Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Twenty-Nine



“Let them Praise His name with dancing” ~Psalm 149:3


Dance is a beautiful and powerful expression of praise to the Lord. Rez Dance Ministry is designed to train up dancing worshippers of Jesus. Classes are free for those who attend Rez. Jael is taught the technical skills intended to move with excellence and grace. Most importantly, students she is taught to glorify God with her body, to worship Him with her whole heart, and to praise Jesus unashamedly with joy and thanksgiving.

Jael's first performance will be next weekend; she performs three times.  The production has over 300 people involved; it will be an experience she never forgets.  It will touch lives and hearts.

Our God is a dancing God! Zephaniah 3:17 says,
“The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with his love, He will dance over you with singing.”


Rez Dance is a part of the Worship Arts Ministry of Resurrection Fellowship Church in Loveland, Colorado.



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Twenty-Eight

Thanksgiving Leftovers

What are your favorites?
These seem to be the ones we use YEAR after YEAR.....




One of my favorites....soup made with the bones of a turkey.


Pancakes made with leftoever Potatoes


Turkey Sandwiches


Turkey Pot Pie

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Twenty-Seven

"See you later" is SO much better than "Good-bye....not sure when we will see you next!"



Saying good-bye is never a fun thing.  I am glad that I know I will see some of you in heaven even if I never see you on this earth again.  See you later can be so much bigger in it's meaning, depending on it's reference.  Will I see you later?  Will you be in heaven with me?
Do you know the Savior of the WORLD?
He died for you and me to enjoy eternal life. He died for our sins, no matter how great or small. Please, don't let another moment pass.....I definitely want to "see you later!" 



Giving Thanks - Day Twenty-Six

Late night shopping with my mom.....kid-free! IF only I could get her to enjoy shopping like I do?



Oh, and coffee stops....I have enjoyed those this week, too!  Having my mom here has been a blast. I will miss her....



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Twenty-Five

Celebration...the fun times, games, food, and LAUGHS that the holiday brings.....










Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Twenty-Four

HELPERS

My children are always running to my rescue in the kitchen......running to grab an apron, as THAT is definitely the sign of a "helper" in the kitchen.





Okay, some are NOT helping, but their smiles certainly help me keep going. 


Giving Thanks - Twenty-Three

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Twenty-Two

I am so thankful for SLEEP.  SLEEP is an amazing gift.  Most of the time I don't struggle at all to sleep, and I have found that the times I do--it's something SO much deeper. 

"I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches."  Psalm 63:6

"At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee be cause of thy righteous judgments."  Psalm 119:62

"My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises." Psalm 119:148

"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep."  Psalm 127:1-2

"He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you — the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and for evermore."   Psalm 121:4-8

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."  Psalm 74:16

"The sleep of a labourer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep."  Proverbs 3:24

So often we hear those prayers of old times that when our eyes are closed in sleep, that we ask God for extra protection. It is the prayer that God may dwell with us and in us even when we are unconscious of his presence, that he may keep our hearts pure and holy in spite of all the cares and temptations of the night, to make our hearts ever alert to his call and, like the boy Samuel, answer him even in the night with: Even in sleep God can perform his wonders upon us or evil bring us to destruction. May my heart be right in day or night, that my sleep may be sweet. 

When our eyes with sleep are girt, Be our hearts to thee alert; Shield us, Lord, with thy right arm, Save us from sin’s dreadful harm. (Martin Luther)

I think back over the time when Josh was gone, and I slept.....oh, I battled during the day, and SOMETIMES I awoke in the night. BUT....the fruitfulness of labor allows for sweet sleep.  Last night I slept AMAZINGLY, I am energized and ready to take on the fight. Satan wants to steal your sleep, because then you will be too tired to fight.

I am so thankful for SWEET SLEEP!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Twenty-One

PRAYER!!!!!!!!

Josh and I entered into a huge spiritual battle on Saturday night, hand in hand, knees bent......and we will continue to fight as long as it takes.  As soon as we realized what we were getting into, the texts and phone calls started to family and friends----TO PRAY!!!
I cannot imagine doing anything different than fighting a battle worth fighting, but I can also NOT imagine fighting it without HUGE AMOUNTS OF PRAYER!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Twenty














Pets



*I wish I could find pictures of all of my past pets, too! I think my photo albums need to be cleaned up.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Nineteen

I am so thankful for Josh's group of guy friends.....a few of them were extremely influential to Josh's RECOVERY and restoration back home.  They are a band of brothers, helping each other during those difficult days, months, seasons, and sometimes MOMENTS.  ONE in particular seems to do a lot more checking up on him......thanks, Dan! You are a true friend to Josh, and I am thrilled he has a Godly man continually watching his back.  AND you are always good for a laugh.





AND I have received a DOUBLE portion blessing, because your wife is AMAZING!  Every couple knows that a relationship is so much better when BOTH spouses get along.  Thank you for coming to our vow renewal and investing more time into our lives. We will never forget it.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

INTERRUPTION

Okay, well, it COULD be a thankful post....since I just REALLY, REALLY like coffee.  BUT we will call it an interruption.  Grab your friends and head to your local Starbucks, from 2-5 PM, where you Buy 1 Holiday Drink and Get 1 Free. The promotion runs from November 18th-November 21st. You’ll be able to choose from Caramel Brulee Latte, Peppermint Mocha, Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha, Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Latte, Eggnog Latte, Caramel Brulee Frappuccino blended beverage, Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino blended beverage. Oh, Yumm!!





AND since you will be thoroughly addicted by then......Starbucks has an upcoming “12 Days of Sharing” promo! Just text 12DAYS to 29943 to sign up. You will receive one offer per day starting on December 1st. Now to see what these offers will be…

Certainly hope you didn't mind my interruption......MMMM!!!

Giving Thanks - Day Eighteen

I get to homeschool, and I am so thankful for it.  I learn with my children, and I learn more each day.  In the beginning, when you give birth and begin educating your children you forget that you are really homeschooling them. You teach them to crawl, to walk, and to say “please and thank you.” You take the child in your lap and read to them, sing to them, and play with them. They grow in wisdom and stature. Then comes more children, at least for me! I am educating them as well.  BUT THEN....."that" time came.

I had to really homeschool now. My thoughts on homeschooling have evolved over the last few years. I just knew that I could not fail. Of course, I would NEED to have a house with an extra room. I NEED special desks.  And by the way, I was just given desks, that have to be refurbished, and I have a big white board for the wall. I still need to get that set of bookshelves that every homeschooler is supposed to have. I have an amazing closet that houses all the textbooks. I put posters on the walls. It's official; I am a "real homeschooler" now. I NOW will NOT be a failure.  THOSE were my thoughts, at first. 
My dream for that special school room:  Each day the children would march into the little room at the end of the house. It's going to have chalkboard paint, maybe some dry eraser paint.  The children would begin with prayer. Then they would say the Pledge of Allegiance. The mommy even purchased a nice denim jumper with cute appliqu├ęs.  Oh, wait...... Haha....no, I do not have a jumper.  But you get the picture, I have this idea in my head of how it should be.
Over the years, only the past three, actually......I began reading more books on child training. Obviously my children weren’t trained well enough.  I even considered starting them on a strict diet of discipline and proper nutrition. Still something seemed amiss. I remember the year I was pregnant with Shallah, I was not feeling well.  I was exhausted and sometimes nauseated. Unable to perform all of my schoolmarm duties. 

The children weren't bothered by it as much as I was bothered. In fact, they enjoyed the time spent curled up on the couch, reading a story.  (maybe a flashback)  As we took a break from the regular school lessons I noticed more of a peace. Naturally the home-school mom perks up a bit. After a while, Levi was asleep, Abishai and Ezekeiel are playing with Legos in the corner of the room.  And Jael is drawing now?

Or how about the year living with my in-laws (thank you), that year provided it's own share of difficulties. And again, the kids were only bothered a bit. 


Even since moving into this house with my own school room I really thought it might go back to my vision of "real homeschooling!"  Even though we have only been here a month,  the table that was once in the schoolroom is removed and in the dining room, now.  Learning takes place in various locations around the house. Learning is NOT and DOES not have to be such a stress.  My lesson plans are now only done a week in advance, unlike my original YEAR IN ADVANCE.  I still use a curriculum to keep me on track, but I have learned to relax.  As time goes on, I am sure that I will have to relax more, as I am only homeschooling two of the five with a regular schedule.  We start with breakfast, and it's all downhill from there.  Some days we get done quickly, others it seems to take all day.....if we have that unexpected visit from a friend, well, we know we can catch up later. 

I am so thankful to be given this responsibility. I am so thankful that I am given the right to teach my children.  My main goal is to teach my children to have a deep love for learning and shout for joy when they hear Mom say, “Time to read!”  If I manage to instill a love for learning, THEN I am a successful homeschooler.

 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Seventeen



It's old; it may even be considered a bit unsafe.....but it keeps my dining room VERY warm, and I love it! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Sixteen



Facebook

I am so thankful for a way to connect with friends, to make new friends, to connect with long-distance family.  In this busy world it seems that we are rushing from one thing to the next.  I definitely enjoy writing a letter or two, but I sometimes find it hard to get to the post office.  I have three letters my children have written, and they STILL aren't mailed. *sigh*  I go to town, but it's hard to bring all five kids into the post office. I should definitely see how much it costs to get them in the ATM.  Our world has so many ways to stay connected. I happen to like MOST of them. I am not a huge fan of the telephone, however. Maybe this is because of 5 children ALWAYS needing my attention, and it gets too noisy.
 
With Facebook I can keep it open on my desktop. I can get a message from someone, and I don't have to answer it until I am free. I love it.  I met two new families this month, and I have enjoyed getting to know their lives. I got caught up on the last 5 years of one families life, just in an afternoon of reading her notes and blogs.  And, yes, I get to have the other family over for dinner tonight.  (last week I had the other family over) I sure will miss Facebook while I am taking a break, and I guess I need to decide if the Pros outweigh the Cons.  Sometimes you can get hurt, by people's words. BUT, then again, I have been hurt numerous times by people IN PERSON, too! So, it boils down to people will be people--Facebook or not! At this point, I need to decide if I like being vulnerable to words of hurt by friends AND family.   

I have been misunderstood so many times on Facebook. People assuming that my husband is not taking care of us. People thinking that if I get a haircut, or a pedicure, or an eyebrow wax that somehow I am a bad with finances. Some stuff I do not post on Facebook, only because it can be taken wrong. Some things I am shocked to hear about later.   The list goes on and on.....BUT is that MY problem or theirs? 

I have taken a break from Facebook to answer all of these questions, for myself. I do not use Facebook to just be nosey about people's lives.  I will miss it.  AND I am sure I won't be gone long.  Although we make jokes about peoples shoes, what store they go to, what they had for lunch....I personally, like it.  I get to know the person by what the like, do, and say.  When you rant about the cinnamon roll you are eating, I KNOW that I want to make you one. WHEN you post pictures of cupcakes, well, that's a clue into what YOU like.   I know so many people have negative things to say about Facebook, but I tend to love it.  AND, no, I don't play games. I use it a socialization tool; I really do connect with people. AND I do learn who my friends are, because even family can't always help you when you move out of town, but you know which ones would if they could.  I have about 200 friends, at least half are family....and most of them say nothing to me.  I would say that the "friends" on my list really are my friends. Right, guys?  

I have had e-mails from a few people already today, and I feel loved. AND I know I will be missed.  My Swagbucks and my Blog Posts will still come through which means you will all be thinking about me. LOVE YOU!!  Thanks to my friends who make me THANKFUL for FACEBOOK!!!
 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Fifteen

I am so thankful for the miracle that happened 3 years ago, at this exact moment in time!  I got that amazing, breath-taking phone call that said, "Is it too late to come home? Can we work it out?"  That moment began the beginning of our walk with God in a way that can only be explained as miraculous.  Josh and I have climbed mountains and scaled walls, but we are FINALLY doing it together.  Three years ago God brought my miracle to my doorstep and back into my life where he belonged.  He walked into my heart 11 years ago.  My life has never been the same, and I can't even imagine how much better it's going to get. 

THE PRODIGAL DOES COME HOME!!!  ARE YOU READY FOR HIM/HER? 








This evening of rock-climbing was nothing compared to what we have done together, but it was an awesome reminder of how far we have come. You were at the bottom helping me see where I could climb higher. Thank you! There will be more mountains to climb and walls to scale......but it's okay we know where God is taking us.
 Thanks, Josh for "doing life" with me!  I love you!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Fourteen

I love that my children's imagination is ALIVE and HEALTHY.  I don't remember being as creative as they are?  For Ezekiel's birthday Jael and Abishai really wanted to make him a present, so they thought and thought about what to give him.  Jael remembered she had some little pieces of wood she had picked up at a craft fair, and they set to work.  Jael and Abishai purchased the super glue with their own money (Mommy and Daddy helped a tiny bit.) since they wanted it to be from them.  THIS is what they came up with!!!



Isn't he a cute surfer?

Giving Thanks - Day Thirteen

PAYDAY!!!!


My husband is an awesome provider......I know I have said it so many times!
He brings home a paycheck, and we JUMP for joy. 
Bills are paid, refrigerator is full.....and we celebrate!!
It's a WONDERFUL thing to WORK!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Giving Thanks-Day Twelve


Snow! I love living in a place where I can enjoy seasons, and I do enjoy WINTER!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Eleven

There simply aren't enough words or strong enough words to show our appreciation for those of you whom have made incredible sacrifices out of love for and devotion to this country. You fought to defend our freedom and have done far more than swear your allegiance; you have literally put your lives on the line. Many have given their lives or suffered in untold ways, so that we could live soundly and safely in our homes. We will never forget what you have done for us; we honor you now and always.


Veteran's Day

by Roger W Hancock


We honor you, who fought for us,
for country’s sake of freedom’s plight.
You kept the greatest country great,
by sacrifice of you who served.

Honor to military, soldiers served.
There seems no risk in peace to serve.
When war breaks the silent peace,
no peace when security cease.

Sacrifice of civilian life,
careers succumb to enlist, or draft.
Families wait in fear, in prayer,
for loved ones return alive, not dead.

Returned Heroes and those deceased,
we honor, thank, though insufficient.
Parades, programs, our pride convey,
we honor you on Veterans Day.








Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Ten

Imagine having access to water only once a week. What would that mean for your health?


It can mean contracting a potentially fatal disease. The river can be far from my home. When you get to use it for cooking, thousands of mosquitoes are around the buckets.

Mosquitoes are attracted to the stagnant water and rapidly proliferate in such conditions. Far from harmless, they’re spreading malaria throughout communities. Clean water is helping stop the spread of disease.


I am thrilled to be a part of P&G’s GIVE HEALTH Clean Water Blogivation. Proctor and Gamble is doing something fabulous that each of you can take part in! You can enter your email in the widget above (or in my right sidebar) and P&G will donate one day of clean drinking water to developing countries in need!!! Please make sure you check your email to verify your click!


 


They will also donate a day of clean drinking water each time you click the “Share” button on the widget to help spread the word! How great is that?? It’s fantastic to be able to snag freebies here and there but being able to give something back just makes you feel good inside doesn’t it??



P&G’s goal is to get to 100,000 Days of Clean Drinking Water by the end of 2010…let’s help them get to their goal. This GIVE HEALTH Widget will remain in my right sidebar until this goal is met.


Who is thankful that we have clean water in the sink?


 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Nine

Cherish is what we do when we place the highest value on someone or something. Whatever we truly cherish, we put above everything else. Other things and people may be very important, but not as important as what we cherish. This is why women feel unloved by men who spend their time, money, thoughts and energy on other things. This also explains why giving a woman gifts moves her heart. It’s not because she is greedy and materialistic, but because a thoughtful, sacrificial gift demonstrates a man’s priorities. We think frequently of what we cherish, which is why a wife usually loves to receive unexpected notes and phone calls, (Woe to the man who does not make the expected phone call!) We protect what we cherish. We boast about what we cherish.


Did I mention that I finally have a husband who cherishes me?  Have I mentioned that he DOES call me unexpectedly, that he has gone out of his way to get me a treat from the store? 

I am so blessed, and I am grateful that the long road did not end with settling for less than God's best. I have an amazing husband. 

Just this past weeked we had really counted on going to the Denver Zoo for a "free day", and Josh had to make the tough decision that made us all sad.  BUT it is truely something he has never done before. Oh, not the make us sad part, but the part that made him think ahead to our finances. He counted the cost. AND then said, "No!"  See, Josh, rarely says NO to me about things I plan that are "free!"  Being that the landscape season in Colorado is over, well, that means less income.  Thinking ahead means not spending the gas money set aside for this week on a trip to the zoo.  We will have our fun trip to the zoo, just not now.  I respect Josh for making a decision that shows he cares for our family.  Having a wise husband only makes me more in love with him, even if I am a little sad that we didn't get to go.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Eight

I have no doubt I am going to end up with a few of these posts, as I go about my daily/weekly routines.  Cooking is one of my favorite things to do, and I also enjoy making desserts.  In the last couple of years I have expanded my cooking skills to baking. Oh, yes, baking! It is not necessarily in the same category as regular cooking.  With cooking you can add here, add there, no big deal.  With baking, on the other hand...precision is key.  Although I am still working on that, as I just added a bit more water to my bread, as it wasn't just right.  The more you bake the more you know the feeling, and you can add. BUT when starting out....EXACTNESS (doubt that's a word) is key. 

One of my favorite things in my kitchen happens to be very simple.  Measuring salt is one of the most annoying things to me.  I know, right? Why? Well, just cuz....we all have our "thing!"   Anyway, about 6 years ago I got these wonderful dispensers.  Oh, my, do I love them!!!  When Josh accidently broke the salt one two years ago, I almost cried.  Yes, I am that serious about liking them.  He got online that afternoon and bought me a new set, which took some research, as it had been a long time.  I now have one of my other frequently used spices in that one. 



The most innovative salt and pepper dispensers on the market! Just one quick press on the top and you have easy repetitive measuring at your finger tips! This innovate spice dispenser dispenses a pinch 1/8 teaspoon or 1/4 teaspoon of granular spices. Just turn the top and press! Measuring has never been easier!




Oh, and when I make homemade bread I just love being able to slice the pieces exactly...which is why I love my knife, too! 




Yes, I am grateful for these things in my life that just make a few things SIMPLE and less frustrating, to me!! 


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Seven

I am blessed to have so many friends, not just a friend who says, "Hello!"  A friend with a tender shoulder, where I can softly cry.  A well to pour my troubles down, and to raise my spirits high.  A friend is a hand to pull you up, from darkness and despair... When all your other "so called" friends have helped to put you there--A true friend is an ally.  When others have forgot;  a true friend always remember. But most of all a friend has a true heart.  How many friends do you have?

A Friend Is Always Special

Because Friends Love You

Just Because You're You!


I have a few friends, this has only been in recent years. I am blessed with friends that I can cry with, laugh with, and be mad with.......hey, don't judge!  Yes, I do get mad! I know--hard to believe!

 I received a package in the mail from a "newer" friend, and I was so touched. I can tell she would be someone I would love to know better; I look forward to it.  (Thank you, Friend!)

Friends just know when it's necessary to DO something, even if it's inconvenient. A friend doesn't always give "things;"  they understand what you need, when you  need it.

Friends can be offended; it doesn't mean they aren't friends.  Friends can hurt you--it's life. BUT are they the kind of friend you can say....."that really hurt, and can they accept your sensitivity?"  Sometimes the truth hurts; do you have a friend that can be honest with you, even if it hurts?   

Being blessed with friends is something I never want to take for granted!  Some of my friends have come from the oddest places.  BlogLand has allowed me a few friendships that I treasure, but the only way to make friends is to be friendly.  And sometimes that means being vulnerable.  Try it! 


Wonderful box of winter clothes for Shallah, from a friend!

She loves her new outfit!
(she still carries her doll around, Titi!)

and the hat

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Six

I am so thankful for good deals!!!  I have been getting some amazing deals lately.  Josh and I enjoy coffee most mornings, and we happen to like CoffeeMate Creamer, and in my research I found a GREAT coupon.  I got creamer for 20 cents.  Follow the link, and you can, too! 

Abishai will be needing sneakers, soon enough, and I always like to look for deals BEFORE the emergency arises.  I got some Reeboks for him.....priced at $15.  This is a fantastic deal for boy's shoes, and name brand??  Well, I got a deal for signing up when I did, and I only ended up paying $5.95.  Thank you, Jesus!!
The website is RueLaLa, and some things are EXTREMELY high-priced, but if you wait for a good deal, well, you can get one.

Swagbucks, too!  I have made almost $35 from just doing my regular searches, and I love making money for doing what I normally do....who doesn't?  Anyway, I am thinking I might just earn enough to buy the family Christmas present.  We have decided that we will NOT be buying presents this year.  We have decided to buy a Wii game to play on Christmas (and beyond). 

Being thankful for a good deal has only seemed to bring MORE deals.  BRING IT ON!!

Search & Win

Friday, November 5, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Five

Adoption:  I am privileged to see children and parents blessed by the joys of adoption.  I was blessed to read a fabulous post by a friend who is blessed by adoption.

My sister-in-law and her husband just finalized the adoption of their two children, and we could not be any more thrilled to have two such WONDERFUL children in our family.  I just LOVE them to pieces.  The process may seem to take a long time, but the rewards are great. 

A very good friend adopted her little girl from China, and I am blessed to have been a part of that process, too!!!  It touches my heart to see children and parents come together and be a family, most often coming from situations that were NOT good. 

Welcome to the family, Deonte and Rhema!