{Happy Thanksgiving // What I'm thankful for}

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  Psalm 95:1-6

"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. The words that come to my mind when I think about Thanksgiving are home and family. Such a great time to reflect on all of the blessings God has given us and to Thank him and Praise him for each and every one of them. Today and everyday I have so much to be thankful for. Below are some of the many of the things I am grateful for.

+ the gospel
+ God's grace
+ my tribe of boys
+ family & friends
+ love
+ traditions
+ coffee & caffeine {lets be real!}
+ all of the amazing & wonderful ladies that I met through social media that I can call friends!!!
+ our jobs
+ mason's school
+ that God brought our Diesel home {story here}
+ our home & land
+ laughter
+ love

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!  I hope you are all having the best day and enjoying your sweet families. I know that I sure am. 

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{How Diesel is adjusting to being home // how we're adjusting}

Now that I have shared the news of Diesel being home {here} the number one question that I have been asked is...how is he adjusting to being home

And quite honestly?

Like he never left! 

Seriously. He has adjusted so well. You can see things start to come back to him and he is already responding to Diesel {he was called Milo for three years}. It's so wild that he is the same ol' Diesel. All of his mannerisms are the same and he's the same sweet cuddly little guy. 

He still loves to weasil his way down to our feet under the covers, loves to be in your lap and give kisses, still shuffles his feet in the grass after going potty, still walks around with one ear up and one ear down, so much is the same.

And? He hasn't pottied one time in the house. He's still great about asking me to go out. 

He's eating and drinking okay. Eating hasn't been great, but that's understandable with the shuffling he's done in the last couple of weeks. An who knows if the 2nd lady that had him bought him the right food. I'm not too worried about it. He's not sad and he does eat, just a little at a time. 

How's Mason adjusting? Great! He loves and adores Diesel and wants to hug and kiss him all the time. He keeps telling him "Diesel you are home and we love you so much" and then kisses his head. Over and over. And he wants him to play with him in his room all the time. Mason especially loves that Diesel cuddles in his bed with him while I am laying with him to fall asleep. Diesel is equally fond of Mason. He showers him with kisses and follows him around the house.

Gunner? Oh goodness....that's going to take some time. Gunner is a huge 60+ pound 6 month old lab who doesn't realize his size. He wants to play with Diesel non-stop. Diesel isn't so sure yet. He's like "dude, I don't know you that well" and he will growl at him and bark at him. Diesel never growled at anyone when we first had him, so that is a little different. But, we are keeping an open mind because we don't know what he went through the last 3 years. And we know he's just setting his boundaries. Diesel also doesn't want Gunner anywhere near me. Like not within 10 feet of me. :) Gunner just doesn't understand that!    

But all in all, everyone is doing well and we are feeling so incredibly blessed.    


{A Grateful Heart // My Diesel is home!!}

Happy Tuesday!! I am blogging with a very, very full heart today. Linking up with Ember Grey for A Grateful Heart.

It's the week before Thanksgiving and I have so, so much to be thankful for. But this week? Something very special happened. Something that could only be a God thing. After three years my sweet Diesel boy is back home. 3 years.

He needs a serious haircut....buuuuuut he is HOME!!!

I don't think I ever blogged about him being gone because it hurt too deep. I felt like I failed him as a mother.

The week before Thanksgiving {three years ago} our sweet Diesel boy vanished. It was morning...I was running late and trying to get Mason {18 months at the time} to school and me to work. I let Diesel out to potty and he bee-lined to my in-laws house like he done many times. My in-laws have a fenced in yard, so we never worried much. But, Diesel was just small enough to fit through the gates. That morning our neighbors saw him following a couple of dogs that were out in our neighborhood. We came home that evening and went to pick him up from my in-laws and he wasn't there. So of course we drove around all night trying to find him. Diesel never got too far from our houses...so I figured someone driving through picked him up. He was too friendly, and he's a Yorkie which is a highly sought after dog. We also live around a bunch of land and have seen Bobcats and Coyotes a plenty...so that was also a maybe. Not in my mind...of course. I just knew someone picked him up.

I have looked for him since. In our neighborhood, and those around my house...just hoping to find someone taking him on a walk or out to potty. I never gave up hope.

Many times we'd see Yorkie's posted on the FB pet sites and of course I would inquire, only to be left with a broken heart. There were about 4 or 5 "nope, not Diesels" and my heart shattered every time.

Until yesterday. My sister was looking at a FB group around our area and saw a Yorkie posted for sale. She immediately sent it to me and I posted "WANT" as fast as I could. Those sites work on a first come, first serve basis and I had to get in first. Even if it wasn't him. But, something in my gut told me it was. My sister had the same feelings. I messaged back and forth with the lady that had him. And that's when the stars started lining up! She had him for only 2 weeks and loved him dearly...but he would dart out the front door anytime it was opened. She lived on a very busy corner lot, with a major street running alongside her house. Understandable totally. Anyhow, she rescued him from a lady that lived in our area and that lady said she was 'gifted' him almost three years ago. There's #1 & #2...the timeframe and the area were spot on. Then she told me that only one of his ears {the left} stood up. There's #3. And that he was on the larger side for a Yorkie at 12ish pounds. #4. I sent her my pictures of him and she was like, yep...that's him. I was trying to think of things that were different about him to ask and remembered that his tail wasn't clipped as a puppy so he had a full/long tail. That was #1 for things that didn't match up. I asked her to see if he would answer to the name Diesel...taking a long shot because it had been 3 years. She sent me a video of her calling him Diesel but he didn't really respond. BUT he didn't respond well to the other name the lady had been calling him for 3 years, either. I watched the video somewhere near 37 times and studied everything....

Matches -
Face = identical
Ears = identical
Mannerisms = identical 
Eyes = identical
the way his fur fans out around his eyes when it's long = identical

Non-matches - 
Body type seemed way different {but later found out why}
He had a clipped tail

So I kind of left it alone. But all day long it kept tugging at me. And then I got a message from her around 4 saying that she was leaving to go out of town and asked if I wanted to come see him. So I talked to Nate and he told me to go. I got my sister to go with me because that was one more person that knew Diesel. 

We pulled up and they came out of the house and Leslie said, "Oh my goodness, that is him". I couldn't get out of the car fast enough. I just fell to my knees crying and he ran right up to me and jumped in my lap and started kissing me. I just cried and kept saying over and over again, this is him. Even though he had been neutered and had a clipped tail and was way fatter I knew it was him. He smelled the exact same, too. {Yes, I remembered that}. The lady couldn't believe he just came right up to me like that. But, we had a special bond. And after 3 years I was so happy he remembered.

We chatted with the lady for a bit and got more of the story. The lady before her kenneled him for more hours than not every day. And that is why he was so big. She took him to get neutered and that was the last vet visit he had. And she didn't groom him, either. The lady I got him from almost didn't take him because he was in bad shape {looks wise}. But she did. She said something told her she had to rescue him.

I think God was lining everything up to get me my baby back!

Okay, so the lady wanted $75 for him even though he was my dog. I didn't even care at that point. I just wanted to get him home. I called Nate on the way to the ATM and just cried and told him it was Diesel. Of course, not seeing him he was apprehensive. He said are you sure? Did he answer to Diesel? Did he flex {something Nate taught him} I said no, but I didn't need those confirmations...I just knew.

The whole ride home he laid in my lap and just cuddled, he didn't cry, he didn't make a peep. We got home and Nate met us outside. I just started crying {again} and he pet him and smiled. We got inside and got settled and Diesel curled up in my lap and went to sleep. I asked Nate if he believes it yet and he said not 100%. Then Diesel climbed in his lap and started kissing him and hugging him. I could see more belief coming to him. Then Nate started checking out Diesel's head for a scar that we knew he had. And guess what? It was THERE! {in July of 2011 he got a spider bite that left a scar}

I will always remember Nate's face when he told me "It's him!!" I of course was blubbering like a big baby. I knew...but I was so relieved that Nate found the confirmation he needed.

We packed up and went over to Nate's parent's house. Nate walked over with Gunner while Mason, Diesel and I drove around. Diesel was very much a big part of their life, too and we just had to take him to visit. Nate went in before and prefaced...and then I came in with him. His mom and I both cried like babies. She held him and hugged and kissed him....and right before our eyes we could see him start to remember things. He started running around their house and jumping in everyone's laps and was so happy! 

Diesel slept in bed with us like he always did. He's the best cuddler. 

We are pretty much still in shock. I just keep thanking God over and over for bringing my baby home! Mason is head over heels in love with him. I don't think he remembers too much of him since he was only 18 months old when we lost him...but now he gets to make up for lost time! 

Mason told me, "Mama you can call him baby too like you call me because I know you love him so much!"  Melllllllt my heart!

And he keeps telling Diesel, "Don't worry Diesel, you are home and we love you so much" and he kisses him every chance he gets!!

We are just so blessed and so Grateful to have our baby back! A hole that has been in my heart for 3 years has closed.

Praise the Lord!!!

{Christmas Ideas for a 4 year old boy}

Masons Christmas Wish List 2014

Most of these are on Mason's list, a couple I added.

What is your child asking for this year?

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{Five on Friday // Thanksgiving Feast // Family Pictures // Blog Life Community}

Happy Friday friends!! Linking up for Five on Friday.

{O N E}

Yesterday was the Thanksgiving Feast at his school. This was our very first one to attend. His previous school didn't have one. And let me tell you, it was amazing. It was so sweet to see all of the little kids with pilgrim and indian hats on. It was a time Iwill always remember.

{T W O}

After Mason's Thanksgiving feast we had Nate's brother snap a few pictures of us with my camera. I need a good picture for our Christmas card and I think we got one?! Sneak peek...

{T H R E E}

Yesterday I also took over the Instagram account {here} for our Blog Life Community facebook group {created by Amanda}. Are you following us there? And, if you're a blogger come join us. We'd love to have you.

{F O U R}

I'm so ready to decorate for Christmas. However, we normally get a real tree every year. And well, those don't come out until after Thanksgiving. I know that's only next week, buuuuuuut I'm ready. So I may just put up our artificial tree! It's going to rain all day tomorrow, so that sounds like the perfect time to decorate to me.

{F I V E}

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? I sure can't! I've been asked to make a green bean casserole. I haven't made one in years, but I think I remember it being pretty easy. Anyone got a good recipe for it? Share?

What's on your Five on Friday? Have you decorated for Christmas? Big plans for Thanksgiving?

{Taking Stock}

Making: lists. lots and lots of lists.
Drinking: diet root beer with a fun little chevron straw
Reading: Woman's Day & Good Housekeeping - Christmas editions!
Wanting: family Winter pictures taken
Watching: Grey's Anatomy! I am 2 episodes behind!
Looking: for Christmas gift ideas
Wishing: I had all the good ideas...
Enjoying: evenings with my sweet little family.
Waiting: for tomorrow! Mason's school is putting on a Thanksgiving feast and I.cannot.wait.
Liking: the new blogger facebook group that Amanda started. The Blog Life Community. If you're looking for a great community I encourage you to check it out.
Wondering: what we should wear for family Winter photos.
Loving: our co-sleeping arrangements we've made the last few days. Love cuddling with both of my sweet boys!!
Hoping: that 2015 is our year!!
Marveling: at how smart Mason is.
Needing: to catch up on my bible studies.
Smelling: warm cozy sweater in the scentsy!!
Wearing: pants, boots, sweater and scarf. Love this season!
Following: everyone in our new FB blogger group!
Noticing: how many people I have been following on IG, but haven't been following via blogs.
Knowing: A big secret I can't wait to share! It's killinnnnnnn me!
Thinking: what everyone else is thinking ;)
Feeling: so darn happy. so much love.
Wishing: December was longer than just a month. Give me all the Christmas.

{Snow...in Texas...in November}

Good morning and Happy Monday!

You had to know this post was coming. It's Texas and even if it was just a 'dusting' it was SNOW!!!

Last night I was lying in bed and both of my boys had drifted off to a sweet slumber...I couldn't sleep so I was perusing FB. I kept seeing people all around us posting about snow. I was sad that Mason was asleep and missing it. I was so warm and cozy in bed with my boys that I wasn't going to get up and look. But, then I started hearing it come down and thought I better get up and get a picture. This is Texas and there's a big fat chance it could all be gone in the morning. The least I could do was capture a few pictures for Mason to see. 

So I tiptoed out of the room and took a few! I couldn't believe how much had already been covered.

The next morning I was pleased to see there was still snow for Mason to see. Plus, come'on...it was a surefire way that Mason wouldn't wake up so grumpy...it's Monday after all. Waking up to snow is sure to crush the Monday woes and blues! 

I carried him to the back door and he has such sensitive {and sleepy eyes} that he couldn't look right then. He said it was too bright! So we continued to get ready and then he was able to see it!

He was excited. He said, "Do you think we can go out and play in it at school?" and "Will it be here when we get home?" :)

Have you gotten snow this year?

{Friday Randoms}

Happy Friday Friends!!!

What a week is has been. I mentioned in my Grateful Heart post that our Internet has been down since Sunday morning at 2am.  That's definitely not a good thing when you work from home. It's been an awful week. AT&T lied to us over and over and fell through on promises over and over. I spent the week working remotely from the coffee shop in town. Our company recently got a new mail cleaner and it's not so friendly with webmail. I would have to forward every email to my yahoo mail just to read it. I had to work my tail off to get things done. I skipped lunch every day except Wednesday. I went to get in my car to take a break from the coffee shop and get some lunch and my key wouldn't turn. Like at all. It took about 15 minutes before I could get it going. So many little things kept going wrong all week, it was just wild. By Thursday evening I was feeling quite defeated. I was on my way to pick up Mason and I just started praying. Out loud. I cried and prayed all the way to Mason's school. And I didn't ask him once why me? Why this? I just thanked him over and over for all of the blessings in my life no matter how rough my week had been.

And you know what? On my way home I saw an AT&T truck working. Well, actually they were packing up because it was close to 5. I got home and I had a Landline. And...I had green lights on my router. All except for the "service" light. We were getting somewhere. 

By 10 am today my Internet was up!! Praise Jesus. So faithful...all the time.

Oh, and my phone has been acting a little odd {iphone 5} and once it gets to 30% battery it just dies. Like shuts off completely and I have to plug in a charger to get it back on. Well last night I fell asleep with Mason in his room and didn't plug in my phone. It had 38% when I fell asleep, but was completely dead at 2:22 am. I couldn't get it to come on at all. I had to plug it up for quite a while before it came on. So today I ran by Tmobile and got a newer phone and didn't have to pay anything. Another God thing! 

Can I just say that I am so glad it's Friday? So glad.

Oh, last weekend we went to Nate's cousin's wedding on a ranch in Valley View and it was amazing. I didn't get a chance to post about it because of you know the having-no-internet thing. Mason was such a ham and danced with just about every girl there. He had a blast and was the life of the party.

Here's a little bit of what else we've been up to.

God painted some amazing skies this week // trying to look happy despite feeling defeated

my sweet boy and I one day after school // my favorite quote from the Thrive Moms Fall Retreat // we had to decorate a turkey for Mason's class and this was our masterpiece // mason had a dream that he was the green lantern, so he had to wear his green cape to school

Also, I want to encourage you, if you haven't already to watch the Thrive Moms Fall Retreat {online}. It's so encouraging and so uplifting and all around amazing. It will bless you in so many ways. 

Have a great weekend! Any plans? We don't! For once.

{A Grateful Heart - VOL 10}

Linking up with Ember Grey for A Grateful Heart.

Hello!! I've been absent from this space for a bit. It's been crazy, but not only that...I've been without Internet at home since Sunday at 2am. That's when a drunk driver plowed out the unit that services my neighborhood. I talked to the serviceman and he said that they found parts as far as 150ft+ away and most were not salvageable. They've had to completely rebuild it and order parts. 

So Monday I didn't get to work at all. Tuesday & now today I am working from a local coffeeshop that has free wifi. It's been a pain, to say the least. I am logged into my email remotely via webmail and have no access to my work computer. It's amazing how much you rely on past emails and notes that make the day easier and quicker.

It's been hard to not be frustrated about the outage, I must admit. But, I am finding things to be grateful about.

+ an understanding boss & co-worker
+ at&t servicemen
+ free wifi at the local coffee shop & bookstore
+ coffee
+ a change of scenery
+ the Trive Mom's Fall Retreat I got to listen to yesterday - such a blessing
+ the much colder weather {it's finally boots, scarves and sweater weather in Texas}
+ fuzzy socks, pajama pants and warm blankets
+ mason's amazing school starting abcmouse.com in the classroom and at home

What are you grateful for this week?

{Fall Pictures of Mason // Updated Fall Bucketlist}

I am almost certain that I add "take pictures of Mason" to my seasonal bucketlists...I just never know when I'll actually get to cross it off my list. It's hit and miss with Mason and pictures. Sometimes he's totally okay with it and other times he'd rather cut off his dang big toe! The life of a four year old...

But! Oh but this year I get to cross "take Fall pictures of Mason" off my list and I am so incredibly happy!! And it didn't even take much bribing other than telling him we were going downtown to the area by the big red train. He gave me about 7 minutes before he was totally over it and ready to climb on the red train! I snapped as many as I could with what he gave me and prayed I'd have a few good ones!

And I did manage to get a few good ones! They make me smile and they make me cry. So much of his personality shows through these pictures and he looks so darn grown!

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Oh my sweet little Mason Lane!!! I just love him so. Those pictures of him making faces? Totally him and his personality right now. He is quite the character and loves to make people laugh and smile. I have a feeling we are going to have a lot of notes sent home when he is in Kindergarten...He will for sure be the class clown.

I also want to post a little bit about what Mason is up to these days...at 4 years and 5 months. {I can't believe he's almost 4 and a half!!!}

Height - 42 inches
Weight - 38ish pounds
Size - 4T & 5T shirts // size 4 pants {from the big boy section} or size 5T for the length
Shoe size - mostly 11's

Loves -  Legos, playing with anything and everything, his iPad, playing outside, driving his jeep, tormenting the dog, Ninja Turtles, Paw Patrol, fishing, The Sandlot, Little Rascals,  going to the park, and reading books. Favorite foods are grilled cheese, milk, yogurt, queso, cinnamon toast crunch, and macaroni & cheese.

Dislikes - chocolate, peanut butter, waking up early, having to stop playing to bathe or go to bed, not getting his way.

He's so incredibly sweet and has the biggest heart...but is also a smart alec and talks back quite frequently! It's wild. He will use his manners every time, but he will also turn around and tell you no and talk back. So frustrating! But all in all he is a very kind little guy and we love him something fierce.

Updated Fall 2014 Bucketlist

+ visit the pumpkin patch
+ go on a hayride
+ make caramel apples
+ decorate my porch {crates, hay, pumpkins, etc}
+ carve pumpkins
+ make fall crafts
+ decorate the house for fall
+ pick out halloween costumes
+ stay in a cabin somewhere
+ make a thankful tree
+ share the Thanksgiving story with Mason
+ bake fall goodies
+ go to fall festivals
+ go to an aggie football game
+ roast marshmallows
+ lots of fires in our chiminea
+ have a scary {but mason friendly} movie night
+ make lots of crock pot meals
+ do my bible study on the porch
+ host a fall party/get together
+ make a pumpkin chunkin' game
+ stock up on my favorite fall scentsy bars
+ take a scenic drive {where the leaves actually turn pretty colors}
+ go to the farmers market
+ go on a nature walk
+ take fall pictures of mason
+ camp at Jellystone Park for Fall Fiesta

What's on your Fall Bucketlist this year?

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{Weekending // Halloween 2014}

It's almost hard to believe Halloween is over. Mason kept asking all day on Friday, "but is today the reallllll Halloween?" We've done so many Halloween activities this October that he just had to be sure! 

October was pretty good to us. So good. 

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If you've been around this blog for a few years you're probably having de ja vu right about now. Yes, this is the same Fireman costume from 2013....and 2012...we just added a pair of glasses and a taller Mason. He is not giving it up. He loves it so dang much. And? It's okay with me because he happens to make one cute Fireman! We even bought a new costume this year and he insisted on wearing the Fireman suit for Halloween. 

He also wore it to his school's Halloween festival and it won him a $10 McDonalds giftcard in the costume contest. This was our first year to attend the Halloween festival at his new school...and the whole thing was free! First school festival we've been to where all of the games and bounce houses were free!

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For Halloween we went to our town square around 4pm to trick or treat. The businesses around the square hand out candy and goodies. We stayed for about 30 minutes and then booked it. Word got around this year and goodness it was so crowded. After the square we went home, regathered and headed to Ferris for the First Baptist Church Trunk or Treat! It was fabulous. Mason played games and had a great time. Then we went to dinner where Mason ran into a couple of Minions {uncles girlfriend and her cousin}!! After supper we went back to Nana & Papa's house to watch Hocus Pocus. It was a great Halloween!!! 

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Saturday we went to one last Halloween Hurrah and had the greatest time!! Mason's teacher invited us over to her sister's house to throw the kiddos a Halloween bash. They dressed up, played games, cakewalk, hayride and lots of delicious food. And at the end of the evening the parents lined up and the kids trick or treated. Mason's huge bucket was full and overflowing. It was wild!!! I only took one picture that evening...and it was at the close of the party. 

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Now I can get my mind set to Thanksgiving and Christmas. gasp. double gasp. I mean, I did see about 9 different IG accounts putting up their Christmas tree over the weekend! Wowsa!

How was your Halloween weekend?

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