Multitude on Mondays



small-0422 My gratitude book/list is almost full – don’t worry, I’m already shopping for the next volume.  Giving thanks is such a meaningful and productive part of my life, I don’t think I’ll ever stop.  So, here is where I am this week:

3716.  Unexpected afternoon off with J.

3717.  Seeing ice climbers up on the ice falls in Hyalite Canyon – inspiring and encouraging.

3718.  Super nice ice climber who returned J’s dropped wallet at some significant effort.

3719.  Encouraging developments around photography business. 

3720.  Working with nice people at MCS fundraiser dinner.



3721.  J finding connections with classmates getting easier.

3722.  Quick check-in with Holly

3723.  Getting lots of photos processed

3724.  Inspiration for some photo projects.

3725.  Good discussion at Bible Study

3726.  Americana chicken laid a blue egg after two months off for molting – a beautiful blue egg!

small-04343727.  Ann Voskamp on the importance of Jesus’ family tree

3728.  Arrison sleeping at my feet.

3729.  Good mango for breakfast two days in a row!


3730.  Warmer weather – supposed to be 40 degrees today!

3731.  Needed reschedule granted

3732.  Andy’s kindness/generous heart for J and I

3733.  Good friends all around!

3734.  No wreck when swerving to avoid sudden obstacle in the road – and J impressed with my crisis driving.

Categories: Autumn, Barns, Blessings, chickens, Daily life, Faith, Fall, gratitude, Montana, Montana weather, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Thankful to God | 1 Comment



All of todays photos are from the hike I took on Sunday afternoon just before the polar vortex hit.  As it is -20 ish as I type, I’m thinking my timing was pretty great.  I’d love to get back up Cottonwood Canyon with my camera and document the changes over the past three days, but . . . I’m just not crazy enough to do that in this frigid weather.


So instead I’ll focus on being grateful and maybe if I’m lucky I’ll go for an indoor walk at the mall.

I do have much to be thankful for and a loving and caring God who provides so very much.  These details are absolute assurance to me that he loves and cares for me specifically – how else would all these blessings come into my life?


3676.  Live in housesitter so we can take a trip and the animals will be cared for

3677.  Dinner and photos share with Brett and Roberta

3678.  Safe travels to and from Cody with no car issues.

3679.  Beauty of two different parts of Yellowstone seen on weekend travels through the park.

3680.  Sharing time with the Becker clan.


3681.  Good meaty discussion with J in the car as we travel.

3682.  Arriving home to a clean house.

3683.  Beautiful sun drenched morning photographing Julia

3684.  Walking and talking with Elizabeth on the phone.

3685.  Beautiful fall weather

3686.  J’s grades holding steady where he wants them.


3687.  Phone call with Daniel and Stacy

3688.  Danielle likes youth group.

3689.  Freedom for a client who sat in jail a long time before justice came his way.

3690.  Strength shown by Miss M. in a difficult situation.

3691.  Chance to learn more about photography.

3692. Great inspiring blog post by Ann Voskamp


3693.  Homemade apple sauce for breakfast.

3694.  Friendships in the school community

3695.  20 young chickens for free

3696.  Unexpected evening home watching game 7 as a family – and the Giants won making my boy so happy!\

3697.  Beautiful sunsets several days in a row.

3698.  Tank’s ability to help find missing little chickens


3699.  Looking forward to Advent

3700.  Variety of little chickens and how much Tank loves them.

3701.  Success in court for dear friends.

3702.  Referral of a new case that highlights Andy’s skills and faith.

3703.  Supportive phone calls from friends on a down day.

3704.  Second visit with the Becker clan – this time at our house.

3705.  New cases to replace those that are wrapping up.

3706.  Honesty/transparency character of the folks in our Bible Study group


3707.  Warm clothes to wear as the weather turns.

3708.  Fun watching the chickens around the yard.

3709.  Great positive feedback from teachers at parent teacher conferences.

3710.  Misty sunrise

3711.  Chickens surviving in bitter cold

3712.  Hike up Cottonwood Canyon before the snow flies.

3713.  Paul not injured in an accident sliding off the ice.

3714.  Having enough to get bills paid without stress.

3715.  Significant progress on over coming debt burden


Categories: Autumn, berries, Blessings, chickens, Cottonwood Canyon, Daily life, Extended Family, Faith, Fall, Fall leaves, gratitude, Hiking, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, Thankful to God, Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


There is so much to be thankful for in this life  and I don’t ever want to forget it.


3628.  A day at home doing chores as a family.

3629.  Good family walk/talk.

3630.  J joining the adults to celebrate a 75th birthday party after being specially invited by the birthday girl.

3631.  Studying the Christmas story in detail.

3632.  Forgiveness from friends after a mis-step.

3633.  Support from Andy in an emotionally difficult time.

3634.  Connecting with Alicia.


3635.  Plenty of rain to keep the countryside fresh and green well into the fall.

3636.  Bumper crop of apples – enough to share with friends

3637.  J getting to participate in homecoming traditions for first time.

3638.  Good advice from Jeremy.

3639.  Knowledge that God is in control when things seem to be flying out of control.

3640.  Paul’s good music leadership at worship.



3641.  Cooking with fresh eggs

3642.  Beautiful place to live all year-long – stunning views of storms coming in.

3643.  Family who lives close enough to visit for a weekend.


Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Extended Family, Faith, Fall, Gallatin River, gratitude, J, Montana, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, River, Thankful to God | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



3001.  Daisy’s along the road as driving to work.

3002.  J’s dedication to karate.

3003.  Delicious cherries.

3005.  Good advise from Steve and Daniel re: fasting

3007.  Sunshine as part of the weather after days of rain.

3008.  Including our teenage kids on a walk with my friend.

3011.  Successful solo hike in Yellowstone.

3017.  Hearing J’s innocent giggle

3022.  Easy access to Cottonwood Canyon for hiking.



3024.  Good nectarines

3035.  J playing cajon with Paul and friends while Andy and I swung on the swing in the evening dark.

3038.  Encouragement for J from his cousin James.

3043.  Wisdom from the book Wild Thing and constant opportunities to apply it

3047.  Full moon rise over Lake Tahoe

3051.  Being home after a week away

3056.  Walking and talking and sharing life with Denise

3060.  Gordie Hooper’s love and care for Andy

3061.  New camera lenses

3067.  Watching Garrett play bass in church worship group with such engaging enthusiasm

3070.  Time with Beau as a guest in our home.



3072.  Meat from Daniel W. that is delicious and in sufficient quantity to share with our guests

3074.  Flowers shared by Eva

3077.  J did a pull-up

3079.  Completing a 26 mile walk in one day after lots of training.

3085.  J finding his I-pod after thinking it was lost.

3086.  Hiking with the Anderson girls

3089.  Touching base with HOlly

3090.  J”s friendship with Nick

3096.  Grain harvest happening on surrounding properties.

3097.  J settling into school

3102.  Catching some evening photos.




3104.  Susan and Sarg are physically safe.

3105.  Friendship with Eva

3106.  Found lost keys in the dark.

3107.  JW’s quick recovery after face scraping fall.

3108.  Shooting photos at football game with J.

3109.  Warm weekend weather

3110.  Harvest activities all around the community.

3111.  Walking  with Denise

3112.  LH’s faith shining through during a tough time

3113.  J’s willingness to talk especially when driving



3114.  Reliability of our 17-year-old  truck

3115.  Kids independence at the mounted shooting event.

3116.  Encouraging words from Denise.

3117.  Comment from Aunt Susan on this blog.

3118.  Susan and Sarg’s home and property safe from nearby fire.

3119.  Beauty of frost on the hollyhocks

3120.  Good newsletter from Samaritan’s Purse

3121.  Beautiful photo on Instagram of little Liana

3122.  Quiet Saturday afternoon at home alone.



3123.  J chosing Christmas music to do his chores to  – in September

3124.  Lots accomplished in tackling the mounting clutter – seeing surfaces that have been covered for weeks!

3125.  Andy’s desire to do models in craft room – means more time together

3126.  Good photos of JW to work with despite scraped up face from fall during photo session

3127.  Bumper crop of apples and apple sauce in the making on the stove.









Categories: Autumn, Fall, flowers, Frost, gratitude, Hollyhocks, Montana, Montana weather, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, Weather | Leave a comment

June 2, 2014 Gratitude

sm-27002913.  More egg production last 2 days

2914.  Ben and Becca’s great graduation speeches

2915.  Standing to sing hymns is the right thing to do.

2916.  Brief fun connection with Anna H.

2917.  J’s connection with M and N still strong

2918.  The healing and emotional health we can see in J since joining MCS

2919.  Good meeting with Max and Merrilee

2920.  Camille sharing her heart about so many thingssm-2685

2921.  Cool breeze through the windows at night

2922.  So many fun people to connect and reconnect with at the graduation party

2923.  Dark purple flowers on the wild Delphinium plants along trails and roads

2924.  “Wild Things” from Linda

2925.  Hugs and warm greetings from Ben

2926.  Healing for Jax’  ear

2927.  Safety for a 4-year-old approached by a stranger

2928.  Arisson’s little tuft of wild hair on the top of his head

2929.  J’s respect for Glen L.

2930.  J’s successful playing drums for worship service

2931.  The way J describes Ben’s influence in his 8th grade project paper

2932.  8th grade project is all turned insm-2681

2934.  The wind through the open windows at night

2935.  U-Swirl is mostly gluten-free

2936.  Another new paying client

2937.  Excitement for Garrett and Andi’s wedding

2938.  So many yards with blooming flowers in town

2939.  Beau visiting and sharing about his life

2940.  Tank healing so well

2941.  My concerns understood by Denise

2942.  Summer bucket listssm-2691

2943.  summer food like corn on the cob

2944.  Being useful in the wedding preparation.

2945.  Coming to realize J will be in highschool soon and the changes that reflects and foreshadows

2946.  J doing well in karate after missing several weeks of sparring

2947.  Looks like no rain until after hike and not during Garrett and Andi’s wedding

2948.  Pelicans flying in unison

2949.  Completing hardest 10 mile hike I’ve ever done

2950.  J’s positive response to hard karate workout

2951.  Rain held off long enough to mow the lawnssm-2677

2952.  Wild flowers in abundance on 10 mile hike

2953.  Garrett and Andie’s wedding a success – not rained out and lots of fun

2954.  Tired body after active day

2955.  David K’s transformation from what seemed like a disaster to the pinnacle of success

2956.  Camera not damaged when it fell from the roof of the moving car

2957.  Lessons from Jasmine Star available for free on the internet

2958.  commonalities on our summer bucket lists

2958.  Reconnecting with friends over a meal

2950.  Tank back to wanting to walk around the field at night with Andy


Categories: Apple blossoms, flowers, gratitude, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Summer, Thankful to God | 3 Comments


It has been far too long since I published a portion of my ongoing gratitude list.  I am just going to go with the last 25 things and count it good because it would be the worlds longest post if I went all the way back and got completely caught up.    The photos posted today are just random photos from the past few weeks.  Hopefully soon I’ll be blogging more regularly and having more organized presentation of photos.


2531. Charlie’s sincerity

2532.  Nail didn’t hit any nerves in J’s foot or impact the bone when it went in from the bottom and popped out the top of his foot on Easter Sunday

2533.  Conflict-free time with big family

2834.  Beautiful spring weather for Easter and most of family visit

2835.  No rain while walking around Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone


2836.  Three year old boys

2837.  Emily survived accident and is healing so well.

2838.  J’s motivated to get back at karate despite foot injury.

2839.  Good Easter sermon

2840.  Charlie’s excitement over being outside and helping with Chickens.


2841.  Emily’s quick healing process

2842.  Seeing Christian friends rally to help and pray for Emily and her family.

2843.  Andy’s diligence with a challenging client and case.

2844.  Fields are getting green – raspberries getting leaves

2845.  Happy chickens


2846.  Able to have doors and windows open without freezing.

2847.  Friends through karate activities

2848.  Learning a new way to use my camera – back button focusing

2849.  Beautiful green fields as we drive to and from Colorado

2850.  Finding good photos on the computer.


2851.  Andy’s good taste in buying clothes for me.

2852.  Talk with Hannah Sue re: chickens

2853.  Someone to watch Tank while we travel.

2854.  Well written book that moved me to tears.

2855.  Beautiful view of the Crazy Mountains shrouded in clouds as we returned home.

2856.  Connecting with Eva.

Categories: Daily life, Faith, gratitude, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Thankful to God, Yellowstone | Leave a comment


Even after three years of keeping the list, it continues to have meaning – more meaning in fact than ever.    So, the list continues:

2307.  KLOVE for music in the car

2308.  J talks freely in the car and we have lots of windshield time so I can hear him speak

2309.  check we thought was outstanding had already cleared weeks ago, allowing balance in the accounts and relieving a sense of stress over the mystery.

2310.  Fog in the morning


2311.  Snow on the mountains

2312.  J’s reaction to the fog

2313.  Flower photographs,

2314.  Good discussion at Bible Study

2315.  Phone call from Daniel

2316.  Baby girl on the way.

2317.  Andy able to be productive after very discouraging events.


2318.  Warm hats

2319.  Good talks with J and K

2320.  Chicken noodle soup.

2321.  new archery target range from things we already have.

2322.  J getting a couple of phesant first time out.

2323.  Full payment received earlier than expected.

2324.  Run/walk with Andy on Sunday morning

2325.  Singing “The Great I Am” in church and almost losing my voice afterward

2326.  Good community at Manhattan Christian school.

2327.  All the fun shows on PBS – with lots of learning and cooking and mysteries.

2328.  Oatmeal


2329.  Eva thinking of us for a unique hand-me-down

2340.  Andy handling a strange form of rejection well.

2341.  God coming through with a better solution after the strange rejection.

2332.  The continuing power of keeping a gratitude list and being reminded to be thankful.

2333.  More flexibility in my schedule than I usually realize.

2334.  Being the family that runs out in the pitch dark to take photos of the ag workers baling and stacking hay at night.

2335.  Scrap 365 magazine – a great inspiration and a lot of style that is “up my alley”

2336.  Fall has arrived right on time.

Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, flowers, gratitude, Hyalite, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, Thankful to God | 1 Comment


IMG_3945smSome days I am filled with items to be thankful for and joyfully pull out my journal and write them down like an inventory of what comes so natural.  A sort of praising God for all He has done.

But other days I pull out my journal and work hard to find something to be thankful for.  It can be a struggle.  Not because there are few things to be grateful for but because I’m struggling with an attitude not consistent with gratitude, or a hurt set of feelings.  In these situations the creation of the list is a grasp for health, a reach to get out of the pit.  In these cases God uses this list as a comfort to my heart.

The list I’m posting today is full of both kinds of items – and really, I think that is always true, but I’m not sure I’ve shared that here before.

IMG_3911sm2256.  Being involved in my church leadership – even if it is a relatively small role.

2257.  J’s talkative nature.

2258.  J’s saying “For the first time school was fun – I was sad to leave.” 

2259.  Great karate program with wonderful teachers.

2260.  Afternoon thunderstorms dumping moisture on the land.

2261.  Watching J learn a new Kata in karate

2262.  Running into Mick unexpectedly.

2263.  Carrots from our garden.

2264.  Bus comes a little later in the morning than last year, giving a more relaxed pace to the morning.

2265.  J’s photos being usable

2266.  J’s continued success with his start to school

2267.  lens returned to F-11 without incident.

IMG_3915sm2268.  Eva and Daniel’s willingness to help with rental deposit

2269.  J’s getting his green belt in karate

2270.  Supportive people at karate

2271.  Yummy granola

2272.  Andy’s good billing in August

2273.  E’s strength to testify for a 3rd time.

2274.  Andy’s good lawyering on E’s behalf

2275.  Affirmation from teachers re: J’s good start to school year

2276.  There are good/great photos of A. H. for her senior photo

2277.  Taking the long-term view of discipline issues – he’ll be thankful in years to come that we made him keep a commitment

2278.  Funny card for Andy

2279.  Family photo session that was fun for all of us


2280.  J biked down the Langhor road without falling

2281.  home-grown carrots for dinner

2282.  Gift of an apple pie

2283.  Andy’s resolving cases

2284.  Time to make good dinners two nights in a row

2285.  Cottonwoods with yellow fall leaves earlier than usual

2286.  Good drums for J to learn on.

2287.  Free chickens coming in a month – time to build that coop

2288.  Hand written letter from a friend

2289.  Compliments on a hair cut

IMG_3868sm2290.  Brene Brown’s teaching on shame and vulnerability

2291.  Bible study meeting again.

2292.  Having what we need even when finances are tight.

2293.  J having N over again – and N wants to be at our house.

2294.  Three pumpkins on the vine.

2295.  Beautiful clouds in the trees around the reservoir

2296.  Learning about finding mushrooms

2297.  hearing my wind chime and being reminded of Oakhurst

2298.  Dogs curled up at my feet

2299.  Plum jam made with free plums

2300.  J’s approach to school right now.


******* EDITED TO ADD:  Got a comment that this photo looked like the fish was standing on the bridge.  Made me laugh because I think it is a reflection of how as the photographer we know what is going on and and read that into the photo.  I took this photo the morning I was down at the river, and a very nice cute rotund older fisherman asked me if I wanted to take a photo of the fish he caught – it was still on the hook, but you can’t see the line in the photo.  I obliged his request and it created a happy little memory for me, so I posted the photo thinking it was self explanatory.  Obviously not.  A happy memory, not a clearly conveyed by the photos. ****

2301.  Beautiful stormy skies with a pink glow at sunset

2302.  Lightening is accompanied by rain these days – no dry lightning

2303.  A very light local fire season.

2304.  Encouragement that we can keep chickens in the winter without having to get electricity out to the coop

2305.  A bit of a walk early in the morning – the self-discipline to get up very early to make it happen.

2306.  Encouraging Family Life Today program

2302.  Good time with Ellie and her friends taking photos

2303.  Open hearted talk with Elsa – listening to a 13-year-old girl is a rare opportunity for me

Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Faith, Fall, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, River, Thankful to God | 1 Comment


IMG_1182_3670smBusy, busy, busy!  It seems to be the story of our culture.  But I’m working hard to not be too busy for the really important things.  Not to be too busy for hugs.  Not too busy for words of affirmation to a teen in need.  Not too busy to notice the hurting folks all around.

And not to busy to be thankful to God for all the wonderful little treasures he blesses me with every day. 

So, the list continues:

2130.  Good less expensive hair cut.

2131.  A husband with integrity

2132.  Tom Miner Basin hike and discovery the beauty of a new to us place.

2133.  Asked to help out with something I’m good at.

2134.  Ability to work well with my good friend Eva – we can accomplish a lot together!

IMG_1222_3660sm2135.  Good discussion with Andy about issues from our past

2136.  Peace in the face of exploring possible change.

2137.  J facing fears and handling blood test well – he’s healthy as can be.

2138.  J’s good health

2139.  J’s finding ways to entertain himself when we are at work.

2140.  Beautiful backyard for summer company and time around the fire pit.

2141.  Sleeping out under the big full moon two nights in a row

2142.  Storm door to replace the old broken one for free on a street corner

2143.  Lettuce from our garden

2144.  Air conditioning returned/repaired at the office.

2145.  Fun with young people of the worship team.

IMG_1231_3729sm2146.  Friend sharing her heart in a vulnerable way.

2147.  Desire to be artsy – that feeling in my heart that it is time to create again!  Otherwise known as “I got some mojo flowing”

2148.  Good resources when needed for Andy

2149.  Anniversary well celebrated – this is our sweet 16 year!

2150.  Winning on a difficult case for a special client.

2151.  Enough lettuce from the garden for when we have company.

2152.  J doing well talking to his doctor (showing independence!)

2153.  Fitting into a pair of pants I always loved after 5 years of being too big for them.

2154.  Successful photo shoot for Emily.

2155.  Finding $20 in the pocket of those old pats that aren’t too small for me any more.

2156.  Beautiful place to take photos right where I live.

2157.  J back in karate.

2158.  Inspiration for prayer and fasting day.

2159.  Karate parents being such a supportive group.

2160.  J’s able and willing to talk openly about his feelings as he starts his teen years.

IMG_1232_3731sm2161.  Janice is my friend and J’s surrogate grandma.

2162.  Meat in the freezer helping with the grocery bill in a time of tight budgets.

2163.  Cool weather for morning walks.

2164.  Daisy’s in my garden

2165.  Holly hocks starting to bloom bright and pink

2166.  J’s seeking a job – and not being shy about it, but being a go-getter.

2167.  July was a good billing month.

2168.  God’s provision in bits and pieces

2169.  Fun taking photos of the Stewart family and getting to know them a bit better.

2170.  Getting some quality photos of Eva’s family.

2171.  Extra school supplies ready for use

2172.  Last year’s clothes will fit for the start of school.

2173.  J willing to try solutions to his disorganization issues.

2174.  Cool evening air to sleep in with the windows open.

IMG_2147_4599sm2175.  Phone call with Eva during a busy time for her.

2176.  Extra dishwasher soap in the basement just when I thought we had run out.

2177.  J getting together with friends over the weekend.

2178.  Time to clean my art area – so I can use that mojo!

2179.  Andy supportive of a family gratitude journal project.

2180.  Smell of banana bread baking

2181.  J likes orange shirts and they look good on him.

2182.  The creativity of God reflected int he little fairy head flowers (see the first five photos above)

2183.  Hearing good things about Andy’s reputation from community members.

2184.  Inspiration in Ann VosKamp’s blog posts – seems like they all speak right into me these days.

Categories: Daily life, flowers, gratitude, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, Summer, Thankful to God | 3 Comments


A morning of harsh words happens sometimes. 

Especially after a weekend of on and off tensions.IMG_5262sm

Frustration abounds. 

Depression lurks and oppresses.

All is not lost, but there are moments where it feels like it might be.

Ever have that series of days?

Yeah, me too.


But there remains much to be thankful for :

1788.  Good dinner with triathlon teammates

1789.  Evening with old friends from far away and others who have stayed close.

1791.  Thinking about Andy’s strengths

1799.  Seeing Sandhill Cranes dancing for each other on the hill-top while out walking

1810.  Herbal remedy for minor health issue

1811.  Good water out of the tap – wonderful well, for which I’ve been thankful before.

1815.  Little purple flowers at the base of the big aspen trees.

1819.  J’s confidence in Red Lodge

1824.  Goat milk ice cream

1831.  Little boy’s imagination – Midnight Mission to space

1834.  Tank digging in his giant water dish and happily splashing water all over the place – oh the joy of that dog!

1839.  Time to talk with Janice Lambert and absorb her wisdom in raising boys.

1847.  J helpful to others – and others acknowledgement of that helpfulness.

1854.  Being strong in a pressured conversation.

1858.  J sleeping in the car

1867.  Good times with nice people in our home.

1869.  Rain for days making everything green and wet.

1871.  Time for some art.

1872.  Old photos of Andy when he was a child.

1878.  Wyatt walking and raising money for his cause.

1881.  Woodpecker in the tree across the road – and chance to watch it every time I go for a walk.

These are just the skim off the top of the vat of things written in my gratitude journal since the last time I posted gratitude.  A reminder to myself that there is much to be thankful for, and in being thankful, I’m not offering praise to the unknown, but praise to the creator and God of my heart!

Categories: Art, Daily life, Faith, gratitude, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Thankful to God | 2 Comments

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