Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wow- My New Prayer

Teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me-

My whole life one long, obedient response.

- Psalm 119:33-34 (The Message)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

We Were Rescued!

I've hosted Thanksgiving dinner every year for at least the last six years. My family comes to visit from out of state, and we have a long weekend of noise, chaos, cousins, and lots of love. But this year no one was able to come. There were a lot of reasons: finances tight, work schedules, etc. Even my husband had to desert me for Thanksgiving because of work obligations. It was looking like it was going to be one of the loneliest Thanksgivings ever. But.....

We were rescued! Daiquiri invited us to her house for Thanksgiving dinner, and we ended up staying all day, late into the night.

We walked in the door to yummy smells and this beautiful table.

The kids immediately started in on the hors d'oeuvres. (a.k.a. fruit platter) (Have you ever tried to Google how to spell that word? Nobody really knows I think. I stuck with one spelling, but I'm still not convinced I'm right and spell check is no help at all. Hee Hee)

Spending Thanksgiving with their good buddies was so fun for them. (They did miss their cousins, though, Aunt Angie)

Sparkling Cider in real wine glasses made them feel so special.

Prince Charming gave me the gift of sleeping all the way through the meal. I got to sip red wine, eat AMAZING food, and have real grown-up conversation.

I'm usually so busy doing all the preparation. I really enjoyed relaxing and fitting in lots of hugs and kisses from my greatest gifts:

Later that night, Daiquiri's hubby set up a fire pit and we roasted marshmallows and made S'mores. The kids played in the dark with flashlights while we sat around the fire. I'm sure this will be one of those childhood memories they will talk about as adults.

It was a magical day. I missed my family so much, especially when I called and heard them all around the table at my brother and sister-in-law's house, but we were so well cared for right here! I'm so grateful for great friends.

I hope you all had a blessed holiday, too!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank You One Thousand Times

I've been thinking more about all the reasons I have for being thankful. I remembered visiting this beautiful blog and seeing her One Thousand Gifts. Over time, Ann has blogged a running gratitude list, until she arrived at one thousand gifts. Eventually she inspired other bloggers to join her, and they have become the "Gratitude Community."

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I decided I wanted to join the Gratitude Community. So today, I begin to count my blessings, one by one: (In no particular order)

1. Watching my girls hold hands every morning on the way to the bus stop.

2. A hole in our fence and a worn path down the hill connecting our backyard with our buddies.

3. Priceless pictures of my babies taken often by a talented friend

4. Giggling at the dinner table.

5. Warm inside when it looks like this

6. A new promotion for King Charming.

7. Friends who "get" me and make me laugh. (And don't judge me too much for not recycling)

8. This You Tube video when I need a good laugh

9. Zac's cartwheels : )

10. My Tempur-Pedic mattress. (You know you are getting old when a great mattress means so much)

11. Being able to keep in touch with far away family like her, her, her, and her.

12. Finding old friends on Facebook

13. PRETTY pink boots for little girl feet.

14. Warm coats for my kids.

15. My morning hugs from sleepy, just woke-up, barefoot in their jammies little girls.

16. Friday Night Pizza and Family Movie Night

17. Being able to be a stay-at-home-mommy

18. These toes:

19. A bowl of hot Grape Nuts on a chilly morning

20. Dutch Brothers Coffee

21. A steady paycheck from KC's secure job.

22. My whole family is healthy. I just watched a segment on the Today Show about St. Jude's Hospital. Thank you, Lord, for my family's health!

23. Swedish pancake breakfast with the WHOLE family on the holidays.

24. Sitting around in our pajamas, drinking coffee, and trying to solve the world's woes after that Swedish pancake breakfast at Mom and Dad's house.

25. That I can still go home to Mom and Dad's house.

26. The way Mom and Dad make Christmas happen in a magical way. There's no place like home.

27. Having plans for Thanksgiving this year when I thought I'd be all alone. Thanks for rescuing me Luke and Daiquiri!

28. Blog readers who leave me comments. : )

More to come........

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pint-Sized Pilgrims and Native Americans

King Charming, Prince Charming, and I went to Kindergarten today. We were invited to a Thanksgiving feast with a bunch of pint-sized pilgrims and Native Americans.

But I only had eyes for one little Indian Princess:

I've been having trouble with my digital camera lately, and most of my pictures turn out blurry. I'm sure it is operator error, but today I smiled when I saw this blurry shot. In the midst of all the chaos, there was my beautiful little girl. When it comes to my kids, this shows how I view the world. : )

The 2008 Thanksgiving Kindergarten Feast was a hit:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Very Thankful Me

Last night's sermon was so good for me. (We go to the Saturday night service)

Our pastor talked to us about the importance of thanksgiving. Not in a cheezy-it's Thanksgiving week, so I better preach on Thanksgiving kind of way- but a sincere message of how God expects gratitude and how we can always find reasons to thank Him. In everything. Maybe not for everything, but definately in everything. I remember hearing a sermon on the radio a long time ago about how even if He never, ever does another thing for us, the fact that God saved us from Hell and gave us the hope of Heaven, is enough to praise Him for all of eternity.

Pastor Bob gave some great examples of areas of his own life where he was able to thank God in times when it didn't seem like life was going very well at all. I left inspired to be more thankful.

This morning, Prince Charming woke up at 6:00, a lot earlier than I hoped he would, so I brought him to bed with me and cuddled with him until he fell back to sleep. It was a great opportunity to start thanking God.

As I watched my baby sleep, I started listing things I am thankful about. Here's a few random ones:

- The dimple in my oldest daughter's cheek that shows up whenever she is sincerely laughing. Her eyes sparkle and the little dimple appears. It is a joyful thing to see. At those times I know she is REALLY happy, and it does my mommy heart good.

- Or how my youngest daughter was born with the gift of giving amazing hugs. When she wraps herself around me and squeezes, I feel so loved.

There were some more serious things to thank him for, also:

- We've been celebrating a promotion my husband got at work. We've been wanting to see this promotion happen for a long time and it was so wonderful to get the phone call this week. After years of praying for it, I forgot to really, truly thank God for that provision. Especially in this down economy, when so many families are suffering, we got a promotion. I needed to stop and gratefully say, "Thank you, Lord!"

- I also thanked him for the good that has come from the losses of my babies. I know that might sound morbid, but so much good has resulted from it. I wasn't thanking him for the miscarriages, just the way He turned something horrible into good and then blessed us with this beautiful little boy.

- I thanked him for preventing us from adopting the wrong two little boys. I thanked him for the plans he has for JJ and Benedict and thanked him for the privilege of getting to pray for them. I thanked Him for what He has planned for our family with or without adoption and told Him I trust Him either way.

There was much more. It was a sweet time of looking at my life and realizing there were more blessings there than I could even count. Remember this old chorus at church? It is the song I'm singing today:

God, you've been so good to me
You've always been so good to me
God you're so good!

Love a very thankful

Friday, November 21, 2008

What Happened to Us?

We've been having an interesting discussion over on my fitness blog, and I wanted to bring it over here to see if you all might be able to add some insight. I'm curious what you think.

I've been watching the Biggest Loser this season, (Boo Vicky! Boo Heba!)and on this last episode they did a tribute to the 1980's. Sticking with their theme, the challenge this week involved a trivia game comparing health facts from the 80's with present day.

It was interesting and depressing to learn how much our society has changed since 1980. Here were a few facts that stuck out to me:

- Obesity rates have nearly doubled
- Percentage of adults with diabetes has increased 300%
- The average size dress a women bought in 1985 was a size 8, today that average is a size 14
- Women today eat an average of 385 extra calories a day as compared to the 1980's.

I found this all so disturbing. I really want to know what has changed so I can reverse the trend for my kids.

On the fitness blog discussion, the idea of how fast our society moves came up; we rely on fast food, too, much. My mom mentioned that 1980 was about the time she got her first microwave. She thought it might be an interesting study to look at how that has changed our food. Maybe, but I think more than anything, the introduction of the microwave signaled the time when convenience became most important. We want food NOW, and we settle for fake food because it comes quicker.

I was also thinking about how our lives have shifted indoors, we're more sedentary, and more isolated leading to lack of movement and more depression. I don't know. I've heard people talk about this before, but nothing is changing. We are just moving forward, getting bigger, and more unhealthy.

What has happened to us? I'm curious about your thoughts:

-What do you think is to blame for these dramatic changes?
-What do you think parents need to do to help our kids stay healthy?

Oh and by the way....Back to Biggest Loser....Go Michelle!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Keeping Grandma Happy

Grandma demanded more videos of Prince Charming. I aim to please. : )

That son of mine does not perform on command, but he did give me a little charm. I just had to work for it. : )

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mama's Helper

Monday nights are always a challenge for me because of AWANA. It is always a juggling act to get Prince Charming fed and the princesses delivered to the church before 6:00.

Lately, my oldest princess has been my saving grace. I was so proud of her tonight. While I nursed the prince, SHE COOKED DINNER. (Don't worry...I was close enough to supervise)

She even served it up on plates and made sure she and her sister were fed.

She was so proud of herself.

She even had their vests and handbooks in piles so they were easy to find when it was time to go.

Now if I could just teach her to clean her room! : )

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Don't Know Much, But... come the government is able to say, "Oops, sorry, we'd like to change where the 700 Billion dollars of bailout money will be allocated?" come they can tell us, "Sorry, we know you taxpayers are footing the bill, but it's really none of your business that we just loaned 2 trillion dollars of your money. No, we won't tell you to whom we loaned it."

The last price tag I saw of tax payer money spent so far is 3.5 trillion, but others say it will be more like 5 trillion dollars or more before we are done. Oh my goodness, can you even wrap your mind around that number? This article was the best I found for breaking down the spending so far.

Where does it stop? Come on in, the Treasury's open!

Now everyone has their hand out looking to dip into the US Piggy Bank:

The auto industry is asking for 25 billion and may get as much as 50 billion.
The mayors of Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Phoenix want a cut while we are being so generous.

What will the final bill be? How can we spend more and more money that we just don't have? Honestly, I'm not trying to be sarcastic. I really want to understand. Why are we robbing from our children? At what point will we just collapse?

When my youngest daughter heard the radio say 700 Billion Dollars, her eyes got wide- "Mommy, is that really a number?"

Is it? I don't know. : )

I think the lawmakers need to sit down with the princesses and watch what they do with their allowance money. 10% to God. 10% to long term savings. 80% being saved for the Wii they are dreaming about that will probably take them the entire year to earn, but they understand "you don't spend money you don't have." And if you want money, "you work for it." Simple, right?

OK, you economists out there. Please explain. : )

Golf Ball Sized Tonsils

I hate to admit it, but two days ago I was so annoyed by my six-year-old walking around the house moaning and whining about her sore throat. She kept making these moans that sounded something like, "Uhhh. Ohhh." I knew she wanted sympathy and for some reason I just didn't want to give it. I kept telling her, "I know you don't feel well, but you need to be tough."

Then Wednesday afternoon, I got a call from the school nurse to come pick her up from school. As soon as I walked in the door, she started to cry from relief. She was so sick and so happy her mommy had come to rescue her. Her tonsils were huge! I felt so bad for not being more sympathetic and also really, really grateful to be a stay-at-home mom who can just run to the school when my kids need me.

We took her home, got her jammies on, and tucked her in on the couch in front of cartoons. Then I noticed my own throat feeling a little sore. Within a few hours it hit me, too. Fever. Golf-ball sized tonsils that killed me every time I wanted to swallow.

And guess what I wanted right away?

Sympathy. : )

Next time I'll pass out the sympathy right away so I don't have to learn the hard way.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Book

Today, Mrs. MK wrote a blog post about my book, Hope and Healing After Pregnancy Loss. If you are visiting from her blog, welcome!

It was such an honor to read what she had to say about the book and such a blessing to meet her in person. I've been following her blog for awhile now, and have been so impressed by her and the way she is dealing with her grief. I'm grateful my story was helpful in some way.

I'll have to do a post another day about how God led me to write this book. It was a gift from Him, and the writing of it was something He used to help me heal. I'm looking forward to the day it is a "real" book instead of a manuscript. Now that the writing is done, I'd be so grateful if you would pray for the publishing process and all that entails. I'm a rookie and have a lot to learn about the process.

Please pray for the people who will read it. I hope it will point broken hearts to real hope and will help friends, family members, and churches to know how to help someone who is going through this kind of grief.

Thank you so much for your prayers. I'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Yesterday, this comment was left on my blog post:

Ahem....a little credit for the King would be nice. And you failed to mention that you picked THE MOST EXPENSIVE boots in the store. hmmmmm selective memory?

OK, King Charming, I will admit you were there and you were the one holding the cash AND you were very generous in allowing your little girl to have the beautiful pink boots. Thanks for shelling out the dough so our little girl won't be writing a future blog post about ugly snow boots. You know this isn't the first time my personal baggage has cost you money. ; )

But in my defense. There was only ONE other pair of boots in the store and they were only $5 cheaper than the ones we bought AND I overheard the princesses talking about how they didn't like the other pair because they were gray and that was close to black and I just had to have the pinkest of pink pairs for my princess.

Here they are in all their pink glory:

And just look at the smile on her face:

Plus, King Charming, you are a sucker, too. Look at the brand new backpack you surprised the other princess with:

You act tough, but I know the truth! : )


Monday, November 10, 2008

A Proud Moment for Mama

I just want everyone to know that my little girl went to school today wearing her new winter boots. I actually bought them before the first snow, and they were the most girly-girl pink winter boots you could ever imagine. If you remember reading this post, you'll know it was a very proud moment indeed to see her walking down the street this morning for the school bus.

Oh Baby Girl, the pain you'll never have to endure!

Happy Monday All! : )

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Babies in Bathrobes

All clean after a bath!

Reminds me of another baby six years ago: (Guess I have a thing for babies in bathrobes) : )

(Karissa 2002)

Do you notice the family resemblance like I do?

These pictures don't show the resemblance as much as some of the others I have, but I don't have very many baby pictures of my girls saved to this computer. I'll have to find some and scan them in because I really do think all three of them look a lot alike.

"Hey, Mom! Quit telling people I look like a girl!"

Sorry, buddy.

Just being a mom.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Trying Not to be a Sore Loser

I don't like to lose. I'm kind of a sore loser. : )

Last night, the "other guy" won the election, and I went to bed with a heavy heart full of dread and anxiety over the direction our country is headed.

But it has been really interesting how I'm viewing this differently in the light of morning. I thought President Bush and John McCain were extremely gracious as they acknowledged our new president elect. No one can discount the history in the making as we see our first black president. If you remove all of the policies I disagree with, this fact is a wonderful thing and too long in coming.

I still do not like Senator Obama's policies and values. I'm broken hearted about the abortion issue and the ground that will be lost in protecting babies. I am afraid of the rights and freedoms we are about to lose and the tax burden we are going to have to carry. But, and this is a HUGE BUT, many people I know and love are happy about Senator Obama's victory.

I'm amazed at how divided our country has become. Blue vs. Red has made its way into families and friendships. Each side is wondering how the other side could be so blind. It reminds me of these pictures I used to use when I was teaching about the Civil War to fifth graders:

What do you see?

Do you see a white vase or two faces looking at one another? Is it a beautiful young girl or an old hag? Are today's election results a good thing or a bad thing?

The elections are over and they didn't turn out how I wanted them to turn out. I have to get over it. God is still sovereign and in control. His purposes and plans will come about regardless of who we elect as president. He expects me to be like Jesus no matter what or no matter how difficult.

I was inspired by this blog post from Lysa TerKeurst. You should go read all of it, but this was my favorite part:

Now is the time to be representatives of truth to all those around us. May we Christians be seen not as those who continue to strain against the unity of our country, but as followers of Jesus, those who help create it.

She's a wise lady. : )

God bless America!


Monday, November 3, 2008

What Do You Do With TEN POUNDS of Candy?

Step One: Dump out all of your loot

Step Two: Sort into piles of like candy

mmmmm....hungry yet?

I am!! Notice the "Faithfully Fit" book in the background. And you wonder why I need a fitness blog!?

Step Three:
Bag like candy together. This makes it easier to find the REALLY GOOD STUFF!

Last Step: Enjoy the fruit of your labor. (a.k.a. Make a pig of yourself)