Faith, Life


How is that we stop believing in things we cannot see?   When times get tough we forget that God says we are not to worry about anything and pray about everything.  I have not been very good at doing this.

It is difficult to own our choices and try to pass it off on God.   At times I have made choices and then told myself that I am following Gods direction!   Reality it is me taking the  “Me ROAD”!  We all do this.  It is in our human nature.  As I get older I see things a bit differently and I am not one to take risks I thought.   However looking back over the past 20  years I have stepped out of my comfort zone a lot. Along the way I have learned and met gifts from God.  These experiences define who we are becoming.  God wanted me to learn through the being able to risk.

I used to worry a lot about retiring.    I don’t do this now.    I have sacrificed time with my  loved ones for dollars that do not add up to life at all!  I think it is important to listen to God and allow God to be heard in our lives.

My values Now are in line and I am finding balance in listening to God.  I have hope because it is promised. John 3:16 “For God So Loved The World, That He Sent His Only Begotten Son. So for anyone who believes will not perish and have everlasting life!”

I am so thankful that when I am having a bad day because I took the “me road” God here’s me and is with me sending me answers when I am listening. He not only is with me he sends me help! A phone call, an email and response on one of my social accounts will appear.

My daughter asked me what I would be most afraid of?  I told her If I would have never known Jesus in my life!  God changed me because he sent his son!

To know Jesus- It is easy ask him into your heart with a simple prayer right now-

“Jesus I asked you to forgive of all of sins, and to come into my heart and be my savior. AMEN”

I accepted Jesus when I was 18 years old October 18, 1984 it was the beginning of huge life change for me.  Would love to here from you about your journey of faith.

I would love to know about your salvation and how it is blessed you.


Fresh Eggs & Tomatoes

In life there are things that become part of who you are. Fresh tomato sandwiches on my home made bread! Like fresh eggs make all the difference in my bread recipe.   Quality ingredients makes everything better!

I grew up in a huge house and fell in love with food when I took Home Economics in high school. Susan Feezer was the teacher.   I could not wait to go to that class.   We learned really basic dishes.   However I was from a poor family so the foods I got to prepare in this class made me want to cook at home.

Our food at home was fresh eggs, tomatoes, onions, zucchini squash and other vegetables.  In that class I learned how to turn these items into meals!  I could not wait to go home and show my Dad I could read a recipe and cook!  That love of cooking has stayed with me forever and I am so thankful.

When I married my husband I really did not still know the amazing world of food that my children enjoy today. I had never had BBQ nor had I  had tasted home made chicken noodle soup or any home made foods.  Those basic recipes I had learned in school Home Economics really helped me out as a new wife.    My step mother cooked a lot of boxed foods such as Hamburger Helper, mac and cheese, goulashes and quick noodle meals.

One of my most treasured thing today is a cook book given to me by my Aunt Audrey for our wedding. The dishes I made out of that cook book are still staples.  I was always fearful of making bread. Now I make bread without a recipe. My daughters are just amazed I can do this.

Setting down to dinner is a special time for our family. I try to bring us all together for one meal a day that symbolizes my love for them with fresh vegetables, produce and meat. On occasion fresh cut bread and butter.

My daughter asked me why farm fresh?  I explained to her that she is worth the best! That is why I buy Farm Fresh!

Appreciation of  what we care about becomes part of our families memories.  I hope the love we share around our table will be shared with  new generations to come.

I hope I gave you something to think about- What do you do to show those around you they matter? Loved to here from you!



As a small girl I loved watching my mother put her make up on. Her process was not very in depth in 1970. I was five years old. I remember Mom was a mystery to me. She did not like to bake, she did not like to cook, she did not like to do much other then read. She loved to read. She did not read to us. There were five children and I am the youngest by five minutes.

We had moved to town. The house on West Highway had been the only house I knew. Dad had opened his own welding shop. This had been a dream of Dads for a long time. Dad was well known as a welder. the new house was right beside Dad’s Welding Shop.

I remember Mom went out and bought really pretty carnival glass oil lamps. I would love to have these today. She decorated the living room. The house we moved to was a basement house. I remember thinking what a strange house. It had 3 bedrooms which was great. Scott had a room and us four girls shared a room.

Mom seemed happy at first when we moved here. I did not know it would be the last place Mom and Dad would live together as husband and wife!

Mom never wanted us around a lot. When you would go to her room the door would be locked. She liked to read and not be disturbed.

My oldest sister Glen really was more of a mother then Mom. Dad would normally get glen up and she would get us up. Glen was the one who cleaned the house. Mom would do the laundry. I remember Glen giving my sister and I our baths. She would scrub our feet and wash our hair. A lot of times she was disgusted that we were so dirty from playing. Glen would be the one to dress us.

When my Mom was going somewhere I would beg her to let me go. Mom would always say no. I remember one time begging Mom to let me go with her. She said no. I am too busy today! “You are going to stay home with your sisters!” “Now go on!”

I got an idea! I would hide in her car. So I went out and got in the back of her car. there was a blanket in the back seat. I brought this up over me and I waited for Mom to come. Mom always wore white dress slacks and had white blouse and white cowboy boots when she went to town

As I waited I pondered when I should appear. I knew I better be quiet not to get caught. I was quiet as a mouse as Mom entered her Big Buick. This car was so pretty and really big to a five year old.

As Mom started the car I got so excited. I was going to go to town with Mom and have fun with her. As the car moved I was so happy. Mom would be so excited to see me, I thought!

The car pulled in front of the Telegram news paper and came to a stop! It was my moment to surprise Mom.

I came up out of the backseat throwing the blanket off of me. My mothers reaction was not as I had imagined it! I said “Surprise!” Mom screamed and Opened the door of her car so fast and jumped out. She did not seem so happy to see me. I giggle a bit as I remember her re action. However Mom was not pleased that I had disobeyed.

I about gave her a heart attack. I remember the look of sadness that she was not happy to see me. She composed herself and said come on.

Best part of this story is I got hang out with my Mom that day. I would like to tell you I did not scare my mother or do anything naughty but……I cannot!

Faith, Home, Life

The Switch

If any of you have read my blog recently I revealed that I am a twin. My sister Cindy is an amazing woman. When we were growing up in Wyoming in small town USA we were known as the CRESS TWINS. At home I swear I did not know my name. Dad would holler “Hey twin, or “Hey you twin!” “One of YOU twins come here!” In school we were the Cress Twins! For most our school years we went to a country school where we were in the same class. So we were always together until we got into high school and we became independent of one another.

I felt I was half a person. If Cindy was late to class the teacher would ask “where is your sister!” This drove me crazy!

For birthdays we would get ONE card with $5.00 dollars from our grand parents. We would get ONE blanket as a gift! A board game for both of us. One doll to share.

I am sure that no one thought this was a big deal but it hurt both our feelings at times. We are paternal twins. We looked just like one another when we were in school. To say we were not a handful, well would be incorrect! We were always up to something. Cindy was the leader and I was the willing follower!

When we were in First grade we lived in town and attended Lincoln Elementary. Cindy decided that we should switch classes. Mrs. Martinez and Ms. Thompson would not notice. So Monday I went to Mrs. Martinez class and Cindy went to Ms. Thompson’s class. Back in the 1970’s the school nurse came around on Thursdays and swabbed your throat for strep. My luck! Here came the Nurse into Mrs. Martinez’s room to get Cindy who I was impersonating. I walked down to the nurse room and she had me wait as she called my Mother. Mother was not home. I was so relived.

But she called my Dad at his work and Dad told her that he would not be able to come get me. So the nurse tells my dad “I can bring her to you if this will help!” Oh man, was I sweating. I knew I was in for a spanking for sure. So reluctantly I went with the nurse dragging my feet all the way.

When we got to Dad’s business he had me go into the office and lay down. He spoke with the nurse. The nurse explained to Dad that I needed a penicillin shot and be kept me home for 2 days to make sure I was not contagious. Oh I was scarred. I did not remember ever getting a shot before. other then when I was a baby. Then MOM showed up.

Oh no! I thought MOM will notice that I am NOT CINDY! She comes in and comforts me and tells me to get my stuff. We go home and I mean I did not look at Mom and I did not speak to her. She told me to go lay down while she called the doctors office to see if they could get me in. My Day was just not going well at all. I was worried about Cindy who was playing me at school. Oh and that I was going to probably die because I was not Cindy and I was taking her shot. Cindy was going to die because she did not get her shot because I got her shot. WE WERE BOTH GOING TO DIE.

I was just a mess! I was sure Mom would notice my name was not Cindy and I would not have to die because of taking the shot that the real CINDY needed. No luck! Mom came into the room and said well its time to go see Doc Rutt! Oh man I wanted to tell her. But I was afraid.

How stupid was I! My last hope was that the Doctors Office would know I was NOT CINDY! I waited for Doctor Rutt to come in. I expected Mom to realize that I was not Cindy. Nope! I took her shot!

The nurse gave me a lollipop and I started crying and I cried so much that she gave me another lollipop. I was crying because I was going to die!

My mother was quite irritated with me. She kept say stop crying. “That shot did not hurt that bad.” I cried all the way home. I went right to my bedroom and cried myself to sleep. When Cindy came home after school. She came running into see why I left school.

I told her what had happened and then I told her that she was going to die and that I was going to die. At seven years old. I was sure this is how it was going to be. We both cried and cried. We would not come out of our room. Our oldest sister came in and we finally told her what happened. She said “Oh you are in so much trouble when Dad gets home!” We cried even more.

Cindy and I started talking about how sad everyone was going to be when they came to our funeral. and we cried even more. Our sisters were in the hall laughing. Dad came into the room and he said we better tell him what we did.

I told him it was all my fault and that we loved him very much and Mom too but we had switched classes and I took Cindy’s shot and Cindy was going to die because she did not get the shot. Dad laughed so hard.

Fortunately neither one of us died. However we did decide switching classes was not a good idea!

I would like to tell you that the “Cress twins” changed their ways and never did anything that was naughty again. However.

Life, Love of family

Coffee Time-

Quality time is different for everyone. One might think going on weekend trips with the love of their life is just all that. For me quality time these days are treasured when I wake up to my husband bringing me a cup of coffee in bed.

Bryan brings me a cup of coffee almost every morning. Bryan is a unique person who truly gets me! It is hard to believe that we will be married 33 years.

Our morning coffee starts my day off! It makes me glad he is my best friend in this thing called life. Together we have accomplished raising three amazing young women. Each unique as their parents.

As I get older a lot of things are not important. Status of a new car every two years, a new address nor a new spring and summer wardrobe. The money I have spent trying to buy new clothes alone is enough to pay for a very nice vacation home. It takes time to get to the place of comfort where you are glad to see the summer wardrobe move from the back closet to the front closet. I look at this as seeing my old friends. The same with the yard furniture. You pull it out of the storage and it makes its home back on the front porch where we now enjoy our coffee. The smell of flowers and fresh cut grass feel my nose and I am glad to be in this place.

I live in Nebraska and where I live is much slower then when I lived in cities with the rush of the traffic and the hustle & bustle. I like this life a lot better. The best coffee comes right from my cup with my favorite guy! It is priceless! To be in this house that we have raised three girls, loved many pets and spent these precious coffee breaks building up one another.

Quality of life is appreciation for where you are in this moment. IMG_7239

Faith, Home, Love of family

Answered Prayers

When I was small I remember laying in bed and the biggest thing I would ask God was for good weather and I always prayed for my Dad to get well.

Dad was a thin mid size man who had the prettiest hazel eyes and dark brown hair. he was a high stress man. It took me a long time to see that this is something I get from my Dad. He had five children and then married and gained three step children. My dad and his new wife had one son together. Making nine to provide for. Dad was a welder and very good welder. He earned welder of the year three years in a row for the State of Wyoming. He was an amazing welder.

Dad was born in the great depression and came from a huge family. Grandmother had to work hard to take care of the family because at times Grandfather would be gone for months at a time. He was not a good man and when he would come home from what Dad shared it was not good. Grandmother and Grandfather brought out the worst in one another.

Life was tough and the world was a different place in Wyoming. My Grandfather was a racist. People of color he had no use for. Dad told me of several times where he had told his boys that he killed two men who were Mexicans for stealing his pelts out of his traps in Colorado. He spoke of throwing a black man into a stove for drinking a shot of Whisky because he had the edacity to drink from the same bar as him. He did terrible things to his children and to those around him.

On another occasion Grandfather was out poaching. The game warden had come out to talk to him and take Grandfather in. Dad remembers seeing his father digging a big hole in the sheep pen and he watched him roll a huge thing into the hole.
My father was afraid that if his Dad would have seen him that night, he would have been in that hole too. The next day my Grandfather moved cattle into that pen. The game warden was never seen again. My father never spoke of his father in good terms. He was a “THUG and poor example of what a father should be.

My father said that his father had been ran out Minnesota, Nebraska and Colorado before settling back in Wyoming. My father tried hard to be a good parent. My Dad had a lot of tough things to over come and in part to what we do not know that he probably endured as a boy.

Sometimes we do not know the heart of what makes a person the way they are. I think my Dad was plagued with things that he endured and it effected his way he approached his personal success and his life. My twin sister Cindy was probably the closest to my father at the end her and Brad my baby brother.

Dad had kidney failure that took him from us in 1985. As I get older I long for that smile in his eyes. When he was happy his whole face smiled. He was an artist, a welder, a farmer and most of all he was my Dad. He never liked the word father. He wanted us to call him Dad. I think it is because his father would not allow his children to refer to him as anything other than “Father”

When I was a 3rd grader I wrote an essay about my Dad. It was entered in the State of Wyoming essay contest and it won 3ed place. I was so proud of that moment in my relationship with my Dad. My sister has a letter he wrote “When you kids would go to school I missed you and could not wait for you all to come home”. He said he always wanted to be the best parent to us he could.

He was protective and hard to understand at times. He would get his feelings hurt and sometimes lash out and make decisions that he wanted to take back. However he was stubborn and had a difficult time saying he was sorry. In my life I too have been this way.

When I was 18 my dad was upset over his Social Security Pension. When my twin sister and I turned 18 our portion would come in our names. it was a some of 54.00 dollars but with nine to feed this was 108.00 dollars he was not going to receive. If my Dad would have explained he needed that money I would have gladly given it to him. He did not. At the time I was dating the man that I married Bryan.

Bryan and I had been to his parents home for dinner and when Bryan brought me home Dad was waiting. I knew something was wrong. He told me that I needed to leave. He was angry I had come home late. I tried to reason with him and he was just very irrational and told me I was just like my mother.

Mom and Dad divorced when I was 8 years old. This really hurt my feelings. Dad had nothing good to say about my Mom. Mom had never been really there even when they were married. Dad and Mom did not seem to ever be together and I really do not remember much of us a family. So knowing how much he hated her made me feel he hated me too. I remember driving away with Bryan sobbing. Dad told me I was not welcome in his house and never to return. I did not. I felt like someone had torn my heart out of my chest. I was truly devastated. Bryan assured me that Dad would calm down. I spoke to my Dad at school. He came to give me a piece of mail. It would be the last time I would speak to my Dad.

What I now realize was a defining moment in my life forever changed my future. this man who was my Dad was a integral part of who I am as a women. His mark on my life I see now. I have learned so many things about Dad thru my own life errors. The biggest error was not going back to see my Dad and asking him for forgiveness. Dad was proud and I did not know how proud until he passed.

My husband told me that he would see my Dad parked across the street from our home watching the house on holidays. Later my baby brother Brad told of times he sat in that pickup with Dad. If only either one of us would have made the move towards reconciliation. I lost valuable time with him. He lost valuable time with me. We do not get to fix things once death takes this chance away.

I loved my father and when he kicked me out he told me I was not to attend his funeral nor would anyone call me to let me know he died. This broke my heart. I prayed and prayed that God would let me know when Dad past.

I had prayed that prayer for 2 plus years. I think this is when I knew God existed in my life. the Bible says in in Philippians 4:6 NLT “Don’t worry about anything; Instead pray about everything. tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. On March 26th 1985 my Dad became ill and my step father took him to the hospital. He had fallen into a coma. They told my step mother their was nothing more they could do for him. My dad did not want to die in a hospital. My step mother had her father load him into the back of his van so he could go home and die. Dad did not make it home.

My real Mother had come home for a visit. Mom had only been back here four times since Dad and her had divorced. My brother Scott was with us. We had ran into town to the grocery store that was about 8 miles from where we lived. On our way back I noticed Ham my step grandfather was pulled off the side of the road near this bar. I thought he might need help. So I flipped around to see if he needed help. Ham got out of his vehicle gesturing me not to get out of my car.

As he approached the vehicle I rolled the window to say hello. As he got to the window you could tell something was wrong! He said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but your Dad is in the back of my van!” “He died right as we passed Henry.” I was speechless. My mother asked why he was setting there? I heard him respond. “We have to wait for the coroner to come out and pronounce him.” I remember trying to speak and all I that came was tears. I drove home and when I got home I went to my room and fell to my knees thanking God for answering my prayers and praying for my Dad. Once I composed myself I called my husband and sister in law. My mother in law and sister in law came to the house to be with us.

I went to the chapel and viewed my father with my Brother Scott and My Mother. Per my father’s wishes I did not attend the funeral. I wept at home at my own brokenness. This would be the beginning to a long road of regrets and forgiveness.

If I could go back and change this, YOU BET I WOULD! Those around us that make us who we are should be valued and we should never close those doors. I will forever be glad for the love I hold for my Dad. Love does not die. Words we do not say as simple as “I am sorry,” could have changed both our roads.

In my journey in loving my earthly Dad my Father in heaven heard my heart. The town Henry that they passed is where I live to this day! God intercepted my Dad on that highway and answered my prayer.

Faith, Home, Life

When I Was Twenty Something-

When I was twenty something I was so smart! I knew everything. I was up on all social and political issues I thought. I was going to change the world! Well I am now in my fifty’s and the reality is I did not know a damn thing.

When I was twenty something I could call my Mom and she would help me if I needed help.

When I was twenty something I took risks in all areas of my life. I was a terror of facts and what a goal setter. None of this is bad. It is just Naïve thinking that makes us think we know things we do not. Life changes when all of the sudden you have to stand on your two feet and you fall down!

Its all in how we pick ourselves up! When I was in my twenty’s I attended school to be a teacher. I went into this field and within 9 years because I knew everything, I burned out. So I took my experience and worked in well fair reform educating the parents of the children once taught how to go get a job!

In my twenties I still had passion and believed in everyone. I still try today to hold to some of that naïve thinking when I am working with a client on a project. If you can see it you can achieve it. I hold to this because for the most have part it never failed me. I have failed me!

I think this philosophy I hold has been past down to only one of three children. One really took it and two did not. the one that has this attitude is a trail blazer and is willing to reinvent her road just like me. The other two tend to question things and then talk themselves out of what they want. I wonder where I got this attitude from? I have traced it back to my husband Bryan and a neighbor women who was more like a mother to me in my twenties.

Betty was the nosey neighbor who came to see who was cleaning up the worst house in town. Sally Slegar and Betty Garrett showed up with chocolate chip cookies and forever changed my life. Both were retired and wanting to revitalize our town. They could not wait to share with me about the Better Community Group that they were forming. Of course they wanted me involved. I am sure that I was rolling my eyes at the idea of me being involved in a community group!

Betty had been a Ranchers wife and after her husband passed she went back to school and got her degree to teach school. Betty never had children but she had Fostered when she was young on the ranch. She spoke of her experience and told me that it was a way to give back to children who did not have a family to take care of them. Because of Betty my husband and I later fostered. When Betty met me I was just staying home and we were living on a very tight budget. She told me that I needed to be the best wife by making sure I had a meal on the table for Bryan and our daughter every night and to make sure to keep the home and garden. I remember thinking how “old fashioned” she was. Then I visited her at her home. WOW!

Wow is the only way I can still today describe this home. She had asked me to assist in serving for a tea she was hosting at her home for the ladies auxiliary. I had never seen dishes nor a table set the way she set her table. It was life changing. the fine dishes, linen napkins, fresh flowers. The silver set that she had me pour the tea from was heavy. The smell of scones and fruit salad. I had never seen blueberries or strawberries in February with water melon. She had it shipped in special for her event. Today all these fruits are available year round but not in 1985 in Nebraska. I remember asking her why did she not make another salad and she said that “You should always show your guests they are worthy by going above and beyond!” This has stayed with me all of my life.

In my twenties I really did not see myself making friends with a women in her seventies. When I married my husband I remember thinking my mother in law and father in law seemed so old. I am just a little bit older today then my mother in law was back in 1984.

When I was in my twenties God sent me a gift in these women who got to be part of my life experience. Betty challenged me and made me feel like being a stay at home mother was important. She made me see that I needed to think outside myself. To put my husband and daughter first. To care about my yard and my home. to put my best forward. She taught me to look to the future and that I could do what ever I wanted to do.

Betty got sick! I loved Betty so much. I remember praying that if she passed away that God would let me know. Betty had been moved to a nursing home after being diagnosed with liver cancer. She was so upset and had told me I do not want to die of cancer. The night she passed I set up in bed and woke my husband. I told him Betty was gone. Bryan comforted me and told me to go back to sleep. I remember looking at the clock it was 11:20 PM. At mid night Frank her nephew called me to let me know that she has passed away at 11:20 PM.

I know that God is huge and when we love one another we get human experiences that are unexplainable. It is pure grace. Betty loved me so much and I loved her I think it was Betty letting me know that she was gone.

I feel her love when I am stressed about something and start doubting myself. I here that voice saying “YOU can do this!” We all need cheerleaders in our lives and we need to recognize them.

Our daughters have had the pleasure of attending school in a farm community where God has placed Julie Black in our lives. Julie worked very hard with our middle daughter to challenge her to fill out applications for scholarships. Julie has been a voice with both our middle and youngest daughters. She does not agree with them just because they would like her too. She will give them solid advice. At times I think the girls have not appreciated her but both of them know she only wanted them to see that they could do It!

Just like Betty, who in my twenties was, glad to tell me that I was wrong. She challenges our youngest who has high anxiety and gets her to see that she can! She has celebrated each of their victories and she has expressed concern when it was necessary. She is a life changing woman who I am so glad God placed in our children’s lives. A true cheerleader.

In my fifties I would love to tell Betty today how much she influenced me and that I am so thankful that she was part of my life experience. I wish I could show her how I set our table for guests, What type of wife and mother I grew into. Take time to be old fashioned. Write a note of thanks when you can. show others they matter because they do matter.