home from Niagara Falls. We had seen so much in 11 days that we didn't think we could take in any more, so we decided not to make any stops on the way home. On the 11th night we decided to get up early and try to trek home in one day. We calculated that it would be 12 hour trip non stop. We knew with our crew we would make a few stops for food and restroom breaks. We left our campsite about 8:30 a.m. (New York time) and arrived at our home in Tennessee at 9:30 (Tennessee time). We did make a few stops and one of those was at a Zaxby's for Isaac's birthday meal. My parents were here when we got home and stayed for a couple of more days. We loved getting to spend some time with them and sharing with them all about our trip.

Thought I would end the post of our trip with a picture of the kids riding the "family bike".

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Day 11 of Our School Trip

When we woke up that morning it was much chillier than we are use to. I had to pull out some coats for the younger kids, but it felt great to me! We left after breakfast and went to Niagara Falls. By the time we arrived at the falls the weather had warmed up and was nice. The first things we did was walk around the Falls, down trails and over to Three Sisters Islands. We did lots of walking on this school trip...lots of exercise. :) 
Here we are with the falls behind us.
As we were walking around we came up on this black squirrel. Never seen one before and Isaac got a picture, he is our animal loving guy.
Some of the beautiful landscapes around the falls.
After our walk it was lunch time and we went back to the van to eat sandwiches. Then we went on a boat ride, The Maid of the Mist. This is the view of Niagra Falls from the boat we were in. After our boat ride we went back to our campsite and enjoyed a few of the activities there. The kids swam, played miniature golf, had a friendly game of corn hole, and rode on the "family bike". The family bike was a treat from Sarah. The camp site had a five person (just enough for our kiddos) bike that you could rent and that is what Sarah wanted to do with her money. The kids said that was the most fun thing of the trip. It was great to watch them laugh and have fun together. I pray our kids will always remember the adventures we had on our school trip.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Day 10 of Our School Trip

Day 10 of Our School Trip was to Gettysburg and Hershey, PA. 
The Campground we stayed at the night before was Artilery Campground and was only 5 minutes or less to Gettysburg. Here are a few pictures taken at the campground. Thought these were so cute! Above picture is Sarah and Timothy. (Dale Evans and Roy Rogers)
Here is Elijah (Tex Ritter)
Joanna and Timothy, our little cowgirl and cowboy!
After breakfast we headed to Gettysburg Battlefield. This was the only day it rained while visiting the battlefields. Here is a picture of the view of the battleground from a tower.
Every Battlefield had lots of these monuments set up to remember the troops from each state that fought in that particular battle. Here is the monument for the Alabamians that fought at Gettysburg.
Isn't this beautiful?! Each battlefield we went to I tried to picture it with the armies marching and what these beautiful fields looked like in the middle of each battle. 

We had to cut this visit short because the rain was coming down and it was messy. After about half of this battlefield we went back to camp, ate lunch, packed up camp, and headed to Hershey.
When we got to the Hershey Park it was pouring! We decided to hang out in the van and rest for about 30 minutes then see if the rain let up any. Praise the Lord it did let up and while it was barely sprinkling we headed for Hershey Chocolate World.
We took the 30 minute tour which was lots of fun. It was packed because of the rain since no one could go to the amusement park they all ended up at the Chocolate World. 
At the end of the tour everyone was given a small Hershey bar. Joanna enjoyed the tour and the chocolate. LOL!! 
By the time we were finished and ready to leave the rain had stopped and the sun had come out.
Here are a few of our favorite chocolate bars.
Elijah and Timothy couldn't get over that there were these huge candy bars. That's a KITKAT!!

We had so much fun! Loving every day spent with my family, wouldn't want to be anywhere else but with them!!

After Hershey we made 4 hour trip to Niagara Falls, NY! We arrived at our Campground, Branches of Niagara. This was a beautiful Campground and lots of fun! Once we set up camp we rode over and saw the Falls. We would spend more time at the Falls on Day 11. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day 9 of Our School Trip

Day 9 of our trip was the day our oldest turned 15!! Hard to believe that the baby boy who first made me a mommy is growing into a young man. Isaac is a very special person and makes me very proud.

We spent the day in Harper's Ferry and Antietam. Harper's Ferry is like a little town. 
Here is a picture of Harper's Ferry town.
The river at Harper's Ferry. There were people floating the river in inner tubes and people rock climbing.  
Harper's Ferry...Some of these buildings had stores and restaurants in them. We ate lunch at one of the places.
Elijah and Timothy stop for a picture.
Another view of Harper's Ferry town.
Antietam and Harper's Ferry are close to each other which made it possible for us to cover both battlefields in the same day. The picture above is a church at Antietam.
A view of the Antietam Battlefield. Beautiful!
One stop on the battlefield is the "corn fields".

We ended the day by setting up camp at Artillery Campground and enjoying ice cream sandwiches for Isaac's birthday. Those are one of his favorite treats. He really liked visiting the Civil War Battlefield sites. We love you Isaac!!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Day 8 of Our School Trip

On Day 8 we headed back to Washington DC to see the Capitol and another Smithsonian museum. 
They were doing work on the Capitol building and this was as close as we could get. Then we walked to the Native American Smithsonian Museum. We watched a short film on Hiawii and how it became part of the US. None of us new that story, we all learned something. 
Then Bryan and the kids had a great time playing this Quiz Show game at the Native American Museum. There was also a small discovery museum that the kids enjoyed too. This was our favorite Smithsonian Museum. 

We rode the Metro back to our van and headed back to the campsite. We spent one more night at Cherry Hill campground. The kids got to go swimming one more time. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Day 7 of Our School Trip

On Day 7 we went to Washinton, DC to the Smithsonian Museum and the Washington Monument.
The Smithsonian museum was huge and lots to see. Here is a picture of the Hope Diamond that is on display at the museum.
Then we walked to the Washington Monument.
Here is a picture of Bryan and the kids at the base of the monument. There were lots of people in DC, and very busy. Very thankful we got to see things there.
Here is Timothy riding on the Metro. From our campsite we drove to College Park and caught the Metro to Archives. The Archives stop put us out right in the middle of DC. This was mine and the kids first time to ride a Metro. The kids were so excited about riding a train. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Day 6 of Our School Trip

On day 6 we packed up camp and headed to Arlington Cemetary. This place was massive. We were able to see the changing of the guards at the "Tomb of the unknown soldier", and the story behind that is very interesting. We got to view Arlington house and the grounds around it. 
Here are the kids and I with Arlington house on top of the hill behind us and just a few of the many headstones behind us. It was hot that day! As you can see we have on our sunglasses, hats, and lots of sweat! 
Here is a picture of the changing of the guards. Really you must research this to begin to understand all that takes place and why.

After Arlington we headed to the Smithsonian Zoo. All the Smithsonian museums and zoo are free but we did have to pay for parking at the zoo. Then it was off to our next campground which was Cherry Hill. This was a very nice campground, not a lot of shaded camp sites though. This is the closest campground to Wahsington, DC. Cherry Hill was our most expensive campground we stayed at the whole trip, it cost us $68 a night. We did get a pretty shaded site and was right across from a bath house. They had a very nice swimming pool, its location was shaded just enough that we didn't have to put on sunscreen. There was two pools with one being more for the younger kids. We ended up staying here three nights and got to swim all three nights! They had a nice laundry facility and we were able to wash a couple of loads of clothes. Cherry HIll also had a couple of nice playgrounds too that the kids got to enjoy.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Day 5 of Our School Trip

On Day 5 we visited Manassas Battlefield in Virginia. At this stop the kids were given a few trading cards of Civil War people and places. Once they knew there were these trading cards the boys began asking for them at each Battlefield. 
A home that was used during the war. It sat on a hill and that was the best spot for the army to see who and when the opponent was coming. In the background a monument set up to remmeber those who lost their lives. 
This was the building they used as a field hospital and also where they took the prisoners. Two of the prisoners carved their name/initials in the floor of the second story. 
When we left Manassas this little sweetie was tired! We did a lot of walking and looking during our trip so their were a lot of times she crashed from point A to point B. 

After our trip to Manassas we headed back to Pohick Bay camp ground for another night.