Sunday, July 24, 2022

Engagement Surprise!

 Well it's been a minute but so much has been going on in our family....


We are so happy to announce our son's engagement to his girlfriend Nichole!  We couldn't be happier!  


Our big secret ❤️
We will never forget this cruise ❤️
Our hearts are full of joy to welcome this wonderful young lady into our family. I can remember the first time I prayed for Steve’s wife. It was the first full day we were home from the hospital. I remember sitting on the couch in NYC with my tiny cute little baby and I prayed Psalms 1 over his life and almost as an afterthought I prayed that one day God would send him the right person to marry. That seemed almost crazy that morning because he was so little & new. Over the years I’d pray that again & again. Well that prayer has been answered! We are so blessed to be able to announce their engagement ❤️❤️❤️❤️


First night of the cruise





She said yes

















Aren't they so sweet??? We are so happy for them!
And we are honored to have been there with them for their moment along with some of their friends.


He proposed the first night which was great! I couldn't hardly wait LOL

The next day we visited Nassau Bahamas
Our family has a knack for bringing a hurricane to Nassau!
It was pouring but we didn't care!

First we visited the old fort!


Then the Queen's staircase








The Gang




Then we went to Atlantis and tried the slot machines LOL Don't worry we each just played $1







We seldom do shore excursion through the ship it is just too expensive. I know they tell people not to do it on your own but.... we've always had great experiences. I think Mr Noel Daley was the best guide we have ever had in the Bahamas. His van was so nice and clean with great AC and plastic covered seats. He is a very nice man. So if you are going to Nassau I'd recommend him! his number there is 242-421-1501 and his taxi # is 283 He only charges $35 but make sure to give him a good tip! Tell him Yvonne sent you!!
















Later it cleared up LOL

But I have to share this story...

November 2019 we took a family cruise to the Bahamas. At that time our family was facing some situations that had me extremely concerned. Our ship stayed in Nassau overnight. The next morning I got up early & went to the upper deck to take pictures & pray/think about things. I’ve always loved lighthouses, I love what they represent. That morning I just did not see how some things would work out but I prayed that God would work them all out for my children & our family. Fast forward almost 2 years & everything I prayed about that morning has been resolved & has made a 180 degree turnaround going in the right direction! Thank you Jesus! I went up there as we were leaving & I sincerely in my heart thanked God for His help & for the wonderful things that have happened since then!!! What was nice was I had my new daughter in law to be sitting beside me! God is good!







We ate alot!






Jon & love to go off the beaten path. So the day we stopped at Princess Cay the private island, we went and did a nature tour







 



 




 




 





















the whole crew!




Steve and his best friends Michael and Dylan




My favorite daughter in law to be!!!




so sweet







we asked Jon what he was thinking....he said he was wondering what would be for supper LOL











We missed Shad so much but he just couldn't take the time off of his job as an officer yet. He's hoping to take a few days off next month but his schedule had just changed so it made it harder for him to go. He will be Steve's best man which makes me so happy! Jon will be doing part of the service and I'm sure I'll be doing my part in bawling because I love seeing how God has worked in y family!!

Monday, June 13, 2022

Youth Pastor Position

       




Our church is looking for a youth pastor. It would be a huge PLUS if he also could lead worship and be flexible in other areas. Grace Church is a rural Assembly of God church in Zephyrhills FL only 30 minutes from Southeastern University. We are a traditional church with a focus on missions, prison ministry and special needs ministry. The youth pastor would be expected to be involved in those areas too.   The youth pastor would need to be bi-vocational but a very nice parsonage with fenced in yard is included with electricity/water/sewer/garbage/security system. If interested call 352-567-6208 and send resume to theclanton5@aol.com  This position will be open August 1.

Please feel free to share



Sunday, June 5, 2022

Goodbye dear friend

 



This is our dear friend Guy Canaday's video.  He was our music pastor for almost 15 years and a very close family friend.  He died of cancer after a horrific battle.  He trusted God to the very end and was courageous.  We shared some wonderful times with him.  It was a blessing to have someone we could trust 110% as a pastor you don't always have that.  He was a big part of our family.  I had tried to write about him several times but I just can't really share all that is on my heart.  He was truly a brother to me we figured he had to be Jon's brother in law LOL and an uncle to our kids.  It's so hard to think he is gone from this earth- I've grieved ever since he got his diagnosis which was bad from the beginning.  It's been hard to see someone who has served God so faithfully suffer so much.  When he finally passed I felt peace about it because all the suffering was over.  From the beginning he'd say "I don't want to fail God"  He never failed God, he was so strong and he trusted God.  He was an example of someone who lived for God and died for God.  There will never be another person like him, he was unique.  He loved God and I smile when I think of all the wonders of heaven he is experiencing.  But it's hard for everyone left behind.  He leaves a big hole. 

My son and I did this video. Guy picked the song which I had never heard but it is perfect.  This has been a hard situation for us and his family.  Our church is sad he was such a part of everything.  

I'm glad we have the hope of heaven.  Heaven gets sweeter as time goes by.


Thursday, May 12, 2022

Chicken 5K

 Y'all sometimes I think I live in a sitcom and thankfully I can laugh at myself.  In fact I find myself and my predicaments to be quite funny....

So my chicken ownership is growing...  I have my three old girls.  




Then in March I bought these 4 at Tractor Supply  Supposedly they are sexed but I'm pretty sure the  brown one facing away is a Roo


Then Tuesday I got these 6 (5 pullets and a roo) from an animal rescue First Ladies Farm and Sanctuary.  They even got someone to deliver them to me since our caregiver is out with family illness (which means I'm home 24/7)

  


So 13  chicks in all.  Two of my old girls do not lay anymore on a regular bases and I'm suspecting
 2 Roos  but soon I'll have  9 laying hens!  



This is our set up  The pen on the left was given to me and I recently bought the pen on the right.  Same pen!  The old one is 10 plus years old and in great shape.  I use Holloway's Feed Store in Lutz.  I figured if the old one is in such great shape let me buy from the same folks!



I put concrete blocks around the coops so nothing can dig under.  Shad and I actually put the animal mesh on the bottom of the old coop but did feel like we needed it on the new one.  We also screened the old one since we have awful mosquitoes.  I paid for the company to do it with the new one!  It was a bit of a job.  

During the day the three older girls free range in the our yard that is fenced in.  The teen girls free range inside the chicken fence area.  

Well that brings me to yesterday....
After getting the new chicks Tuesday night I put them in a big dog kennel on our porch.  My plan was to introduce them yesterday morning... Oh I did but it didn't go well!  As expected there was some clucking & chasing but what was NOT expected was the little ones could get out of the openings of the secondary fence (as well as our chain link fence!)  Unfortunately all the cats (10 of them) and the dog were all outside the fence because there was so much squawking.  Dear Lord.... My animals never mess with the chickens but these tiny little things were irresistible.  They were all 6 running in different directions.  I'm yelling and running around like a crazy person  IN MY PJ's.  I literally ran a 5K according to my Fitbit!  Three of them I caught right away, after all I've been catching chickens since I could walk LOL I caught another by sheer luck and another one by stealth.  The last three ones ran into the woods outside our fence.  That last one was wily.  Our house is surround by woods on three sides and across the road is woods too.  That little one ran in and out of the fence and into both sides of the woods.  I finally called Jon and told him to come home because I could not catch that last one by myself.  At that point I was not thinking too kindly of that little $#%!  But the folks who run the rescue told me the story about theses chick's mama and how they rescued and loved her.  So I felt obligated to keep on trying to get the little idiot.  Jon came home and put his hunting clothes on and tried to chase it out of the woods towards me.  Tha didn't work.  Then I thought to get the crate with the other chicks in it and put it out.  That worked!  It came up and we were eventually able to corner it and it ran inside the chicken yard and into the old coop!  I slammed the door on it!  I added the other five and they've remained locked in and will remain locked in till they grow too big to get out the fence.  Chickens grow at an incredible pace.  
Last night the old chickens were quite confused and angry at having to go in the new pen.  But they all slept together and no one looked injured this morning!  

We are in the process of putting up security cameras, my boys were too sad that they missed out on the spectacle of me chasing all those chicks in my PJs! It was funny even to me a little bit although I may have to do some repenting LOL

If you are local and have a coop to give away or sell let me know!  I need another one!

It's so funny I grew up on a small farm and we also had a "family farm" outside of town.    I was determined to got to college so I never had to live like that....now I'm headed back that way!  I just need to get some pigs and grow a bigger garden.  At our old house I had a small side field that got great sun and I could grow anything there.  Here we have so much shade and the ground gets and stays wet in the summer.  But I have started back at trying to get one going. 







I did get this one planted.  I put chicken wire over it 






Because of this!





Finally I have to brag on Shad.  He was hired as a correctional officer and has been going through the training in which he has excelled.  He recently qualified for all his firearm training.  It was very intense and he scored high.  He goes out to the range with his friends on the weekends to practice.  We are so proud of him.  He's only 18 years old & one of the youngest hires ever.  He has accomplished so much for being only 18!  Who knows he may end up a warden one day.  It's great to see your adult kids do well.  Steve is doing wonderful as well.  Jon and I were talking the other night at how thankful we are that both of them have seem to find their "niche" and find their work satisfying.  








Monday, May 9, 2022

HOME

 Ten years ago, one decade ago we made it home with our girls..... how could a decade go by so fast?




This picture speaks to me...Jon holding Sarah after a 36 hour  (with lay overs) flight home from Ukraine.  But it represents more than that.  It represents God's faithfulness and our tenacity!  She was 5.5 years old in a 12 month outfit that I scrouged up since I stupidly brought her clothes the institution  said would fit her.   Plus factor in the trip and all the wardrobe and diaper changes...





At home.... Selah




Sarah slept like that for months but now she sleeps spread out in a queen size bed lol


They had a jungle themed room  it was cute


The summer of 2012 was absolutely the perfect and happiest summer of my entire life.  I don't know if I'll ever be that happy in every single area of my life again.  All my children were at home, everyone was healthy, the girls were fitting in perfectly, financially we were doing good.  Our church was growing,  Every single area in my life was perfect.  We did little day trips with the kids because our big vacation was going to be after we'd seen the eye specialist in August.  After we finished in Rochester we were going to go to Amish country in Pennsylvania and possibly DC.  But that never happened.....the accident happened instead.  

After writing several paragraphs and erasing them so no one calls for the men in white coats to come and get me, I'm just going to close by saying .....Enjoy your life, squeeze every moment of life to its fullness.  If your whole life isn't perfect focus on the areas that are.  When the good times are gone, at least you have the memories and be thankful for the good times you had.  

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Mother's Day 2022

 


Happy Mother's Day! 



I'm so blessed




yes a dozen....I'm sick!



Ironically I also got a new Fitbit...LOL  I love all my chicken decor too!




This is a casserole dish with a cover that's been personalized.  I love it



Today was lovely!  I love the folks God has given me and I'm blessed!



Would you like to help my friend out today who is working on her adoption?  What a great day to give hope to her and her husband!  I just bought 2 tickets...if all my readers could buy a ticket or just give a small gift it would help this dear couple so much!




Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there and also to all that long to be mothers and are fighting like me for their dream to come true. ☺️
On this Mother’s Day I invite you to help me celebrate this day for the first time. I’m hoping and praying that many of you will want to be part of our adoption story by “adopting” a puzzle piece to help bring our baby πŸ‘ΆπŸΌ home.
Each piece costs $15. For every piece that is bought we will write your name on the back. The puzzle will be assembled and once all 260 pieces are sold, it will be placed between two pieces of glass and hung up in our baby’s room. This way we can take it off the wall, turn it over and show our child how many people supported them before they were even born. 😍
Every piece purchased gives you a raffle ticket to win a $25 restaurant gift card and a new with tags Vera Bradley tote valued at $150. Please help us reach our goal by sharing this post/flyer so we can sell off these puzzle pieces. You are more than welcome to save this picture and share it that way too. I will set a date for this fundraiser to end in two months on July 4th! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ It is our hope they we can get all 260 pieces sold before that date and pull a winner for the raffle drawing sooner than later. πŸ˜‰ If you are not local to Lakeland and you win the raffle, the prizes will be shipped at no cost to you.
JT and I thank you so very much for supporting us. ❤️ We can’t wait to bring our baby home and share our joy with all of you who helped us along the way. πŸ₯°
Payment Methods
Cash or Check
PayPal: @shathomas78
Venmo: Sharon-Thomas-194
CashApp: ShaThomas327
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Thank you!!!