Sunday, November 30, 2008
It was nice to have Brian's entire family there.... including Grandma, Grandaddy, Uncle Scott, Aunt Bea, our family of 5 plus Gran-grandma and Uncle Larry!! Anyway, I thought I'd post some of the highlights of our birthday party....
Here's a picture that I snapped as Gran-grandma and Uncle Larry were leaving. I'm soo thankful that Gran-grandma has been able to get to know and enjoy her great grandchildren!! And I've been soo fortunate these last few months to get some great pictures that show how much Gran-grandma enjoys the kids, even on some of her tough days!!
After we celebrate Jesus' birthday, the next birthday will be Gran-grandma's 100th birthday!!!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Gas prices were a very big issue to us early last year and throughout the summer.... we limited how many long distance trips we took (even letting our zoo membership expire), we limited how many trips into town we made and completed many errands on each trip!! We've been very thankful for our minivan, which has been pretty fuel efficient relative to how big it is:)
But this gas price reduction has been a huge blessing!! Before the major price drop we payed close to $60 to fill up our gas tank!! YEP $60 bucks!! CRAZY!! But on Monday night Brian FILLED the gas tank for our trip for just $30 dollars..... we just couldn't believe the difference!! It's soo nice:)
While this is kind of a "silly" thing to be thankful for, it does effect my weekly budget and plans! But I am quickly aware that others would be thankful for a reliable vehicle, heating oil for their homes, a home without drafts or a home period.....
I am blessed!
But it's also a reminder to be a good steward with the "wealth" I may have. And to be willing and ready to help a brother or neighbor struggling!
We stood in line to check out for close to an hour from almost 4:30 to 5:30!! And although I wished I was tucked into my bed at that time and was slightly uncomfortable with the items I had in my arms (no carts... hahaa).... I learned a lot!!
With people grabbing more and more to add to their carts (and arms)... I tried not to get caught up in the frenzy! My mother-in-law spied a couple of things that would have been nice to have and were at very nice and super afforable prices... but we stayed in line and pondered if we really NEEDED these "extra" items...
How much do we need?
How much stuff do our kids need?
What is our focus this season?
We've decided to focus on the Babe in the Manger and not the materials things that break, loose value and can be fit under a tree:) We will still be trading gifts with our loved ones but we've really tried to keep it simple and pray that our kids learn more about Christ than the latest toys and gadgets!
While our kids slept, Brian and I headed to our local Goodwill to spy some casual pants for Momma:) I always seem to find SOMETHING at this Goodwill:) Anyway, at 6am I found a cute winter dress for Anna at Belks for about $20 as an Early Bird Special!! But at Goodwill, I found this super cute BABY GAP jumper and matching hat for $2.99!! And honestly I don't even think it had ever been washed!!! Glad I waited on the $20 dress:)
I pray though with all of the holidays and birthdays we have during this season, that we would not loose focus on the Manger and Cross! And that we would be thankful for what we HAVE and not all we want and can (or can't afford to) acquire!!
***Maybe there is a VERY, VERY good reason we celebrate Thanksgiving BEFORE we celebrate Christmas????
Thursday, November 27, 2008
And here I am many, many years later eating a meal called Thanksgiving. I have a plate before me of food. Good food. Lovingly prepared. And I am thankful!
I may not have had similiar struggles and hardships that the piligrims faced, but I still have learned that God provides. I have a strong and reliable roof over my head. I have a loving family. And I have meals daily. Praise God for His provisions for us!!
May we be faithful to give thanks to Him!!
We have been blessed with great extended families.... Brian's parents and my own have been such a blessing to us! Our greatest encouragers and sounding boards:) And then look beyond our parents into our siblings... they have all been very sweet and understanding aunts and uncles... even when none of them have children, yet!!
I do have a pic from Scott and Bea's wedding.. so here is one set of extended family from Oct!!
****Need to say that this is a Michelle Barnett Photography pic...
I wish a had a pic of my whole family:( But I've recently found that we might be celebrating Christmas with the whole family in one spot this year.... I'm thinking it's picture time:) So I'm hoping to have a pic of all of us:) I have my mom and Dad, my brother Brian, my sister Jaclyn, her husband Carson, and my "little" brother Eric!!
Guys we love you!! We pray for you often!! And we look forward to spending some part of the holidays with you!! While we all had "fun" growing up together, we are thankful for our relationships with you guys, our siblings! And we're thankful for your love and relationships with our kiddies!!
For our parents what can we say??? You taught us sooo much about service, kindness, love and hard work! We appreciate all you do fo us!! And you've definitely taught us that parenting extends beyond the teen years.... ah haaa!!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
We moved into the church parsonage in August 2004 without knowing a soul in our area (except the pastor search committee) and a 2 month old baby!! Brian and I were new parents, new to the pastor/pastor wife role and new to the community.
I'll be completely honest that the first couple months were HARD!! Not because of anyone or anything that happened.... but here I was a new mom knowing no one! I was alone with my little baby all day! My highlights of the week were outings with my husband and church functions, when I could listen to great teaching (right honey) and have fellowship with others:)
I praise God that after 4 years now I've grown to love my town, my neighbors and especially my church family!! We have been blessed being apart of their community and lives. The have encouraged us and loved us, loved our kids and demonstrated Christ's love to us in soo many ways. I truely have never met such a generous and loving crowd:)
So tonight, while we're away from our church family and community during our Comunity Thanksgiving Service we just wanted to say how thankful we are to you guys and the time we've had to enjoy your fellowship, friendship and Christ-like example!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
*A Warm Shower
*A Reliable Van
*"CHEAP" Gas - seriously got it for $1.68 amd saw it for $1.63 :)
*Packing an extra bucket(with a lid) since Christopher looked a little pale to me
- He started throwing up about 15 minutes from home!!!! On his B-day :(
*A Walmart at every exit:)
- Had to run in to get Pedialyte and crackers
-With a coupon basically got a container of Pedialyte FREE
*A Welcoming Mother-in-Love ready to help, wash and fix us lunch.... WAY, WAY grateful for her, her sweetness and self-less service to us!!
*Cute and Clean clothes for my kids - again, my sweet mother-in-love, as well as my mom and friends and neighbors and good out-of-season clearance sales:)
*Fellowship Dinner at a Welcoming and Loving Local church
Lord, help me to be always thankful!
Even in the choas and noise, I am soo thankful for my sweet kids, recognizing that they are a gift from God!!! I even have limits on what I can keep them from, but God gave them to us and protects them constantly!!! I am thankful for the ablilty to care for them, teach them, guide them and love them:) And I'm continually praying for God's wisdom in raising and teaching them:)
For each of the kids I have made a montage of some of our favorite pic amd memories to celebrate their birthday. So if you have the time, celebrate our Little Man's Life with us by watching him grow these last 3 years:)
Monday, November 24, 2008
The value of a like-minded, loving and devoted spouse is HUGE!!
I am soo thankful that my husband shares the same desires to grow in his faith and that we share the same faith. While I think some couple manage fine, I am soo grateful that we have our faith in common and that my husband loves learning more about his faith and is willing to share with me:)And that we worship together and our faith unites us in life and parenting:)
I'm thankful that my husband loves me! He frequently looks out for my best interests as well as our family's! He encourages my hobbies and pushes me to better use my abilities. And he shows appreciatation for the special things I attempt to pull-off for him and the kids(new meals, organizing and activities with the kids) and in serving the church!!
Maybe I'm sensitive about my husband's relationship with our kids because of my relationship with my biological dad. But it makes my heart warm and my love stronger when I see my husband playing and loving on our kids!! I love it when he comes home from the offfice and the little terrorists become sweet angels running into their Daddy's arms:) I love that their love for him is reciprocated by him!!
Lord God, Thank you for giving me Brian. Thank you for our relationship! While not perfect, thank you for allowing our faithfulness, friendship and love for one another to grow stronger!
So my first thing to be thankful for is God. I praise the Lord for bringing me to Him at a young age and for keeping my close through the years. I know I was tempted and made mistakes and so I also thank the Lord for his mercy and forgiveness!! And my prayer is that my children would also know the Lord early in life and to have His love and steady guidance, like I have had!!
It was very fitting that last week the kids learned the verse :
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 107:1
Sunday, November 23, 2008
So here's a contest to win an Ergo!!
Win a Free Organic Embroidered Ergo Baby Carrier Hands Free System from Along for the Ride
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Well it got our dinner.....
Introducing (drum roll, please) BLOGGING NUGGETS...
*** BTW... I don't often blog while cooking, but it's just been a busy day! SO I thought I could handle getting that ONE post in without interupting our Sat schedule.... nope:)
I mentioned the fish's "odd behavior" to Brian while I had my hands on the bowl. I commented aloud how warm the bowl still was.... from the warm water I'd put in. Brian started laughing, "The fish doesn't care how warm the water is.... how warm was the water??? "
Whoops!! I almost boiled my fishy today:( I guess I've been so chilled I figured I'd at least give the fish warm water to be warm in.... guess it doesn't work that way for fish!!!
As you can tell from the picture, he's fine!!! Grumpy as usual:) But enjoying his new clean and now right temperature bowl!!
Friday, November 21, 2008
It wasn't the book I had originially wanted to get but it somehow i only ended up with this one!! And we liked it. It was broken into question and answer, so it wasn't extremely detailed but very good my crew. And since it was tailored to kids and what the kids did on the ship, when they landed, how they lived.... my kids listened intently:)
We did some counting by tens when we read that the Indians brought 90 people to the feast:)
We finished reading about the Thanksgiving celebration and meal. Then we sorted food (some mentioned in the book) into the different food groups!!! They needed to know food groups... and Anna did ok... she had trouble with turnips;) Christopher really wanted match the color of the picture to the letters of the category:) He had a hard time putting the red pepers into the greeen vegetable pile and not on the red fruit sign! Ahhh.... Preschoolers:)
Ohh, I am given magazines from Grandma and so all the food pictures came from those... they get stacked up after a while, but it's been than just throwing them out. I look through and get recipes and then the kids and I cut them up for "school projects"!
After sorting food, we worked on making pilgrim hats and Indian headwear.... you know the classic elementary school projects for Thanksgiving! The kids wanted to paint their hats so I let them!!! Here they are, hard at work:)
And here's what my table looks like in the midst of schooling/crafts...
And here are the cutest little pilgrim and the silliest Indian (and their adorable, pant-less again, little sister) eating popcorn as we fix lunch:)
And here is our verse for the week: "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever." Psalm 107:1
Have a Very THANKFUL Thanksgiving:)
Makes Christmas seem so much closer:)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Maybe because we waited so long, but there really weren't many pecans to be gathered this year. Although we got plenty for our cinnamon bread and cookies:)
The kids collected pecans for a bit and then entertained themselves for a while playing in the dirt, gathering sticks and then hauling one another around in the wagon.... glad I brought the wagon!!!
I'm so thankful we have this grove to get yummy pecans. I'm more thankful how much my kids love being outdoors.... they always find something fun or creative to do!! Like today they pretended that the wagon was the school bus and the ambulance:)
Looks like there might be some more still lurking in the trees!!
Last night we had a snack of cupcakes after the kiddies went to sleep. The cupcakes were made egg-free with egg replacer and so they were very moist and a little crumbly. As I contemplated about how to frost them I decided to warm up some chilled frosting in the microwave for seconds making it easier to spread.
My better- half said that he didn't like his frosting warm, so he was just going to spread it. And in his usual late-night, dry humor joked me about having HOT frosting that would just melt off my cupcake:)
I finished frosting mine in seconds.... worked beautifully and NOTHING dripped off:) But poor Brian tried to spread a lump of frosting over his crumbly cupcake.... well you can see the results..... what can I say???? STUBBORN :)
So after he saw the picture I had taken of him, he said I didn't get the cupcakes "good enough"! He decided to sit the cupcakes on the counter and asked for the camera.... I must have hesitated because he quickly added, "It's my camera too" aha haaaa..... we're like the kids after they've been put to bed:) He has always been the one to take better pictures than I but lately I've had a LOT more PRACTICE....
so here are our pictures... his on the left mine on the right:)
*** And the only reason I can laugh about him and his stubbornness is that I'm JUST as bad as he is, sometimes worse. And he just lets me be stubborn (usually)!!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Today the TV weatherman said that there were flurries in the atmosphere, but that it probably wasn't cold enough for us to see any flurries..... for once I'm glad he was WRONG!!
We were in the parking lot when we started to see the SNOW... hmmmm, ok.. the very light flurries. But the kids were still excited to try to catch them:)
Then we went inside and had lunch together:) It would have been better had we found some friends to eat with:) Last week and this week I have taken the kids out by myself while in the midst of errands and I've been soo impressed with how well they have done... they've obeyed, they've eaten their lunches and we've had the best time:)
Today I had the camera with me.... and captured one of these Magical lunches:)
Gotta love Christopher with that signature ketchup on the face look:)
Monday, November 17, 2008
First we did her reading lesson (didn't get to it this morning). Then we worked on her new little clock toy (teaching her how to read a clock). Then I tried to get her to nap with my on the couch, but she watched our town mantenance team put up the Christmas wreaths:) Finally I thought I should start working Prizeatron, so Anna worked on some math manipulatives... just playing (and secretly learning).
Finally she was bored and needed something to do... so I put her to work sorting through all the 330+ pictures I ordered last week!!! And she did it.... hahhaa...
One picture was of her last year dressed soo funny (she had picked out her outfit) pretending to use a microphone to sing. Anna held up the picture so I could see it and she shook her head and said, "This picture is weird. I'm not going to put this one in my pile!!"
( I don't have the pic on my computer so here's another one from yesterday.)
I thought I'd share some of he fun resources I've found:) For all those interested!! (let me first warn that I haven't checked all the accuracy of all of the resources... but most so far have been good and I have preschoolers so I'm not going into too much detail... at least not yet)
The Piligrims First Thanksgiving (great ideas for each subject, some printables)
More resources on the Social Studies and Units for Thanksgiving
And there are some great thankfulness Scripture passages that would be awesome to have your family "hide in their hearts" during this THanksgiving season!!
Off to gather the crew and begin:)
Anyway, immediately after Brian had to correct him I caught this picture and was reminded that even in our corrections we need to demonstrate LOVE and FORGIVENESS to our children. And usually thay involves showing affection with little ones, even little ones that can be challenging:)
Sunday, November 16, 2008
She's got on her sister's 6X long sleeve shirt, her yellow jacket, her brother's size 3T pants rolled at the top and bottom and her cute little white Mary Janes:)Dresses in the random articles I had tucked into the diaper bag!! ahahhaa
In my own defense (although I shouldn't be on the defensive) I took her to church in a really cute dress but she wet through it ALL. I'm not on the defensive because I think it's MUCH more important to take your kids (and yourself) to church regardless of what you all are wearing!!
While I do think there is a line of respect and modesty in all of our clothing choices, I do not think God is impressed with us by our choice of dress. Scripture clearly tells us that we should be worshiping "in Spirit and in Truth" . On Sundays or when gathering for a service, we should be seeking the Truth or preparing to worship in Spirit and Truth versus worried about our clothing:)
So, here are my two little church skateboarders (hahhaa)
Here is the whole kiddie crew.....
I love Sunday after church photos:) Especially on beautiful days:)
****I'm trying out some photo editting... such a newbie, don't have the eye for it:) So be gentle if you leave critiques:)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I thought I would have regretted having them get SOAKED.... but they needed baths today anyway. And by the afternoon our front puddle has dried up :( Between the great puddle and the beautiful high 70's weather.... it was a great morning for puddles:)
As you might have been able to tell from the pics, Lydia wasn't too crazy about being splashed by her siblings... but she eventually started to jump in the puddle was well!!!
Friday, November 14, 2008
I am such a newbie when it comes to homeschooling and all the simple resources that are out there that can be used to teach our kids.... especially preschoolers:) I know the value of art for hand-eye coordination, learning colors and appreciate the beauty of differnt mediums and styles....
But today I learned the value of color-by-number:) These coloring sheets have been around forever, I know!! Today being Friday I wanted to have something fun and seasonal for one of our "school activites" so I printed off an online color-by-number sheet!!
And we tied painting with watercolors to our FIAR(five in a row) Book and matching number and colors with Chris. For Anna, I quickly realized she didn't recognize the color words (put that on our to-do list)!!! But they had fun and we all learned something:)
Christopher didn't paint, this time. He enjoyed his lolipop for another potty success and colored some... I couldn't keep his work today because it was covered in sticky drool.... ewwww:)
But he enjoyed working on it and he enjoyed his lolipop... so what else could I have asked for???
So this earlier this week, Lydia and I baked together while the older two watched a show:) It was good for both of us.... sooo many times when we ALL try to bake it's WiLd.... but this was relaxing and fun:) I even had time to grab my camera in the process:)
Here is the little chef at work.... mashing the bananas.... for banana bread, of course:)
Hmmmm... must be around snack time because before I knew it she was doing this......
Look at those FULL little cheeks trying NOT to smile at the camera.... she's just too cute!!
*** We did finally finish... and plenty of banana made it into the bread:) And the bread is already FINISHED!! Didn't even last 2 full days:)
I caught these pictures on Wednesday when Christopher got his "special toy"! I was sooo proud of Anna who was soo pleased with her little brother and was rejoicing with him!! And I thought it soo sweet how well they were playing with the "new" toy together:)
Momma's live for moments like these:)