Praying before we eat

She is taking it to a whole new level.

OK, Coti, bow your head and let’s pray. Before that, he must seat and say “Woof!Please”


Who is spoiled?

Tatum’s mommy. Doug did it again. He completely wowed me over with a birthday party that will be hard to top. How did he do it? Hiring the best event planning company? Going to the top caterer in the valley? Neither. He did it all by himself from the invitations to the cake. Who does that!? And even includes my friends and family… awesome.

When I first arrived, two pink heart balloons welcomed me. IMG_3298

Then I came inside and his dear friend Ted was slicing watermelon as Doug finished the beef brisket which was cooking all day and prepared the day before. He took the day off before the party so he could get everything done. I think he just wanted a day off and needed an excuse, but don’t tell him I told you that!

Seriously, though, the setup was impeccable and the guests would be well taken care of. My buddies started to arrive.

Suzy Q (Susan) got her margarita and I got her to give me a big smile…Love you sister!IMG_3301

My buddy Denise who I just adore. IMG_3308

and hubby PetroIMG_3312Doug making sure the beers were ready to grab.

Sharon and Andy

And I needed a shot with my dear friend, Sharon.

And hooray! Kelly (my cousin) with Nyla and Levi….they’re getting so big!IMG_3320 IMG_3321 dear friend



and her hubby, Ethan. …love these two.

Family of Doug’s came: Craig (bro), Darlene (mom), David and two daughters, and Andy (Craig’s son)

the spread was beautiful outside on the patio..

Terri and Leti and more friends in the dining room



Waiting for the cake on the patio. We all wanted to just move in because of this gorgeous back yard. 20160514_203818_resized
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Telling us about this cake…he totally made it from scratch. Vanilla frozen yogurt with pecan crust and dark chocolate. Cupcakes, you have lost first place. EVERYONE salivated over this. Good thing he didn’t leave it in the back of his car too long.


Baby, I love you. Thank you for making my evening so very amazing. I can’t imagine a nicer more special thing to do for girl. You make me feel like a queen.20160514_210135_resized

Trapped and Entertained (hopefully)

See those peering eyes under her bed?

Daily, before “room time,” I read to Tot. We average about three or four books at this time, and today, while we were reading, Coti decided to get cozy under her bed. It was hard to pry him out of there during room time, so I left him in her room. Apparently, Tatum wanted him to learn to read as she had a pile of books next to him as she read him Frog and Toad.

I hope he enjoyed it (like he had a choice)!


Coti, Jesus is Calling!

Coti was held captive by Tatum’s reading of Jesus Calling, my devotional.

He did not really have a choice, so he decided to just listen. It’s a good thing she read the one about how all dogs go to heaven. IMG_2835Or did she just make that up?

Coti, where are you?

Tatum and I searched all over for the little guy? Where did he go?
Then, I see this two eyes peering from under her bed. He would not come out!?

Sometimes, the ringtone on my phone text scares him, and I thought the new one was safe (it’s a choo-choo train), but apparently not!

Tatum crawled under her bed to comfort him.

Then she figured she’d stay under there with him and her baby.



Now, I have two rug rats under there. HELP!IMG_2795



There is a battle brewing in the world. Some would say it’s war against nations. Some would say it’s a battle in the workplace. Others say it is among familiies. According to our Pastor, Terry Crist, he says the REAL issue is the issue of identity. We all struggle with  the question, “WHO AM I?  WHO WAS I CREATED TO BE?”

It makes sense that the common man wants to belong and be important somehow.

WE have a choice: One can listen to how the world defines him/her or one can listen to how GOD defines him/her. This is the message I want Tatum to hear. Her identity, our identity, is what GOD says about her and us.

So, Tatum here it is:

YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD; that is your identity. You will struggle with wanting to be affirmed by people. This is natural! But do you know what? A mistaken identity will lead to wrong behavior. This comes from Proverbs 23:7, As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he!”

Honey, spend time on your inner man. Spend time nurturing your soul and getting to know God. Know that He loves you with All that He is. You must understand who GOD made you to be. (too many people spend time on their bodies and minds and relationships and although VERY IMPORTANT, they can’t define you.)

Sure, you have your hard work. Some will say, “She is such hard worker.” Awesome!IMG_0811 IMG_0812That may be true. But that is not WHO you are.

Others will say, “Oh, that Tatum…she is so smart and well read!” She keeps on the latest world news, reads the funnies, enjoys books.. Again, wonderful! But this is not WHO you are.IMG_0817 IMG_0816 IMG_0815 IMG_0814 IMG_0813And then others will try to define you by your relationships. You have many loved ones, and even in church, when others are running amok, you listen and are kind. IMG_0819This is all important and good. BUT your identity is being at the HEART of God and His HEART is Jesus, His gift to us. YOU are more than the identities the world gives you. Ephesians 1:11 says IN Christ, we found out who we are. As a follower of Jesus, your identity comes from your relationship with him. 2 Corinthians 5:15-17 “and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.…”

Tatum, you are a NEW creation. Not as a little beautiful girl (although true), but ONE LOVED AND ADORED BY GOD. He has GIVEN you Jesus. Jesus gave HIS life so you could not only have Him live in your heart but also to have a relationship with GOD!

1. It’s a complete transformation. AND now..We live with a GREAT expression of gratitude and great expectation. 1 Peter 1: 3-4″ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” WE ARE IN HIM!

2.  We now live a resurrected life. HE CAME TO GIVE US LIFE! (A new one!) and He came to give us life abundant. You’re a new self, Tot. Colossians 3: 1-3 “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.…”

3. SO this world gets tough and the people in it may disappoint, but know that your citizenship is in heaven and you’re a new citizen with a REAL Father. Jesus is your LORD (God is your FATHER!) Phil 3:8-10: “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;…”

Tatum, your identity is that of a child of THE Father. God. He gave us Jesus, His son, who died so that we may LIVE LIFE ABUNDANTLY and to HIS glory! Let’s do that. Let’s make the most of our life, loving others, being a light, leading others to the truth, and putting our FAITH in Jesus.

I love you darling, and may you always remember WHO YOU ARE.