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December 1, 2015
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Iceland…really, Iceland?

Part of the deal or agreement that Cameron and I made when we started this website was that I would write. I love to write, but only about what I find interesting. So, if you don’t have to read about KY sports or Cameron Mills – there will be some of my entries that are just lessons I’ve been learning and want to write them down for posterity. I hope you enjoy and continue to share comments, thoughts or ideas with me through FB, twitter or the website. And now, Iceland.

Do you remember what you wanted to be growing up? Was it a fireman that fearlessly faces danger, just to make sure others are safe? Was it a teacher, whose words weave a reliable tapestry that shows character, as well as intelligence? Whatever it was – is that what you ended up being able to pursue, or was it put aside along with the other dreams and whims of your youth?

Kelley and I were married in 1993. As a newlywed, young couple, we knew that starting out was going to be tough. I was still in Seminary and we both worked to make the bills. At the time, children were out of the question – we both knew that if we were to have our ‘dream’ it would take some foundations to be laid first…

23 years, four kids and over 15 houses later and we are still laying foundations – it’s just that we lay them everyday. I’ve found that the best plans are the ones that can be made in the morning and completed in the afternoon, and the entire day be intentional and without anxiety. That is what leads me to tell you about my Gabrielle.

Gabrielle Ann Pittman is my youngest daughter and the ‘spirit’ of the household. She has one of the most gentle and loving natures, that would be more at ease letting others have their way, than demanding her own. That doesn’t mean that she is demure or dainty – no, to the contrary. Gabrielle has been the ‘tomboy’ of the family and always had a penchant for animals and farm life.

It was with a passion that could only be measured by quantum physicists that she made learning about service dogs – breeds, training, rules and laws – her mission. However, unlike most 8th graders, she not only exhausted the material but made it a personal project to raise money, purchase, train and give a fully trained service dog to a young man in our community.

"The boys are now a team!!! Can you SEE how happy Tayte is!!!' - C. Hernandez

“The boys are now a team!!! Can you SEE how happy Tayte is!!!’ – C. Hernandez

Now unlike many of juvenile endeavors, Gabrielle was not to be deterred. And with $12K+ that was raised by ONE girl in Eminence, KY, Tayte Hernandez has a new ‘lifetime companion’ and aid, that will always be there for him. I recognize it to be something that Gabrielle has learned in spite of everything going on around her, she knows that one of the most important lessons in life, is helping others to get what they need and that in doing this ‘the universal law of reaping and sowing’ is always fufilled.

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One of the other interests that my daughters have had during their childhood is horses and horsebackriding. And somehow – even though we moved many times – the girls were always able to find a way to ride. During the lean to virtually tin-pan alley days of their childhood, we were a family of six that had love and dogs and horses – really looking back now and thinking about living BELOW paycheck to paycheck, yet still figuring out how to maintain the ‘Noah’ family lifestyle was insane. And God had a purpose.

I would NEVER recommend to anyone to do it the way our family has done it – as far as the path – but I can tell you with resounding resolve that there is always a purpose that will flesh itself out. For us, the purpose for the prior, came as the next step for Gabrielle’s ‘tomboy’ life unfolded for us yesterday.

In Iceland last week, an Icelandic horse trainer fell and injured her back severely. Because of the injury the Icelandic stable has been put in a tenuous spot. This is why Iceland.

On Monday night, a young girl in Eminence, KY received a call to go to Iceland and train horses. Because Gabrielle Pittman is helping others get what they need, she is able to live out her dreams. Iceland.



  1. Angel says:

    I’m in tears.. I’m so happy for her and I can’t believe that one of MY first students is now doing all of this!! So proud of her and happy for her!!! And what a fantastic opportunity! Wow. Just wow.

    • How are you Angela? The girls credit it all to you. Mackenzie is also studying and working with the Icelandic breed and plans on going to Hòlar University in North Iceland. Madison just loves to ride and is wanting to learn equine therapy through her OT major at UofL. I don’t know if you have seen the FB posts of Kelley’s, but the reason the stable wants her is because, she and Ròs kind of came out of nowhere, and are now #1 Intermediate 5-gait horse and rider in the US. We hope you are doing well and I know the girls would love to catch up.

  2. Chris Brooke says:

    Mr. Pittman, this is Chris Brooke, the editor of the Henry County Local. I was wondering if it would be possible to speak to you about a possible article for the newspaper. Could you contact me at editor@hclocal.com or 845-2858? Thank you!

  3. Connie Hernandez says:

    Love Elle so much.. She has certainly had a huge impact on our family. I just shared last week,while I was substitute teaching, about her 8th grade project. Some of the students did not like the fact, and could see no purpose, in doing such projects for school. They all know Tayte and Journey and had no idea how Tayte received his dog… They were very impressed and seemed to be a little more on fire about their learning assignment. SEE ELLE, even after all these years.. your dedication is still inspiring others! You are one VERY SPECIAL LADY

  4. Sean N Riddle says:

    It’s pieces like these that are amazing to read because they are truly inspiring. I’m looking forward to making a plan in the morning that can be completed in the afternoon!

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