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Archive for November, 2007

My big helper

Thoughtfully penned on November 30th, 2007 and generally concerning E

Little has reached the age where she wants to help with lots of things around the house. She is very good at getting a diaper from the package and throwing away wet diapers. She helps with the laundry – her favorite parts are putting laundry back in the hamper after I’ve sorted it and closing the dryer door (because what better sound is there to little ears than a loud slam?).

One of her favorite tasks is helping to load and unload the dishwasher; she runs to the dishwasher anytime she sees – or senses – that the door is open and usually wants to play in the dirty silverware and knives (exactly what she needs to be doing, right?). Matt and I try to load/unload at times when both of us are home – so one can keep Little distracted – or while she is eating and strapped into her booster seat.

Today, however, I didn’t get everything unloaded before she finished her lunch. She immediately made a beeline for the dishwasher and began trying to get the bowls out of the rack to hand them to me (silverware tray had already been removed). It is really cute when she is actually attempting to help and I didn’t have much left to unload, so I let her continue to “help”. After we had emptied everything from the racks, Little shut the dishwasher door (see comment above about dryer door – the girl enjoys closing doors) and I thought that we had completed the task.

I was on the phone with my Mom and continued to talk and to work on something at the kitchen counter. When I heard the dishwasher door open again I didn’t think much about it; it was empty, not a big deal. The next thing I know I look down to see her pushing the bottom rack of the dishwasher across the kitchen floor! Apparently she thought it was a good idea to remove it from the dishwasher and go for a joy ride. She rolled it into the living room, stayed in there for a minute, and then brought it back into the kitchen.

And all I could do was laugh because she just looked so cute (and funny) pushing the dishwasher rack around the house!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Thoughtfully penned on November 28th, 2007 and generally concerning Christmas Time, E, Family, Goals, Legacy, Of games and good things

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are happily gearing up for Christmas.

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I’m not sure exactly why it ranks above Thanksgiving or Easter or even Fourth of July, but I’ve always loved the Christmas season. There is something about the lights and the decorations, the wrapped packages and spirit of giving, the music and the traditions that make me smile.

Matt and I try not to get mired in the stress that the season can bring, and we try to stay focused on the real reason for Christmas instead of focusing on the consumerism that society fosters. Now that Little is getting old enough to participate (although still very limited participation) it is time to begin creating family traditions that she will carry through life just as we carry those of our families. What exactly will this entail? I’m not sure yet.

We started with a decision to stay home this year for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (we’ve traveled to family every Christmas since Matt and I began dating); we will miss celebrating with our extended family, but this is what we want for the future of our family (and what better time to start than the present?). We will attend a Christmas Eve worship service either at our church or another church in our area. We will try to begin instilling in her from an early age an appreciation that Christmas is a season set aside to reflect on the birth of Jesus and what that means to us as individuals, family, and beyond. We will decorate our Christmas tree and our home. We (or at least Momma) will bake goodies for us to enjoy and to share with our friends and neighbors. We will attend and host Christmas parties. We will give and receive gifts. We will incorporate traditions from my childhood and from Matt’s childhood with new ideas and activities to create a Christmastime that is specific to our family.

This is a new phase we are entering into with the holidays, and it will be fun to see how our ideas, activities, and traditions unfold through the years to come. Now we’ve just gotta get the tree up so the season can truly begin!

I would love to hear some of the special Christmas traditions that your family has created if you would like to share in the comments.

Giving Thanks, Day 21

Thoughtfully penned on November 21st, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Giving Thanks, God's at Work in My Life, Legacy

There are so many ways in which I’ve been blessed and so many things for which I am thankful, but in reality, all that I have and all that I am boil down to the fact that I’ve been adopted as a child of God and an heir to the glory of heaven.  This is the one thing for which I am most thankful.

Quite a few years ago I accepted the gift of salvation that God freely offers to us all.  Although I have stumbled over the years, I have never looked back or regretted the decision I made on that day.  The love, mercy, and grace of God have so overwhelmed my life and my family that I can’t even imagine (and don’t really want to) what life would be like without my faith.

I am constantly learning, growing, and being recreated by the gentle hand of the loving Father.  I continue to struggle, I continue to fail, but God in his mercy continues to pick me up, to set me back on my feet, and to allow me to continue.  This year I have been challenged, I have been corrected, I have been told “no”.  I have also seen the hand of God at work in my life in amazing ways and he has used events, people, and circumstances to stretch my faith and to draw me closer to him.

I am thankful that he is sovereign.  I am thankful that he knows how things will work out and what will happen even before I know there is anything going on.  I am thankful that he is unchanging.  I am thankful that no matter what my circumstances might look like that I can trust that God is in control so there is no need for me to worry.  I am thankful that he knows what is best for me.  I am thankful that he grants me peace beyond all understanding.

I am thankful that he is a just God.  He is a God who is perfect and cannot be in the presence of things unholy; he is a God of perfect and righteous judgement and wrath.  I am thankful that he is a God who knew that I would mess up but who deferred my judgement.  I am thankful that he sent his son to walk this earth, to die on the cross becoming my sin so I could be reconciled to him and invited into his presence and his family.  I am thankful for the blood of Christ that covers me.

I hope and pray that you know the God whom I love and serve.  If you are a fellow Christ follower, I am thankful that you are a brother or sister and that we will one day walk the streets of heaven together.  If you are not in that place, I am thankful that the Holy Spirit will continue to pursue you because God desires us all to come to repentence and be reconciled to him.

May you each have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday.

MamaSpeaks: Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway

Thoughtfully penned on November 20th, 2007 and generally concerning Blogging News, Christmas Time, Contests, Sidetrack'd

Mama Speaks Holiday Gift Guide

The ladies at MamaSpeaks have put together a nice gift guide for your Christmas giving needs this season.  The guide is divided into several categories: Rockin’ Tot, Girly Girl, Daddy Dearest, Knocked Up (for the mom-to-be in your life), Baby Makes Three, and Toy Joy; so there are ideas for people of all ages and areas of life.  They are also giving away great prize packages in each of these categories!  Check it out by clicking the MamaSpeaks button in the right sidebar.

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Giving Thanks, Day 20

Thoughtfully penned on November 20th, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Friendship, Giving Thanks, J, Pregnancy

Okay, I haven’t done so well at posting one thing I’m thankful for every day this month.   Oh well, I have tried to conciously take time each day to thank God for at least one thing.

Here we are a couple of days prior to Thanksgiving and I have a few pretty significant things to post about for which I’m thankful.  Today I’ll tackle some of them in list form and I’ll have a separate post tomorrow, then I’ll be absent for a few days as we celebrate Thanksgiving with family (you would have never known if I hadn’t said something, it’s not like I’m here all that often these days:-)).

1.  I’m thankful that I took the opportunity to participate in a Bible Study Fellowship class this year; I’ve talked about joining a BSF study a few times the last couple of years, and finally made the commitment back in September.  We are studying the book of Matthew, and I have been blessed by the lectures, the group discussions, and most of all by the time I have spent in the Word of God.  I am thankful for the leaders who give so much time to make the study what it is.  I am thankful for the other women who participate (especially my group) and speak life and truth into each other’s lives.  I am thankful that God is using this study in my life and the lives of so many women across the globe to draw us into deeper relationship with him.

2.  I am thankful that we will be able to spend time with Matt’s family this Thanksgiving; his parents, sister, and brother live about 10 hours from us, so we don’t see them as often as we would like.  I’m sorry that we won’t get to spend time with my sister-in-law and her family; they will be missed.  However, I’m thankful that the reason we won’t see them is because she is about 4 weeks from delivering a brand new, healthy, adorable nephew for us.

3.  I am thankful for good friends.  Over the last several years Matt and I have lived in cities where we are not near family, and our friends have become like family.  I am thankful for my friend Nicole who I left behind in East Tennessee, but who I still talk to regularly and see when we have the chance.  I had a very tough time when we first moved about 2.5 years ago, so I am thankful for my friends in our current city who have made living here a great experience.  I am thankful for the chance I had to eat lunch with my friend Diane last week.  I am thankful for the time I was able to spend with several of my girlfriends on Sunday.  I am thankful for the way our lives touch, the way we interact, and the way God has blessed my life with such wonderful women.

4. I am thankful for the precious Baby Boo who is growing and developing inside of me.  I am thankful that we had a good ultrasound yesterday and that Boo is happy and healthy in there.  I am thankful that God has chosen to gift our family with a precious baby boy this time around.  And on that note, here is a picture of mommy and Boo at 18.5 weeks (and yes, those would be short-sleeves and shorts I’m wearing today):

18weeks.jpg

Giving Thanks, Days 10-13

Thoughtfully penned on November 13th, 2007 and generally concerning E, Fall Festivities, Giving Thanks, Motherhood, Plagues and Pestilence

Here we are again in a new week and with a new list of things to be thankful for.

Day 10, Saturday: Not in high school anymore –  Saturday evening I attended my 10 year high school reunion.  It was nice to see some people who I haven’t had the opportunity to see in many years, but I was reminded once again how glad I am that I’m not in high school anymore.  I’m thankful that I don’t have to deal with the popularity stuff, the cliques, and all of the other things that seemed so important when I was walking through that time period.

Day 11, Sunday: Safe travel -  In order to attend my reunion Matt and I travelled to Nashville and back home this weekend.  I am thankful that God watched over us in our travels during this trip and so many others.

Day 12, Monday: My bed –  Yesterday I was thankful for my soft, cozy bed, a clean toilet, and a husband who was willing to stay home from work to tend to Little while I struggled to keep anything in my system.  It was a rough day filled with stomach virus fun, but we made it through to the other side.

Day 13, Tuesday: A good sleeper –  Today (and so many days in her life) I am thankful that Little is a good sleeper.  Her sleeping habits allow Matt and I to sleep through the night (for many months now) and me to take a nap in the afternoon if I need it.  Today I definitely needed the nap as I continue to recover from my bout of yick yesterday.

So, what are you thankful for this week?

Giving Thanks, Day 9: Family

Thoughtfully penned on November 9th, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Family, Giving Thanks, Grandparents

I am thankful for our parents, siblings, and extended families.  I am thankful that Matt and I can still spend time with 7 of our 8 grandparents.  I am thankful that we enjoy being with our parents and siblings.  I am very grateful that I have wonderful in-laws whom I love and who welcomed me into the family with open arms.

I am thankful that Matt and I were both raised in Christian homes.  I am thankful for the legacy we’ve received from our parents and grandparents and that we are trying to pass on to our children.

I am thankful that our family is supportive, encouraging, and  loving.  I am thankful that we know we can turn to them any time we need them.  I am thankful that they love our child(ren) so much.

Today I am thankful for our family and the time we will get to spend with them in the coming weeks.

Giving Thanks: playing catch up

Thoughtfully penned on November 8th, 2007 and generally concerning E, Fall Festivities, Giving Thanks, House, J, Motherhood, Pregnancy

Wow, where has this week has gone!?  I’m a wee bit behind on my Giving Thanks days, so I will play a bit of catch up here and cover days 3 through 8.  Some of these may be a bit superficial, but they are, none the less, things that evoke gratefulness.

Day 3, Saturday: A fresh laundry room – My wonderful husband spent Saturday afternoon painting our laundry room the loveliest shade of green.  It is called “pea pod” although Matt refers to it as “grass”; that should give you an idea of the color since I was unable to get a good picture.  The best part is that he did all the work while allowing me to lie on the couch napping.  I’m telling you, he is a great catch!

Day 4, Sunday: A beautiful day –  The weekend and Monday were gorgeous days.  We had clear blue skies, temps in the 70s, and a nice little breeze blowing.  It was a great weekend to be out and about running errands and playing.  Although those won’t be the last days in the 70s here (it is supposed to be warm again this weekend), they were wonderful days before our days in the 50s on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Day 5, Monday: A healthy girl –  Little had her 15 month check-up on Monday and got a great report.  All of her milestones have been met or exceeded, she’s grown an inch and three-quarters since her 12 month check-up, and she is gaining weight (although she is still on the small side based on growth charts, oh well, she’s been consistent).  Right now she is fighting a yucky cough, but we have no long-term health or developmental concerns, and that is a great blessing.

Day 6, Tuesday: A stay-at-home Mom – I am so blessed to be able to stay home with Little – and baby Boo in days to come.  I try to step back from time to time and realize that I am only able to do this because God has blessed Matt with a good job and Matt and I have been committed from the start to me being at home.  I love being home, and even though the days get long and hard from time to time, I wouldn’t want someone else to enjoy all the fun that Little and I get to have together.   I am also grateful for my stay-at-home friends with whom we can hang out.

Day 7, Wednesday: Smoke without fire –  Yesterday afternoon I was very thankful that there doesn’t have to be fire for there to be smoke.  I was preparing to make a chicken pot pie for dinner and thought I could boil the chicken while Little and I went outside to play with the neighbor’s children.  Apparently I did not watch the time closely enough, because when we came home I opened the front door and was greeted by smoke and a nasty smell.  The pot had boiled dry and the chicken was quite burnt, but fortunately, it had not caught fire.  I immediately took the pot off the stove and put it outside, and we spent the next hour or so trying to air out the house with windows and doors open.  We are dealing with a lingering smell, but no serious effects.

Day 8, Thursday: Tiny little movements –  I’ve begun to feel the first tiny little movements that let me know Boo is kicking and doing okay.  This is so reassuring for me during the time between morning-sickness subsiding and the big ultrasound.  We go for the ultrasound a week from Monday, and I’m so excited to see this little one for the first time.

For all of these things and so many more I thank God.  He has truly been good to me.

5 Minutes for Mom’s Christmas Giveaways

Thoughtfully penned on November 8th, 2007 and generally concerning Blogging News, Christmas Time, Contests, Fall Festivities, Sidetrack'd

The lovely Susan and Janice at 5 Minutes for Mom are hosting an amazing Christmas Giveaway. Over the next two weeks they will be posting a series of contests to win some great prizes – just in time for Christmas giving (or just to keep for yourself). If you are interested in playing along, click the “Christmas Giveaways” button in my right sidebar or click here.

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Giving Thanks, Day 2: Matt

Thoughtfully penned on November 2nd, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Giving Thanks, Us

Today, like everyday, I give thanks for my husband.

Matt and I met just over 10 years ago in our first class (Monday, 8 am, American History) Freshman year of college. If you ask him the first thing he remembers about me he will tell you that I laughed at him one day in class. Although I don’t recall the incident that he does, I do know that he made an impression on me immediately. Through 6.5 years of marriage we have shared wonderful times, wonderful dreams, and wonderful adventures. We’ve also shared difficult times like all couples, but I prefer to dwell on the good.

I am thankful that Matt is a loving man and loves me even when I’m hard to love. I am thankful that we have enjoyed 10 years together and are looking forward to many more. I am thankful that he is a hardworking man who longs to care for his family to the best of his ability. I am thankful that Matt is an honest man and a man of integrity. I am thankful for his quiet strength. I am thankful for his deep thoughtfulness and intellect. I am thankful that he is a man of principles and values and will stand for what he believes in. And most of all, I am thankful that he seeks the face of God for in all things.

To Matt (I know you’re reading) – I love you and am so very thankful for you, our marriage, and our family.