Saturday, November 27, 2010

My thoughts on what makes a “good Christmas”

The turkey is done,the football games played and now its onto thoughts of Christmas. I have had the chance to talk with several friends about the upcoming holiday. I am noticing an interesting trend. I wonder if others have noticed it too.


With the struggling economy many of the conversations I have had have gone something along these lines:

Boy money sure is tight.”

Yes it is,how is your family handling the holidays?”

Well we have been able to BUY the kids/family X,Y,Z, T,U and V too.So we will have a good Christmas despite the tough financial times.”

Here are the thoughts that came to me after several such conversations. 1.Since WHEN does being able to BUY lots of things make it a good Christmas?2.WHY does being able to buy lots make it a good Christmas?3.Why are we as a society in general so focused on STUFF?

This year we decided as a family to keep things very simple.A few gifts(VERY few) for each child. Because we will be “low” on gifts we plan to be full on fun and quality time.My hubby is able to take 2 weeks off over the Christmas holiday and we plan to use every second of it to play,craft,cook,snow ball fight,snuggle up and watch Christmas movies,drink hot chocolate,share with others,etc. Despite all of that wonderfulness I still found myself feeling bad about the limited number of “things” each of my children would receive!

Its plain nonsense and silliness to feel that way!I just kinda forgot it and got all wrapped up in the societal norm of giving WAY more than you can afford because after all its the STUFF that matters right?

I was reminded about the things that really matter while reading a book on a totally different topic today! One of my all time favorite homeschool books is  Teri Maxwell’s “Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit”. This book truly speaks to my heart.It is full of wonderful scriptures that speak to contentment,hard work,and gratitude.

The part that struck me strongest today was about taking our thoughts captive.Not allowing our thoughts to dwell on the worldly ideals but trying to focus our thoughts on the Lord and His ways. That's exactly what I needed to do today.I was focusing on gifts and money and worldly things instead of focusing on the joys of this season.The time with my beloved family,the chance to share with my children about the wonders of Christ birth.All the things that will make this a wonderful Christmas.

I hope that this Christmas season we are all able to keep our thought and hearts on the things that truly matter :0)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gratitude all over!

This has been a very busy pleasant week and so my blogging has suffered. I am still doing the Gratitude challenge and have been thinking each day about what I am thankful for.


I am thankful for my babies growing.Seeing them change and become who they are going to be.Alyssa our youngest has just stopped taking bottles and is now in what we call a “big girl” car seat :0)Very exciting!

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I am thankful for super fun science experiments that bring a concept to life! We used this balloon to show an example of how a jet engine works on a plane.The kids really “got it” and had tons of fun!


I am grateful for little girls who wear cute little dresses and make you smile every time you see them!




I am grateful for Daddies who will play in the snow and enjoy their kids.Also very grateful for the army that gives my hubby lots of time off around EVERY holiday!




I am grateful for friends.When we are far from home they are there to enjoy the holidays with!

I hope everyone has felt very blessed this past week and I know through this challenge I am learning to be more grateful.I hope to carry that with me throughout the year.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Not very Eloquent

I would love to post some beautiful eloquent post this Thanksgiving day but to be honest its just not in me :0) I am so incredibly Thankful to be where I am.At home with my dear loved ones. I am thankful to have four awesome kids to play with,learn with and enjoy.Super thankful that on this day nine years ago I said “I Do” to the most wonderful man alive.

I am praying that everyone else is feeling happy and blessed today too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gratitude Day 21 &22

I have really enjoyed blogging all month about what I am thankful for. I enjoy writing a lot but find it hard at times to decide on what to write.Having a specific topic all month has been nice for me.

Yesterday day 21 of the gratitude challenge I am grateful for SNOW! We had our first snow of the season and it was so beautiful and exciting.

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My snow babies were all VERY grateful for the snow too :0)

Today I am grateful for blogs. I love that I can get insight,encouragement,ideas and a sense of community from reading other peoples blogs. Specifically other Christian women. I can’t tell you how many times I was feeling down or discouraged and I popped open a blog post from one of you fine ladies and read EXACTLY what I needed. Its really a blessing.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gratitude Day 20

Today I am FILLED with Gratitude!Its been a very special day. Alyssa turned 1 year old today :0) and if that wasn’t awesome enough,my sister had me a new little nephew today!!!!! What a Blessed day!

This is  me, my mom and Alyssa the day she was born:

100_4155 What an amazing day that was. I was induced for the first time and BOY did that hurt!I remember just saying over and over again after I had her “Wow that hurt!” :0)

This is the first time Alyssa got to meet her Daddy.He was deployed in Iraq when she was born:


And now in what seems like no time Alyssa has become such a sweet,calm and adorable little person:

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100_7494And lastly Alyssa surrounded by her brothers and sister.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gratitude 18 and 19

I’m really grateful for the scouting program.My oldest Isaiah just earned his wolf badge.He received it at his pack meeting last night and was SO proud of himself.


I’m also thankful for prayer.Specifically that I can pray about the kids and homeschool and I always get the peace,strength and guidance I need. God really is SO good to us.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gratitude Challenge Day 16 & 17

Yesterday(day 16 of the challenge) was a rough day for me. I was dealing with some people in my life who weren't acting very mature.Their immaturity was making MY life more stressful. So for day 16 of the challenge I am very thankful for the ability to close my door,hang up the phone and be alone.To just shut out the world sometimes.

Today I am thankful for getting rid of bottles for good! Our youngest Alyssa is turning 1 this week.At 1 we get rid of the bottles and move to a cup. Now that we have prayed and made the decision that four is the number of children God intended for us it means that each phase we finish is the last! I will never have a baby using bottles again. I thought that as we started coming to these milestones that I would be sad.But so far I am not. I think that's because of God really. For a while I wanted to have more children and the thought of not having more made me very sad.But when God told my husband and then me that this was it, it because easy for me to  accept. I am thankful to God for that too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Double Gratitude post :0)

So apparently posting every day isn't my forte! That's all right what I lack in regularity I will make up for with persistence!

Day 14 was Sunday and I was very thankful for a movie theatre on post that showed a FREE and EARLY showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now I know that some people don’t like Harry Potter. I respect that opinion.I understand the whole witchcraft thing. Me personally I look at it as a fun story.My children know the difference between a make up story and real witchcraft.They know that witchcraft is of the devil.We can know the reality and still enjoy a story with it in there.I think the thing that makes Harry Potter ok for me is that in the end good wins. In my mind its a story between good and evil and good wins.Yes its a good wizard But hey it works for us! We really enjoyed seeing the movie and the fact that it was free was even better!

For Day 15 I am grateful for modern medicine.My husband came home from P.T (physical training) today hobbling.The first thought in my head was “Really?what have you done to yourself now?”  Now before you think me a unloving wife let me explain.During his 12 month deployment to Iraq my husband was hurt several time BY HIMSELF.That's right.Of all the worries  a wife has when her husband is deployed to a war zone MINE was that he wouldn’t hurt himself AGAIN. :0) Anywho, like I said my first thoughts weren't the most gracious! It turns out while they were running today Hubby stepped wrong.He said it POPPED and hurt a lot! After a long E.R visit and some X-rays we found out that he tore two of his tendons in his ankle. I am thankful for the pain med’s that are helping Justin relax and for the fact that he could have an x-ray and know exactly what's wrong.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gratitude Day 13

Today I am grateful for breakfast :0) Whether its me and my four kiddos baking muffins and pouring pancakes or my hubby and I frying eggs and bacon.I love spending time in the kitchen with the ones I love!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Gratitude Challenge Day 12

Today I am SO grateful for my childrens good health. I think when our children have never had any major health issues we tend to take it for granted.They have always been healthy and we kinda assume that they always will.

Life really is so fragile.These earthly bodies of ours are subject to disease and decay and so are our childrens.Today I am grateful for my healthy happy munchkins and I am saying a special prayer for all of those who have had to face first hand the reality of lost health.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another Double Gratitude post!

So I am really bad at posting every day! Hahaha That's alright though I am going to just keep making up for it by double posting :0)

For day 10 yesterday I am grateful for Christian romance novels!I know that sounds silly but I am a reader. I always need something to read to occupy my brain. Yesterday my brain was just all unsettled because I couldn't find anything to read.I was looking for what I can brain candy.Something fun and light to entertain my mind. FINALLY I found on my shelf a Christian romance I hadn't read yet. I got a ton of them from my grandma back a few years and I though I had read them all.Turns out I hadn't and I was able to spend my quiet hours before falling into bed with a good book.

Today I am SO Grateful for the men and women who have served in the armed forces and for those who are currently serving. I am free to raise my children in the way I choose and to worship my Lord and Savior as I see fit thanks to all of them. I am grateful to my husband who serves in the Army. For his example oh duty,honor,hard work and integrity.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gratitude Challenge Day 9

It 5:30 in the A.M and I am a little tired. I try to get up at this time every day of the week so I will have time to exercise and shower before the kiddos will awaken.Today my husband was up at 4:30 A.M for work. I can barely drag myself out of bed an hour later than that!For this reason today I am grateful for the FREEDOM I have as a stay at home mom. That's right!I don't feel trapped.I don't feel isolated. I feel truly blessed to be able to set my own schedule.Be (essentially) my own boss of how my day is run. I am thankful that God has put a joy in my heart for being at home. I’m grateful that I have such a supportive and hardworking husband who wants me to be at home raising our children.


There have been times during my journey as a Stay at home mom that I have not felt content and fulfilled. I know its Gods will for mothers to be home to nurture and guide her children.Looking back I can see that the times I was not content at home were times that I wasn't aligning my life,my actions and my thoughts with what Heavenly Father wants of me. I was focusing more on what “the world” tells me I should be and want and do. Well guess what,the world has got it all wrong! I am the most happy and fulfilled when I strive (imperfectly) to be who God wants me to be.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gratitude Challenge day 7 and 8

Yesterday was a  nice relaxed Sunday but for some reason I didn't get sat down to do my Gratitude post.

I’ll share two things I am grateful for today.First I am grateful for Christmas tree’s that are decorated the first weekend of November :0)

100_7424 You read it right!We put up our Christmas tree this weekend.Much to my husbands chagrin! We usually wait till the weekend of thanksgiving (doesn't most everyone?). I decided  since my husband missed out last year due to being in Iraq,that this year we would celebrate for extra long! I’ve been listening to Christmas music with the fam’ ever since and I LOVE it!

The second thing I am thankful for is people with positive attitudes. Growing up I was a “glass is half empty” kinda girl.My son  also has  a “half empty” mentality.Thankfully though, somewhere along the line I learned that we can dwell on the bad,sad and disappointing and be miserable OR we can focus on the good and be happy. Notice that I didn't say I found a way to make all the bad,sad and disappointing disappear!Nope its all still there.I’ve just learned how to have faith in the Lord to get me through and to focus on the good.

I have had several good examples in my life.My sister has always been a “glass is half full” person and I am pretty sure she gets it from my mom. My husband also has a way of seeing the bad,pointing it out and then MOVING ON.He doesn't dwell on the negative and I love that.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gratitude Challenge Day 6

Today I am grateful for frugal friends! I spend my morning shopping some of my favorite thrift stores with my friend Jackie. She is like me and loves to save money and find good deals.

Its like the Duggar family says “Buy used and save the difference!”

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gratitude challenge day 5

Today I am keeping it short and sweet! I am thankful for lazy-sleep in mornings :0) Today my usual 5:30 a.m wake up time came and went.I was warm and snuggled in my bed till about 8 and it was WONDERFUL!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gratitude Challenge Day 4

Today several things have been on my mind. I think today though I am really most thankful for my husband. We have SO much history together (which I love!) We have been together since we were both around 16 years old :0) We were high school sweethearts.We married and had children right out of high school. There have been ups and downs in our marriage like any other and we have grown closer and stronger as the years have gone by.


One of the things I love the most about my dear husband is how selfless he is.He works so hard to take care of us and is still always willing to help out around the house. Sometimes its just the small things that really mean a lot. Like tonight for instance.We went to a buffet for dinner and after I helped the kids get there food I sat down and told him to go ahead and get himself something.He said no and let me go first.It was just a simple thing really, but it just made me feel so nice.He is always doing things like that and I just love him so much for it :0)


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Doubting myself

Today I have been focusing a lot on the negatives and not so much on the positives in our homeschool journey. I have been feeling very inadequate. Thoughts like “I’m not good enough.” and “I just can’t do this.” have been in my head today. But I KNOW beyond any doubt that this is exactly what the Lord wants me to be doing. After praying it through and talking it over with my sister Tristan I am feeling much better. I just have to remember that I can do all things through Christ. If I look to the Lord for strength and guidance while we are traveling down this path of homeschooling HE will make me able.

We all have moments of doubt.About many different parts of our life.I’d love to hear how you handle it when you are doubting yourself.

Gratitude Challenge day 3

I was feeling a bit off today.Do you ever have those days?When your  feeling moody and emotional for any number of reasons? Well that was me today! Then something happened that brightened my day.My sister called! She is a fellow wife,mother,Christian and homeschooler. She is my big sis and always willing to listen and talk me through my bad days. I love her so very much. Since my husband is in the Army we don't live near family.Being far from my sister is hard for me.I am very thankful we both can keep in touch with the dial of a phone or a quick email :0)


When I think about my sister and how close we are,she really is my best friend  I have to chuckle a little!For it was not always so! As teenagers we fought like cats and dogs!We honestly couldn’t stand each other. One time it even came to blows!We were fighting over the thing all teen girls fight over,who got to use the phone!LOL  If someone had  told me then that now she would be my favorite friend and my closes confidant.I would have laughed.I am so thankful for my sister and the closeness we have developed over the years.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gratitude challenge day 2

Today I am thankful for a body that works and is in relatively good health! It is 5:30 a.m. and I am up getting ready to go exercise. I do NOT enjoy getting up early and I don't particularly enjoy exercising either. That aside I am very thankful that I am healthy enough to be up and going and working out.

As any normal women who has had multiple children there are things I don’t love about my body. I have a little extra padding here and there.Things are a little less firm and a little less perky than they were when I was 16 :0) I tend to dwell on those things far too much.Today I want to focus on all the things this old body of mine does right. I am capable of making meals to feed my dear children. I can hug,tickle,carry and play with my children. I am able to be up and working.Cleaning,organizing and making my home a comfortable place to be. I can work along side my husband and share in the daily duties of life.

I am really very thankful for this body of mine and all that it makes me able to do :0)100_5246

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gratitude Challenge

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a blog post for some time now. In fact I have sat down at my computer several times with the intention of writing.For one reason or another though a post never got written! Sometimes it was the kids interruptions.Sometimes there was just nothing in my head to write! That's why I am so glad I came across  the Gratitude Challenge over on Garden of Learning.

In life we too often focus on the negative.We are so focused on what we don’t have that we miss seeing just how  blessed we are. So the basis for the challenge is to post every day of November.Blog about what your thankful for. I think this is a great idea and I’m hoping it will help me get past my bloggers block! :0)

Today is day one and it took me a minute to decided exactly what to write about.Kids,family,hubby.All of these came to mind. Then I decided that I wanted to start at the most important place.


I am thankful for the knowledge I have of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am thankful that through His atoning sacrifice I can be forgiven of my sins. That I have a loving Savior always looking out for me.Always waiting to welcome me with open arms and forgiveness.

I am thankful that I know I am a daughter of God and that He loves me. We all have  days when we feel like we  are not pretty enough,thin enough,smart enough,organized enough,crafty enough,lovable enough or any other. When I am having one of those days it is such a blessing to me to know that I am the daughter of a King. A Heavenly King who made me in His imagine. I am weak, I am not perfect.But I am loved and I am worth while.

I hope you all will join in with me this month on this challenge. How have you been blessed today?