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Rodeos and Anniversaries


Have I told you about this family? This is a family only God can create. We are a hodge podge of individuals that God mixed together and called us FAMILY. I wouldn’t trade a single second of it. There have been bumps and there have been victories but most of all our children; Brett, Samantha, Josh and Erin and Grandchildren; Zoe and Carter have been a source of joy. I am so thankful.

Dennis and I have worked hard together and by the grace of our sovereign Lord to provide a shelter and comfort for our children and one another. The key has been to do it for one another and then your children. If you come away with anything from my Blogs please come away with, TAKE CARE of YOUR SPOUSE.

This week on December 7 we will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. You will have to read my book to know the complete road that got us here! But we’ve had some crappy anniversaries, romantic anniversaries, nice anniversaries, anniversaries separated because of fellowship, busy because of school activities. Well this year will be a first. Yep this year….

Dennis and I decided for our anniversary we were going to Las Vegas, go see a show; Cirque, Phantom or something like that; have dinner, maybe spend the night. While looking for tickets for different shows I saw the National Rodeo Championships are going on for the next 2 weeks. They even have a cowboy Christmas sale in one of the largest Convention centers in the city. I mentioned it to Dennis, we looked at tickets and he said no way, we are not spending that much for a RODEO. OK good we are back on the Cirque thing ūüôā After spending the week in the cath lab, speaking to nurses and techs, they told him it is totally worth it! Most of them have gone because, “You have to see it at least once.” So, we are going to the National Championship Rodeo tomorrow night in Las Vegas. We’re going to sport our boots and tight jeans and blend in with the crowd!!

I’m telling you what, I never saw this coming. I married a guy who lived in East Grand Rapids, he wore polos and docksiders and blew dry his hair. Now I am wearing camouflage and cowboy boots.

We went to our first rodeo in Texas when we visited Brett. Well it was my first. I won a prize and got to have a picture with the rodeo clown.

I really enjoyed the Rodeo much more than I thought I would and we actually attended the local Mohave County Rodeo this fall in Kingman.
So tomorrow afternoon I will be donning my boots and hat and heading to Vegas to see the best of the best in the USA! It’s a little different than the evening of dinner, and a show but oh so much fun and the people watching will be out of this world.
Worn out at Grand Canyon
Back to my beautiful family. Because of this 15 year union we have been blessed by children and grandchildren that have loved and influenced our lives and created complete change.
Psalm 112:1-2
Praise the LORD!Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
Who delights greatly in His commandments.His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.


I tell you the truth. This marriage and this family has come at a cost. Jesus paid for it and we walk it out Trusting God. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us. (1 Thes 5:16-18)
Don’t give up. Push through anything you think might be too difficult, you will come out of the other end strengthed. Our marriages and inheritance of values, honor and integrity are key to our children and grandchildren.
I will end with this: Phil 3:13-14 forgetting those things which are behind  and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
How can you resist cousins in the bathtub!?
Blessed beyond all I could dream ~ Susie

The important things

It’s Monday morning the week of Thanksgiving. The cooking has begun in our home. Today we have wave number one of our children coming to visit us in Kingman for the first time. Erin, Josh and Carter arrive this afternoon. Brett and Zoe arrive early in the morning on Tuesday and what was a tough decision seems to have been a smart one Samantha arrives on Friday afternoon. Samantha’s schedule was tough because of retail and now she is going to come after interviewing for a job!

Our life here in Kingman is different. Dennis works fewer hours, he has time for activities and time with me. I believe our friendship is stronger than ever. I’m sure our children will notice a difference.

My heart is so happy when I have everyone in our home. God certainly knows what he is doing when He puts us all together.


It’s time to vacuum up dog hair, make sure toys have new batteries, clean sheets on all the beds, car seats, boosters, pack-n-play, story books, basketball DVR’d, favorite snacks are prepared, vacation days taken, our hearts are certainly ready!

I am so thankful that our children love coming to visit. I’m thankful for a son-in-law who likes to hang out with us. Praying that God gives Brett and Samantha spouses that will love being a part of this crowd.

The leaves on the trees are turning (It’s the end of November) the grass is still green, my cosmos are still in bloom and the Turkey is in the freezer anxiously waiting to go in the oven!

I’m Thankful ~ Susie

My Beloved

Tomorrow is my beloved’s birthday.

My boyfriend is a driver. He pushes himself and everyone around him. In his life he has had three careers, we have moved quite often and now we are taking on the task of building a house on a mountain in the west, where he dreamed of living.

I believe our fifteen year marriage is the best of Dennis Wayne Dunning with exception to his two beautiful children, Brett and Erin. I got the best!

We were both wrecks entering this union with our insecurities that manifested in different ways. ¬†He has taught me to complete. When he drives, he accomplishes. He admits his short comings and strives to improve. Oh sometimes it pains me to admit mine ūüôā Together we have learned unconditional love. John 15:13¬†Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one‚Äôs life for his friends.

He is not afraid of the future, he trusts God. Matthew 6:33-34  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Together we have faced trials, oh some doozies! We have come through them just as God promised with renewed strength.

 James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Dennis Dunning loves quietly with precision. What does that mean? Well just like Jesus taught us, love is not a feeling it is a decision. Dennis loves as he studies, works and plays with definitive decision and passion to make it right and good.

What an honor it is to be Mrs. Dennis W. Dunning. He is a true friend, confidante, kite flyer and leader of our beautiful family. 




Song of Solomon 7:10 and a tad of 11   I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is toward me.
Come, my beloved


Thank you for pushing us Dr. America! Oh how I love you.

Thankful ~Susie


Visits and building

Micki’s whirlwind decorating visit was so good for my soul. God knows what I need when I need it. This week I am working on building contracts and getting ready for the deluge of children and grand children. I have looked forward to this time since we arrived in Kingman.

It looks like you will be following along on our adventure of building a house in a subdivision called Lazy YU which was once an 8,000 acre cattle ranch. The excavators will get moving on the dirt soon and progress will begin. God quite handily landscaped our beautiful 9 acres with junipers (these are trees not shrubs), pinion pines, cactus, chaparral, wild flowers and lets not forget the rocks, oh the magnificent mounds of rocks littered with an assortment of colors. We are excited to begin. Stay tuned.

Tomorrow I am heading to Las Vegas ūüôā yep you guessed it, I need to make a Costco run before we have a house full. Also for an extra special treat, I am attending a leadership conference (just for the day) to get a little faith shot in the arm from Pastor Mark Hankins. He’s not from Michigan but will remind me of there. God is so generous and loving. I am looking forward to the day.

This is a good life and I am thankful. ~Susie


Mid Autumn Night Dream

Well I would call it a dream if I had been sleeping. I woke up at 3:30 am. Lately if I wake up in the middle of the night I get up, I read or well, surf Facebook or Pin on Pinterest. Last night I thought, maybe if I stay in bed, snuggled in my cozy blankies I will fall right back to sleep. I wouldn’t dare share when I am having one of those worry sessions, lets just say I have to discipline myself after all the cares I don’t cast on the Lord. 2Corinthians 10:5 & 6¬†¬†bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,¬†and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Here’s how 3:30 am went: Oh no I haven’t even looked at tile for my new house; All bathrooms need tile, two showers, a tub and I love that green tile I saw in that magazine. Did I rip it out? I should Pin it. Maybe I should get up and start Pinning.

No, cozy warm bed, chilly family room.

I can’t remember what kind of tea Micki drinks. I know she likes Passion tea from Starbucks, but I want to have everything she loves when she’s here.

This is a picture of Jane and me running in the wee hours of the morning in Jerusalem

I wonder if Lee and Jane Cummings made it safe to India. Wouldn’t it be disastrous if their luggage didn’t arrive? I so enjoyed spending time with Jane in Israel. I would love to see them when we go back to GR.¬†What did Lee think of the books he read on the plane?

Did Brett, our 35 year old, very capable and independent son find a place to live? Maybe I should fly there and help him.

Wouldn’t it be nice if I can sleep?

I should have looked at the website the cabinet guy wanted me to look at. I’m not sure what kind of cabinet I should put in the powder room. Valencia Mosaic Copper Vessel Sink¬†Should I put a pounded copper sink there?

I don’t even know where to shop for tile and carpet and Micki is going to be here in 10 sleeps, I better find out where we can shop.

Ok, if I sing maybe I will fall asleep, “Glory to glory to, glory to, glory to, glory to God” Fred Hammond is not a good lullaby. Lord rest is good, please help me sleep.

At about 4:15 am I know Dennis is awake too. His breathing changed, I don’t want to stir. Oh geez did I move around too much and wake him up?

The room lights up. Yes we are so close to our neighbors that when they turn their bathroom light on it lights up our bed room. Steve and Mindy are getting up to go to the gym.

I wonder how Samantha’s squash turned out? Oh no, I didn’t put those pictures together for her.

I got a card to send Rhiannon and Steve and I didn’t send it yet. It’s been on my desk for two days, I need to send it out.

If I get up quietly, grab my warm clothes from the closet, go and make coffee will it wake Dennis up? I know the answer is yes.

I should make granola for Maria and Doug and buy them a puzzle.

Seriously, all these important thoughts and they are all critical to get completed at 3:30 am-5:00am.

The last time I looked at the clock it was 5:01 am. I fell asleep. The alarm went off at 5:30 am. Up and at ’em! Give me strength to do all on my list and wisdom to weed out the folly.

1 Kings 3:14¬†So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will¬†lengthen your¬†days.‚ÄĚ

Psalm 116:7 Return to your rest, O my soul,
         For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

God gives me rest and He lengthens my days. Oh, He is so incredibly good to us! I hope I don’t waste that time with idol thoughts.

Feeling satisfied ~ Susie


I ran a 10K race this morning. In Kingman the races are quite small, there were only 23 10K racers but more 5K runners and walkers. It was a beautiful morning for a run, 60ish degrees and sunny. The course however was brutal! The race was a “there and back”, not my favorite. The “there” was up hill, not just little hills. I was running by myself but had I been with someone, I wouldn’t have been able to talk!! Anyone who has ever run with me knows these were serious hills to silence me.

I ran, I finished and was happy with my time. This continues my training for the marathon I will be running with our son Brett Dunning on February 18 in Austin Texas.

Which reminds me, Captain Dunning

Brett on his way to Afghanistan

returned from Kandahar, Afghanistan this week. Oh this makes us so happy. He was reunited with his darling Zoe Girl.

She is adorable and so happy to have her dad home

We are blessed with incredible children. And now Zoe Girl and Carter are added to put the cherry on top of our life that only God could have put together.

I think of the Lyrics by Michael and Lisa Gungor sum it up, they are so simple so true:

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground. Out of chaos life is being found in You

Thankful~ Susie



Dreamy Doctor Dunning is a driver. He doesn’t do anything halfway. He fits the dominate personality on every test, no matter how you flip it. He’s also a melancholy, worker. Just get it done and don’t get distracted. Even when asked to sing in the World Outreach Limerick Men’s Christmas Choir, he did it wholeheartedly!¬†So when I say I’m going to do something, say become a writer. He encourages writing. The new thing he has learned, and believe me this is learned, is patience. Oh he thought when I said I was going to be a writer, I meant now! That was 2.5 years ago. He has stuck with me, asks calmly, “When are you going to start?”

See, we are completely opposite and so good for one another. His patience and his nod to my classes and conferences are paying off folks! He moved me to the desert and here I am writing! He really is dreamy.

Of course in the time it took me to get around and really take this serious, he has become a pilot, learned to fly our own plane and is now on his way to becoming instrument certified. Oh I love that man and now to work!

Loving that man of mine ~Susie


I love pink. Well what I really love is fuschia. Back in the 90’s when I sold Aloette cosmetics I wore French Raspberry lipstick, it was the favorite for years. I think fuschia is a good color for me, I like bright. Samantha shares the love of pink. She loves to wear it, live in it, snuggle in it and we like the connection of our bright hued PINK.

Today Samantha celebrated her graduation with her Nanny, aunts, cousins and friends. Samantha’s friends; She guards her heart and only allows a safe few in. She is a joy. She fears rejection and she loathes disloyalty.

Samantha loves GLAMOUR!


Samantha’s best friend, outside of Muah, is Erin Jean. Erin and I got to be a part of her graduation in Panama. That was joyous!

one of my favorite pictures of my girls

The three of us had a wonderful time together in Central America!

80's slicker pays off in Panama

This time Erin and I shared the joy from miles away.

Does this diminish the joy of the work Samantha accomplished? Oh no, not at all. Instead, Samantha celebrated with the closest women around her (and Uncle Roger). These women have all, at some point in her life been a lifter of her head, an encourager and confidante.

No Samantha, it is not the same but it is real and it is fun to see you from a distance get celebrated and applauded for completing a huge step in your dream!

I love them

You are finished with cosmetology school. Never to be a #beautyschooldropout, Only to be an artist with the license to make BEAUTY!

One word describes Samantha Margaret Hosman and that is BEAUTY. She longs to be smack dab in the middle of it! And from her eyes, her smile, her heart, her desires all equal Beauty.

Years ago we were celebrating a victory and we loved these two verses because God saved us out of the ashes;

Isaiah 61:3 To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.


2 Timothy 1:5-7  when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Virginia and your mother Susie, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Oh my dear Lucy, I love you so!

Celebrating Thankfully~ Susie

Birthday, Bryce Canyon and Earings

Dennis and I married December 7, 1996. We were adults with a lot of baggage. 4 previous marriages between us, different traditions and just a different outlook on life.

If there is one thing Virginia Schmitt (my mom) loves is a party. She loves to “do” for other people. She never forgets a birthday, would have a party for anything anyone ever accomplished if it were possible. So I grew up celebrated, I remained celebrated by my mom into my adult life. Isn’t everyone? Dennis is of the belief birthday parties are for children.

Enter years 1, 2 and 3 of our marriage. No birthday celebration year one. So years 2 and 3 Virginia the party maker shows up to 2017 Hall St (our residence) with a cake and presents! No one is going to ignore her baby’s birthday! Between year 3 & 4 I finally explained to Dennis, “Birthdays are important to me. I like to be celebrated!” Year four, mom shows up with cake, Dennis is hiding a birthday cake in Erin’s bedroom! He got it! Years 5 to now, Mom lets D handle it.

I have to say, I have been spoiled with attention these past years by my children, my friends, my family and my husband. I like it.

I’m going to admit things about my week that are self-centered, selfish and all around not pretty. I started the week with Samantha graduating from Cosmetology School! Yea, this is an exciting milestone in her life. Also, my dear friend had surgery and I couldn’t be there for either of them. ¬†Here’s where it gets ugly.

I said Samantha graduated, Friend has surgery. Was this about me? Of course it was about me. I¬†couldn’t be there for them. I¬†couldn’t take Samantha to lunch. I¬†couldn’t take dinner to Friend or clean up her kitchen or do jigs for her as she has done for me time and again. See as long as our eyes are on I’s¬†we spiral.

I sunk and fast. Sniff, sniff, I have it so bad, sniff, sniff. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday by Thursday I’m neurotic! I tell Dennis, “I plan on being mean today.” As if he hadn’t noticed.

Thursday he says, “What do you want to do for your birthday?”

It doesn’t matter because I’m not going to be happy no matter what he does. I think to myself.

Friday morning I ask him sulkingly, “Are we going out for dinner tonight?” He replies, “It’s Friday, date night, of course.” Then he adds, “I thought we could go to Bryce Canyon tomorrow for your birthday.” Since I took geology in 2000, Bryce Canyon was high on my bucket list. That geological phenomenon only exists in the small town called Bryce Canyon, UT.

Fairytale Canyon

The unique, artistic license God took in that tiny corner of the Universe is the epitome of creation.

Are you feeling sorry for me yet? It gets better. Saturday morning, he pulls a present and card out of his bag. The card is perfect and so thoughtful and the gift; a stunning pair of ruby and diamond earings.

We had such a glorious day in Bryce Canyon,


the weather was perfect we flew in late morning stayed for a few hours and arrived home to watch football, eat “The Big Salad” and enjoy a quiet evening together.

Seriously awful right!?

I say I’m thankful. Am I? 1 Thes 5:17-18 ¬†pray without ceasing,¬†in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ¬†How about Phil 4:8; just meditating on the right stuff. Or 2 Cor 10:4-6¬†For the weapons of our warfare¬†are¬†not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,¬†casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,¬†and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

God is so faithful. My life is so blessed beyond what Dennis and I ever imagined or hoped for. But I still gave into the high thing that exalted itself against God. I

Thankful and Repentant ~Susie



Lily Durinda Bontrager

I want to tell you a story about a one in a million woman. My friend and confidante.

Prov 31:22-24  For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.

This woman, Durinda Bontrager came into my life in 2002. Dennis and I just moved into a new home, a large new home and I whined because it was too big to clean myself. I had people to see, home schooling to do and with an acre of beautiful gardens, a pool and a teenager :-p the house was not getting cleaned. Dennis said yes to hiring a cleaning lady. I called church for a recommendation and they quickly responded with Durinda Bontrager.

When I called Durinda she immediately took over. She was sure and she knew what she was talking about. I will never forget my comment, when I tried to control the conversation, “I am weird about the floors, I like them cleaned on hand and knees so they get really clean.” Durinda’s response, “Most people just want them clean, they don’t care how I get them that way.” I loved her right away without even knowing what was to come.

Every other week for 9 years Durinda and her team graced my house with her bold, fresh zeal. Durinda’s team changed here and there but her command of taking care of my house never changed.

Durinda saw me through some of my worst and darkest days. She anointed beds with oil, prayed in agreement for breakthroughs, cried with me over so much pain. She prayed and sang over my ashes. She celebrated, danced and sang with victories, weddings, adult children coming home and miracles only God to achieve. She held me, sat with me, cleaned around me, she was always there for me!

Durinda, the cleaning lady. When God gave out gifts, He blessed her with the gift of helping people clean their souls, hearts and minds. She is a true exhorter, her ministry happens every day when she crosses the threshold of the unsuspecting household she is about to endow with God’s love.

I love you Lily Durinda! I miss you so. Your wisdom and courage will stay with me until I die. Thank you for pouring into my life, I live in your overflow.

I feel your prayers ~ Susie