The New And Improved

I am excited to announce that my blog has had a facelift! I would love for you to come on over, take a look and tell me what you think! Not everything has change…so don’t freak out on me….it’s basically just the look that has changed, that, and it’s easier to navigate. I’m pretty proud of it and excited to see it grow more and more.

Don’t worry, I will still post my favorite recipes, crazy stories about my life, inspirational thoughts and whatever else pops into my head!

For those of you who have subscribed to e-mail updates, you should still receive them, if for some reason you do not, please re-subscribe so not to miss out on future posts. If you haven’t subscribed and would like to do so, you may subscribe on my new site at http://www.tonyarohr.com.

So to recap….

-My new site is http://www.tonyarohr.com, if you have this “old” site bookmarked, you will need to bookmark the new one.

-this site will continue to be up and running until march 5th. After that date, this site will be closed.

-same content, same fun, same life altering content….NEW LOOK!

-please subscribe for updates

-drop me a line and let me know how you like it!

-Don’t forget to tell your friends and share the laughter.

I can’t wait to see you at http://www.tonyarohr.com….I would have made this a link for you to just click on, but I don’t know how 😉

A Little Pep Talk

Philippians 4:6-8 is my GO TO passage of scripture. When my mind is feeling overwhelmed and NOTHING makes sense, or if I can’t pull myself out of a negative thinking mode….this verse is like a warm blanket to my soul. The Lord woke me from a dead sleep when I was just a young girl and gave me this portion of scripture to live by….I had never even read it before, so when I staggered out of bed to look up this mysterous scripture, I was pleased to find such a comforting passage. Little did I know, at that simple time in my life, that I would go to this safe place in Gods word, hundreds of times.

Once again, this morning, I found myself reading Philippians 4:6-8 one more time. When I read it, I imagine God himself speaking to me in my everyday, easy to understand vernacular. Kind of like this…

Ok girl, you gotta stop worrying about everything! Stop fretting over every little thing that crosses your path. Instead, why don’t you just give thanks for all the good stuff in your life, and there’s plenty! Like your family, a roof over your head….a lot of people don’t have that ya know, your beautiful healthy family, awesome friends, a steady income, and most of all….knowing that you have Me, the creator of the Universe on your side! I mean, if I am for you….who can be against you…right? Now, tell me what’s on your heart. What do you desire? What are yor needs? What are your fears? Give Me your worries and your fears and I will, in return, flood you with My peace. It’s the kind of peace that is hard to describe and is puzzling to most, but it is real and powerful just the same. With that indescribable peace, I will protect your heart and your mind from the worry this old world can bring.

Now, GET UP and stop your fretting and worrying! Instead, replace those negative thoughts with good thoughts, happy thoughts, positive thoughts like…things that are true and pure Things that are noble and right. Things that are lovely and admirable.

Tonya, is there anything good in your life? Anything excellent? Is there anything praiseworthy at all? If there is, then think on these things! Trust me, if you do this, I will pour My peace on you and it will be with you…always. Now chillax sister!

I Love you, God.

Thought you (my readers) could use this word too! Love you all. Now go and have a worry free day!

For weeks Cassady had been complaining about her stomach. It was hurting. It was gurgling. It was churning. She went from, not being able to go to the bathroom one day to, can’t stop going to the bathroom the next. Every day it was something different….she was miserable and so was I just listening to her!

Finally, after doing some Internet searching and talking to friends, I concluded that we needed to make a visit to the doctor. My kids rarely have to go to the doctor…they’re never sick, thank goodness. Typically, we have to visit the doctor for broken bones or busted heads….not from being sick.

I made the appointment with our pediatrician. She had seen all four of my kids over the years, for one thing or another, so Cassady felt comfortable explaining to her the crazy symptoms she had been having….

maybe a little too comfortable!

The nurse came to the waiting room and called our name, Cassady and I gathered our things and made our way to the first available room. The nurse took her blood pressure, weighed her and then asked the usual questions….and of course Cassady was all to happy to tell her anything and everything. When the nurse left, I encouraged Cassady to answer all of the doctors questions completely but to get to the point….basically I wanted her to get to the point without a twenty minute explanation (which she tends to do).

When the doctor came in, she recognized Cassady immediately and asked how we had been doing (I told you it had been a long time since we had been to see her). We chatted for a few minutes and then she began to enquire as to what we were in for. After Cassady gave her the highlights she began to ask more detailed questions like…

How long has this been going on?

When do the symptoms occur?

How often?

Is it worse after you eat?

Between 1 and 10 how bad is the pain?

The doctor continued to ask more questions, then suddenly her questions became very specific in nature (I’ll spare you the details). I could tell Cassady was beginning to struggle with her explanations of exactly what was going on with her body…..I mean, it’s hard enough talking to a doctor as an adult…but as a 14 year old girl…she was beginning to struggle trying to find the right words to explain her situation.

{here’s the redneck part}

All of a sudden, in Cassady’s frustration, she threw her hands up in the air, as if to give an illustration, and said, “ok, you know what it’s like when you’re skinning a squirrel?


From that point on, everything is a blur…..all I can remember is seeing her hands in the air and I can only remember two words…

Skinned and squirrel.

I’m sure I was in shock. My mouth hung open. My eyes were wide and fixed. My heart was pounding out of my chest. Then I felt it….the heat, working it’s way up my neck and over my face. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My daughter, whom I tried to raise the best I could, was explaining her innards while using the analogy of a skinned squirrel!

Please say it ain’t so!

I seriously heard nothing else…..just skinned and squirrel. When I came out of my shock induced coma….I immediately threw my head between my knees and broke out into a Hee Haw belly laugh! What else was I gonna do, right?? The damage was done! The secret was out. The doctor now knows, that we go out in the woods, kill squirrels, skin them and eat them for supper. She now knows that we’re a bunch of rednecks (well, they are, I’m not!).

When I finally gathered myself and regained my composure, I hesitantly looked up at the doctor to get her reaction. Let me just say, she was a real pro! She never laughed or even cracked a smile, she never raised an eyebrow or gasped in shock. She sat right there and listened intently to everything Cassady had to say.

A soon as Cassady was finished with her gruesome, squirrel skinning story, the doctor sent her down the hall for some tests. As Cassady walked out of sight, the doctor looked at me and said with great passion, “I just love that kid!” I smiled and said, “well, what you see is what you get! I just can’t believe she talked about skinning a squirrel” “That’s ok”, she said, “I was raised in Arkansas, I’m used to it, besides, it helped me to know exactly what she was talking about”.

What an awesome doctor!

What an awesome kid!

What an awesome, redneck family!

What an awesome life!

Thank you Lord.

The end.

One of the things in life I find myself worrying about the most (borderline obsessing) is what to write about. Every time I feel inspired to write about something, my mind has to go through this long drawn out guessing game. Back and forth and back and forth….do I write about this or do I write about that??…. It’s absolutely exhausting!

This is no ones fault but my own. As a matter of fact you, my readers, have gone far and above my wildest dreams in the area of support. Every single comment has been positive and encouraging…..prodding me to keep writing, so for me to labor so much over what to write is really unfounded…..other than I think you deserve the best 😉

So, from this point on (fingers crossed) I’m gonna do my dead level best to write what’s in my heart and on my mind, and stop worrying who will like it and who won’t.

Also, just so you know, I have total support from my husband and children when it comes to writing about the funny stories that have them in it. (if they don’t ok it, I don’t write it) I’m so proud of my kids, all four of them, because they have learned to laugh at life and themselves! As a matter of fact, when something funny happens to them or in our family, they usually beat me to it and say, “Momma, you need to write about that!” (you won’t want to miss my next story!)

Thanks guys for being so supportive and for giving me such good material 😉

Thanks babe for being such a good sport and for being so….well….wonderful!

Thanks readers for letting me get this off my chest and thank you for reading. You’re the best!

Ok, I feel better now.

A Man And His Cat

It’s a mystery.



What is it about Devin that is so appealing to Tater Tot?

Devin says it’s because he’s warm and fluffy. (Devin, not the cat)

I say it’s because Devin doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t move, or laugh, or talk or anything else for that matter. He’s like her own personal, private island where she can just get away and relax without being bothered or harrassed by anything or anybody.

Whether he likes it or not, he is a man with a cat 😉

Chicken Coop Day #1

In my last post I told you about my life long dream of having chickens. This is something I have wanted for years but was always turned down flat by Mr. Wonderful….until Christmas. He surprised me on Christmas eve with a book about raising chickens and a promise that we would be getting chickens in the spring. He knew nothing would please me more.

Unfortunately, many things need to take place before we can have chickens. First and foremost, a primary caregiver must be established. I just assumed, when it’s pretty outside, I would go out to feed and water the chickens. Then on the really cold or wet days, Mr. wonderful would step in…..I mean….that IS why I call him Mr. Wonderful, right?


As we were walking across the property one afternoon to get started on chicken coop day #1, Devin said, “ok, the first thing we need to establish is, who’s gonna take care of these chickens?” I paused for a moment to think about his question, before I could even process the question and open my mouth to answer, he chuckled and said, “I know the answer to this”, When I turned to look at him, all I could see was his big, hairy, obnoxious finger pointing at me right between the eyes…..it was backed up by a big grin. “You are”, he said, “these are YOUR chickens and YOU are gonna be the one to take care of them.

Once the “chicken master” had been established, it was time to determine the best place for the coop. After much discussion and a little disagreement….or was it little discussion and much disagreement? Anyway, we finally agreed on an old, pre existing shed over at grannies place.

The shed is probably 65-70 years old and full of stuff, mostly junk but as they say, one man’s junk is another mans treasure.

Walking in to this little shack was like stepping back in time. It was full of old jars and bottles…

And chain. Lots of chain.

Every style, size and length you can imagine. All organized according to size and length…each in their own tin can. So, if any of you are in need of six inches of big, tractor pullin’ chain, I can probably hook you up.

Nuts and bolts anyone? We’ve got plenty.

Here’s something interesting. We found an old bottle of wine hidden between two canvas tarps….who ever hid it there did a pretty good job….from the looks of things, it had been there for a long time.

Here’s a picture of Molly’s old collar. Molly was Devin’s prize winning coon dog. He sold her (along with his truck) to buy my wedding ring set. I knew nothing of this until much later in our marriage….what a sacrifice….he truly is wonderful!

My favorite find though, had to be this small bottle of sand I found sitting on a shelf. When I picked it up and shook the sand around, a small piece of paper was revealed inside. The curiosity was killing me so I opened it up and fished the little piece of paper out.

My Dream of Chickens

One of my earliest and most fond memories, as a young girl, is spending summer vacations with my Aunt Sammie. Now, if we are going to talk about my Aunt Sammie, you need to learn how to say it the right way. In Southern Alabama, where I am from, we don’t pronounce the word, aunt, like it is spelled or like other parts of the country may pronounce it. We pronounce it like, “ain’t”. So, it would sound something like this, “I want chickens like ain’t Sammie had”. That’s what this post is about….my Aunt Sammie…..and I want chickens.

I LOVED going to Aunt Sammie’s house. It was so much fun. What made it fun? Well, for starters, there were no rules! I could run around barefooted all day long, eat homemade cookies and ice cream for lunch if I so desired and drink all the coke and sweet tea I could hold. Second, she had three boys, Rodney, Ikey and Jeffrey. I had no brothers or sisters, so for me, a house full of crazy, loud, rowdy boys was a slice of heaven. Third, she had all kinds of varmints roaming the yard. Dogs and cats laying on the porch, cows grazing in the pasture out back, and chickens cluckin’ and peckin’ all around the place, up on the porch and out in the yard. Can’t you just picture it? Heaven.

Not only was her place a sight to behold, the sounds were just as wonderful. I can still hear the slamming of the screen door and the sound of Aunt Sammy’s voice yelling at the boys, “stop slammin’ that door!” then thirty seconds later it would slam again. The sound of cars driving up the dirt driveway, dogs barking and Aunt Sammy standing on the edge of the porch, hollering out to the unexpected but welcome company, “y’all get out and come on in!” while Uncle Mock shooed the dogs off the porch. The sound of her laughter echoing through the house. But, by far, my favorite memory sound, has to be the sound of the rooster crowing every morning outside my window. To this day, when I hear a rooster crow or a chicken cackle I can’t help but be transported to a simpler time.

As an adult, I have tried to create my own slice of heaven right here in Verdigris Oklahoma. I have a house in the country with plenty of land, a big front porch that beckons you to come take a load off, a house full of rowdy kids and batches of warm homemade cookies just waiting to be devoured. There is one thing that is missing though….chickens. No chickens to cackle and cluck and no rooster to crow. Why you ask? Two words.

Mr. Wonderful.

I have been asking for chickens for years….literally years….and for years….nothing….nothing but the 73 reasons why we don’t need chickens. Here’s just a few:

-We don’t have time for chickens
-chickens take a lot of work (that’s code for it takes a lot of money)
-we don’t have a chicken coop
-the dogs will kill the chickens
-the foxes will kill the chickens
-the hawks will kill the chickens
-the coyotes will kill the chickens (you get the idea)
-chickens are nasty
-chickens stink
-who’s gonna take care of the chickens if we go on vacation?
-who’s gonna break the ice in the winter so they can have water?
-who’s gonna get up at the butt crack of dawn to feed em’?

The list goes on and on. He painted a pretty grim picture of what it’s like to have chickens, because he had chickens when he was a kid…his memories are not as fond as mine. All of his nay sayin’, and his gloom and doom, about how awful it will be to have chickens, fell on deaf ears though….I still wanted me some chickens! I tried and tried to talk him into it, but nothing.

Then something happened. I’m not sure what. Something miraculous. In my mind, I imagine that, in some dramatic way, the sky’s parted and the hand of Almighty God reached down and put in the chest of Mr Wonderful, a heart, a heart for chickens, because out of the blue, as a Christmas present, he gave me this.

A book on raising chickens.

When I opened the beautifully wrapped package, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I shot a disbelieving glance his way….there he was with his half grin and a gleam in his eye. I jumped up and flooded him with hugs and kisses and lots of questions. The first question being, “when can we get them?” “I figure in the spring”, he said, (then he got a little preachy) “we’ve got a lot of work to do before then…. We’ve gotta scout out the best place to put em’, and then we’ve gotta build a chicken coop….and you need to read that book.”

Who knew you needed a book in order to have chickens?

And why do we need to scout out a place?

I just figured we’d buy a bunch of chickens, turn ’em loose and let them roam the yard….after all, if it’s good enough for Aunt Sammie, it’s good enough for me 😉

We have a few months till spring….ample time to scout and build. I can hardly wait! I’m sure there will be plenty of chicken coop stories to tell in the near future so stay tuned.

In the past few weeks I have written about making your day a BIG day. What is a BIG day? Well, for me, it’s being keenly aware of the people around me and sensitive to what they may need. If I ask God to help me see the need in others….I believe He will show me. Maybe someone needs a smile, a helping hand, some undivided attention, a listening ear, eye to eye contact or just some good ol’ fashioned hospitality! Whatever the need is, I see what I can do to fill it. Anyway, if not me…God may choose someone else….so, why not me? Why not you? A seemingly small act can turn an average, hum drum day into a BIG day, maybe for you….maybe for someone else! It’s just that simple.

Have I made every day a BIG day? Nope.

Have I missed opportunities? I’m sure I have, I’m human.

Once again, let me say, this effort of mine to have a BIG day is not about me or tooting my own horn. I’m just trying to get the most out of every day and take advantage of every opportunity that God brings my way. My hope is that by sharing my experiences, both big and small, they might inspire you think about how you can make a BIG day too!

Here is a little story that opened my eyes on the importance of investing in people and how many times, it can come full circle.

On January 5th I received word that the mother of a dear friend of mine was in the hospital and not doing well at all. Not only was she my friends mother, she was also my pastors wife that I had as a young girl. Let me back up a bit and give a little more history.

In 1977, I stepped on to the campus of Evangel Christin School in Eight Mile, Alabama for the very first time. I was in the eighth grade…you know….the awkward years. It’s a time when you’re not really a kid but you’re far from an adult. It’s the chubby stage, the silly stage, the goofy stage and a very impressional stage to say the least. It was at this time in my life when I found myself and the Lord too! You see, this school was an extension of the ministry of Lakeview Assembly of God Church and I, and my parents, am a product of that ministry. A ministry that was led by Kenneth Woods and his Precious wife Sandy.

Not only were they the pastors of the church, they were also hands on and very much a part of the school. Sis. Woods, as we so affectionally called her, worked in the school office. I don’t really remember what she did there, I just know she was an ever present “mom” to us all. She had an eternal smile and a reassuring presence about her that was felt by all. She was basically Bro. Wood’s better half….in every way! Bro. Woods (Kenneth) was for me a symbol of the kind of no nonsense strength it takes to be a leader. He was tall and strong…in stature and will. He made me want to be better…because I knew that’s what he expected….the best I could be. He wanted that for all of us, even more so, he wanted that for his three daughters, Rhonda, Ginger and Staci. Bless his heart….so much estrogen…he was so outnumbered!

I watched, from the sidelines, how this family operated. How they dealt with each other and the people around them. They were fun, they were real and they were a great example for a young girl like myself.

In church, Bro. Woods and Sandy were the same on the platform as they were at the football game as they were at home. They were real. They were approachable. As a pastors wife myself, I have tried to model this in my life as well….I have tried to mirror their example.

Over the years, Ginger and I would find ourselves “in the same boat” many times. We cheered together, we sat beside each other in choir (her constant harmonizing drove me crazy!), we were college room mates at CBC, we found our husbands the same summer and we were in each others wedding. We even spent our first year, as married women, two doors down from each other in the married housing at CBC! There is a lot of history between us to say the least.

Over the years, we let life get in the way and basically lost touch with each other. Sad but true. A few years ago, thanks to Facebook, we found each other and picked up right where we left off.

When I heard about her dear mother being in the hospital, as I stated earlier, I felt sad all over and sad for her daughters and Bro. Woods as well. Memories began to flood my mind of all the love this great woman of God shared with so many. Later that day, Mrs. Sandy Woods went on to be with the Lord. Everything she did in life, her love and unconditional acceptance of everyone around her, her dedication to Gods call on her life and her personal relationship with Jesus Christ all led up to this moment….the moment she would meet Him face to face. She was rejoicing, but it left her family with a great sense of loss and sadness.

When I found out the service for Sandy would be within driving distance, I immediately made plans to be there for Ginger and her sisters. It was a way for me to, in a sense, try to give back what they had given to me for so many years. I just wanted to be there, close to this family who gave so much to me. And secretly, somewhere deep down inside, I wanted Bro. Woods to know that all of his sermons didn’t fall on deaf ears and that I was trying to live a life he would be proud of. I know that this is probably wrong of me….to want him to see this at such a difficult time…but I guess I just wanted to say thank you with my life, and for him to know how much he and his family impacted my life. Anyway, of course I never said these things to him (even though I felt it).I hoped he could see it.

I was privileged to spend some time with the family the night before the funeral. Sandy’s home was beautiful, just as I imagined it would be. All of the girls were there as well as all of their children. When I rang the doorbell, Staci met me with a big hug. Ginger and Rhonda were right behind her. It was so good to see them all, they were all so beautiful and gracious, just like their momma! As I entered the room Bro. Woods stood up from his chair, gave me a big o’hug and introduced me to some of his friends. We shared greetings and laughed a bit then I let him get back to his company. A few minutes later, while Ginger and I were talking, bro. Woods suddenly blurted out, in his big, booming voice, in front of everybody, “Tonya, do you have a kidney problem?”

Ok, I must say that this totally stumped me and took me by surprise! I’m usually pretty quick witted and never at a loss for words….but he really got me on this one! Here is a man that I have not seen or spoken to in 25 years and he is asking me if I have a kidney problem! Was I standing in a puddle of pee or something? Did I look jaundice? Did he have a prophetic message for me? What? Why on earth would he be asking me such a bizarre question at such a time as this?

I looked at Ginger with a “what the heck is he talking about” look. I looked back at him with as straight of a face as I could muster and said, “well, I don’t think so pastor, what do you ask? (not sure why I asked such a question because I knew he was going to give me the answer…out loud in front of everyone) “Well” he said, “every time I read one of your stories…you’re in the bathroom!” Then a slow, ornery grin came over his face.

I couldn’t believe it! He had been reading my blog. Who knew? This man, that I respect so much, had been reading my stories! My mind raced over the 140 or so posts I had written, hoping I hadn’t written something…..bad….or wrong….or stupid! We all had a good laugh, at my expense. We had such a nice time visiting and catching up.

The next morning, I made my way to the church, it was same church that Bro. Woods and Sandy had pastored for 25 years. This day, it would be the place where we celebrate the life of Sandy Woods.

I sat near the back of the church with over 900 other people who felt the same way about her as I did. It was amazing! From beginning to end….amazing. We were all seated and waited patiently for the family to enter. The room was silent in reverence as they entered the sanctuary. Bro. Woods led his family in. With his head held high, his back as straight as a arrow, he walked to his seat. One by one the girls entered with their children around them like a hen with her chicks. Full of dignity and grace, they were. Strong and proud to be the daughters of the precious Sandy Woods. What a legacy!

After the service I watched Bro. Woods and the girls receive, greet, hug, laugh and smile with over 500 people, one after the other. For two hours they thanked the well wishers and ministered to each one in their own way.

This family, in the midst of their loss, still managed to show Gods love. This love, that once ministered to me so many years ago, has now come full circle and they didn’t even know it. I went to them, hoping that I could meet some need in some way and hoping to make this sad day a little more bearable, if only for a moment. It turns out, they made MY day a BIG day!

We may never know, in this life, how we have impacted those around us. Our words, our actions and our time can make, for someone else…a BIG day or even a BIG life!

Matthew 25:40–The king will reply, “truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these…you did for me.”

Hebrews 13:2– Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so, some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

About Me

About Me.

At the very tippy tippy top of my list, is of course, the most irritating thing of all:

1. Mouth noises! This includes, but is not limited to, smacking, licking, sucking of teeth, sucking of food, biting of the fork, chewing loudly, chewing softly and gulping. I think that pretty much covers it. Oh, and crunching ice, that’s a big one!

2. People who drive slow in the left hand lane.

3. A clothes hanger hanging on a door knob. There is no need to hang it on the door knob….really….no need. This is like nails on a chalk board. I could probably use some therapy.

4. Getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, only to find out (the hard way) that someone has left the toilet lid up, again! I’m thinking about super glueing ours down 😉

5. The “F” word.

6. When the “low fuel” dinger dings and it’s 14- outside, and I can only find one glove….and it’s the left one.

7. When one of my kids informs me of a huge school project, and it’s due the next day! This has happened more times than I care to remember.

8A. A dressing room with bad lighting. You know, the kind of lighting that makes you look like you’ve had the stomach flu!

8B. A dressing room with a fat mirror….that’s a mirror that makes you look fat! It doesn’t mean you ARE fat, it just makes you LOOK fat! I want to smash it with a hammer! If the department stores were smart, they would put skinny mirrors in every dressing room, sales would sky rocket!

9. Kim Kardashian. Let’s just make that ALL the Kardashians. Oh! Oh! Oh! And Linsey Lohan! And the fact that she doesn’t wear a bra to court! This drives me crazy!

10. When my daughter loses a library book that costs me $58.00 to replace. Then, after I have paid for it, I come up with a great idea to buy a replacement book on Amazon for $1.95 and pass it off as the original. Is that bad? I can’t decide if that’s bad or not. Anyway, you gotta admit that’s a great idea!

11. When an automatic toilet keeps flushing every time you move.

12. When someone asks if you’re pregnant….and you’re not! Or if you’re in a store with your small child and someone asks if it’s your grandchild! Both of these deserve a swift kick in the shin!

13. Clutter. I desperately need to de-clutter! My mother would be so proud.

14. When I go to the little Asian lady for a manicure and she asks if I would like a pedicure too, when I say no, she looks down at my feet, with a disgusted look on her face and says, “well, you NEED a pedicure!”

Ok, I feel better now. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest 😉

%d bloggers like this: