Valves are valuable

Little did you know that a small circle could have so much value. Not just any circle. A valve. This cylindrical device  regulates the air and has a particular function which must be intact. If any leakage occurs, it is defunct and cannot perform its duties.

This particular valve has been redesigned to not allow for any leak to permit and therefore be stable for the space station. This redesign took over 11 months to complete, but the work involved was worth the perfected device.

This valve also has had a great analogy for our year. How?

    1. The valve is a complete circle.
    Circles are associated with wholeness, unity, and the closest thing to perfection. It is a place of safety to be inside and surrounded by a border of love. Maynard James Keenan wrote, “A circle is the reflection of eternity. It has no beginning and it has no end .” Circles have no sharp edges revealing comfort and gentleness.
    With the people in my life, I see this as incredibly symbolic. Especially with Doug. We’ve been through so much in two years, and the pointy moments become smoothed out with much prayer and communication. We’ve remained INSIDE the circle knowing that the surrounding space is God’s loving arms. This concept transcends to my daughter as well. There is no beginning or end to my love for both of them BECAUSE I have learned from Jesus what love really is. This leads to the next valve teaching.
    2. Valves can leak.
    The reason this valve came down from space was due to an infinitesimal leak, undetectable to the human eye.
    It can happen slowly and under the radar. A negative thought gets nurtured in our mind and festers which can lead to an unkind word spoken; a misunderstanding can inhibit communication and cause one to shut down; an expectation is not met leading to a hurt feeling. And on and on it can go. A small pinhole is poked into the circle and a breath of air compromises the fidelity of the valve. These leaks happen without being aware. Therefore, just as with the testing method for the space station for the valve to be 100% foolproof, we must continue to pray and communicate plugging these small pinholes before they become a gaping abyss.
    Why do we go to all of this work? It seems like so much effort to keep the valve intact. So much effort to keep the circle of a relationship leak-proof. Well, because….
    3. Valves are valuable.
    This circular valve which was up in the space station for years had a primary function, although extremely small. The small leak it produced led to the breakdown of the whole device!!!
    The same holds true for our circle. We edify. We honor. We trust. We honor. We respect. We honor.
    Without the circle, what is life worth? Things? Stuff? Busyness?
    Remember, the sixth day, and the final day of creation, God created man and woman to be in relationship with each other and Him. It was His greatest masterpiece. We owe it to God to be in harmony because that was His intention. Plus, it makes Him smile.
    This newly redesigned valve is back in space because it went through a hard year of reconfigurations and testing. It’s ready to perform its duties. Is it perfect? By no means, but its ready to take on the harsh conditions of space. Built inside the valve is a device to keep it clean and leak-proof. Just as with our circle.  We will continue to refine, refresh and reconfigure throughout our life as we attempt to make us leakproof.
    This tiny circle teaches me so much about my past year and what I want to take into 2017 with my guy and my family. This valuable valve.



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