Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tour of Nativities

My Tour of Nativities continues with one of our first nativities.  
I bought this the year Beau and I were married (it's our 15th Christmas)...
It's nothing special, I'm sure I picked it up at WalMart or Target...
it's ceramic but durable.
I've always let my kids play with my Nativities...with supervision of course.

I have these mini suitcases in our living room, I use them for decor all year round, and I usually set up one of my nativities on/with the suitcases...I think it's fitting, with all the traveling this little family did!

I've always liked this baby sweet...When Madison was little she would always want to nap with baby Him!

Here is the far away's sharing a table with our fish tank...Jesus can hang with the fish, wasn't he a fisher of men?!?
do you have a special way of displaying your nativities?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tour of Nativities

Christmas isn't Christmas until the Nativity has been set up.
...or Nativities....

As a Christian and a pastor's wife, I've been asked the question so many times, "Do you put of a Christmas tree or a nativity?"...
that is such an interesting question to me.  I never thought of only doing one, not both...
We do both...
one tree and multiple nativities all over the house! (I guess I have a few tiny fake tress scattered around the house also)...

I see no reason why we would have to choose one over the other.

I love my collection of nativities...
and I decided to give you a tour of them over the next few days/week...

this first one I picked up at a weird yard/book sale thing that we went to a few years ago.  It was a house & property that had 1000's of books, bookshelves everywhere, inside and outside all under tarps and easy-up's, etc... and most of them were for was the oddest thing...
anyways, the girl child pointed out this glass nativity sitting on top of some books, I asked the lady how much for it and she said I could just take it...okay!  

Not all the pieces were there, I don't think, sometimes it's hard to figure out if you  have a Joseph, Shepherd or wise-man...I feel like this one is missing Joseph and Shepherds...

I set it up this year in our kitchen window on a cake stand.  I had some cranberries that I didn't use at Thanksgiving (yes, they are real)...and then some moss that I found in a cupboard in the garage, not sure where that came from.  But, anyways...I just threw them together for a fun little display...

and here is my whole kitchen window...(with a small fake tree in the back right corner!)...
Do you have more than one Nativity set?
Where do you display it/them?
Merry Christmas...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent Calendar

This is just a short little post to share with you the Advent Calendar I made today.

My mother-in-law sent me this link to the FREE Dayspring Printable Advent Calendar

and I just printed them out on white cardstock,
cut and glued them to colored cardstock on the back and then hung them with clothespins to some greenery that I hung around our entryway...
it's totally simple and easy...
and LOVE the Advent Calendar
all the references are about God's Promises Fulfilled, with a Bible verse and then a prompt about the promise/verse...
Dec 3...The Promise of Light "I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."  John 8:12... Where will you walk today in order to bring the Light of the world to the world?
be jealous of my mad photography skills!
 The greenery hanging around the entryway with the Advent cards clipped down both sides
can you find the camel in this picture?
again, mad skills!
 Close up of one side of the 'calendar'...with the Advent cards clipped..
 cards on other side...
back of cards with scrapbook paper so when we flip a card over after reading it that day it will still look nice.

Starting sometime this week I will start my Nativity Tour...I will show you my collection of Nativities and where/how I display them!

Do you have an  Advent Calendar you use?

Friday, November 30, 2012

November 30

1}  I'm thankful for my Bible.  How amazing is it that I can hold God's words in my hands and any time I want I can open it up and hear His voice.  It blows me away that there are still people groups in this world that have no written word....seriously, their language is not yet been written down...and because of that they also have no Bible...God's word is not something they have ever read.
Without counting and searching I know that right now there are at least 10 Bibles in my home...but probably closer to 15.  Everyday...every minute...I can pick up God's letter to me and read it.  I'm thankful for that.

2}  Thankful for a good nights sleep despite the storm and no husband being home.  I struggle with fear.  And those are my two worst...windy, stormy nights always equal no sleep...husband out of sleep.  Last night I slept like a baby and feel amazing today.  It was totally a gift from God.  I prayed all day yesterday when I would think of the night ahead of me.  I kept seeking God's peace and comfort.  And guess what, He gave them to me.  I woke up this morning so very thankful, and surprised, that I had slept all thru the night with no fear!

3}  Thankful for Christmas & Christmas decorations.  Love that we celebrate it for a whole month...Going to pull out the decorations today and get some twinkling lights strung...and set up all my nativities...

4}  Thankful for 2 friends that tried to help me fix my fence last night in the being 9 months pregnant {only a week from her due date} was very comical with the 3 of us trying to figure out something to hold the gate from blowing open and making noise all night long...and we were unsuccessful in our attempts, and I'm pretty sure I going to have some clean up this morning...

also thankful that I took this month to reflect on being thankful...something we do no do enough of as a culture...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 29

1}  Thankful for central heat on this wintry,  blustery, stormy day!  I grew up with a wood stove as our main heat source and more recently we moved out of our money pit that had no central heat {a monitor heater in one corner on the first floor a a 2 1/2 story house...not great heat} being able to program the heat for 70 and know that my house will be cozy warm.

2} Thankful also for cozy blankets and robes so I can program our 'heat' for 60 at night and we're not freezing...

3}  Thankful that my kids love Carnation Instant Breakfast!

November 28

1}  I'm thankful for minimum days...both of my kids have minimum days on Wednesdays...Wednesdays are a busy, late days...having the kids get out an hour earlier each Wednesday makes our Wednesdays less chaotic and hectic...

2}  I'm thankful for completion...specifically completed puzzles.  
Thanksgiving Family Puzzle 2012...with a missing piece

an unnamed child of the male persuasion
found the missing piece in his coat pocket....hmmmm

completion...1000 piece TAKE that!
3}  I'm thankful that my husband doesn't have to travel for work.  A few times a year he may have to go to a conference or something but I'm thankful that he's not traveling weekly or even monthly.  I like having him around.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Menu 11/27-12/5

So the leftovers are slowing down...I do have two bags of turkey noodle soup in the freezer to pull out on days I don't want to actually make anything...
Making this menu I took some inspiration from my pintrest 'dinner' board...and then I mentally sorted thru our freezer, fridge, and pantry....

Tonight I'm going to make Turkey Pot Pie with the last of the turkey...and then good bye leftovers.

Wednesday - Sour Cream Noodle Bake

Thursday - Sweet-n-Sour Beans

Friday - Coconut Chicken

Saturday - Chili, baked potatoes & cornbread
Sunday- girl child's birthday...waiting for her to decided on a meal

Monday - Red Beans & Rice 

Tuesday - Pulled Pork Tacos

Wednesday - Turkey Soup {from the freezer}...

and that's a wrap...
how do you use up your Thanksgiving leftovers?

November 24, 25, 26 & 27

1}  I'm thankful that I'm not tied to my blog.  That I can take a few days off for the weekend and that's okay!

2}  I'm thankful for flowers...more specifically flowers growing in my flower beds and various pots around my porch.
these hydrangeas are from a tiny plant in my front flower bed.
they bloomed a pale pink and then this fall turned this dark red.

3}  I'm thankful for the bartering system that is alive and well with my talented friends and I.  I can crochet up a few things and trade with my friend that is a photographer for our Christmas that!

4}  I'm thankful that my Christmas pictures are done and my cards are printed and just waiting to be addressed.

5}  I'm thankful for books.  I love reading.

6}  I'm thankful for seasons.  I enjoy every season and I am usually ready for the next one when it's time...I pretty much think God knew what he was doing when he created the whole season thing!  He's good like that!

7}  I'm thankful for ziploc divided containers to pack my kids lunches in.  It's like their own personal lunchable without the crap junk food!

8}  I'm thankful for music.  My husband is a musical genius and my kids are blessed enough to have some of his genes and the gift of piano lessons.

9}  I'm thankful that all the Thanksgiving desserts are GONE so I can stop eating them.

10}  I'm thankful for a friend to run with on cold fall mornings.

11}  I'm thankful for the 'extra' week of November to get ready for girl child's birthday!

12}  I'm thankful for meal planning and menu's that help keep me organized!

Friday, November 23, 2012

November 23

1}  I'm thankful for humor.  I am glad that I can laugh at myself, I can laugh with my husband and kids.  My kids are hilarious and crack me up all the time.  And I think laughter is one of the most important parts of a healthy marriage, or at least our marriage.

2}  I'm thankful for desserts...such a simple thing that brings such joy.
the pie tree! such a beautiful sight
3}  I'm thankful for where we live.  I love living in FAR Northern California.  It is truly one of the most beautiful places to live.  Yesterday my in-laws, daughter and I were able to participate in the annual Turkey Trot on the gorgeous Sacramento River Trail.  We have a wonderful trail system in Redding, with 100's of miles of paved trails just a few miles in all directions.  We live minutes from 2 beautiful lakes, about an hour from 2 beautiful mountains, just a few hours from the ocean. Today we will go out and explore more of our 'home' with the family.
I love this place, it is a gift from God.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 22

Happy  Thanksgiving!

1} I'm thankful to be hosting Thanksgiving!  I love hosting it!  I love making the turkey.  I love all the bustling, busy, my kitchen full of people making a great meal.

2}  Thankful that the girl child and I are participating in the annual Turkey Trot...

I've wanted to do this for so long now, but no one could or wanted to do it with me, and it's just more fun with other people...Madison and I are 'trotting' with some friends, and grandma and grandpa are braving the 6 mile!  We're only doing the 2 mile this year, but we've already started talking about training for the 6 mile next year!

3}  Overwhelmingly thankful for my family and health.  Tuesday taught me that I could have lost all of that in a moment.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving...may it be filled with family, friends, and thankfulness!

November 21

1}  I'm so very thankful for God's protection over my family.

2}  I'm thankful for the guardrail on a road that I drive on everyday with my kids.  A guardrail that God used to save my kids and I from going down a 50 foot ravine.

3}  Thankful for those lessons that God teaches us.

Tuesday morning I was running errands with the kids, driving along.  My phone rings, I glance down, "Private Number," I ignore it...and then I have this stupid, "what if it's really important," thought so I grab for my blue tooth...can't find it, I look down to find it and in that moment...that 2 seconds with my eyes off the road...I drifted into a guardrail...drifted going 50 miles an hour...into a guardrail that was protecting a 50 foot ravine.  I swerved, over-corrected and went into the oncoming lane...NO ONE was there...I pulled it together and pulled over.  I got out and looked at the car.  Pretty banged up...but drive-able...I looked around...NO CARS...NO Traffic on this busy 2 days before Thanksgiving errand running day...

God protected us in so many ways.
  *a guardrail that I've never noticed, never thought about, being in the spot we needed it.
  *when I hit the guardrail, I hit it pretty much on the whole entire side of the van...equaling lots of damaged down the entire side of the van...but also just basic physics, had I hit with the front end we could have been tossed over the rail, had I hit the back it could have sent us into a spin, but hitting the whole side kept us pretty balanced.  I don't think I could have tried to hit it at a more 'perfect' angle if I wanted to...
  *Tuesday was a raining, blustery, monsoon like day.  There was about 10 minutes without crazy weather...that is the 10 minutes that my accident took place.  Can't image what the outcome would have been in that monsoon like weather.
  *ZERO traffic.  No one behind me to rear-end me when I slammed into the guardrail.  No one in the on-coming lane of traffic for me to plow into when I over corrected.  After I pulled over and assessed the damage the road had returned to it's normal traffic flow again...

I'm sure there are other God moments that I haven't realized that took place in that moment that protected my kids and I.  These are just the ones that stand out.

Lesson learned...
 Lesson #1...NO PHONE...NO MATER WHAT.  If I haven't put my blue tooth in my ear before I have started driving, than I just have to wait.  Seriously, it was a call from my doctors office telling me about a recent test. NO BIG DEAL!  And even if it was a hugely important message, the school calling to tell me my kid got kidnapped {just trying to think of the worst/most important call} is me causing an accident going to help that situation.  Because now my husband gets this call..."Um, your kid got kidnapped at school, and your wife drove off a cliff with your other child in the car!"  There is NO phone call that can't wait until I get to wherever it is I'm going...and I also have God on my side.  I fully know that if there is that really important phone call that I need to know about right then, I would have a nudge from the Holy Spirit telling me to pull over and check my phone.

Lesson #2...pride...UGH.  Lets go back about 18 months ago...I had this thing I liked to call, "A perfect driving record"...It's something I would remind Beau about lots and lots.  I LOVED my perfect driving record, I was proud of that thing!  Yeah...lets go back 18 months...
  • I ran a red light...big time ran it, with video proof... almost got my whole family t-boned by another car {who stopped at their green light,while I blasted through my red light}
  • Then 10 months go by..all is well...then I amazingly back right into my friends car...a car that I KNEW was right behind me...but I rammed right into it!  Lovely...also loved the insurance letter sent to my husband, "Dear Beau, after investigating the accident we find your wife 100% at fault." I needed it rubbed into my prideful face.
  • Tuesday...I being stupid...could have killed my children and myself!
Yep, my perfect driving record is gone.  And my pride about it is now filled with humility...I'm not saying I'm humble {because that's an oxymoron}...  I'm saying I get it now.  I had pride {probably still have it in other places that God has yet to point out}...and now I see that my pride got me nowhere, accomplished nothing.  It probably made me more dangerous to myself and my kids.  Pride blinds us, tells us that we're above certain things...when we clearly are imperfect humans that can make a stupid mistake {choose any from my above list, or make up your own} and that stupid mistake, that slip in judgement, could cost you or your family greatly.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 20

1}  I'm thankful  for lists...I just finished making my Thanksgiving grocery list...and when the kids wake up off we will go to get all or our Thanksgiving food.

2}  Thankful for leftover cookies that my kids will eat for breakfast!

YEP...I'm gonna let me kids eat a cookie for breakfast and then take them grocery shopping 2 days before Thanksgiving when the store is likely to be horribly crowded!
And ... there is a large possibility that they will end the shopping experience with a large donut...
{because I believe cavities and obesity will give my children character}
AND....I feel strongly in the fact that we all have jobs in life,
     and we do those jobs better if we get a paycheck when our job is completed...
my children have a job today...
    They will be expected to act like normal civilized humans
     {even though their only breakfast was a large cookie}
while I drag them through a crowed, unfriendly grocery store...
      when & if they complete this job, their paycheck will be a donut at the end!

3}  Thankful for the men and women working at the grocery store...such an unappreciated job!
People treat grocers horrible.
Yes, I know you hate shopping...
     Yes, I know it's crowded...
Yes, I can see that your child is throwing a fit and just broke a jar of pickles...
remind me why that is the grocers fault and you need to be rude to them?
Yes, I know the lines are longer then you were expecting...
Yes, I can tell you fed your children cookies for breakfast...
Yes, I know that you wish you were ANYWHERE other than grocery shopping....
Yes, I know that this normal 1 hour trip has taken you 2 and you're still not done...
remind me how being rude to the grocer is going to help this situation!
I have a small task for you and your family!
If you have yet to finish your Thanksgiving grocery shopping, or end up back at the store because someone forgot butter or pepper... thankful that you have the option of shopping at a grocery store, thankful that there are people that work in this thankless industry and THANK THEM...
Give them a smile...maybe a kiss {Hershey that is}...
and bonus...if you head into the grocery store with a good attitude and your goal is NOT to get out of there as fast as possible...
     but rather to make the day of those that are serving inside the store...
your trip will be that much more pleasant! {you can even make it a game with your kids}...
extra points in the a young mom or elderly couple that look like they might need help with their list or bagging their groceries...
double bonus...your kids will learn amazing kindness, grace, and character from this simple trip to the store.

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19

1}  Thankful for school holidays!  I love letting the kids stay up late and then sleep in...just soaking up the freedom of a few days off from school!

2}  Thankful for fun socks!

They just make me's like wearing pretty panties only better because you get to share the fun with everyone!

3}  Thankful for the dollar theater...that has family Mondays where a group of 3 or more can buy tickets for $0.75 a piece!  Taking the kids to see Brave today!

November 18

1}  Thankful for the volunteers at church.  I have a team of over 40 people that volunteer for me over the course of a month.  It's amazing to have that many people willing to step up and help in one way or serve the children and families of our church...and that's just the volunteers for the birth-kindergarten ministry...  So Very Thankful!

2}  Thankful for friends having babies and baby showers.  I went to a baby shower today for a good friend who is having her 4th baby in a few weeks.  I love going to baby showers and seeing the showering of love for the mother and her new baby!

3}  Thankful for Sunday 'dinner'...I don't make dinner on Sundays.  NOPE!  It's my night off...usually we have popcorn, cheese, fruit, etc...tonight we passed on the popcorn, had cheese & crackers and then leftover buffet {whatever you want to eat that's leftover in the fridge!} and we eat in the living room...the only night we eat with the tv on!  Everyone should have a night of the week that's just simple.  And guess what, my family loves Sunday Dinner!  It's a tradition and kids love tradition, they love something they can count on especially if it has a bit of whimsy or quirky to it, and they love telling their friends that we have 'popcorn for dinner' on Sunday nights!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 17

1}  Thankful for friends... I could write a whole post just on friends...but I'll just say, I'm thankful for my friends...{old & new}...I'm thankful for the friends that Beau has...and I'm thankful for the friends our kids have.

in that same theme
2}  I'm thankful for sleepovers...and yes, I'm crazy...our kids had some friends over last night and I love that they are spread all over the house and that the kids had a blast with each other.

3}  Thankful for grocery stores...getting ready to go do some shopping and I'm thankful that we have the luxury of grocery stores!

November 16

1}  Thankful for school lunches.  I let the kids get one school lunch a week...and I'm always thankful for the mornings that they choose school lunch, the morning goes by just that much smoother...and this is ususally the day that the boy child chooses school lunch...Fridays=pizza

2}  Thankful for Thanksgiving break from school...when I pick the kids up today we will have 9 days off!  I love that!  As a kid we only had a minimum day on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and then Thanksgiving and Friday off...I love that they have turning it into the holiday break it deserves to be.  

3}  I'm thankful for dishwashers...I'm listening to ours clean our dishes right's a magical machine!...grew up without one...and in our 14+ years of marriage have had one for all but maybe 2 years of that time...they make me blissfully happy!  And that reminds me of something my mother use to say, and it makes me smile every time....
my sister & I would ask our mom...
     "When are you going to get a dishwasher?"
my mom...
     "I have two of them {referring to the two of us washing the dishes} why do I need another one?"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 15

1}  Thankful for a fridge and cupboards full of food even if we think it's almost empty.  I grocery shop every 2 weeks (that's when we get paid)...right now we are a week and a half from the last time I shopped...this is when everything starts to feel empty and I start hearing, "we don't have anything to eat!"...
when in fact we have a bowl of fruit on the table
a cupboard with 3 boxes of crackers, a bag of pretzels, various bags dried fruit.
a fridge with veggies {and dips}, cheese, meat, etc....
It's the same food they've been eating for over a week, so they want something, it feels like we don't have anything, but I know I could feed them for another 2 weeks without going to the store.

2}  I'm so very thankful that my kids don't know the meaning of truly being hungry!  How many times have you had this conversation...
kid-I'm hungry...
parent-eat an apple ....
kid-I'm not hungry for an apple....
parent-then you can wait for dinner...
kid-but I'm starving...
parent-if you were hungry then you'd eat the apple....
as frustrating as that can be, I am also thankful that they have never experienced true hunger.

3}  Thankful for crocheting...
this pattern is NOT in English, but this video helped me get it
it's a fun pattern and different from most crochet patterns.
I took a few years off from crocheting but picked it back up about 2 years ago...and I am loving it!  I have some friends that come over once a week for our 'hookin' nights and I'm really enjoying our time and our creations.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14

1} Thankful for my bed.

2}  Thankful for internet...silly I know, but it was not working at home this morning and I was feeling sort of lost...How am I supposed to know today's weather?  What if I have an email I need to respond to?  What if there is something on Pintrest I NEED to see right now!!!!???

3}  Thankful for a quiet morning without internet.

Yes, I'm a walking oxymoron!

I'm thankful that I have it now, thankful for all the information and entertainment that it supplies.  It also adds a lot of 'noise' to my day.  After my quiet time this morning I just sat and read my book, no internet 'noise' and it was calming....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13

1}  Thankful for nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, and all the specialized people that work in hospitals!  And those that work with kids are even more amazing.

2}  Thankful for children's hospitals.

3}  Thankful for kids spending the weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's.

Please continue to pray for our friends daughter.  She was in so much pain today, one of the hardest things I've had to see.  {Kids should not have to ever be in that level of pain...seriously she will laugh her way through labor after the pain she is experiencing today and for the next few days!}.   Her surgery was to straighten out her scoliosis, her pre-op prep took almost 2 hours, and then her actual surgery was about 7 hours, and then another 1 1/2 hours before her parents could go see her, I think they saw her around 9:30 last night.
Brad & Kim putting on their brave faces...
this was yesterday morning before Kenna had gone "into" surgery put was in pre-op

Pray for our friends.  Watching your child in pain SUCKS!  And getting to sleep on fold out chairs...they WILL have short fuses...pray that they can be a comfort to each other and be each others soft place to land.

in a waiting room about hour 5 (of surgery, not counting pre-op!)
Pray for all the other families at that hospital.  We were at a huge children's hospital and walking the halls, seeing all the sick kids, all the parents in pain watching their babies hurting.  Not having answers to help their kids....I'm so thankful for hospitals geared just for these kids, people who devote their lives to helping these children.  I felt like I was praying the entire time I was there {not a bad thing}, every child I saw that was sick, every family waiting for news or talking with a doctor, nurse, social worker, etc...I just saw pain everywhere and I couldn't stop pleading with God to help these kids and families.

Hold your babies tight tonight when you tuck them in.

Thank you God for my healthy kids!  Be with every parent tonight who has a hurting child!

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12

Beau and I are on a little trip...not a romantic get away, not a for fun get away, not a business get away...
a family friends needs us to walk beside them while their almost 10 year old daughter is having major surgery....
pray for our friends today...
pray for their brave daughter as she goes in this morning for a life changing surgery.
pray for her parents, that wish with all their hearts that it was them and not their baby.
pray for the doctors.
pray for us as we comfort and pray with them today.

1}  Thankful for healthy kids.
2}  Thankful for doctors.
3}  Thankful that my God is the great physician!

November 11

yeah, posting a day late...

1}  Thankful for our church, our pastors, the body of believers.

2}  Thankful for our veterans.  All the men and women that have served our country, in war and in peace.  Those that have died, those that are lost & not yet found, those that were wounded, those that have been changed forever by what they have done to keep our country free.  Thanks!  

3}  Thankful for road trips with my husband.

I have so much more to say on all of these...they all deserve their own day, their own post...but it's what I was thankful for yesterday...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 10

1}  I'm thankful for my's her birthday today....  I'm thankful that she never worried about being my friend when I was a child, she was my mother!  And because of that we are friends today.  I'm thankful that we talk multiple times a week.  I'm thankful for her faith in God and her prayers for my life.  I'm thankful for her love of my children and my husband.

my parents with my kids...
it's an old picture...maybe 2 1/2 years ago?
2}  I'm thankful for my's also a birthday for him...happy birthday to the Marine Corps.  I'm thankful for a father that fought and returned from Vietnam.  Thank you Dad for your service.  I'm thankful for the patriotism that you raised me with.  Thankful that because of people like my father that willingly enlist others have the choice not too.  {can NOT imagine living n a country where my son and daughter would HAVE to serve!}

and totally unrelated...
3}  I'm thankful for laundry...that's my way of trying to be grateful...I have loads to do today and I'm thankful that my family and I have plenty of clothes to wear & that I have a washer and dryer to wash them with!

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9

1}  I'm thankful for our home.  We're renters...we've been owners, and now we rent.  It was some hard choices that led us to that decision. {I blogged about it here}  But 18+ months later, I am so thankful.  I really love our house...its home.  It's cozy and clean, and not falling down around us. I'm so very thankful for this home.
girl child mowing our lawn!

2}  I'm thankful for a garage.  This is the first house I've lived in {E.V.E.R!} with a functioning garage. And I LOVE it.  I love that on cold, frosty this morning...I can walk into the garage, get in my van and drive away, no scrapping of windows this morning....  that filled me with Thanks.

3}  I'm thankful for Friday's.  It's our day off.  Beau works Sunday-Thursday's...and depending on my work load and how the rest of my week went {if I took a day off with a sick kid, or to go on a field trip, etc} I usually have Friday's off as well.  It's nice that we get this day off together with the kids still at school.  Seriously, I'm married to him, I work with him {we share an office}, we usually eat lunch together, and we have these special Friday's off together...  We have tried in the past to make special days of the month for a date night...but now we realize...we have lunches and every Friday together...we are almost on one continuous date!

November 8

1}  I'm thankful for our parents and their marriages.

my parents @ our wedding
my in-laws @ our wedding
I think it may be a rarity that both sets of our parents are still married.  Both got married young and in an age when divorce was pretty normal our parents stayed the course and are still married.  I'm sure their marriages haven't been smooth sailing, but they love each other, have grown together, and love God.  Both my parents and my in-laws marriage have taught Beau and I things about marriage, commitment, and love.  Their legacy of marriage is something I am deeply thankful for.  My children see marriage as the norm, they see commitment as the option, not quitting.  I know many marriages end today because one or both parties just don't 'feel' it...they made a promise, they need to sit down and communicate and work it out, especially if they have children.  If you fall out of love...DEAL...and then try your hardest to fall back in love!  I'm sorry, that's my opinion.  I'm sure there were times in both our parents marriages that it got tough, that they may have considered not sticking it out...but I'm thankful they did our marriage is stronger because of their commitment and our children have a better chance at having strong marriages because of our parents choices!  
disclaimer:  I think divorce is the answer to SOME marriages {the 3 A's Abuse, Adultery, Addiction}

2}  I'm thankful for my, dad and sister.
family Christmas pic, cira 1984,
I'm in front holding the cat.
My parents were amazing parents to my passionate personality.  They didn't control me, they taught me to control myself.  They reinforced over and over that I was responsible for the choices that I made, that I had free will, and I would have consequences if I broke the rules!  And BOY did I have consequences...but I'm thankful for those lessons learned at a young age because life consequences for bad choices {sin} at the age of 10 is way  better than life consequences for sin at the age of 16...18...21...  Their parenting taught me responsibility for myself and helped guide my life to where it is today.

3}  I'm thankful for my in-laws.  I am 100% totally blessed with great in-laws.  Those 'mother-in-law' jokes don't make sense in my world.  I have a mother-in-law that I love, who raised a great son, who loves my children and who only gives her advice with love and tenderness.  The rest of them are great too.  I also really appreciate my sister-in-law, she's an amazing aunt to our kids.  Both my mother-&-sister-in-law have taught me how to be a better wife and mother and I am so very grateful for them.  I personally think the Chambers Men marry amazing women!
a shot with the in-laws 2010...
we all look younger now, except the kids are all older

And this is posting a day late...I wrote it yesterday, but forgot to post...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 7th

1}  I'm thankful for my Jesus being the same yesterday, today and forever. {Hebrews 13:8}
That verse was on the wall of our polling place, that happened to be a church, the boy child pointed it out when we got to the car...wish I would have seen it and taken a picture...
he said, "did you see what was painted on the wall in there?  It said Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever Hebrews something!"....
it's such a reassuring thing to know!  No matter who and what you voted for yesterday, {or even if you didn't vote} matter who won or didn't win, no matter what props passed or didn't pass.  Our Jesus Christ is never changing!  Amen...thanks boy child for being observant of the things around you!

2}  I'm thankful that we live in a country that says my children, and every child, have the right to learn!  My lower middle class children, boy & girl...both deserve an education!  I don't think I thought much about my right to learn as a child or even until I had my our children.  But it is such a blessing that not only do they offer an education to my children, it's the law that they MUST learn!  If I choose to not send them to a public or private school, I need to prove to the government that I would be teaching them in my home!  That's crazy awesome!

3}  I'm thankful for my job.  I have a job I never dreamed I'd have.  I never once thought, "hey when I grown I want to work with kids!"...yep, not even once.  God did place it on my heart in high school and college that I might be in the ministry somehow, someway.  And now, not only am I as 'pastor's wife,' I also am the Early Childhood Director {in charge of birth-kindergarten} at our church.  It's such a great working boss is pretty HOT...and my boss's boss is a great man to work for.  The office staff are all amazing women.  And I have a job that works around my life.  I work while my kids are in school...I'm home when they're home, I can take days off for field trips, I volunteer in my son's class once a week, I can take them to piano lessons & volleyball games.  Sick kids, no problem...I get to be mom and take care of my kids.  And on the work side...I seriously love working with babies-kindergartners...they are great!  I love watching the things their little brains process through.  I love hearing their hearts when we talk about God!  I thankful that I get to play a part in them learning the language of God!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6

1}  I'm thankful that I am a woman living in the US in 2012.  Having degrees in History and Social Science I have read, studied and written papers about the struggles of women throughout history.  I also know women around the world today are still fighting for basic human rights.

2}  I'm thankful for the right to vote.  If you are not a white, property owning man you need to make sure you do not squander your right to vote.
{BLOG WARNING...History Nerd alert!}
We live in one of the free-est places in the world and yet a mere 50 years ago black men and women in certain parts of our country would face death when they headed to the polls.  The 15th Amendment passed in 1870 allowed black men to vote, so they had the federal law behind them, but they had to face state laws and angry mobs to cast their votes.

My grandmother was born before women had the right to vote, she was 16 when the 19th Amendment was added to our Constitution giving women the right to vote {passed in 1920...less than 100 years ago}.  I had the privileged of talking with her in 1999 about women voting {I didn't grow up near her}, I asked if she was excited to vote when she was old enough, her exact words that still shock me, "Nice girls just didn't do that!"...

3}  I'm thankful for clean, hot, running water.  What does that have to do with voting?  Nothing besides the fact that I can drink a glass of water before I go vote, I can even take one with me if I want, and I can take a hot shower before I go cast my vote today, and that is a privileged that those first women voters probably didn't have. {From Home Things Past:  Sears Roebuck was selling showers by 1915. By 1965 a study of one thousand American middle-class homes found that 85% had both a tub and a shower.}.  
And today, in the year 2012 780 million people on our planet lack access to clean water

I am so very thankful that I was blessed to be born in this country in this time.  And as a mother of a girl, I remind her often that she is very blessed.

Monday, November 5, 2012


this is the menu that the boy child helped me put together as we grocery shopped after school today...
he was a trooper and ended up with an apple fritter
    {that's a fruit, right?}

tonight...make your own pizza's ...
     using this recipe for the first time

taco salad...with this taco meat only gonna do 1/2 ground beef 1/2 ground turkey

wednesday...wonton soup

thursday...baked potato bar


saturday...CANDY...{our family holiday candy tradition is we throw away all holiday candy at the next Halloween candy gets tossed on Veterans Day, which is Sunday...last year we started a new tradition, the kids are allowed to have candy for dinner on Veterans Day Eve, so then when we toss all the candy on Veterans Day they have had all the candy they want....yep, I'm crazy!}

other items on the menu for next week...
brinner...breakfast for dinner...biscuits and gravy
pulled pork tacos
pfchang lettuce chicken wraps

chicken tikka masala & naan

kielbasa, sauerkraut & potatoes 

 and that's all I got!

November 5th

I'm thankful for my husband

1}  I'm thankful that we met young and married young.  That might sound crazy.  But we have lived our lives together, 'grown up' together.  We came into our relationship with very little baggage from previous relationships because we we're young when we started dating (I was 18 he was 20).

2}  Thankful that he is a Godly man who desires to lead his family in God's will.

3}  Thankful that we fight.  We are both passionate people and we started out our relationship stuffing our feelings and not being open.  We have grown up and know how to fight...well, at least know we need to not stuff our feelings.  We don't always fight the right way, I may call him names...I might get too emotional...but we work it out and the end of the fight there is always resolution.  I know some marriages that are a lot older than ours that never fight.  Without fighting you don't have change.  The fights help one or both of us see our own faults, {which is my favorite part-sarcasm in case you didn't know}, and in seeing our faults we can work on change and then together we grow in our relationship and hopefully in a deeper relationship with God.

4}  I'm thankful for our make-ups after we fight...and that's all I'm saying on that!-you're welcome Ken!

5}  I'm thankful for the father that he is.  I knew at the early age of 18 that he'd probably be a good dad {Yes,I was thinking about it, but it wasn't the most important thing for me at 18 or even 20 when we got married}...but I had no idea what an amazing dad he really would be.

6}  I'm thankful for his home-bodyness...{yep, made that word up!}...he is a home body...I am not.  His desire and need to be home forces me to have down-time that I would fill with stuff.  I would be going and doing and wearing myself out if not for his need to be home.

7}  I'm also thankful for him saying yes to my going & doing.  He says yes to many of my, 'lets go do something' moments, when all he wants is to stay home...and he usually enjoys himself.

8}  I'm thankful for his love and attraction to me.  He loves me without makeup, prefers me without makeup.  He loves my after-baby-c-section-nursed-two-children body.  Where he has aged well, {he's thinner and fitter today than he was when we got married}, I have just aged....  And he loves all of me. I'm thankful!  Although, he has WAY more white hair than I do!

9}  I'm thankful for his gift of music.  He had introduced me to a world of music that I never knew.  And he has given that gift to our children.  I love that he will just randomly sit down at the piano and get lost in playing for 45+ minutes...I love it!  And that he has a record {yes record...LP} to play for any and all occasions.

10}  I'm thankful for his humor.  He makes me laugh every day.  He is the funniest man I know...although he has yet to discover how hilarious I am or maybe he's just not willing to admit it yet!

And many, many, more things...again I have surpassed my 3 things...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 4th

I'm thankful for our boychild

1}  I'm thankful that he is so full of life and humor.  He has the Chambers humor like his father, uncle & grandfather...funny men!

2}  I'm thankful that he has music in his body.  The boy hears music and he must dance.

3}  I'm thankful that he is a cuddler...yep just made that word up!...and just an overall physical touch guy.  I love that he hugs his friends, at 7 years old has no problem giving his friends a full on bear hug, because that's how he show his love and he loves his friends.

4}  I'm thankful that he is passionate.  Even if parenting a passionate child is harder, I'm so thankful that he know what he wants in life and will go after it.

5}  I'm thankful that he is an early-bird like me.  I enjoy our mornings together, just the two of us.  I have learned so much about him in our early mornings together.

6}  I'm thankful that he's a thinker and a processor.  His brain is always going and he asks questions I have never thought of before.  Accepting that things just happen because they happen is not an answer for this child.  He needs to have answers and that has caused me to grow as a parent and a person, I have learned because he has asked!

7}  So thankful that he has God in his heart and knows how to pray for God's guidance in his life.  I'm thankful that he has a Godly father that he loves and that he wants to be like.  He thinks his dad is just a 'regular guy' and he wants to be a 'regular guy like his dad' when he grows up.  He has no idea that having a father who seeks God is not the norm.

And of course I could go on and on...but I'm past my 3 thankful for the I'll stop.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 3

I'm thankful for my girl child

I never imagined myself as a mom growing up...and I never imagined myself to a girly-girl child.
God gave me the best gift I never knew I wanted & needed when he gave us Madison.  I'm thankful for her in so many different ways.

1}  I'm thankful that she has taught me to love the girly-girl in myself.

2}  I'm thankful that she has taught me that your heart is way more important than your intelligence. 
     She is a very smart girl, but school hasn't always been easy for her, she's not an academic person.  But her heart knows so much more than most people.  I would way rather have a child that struggles with reading, writing, and arithmetic than a child that struggles with love.
     I have a sermon that I heard 7+ years ago that bounces around in my head & heart all the time...
a short summed up version...  
When Christians are faced with a situation/person that they don't have an answer for their default mode should ALWAYS be love...but instead most Christians default mode is judgement.
My girl child, her default mode, is LOVE!  She was born with the switch in the right place and I pray that the world doesn't change it for her!

3}  I'm thankful that she embraces who she is.  That she laughs with her whole being.  And that she can laugh at herself.

4}  I'm thankful that she's willing to step out of the box and try new things.  The girl that didn't eat for 8 will taste anything...she'll try any new food you offer her.  It's fun to take her to different ethnic restaurants, she loves new foods!

5}  I'm thankful for her love of family and friends.  It doesn't matter if she sees them every day or once a year.  The moment a friend or family drives out of the driveway she turns to us and says, usually with tears in her eyes,
"I miss _fill-in-the-blank_ already!"

6}  I'm thankful for her love of babies!  She has never seen an ugly baby (Yeah...I said that, we all know there are some not-so-cute babies out there!).  She loves them ALL and gets giddy just thinking about the opportunity to hold a baby!

7}   I'm thankful that she's 100% a daddy's girl!  I'm thankful that she has a father that shows her God's Love and is teaching her what true love looks like.  This girl will never settle for less than she deserves in a man because from day one, she's known the love of a true man and has a healthy loving relationship with her father.  And bonus...she talks to him about all her 'girl issues'... {not his favorite, but he listens and usually says, "um, I think your mom might know all that."}....

I'm going to stop, because I already went over my list of 3, but I could go on-and-on...
I am so very thankful for my daughter!