In Memory of Mahlon Eash, Jr.

Life took a crazy sudden turn again. Sentences spoken in passing now are precious last words. Moments that were the daily norm, now can only be called memories. No words can be spoken that will ease the pain. Nothing can be given that eases the ache. Along with this fresh hurt and pain comes all the past memories of going through this before. A feeling of deja vu infiltrates within us as we all deal with the shock and grief in our own way. Some bury the feelings deep, never letting anyone know they’re even there. Some continue on but with a hint of fixated sorrow on their face. Some grieve by solitude. Solitude that gives you a chance to cry without anyone seeing. Solitude that gives you a chance to try to sort your feelings out and yet, somehow, they still feel like a jumbled mess. Some cling to each other, letting tears flow, and just craving that one thing that is still stable in their lives, a family member, a friend, someone who has always been there and you know is a constant. And, just when you think all the tears have been cried, somehow, a few more squeak out and run down your cheek. Some work it off–staying busy is the key and keeping active numbs the pain–if only for a little while.

Our body craves normality. When normal is ripped away, we yearn to fill it with something that seems even halfway right. And yet, every forced laugh at some stupid punny joke brings up a shred of guilt because of what someone else is going through. But laughter is also healing, and you begin to wonder what is even proper and decent in this time? Every hour you spend at work reminds you of all that might never get done. You begin to realize that you never want to live with regrets, because…….What if??

Slowly, but surely, you begin to find your place. Slowly, but surely, life seems to return to a halfway decent place. Nothing will ever be the same, nothing will ever seem to go the way it was before, some days you may wonder if you can even go on. Days will come when we celebrate, and we gather together as a family, but, only with a missing piece. Each person you know adds a piece to this puzzle called life, and when the piece is missing, the picture just isn’t quite right.

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Mahlon Eash Jr. (Jr. as I knew him), you had a determination in you that took you far in life. As a young boy, you were one of the smaller ones in stature, but as stated by one of your brothers, what you lacked in size, you made up for in determination.

You had a goofy side about you, a sense of humor. Cracking jokes and wanting to make people laugh.

You loved your family so much. You were SO proud of them all. Your grandchildren were the apple of your eye, and you would do most anything for your family. One memory I have— was often (or what seemed often 🙂 ), while going about my duties, I’d see your truck at the Martinsburg Dairy Isle, eating lunch with Erma. Those, I’m sure, are special times for her, and memories that will not soon be forgotten. Not every man would want to spend all his work hours working with his wife, but you did, and those are precious moments that will never be regretted!

You had a legacy that you wanted to pass on to your family. The business that had been in the Eash family for years and years….you took it upon yourself to keep it up and running, and you were proud to bear the name of Foundations Plus. That legacy of hard work and determination can be passed on through your family. Yes, there will be hard days, and there will be moments of discouragement. But you taught them to be strong, they WILL get through it.

So, yes, you will be missed. Days will not always be easy. Grief may come and go. But, know your family is strong. And on days it seems to them that they can’t keep going, they can be lifted up on the wings of prayer.



December Busyness

Ok, really, this could’ve been named 2017 Summer and Fall busyness, but nah, I’ll leave it the way it is. 🙂 This will be a random conglomeration of pictures with some random details. You’re brave if you follow along, and if you make it to the end, you have an amazing resilient brain that can keep up with the most random ramblings. 🙂


I had another niece born to me. Well, to our family, but she’s still mine 🙂 Kari Rebecca surprised us all when she entered this world almost 2 weeks early. I’m not complaining! 😀


One day this summer/fall, we got a lot of rain. Our small creek flooded. By the end of the day, it was down to a more normal size again. We didn’t float away. The End.

Who knew you could change the look of a wallet this much. It’s not perfect, and I don’t claim to be a perfectionist, or a DIY-er, but the updated version suits me SO. MUCH. BETTER!!


Pills, pills, pills. Find more of the updated health journey here. If I’d never have to see another one of these orange bottles, it would be pretty amazing! 🙂 Seriously, though, you’d think they could at least get some ‘pleasing to the eye’ colors!


One day, we baked lots of cookies. Well, I kinda held the baby and drove to and from the office to take care of random office things that people needed, with just a slight hand in the cookie dough. The others did great, though, don’t you think!? 🙂


If you’ve never had an ice cream party, I highly encourage you to get a group of besties together and dig in!! I won’t tell you how much was left by the time we were done.


Did you know guys can do dishes too? This was apparently not supposed to be posted online…oopsies! 🙂 I like starting most new traditions, but especially if they’re this kind! (Who knows if it’ll last?)


Unfortunately, there was one girl missing when I took these pictures. Sunday school for a year with them is____________ (I’ll let you fill in the blank)




and just (mostly) happy!


Just look at the expressions on this girl! She was in the midst of intently saying something, and I wish I could remember what it was!! 🙂


It’s been a year that Grandma left this earth. I’m so glad I have this beautiful handiwork of hers in my room. It’s amazing and took a skill I don’t think I have!


Our youth had an ugly Christmas sweater party. The pictures say a lot. A lot more than I could! 🙂


My office I work in got moved. New location is great! Nothing fell apart, and I still have a building to do work in. Thumbs up!

How was your summer/fall/winter 2017? Anything exciting happen? Share a picture and keep your favorite memories alive!


How the Las Vegas Tragedy Affects Me

Dear God, our hearts are wondering. They are wondering ‘why’? Why could this happen? How could You let it happen? You are Sovereign. You could’ve stopped it. And yet, through it all, we know that You. Are. Sovereign. That means so much more than just all powerful. Father, that means that through it all, you have an all-knowing mind, and even above that, you have an all-wise plan. Today doesn’t even seem real. It seems like something like this should only happen in the movies. I mean, 50+ people killed and 500+ wounded and many probably fighting for their life. But, as much as this saddens and shocks us, I can’t imagine how much more it saddens and shocks You. It doesn’t shock You with surprise like it does us. Nothing takes You by surprise. Rather, it shocks and saddens You because of all the effort and love you have put into creating each and every life. You created with love, formed every inch of those 550 victims. More than that, you even formed with caring love, the one who decided to make the sad decision to harm these innocent people. Jesus, I believe You are saddened and shocked, not by the surprise of the unknown, but because of how Your love got thrown back in Your face. How, when it seemed as if this world couldn’t get more wicked than it is, this happens. Father, we’ve all been betrayed by people, and it hurts, but never have we poured that much love into someone’s life, only to have it rejected so harshly.

The reactions of people will be mixed, but I wonder if they will even think of You. People will wonder how a God who claims to love, who claims to be merciful, how He can even allow it to happen. I don’t profess to even begin to understand how big and huge your character is, and why You allow this or that to happen, but I do know this…..In this tragedy in Las Vegas, You are there. In the middle of the devastation with the hurricanes, earthquakes, and flooding in the many different places,

You. Are. There.

If people truly seek You, they will find You. They will find You in the hospital room, through the Dr.’s sympathetic and caring touch. They will find You present with the efficient capabilities of the medics and emergency personnel, never knowing the whispered prayers that are breathed over them. They will find You in the middle of the night, when it seems all they can do  is sob with pain–there is where they’ll find You. They will find You while being lifted up in prayer by the whole family of God. They will find You while in the middle of the turmoil inside their hearts, while working at their seemingly endless job, when they will feel that they just can’t do this one more day, but silently, You are giving them strength.


They can see You with each new sunrise and sunset You give them. They can feel Your presence in the soft breezes that blow. They can find You in the center of a flower–where else could that intense beauty lead them? Their nurse on duty, that quiet, almost ‘too shy’ one…Do they realize that this morning’s Bible study with fellow Christian nurses is making her pause for only a second before she timidly asks, “Do you know my Jesus?” The hurting and confused children, the fatherless and motherless. You are there in the ones holding them close, cuddling them, hoping they can give these little ones just a tiny feeling of safety.

God, You are there.


But, You are also here, with us, the ones who are supposedly ‘unaffected’ by these tragedies. We feel slightly sheltered and safe, and yet our heart aches for those who are ‘out there’. That ache is You speaking to us. The tears that come to our eyes when hearing of the devastation, that’s You, reminding us to pray. That lump in our throat is just a way to shut our mouths from all the cliche sayings, and instead take the time to whisper a prayer to our heavenly Father. You are also here in our freedom to come and go. That freedom is a gift from You to us, to allow us to share Your Good News. When day in and day out, I reject that gift or use it all selfishly for myself, I wonder if that’s just as much shock and sadness to You as the tragedy of Las Vegas. You are here with us, in the middle of our everyday life, waiting, watching with eagerness to see how soon we’ll see You revealing Yourself to us, and when we don’t take notice, I’m wonder if that rejection is just like being thrown in Your face as well.

Father, I wonder how the nation of the U.S. would become if we could all just open our eyes to You. I wonder, if we could actually, truly recognize You in all the places You are, how would that make a difference in our nation?

Jesus, I know I can’t change the nation–only You can do that, BUT I can allow You to change me, and then maybe the change in me will light a spark in someone else’s life. Also, I can pray. We forget the power of prayer, but prayer has such a healing benefit, and our nation is so broken, in desperate need of the healing only You can give.

Help our nation to willingly open our eyes to be able to see You wherever You are. Open our hearts to the change that only You can give.

God, please heal this land!!






Hard Work and Moving On

Last Saturday was the day. The day all the hard work came together and actually happened. The day that was a turning point for the Eash family. The day that was filled with probably some of the most mixed emotions ever.

It was the day when history as we’ve known it, and ‘the way it’s always been’ ended. It was the day that new beginnings began. It was a day filled with excitement and uncertainty. A day that, when it was all over, a sigh of relief could be heard throughout the small town of Martinsburg.

It was a day full of memories. Memories of Grandpa and Grandma and the life they had created for their family. It was a day of recollecting. Recollecting on days gone past. Days of cleaning flower-beds, crashing the golf-cart into stuff, playing with Grandma’s many dolls, and the many meals and gatherings we’ve had together on the farm.


It was a day we could feel the support and love through the community. A day that made us (or maybe it was just me) realize we had NO IDEA how many people would show up for the turning of a new era. It was a day of catching up with family and friends. In my mind’s view, I can still see Grandpa and how tickled pink he would’ve been to see all his friends show up for this. I can see how he would’ve been proudly showing off his tractors and toys for all to see. They really were his pride and joy, and there was not much he liked better than spending a day in the field sitting proudly on his ‘green machines.’ And I can see Grandma making sure everyone has enough food and is satisfied, making sure every detail goes exactly as she planned, while we just smile and wonder if she’ll ever calm down. 🙂


It was a day filled with pride. Pride to be a part of this family. Pride to be able to carry on the legacy that Grandpa and Grandma Eash started. Pride to be able to have an ‘Eash Family Farm’ shirt in our possession. Yes, you can label us as ‘one of those’, but until you’ve been in that situation yourself, don’t judge! 🙂



It was also a day that was exhausting!! I wonder how many grown-ups wished they could take a nap in the middle of it all! 🙂


It was a day of laughter, stress, inward tears, and the over-powering sense of reality. For so long, this day was talked about and planned. Now, it’s finally happening!!


Cousin time… How many more can the golf cart hold? 🙂


All-in-all, it was a day to remember. Not only the day itself, but the memories that came flooding back as we reminisced throughout the whole ordeal. Cleaning out the house, the shops, the barns, made for lots of good stories, I’m sure.

To all you siblings….Make your mom and dad proud. Continue the legacy they started so long ago. The Eash’s are known for their hard-working and ‘go-get-em’ attitude. Keep it alive. Don’t let this turning of a page in your book be the last of the ‘Eash Family Chronicles’.  Continue it well with your children and grandchildren. Keep Christ first and live to make them proud!


Your hard work paid off! Great job, you all!

*All photos (except the last one, I’m not sure where/who it came from) used with permission and credited to TyNicolePhotography. Head on over to her blog  and check out her work!


Field Trips and Things

When you take a field trip with kids, you wind up with a lot of fun, adventure, and random, fleeting moments of questioning whether your sanity will remain with you through to the end of the day.

This week, I had the delightful privilege of going along to Kentucky to the Ark Encounter with our school. Vanessa and I were given this group of girls into our charge and I can’t tell you how many times I counted…1-2-3-4-5-6-7, to make sure the heads were all there.


Well-behaved to be sure, and old enough to kinda take care of themselves, we waded through the waves of the 156,659,123,678,257 people. Seriously, for the introvert like me, the crowds were exhausting!! It. Was. Overwhelming. We talked to one staff member who told us their record day they had about 9,000 people. Yeah, see what I mean? That’s why by the end of the day, I looked slightly bewildered and exhausted (or maybe even on the verge of going crazy)


We walked and walked…..Over 6 football fields we were told, we took cool selfies, we had funny moments, we saw some pretty awesome things, we touched a scaly reptile, we traveled long distances and lived to tell about it, we corralled 40+ kids through a pizza buffet, we entered the gift shop, and most walked out with nothing!, we drank some fresh lemonade, and the pictures can tell the rest…….Enjoy!



Crazy Girls…


Do we look tired?? Cause I definitely was!! 🙂


Resting and eating food after going through the Ark



Bus rides can make us crazy…


See what I mean?? 🙂




He honestly wasn’t as grumpy as he looks 🙂


Petting a skink is seriously going to be one of the coolest/weirdest things you will ever experience!!


All-in-all, it was a very fun and enjoyable experience. From the moments of stomach-ache (thankfully, no throwing up!), to the giggles of a small one who told me the hand sanitizer fell in the bus bathroom toilet. (umm, yeah, not much I’m gonna do about that!), to the constant noise and chatter of little ones needing this or that. Filling our faces with pizza and then playing in the arcade game room afterward. Being ‘oh, so borrrreeeddd’ on the trip, and playing games with your friends. These are the moments we treasure and these are the memories we make. I’m so glad for the moments like this that I can share with these kiddos…I miss them more than I ever dreamed! (this got suddenly sentimental). A great day indeed!


So How Are You?

If I could count the times I’ve been asked this question (or a form of it), it would probably take me days to list and number them all. Well-meaning people and friends I consider very dear, and also plenty of those who are being polite and well-mannered and as a topic of conversation.

Those who know me just a little bit, would say I’m quiet. Those who know me REALLY well, will readily tell you that I have my moods. Place a hidden camera in my house and you would soon see the crazy side of me that only comes out at certain times. (I haven’t even figured it all out myself yet 😉 ) But ask pretty much any of these people and they will tell you that I can’t express myself through speaking. Speaking my words, they all funny go. 🙂 They say I’m like my dad….short and snappy….which is true. Why waste time talking and conversing when you have other work that needs to be done, and other places that need to be gone to?

So, in response to those questions, here’s my answer:

“I’m ok………but how do I explain the fear that is always at the back of my mind. What if this happens again?….around a bunch of people this time? What if I do something that triggers a reaction?”

“I’m ok……but how do I tell them that there is so much unknown in my life right now…and I hate the unknown…I live to know things. My family will testify to that, and not knowing scares me.”

“I’m ok…..but deep down, it hurts. It hurts to see everyone else living a normal life when I have these concerns and health issues that there seem to be no “REAL” answers for.”

“I”m ok…….but nights are the worst. I lie awake determined that it won’t happen again, and sleep will at times evade me for hours.”


A blurry picture, but you get the point…

“I’m ok……..but in all honesty, it tears my heartstrings to see tears form in my parents eyes, or hear the sound of a quavering voice, as you see how much this is affecting them as well, and they seem to be taking it harder than you.”

“I’m ok…….but it feels like all I’m doing is climbing into a deeper, and darker valley. I wish with all my heart that I could experience a mountain-top experience for awhile.”

“I’m ok……..but really, I hate all these Dr. appointments and if I wouldn’t ever have to take another one of those bitter beta-blockers, it couldn’t be soon enough!”

“I’m ok………and truly, living one day at a time has been absolutely so good for me. Don’t ask me to explain it to you….it just has.”

“I’m ok…..but to tell you the truth, I miss all the ‘normal-ness’ I used to have. Getting used to a new normal is hard, but oh, so necessary in order to live a successful and satisfying life.”

“I’m ok…….but sometimes, the pain is real. Sometimes the pain is great. Sometimes the tears overflow and the pillow is no longer dry. Sometimes all the hurts boil together and overflow.”

“I’m ok……yes, I’m listening to the Dr. (mostly) and yes, I have done tests. Yes, they think they know what it is, and no, it still not always the easiest.”

“I’m ok…..but sometimes it feels like I’m not making enough of a difference. I should be out in the foreign fields helping orphan kids and here I am, still in my comfy American home, living with my parents, and doing my job. I haven’t even been able to write in here for a while because it seemed nothing convicting or exciting was happening”

“I’m ok…….life isn’t always easy, but I’m thankful for friends and family like you who care enough to ask. Please don’t stop asking, but please don’t be offended if I offer a simple answer. Maybe the answer won’t even make sense, because in my head it doesn’t make sense either. Also, be prepared…you may get way more information than you bargained for, depending on my mood! Like I said, I haven’t even figured it all out yet :)”

“I’m ok……but honestly, it’s hard to trust sometimes. I know deep in my heart that God still cares and knows all, and yet, when you’re in the hard spot, it’s tough to keep telling yourself that. I’m oh, so thankful for the teaching and upbringing that I’ve had to build that foundation. Even, if the foundation seems shaky, I haven’t been let go of yet, and I trust God for that!”

“I’m ok…….but I still desperately need your prayers. Prayers for healing, and prayers for grace. God knows, God cares, and so do my friends and family….I know. It’s just tough. It’s hard. You get the picture. 🙂

Well, folks, there you have it. The raw,   (mostly)unfiltered thoughts of me. I’m having 2nd thoughts about posting this all, as it really bares my soul for all to see. I think I will anyway. Fingers crossed, I’m not the only one who’s ever felt at least some of these!



p.s.—any ideas of blog posts you’d like to see/hear about? I’ve had severe writer’s block lately, and nothing seems to ‘flow’ anymore when I try to write. hmmm :/



A Bunch of Nothing

20170315_203318Have you ever heard of writer’s block? I have, and never before the last couple of days did I realize how real it can be. Imagine the blockiest block, and that’s how blocked my writing brain has felt.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve tried to get myself to write something, and I’m just stuck! (Who knows if I will actually ever get this one published?) If you could only see the number of drafts I’ve started and haven’t finished… :/

I feel like my life is literally on hold right now. It feels like I go to work, finish one job, go the next, eat, sleep, and begin a new day. I don’t feel like my life is accomplishing much and I feel like I have nothing worthwhile to say to the world, so I just shut down completely.

I could tell you all about how my Dr. recommended I wear compression socks to raise my blood pressure (I HATE socks!!) But, because I’m trying to be good, I wear them..even if it does almost drive me nuts at times!

I could tell you that yes, I still miss school, and the kiddos in it, but those of you who truly know me, know that fact already.

I could complain and whine about the fact that it’s literally been months since I did any vacation or traveling to speak of…just for fun, just for the harry of it. But really, that’s what life is, A constant battle between work and vacation, so we all face that at times.

Somedays, it feels like nothing goes right….ever!! and mornings when you step inside your shoes, only to realize, after 15 years of putting shoes on…by yourself…every single day!!…you’ve slid them on the wrong foot. (how does that even happen??)

I could tell you about the time I got many, many, many papers ready to send out to different cities for the city income taxes. What’s frustrating is when you have to write out small $1 checks to individual cities…AND the total cost to send all this paperwork almost blows your mind away.

You know, when you work with people every day, you truly begin to find your true self/character. I’m discovering more and more what an introvert I am….The way to recharge my batteries is just some alone, quiet time at home with nothing but the hum of the refrigerators and the buzz of the furnace to keep me company. Have you ever taken a personality test before?? I highly encourage it, if you’ve ever thought you’re the only one who thinks a certain way…try this right here. You’ll be amazed.

Winter finally hit us. My body is sooo not used to this cold, and I almost can’t stand it. When I get the heavy coats out, you know it’s got to be cold!! But, spring is coming, I can hold on that much longer….I hope.

Yes, life is good, it keeps going. I try to keep up, but sometimes I trip and need a little help. I realize there is more to life than the rituals people (including myself) go through, but by God’s grace I will see a little sunshine in every day.

This was my laugh for one of these past few days that sorta all run together: “I need a kleenex. My nose is coming off.” 🙂 Happy Wednesday, you all.