Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday Words

"As we pour love into a child's heart, what refills our own capacity for love? To offer love, we need to know how implausibly we are loved, and that it's not about performance or achievement - on our part or our kids. What lasts are little ways of loving--taking time to play, making "Incredible Edibles" or eating...sandwhiches in a tree. These efforts change the lives of the little ones in our care."Naomi Cramer Overton

I read this in an article in a mom's magazine (MomSense by MOPS international). The article, "What lasts," presented basic ideas about love that are as the primary as the primary colors. Yet it was very, very convicting to my heart. I think the idea behind it can even be applied to all relationships...we need to always keep in mind that we are loved beyond our wildest imagination no matter what we achieve. Just focusing on that could change the way we interact with other people we come in contact with.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Delightful Chocolate Chips

I found some very, very yummy chocolate chips. I had to switch brands because I cannot depend on Nestle to be peanut free. The Nestle chocolate chip bags have a peanut allergy warning on them. I found the Guittard chocolate chips at Safeway. They are so incredible! I like the taste better than Nestle. They don't have a peanut warning, either. I checked out the website and it states: "Guittard does not process or handle peanuts in our facility." That is music to my ears... and delight to my mouth! They are so yummy, you should really try them out.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank #36

Wow- I hit the floor running last Thursday and I really haven't stopped since. It has been a fun, fun week of cake and ice cream and cup cakes and more cup cakes and...well, I have one more cake to bake tomorrow! We have been busy celebrating this week. If I hurry, I might get this posted before midnight. I am not really sure why I am up this late...except that I needed to make a meal for a friend and I knew it would be really hard to find the time tomorrow. I think I will stop rambling and get on with my list. Here are some ways that my Thanks Tank has been filled lately.

1. Honesty: I had an opportunity today to be honest with myself and I took it. It came in the form of being able to recognize that I was signing up for too much responsibility. I was honest enough to admit that 'no, I couldn't take on that one more task.' That honesty was refreshing. I found out that my stress over the decision was unneccessary.
2. Birthday Celebrations: I have had fun celebrating birthdays this week. Both my oldest and my youngest boys had birthdays. I love seeing them bask in birthday attention. I also love decorating the night before the birthdays with my husband.
3. Good Doctors: David had an allergy/asthma doctor appointment today. I am thankful for the doctor we have. We are all set up for "grass season" now.
4. Noise: My house is about the loudest house you will ever spend time in. It has been a little bit much for my parents (I think). And yet, I am thankful for the kid noise. It isn't refreshing. It isn't relaxing. It is vibrant, bold, and exciting. I am thankful for the noise of my kids.
5. My parents: It is wonderful to have them visiting with us. I am so thankful for their time. It is fun to laugh with my parents, to hear their opinions, and to watch them play with the kids.
6. Les Schwab: This place is wonderful. I ran over a nail this past weekend. I went to the tire store. They patched the hole and rotated my tires for free. They were incredibly kind. It was refreshing.
7. Girl Time: I got to see a good friend from WA on Saturday. It was so nice to sneak away and get some girl time. The pizza and gelato were wonderful, too.
8. My hubby: I am very thankful for how hard he works (at work) and for how patient and encouraging he is at home.

That's it for now. My hubby can sleep through anything BUT I should really turn off the light and get some shut-eye.
Please take some time to be thankful. If you want to read some other thankful lists, go here or here... and be sure to stop by Without Fear to read and comment on Pam's 100th Thanks Tank.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

That's Nuts!

Apparently an 8th grader in KY thought it would be a funny prank to plant some peanut butter crumbs in a classmate's lunch box. The problem is that the classmate had a severe (and well known) peanut allergy. The 8th grader now faces felony charges. Thankfully the allergic student was okay.
Here's a link to the story: 8th Grader Plants Nuts
I can only imagine how the parents of this allergic child feel. I am not sure how I would handle something like that. Its just proof, I suppose, that we may do everything we can to protect our kids but some things are beyond our control. The best protection is still covering our kids in prayer. I am going to start praying for David's safe school experience now--before he starts school.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Wonderful Week

Where O' Where did my week go?? I cannot believe that Friday is already coming to an end. I had a great week. I was thankful for so many things. It is hard for me to think about the week because it went by so quickly. I was touched by a couple of emails I received by friends saying they missed my Thanks Tank. My Thursday was the busiest day of the week. I had a lunch appt, guests arrive in the afternoon, swimming lessons, and a evening soccer game. At the end of the day I had just enough energy for about 20 minutes of something. Instead of blogging, I chose to talk my hubby.

If I had written about what I was thankful for, my thankful list would have included things like:
1. My crockpot. This was especially useful on Thursday. (I had that wonderful Cranberry Chicken recipe that I posted months ago.)
2. Sinus medicine. Man, I had a sinus headache off and on for about 2 days this week. The sinus medicine was the only thing that kept me going.
3. Soccer. I love the sport of soccer. It is such a wonderful sport for kids, too. Everyone can participate. I love watching Jonathan play soccer. The boy loves it and plays hard.
4. Visiting Parents. My parents arrived on Thursday for a visit. It is so special to have them come out and spend time with us. I am very thankful that they can travel to come see us.
5. My Haircut. I got a haircut last Friday and I LIKED it. Every woman understands how huge this is. Granted, since moving in August I have only had my hair cut twice before this week. I wasn't too excited either time. This time I was happy with the haircut and really enjoyed talking to the lady that cut it.
6. Drive-thru coffee. This is sort of a confession. I didn't think I would admit this publicly (my husband will be so proud). I tried a local coffee drive-thru (not Starbucks because there isn't one here) and I liked it. I liked it a lot, actually. I am pretty thankful for my good drive-thru coffee experience.
7. Hospitality. As I was getting ready for my parents visit, I had a change of heart of sorts. I realized or recognized that my focus was off. We had so many things that we wanted to get done around our house that my husband suggested I make a priority to do list. When I did that, I put Hospitality at the top of my list. That changed my perspective entirely. For a change, I felt like I was totally focused on my guests and being ready for them. I am thankful for my heart tuning into what hospitality is all about.

Alright, if I don't stop here I might not get my Friday Photos posted before Friday is over!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday Words

Prayer is a passion of mine. At the same time, I struggle with a constant desire to develop that area of my life. I am reading "Prayer" by Richard Foster this week. Naturally, these words resonated with me because of the reference to children. I encourage you to pray today. You won't regret it. Have a wonderful Wednesay!

"Jesus reminds us that prayer is a little like children coming to their parents. Our children come to us with the craziest requests at times! Often we are grieved by the meanness and selfishness in their requests, but we would be all the more grieved if they never came to us even with their meanness and selfishness. We are simply glad that they do come--mixed motives and all.
This is precisely how it is with prayer. We will never have pure enough motives, or be good enough, or know enough in order to pray rightly. We simply must set all these things aside and begin praying. In fact, it is the very act of prayer itself--the intimate, on-going interaction with God-- that these matters are cared for in due time."

Richard Foster, "Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home"

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday Trivia

I started this blog so I would have a place to write. I intentionally created a seperate blog from my family blog so I would have a place for my own creativity. For quite some time now, that creativity has been missing on this blog. I think I am just going through a time where all of my creative energy (or any energy at all) is centered around keeping my sanity at home (I mean, of course, lovingly nuturing my kids!). Today I am sharing some meaningless trivia about myself. You have probably seen this survey floating around in emails. I am not planning on having "Tuesday Trivia" each Tuesday but I thought some trivia about myself would be fun for today. I got this wonderful post idea from my friend Pam (I seem to get so many fun ideas from her).

Have You Ever:

-Gone on a blind date: No.
-Skipped school: Yes- many classes in High School and many, many classes in college
-Watched someone die: only in the movies
-Been to Canada: No, I don't think so... but I feel sort of unsure about that... guess I better ask my parents if I went when I was younger.
-Been to Mexico: Yes. I took a wonderful trip to Cancun.
-Been to Florida: Yes. I have been numerous times. I was also born there.
-Been on a plane: Yes. I have flown many, many times on both commercial planes and smaller private airplanes (my dad was a pilot).
-Been lost: Yes. I would benefit from a GPS.
-Been on the opposite side of the country From where you live: Yes. When I was a kid, my family took a road trip from Tennessee to Maine. Most memorable places on the trip for me were Pennsylvania, New York, and Maine.
-Been to the capital of your country: Yes. I have been several times.
-Swam in the ocean or waded: Yes. Although I would rather look at the ocean that be in it.
-Cried yourself to sleep: Sort of. I have cried until I had no more energy left. Then, I went to sleep. (Maybe that's a Yes)
-Played cops and robbers: Yes. I am mom with 3 boys. I am sure I have done that at least once...although it is usally more robbers vs. superheroes.
-Recently colored with crayons: Yes.
-Sang Karaoke: No. Never done it and I don't think I would enjoy it. (I guess that means I am just absolutely boring.)
-Paid for a meal with coins only? Yes. I have done it for a meal but I have done it most often for a latte.
-Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? Yes. You will just have to wonder about that.
-Made prank phone calls: Yes. It was when I was much, much younger.
-Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose: Yes. That is not fun, either.
-Caught a snowflake on your tongue: Yes! I love snow! I think I did this the last time it snowed.
-Danced in the rain: Yes. I have a vivid memory dancing in the rain with my best friend when I was a kid. That is a happy, happy memory.
-Written a letter to Santa Claus: I am sure I did when I was a kid. I isn't anything that I really remember, though.
-Been kissed under the mistletoe: Yes.
-Watched the sunrise with someone you care about: Yes.
-Blown bubbles: Yes! Oh, I love to do this whenever I can. And, my college roommate can attest to the fact that I don't have to have kids around to enjoy bubbles.
-Gone ice-skating: Yes! Little Known Fact: I went ice skating on my first date with my hubby. (*I think he disagrees about it being the first date b/c we didn't actually start dating then.)
-Been skinny dipping outdoors: Yes.
-Been out of North America: Yes.
-Been in detention: Hmmm... no, I don't think so.
-Regretted something you blogged: No. I have regretted silly comments I have left, though.

I hope you enjoyed the Jane Anne trivia. Feel free to comment on any of my answers or ask any questions (though I won't promise to answer them!). If you have a blog, feel free to take this and use it on your blog and then let me know so I can read your answers.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank #35

Here are a few of the things I am thankful for this week:

John: My brother-in-law had a birthday yesterday. I am thankful he is a part of my family. I am thankful for him and how he loves my sister.

My Home: After about 7 months of a house without decorations, I am finally getting decorated. We have been rearranging and hanging pictures. The house feels more like our home now.

Trash pickup: Okay, this is a funny one to be thankful for – especially since our trash gets loudly collected at 6 a.m. Well, I was thinking about being thankful as I was emptying my trash yesterday. I imagined what I would have to do if we didn't have trash pick-up.

My Kitchen Counter: This week I have been winning the clutter fight with my most prominent kitchen counter. It feels wonderful. It is amazing how a little thing like keeping a counter clean can energize me.

Encouraging Books: I am reading “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs right now. It is thought provoking and encouraging.

Craft day: A few weeks back I was struggling to feel sufficient as a stay-at-home mom. It can be a constant struggle for me. The struggle is something like this: I stay home to be with my kids but my house work is often more than I can handle. I never finish the housework (always working on it) so I get frustrated about not spending quality time with my kids during the stay-at-home time. SO- a few weeks ago I instituted “Terrific Thursdays”. On those days I spend time baking with the kids or doing a craft with them. The day has been changed and my kids never called it Terrific Thursday- they call it “Craft Day.” That’s the long explanation of Craft Day. I am thankful for Craft Day b/c it has improved my contentment and because of the joy the kids get from it.

Washing Machine: I am not a laundry lover. I have to do laundry constantly. It occurred to me yesterday that life would be a lot harder without my washing machine. I can’t even think about that very long. So, I am very thankful for my machine.

Potty Training Going Well: This week I am very thankful for Thomas’s progress in the potty training department. He is waking me up at least once a night to go potty but I don’t mind at all. It is so wonderful to see him making progress in this area.

Faith and Prayer: I am thankful for my faith. I am thankful for the power of prayer. I am thankful for how prayer changes my outlook. I am thankful that I have confidence in prayer.

These are a few of the ways I am thankful this week. What are you thankful for? Take time today to think about it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wednesday Words

I read these words yesterday and it was a reminder I needed. I often forget about the power and endurance of the words of the Bible. I often don't focus on how Jesus is called the Word of God. To know Jesus, I need to have a solid intake of reading the Bible.
Forever is so comforting.

"The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever."

Isaiah 40:8

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank #34

Its Thursday night already and I cannot believe it. I think I have finally finished unpacking from our Easter/Spring Break trip to WA. I emptied my suitcase today. What a relief to be done with the unpacking and laundry. Last Thursday seems like a lifetime away now. I wish that wasn’t true because I had so much fun visiting our friends in WA. Anyway, I am really thankful for my visit to WA… so let me start my Thanks Tank list with that.

I am thankful for these things (and many more):
1. Our trip to WA: It was refreshing! I laughed hard. I relaxed. I managed some girl time. I played the Wii. I had Starbucks coffee often. It was wonderful!
2. Spring weather: It has been so nice yesterday and today. The temp even got to the mid 60s! I enjoyed last week’s WA Spring snow but I am even more thankful for Spring Sun.
3. Forgiveness: I am thankful for forgiveness. It is humbling to need to be forgiven. In a real way, I found that asking for forgiveness and getting forgiven is very uplifting.
4. Compliments: Getting a sincere compliment is so wonderful! Tonight (without prompting) my oldest child complimented my dinner. It was quite an outstanding compliment (and if you know him, the quote says it all). He said, “Momma, thank you for dinner. This meal is better than video games.”
5. Family Dinners: Our dinner times are not quiet. Our kids all talk at once and they get frustrated when we have trouble listening to them all at the same time. It is difficult for my hubby and I to get in any meaningful converstaion. Still, there is something that I love about sitting around our table together. I guess that’s it- I love the togetherness of our family dinners.
6. This Week’s Wednesday Words comments: Thanks to you, Carmen and Kim- I really appreciated what both of you had to say. I needed your words.
7. My baby girl: Honestly, I am thankful for ALL of my children. However, I am really enjoying having a baby in the house and I often look at her with amazement. There were so many different stressors I had with each of my other children (1st child-new parent, 2nd child-born premature and needed physical therapy, 3rd child- born 6 months before hubby deployed to Iraq). I don’t feel stressed with Elsie and it is just such a blessing!

This list is shorter than I want it to be but I promised myself I would get to bed before 11 p.m. tonight (we are out of coffee!). So, I have shared what I am thankful for… what about you?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wednesday Words

"It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?"
Henry David Thoreau

Here's why I am thinking about this today: I am constantly working on my time management. I am always busy doing something. Many nights, like last night, I get to the end of the night and I think, 'I still have so much to do and I didn't get to relax." These words from Thoreau remind me to be aware of where my time goes. Being busy isn't enough for me. I am going to try to spend my time wisely so that at the end of today I will be satisfied with my day.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Praying for his Girl

The other morning I began to seriously pray for my future daughter in law. One of my sons is a total morning person. I am not. One of my sons has a rather loud voice. I do not like loud noises in the morning. Two mornings ago as I sat there trying to stomach the noise and happiness, I thought, I better start praying for his wife. And, despite the humor in that, I did. I prayed for her. I prayed that either she is a morning person or that she develops extreme patience in the next 20 or so years.

I guess the good in this is that instead of getting more and more grumpy, I prayed. Now, I suppose I should pray at night that I can remember to be prayerful in the morning!