I am thankful for growth.

I want to share a story about Sawyer’s 3rd grade American History Hall of Fame presentation this week. Each student had the task of reading several biographies of American heroes and choosing one to “be.” Sawyer portrayed Knute Rockne, baseball/track/football star that went on to be a record-breaking Norte Dame coach.

Knute Rockne

This was a pretty big milestone for our boy. Sawyer has been known to be quite nervous on a stage. He is a performance perfectionist, and has always looked very uncomfortable during plays, performances, and concerts. Sometimes he struggles to get his words out. He also is Captain Detail – he wants ALLLL the details, no surprises, and heaven help us all if there’s a last minute glitch of any kind!

So anyway, Sawyer was well prepared for his character. He read the biography, did his research, created his Google slide, and planned his costume. That morning, he began to get ready in his costume. He decided he needed an undershirt to go beneath the Notre Dame jersey someone was bringing him to wear. Of course his regular white undershirt was nowhere to be found. He tried a few options, and we finally settled on another tshirt turned inside out to hide the logo. I was impressed that he took that in stride.

We headed off to school at our regular time. “I need to be at school by 7:40,” he informed me. Not a problem, that’s about what time we always get there.

Not so on this day of course!

Traffic was IN. SANE. Sawyer watched the car clock intently. 7:40. 7:42. 7:46. “We line up at 7:50. As long as I’m there before that, I’m sure it’ll be okay.”

I drove in a manner I am not proud of, trying to beat the clock.

We pulled in at 7:53, and he bolted from the car.

My heart was pounding for him, hoping he was not melting down, hoping he had time to get the jersey on that was being brought to complete his costume, HATING feeling like I had contributed to his stress by getting him there late. I prayed for his nerves and for his part to go well.

In a few short minutes, the 3rd graders began to file in from the back or the auditorium to the stage, and I quickly found my boy. In his inside out tshirt and NO JERSEY! My heart sank. How was he going to handle another unexpected last minute bump in the plan?

Sawyer smiled at us from the stage. When it was his turn, Knute Rockne spoke clearly and confidently into the microphone, never missing a beat.

My heart exploded.

This may sound like a small victory, barely worth a mention, let along a whole blog post. But if cancer taught us anything, it’s that THERE ARE NO SMALL VICTORIES. We can’t take anything for granted. We celebrate the wins. And we rejoice that big or small…nothing, NOTHING is too hard for YOU, God!

God, thank You for this miracle boy, and for all You have done in him. May he always love and follow and serve You boldly and with confidence, no matter what comes. Thank You for all You have taught us, and continue to teach us through him. May we also rise with confidence above the unexpected, the disappointments, the bumps in life we encounter. And may we recognize and celebrate victories, big and small.

Thanks for giving thanks with me.

““I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)

“For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.”(Psalms 71:5-8)

Just the Perfect Time

I am thankful:

~ for NO. MORE. PUPPIES! We loved our sweet little Blue Boy, but I was beginning to wonder if we would ever find his family. So thankful for God’s perfect timing and another happy family.

~ for a quick visit from dear, dear friends. In 2016, J and Michelle and their family were assigned to serve us at the Lighthouse Family Retreat in Florida. I was in full fledged mama-warrior mode with Sawyer still on treatment, and I was not about to let my baby out of my sight. God hand-picked Michelle to be Sawyer’s beach buddy, and she was the answer to my desperate prayers. Since then she became my friend and my sister as well. As the years have passed and our children have grown, we have continued to stay in touch. So when they were making a cross country road trip, they made a detour to pop by our house for a quick hug and visit. So thankful for the people God braids into our lives at just the perfect time.

Lighthouse Family Retreat 2016

~ for fun for my girls participating in their school Lip Sync Show.

~ for Cooper having a fantastic trip to Washington D.C. with his senior class.

~ for the beauty of Spring blossoming on the farm.

~ for the first Spring Break breakfast date of the year.

LOTS going on in our lives and minds and hearts. Change is coming.

Change is inevitable. Change is hard. God is constant. God is faithful. And He is GOOD.

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”” (Psalms 46:10)

Sugar Overload and a Train Wreck

Sometimes it all just all falls apart.

Sometimes you have a week that is a slow-motion-fast-forward-domino-crashing train wreck.

Daddy Daughter (2/11) + SuperBowl (2/12) + Kid Birthday (2/13) + Kid Birthday (2/14) + Valentine’s Parties (2/14) + 10 puppies to the vet and ANOTHER Valentine’s Party (2/15) + 387,491 servings of sugar. And that was just as far as Wednesday.

I can’t even stomach listing all the mom-fails that made up the past 7 days.

I felt like I was on America’s Got Talent All Stars. Like one of those acts that does a crazy motorcycle ramp while juggling flaming jalapeños with a Rottweiler on its back. And he does it perfectly and gets the Golden Buzzer and the crowd goes WILD. So he gets to come back for the finals and everyone is excited to see him again because they know how cool the act is and that he’s got it DOWN… ONLY HE FALLS OFF THE MOTORCYCLE BEFORE THE GIG EVEN STARTS, and swallows the jalepeno and the flames burn the dog’s tail and it runs howling through the audience and the crowd sits in stunned silence and disbelief at the train wreck it just witnessed.

It was bad.

I’m used to being busy and spinning 18 plates at once. Life is busy and messy and we roll with it.

This week I dropped all the plates.

And without listing all the other DOZENS of big and small disappointments this week, let’s just say the grand finale was being Facebook hacked by someone who posted sensitive content that not only got me booted out of my account, but wiped out ALL of Giddyup & Whoa, G&W Goldendoodles, Sunday Gratitude, AND Gold Network ETX on both Facebook and Instagram.

But God.


Josh and I both said, we must be doing something right for the attacks to be coming this strong.

And I also need reminding that I DON’T have it all together. And that’s ok.

So we pray, we regroup, we press on, and we give thanks.

Edited 2/20/2023 @ 10 am – ALL FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS RESTORED! So very THANKFUL!

Thanks for giving thanks with me.

“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”” (Exodus 33:14)

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”” (Jeremiah 31:25)

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:23-24)

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?” (Psalms 56:3-4)

Full Week, Full Heart

I am thankful:

~ for a jam-packed week! Just looking back through my pictures, I can’t believe what was packed into the last 7 days! I’m so exhausted, I’m gonna keep this short and sweet! The week was full, and so is my heart.

~ puppies are getting BIG and ADORABLE and STiiiiiiiNKYYYYY! Finally got everybody bathed.

Just about a week until Gotcha Day, and we still have 2 puppies looking for their families.

~ AMAZING progress has been happening on the farm in our little casita. BUT I’M NOT SHARING ANY PICTURES HERE! I’m enjoying documenting the gradual transformation of the space on the Giddyup & Whoa Facebook page and on Instagram. Come check it out if you want to follow along!

~ worked on handlettering some signs for a client. Always love the opportunity to get my brushes out.

~ helping decorate for our girls’ favorite night of the year and the sweetest event: our church’s Daddy Daugher Valentine Banquet.

~ for such a special night for my girls. They prep and primp all day, choosing the perfect dress and styling their hair just so. Tatum K put her dress on at 2 o’clock!(the banquet started at 6.) Carson Grace has attended every year since she was 4 years old, and she even came back home so she wouldn’t miss out! Look how beautiful all those girls are with their proud, handsome Dad!

Tatum K wouldn’t let go of Daddy’s hand for anything,

and she danced her heart out all night. (She also ate her dessert + finished 2 other girls’ desserts, as well as ate all the candy out of my table centerpieces. Needless to say, she was IN A STATE when she got home!) The sweetest night ever. So thankful that our girls know how loved they are by their wonderful dad.

~ and I got to have a special night with my boys as well.

Cooper, Gavin, and Sawyer took their Mama out for a night on the town. Delicious burgers at Bubbas (except for Sawyer, who can’t pass up lasagna any time it’s on the menu) and then out for ice cream with cousins afterward. I love this tradition so much. So thankful for my sweet boys (missed Colton this year for dinner, but he actually took me to lunch earlier in the week!)

~ for a sweet time teaching Tatum K’s class at church.

~ for a wonderful surprise visit with Kora, Gavin, and Zoe’s biological big sister, Grace.

~ and for the PERFECT end to the week: a Super Bowl FEAST at the farm that ended in a nail-biting CHIEFS VICTORY!!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!

Must sleep now.

Thanks for giving thanks with me.

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalms 16:11)

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” (Psalms 13:5-6)

If You Know You Know

I am thankful.

We’ve had some wrestling going on this week. Quiet challenges, startling news. Seemed like one thing after another. Not exactly a week of walking in victory.

But God.

Sometimes He lets us stay smack dab in the middle of the “hard,” because He has us there for a reason.

And sometimes, He says it’s time for cheese balls.

If you know you know…

(And if not, check out a previous blog post for an explanation.)

Thank You God for You unfailing Love in good times and in hard. And thank You for cheese balls.

Thanks for giving thanks with me.

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” (Psalms‬ ‭139:17-18‬)


I am thankful:

~ that all our sweet puppies have found their Forever Families! Raising puppies is so fun; they are so cute and sweet. But it is SO MUCH WORK! The hours, the poop, the feedings, the expense…there is a lot more to it than cuddling puppies and taking cute pictures (although that part is really fun!). But it is truly a side JOB we have undertaken in order to pay off debt, so getting the puppies sold is very, very important. Saying goodbye to the babies will be bittersweet. In just a week and a half, the pups will head to their families, from Chicago to Round Rock, and we know they are all going to bring their families so much joy!

~ for savory ham and muenster sliders on buttery sweet Hawaiian rolls.

~ that I FINISHED. THE. PUZZLE!!!! Josh has issued a mandatory waiting period before I am allowed to start another one. I think he feels a little neglected when I get sucked into a puzzle.

~ for Zoe doing a terrific job in her role as ToastMaster in her 4th grade class. Public speaking does not come naturally for her, so I’m so proud of her courage and hard work to push herself outside her comfort zone.

~ for a great day off with my Sweetheart and my Mini Me. We enjoyed a long over-due breakfast date, trying out Jucy’s for the first time. We were definitely impressed with everything, from their fluffy pancakes and savory sausage to their cold and delicious orange juice.

~ for unexpected treasure. Aunt Dinah found some pictures from a visit back in 2007 that I had never seen. What a blast from the past! I have such photogenic children.

I have this orchid. If you’ve been here at Sunday Gratitude a while, you might remember last March when Josh surprised me with a big “just because” basket of beautiful eucalyptus bath goodies and a stunning orchid.

Now let me tell you something. I love plants. I have been collecting them for a few years now.

And let me tell you something else. I CAN KILL SOME PLANTS. I’ve always had a pretty black thumb. I underwater. I overwater. I leave them in the wrong pot for too long. I’ve killed the plants that are labeled “easy care,” or “hard to kill.” I just don’t really know what I’m doing.

Most of the plants I have had success with are hardy, low light plants like pothos and ivy. So when I received my orchid, I was not very optimistic. Orchids are notorious for being temperamental and hard to care for. And just a week or so, sure enough, all the blooms turned brown and fell off. I knew it. I had committed another murder.

The leaves at the bottom were still green, so I kept the plant. I cut off the long, stately stem that had held the lovely, short-lived blooms, and left it in the window, a daily reminder of my incompetence as a gardener. A month or so later, I noticed a baby leaf peeking out of the pot, and I was so excited! The plant wasn’t dead after all! Even if it never bloomed again, at least it wasn’t a complete loss!

Recently, months later, I noticed a tall green stalk. I hadn’t even noticed it growing, just suddenly saw it one day. No way… could it be? Sure enough, as I continued to inspect the stem day after day, I began to see tiny growths along the top. BUDS!? My orchid was not only ALIVE, it was growing and preparing to BLOOM! From a seemingly dead plant, another failure, to a beautiful symbol of hope and beauty and new LIFE! What joy to watch the gradual transformation and eagerly anticipate the beauty to come.

I have found so much encouragement from watching this resurrecting orchid. How many of us have looked at a situation through eyes of disappointment, discouragement, and defeat? Hopeless. Dead. But what if God is still stirring in places we can’t see? What if life is hidden beneath the surface? What if beauty is waiting to spring forth when we least expect it? I know I have areas in my life where I desperately long to see resurrected LIFE. Things that look hopeless and dead to me. BUT GOD. He is always working, sifting, refining, loving, fighting, redeeming, restoring, healing, forgiving, drawing. Growth takes time. Healing takes time. Restoration takes time. Even if we have a bad track record, He is working in and through us. Even if things look bleak and hopeless, BEAUTY IS COMING. I didn’t grow the orchid because of my wealth of knowledge and careful attendance. GOD grew it IN SPITE OF MY LACK. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. And God gives both lavishly. What a refreshing reminder. Look for beauty emerging this week…

Thanks for giving thanks with me.

““The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,” (Psalms 92:12-14)

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Luke 12:27-31)


I am thankful:

~ for the smell after the rain.

~ for the puzzle. It WILL NOT DEFEAT ME. Lego heads mock me when I close my eyes. But I prevail. “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.” (Psalm 27:3)

~ for a great first week back at school. Christmas Break was wonderful, and I loved having everyone home. And now I am quite pleased to have them back at school. Tatum K and I are enjoying our time together, and are back at homeschooling. Her Highness enjoys her breakfast in her playhouse on warm mornings, and dines fireside when it’s cold.

~ for a sweet visit with a friend who always fills my heart up.

~ for this view into my window. We received the Carthage-opoly board game for Christmas, and the kids have enjoyed playing (they are very competitive and fight to be the one to buy Bulldog Stadium). We don’t regularly spend a ton of time all together playing board games, but those moments are so precious to me.

~ for good laughs when I discover that Tatum K has secretly commandeered my phone/camera. I’m always finding gems such as these.

~ for the most delicious Mother Clucker sandwich on jalapeño cheddar sourdough from Stanley’s. There is no picture because I inhaled it the instant it was in my hands.

~ for the cutest, cuddliest puppies in all the land! Pups will turn 5 weeks old this week, and they are at such a fun age, learning to eat, learning to play and wrestle, learning to bark. We were thankful to find homes for 4 more of them this week, and now have 3 babies left. I love seeing families fall in love with their new fur baby.

The whole Tribe!

And I’m so very thankful for how much we learned during our last litter of puppies, especially our feeding system and custom puppy pen Josh designed and built. These handy setups have made raising this litter so much easier in many ways.

Puppies learning to eat semi-solid food
The grid floor Josh built has been a game changer for keeping puppies clean!

~ for some amazing conversations with our amazing kids. Oh Lord, I can’t wrap my mind around what You have in store for each one of them. Thank You for these priceless gifts!

Not gonna lie, its been a hard week. I definitely felt like I was basically losing at life half the time. And yet again here I sit, thankful for the opportunity y’all have given me (via this platform) to glean the blessings out of the mess. One of my girls was talking to me about trying to “work on her attitude,” and she apologized for being snippy and short tempered. I reminded her (and myself) that we become what we focus on. So what are we focusing on? Junk TV? Social media? Stuff? Focused on our problems and what we don’t have? Or are we focused on our blessings? All that we are thankful for? Focused on JESUS? Focus on your problems – you’re gonna be a problem. Focus on your blessings – you’re gonna be a blessing. It really is that simple. It reminded me of a friend who would say you always have a choice to be either “Humbly Grateful” or “Grumbly Hateful,” and it all comes down to your focus. It was such a good lesson that I need to hear. I don’t want to be a problem. I want to be a blessing. And I want to model that for my Loves. So I’m sitting here tonight, counting my blessings. Breathing them in deep. Because He is faithful. And He is enough.

Thanks for giving thanks with me.

“It is good to praise the Lord and make music to Your Name, O Most High, proclaiming Your love in the morning and Your faithfulness at night,” (Psalms 92:1-2)

““Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3-10)

Rejoice, Rejoice, Immanuel

I am thankful:

It’s been a marathon week, full of preparations, cooking, fellowship and delicious food.

Thankful for laughter and the love of Jesus. For friends and family and full bellies. For memories that make us laugh and make us cry. Even for 82° weather that doesn’t feel at all like Christmas.

Thankful for a house literally bursting at the seams: 12 million cookies, 11 golden doodles, 10 thousand presents, 9 crazy kids, 2 tired parents, 1 bonus uncle, 1 grandmommy, and a partridge in a pear tree!

Whatever your Christmas looked like or felt like, I hope you were able to find joy in the Lord. He is faithful, truly Immanuel, God with us.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Thanks for giving thanks with me.

““The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” (Matthew 1:23)

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalms 73:23-26)


I am thankful:

~ for Cooper and Samantha having a fantastic week at camp. They made/reconnected with friends and had more fun than I can even describe. Sam said it was the best week of her life! So thankful for this wonderful opportunity.

~ for a wonderful evening with friends Chris and Lindsay and Coby Tate. Our kids just dote on Coby and love him to pieces.

~ and for the rest of the kids having a great week at home and at Ignite Day Camp.

Crazy Hair Day
Silly Sock Day

And the MOST EXCITING NEWS OF ALL, is that we got a NEW SISTER THIS WEEK!!!! Our sweet Zoe girl asked Jesus into her heart on Wednesday!!! She and I have had some good talks over the past few weeks, so I knew her little heart was stirring. Well all the great talks and prayers during Ignite were the perfect environment for that spark to burst into a flame! She expressed interest about getting saved to one of her leaders, who then spend the whole next day praying for her. When they met up the next day at Family Fun Night, they prayed together, and Zoe gave her heart to Jesus! What a beautiful beginning to her new life in Christ. With her brown eyes just shining, Zoe told me, “I just knew I wanted to be free and I wanted to live forever with Jesus in heaven.” The children’s director approached me afterwards, and actually arranged to come over to the house and do a video interview of Zoe’s testimony as an encouragement to others.

Speaking on camera was a big challenge for our shy girl, but she was super brave and did a beautiful job of sharing her story. We are so proud of her. Zoe’s story is at the end of this video highlighting the fun at Ignite.

~ for the daily joys of finding new treasures in our garden.

~ for a bright sunshiny project. Mid-week I hit some bumps, and was just struggling personally. I decided I wanted to throw my energy into a quick little DIY makeover. When we moved to this house, of course we were excited about the pool. But I promise you I was EQUALLY excited that there was an outdoor bathroom to accompany the pool! A pool bathroom is just a game-changer. Well our pool bathroom has been functional but absolutely not cute.

And I was ready to change that. This whirlwind makeover took less than 48 hours: first brightening it with a clean blank slate of our favorite Alabaster white paint on EVERY SURFACE, then adding a cheerful retro design in a modern muted palette, and finally a hand lettered encouragement from the Word of God was just the finishing touch it needed. Literally painting the sun brought much needed LIGHT into my tired heart.

To me, white paint is almost like magic. It can brighten and transform almost any space.

~ for tasty black bean and corn salsa, flavored with jalapeños, avocado, cilantro, and lime.

~ for 4th of July fireworks with such fun neighbors. I do love a good fireworks show.

~ for my sweet friend who surprised me with festive ColorStreet adhesive nail art delivered to my door. Thank you Jacquie!!

~ for a wonderful day spent with friends and family. We laughed and swam and laughed some more and ate the most delicious food until we could hardly move. Tatum K joyfully wished everyone, “Happy Forf-a-La-Jiiiiy!”

And we loved on each other. Because July 3 is not just the day that precedes Independence Day. July 3 is a very important, if somewhat under-promoted holiday: it’s our Alan’s birthday. And it’s his first birthday in heaven since he received his ultimate healing last July. There were many sweet Alan memories shared and lots of tearful hugs. We are all thankful that he is whole and healed and free and rejoicing, and we know he is laughing that loud belly laugh with Jesus and has probably got everybody up there into wearing shiny white original Reeboks and MAKING SURE EVERYBODY knows it’s his birthday. But our July celebration was too quiet without our favorite long-haired dragon-tatted sweetheart. Nobody loved quite like Alan. We all miss him so much.

I’m thankful to be free. I’m thankful for the nation I live in and the freedoms I enjoy that so many do not. But oh, the freedom that I have in Jesus. I am so thankful that I am free to live and love and fail and forgive and be forgiven. I am free from who I once was, and free to be the new creation that I was always intended to be. I am free to love my husband and my children and know that while I am so far from perfect, I was perfectly chosen for them by their perfect Father whose perfect love will never fail them even if I do. I am free to leave my hands open, and trust a trustworthy God with my life and all my questions and the situations that try to steal my joy away. I am thankful to be free.

Thanks for giving thanks with me.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”(Galatians 5:1)

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”” (Galatians 5:13-14)

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”(John 8:36)

Simple Moments

I am thankful:

~ for the simple moments. For a hot cup of coffee and Jesus at the start of my day. For crisp, freshly laundered white sheets. For elephant ears in my backyard and cheerful red caladiums in their pots. For so many people to hug every morning and kiss every night. Lord, give me eyes to see the beauty in the simple moments that so easily could be missed.

~ for Colton’s latest “adventure.” The commercial construction company he works for assigned him to a new project, a business remodel in Albuquerque, New Mexico! With less than 24 hours notice, he had to head out on the 10 hour drive, and the project is expected to last a month! Very overwhelming, but such a big step for him and a wonderful opportunity. We are so proud of him.

~ for my cute little nightly sleepwalker. We left Sawyer’s door hinge squeaky on purpose, so we hear when he comes out. Usually we help him find the restroom and direct him back to his room. But sometimes I find this. He laughed until he cried when I showed him this picture in the morning.

~ for our silly dogs. They are so much fun.

~ for my puzzle-master kids. They started and finished this in ONE DAY. Like less than 5 hours I think. 500 pieces are just too easy.

~ for a fun evening at the Cattle Barron’s Little Wranglers event. We saw several of Sawyer’s warrior friends, and hung out with Chismo, the painting pony.

~ for a message at church that was right to the point and right on time.

~ for the cutest little teeny tiny praying mantis.

~ for a good evening frying up chicken fried steaks with friends.

~ for my husband. He is so easy to celebrate. Our life is far from perfect. We have walked through many trials, and wrestled through pain and heartbreak time and time again. But this man is as steady as they come. He works hard, harder than anyone I have ever seen. He even works hard AFTER work TO RELAX! He has very high expectations and standards, and models how to reach them. He never fails to make me laugh, whether he’s teasing me or making up his own vocabulary that makes PERFECT SENSE. He loves deeply, sacrificially, and never ever puts himself first. He seeks the Lord in everything, and is not afraid to stand up for what is right. His kids will never ever wonder if they were loved by their dad. And every single day, they see the way he loves their mother. They see the way he honors me and cares for me and serves me as if it’s his most important job. I’ve never met a better man.

Love when we work side by side

I wish I could pick and choose the bright spots and leave the rest. But that’s not real. Life is messy and some parts are really hard. But living in Christ, we have to cling to the promise that our best days are always before us. God is at work, refining and strengthening our faith, deepening our relationship with Him. There is purpose in it all. So whatever season we are in; whether we are skipping in the sunshine, crying in the rain, or agonizingly dragging ourselves across the desert, we just have to hold on to Jesus and take the next step. And however hokey that sounds, it really is that simple.

He’s that good.

Thanks for giving thanks with me.

“He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.” (Deuteronomy 10:21)

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)

“The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”(Proverbs 16:9)

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.” (Psalms 121:1-3)