Thursday, November 24, 2011


this is the big day...thanksgiving!!! thanksgiving is actually at the top of my favorite holiday lists. i love that it is not as crazy chaotic as christmas, but family still gets together, its a beautiful time of year with all the colors (did you know that i love orange and red?), and we get to eat all this crazy awesome good food! this year was the first for me to host. i have had my mom, little bro nate, peter's sister laura, and her husband bob, peter and myself around the, laughing, making a fire pit, reading, and relaxing. i miss those who are not here, both friends and family!

this year i am so thankful, for so many things. i have really enjoyed taking time (almost) each day thinking about what i am thankful for. i am so blessed!

a year ago at this time, we were in michigan giving thanks with my family. we had recently found out that Charlotte was sick. we were pretty torn up and not sure what to do. this year, looking back, i am so thankful for the decisions that we made for our little girl. i am so thankful for the time that we had with her. i am sad today that she is not here...that we are down a high chair at the table this year, but i am so thankful for the 22 weeks that she was with us. we will be so thankful when we get to see her again.

looking forward, we are so excited about all that God has in store for us! we are really loving texas, our church, and our new friends! we are so thankful for all that has happened and we are looking forward to this next year!!

may God richly bless each of you! may we all be thankful everyday for every blessing!!


blessings, ALo

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


two today!!

yesterday i was thankful for chick-fil-a. i seriously love that place!!! it is one of the few fast food places that i dont feel like getting sick after eating there! plus, the price it totally right! :)

today i am thankful for helpful hands! my sister-in-law laura has been a huge help in the kitchen this week! i am not sure that i could pull off thanksgiving without her. bob, laura's hubby, has also done his share around the fact, he and peter built a fire pit in the backyard this afternoon!!! i am thankful for fire pits!!

now, everyone needs to come pit and dessert, what else could you want?

i am thankful that my mom, little bro nate, laura, and bob are here to celebrate thanksgiving with us!

have a very happy too much!! :)

blessings, ALo

Monday, November 21, 2011


today, day 21, i am thankful for my mom's spaghetti recipe! :) we ate good tonight!! :)

just gearing up for turkey day! :)

blessings, ALo

Sunday, November 20, 2011


wow...i have not been this tired at 8:30pm in a long time!!

yesterday i was thankful for my husband's willingness to do house projects...and to save us a lot of money!! peter got up on some borrowed scaffolding to change a fan/fixture in the living room and the light fixture in the foyer. both ceilings are very high (about 25 feet) and the electricians were going to charge us $1100 to do the job. thank you, peter!! love you!!

today i am thankful for thanksgiving week! i cant wait to have some family and friends gathered at our home!! here is to hoping that i get everything done!! :)

praying for my sweet friends, robin and blake! today would have been their baby bean's 1st birthday. i was blessed to be with them today to set off balloon messages and gather a few leaves from the tree they planted in his memory. i love this glad that baby nash is here to celebrate this year!! makes me miss Charlotte!!!

blessings, ALo

Friday, November 18, 2011


another two-a-day! this week has just been super busy, but in a good way! yesterday i got to hang out with my friend/work buddy/partner in crime, etc. rachel and i laughed and talked and ate and drove to huntsville, tx, and went to women of cof study. we were literally together for 13.5 hours! i am so thankful for not just a great work partner, but a good friend. it is so fun because our sense of humor is pretty similar, we both love gospel music, and our husbands get along great!!! love ya, rach! its k, as in know!! :)

today i am thankful for football...not just any football...texas high school football! i have been a fan of the show friday night lights for a long time and have been pretty sad since the show ended. tonight i experienced the real deal!!! cy woods, one of several big high schools in our district, was playing katy high school tonight. we have quite a few guys in our high school ministry from cy woods, it was being played at the berry center (a 9,000+ person stadium and it was sold out), katy is ranked #1 in the state of texas and #6 in the nation...needless to say our TeamBringIt was super excited about going. we didnt get there until half time because of an awesome dinner at church with our international team, but the last half was really exciting! cy woods ended up loosing, but it was still a really great game and so fun to be a part of! i wish that my little bro, nate, had been here to go with me...he would have loved it. it was so fun to be there with our whole team (jason, blake, rachel and me) and so many of our awesome students! i am so blessed!

i am off to hang with my cool sister-in-law and new(ish) brother-in-law. laura (peter's sister) and bob (her hubby) got here tonight to spend the week with us for thanksgiving. we are all looking forward to just relaxing on the couch and hanging out!! cant wait for my mom and nate to get here on wedenesday!!

have a great weekend!!

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


i didnt blog yesterday, but not because i wasnt thankful for just got to be very late too soon! yesterday i was thankful for my big comfy couch!! peter and i babysat for jason (the youth pastor) and jacqueline's kids (caylem 6 and caylee 2). our friends, rachel and amos and their little boy, levi (2) came over too. by the end of the night we were all piled on the couch, chillin!! i am thankful for my new, big, comfy couch!!!

today i am thankful for God's protection and blessing of safety!!! i was involved in a minor car accident today...thankfully no one was hurt and there was not serious damage to the vehicles, but i was still pretty shaken up by it! jason (the college/young adult/foundations pastor) and gena and their family of five kids are in the process of moving. i asked jason the other day if i could help out and we agreed that me taking the kids for a while would be good for jason and gena and fun for me. i had been looking forward to it for a few days!! this morning, when i saw jason in the gym, he had warned me that his kids loved to play jokes and pranks on people. in fact, yesterday the prank they were pulling last for over an hour on someone else! so, being warned, i was ready for anything with these crazy kids! i went to the house to get the kids right after school, switched cars with jason (i can not legally carry five kids in my 4runner, so i took their expedition) and then we were off to the dollar store for snacks before going to see the movie "puss in boots". as we were leaving the dollar store, we were t-boned in the parking lot. the other driver did not look for oncoming traffic before pulling out! :( thankfully, neither of us were going fast. unfortunately, he hit us on the passenger side back seat door...right where jacob was sitting (i think jacob is 7). he must have been pretty shaken up because he quickly traded places with one of his older brothers once we were stopped. i called jason immediately to ask him to come up to the parking lot to help me deal with the situation. the accident happened right in front of a home depot, and as it turned out, jason was right inside that home depot buying paint for the new house. i know that it was not a coincidence...God was just looking out for my sanity by not making me wait long for help! by the time the police came (which was apparently not needed because a parking lot is private property) and everything was sorted out, we had missed too much of the movie. so, we decided that i would take the kids over to a fast food restaurant for dinner while jason finished up at home depot. while pulling into the restaurant, i hear alyssa (the youngest, 6) say, "oh, no!! my gatorade is spilling all over me!!" oh great!!! not just any was red...and it was all over her clothes, the seat, and the floorboard!! poor thing, she did not want to get out of the car. her brothers kept telling her that it looked like she peed her pants. :( wow...what an afternoon! gena called me to tell me not to worry about it...that the kids were fine, that the clothes and car could be washed, and that the kids still wanted to see the movie with me! these kids were so great through the whole thing!! the oldest, caleb (12) was such a big help with the younger kids! by the end of dinner, the kids were cracking jokes about everything that had happened. we even joked about this being a bad prank. they cant wait to see what i can pull off on our next outing! :) i am so thankful that both jason and gena were gracious and understanding about the situation! i am sooooo thankful that no one was hurt!!!

i promise that i am a good driver and responsible when put in charge of was just not a good example! :) here's to hoping my road trip tomorrow with rachel goes much better!!!

blessings, ALo

Monday, November 14, 2011


i am so thankful for people who are passionate about ministry!!

this week will be such an encouragement to me!!!

at church, we (Cofteambringit, our student leadership team) are teaching the foundations class. foundations is kinda like an internship program. they have classes, serve/volunteer in all the different areas of the church, workout (the strengthen their physical cool) etc. they are such an awesome group of people who are passionate about the things going on in church ministry. it will be so fun to be in class helping them understand why we do what we do with the students.

this week, COF is having their annual "serve the world" weekend at church. i am looking forward to meeting the COF staff from around the world and hearing what God is doing in their ministries. this will include people from mexico, costa rica, africa, and right here in the u.s. we will have several opportunities to worship, chat, and pray with them. i cant wait to see what encouragement i walk away with after interacting with these amazing leaders!

tonight, peter and i had the opportunity to meet with kim and brett. they are new staff with campus crusade for christ (cru) and will be heading to LSU in the next few weeks to help college students grow and develop their relationship with the Lord. they are so excited about what God is calling them to do and about being a part of an organization dedicated to mentoring college students and growing their faith. peter and i are excited to be a part of their "ministry team" and to encourage them in prayer! we are praying the rest of their financial support comes in soon so that they are more than ready to start the semester in baton rouge in january!

today also makes me think of my friend, elizabeth, and her husband steve, who serve with athletes in action (aia). if you have been following my blog for a while, then you know that elizabeth started a battle with cancer the beginning of the year. right now, she is cancer free and we are praising God for that!!! i am so encouraged by elizabeth and steve. while she is very real about what she feels and what she is going through, this has not stopped either of them from following God and helping student athletes in their relationship with God. in the midst of some very serious heartache, they did not back down from their passion for serving others!

thank you, Lord, for using people's unique gifts and talents in different ways to reach so many people, even if it means stepping out of their comfort zone!!

i am praying for the foundations class, for COF staff around the world, for kim and brett, and for steve and elizabeth...that they will all be encouraged to continue in what God has called them to do. praying for God to guide each of their steps toward those who need Him and praying that God will bless each of them in all that they do!!

blessings, ALo

Sunday, November 13, 2011


on the 13th i am thankful for low key date nights at home! after a long weekend at church and running around erranding (is that a word??), we decided to have pizza and chill out on the couch tonight!! the last few hours have been awesome! :), leftover brownies, re-runs on hulu...and time with my best friend!!!

so blessed and so thankful!!!

I LOVE DATE any form! :)

blessings, ALo

ps. growing up we used to have "grands" cinnamon rolls for breakfast and pizza for dinner, every sunday!!! i love traditions like that! cant wait to do stuff like that with my kids!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


today i am so thankful for random acts of kindness! i love to do them for other people, but i am always so grateful when i am on the recieving end of them...especially when it involves food!

the last (just over a) week at work has been pretty stressful for a few reasons that i dont want to get into here. tonight, after our saturday night service, our student team and our spouses went to dinner together to just hang out and relax together. there was another staff family at the same restaurant. we had all said hello when our team got there, and when they were finished with their meal, they stopped our table of 10 to say hey/goodbye on their way out. a few minutes later 4 desserts showed up at our table (plus 2 kids ice creams for the little ones)!!! i mean, these were some SERIOUS desserts...molten chocolate cake with ice cream and chocolate cookie paradise pie with ice cream!!! there was a napkin note that said "to the greatest staff in town! you are blessed!" thanks to jason and gena for showing your love with awesome desserts!! i am going to pay for all the sweets in the gym on monday, but it was worth a few bites tonight!! :)

this has been a good day today, i am so blessed by so many people!!! thanks to bethany, peter, chuck, jason and jacqueline, rachel and amos, blake and robin, and jason and gena!!!

blessings, ALo

Friday, November 11, 2011


today is veterans day...i am so thankful for the men and women who have and are serving our country to keep us free!! i wrote a blog about this same thing earlier in the month, but this tends to come to mind fairly often for me, not just on veterans day. i think because paco (aka jonathan, my little bro) served in the army for several years, i tend to be a little more sensitive. i know the sacrifices he made so that i could live a life in freedom here.

i will always be thankful and grateful for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. i will always be thankful for the men and women who willingly put themselves in harms way so that i can do things, like write this blog, without being afraid of persecution!!


may God bless you and your families!!!!

blessings, ALo

Thursday, November 10, 2011


today i am thankful for people who give me a chance!

i had a few few new home hair feels so good to be getting back into some hair here and there. thanks to my new friends for trusting me!! :)

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


today was one of those rare fall days here in houston. i am so thankful for a break in the humidity. i am thankful for the sunshine and cool breeze. i am thankful for a chance to wear jeans and a sweatshirt!

I LOVE FALL!!! glad i dont feel like i am missing out anymore...even though the weather report says 81 degrees for sunday again! :)

blessings, ALo

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


today, on day 8, i am thankful for laughter. i love to laugh...and it usually doesnt take much to get at least a smile out of me.

this video has made me giggle, several times! :) i have watched it three different times. i think it is a little mean, because i know that i would have responded the same way, but i still cant help but laugh! the last two little boys are the best!!

today one of my best friends, kristin (aka pooter), had her third little boy. keller david was born at 2:02 pm 7 lb. 4oz and 20". everyone seems to be doing great!!! today, i smiled when i saw this picture of keller...i am so thankful for him and his whole family!! wish i could have been there to welcome him into the world!

"a day without laughter is a day wasted" charlie chaplin

blessings, ALo

Monday, November 7, 2011


day 7 and i am thankful for elliptical machines and stationary bikes...and the team of people that kick my butt in the gym!! i know, this is not a normal thing to be thankful for, but i am. i started working out three weeks ago and cutting back on my portions...i am now down 6.5 pounds!!! i am so excited! knowing that there is a group of girls waiting for me, expecting me to show up, helps me get out of bed every day. i have always needed help in pushing myself with cardio...they know how to do it. the tradeoff is that i am able to help push them while doing weight training...soon they will be out pressing those boys!! :)

i dont love getting up at 6:30am to go get sweaty, but it sure does feel good after! and that number on the scale makes me feel much better...well, better than it did 3 weeks ago.

i am still thankful for oreos...we are just on a break from each other! i missed out on the orange and black ones this year :(

off to bed to get up early!

blessings, ALo

Sunday, November 6, 2011


day six: i am thankful for weekends with my husband!! this weekend we went out with friends, celebrated a birthday for a friend, did a few things around the house, had some quality conversations, and served together at church. i love that he wants to serve with me at church, that he is willing to "give up" a good portion of his weekend to be a part of COF students!

i love spending time with my best friend!!! i love my best friend!!!

have a great week!

blessings, ALo

Saturday, November 5, 2011


today i am thankful for my little brother, nathan. nate-dawg (as i affectionately call him) turned 14 today!! i am so sad that i missed out on his birthday dinner. nate always chooses to go to outback steakhouse...i wonder if in a few years it will be something more like, ruth chris' or flemings??? anyway, i will never forget when nate-dawg was born...i was a typical teenager and not real enthusiastic about anything having to do with family :) my friends all thought it was kind of cool to have a little one to coo over and play babysitter for...he eventually grew on me too! :) nate has always had a strong personality...mixed with my strong personality, you never know what is going to happen when we interact. sometimes we get along great and other times its like oil and water. remember, nate is also an 8th grader this year, that doesnt usually help my case! nate likes to rub in the fact that he is now taller than me...he also likes to tell me that he is smarter than i am, but that is not truth!! :) i wish that i had more "older" pics on my computer of nate and i over the years, but they are in photo albums...before the true digital age. here are a few of my favorites that are on my computer:

as the ring bearer in my wedding, 8/2006, age 8

family pic, he think he is so cool!! 9/2007 
very typical, still!!! easter in ohio 2008

first year (and first game) of gull lake football, 6th grade 9/2009

whole family for thanksgiving, nate had just turned 13. 11/2010

my last night in MI before moving to texas...look how grown up they both are! 8/2011

i love you, nate dawg, you will always be my little bro, no matter how big you get. i have missed a lot of your growing up, but i am so proud of who you are becoming! continue to keep going after your relationship with the Lord; He is the only One who will never let you down! you have some amazing talents and abilities, remember to use them to help others, not just yourself! we are blessed to have one of the most amazing mom's...take good care of have to give respect to get it! know that i am always in your corner, praying for you, here to encourage you, and always love you!!!


blessings, ALo

Friday, November 4, 2011


Day 4: I am thankful for my amazing bed! After a day like today, I love getting in to bed, recapping the day with Peter, pray, then fall asleep knowing that tomorrow is a new day!! And thankfully, since today is Friday, I get to sleep in with Peter tomorrow!!! :)

I hope you sleep tight! Sweet dreams!!

Blessings, ALo

Thursday, November 3, 2011


today i am thankful to live in a country where i am able to openly and publicly worship God. i know that there are people here in america who are trying to suppress that freedom, that makes me very sad for them. sad that they do have the kind of relationship with their Creator where it is impossible not to feel overcome by joy from Him, joy that they want others to see and feel and experience. i also know that there are many men and women who have fought to protect that very same right, and that right for other people in other countires. my brother is one of those people. i will always be grateful, thankful, appreciative of those who willingly serve to protect me and my beliefs.

today i am also thankful for the men and women who serve as missionaries both here in america and across the globe. some of these people are able to be open about their mission, but a great number of them have to "hide" and find other ways to show people God's love for them. i get so excited when i think about meeting some of these great warriors in Heaven!

tonight at COF, we had our monthly gathering for a night or praise and worship, we call it "first thursday" (because that is when we have it, the first thursday of each month). it is such an awesome time of prayer, and praise, and worship! i love going because i can walk in and not think about what is going on in the student building, or what i need to rush out to do right after for the next weekend service, etc. first thursdays is all for me...i purposely go to be fed and to grow and to enjoy. tonight was no exception and i walked away so refreshed and excited! tonight we focused on prayer for those serving the world...places that we are a part of missionally, people that we know who are serving, people/groups that are being ministered to through those people, etc. each prayer was followed up with songs of praise. in the end, pastor mark asked us to reach out to those around us who were grieving or going through a trial (by show of hands) and pray for them. then he asked us to join hands all across the room and pray for person on our right and our left. we were supposed to share a simple request with the person on each side. my friend, jacqueline, was on my left and peter was on my right. at this point i was already starting to tear up so i didnt say anything, they both knew what my request was (just like i am sure that if any of you were standing next to me you would know too!) then we prayed. mark told us to pray, and because there were two or more gathered, to claim that prayer as heard. to reach out and claim the promise that God had for each of us. now, isnt that exactly what i wrote yesterday? it was awesome!!!! so, today i am also thankful for COF and first thursdays and all the amazing things that are going to come from the service tonight because of the power of prayer!!

can i have three things (really more than that) in one day? well, i just did. :) 

here is one of the songs that we sang tonight (also a fav of mine!!)

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


day two: i am thankful for God's promises. 

in the midst of everything that has happened in the last year, i keep clinging to the promises that God has for me and for my family. i am thankful that i have a God that keeps His word!! i wish that i was a little more patient, but i know that He is truer than true to His word and i will not be disappointed. I will be blessed because of His love for me. This should be my praise everyday...there are certainly enough blessings to be thankful for. i have to be careful not to listen to the devil...his telling me that God's timing is not good enough, that God has forgotten about me, that only some of the promises are intended for me, etc. satan wants us focus on the things we are missing out on, on the things that will drive a wedge between God and us. choosing to be thankful has that same affect on drives a wedge between us and him. 

what promise from God are you clinging to right now?

blessings, ALo

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


that is a lot of ones!!! i kinda like stuff like that...all ones in the date, when the clock reads 10:23 (my birthday), etc. i am really excited for 10/11/12 and dates similar...i know, i am weird. so, since it is the first of november and since november is the month of thanksgiving, i am going to blog everyday about something that i am thankful for. some days the post could be lengthy and go into details, somedays you might get lucky and it be just a simple statement, and some days it could be something i am thankful for along with other things that are going on. wont you be on pins and needles now, trying to guess what the blog for the day will hold?? :)

day 1: today i am thankful for honest conversations. i had the privilege of having several of those today. i had my first official day on staff at COF today, which on tuesdays means a staff wide meeting followed by team planning. i was so encouraged by the staff be circled up praying for each other, praising God for who He is and what He does and then praying against the devil for each other. this after watching 94 people get baptized over the weekend! but tonight was great! my new friend, justine, came over and we did nails and made (kinda healthy) quesadillas and just talked...for hours. she just left and i feel like i have now known her forever. we were open and real. we talked about our lives. we laughed and we cried and it was all totally normal and comfortable. i am thankful that God has allowed our paths to cross and that we feel able to just chill with each other.

i am not sure if i mentioned it in my last post, but i have been working hard in the gym for the last 3 weeks. i work out with some younger girls (well, younger than me is what i mean), justine included. i have been so sore the last two a good way! i have not seen any huge number change on the scale, but i have felt a difference! i have so much more energy, i feel much stronger, less flabby, and i have felt less emotional too. the first week was really hard for show up and be shown up, but i have come to realize it doesnt matter. the girls i work out with are perfect, because we all push each other in different ways and they are just glad that i try...great encouragers! :) hopefully, this will help my body be a better environment for when i get to be a mom/incubator again. until then i will just keep pedaling along and sweating it out!!! :)

so, what are you thankful for today? this week? this month? i encourage to think about it...make a list!

blessings, ALo