Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winston's Top 12

We wake up laughing every day at the funny things our puppy does!

Top 12 Moments and Things Winston Does:

  • His favorite game is to find our socks and then run around the apartment with them like he has found the greatest prize ever!

  • He hides under the big chair when he knows he's in trouble or when he doesn't want to go to his house

  • The way he jumps around crazily when Wade gets home and then runs to me like, "he's home! he's home!"

  • How at about 9:30-9:45 we hear him crunching away in a late night food binge

    • He "digs" on pillows to try and bury his favorite bones and now he has started hiding his toys behind the curtains!

    • He barks at his reflection in the windows like he's a bad ole dog, but when he gets scared he halls butt in the opposite direction.

    • Being let off his leash to run in the woods freely is definitely on the top of his fav list as well. He runs and runs and runs out there. That's about the only way we can half way tire him out.

    • The next morning after his neutering surgery, Wade put him in bed with me (like he does sometimes), as Wade walked out of the room, Winston went to the edge of the bed to watch Wade. I innocently reached over to grab him and my arm felt a HUGE wet spot! He had peed all on my bed with ZERO warning! lul, we moved right into action of stripping the bed and washing everything. I read online of several people who that had happened to after their dogs had surgery as well. (should have looked that up first, lul)

    • How he will only play with one toy or bone for a little while before returning to his basket to pull something else out. By the end of the day, his basket is empty and his toys are strewn all over the house, lol...maybe one day he'll learn to put them back...
    • The way he zooms around the living room as fast he can, growling and breathing so hard until one of us can finally snatch him up in our arms. It usually takes both of us to coral him.

      • The way he comes out of his crate each morning, so sleepily...yawning and streeeeetching it out.

      • The way he will finally fall asleep in the evening and then wake himself up barking as if to show that he really wasn't asleep at all, lol...

      • These may be silly things, but we thank the Lord for the laughter and joy he brings in the every day moments.
        We look forward to laughing at him some more tonight! What are some of the funny things your pet does??

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012


    I had never heard of this word until about a week ago when I started reading, One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. This book has been out for year and many of you may have already devoured it, but I am just now really digging in.

    This Greek word, Eucharisteo, means Thanksgiving -- not like November, Pilgrims and turkey -- but giving thanks in the every day, every moment. This book shows what joy and freedom can be found in giving thanks in the big, small, hard, and easy.

    Ann takes a dare from a friend to name 1,000 gifts that she is thankful to the Lord for and finds a whole new way of life.

    I have started my journey of counting 1,000 gifts that I am thankful to the Lord for. I feel like in general I am a pretty "thankful" and "positive" person, but I can honestly say I have seen such a difference in my whole day's outlook as I search for things to be thankful for to add to my list. It's easy to just thank the Lord in a general way for all the gifts He gives us each day, but we miss out on so much by not being specific and not being on the lookout.

    Looking for things to be thankful for in that exact moment also helps me be "all there" as Jim Elliot would say. As I'm focusing on what I'm thankful for right then, I'm not jumping ahead of myself (or behind myself to the past).

    I am also learning from this book to keep my hands open to whatever the Lord brings my way. I am very quick to decide what is "good" and what is "bad" or "hard" in my life. I must remember and remind myself that God is the author and that He is always good. He is trustworthy and He promises to work all things for my good, your good, and His glory. Romans 8:28

    I agree with Ann that counting and naming blessings from the Lord helps us build trust in the Lord. We thank for the present things and thank for things we remember and we see that God is trustworthy.

    "In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory."
    Ephesians 1:11-12

    We do have so much to be thankful for and I am going to keep counting, to 1,000 and beyond.

    Here are a few things I've added to my list:

    Thank you God for:
    --prancing puppy paws
    --scents in glass bottles
    --birds singing in the morning dew
    --my Daddy's voice saying, "Hey, Jacq-O"
    --medicine for Mom's RA
    --my husband that loves to do things together

    Let me know if you start counting!

    Visit Ann's website at:

    Or at:

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    A new year to enjoy...

    As I get older, I find the wisdom of parents and grandparents all the more applicable to my days and I agree with them on so many fronts, especially when they have informed me that "each passing year only goes faster than the one before it." I don't know if it's the fact that now as a man, rather than the days of childhood, I spend 200+ days a year at work or it's just some simple fact of life that as you grow older you inevitable take on more activity and responsibilities and thus in your busyness, you quickly consume your days, but whatever the cause, the result I must agree with - life goes pretty fast. That God spoke to Job in the whirlwind is a great comfort to me because I often feel like I'm in one myself. Whatever the reason or rhyme, I too must agree with the notion that the days just seem to go faster and faster the older I get. Maybe it's just because time flies when you are having fun :)

    As I enter a new year, I have high hopes - lots of small goals to set after as well as big ones. I was reading in a Slice of Infinity article from Ravi Zacharias Ministries this week and was reminded that best of all for 2012 is the hope that God will give His abiding presence in 2012. More than anything that I'm seeking to go after is the underlying prayer that God will go with me - for truly what could I accomplish without Him? G.K. Chesterton once said, "The object of the new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul." Point well taken - a new year is no better than the old year if we don't become anything different in the new year than we were in the last. It is with hope of becoming new that I set out on the journey of 2012. More than merely doing good... I long to be good - to be transformed in some many areas of my heart to become more like Christ... to shed more of the old man and to put on more of the new man. Thank the Lord for the opportunity to change. It reminds me of a great poem  that I once heard Ravi Zacharias share on one of his podcasts:

    He came to my desk with a quivering lip, the lesson was done. “Have you a new sheet for me, dear teacher? I’ve spoiled this one.” I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted, And gave him a new one all unspotted. And into his tired heart I cried, “Do better now, my child.”

    I went to the throne with a trembling heart, the day was done. “Have you a new day for me, dear Master? I’ve spoiled this one.” He took my day, all soiled and blotted, and gave me a new one all unspotted. And into my tired heart he cried, “Do better now, my child.”

    To all who read this, I wish you a very blessed year in 2012... may the Lord show you all the more just how wide and how high and how deep is His love for each one of you and may you all grow more into His likeness with each passing day. As one of favorite quotes states, "No one can make a brand new start, but anyone can start today and make a brand new end."  His mercies are new every morning - great is His faithfulness. So, as we use to sing as children, "Rise and shine and give God the glory glory" May the Lord be with you all in 2012.
       - WP

    A New Year’s Prayer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous

    Dear Lord, please give me…

    A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;

    A work to do which has real value,

    without which the world would be the poorer;

    A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;

    An understanding heart;

    A sense of humor;

    Time for quiet, silent meditation;

    A feeling of the presence of God;

    The patience to wait for the coming of these things,

    With the wisdom to recognize them when they come. Amen.

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Another Full Year Gone By...

    2011 was filled with many great moments and memories, triumphs and trials. It really is crazy how fast a year goes by! But it's also a lot of fun remembering many of the small moments that make up the whole.

    The first 5 months of the year were filled with work and finding more of a groove here in Tyler. We started mentoring through our church and I finished working at the school.
    Kathy came to visit us in February and Mom spent a few days of her Spring Break with us in Tyler as well.

    Summer came with a vengeance as we saw one of, if not the, hottest ones on record. With over 50 days of highs over 100 degrees we were more than ready to escape on our vacation to Colorado.
    In June we went to Lubbock for a family reunion.
    We ran in the 2nd annual Firecracker 6 for July 4th in Indy with our friends.
    In August we went to Vail and Estes Park, Colorado for an amazing getaway!
    Working basketball camps, trips to the pool, long walks in the evenings together and visits with family and friends made the summer go by quickly.

    Because of the severe drought, there wasn't near as much fishing as we would have liked to have done, but hopefully in 2012 we can make up for that!

    Mid August we got our first puppy...Winston!! We spent the next couple of months adjusting to a new schedule with him. I have never made so many trips up and down than during potty training, lol. He's not completely there yet, but very close.

    I joined the world of social media as I started Facebook, Twitter and Skype accounts to connect with friends across the country and promote my side business, J Pate Designs.

    In September my very best friend got married!! I was able to spend a week with her helping with last minute preparations and just having a good time.

    I spent the fall preparing for Christmas shows to sell my jewelry and pillows. It was a whole lot of work but I am definitely pleased with where I have come with J Pate Designs in a year's time. Wade was such a huge help and encouragement!!

    Thanksgiving was spent in East Texas with Wade's family and my good friend Andrea.

    Christmas arrived soon after and we made the trek to the Panhandle to see spend precious days with my family. We celebrated the birth of our Savior and my mom and dad's birthdays!

    We spent the few remaining days of 2011 relaxing, reflecting and recharging for the new year to come.

    We are so thankful to the Lord for our health, Wade's job, new friends, a stronger marriage and a closer walk with our Lord. We look forward to what 2012 holds!