Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Thirty

today i am thankful for...

...a month of being more intentional in my thinking
...early morning time to prepare for the day
...getting lots of errands run to be ready to go with our december "advent" activities...looking forward to helping focus both myself and my kiddos on Jesus--and the fact that the kids did a great job during said errands
...finding miscellaneous snow gear in all the right sizes so the kiddos could enjoy some outside play...i'm thankful that all those infrequently worn snow pants and boots have come "on the cheap" as hand-me-downs or garage sale steals
...warm soup on a chilly day--and that my thrown together, creative concoction actually tasted good (white bean pork chili)...even better that the kids all cleaned their bowls
...making progress on my Christmas cards...people, i am really going to get them in the mail this year...hooray!
...the daily opportunity to be at home with my children...even on the rough days (and, i'm not going to lie, there have been a lot of them in the past week or so)...but, really, truly, i am thankful i am the one to be there for the little (and the big) moments
...saving 40 cents a gallon on gas for the van
...the ability to go to the bank and draw our monthly is so easy to take this for granted, but the truth is there are so many who don't have that luxury/ability

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Nine

tomorrow is the last day of november...oh my! what a blessing it has been to record all the little daily blessings that surround me. it is something my mind is growing trained to do. hooray!

today i am thankful for...

...fluffy white snow flakes
...a piggy tailed two year old shrieking "Pee-a-boo!" most of the time we were at the chiropractor (while wearing undies AND keeping them dry...i'm thankful for that still too!)

...time by myself at, my Bible, my journal, a book, and a caramel apple spice
...the husband who sent me for alone time even after my "girl's night out" plans were canceled due to the snow and slush

...the Word...that it is living and active...that it pierces like a sword...that it is TRUE and relevant...that it transforms and brings hope
...elizabeth's tenacity and excitement (about what is sometimes totally "ordinary" to my 30something self!)

...kate's determination

...luke's giggle and toothy grin and exploratory curiosity

...jilly's love of life and enthusiasm husband's hard work and diligence
...God's reminder that it is about what is on the INSIDE, not what is on the outside...i am thankful to be reminded that prioritizing Him, my husband, and my children is more important than the appearance of my house, what others might think of me, and on and on...this is HUGE people!
...making some headway in planning for school...both our school at home AND my classes at TMS
...the reality that i only have to take it ONE day at a time...or rather, one moment at a time, one hour at a time, etc.
...a good workout while jamming to some good loud praise music after a rough start to the morning
...the fact that tomorrow is a NEW day...with new grace and mercy (and in just the right measure!)

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Eight

finishing my TMS grading while at TMS...rather than sitting on my couch grading all night ;)
His grace as we move through busy Mondays
a 2 year old who couldn't get enough of the broccoli tonight...she was literally grabbing it, bite after bite, out of the serving bowl
that same 2 year old staying dry all day at TMS in the nursery! :)
learning to just "let it go" and say no...even to good things...when that is the right answer...those who know me well know that this is a big lesson and so huge for me...i hate to say "no"...i hate to miss out...and yet, sometimes, it is the right thing to do!
just being at home
little hands playing with their nativity set...talking about baby Jesus...the camel who is standing on the roof where the star goes right at this moment (Jesus has spent a lot of time up there as well!)
a bin full of Christmas stories...and snugly with my Libber girl to read some
an early to bed exhausted four year old
Luke's HUGE grin when he sees me come to pick him up at the end of a long Monday
outdoor Christmas lights...and getting to "see" them through the eyes of the excited six year old riding along with me
the soothing snore of just sounds right ;)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Seven

what a whirlwind weekend. my hubby's facebook status might have said it best...

Time with my family Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Cleaning, organizing, decorating for Christmas and a little more family time Saturday. Luke's dedication at church today, grandmommy and poppy time, laundry and prepping for Monday. Whew...

so much to be thankful for in the midst of it...

a slower, more relaxed Sunday morning than usual (9:45 service instead of our usual 8:00)

standing before our church community to dedicate ourselves to raising Luke in the truths and ways of the Lord

having my parent's make the trip down to be there with us and support us...which makes for a thankfulness for my parents, in general...i am so thankful for their love and support in my life...from the little years until now. they have encouraged, supported, loved, taught, and always been with me. and they love our kiddos so, so, so much and have been there to help, be involved, and walk with us through this crazy journey of parenthood!

pastor Don...who married mike and i and has dedicated each and every one of our four children...what an incredible gift he is to our church community!

fun wii playing time with the fam

folded laundry

a pantry full of groceries, beds to sleep in, a roof over our head to keep us warm and dry...all things we too often take for granted

jilly's love of helping me

a husband who helps with not only the folding of the laundry but also takes the initiative to get it in the washer and dryer and keep the process going...and not grudgingly...what a blessing!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Six

a day at home as a family
our decorated Christmas tree
the clumps of 2 or 3 ornaments on the same branch, hung by eager little fingers
stockings hung...and anticipating the arrival of Luke and Jilly's tomorrow...grandmommy is bringing them...Luke's newly finished for his first Christmas and Jilly's was the "size guide"
homemade gingerbread
a husband who lovingly hung the outside lights :)
sparkly white Christmas lights
getting to watch the girls run around and giggle and play with their cousin
french toast for breakfast
a completely clean and dry day in undies for jilly...hooray! :)
the chance to just relax and veg out on the couch with mike
four giggling, splashing, sweet kiddos...all in the same bathtub...they fit--barely! :)
my willow tree nativity set
God's mercy in revealing my ugly heart...over and over and over...and forgiving me and restoring me and convicting me
leftovers ;)

Friday, November 25, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Days Twenty-Four and Twenty-Five

i suppose this could be called the Thanksgiving edition of my thankfuls. :) we were able to spend a few fun days with Mike's family...we traditionally do Thanksgiving and Christmas with them during Thanksgiving weekend. now we are back home...oh how thankful i am for our home...and there is nothing like being away from home to make me remember how great our home really is. :)

as most of you remember, last year at this time jillian (and mike) had just been released from the hospital after her MRSA infection scare. i am oh so thankful for her health (well, all of our health, really!).

i am thankful for so, so many things...

full bellies
cooperative kiddos (i'm still thankful for them even if they don't cooperate...but i am thankful that they were cooperative!)
getting to see the world through their eyes...especially their delight over Christmas lights, sleeping bags, presents, playing games with aunts and uncles
turkey, pie, sweet potatoes, roast leg of lamb, bacon, baklava...yep, we ate WELL
safe, mostly calm travel
fresh air and the peace of being in the middle of nowhere
being away from the internet
time to read
dry undies--over 48 hours with only one accident--and i'm not talking about ME, people! LOL
our nebulizer to help our wheezy, congested little baby boy....and the fact that despite his cold he was still as happy, easygoing, and sweet as usual
mugho--who despite his age still has the ability to open a Christmas present without help :)
a new french press...can't wait for some coffee in the morning
grandmas and grandpas
aunts and uncles
the chance to play a me some games...don't get much time for them, though!
a husband who just got the tree up and fluffed while i sit here blogging--decorating comes tomorrow with the kiddos! :)
cameras and informal photoshoots with the fam

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Three

i may be AWOL the next couple of days...we are headed to the land of internet-less-ness :)

i'm sure i'll be thankful for time with family, turkey, the weather (that is supposed to be surprisingly warm and gorgeous for late November), and many more things :)

in the i am thankful for...

...chick-fil-a giving me a free small peppermint chocolate chip milkshake this morning...and, i'm also thankful i was able to hit the elliptical at the Y for 45 minutes before consuming said milkshake and outweighing all the benefits of the was worth it! :)

...leaving a CLEAN house to come home, you would be sooo proud, but truthfully we will likely have lived in it and made it much less clean before you get here sunday :)

...being the BEST MOM EVER because i gave kate toast for breakfast (love that it is truly the little things)

...Romans...where i've been camped out in my morning quiet time...amazingly encouraging considering the current focus is on the unrighteousness of man (ME) and how much i deserve His wrath at the judgment day. oh how much more thankful that truth makes me for Jesus...His death, His blood, His mercy, His kindness

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Two

today i am thankful for... sweet elizabeth's prayer tonight..."Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me and my friends and all my family..."

...lots of slashes through items on my to-do list (and maintaining joy and involving the kiddos as we moved through them...definitely not perfectly...but so much better than some days!)

...macaroni and cheese

...rain that provides puddles to jump in :)

...great pics of our blessed to have great photographers in the family now! :) to just get some hung on my walls! lol!

...getting the finishing touches put on a crafty Christmas present

...freshly stuffed cloth diapers (i know...i'm weird!)

...success with making better/more healthy lifestyle choices...both the working out AND the nutrition side of things. i'm thankful to be seeing results both on the scale and in my clothing.

...a husband who is willing to gently hold me accountable and lead me in better choices, partially just by doing life right alongside me

...gentle reminders from the Lord to stop and think on the right things--and to follow through with doing what is right!

...seeds of worship CDs...played loudly while cleaning

...the sweet, sweet singing of my kiddos (video on FB...i'm apparently too lazy to be adding much in the way of pics or video to these posts!)

...four babes piled on my lap (because, yes, they are all still babes after all!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Days Twenty and Twenty-One

i'm thankful for...

...the beautiful reality that God is both just AND kind

...the kindness of God that leaves room for repentance

...the library

...a sweet, singing and dancing, getting the hang of the potty girl...i know, i know, i've mentioned it before, but people...this is hugely beautiful and exciting

...crossing things off the to-do list protectors and dry erase markers...and the hours of entertainment they provide little girls when filled with dot-to-dots, mazes, hidden pictures and "school" pages

...baskets of folded laundry

...dinners that everyone eats without complaint--even if it is just sweet potatoes and chicken nuggets :)

...being caught up on my TMS grading and planning

...conversations with my mama

...a husband who tucked all the kiddos in last night and just let me take a break sweet elizabeth and the chance to spend some time alone with her yesterday...i love seeing her personality emerging and maturing...and she is just so much fun. :) i am thankful for her love of learning and reading and imagining and creating.

...the giggles of my girls as they play together...all three of them. today it was a running game of puppy obedience school with cleo, clifford, t-bone, and mac

...the way the girls hug and kiss and squeeze luke goodnight

...jilly's growing vocabulary...words are so much more helpful than tantrums! :)


...heat on a cool, drizzly day :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Eighteen and Nineteen

successful potty training days

our own steam vac for the not so successful mornings of potty training ;)

leftovers...and the fact that it means a break from cooking

an hour and a half by myself at starbucks to do some work

progress many beautiful, wonderful friends to do life with...specifically i am thankful for all the noise and giggles of extra friends filling our house yesterday afternoon...just because. it means that my kids have great friends to do life with, and it means that i had the chance to just chat with one of my sweet friends

potato soup...mmmm--i'm also thankful for the "know-how" to substitute and tweak recipes to fit the tastes of my family :)

jilly's potty is oh-so-cute! (and listening to her big sisters' share in her successes and cheer her on!)

a husband who puts together dressers :)

sweet little "just because" notes in the mail

the silly things my kiddos say...elizabeth: talking about her slippers grandmommy knit for her. "riley, my grandmommy knit these out of sheeps for me...don't worry the wool was dyed wasn't a green sheep...i wish there were green sheep though...i really like sheep!"

a new camera...just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas

winding up a music box my daddy gave me each evening when i put luke and jilly in bed

spending time relaxing and watching a movie with my hubby...and knitting away on some Christmas presents--which i think i'll go do right now!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Seventeen

starting my morning in the Word and on my knees...a good place to start! i am so thankful for His Word that instructs...daily...hour by hour...moment by moment...breath by breath. thankful this morning for the reminder that without Him my thinking quickly becomes "futile" and my heart "darkened"...that so often my wisdom is really, so thankful that i do not have to remain there, but that He is purpose and hope and light and that He is true wisdom! (romans 1:21-22)

little girls sleeping past seven

a warm shower

tasty, warm and uninterrupted MOPS brunch

the ministry of MOPS...the chance to simultaneously be encouraged, challenged, and convicted as a wife, mama, mother, follower of Christ, etc. AND do that for other mamas. i am especially thankful for the unique "flavor" of CPC MOPS...fully and completely centered on Jesus and the cross, no holds barred. this morning i am thankful for the refreshing reminders from our speaker as we look toward advent and Christmas

some jilly potty success (of both varieties--if you know what i mean!--lol)

little girlies in felted grandmommy slippers

a little boy with one more tooth as of that seven tooth grin! :) so many textures and colors...and the click of the needles in my hands as i knit, so soothing and relaxing

having friends over for homemade pizza night...which means LOTS of extra giggles and squeals and excitement...and some extra adult conversation :)

warm jammie pants :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Fifteen and Sixteen

crafty friends...and crafty mornings to quickly knock out a few Christmas crafties! :)

friends who bring me back to the TRUTH and are willing to do life with me, regardless of how messy i might be at any given moment

hope from the Word

regrouping and making baby steps of progress around the steps are huge some days

two girls' nights out in a a baby shower for a sweet friend with my MOPS table...and i just so happen to be thankful for those ladies and the conversation we were able to have as well. always good to be reminded you aren't alone and challenged/convicted to love better, live for faithfully, laugh, etc.

the smell of italian beef simmering away in the crockpot all morning

stay at home with nothing to do days

chocolate animal crackers with peanut butter frosting

catching up with an old friend

oven warm home-baked artisan bread

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Fourteen

today i am thankful for...

...a break. yep...a break. the end of our school day at Masters today marked the beginning of what i have declared as Thanksgiving break...two whole weeks. :) we're going to enjoy some time with friends...lots of playing and crafting and reading and being together...and some potty boot camp for jillian. and, oh my, am i ever ready for a bit of a break! :)

...a girl's night out with a dear, sweet of those friends who just knows you...the kind of conversation where you are both reminded and encouraged to press love Jesus and do the right thing regardless of busyness, etc. :) and i love that with this particular friend we can go far too long between getting together (far, far, far too long...which is what happens when between us there are 7 kids age 6 and below!) and yet we can pick up like we just chatted yesterday. :)

...the way my elizabeth girl is so delighted with her teachers. so sweet to hear her little voice calling out hi to them...hugging them....smiling and excited as she talks to them.

...getting to peer in and watch kater-girl in her element during her preschool day...smiling, laughing, coming out of her shell.

...handprint turkeys and handprint trees covering my fridge

...sandals in mid-november! :) (actually it isn't rare that i would wear sandals in november...but today it was 70 actually warm enough to wear sandals without freezing!).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Twelve

i am so incredibly thankful for our church...the building, yes, but by Church i truly do mean the people...the community and body of believers. what a blessing to gather every Sunday and hear Truth...encouraging, convicting, hope giving. i am thankful for the dear and wonderful people who serve in the nursery, caring for and teaching our children (and being able to serve others in that way when it is our turn!). i am thankful for my squirmy elizabeth and kate, sitting in the sanctuary with us. specifically today i am reminded of just how thankful i am for GRACE....for the gospel and the way it transforms my life. beautiful.

i am also thankful for...

being snuggled under warm covers in my house this morning while the wind whipped around outside

the quickly changing leaves (now reddish and golden) on the trees in front of our house...they are some of the last leaves holding strong, as most around us have fallen and been raked away

Costco...silly perhaps...but really i am thankful for it!

hand me downs for miss elizabeth...and hearing all the giggling girls when v and her daddy dropped them off

luke's love of table food...dude chowed down on two servings of homemade chicken potpie tonight!

end of the season orchard apples filling our fridge...and our bellies!

shopping for some sweet tiny baby girl clothes for a shower this week

skinny cow ice cream sandwiches (just might have to have me one right now!)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Twelve

a sweet, warm, snugly four year old crawling under the covers with us this morning

the chance to wander through jo-anns by myself for a bit

spending loads of one on one time with my jilly-girl this morning (who i might mention did manage to successfully use the potty a few times--and i'm thankful for that progress as well!)...she is so sweet and silly and smiley and smart and fun. i love so much of this two year old-ness...oh to bundle up her amazement and wonder and new words and cuddly-ness.

the wholesomeness and satisfaction of making something from it was milling some wheat, cooking and pureeing a pie pumpkin, and making whole wheat pumpkin millet chocolate chip muffins. the process is just satisfying...and the result was pretty tasty too!

a two hour nap (FOR ME!)...praise the Lord!

jilly's adoration of luke...from the moment she wakes until they go to bed at night <3...she shares toys...she talks to him...she tries to feed him...she finds his toys and brings them to precious!

little girlies licking ice cream cones and giggling and grinning...and a little dude who was really digging my teriyaki chicken fried rice...he searched and combed and managed to get every last rice and veggie morsel into his mouth...and then stared longingly at ice cream cones...and bless my sweet jilly's heart, "luke's...luke's ice cweam?"


a playroom that still looks as good now as it did yesterday afternoon...even after three little girls played in it!

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Eleven

having my hubby home

a shimmery white dusting of snow on the ground when i woke up...and, even better, frosty, snowy rooftops!

waking up to the chattering and giggling of elizabeth and kate playing "go fish" downstairs--so kind of them to not wake mommy and daddy AND to be doing something so nicely!

family breakfast

watching my kate girl snuggle with daddy at the chiropractor...oh how she loves being with her daddy!

spending some alone time with my jilly

finishing the last of my Christmas shopping for the kiddos...i love being finished by Thanksgiving so i can spend advent focusing on Christ and on family rather than rushing here and there shopping! apparently that means i need to get on it when it comes to shopping for my hubby though--i gave away all of my ideas for him...good thing he is easy to please!

the answer no...sometimes its a beautiful thing ;)

a husband who loves me and serves me and supports me in spite of my emotional roller coaster-ness (and who is patient and wise and quick to forgive...while i am still often nursing my grudge or bitterness...ugh!)

a husband who took the big girls to the Children's museum while the little one's napped...AND that i actually used that time super-productively. i have been struggling to get ANYTHING done around the house while trying to juggle homeschool stuff, grading for the masters, MOPS stuff, and just keeping up with daily life, so it was a huge gift to have a chunk of time to myself IN my house...i tackled the toys...downstairs, the playroom, e and k's room....organizing, purging to donate, was beautiful...all while listening to pandora, sipping diet coke, and munching on popcorn. so i am very thankful for a clean playroom AND a soul that is a bit more at peace too! it gives me hope that i might someday conquer other areas of the house!

a mama who is there when i just need a phone conversation

tears that cleanse

15 minutes alone with "one thousand gifts" which i've been slowly rereading again--beautiful

time to shower, dry my hair, AND put on make-up...miraculous!

a late evening--after the kiddos are tucked away in bed--date...which meant we also got to break free from the chain restaurant dinner and wandering through target routine. hello downtown fun! california pizza kitchen for appetizers for dinner and then south bend chocolate factory to split a slice of raspberry eruption cake...all filled with some really great conversation, laughter, and, so, so refreshing...and yes, we did wander the aisles of wal-mart at 11:00 at night to pick up a couple odds and ends while childless--but, even then, i'm so thankful for the reason our dates often end at target or wal-mart...four sweet and energetic little bundles

restored friendships


my husband's promise to let me sleep in tomorrow morning! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Ten

today i am thankful for...

...grace and forgiveness that is new every morning

...the truth that when i feel desperate i can cry-out and know that my Savior hears (AND is already there!)

...a two year old who yells "pee pee!" and comes running...even if she has already "done the deed" least it is a step in the right direction!

...a MOPS steering team that prays and laughs and encourages and supports

...connecting with friends face to face and voice to voice...texting and e-mails are all well and good, but nothing beats a real life "checking in to say hi"

...a mama who knits fabulously warm felted slippers

...the sheer delight and excitement of little girls seeing the season's first fluffy flakes of snow falling from the sky

...a warm house

...a baby boy who babbles both "mama" and "dadda" quite proficiently and regularly now

..."Friday" night coming early...mike is off tomorrow, so tonight the big girls got to stay up late playing games and hanging out...but i must admit, i am thankful that all four kiddos are now snugly tucked in bed!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Nine

today i am thankful for... 1 get 1 chipotle coupons

...the giggles and excitement and joy of my sweet that they just want to love life and enjoy and laugh and be noisy (even if it is sometimes a bit maddening!)

...homeschooling, blogging mamas who do LOTS of work to create fabulous resources and share them for FREE!

...the funny and sweet card elizabeth wrote for her GG...without any prompting or assistance. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Eight

i can't believe i've consistently made my way to my blog every day for over a week now, signed in, and managed to post a list of incredible blessings and "thankfuls". this has been such a gift and beautiful help to my heart.

today, i am thankful for...

...a husband who is willing to share one bite of pumpkin pie to save me from consuming the calories of an entire piece.
Link impromptu trip to an indoor play park. how fun to spend some time getting to know MOPS moms i'd never met before AND to get to spend some quality time catching up with my dear friend Holly...AND for the kiddos to run off some energy.

...a plethora of blogs and websites with great, healthy recipe ideas. today's find (and, thus, tonight's dinner) was this Oven-Baked Butternut Squash, Kale, Mushrooms and White Beans with Pasta and Nutmeg Bechamel...yum! i'm also VERY thankful for elizabeth's love of vegetables...and her utter delight at finding mushrooms, etc. in dinner. i'm thankful that she ate 2 FULL bowls--love it when i work hard and my family appreciates it! stores and the ability to run to grab one or two ingredients...i know this is something not everyone has!

...MY CRAWLING BABY BOY! seriously, in the past 24 hours luke has officially become a crawler...granted, it is still a bit more of an army crawler, but he gets where he wants to go, and he gets there FAST! and then he looks up at you, smiles, and takes off in the other direction. silly little guy! many people who have invested in me...mentored me...discipled and taught me. as i've been heading to the Y to swim many mornings a week i am reminded of my high school days working at a pool...of hours and hours spent with my dear friend jill...who invested so much and built into my life (and who is now investing in my family!). love you jill! :) and there are so, so many others on that parents, of course, but they deserve their very own post...youth pastors, campus life leaders, crusade staff, and on and on!

...learning to "let go" and raise the white flag of surrender when it comes to my house, my to-do list, my agenda...i feel like i am so everything (likely because I AM!)...but i am letting it go and simply savoring the moments (and working on that to-do list in between the "moments"!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Seven

today i am thankful for...

...a job doing something i love with an incredible group of students...not only does it provide an extra little source of income, but it provides me with a great outlet and a chance to use my skills, experience, and love of teaching

...getting to hear all about my sweet girls' exciting days.

...elizabeth shrieking "MOMMY!" joyfully the second she saw me in the pick-up line at the end of the day <3

...going to Costco by myself for a bit after my classes were done...nice to wander with a diet Coke (and just maybe i found some Christmas gift goodies)

...being almost finished with my Christmas shopping

...the prospect of a crafty morning with a couple of friends tomorrow

...laminators (odd...but seriously, the one-time-elementary-education/daughter of an elementary teacher just likes laminating....and i can't wait to start cutting my laminated items...i know, so weird...but i love cutting laminated stuff!)

...a text reminder from a sweet friend who prays for our family every monday...what a priceless gift

...a baby boy who made honest to goodness, real, true forward motion in his crawling endeavors today...and, i must admit, while i am thankful for this, it is so bittersweet--slow down baby boy, it is going TOO fast!

...jilly's "i love you" as i tucked her in bed <3

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Six

leftovers from after i posted day 5 :)

...freshly bathed babies (because truly they are all still my babies!) who smell fresh and baby-lotion-y

...jilly's love of "jumping" into her bed...a mommy assisted "power-jump"

...the extra hour of evening last night that allowed mike and i to play round after round of "hungry, hungry hippos" with the big girls...and tickle...and giggle...and read story after story

...a husband who picks up Chinese take-out on his way home from work

...a big ol' box of books and goodies from amazon arriving on my porch...also containing my replacement dough hook and flat beater for my kitchen-aid...meaning there must be some baking in order

and 6...a gorgeous and relaxing autumn Sunday

...taco soup...mmm...

...homemade pumpkin pie...and two cutie pies devouring it. :)

...spending the morning at church...where we have a wonderful community/ blessed to be a part of College Park Church. so thankful for friends who listen to my frustrations and struggles and turn my eyes back to Jesus. :)

...getting to briefly talk with my big sister on the phone. love you shell. :) and ran across the picture below when looking through a drawer. not sure if i have shared it before...but seriously love it...and whoa...hello jillian!

...having daddy home all day long. the girls were pretty excited to simply be with him...or pile on top of him :)

...singing with jilly at bedtime, her little face pressed right up to me slobbery fishy kisses and singing along with all her heart (although she really just repeats "Jesus Jesus Jesus love me me me me me" and "Bible"). precious girlie.

...a family swim at the Y this after naptime kiddos NOT waking me up at 5 a.m. because of the time change...they both slept till 6:30 (which would have really been 7:30 to their internal clock). and right now at 8:10 Kate is zonked and out like a light!

...the sound of clothes tumbling in the dryer...i know, strange...but i love that sound. it is oddly comforting and homey to me. :)

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Five

1. i am thankful for this little smile...for his easy-going, happy-go-lucky, smiling, giggling personality. he typically rolls and flips wherever he wants to go, but he has been up on his knees for quite awhile now...and this morning i could see his wheels turning, trying to move his knees and make forward progress. go buddy, go!

2. i am thankful for our membership at the YMCA...thankful for getting back into shape...for a break and some time for "me"...for the fabulous workers in the childwatch. and, specifically, today i am thankful that they open early even on Saturday...what a jumpstart to a cold Saturday without daddy at home. (and jilly had a milestone today...making it all the way to the top of the indoor playground (with some help from her sisters!) and found the twirly slide!)

3. i am thankful for beanbag chairs and warm fuzzy blankets and Saturday morning cartoons...because some days are like that. :)

4. and, yes, this post is from yesterday. i am thankful my sweet kate's beautiful personality and spirit. she is funny and snuggly. she is kind and loving. she is tenacious and determined. and boy does she love gluesticks and scissors.

5. i am thankful for my husband who is off working hard yet another day this week...providing for our family...for his example of diligence and hard work....and, yet, yes, i am also very thankful that today should be the last day of overtime for awhile...we are ready to have daddy home with us on Saturdays.

6. finally, because it bears mentioning, i am SO thankful that my laundry baskets are empty for the moment...meaning i actually got that pesky clean, folded laundry into drawers. mind you, there is already a new batch in the washer...but i'll take the accomplishment and celebrate for the moment. (and while i am at it, perhaps i should be thankful for that trusty washing machine!).

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Four

"Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name."
~1 Chronicles 29:13~

i'm thankful for so many, so, so many husband tater-sacking elizabeth and kate up the stairs to bed and making up bedtime songs as he tucks them in (yep...i can hear that right now!)...gracious and wonderful friends and their kids who are sweet friends with our kids...luke's slobbering rendition of mama...the chance to stop and relax now that those chaos-inducing kiddos are in bed.

but, seriously, the truth is that it is enough to simply give thanks for Him...
...for His enduring love...
...for a great salvation...
...for His glorious name...
...for His moment by moment, new each morning mercies...
...for His Word...
...for the truth that He is enough--yes, more than enough...

...and so, above all today, i give Him thanks...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Three

have i mentioned that i love this? that throughout the day i catch myself searching for moments...moments to simply savor and give thanks...

and there are many of those many...when i really stop to look...when i refocus my perspective and set my heart on JOY and PRAISE and BLESSING...rather than on hard and tired and ick.

today i am thankful for...

1-four fleecy pajama clad kiddos gathered 'round me while i read book after book after book last night. luke might have attempted to take a bite or two out of a few pages...but he did smile and giggle and grab.

2-the arrival of the Lowes delivery truck in front of my house...and new dishwasher. elizabeth and kate were SO excited to watch the guys unload it! :)

3-MOPS...and specifically a meeting this morning that reminded me of all of the many things i have to be thankful for
*a consistent home with a warm bed and dressers full of clothing
*the support of my family and friends
*an education
*a husband who LOVES me, SUPPORTS me, and is ALWAYS there
*MORE than i could ever need in the way of material possessions to meet my physical needs

and i am thankful that God is moving and working, intervening and changing hearts in the lives of many, many, many women who don't have those basic things...who don't have a place to call home...a friend to call for help....and on and on. praise God for the ministry of heartchange.

4-a diet coke and the chance to sit down and reflect for a few minutes during rest-time

5-the rain outside my window...and the fact that in a season of lots of over-time, it meants we will have daddy home a bit early and have him with us for a few extra hours this evening

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Two

what a blessing to see the many, many people on facebook and blogs who are jumping into this 30 day opportunity to focus on minds on all the praiseworthy and beautiful things in our lives.

today i am thankful for so, so, so many things...

1. the freedom to home-school--it most certainly isn't always easy, but what a blessing to be the one sitting next there watching them "get it" hear jillian shouting "TWO" when i ask what comes after watch her little fingers trying to stick it on the calendar. what a joy to sit with my girlies around the table (oh my...another thankful, so thankful for the fabulous table we were given by friends who were done with it--and the great chairs my mama found and gifted to us!) and do a brief devotional before school starts and then to watch them dance around the room to the song that goes with it. i know--home-school isn't for everyone...and we have no idea what the future of homeschooling is for our family in the coming years, but regardless, i am so thankful for the freedom to make my own choice in this area!

2. watching my three precious girlies dump every single dress-up item we own on the floor and outfit each other. buzz lightyear and snow white are now happily playing upstairs while a pretty princess takes a nap.

3. a smiling, almost constantly happy baby boy...what an incredible and precious gift. he is really and truly amazing.

4. vacuum lines in the carpet...sometimes its the little things in life...even if they will only last until just after rest-time when the little whirlwinds come back downstairs.

5. gorgeous sunshine, unseasonably warm air, and autumn colored leaves lazily blowing across the yard

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day One

it is november.

november 1st.


yesterday this sweet friend posted a reminder about the start of "30 days of thankfulness".

blogging has been about 50th on the list of things to-do lately. and yet, blogging is good for my heart, good for my thoughts, good for my soul. combine that with the fact that the past month (or months...perhaps even year) has just been full--full of blessings, but but equally full of hard, exhausting, overwhelming moments, days, and weeks.

yes...i know i am blessed.

yes...i know i will someday miss this year of handprints on the doors, crayon-ed portraits on my fridge, and mounds of little laundry to fold.

i know this...and, yet, i forget about it.

life presses. children clamor. appliances break. meals need prepped. clothes need washed and folded and put away. diapers need changed. and on and on.

i forget about the mountain of blessings right in front of my face, because i become so focused on the molehill of trials and frustrations.

and so, here i am...blogging, planning to do my very best to find my way to this blog....every day this record my "gratefuls" center my thoughts on the many, many blessings.

join me. you don't have to can post them to facebook, record them in your personal journal, or whatever works. but couldn't we all use a bit more thankfulness.

and goes.


1. i am thankful for the job the Lord provided me--teaching literature and composition at The Master's Study. i am thankful that it has been fulfilling to get back to doing something i truly enjoy...with a group of junior high kiddos who are amazing!...just one day a week (well, except that silly essay grading!)...AND that my kiddos are learning and well taken care of at the same time. i am thankful for the extra paycheck...that the Lord is using it to provide for our needs!

2. i am thankful for my washer and dryer that work...for my microwave and stove and oven.

3. i am thankful for my husband who works hard to provide for our family...for his loving care for us. i am thankful that he has a job...and that he prioritizes taking care of his family...allowing me to be at home with our children.

4. i am thankful for the community i have within my church...for the reminders of other wives and mamas around me who are seeking Jesus, who remind me daily to CHOOSE Jesus, to CHOOSE joy, to CHOOSE perseverance.