Sunday, February 23, 2014

Incredible Update & Farewell

Update & Farewell  -

Incredible Testimony – Look What the Lord Has Done!
By Missy

**Much of the information in this document is sensitive – This information has been only shared with a few selected local people who know my family but more widely with those out of state.  My purpose in sharing the following information is to glorify the Lord – He has brought us through so much**

Two years?!?:
I am shocked to realize that it has been more than two years since Sarah, Chip or I have posted anything on Pure Femininity.  Because of what has been happening in each of our lives, we did decide to stop writing for this blog – however we at least meant to write a fond farewell post! 

Here is just a little bit of what has been happening in each of our lives:

      Sarah, her husband and small son were relocated by the Cost Guard from Oregon to Virginia for her husband’s new position.  They miss the small town feel of where they lived in Oregon but overall, Virginia has offered them with a much better home and job position where they can be together every day instead of her husband leaving for weeks at a time.  It has been a much better life for them there.  Sarah has just recently started teaching a sewing class for a homeschool group of young girls.  Her students range in age from 6 to 13 and she is enjoying the experience very much.
After much thought, prayer, and discussion, Sarah decided to stop writing for Pure Femininity in order to focus more attention on her husband and son.  Although for the most part she has given up blogging, she still occasionally writes posts as a guest writer for the following blog.  
Sarah and I (Missy) are still in touch every single day and I am so thankful for her encouraging friendship. 

Sarah, James and I when I visited them in Oregon
shortly before they moved to Virginia.

      Chip is still and will always be the best sister ever to me!  Early last year, she got her first apartment and moved an hour south to Spokane where she took a job as office manager, accordion repair tec, and piano and accordion teacher for Able To Play Music.  She is also still heavily involved with the Portatos Accordion Band and anything else to do with accordion and music!  Last year, Chip took first place in one of the performance sections of the Leavenworth Accordion Competition.  Not only was it her first time to win first place  - the best part is that she did it with her own composition! 
Chip has continued to grow steadily with the Lord and He has taken her through some hard trials.  She is such a huge inspiration to me and to others who know her.

Chip and I in November 2012 at the end of the
World Accordion Competition when it came to Spokane

Missy: (That’s me! )
-          - And an update on my dad, mom, and grandpa as well –

A bit of the past: 
     A few of you know that the past few years have been extremely difficult and harsh for my family.
     For more than three years, my dad, Chip and I took care of my mom and grandpa – both of whom were suffering through different mental illnesses.  During that time, we kept what we were going through a secret and even now, for my mom and grandpa’s sake, I will be very vague about the details of the horrifying things that we went through.  As the only one through that period of time who did not have a job, I turned into the main caretaker for my mom and grandpa.  Thankfully either my dad or Chip were able to be home at least a little almost every day to give me a break.  At times, when things were at their worst, they would both have to take off work in order for us all to provide 24/7 care for my mom.  We could not afford to place my grandpa in a home and we could not get medical attention for my mom – not unless she were to try to take her own life.   Looking back now, I can say that it was only by the grace of God that we ever made it through.  It was a physically and mentally crushing and spiritually trying time in all of our lives and even now we still have much recovering to do.
     After taking care of my mom and grandpa for almost three years, my mom (due to her mental illness) was completely done with me and kicked me out of the house on the night before Thanksgiving. (2012)  At that point, I was so crushed and overloaded that I was unable to handle anymore.  Thankfully, at that time, both my dad and sister were home and I was able to spend that night, Thanksgiving, and the next night living out of my dad’s sleeper on his semi-truck.  The day after Thanksgiving, I called an older couple (D&D) who I had known for a few years and asked if it would be alright for me to stay with them for a few nights.  They were more than happy to help. 
The days after that event were horrible.  I felt as though I had deserted my family when they still badly needed me – but at the same time, I knew I had given my all and that I was not able to take anymore;  Not without hurting someone or myself.  I sobbed and prayed and sobbed more.  Then D&D shared something with me that astounded me.  D&D had not heard from me in months and they had no idea what was going on in my life - but while praying, they felt strongly like I was going to need a place to stay for a while.  Acting on faith, they began to remodel their basement.  The remodel took a couple of months – All this time, they did not hear from me at all.  Two HOURS after they finished remodeling the bedroom (the last part of the basement that needed remodeled)  - I called them asking for a place to stay.  I had no idea that I would be needing a place to stay – but God knew and D&D acted by faith with much prayer.  That was the first major confirmation that I was supposed to leave my family – even though it felt completely wrong at that time.
The second confirmation came shortly after. 
D&D let me stay with them – not just for a few days but I was welcome for as long as I needed a place to live.  I began immediately searching for a job.  I searched everyday – online and in person.  I filled out stacks of applications but jobs are scarce – especially full time.  During that time, I prayed much about a job, and I had peace.  I knew that if the Lord wanted me to have a job, he would guide me in the right direction.   I was calm about finding a job and trusting, but I was still emotionally wrenching from the harsh circumstances that I had just left and the thought that I had deserted my family.  D&D were very supportive and prayed very much for us even though it was not until two or three months later that I was able to open up and share with them what had been happening. 

My Job:
     The phone call was completely unexpected.  Yes, I was hoping for phone calls – hoping that someone would contact me regarding a job, but this phone number I already had as a contact in my phone and I hadn’t spoken with them in two or three years.
Tristan from Stickit Signs called me – asking if I would be interested in a job working for him as the Chewelah Office Manager.  The best part is – he had NO IDEA THAT I WAS LOOKING FOR A JOB!  When Chip worked in Chewelah, her office was right next to Stickit Signs and that is how I had originally met Tris three years previously.  I had done a little bit of photography work for him in exchange for some vehicle magnets.  We had not been in touch since then. 
After I interviewed with Tris and started work, I found out that he and his wife had been in deep prayer about who they should hire as an office manager.  It was going to be a big job.  Until that point in time, Tris had run the business alone.  He did everything out of his head and so there were no set systems or price sheets and he had no need for them running it solo.  However, his business needed to grow and he was looking for the right person to build systems and price sheets and help him build the business up.  He had to find the right person, and he knew that God had the solution.  For weeks, he and his wife had been thinking of me as a possibility but they did not call me until that day.  If they had called me two weeks earlier – I would have turned the job down because I was still caring for my mom and grandpa.
Again, God’s timing was so perfect and he had laid out a complete plan before me. 

The beautiful view out the side window of my office at Stickit Signs in Chewelah

Two months later:
     After a long paperwork battle, my dad was finally able to get enough financial support to have my grandpa moved into an assisted living home.  I had regularly changed my grandpa every day when I was taking care of him, but after I left, he became much much worse to the point that even if I had been there, I would have no longer been able to take care of him anymore.  Dad was the only one that could handle him and it was very rough.  As soon as my grandpa was relocated, I began to clean out his cabin and work on remodeling it.  My intention was to move into the cabin (right across the creek from my parent’s house) so that I could help again with my mom without actually living in the same house with her.  Even moving into the cabin would have been horribly difficult for me with the state she was in, but Chip had been offered a new job and was planning her move to Spokane and I couldn’t just leave my dad with the way things were.   I continued to live with D&D but I worked on the cabin whenever I could.  Sadly, it had been badly damaged by my grandpa and was going to take a lot of time, repair and money to fix.

My Miracle Car:
     It was a huge blessing being able to live with D&D, however the drive to my new job was 40 minutes one way IF the roads were good…. And they were not good.
Every day, as I drove to work, I could feel the worn out car I was driving shake and moan and I felt as though it was not going to last too terribly much longer.  It was extremely high in miles and not worth fixing at all – but it was what I had and once it died I was going to be stuck.
     Thankfully the Lord had a plan for that as well!
     Every day, I thanked the Lord for the car and how far it had been able to go.  Then I would also thank Him for my next car.  I told Him,  “I have no idea where it is coming from – But God, THANK YOU for my next car!  I know it is going to have to be another miracle!”    - And it was.
     The day finally came.  While I was just about to pull out of a parking lot, the old green car suddenly began to shake horribly, I lost power steering and most of the brakes.  THANKFULLY there were just enough brakes left for me to slam on them with all of my might to keep myself from ending up right in the middle of oncoming traffic.  I was somehow able to get the car into reverse and it had just enough noisy, shaky strength to back up into a parking space where it died for good.  I sat there for just a minute and thanked God one last time for the car that had taken me so very far – and then I thanked him once again for the next car that I had no idea how I would get!
I happened to have my bike in the back so I called my dad, pulled out my bike and rode around for an hour until he was able to come and get me. 
I stayed the next few nights at the house with my family sleeping on my sister’s bedroom floor.  At the time she still worked in Chewelah and so she was able to take me to work when she went, then either her or my dad would pick me up later.  Chip worked part time and I worked full time so it was difficult for a few days but we did it! 
That weekend, I called my grandma in Montana to chit chat.  While we were talking I mentioned what had happened to the car.  There was silence on the other end of the line and then she asked, “Do you need a car?”  She owned a car and a pickup and she wanted to get rid of her car.  She fully intended to give it away to a family member but she was uncertain who to give it to because none of her family really “needed” a car.  It had been heavily on her mind and she had been praying hard about it for months.  She kept feeling like she should give the car to us, but she didn’t want to cause friction with other family members since at that time, none of us really “needed” it.  Now I was desperately in need of a car and it was an answer to her prayers and a huge delight to her to be able to bless me with it. 
Chip and I drove to Montana right away and I drove back my new car!  It is a humble little car, it had belonged to my Great- Grandma, then my Grandma, and now me.  That makes the car sound old – but it was very low in miles and well taken care of.   The Lord is the best planner and provider imaginable.

Traumatic Event:
     I had now been living with D&D for over 5 months and was working hard on the cabin so that I could help keep an eye on mom again.  Grandpa was in assisted living care and Chip had just moved to Spokane.  Dad had to work on and off but that left mom alone a lot even during the times when she still needed 24/7 care.  We were all so burnt out from the past years there very little we could do any longer.  I stopped as often as I could to check on her and bring groceries.  On Friday, April the 19th, I stopped at the house after work to do more repairs on the cabin and to check on my mom. Both the driveway to the cabin and the driveway to the house were completely covered in broken glass and random other broken items that were everywhere.  When I went inside of the house it was much worse.  Mom was in a very bad state and I could not leave her alone.  I stayed there and dad arrived later that night.  It was a horrible weekend.  On Monday, April 22nd, I had to go to work while dad stayed there.  The house was quiet when I left and it seemed like my mom must have been sleeping – or so I thought. 
     I received the call at about 12:15 pm.  It was my dad… he was sobbing… My mom had tried to commit suicide.   At times she would not sleep for days at a time and so when she finally did sleep – she slept hard and long.  Dad had thought she was sleeping and so he did not want to disturb her.  The room had been quiet and he didn’t want to wake her and so he didn’t check on her until that time.  However, instead of sleeping, she had been quietly torturing herself to death. 
I rushed home and arrived shortly after the police and ambulance.  I was able to say goodbye to her before they took her away – I really didn’t know if I would see her again.   Then I climbed in the car and drove to the hospital with my broken dad next to me. 
Mom went through surgery that night.  They had to remove air from around one of her lungs, remove a large section of her intestines, and stitch up several other holes.
I packed my things from D&D’s and moved back into my parent’s house to take care of the animals and to be there for my dad.   Chip had moved into town only two weeks before and she lived only a couple of miles away from the hospital.  This was yet more proof of God’s perfect timing!  Dad was able to stay with Chip at her new apartment to be close to my mom.  If she didn’t have the apartment, he would have had to drive an hour one-way every day to be there.

     My mom ended up being in a few different hospitals over the next seven months.  I worked hard to be able to drive the hour and a half one-way drive every weekend out to see her and dad and Chip went as often as they were able to as well. 

     During those months, my physical body went through a series of different stages of shock.  There were times that my health was so bad that I wanted to die.  Thankfully I had some very close friends that helped me through. 

     Shortly before Thankgiving 2013, my mom was relocated to a better place where she has more freedom and she is close so I can be there for her.  Since she is now stabilized on medication, she is like a completely different person and thankfully, there are a lot of things from the past years that she does not seem to remember at all.  I feel like I am gaining back some of the mom that I never thought I would see ever again.  I am so incredibly thankful. 
My dad has been such a huge inspiration to me.  He has proven himself to be so faithful and patent even though he has suffered so much.  He still is suffering and is very broken from the things we have been through.  He is in need of friends and prayers.  I feel as though I can do so little for him – but I am thankful that I can make the house into a home for him and be here when he is home.

The Present:  February 2014

     Grandpa is still in an assisted living home and it is a much better place for him.  He has old friends and family members who visit him often and even though he can’t remember who they are – He enjoys the company.

     I am still living with my dad and we have been working hard to repair all the damage inside and outside of the cabin and the house that was caused by my mom and grandpa’s illnesses.  Paint, repair, and new decorations are beginning to make the house into a home and it is helping to slowly wipe away all of the bad memories.   The house is really beginning to look like a different place now and it has been healing for both dad and I.  To our best knowledge, my mom will never be coming back here again. 

My dad's fire place remodel project - didn't he do an amazing job!?!

Clean up and repair


After #2
     I am still working at Stickit Signs and am so thankful for my job.  After hard work of building price sheets and systems, we opened a second store and have hired two new employees that we have been training.  This has been a very humbling process, because as I train others – I realize just how much I have yet to learn myself!  I am just about to move out of the customer service angle of the business and will work as our main artwork designer, book-keeper, and do a little bit of everything else that I possibly can! 

My health has still be quite bad, but it is much better than it was over the summer!  I am really focusing hard on natural healing and am doing a lot of physical exercise as well.

     Things are changing and getting better.  We have much to heal from but even more to be thankful for.
It is well with my soul.   

      GOD IS GOOD – I hope you are encouraged and inspired to trust Him though all of life’s storms.

       This is an update and a farewell.  I may someday post another long update of what else the Lord has been doing, but for now - This is our final post on Pure Femininity.  Thank you for being a follower and for all the encouragement that you have given us through your comments and emails.

Thank you for reading. 

~ Missy

Want to stay "Somewhat" connected?  Sarah, Chip and I are all on Pinterest!  

We hope you will follow our boards and we hope to see pins from you!  

You can also feel free to contact me by email:


There are a few friends that I really want to thank for standing by me and helping me get through the hardest times of my life. (You know who you are so I am only going to post first names)
My dad and sister, Sarah (and family), Joe, Brenda, Steven, Anna, Matthew, Sally, Andrew S. and Yev.

I also want to thank everyone else who wrote encouraging cards, emails, and sent little gifts to encourage me even though none of you knew what exactly was wrong or happening in my life.  You all helped to get me through and I am thankful for every one of you!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Video Blog - Rag Curls

Have you ever wondered how to make rag curls?
Watch and learn how!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Discovery Fridays: Thanksgiving Decos

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching! It is a beautiful time of the year, and while I believe we should be thankful each and every is nice to have a holiday dedicated to thankfulness.  My husband's parents and sisters will be visiting us for this holiday, and I wanted to make the time special and memorable.  I wanted to decorate...but I didn't want to have to pay an arm and a leg for decorations.  So here are some creative things that you could do for very little money to make this upcoming holiday special. :)

Why not make a beautiful fall wreath - with paper and glitter?  It is definitely much cheaper than most wreaths you could buy.  I also love this one as it is unique, sparkly, and, yes, inexpensive. :)

Photo Courtesy & Tutorial

What about making a garland with leaf shapes spelling out "Give Thanks," "Be thankful" or something similar? It is very inexpensive and a simple afternoon project.

Photo Courtesy & Tutorial

Many people have vases, popcorn (unpopped), and candles lying around the house.  Why not combine these for a beautiful centerpiece?  Check out this (and other) decoration idea from My Heart's Desire!

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

Simply Vintage Girl has an amazing idea of a "Thankful Tree."  I love this idea and hope to implement it this year.  Ever played that "game" (for lack of a better word) where everyone goes around the table before the Thanksgiving meal stating something they are thankful for?  I've got to admit, I was never a fan of that game.  Not because I'm not thankful, just that by the end everyone was coming up with crazy and silly stuff because they didn't want to be repetitive.  I also just don't like talking in front of people, and I know many people are the same way.  So why not set up a thankful tree where everyone can leave their thanks.  This allows for a beautiful decoration, a place to leave thanks, and, when people have nothing else to do, it would be fun to read about what other people wrote!

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

Something cute to hold utensils is also a great idea, and the Idea Room came up with a winner (at least in my book).  This could work for both plastic and regular utensils, and it would just add a little spice to the table or buffet.  I am definitely going to print these out and use them for this holiday season!

Photo Courtesy & Free Printable

What are some of your ideas for this Thanksgiving? I hope that you all have a wonderful, thankful season!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Discovery Fridays: Kiddo Gifts

For my last installment on kid gifts, I thought I'd hit a broad range of age here... Some of these can be used for little kids and big kids, but they were just a couple more ideas I found and really wanted to share!

I can remember being a little girl and really wanting to have beds to put my stuffed animals and dolls in.  So why not make some sleeping bags for their special toys?  Creative, inexpensive, easy, and just plain fun!

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

If you know a family that is often on a road, a portable checkers game is an excellent idea! This idea from Stacy Vaughn is brilliant! (I don't know where some of these people get their ideas -- but I wish I was that creative!)

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

As a little girl, I can remember wanting to cook with my Mom all the time.  She made me an adorable little apron that I still have to this day.  I am sure any little girl would love an apron like this! And if you changed the themes, some boys might even want to help Mom cook, too!

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

So there are a few more hand-made gift ideas for kids! What other ideas might you have for all the different ages?  Happy crafting!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Discovery Fridays: Toddler Gifts

Last week we came up with a few ideas for baby gifts... And this week I thought we could look at a few toddler gifts along the same lines! Hope you enjoy more gift project ideas! :)

Quiet books are amazing.  They are quiet and keep the kid quietly playing with his book.  They can be very simple...or completely beautiful.  For my little boy, I so want to make him a beautiful quiet book.  I believe my Mom and sister may help me with some of the pages and that will make it even more special!  One lady has come up with some AMAZING quiet book pages and patterns - and I do hope to use some of them. :)  Here are her links, but I think the idea of a quiet book is just to be creative... Use your imagination and have fun! Most likely, the toddler will love it no matter what!

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

As a toddler, kiddos can definitely begin to learn their letters.  But a toddler is less likely to be interested when sitting down with a book and studying.  So why not make all the letters out of fabric scraps.  The toddler will be entertained by the bright, fabric letters and Momma will be thrilled to have the toddler learning at the same time!

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

At the toddler age, little people love coloring.  But, quite honestly, combating that flimsy cardboard box can be trying and impossible.  So why not make a cute crayon tote?

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

Want something a little larger, extravagant, and certain to bring squeals of delight?  Make your own tent out of hula hoops and sheets! I can't wait for when my little one is old enough to use this idea!

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

How about something that allows a toddler to have their own "space" while out and about...but is also very cute and useful? Moms might like this one, as well, as it has a distinct purpose! Create a nap mat! :)

Photo Courtesy & Idea Source

What other ideas do you have for toddler gifts?  We'd love to hear some of your thoughts!

Video Blog - How to Make a Swirly Hair Bun

I rarely ever put my hair up in a swirly hair bun
without someone asking me how I do it - 
and so I finally decided to make a
video to show others how.  :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What Do You See? By Guest Writer, Emily

What do you See?
From Guest Writer, Emily
I recently watched a DVD that taught me a very good lesson. The DVD was an old-fashioned story about a man who had an awful lot of problems! He was about to lose his land because there was an awful drought which meant he couldn't grow anything on his land and make any money to pay his bills. His well dried up, so he had to haul water from the river. When he tried to dig new wells, he just hit rock. Secondly, his wife died of scarlet fever. Then his young daughter caught their house on fire trying to make dinner.
He was complaining about all his problems to his father. His father took him up to the top of a hill which overlooked his house and land. The father said to him, What do you see?” All the son could see was the dry fields, his land that he thought he was going to lose, the house that had nearly burned down etc. His dad said to him,”That's your problem. All you see are the bad things. You don't see all the blessings that God gives you.” Their discussion went on further, but I learned a lesson right here. 
When we look at things in our life, what do we see? When we look at our parents, what do we see? Do we just see their mistakes and faults? Or do we see all their good points (which are usually far more than their faults)? When we look at our family, what do we see? Do we see how annoying they can be sometimes and all the ways that they could be nicer and better? Or do we see the things that we can appreciate? When we look at our school or schoolwork, what do we see? All the work that it takes? Or the big blessing that we are able to learn and get education when there are many in the world who never can? When we look at our church, what do we see? Just the things that we think should be done differently or that ways that it could be much better? Or are we thankful for the good things?
This was a lesson for me! When I look at my home, what do I see? Lots of never-ending work?! Or a lovely place that God has provided us with? When I look at my children, what do I see? Dirty nappies, noise, interrupted sleep etc?! Or do I see the fun they bring, their cuteness and the joy they are? When I look at my husband, what do I see?! His few faults? Or the great blessing and help that he is?
Sometimes it's like we are wearing dark sunglasses and everything seems so dark and gloomy! But if we would just take them off, we would see the sun and the blue sky.
Let's be thankful and focus on the positive things, and then pray about the negative things! It will make a world of difference.
Focus on the good things!
“In everything give thanks.”

To Follow Emily, please visit her blogs here: