This is my sister, Jamie, along with Paige and Scottie. Jamie was never a dog lover, so she came to visit Scottie very regularly after we got him so that he would know her very well. As a result, she and Scottie became great friends. When he died in January, she took it pretty hard. Jamie is also very crazy about the "girlies." Jamie is an awesome aunt and spends as much time as possible with the girls. During the time that I was pregnant and home on bed rest, Jamie came to the house every morning after she got off work and took care of me most of the day. Jamie is very involved in her church. She is also the primary caregiver for Grandma now. (a very big job.) This year she is coaching Upward basketball, as well as assisting with BOTH Peyton and Paige's teams. Jamie is also very good at photographing most things, but particularly wakeboarding action shots! Jamie is one that I can always count on the take up a sword in my defense. This has been true always, even when we were kids. She might be able to pick on me, but that wasn't true of anybody else, especially not in the Junior High girls bathroom! I am thankful to have such a loyal sister.
This is my father-in-law Steve holding his first grandson, Nathan. I have had many reasons over the past years to be thankful for him. One of my best memories of him was riding in the car on the way home the day of Granny's surgery in the spring of 2005. He had been up since very early in the morning and it had been a long and tiring day. Brittany was asleep in the back, and I was talking to Steve so he wouldn't get sleepy. I asked him about his military days. I heard some of the most interesting stories about his life and his experiences. I always thought that I knew him so well, but I gained a new appreciation for him that late evening. Steve is also very dependable. You can always count on him to do what he says that he will do. Steve is a wonderful influence on my girls, and loves to have all his grandkids around. Steve loves God, and His place in his life is very clear to all who spend any time with him. I am thankful for all the good advise that Steve has given out to us over the years. Always practical and useful, but rarely given unless we sought it!
This is my mother-in-law Marie, also holding her first grandson. Marie has been one of my dearest friends since I was in high school. We have gone an an annual Christmas shopping trip for the past 16 years. I have always felt close to both of Brad's parents, and I couldn't be closer to them if I had been born into their family. Late this past summer, Marie had her daughter and her two daughters-in-law over for a pampering and a prayer time on each of our behalves. I am very grateful for this timely anointing in prayer.
This is my dear friend and sister-in-law as well as spirit, Brittany. Brittany is a wonderful and caring aunt and mother. She is fiercely loyal to all in her family and I am blessed to be part of that. I have considered her a friend for the past 20 years or so. We took part in each others' weddings, and I was present for all three of her births. Brittany was a huge help during my pregnancy, and she obviously loves my girls to death. Over the past few months of trials in my life, Brittany has been used of God in a very special way in my life. I am very thankful for her and I appreciate what a good friend she is to me.