As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2: 4-5

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow, and inspired by a blog I read, I present
The ABC's of Thanksgiving

All of my family, home, at one time. 

Bubble Guppies and Barbie movies. 
Though I could recite entire episodes by heart, they are great go-to's when I want/need to get something done!
Bubble Guppies Kids Cartoon Bubble Guppies

 My sweet sweet Charlotte.  Absolutely the easiest baby/child ever!  She is starting to talk so much more and I fall in love each and every day! 

I do not even have the words to say how thankful I am that God sent him to me.  How blessed am I to be married to my best friend, the hardest working man I know, an amazing father, and someone who makes me laugh every single day?

Nine years ago, Daryl and I decided to put our children in Christian education.  What an amazing decision that turned out to be.  Not only is it a great place to work, but the teachers and administration have been instrumental in helping our children grow in the Lord.  It's not perfect, but the teachers and staff love and care for the children and do everything in their power to come along beside us in educating our children.

First graders. I love my job!

God's Love

My miracle baby, who I thought would never talk.  Now she never stops...ever.  She is joyful and loving and sweet and spirited.  She loves her family, friends, and Jesus with her whole heart and without hesitation.  Love her, love her, love her!

St. George Island, FL
Our favorite vacation spot.  When I go to my "happy place," I find myself there.

My man child.  So grown up, and already a man...but still my baby boy.  My first born.  I am so proud of the man he has become.  He also makes me laugh!!!

Put it on anything and Hannah will eat it!

 with my family around the dinner table.

Or Maddy, as she prefers.  She has been my spitfire since the day she was born and not a day goes by that she doesn't challenge and inspire me with her passion and strong will.  I can't wait to see what she is going to do with her life!

Noni and Ed. 
Wonderful, supportive parents and doting grandparents.  So blessed to have both of them still in my life!

Old, comfy sweat pants

of my husband

mornings before everyone gets up.

I took up running this year and I love it.

Sweet, sensitive Sarah.  She is my nurturer.  I love the way she loves her sisters.  I love the way that she has grown and matured over the years.  I love that she is not ony my daughter, but my friend.

I love having this week off and having time to clean and read and be with my family.

Unconditional love from my children and Jesus.

My daughters have the sweetest singing voices, and I love to hear them singing.  Day and night.  In the car and at home.  Someone is always singing.

Weight Watchers. 
95.6 pounds are gone because of this program.  It's the only way I can do it!

eXcellent parapro.
I have had the good luck and privelege of working with my para for nine years now.  I don't even have to tell her what needs to be done.  She just knows.

Yackity, yack, yack.
I've mentioned before that Hannah never stops talking.  I am thankful for this, because I get such a glimpse into her heart and mind.  And I know that soon enough, the words won't come as often or as numerous!

Zebra striped flats.  Enough said.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Break full of gifts...

153.  a CLEAN house!  I made a list for eah day, Sat-Tues, and I am sitting here now in a clean from top to bottom house with NO laundry to be done.  I LOVE IT!

154.  Christmas cookies

Sarah's rendition of our family, in sugar cookie

155.  little girls with frosting on their faces....
 because they did this!
 156. the way Hannah has grown to take pride in her work (and I know she needs a haircut, but she insists that she will keep it out of her eyes)
 157.  Christmas smelling candles
 158.  getting out the Christmas books
 159. seeing Josh pull into the driveway

160. that first hug
161.  holding hands around the dinner table and saying the blessing
162.  having too many people in the living room to sit comfortably--I'll take a smushy hour of television watching if I'm being smushed by those I love!
163.  my swiffer wet jet....oh how I love it!
164. thrift shopping with Sarah
165.  the sound of rain in the chimney

so much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cue the music...."It's the most hectic time of the year...." Wait...that's not how it goes...but man, that's how it feels. It's still pre-Thanksgiving and we've had cheer competition, play practice, Thanksgiving programs, and more. Add to it a husband (a very very dear husband, I might add) who is working so hard we rarely see him, and sick children, and it makes for a very busy, very tired, often discouraged momma. So I'll admit it. I've not counted blessings as I should have. I might even own up to wallowing once or twice, or more. My laptop, with the list on it, died, taking the list with it, so I haven't recorded any this week, but looking back on this week in pictures, I remember. :)

138.  My husband's work ethic.  He is the hardest worker I know, and though sometimes I tell him he works too hard, I am grateful that he does.  I know it seems like a thankless job sometimes (most of the time, really), as it seems that with five children, the needs are never ending and we always need something, but he does it without complaining or grumbling.

139.  I am the grumbler of the family and he puts up with me.

140.  Being able to have him home in the evenings, in his favorite spot on earth--his recliner.

141.  Listening to Christmas carols on the radio on my drive to Columbus last weekend.

142.  A two hour drive by myself, with opportunities to think and sing and breathe.

143.  The excitement in my girls' voices when they called to tell me they placed at sectionals and qualified for State Cheerleading Competition.

144.  The girls on their team.  They, for the most part, are a cohesive, Christ loving group of girls who minister to each other.  They represented our school and God at the competition and I couldn't have been prouder.

 145.  The fact that Sarah and Maddy can put aside their "sisterness" and compete on the same team peacefully.  There has been a dispute or two, but they have kept it off the floor and at home.  So proud of them...especially Maddy, who has a hard time holding her tongue!
 146.  Second chances.  Maddy's drama teacher decided last minute to hold a performance of Pocahontas for Thanksgiving.  I couldn't go last time, so I didn't see the whole thing.  So glad I got to see it all.
147.  Hearing Hannah's kindergarten friends calling her name, and seeing her joy at seeing them when we got to the school.
148.  Watching her hug all her friends.  She is definitely a hugger!
149.  Hannah's sweet friend, Gracie, and her even sweeter mom, Bridgett.  They invited Hannah to sit with them so I could deal with this cutie.  She did well, I thought, until about ten minutes into the show when she decided to repeatedly kick the seats in front of us.  As I was taking her to the back, I heard a "Thank you, Jesus!"

 150.  Being able to take a sick day to stay home with a feverish Charlotte.
151.  A babysitter who cares enough to call to make sure I have donuts at home because "they are her favorite!"
152.  Charlotte can put on her shoes all by herself! (her shoe choice today?  One sparkly light up flip flop and one twinkle toes!)

Off to grab a snuggle with my sickie!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gift #137

137.  Watching my dear, sweet husband share the gospel with a child.  I had the great honor and privelege of watching (while working with my own AWANA girls) Daryl as he worked with one of our littlest, and probably most needy boys tonight.  Oh, how I love the way he loves the Lord, loves children, and loves to share the Word.  How blessed am I?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sunday Fun

Last weekend was a busy one. Saturday and Sunday were jam packed with fun and family.  I left my camera at home on Saturday, but I remembered to break it out on Sunday.

A sweet Charlotte in her jammies before church

Us...all gussied up for my neice Angela's wedding.  I don't know why we didn't think of this sooner, but we actually have a tripod, and we tried to take a family picture.  We took about 6 pictures, with Daryl setting the timer while we posed and then he had to run to get in place.  Then we all would run to see what it looked like and decide to delete it and try again.  This one was the best of the bunch.  I look like an amazon woman, but overall, I think it's a good picture and no one hated it.

 At the wedding...waiting for the food

Maddy and her cousin, Katie.  I am so thankful for their sweet friendship.

Sweet, pretty Sarah

Char and her new "ba."  Sunday morning during Sunday school, Charlotte dropped her bottle and it broke in half.  We took it as a sign from above, and finally got rid of the beloved "ba."  She watched as we threw it away and then took the nipple, put it in her mouth, and was totally content.

A very blurry, far away picture of the beautiful bride and equally beautiful groom.  I wish I would have gotten a better picture.  She was so beautiful, is so beautiful, inside and out.

We had to leave before the party got into full swing so that the little girls (and us older folks too) could get to bed.  Before we left, though, the girls had fun with the photo booth

 More gifts...
127.  the beautiful ceremony on Sunday--full of love,  full of beauty, full of Christ

128.  a hard eucharisto--a innocent comment from a friend that made me realize a bad decision, and that I need to focus a little more on making time for each of my children individually

129.  shopping with my mom

130.  size 14 pants

131.  "thank you for praying for me mom."

132.  being able to share girly things with my growing girls

133.  a diet coke first thing in the morning

134.  the easy transition away from the "ba."

135.  "I wanna big girl cup, mama."

136.  Thanksgiving crafts

Friday, November 4, 2011

More Gifts

101.  The Robitussin spilled on my laptop, rendering it useless, unless typing only vowels.  For the full story, look a few posts down.  Anyways...even though I ruined an expensive piece of technology, it has freed up my time and I've been more productive.

102.  A day at home alone

103. "Hide and Teek" with Charlotte--which is really just hiding under the blanket with her

104.  Watching Char in the tub, listening to her tell me "I wash my back, I wash my hair," etc.

105.  "I your girl Daddy."

106.  Watching how proud Hannah was of her little sister when we went on the field trip

107.  the smell of a fire in the fireplace

108.  little girls in footie pajamas

109.  a sweet e-mail from my neice

110.  Hannah's improved handwriting

111.  Seeing my family after spending the day alone

112.  A compliment from a stranger at Wendy's, about how well behaved my girls are

113.  matching and folding 57 pairs of socks

114.  Breakfast with my Maddy

115.   80's weekend on the radio

116.  "Mommy, I just love you too much!"

117.  Being able to move a child up in reading groups

118.  empty (for avery short while) laundry baskets

119.  reading Sarah's Jamaica letters

120.  realizing that God provided exactly what we needed in October, when we weren't sure how we were going to make it

121.  Pay day!

122.  Clean(er) carpets

123.  Listening to Daryl tell the Sunday school class about his "gifts" this week.  Being one of his "gifts"  

124.  Get Well cards from my first graders

125.  Five hours of uniterrupted sleep

126.  Watching how God uses my experiences and hardships so that I can help others

Halloween 2011

Pumpkin carving time!  It's hard for me to fathom, but until he met us, Daryl had never carved a pumpkin before.  And now look at him....he's a pro!

 Sarah and Maddy carved their very own pumpkins this year.

 Hannah and Maddy's pumpkins.  Sarah carved a light bulb into hers, but I forgot to take a picture of it. (Sorry Sarah!)
 Doesn't our pumpkin look scary from this angle?
 Yeah, that was just a trick to hide the fact that we really made a lopsided, sorta goofy looking pumpkin.
 Our little fairy and pumpkin.  Hannah asked me, "Why do I have to be a fairy again?"  Well, Hannah.  Because mommy  is a procrastinator and really dislikes costume shopping and you really didn't seem to care, so I got the least trashy looking costume they had at Walmart.  Because really?  Fishnet stockings for a costume in size 4-6?  OK, I didn't say that.  But that's what I was thinking.  What I really said was, "Because you make such a cute fairy!"
 We went down the street to Daniel Park for what was touted as a "safe" Halloween.  Translation:  games and inflatables with long lines.  Plus a little bit of candy.
Still, we went since no one trick or treats in our neighborhood anymore.
 We stood in line for one game.  For a long time.  And never got to the front.

 We found a line that was just candy and that was the only time they truly trick or treated (if you can really call it that)
 Then they decided that they would rather do this.

After a while, we headed to Nanny's house, where Nanny ooohed and aaahhhed over them, and then emptied her entire candy bowl into their sacks.
Another Halloween in the books-onto my favorite time of the year!

Pumpkin Patch 2011

Last week, I caught a cold from one of my kiddos at work.  I coughed so much that I was keeping my husband awake at night, so in a gesture of good will, I slept in Josh's room one night.  Armed with my Kleenex, nose spray, Robitussin, and of course, my laptop (so I would have something to do while I stayed awake coughing), I headed to bed.  At 2 am, I awoke, needing more cough syrup.  In a stroke of pure genius(note the sarcasm) I used the light of my laptop to see to pour the cough syrup into that little bitty cup.  I'd be able to stay in bed, not turn the light on, go right back to sleep.
In retrospect, that was probably not such a good idea.  For at 2 am, it appears, I lose all ability to pour sticky cough syrup into said little bitty cup.  And now?
No laptop.  OK...that's not necessarily true.  I still have a laptop.  It just only types vowels.  Which is a big improvement over the = sign.  So...instead of sitting on the couch in the evenings blogging, facebooking, and surfing the net, I wait until everyone else is done with a computer.  So what you get is a whole bunch of blog posts in one day!

Josh came home for the weekend so we could make our annual trek to the pumpkin patch.  How I love that boy.  How good it was to have him home, and I got my pictures!