Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Christmas Season has begun!


We celebrated our Thanksgiving day with my parents and my sister and her husband, Cory. :) We all went to my mom's house. I took some homemade rolls...that I had rising on the stovetop while my baked corn cooked...*not* a good idea. It made the rolls rise too fast and precooked the bottoms. When I uncovered them after *rising* time...they all deflated! *Ack!* Luckily, they were still edible. We all had a good laugh over it at my mom's! :) I also took peanut butter pie for dessert that we took to my aunt and uncle's house later in the evening.

My sleepy love........

Xavier got a snooze, nestled in to Uncle Cory while waiting for supper.....

What do you do when grammie makes a pie? You play with the dough and flour of course! :)

Xavier and Jaxson playing blocks and legos with Uncle Cory....

We shared a delicious meal together with all the fixin's! We are so blessed to have the things we do and to be able to enjoy such a wonderful meal together! Madelyn made us each little placecards as well!

It was an enjoyable but exhausting day! :) I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as well.

Last night, our small town had a *Light Up Night* Parade in town. With help from a couple of our cousins, my sister and my dad got the back of the truck all ready...lights, tree, electric fireplace, stocking, faux gifts and even a rug!

It was cold out....the kids were in layers with their pajama's to sit on the rug on the back of the truck and throw candy. We brought afghans too so they could each wrap in them. Then...it started snowing!!! As beautiful as the snow was....it made everyone wet...and even more chilly! Faces and hands were freezing...my children's & mine too!

At first, Jaxson had fun trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue (above)...but as they got covered in lots of snow as they waited in the parade line up...it lost its appeal! They were such troopers!

They snuggled in little balls under their afghans as they started through town...peeking up a bit to throw candy out to onlookers!


Luckily, they were towards the beginning of the parade...so as soon as they were done...we took the boys and snuggled them into their seats in the van and got them buckled. Poor lil Jax was sooo cold and cried the whole way home! Madelyn took her overnight bag and went with my mom for a sleepover last night! :)

My hands started to thaw out on the drive home. The boys were still super cold though....so we came home, stripped off wet clothes and I gave them a warm bath. After getting into some warm jammies and making some hot chocolate....we snuggled together and read some books before daddy took them to bed and tucked them in for the night. :)

We did some Christmas decorating around our home today. I am a *simple* holiday decorator. I like to just add a few touches to make the season *decorated* yet *simple*. I hung a wreath on the chicken coop....I love how that little wreath just makes the coop look so festive! (And wouldn't a Christmas card that says "Merry Christmas from Our Coop to Yours!" be entirely *perfect* for this picture???? :) .....

And....for the first year, ever, I did not get a real Christmas tree. I love the smell of them...but whenever I decorate them I get hives and I must confess that I am *not* a fan of the continual need to sweep up pine needles.

The boys wanted to see the lights and ornaments looking up from the bottom ;)......

I yearn for a simple and lovely Christmas season while keeping the focus on the *reason* for the season...which is the celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ!

So we got a simple pencil tree and decorated it with while lights and some ornaments. A bow and angel grace the top of the tree. I love the look of the ends of the bow cascading down the tree.

I did some rearrangements in my dining room to make everything work with the new tree...that I actually hope to keep up all year and decorate to celebrate each season if I can....


I know this was a long post and if you have made it the whole way to here, I thank you for taking the time to share in this all with me! :) I have housework waiting to be done and laundry to be folded and put away. I hope you are staying warm as winter arrives in all it's freezing glory! ;)

Before I go...I just want to say that I was reading Psalm 103 the other day, I feel by the Lord's leading, and it is a really beautiful chapter to read. He forgives, heals, redeems and satisfies. He is gracious, compassionate and slow to anger. He is abounding in pure love and He is merciful.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.(vs.11-12)

If you belong to God....know His love for you is from everlasting to everlasting. He knows you better than anyone else. He does not sit in endless anger over you. I know some feel that way. I used to. I thought I could never please Him. That is the furthest thing from the truth. He has compassion for us...

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him: (vs.13)


...and this was written by David...who lived before Christ. This was before saving grace entered into the world. How much more difficult it must have been to live back then...and yet God loved with an unfathomable love and had compassion! How much more He must now! Those of us who live covered by the blood of a Savior...how truly blessed we are to know the Creator and have the Holy Spirit living within us! Remember to keep praising Him, seeking Him, loving Him and He will guide your steps! He is righteous and just and will always have your best interests at heart....even when we don't understand. His ways are not our ways....but He is the Ultimate Good. Live in trust. Have faith. Please remember this as you begin this Christmas season!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am so thankful for.....

...my sweet, humble home. It is unfinished...but it is my family's cozy place of comfort and joy. Love abides within the walls of my house and *that* is more important than whether the siding is finished or the rooms are redone. :) (Although I do look forward to finishing those projects one by one!)......

....sweet smiles from my children.....


....a strong husband who works hard to heat our home....


....the ability to hang laundry on the line to dry....


...our *girls*.....


...and their contribution to the family.....


...fresh produce from the garden....


....love between siblings.....


...sweet sleeping babies.....


...watching my husband read to our children....


Oh....how the list could go on of all the blessings I am truly thankful for each and every day. Life is not always perfect...but I am so glad that *God* is! He is full of blessings ready to pour down on those who love Him. I was reading Psalm 84 the other morning and thanking God for His goodness and help in my life. Here is just a snippet from that chapter (emphasis is mine).....
(vs. 1-2)
How lovely is Your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!

My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

(vs. 10-11)

Better is one day in Your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

For He is truly the source of every single thing we could ever be thankful for. I pray that no matter what your circumstances...that you are able to remember the blessings around you. Count each one. Name each one....no matter how big or how small. :)

And....let me encourage you to try to be a blessing to someone else....it doesn't take much to make another person's day. A smile, a listening ear, a hug, doing something anonymously etc....there are lots of ways to make a difference in another person's life. And for this Christmas season that is coming....have you ever heard of the Christmas Jars movement? You should check it out....a great and easy way to help others!!!! :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
~Romans 8:38-39

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thoughts

The end of Autumn is nearing...most trees are almost bare, leaves cover the ground, the sun sets earlier and there is quite a nip in the air. Our outdoor cat, Jack, is preparing for the cold as he thickens up his body's furry coat. My kiddos play outside as much as they can while the weather still permits....although preparations to play outside takes longer than it did in the summer. :) Autumn weather calls for coats and hats...and on some days...even gloves! ;)

The *girls* are doing well...
Eat. Sleep. Repeat. :)




Nothing like yummy puddle water to wet the throat.....



We are keeping busy with schooling, housework, church activities and family gatherings. :) I also had a Thirty-One party on Friday night. My friend just started selling the stuff and I offered to host a party for her. I love having a reason to get together with friends! We had such a fun time laughing and talking! It was a carb-a-hoilcs dream at my house that day! I made homemade rolls, homemade bread, and homemade peanut butter cookies...and also had chips out too. ;)

**I haven't closed my party yet...and if you are interested in getting anything...I will be happy to explain how it works to get it on my party! :) Just let me know! :)

Also...I know that a lot of people don't like to get involved in politics. However, a lot is going on with our country and as Americans...we have a *responsibility* to know what is going on around us. The debt our government is putting us into is in the trillions!
We (the govt) are spending money we (as a country) don't have! We borrow from China....which is not a good thing. They are printing money and the more money in circulation causes inflation. Your share of this debt is almost $40,000. My share is the same. Each citizen's share of the debt is that.
The only way for them to work at paying this debt is higher taxes....plus with the inflation happening...this is just not a good combination. I ask...each of you who reads this and is a U.S. citizen...please, look at what the government is doing. It *does* affect you. It *does* affect your children...and grandchildren.
HERE is a place you can go and find the right people to contact that represent your state/area. I could even go into all the things about healthcare....but instead...I will just recommend that you watch Glenn Beck or listen to his radio show online (10am EST). He does his homework. He knows what is going on...and we, the people, *need* to save our country!

Read the following quotes (emphasis in the quotes are mine) from one of our founders, Thomas Jefferson....and see how they apply! :)

"[It is] the people, to whom all authority belongs." --Thomas Jefferson

"A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."--Thomas Jefferson

"Whenever our affairs go obviously wrong, the good sense of the people will interpose and set them to rights." --Thomas Jefferson

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." --Thomas Jefferson

"When wrongs are pressed because it is believed they will be borne, resistance becomes morality." --Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Surprise 50th Bday Party!!!

Last Saturday was my mom's surprise 50th party. A bunch of us, including my sister who wrote about the party HERE, have been planning this for a while. My mom is pretty smart..I figured she would totally figure this all out...but she *didn't*! She was soooo surprised!!! It was fantastic!!

Here is her cake with an edible picture of one of her horses, Coby, on it (Isn't that neat?? We got it done at a local supermarket!)....

One of my lil cowboys....

Some of the food all set up...and my sister made the sign. Isn't it cute? The picture doesn't do it justice, at all! I love the chickens and the eggs! :)

Pinata time!! My sister and Madelyn made the horse pinata together! Here is Xavier taking a swing at it (with Jaxson at a "safe" distance in the background...LOL)....

And...prepare yourself.....BELOW is what happens when you take a picture with the camera, unbeknownst to us, zoomed in! Ack! hahahaha!.....

A picture of my sister, Devon, watching mom open gifts....

And Madelyn...holding a friend's baby. :) Isn't both my sweet daughter and the wee one just too cute? *And to top it off...I even got the chance to babysit this sweet little one and her toddler brother the other day! YAY!*

These pics don't do the party justice. It was a really nice (and *busy*) time! I think my mom enjoyed it! Usually she is the one who does these things for people...always putting everyone before herself. It was so wonderful to be part of something that was done just for her! I am so very blessed to have her in my life! I am so so thankful for my mother. She is away for 5 days visiting her great aunt in another state. We all miss her greatly....although I am so thankful for the technology of cell phones! It's nice that although we are miles away....we can still talk! :)

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing in this party with me! I hope you are having a nice week! Today is raining and dark out....we will enjoy the day in the house! I am thinking books, maybe a movie and some hot cocoa! Woohoo! :) Talk to you again soon! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Giving and Receiving....

Hello! I hope you are having a great start to your week! I awoke with a headache...but thankfully...it seems to *mostly* have gone away. I still have a bit of residual left....but I am used to it. Any one of you who gets headaches consistently, I am sure, understands what I mean! ;)

Yesterday afternoon, while Chris and the kids snoozed, I finished up knitting a baby hat for my newest niece or nephew who is due in February! :) My sister in law's shower is in a couple weeks and I wanted to get this done in time! I am so pleased with how it turned out! I even had an "oops" towards the end of knitting and had to rip some stitches out...but it all turned out OK and I was still able to finish it! :)

My mom is leaving in a couple days to visit her aunt who lives in Massachusetts. Mom and her sister, I think, are making a gift basket to take with them to give to my great aunt. Mom asked if I could give a couple dishcloths to add to the basket.....


...the stamped tag I attached to the dishcloths is kind of hard to read but it says *Handmade by* up in the left corner of the tag. :)
*And* Just today, I received a gift from Madelyn! She made me this bracelet!!! (below) Isn't it sweet? I wore it for some of the morning...but had to take it off when doing dishes and changing the laundry around. I was afraid it might break.

And last night, we celebrated Chris's mom's birthday at one of my sister in laws' houses! My mom and Chris's mom both celebrate their birthdays in November. :)

OH....and I will soon post about my mom's surprise birthday party we threw her on Saturday! Oh my goodness.....it sure was a *ton* of work...but it was sooo worth it! She was absolutely *SURPRISED*!!!! It was absolutely fantastic!! I will be sure to post about that soon!!!

* * * * *
And...I had someone ask how I grocery shop every other week etc. I am happy to share my method...and I would love to hear your methods as well if you want to share them. :)

Every other Wednesday (unless something comes up that day..then I go on Thur or Fri), I go grocery shopping. Prior to that I do one of two things. I either make a supper menu for each night for the next two weeks (in my planner)...or I make a list (Oh, I love to make lists!) of numerous dinner *options* for the next two weeks. Then I make my grocery list from that. I also check my cupboards to see what we already have and when we are running low on something...on the list it goes! I never-ever-ever go to the grocery store without a list. Oh my gosh...I would never remember everything! I also never go in without an antibacterial wipe (to wipe the cart down with)! If you were watching me walk into the grocery store you would see my wipe and list in my hand! ;) Of course, we run out of milk and bread through the week....so sometimes a quick stop somewhere for those sort of *staples* is necessary. :) I hope I have been help for anyone who feels frantic with never having the right things for their recipes! :)