Let me Introduce you to my family: Part 3 of 4


It’s been a couple of weeks since I introduced you to my son and his family. Plus, that took us off into our family history of foot problems.

Amanda Ellen

Now I want to introduce you to my oldest daughter and her family. Amanda Ellen is named after both my grandmother, Amanda, and my mother-in-law, Ellen. She was born when I was pretty young, although I had been married 1 & 1/2 years. (And yes, her dad and I are still married after 44 years.) Amanda has blessed us with four of our 12 grandchildren.

Amanda and her husband, Rodney, have a yours, mine, and ours  household. When they married, Rodney had a daughter from a previous marriage, and Amanda had a daughter, and two sons. Together, they had another daughter who will turn 13 this summer.

Amanda went to school to become a social worker and then she obtained her master’s degree in clinical therapy. She works at our local mental health facility.

She was actually the person who brought the local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to our area.  We both served on the board for a few years after its inception.

Rodney works as a union pipe fitter. I’m not sure what all the job entails but he is a very hard worker. At

My son-in-law, Rodney

this time, he is working out of state and is only home on the weekends. Both he and my son, Kelsey, have jobs that require them to be away from home frequently.


Hayley Estelle, has given her mother two beautiful grandchildren, Wyatt Baxter and Skyler Estelle. If you remember, Baxter is a family name that came from my husband’s great-uncle. (Maybe we will start another family name with Estelle.) I do hope both of these names will continue to be passed down through the family.

Hayley and her children live close to Amanda who in turn lives about 6 minutes away from my husband and me. As you can tell, we are a pretty close knit family.

Hayley is currently working in a girl’s group home. Her biggest interests are dogs and horses. She is an excellent horseman and is fantastic at training dogs.

Charles “Dakota” is Amanda’s second child and first son. He graduated from the vocational school where I currently teach. Dakota’s chosen field of study at the vocational school was Culinary Arts. He loves to cook.  This fall he is planning on attending college to become a Math teacher.

Tristin Tyler is Amanda’s third child and second son. I’m proud to say that I was able to help chose his middle name. Next week he and his girlfriend, Emily will be graduating from the same vocational school. Tristin’s vocational studies were in automotive repair and Emily’s focus was in patient care. Presently, Tristin is working for McDonald’s and Emily is working at a nursing home. I am not sure of their long term plans right now.

Together, they have a soon to be 2 year old daughter, Elora Jade. Her name always reminds me of a Disney princess.

The youngest of Amanda’s family is Autumn Lyne. The spelling of her middle name comes from the spelling of my husband’s name, Lyne Baxter. Autumn will be turning 13 this summer.

She will be hitting the teenage years. She and my grandson, Dylan, are in the sixth grade. Autumn has been involved in the baton group that Shyla and Zoey are in. She and Shyla are playing softball together

Autumn Lyne

currently. She is a really good gymnast and has sang during the variety shows during her years at elementary school. She is quite a diverse and talented young lady.

Rodney’s daughter from his previous marriage is older than Amanda’s children. Kayla lived with them for a while during the early years of their marriage She eventually moved in with her mother. She and her husband live a couple of hours away from us. She is the mother of two young boys, Ryder and Braven. We do not get to see them very often.

Some of Amanda’s family plus a couple of extra.

This is the largest branch of of my family. Soon I will introduce you to my second daughter, Breanna Lyne.


My life verse.

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The Ultimate Steps to living a Contented Life


How to live a contented life.


How many of us are contented with our lives and possessions we have now? Or like many of us, are you always striving for more? There is really nothing wrong with working to better your situation in life as long as you don’t let your drive become an obsession that takes over every aspect of your life. Ask yourself if you are working toward goals that will make you feel better about yourself or are you working towards things that you think you have to possess or own in order to be happy? Do you find yourself thinking “If only I …. then I would be content with my life.”

more, more, more

Oftentimes we strive to have what we see others have or do what others are doing in their lives. It makes us unsatisfied with our own lives. It makes us feel that we are not working as hard as we should be and we feel lazy in our own endeavors to have a happy, contented life. How often do you look at your neighbors and think if only my house were as big as theirs, if only my car was a new as theirs, if only my children would behave as well as theirs, and so on? With this type of mind frame we are setting ourselves up for discontentment and failure in our own eyes. This mindset is known as keeping up with the Jones.

“When you are discontent, you always want more,
more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied.
But when you practice contentment, you can say
to yourself, ‘Oh yes-I already have everything
that I really need.'” Dalai Lama

Now you need to ask yourself how do I practice contentment when I am so unhappy with my life.




First you must change the way you look at your life. Be grateful for the things that you have in your life, whether it be money, possessions, or people.

Turn being grateful into a verb. Practice being grateful. Keep a gratitude journal. Find a pretty one that makes you happy just to look at it. Write in it daily or weekly. Focus on the good things that have happened not the bad. Do not go more than a week before sitting down and listing the good things. Make your gratitude journal your friend.


Begin simplifying your life. You don’t have to say yes to everything that is asked of you. Many times we agree to take on more than we can manage just so we can tell people how busy we are. But in reality it doesn’t make us content with our lives.

Before saying yes to another project ask yourself these questions:
1. Do I really want to do this?
2. Do I have the time to commit to this project?
3. What will happen if I say no?

Don’t just simplify you activities, simplify your home. Is your home full of things that are not used or appreciated? Is your home always cluttered and disorganized? Do you know that a cluttered home causes anxiety and discontentment?

1. Find new homes for those items that you no longer need or use. Do you really want that little ceramic lizard from your trip to Florida 10 years ago?
2. If you’re like me, there is a lot of paperwork that needs to be filed away or just thrown away. What are we waiting for?
3. At lease twice a year, go through your closets and discard any clothes you longer wear. Either donate it, pass it on to other family members, or sell it.
4. Finally, declutter your finances. Start paying off those little credit cards that require so much of your money. It also takes more time when working on a budget. Don’t those little $15, $20 payments irritate you? What could you be doing with that money?

Luke 12:15 NIV  Then he said to them, “Watch out!
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life
does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”


If our lives are continually cluttered with projects, activities, and things, it leaves little time to enjoy life. If we can’t enjoy life, how can we be contented with our lives?

It is not selfish to focus on ourselves. Before we can perform at our premium level. We have focus on ourselves to be contented with our lives.

Now that we have decluttered various areas of our lives,  we will have more time to devote not only to others, but also to ourselves. How are we going to do that?

1. How do you relax? Take a bubble bath with scented
candles, read a book, take a walk, or something else.
It’s alright to want to find some alone time. If you
don’t want to be alone with yourself, how to you
expect anyone else to want to be around you? Find
something that relaxes you. Get away from the busyness and demands of life occasionally.
2. I am a big believer that everyone needs some sort of hobby, something they like doing. I enjoy sewing,
photography, reading, crafting, and writing. I
recently joined a local writer’s guild. I can focus on
what I like to do and socialize with others who enjoy
the same things. Find something you like to do and do it. Make time for things you enjoy. It will make you
more contented with your life. Pursue your passion!
Find a purpose for your life.

3. Learn how to organize! Don’t organize just your home, but your activities also. I have 3 calendars and am getting ready to add a fourth. I keep one in my phone. (I am thankful for smart phones. To read the rest of this gratitude post click here.) I have my notebook sized calendar that has a various sections for things like blogging , expenses, plus more, and I have my work desk calendar. The fourth calendar I’m planning on adding is a magnetic one to hang on the refrigerator so the adults can all see the various kids’ activities. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember for one of us to remember to tell the other of upcoming dates.


Set some short term and long term goals. What do you want to accomplish within the next year, the next month, the next week, or today? Write them down. Just remember, these are goals to work toward, to help you stay focused. Sometimes life gets in the way of these goals, but just start over. I set my monthly goals and I have goals set for the next 1001 days (read 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days). I have daily things I want to accomplish, but sometimes they just don’t get done. When they do though, it makes me happy and that leads to my contentment with my life. I don’t beat myself up over it.


Finally, LOVE YOURSELF! There is no one like you. God created you in His image and God does not make mistakes. We do. Accept that and learn from your mistakes. Learn to laugh at your mistakes. Enjoy your mistakes, they are how you learn and grow. Stop demeaning yourself. Without mistakes you wouldn’t learn how to do it right. Stop trying to be perfect, because that is an impossible task. How can you be content if you are always trying to be perfect, something you nor I can ever be?


That doesn’t mean give up. Keep working toward getting it right, for you.

“The world is full of people looking for spectacular
happiness while they snub contentment.” Doug Larson

By applying these principles to your life, you will find the happiness and contentment that you are continually searching for.

“Eventually, we reach the point where we start to realize that we are not going to find peace, contentment, happiness, strength, fearlessness – all of the things that in our heart of hearts we wish we had – outside of us.” Guy Finley

My life verse.

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Meet my Family: Part 2b of 4


In  the last Meet my Family (Click here to read that post.)post, I introduced you to my one and only son. That post became a little long when we meandered into his foot problems, so I decided to break part 2 in two separate posts.

Kelsey met his wife, Edith,  while he attended the local vocational school where I was and am currently teaching. He went from a private Christian high school to a public vocational school. At this time he was pursuing studies in CAD/CAM and Precision Machinery. (CAD/CAM stands for computer aided drawing/computer aided machinery.) He did very well in these fields and they helped him with his archery.

Edith, his wife, was pursuing a field in the medical field and graduated with her certificate for STNA. (State Tested Nursing Assistant) She worked in a local nursing home and the local hospital after they graduated.

It was about a year after they graduated that they were married in a lovely outdoor ceremony. I was able to do the flowers and pictures for the wedding and the outdoor reception that followed.

Since they had already been together for an extended period of time, they immediately began trying to have a family. It has been a hard struggle for them. Edith has had several miscarriages throughout their marriage, before, between, and after the children the now have.

First, Edith and Kelsey, took custody of her step-sister’s youngest daughter. At the time Zoey had not turned 2 yet. She just celebrated her 11th birthday under their care.  Even though they have had her for so long, her biological mother is still a big part of Zoey’s life.

Their first born was a son, born when Zoey was 4. He was named Landen Baxter. Baxter is a family name. My father-in-law had an Uncle Baxter whom I was privileged to meet before he passed away.

Landen Baxter

My husband’s middle name is Baxter, as is our son’s and Landen’s. Our great-grandson also has the middle name Baxter. (I’ll introduce him in a later post.)

Kelsey and Edith have one biological daughter, Isabella Grace, who is called Bella, or sometimes affectionately referred to as Boo Boo or Bella Boo.

Isabella Grace (Bella Boo)

She is a feisty little five year old who loves playing dress up and playing with dolls. She a little princess through and through.

Their youngest is Levi Paxton. He just recently turned one year old and is a happy little fella. He loves is mommy and his sisters.

Levi Paxton

They live right up the road from me, which makes it easier since the kids all go to the same school. We have it worked  out on who can take who, pick up this one, and so on. Edith is the only one who does not have a job outside of their home, so she is also our families’ go-to when kids need picked up in the middle of the day, or can’t go to school for various reasons. She is a life saver.

You have now met 2 out of my 4 children and their families. I hope you log on to let me introduce you to the rest of the family.

Tell me about your family. Have many kids, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren do  you have?

My life verse.