Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Month of Thanks - My Hubs!

On the last night of a Month of Thanks, it is only fitting that I tell you that I am thankful for my husband!

He is the best Dad in the world.....if you don't believe me ask my kids.
They will tell you.
*He gives more baths than I do.
*He plays in the floor with them....wrestling and rough housing.
Which they all love.
*He and M have a Daddy/ Daughter Day planned
for Saturday. They are going biking. =)
I love that he is doing this with her! Cant wait to see what
is planned with the rest!
*He does dishes!
*He does floors!
*When the power went out tonight, he searched for the
matches and the candles for me.
*He tries to work his schedule out to be able
to be home with B if I have an appointment.

*He is an awesome pastor and leader!
*He preaches awesome sermons!
*He's my opposite in almost every way- but God knew what he was doing.
Even though this can be a bit hard at time, I learn from him.

These are only a few of the reasons why I'm thankful for my hubs!
I love you, K!

in HIM-

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Month of Thanks - B!!!

Whew! Today has been one long day. And really it's only been a long day since about 3 PM. B has a cold and he woke up from his nap like this...... and stayed that way for pretty much the entire time until 7:30 when we put him in bed.
Sometimes, it's just tough being two.......
Sometimes, it's tough living with a 2 year old.
SO, tonight - I'm choosing to thankful for the 2 year old
in my house!

I love to hear him say "I wushu" {I love you}.
I love to hear him say his prayers -- it is the most precious thing EV.ER!!
I love to hear him laugh.
I love to see how happy he is to see his sisters when they get home in the afternoons.
I have a love/hate thing for him sleeping with me.
I really want him to sleep in his own bed.....
but I know he won't want to sleep with me forever....
so I'm trying to love it more.
I love how much he loves his Daddy.
I love watching him learn new things - which he does everyday.
I love when he asks "what dat?"
I don't love it so much that he gets a stool,
opens the pantry and pulls out
whatever he wants to eat at the moment.....
but I do love that he is so smart to
have figured that all out
and I think it is a little bit funny.
I love his sloppy kisses!
I love, love, love that he is all boy!

I love my sweet two year old boy!

And I am so thankful to my God for giving him to me!!

in HIM-

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Month of Thanks - My L

Tonight I am thankful for my sweet L.
L loves being my "baby" girl.
She still loves to sit in my lap when she can.
She loves to be tucked in at night!
She gives me the one-handed "I love you" sign
in sign language every night when she goes to bed.
L loves her sisters and her little brother.
But fights with them regularly.
She is a feisty girl.
I always say that L is the
Little Girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead.
I'm so thankful that my God gave me a third
little girl.
She is precious to me and growing up more everyday.
I'm desperately trying to be in
the moment with my kid and enjoy each one of them.
I am trying to see them all for who God has made them to be
and tonight I am ever so grateful that he gave
me L!
I love you my L!!!!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Month of Thanks - Book Reviews

Tonight I want to share with ya'll one of the best things that blogging has afforded me.

I'm incredibly thankful that I am allowed to do book reviews. I am not sure that I help the authors out much at all but I am so grateful that folks continue to contact me about reviewing books.

I get to read really good books and I always get a kick out of going to the book store and seeing the books that I've reviewed on the shelf.

A while back, a girl named Julie contacted me and asked if I would like to review a book titled When Strawberries Bloom. She told me that it was a work of fiction about the Amish {which you know I love} but there was something that really intrigued me about this book. The author, Linda Byler, is actually Amish.

Julie told me that When Strawberries Bloom is actually the 2nd book in a trilogy and offered to send them both for me to read. I'm sure you also know that I love a good series! I love back stories and continuations of characters!

I received the books and was hooked not too far into the first book. The books are about Lizzie Glick, an Amish teenager, and her family. I really loved how real Lizzie seemed. She didn't seem like a perfect person - she is normal ornery, fit pitching teenager at times. She compares herself with her sisters and her friends. She wants to have a boy to court her. Lizzie is sassy and as I read, there where times when I was taken back and my teenage self could totally identify with her!

Lizzie has a boy who is in love with her....Stephen. But Lizzie isn't so sure she's in love with him and the book is a journey to her realization that she does in deed love him, too. By the end of this book, Lizzie's life seems to be coming together and I cannot wait to see what happens in book 3 -- slated to come out in March.

If you are looking for a fun read, definitely go pick up this series. Running Around (And Such) and When Strawberries Bloom are wonderful. AND one more thing I loved about these books, there are recipes in the back. There is a recipe for Whoopie Pies. And if you have ever been to Lancaster, PA and bought a Whoopie Pie from a roadside stand, you know what a treasure that is.

I love being allowed to review these books. AND today, that is what I'm thankful for. Thanks to all of you wonderful folks who allow me the honor. And to all of you folks who take the time to read my reviews.

in HIM-

A Month of Thanks - Black Friday

Ya'll. I've not do so well getting these thankful posts up the last few nights. But I want to be consistent so I will share this morning what I'm thankful for from yesterday.

1 - I'm thankful that my friend and I did a touch of Black Friday shopping. But we didn't leave until 7 and by that time most of the hard core folks were back in bed. THAT is something to be thankful for. And by a touch of shopping, I mean that Santa got a few stocking stuffers. That's it.

I am planning a shopping trip to the ATL this Friday when I intend to knock out my list!

2- P.F. Chang's for lunch! YUM!

3- I'm thankful we stopping at my sweet friend, Katie's shop called Lily Belle's. She has the cutest shop full of things that can be monogrammed and you know how I heart monograms! I bought this adorable locally made little sign. I love it - but it makes me twitch a bit too....I've so much to do in the next 28 days.......Now - to find the perfect spot for it!

4- I'm thankful for all the sleep I got last night. I fell asleep on the couch while the fam. was watching A Christmas Carol and slept off and on (mostly on) until 2:30 AM. I went to bed and after a while, slept until about 7AM.

I will be back this evening to tell you what today's thankful's are!!

in HIM-

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Month of Thanks - Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Yesterday, I was so busy getting things ready for today that I never got wrote my thankful
post last night. BUT I had lots to be thankful for yesterday!
1--A morning trip to my favorite grocery store with my sweet friend!
The place was so crowed.....but at least I had great company
to make facing the crowds easier!
2- These great helpers with the baking last night.
3- Chocolate pecan pies....
4- pumpking whoopie pies!
5--a precious wreath left at my front door by Ms. Gail!
It is sitting in this chair but not for long!
It will replace the fall leaves on my door
tomorrow morning!
AND TODAY.......I'm thankful for
1--The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
For some reason, the last few year, I always
get choked up when the parade starts.
go figure...
2-- That, while the food I made for today wasn't the best in the world,
it was at least edible.
3--A wonderful Thanksgiving Supper!
Ken and I hosted a thanksgiving supper tonight.
We had some folks from church come to join us.
Our friend, Jennifer and her kids came to join us.
Jennifer's husband has just gone back to Iraq to finish his
one year tour. He has just been home on leave
for two weeks. They had Thanksgiving as a family while he was here.
We were so glad they could join us.

We had Alice and Donna.
And Donna's husband, Daryle.
{I obviously didn't do a great job of getting every one's picture}
These sweet folks are dear church members and friends.
Their families are all far from here and were so happy
that they could join us for Thanksgiving this year.

This is Mrs. Myrtis.
She is our friend, Al's Mom.
She had open heart surgery just about a month ago.
She is doing fantastic. We were so blessed to have
her join us for Thanksgiving tonight!
Here is B's favorite friend - Miss O!
SO, glad that she and her Mommy were able to join us
tonight. Her Daddy {Al, from above} had to
work today. We missed him!

Which brings me to one more thing I'm thankful for --
My incredible friend, Kandi! She cooked two
turkeys for our gathering tonight and she didn't even
blink an eye.
AND -- they were so moist they
were falling off the bone!
My belly is full tonight and my heart is, too. My body -- it's exhausted.
I'm off to bed's friends!
Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving!!!
in HIM-

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Month of Thanks - Sleep

I am thankful tonight that I get to go to bed soon! And for sleep that renews my body and will hopefully take away the headache that I have. And maybe even heal my incredibly bloodshot, painful, a little bit "gooey" eye.....(eye infection? allergies? I've no idea).

Just keeping it real! There were many good moments in my day but tonight, going to bed. Resting and healing. That is what I'm most thankful for!

in HIM-

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Month of Thanks - Themes

Tonight I'm thankful for how God works in my life. I fully believe that God works in themes. When I start hearing something over and over - I need to pay attention.

God has been really throwing the themes at me lately. AND I am learning a few lessons right now. The learning and applying part is hard -- but I love that HE works in themes.
I love themes.

in HIM-

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Month of Thanks - Seeing God's Hand

It has been another busy day around these parts but then, Sunday's are always busy for us. Wait....I can't really think of a day that isn't busy. But, guess that is how things go these days.

I am so amazed at how God works. I have just finished (as you know) Beth Moore's Esther Study. That study was all about learning that God is working even when we can't see Him. That's providence. I loved learning that! Hubs and I always say that God sent us to this church, for this time, for HIS purpose. We are here for a reason. I am thankful for what I learned from Beth Moore about knowing and believing in providence. That God is working especially when we can't see him.

I've prayed and prayed that God would lead Ken and me for HIS purpose alone. That we would listen, and hear his guidance and do the things he calls us to do. This afternoon, I was a part of a meeting with a group of people who all love the Lord and desire to do God's will in our church. As a part of that meeting, I got to hear how God is using Ken and I in His will for this place.

While I loved learning that God is in the details and HE is always at work, I can't tell you how energizing and amazing it was to hear that God is using us here. What an amazing blessing to know that God can use these two very broken people to do something for HIM. It's is incredible. I know this scared, skittish, disliker of crowds, isn't doing anything on her own. Only through God. And that is unbelievable. And so, so, SOOO humbling.

Today, I feel incredibly thankful and blessed. I'm filled up with gratitude that God can use even me. Actually, I'm so excited about this that I'm not even sure this post makes a lick of sense.

oh well.

I'm thankful to the Father who is moving in this church and using hubs and I as a little bitty part of that. And I'm thankful and excited to see what HE has for us in the coming months and years in this place.

in HIM-

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Month of Thanks - A Day FULL

This has been a very FULL day.

It started at 8 AM. I arrived at church to help get ready for our Treats for Troops Event. I am thankful for the people who put this event together, for the people who came and decorated cookies and made cards, and for the people who will do what it takes to mail these packages to service men and women so that they will receive cookies for Christmas.

This afternoon, I did a few errands and then headed off to a near by city to meet some friends for supper. It was their daughter, Libby's birthday. And we were part of her surprise. I'm thankful for getting to be part of Libby's birthday surprise and getting to visit with sweet friends.

I came home and got everyone in bed. That's a feat in itself and I'm thankful they are all sleeping soundly in their beds.

Then I became completely overwhelmed about some things. And since that feeling over came me, two things have happened.....

1 - I went looking for a video of an old hymn that God put on my heart. I'm incredibly thankful that God works that way in me sometimes. He knows I love music and that it really gets me through and he gave me this old, old hymn.....

What a friend we have in Jesus.
All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry,
everything to God in prayer.....

OH, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

SO, I went looking for that hymn on Youtube to show you all and then I found this. It's perfect. It made me laugh and had the song I needed to hear and share....


#2) I put on FB that I was overwhelmed, and God sent my long time friend Benny to say just the right thing to make me laugh. Don'tcha just love friends like that? The ones who know you and know the things to say that can make you laugh? I do. SO, tonight I'm thankful that for Benny and his wise crack about my right eye.....

I'm still overwhelmed, and I still have A LOT of praying to do but my load feels lighter thanks to God's putting the right song and the right friend in my path.

oh, so grateful!!!!!

in HIM-

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Month of Thanks - Today's Thankfuls...

This has been one very busy day. I think I say that everyday but today has been pretty much nonstop. And I'm t.i.r.e.d......

As I sit and think about what I'm thankful for tonight, all I can do is come up with a list of things that this day held that I am grateful for. So, here they are.....

*I'm thankful for the yummy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bran Muffins we had for breakfast this morning.

*I'm thankful that I got to go with M on a field trip this morning. Her class has been learning about owls and so we went to a local nature center to see some owls. Learning about the owls that are native to this part of the country was fun and I got to spend the morning with M!

*I'm thankful that God gave me the ability to be crafty. I spent part of the afternoon making hair bows for a friend who sells them in her shop.

*I'm thankful that a sweet girl from church wanted to put together an event to send care packages to our troops. We spent the late afternoon baking gingerbread cookies for the event. Man, it smelled good!

*I'm thankful that I am now back home, in my jammies about to read a book and then my bible before I drift off to sleep.

*And I'm thankful for the Treats For Troops event we will have tomorrow. Hoping we have lots of kids come to make cookies and cards for our troops.

That's it for now.
I hope your day was full of things to be thankful for, too!

in HIM-

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Month of Thanks - My Siblings

Today, over at Baby Bangs, Amanda is giving away a book. The book is called Those Silly Sisters: Swimming in The Rain and as soon as I saw the title I knew I had to enter to win. And I did.

I also went over and checked out the blog of the author,Erica Stidham, Amazing Adventures Await.

As I read about the book {which I hope to win}, I started thinking about my own sister and then my brother. We had such fun together when we were kids. I'm not going to lie, we fought -- like cats and dogs. BUT we also loved each other and had so much fun together. I got to thinking about some of the silly things we did as kids.

**How my brother would make us laugh so hard at the supper table that we would get in trouble for not eating.

**How we played The Tickle Game. Which was a game where we all tickled each other's foot. Whoever fell over first lost.

**How we loved our dog, Lad.

** How we spent hours playing on our swing set.

** How we loved to hide and jump out to scare one another.

SO, tonight -- I'm thankful for my sister and by brother. I love you both very much and hope that my kids love one another as much as I love you!!! And I hope they look back on their childhoods with fond memories of having shared it with their sisters and brother. Just like I look back and have such wonderful memories of you both!

Ya'll go check out the giveaway and also go check out Erica's blog. I will be getting this book, even if I don't win the giveaway. You can too -- there are links from Erica's blog. Go check it out!

in HIM-

Western Carribean Cruise - Days 4-7 {LONG POST}

Once upon a time in a land far, far away......oh. wait. This time was just about 2 months ago and well - the lands were far, far, away.....I realized this morning that I never finished posting about the cruise hubs and I went on for our 10th anniversary. You can check out days 1-3, here, if you want or if you've forgotten and care to remember the rest. SO, without further ado....the rest of the story!

Day 4 found us in Ochos Rios, Jamaica. We didn't
book any of our excursions through the cruise line. In Jamaica we used
Peat Taylor's Tours. Most people choose to go to Dunes River Falls while in Jamaica.
I'm sure it is beautiful but holding hands and walking up a waterfall didn't sound that
wonderful to me. SO, instead hubs and I chose to do The Blue Hole and go Tubing down the
White River.
It was wonderful. We were the ONLY ones in our group. SO, basically
we got a private tour for The Blue Hole.
Hubs jumped in a swam when we got there...

I took pics.
But, seriously - isn't this beautiful!!!???!!!
We hiked up to this waterfall and hubs jumped off.

It was truthfully one of the prettiest places I've ever seen.

After we were finished at The Blue Hole, our driver, Mario
took us on to meet up with other groups to
go Tubing down the White River.
I am not even going to lie to y'all.
My anxiety was way up over tubing. I was terrified
that there were going to be snakes floating around in
this river. {I know it doesn't make sense but sometimes
anxiety over rules 'sense'}. Mario assured me that
there were no snakes in the river, I felt a bit better.

The water was COLD but once we got started tubing down the
White River was so much fun!!!

After we were finished tubing, we had some extra time.
SO, Mario offered to drive us around the island to see
a bit more of it.
He drove us to a high point so I
could get this picture.

Mario dropped us off in the shopping district.
We shopped around a while and got the kids some
cute t-shirts. Then we ate lunch.
Authentic jerk shrimp - YUMMY!!
I think that our day in Jamaica was my favorite.
Aside from being offered drugs whatever they were selling at every turn, it was great.
The tour was great, the food was good,
the island was beautiful!!

On Day 5, we arrived in Georgetown, Grand Cayman.
We did a bit of shopping in Grand Cayman.
After being in Haiti and Jamaica which were both islands that had mountains,
I was shocked at how flat Grand Cayman was. But pretty none the less!
We got back on the ship and ate a late lunch at
this restaurant which was on the ship.
There was a $5 (per person) cover charge
but then it was all you can eat.
Really not a good deal for us because we
don't have much room for all you can eat
but the burger was good and the onion rings
were pretty good too....
The show put on by the servers could have been better.
They all looked embarrassed to be doing it....
On day 6, we arrived in Cozumel, Mexico.
We did some shopping for a bit.....
Then we ate lunch at this place.
The guacamole was pretty great.
The quesadillas were too!

Then we went on another excursion. In Cozumel, we used
Wild Tours Excursions. They were also fantastic to work with.
We had one other couple on the tour with us who were not from our
This was K's favorite day, I think.
We went on a "jungle trek" on these buggies.
This is how we started.....

We bounced around for a while, and then stopped here.
The people in Cozumel get their water from sink holes.
We walked down to one. It didn't smell so great (very sulfer "y")
but it was pretty.
I couldn't get a good picture of it but there were bats
hanging all around in this cave/sinkhole.
Hubs went for a swim. I did not.
We also visited a few other places that the Mayans built in Cozumel.
The Mayans believed that to prove to the gods that
they were ready to be parents, a young woman would need to
leave the mainland of Mexico and come to Cozumel
to build a home and live and survive there alone
for a month.
Then her husband would join her for another month of so.
If a hurricane came during the time they were on the island,
they would hide in caves. I know-- that initially sounds
like they are sure to die. But the Mayans were smart people.
Theses caves were kind of hollow under the floor and the water would
eventually drain through so that they didn't drown.
Pretty impressive.

Here is how we looked in the end.....

I don't think I've ever been so muddy.
My legs were stained for a couple of days.....

We then headed back to finish shopping and get
back on the ship. These live statues
were everywhere.
This guy pointed his gun at me, as I
took the picture.
Cozumel, Mexico....
Day 7, was another day at sea on our way back to the USA.
There was lots of time for relaxing
and the ship put on a circus parade...

The final show before dinner was lots of fun.
It included these people.
It was fascinating. I was amazed at how strong they were.
He is hanging my ribbons -- holding that girl with his feet.
And the crew said goodbye....kind of sad!

We awoke the next morning back in the USA.
Back to life and back to reality.
We drove all the way home that day and I must say that one of my favorite
moments was walking in the door to my sweet kids.
They were SOOO excited to see us.
That was the best feeling ever!
It was a great vacation with hubs. I hope we can
do it again sometime. It was also great to come home
to my babies.
If you have hung in to read all of this, thanks!
Have a great day!
in HIM-