Giving Thanks (inspired by)

Thanks be to God, Father, Son and Spirit, for the abundance of good things he pours on His children.
We are but few, but His blessings are many.

Friday, December 20, 2013

133. very little time to write lately, but plenty of time to take pictures!  And now, I found a free minute to sit down and share them with you!

134. My house, ready for the Christmas party...

135. Doing those annual pre-party chores, and thinking I'll do them more often next year... because it is so nice to have the house this clean... and hearing all the elves laugh at me...

136. Christmas sparkle and bling, everywhere!

137.  This great nativity set in our dining room...

138.  The CUTE stuff they bring home from school! This is my favorite!

138. This child actually has the patience to make us wait until Christmas until we open his...

139. Stumbling across this old Christmas picture... HA! Their personalities are shining through!

140.  My daughter, up very very early, so as to finish her required reading for this quarter. She is not a happy morning person, so I offered her some coffee but.... 

141. The fun, ridiculous Elf Yourself Ap!!!

142.  The warm weather! We can go for walks!

143.  Contemplating Jesus, with little boys (or something like that.)

144.  THIS handsome man, ready to sing at his preschool program!

145.  The cuteness overload at the program last night. So much fun!  

146.  This guy, the baby, who does what babies do: Clings to me, and FORCES me to slow down.  Sometimes, I am grateful.

147.  The BIG NEWS!
Uncle Quinn is engaged! We are SO excited to welcome Sara into the family!

Still more gratitude, but no pictures to go with them....

149. For my dad's good humor, and that he didn't mind me posting an Elf video of him and me on facebook today :)

150. For child-swapping with another momma, so 'santa' could do last minute errands
151. For getting to talk on the phone with BOTH of my parents today- I love and miss you mom n dad!

152. For Christmas party anticipation!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

122. another snow day? OK, I'm not really thankful for that, deep deep down in my heart, but I'm trying to be, so it's on the list.  I am thankful for a slow-moving day, another stay-in-PJs day, as I'm still feeling a bit under the weather with this cold.

123. Outside play time in fluffy snow (for them, not me!) It's SO NICE that they are now old enough for this!

124. Glass candy- so fun to make! See how it bubbles!

It has to get up to 300-310... the hardest part is stirring and waiting :)
Then you just pour it out and let it cool- it looks like this! (The green in the background has a little mint flavoring.)  Later I will crack it up and add confectioner's sugar so it doesn't stick together.

125.  A perfectly timed recipe for snow ice cream. How have I never made this before? (Probably because SOME say it's not so healthy to eat snow?!)  

Using real sugar made it a little gritty, honestly. (Unless, of course, that was the dirt.)
 But the kids loved it.

(Peter is crying in this picture because I told him he had to sit in that chair-- the baby chair-- if he wanted some ice cream.)

126. Technology, including TV.  We have done LOTS of movie watching and video game playing these days.

127. Forced book time: when I pried the electronics out of their grubby hands and forced them to read.
Cuddled up to a cozy real fire and a "yule log" fake fire. 

128. Christmas gifts in the works!

129. Roasted garlic: The perfect thing for my cold, and for potato garlic bacon delicious soup!

130.  Getting out the Christmas books....
and reliving some of my favorite Christmas memories!

Funny- we have 2 copies of this one.  It makes me wonder if my dad slipped their version in with mine so he wouldn't have to read it to the grandkids? I seem to remember him saying this book was the longest Christmas book ever written? Pretty sure it takes roughly 45 minutes to read!

131. My cool essential oil diffuser!  

132.  Finally, and primarily, naptime, where I am headed right now, in this room that smells good. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Saturday, December 7, 2013


120. Today I am thankful for our warm house where we can hole up on snowy days.
121. for life, all these little lives, here making noise and messes.

Sometimes I clean like crazy, and sometimes I wilfully choose to ignore the messes and just enjoy.  
It is a way I rebel against my inner drill sergeant. And today, that control freak has no control over me. 
Here's proof. (I'm sure I'll let her out before bedtime.)

kitchen mess

hot tub mess

snow play mess

art in the living room mess

and in the middle of it, a boy playing a video game. And a mama, on the computer, with a cup of coffee.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

my favorites

They're all my favorites of course, but here are some of my favorite favorite ornaments.

Hard to remember this:

(and it's fun to see the kids try to imagine when it was just daddy and me- before he was a "daddy!"  Of courrse, Josh says I'm the one wiht my hands waving in the air.)

This one applied more than once :

2004, the year of Iraq...

love the ones with faces!

so, so excited:

and our lovely pastor ornament!  :)

these kept well- pete's hand from last year

The tree!

I had extra coffee, and finally tacked this project today.  
It's fun, but so overwhelming with six VERY EXCITED and VERY LOUD kids!

It goes much, much more smoothly now that I put each child's ornaments in separate bags.

Then, of course, I grab my own favorites.
Note the angel behind the tree. Made by my Aunt Julie, who is spending her first Christmas in heaven this year.

Daddy had the krazy-glue job.

And Seth had to stop to draw a picture of his new favorite ornamanet from grammy :)

And as always, Jesus is with us in the chaos...

Advent- a time for memories, for slowing down, opening eyes, and looking forward.

(As the storm comes, and we face a likely snow day tomorrow, I'm trying to tell myself this. Slow down. Enjoy. Embrace the mess. Look forward. And always, look up, to Jesus, for love, joy, peace.)