Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

We had a really good Thanksgiving this year. Over the years it has become the tradition to have Thanksgiving dinner at our house and everybody brings something. It is really easy for me because all I have to do is make the turkey and a few sides and set the tables.

I was telling a friend that I really do love Christmas, but Thanksgiving is running a close second and I appreciate it more every year. It is all the fun and family time but not all the stress of spending a lot of money and shopping. (I have pretty much decided I am not a big shopper. I don't hate it if there are not crowds, but Black Friday sounds like torture to me.)

We had almost 30 people come over yesterday. It was a beautiful day so we got to spend a lot of time outside which was nice and our house was very full and loud and noisy. Good times!

There are so many things I am thankful for and I know it is a little late, but I wanted to list them anyway (and share a few pictures at the same time!)

I am thankful for:

1.My sweet husband. Even though we've been married for a long time, we still LIKE each other and have fun together. That's a good thing when all your kids leave home and it's back to just the two of you!

2. Ashley-She is my daughter, but she is also my friend. We talk on the phone or see each other every single day and we "get" each other and have lots of the same ideas and interests. She is so much fun to be with. Plus she married a great guy who takes such good care of her and is a wonderful daddy. I am thankful for having John as a son-in-law!

3. Mark-I couldn't ask for a better boy. He is funny and smart and he gives really good hugs. And he still calls all the way from Washington to tell me he loves me and ask about how we are doing. (He's really good with kids, too!)

4. Laura and Lindy-They help me know what to wear and they love to hang out and talk over coffee. They are my little homemakers and always help me cook and clean. And they keep me up to date on the latest trends in books, movies, music, and clothes. I would be way more "retro" without them! Haha!

5. David-This little boy has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives for the past two years. I adore him and I can't wait to meet the next baby that is coming in March!

6. My extended family-I love all the brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, neices, and nephews that make up our really large family. They all mean so much to me and make my life more fun and interesting with all their unique personalities and their love and kindness to me.

7. My friends- I still keep up with lots of my high school friends. Plus I have friends I have known forever at church. I love my teacher friends I have made through the years and our neighbors who are like our family. Friends are one of the best gifts God gives you and I have been so blessed with the friends He has given me!

8. Little things like my Kuerig (my new best friend)& my Kindle Fire (I love that thing.) I read books on it, watch movies, play games, and all kinds of stuff. It's so great! I am thankful for my warm bed, a fire in the fireplace, hot soup on the stove, my space heater, the way the air smells at night when I step out onto my porch, the mountains, the beautiful fall leaves...

sweet notes from my kids...

and so much more.

9. My church-I love my church and spend a really big part of my life there. I worship there and teach there and I love that it is a place of encouragement and hope and love and ministry all rolled into one. This is a picture of the way it looked when I was driving into my church parking lot the other morning...

10. God-Of course, none of the other blessings in my life would exist without Him. He is the giver of all good gifts and I do not take any of it for granted.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

7 Days A Week

So...we are back around to Saturday. Yay for the weekend! I love it...especially after a super busy week. Today I am just looking back at each day this week...

Monday-It was almost like a Friday since we got the next day off of school for voting! Steve went out with some friends and I stayed home and watched girly movies that he doesn't like. I also finished The Same Kind Of Different As Me which I would probably rank up there as one of my favorite books ever! Seriously. Go get it!

Tuesday-It was Election Day. Steve and I went and voted and then celebrated by going to Dunkin' Donuts!

We went to dinner with some good friends to Cajun Yard Dog (y'all know how much we love that place!) and we stayed up for a while to watch some of the Election Day returns. I didn't stay up too late though. I went to bed not worrying a minute about it because I know God is in control and the world wasn't going to blow up overnight no matter who was elected!

-We went to Wednesday night supper at church and we had prayer meeting. And when I say "prayer meeting", I mean it. Lots of time spent around the table with friends just praying. It's been a long time since we did that!

Thursday-Ashley and I went to a Women's Event at our church called Forever Faithful. It was so pretty with candles everywhere and hor d'oeuvres and coffee. We heard two women's testimonies of God's faithfulness in their lives and we got to visit with some sweet ladies, too.

Friday-John and Ashley went out to dinner for their 3rd anniversary and we got to keep David. That is always so much fun.

He loves to go outside, so we took him outside with a flashlight in the dark and he loved doing that. We played cars with him and ate dinner and gave him a bath and read books. He is so precious!

Laura called Friday to tell us she has officially accepted her job offer at Digitas in Boston. She will start her new career on June 3rd! I can't believe my babies will be graduating from college before I know it!

Saturday-Today we went to a book signing of one of my sweet childhood friends, Todd Billingsley. He just wrote a book called Run To Win. Besides being an author, he also happens to be an accomplished composer and his wife is an exceptional athlete. She lost her leg to cancer but she overcame that and other obstacles in her life. This book is their story.

Here is the YouTube promo video of the book. Todd is actually conducting a piece he wrote with the Czech Symphony Orchestra!

It was so much fun seeing them today. I love old friends and hearing all about the things they have been up to and what paths life has taken them down!

Now we are back to Saturday night. It is date night for us. We have a gift card to use for dinner and I think we might go see the new James Bond movie. (You know who picked that one out!) :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012


This week was so busy, but fun! Steve was gone the whole week to St. Louis so I was kind of glad it went by fast.

Today, I just thought I would share a few things that have been happening around here and also few things that have been on my mind.

1-Tuesday, Ashley and David came over to carve a pumpkin and it was the funniest thing. We took the top off the pumpkin and scooped out some of the guts and showed it to David. I thought he would be interested in touching it and seeing what it felt like, but instead he gagged! Oh my gosh...Ashley and I laughed so hard at that! I've never seen a child (much less a 20 month old) gag at a pumpkin! He is a mess.

Once he got used to it, he was okay.

2-Halloween was a fun night, but I wished Steve could have been here. :( He has never missed a Halloween before, so we had to take lots of pictures for him. David was a dragon and I think he was probably the cutest dragon I've ever seen!

John and Ashley brought him over to trick or treat in our neighborhood and so we could see him. Our neighborhood is absolutley PACKED with kids. Seriously, you would not even believe how much candy I have to buy just to make sure I don't run out! Anyway...we weren't sure how David would do since it was his first time trick or treating, but he did so GOOD! He loved getting candy and knew just what to do. He knocked on the doors and since he can't say "Trick or Treat", he just said, "Treat!" He was precious.

I just had fun sitting outside with my neighbors and visiting out in the driveway while we passed out candy. I love my neighbors. They are some of my sweetest friends!

3-It got really cold here earlier in the week. In fact, it snowed up in the mountains where Laura is! They had a snowy Halloween! Isn't that crazy? Rocky was pretty much stuck to my side all week.

He hates to be cold and tries to snuggle up with me or sit by the space heater when I have it on in the mornings.

He is so funny.

I made Paula Deen's recipe for chicken and dumplings this week and it was really good! If you like chicken and dumplings, you should try it!

I also made roasted sweet potatoes to go with it and they were yummy too. I bought sweet potatoes that were already cut into cubes and I tossed them with a little olive oil and baked them in the oven. Then I drizzled a little bit of honey on them and sprinkled with kosher salt and pepper. That is good cold weather food!

4-I am so thankful for my church. Today was the first Sunday I got to hear our new pastor, Alex Kennedy, and I am just so excited about his leadership. I love his heart and what he stands for and his style and his humbleness. I know God sent him to us at just the right time and I can't wait to grow under his training. Thank you God for new beginnings and blessing us with such a wonderful leader.

We also got to hear the Children Of The World choir sing. Oh my goodness. They were beyond precious! So sweet and sincere. Plus, their joy was contagious. And there is nothing sweeter than hearing children sing. I loved it.

4-Are we all ready for the election to be over already? I am so over all the political ads and the phone calls during dinner, aren't you? I didn't really intend to say anything about the election or politics at all on here, but I changed my mind. I do have two quick thoughts about it. :) I'm going to get on a little bit of a soap box here, so I hope I don't offend anyone!

First, I know this election is very important and I am so thankful to be living in America where I can vote. That is such a priviledge. I think it is my duty to vote and to be educated about the issues in our country. I am a little bit of a political "junkie" and I love to watch debates and read up on everything. It is so important to vote for your values and convictions! there a way we can do that without getting crazy? I am so tired of all the negativity, disrespect, and name calling by people who are Christians and believers (and everybody for that matter). What on earth? That just amazes me. I was talking to Ashley about it the other day and saying that when I think about the election, I try to conjure up in my mind what Jesus would be doing if he was here on this earth right now. How would He vote? What issues would be important to Him? What kinds of things would He value the most? I think I know some of those answers but I bet I would be surprised at others.

Anyway...I do know that the main thing He taught us to do is to show love to others. And that includes people who don't share our views! I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't call someone an idiot just because they had a different perspective than He did. I don't think He would be condescending and judgemental if someone saw the world through a different lens. Honestly, I don't know how much He would even care who got elected. He mainly just cares about people and their hearts and drawing them closer to Him. God created lots of different people with lots of different ideas and I know He values diversity. We are all unique and He loves that about us! So I wish we could just embrace our differences and be respectful.

And second, in my opinion, the world is not going to end if the person you vote for doesn't get elected. God is in control and we don't need to be fearful. He has our life in His hands and He will take care of us no matter who is in office. That is freeing to think about!

5-I was so sad this week to see all the devastation up in the Northeast from Hurricane Sandy. I love New York. It is one of my favorite places in the world and I hate seeing all that they (and that whole area) are going through. I am praying that they can get their lives back in order soon.

6-I was so happy for my friend, Faith, this weekend! She has been wanting to be a mommy for a reallllly long time and God finally answered her prayers and gave her two precious baby girls! I am so thrilled for her and her husband, Chad!

So...that is what is on my mind today. This is definitely going to be an interesting week. But for now I'm off to get groceries and do lesson plans. It will be Monday before I know it! :)