Reading to the TOT has paid off: Her stories shine

I have always believed that readers are leaders. Growing up, I never saw my mom read, and it really wasn’t a value in our home. After college, I started learning about many leaders like Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, George Bush…they all read multiple books in a year, and it made them not only smart but interesting. So, I started to be a reader myself. I became obsessed with books, and therefore, I’d start a book, buy a new one in the midst of being in the first one, and so on. Many books are going at one time! And…there’s a diversity in what I like to read! From Christian living to autobiographies to historical fiction.

Well, when the Tot came along, I vowed to pass down this habit to her. I would read to her as a baby even when I was told she doesn’t understand. So what!! The habit is developing. So, since she was able to sit on my lap, EVERY SINGLE DAY and NIGHT, I have spent at least 30 minutes reading to her. At 9 now, I still do it.

What is the fruit from this? She LOVES to read, and you’ll always find a book in her hand. Moreover, I believe this is why she has a massive imagination. Her word choice is vast; her sentences flow; her character choices are varietal. Now, yes, she does enjoy the iPad watching certain shows, but her creativity comes from the books.

Just today, she wanted to bring some books to church.

These all have one thing in common: Their main characters are kids. She loves to make stories up taking characters from the books she enjoys. Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing and Karen Kingsbury books are her latest finds.

Last night, she came out to read to Daddy and me the story she put together. Just wow. Her sentences are so advanced.

It pays off. Start early and reap the benefits of an engaged child. She never is “bored” because she can always go to a book. I have never used the screen as a crutch, and for that, I’m so grateful.

I love you, Tot! Your creativity fascinates me.

The glorious morning: QT and His presence

OH, I love the mornings. As I turn on the heat in our home, I notice God’s magnificence. Venus.

And then I get to spend some time with God.

Tatum has been doing it also before she comes out for breakfast. She just finished 28 days!

We celebrated with a nice breakfast at Panera.

After our time with God, we read the Daily Bread with Daddy and of course give Coopy some attention.

We’ll start a new study this week!


After three years of prayer: SMALL GROUP will begin!

Since Doug and I were dating, we dreamed of leading a small group, notably of couples.

We knew, first, that our home needed to be ready; God had His own timing as to when this would occur. We needed to be married a while also before we were ready to lead.

We finally went through leadership training at SBC. Next, we had to find some couples. They just started to drop in our laps, and this was a sign God was ready for us!
We decided to have a little social at our home before we officially begin.

And of course have some yummy snacks.

And now we are ready! (after prayer!)

Stay tuned! We cannot wait to begin. Thank you, Father!

Birthday Party January-style!

We decided to celebrate Tatum’s birthday in January due to an overload of activities during November. Alas, the time had arrived. January 21st. Nine years old!!? HOW!?

She wanted PUPPY as a them, so I went to town. Shirts, gift bags, erasers, keychains.

The day arrived, and we were so excited to head to the park to set up.

Isabelle and Lincoln came early to help.

And my dear friend, Eva, baker extraordinaire, made the cutest muffins ever.

Cuteness overload.

We wrangled all the kiddos for the train and then a picture.

I had the honor of holding the Tot.


Wow. We had so many fun friends who joined! Hayden, Mason, Maddy, Winton, Eli, Luke, Sebastian, Isabelle, Lincoln, Ruby, Selah, Carley, Olivia, Sophia, and …there’s my mom! Love it!
Cake time!

Happy Birthday LOVEBUG!

What a hit these little sweet treats were. My HHH hubby took the pics. All the kids had so much fun!….after eating, RUNNING all that sugar off at the park.

It couldn’t have gone better!
We got home and ate then opened the ENORMOUS amount of presents.

Tot is a perfect fit! She truly is a gift.

We took notes on all the gifts so she could make TY notes. That is SO important, I stress to her.


So, the next morning, she got to work.

SO grateful for all the friends, fun, and family.

Till next year, when we enter double digits. YIKES!

Montana Tripping: Equipping, Empowering, Enjoying!

What an opportunity! I was invited to teach to a small Christian school, Foothills Community Christian School in Great Falls, MT. The dean of school wants to be more “Data-driven,” and one of his teachers had me as a Professor for one of her GCU courses. I accepted, and headed out to Montana for MLK Jr. Day and their Professional Development day. They. paid me $1200 for all expenses. Quite an honor!

The ramp up to get to Montana was steep. I spent three months studying, analyzing, praying…I had to really learn so much because this is not my wheelhouse! Upon much work, I put together a 133 slide show with all the info. The notebook I created for each teacher was pretty hefty too: 133 pages! Whew! It was a monumental task for me…a one-girl show. (with Holy Spirit power of course!)

My health is not so optimal right now, so I really needed to make sure I was eating enough and not overdoing it. A task in itself.

The day arrived for my departure, and Oh…my little girl. She put this picture in her pocket and carried it around with her:

So, it’s 6:30 am Sunday morning. Ready to go! I’ll miss you and Daddy so much.

I arrive that night in Great Falls, and basically just rest and ready myself for the next morning.

I wake up to a beautiful full moon.

Also, the weather is so favorable (it’s about 52 in the morning when usually it’s in the teens!)

Cool marquee in front.

Hmm…Kelly, Kasey…lot’s of K people I know, so I will.

One of the teachers takes my pic in front.

I’m so filled with gratitude and anticipation. Will they be amenable to my message, and how can I impart it with love, grace, and excitement?

I get to know all of the teachers (and I try to memorize all the names). They had that deer in the headlights look when I began because they probably are thinking this is MORE to add to their plate. As I speak AND LISTEN, I work with them on understanding to think outside the box with how to help their students. Yes, you teach but how do you KNOW if they have learned it? That is what this is all about….Assessing and analyzing to make sure we are maximizing our teaching opportunities. As the day progresses, with Dr. David Culpepper’s help, we come to some great conclusions about what is their next step. It’s going to be a two-year plan…not TOMORROW! So take a breath. I also get to come back in the summer and see how it’s going. They’ll take each scope and sequence objective and find a way (or a question) they can use to evaluate if the students has mastered that SSO. Really, that is it. Every 4-6 weeks, have these interim assessments to track their progress on their teaching and the students’ learning.

David is excited!

And…they are all undergirded in God’s word. Their is so much prayer in this place; they even prayed over me! Such a blessing!

After it’s over, I go celebrate with some McD’s ice cream and peanut butter. YES!

My love bug and hubby miss me and send me pics. (I gave Tot some jammies)

Oh, and COOPY!
Supposedly he’s on a hunger strike. I’ll be home soon, Buddy!

I miss them all sooooo much, but going away gives me so much gratitude and perspective.

As the night progresses, I’m reminded how blessed I am. I also am just filled with HIS love and so grateful for these opportunities. Also, I’m feeling great! Tummy issues basically non-existent. The hotel staff is so good to me and I’m just feeling so happy.

Tot and Daddy call me later.

Oh, love this!

I read, eat, pray, and relax until bed. Fell asleep about 9:30!…and woke up to…….


Yes, it’s 100% snowing! BRRRR..

So, what do I do!? I go out in it! (after my devotions of course). Drove to the gym, and it was so surreal out. Reminded me of college at Boulder. Peaceful and white.

But, I’m bundled!

It’s so nice to have this NON-HURRIED morning. Later Starbucks, working, writing, and relaxing until my flight. I can’t wait to see my family later. I miss them so.

On the airplane now, and oh…it’s icy! They had to de-ice the wings so we were delayed quite a while.

Better safe…though!
Off we go now. Look at the cold view! How pretty. Leaving this white snow…

And into the sunset in SLC! Look how beautiful.

Then into PHX. Look at this sunset!

Finally getting home and my sweet family….look at what I opened the door to!

For me!!

They made me feel like royalty as always.

What a blessed trip. Thank you, Jesus.

IDEAS for Jan 2022 (one year anniversary)

We love these second Mondays!

Salmon, parsnip fries with honey mustard sauce and salad!

First, we always start our dinners with our gratitudes for the day.

Then, Tatum went first. She only had 2 ideas, but she wanted to focus on her and Daddy’s time together when I’m away next week.

She started Karate on Thursdays; done! Now she wants to do a bracelet contest. She’s also brainstorming ideas for her and Daddy.

She and Daddy are on the same page because he did the same!

Whatcha think, Daddy?

Now what did he ideate?

He always has food ideas for me! I gave him an acrostic. SO TRUE!
Tot got one too!

Now, what did I do?

The cool thing about these nights is we take them to heart, and we implement our ideas. Some of my ideas have already happened.

More to come in Feb!

Memory Rocks… guide to remembering!

We decided to create memories like God had the Israelites.

Joshua 4: 1-7

“When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”

It’s important to remember! Artifacts are the best way, so let’s do rocks!

What are some of our memories to memorialize?

And we’ll display them on the window sill, and we’ll continue to add to it!

May we always celebrate our memories!!
They rock!