Today was a sunshiny day, and even though it was cold, the sun made it feel nice. We got outside and soaked up all the sunshine we could today, before the crazy cold front hits TN this week (I’m SO over winter…). We went hiking on our farm again. We are all loving exploring and getting to know this property we were so surprised to get this year. It has already been a blessing and and a place to make memories.

Josie’s Baptism

January 13, 2019 was such a special day for our family- Josie was baptized! Our pastor, Jamie, baptized her at our church, Redeemer Church. Tons of our family and friends came, and of course our church family was out in full force.


Josie was so excited and joyful the whole day, and wasn’t nervous at all.


I am normally the designated baptism photographer at our church, so my sweet friend Cayte took pictures for me so I could just be “mom” for the day. 🙂


One of the really special things our church does for baptisms is that we always have a person stand up and speak to the person that is being baptized. They normally read a verse and tell a little bit of their testimony. Jake did this for Josie, and he did such an awesome job. We decided that this was the passage we wanted to pick for her:

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:1-10 (emphasis mine)

Jake shared this passage, and told her that he wanted to remember those two words- BUT GOD as she started her walk with Christ. He shared with everybody some of her testimony- how she has always loved God, but just recently realized she just couldn’t live apart from him any longer.


And then Jamie baptized her.

And it was beautiful and joyful!





God is so good!!

Snow Day

We had our first good snow of the year! It was just a little bit, but that didn’t stop us from making the best of it. We opted to stay home from church, because our road was a solid sheet of ice. After breakfast, the kiddos bundled up and headed outside. I, for one, am SO grateful that they are big enough to go outside on their own now! They went to the neighbor’s house to sled down their hill, ran around, made patterns in the snow, and even built and tiny snowman. Meanwhile, Jake and I stayed in the warmth. I drank some coffee and listened to one of my favorite sermons by Scott Patty, our pastor from Grace Community.

When they were finally cold enough to come in, I made them big mugs of homemade hot chocolate, and then we all spent the rest of today hanging out together, just being lazy. It has been a good day of rest, something we all needed.

Josie’s Baptism

Today was one of the most joyful days in Jake and mine’s life as parents- getting to see our beautiful daughter baptized. It was a special ceremony and service, made even more special by all of our friends and family that came to celebrate with her. We are so thankful for our church and our family and all the people who have poured into Josie’s life, and who continue to do so. I don’t have pictures ready, yet, but I thought I would go ahead and post this video. (Thanks, AD, for videoing for us!)

Click here to watch the video!

This week

This was our first week back at school, and it was a bit of a doozy. We were all ready for the rest of the weekend today!

We dropped off Jake at the airport on Sunday for a week long work trip to San Diego. We missed him terribly, but he had a good trip.

Work this week, for me, was a little stressful and had me wondering at the end of the week if we had only been on Christmas break a week ago! But God is teaching me some things this school year, and I’m trying hard to listen to what He is saying, even when it is hard.

Like I said, the kids and I missed Jake terribly…life is just not the same without him with us! But we tried to make the best of it, and kept busy. Monday night we ate a delicious dinner with Mama Judy, like normal.

Tuesday Josie finished her printmaking piece that she is going to enter in the TACS art competition this year. Mrs. Shumate is an amazing teacher :), and Jo did a great job!

Tuesday night we went to Shshr and Nana’s after Jo’s art lesson to eat tacos (made by Nana), and to meet Shshr’s new dog, Asher. Mom and Dad joined us for dinner, too. It was great to see everyone, and Asher was very cute :). The kids were thrilled, of course.

Wednesday night, after Josie’s ballet class, we went to Chic Fil A with my friend Lindsey and her kiddos, since her hubby was out of town as well. It was a fun night of hanging out with friends, and I didn’t take one picture . 🙂

Thursday after school we went to Mom and Dad’s so I could use the treadmill, and Mom cooked us some yummy dinner.

Friday afternoon we hung out at school so I could catch up on some work, and the kiddos watched some movies until time to go get Jake at the airport. We stopped to get a hot drink on the way to kill some time.

I love these two goobers.

We were all SO glad to see Jake, and we’ve spent today being extremely lazy, resting for our crazy week and just enjoying being all back under one roof.

I added up my miles today run so far this year….only 488 left to go! ? We’ll see!


The kiddos had a fun past weekend of break.

Yesterday Jack got to go to Monster Jam with a sweet friend from school. He was so excited, and they had a great time!

Last night the cousins came over for dinner, which always thrills our kiddos. I’m so glad they are getting to grow up close with their cousins-cousins make great friends, too!

Today the kids had a play date at our house with a brother and sister that got our church and school, and just happen to be the same ages as our kids! Perfect duo :).

It was a BEAUTIFUL day (hence the bare feet outside!!)

Back to school tomorrow!

52 Books in a Year

This year I did a “52 books in a year” challenge. The list was interesting, and it stretched me to read books I wouldn’t have normally picked up. I am glad I did it. Here’s my list:

52 Books in a Year Challenge

52 Books in a Year Challenge page 2

I have 2 books not “checked” yet- Beowulf,  because I left my copy at school. I will get that tomorrow, and read it this weekend. Uncommon Type because I am still waiting on it from the library. I think it will be a fast read.

My top ten favorite books from this list:

To Kill a Mockingbird (No surprise, since it was one of my favorites in high school. It was better reading it as an adult, though.)

The Boys in the Boat (This was just really interesting to me.)

Dragon Teeth (I was surprised by how much I loved this one! I had never read anything by Chriton before.)

The Great Alone and Magic Hour (Kristin Hannah is for sure one of my favorite authors. These were both “can’t put it down” books.)

The Kite Runner  (A hard read, but I was really fascinated by reading about a different culture.)

Dark Matter (Really loved this one. May have to reread!)

Educated (Another hard read, but opened my eyes.)

The Vanishing American Adult (Really good read. Looking forward to reading another by him.)

Shoe Dog  (This one was just really interesting to me!)


My least favorite, and the hardest one to get through for me, was Grapes of Wrath. This surprised me, because I LOVED East of Eden  by Steinbeck. This was just SO slow, though.

Now I’m looking forward to my next challenge. 🙂

Porch….and some house comparisons

Our porch got completed in December, I’ve just not posted about it yet! It is beautiful. Our contractor never disappoints. It has already become an extension of our living space, which is exactly what we wanted.



And now my favorite thing- comparison shots!!


And now from the side:


Christmas Break

As much as we all love traveling, Christmas break is one of our favorite family vacations, because we just stay home and are lazy for 2 weeks. The kids and I are always off, of course, and Jake has traditionally always used vacation time to take off all the time we are off. However, the company he works for now completely shuts down for two weeks around Christmas and New Year’s, which is awesome!

This year has been no exception. We’ve had an awesome time just being together. There have been trips to the farm, lots of reading and playing games, lots of hot chocolate and movie watching. Sleeping late  Pajama days galore. The kids had a few days of “unlimited” screen time as part of their Christmas present- which was a very special treat for them! We’ve played all the new board games the kids got for Christmas. I got new coffee making stuff with my Christmas money and set up a coffee/hot chocolate bar in our kitchen.

We also always use this time to clean out our house and barn and make trips to Goodwill and the dump. The kids got rid of a ton of toys this year. I sorted some kiddo art and school work that I have been piling up for over a year. I cleaned out our junk drawer….something that was LONG overdue. It always feels good to get task off our list that have been on there for SO long.

It has been an awesome, much needed, restful break from our normal routine. Tomorrow, it’s back to reality for me. The kiddos and Jake still have another day off, and then the weekend. Grateful for this time we’ve had together to regroup and rest.