Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Thanks Post #33

Here are some ways my thanks tank is being filled:

Snow!! I have been visiting friends in WA and we have had snow off and on for the last two days. I love kid excitement about snow. I also love watching snow fall.
My WA Friends: Wow, God blessed me with some amazing WA friends. I am spending my week enjoying getting to see my friends and letting our kids play together.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts: These doughnuts are oh so yummy! This is a treat that I really miss in OR.
Laughter: I laughed one night this week until I was in tears. This was so, so incredibly refreshing.
Easter: I love celebrating Easter. I love focusing on God's grace. I love the Easter baskets. I love the Easter candy. I love going to church. I love taking a day to celebrate the gift of life!
Sleeping Babies: Oh my sweet Elsie had trouble falling asleep last night. Sleeping babies are so sweet!
Rain boots: My 6 year old, 4 year old and 2 year old can all manage to get their rain boots on without help. For this reason- I LOVE rain boots! My kids are going to be enjoying rain boot fashion for as long as possible. (You can really get away with this for a long, long time in the NW.)
Bath Tubs: This morning Elsie had a blow out diaper. Tonight Thomas threw up after dinner (a not so nice way to christen my friends' new home). Both Elsie and Thomas had baths. I was thankful that I was near a bath tub in both cases.

That's about all I can write tonight. If you have an extra minute or two, head over to Pam’s. Pam inspired my Thursday Thanks Tank list. She could use your prayers right now so head over there, check out her list, and say a prayer for her and her hubby.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Bridge

John 5:24
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.


Friday, March 21, 2008

I am thankful for my life.

I looked in the mirror yesterday and I marveled. I looked at myself long enough to look past my image. Who am I? I tried to see myself the way God sees me. I tried to imagine what made him love me so grandly. I wanted to look long enough to see what God sees. I tried but I couldn’t see what I wanted. I did get a new vision of myself. I am unique. I am one of a kind. There is no one else like me. My fingerprints are mine alone. I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I have some 700+ muscles and a little over 200 bones. I have around 3 ½ liters of blood in my body. It all works together so that I can breathe, walk, talk and think. My life is a gift from God. I was conceived and I grew within my mother’s womb. I was woven together in my mother’s womb. The beginning of life is nothing short of a miracle. The process of being born is outstanding. I am loved despite who I have become. I am loved in spite of my pride, my reputation, my attitude, my frustration, my worries, and my self-centeredness. I am loved by my God. I have been given the gift of life! I can live because he loves me. He loved me enough to create me. I was wonderfully made. I can live because I have an amazing Creator! I can talk to my creator and counselor. I can leave my worries and hurts with him. I can live boldly. I can talk to my God and he listens to me as a Father. He created me in his image. In his infinite wisdom and tremendous, overwhelming and unchanging love, he gave me the ability to live, grow and be with him. I accept what He did for me. I accept that God loves me today. I accept that He cared enough to send his Son for me to bear the consequences of my failures. I cannot understand it. I cannot work it out in my brain to seem sensible. I believe and have faith in my loving God. My faith gives me life! I can live fully because I believe in the miracle of Jesus’s life. I was given the gift of life! I am so thankful for living and being loved.

Let me encourage you to spend some time this Easter weekend thinking about the tremendous and amazing gift of life you were given. Take a few minutes and look in the mirror. Marvel at yourself and then marvel at your creator and all He has given you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What kind of flower are you?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

My friend Pam at Without Fear took this test and posted it on her blog. I couldn't resist the fun break.

I am a Canna: "You stand up for what you believe in, even if it gets in the way of what other people think. You are proud of yourself and your accomplishments and you enjoy letting people know that."

I like the part about standing up for what I believe in but I am not too sure about the part about enjoying letting people know I am proud of myself.

Take the test and let me know your results!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday Words

"In the bonds of Death He lay
Who for our offence was slain;
But the Lord is risen to-day,
Christ hath brought us life again,
Wherefore let us all rejoice,
Singing loud, with cheerful voice, Hallelujah!"
In the Bonds of Death He Lay, Martin Luther

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"
1 Corinthians 15:55

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wonderful Cross

We sang Wonderful Cross yesterday in church. The song made me think. If Christ had just died, it would have proved nothing. He could have chosen not to die on the cross. He willingly sufferred and died. Then, only then, could he rise again. When I think about the cross, I most often think about the suffering. It doesn't seem wonderful. Christ's willingness to die on the cross made it possible for me to "truly live". That is wonderful-- more than wonderful! I am going to spend time this week reading about Jesus's death (his predicted death and his actual death) and his resurrection. Today I am reading in John (started with John 12). I encourage you to open your Bible and read about the events surrounding Christ's death and resurrection. You can also go to Bible Gateway. Let Easter be a time of rebirth for your spirit.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

See from his head, his hands, his feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ever such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
All who gather here by grace draw near and bless
Your name

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Full Thursday Thanks Tank

I spent time yesterday jotting down my thankful list on a pad of paper. I grabbed one of the many pads that we keep on the refrigerator and wrote down a few thoughts as I had a few moments. I never managed to make time for the computer, though. So, here I am a day late sharing my thankful thoughts. I hope you enjoy it and I really hope it inspires you to take a few moments to be thankful.

My thankful thoughts:
1. McDonalds Playland Joy: For the first time since long before Elisabeth was born, I took the kids to McDonalds and instead of swinging through the drive-thru we went inside. I am thankful for the that joy they get when they get to play there. How fun it was to see their joy-filled faces. They truly had a blast! Elisabeth fell asleep in her carseat and I pulled out a book and read while the kids played. That was joy for Momma!
2. "Bye Bye Pee": This came out of my 2 year old's mouth yesterday after flushing the toliet and I couldn't be more happy. Thomas is suddenly (started on Saturday) interested and excited about peeing in the potty. Before this week he would always say with enthusiasm, "NO, I pee in my diaper!"
3. Successful Shoe Shopping (with 4 kids in tow): I was feeling extremely brave yesterday (with this and the McDonalds trip). I took all the kids to a local shoe store while I tried on shoes. I had to have some shoes by this weekend and I wanted to go to the local shoe store that is only open until 5 on weekdays. I found some shoes!
4. David's haircut was scream free: David hates to have his haircut. He informed me yesterday right before went to the Barber shop. I already knew it, of course. His haircut was scream-free...not tear free but scream-free, which is wonderful progress!
5. Rainy sleepy days: We are having rain here (no big surprise for the area). I was surprised yesterday when all 3 boys slept until 8 a.m. (oh ya, Jonathan is out of school Wed-Fri for school conferences). I was able to get a shower AND drink a cup of coffee well before they woke up.
6. Elisabeth's Baby Talk: She is babbling a lot more these days. I love it!
7. Hubby is Home: Now, I am not a wimp when it comes to parenting alone. I don't think I need to explain that one. HOWEVER, single parenting with the 3 boys and baby girl last week was exhausting. I am happy, happy, happy to have Seth home!

I am sure you can imagine that after haircuts (for 2 out of the 3 boys), shoe shopping, McDonalds, and all of the little things that made up the rest of my day, I was so exhausted I pretty much crashed last night. It was a good day... always nice when plans work out well.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday Words

"I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." Revelation 3:8

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Boys and Dirt Go Hand in Hand

This weekend the boys and I made "Dirt Cake". I found the recipe when I was looking for something fun for Jonathan to make for his Cub Scout Blue and Gold Dinner. He was supposed to make his own dessert. He ended up getting sick and not being able to go to the dinner. So, I saved it for later. This past Saturday we had a relaxed morning and the boys were still in their PJs in the afternoon. We had our snack time and I suprised the boys with making the Dirt Cake. It was a really fun activity. The best part of making the dessert was smashing the oreos!! I have to tell you my boys had a blast crushing the oreos. Jonathan didn't end up liking the dessert (too rich) but he said he loved making it. David and Thomas could have eaten it until they had belly-aches. I simply loved the joy it created for the boys.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank #32

Thursday is almost over. This week has been such a crazy week for me. I must mention that I appreciated all of the encouraging comments on last week's Thursday Thanks post. It was also comforting to know that I am not alone...a great reminder that everyone struggles. I appreciate your encouragement and honesty.

Since it so late I am posting my abbreviated list (no details included). I hope your week is wonderful and that you are spending time being thankful.

Some of my thankful thoughts:
1. Honesty of Children
2. The Power of Having a Good Attitude
3. Jumper Cables and being near friends when my battery was dead
4. My husband being able to be with family this week
5. Recognizing my nature and being filled with the desire to grow
6. Letting go of unrealistic expectations for myself
7. No lock on the bonus room door (one little guy is really into locking doors these days)
8. Not oversleeping... and on that note I better get to bed

I am thankful for Chief

OWEN, MAJOR JOSEPH H - of Knoxville passed away Monday March 3, 2008. Retired from the US Army with 26 years of service, a veteran of WWII and the Korean War. Mr. Owen worked for Sears and Roebuck for 20 years. Proceeded in death by parents, Benjamin Owen and Ida Ogle Owen of Cleveland, Tennessee. Survived by "beloved friend," Charlotte Cherry of Knoxville; sons, Steve, Bruce, and Jeff Owen of Knoxville; grandchildren, Josh, Seth, Lucas, Gabriel, Justin, Brad, Corban, Amanda Owen, and Jessica Owen Tate; 10 great grandchildren.

Grandfather Owen (or “Chief” as Seth called him) was a good man. I was thinking this morning about how much he impacted my life. I am sure he didn’t realize how much his life shaped mine. His service in the Army was profound. He served in WWII and the Korea war. No one can document what he went through because he did not share a lot of war stories. They held tough memories for him. Still, he was proud that he had been in the Army. He passed on that desire to serve our country to my husband. Seth chose to go into ROTC in college and to become an Army officer. Upon graduation, Chief commissioned Seth into the Army. It was a proud moment for both of them. It was something that I will never forget. (I wish my scanner was working so I could scan in a picture of the event.) Throughout the 10 years that Seth was in the Army, no one was more proud of him than Chief. He was a man of few words. He surprised Seth a few times by writing letters expressing his pride and gratitude. He would come for a visit whenever Seth was back in town. Often he would begin to talk about the Army and share stories with Seth that he had never shared with anyone before. They shared a common experience of being Army men. They shared a special love because of that. I am thankful for Chief and the influence he had on my husband. I am thankful for how the Army years shaped my husband. I am thankful for how they shaped me. I am a better person because of the strength I gained being an Army wife. I am thankful for Chief’s strength. I am thankful for him.

Come back later for my Thursday Thanks tank.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wednesday Words

"Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don't waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.”

Og Mandino, A Better Way to Live

Monday, March 03, 2008

Toffee Brunch Coffee Cake

My friend Amy passed on this coffee cake recipe. I cannot wait to try it out! I think I will put it all on my grocery list and make it next week. It sounds so delicious!

½ c butter
½ c sugar
2 c flour
1 c brown sugar, packed
1 c. buttermilk (or soured)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp soda
4 (3/4 oz) crushed Heath Bars
¼ c chopped pecans (optional)

Note: To crush bars: place in freezer, when frozen, place between foil and roll with rolling pin.

Cut butter into flour & sugars until crumbly. Set aside ½ c. To remainder add buttermilk, soda, egg and vanilla – beat well. Pour 1/3 batter into a well greased and floured mini bundt pan. Combine reserved mix, candy and nuts. Sprinkle 1/3 over batter. Alternate remaining batter and candy mix. Bake at 350 for 30-40 min.

Additional Notes: This is good if you add a little more Heath Bar than it gives it a little more yummy goodness. Also, make sure to either butter and flour the bundt pan OR use Pam Baking Spray. It can stick to the pan and is a mess when you take it out.