Happy Halloween Xangaland!



This story is my submission for the second Halloween extravaganza at Koffee Kweens site.  Go HERE if you want to read more scary stories. 


This is a true story that happened to Ryan and I in the White Mountains in the fall of 1999 just after we got engaged.  It was our ‘Perfect date’ 


Just so you know this post will take the place of the Perfect Date link in the my story module as it tells the same story that I told in January of this year only with better writting.  So this is now






“Hush, what was that noise?” She asks.


“I don’t know but there it is again.” He replies.


A young boy and a young girl sitting side by side next to a campfire that only moments ago was romantic and now feels like their only protection.  From what?  They don’t know.


A shiver runs down her spine and all the pictures of kids in the movies who stay in the woods after hearing a noise like she has just heard, run rampant through her mind.


“What should we do?” She wonders aloud.


“Let’s pack up and leave.” He says.  “That will give us some time to get dinner back in town before you have to be home.” Suggests the boy as similar thoughts of horror movies run through his mind.


“Yeah that’s a great idea, let’s do that.”


So they go about putting out the fire and packing up the truck all the while acting as if nothing is wrong but they can feel unseen eyes upon them.  The hair on the back of their necks stands up as they begin to feel like prey in this dark cold forest.


It takes only moments for them to finish the preparations to leave.  The girl gets behind the wheel of the truck, she’s driven these roads before and she doesn’t want to take the chance of getting lost in this dark forest that should not yet be dark. 


As they drive slowly down the forest road the darkness leaches all the light away from even the headlights and she struggles to see in the gloom.  She begins seeing shadows and fleeting movements always at the corner of her eye.  Just tricks of the light, right?


“Did you see that?” The boy asks quietly.




“I swear I saw eyes in the dark beside the truck.”


“Probably just a deer.”  She replies, at least she hopes so.


“Not like any deer I ever saw.”


She risks driving just a little faster her heart pounding in her ears.  They can’t speak they can’t turn on the radio; there is only silence, and dark.


She begins to be truly frightened.  It is only 5 o’clock and even though it is fall they should have at least another hour of light.  Yet this dark is so complete that it feels as if they have stumbled into the woods at midnight when there is no moon.


The feeling of being watched and pursued is not going away for either of them.  They are truly scared.  Quite whispered conversations confirm for both of them that they are not alone in these feelings.


As they round a bend in the road it dips down into a small hollow.  The dark is almost impenetrable here but they must go forward.  The trees are so dense and thick that they can’t see into the forest on either side of the road and the nearest camp ground is a mile back.


As she slowly drives down into the hollow her eyes go everywhere waiting for something, though she doesn’t know what.  The feeling of being watched, of being followed is so much stronger now than it has been yet.


“Stop!”  The boy screams out.


But she is already slamming on the brakes.  She has seen it too and she is already questioning her own eyes.


In this gloomy hollow the truck’s headlights illuminate two young boys crossing the road from one dense patch of forest to the other.  Both boys are about 7 or 8, one is riding a bike and the other is running along side him. 


“What is going on?” asks the boy from the passenger seat.  “Something is wrong here.  This isn’t right”


As she opens her mouth to agree with him something happens that stop the words dead in her throat.


The boy running alongside the bike stops and turns his head to look at the truck.  The eyes are dead and flat.  Hollow.  He smiles a smile that sends trickles of cold sweat down the backs of the couple and he begins to laugh and walk slowly toward the truck.  A soundless laugh, felt rather than heard, penetrates the dark and the look of gleeful hate is so evident on this young but not in the least bit innocent face.


Then he turns and they begin to move away again and suddenly they are gone.  The boy and girl gasp in shock.  The boys did not disappear into the trees they simply dissolved into the night.


She slams on the gas only enough caution left in her mind to avoid an accident that will strand them in this dark. 


Ten horrible, cold moments later they emerge onto the paved forest road, into the beautiful fall sunset day.  Leaving the dark behind them.   They look at each other and know that whatever they have just encountered, whatever they have left behind them, will never sound like more than a story.




As I sit here drinking my Earl Grey tea on this crisp fall morning a tingle runs down my spine as I pass over these memories from so long ago and I’m tempted to look over my shoulder.  Just in case. 


I am tempted to question what happened in those woods all those years ago, tempted to ask what it was we encountered.  But I won’t ask the questions.  Why you may ask?  It’s simple really.


Because I know.






We’re off everyone and I don’t have much time.

I just wanted to ask all of you to pray for my best friend Emily, she got some really heartbreaking news last night.


Her best friend and long time companion, her golden retriever Gideon, died last night.

He was 14 and he died in his sleep.,,, but Emily’s heart is broken.

He was her secret keeper for 14 years. She got him when she was twelve and I still remember sleeping in the kitchen with her new puppy and helping her pick out his name.  He was a perfect dog for my Emily, and now he is gone.

Here is a picture of her and him at one of our many camping trips.

I’ll miss having someone to share my gummy worms and blueberries with when we’re camping.  I’ll miss being chased by every type of wild animal because you stirred them up!  Run hard in the fields of heaven old man.

Goodbye Gideon, we’ll miss you. 


Good morning Xangaland! 

I’m posting this night before because I’ll be out early tomorrow. Okay and now I’m refreshing it cause I had a little time I didn’t anticipate!  Have a good day everyone!

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week I went and hiked Squaw Peak with my mom and dad.  This is the first time I’ve gone out and done anything truly strenuous since I lost all the weight and I have to tell you I LOVE IT!  So Ryan and I are going this morning and meeting my dad and doing it again.  For those of you who want to know, Squaw Peak is not an easy mountain nor is it extremely difficult but it is the exercise regime of hundreds here in the valley.  It is nicely broken up into quarter miles the top being a solid mile and a beautiful place to sit with the breeze in your face and watch the sunrise.  Not that I’m there quite that early but I hear tale……. So far I am making it to the half mile mark before I am just done.  I’m going to stick with that for a few weeks before I go on but my personal goal will be to hit the top 4 or 5 times a week and enjoy a peaceful moment above our smog cloud. 

So that is how today will start out for me, then it’s on to errands and more work on the PC.  Ryan’s sermon is pretty much ready but there will always be last minute things and then we have to work on emptying our video camera.  My uncle wants me to tape Ryan’s sermon for two reasons.  1) so we have his first sermon on tape and 2) so that he can go back and watch so he can see what he wants to change.  I just think it would be a neat thing to have.

So that is my day in a nut shell.  In case I don’t have time to write about it, which I’m pretty sure I won’t…. on Sunday mom and dad and Ryan and I are taking a bike ride out to Cave Creek to have lunch and get leathers for Ryan and I.  We have another ride planned in a couple of weeks and we’ll be going up north and mom and dad say not without leathers so we’re making a day of it.  We are excited it should be a good time.  Then of course on to church. 

Hope you all have a good weekend.  I’m going to leave this song up because I think it is wonderful.  24 by Switchfoot.


Do you ever have a long list of things to do for the day?  

Do you ever feel like the day seems to be flying by while the work creeps along? 

Do you ever look at your list and add the little things you’ve done that aren’t there just so you can cross them off and feel accomplished?

I did.

I just added another….

Write post….. check.

Song of the day? 24 by Switchfoot…. Fabulous song! 


I am so amazed at how easy it is to distract someone from a goal they are supposedly focused completely upon. 

I am amazed that even when I know that the enemy will attack, even when I know how he will do it, I am surprised and taken off my guard.  I am shocked at how easily I gave up my quite time, my battle time, to worry about things that I could not change.

I have been helping Ryan prepare for his sermon on this coming Sunday and God has really spoken to me through the passages he has been using and He has brought others to mind. 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation, Whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalms 27:1

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7

“What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
Romans 8:31-32

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Matthew 6:33-34

And even as I sit here typing this I have a song playing in the background that just hit me like a ton of bricks.  You Are My Hiding Place by Selah… these are the lyrics.

You are my hiding place,
You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance.
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
I will trust in You.
Let the weak say I am strong in the strength of my Lord.

You may ask why have I been afraid?  Oh there so many things; moving, things not going the way I want them to, old hurts, new ones, what do people think about me?, do I even car?, so many things that mean everything in those moments of darkness, yet, in truth, mean nothing.

All of the things that have been piling upon me over the past weeks are nothing but distractions and petty attacks from the enemy and I am sad to say that for a time they worked. 

But not any more.

I am a warrior and I am dangerous and I will not let my hands and feet be tied by petty things in this life.

I cry out for rain.  For the spirit to fall and for this army to be called forward!



Happy Birthday to my cousin Lucas! 

11 Years old….. what a thought!

Everyone go visit my Aunt Sue’s site HERE and say happy birthday.

I’ll be back tomorrow. 


Song of the day?  I’m too sexy by Right Said Fred.  Why you may ask?  1) because it was popular when he was born and 2) because Lucas is just too sexy!  lol  LOVE YOU BUDDY!!!

And Sue, I swear I will get that stuff done tomorrow.  I got busy today.  Hug the boy for us!

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Today I turn 25 years old.

I thought it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane and post pics of myself through the years.  So here you go.  From one day old until today, my journey through this crazy life!

(I apologize if you have trouble loading this.  There are a lot of pictures)


In this first picture I am only 1 day old and my dad is holding me and in the second I am two days old and my momma is holding me.  Aren’t they gorgeous people?


Welcome to the world of a four month old little girl who can not figure out why that toe thingy she likes to play with won’t come out of that sock.

Me at 6 months.  What a pudge! The second one is me at 7 months hamming it up.


9 months and saying bye bye.  If I remember correctly (the curtains that is) this picture was taken in the trailer on my grandparents lot in Prescott.  Yep same trailer I lived in back in high school and then again two years ago with Ryan while we waited for this house. 

Me at 18 months.

This is me at two years old helping my dad work on a car.

Me at three with my one year old sister Charly and then us when I was four and she was two.


This is me in kindergarten at 6 years old and first grade at 7.


Second grade at 8, must have been a good day on the play ground.  Pink elephants, pink elephants, pink elephants on parade here they come hippity hoppity….. sorry.  Ah memories.

Third grade at 9.  You can’t see it here but my hair was down to my knees.  We cut it for the first time shortly after this.  And then… Aw 10 years old fourth grade and a handmade dress….


I cut out fifth grade because I look exactly the same as I did in sixth grade.  So this pic will have to do for both 11 and 12. 

13 + Junior high = torture.  Yep the same at 14 too.


Freshman year of High School.  15 years old.  Is it just me or do I look like I have a lazy eye?  I don’t but hmmmm.  Maybe I was bored?  Sophomore year at 16 I look………awkward.


17 and junior year.  Hmm I remember that brown vest.  The things I wore in the 80’s and 90’s……

Senior year, 18 and almost out of there for good.  My family loves this picture.  I finally started wearing make up so they said I stopped looking dead!  LOL

Me at 19 with Ryan.  I believe that this was two days after my 19th birthday and we had only been engaged for about three weeks.

Shortly after I turned 20.  Ryan had just returned from Saudi Arabia.

When Ryan got home from Germany.  I was 21 in this picture.

Here I am at 22 we were living on base and little did we know that in a matter of two months we would be living in mom and dad’s backyard!  LOL

23 it will have to do I know it’s small.  I stayed away from camera’s a lot in those days.

Me this summer at 24.

Me now.

So there you have it.  My birthday picture post.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Now I am off to my Aunt Sulimb’s for lunch. (Hopefully her wonderful tuna) and then I think dinner at mom’s but I’m not sure yet.  Going to be a good day.

I want to post one more picture.  SugarplumDollee sent me the most beautiful Birthday Card and I want to share it all with you, though a picture does it no justice….

Isn’t it just beautiful?  She does the most amazing work!!!  Thank you so very much Gini!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Song of the day?  Don’t Worry Baby by the Beach Boys.  Because this is the music that was a constant when I was growing up.  I hear these songs and a million memories come to mind… the sounds of my childhood.


Good morning Xangaland!

A little different today.  I feel like I must explain….Song of the day?  These Old Bones by Dolly Pardon.  Totally not with the spirit of today’s post but honestly the song is stuck in my head and who doesn’t need a laugh once in a while?  Enjoy.

I am in the strangest mood today.  I feel so introspective… My brain just won’t stay still but at the same time I have nothing at all to say.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the following.  (I’m making a list to get my thoughts in order. lol)

1) My grandpa (the one year anniversary of him being gone is next month, a month from today actually)

2) Moving (there are days I want to leave so bad I can taste it but most days I can’t stand the thought of leaving.)

3) The holidays (they are coming up so fast and I don’t feel at all prepared but at the same time I feel like I HAVE to make this year wonderful because it may be my last living here…)

4) The fact that my 25th birthday is tomorrow… (I know this should be all happy but to be honest I am feeling kind of down….  I can remember when I turned 22, I was having so much trouble because it had been almost two years since Ryan and I had been trying to have a baby and my mom tried to encourage me by telling me that both her and my grandma found out they were pregnant shortly after their 23rd birthday..  Turning 25 is for some reason just depressing for me.  I know I’m young but some of the ‘young’ goes out of you when you have been trying for almost five years.)

So today I’m feeling very sullen and very quiet…  I would love to say more but really I’ve got nothing.

So with that…..

I have a lot of things to catch up on for the day!  I am making half of the Christmas gifts for this year so I have a ton of projects.   I’m coming around to visit and then I’m off.

Hope you enjoyed my insane song!  LOL


Okay I visited!  See you all later.


So them I’m going through old email’s and I find this one from my dad.

A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong .

She’s failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile her Mother is baking a cake and asks if her daughter would like a snack, the daughter says, “Absolutely Mom, I love your cake”

“Here, have some cooking oil,” her Mother offers.

“Yuck” says daughter.

“How about a couple raw eggs?”

“Gross” Mom!”

“Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?”

“Mom, those are all yucky!”

The mother replies: “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!

God works the same. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good!

We just have to trust Him and, eventually they will make something wonderful!


Below is my featured content post but for those of you who wanted to know what happened at the ‘great home invasion’ here you go.





Well? ……. Um?




It’s over…… not much else to say.

Actually I have a lot to say but you know

If you can’t say something nice…..




Don’t push!!

Okay fine you win!!!


So any way I cooked from 9:30 until 2 on the nose and by the time I was done I had a feast laid out: sopa, jalapeno poppers, 7 layer salad, meatballs, queso dip, and burgers with all the trimmings, soda out your ears too, and I was ready to go to bed. 


So I powdered my nose and peed in a hurry thinking any minute the doorbell would ring….


No big right? I’m always late.




Did the invite say the wrong time?


Did they all get together and decide not to show?


Seriously how rude!

2:48….knock knock

Here we are 2 guys and we brought beer!

3:00…knock knock

Two more people

By 5:00 we had 10 of the supposed 24. 

They ate we talked they left at 7:30

Made me miss my family parties.

And I thought this might get out of hand. HA

Song of the day?  Make the World Go Away by The King cause today is one of those days that I agree with him whole heartedly and I just need to hear him telling me about it.  LOL


I have joined a new blog ring called Grown Up’s with Content worth being Featured.  The assignment for this weekend was to write about our worst experience… I have discovered something about myself in this.  I have found that I try very hard to see a silver limning in the bad things that happen in life and looking back I can’t find much that I now consider bad.  Most of that bad things have just become funny stories over the years.  There is one thing though…. not so much a bad experience as the saddest day.


One year ago this Thanksgiving, November 24th, my grandfather passed away. 

He was one of my best friends in this life,  a man of great wisdom, my mentor, my role model….  He found out only days before that he needed an emergency bypass and so on that day we went to the hospital and kissed his cheek and told him we loved him and that we couldn’t wait to see him again, and he said goodbye.  He told each of us the thing in our life he was praying for and the things he was proud of us for.

I remember walking out of that room and looking over my shoulder to blow him a kiss and smile at him.  The moment was surreal and I felt as if I was looking at him for the last time.  I shook it off.

And it seemed I had every reason.  The surgery was a blinding success!  He pulled through just fine and was in recovery! 

Then the blood clot in his leg that had been there for 20 years let go and went into his lung.  I got a call to get ready that I might need to go to the hospital again.  I took a shower and got ready and just as I was about to walk out of the door my phone rang.

It was my sister, sobbing, barely audible.  “Courtney we lost him he’s gone grandpa’s gone.”

My whole world crumpled, I crumpled.  I sat on the floor crying for about five minutes before I ran to my car and drove like a wild woman to the hospital, thinking somehow I wouldn’t be too late if I hurried.  I still don’t know how I made it there.  I couldn’t see because of the tears streaming down my face and I was going way to fast.  I think my angels just knew that at that moment I needed grace.

I got there and they let us the whole family go into his room to say goodbye. It was so hard to stand there and see the man I had loved my whole life and know that he wasn’t there any more. 

But sometimes in the midst of the greatest tragedy you can find peace.  We stood and talked about him, about his life, we laughed we cried we prayed as a family and we began to heal.


This man had gone home knowing that five generations of his family were saved.  He went knowing that he would see us all again.  He was walking the streets of heaven, meeting his creator, and for the first time in the life of this man who had such wisdom, yet was always hungry for more.  The man who had endless questions….


Had all his questions answered.




My worst day a day I will forever remember with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.  The day I lost a friend and found peace.