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Wedding Plans and Building Houses

Dennis and I woke up early, flew to Sedona and hiked in the beautiful red rocks in search of wildflowers. Well after last week and making Dennis stop so I could photograph every flower, I was out to photograph wildflowers, D was out to hike amongst them.

Oh the blooms did not disappoint!

They just kept coming, so many colors, such beauty.

See him from afar!? I told you, he was there to hike and I could snap photos if I wanted but he wasn’t waiting! He really does love my reindeer games.

How could I resist this agave just ready to burst?

Or this agave with it’s tall bloom?

The Yucca’s were having a hard time standing straight, their blooms were full.

I think Sedona is a place where God really shows off! I kept singing, “How lovely is Your dwelling place, oh Lord Almighty… Better is one day in Your courts.”

Amazing among these overwhelming towers of red rock stands this tiny little beauty shining to give us a morning greeting.

Splashes of color every where you turn. “There are so many colors in a flower so let’s see every one!” ~Harry ChapinThey look like dandelions a little. Dots of yellow strewn all over the red makes for a cheery walk.

Hiking and these wondrous blooms and the sounds of the birds singing their welcoming songs was just what my heavy heart needed. Oh how I would love to be in the midst of Samantha and Pete finding an apartment or be by her side while she goes to pick up her dress and picks out shoes. The pain is sometimes sickening.

Lavished with God’s creation and His promises I see the treasure in our life. “Our’s” meaning Dennis, me and our children and grandchildren. We choose Christ. In doing that I know we will all be blessed.  I cherish the time I do get with Samantha and Pete and hold them so dear. So I will press on, enjoy this new world and count the days until I get to be immersed in wedding bliss!

Spoiled ~ Susie

Mixed Bag

My photo sources are mixed, I didn’t take pictures at Samantha’s shower. I forgot my camera when I went to Grand Rapids so I had to use my phone the entire time. I am not an expert with Android photo taking

First morning at Nanny’s, Carter, Mom and Tia.Carter Saying Cheeese!

Pete and I sandwich Samantha. She is in her glory.There I am in the dugout at my softball team debut.

Back home and back to work on our house. Our trusty builder, Doug Humphries uses scraps to explain his work. We like him.


Lovin’ Life~Susie


Time Flies

There was this whirlwind. March 15, 2012 I began to move to the mountain. March 28, 2012 the movers came to move the furniture. March 31, 2012 Dennis and I finished moving the rest of the stuff and I cleaned the garage floor. April 3, 2012 I met Erin in Michigan. Erin, Carter and I rallied around Samantha and we shopped, cooked, created, talked and planned a wedding for Samantha! Whew, oh and we had a shower that was held at Rhiannon’s house. We must have left Aunt Micki’s house a disaster because she spring cleaned after we left. She may never let me cook in her kitchen again. I do make messes!

The 3 of us. I loved spending the time with my girls and Carter.

I love my sisters and my mom. I see pictures now and I think Sesame Street; one of these things is not like the others! I am a giant!

This is Samantha’s new family; meet Denise and Jacqueline.

I don’t know about you but when my children get married I go over and over in my head all the things I hope I taught them. What did I forget? So many things I left out, so many things they will learn as they go. Most importantly I hope I taught them that God is love, He created love and love conquers. I hope they know to meditate on God’s word, pray for their spouses (because prayer does a lot more than flapping our jaw!). Be friendly at home. 🙂 I don’t know how to do it without Jesus. There is quite a bit of scripture below for our reminder. I hope you read and soak them up. God is only good. Justice, Mercy, Forgiveness, Obedience and Love are always covered. We get to read of all the promises that follow!!

Psalm 119:41-48~NKJ~ Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord—
Your salvation according to Your word.
 So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.
 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I have hoped in Your ordinances.
 So shall I keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.
 And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.
 I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,
And will not be ashamed.
 And I will delight myself in Your commandments,
Which I love.
 My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments,
Which I love,
And I will meditate on Your statutes.

Psalm 1:1-3 ~The Message~  How well God must like you— you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road, 
   you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College. 
 Instead you thrill to God’s Word, 
      you chew on Scripture day and night. 
   You’re a tree replanted in Eden, 
      bearing fresh fruit every month, 
   Never dropping a leaf, 
      always in blossom.

Joshua 1:7-9~The Message~Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”

Micah 6:8~NKJ~He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

2 Corinthians 2:5-11 ~NKJ~ But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man,  so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.  Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.  For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.  Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Stay tuned for pictures of the groom, Carter Joshua and of course our new house!

Full~ Susie

29 years ago

Long Beach, California, March 18, 1983 I welcomed Samantha Margaret Hosman into my life. What a joy! She was beautiful then and she is beautiful now.

Snuggling is what we like to do!

Today I celebrate Samantha’s birthday. Far away but happy knowing this will be the first that I am not the first choice of people she wants to share her day. Enter Pete DeBoer, the one she wants to share her day today and always. Wow.

When Samantha was twelve years old she got a dad, brother and sister. What a thrill to be a family! So many changes in a little girl’s life she has developed character and resolve beyond her years. It has been a marvelous journey so far and I am looking so forward to this new chapter as she steps into the role of wife. I don’t have a picture of Samantha and Pete together, uh um….. otherwise this would be a good place to insert here…..

Samantha loves hard, feels passionately about most things and adds color commentary when ever needed.

I am so blessed to be the mom of Samantha Margaret Hosman, her strength, passion and tender romanticism has a way of getting right into my heart and she is gripping. Her new role as wife will catapult her into her dream of marrying a man who loves and cares for her, in a word, Pete. I am looking forward to walking this new road with you Samantha; the ups and downs the jubilation and the trials. Oh the Joy of loving and being loved!

Happy Birthday Lucy! I love you so.

Flying to see Erin!

Mother of the Bride ~ Susie



Standing in our bedroom

Today we visited what we are now calling “our house” instead of “our property”. Yes we have a foundation!! I can’t stop singing, “On Christ the solid rock I stand.” There is just something about seeing cement instead of dirt, it makes me think we are really building a house.

Looks long

There it is. Spread across our property.

Dennis capturing the view

I’m standing in the kitchen looking west.

Same spot in the kitchen with a view of our back yard and southwest. 

This is our shower 🙂 Oh and the current bathroom in the distance.

Gus loves our new digs, he is so tired of the confining golf course. There are so many smells and adventures on the mountain!

It’s March, It’s Saturday, It’s the Big Salad!! We love MSU basketball and Dr. Dunning loves the big salad and sports.

Dessert for my boyfriend.

It’s March; it is spring, we are now back to pacific time (which makes trips out of Las Vegas easier to figure), we get to see this house take shape, we are now getting ready for a wedding, we celebrate St’ Patrick’s Day, our heritage, we celebrate the births of Brett and Samantha!

It’s March; we get to speak of basketball teams we’ve never heard of and unknown cities, we get passionate and cheer for them all for the global unity we call Madness!!  This single month, March Madness gets our family chattering on email like no other event. Hang on, we are about to have another web-based Blast cheering for, not necessarily the home team, just the teams we have chosen to go all the way in this crazy season of NCAA Basketball!!

I love March ~ Susie



It’s all about training.

If you are on Facebook you could hardly miss that Brett and I ran a marathon last Sunday, February 19, 2012. This was a first for both of us. It all started when he asked me to run the Chicago marathon last fall. Well Brett got deployed to Afghanistan so we missed the Chicago and chose to do the Austin Livestrong to give him time to train.

The above pictures were the day before the race, full anticipation of what lies ahead for the next day.

Lined up and ready to run!

I showed Kirsti I got to 23 miles!

I received a message on Facebook from Samantha that said, “You would think after all the metaphorical marathons, this wouldn’t be that intimidating” Amen to that!

Today we will talk about training. I can’t let this slip by.

My self portrait of the finish. Vanity? Haha! It was an accomplishment I wanted recorded.

I’m kinda a rule follower. As I was growing up, I hated to let people down; I didn’t like getting in trouble and I really wanted attention and people to like me. Therefore, I followed rules and well got into some trouble but really tried to avoid it at all cost. So when given the challenge of training for a marathon I did two things; talked to Mike Haverdink (well Kirsti mostly) because he is a successful marathon runner. Secondly, I found a training schedule the Livestrong marathon organization recommended. Now mind you, I did veered from the schedule now and then but the majority of the time I followed it. I didn’t want injury or failure.

This may be seriously corny but doesn’t a marathon reflect life? We run the race, Hebrews 12:1. As we are running the race we need to be prepared. 2 Timothy 2:15  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The only way to run the race God has set forth and to divide the truth is to study the word, train if you will. Ephesians 4:14 says we shouldn’t be like children tossed to and fro by every wind of new or better ways of doing things. When a trial, temptation, cunning proposition comes along, the only way to stand strong is to be trained and complete the race God set before you.

Studying ~Susie







I’m training for my first marathon. I am 23 days out. Of course while running and training I have a lot of time to think….. Sometimes this is dangerous. I also have been watching a prayer conference on line, today was sadly the last day, it was phenomenal and much needed for this girl.

Crim finish

1 Corinthians 3:5-8 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

I just love Paul, the truth and not acceptance was more important to him.

We have gifts and talents. God gives each of us something different. We have different desires. I love to run although I never thought I would run a marathon. There are many out there who hate it. My friend Kirsti just attended the marathon olympic trials, the women who qualified ran under a 6 minute mile for 26. 2 miles. I can’t run ONE mile in under 6 minutes.

My favorite training partner and longest run to date.

No matter what we do, if we do it for the glory of God. He will give it increase. I look at this marathon not as just a personal bucket list accomplishment. This is an opportunity for me to do something with Brett. We’re training (he’s much faster than I). We are going to his house, spending time with Zoe and him. Running a race in Austin, TX that is rediculously long and we can share the aftermath of the recovery. I’m trusting that God will bless this time.

As I read this over, and this is a Susie thought; I also believe God increases even when we use our talents and we don’t realize it’s going to be for His glory. He loves to show us how He loves us, for some, this will draw them in to His embrace.

Oh how He loves us all ~ Susie


Same today, yesterday and always

My mom is visiting. There is just nothing on earth as good as when your mom visits and you get to smell her, chat with her, eat the food she cooks. Oh and then there are the things she likes and I hate, for instance ironing!

My mom is a giver and a doer. When I was little I thought she was weak; she cried, she always seemed tired, she sat in the evenings and stared at the TV. As an adult I figured out my mom raised 8 children, the last five of us by herself. She worked at a job she didn’t much care for but was thankful to have in order to put food on the table in which she cooked everyday after a full day of work. She cried because it was so hard, she was lonely and in the middle of it all her mom died. Whew, not sure I have to go on. You get the picture of this incredible woman who at 80 she still presses on (as seen in the picture) toward the mark of an upward call of God. (Philippians 3:14).

She taught me that faith in God and forgiveness (which didn’t always come easy for her either) was what it is all about.

All of this reminds me that Jesus is the same yesterday, today (Hebrews 13:8). In our recent history, Jesus is the One who carried my mom through the trials she bore throughout her life. Jesus is the One who saved her when she cried for help. Jesus is the One who protected all of her eight “darlings” as she laid in bed at night praying for our guardian angels to protect us. She had to start at #1 one night and #8 the next in case she fell asleep in the middle she was sure to cover each of us.

Jesus healed, his disciples laid hands on the sick and healed in His name. We laid hands on my mom and she was healed from glaucoma. Her Dr. was awe struck as she told him, “My kids laid hands on me.” He confirmed and she needed no further treatment.

In Matthew 25:14-30 Servants were given talents. My mom is like the servant who multiplied his talents. She never hid them under a bushel. She Used her gift of hospitality and giving to reach so many. Multiplied by 8 I hope we use those same talents as examples to our children and to show others the love of Christ. 

Virginia M. Schmitt is a great example of what Jesus wants us to be in our lives. I hope at 80 I am still serving Him by serving others.

Oh how I love Jesus and all He has done in our lives, so thankful for a healthy Mom!

Awed by a never changing God ~ Susie



As a little girl Christmas was so special. My mom and dad loved Celebrating and they are both gift givers. As you can imagine, being 7th of 8 children it was chaos from Christmas Eve until Christmas night.


  • My parents couldn’t wait until Christmas morning so Santa would come while we went to midnight mass or shortly after we were tucked in for the night. 
  • My mom made stockings for each of us,
    The stockings were hung

    I wish I had one of her old photos to show how she hung them every year. These simple felt and rick rack stockings reflected her love for us.

  • One year, while sitting on his lap, I asked Santa for a “snuffed snake”. I saw one hanging at Circus World, the equivalent of Toys R Us when I was a child, and it was huge. I kinda didn’t believe in Santa any more but when I opened it up on Christmas morning I once again became a believer.
  • I’m not sure if this is a highlight but after the bedlum of Christmas Eve and morning my Grandparents Schmitts would come over. We rarely saw them and they loved giving us presents. We would have to clean the house as if we hadn’t opened any gifts yet. I’m not quite sure why we had to clean and pretend but we did. They weren’t real keen on messes and 8 children in one morning.
  • We always had spares. Spare people. My mom included broken hearted, misunderstood friends in our festivities. They always became part of our family.
  • Leo. Leo and Joan became part of our Holidays when I was young, after dad left, I guess. I’m not sure, maybe always. He entertained, made us smile and SING and unconditionally loved us.
  • We always sing Happy Birthday to Jesus with an Angel Food Cake of course 🙂  
    Happy Birthday Jesus!

    My mom makes sure we know the meaning of Christmas and of course we have fun celebrating. I love Christmas. Stay tuned for Christmas with the Dunnings’.
    Filled ~Susie
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