Monday, November 30, 2009

Keeping Christ in Christmas

My friend Felicia got me thinking about the things I am passing down to my children during the Christmas season today. We have a few Christmas traditions that we observe, but I am wondering what you do to help keep Christ the focus of your Christmas celebration? I'd love to incorporate new ideas as my kids grow older. Please leave a comment and let me know what your family does. I'll share a few of mine:

1. We have a wooden nativity set that the kids are allowed to play with.
2. We have at least 10 books with the story retold of the Nativity.
3. Christmas Eve Service
4. Reading from the Bible about the Christmas story
5. Helping others in need

Thanks for sharing your ideas too!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 26 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 26:

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the 26 Days of Thanks..whether publically or through quietly recognizing God's goodness. When we take the time to reflect intentionally it certainly takes the focus off us and all the less than pleasant things that happen around us and to us.

I am thankful for a God who knows my heart, the real emotions that no one else sees or knows. I'm thankful for real fellowship with believers. I'm overwhelmingly thankful for the family I've been gifted and above all for the relationship that I have with Christ. My list could go on and on...these 26 days have taught me to take time to think about the goodness of the Lord...meditating on His goodness cures a multitude of bad attitudes, discouragements and mood swings!

Thanks for joining in!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 25 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 25:

Today I am thankful for my in-laws.

After some pretty terrible health issues 4 years ago, my mother-in-law is as strong as ever. Battling breast cancer isn't for the weak and I am so glad God gave her the strength to fight so hard.

My father in law keeps us informed of our towns goings on. With one eye on the newspaper and an ear turned to the scanner, we can always be sure to know what's going on!

My in-laws are great grandparents. My kids love to go to their house and shop in Jo's store "without" money. They bundle their bargains up and bring them home to brag. They are making lots of fun memories with them.

My sister in law has been a lifesaver. She's scheduled a date night once a week with them, takes them to fun community events and goes to walmart any time they want to browse down the toy aisle.

I'm blessed to have this kind of help so close now. Thankful for the family I married in to!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 24 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 24

Today I want to testify of the overwhelming generous provisions that God has made for us over the last 6 months. When Bruce resigned as senior pastor, without having a firm lead on a new job at the time, I admit, I was anxious to see how God was going to work all this out....and boy has He....the glory and thanks go to HIM, it's nothing we have done, just the sweetness of a loving Father God taking care of His kids.

Here's a list of things:

1. Through the generousity of a very kind person, we were able to eliminate almost all our credit card and medical debt. This was such an incredible gift. I can't go into all the details, but suffice it to say, that the amount we were gifted was so close to the amount we owed it can only be attributed to God.

2. God provided a steady job for Bruce within days of his unemployment.

3. God provided an UNEXPECTED new ministry job for us within 2 months....we thought it would be much longer....but He had different plans.

4. He provided free housing (albeit an RV) while we waited for our home to sell in Gunter

5. He provided a new home for us to buy while we still owned our home in Gunter

6. He has provided renters for our home in Gunter who are willing to live there, take care of the place and it still be on the market to sell.

7. He provided us with a generous church family who recently pounded us with an enormous kitchen fact we are still receiving things....3 bags came in yesterday!

8. He provided us with fresh meat.

9. He provided someone to repair our car for only the cost of parts

He is good! I don't want to take these blessings for granted. I want to have a heart of thanksgiving every day.

Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gifts!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 23 of 26 Days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for the wonderful preschool Tucker (son, age almost 4) attends. Kids Central is a place that I know Tucker is safe, cared for, loved and taught the same values and morals that Bruce and I teach him at home. For three hours, twice a week, he makes crafts, learns numbers and letters, nursery rhymes, Bible verses and songs in an environment that is monitored and directed by the most beautiful servant teachers I have ever met in my life. EVER.

Tucker's teacher is an encourager. When I talk to her I don't worry about whether or not she cares about T-man. It oozes out of her. She's concerned for him, his wellbeing, his education and even whether or not he's having fun.

Thanks to CBC for supporting the ministry of Kids Central. Thanks to Terri for having a huge heart for the children that cross the threshold of the preschool wing Monday thru Friday. Thanks to the teachers who genuinely love and care for their students.

It helps this mom feel good about sending Tucker to school.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

22 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 22:

Today I am extremely thankful for my friends (for those who know know I've been cautious with this word the past few years...but I think I can finally use it again!). In God's Word it says so much about the benefits of friendship. After a very painful end to a friendship a few years ago, I swore off friendships, their benefits and anything else positive that might be associated with them. Guess what that got me? A pretty lonely existence, a life hidden behind shallow and surface relationships and a lot of anger. Over the last six months I've done some soul searching, a self examination that revealed some ugly stuff and I've learned a few things through God's Word about myself and the few solid relationships that I have in my life. I'm understanding friendship a little better and I am not only learning how to be a better friend, but also how to let people be friends with me.

I'm thankful for a few good friends who have stuck with me through the years. I treasure these relationships  and now, through facebook, I have the blessing of renewed friendships from childhood. I am also thankful for the blessing of new friendships with those at my new church. I am looking forward to seeing what God does there. I am thankful too, for you faithful bloggy friends who return here day after day to read the crazy rantings of the Journaling Gina. I wish I knew who you all were (you could help me by clicking "follow" in the column to your right...hint, hint)!

Most of all I am thankful for the friend who sticks closer than any other. He has all the attributes that I would aspire to have as a friend.....Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 21 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 26:

Thankful for all the things I'm not normally thankful for

Dirty Laundry
Dirty Dishes
Yard Work
Washing Cars
Picking up toys

Because, each indicates the presence of blessings like...

Family to dirty these items
and material things God has give me..

Too often I complain and not often enough do I stop and think about the
blessings that come from these messes.

Day 20 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 20

God's blessed me with 2 incredible siblings.
Today I celebrate with thanksgiving the blessing they are in my life.

Andy, my brother is going to be a daddy for the first time in just a little over a month. Somewhere around Christmas time he and his bride, Jan, will welcome Sydney Claire into the world...
and I will be an aunt...finally!
Andy is a pretty special guy. He's an incredibly hard worker, loving husband, loyal brother and kind friend. He's a good uncle to my kids and a great bro-in-law to my  hubby. He's been more than generous to me in my life. I know he will make a great dad.
I'm praying a blessing of huge proportions for him this Thanksgiving season.

My sister Amy has been somewhat dismayed that I haven't already mentioned her during these 20 days...but to be honest, she's a Georgia Tech fan, and being a UGA fan myself (if I have to choose), it's been difficult to watch her go down such a devastating path!
But, seriously, I am thankful for Amy's lively personality, dedication to her family and giving heart. She volunteers with a food pantry and other services that help those in need in her commnunity and has even organized some food drives at work. She looks for ways to help out where they are concerned.
Although there are 5 years between Amy and I, she and I were extremely close as children, She called me her "best buddy" for years....she also told me everything I was going to get for my birthday the night before I turned 12!!!

I'm blessed. God placed these two incredible people in my life for a reason.
Whatever that is - I am so fortunate that they are mine.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Make Ahead Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

This is a recipe that I always used on Thanksgiving Eve. It's delish! I usually make a few without the onions and poppy seeds for the kids. I make them the day before, wrap them up and then warm them right before serving. Yummo!

1/2 lb. butter

3 tbsp. regular mustard

1 sm. onion, grated

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds

1 lb. shaved ham (The deli will do this for you)

1/2 lb. Swiss cheese, shaved

16 hamburger buns (Onion rolls are good too!)

Soften butter and mix well with mustard, onion, Worcestershire sauce and poppy seeds. Spread on both sides of buns. Fill generously with ham and Swiss cheese. Wrap in foil and place in freezer or in oven at 275 degrees for 20 minutes. For those taken from freezer, defrost somewhat before heating or increase the heating time.

Day 19 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 19:

Yesterday (Thursday) I was thankful for the beautiful day we had. It was gorgeous outside....slight breeze, cooler temps, fall foliage (well, sort of...this is Texas afterall).

But, what made it really beautiful was all the great people I got to spend it with. 3 homeschooling families joined us for a small, informal Thanksgiving Party at the house. From 10am to 1:30pm we had a sweet time of visiting while we gathered around the table for a meal. The kids played for hours outside.

Then for dinner, we shared a meal with our missionary friends from Peru. They are here on furlough for the year. We enjoyed some relaxing fellowship and some great Cuban food. Who knew fried bananas could be so yummy.

Truly a beautiful day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 18 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 18:

Thank you Lord for knowing my thoughts when I can't adequately describe them -Thank you for understanding my heart - For encouraging me with Your Word. Thank you for holding me close when I hurt and even when I disappoint you. Thank you for being there everyday...but especially today.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 17 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 17

Today I am thankful for my new stepdad.

I might need to get a tissue here...hold it...

Since my mom was 40 years old she's been a widow. I had hoped and prayed that she would find someone very special to remarry...but time passed and no one "that" special filled that spot in her life.

Back in the spring when I first heard about Tom (Pop to my kids) I knew he must be something special. First because of this high pitch little thing in my mom's voice every time we talked on the phone...but then later because I could NEVER get her on the phone. She was always out doing something crazy...four wheeling, tubing, motorcycle riding....and fun. She was laughing...I mean really laughing...gut laughing...for the first time in years. She was being a little irresponsible (yes...remember how it is to be in love). Andy (my brother) and I had to scold her more than once for not checking in with us. I's been almost 20 years since we didn't know most of her every moves!

Tom...he's everything I had hoped she would find. Loving, fun, kind, concerned, giving, a good father to his kids, laughs easy, smiles often, loves God and more and more and more.

God certainly knew what my often-too-serious mother ('s true) needed. Tom has filled a place in each of our hearts that we never knew was missing. I am so glad to have him as part of our family.


Thank you Lord for knowing what we need when we don't even know ourselves!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 16 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 16:

I am extremely thankful for the friends that God has given my kids. When we made our recent move I was thrilled to find out there were some girls Savannah's age. God's provided lots of little princesses to share moments with her. She's loving doing all the girly stuff girls do.

Tucker has his best pal Lucas. Lucas is an MK (missionary kid) from Peru and is only here for one year... and then they go back to Peru. I can't even think about that without getting a little sad for my T-man....and myself....Lucas' mom is a sweetie! Anyway...I'm learning to cherish these times my kids have with other great kids. I'm thankful for these parents that are doing a good job raising kids who are respectful, kind and giving.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


If the kids are standing on the couch with their guitars and tinker toy microphones in hand and they are jumping around like crazy they get in less trouble because they are singing to Hillsong United's Mighty to Save?

Tucker has the guitar part perfect. Savannah's on pitch and has worked out all the hand motions. It's really good. I could charge admission...but where would you sit? They're on the couch!

Day 15 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 15

About 2 months ago our music minister at church decided to invite the teens who sang in youth choir to join the adult choir. I have to say, I have been blessed. I love looking around in choir and seeing a 16 year old, next to a 30 something year old, next to a 60 something year old. Such a great representation of what each generation has to offer.

Today they sang in church. Not only did they do a great job singing, but the song was absolutely beautiful. There's just something about youthful voices, who love Jesus, singing to Him. It's a sound that I am sure blesses the heart of God. I was blessed too. Thanks CBC youth.

Follow this link to the song they sang...At The Cross.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 14 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 14

Today I am thankful for the deep waters. We had a missionary at church Wednesday night who talked about the lessons learned from the deep waters. He talked about how much stronger you have to be to stand in the deep waters...the stormy waters...the shark infested waters!

I'm thankful for the growth that's taken place in my life during the deep water times. In fact, in some aspects I wish I could live in the deep waters....fully trusting, depending on my strong and stable Savior to get me through. ...hey....why can't I???

As fishers of men, God calls us to the deep I am thankful that He also equips the fisherman/woman with the equipment to endure the wild deep seas where the enemy is ready to eat us alive.

Living in the deep water is different for everyone....for me, it is having that first "get to know you" conversation with someone who is an unbeliever. Yet, if I depend on the great Fishman, and trust His expertise, the deep water experience isn't quite so intimidating.

Thank you for the deep water experiences, Father. Help me to have the courage to venture to the deep waters and live for you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 13 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 13

On day 13 of 26 Days of Thanks I am thankful for music. I can't imagine my world without it! From everything from Go Fish for my kids, to John Schmidt when I am in a piano kind of mood, and everything inbetween. I am thankful for talented musicians who use their talents to bring happiness and enjoyment to others. I'm thankful for worship teams and choirs and other believers who sing their praise in churches across the world reminding Christians of the wonderful Savior we know. I'm thankful for Christian radio that introduces me to songs on a regular basis that lift my mood, encourage my walk and fill my heart with a tune to get through the day.

What song helps you get through the day?

Favorite Thanksgiving Dessert Recipe

Here's a recipe that I tried out last Thanksgiving and I will be making it again this year.

Journey over to It's So Very Cheri to link up to this fun tour...Explore Thanksgiving Traditions and Recipes and add your own too!

Caramel Bars

32 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped

5 tablespoons heavy cream

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. Press Half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.

Bake the crust for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over everything.

Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted. Cut into squares while it is still warm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday and Day 12 of 26 Days of Thanks

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey
Today I am thankful for the blessing of homeschooling:

1. I am thankful for the state I live in, and the relative ease it is to homeschool here.

2. I am thankful for the days where I see Savannah "get it" and the light in her eyes when she experiences success.

3. I am thankful for the moments when she struggles and works hard to figure things out...and the opportunity to help her.

4. I am thankful for the flexibility we enjoy. With this latest move, I am glad for the time we took off....because we could!

5. I am thankful for the wisdom God gives to tackle the hard stuff.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Black Friday Shopping

Twelve Weeks of Christmas This week's entry for The 12 Week's of Christmas over at Keelie's blog is about shopping. After LAST YEAR'S SHOPPING ADVENTURE I have to wonder what this year will be like. I was so excited when I found out the church office would be closed on Black Friday because Bruce and I love shopping together on this day.

A few things I like about shopping on Black Friday:

1. The energy you feel shopping with all the other crazies!
2. The Christmas music filling the air.
3. Early Bird Specials
4. Fighting for  sharing shopping carts.
5. Looking for the perfect gift
6. Choosing coordinating wrapping papers for all my gifts
7. Drinking coffee/hot chocolate/ diet coke/energy drinks...whatever it takes to stay awake
8. Saying "Merry Christmas" to every cashier
9. Picking out a few new ornaments for our trees
10. Spending time with Bruce

Where's the Maid?

How is it that just 3 weeks ago my how was spotless...orderly...everything in it's place? How is it that the laundry is now piled high...and not just in the laundry room...seems like there is some dirty laundy in just about every room of the house? How is it that the Christmas decorations that we unpacked from the back of the moving truck are still sitting under my covered porch? How does this happen? How does one regain control of her surroundings?

Tomorrow I am going to find out. It's craziness around here. Everyone but Savannah has been pretty sick for the last 2 weeks. I feel almost back to normal  myself since before Halloween. It's been that long since I even thought about doing any major housework. So, tomorrow's the day. Pray for my could get ugly!

Day 11 of 26 Days of Thanks

Day 11

Today I am thankful for God's beautiful creation.
His handiwork is all over the place.
Here's some of it on display in my yard.

Thank you Lord for the beauty of your handiwork.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

26 Days of Thanks- Day 10

Day 10

Today I am celebrating 26 days of Thanks by being thankful for the modern conveniences that I get to enjoy. Things like the washing machine and dryer, dishwasher, hot water heater, vacuum cleaner and more sometime seem like only items that indicate chores that need to be done, but in reality they save me hours of what would be even more difficult work.

After our months in the RV and no washer and dryer, I am so glad for the ones that sit in my laundry room, making life much easier!

Thank you Lord for giving men and women the "smarts" to make such helpful gadgets. Help me to be more willing to use them! To use my time wisely and to take care of what you've given me.
What's the helpful gadget in your home that you're most thankful for?

Monday, November 9, 2009

What's On Your Thankgiving Menu?

I'm wondering what you're having for Thanksgiving dinner?

Are you:

A. Cooking a traditional dinner with Turkey, dressing and all the trimmings?

B. Cooking something out of the ordinary, unconventional, crazy...tacos, lasagna, meatloaf?

C. Not cooking...You're eating out or someone else does the cooking

D. Haven't got a's way to early to be thinking about Thanksgiving!

Leave your vote in the comment section of this post!

26 Days of Thanks

Day 9

Today's 26 Days of Thankfulness post revolves around FOOD! I am thankful that God has always provided food for my family. Whether through the labor of our own hands (and the blessing of HIS) through a garden, or a trip to the grocery store or the generousity of friends...there's always been food on our table. God uses people and circumstances to meet our needs and to minister to our spirit. He's done that many times for us, through food. Whether the sharing of a meal with friends or the occasional anonymous food drop off at our house or someone who was just thinking of us and dropped off some goodies. God knows how to meet all our needs...physical and emotional!

I've now had the opportunity to be involved in starting 3 food distribution centers. I see the look on clients faces as they receive food for their family. For whatever reason, the look is lighter, less stressed when they leave our centers. They don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. I am thankful that God has allowed me to see this side of the world right here in the USA - Makes me realize the needs are great...even in our backyard.

Last night our church "pounded" us as welcoming gesture to the staff of the church.(Yes we've been here 4 months...but we just got into our home).  Here's a couple of pics of their generosity...

Thanks Central Baptist Church!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

26 Days of Thanks

Day 8

On day 8 of 26 Days of Thanks I am thankful for the privilege to be a stay at home-work at home mom. For over 2 years I have been blessed to have worked from home, allowing me to homeschool and stay home with my kids, while being able to help supplement our income as a family. This was something that I had prayed for several months...and God heard my prayer!

Thank you God for allowing me to stay home with my kids! Even on the craziest days...there's no other place I'd rather be!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

26 Days of Thanks

Day 7:

Today I am thankful for my health and the health of my family. I am sure I take this way too much for granted, but as someone who almost died giving birth to my firstborn (and no, I'm not kidding) and has been physically hit by two moving vehicles (not kidding again), I should have a more clear appreciation for the breaths that God gives us.

Bruce and Tucker are sick right now and it's just miserable watching them hurt, but I realize that there are many, many people who live with greater sickness daily. I am thankful that we only struggle with the common cold, seasonal allergies and the occansional ear infection. I'm thankful that although Tucker had stitches twice in two week when he was one year old, that God protected him from anything more serious...and do hope and pray that the circle of God's protective arms will be around him all his days....'cause he is all BOY!

I'm thankful for Savannah's health and that all of her birth conditions have healed themselves (God healed them!) and that she has caught up and actually registers now on the growth chart as an average kid.

Thank you Lord for taking care of my family. Thank you for watching over their bodies and physically protecting them from harm. Thank you for being the great physician...and for providing the ultimate healing for anyone who wants it in this sin sick world.

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 6, 2009

12 Weeks of Christmas Project- Ragamuffin Garland- Complete

Well, this week the project on the 12 Weeks of Christmas meme over at Red Writing was "Handmade Gifts"

I had seen this over at The Nesting Place and knew I wanted to try to make one to give away...(or to keep if it turned out too darn cute!)

1. Start with fabrics that you love. I chose these calicos at Walmart for $2.00 a yard and got 1 yard of each. (the ones on the bottom, folded, are the calicos) The rolls of fabric were in the clearance bin.

2. Convince a sweet, handsome almost 4 year old boy to be your assistant
( can't borrow mine if you don't have one!)

3. Cut your fabric into about 6-8 inch strips. No, I didn't measure...just guesstimate...If you cook, you know what I am talking about.

4. I used a twine rope leftover from my assistant's halloween costume to tie  my strips onto.

5. Keep tying until you reach the volume you want for your garland....then tie some more!

In the end you'll have a pretty ragamuffin garland to give away....

or to keep!

(Seriously this is for my daughter's room...her JOJO gave her a smashing quilt for her new room that this will match perfectly....more pictures soon!)

*I'll be making more of these...for some of my friends for Christmas.
*I thought it would take more fabric than it did. I have enough fabric to make at least one more with just the fabric shown in the picture at the top of this post.


26 Days of Thanks

Day 6

Having lived in a motor home for the last 3 1/2 months, I think I would be remiss to not use one of the 26 Days of Thanks to give thanks for my new-to-me house.

2 1/2 weeks ago we moved into our 1973 ranch style home, with lots of character and a back porch to die for,  it feels like we've been here forever.

This 3 bedroom 2 bath home represents a whole lot more than shelter for my family. It represents the goodness of God towards my family. I am so thankful He provided this house for us.

We do still own this lovely home in Gunter...and would love to make a deal with some fortunate family before the holidays...but no worries...really...God's got it under control.

Thank you Lord for the home you provided for my family. You are so good to us and words can't even explain what I feel or think when it comes to how you have provided and cared for us this year. Thanks for being Provider, Sustatiner and the Lifter of my head.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Bread Box

It was bread making day at our house today. I was hoping for better results than last week's fiasco when I accidently used shortening that had soured. Talk about looked beautiful, tasted disgusting....I'm tellin' you...totally gross.

Today's venture was much more successful as I used a food-proof Banana Nut Bread recipe that I've used forever (insert angels singing here). Of course, it's from The Taste of Georgia cookbook, which as the picture testifies....has seen better days perhaps!

The bread box in the background is a piece that my dad made around 30 years ago. My mom just passed it down to me while I was home this last time. I love it, and it fits nicely into my farmhouse country decor too.

As far as the bread is concerned. It just needs a good slathering of butter or cream cheese and it'll be fit for a king....or queen...I can't wait!

26 Days of Thanks

Day 5

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

I am thankful for the church. I'm not talking about my church in particularly, though I could; I am talking about God's church. Those faithful believers that are busy doing the work of the Lord all over the world.

I am thankful for preachers, teachers and workers who aren't ashamed to share God's Word. I'm thankful for believers who are active daily in their communities- meeting practical needs that are so obviously going unmet in our society. I'm thankful for those who can see past the faults of people and can get involved in their lives because they can see something more than an addiction, a welfare status or low income housing.

I'm thankful for student pastors and volunteers who are leading this generation to understand that being a Christian is much more than going to church, that worship isn't stagnant and that Christians aren't weak.

I'm thankful for nursery workers and children's ministers and teachers who care, love, rock and  teach children from birth, while parents recharge their spiritual batteries in coorporate worship. I'm thankful for their committment to sharing Jesus in an age appropriate way that partners what I am teaching at home to the church.

I'm thankful for church leadership that is faithful and committed, not because of their title, but because of their Lord. I'm thankful for the love they show their pastors and the way they care for the man of God.

I'm thankful for members who stick it out, through building programs, business meetings, low offerings and tough times. For those who don't eat the church staff for dinner on Sundays and for those who care deeply about the little things.

Thank you Lord...for giving your Son...for the church.
Are you thankful for the church today? How?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Newton Quote

My bloggy homeschooling friend, Kathy, over at Field Lily posted a few quotes from Isaac Newton on her blog today. Here's one I actually LOVE!

‘Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise physician gives because we need them; and the proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires. Let us trust his skill and thank him for the prescription."

What great truth! Thanks for sharing Kathy!

26 Days of Thanks

Day 4

Today I am thankful for all of the wonderful people who have mentored me over the years.

The definition of a mentor is:
1. a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.

2. an influential senior sponsor or supporter.

so, I'd have to say that my parents were the first mentors I ever had. Not only did they do the regular parental responsibilities (love, feed, clothe, place to live) but they also took 5 years out of their lives to homeschool me. From 8-12 grade (in the 80's), they spent a great deal of time teaching me math, science, English and history. But do you know what I remember dad's verse by verse dissection of the book of Proverbs. I will never forget it.

Another great mentor I had was Mrs. Nell Cook. Seems she was my Sunday School teacher forever. I think from the 3-6th grade she taught me each Sunday. I remember this charm course she went through with us girls. I laugh now at some of the things we learned, but chances are, some of what I know about being a lady, dressing and manners came from that course.

Coach Dewey Estes was also a valuable mentor in my life. Talk about a motivator. When I was awkward and in the 7th grade, Coach took 6 junior high girls and ran us up and down the court in what he hoped resembled a  basketball team. Unfortunately, our skinny arms and legs (oh, those were the days!)  and adolescent misfit coordination did little to help him out. After 5 years of playing basketball together, shooting millions of practice free throws and running more laps than should be legal...we were intimidating other teams on the court. What I learned from him....practice hard, sweat alot and you can do just about anything.

In college Mrs. Mary Herman was like a second mother to me. I remember her being so kind and understanding when my dad passed away. I also remember a year later when my grades were suffering she tenderly and firmly helped me understand that I needed to refocus and get moving in the right direction. I will always love her for that. Now, as she travels all across the world, teaching other to teach in their churches, she's still busy motivating people to give of their best to the Savior.

I've learned so much from so many....and God's still teaching me..and providing others to teach me too. I am so thankful for those precious lives that have impacted mine in such a big way. Thanks Mom, Dad, Ms. Nell, Coach Estes and Ms. Herman for the life lessons you were willing to share with me. I am better for knowing you.

Is there someone who has mentored you along the way? What did they do, Who are they?....Share here!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ragamuffin garland

Twelve Weeks of ChristmasHop on over to The Nesting Place to see what I will be making later this week for Keelie's Twelve Weeks of Christmas Tour. These are just about the cutest things I have ever seen....I'm gonna enlist Savannah's (7 yo) help.

I can think of more than one person on my Christmas list that would like one of these!

Wanna make one? Wanna come to my house and we can do it together?...let's schedule a craft day! Interested...leave me a comment (and this is for real...seriously!)....for my out of town readers...we could schedule a virtual craft day and post our pictures together....I don't want to leave you out!

26 Days of Thanks

Day 3

I am thankful for my kids. If you've read this blog for any time at all then you know how totally over the moon I am about them. I am thankful especially for their sweet...and silly personalities. They are flexible...they'll go anywhere at the drop of a hat...but they also love being at home for a jammie day. They still like family movie night, breakfast for dinner, elf on the shelf and reading with mom.

God's been good to me. After 10 years with no children, God gave me exactly what I needed. A crazy girly girl and a busy boy. They are growing up so fast. I don't hardly want to blink most days.

I am delighted to be their mom. I am humbled to be entrusted with this great job. I am thankful they are mine.

Thank you Lord for giving me these two little wonderful blessings. Thank you for their personalities, their gifts and their talents. Thank you for entrusting me with this great responsibility. Help me walk worthy. Help my "I love you" to ring loudly in their ears. Help them grow to know you and love you more than anything else in this world.

Monday, November 2, 2009

26 Days of Thanks Day

Day Two

One this second day journey of thanks, I am thankful for Bruce, my hubby. If you know me at all you know that I'm fairly independent and pretty much low maintanence when it comes to relationships or at least that's what I try to exude! Thankfully 17 years ago, Bruce saw through all that....and now 16 1/2 years of marriage later, I find myself comfortably dependent (in a good way) on the man who stole my heart.

It's funny. I didn't start out with "love and first sight". It was more friends from the start and then, one day, I realized I had fallen for my best friend. I knew I didn't want another man. I only wanted him. In fact, once I knew that I was falling for him that way...I flat out told him. I had dated around enough to know. This wasn't someone I wanted to give up....or let getaway!

So, June 19th, 1993, on a hot summery Juneteenth ATL, Ga, we said I do....and I still do.

We've made a bundle of memories....from living in a cinder block apartment while we were in college, to experiencing infertility, miscarriages and the birth of our two miracle children...and all the inbetweens...God has been abundantly clear that together we make a better team than alone.

This past year after being a senior pastor for 12 years, Bruce resigned the church we were at. I have never admired him more...or trusted his walk with the Lord more than the day he resigned. It was the most difficult and best thing he has ever done. Sometimes God calls us to do hard things and that day I saw him walk out his faith. I saw him put full force dependence on the God that we say we serve. I will never forget it. Since then, God has miraculously supplied all our needs...a job, a move, another house, a new church...not to mention the things that really matter....hope, peace, love and more.

Thank you God- for sending me Bruce...He is just what I needed...a friend, a lover, a servant, faithful, loyal, kind, giving. He's a great mate and a terrific father...I am so proud of everything you are doing in His life and so thankful I am part of the work in progress.

Are you thankful for someone special in your life? Leave a comment below!

Click 26 Days of Thanks  for instructions on how to participate...and let me know if you're joining in!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Cutest Cowboy

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This post is for the grandparents...Poppy and Jo and Pops and JoJo.
All others...feel free to peak...just's geared towards those who think my kids are adorable!

26 Days of Thanks favorite month of the year. Cooler weather, chili simmering on the stove and a fire in the fireplace. It's also the month that contains my favorite holiday ever. Yep...that's right, Thanksgiving.
During November, I am challenging myself to blog a thankful expression everyday til Thanksgiving. I'd love for you to join me as ofter as possible. You can blog it at your own site or leave a comment on any day you can. I hope that whether here or'll take a little extra time to give thanks for all your wonderful blessings.

Day One

I am thankful for a relationship with my Savior. This might be an obvious first day gratitude, but truth is, I am not nealy as grateful as I should be. When I think about all He has done for me, really nothing else matters.

As a five year old child, sitting in an AWANA Sparks lesson, I remember understanding my need for a Savior to take my black-sinfilled heart and make it pure white with His red blood. I believed on Jesus that Wednesday night.

As a teenager I remember His voice wooing me as I sat at the Bill Rice Ranch in Murfeesboro, TN and understanding He wanted my life for His service in a special way.

As an adult, over and over the Savior has led my steps, covered my mistakes with His righteousness, taught me His ways and forgiven my many sins.

I'm thankful everyday, but sometimes I'm not thankful share Him with someone new, no tell of His greatness, to spend time with Him, to acknowledge His presence.

I'm eternally thankful He is patient with me.

How are you thankful for the Savior today?