Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Life Lately

  Time always flies by and I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted on here.  Gracie went to her Junior Prom last month, so I wanted to make sure and post a couple of pictures of her.  Plus the other two kiddos have been equally as busy, and I figured it was a good morning to get my blog caught back up.

 So here we go...

We have a small high school, so Prom is open to all 4 grades.  I love this red dress that she picked for her Junior Prom.  The first two years that she went to Prom, we were given dresses by friends and family for her to use.  This year I wanted to take her shopping and let her pick out something instead.  It just fits her personality so well, and she loves it!
 Gracie and Belle are 8 months apart and have always had a close cousin bond... almost like sisters. :) Our younger sister came to visit and brought her daughters over to see their cousins all dressed up.  They ran to the dress up box to get all fancied up as well.  I love that we got this picture of them!

The photographer at prom snapped a couple cute pictures as well!

Gracie and her date.  They decided to go to Prom together just as friends, but since he'd already ordered his suit... they didn't match.  Instead, they looked very patriotic. ;) 

And of course, I needed one picture with my girl!

While my nephew was in town over his Spring Break, I asked him to teach Emma how to handle and shoot a gun.  She's wanting to hunt this year, and we are signing her up for Hunters Safety, but I still wanted to get her out, and give her some experience now.

Coco turned a year old in February!  She has been such a sweet pup!

Emma joined the play at school, and was a frog.  It was a cute version of Alice and Wonderland.

And then basketball, my friends.  So much basketball! 
 Jesse finished up his 8th grade year of basketball and then signed up for a couple of 5 on 5 tournaments... as well as Emma.

We packed up the car and headed out of town last weekend for the final tournament.
 A customer of Dan's let us stay at their cabin.  It is such a pretty place along the river, tucked back in the trees. It was so nice to have a place to hang out in between all of the games.

Our view headed back home!  We love Montana, especially once all the snow has melted and the weather starts to warm back up!
 Emma started softball Monday, and we are onto the next thing!  Always busy around here.

Poor Gracie has studied hard, and headed to school this morning to take her ACT's.  I'm praying that she stays calm and does her best! No pressure at all, right?! ;) 
Well, I know that was a lot of randomness, but I know of no other way to get it all on here besides just pouring it out.  Bless you, if you made it through all that. ;)

Life always seems busy.  I don't know that we've had a season for a while, where it doesn't feel like something is happening.  Between the 3 kids and their different activities... there just isn't that rest yet.  But I see how fast it is all going, so I am trying to soak it up and be thankful for the busy.  Some days, I feel a little like Dori, off of Nemo.  "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

 I miss you all and hope you are well and good!


Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Hello Friends!

I know I've been absent over here for the last 7 months.  Eek!  I guess I just got to the point where I felt like what I was sharing, wasn't enough.  It's enough for me, because it's little snippets of what we are doing, but I wanted to bring more to the table for you all.  I do want to continue this little blog of mine however, because my kids still have lots of growing up to do, and this is honestly the only way that I scrapbook any of it.  I will still honor their privacy, but I want to continue to document some of the firsts, like when they get their drivers licenses and go to their dances, and games.  All of the little/ big moments in life.

So periodically, you'll see me post, just to keep this blog updated, and honestly, at some point I might just set it to private and use it exclusively for scrap-booking... we'll see.  I do however miss all of you!  I've thought a lot about starting a separate blog, one that doesn't involve my family as much, but so far I haven't come up with any fantastic ideas.  :)   So until that happens, I'll just pop in every once in a while over here.

Here's a little update on our busy little family...

 Our niece got married this summer, which gave my crew a reason to get dressed up and thankfully we were able to get a quick family picture.  You Mama's know that good family pictures are hard to come by.

 We spent a good amount of time on the water this summer.  This view up on Flathead lake is always one of my favorites.  So gorgeous! 

 Dan and I were able to get away on a business trip over to Coeur d' Alene, Idaho this summer.  I don't care that it was for business... it's always good to get away with my guy for a couple of days.

 You guys, my kids just keep growing up.  It happens faster and faster each year it seems.  Gracie is a junior this year.  Jesse is in 8th grade and Emma is in 5th.  I am trying to soak in all the moments, time... all the things, because I know they'll all be off on their own before I can blink.

 Did I mention we spent some time on the water this summer?

If you've read this blog at all, you know that I love our warm summer days!  It already feels like Fall in Montana and I know that in another couple months it will feel like winter again.  I'm trying to play the "glad" game and think of all the reasons why I should be excited, but I'm not. #teamsummer

We had an awesome summer together as a family.  Gracie worked her first job this summer.  The kids all attended sports camps.  Emma completed swimming lessons.  We had more sleepovers than I can count.  We camped.  We boated.  We stayed up way to late some nights.  We enjoyed it for everything it was worth.  And as much as I look forward to the next season of warm weather... I also am dreading it a bit.  Next summer will be Gracie's last summer before she graduates.  You guys, that's crazy!!!  I am not ready for this at all!  So I guess, this, and this alone, will be the reason why I look forward to a nice long winter.  ;)

I hope you all have had a great summer and that you get to enjoy some Fall like weather soon!

Be Blessed,

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

Hello Friends!

I'm popping on today to share what we've been up to.
Shay and Mel

What we're eating this week

We've had Chili...

Chicken Tortilla soup, Spaghetti, and tonight I'm making fried rice.

What I'm reminiscing about

 Nothing really.

What I'm loving

We've been having a few cold but sunny days here lately.  You all know I don't like the cold, but having the sun come out makes it so pretty out with the white snow.  I love sunny, blue sky, kind of days.

What we've been up to

 If you follow along with me on Instagram, then you've seen that we got a new puppy.  Miss Coco has been keeping me busy!  Thankfully, she's been doing really well!

 Emma and I went to pick her up from the airport.  She flew in from Phoenix.  It's definitely taken her a couple of weeks to adjust to the temperature change.  ;)
 Here we are sitting outside the airport waiting for her flight.

 They met, fell in love, and then they both napped on our 2 hour drive home.  It was a big day for both of them.  :)

What I'm dreading

 Hmm... nothing at the moment.

What I'm working on

I finished up my last Bible study on The Armor of God, by Priscilla Shirer, and we're getting ready to start our next study next week.  

It's another study by Priscilla and this time we'll be studying Jonah.  I feel like we've all heard the story of Jonah in Sunday school growing up, and I can't wait to see what Priscilla teaches through this study and how she applies it to us... because you all know that there are just those days where we do not want to o to Nineva either.  ;)

What I'm excited about

 I get to sneak away with Dan for a couple days next week and visit Arizona.  It's a business trip for him, and one that I get to tag along on.  I plan to sit outside in the sun next to the pool as long as I can.  If you have any books that you've read and loved lately, send them my way.

What I'm watching/reading

We've been watching Reba again, and it doesn't get old.  Such a funny show.  I'm sure everyone has seen it, but if you haven't... watch it.  Years ago I remember seeing it on TV and thought I wouldn't like it, because Reba's a singer, not an actress.  Well, I was wrong!  She can act too, and the whole show is just funny!

 As far as what I've been reading, I'm just finishing this series of 3.  I've like them all so far!

I'm hoping to do a review of these books soon, as well as a couple more.  Until then if you'd like to see more of what I've read and liked, or didn't like... come find me over on Goodreads.

What I'm listening to

At the moment, nothing!

The kids are in school and Coco is sleeping!

What I'm wearing

 All the layers!

What I'm doing this weekend

 I'm not sure... as I type this up, I feel like there is something going on this weekend, but for the life of me, I can't seem to remember what it might be.  Hmm...

What I'm looking forward to next month

 Arizona and warm sunshine!

What else is new

 Just Miss Coco.


 Enjoy your day!


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Overcoming the Winter Blues

 I will say that as much as I love the start of the new year, and all that the beginning of January brings... by the time the end of January is upon us, there are some serious winter blues hitting a lot of us.

Here are a few things you can do to keep those blues at bay.

Listen to music

Shut off the news and turn on some fun/uplifting music.  Find something that makes you feel like dancing.  It definitely makes sweeping or mopping those kitchen floors more fun, and I believe that good music can turn your attitude around.

Read a good book

Buy a new book or reread an old favorite from the shelf.  I highly recommend Present Over Perfect, if you are wanting an uplifting, and motivating book.  For entertainments sake, The Mark of the Lion series is really good!

Get some fresh air

Get outside and get some fresh air.  This is one that I need to do a lot more.  It's hard this time of year because the weather is cold, muddy, snowy, etc... but even if it's just for 5 minutes, I think the fresh air does us so much good.

Start a gratitude journal

Start a gratitude journal, and write 3 things everyday that you are thankful for and one good thing that happened that day.  Studies have shown that this helps a lot... and why wouldn't it.  When we start changing our mind set and focusing on all of the things in our lives that we are thankful for, it's bound to make a difference.


Get yourself a good diffuser and some quality oils and enjoy some aromatherapy.  I can hook you up here if you want help getting started.  Different scents can make us happy or relaxed.  One of my favorites is the smell of the woods.  I love the smell of trees, and being up in the mountains... which is probably why one of my favorite oils to diffuse is Idaho Balsam Fir.  I love how it smells during Christmas, but honestly, I just love how it smells.  Lemon is another oil that I love, because it makes my house feel clean, and who isn't happy if their house feels clean?

Meet up with a friend

Call a friend up to meet you for coffee or lunch.  Just being with a good friend is not only good for the soul, but sometimes it's motivating talking with someone else about your goals and dreams.


Read your Bible

Crack open your Bible, and let God's word speak to you.  He is so faithful to meet you right where you are.  Over the years, I have highlighted so many verses that contain encouragement, so that when I'm down I can just flip through His word looking for anything highlighted.  It's like a balm to my soul to reread those verses.

Take your vitamins

I felt so tired all of last week and when I mentioned it to my sister, she asked if I had been taking my vitamin D.  I hadn't.  I forget about taking it every year until about this time, and every year she has to remind me.  A lot of people become vitamin D deficient this time of year since we aren't seeing the sun nearly enough.  Talk to your physician or pharmacist and see what vitamins you should be taking.

Okay, so none of these ideas are new, but sometimes we just need a reminder... like I did with taking my vitamins.

What do you do, to keep those winter blues at bay?


Monday, January 22, 2018

Bible Study Review

Last week I started a new Bible study and I was thinking of you all, and wondering what studies you've done or what studies you've loved.  There are so many different studies and leaders, and it's nice to have an idea of what studies people have liked.  Today I thought I'd share a couple of the studies that I've done, and share my thoughts on a couple of them, in case you are looking for a new study.

We are studying The Armor of God right now.  Priscilla Shirer takes us through 7 sessions, and she reminds us to put on the full armor of God and prepare to fight the spiritual battles we face daily.  Troubles in your marriage, finance troubles, family issues, insecurities... these are all things that we can face when we are being attacked... she shows us how to fight back, using God's word.  We are just starting our second week, but so far we are all really liking it.  This is my first study by Priscilla and I am enjoying her straight to the point approach as well as her humor.

Seamless by Angie Smith, is a great study if you unfamiliar with the Bible, if you want a refresher, or if you're curious how the Bible is all tied together from Genesis to Revelations.  Angie ties it all together in 6 weeks.  I thought she did a great job teaching this study.  I do have to say that Angie has a fun sense of humor, which unfortunately, could be a turn off for some if they are looking at this study.  If you don't think you have a great sense of humor, or if you are easily offended... maybe skip this study?!  But if you think you can handle some humor mixed in with scripture then I'm sure you'll love it.

Angie's blog was the first blog I ever read, years ago, back before she started publishing books and studies.  I then went on to read all of her books, because I just love her and her sweet heart.  All of this to say, I knew that no matter what she wrote, I was going to need to read it.  I love everything she writes.  :)

 I love the story of Ruth.  It's interesting, easy to read, and there's a love story involved.  What's not to like.  I was excited to try a Kelly Minter study, because I heard that they were a bit lighter and not as time consuming.  As much as I think this author was sweet and I liked how easy her writing was to read, I found myself getting annoyed with how much it felt like the study was geared too much towards her insecurities.  I felt with her being a single woman, she focused too much on the love story, and missed other important moments.  For me, the study was a lot more enjoyable the first couple of weeks, and then by the end I was ready to be done.  I am definitely not going to cross Kelly off of my radar just yet, as I would like to try another study that doesn't have a love story in it, to see if I would find that more enjoyable.  If you've done any of Kelly Minter's Bible studies, I would love to know which ones you liked or didn't like.

Children of the Day is a study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and is one of my favorite studies.  This was the first study of Beth Moore's that I had ever done, and I loved it.  Being that it was my first study of hers, could attribute partially to why it's one of my favorites... but it is a really good study.  I loved writing out the scripture in the back pages while doing this study, and I love getting to study end time events in the last couple weeks.  I felt like this study wasn't too deep, but had enough to keep you challenged without feeling overwhelmed.

Esther, is another great study of Beth Moore's.  I always prefer to do a study on a book of the Bible, verses just a topical study.  I wasn't sure what all she could share with us on the story of Esther, as it's a fairly easy one to read through... but boy did she deliver.  I learned so much from this study.  I love that she was able to bring so much to the table on this study.

Daniel is the most intense study that I've done so far.  It was probably my top study that I've ever done.  The first half of the study is pretty easy going, and the second half is challenging.  I like some of both, so it was perfect for me.  I know I could do this study a couple of times and keep picking up things that probably didn't stick with me the first time.  This study is definitely a must!

David was another good study.  I didn't care for it as much as some of her other studies, but that's just because I really enjoyed her other studies that much more.   Honestly, the only study that I have done of Beth's that I didn't enjoy, was one called, Sacred Secrets.  I'm sure some people loved it, but again I'd rather study a book out of the Bible, verses a topic.

Okay... so that's a quick list of studies if you are looking for a new Bible study to start this year.  If you can, I'd definitely recommend plugging into a Bible study or starting your own.  It helps you be held more accountable, when you know others are working through the study with you.  But if you can't... that okay.  There's nothing wrong with studying on your own.   Also, you can find a lot of the study videos available on Ebay, which can save you a lot of money.

Okay, now tell me, what is a favorite Bible study that you've done, or a study that you've been wanting to do.

 Be Blessed!


Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Introductions

Happy Friday Friends!

I thought today would be a great day to do a little Friday introduction for any of you who are new to my blog.  Plus some of you who have been around here for a bit, might learn a thing or two about me as well.

Dan and I have been married for 16 years, and we have 3 kids together.  Wherever I am, as long as we're together, I'm home.

I am an avid reader, but I don't like to read anything stressful or scary.  Life is stressful enough without me adding to it.  I prefer something funny, lighthearted or inspiring.  All that being said, my all time favorite book is Redeeming Love, which is kind of stressful... so what do I know.

I live in rural Montana, where there are no traffic lights, Walmart, Starbucks, Target... well you get the idea.  Amazon is how we roll.  You can check out this post to learn more about our home and the area where we live.

I don't eat mushrooms.  I decided a few years ago that I tend to like more and more foods the older I get, but mushrooms... no.  I mean, why should anyone have to learn to like fungus.  ;)  It ain't happening!

Once upon a time I opened and ran my own photography business for about 3 years.  I was blessed with amazing clients, and loved what I did, but I found myself too busy and with not enough time to devote to it and to my family.  So the business had to go.  Here is a post I did a while back, that you can read if you're interested.  Sometimes I miss it, but I don't regret giving more time to my family.

I love to cook, but just the thought of baking stresses me out.  I'm still trying to figure out why that is, and so far the only thing I can think of is, I don't enjoy exact measurements?!  When I cook, I just go with the flow, but with baking I feel like I need extreme focus, so I won't put in an extra cup of flour or not enough flour.  Are any of you like this?

I don't like a lot of noise... which is probably best that I live out in the country.  Some people love white noise, so they'll leave their TV or some music on.  Not me.  I prefer the sound of the fireplace, the laundry washing, or just absolutely nothing.  I mean if I'm going to listen to something, I guess I wouldn't mind listening to the sound of the waves on the beach, say... in Hawaii.  :)

I love to study scripture, and discuss it with those of the same beliefs and/or different.   I totally blame this on my Dad who has raised us up in the Word, and pushed and questioned us over the years.  One of my favorite things to do is discuss scripture with him.  My Dad used to preach for a lot of years, and now he just fills in every once in a while, and now that I'm older and I'm sure his sermons aren't based upon my High School years of drama, his sermons are my favorite.  #preachersdaughter

My dream would be to write a novel one day.  I have tons of different ideas, I just need to become a great author overnight so I can get them all down on paper.  Maybe someday I'll take that writing class that I've always wanted to take.

My eyesight is awful, but my hearing is worse.  If I knock my glasses off of my nightstand, I have to crawl around on the floor trying to find them... which my family thinks is entertaining.  ;)  As for my ears, I know if I go to an audiologist, they'll want to fit me for hearing aids... but I'm just not ready.  My family definitely doesn't find this entertaining, seeing as I ask, "what" a billion times a day.  I've learned to watch a lot of movies and shows without knowing exactly what they are saying.  As long as I can watch the show, I can usually figure out what they're talking about.  It's annoying, but I am kind of used to it.  This could also be the reason I prefer books over watching TV.

Okay, so don't leave me hanging, tell me something about you!  What is something you'd do if you knew you wouldn't fail?  Would you rather read a book or watch TV?  And did you know all of this about me?

I hope you'll share something, as I love getting to know you all.

Also, Erin hosted a link up earlier this week where they all shared 10 random facts about themselves.  Be sure and check it out for some fun reading this weekend.  :)

Have a great weekend!