We Are Thankful

November brought status updates from friends stating what they were thankful for.  The idea was to begin November 1st and go through the end of November.  What the majority did, though, was go through Thanksgiving day, instead.  I chose not to do that, certainly not because I wasn’t thankful because I really and truly am!

For me, it isn’t about posting daily just for one month about how thankful you are.  It is being truly appreciative and grateful every single day for the many blessings that we have in our lives. Our thankfulness should not be contained to just one month out of the year where we announce to the public what our hearts are grateful for.  We should take time each day of the year to reflect on how blessed we are!  Further, I think that instead of announcing it on Facebook, we should share it with God in our prayers.

So many times, people only pray when they are in a crisis situation.  God seems to be the “go to” in a bad situation.  What happens when things are smooth sailing, then?  Often times, our heads are never bowed in prayer, nor are our eyes closed as we humble our hearts to hear from our Savior.

We get so busy, some times too busy, that we forget to thank God every single day for what we have and who we have in our lives.  He isn’t just there in times of trouble.  He is ever present and wants us to acknowledge him daily.

Yes, it is nice to know that when you feel alone in your troubles that you can call on the name of the Lord.  But, how about when things are calm and peaceful?  Why not thank Him for the calmness in your heart and the peace you feel in your life?

While I may not always get down on my knees beside my bed to pray, I do pray throughout the day.  Little whispers as I go about my day, thanking God for keeping my family safe, thanking Him for blessing us and giving us much more than we deserve.  Some times just silent prayers between me and my God that are not even spoken out into the universe.

You can pray any where.  Honestly.  You can pray going down the road in your car.  Often times I find myself just uttering, “Thank you, Lord” as I’m driving.  Other times I’m on the back of my horse soaking in all of God’s beauty around me.  I take time right there to whisper prayers to Him or I silently pray to God as my horse and I go along.  I thank Him for these beautiful, magnificent creatures that allow us to love on them and provide hours of enjoyment in the wilderness.  You truly feel like you’re in His presence when you’re out in nature.  In the middle of the woods, riding near the water’s edge, I like to take a deep breath in and exhale all of the stresses of the world out.  I clear my thoughts and my mind, and my heart is focused on God.

We have so much to be thankful for.

My daughter was involved in a car accident at the beginning of November.  A guy ran the red light and plowed right into her driver’s door, caving it in.  She received some bumps and bruises in the accident, but God protected her so that it was not any worse.  I thank God for this!  She’s here.  She’s walking, talking, smiling again, and enjoying life.  My heart is forever grateful that God sheltered her in this accident.

My parents are both still here and are healthy for the most part.  Sure, they feel like they have a busy schedule with all the doctor appointments they have to go to, but they are still doing good, all things considered.  They came over to share the Thanksgiving feast with us, and I’m thankful that we got to hear their laughter and take silly pictures with them.

We’re blessed in that we have jobs that allow us the freedom to be with our families without feeling pressured or guilty when we do.  Our employers realize that family comes first, and that is the way it should be!  Too many times, employers feel like their employees should not have a life outside of the work place.  They rarely give time off to their staff and drive them like slaves when they are working.  We’ve also encountered the employer that insisted that my husband have his work phone on at all times, even when we were on vacation.  Thankfully, my husband and I now work for companies that allow us to make our families a priority instead!

God has blessed us financially, not to where we have all the riches in the world, but to where we are comfortably able to supply the necessities for our family of four.  We are able to send our children to a private Christian school where they are allowed to pray and share their faith openly.  While no school is perfect, we do feel that this school is the best in our area and allows my children to be sheltered from harsh bullying and drug use that goes on at the public schools in town.

We have had the privilege and honor to watch my oldest daughter walk across the stage to receive her high school diploma.  While she did not wish to go right into college after graduation, she took a few months to get a taste of what the “real world” was like.  She took a job at a local credit union as a teller, and as glamorous as that might sound, she soon learned that adults can be bullies, too.  She encountered several adult bullies in the work force, with two being her supervisors.  More times than she can remember, she dealt with individuals that were rude, condescending, and down right mean.  But it helped her grow as a person and realize that she did NOT want to do this the rest of her life.  She stood up for herself and refused to take any more of their abuse, and now that she quit her job, she is looking forward to furthering her education beginning in January!  Yes, I will have a college student beginning January 11, 2016!  God has blessed us to where we can afford to send her to college for a degree that will help her go far in life.

We truly do have so much to be thankful for, and we are!  Each and every day!

Thanksgiving 2015


Men’s Devotional Bible


Recently, I was the recipient of a Men’s Devotional Bible.  Sure, I had seen my wife with her brightly colored pink devotional bible for women, but the thought never really crossed my mind about having one of my own.  Until I received this gift.

You may be asking what could be so special about the Men’s Devotional Bible, and you may think this is just another copy of the Good Book.  However, as I began to take more time to dig into this bible, I saw a daily devotion drawn from the Bible to encourage and strengthen a man’s heart and life.  So now we have The Word, and we also have devotional material … just like that of my wife’s bible but geared more toward a man!

Each book of the bible is introduced with a subtitle and a brief overview of its understanding.  This is particularly interesting to me as I sometimes find parts of the Bible to be hard to read or understand.   Some examples of this are SONG OF SOLOMON 2:8-17 TRUE LOVE’S WAYS  and JOB 16  WHEN IT FEELS AS IF GOD IS AGAINST US.

Another interesting feature of this Bible are the 14 articles written to contribute to man’s walk with God and a dictionary of key terms in the Bible.

I recommend this Bible as a unique gift idea any time, but especially now at Christmastime.  This devotional bible will help develop any man’s desire to get closer to God, be a better man, husband, or father, and be kept away from daily distractions.

I am very thankful to my wife, Shirley, for the gift of this bible!

If you have a special man in your life that you’d like to give this gift to, why not enter our giveaway below?



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Special thanks to Fly By Productions/Propeller for the opportunity to review such awesome products.  Opinions are ours and not swayed in any way due to items received for review.

This review was written by Dusty, Shirley’s husband.


The Absent Father

He hasn’t been around for the past few years.  Since she turned 16, they “allowed” her to choose if she wanted to come visit.  After how she was treated and forced to endure the harassment from her step mom in her tender years as a child, she chose NOT to visit.  Others in divorce situations were not forced to go visit if they did not want to do so.  They could decide as early as their parents would let them, but in most cases when they reached 13 years old, they could refuse to go.  Not in my daughter’s case, though.  Her step mom demanded that she visit and then said that by law she HAD to come until she was 18 years old.   Yet every time she went, her step mom would say ugly things to her, often harping on her clothes and telling her how they were not good enough.  Then the step mom would start in on my daughter’s makeup, and it became the norm for her to be called a “slut” or “whore” due to how my daughter wore her makeup.  She preferred eyeliner, while, obviously, the step mom did not.  The comments were uncalled for and extremely hurtful.  Makeup, nor clothes, make one a “slut” or “whore.”   The step mom would often shame my daughter as well.  She picked at my daughter about having a tummy, to the point that my daughter would not eat.  I did not want her to become anorexic, and I tried to talk to my daughter to undo the damage that her step mom continually did to her by the comments that she made.  My daughter has NEVER been fat, not one single day in her life.

We celebrated with my daughter the day she was no longer being forced to endure this torture from her step mom.  We danced around the house and were so thankful that it was all over.  She had freedom every other weekend now and several weeks during the summer and at Christmas.   She did not have to go to their house where she would stay in her room the entire time to try to avoid the harsh remarks and ill treatment from her step mom.  Then they labeled her anti social.  That simply was not ever the case.  She just chose not to be around, out in the open, for her to become a target yet again.

This whole thing has been so heartbreaking to sit back and watch all of these years knowing that I could not do anything about it.  By court order, she was to go visit her father.  Under normal circumstances, I would never ever have a problem with her going to visit her father.  But knowing what she faced each and every time she went at the hands of her step mom … we all dreaded when the time would come for her to go.  She would cry the entire time to his house (one hour), begging us not to “make” her go.  It wasn’t us, though.  Our hands were tied.  I tried to talk to her father before about the treatment she was receiving at the hands of the step mom when he was not around, but of course, he defended his wife.  The majority of the time when she was there, he was working so he was not around to see or hear the remarks made.

When they finally realized she hated it there, they gave her an out.  Thank GOD!  If only it had come a few years earlier, though, so she would not have had to endure all that she did …

She had mixed emotions at first.  Thankful that she finally had a say, yet disappointed that he’d rather turn her room into his office instead of have her there.  It’s hard to deal with emotions like this.  She feels torn as she loved when she could visit with him – just him and her brother – yet her step mom did everything to keep them apart when he wasn’t working and everything in her power to make my daughter’s visit miserable.  Each … and … every … time!  She was not allowed time alone with her dad to bond either.  That is what her little girl heart wanted and needed most, though.  She would even get up super early in the mornings to go with her dad to the construction sites JUST to spend time with him.  Then her step mom would make remarks about that or just flat our refuse to let her go with her dad.

I am a “Daddy’s Girl.”  I always have been.  It is heartbreaking for me to sit back and see that my daughter craves the attention from her dad, yet he gives none.  I have tried to encourage their relationship all of these years.  I tried to get him to call her, but he wouldn’t.  Then I tried to ensure that my daughter called him.  He was the adult, though, so he should have put forth more effort.  I, the ex wife, should not have had the responsibility to ensure that they talked during the week between visits.  Finally, I stopped.  And no phone calls were made by either party.  I even called him before to ask if he’d take her out for ice cream, my treat, just so they could have some bonding time together.  That never happened to my knowledge.  My attempts to make him spend time alone with her doing father-daughter bonding failed.  So I stopped that, too.

He came to her graduation in May, but she stood in the hallway moments before the ceremony was to begin with tears in her eyes because she did not think he would show up.  I stood out there with her, encouraging her the entire time.  “Yes, honey, he will be here,” all while silently praying to God for Him to make sure that man walked through the door! Finally, he did.  He had his wife with him, though, and other family members that appeared standoffish. After the graduation, we invited him to the graduation party we were throwing for her.  He declined.  When we returned home after her party and she went to open his graduation present, she found cheap items from Dollar Tree along with a few framed pictures.  She was deeply hurt and saddened that they thought so little of her to give her … THAT … for her graduation.

A week later, we would discover that he rushed down to the Clerk of Court’s office to have the child support terminated.  Her graduation was May 22, and the court papers were signed May 26, 2015.  He wasted NO time in going to terminate it, yet he was ordered to pay the arrearages due to him not paying several times over the years to where a huge balance accumulated.  To date, he still has not paid the arrearages.  So, back to court we shall go.

In the mist of all of these months that have passed since her graduation, he has only tried to contact her once.  He left a “guilt” message on her voicemail saying something to the affect, “This is your daddy, I thought maybe you needed a reminder of who I was since I haven’t heard from you.”  She did not return his call.

She is angry and hurt all rolled into one.  The absent father is still causing her pain to this very day.

She found an article online and shared it on her Facebook page about how her father should have been the first man to love her, cherish her and treat her right.  It went on to say that he should have tried to have a relationship with her all of these years and how he should have made HER a priority in his life.  Her hurt and pain was apparent that evening through her Facebook post.  I wrote under it:

I love you more than you will ever know in this lifetime. And I promise to always do everything in my power to make sure you know how truly special you are. I know you miss your dad. I can’t be him, but I can cradle you in my love always. I can’t make up for when he should have been there. But I am here. I am your biggest fan, and I am so proud of the young lady you are. He is truly the one missing out. ((Hugs))

The next night when she was laying on her bed as I passed in the hallway to tell her good night … she stopped me in my tracks as she asked, “What is so wrong with me that my own father doesn’t want anything to do with me?”  I sat on the edge of the bed as I looked her in the eyes and said, “Honey, there is not a single thing wrong with YOU.  YOU, my dear, are NOT the problem!  You are smart, beautiful, and my pride and joy!  Your dad is the one with the problem, and he truly is the one missing out.”

We talked for a little while longer.  I can still see that she is hurting over not having her father in her life.  I want to make this all better and take it all away from her.  Yet, I know realistically that I cannot.  As hard as I tried for 18 years, I have come to the realization that I cannot make him be the father that she needs, wants, and deserves to have had all of these years.  I have stopped wasting my time and energy trying to encourage a relationship with a man that does not have his priorities right in his life.  Yes, you can work all your life, but on your death bed, are you going to say, “The one thing I regret is not working more …” ???  NO!  You will not!  The biggest regret he will have is not making his family a priority, not spending more time with his daughter and not telling her how much he loves her.  In my heart, I know he loves her.  I am not sure why he will not SHOW it and be there for her … but I realize that people are different in the ways that they love and in how they express their love.  I tried to tell him before his father’s passing in 1997 to SAY what he needed or wanted to say to his father so he would not have any regrets later.  Their family was not ones to say “I love you” or hug.  I tried to encourage him to TELL his father that he loved him.  To my knowledge, he did not.  He, instead, tried to remain as distant emotionally as possible, and now, years later, he does regret not telling his father what was in his heart.  I believe one day, he will have the same regret with not having the relationship he should have had with his daughter and not telling her and SHOWING her the love he has in his heart for her.

While her biological father has been absent the past several years, my husband stepped up years ago when we married and became the father that my daughter needed in her life.  While he was her “step” father, he has been more of a father to her than her biological father ever has.  We have never tried to replace her real father, but I am thankful that my daughter has had a father figure in her life for the past 17 years.  Together, we have tried to give my daughter all the love we can so she will know how truly special she is to us!

If you are a father reading this, MAKE TIME for your child!  You do not have to be the absent father any longer.  Go to your child if it is where you can, and TELL them how much they mean to you.  Start now with mending the relationship between you two, and vow to BE THERE from this point forward.  The children need you – regardless if they are infants or 60 years old. They need their fathers in the picture and in their lives!

Life Altering

“Mama … “ a weak voice trailed off followed by deep sobs.

“Somebody hit me.” 

Instantly fear and panic filled my body.  My baby!!  MY BABY!!!!

“Oh my GOD … YOU or the vehicle?  Are you okay?  Where are you?” I questioned as the blood seemed to drain from my body.

“My car … I can’t … I can’t get out of the driver’s door.  I’m trapped.”

I grabbed my purse and out the door I went alerting my coworkers that my daughter was in a car accident.

Racing to the scene of the accident, a million thoughts assaulting my brain!  I can’t think. I can’t do anything but get to my daughter, and I can’t even do THAT fast enough!

And there it was.  On top of the hill, pushed to the other side of the intersection, was my daughter’s Jeep … with her still inside.  Unable to get out.

Police were in the intersection, I put my emergency flashers on and attempted to get my noodle legs out of the vehicle to go to her.  A hand in the air from across the intersection insisted that I stay where I was.  “But, that’s my BABY …” I pleaded!  He shot me a stern look and demanded that I stay where I was.  That was one of the hardest things in my LIFE to ever have to do was stay where I was knowing my daughter was still inside the vehicle!

The ambulance was on the scene at this point as well, and I said into the universe, “Oh my God … oh my God … it’s worse than I thought!”  as it felt as if my heart dropped completely out of my body.

They were able to help my daughter to safety, and the stern faced officer motioned for me to get inside my vehicle and follow them across the street.

Getting into my vehicle as fast as I could, feeling my hands trembling and my thoughts still being assaulted, I drove slowly through the intersection and what remained of my daughter’s car in pieces on the asphalt.

Reaching the grassy shoulder of the road, I bailed out of my vehicle so fast when I saw her standing there.

My daughter.



And I embraced her like I have never embraced her before.  She was still crying, in shock, and my heart was eternally grateful that she was still with us.

Oh, Thank you GOD!!!

At the emergency room, it was determined that she had a mild concussion and contusions to her left shoulder and left hip.  The driver of the dark green colored Mustang failed to stop for the red light.  My daughter, who left the bank mere moments before to go to lunch, proceeded through the intersection once her light turned green … and the rest is what you read above.  The Mustang’s driver hit my daughter’s Jeep Grand Cherokee with such force to sling it like a rag doll across the intersection.  He hit square on the driver’s door, caving it in.

This event could have been a truly life altering event even more than it has been.  I thank GOD for sparing my daughter’s life!!!

This just goes to show you that you can be going about your day doing everything right and due to no fault of your own, your life could change forever.

My daughter is still having headaches and pains in her neck as a result from the accident.

Her Jeep … is a total loss.  We’re in negotiations with the Mustang driver’s insurance company to get reimbursed for our Jeep.  Although the driver’s door took the brunt of the force from the Mustang, the frame is bent, as is the pole inside the vehicle between the driver’s door and the back door.  The driver door would not open, and the back door is warped.  In the mist of this, though, is the good news that the steel bar inside the driver’s door prevented the Mustang from coming into the vehicle on my daughter.  That steel bar saved her life!

In a single moment, in the time it takes to blink, simply BLINK … our lives could have been altered forever.

I thank God for my daughter, for her safety, for His hand of protection over her.

It is disheartening, though, that friends … those that considered themselves family … have not even called to check up on her after learning of her accident.   Alas, God will heal our hearts from that as well.

Appreciate those that you have in your life.  Hold them close to your heart, and never EVER take them for granted.

No one is guaranteed another day on this earth, another minute, another second … only God knows the amount of time we have.

I have asked both of my daughters if their hearts are right with God.  I have stressed the importance because we just never know when our time is up here on earth.  They have assured me that they are saved.  I pray that they are.

And I thank God for more time with my daughter.





A Christmas Angel

ChristmasAngelWe all go through difficult times when we feel lost and that there is no hope. I have been through that many times in my life. Occasionally God sends us something that renews our hope and spirit. Something that touches our lives in ways we can never forget. Each year as the holiday season begins, I am always reminded of one of those times when God sent a special gift our way; a Christmas Angel.

It was my sophomore year in high school. My parents had been divorced for five years. Things were difficult for mom as she had two growing kids to feed and clothe with only a small child support check to help out every two weeks. Mom worked two jobs and I was working one day a week to help with the household expenses. But as sometimes happen, that fall several things needed repair and that put mom behind with all the bills.

As the holidays approached, with no knowledge of what was going on, my sister and I began to decorate the house as usual in anticipation of the wonder of the Christmas season. Mom had signed us up to create banners to be hung in church each Sunday in Advent. It was a wonderful family project where the three of us would gather around the dining room table on Saturday night to come up with ideas for a banner to go with the scripture lesson that Sunday.

It was the second week of Advent and we were around the table talking about ideas for that week’s banner. Julia and I noticed something didn’t seem right with the way mom was acting. After about a half an hour of trying to come up with an idea for the banner, mom sat us down and told us that there wasn’t any money for the holidays that year. Things were so bad that we were in danger of having the gas and electric turned off. Mom started to cry and held the both of us for a while. There was a feeling of being lost and alone with no hope for the future that was felt by all three of us.

But mom wouldn’t let that get in the way of us getting the banner for the services the next day. As we began to glue the letter and symbols on to the banner, there was a knock at the front door. It was rather late on a Saturday night, around 10pm or so, so we paused before heading to the door to see who was there. Mom opened the door, but there was no one there only an envelope that was stuck in the screen door with mom’s name on it. Mom walked out on the porch but did not see anyone.

She came back in and sat down at the table staring at the envelope for several minutes. When she finally came to open it, she found $300 inside. There was no note; just cash. We all sat there in silence. God had brought us a gift delivered by an angel. We never found out who the person was or where the money came from. Mom was able to pay the bills and provide us with a nice holiday dinner with the money in the envelope. There were no gift for us that year. But that didn’t matter. We were safe and provided for by God’s spirit and the thoughtfulness of an unknown stranger; a Christmas Angel.

My Grandma’s Bible

The book with the worn cover sat beside her favorite overstuffed rocking recliner in the living room.  Picking it up, she would run her long fingers over the curled edges, then flip it open to reveal vibrant colors of yellow and pink along with cursive writing along the sides.  I’m referring to my grandma’s bible.

After my grandmother’s death two years ago, this bible was given to my dad.  It took him a while to be able to open it to read what my grandmother had written.  When he felt strong enough, he ran his long fingers over the same cover, just as my grandma used to do, before he opened.  He paused to gather his composure as he saw her “chicken scratch writing” as she used to describe it.  Tucked inside were slips of paper in the form of notes that her grandchildren had written when they were little.  One such note was written by me as a child.

As my dad carefully turned the pages of his mother’s bible, he found notes along the sides and in the back that she had written about her family.  Some were even prayers about her family, pleading with God for His hand of protection and safety over us all.

My grandmother probably never realized the greatest gift she was leaving behind for her family; the gift of her thoughts as she pondered God’s word and highlighted her favorite verses that spoke to her through the years.  Now she continues to speak to us through the words she wrote in her bible.

Long before there was even a notion of creating a journaling bible, my grandma created her own.  Now that this generation has realized the value of such, they’ve created a place for your notes and thoughts in the form of a journaling bible!

Having just received my very own journaling bible, I’d like to share with you how impressed I was and still am with it!
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The bible came in a protective case. Once I carefully slid the bible out of the case, I couldn’t help but run my hand over the cover as it felt almost like suede.  It does not have the traditional bible cover.  Instead, it looks just like a fancy journal.  I opened it and carefully turned the cream colored pages to find two inch margins to write thoughts and prayers of my own!  My thoughts immediately turned to my grandma and how she would have LOVED to have a bible like this!

Is there someone in your life that would appreciate a journaling bible?  Or, would you like one yourself?  If so, please be sure to enter our giveaway below!


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A special thank you to Fly-By Productions/Propeller for the opportunity to review this journaling bible.

Faith of Our Fathers

Recently, we settled in for the night with hibachi takeout, popped in the DVD Faith of Our Fathers, and sat back for an enjoyable family night together with our 11 year old daughter.  One thing I especially love about these types of movies is that they are Christian movies.  You do not have to worry about the content or if anything will be inappropriate for little eyes to see or hear.

This particular story line began with John Paul and Wayne searching for answers to questions they had for years about the fathers they never knew.  Sadly, both of their fathers died 25 years before in the jungle of Vietnam.

As the plot thickens, the two young men decide to embark on a journey together to the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC.  Along the way, John Paul and Wayne learn about who their fathers really were and what they believed in.  They were afforded this opportunity by reading letters their fathers had written years earlier.  They became to understand that their fathers both struggled, just as they did.  Thankfully, the fathers turned to God for help.  A very interesting fact John Paul learned is that his dad wanted to be a preacher.  In fact, John Paul actually lead Wayne’s dad to Christ before they both died while serving the Lord and their great country.

Toward the end of the trip, the story unfolds into the young men unexpectedly meeting both their father’s platoon leader who served with them in the war.  The story line will keep you on the edge of your seat as you travel along with them on this journey!

We encourage you to see this movie.  In fact, here is your chance to enter our giveaway below for your very own copy of Faith of Our Fathers!   Be sure to enter, and best of luck to you!

A special thank you to Fly By Productions/Propeller for the opportunity to review this DVD.  I was given a copy of the DVD; however, it did not influence my review.  The opinions expressed here are our own.

~Dusty, Shirley’s husband.

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A Christmas Wish

I am sure some of you may be thinking, it’s not even Thanksgiving and you are posting about Christmas already. I am posting this now because I would like to introduce our little holiday contest. We have a gift bag full of surprises to give away during the holiday season and we just couldn’t wait to get started.

So here is how this works. Christmas is the season of giving. We run around looking for the perfect gift for those important people in our lives. Then we run some more for those office gift exchanges or Secret Santa’s we always seem to get into. What we here at Light, Love, Hope want to know is what do YOU want for Christmas; what do you REALLY want for Christmas?

We have a bag full of stocking stuffers to give away. So post your Christmas wish as a comment on our Christmas Wish page or on this post on our Facebook page. We will be picking random winners throughout the next several weeks. You have until December 15th to get your wishes posted.

Click here to post your wish to our “A Christmas Wish” page.

To get things started, I will share with you what I really want for Christmas.

Over the years, I have been told that I am a very hard person to know what to get for Christmas. I can see how people would think that as if I see something I want I just get it for myself. My family rarely asks what I want. They know that I have a passion for popcorn, but that is the one thing they never buy for me. That is a mystery to me. I will admit much of the time I tell them that there isn’t really anything I want. That is not really a true statement. There is something that I have always wanted, but it is not something that you can buy in a store. It is something that I missed greatly from my childhood.

Each year during the holidays, we would decorate the whole house with lights and candles. We had a very nice fireplace that we would decorate with holly and lights. Each Saturday night we would light a fire in the fireplace, have only the Christmas lights on, and have Christmas music playing on the stereo. We would sit there with our Advent calendar and read the passage of the day in front of the fire. We then just sit by fire for the evening listening to all the wonderful Christmas melodies playing softly in the background. I miss that a lot.

So here is what I would really like for Christmas. I would like to spend an evening with someone sitting with some music playing (a fire in a fireplace would be nice but not necessary ) who would let me lean my head on their shoulder and hold their hand. That is it. That is all I want.

So what do you really want for Christmas?


Mountain Days

My family and I traveled to Barnardsville, North Carolina the weekend of October 23-25, 2015. We were very impressed with this historic 1900s cabin which has now been modernized to include a bathroom!


The owners, Ann & Jay, were wonderful! They were very accommodating and helpful during our stay. One of our horses is an escape artist and got out of the paddock the first night, which gave us a heart attack when I was laying in bed and looked out the window to find she was missing. Thankfully, though, she didn’t go far and was actually beside the cabin when I flung the cabin door open to look for her! Whew! She also escaped another time to visit two neighbor geldings in the next paddock. She stretched the fence, which we felt badly about and offered to help fix, but Ann did not seem upset at all. She fixed the fence in no time flat!  The reason behind her escape adventures was due to someone turning the electric fence off in the barn.  This was quickly remedied, and our horse remained in the paddock throughout the remainder of our trip!Pisgah1


Our first ride there was actually just up the road and toward Ann’s house. The view is breathtakingly beautiful, and we appreciate that Ann allowed us to ride to her house to use the round pen. It was rather steep so our mares took several resting breaks, but it was so worth it when we reached the top!


Saturday we explored Pisgah National Forest’s Big Ivy. We walked our horses from the cabin right into the forest where we rode for hours near creeks and around the mountains!

This was my daughter’s first time in the mountains with her Pinto pony. She was nervous and excited all rolled into one! They both did a great job crossing the creeks with ease, though. Several times our horses stopped right in the middle to drink the cool mountain water from the creeks. I’m sure it was quite refreshing after traveling many miles up, down, and around the mountains.

Creek Crossing In Pisgah
On our last day there while traveling up the mountain, we encountered a portion of the trail that was rather steep and narrow. We hated to turn around because we were so close to the very top of the mountain, but safety won so back down the mountain we went. We didn’t feel so bad when two other equestrians attempted it behind us yet turned around for safety’s sake as well.

The view was breathtaking with splashes of vibrant reds, yellows, oranges, and greens on the horizon. We timed it just right for the changing of the leaves this Fall in the mountains!


We had a great time during our mountain days and highly recommend this mountain getaway! While we’ve ridden in Dupont before, we fell in love with Pisgah!


Halloween Adventure

Wow, what an absolutely beautiful Halloween weekend!  We stayed at the Saddle Pad just outside of Camelot Farms in St. Helena, SC, with our 11 year old daughter.

The cottage was warm and welcoming.  We loved the horse bedding as well as the entire horse theme they had in the cottage.

They had nice sized paddocks for the horses, and we really loved that they were right next to the cottage where we could check up on the horses.  It was really nice having them that close.  We could literally look out the living room window and see them.

This is the first time our daughter has taken her Pinto pony to the beach, and she had the BEST time!  We enjoyed having the opportunity to walk to the semi private beach any time we wanted on our horses.  Thursday night we timed it just right as the sun was setting on the way back!


Friday we rode to the beach again where we had a fun time trotting and loping our horses!  We had lunch on the beach as well and enjoyed the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore.  Shortly thereafter, we took the trails around Camelot Farms.  That evening, we went into Beaufort for a haunted carriage ride put on by CAPA.  They were dressed in costumes as ghost stories for the Beaufort area were told, and on the streets different characters would startle us as they told their version of the story or appeared at just the right time during our tour.  This was the BEST ghost tour we’ve ever been on, and we’ve been on several in the Charleston area.


Saturday we took the dirt roads that lead to the plantation house that was used in Forest Gump!  We enjoyed the moss covered trees and had a really nice ride together.  The weather was perfect hovering around 70.  The people we encountered along the way were friendly and respectful to us on our horses, too, which is always nice.

While we were there, we visited the Old Sheldon Church Ruins as well as The Chapel of Ease.  That was a really cool backdrop for our Halloween pictures, too!  Chapel of Ease

We took our daughter trick-or-treating at the Hunting Island State park also, which she loved!  She was a hit with all of the little children as she was dressed as Mal from the Disney “Descendants” movie.

Mal costume

We had three beautifully amazing days on horseback!  We loved that we could vacation as a family and take our horses with us!   We had all of the accommodations from home with good quality time spent together as a family and on horseback!

We highly recommend this horse lover’s vacation!  While we enjoyed the beach access while staying at the cottage, Hunting Island allows horses on their beach December 1 – February 1 as well.  We took our horses last year and recommend it to anyone that has ever wanted to ride their horses on the beach!

Thank you for allowing us to share our Halloween Adventure with you!