Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas

Christmas 2012


It’s been awhile since I‘ve written one of my “traditional” Christmas letters, so forgive me if this letter tends to be wordy!  I’m sitting here trying to think of what I could possibly have to say that would interest any of you (especially those of you who have lived through this year with me), and my mind draws a blank.  All I can do is shake my head and try to clear out some of the cobwebs as I begin to type. 

This year has been crammed full and hectic from day one.  I’ve just looked back over the calendar and am amazed at how many banquets, dinners, conferences, fund raisers, parties and pic-nics I’ve attended and still found time for church, work, family and vacation!

The biggest change that stands out in my mind is the recent push for outreach and the purchase of a bus at church.  Trying to reach out to others to witness is, well, scary.  Really, it is.  You have to look around, get outside of your box, and pay attention.  It makes you get down on your knees and double check everything on the inside to make sure it’s all cleaned up and then polish up on the Word to make sure it’s fresh in your heart.  I’ve prayed diligently this year that God would create in me a clean heart and a right spirit.  I know, I know…it’s such a big challenge for Him…but if anyone can pull that off, He can!  I can tell He has already begun the process, but sad to say He has so much work left to do on me!  I want to be ready to be used by Him exactly when He needs me.  I want to be found a worthy vessel…humble, obedient and willing.  That will be my prayer for 2013.

I’ve had a lot of fun this year…the youth trip to San Antonio, a quick trip to Round Top, the Spring Pic-Nic, the Crawfish boil, and vacation at Ink’s Lake.  There have been the usual illnesses, heartaches, and disappointments…a terrible bout with viral bronchitis, surgeries, Kirstyn’s diagnosis with Asthma and severe allergies, the wedding that wasn’t, Grandma’s pneumonia, Sis. Hammer’s sickness, the lives so tragically taken in Colorado & Connecticut, our economy, Obamacare, and the election.  I’ve enjoyed many milestones this year, too!  I got a new car, Ryan graduated from High School, Malissia got her Driver’s License, Kirstyn has one class left to graduate from college with her Associates Degree in Education.

All in all, I have much to be thankful for.  I live in America, the land of the free, the home of the brave.  I am a Christian and I know God personally…I even know His name, Jesus.  I have a job, a car, a house.  I have family and friends who love me in spite of all my faults.  I have good health, a right mind, and a fairly positive attitude.  Don’t laugh…it’s true. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to 2013.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store.  I know, no matter what, my Friend will be with me through it all, and so will you!

Merry Christmas and the bestest New Year EVER!

The Barrick Family
(Stephanie, Kirstyn, Ryan, Malissia, Bush & Ashlynn)

My beautiful children

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm Thankful for...

I have so much to be thankful for, I cannot complain!  God has been so good to me.  He has bestowed me with so many gifts this year - and I am of all people most unworthy!

He has blessed me with a home that I love and cherish.  I have a wonderful family, loving children, and a pastor and church family that surpasses all expectations.  I have friends and co-workers aplenty!  He has blessed me with good health, enough money to pay my bills, a new car, and great job and generous employer.  I have been given a right mind, a clean heart, the ability to love and to forgive.  I have the joy of the Holy Ghost in my soul and most importantly I know His name...Jesus!  The only name given whereby we MUST be saved!

I am thankful to live in America for even at its worst it is a thousand times better than living anywhere else!  With all of our imperfections, we still have freedom - to laugh, to pray, to be thankful or to grumble...whatever we want.  I am not afraid to walk out of my house, to fall asleep in my bed, of tomorrow and what it may (or may not) hold. 

I am grateful for my heritage.  For being an American citizen, for being a Maxwell by birth, for being a Christian, a child of God.  I could have been born at any time in any country to any parents, but God put me HERE, and for that, I give Him all the honor and praise.  He has been so good to me.

Of all the things I am thankful for, I am most thankful that He knows my name.  He knew me before I was.  The great I AM made sacrifices for me thousands of years before I was even to be, and then he left His holy WORD as a guide, a lamp post, a path, a landmark. 

How could I NOT be thankful?

Yesterday the ladies (and men) in the office got together to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Everyone brought a dish.  It was DELICIOUS and the fellowship will always be remembered! 

Buttermilk Pie, Apple Pie, MILLIONAIRES, a veggie tray, spinach dip, fruit salad and cranberry sauce...YUMMY!

Roasted Chicken, Broccoli Cheese casserole, green beans, glazed carrots, mashed taters n gravy
 I am thankful for all my co-workers and my employers!  It is truly a joy and a blessing to work in an environment that is pleasant and productive, with people who make you glad to come to work.  I can honestly say I never dread getting up and going to work.  I LOVE MY JOB!  :)

L-R Crystal, Buddi, JoAnn, Amber & Pam

L-R Crystal, Buddi, Amber, Pam, Brandi & JoAnn
A good time was had by all.  Thank you, John & Barbara, Albert, Wilbur, Brandi, Kim, Donna, Amber, Jo-Ann, Crystal, Buddi, BAM, and Pam, for making M-F at BVW a pleasant time & place to be!  May God bless you all abundantly this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

K.  Bye, now!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What I have to work with...

You've seen my posts about my dreams of a new bathroom.  I thought I should post a couple of pics of what it looks like right now.  I see a picture in my head of what I want, but I'm not altogether certain it will work...

Right side of bath
I absolutely love my apothecary cabinet...but may need to sacrifice it for counter and mirror space.  I could probably move it to the living room or kitchen...but it makes me sad...

My sink area does NOT function well at all.  The faux drawer is a waste of a drawer and there is no shelf in the lower cabinet area, so all I can do is try to keep stuff organized on the bottom while vast amounts of space go unused!

I have pretties in the apothecary cabinet, and a few perfume bottles (I once thought about collecting them and then gave up on it!).  The bottom shelf holds a basket which stores my blow dryer and curling iron and hot sticks.  I have a basket on the floor in front of the apothecary cabinet (not shown in photo) that holds my towels.  It works ok...but there has to be a better way.

Left side of bath
The tub butts up agains the wall at the end.  This is the side of the bath I am MOST unhappy with.  For starters, when this bathroom was gutted, I knew absolutely nothing about bathrooms.  My contractor advised me to get a tub surround (even though there was no shower EVER in this bathroom).  The only tub surrounds I found at Lowe's and Home Depot was for a shower.  So...I bought it.  Instead of telling me about my mistake and making intelligent suggestions, my contractor CUT THE SURROUND DOWN TO SIZE and installed it!  No trim, no nothing except an ugly caulk line that I cannot ever get clean.

In addition to that, the "cabinet" at the end of the tub...it used to be a ceiling to floor cabinet with two doors.  The top door held linens and such, the bottom was for a clothes hamper.  I wanted this bathroom to be bigger, so I asked him to make it smaller, which he did.  I asked for a cabinet door on the outside with a removable shelf on the inside, which he DID NOT!  The only way to access the inside of this total waste of space cabinet is to hit the underside of the lid and pray you don't damage the sheetrock, since he also failed to install it with hinges!  So...needless to say...I don't use this cabinet at all.

As for dimensions...the bathroom itself is almost square.  The sides in the pictures are 83" each or 6.9 linear feet.  The two sides not pictured each contain a pocket door as they connect my bedroom to my daughters bedroom.  The door sides are 80" each or 6.6 linear feet with one exception - there is a small "buildout" wall behind the toilet that is 5" deep. 

The space from the outer edge of the sink cabinet to the wall on the other side of the apothecary cabinet is 53" or 4.4 linear feet.  The sink cabinet is 22" deep and 33" tall.  I would like this cabinet to be 36" tall.

The cabinet at the end of the tub (from the wall to the tub) is 24" or 2 linear feet.  It is 29" deep and 32" tall.  I would like to make this cabinet about 60".  My dream would be to incorporate a drawer (or 2) at the bottom deep enough to hold a rectangular laundry basket for dirty clothes.  I would like a cabinet with a shelf on the top portion, but I also want some way for the side facing the tub to be useful...or at least appealing and in sync with the overall ambience of the bathroom.

There is no window in this bathroom.  The only lighting is the 3 bulb fixture over the mirror, which I don't care for.  There is a "heater" in the ceiling that is never used and would be better served with another, more attractive, light.  Currently I have a linoleum type floor.  I would prefer tile.  I am looking for a pretty, but easy to maintain, countertop...like Corian.

As far as color schemes go...my favorite color is green - just about any shade of green.  I am also loving the dark plums and raisin colors right now.   I like brushed nickel, pewter, and iron oxide, so I'm open to most of that...just not bright and shiny fixtures that show a lot of smudges.  This bathroom is used A LOT!  And with two daughters, we go through hairspray like it's going out of style.  You can imagine how much I need a functional bathroom that is pretty but easy to keep clean.

Last of all, I need to give you an idea of my style preference.  I am a mix between country, cottage, shabby chic, and french country.  Not overly frilly but definitely feminine and airy.

So...any ideas?  Any help?  Any suggestions?  I'm open...please let me hear from you.  I am hoping to remodel this bathroom after the first of the year (2013).

K.  Bye, now!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Birthday, Little Man

Today is my son, Ryan Paul Barrick's, 20th birthday!  It's so hard to believe that he's a young man and not my little boy anymore.

Senior 2012
I am so proud of him...for all of his accomplishments and for his constant desire to be independent and self sufficient.  From the time he was born he has struggle to do things HIS way!  He learned to walk by the time he was 9 months old!  At 3 years, he still struggled to speak so he started school...within 6 months he had mastered speech and began laying it all out for everyone!  :)

He is a bit OCD...and I say that with a loving and patient heart!  He would cry if his clothes didn't match his shoes and tie.  Every hair had to be in place.  Don't touch anything in his room...he knew exactly where everything was and knew INSTANTLY if you had invaded his space! 

The night he received the Holy Ghost was a wonderful, precious night!  It was so wonderful to see God do a work in his heart...finally...God was real to him!  And even though he is not following in God's will at this time...I have faith that it is deep within his heart to do so and that he will find his way back to the fold!

He was always the one to agitate, tease and pick on his sisters.  He would walk through the kitchen and moon them just to see if they noticed.  He'd walk around the house without a shirt on so everyone could admire his "6-pack", which was his ribcage!

He has always been a people person...never meets a stranger!  He has friends by the droves.  While he is not a leader...he is not a follower.  He is not intimidated by the crowd...not afraid to stand for what he thinks is right.

But underneath all the teasing is my little man.  He loved to sit on my lap, for me to read stories to him, to sing him to sleep.  Hank the Cowdog, Adventures in Odyssey, Louis L'Amour...all his heroes! 
My prayer for you, my precious son, is that you will never lose your adventurous spirit, never forget all God has done for you, always remember where you came from and who loves you most, and that when you ride off into the sunset you will be able to hold your head up proudly! 

May this birthday be the bestest ever!  May it bring you untold measures of joy, love and happiness.  I love you with all of my heart and am the proudest momma ever to call you my son!  Happy Birthday, sweetie!


K.  Bye, now!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Getting ready for Thanksgiving

I'm so excited!  Due to a series of unfortunate events, Thanksgiving is going to be at my home this year!  Let me clarify...the events were unfortunate, having Thanksgiving at my house is NOT!  :)

Every year we have Thanksgiving at Grandma's house.  There were a couple of years when we had Thanksgiving at Dad's house, when Grandma was in the hospital.  This year, she is well and at home, but they suffered a pipe leak in their slab and all the beautiful wood floors in their house have been ruined.  There is absolutely no way to get the repairs done in time for the holiday.  Normally this would mean Thanksgiving would take place at Dad's house, but they opted this past year to get rid of their dining room table and convert the formal dining room into a home office!  Since Jeremy (my brother) and his wife, Karren, live over an hour away, the final option is MY HOUSE!  WOO-HOO!  :)

We have spent much of the morning planning the day.  Turkey, ham, shrimp gumbo, potato salad, dressing, corn casserole, green beans, macaroni & cheese, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls, coconut cake, chocolate cake, peanut butter fudge, short bread cookies, tea, coffee and cocoa.  Does life get any better than that?  We are planning on eating everything on paper/plastic to save the kitchen slaves backs!  :)  Then family board games and maybe a trip around town to look at the lights. 

We have much to be thankful for!  A home, warm bed, lights, a/c & heat, food, clothing, shoes, good health, lots of love, a good job, and most importantly...God's love, mercy and blessings!

The only downside to this day will be that my 2 daughters will be in San Antonio with friends...but they are good friends and I am willing to share this holiday for them!  I know they will be well taken care of and create memories to last the rest of their life.

So...how about you?  What are your plans for this lovely Thanksgiving?  Going out to eat?  Having the family at your house or going to that special loved ones to share the holiday?  Any holiday traditions?  Fond memories?  Share them with me!  I'd love to hear from you! 

I'll try to post pictures of our special day to share with you after the holiday.  Until then, it's going to be really busy at my house cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.  I am usually the type of person who keeps the closets orgainized and the cabinets cleaned out and I like to stay on top of the laundry...but when it comes to wiping down the ceiling fans, the base boards, the cobwebs in the corners...not so on top of it.  So...it's down to business for me this next week.

Thank goodness I already have the coconut cake and chocolate cake in the freezer waiting to be thawed and iced.  That alone will save me HOURS!  :) 

Happy Holidays, folks!

K.  Bye now!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bath Details...

I've been at it again!  Searching and pouring over internet sites looking for the "perfect" bathroom accessories.  Once again I find myself unable to make a firm decision...

I already have some lovely green towels that will stay in this bathroom, but I think I may add some purple...

Microdry Bath Towels and Sheets

Nice, huh?  I love the deep, dark purple color.  I'm very interested in the bath "sheets" which are just a fancy name for EXTRA BIG towels!  :)

I'm also looking for a shower curtain and rod.  I'm probably going to get one of those round shower rods that hang from the ceiling...since I don't have a shower mounted to the wall. 

These are 3 lovely shower curtains I found on Bed, Bath & Beyond's website (along with all of my other postings today!).  Any of them would work...it all depends on the paint color I choose for the walls.

How well do these hooks match the items I talked about in my last post???

Shower Hooks

And last of all, I found a couple of styles of accessories I'd love to have in my bathroom.  Of course, all I really need is the toothbrush holder and trashcan...but a girl can dream!

The green set probably really wouldn't match, but since green is my FAVORITE color, I had to include this set!  Love it!

Well, that's about all of my rambling for today.  Maybe I'll find me some paint colors, floor tile and backsplash tile soon...and perhaps I'll look around for some ideas for Malissia's/The Guest bathroom.

K.  Bye now!

Monday, November 12, 2012

I'm dreaming of a bathroom remodel...or two!

Usually I get the urge to remodel & or redecorate in Spring, so why this is constantly on my mind now I cannot fathom.  I want to remodel my bathroom!  I have gone so far as to take measurements of the space and look up some of the items I want. 

Why is it that I can Google thousands of pictures of bathrooms and cannot find ONE that remotely resembles what I am looking for?!?  I am somewhere between Cottage and French Country. 

Here are a few items I have found at Home Depot that I LOVE (I looked around on competitors sites and the prices were nearly double...so Home Depot and I will be renewing our friendship!)

MOEN Glenshire Pivoting Mirror
 This is the item that actually started the whole "I need a new bathroom" urge!  Who wouldn't love an oval pivoting mirror (or 2) in their bathroom?  It's absolutely lovely and I can see myself owning it in the near future!

I have a color scheme in mind...soft whites, brushed nickel fixtures, a lovely green on the walls with dark plum or raisin colored accent pieces. 

MOEN Eva 4" centerset faucet

MOEN Eva 2-Handle Roman Tub faucet
I love the soft curves and delicate lines on these faucets!  They are beautiful and I know I will enjoy using them for many years.

In addition, MOEN has several other pieces I am drooling over...take a look at these:

MOEN Lounge 24" Towel Bar

MOEN Lounge Towel Ring
MOEN Lounge Eruopean Single Post Toilet Paper Holder
I found a couple of lighting fixtures I like...of course, at Home Depot!

Glomar 3 Light 17" Flush Mount Light

Glomar Empire 2 Light 15" Vanity Light
After a bit of research I have decided I want to purchase a Corian countertop in Rain Cloud...love the resemblance to Cararra Marble without the upkeep and the more economical pricing.  Again, it is available at Home Depot!
Corian Rain Cloud
I have searched and searched for the style of cabinets I want, but I am afraid I will have to have them custom built...I cannot find EXACTLY what I am looking for!  :(  However, I have found something very close...

Vanity Countertop

Cabinet at end of tub
After much debate, I have opted to keep my drop in sink, toilet & tub and to keep them where they are.  This will save me MUCH money!  Because of this decision, I need the vanity to have the sink hole on the far right hand side of the cabinet.  The space fot this cabinet is 53".  I want 36" tall cabinets.  I would love the cabinet doors to be directly under the sink with a shelf inside, a drop down sitting area (at 30-32"?), and 4 small drawers on the far left hand side next to the wall.  I'm not the least bit picky, huh?

The cabinet at the end of the tub is a concept I have not completely made up my mind on.  The space is approximately 24" wide between the wall and the tub.  I want 2 stacked drawers on the floor, each deep enough to contain a rectangular laundry basket.  I would like some form of shelving/cubby on top of this, but I don't want it to go to the ceiling.  I want the look of a separate piece of furniture.  I would love there to be a small cabinet on the outer side (29" depth) with a shelf in it for linen storage, with a narrow (4-6") cubby with a shelf on the side facing the tub that would hold candles and a couple of pretty knick-knacks.

Sigh.  I can see it...but I can't find it!  Hopefully I'll find a contractor who can build this for me without too much expense.

I have not been able to decide on a floor tile, a backsplash, or paint.  I know I want the cabinets painted antique white and the walls a soft shade of green, but finding the exact color is going to be a bit of a challenge for me.

I am hoping to re-do this bathroom on a $2,500-$3,000 budget.  We will see.  In addition, I'd like to update the guest bath for less than $500!  :)  I'm picturing beachy cottage!  Pristine white bead boarding on all the walls to about 8" higher than the pedastal sink (we already have!).  Again, I do not want to buy new sink, tub or toilet, nor do I want to move them.  I'd like to paint the upper walls a nice, bright aqua blue and use silver accents.  I have 2 doors on the ceiling to floor linen cabinet that I would like to change out and buy new knobs, a new shower curtain and towels, and a new light fixture...maybe a small chandelier?  And I'm really hankering for a tile floor done in 1" squares of white with an occassional black tile thrown into the mix.  Can anyone else picture this?  If I can get this done over the winter months I'll definitely post pictures! 

Once that's done, I hope to tear down the wallpaper and trim in the living room and paint the walls RAISING with a soft white (grey tone) paint for the trim and the bookshelves.  Nothing like BIG plans!  Oh well, I redecorated 3 bedrooms this Spring!  There should be no reason I cannot get 2 relatively small bathrooms and a living room done this Winter!  :) 

Wish me luck! 

K.  Bye now!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy 17th Birthday, Malissia Lynn!

Yesterday was my baby's 17th birthday!  It doesn't seem possible!  She has grown into such a lovely young woman and I am extremely proud of her!

Kirstyn, Ryan, Malissia & Anthony
She was the child that slept from 7pm until 7am from the night she came home from the hospital.  She never cried...well, almost never!  When she did cry, all she wanted was Daddy!  Such a blessed relief!  If he didn't get up with her, she would cry until he did.  How many times he fell asleep sitting in the rocking chair while his hand was just inside the crib so she would sleep!?!  Hahaha!


Malissia has always exhibited a sweet disposition, always wanting to make others happy and maintain peace.  However...with a sister like Kirstyn and a brother like Ryan she quickly had to learn how to defend and stand up for herself! 

Golden Corral's cotton candy!  YUMMY!
 Some of you may not know that Malissia's nickname is Snacky.  I know, I know...you're all wondering...WHY?  Well, that's because Malissia thinks that sugar is it's own food group!  :)  She loves her some Skittles, cotton candy, AND oddly enough, Macaroni & Cheese!  Beware...if any candies come in individually wrapped packages, you may find them hidden under the base of a lamp, tucked into the side of the couch, under a pillow, between mattresses, etc...!  For some reason, she believes this is what she is supposed to do with the wrappers when she eats the candy! 

Bronwyn & Malissia
Cora, Malissia & Kirstyn
Malissia & Carissa
Malissia & Autumn
She has many friends.  God has blessed her with good friends at church, at school, and they are very close!

My Beautiful Daughter

Malissia Lynn Barrick
She has grown into such a lovely young lady.  She is learning to lean on and trust in God.  She is preparing to one day become a wife and mother and to cherish these opportunities.  She is crafty and artistic, loves to sew and cook, and loves animals.  Her favorite pasttime is reading (and eating candy, lol). 

Malissia, you truly are a joy and bring such a great measure of love to our family.  I love you bunches and bunches and pray God's bountiful blessings on your life.


K.  Bye, now!

Friday, September 21, 2012

When to let go and when to hold on...

Today is a topsy-turvy day for me.  I feel torn in several ways. 

My baby passed her drivers text Wednesday and drove her own car to school by her own self today!  Aaaauuuugggghhhh!  It's so HARD to let go and let them grow up.  Evidently I have trust and faith issues!  :)  I'm going to have to leave my faith in HIM to keep her safe and sound.  I don't remember it being this hard with my 2 older children.  Is this the beginning of "empty nest" syndrome?  Seeing the last child take the last steps toward adulthood?  I'm not so sure I'm ready for that yet.  God's got His work cut out for Him, getting me ready to face that part of my future.

In other news, Colby has called off the wedding.  I'm not sure if it's temporary or not.  We're gonna leave that in God's hands, also.  He is under a massive amount of pressure in his personal life with his family.  His mother was diagnosed in the early stages of Alzheimer's a couple of weeks ago.  Yesterday they found a brain tumor.  They are going to run an MRI on her and hopefully we will know more soon.  She is so young - late 50's - for this to happen.  Please keep her in your prayers!  And Colby.  Pray that we can convince them to go to MD Andersen, malignant or not.  We serve an AWESOME GOD who can do anything.  He is our creator, our savior, our friend, our healer, our comforter, our heavenly father.  He knows our every need before the need exists.  We don't know what the future holds, but we know WHO holds the future.  That is where I'm going to place my trust and faith that He will work all of this out for our good.

Ryan has moved back home...well, he's living on his own, but he is back in Nederland, TX!  I'm glad.  Hopefully God will continue to stir him and convict him to re-dedicate his life to Him.  He has a new job and is beginning to pull himself up from the financial trauma he has been through at the hands of his former employer.  He, too, needs everyone's prayers.

Kirstyn is doing as well as can be expected.  She took it hard when Colby called off the wedding, but she is trying to be strong and putting her faith in God.  She has grown so much in her faith.  I am so proud of her.  She is also trying to be there for Colby as a friend, when he needs someone to talk to and confide in about his family situation.  That takes an enormous amount of strength and courage.  She's going to be such a great Mom and Wife someday! 

There are so many other situations and people suffering...I wonder how people survive without God and a good, solid core of church family to pull them through!  It's such a relief to be able to call, email or text my church family and ask them to pray and sit back and watch their immediate response and concern.  They truly exhibit the love of Christ, the love of the Holy Ghost.  Such a priviledge to serve an awesome God!  He makes this life worth living.

Love you all!

K.  Bye now!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Happy Belated Birthday to my first born child, my oldest daughter, Kirstyn Gayle Barrick.  On September 11, 2012 you turned 22 years old!  You made me the happiest woman on earth when you were born and I became a mom!  You were a gift to me straight from God and I am so thankful for you.

Never in my wildest imagination could I have dreamed of the woman you would become!  You are such a unique individual.  :)  You are the daughter who has tested me until I was at my wit's end and when I thought all hope was lost, you actually listened to what I had to say, your pastor had to say, and what God was trying to tell you - and applied it to your life and made yourself a better person for it!

You are the daughter who will drop everything you are doing to take me to the doctor when I am sick, only to take pictures of me at my lowest and post them on Instagram!  You are the daughter who will clean the house to a T when you want to have a party or friends over, only to fight with Malissia about who's turn it is to take out the trash or close the garage door!

You are the daughter who always wants to include me in your plans to go out to eat with all of your friends, but only because Colby isn't going and you need someone to pay for your meal!  :)  Bwahahaha!  (You didn't think I figured all that out, did you?)

You always sound so sad when you hear about me and the girls at work going out to eat because we "left you out" even though you don't work with me and have your own friends to go out with. 

You are a mess!  A complete, total mess and I love you for it! 

You see no age limits between yourself and others - everyone is a potential best friend.  You love them ALL!  The children, the teenagers, the parents of all your friends, and the elderly.  No one is excluded from your circle!  You are who you are.  No show, no false image, no "putting on a good face" for company - just plain old Kirstyn. 

You are always the life of the party, always have a smile to share, a joke to crack, or someone to make fun of.  Again - you are no respecter of persons - you feel free to make fun of everyone, friend or foe, acquaintance or stranger - no matter.  Everyone is subject to your opinions - including yourself.  You do not get offended easily and are always quick to forgive and extend the olive branch.  You never hesitate to apologize when you realize you have been wrong, and never hesitate to accept apologies from others when they have hurt you.

You will soon graduate from college and I know you will be the best special education teacher in the world - because you are "special" yourself!  :)  Whether you choose to work with the young children in pre-school or the high-school crowd, they will all be blessed because you were in their life!

In 6 short months you will become Mrs. Colby Howell.  But I will not be losing you - I will be gaining a son-in-law.  Daniel and Anita are in for a BIG surprise when they take you into their family.  I am sure that you will bring much joy and laughter to their family!  In a few short years God will bless you both with darling, fat, blonde, dimpled babies - and I will be blessed to be their grandma!  I can't wait to see what the future holds for you, the path God has chosen for you.  I pray that you always follow after and seek His will.

I love you for ever, always, my baby you'll be! 

Love, Mom

K.  Bye now!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday, Monday

Back to work today!  Tons of emails to work, a few voice mail messages to respond to, and then...the paperwork!  Seriously - a major fire hazard!  :)  Oh well, job stability.

This weekend was rather eventful.  I had a class in San Antonio so I brought along Kirstyn.  We had a  nice stay in the hotel - it was very pretty.  BUT as luck would have it (:)) with all the rooms in an 8 story building MY hotel room was on the 8th floor!  :(  AND all 4 elevators were GLASS!!!  Kirstyn got a good laugh out of it, but it was pure torture for this "height sensitive" person!  I cannot complain about the hotel room or the service.  It was fabulous!  And the Life & Health Insurance class I was there for was pretty interesting, too, for a L&H class, that is!  :)

Malissia went along to Round Rock for the Youth Conference there Thursday - Saturday.  Such great reports were sent back.  The wonderful testimonies - I wish I could have been there!  Awesome church.

Getting excited and ready to go to Ink's Lake next week.  It's gonna be loads of fun and I hope to have some pictures to post.

And all along the way, God has tugged at my heartstrings.  With all of the stresses and cares of day to day living in this world, it has been nice to feel His presence so close to me when I felt so alone.  My Sunday morning prayer meeting was just the soul cleansing experience I needed!  Can't wait to meet with Him again - this evening! 

Well, I have no complaints.  Many cares, many worries, but no complaints! 

K.  Bye, now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A dream is a wish your heart makes...

This post is completely frivolous, no depth or merit to it at all!  Over the last 5-6 years my girls and I have "dreamed" of what they want for their weddings.  As some of you know, my oldest, Kirstyn, will be making her debut as Mrs. Colby Howell on March 09, 2013!  :) 

All this wedding talk has put Malissia, my youngest (16) in a frenzy of dreaming up her picture perfect "princess" wedding.  I am creating today's post for no other reason than to post a picture of these shoes that she found online at ETSY, but I am unable to pin it to my pinterest board for some unknown reason - probably because the one of a kind shoes have sold and are no longer available.  I want the picture so that we can either order them or make them ourselves when the time comes - SEVERAL years from now.

"Something Blue" Ballet Shoes
To give credit where credit is due, there are MANY more lovely shoes found at BeholdenBridal on ETSY.  Check her out!  Beautiful work making dreams come true!  :)

K.  Bye, now.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Charity, Love & the Heart

This weekend was nice.  Productive and relaxing all at the same time.  Went to the gym Friday night to fellowship, play games and play ball.  I participated in the fellowship - not so much the games or ball!  I had already had my exercise for the day and they were playing Nertz - a game I refuse to play.  My OCD kicks in and I get frustrated!  Not good for me, but hilarious to the other players!

Saturday was nice, slept all the way to 9:30am!  WOW!  Got up, had coffee, and cleaned out my sewing space.  I also cleaned out several drawers in my bedroom to make room for my fabric stash.  The drawers previously held remnants of old crafts that I have not and will not use or complete.  I filled up a trash bag and a box of TRASH to throw away, filled 3 bags full of stuff to bring to Goodwill, and placed a small handful of "keepers" in my closet on the shelf.  This gave me 4 drawers to place my fabric stash in.  I filled them to capacity!

Since this cleared up much needed space in my sewing area, I was able to re-organize my pattern collection.  WHEW!  I have a LOT of patterns!  :)  No complaints here, though!  After I got that all straightened out, we completely filled my trunk up with Goodwill donations, dropped them off at the local donation center, and headed to Bridge City for another night of good food, fellowship and NERTZ!  Again - I watched from a distance!  :)

Sunday was a beautiful day - my car temperature registered a nice, toasty 103!!!  Let me tell you this - if you've ever spent a summer in SETX, you will want to get your life straight with God!  Hell's gonna be HOT!  HOTTER than here!  :)  Bro. Hammer preached his heart out Sunday morning - admonishing us to keep our old landmarks and to stop putting pressure on him to move them or remove them!  Thank God for strong men of God who will stand up and stand firm.  Pray for the ministry daily!  They are under siege daily by Satan and the pressures of this world.  They are only human, after all, and it can be so taxing on them mentally, physically and spiritually!  Bro. Cade Howard preached last night, but I didn't get to hear him because our team was serving baked potatoes and dessert ole's after church and we had to head out to the kitchen. 

Since we have been studying about being a submissive wife, it has really got me stirred up.  Being a submissive wife has SO MUCH material to review.  It also parallels our submissiveness to God.  One of the basic bonds between a husband and wife is love.  This got me to thinking, so yesterday afternoon I took a few minutes to study I Corinthians Chapter 13:

Profound, no?  I took the time to look up the words Charity, Love, and Heart in the Miriam-Webster dictionary.  Charity is defined a "benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity".  Love is defined as "strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties".  Heart is defined as "one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations; the central or innermost parts; the essential or most vital part of something". 

I believe in the text from I Corinthians, love can be substituted for charity.  However, if my heart is not right, clean, pure...it is unable to contain true charity/love.  Quite a bit to think about, I should say.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  The words of David ring in my mind.  What a pitiful creature I am but for the grace of God.  I am thankful today for the Holy Ghost, for it's cleansing power, for the change it continually creates in me.  If there be any good thing in me, all the glory goes to Him, my creator, my savior, my friend, Jesus.  I am so thankful for the redeeming blood of Calvary that still flows today.  Our next goal will be to memorize I Corinthians Chapter 13 in its entirety.  It's good to memorize God's work and keep it safely in your heart everywhere you go.


K.  Bye, now!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer's here!

Today is Friday - JOY!  This is going to be one busy weekend at the Barrick's as we attempt to get the house in order.  It's still not back to normal after SETX Youth Conference and moving Ryan into his apartment.

I leave Wednesday for some continuing education classes in San Antonio and will head out Friday evening after my last class to Round Rock for the last 2 days of their conference.  I'll be back one full week before turning around and heading off to Ink's Lake State Park for 6 glorious days of lazing in the sun and water!  Can't wait!

Last night we continued on with our Bible study focusing on becoming a submissive wife.  We studied a bit about what it means to be a HELP MEET to our husband.  We learned that God created man first and then created us last of all when Adam could find no help meet.  He needed someone to help him.  Our purpose in this world is to be a help meet to our husband - to help meet HIS needs.  That's our duty and we should perform that duty with all longsuffering and diligence. 

We also learned about communication.  How important it is to actually LISTEN to what he needs us to hear.  We studied about how it's probably not the best idea to take all of our cares and burdens to him as soon as he walks in the door from a long, hard day at work, or at the end of a stressful day.  Nor is it a good idea to nag him to death as soon as he wakes up, especially if he is not a morning person!  :)  Last of all, regarding communication, we learned how important it is to talk and plan, for the next 5 minutes and the next 5 years.  Discuss where you are each at, where you are going, who you are with, ways to contact each other in the event of a change in plans....  Lack of communication on any of these levels can be at the least frustrating and maddening, and at the worst devestating and destructive.

The last thing we studied was regarding being a pastor's wife, although it actually applies to the wife of any man in any profession.  It was just a quick overview of the duty of a wife towards her husband in the public eye.  How to always praise and lift him up, to never chastise or speak ill of him, even in jest.  How the smallest innocent comment can plant seeds of doubt and disrespect in the hearts and minds of others.  We learned how important it is to stand up for him when his character is being attacked and how we need to listen to him (again, communication) and offer advise ONLY when he asks for it.  And most importantly, how we must pray diligently for him - for God to use him and inspire him, for him to be rooted and grounded in truth, and to give him strength to meet the needs of those in his flock, or those who depend upon him.  Most of all - pray that God will protect and guide him safely day to day.

One note that I need to make...I did not do all of this major research on my own.  Outside of searching the scriptures, there are a few blogs which inspire me and provide profound insight.  I take what I want and leave what I don't - although it is rare, I don't always agree wholeheartedly and there is sometimes a difference in faith/beliefs.  Nevertheless, I wanted to provide their links here so you can enjoy them, too.

Raising Homemakers
The Purposeful Mom
A Cherished Keeper
Simply Helping Him

Enjoy!  K.  Bye, now!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


My God is Awesome/He can move mountains/Keep me in the valley/Hide me from the rain
My God is Awesome/Heals me when I’m broken/Strength where I’ve been weakened/
Forever He will reign…
My God is Awesome/Savior of the whole world/Giver of Salvation/By His stripes I am healed
My God is Awesome/Today I am forgiven/His grace is why I’m living/Praise His Holy name

This was the song that was playing on the radio on my drive in to work this morning.  What a wonderful, refreshing way to begin my day!

Last night the girls and I began a new bible study on becoming a submissive wife according to God's divine plan.  Kirstyn had been busy cleaning the kitchen and eating her 2 cups of veggies (why she didn't eat them earlier with her meal, I'll never know!) while Malissia ran back and forth from my room to her bedroom to check her phone and see if she got a text or missed call from "someone special"!  The cat continuously purred and bumped his forehead against anything he thought might scratch him.  I have no idea where the dog was....  Finally they settled down enough to concentrate.  They piled up on my bed, leaving me no choice but to curl up in the recliner!  :) 

I can see that this will be no small bible study, but will encompass many aspects of the wife's daily role as a help meet to her husband, a mother to her children and a worker for the Lord.  If we are not submissive to God how can we ever hope to be submissive to our husband?  The first step towards following that plan is to have a direct line of communication.  To completely understand what is needed, required, in a relationship - what each party expects - they need to be able to talk.

To me, the most important line of communication is between myself and God.  Prayer.  It is the basis, the most fundamental part, of a relationship with Christ.  The scriptures give us many examples of prayer - when to pray, where to pray, how to pray, who to pray for, what to pray for...the most single example of this is the Lord's Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13.  He does not ask us to "repeat after him" this simple prayer, rather he asks that we pray "after this manner".  Clearly verse 7 states, "but when you pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do...."

I explained to the girls that I like to review the Lord's Prayer in my mind as I pray - it helps me stay focused on the many things I need to touch on while I pray.  Clearly it shows that the beginning and ending of each prayer is to be used to glorify and magnify God, to give Him praise for who He is.  I petition God for my needs and the needs of others, for forgiveness and for grace to forgive others.  I pray for strength for my trials and temptations, for deliverance of the cares in this life that plague me.  When I end my prayer in praise to Him, it gives me such a sweet chance to worship and glorify Him.  I've never heard God speak audibly to me, but I have heard him speak to my heart, known Him to change my mind and thoughts, felt Him fill my soul with peace and joy and love.  Nothing compares to the joy of the Holy Ghost when it floods your soul.

Many times in my life, through prayer He has been able to show me myself, in all of my imperfections and misconceptions.  He has shown me that most of the time it's not the other person at fault, it's me.  He has given me opportunity to make right wrongs I committed, even unknowingly.  He answers my prayers.  I've seen miracles time and again.  Healings of the body, of marriages, of lives and souls that were on the verge of destruction.  I've seen him provide when jobs were lost, money was insufficient, and needs seemed impossible to meet.  All answers to prayers.  Had I not prayed and made supplication to Him, He wouldn't have been able to show these things to me and I would not have the faith in Him that I cherish.

To me, this is very similar to the communication between a husband and wife.  It is imperative that your relationship is such that you can begin and end your day uplifting and encouraging each other.  All throughout the day you should be able to go to each other with needs and concerns and be able to listen to each other, even constructive criticism, to become more what the other needs and more firmly establish yourselves to each other.  Marriage is a bond like no other and to be able to talk and nurture each other is a gift that keeps on giving and growing.

That being said, I gave them their first challenge - to find a way to incorporate prayer into their daily lives so that it becomes an integral part of their day.    They need to have a plan, a goal, by tonight.  Then we will discuss implementing that plan immediately.  I can't wait to see where this will take us.  What an exciting journey it will be.  I love my daughters, and my son, unconditionally and with my whole heart.  It is my utmost desire that they live for God first and have a loving, lifelong marriage second and a fulfilled, happy family and life third.

K.  Bye, now.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day Weekend

It was another busy weekend at the Barrick's!  Friday evening I decided to finish putting my room together.  Here are some photos of my new "sanctuary"!  I love it.  It is so peaceful and restful.  Just what I wanted.

Saturday my Mom and I went to check on Ryan again.  He is doing fabulous in his new apartment.  Now all he needs is a new job.  Please help me pray for this.  I went to the grocery store for him and bought a few things I wasn't able to get last weekend.  Then I cooked pork chops and roasted veggies for him.  Delicious!  Malissia baked and iced some cupcakes for him - sweet sister! 

Sunday I started off the  morning baking my Father's Day gifts.  Blueberry squares (like cheesecake with cool whip!) for Dad, Gerard, and extra for the family gathering, and a Pig cake for Papa Jack - recipe can be found at Pioneer Woman.  I LOVE her site!  Fabulous recipes and a quirky sense of humor make for one enticing blog!  Here are some pics of Father's Day my daughter, Kirstyn, collaged.

Top row - My brother, sis-n-law, me and Ashlyn/Kirstyn/Colby, Kay, Grandma & Aunt Linda playing Rummikub;  Middle row - Ashlyn saying "I'm sad"/ Karren & Ashlyn;  Bottom row - Dad with Ashlyn's doll/Kerri/Papa Jack.

I am truly blessed to have such good men in my life.  My dad has been wonderful to me and helped me in ways I can never repay!  Working hard, stressful jobs and long hours to take care of his family.  My step-dad, Gerard, loves to serve others - a good example.  He always cooks for everyone and he'll even fix your plate and hand deliver it to you - service with a smile.  Papa Jack has always been my bestest Grandpa ever - I'm a bit spoiled and prejudiced about him!  From keeping me when Dad was working on the boats to taking me to church and LUBY'S!!!!, and even slipping his dentures out to give me the willies - :).  It was a very Happy Father's Day for everyone!

Last of all, I think I'll post a couple of pics of my girls since I recently posted some of Ryan.  The first is a pic of Kirstyn & Colby's engagement photos taken by Jacelyn Sparks.  The second is a snapshot of Malissia and Kirstyn - my 2 beautiful daughters.  Two completely different personalities and I love them both!

Well, that about sums up my weekend.  Hope everyone had just as good of a weekend!

K.  Bye, now!