Category Archives: Canines

Anything and everything dog related!

Teaser Tuesday: April 14th

Happy Tuesday!!  Finally catching a glimpse of spring up here on Lake Erie!  To celebrate – I took my old girl (soon to be 12) for a beautiful walk on the lake!

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I’m being a bit lazy this week and teasing the same book as last week.  After spending 10 days on The Turner House, I’m a bit behind on where I thought I would be – so bear with me as I get through this book.  Another sad story – my April Kindle First selection: Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Hadani.

 

“Some moments in your life you wish never happened; you would do anything to take them back.  They make you realize you are not all-powerful.  That there is a force stronger than you at work.  In those moments, you fall to your knees and abdicate all sense of power.  Offer your hand and ask for help.  If you are lucky, you will feel the touch of something or someone to help you rise.  If not, you stay kneeling, left all alone”
(32% into book)

What do you think? I cannot express how sad this book is, not that I should be surprised by it, but it is hurting my heart so much.  I’m hoping it moves into a message of healing very soon (I’m about half-way through.) I am a strong proponent that all things do happen for a reason, if not immediately apparent, someday to make you stronger or to help someone else.  No idea where this will go, but such a great (or missed) opportunity to bring God in the details.  We’ll see!

Thanks for coming by – please leave your teaser in the comments!

Book Description:

When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, their various methods of coping with a terrifying history can no longer hold their memories at bay.

Buried secrets rise to the surface as their father—the victim of humiliating racism and perpetrator of horrible violence—remains unconscious. As his condition worsens, the daughters and their mother wrestle with private hopes for his survival or death, as well as their own demons and buried secrets.

Told with forceful honesty, Trail of Broken Wings reveals the burden of shame and secrets, the toxicity of cruelty and aggression, and the exquisite, liberating power of speaking and owning truth.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB/Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Happy 2 years; Looking forward to 2015 and back at 2014!

Hello!!  I thought I would stray from my book posts and do a quick post to wish myself a happy 2 years of blogging (coinciding with Happy New Year – 2015!) We’ve had some ups and downs, some good times and bad, lots of posts at times and few (or none) at others, but I really enjoy have MDP as an outlet.  And as I tell people when I do discuss my blog, I blog for free books (mostly).  I started with much more of a vision (you can see my very first post here) and at times go back to that, but lately I’ve been mostly focused on books.  Not saying this will be true for the future either, there will probably always be books as I can never see a time in my life that doesn’t include reading, but as life goes, I’m more motivated at certain times to review activities, or a song/bible verse that moves me.  But you’ll just have to stay tuned and keep reading to see!  (But really I have no idea!)

Last year I did a post for my 1 year blogiversary.  As I re-read this today – I think my update on finding my purpose (or actually lack-there-of) still holds 100% true for me today.   Each day I try to be the best me I can be; for my kids, my husband, my dog, and most of all my Creator.  I try not to beat myself up over the bad moments and turn to Him for guidance on how to get by.  I’m FAR from perfect on this, but find comfort in knowing that I’m not expected to be and as long as I ask, I am forgiven and can mess up again and again!  And also I need to be content where I am and keep my ears/eyes/heart open for further direction!

Last year I wanted to be more INTENTIONAL.  This year took us in a direction I never would have imagined when I wrote my post last year (to Cleveland, Ohio!!??) but I felt somewhat at peace in our transition and was very intentional in putting myself out there, out of my comfort zone at times, but to listen and think through what we were/are doing.  So this year to piggyback on continuing to be intentional, the word I have chosen is FOLLOW-UP.

1fol·low–up noun \ˈfä-lō-ˌəp\

: something that continues or completes a process or activity

Maybe you can relate, but I feel myself leaving a lot of things open.  Now don’t get me wrong, if I say I am going to do something concrete, I will do it, but I’m talking more about the “We should do ____sometime” or “Let’s have dinner/a playdate sometime” or “We need to ____” or “I really should get to know ____ better!” Taking those statements and turning them into actions.  So if you’re reading this and I’ve said something like that to you – let’s do it!

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And just a quick recap of the last year:

  • I read 50 books!  (Up  from 47 the previous year – find me on Goodreads)
  • We moved to Cleveland, OH (from Atlanta, GA)
  • Our big family vacation was to Disney World in November (post and pictures still pending…)
  • LM turned 3 (Dec 2014)!!AK_RPWCOURTYARD1CHARACTER_7092687558
  • LL turned 5 (Jan 2015)!!IMG_4153
  • Our dogs are really loving living in OH.  The snow (in small batches), swimming in Lake Erie, tons of parks, and 100% sidewalks!photo (20)

So things are good.  I’ve started off the year with 2 great book reviews.  Here and Here.  Stay tuned for more and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead in 2015!  Thank you for reading, being a follower, or just being a friend!  God bless!

Love, Kaitlin

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11 years and counting!

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This post is for the member of my family who I have known the longest.  My first love, my constant, loyal companion, my Devon on her 11th birthday.  Named after Devon, PA a town near and dear to my heart, Devon came into my life a scared, skinny, probably abused, fearful of men, 1 year old puppy in 2004.  She was there, and given half credit to, when I met Steven, and she fell in love with her life partner, Zevon .  She’s been there through 3 houses, 2 kids, another dog, and now 2 states.

“All because two hearts fell in love.” is displayed on a sign in our house.  And we had to find the one that said hearts not people as many have in their homes, because the two hearts we really give credit to are Devon & Zevons.  They brought Steven and I together and without them (me without Devon) we would not have a house full of love and laughter, little lady, little man, and even Baxter!

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As the kids and I took her to a new vet (which was hard because we had been at Animal Medical Clinic in Peachtree City her whole life), I read the chart and she now falls into the geriatric category.  That hurts my heart to read.  But I was encouraged by the new vet, a wonderful woman who specializes in canine physical therapy (of which there is a center conveniently right next door.)  After some x-rays of her hips and back legs, we confirmed arthritis and some fluid build-up in her back legs, knees, and feet, and discussed many options.  Nothing was pushed on us – just outlined.  Who knew that between drugs, lasers, water therapy, and much more, we have so many options.  Nothing is guaranteed, but it could improve the quality of her life.

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And I should preface, other than not using one of her back legs and not being as agile as she once was, she is still doing great.  And even more so, she wants to do everything we and the other dogs do, so we can only hope and pray for many more years to come!

While our move was stressful, OH has actually been good for her, as GA summers were not her favorite.  We are able to walk often and even get to the beach, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed for how the winter will go, but I think we’ve picked a good retirement home for Devy.  Here are some pictures of her around town:

And I found these fun pictures.  First is our first family picture in 2005 and second is right before we moved this summer (not the best but I dare you to try posing 2 kids and 3 dogs!)

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

To the world you may be just one person, but to one person dog, you may be the world.

Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.

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I’ll stop now before I lose it completely.  I just wanted to honor my oldest best friend.  Devon, we love you and look forward to many more birthdays, Happy 11th Birthday old girl!!  I’ll leave you with even more pictures (most are either from 2005 or after 2010 – things were much more interesting after kids!)

 

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CLE is the place to be!

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For once I’d like to say we were ahead of the curve!  With the RNC picking Cleveland to host the 2016 convention and today’s announcement of LeBron coming home to the Cavaliers, there is an awful lot of pride going on here in little old Cleveland.  Much of the charm of Cleveland that we’ve experienced is from the outside simply not knowing how great this city is, so hopefully this is a good thing (at least maybe some of you will be more excited to come visit!!)  Seriously, today I had to pick from going to the beach, the pool, or one of the many parks/playgrounds that are all within a few miles of us, many of them along beautiful Lake Erie.  (I’m very blessed by my hardworking husband who allows us to have this lifestyle – and with a 2 & 4-year-old in tow, the word relaxing you will not hear!)

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I figured I was overdue for an update – going on 9 weeks here – and this is as good of reason as any for just that!  See my first two updates here & here, keeping up that momentum, we’ve been keeping very busy.  1st order of business – we bought a house!  Very excited.  We’ve loved living where we are so much, that we bought a house just a few streets over.  1 block from Lake Erie, in quintessential small town America.  Lots of people have been here their whole lives and there is a lot of pride in living here (also evident in the almost 3% property taxes – yikes!)  I’ve also heard it referred to as a bubble – sound like another town GA friends??  We are set to close this week and move over the next few.  Very excited to get settled – also stay tuned for some house projects.  A deviation from what I usually blog about – but I think it may be fun to document.  Thanks to Houzz.com – we have lots of inspiration!

I’m so overflowed with pictures that yesterday my iPhone told me I couldn’t take anymore – so sorry for the photo purge – but we’ve just been doing so much AND it’s just so beautiful here.  (We’ll talk come winter!)  So here are a few more things to do in CLE!

Bay Days Festival.  An old-time carnival invades this picturesque small town around the 4th of July.  The kids had a blast on all the rides (which can also be described as old!) and this year we kept them up late to watch the fireworks.  An amazing display over Lake Erie made it a magical first time (and a lot of live up to!)

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.  I’ve mentioned before how impressed I am with the Metroparks system here.  The zoo did not disappoint, so much so, we bought a pass!  We first got to visit doing a 5k, then went back.  We could go a few more times before we see everything there is to offer.  But a beautiful zoo, easy to get to, and not for the out of shape – as there are A LOT of hills, but makes for some good exercise, especially with the double stroller!  There is tram for those who can’t keep up though!  And not to miss is the Circle of Wildlife Carousel – beautifully handcrafted – you can pick almost any of the zoo animals to ride!  (And you can also see LL on a real camel!!)

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Cleveland Botanical Gardens.  As a member of Atlanta Botanical Gardens, I was happy to learn we get reciprocal membership here in Cleveland!  We’ve been seeing adds for the latest exhibit – Nature Connects – a Lego exhibit – so we went for a quick trip.  In a really cool park of town – University Circle – the gardens sit among many other museums all around a circle!  Will definitely be back often to visit more of these cool places!

Local Beaches, Pools, and Splash Pads.  Kids completed two weeks of swim lessons at our local pool, which doubles as a small waterpark, really I’m impressed with it!  And growing up going to the Jersey shore, Lake Erie beaches don’t bother me, so it’s fun to mix it up and go there, and the kids don’t know any different!  I think I had mentioned before too – but there is a dog beach that the dogs have been loving too!  And even a few local splashpads for more water fun!  (Now if it would only get above 70 – haha my GA blood is already thickening – I have no idea how I ever survived in the 90’s!)

Last week we also wished our Zevon a Happy 10th Birthday!

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Anything peak your interest?  We will very soon have our own house, complete with guest room – so come visit!  All the cool kids are doing it! Thanks for stopping by today – have a FABULOUS weekend!

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Beaches, Parks, Baseball, & Dogs – 2 more fun weeks!

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Hello friends!  3 weeks now in Ohio (see week 1 here) and we’ve been keeping quite busy (so not to think about how much we miss everyone in GA).  Today is a cool 62 and we are stuck inside due to the rain (after checking out a local church!), but this is the first day this has happened, so I’ll use it for some catch up.  We are free and clear of all home-ownership right now (yay for our GA house closing this week), but ramping up our search in Ohio.  We are not finding exactly what we want, but trying to wait patiently and pray for the right house to come up.  It’s pretty cutthroat here too – actually put in an offer last week and lost out to someone willing to pay higher than list..more power to them if they want to overpay, not my style (but probably should prepare for that scenario.)

Have I mentioned how beautiful it is here?  So many people outside all the time and so many parks to explore!  Here is my attempt at a selfie on my new favorite mode of transportation (but hard to get the full bike and trailer in!)  But loving our new Baby Jogger POD as both a bike trailer and jogging stroller and how easy it is to get around via bike!

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Since I last posted we spent a nice afternoon with some family at the beautiful Edgewater Yacht Club on Lake Erie:

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Attended a Memorial Day Parade, followed by our first visit to Huntington Beach (part of the AMAZING Cleveland Metroparks – which I’m guessing you’ll hear a lot about as there are a lot and they are all so unique and cool!), and then an afternoon swim for Zevon & Baxter at another local beach dubbed the “dog beach”.

Celebrated my birthday taking in an Indians game at Progressive Field.  And let me take a minute to tell you just how impressed I was!  It didn’t hurt that Steven was able to use corporate tickets to get us VIP parking, club access with all you can eat, and great seats!  (See our panoramic view at the top of this post!)  Sundays are also kids day, so the kids were able to make crafts, play, dance with hot dogs, see a magician, see a variety of exotic animals, watch a live interview with an Indians players, and they had a blast!  A bright, sunny, 80 degree day, really made this a perfect afternoon.

The next week brought more great weather, more parks & picnics, our weekly Chick-fil-A visit, and the grand opening of our local pool.  It won’t be relaxing chasing 2 young kids around the pool, but it sure will be a fun place to spend many days.  The kids pool alone has a 1 ft toddler area, a zero-entry area, and a playground with a slide and more squirters than you could ever imagine!  Then there is a lap pool, diving boards, and 2 huge slides for the more daring!

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And then I’ll end this weeks segment with a fun event we attended yesterday at another Cleveland Metropark – their Farmpark.  About a 40 minute drive from us, the promise of a “Working Dog” festival (along with it being a working farm) was well worth the drive!  In addition to sled dogs, search & rescue dogs, sheep herding dogs, agility dogs, guide dogs, therapy dogs, and rescue dogs, the horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens were quite entertaining.  There were a lot of hands on activities (you’ll see one below of LL operating on Tigger at a mock animal clinic), I was guided by a Golden Retriever guide dog for the blind, and the kids will tell you the playgrounds in the middle of the park kept us all very entertained!

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Stay tuned for more – and hopefully some updates on our home search so you can come visit!  And since it is Sunday (and I’m way behind on any calling posts), I’ll leave you with a verse:

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“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12.

Amen – have a blessed week!

 

 

 

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Book Review: My Kind of Crazy by Katie O’Sullivan

My Kind of Crazy (click book or see below for description)
By Katie O’Sullivan
Downloaded free on 5/29/14 (released 3/25/14)

Rating: 3 bones

“You might be crazy,” she whispered, “but you’re my kind of crazy.”

Finish Time: 4 nights.  Another Amazon free download.  4 in a row – going back to NetGalley next (or maybe my new Kindle First read!).  This was a cute, entertaining read.  Good summer book, nothing too heavy.  Romance, mystery, weddings, crazy neighbors and dogs, this book has lots to keep it interesting!

Kendall “Ken” recently ended a messy marriage to Chris and has spent her time, and what little money she has, fixing up a B&B in Cape Cod.  It’s getting close to peak season when the story begins and Ken is putting the final touches on her house to open it up to a few booked weddings and hopefully many more.  Surrounded by a great group of friends and other locals, when a new face shows up in town, everyone is talking.

Jon recently had some troubles of his own and retreated to Cape Cod to help with his uncle’s veterinary practice.  Upon seeing Jon with his aunt for the first time, Ken makes some false assumptions, which leads to some humorous first encounters with Jon.  Her friend Dorothy runs an animal shelter and asks Ken to take in a puppy named Midget temporarily.  Also quite humorous, as Midget is a Saint Bernard, and does not fit his name at all.

The story progresses from there with some encounters with her non-dog loving new neighbor, maxed out credit cards, canceled orders, strangers in the backyard, and much more.  Never a dull moment between the developing relationships between Ken & Jon, and Ken & Midget.  A little mystery thrown in, a bit of suspense, make for another nice story.  I toyed between 3-4 stars as I really have no complaints about this book, just really  a nice, sweet, summer book!

Description from Amazon: 

Kendall Roarke is betting everything on making her Harwichport Bed & Breakfast into the premier wedding destination on Cape Cod, despite her recent messy divorce. 

Jonathan Reynolds moved back to the Cape to take over his uncle’s business and start fresh after his own marriage ended. He’s not looking for anything complicated – until he meets Kendall, with her big plans and wild mop of curls. 

Throw an unruly foster puppy and an uptight new neighbor into the mix and things get a little crazy. Now Kendall has to decide if it’s the kind of crazy that she can live with… for the rest of her life.

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1st week in the Midwest!

Hello again from Ohio!  We could not have asked for a prettier week here to get acclimated.  It’s been busy, some fun stuff – some not so fun, but enough to warrant a new blog post for those of you wanting an update!  And I have been reading, actually have finished 3 books since my last review, so hopefully next week I can get some reviews up and get back into Teaser Tuesdays.

From where I left off (see our drive from a week ago here), our first stop, even before unpacking, car dealerships.  With 2 little ones, and not a lot of patience for car salesman, we made one stop to check out the Pathfinder at a local Nissan dealership.  We went in wanting the captain’s chair 2nd row (LIKE a minivan), and although I had read online that this was an optional feature, that was sadly the one feature we did not end up with.  That is okay though, only having 2 kids, we will only need it on special occasions, and this came fully loaded with everything else (including 4×4 which I’ve heard may come in handy during the winter months!) and so much more.  So we can check that box off!

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Next stop – Ohio BMV.  Yes I said B not D (GA friends) – Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  I’m now licensed to drive in Ohio.  Check that off!

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Next stop – find local Chick-fil-A.  Here we are at Westgate Chick-fil-A in Rocky River.  “Taste of Home” as I proclaimed on Facebook!

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Also while in Rocky River, we stopped by Rocky River Park.  Beautiful spot along Lake Erie, complete with a playground!

And another fun playground later in the week, this one complete with a Fire Boat for our LM!
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Even checked off a few places on my “Why they say Cleveland Rocks” post from a few months ago.

We joined the Lake Erie Science and Nature Center.  All their camps for the summer are full – but hoping maybe some spots open up for LL.  (And I love that lizard with his tongue out – keeping that around for when I need a quick smile!!)

The Westside Market.  Picked up some local produce and scoped it out for many future trips!

Some fun around our rental.  Rope swing in front yard, watching a bunny & chipmunks in the backyard, and pulling out some good old college dorm room decorating with posters!

And Crocker Park is a really neat area.  Great restaurants, great shopping, live music and other events, chess sets (regular and giant size), a splash pad, and a train ride!  We checked out the B Spot (by Michael Symon).  Good stuff.  Will be back to this fun area!

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I’ll say it again – great week to be up here, and more to come as it’s only a half-day into our 3-day weekend!  Daddy made it home from work each day for dinner (yay!), so settling into the new normal.  We purchased a new jogging stroller/bike trailer too, which has and will accompany us on many more adventures.  So stay tuned!  (And come visit – we miss family and friends to do all of this with!)

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Happy 1-year Blogiversary to me!

Can it really be 1 year since I started this blog?  Wow, does not seem like that long.  I’ve had my ups and downs, figured a few things out, still working on quite a few others, but most days am glad I have stuck with it.  I wish I had some great, ground-breaking news to share, like I figured it all out, but not yet – probably not ever.  But I have come a long way – see my first post here – My dog-eared purpose.

But I’m okay with that, and I think that is what I am taking away from 2013 and this 1st year of blogging.  I may not have discovered my one “purpose”  and I may not ever, but have figured out a few along the way:

  • My purpose is to raise up my 2 precious children to know, love, and tell others about God.  Through both words and how they act and treat others.  And it’s my job to be a model of this.

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  • My purpose is to be a good, Godly wife.  To support and love my husband unconditionally as he works hard for us and has to make tough choices that aren’t always easy.

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  • My purpose is to love and raise my 3 (mostly) sweet dogs.  To show others that pets are part of a family and should also be treated as such.  And with all animals – to speak for those who cannot.  (Hoping to put more emphasis on this for 2014)

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  • My purpose is to be comfortable in the skin (or clothes) I am in.  I may not be trendy (although I may try to be), I may wear clothes from Target, or last season, but if my family is loved, fed, and cared for, I’m good.  I know God does not care what I look like on the outside and although I do “try” to maintain a good outward appearance to feel good myself, it’s definitely not all that matters.
  • My purpose is NOT to have all the answers.  I want my kids to see I’m not always perfect.  I want them to see me accept blame if something is my fault and not be quick to point fingers at others.  I want them to know mistakes happen, and we need to apologize, try to make it right, learn from it, and move on.  (Still working on this!)
  • And in all these things my purpose is to love God unconditionally, thank Him everyday for the good and bad, and let His light shine through me, my family, and this blog.

I did update my tag-line to “taking it one book, song, and day at a time.”  That is all I can do, I can plan all I want, but things are not always going to go as planned, and although this is hard for me and will take a lot of prayer and disappointment, it’s all I can do to survive.  Life, kids, jobs, circumstances are always changing, but if I stay anchored in my faith with God as my guide, He will give me all that I need.

Lastly, I’ve seen on a lot of blogs and Facebook posts lately people choosing a word to represent their year ahead.  I never outright stated it, but I think my 2013 word was PURPOSE, and my word for 2014 is INTENTIONAL.  To be intentional in all my actions, words, blog posts, whatever.

in·tent : the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose
in·ten·tion·al: done on purpose; deliberate.

So stay tuned for more book reviews, more inspiring songs and verses, more vacations and family fun, more dog posts, and hopefully some surprises!  I have no idea what 2014 has in store, but I can’t wait to find out through being INTENTIONAL and faithful.

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Thanks for stopping by and God Bless your 2014!

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Thankful.

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Happy Thanksgiving!  So many things to be thankful for today and always.  I will keep this short and to the point.  We can celebrate today because we have a God who loves us, cares for us, and wants us to live in HIS glory…FOREVER.

So today I bring out another favorite from Chris Tomlin.  Taken straight from Psalm 106 (read full text here.)

Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, 
for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 106:1

So today I am thankful for God’s love and that personification of love in my life.  Through my husband, kids, dogs, family, friends, and neighbors.  I am thankful for all of you!  God is good and today we get to celebrate that.  May you have a blessed Thanksgiving.  Amen!

This video is especially beautiful as it includes many verses about praising God and celebrating His love.  Enjoy!

And I’ll leave you with the end of Psalm 106 – it ends just as beautifully as it begins:

1-IMG_0731Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!
Psalm 106:48

 

1-IMG_0680And ofcourse I can’t end without a sneak peak at my little Indian from her Thanksgiving feast at school!

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