My Burrow

Growing up there were a number of things that I thought made my home delightful – a wood burner for heat, a porch where our family spent a lot of time, a window by the kitchen sink, and beautiful blue walls.

There were also those things that I thought would make a house optiomal – a washer and dryer in a convenient space like the bathroom, a white wainscot, windows in every room, and smallness… I definitely didn’t want a big house.

When I started praying about one day buying a house, I really wasn’t too specific, because I didn’t have a lot of ideas of what I did or didn’t want. Basically I just prayed that God would provide the right house for me – a house that wasn’t big, but had two bedrooms so I could rent one of them out. A house that was in a safe location near work so I could live there without worrying my parents, plus have renters. A house that didn’t have a lot of remodeling needed in order to make it livable – a bonus would be if I liked the colors of all the walls because painting and I don’t mesh well. And place to park my camper would make my heart happy.

There were a few other things that sat in the back of my mind, but I didn’t really think about them consciously – like how I wanted to be as close to living in the country as I could while still being able to manage the property by myself, having good neighbors, and having a yard. A home with a living area big enough to host company, a kitchen with room for storage, and a tub in the bathroom.

Mostly, I didn’t want to go house hunting. I wanted God – or someone else – to basically drop the home in my lap and I’d buy it. It seemed like a big request, but I knew it wasn’t too big for God, so even though I had no intentions of buying a house any time soon, I began praying about it.

If you would have told me at the beginning of 2020 that I’d move into my absolute dream home that autumn I wouldn’t have known how to respond, but that’s exactly what happened. Everything I’d prayed for, everything I’d imagined, was all wrapped up in one beautiful home and handed to me. I feel blessed, honored, and amazed by it all.

Recently I’ve finally had time to add a few of the personal touches I’ve always dreamed of – white lights around the living room, pictures on the walls, and a clean rug due to finally having a vacuum. I’ve been praying for ages that my home will be a place of peace, a place where people can come and relax, have good conversations, and draw closer to each other and to God.

I call it My Burrow.

This is because whenever I get stressed out I like to imagine being a little bunny safely tucked away in a homey burrow deep underground with soft lighting and cute little gingham curtains… Yes, I did grow up on Peter Rabbit and know it’s not exactly how it works. But it’s delightful imagery and that’s enough for me.

Each day my burrow is feeling more and more like a safe haven of rest. A place where peace presides and joy is felt. I’m thankful for the gifts God has given me, and look forward to being able to bless others through hospitality as the weeks and months of life come and go.

Dreams of Savannah

My little burrow is a peaceful place to be. The first thing I did this morning was clean the ashes out of the wood burner and start a new fire. Later on I cleaned my home, washed the dishes, added white lights around the room, and (finally) put up picture tiles that I ordered in November from my trip out west. Most importantly I mailed my first mortgage check and set up an appointment to get my propane lines checked so the tank can be refilled. In-between that I had my devotions, wrote thank you cards, made leftovers into soup for lunch, took a nap, picked up my new vaccum at the post office, put it together, and swept my living room, finished reading a book, ate chex mix, and my roommate had company over.

January is a bit of a slower pace at work, which is utterly delightful, and I’m finally getting caught up on some things around my house. Also – for the first time in what seems like forever – I’m reviewing a book on it’s actual release date. Wonders never cease, do they?

Find the book on: AmazonGoodreads, or the Author’s Website
Pages: 400
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: Today! (January 5th, 2021)
Title: Dreams of Savannah

About the Book

Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister. 

But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him. Matters of black and white don’t seem so simple anymore to Phin, and despite her best efforts, Delia’s smiles can’t erase all the complications in his life. And when Fort Pulaski falls and the future wavers, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go together.

Why I Choose This Book

Roseanna M. White is a masterful storyteller and has authored several of my favorites. In fact, some years her books are the only ones that hit five stars for me. So, when I saw she had a new release coming, I jumped at the chance of being part of her early release team. (Who doesn’t want to get to tell everyone else about a great new read?)


Like I did with my last review, I’m going to go with the three pros and three cons style review. 

Three Pros: 

  1. I’m always fascinated by creative people who can tell stories out loud. I know that it often goes hand-in-hand with being a writer, but despite enjoying writing, telling stories in person is not one of my fortes. The main character, Delia, enjoys writing and kept her family and friends entertained by telling them wild tales. Having a book about a writer isn’t unique, but I enjoyed the twists Miss Roseanna added to the story by making Delia so thoroughly whimsical without being shallow. So often in historical fiction, whimsical female characters are annoying and unrealistic, but Delia was the perfect balance and that was great. 
  2. Several of the characters had fantastic arcs. And, as a character-driven reader, it was my favorite part of the story to watch them learn and grow. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live in a time when it was commonplace and acceptable to own another human. Miss Roseanna did a good job of showing the main characters grapple with this and slowly begin to see the truth. The secondary characters also had depth that I enjoyed reading about, and although we got to be in their heads a bit, I would have enjoyed being there more. 
  3. As always with Miss Roseanna’s writing, it felt thoroughly researched and I was sucked into the setting. As I read, I was reminded that I’m so thankful I live in a state with all four seasons so I don’t have to live through sweltering Georgian summers – so if any of y’all are having cabin fever maybe you should pick this book up. 😉 

Three Cons:

  1. While I liked the book, it sadly didn’t make it to my favorite’s list. Nothing was wrong with the story, it just didn’t capture me like Miss Roseanna’s tales commonly do. This, very simply, has to do with the period and setting. When I was in my mid-teens I saturated my life with historical fiction that took place during the Civil War. And, while it’s a fantastic time to read about and learn from, I don’t enjoy it as much anymore due to the large volume of books that I’ve read on the subject. So, that means if you like Miss Roseanna’s writing – or just well-written historical fiction in general – then this book would probably be a great one for you to pick up. 
  2. The pacing of the first half of the book was too slow for my tastes. Sometimes slow pacing is just what I’m looking for, but for this story, it didn’t sit as well with me. 
  3. There were certain plot points that I felt have been overdone, but Miss Roseanna did have enough of her own spin on them that it didn’t bother me too much. 

I enjoy Miss Roseanna’s writing. Whenever she has another book come out, I’ll jump at the chance to read it, and I’ll excitedly tell y’all about it. Just because this setting wasn’t my favorite, doesn’t mean it won’t be your favorite, so you should totally check it out. 

As far as content goes, the storyline explores (not in detail) how female slaves were treated unfairly by men. There’s also a man with wrong intentions towards the women in the stories, but again, nothing was shown in great detail. It takes place during a war, so there’s a couple of fighting scenes, sickness, and fear. 


I’m giving Dreams of Savannah 3 out of 5 stars. The author/publisher sent me a complimentary copy of the book so I could review it, but all opinions expressed are mine alone. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for sending me this book!

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at

To Dwell among Cedars

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 368
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: December 1, 2020
Title: To Dwell among Cedars

About The Book

Eight years ago, when the Philistines stole and then surrendered the ark of the covenant back to the Israelites, Eliora left her Philistine homeland to follow the ark to the community of Kiryat Yearim. There, the family she was adopted into has guarded the ark at the top of a mountain in seclusion. 

Ronen is a Levite musician determined to secret away the ark to a more fitting resting place, watched over by priests who would restore the Holy of Holies. He never expected that the Philistine girl he rescued years ago would now be part of the very family he’s tasked to deceive.

As Ronen’s attempts to charm Eliora lead them in unexpected directions, betrayal leaves Eliora with strained family ties and Ronen questioning his own loyalties. Ultimately, Eliora and Ronen are caught up in the battle for the soul of Israel and its future under the leadership of Samuel, the last judge before the era of the kings begins.

Why I Choose This Book

If you’ve been around my blog for any length of time, you’ll know it’s no secret that Connilyn Cossette is my favorite author of Biblical Fiction. Her dedication to details, thoroughly developed characters, exciting plot twists, and delightful writing style keeps me coming back for more. In fact, I’ve had the honor of reviewing every single one of her books as they’ve been released. I talk about her books online a lot, and even more often in real life.

ALSO. OH MY LANDS. Look at that cover! The inside of the book is full of beauty, too. The design team outdid themselves this time.


Not every book can be a favorite, you know? And that’s okay. Just because a book didn’t hit the elusive five-star-rating I was hoping it would, doesn’t mean that it won’t for someone else. (In fact, over on Amazon the book has a 4.8 out of 5-star rating with over 115 reviews – that’s impressive!)

I read the book in one day while on a 72-hour work quarantine due to being exposed to someone who was exposed to someone who tested positive. Ah, the joys of 2020! It took me a total of six and a half hours to read, and although I’m only giving the book a three-star rating, it did make tears come to my eyes at one point, so maybe my rating should be taken with a grain of salt? 

For this review, I’m going to go with 3 Pros and 3 Cons. 

The Pros: 

  1. As always, Connilyn Cossette’s writing style is impeccable. It draws the reader in, paints beautiful pictures, and makes the story world come alive. Her vocabulary is expansive, describing ordinary things in a way that makes me want to look around me more carefully and soak in the nuances of the every-day things surrounding me. 
  2. Arisa, the main character, was my favorite part of the book. I could relate to her thought processes, understand why she lived life the way she did, and longed to simply wrap her up in a hug. She definitely grew on me as the book progressed. The way she cared for her family was my favorite part of the story. 
  3. The story delves into a time in the Bible that we don’t know a lot about. I hadn’t thought much about how the Children of Isreal lived during the early years of Samuel’s life, and although there’s no way to know what actually happened, Connilyn Cossette’s ideas are facinating. 

The Cons: 

  1. My main issue with the book was that I felt there were descrpeinces between the story and the Bible. One of the reasons I’ve always liked Connilyn Cossette’s books so much is because of how well she follows the Biblical account, and in this story that didn’t seem to be the case. Maybe I simply misunderstood? I read the Biblical account several times to see if I was getting it wrong, and I’m still confused. Most of the things were little – like the fact that the Levities were the ones who cleaned up the dead bodies after God struck them for looking in the Ark. But the Old Testiment is very clear that the Levities weren’t supposed to go near dead bodies. I know that probably seems petty, and I could be missing something completely… But there were several instances where something like that happened, and therefore took the rating of the book down for me. 
  2. The story was also a bit slow getting started. Again, that’s perfectly fine, just currently I’m in the mood for fast-paced stories. 
  3. There were a lot of characters who didn’t play a huge part in the story, but were mentioned fairly often (family members, etc…). It was a bit confusing keeping all of them straight. 

This book has less violence and death than some of this author’s other books, although it’s still mentioned. (It is Biblical fiction, after all.) The story is mostly clean and sutiable for mid-to-older teens, as well as adults. 

Although this wasn’t my favorite book of Connilyn Cossette’s, I still enjoyed it and look forward to continuing to read her books as they’re released. I highly recommend her stories, and feel honored to be on her review team.  


I’m giving To Dwell among Cedars 3 out of 5 stars. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author/publisher and wasn’t required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for sending me this book!

i miss my camper

There’s a fine balance between being thankful and being truthful.

Or at least there is for me. And ever since I bought my house last month I’ve been playing a juggling game between the two. See, I am beyond thankful. I’m filled with large amounts of gratitude and thank God daily for my little home. So many people helped make this possible, and I know that moving into my little home was what God had in store for me.

But I also miss my camper. I miss having my own special space where I could reach everything in five steps or less. I miss the uniqueness of my surroundings, and the joy I felt each day at taking care of my under-two-hundred-feet of living space. Everything had a place. I kept everything exactly where it belonged. Life was simple. I was always in control.

A week after moving in to my house last month I unexpectedly had to go out of state for eight days. And during that time my housemate moved in. Then, the day after I got back, my roommate (who I barely knew) moved in. It was a lot to happen all at once, especially since it was the beginning of December which is one of the busiest times where I work, not to mention just a busy time in life in general.

I’m working at learning how to handle change, but it doesn’t always go smoothly like I envision and work towards. Sometimes it’s more like squeezing my eyes shut and jumping out of a plane during a hurricane and hoping I land in one piece. Or at least in big enough pieces that I can be put back together.

Yes, I realize that’s a bit dramatic – but you get the point. Change and I? Well, we’ve become much better acquainted this year and I can’t say that I’m any more fond of Change as I was six months ago. But, I’ve learned that sometimes being fond and being thankful are two different things.

Sometimes (often times) I feel guilty that I miss my camper. I know I have so much to be thankful – and I am thankful. But I’ve also slowly been coming to the conclusion that just because I feel utterly blessed and incredibly thankful for something doesn’t mean that I have to like it better than what I had to give up. I’m a creature of habit. I like routine. I like my own space. I like doing the same thing over and over and over (and over and over and over) again. So having sudden change isn’t easy. But it can be good.

Sometimes I laugh at myself. I laugh at how overwhelming and huge my house seems – coming in at nine-hundred-and-something square feet, it’s not what most people would consider a mansion. I laugh at how much stuff I have to learn. I laugh at how non-handy-man-ish I am. I laugh because laughter is good medicine and if I didn’t laugh then I’d probably cry and we don’t need that.

I’ve been asked so many times how I like my new house and most of the time my response is “I am so thankful for it!” because that’s the truth. I am thankful. And I will continue to be thankful. But thankfulness doesn’t equal easy, and that’s okay. I’m not here on earth for an easy life.

*This post was supposed to be a book review, but obviously that didn’t happen. Ooops.

I Read a Book then Bought a House

Who would have thought a book could change your life? Well, me for one. Because ya know, I’m the poster child for bookworms everywhere. And what bookworm hasn’t had their life changed by a book?

Back in February I read Before I Called You Mine and although I only gave it 3.5 stars the first go-around I thought about it so much that I ended up reviewing it again in August and giving it 4.5 stars. The book is about adoption and prompted me to begin praying about maybe adopting in the future. Logically I knew the first step towards adoption would be to live in a house, because although I could have very happily lived in my little camper for the rest of my life, I didn’t foresee an adoption agency being okay with that.

So in February I began praying about buying a house. You know, sometime in the future. Like two or three years from now. Maybe when I was a bit more mature, had saved a lot more money, and paperwork didn’t competely freak me out any more.

There was one little catch – to say house hunting was the last thing I wanted to do was a misnomer because that implies it was on the list of things I wanted to do – albeit at the bottom. And in reality, it wasn’t even close to being on the list – not one little iota. I’m not sure what my adversion is to house hunting, but I have a strong one. Perhaps it has to do with not liking choices? Or at the sheer magnatude of the decision I’d be making? Or how in the world I’d ever weigh all the pros and cons?

But I had two things going for me. 1) I wasn’t looking to buy a house for several years – I was just praying for the right one at the right time and 2) I have fantastically good friends who do like house hunting. I simply told those friends (Miss Viviann and Hannah) that they could find a house for me to buy and I’d buy it and we’d all be happy. They were thrilled at the prospect, and so I was set.

Then one weekend in September Miss Viviann and Hannah went on vacation. I spend a lot of time with them so I said good-bye to them on Sunday, and they were arriving back home on Tuesday. That meant Monday was the only day they wouldn’t be around. Well, Sunday night/Monday morning I woke up around 2:00 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I randomly started scrolling through Facebook and the second post I saw was on a group I’m a part of with my co-workers:

Somehow, as soon as I saw this, I knew it was my future home. I was shocked since I hadn’t even been thinking of moving for a couple of years. But God’s timing is far beyond my own, and looking back I can see little indicators that God was preparing me for the new house for quite some time. Lying in bed I felt nervous excitment building as I asked God to prepare the way if it was the house He had in store for me. It took me a couple more hours to fall asleep, and when I finally did I dreamed about the house. I woke up late – barely in time to get to work – but called my mom nearly right away. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Mom, I think I found a house to buy. Here’s a link. There’s an open house in two days, can you and Dad maybe come look at it with me?
Mom: I’m sorry honey, we have plans for then.
Me: That’s fine-
Mom: The house looks amazing though, so I just cleared my day and we’ll jump in the car and drive the four hours to look at the house today.
Me: Wow.

So I contacted the seller (who I know, although not exceedingly well) and asked if we could look at the house. He wasn’t available to show it to us, but gave me the key code and answered a few questions I had about it.

Then I went to work and began my tasks for the day although it was really hard to stay focused. When my boss came in I told him what was going on and he said I could leave work as early as I needed in order to look at the house. (He’s the best boss ever.) During this time I was really not sure what I was supposed to feel, because I had never even imagined I would buy a house in 2020.

It was pouring down rain when I left work, drove through curving, winding roads and got my first glimpse of the house. My parents were stuck in traffic and didn’t arrive for a whole hour after me, which gave me time to walk around the house and begin dreaming. I Facetimed my sister who had just moved to Tennessee and showed her around. I told her that I wished I hadn’t arrived before my parents because up until then I hadn’t cared if I could buy the house or not. But, after an hour of sitting in the stillness by myself, I knew I was going to be really sad if my parents didn’t think it was a good fit for me.

Then my parents arrived. And the next thing I knew we were putting an offer on the house. (When I say “we” what I really mean is that my parent’s were doing the talking for me, but I’m the one who was buying the house.) The seller told us that the faster we could get the offer to him in writing the better because the house had been on the market for less than a day by then, and he’d already gotten several offers. He said he had agreed to show it to one more person that evening, and didn’t feel like he could commit to anything until after they’d seen it, but that he would stop showing it after that person.

I was heading to my adopted parent’s house in Ohio that evening because both my families were meeting up for my 28th birthday party the next day. My parent’s headed back to their house in Ohio, with one of them driving and the other one writing up an email proposal to buy the house. Then they sent it to me and I pulled over at a gas station to send it to the seller and inform him I had an offer in writing sent to him.

Thus started many back and forth conversations via text, email, and phone calls that ended after 11:00 pm that night with me sitting at a gas station on a conference all with my parents and the seller. The seller had gotten five offers on the house that day which was mind-blowing to me. In the end we all agreed that the house was so completely what I was looking for that we’d be willing to pay more than what he asked for it in order to buy it.

I was kinda in shock, kinda terrified, and completely surprised.

I had a hand-shake agreement that I was going to buy a house when twenty-one hours before the possibility of buying a house wasn’t something I was even considering doing for a couple more years. But when I stopped to think about it, all the prayers I’d been praying lined up. God wasn’t surprised, and He’d been slowly preparing me for the last eight months for this step.

The next thing to do was to tell Miss Viviann and Hannah that when they’d been gone for two days on vacation I’d gone and bought the house I’d told them they could pick out for me. I arrived at their house Tuesday night after they got home and was like “Hey, um, I bought a house when you were gone.” They were nearly as surprised as I was, but were happy and supportive nonetheless.

Cue the next six weeks of confusion, paperwork, complicated words I’d never heard before, and realizing that buying a house is a lot of hard work. Thankfully I had people who knew what to do who were willing to help me and I’m immensely grateful to my parents and Miss Viviann for all the work they did to help make buying the house a reality.

The Closing date was set. And it came and went along with a huge amount of stress when we were out of contract and issues had arisen (not between the seller and me, but on the paperwork side of things) that made closing on time impossible. During those days I learned a lot about myself and how I deal with things when they’re outside my control and how I need to learn to lean on God better.

And then the day finally came when we were able to close. November 11th arrived along with a lot of my family who had traveled the four hours to celebrate with me, help me move in, and bring a supply of donuts, cotton candy, and sparkly socks.

Now it’s time for me to go to work, so I’ll have to finish this saga another day. So long for now, my friends!

The Right Kind of Fool

This is the first blog post I’m writing from my new house.

Oh yeah. That. I bought a house. I’ll tell y’all about it someday. Hopefully. Because you know, it’s kinda a big deal. It’s also a lot of work, so I’m still chugging away at all that. In the meantime though, here’s a review for you to enjoy.

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 320
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: November 3, 2020
Title: The Right Kind of Fool


Thirteen-year-old Loyal Raines is supposed to stay close to home on a hot summer day in 1934. When he slips away for a quick swim in the river and finds a dead body, he wishes he’d obeyed his mother. The ripples caused by his discovery will impact the town of Beverly, West Virginia, in ways no one could have imagined.

The first person those ripples disturb is Loyal’s absentee father. When Creed Raines realized his infant son was deaf, he headed for the hills, returning only to help meet his family’s basic needs. But when Loyal, now a young teen, stumbles upon a murder it’s his father he runs to tell–shaping the words with his hands. As Creed is pulled into the investigation he discovers that what sets his son apart isn’t his inability to hear but rather his courage. Longing to reclaim the life he abandoned, Creed will have to do more than help solve a murder if he wants to win his family’s hearts again.


Between when I read the back-cover blurb of this book and when I received it I completely forgot what it was about – other than the fact that it took place in West Virginia relatively close to where I grew up in Ohio. Going into a book blind is one of my favorite things, and I was pleasantly surprised by this one. 

The story is in third person and follows the perspectives of all three of the family members (parents and teenage son). The son – Loyal – is the main character. I liked him right away and thought he was brilliantly written. Even though the other characters had depth, the plot was interesting, and the setting was detailed and delightful, Loyal stole the show. 

I’ve had several friends who are deaf, and I’ve read several books that include a deaf character, but never one where the deafness is woven into the story so well. Loyal would have been a solidly written character even without exploring how deafness affected his life, but when you add in that element, I was very impressed. 

The characters all had issues and things they needed to work on, so they felt very real. Each one of the main characters had a solid plot arc which I always deem important in books. 

The plot wasn’t what I considered to be the star of the show, but it was still well-written and felt very true to the era. Nothing that happened surprised me much, but that didn’t detract from the book since the main focus seemed to be on the characters and setting. There was a person murdered in the story (not a spoiler since the back-cover says as much), but there were no gory details. 

I read in another review that the reviewer was confused by the setting and era because it didn’t seem consistent, but having grown up near Beverly, West Virginia it was totally something I could imagine. I thought the author capatured the feel of small-town West Virginia very well and immersed the story in a well-researchd setting. 


My favorite part of the book was how we got to see the world through Loyal’s eyes, as well as watching him and his father reconnect. Although the pace stayed consistant with the era and setting, I did find it to be a bit slow, hence the 3.5 stars rather than 4 stars. 

I would like to read more books by this author in the future. 


I’m giving The Right Kind of Fool 3.5 out of 5 stars. I received a complimentary copy the book from the publishers and wasn’t required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for sending me this book!

1,000 Things for which I’m Thankful

Well, this was supposed to be a list of 1,000 things I was thankful for, but before I knew what was happening I looked down and it was 1,035 things. Because you know what? There is a lot in life to be grateful and praise God for.

It took me two hours and forty-five minutes to compile this list. I wrote it while sitting in my car outside my adopted parent’s (also known as skunk parent’s) house. Papa Skunk has Covid and pneumonia and is in the hospital due to having trouble breathing. Mama Skunk is quarantined at her house so I can’t go inside to be with her, but I didn’t want her to have to be alone so I took some time off work and am staying in my car outside her cabin so she has someone nearby. Thankfully my brother lives nearby so I can sleep as his house.

I’m on day three and the hours get long when there’s nothing to do but sit and wait, and so I started thinking of things I’m thankful for. Normally I write a list of 1,000 things I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving Day, but I figured why not share the list early this year? Because despite everything – or maybe because of everything – I’ve been overwhelmed over and over again this year with how much I have to be thankful for.

Like a job. And a boss who will let me take time off of said job in order to sit in a quarantined way with my mama. And a mama to sit with in the first place. See what I mean? When you start thinking of all there is to be thankful for, then the list just starts growing.

There’s so much I didn’t include on the list – like wheelbarrows and lawnmowers and butterflies and falling leaves and snow and popcorn and… Well, you get the idea. I had to end the list somewhere though, so I just went with the first thousand things that came to mind – very sporadically I might add. There’s no rhyme or reason to the order they’re in, most certainly not in order of importance because that would be impossible.

Also, I’m sure I forgot to mention some exceedingly important things, so there are sure to be some very obvious things not on the list. And, um, I kinda have had some big things in my life happen recently that I haven’t blogged about yet, and those things might be included in this list. Don’t worry though, I plan on catching up with blogging some day.

Despite the worry and sadness, craziness and stress, the odd times and unknowns, I’m exceedingly thankful. God is good even when times are not, and for that, I’m grateful.

Today I’m thankful for…

  1. my family
  2. people who care about each other
  3. small joys that make the world happier
  4. the chance to be happy
  5. the choice to be thankful
  6. having joy even when things are rough
  7. birds
  8. bird feeders
  9. bluejays and how pretty they are
  10. the brilliant colors of cardinals
  11. being able to see colors
  12. being able to see shapes
  13. being able to feel textures
  14. the cozy feeling of wrapping up in a fuzzy blanket with coffee
  15. scones
  16. biscotti
  17. lemon
  18. working fridges
  19. big freezers
  20. food to put in them
  21. coffee
  22. spring water
  23. the ability to taste
  24. money to buy food
  25. a car to keep me warm
  26. heated seats
  27. gas that isn’t incredibly expensive
  28. charger packs
  29. brothers
  30. being able to think and reason
  31. an iPad to borrow
  32. my blog
  33. that in the midst of changes God is still God
  34. white chocolate
  35. Walmarts
  36. the countryside
  37. tall trees
  38. seasons
  39. coziness on cold, rainy days
  40. that I can think and reason
  41. my job
  42. the people who I get to interact with on a daily basis
  43. all the friendships I’ve developed this year
  44. that in the midst of Covid God is still in control
  45. music
  46. my iPhone
  47. a pretty case for my phone
  48. the ability to write
  49. wood to burn
  50. porches
  51. porch swings
  52. rocking chairs
  53. desks
  54. tables
  55. A working chimney
  56. a house of my own
  57. a roommate for said house
  58. a place to live
  59. a place to park my camper
  60. answered prayers
  61. a front porch
  62. flowerbeds
  63. a barn
  64. a yard
  65. nice neighbors
  66. fields next door
  67. the Ohio River just down the street
  68. making memories
  69. Madcap Mondays
  70. people who help with paperwork
  71. that most of the paperwork is done
  72. dreams coming true
  73. a nice living room
  74. my little nook
  75. that I can call my house a burrow
  76. beds
  77. nice mattresses
  78. sheets
  79. closets
  80. shelf space
  81. dressers
  82. a couch
  83. a chair
  84. blue walls
  85. pretty paint
  86. nice trim
  87. not having to redo lots of stuff in my house
  88. wood floors
  89. a rug
  90. a wood burner for heat
  91. enough wood for the whole winter
  92. budgeting
  93. a place to hang pictures
  94. pictures for which to hang
  95. Mom covering the extra window
  96. pretty fabric
  97. bookshelves
  98. books for the shelves
  99. people helping me move
  100. people helping me set up my house
  101. red dishes
  102. clean counters
  103. a hot water tank
  104. a working water pump
  105. a well
  106. running water
  107. not having to winterize my house
  108. a washer and dryer
  109. a bathroom
  110. a bathtub
  111. a beautiful sink and mirror
  112. keeping my camper close by
  113. being organized
  114. that I went through my stuff several years ago and so don’t have as much any more
  115. that I’m learning what is excess and what is helpful to have
  116. that I can cook on a full-size stove
  117. that I have people to cook for
  118. that I can afford to buy healthy food to eat
  119. that I enjoy cooking
  120. that I enjoy most healthy foods
  121. that I can splurge and eat food that isn’t the healthiest but is yummy
  122. for all the new foods I’ve discovered how to cook this year
  123. MeaLime
  124. this year
  125. being able to help my family move
  126. spending good time with siblings
  127. getting to stay with my oldest sister for a month
  128. helping my oldest sister
  129. being able to bless others while I was laid off during the spring
  130. getting to know young nieces and nephews better
  131. having good conversations with older nieces and nephews
  132. making memories with nieces and nephews
  133. connect four
  134. red headed woodpeckers
  135. milking goats – and not having my own goat to milk
  136. warm and cozy blankets
  137. fuzzy socks
  138. sparkly socks
  139. people who know how much socks mean to me and give them to me
  140. cotton candy
  141. eating cotton candy late at night with people
  142. Christmas music
  143. Christmas decorations
  144. pretty books
  145. vibrant colors
  146. being able to see
  147. being able to hear
  148. being able to touch
  149. hugs
  150. holding small children
  151. a new nephew
  152. nice names
  153. answers to prayer
  154. being able to pray
  155. knowing God listens
  156. serving an all-powerful God
  157. being on the right side of the battle
  158. knowing what the ultimate outcome is
  159. knowing other people who also serve God
  160. knowing that I can make a difference for eternity
  161. clean clothes
  162. warm sweatshirts
  163. love
  164. joy
  165. happiness
  166. squirrels
  167. the range of emotions I can feel
  168. that I grew up in a family that encouraged emotions, but also truth
  169. that truth doesn’t change
  170. that I can know what truth is
  171. that I can read the Bible
  172. having a Bible
  173. having an audio Bible on my phone
  174. All the apps I can use as tools
  175. spellcheck
  176. trees
  177. fences
  178. blue skies
  179. gray skies
  180. clouds
  181. science
  182. that we can learn and grow
  183. that we live in a time and age when we know how things work
  184. history
  185. learning from history
  186. historical fiction
  187. fiction in general
  188. nonfiction
  189. being able to learn from books
  190. growing up in a family that encouraged reading
  191. enjoying reading
  192. the eyesight to read well
  193. glasses
  194. glasses lasting for a long time
  195. babies!
  196. laughter
  197. listening to children
  198. reading to children
  199. having good relationships with nieces and nephews
  200. emails from nieces
  201. Facetiming with nieces
  202. sisters
  203. sister-in-laws
  204. a good relationship with my grandma
  205. visiting my grandma
  206. playing games with Grandma
  207. Grandma’s 90th birthday
  208. growing up with grandparents in my life
  209. numbers
  210. being able to count and do math
  211. that even though numbers get mixed up in my brain, I can still work with them
  212. knowing how to spell, hard though it may be at times
  213. being creative
  214. growing up in a family that encourages creativity
  215. puzzles
  216. working on puzzles with Grandma
  217. playing cards with my family
  218. my dad playing an active part in raising us kids
  219. growing up in a big family
  220. having a stay-at-home mom
  221. being homeschooled
  222. having parents who cared enough to keep going to doctors until we found out I had Lyme disease as a teenager
  223. being able to fight the Lyme disease
  224. how healthy I am today
  225. that I am continually getting better
  226. that I have so much energy
  227. my job
  228. that I can do work that suites me so well
  229. that my work is so rewarding
  230. that I have so much fun working
  231. how many people I know at work
  232. that I get to do uniforms at work
  233. that there are other people who can take my place when I’m gone
  234. that I can be with my skunk parents right now
  235. that I have a family who’s willing to drive to give me stuff
  236. that there are people praying for my skunk papa
  237. that I have people in my life who will embrace my craziness
  238. that I can caw at people at work and they take it in stride
  239. that when I caw at some people at work they bark back
  240. Christmas decorations
  241. Thanksgiving decorations
  242. that I have a house I can decorate
  243. that I can put red ribbons places
  244. candles
  245. curry
  246. smelling yummy food
  247. that I still have a job
  248. that my job reopened
  249. that the Museum still has people coming to it
  250. that people get to learn more about God and His amazing-ness
  251. that God is all-powerful
  252. that God cares about me
  253. smiley faces
  254. being able to keep in touch with people through texting
  255. that I have people I want to keep in touch with
  256. that I know how to type
  257. candy
  258. pizza
  259. being whimsical
  260. jumping in the Ohio River when it’s cold
  261. having people care about my safety
  262. warm dresses
  263. Spotify
  264. holidays
  265. rocks
  266. pens
  267. smooth pens that glide over paper
  268. journals
  269. prayer journals
  270. my dream-come-true trip out west
  271. getting to vlog about the trip out west
  272. that Logan and Johanna came with me
  273. that our parents let us take the RV
  274. that after 19 years of dreaming the trip happened
  275. that there weren’t a lot of restrictions when we went on the trip
  276. that I can always have those memories
  277. Yellowstone!
  278. that we used Google Maps
  279. that we did all our own cooking
  280. being able to shop along the way
  281. what I learned on the trip
  282. how I grew on the trip
  283. good sibling time
  284. being able to watch online church while far away
  285. having a church I really like
  286. learning to having a new church in Kentucky
  287. moving to Kentucky for good
  288. car seats that are comfortable to sit in
  289. following the Oregon Trail
  290. learning how to spell Oregon after years of trying
  291. how long 3 weeks felt on our trip
  292. not getting bit by rattlesnakes
  293. seeing a rattlesnake
  294. seeing bears
  295. seeing moose
  296. seeing foxes
  297. seeing lots of buffalo
  298. all the other wildlife
  299. cool mountain air
  300. seeing snow
  301. lovely sunsets
  302. drone shots
  303. playing games with Johanna
  304. French toast in Montana
  305. camping by a big creek
  306. driving across ALL of Montana
  307. Wyoming
  308. how different places look so different
  309. the Badlands of SD
  310. getting to see where Laura Ingalls lived
  311. touching the real school she attended
  312. seeing Mount Rushmore
  313. visiting museums
  314. walking on the Oregon Trail
  315. Riding Lightening on the Oregon Trail
  316. driving through Oregon
  317. driving through Washington
  318. driving the RV, but not for long
  319. having a picnic in the middle of the road
  320. postcards
  321. humus
  322. carrots
  323. pretend horses
  324. an imagination
  325. water
  326. apple cider
  327. egg nog
  328. ice
  329. sweet tea
  330. gas stations
  331. campfires
  332. camping out
  333. tipi´s
  334. all the new states I got to visit
  335. the dream of someday living out west
  336. dunking in the Ocean when we reached the coast
  337. marking so many things off my dream list
  338. being able to dream in the first place
  339. living in a family that encourages dreaming
  340. that the RV never broke down
  341. getting to finally visit Kaitlyn even if I didn’t surprise her
  342. having friends all over the place
  343. getting to see Tim and Meagan and the kids
  344. that I live in place where it’s easy to breathe
  345. beautiful mountain views
  346. open plains
  347. TRAVEL
  348. being home
  349. Logan meeting his future wife on the trip
  350. getting to spend time with the Smith’s
  351. long four-wheel rides with the setting sun
  352. how beautiful the sunsets were
  353. being a morning person
  354. spending time with God before others woke up
  355. learning to be more chill
  356. doing the dishes with ease since I was used to heating water
  357. having a bathroom on the move
  358. painting
  359. watercolors that are pretty
  360. maps
  361. the notebook Dad helped me do
  362. Idaho!
  363. Finding out how different various states are
  364. crossing several more states off my list
  365. the Smith girls taking me to Kansas
  366. a keyboard that works
  367. that I was able to go on my dream trip before buying a house
  368. all the travel I´ve gotten to do during my life
  369. the cultures I´ve gotten to see
  370. having a blog, even though I don´t blog much currently
  371. cats
  372. dogs
  373. kittens
  374. puppies
  375. not having any pets currently
  376. knowing I can get a kitten if I want
  377. freedom
  378. the ability to make choices that are good
  379. my team at work
  380. Allen
  381. Alex
  382. Autumn
  383. Livviya
  384. Landis
  385. Elizabeth
  386. Niki
  387. Roger
  388. my coworkers
  389. Rebeccah
  390. Miss Viviann
  391. Hannah
  392. Mark
  393. Bekah
  394. Sharon
  395. Johnny B.
  396. Candy
  397. Liz
  398. Hannah
  399. Yvonne
  400. Danielle
  401. Laura
  402. Lori
  403. Deborah
  404. Chris
  405. Connor
  406. Kayla
  407. Mike
  408. Mason
  409. Jessica
  410. Katie
  411. Laurie
  412. Caleb
  413. Kirsten
  414. Andy
  415. Sherrie
  416. Samuel
  417. Samuel
  418. Miss Betty
  419. Zack
  420. Miss Valerie
  421. Rose
  422. Brittney
  423. Faith
  424. Grace
  425. Kathryn
  426. Arielle
  427. Kori
  428. Anna
  429. Scott
  430. Ronda
  431. Felicia
  432. Ryan
  433. Hezekiah
  434. Hannah
  435. Isabella
  436. Noah
  437. Isaiah
  438. Ethan
  439. Ethan
  440. Jason
  441. Mr. Carlson
  442. Tom
  443. Thomas
  444. Naomi
  445. Naomi
  446. Julie
  447. Heather
  448. Celeste
  449. Esther
  450. Jonathan
  451. Zane
  452. Judy
  453. Carol
  454. Andrew
  455. Paul
  456. Paul
  457. Tiffany
  458. Joe
  459. Mr. Boone
  460. Carlotta
  461. Ryan
  462. Ben
  463. Ben
  464. Sarge
  465. Bill
  466. Joe
  467. Matt
  468. Darcy
  469. Heidi
  470. Olivia
  471. Stephen
  472. Gary
  473. Gordon
  474. Heather
  475. Matthew
  476. Geneva
  477. Ben
  478. Jim
  479. Danette
  480. Leanne
  481. Leighann
  482. Suzy
  483. Caleb
  484. Barbara
  485. Ernest
  486. Tim
  487. Faith
  488. Rebekah
  489. Gary
  490. Les
  491. Stan
  492. Henry
  493. John
  494. Jonathan
  495. Brandon
  496. Nathaniel
  497. David
  498. Karen
  499. Vanessa
  500. Elizabeth
  501. Chloe
  502. Diana
  503. Rosemary
  504. Jerry
  505. Frances
  506. Mary
  507. Quinn
  508. Cheryl
  509. Haley
  510. Bethany
  511. Mandy
  512. Adam
  513. little babies on the way
  514. Kyle
  515. Dustin
  516. Mr. Ken
  517. the Creation Museum
  518. the Ark Encounter
  519. AiG
  520. Susan
  521. our friendship
  522. being able to visit comfortably
  523. that even when we can’t do much together, we always reconnect easily
  524. Josiah
  525. Amelia
  526. Tiber
  527. the baby
  528. Kathryn letting me cook for he
  529. Kathryn’s sweetness
  530. Cody and Lucy
  531. them selling to me
  532. them working with me even when out of contract
  533. people I haven’t seen in ever helping my family move my stuff
  534. trucks and vans
  535. Katie giving me her bed
  536. David and Sarah going with me to pick up the bed
  537. getting my house set up so much
  538. Mom making the sound-bouncy-thing so pretty
  539. accordion doors
  540. piano players
  541. cute little rodents
  542. reading books to little children
  543. the ability to smile
  544. I Saw That cards at work
  545. Marta
  546. Bruce and Bonnie
  547. Joie
  548. Justice
  549. Madalyn
  550. Su
  551. the variety in my job
  552. having my own office
  553. having a work computer
  554. staff meetings
  555. team meetings
  556. how much I love working with my team
  557. being able to help people all day long
  558. all the friendships I´ve developed at work
  559. how much the people at work mean to me
  560. having time at work go so fast
  561. getting to work full-time
  562. having energy to do so much
  563. the War Room
  564. things staying more clean at work
  565. laughter at work
  566. group projects
  567. working with people who really care
  568. having a life outside of work
  569. Rebeccah being in my life
  570. coffee at Rebeccah´s
  571. reading books with Rebeccah
  572. having someone who will borrow and read my books
  573. hearing Rebeccah´s opinion of my books
  574. Rebeccah´s perspective and point of view
  575. Rebeccah´s generosity and observations
  576. Rebeccah´s hospitality
  577. Rebeccah´s yummy food
  578. Rebeccah being a good balance in my life
  579. Rebeccah pointing out things to me
  580. taco nights at her house
  581. staying up late and talking
  582. getting coffee and going to the park
  583. her being willing to do the driving
  584. game nights with Rebeccah and Allen and family
  585. that Hannah comes along now
  586. Allen´s kindness to all the people who he meets
  587. Allen´s determination to help me have a life
  588. Allen giving gifts
  589. Allen making people feel welcomed
  590. Allen taking care of everyone
  591. Allen showing us how things should be done
  592. the Carlson´s
  593. texting with Miss Viviann during quarantine
  594. getting to know Hannah
  595. Hannah´s way of helping me understand myself better
  596. the way Hannah listens
  597. Hannah being there when I need someone
  598. Hannah´s sense of humor
  599. Hannah being willing to try crazy things with me
  600. Hannah´s voice of reason
  601. Hannah being a steady presence in
  602. having the Carlson´s house be my second home
  603. all the help Miss Viviann was when I was buying my house
  604. how I can simply be at the Carlson´s
  605. Miss Viviann´s being willing to make phone calls
  606. our deep conversations
  607. the way we relate to each other
  608. her office being a safe place
  609. that she thinks I´m funny
  610. reading in her office
  611. our friendship
  612. How much I’ve learned from her
  613. the way she checks on me
  614. her welcoming me into her life
  615. her desire to learn and grow
  616. how much she cares for people
  617. that we get to work together
  618. that we like the same kind of foods
  619. salt
  620. tofu
  621. soy sauce
  622. hash
  623. bread
  624. mashed potatoes
  625. vegan sausages
  626. hard boiled eggs
  627. CJ
  628. CJ´s generosity with music
  629. the way he makes people feel included
  630. his hard work at his job
  631. the way he dreams big
  632. having lunch with Miss Viviann and Hannah
  633. Hannah working at the museum!
  634. how quickly friendships develop in the right atmosphere
  635. that this year had the right atmosphere
  636. that I really have people who mean a lot to me
  637. that I can count on the people in my life
  638. that I can do things that bless those in my life
  639. late nights of talking
  640. being welcome in other people´s houses
  641. chipmunks
  642. granola bars
  643. loan offices
  644. signing papers
  645. Johanna taking pictures
  646. Johanna´s craziness
  647. Johanna´s love for others
  648. Johanna in general
  649. All I´ve learned from Johanna
  650. how trendy Johanna is
  651. Johanna´s health getting better
  652. Mariah
  653. Mariah living her dream
  654. Mariah having such cute children
  655. Mariah making the most of life
  656. Mariah being able to have people over to her house
  657. Mariah´s kindness
  658. Mariah´s clean style
  659. Leo
  660. Leo´s coffee business
  661. Leo taking good care of his family
  662. Leo caring about others
  663. good talks with Mariah and Leo
  664. cuddling Charlette and Charles
  665. getting to see Charles when he was just a day old
  666. how darling the Charlies are
  667. that the Charlies can grow up surrounded by so much love
  668. Betsie
  669. Her new baby
  670. Regaining her health
  671. the sweet way she handles children´s shenanigans
  672. her calm spirit
  673. her joy in the Lord
  674. Gordon
  675. how he provides for his family
  676. how he leads his family
  677. Elisabeth
  678. how she´s getting her heath back
  679. how good she is at being a big sister
  680. her joy in the Lord
  681. her sewing abilities
  682. her cheerful personality
  683. Susanna
  684. the way she embraces life
  685. her happiness with little things
  686. how she likes to write
  687. that we have so much in common
  688. her artful ways
  689. the way her parents encourage her art
  690. Samuel
  691. his mature way
  692. how he likes working with his hands
  693. his ability to work hard
  694. his creativity
  695. Isaiah
  696. his spunk
  697. his love for others
  698. his soft heart
  699. his fun grin
  700. his joy at living
  701. Faith
  702. the friendship we have
  703. how she sees so seriously
  704. her desire to be a help
  705. the person she´s going to grow up to be
  706. Mercy
  707. her craziness
  708. how she enjoys life
  709. her jump in feet first personality
  710. how she likes the outdoors
  711. the mischievousness in her eyes
  712. Roy
  713. his sweetness
  714. how he gets included
  715. the way he explains things
  716. his soft heart
  717. his excitement for life
  718. Marian
  719. her adorable
  720. the way she tells stories
  721. how she acts so grown up, but so little at the same time
  722. all the times she made me laugh
  723. her big sisterish actions
  724. Naomi
  725. that she´s such a happy child
  726. her pleasant personality
  727. her cuddles
  728. her contentment in life
  729. her being in the family
  730. Noah
  731. that he was born
  732. that he has his whole life ahead of him
  733. that God has a plan for his life
  734. that he´s got a good name
  735. Tim
  736. his helpfulness
  737. his love for his family
  738. his love for God
  739. his sense of adventure
  740. Meagan
  741. how she´s a good mom
  742. how she cares for others
  743. her steady way
  744. her patience with her children
  745. Kenzie
  746. how shés such a Howe
  747. her sweetness
  748. her love for others
  749. her outgoing personality
  750. Titus
  751. his kindness
  752. his sweet heart
  753. the way he feels deeply
  754. how he will help others in life
  755. Emma
  756. how she relates to others
  757. her quiet personality
  758. how she balances out others in her family
  759. how spunky and creative she is
  760. her thoughtful way
  761. Lucas
  762. how he´s so cute
  763. his place in our family
  764. the plans God has for him
  765. all he´s learning
  766. Logan
  767. that he went out West with me
  768. that this year his dreams came true
  769. his generosity
  770. his way of loving well
  771. him sharing his house with people
  772. the friendships he has
  773. how he´s learning and growing
  774. that he moved my camper
  775. Whit
  776. that I get a new sister
  777. that shés so kind
  778. how much we all already like her
  779. that shés going to fit into our family so well
  780. David
  781. how much help he always is
  782. that he winterized my camper
  783. his help around the house
  784. that when I need help I know I can call him first
  785. his knowledge
  786. his love for others
  787. how good of a dad he is
  788. how cute he and Sarah are together
  789. Sarah
  790. that I get to have her in my life
  791. our FaceTime coffee chats
  792. that we can stay close even while we live far away
  793. how we can share with each other
  794. that she can come visit me, and I can visit her
  795. how creative she is
  796. how pretty her art is
  797. that even as an adult and busy mom she hasn´t lost her curiosity and wonder
  798. Clara
  799. how kind and sweet she is
  800. her loving personality
  801. how smart she is
  802. how she cares so well for others
  803. how amazing she is at being a big sister
  804. the way she notices and helps
  805. Katey
  806. how she´s grown so much
  807. her observations
  808. the way she puts her thoughts into words
  809. that she likes books and quietness
  810. how content she is to do her own thing quietly
  811. what Ive been able to learn by watching her
  812. Helena
  813. that we only live two hours away from each other now
  814. that even though we are both busy we make it a point to stay in each other’s lives
  815. that she loves well
  816. that she´s living her life and digging roots deep
  817. all the influence she´s had on my life
  818. that she finds joy in little things
  819. Joshua
  820. his generous nature
  821. the way he takes care of his wife
  822. his steadying presence
  823. his eagerness to be a part of the family activities
  824. his kindness and thoughtfulness
  825. Moses
  826. that he´s my buddy
  827. all I´ve gotten to learn from him
  828. how he seeks God´s wisdom
  829. all he does for others
  830. how kind and sweet he is
  831. how he´s such a hard worker
  832. how dedicated he is to his school
  833. the cool things he tells me about
  834. playing games with him
  835. him adding so much to my life
  836. Mom
  837. how shés willing to do so much to help her family
  838. all the caring she´s done over the years
  839. that she´s doing so well after her wreck last year
  840. the huge help she was with me buying a house and moving
  841. how supportive she is
  842. her shopping for household stuff for me and with me
  843. her knowledge of sewing
  844. how she raised us kids
  845. having coffee with her
  846. all the good memories I have of growing up
  847. Dad
  848. the way he´s taught all of us to be generous
  849. how he´s played such a huge part in all of our lives
  850. how good he is at quality time
  851. how he´s helped us live our dreams
  852. that he gives such good advice
  853. how he loves God
  854. how he teaches each of us to have relationship with God
  855. the value both my parents put on spending time reading the Bible and praying daily
  856. how my parents have invested so much in my health
  857. Hosanna
  858. getting to video chat with Hosanna
  859. how well Hosanna knows me
  860. Hosanna making me laugh
  861. the way Hosanna and I relate to each other
  862. her job with children
  863. how well she knows how to take care of babies
  864. all the growing up we´ve done together
  865. Melody
  866. the way she makes my life better whenever I see her
  867. that I can be included in her life
  868. that we´ve known each other for so long
  869. all the inside jokes we girls have
  870. all we´ve experienced together
  871. Phil
  872. the way he´s not afraid to be real
  873. his accents
  874. his way of helping others grow
  875. how he wants to grow
  876. his steadiness at being a friend
  877. James
  878. Dorcas
  879. Daniel
  880. Ben
  881. him helping me have a credit score
  882. him always being so supportive and excited about life changes
  883. the way his life is changing and flourishing
  884. Nate
  885. Leanne
  886. Steve
  887. Uncle Zane
  888. Aunt Denise
  889. Zane
  890. Zack
  891. Alexa
  892. Zach
  893. Jackson
  894. Aubrey
  895. how we can work on goals together
  896. how we´ve helped each other stay focused in life
  897. the creativity we share
  898. how both our lives have changed a lot
  899. That we can support each other as we chase our dreams
  900. that we have dreams
  901. that we live in a country where we can have dreams
  902. that goal setting is something we both have in our nature
  903. Zeb
  904. Zeke
  905. Katey
  906. Zion
  907. Annie
  908. Abbie
  909. Uncle Matt
  910. Aunt Lori
  911. Megan
  912. Liz
  913. Olivia
  914. Uncle Chet
  915. Aunt Becca
  916. Jesse
  917. Susie
  918. Uncle Nick
  919. Aunt Angie
  920. Isaiah
  921. Isaac
  922. Inika
  923. Ilijah
  924. Uncle Dan
  925. Aunt Cindy
  926. Uncle Dean
  927. Nathan
  928. Eleonore
  929. all the years with Grandpa
  930. that Grandpa isn´t suffering any more
  931. that we all got a chance to say goodbye to Grandpa last year
  932. rolling hills
  933. woods
  934. streams
  935. oceans
  936. rivers
  937. National Parks
  938. glaciers
  939. Alaska and how I still want to go there some day
  940. Papa Skunk
  941. that he can be in the hospital
  942. that he´s getting better
  943. that he has people caring for him and people praying
  944. Mama Skunk
  945. how well she´s feeling
  946. that I can be here with her
  947. that she is trusting in God and not letting things pull her down
  948. that she loves so well
  949. that her life makes a difference
  950. how Papa and Mama do so much for me
  951. Pastor
  952. Miss Laurie
  953. Nicole
  954. Jamie
  955. Joshua
  956. Bell
  957. Dave and Becky
  958. Sophie
  959. Natalie
  960. Shayla
  961. Heidi
  962. Dakota
  963. Brook
  964. Taylor
  965. Lily
  966. Connor
  967. RJ
  968. all my children´s church children
  969. Garrett
  970. Kilmney
  971. Raquel
  972. Daniel
  973. Sophie
  974. Chapman´s Coffee House
  975. getting to work there for a day
  976. How much I get to walk at my current job
  977. how I get to know so many people at my job
  978. the interactions I get to have with my coworkers
  979. how I get to meet people from all over the world
  980. the way we get to share God´s truth with people from so many backgrounds
  981. How good of a leader Roger is
  982. that I can work directly for Roger
  983. that Roger really cares about the people at the Museum and wants to help them live life well
  984. the balance Roger provides
  985. Cayle
  986. nicknames
  987. that I get to work with Alex
  988. how Alex does such a good job in growing each of us
  989. the leadership qualities I’ve learned from Alex
  990. the way our team has grown so close this year
  991. the friendships I’ve developed while working
  992. how time goes so fast at work
  993. the books I’ve read this year
  994. that I can still review books, despite how much my life has changed
  995. Biblical fiction
  996. Connilyn Cossette
  997. Roseanna M. White
  998. Stephanie Morrill
  999. Sarah Loudin Thomas
  1000. learning from other people’s perspectives
  1001. finding out about my personality and how I can harness the good and change the bad
  1002. that I don’t have to go house hunting
  1003. that God provided the perfect house for me so I never had to go house hunting
  1004. how God’s timing work
  1005. That God puts people in my life at the right time
  1006. that I can be a blessing to others because of the gifts God has given me
  1007. That I can drive
  1008. that I now know how to drive through traffic
  1009. Youtube
  1010. Instagram
  1011. what I’ve been able to learn online
  1012. the Youtube videos I made this year and how fun they were
  1013. that I get to learn and grow each day
  1014. log cabins
  1015. brick houses
  1016. good roads to travel on
  1017. living in this era, even though the olden days would have been cool
  1018. how good this year has been despite everything
  1019. that my friendship with the Carlson’s and Rebeccah has florished
  1020. Bible Study
  1021. the Bible Study girls
  1022. Kayla and Connor asking me to be their flower girl
  1023. Connor and Kayla getting married soon
  1024. huggers
  1025. getting huggers as gifts
  1026. Homer
  1027. Amelia
  1028. Emily
  1029. Novel
  1030. that I had pets growing up
  1031. that I have such good memories of my childhood (not only are they happy, but also that they’re clear)
  1032. for adventures – little though they may be
  1033. driving around to look at barns
  1034. learning to understand people
  1035. that crazy though I am, I still have people who understand me

A Gilded Lady

It’s Saturday. Normally my “Saturday” is any random day during the week since I work a lot of weekend days at my job, but this week I really DO have Saturday off.

I started off the day languidly – I spent the night at a friend’s house, woke up around 7:00, listened to a devotional with her then headed back to my camper. After having my own devotions (and trying to warm up my 32 degree camper) I cleaned my camper, made plans with my sister, and then sat down to blog.

What does your Saturday look like?

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 368
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Title: A Gilded Lady


Caroline Delacroix is at the pinnacle of Washington high society in her role as secretary to the first lady of the United States. But beneath the facade of her beauty, glamorous wardrobe, and dazzling personality, she’s hiding a terrible secret. If she cannot untangle a web of foreign espionage, her brother will face execution for treason. 

Nathaniel Trask is the newly appointed head of the president’s Secret Service team. He is immediately suspicious of Caroline despite his overwhelming attraction to her quick wit and undeniable charm. Desperate to keep the president protected, Nathaniel must battle to keep his focus fully on his job as the threat to the president rises. 

Amid the glamorous pageantry of Gilded Age Washington, DC, Caroline and Nathaniel will face adventure, danger, and heartbreak in a race against time that will span the continent and the depth of human emotion.


I read this book back in March and promptly forgot that I had received it for review. (I get a lot of ebooks from library apps like Overdrive and Hoopla, and thought this was one of those books.) I realized recently that A Gilded Lady was for review, so I get to treat y’all with my thoughts regarding this story which makes me happy because I enjoyed it immensely. 

History is something I’ve always found fascinating, but I have huge gaps in what periods of history I’m familiar with. Obviously, I studied President McKinley at some point during school, but it wasn’t until I started reading this story that I realized how little I knew about his life. In fact, other than the fact that he was president, I couldn’t have told you anything else. 

As usual, while reading a historical fiction book I didn’t do any research regarding the period of history because I didn’t want spoilers. Therefore, I was basically on the edge of my seat at times, trying to figure out what was going to happen next and how everything would end. I was caught off guard a lot with this book. If you’re familiar with the president (like I should have been) then you know the basics of the story, but if you’re not, then there are several plot twists that I didn’t see coming. The book was fantastic, the plot moved along at the perfect pace, the characters were fleshed-out, and the writing was superb. 

Generally, I have a pretty good memory for what annoyed me in a book, even months after reading it. But, in this case, I don’t recall anything negative. I know I didn’t like the main character very much because I felt like she went about solving her problem in the wrong way, but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book because the character was still so complex and multi-layered and captivating. 

Learning about Ida McKinley was exceedingly interesting. I had no clue that one of our First Ladies had such a personality, and reading about all the ways the main character covered for her to help keep everything running smoothly was both funny and eye-opening. 

Having the main male character be the head of the Secret Service – right when the Secret Service was beginning – was so cool. I learned so much while reading from his perspective. I also enjoyed him as a character and could relate to him a lot more than I could to the main female character. 

This book was so engaging and interesting that as soon as I finished it I read the first book in the series (this is the second). The third book doesn’t release until early in 2021, but I’m looking forward to reading it when it comes out.  


Since it’s been a while since I read this book I don’t remember if it had any questionable content, but as far as the story and writing goes I enjoyed it a lot. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of my next re-reads. 


I’m giving A Gilded Lady 4 out of 5 stars. NetGalley gave me an ebook copy so I could review it for y’all. I wasn’t required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. Thanks, NetGalley!

The Ability to Control

It’s 6:03 and I have three of the four burners on my stove powering on high – because that’s what happens when you aren’t quite sure how long to cook things in your crockpot and the split pea and rice soup you made last night and intended to share today turns to a syurpy goop.

Yesterday was a cool, gray, autumn day – the kind of day that is perfect for curling up with a book and hot drink. Or, in my case to run around in the drizzle taking umbrellas to guests who were caught in the wetness at the museum where I work.

At one point I was standing by the gate under a big umbrella when a couple of teenage kids walked up. The boy and I engaged in a moment of conversation about the weather and he commented about how wet he was. Then as he walked past me I saw that the backpack he was wearing had a sports drink in the mesh pocket. The drink was on it’s side and the lid must not have been on correctly because it was gushing liquid down his back. I quickly called his attention to the fact, and he was completely surprised as he remedied the situation. The amusing part of the whole situation is that I don’t think he realized – even after closing the lid – that the drink was all over his back.

The interaction stayed with me all day. The boy and I had been talking about how wet it was – referring to the rain, something neither of us could control. Yet in reality, the main reason the boy was getting soaked with due to something completely within his power to stop.

And it made me wonder how often do I do that? How often do I simply write something off as being natural and not within my ability to influence when I really could have a say in the matter? So much of what we do is driven by habits we subconsciously have put in place in our lives. What could I be changing to make my life better, more impactful, more in-line with who God created me to be?

The boy yesterday couldn’t see his drink spilling all over his back, but from my perspective it was so obvious. What am I missing because I’m not asking other people to share their perspective and wisdom with me? What am I allowing in my life because I’m set in my ways and not open to changing?

In Proverbs 11:14 it says that In a multitude of counselors there is safety. I want to make sure that my life is characterized by allowing other people to let me know where I need to learn and grow. I want to be the kind of person who not only responds humbly when corrected, but who actually goes and asks for feedback from people who know me best, or work with me often.

It’s 6:21 now and the lunch on my stove has finished cooking. I have a couple sips of coffee left, my house in need of a two minute straightening, and then I’m off to work. Have a blessed day, y’all!

A Portrait of Loyalty {a fantastic end to a series}

People! YAY! I get to share another book review with y’all – but unlike the last few where I felt slightly lackadaisical, this book is a for-sure winner for me.

This is the third book in The Codebreaker Series, and if you feel inclined you can read the reviews for the first two books here and here. (I really like this series, just so you know.) If you’ve read any of these books – or the Shadows Over London series – you should let me know in the comments so we can chat!

And now, for the review:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 384
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Title: A Portrait of Loyalty


Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon’s loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple’s future dreams–it becomes a matter of ending the war.


This is the third and final book in the series, so I went into it with excitement as I’d been awaiting the story for a long time. I’m pretty picky with my series endings, and they quite often disappoint me, so I was a little bit nervous to pick up the book and dive in. Recently I’ve not been in a readerly mood, so most of the books I’ve read in the last few months have fallen short of my expectations, so I was also a little worried. 

Then I started reading. And, Roseanna M. White did it again – she wrote a book that was delightful, fully immersive, had complex characters, and a plot that kept me wanting to read. 

Due to life being really busy I had to read the book throughout a couple of weeks, but it’s the kind of story I could have easily swallowed in one sitting. Every time I picked the book up I was sucked back into the story, eagerly anticipating what would happen next. 

Although the storyline was very interesting, it wasn’t exceedingly fast, which means I was able to get to know the characters and really delve into the time period, instead of just wanting to flip pages as fast as possible. The plot covered the topic of propaganda and (essentially) photoshopping photographs which is something I didn’t realize was happening back during the first World War. That was interesting to read about, and the author did a great job explaining it in an easy-to-understand way that also just blended into the story. 

The characters were ones I enjoyed reading about. I especially enjoyed watching Lily (the main female character) and her sister, Ivy, interacting. I’m one of five sisters and reading a book that correctly portrays a good sister relationship makes me happy. Their bond was so deep and even amid war, they were able to find joy and laughter together. 

While we get to watch Lily and her sister’s relationship, we also get that with Zivon (the main male character) and his brother. (Which is funny because I didn’t realize until just now how the stories parallel each other.) Zivon spends a good portion of the book trying to find his brother – who he’s not even sure is still alive – and we get to see how much he loves his brother.  

Another side of this book was getting to read from the point-of-view of two not-so-great characters. We got to know them a lot better than we normally get to see this author’s “villains” and I enjoyed that and the character arc that they went through. 


I liked it a whole lot. I lent the book to a friend literally as soon as I finished it so that she can read it and I can have someone to discuss the story with. 

You’ll get more out of the story if you read the series in order, but I do think this book could be a standalone if you wanted to read it that way. 


I’m giving A Portrait of Loyalty 4.5 out of 5 stars. I received a complimentary copy A Portrait of Loyalty from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. Thank you to the author and publisher for sending me this book!