Monday, December 29, 2008

Mondays Mania

For today....

This week's goal > to enjoy the rest of our school break.

I plan > to declutter the school books to prepare for the 2nd half of our school year.

I see > clean counters and bare walls. We took down the tree and decorations, so now I need to put our usual stuff back out.

I hear > kids playing upstairs. We have several friends of all ages over today. The hope is that they will all play happily so I can get things done ;^)

I smell > the lingering smell of syrup. We had waffles for breakfast.

I taste > a plan of having porkchops for dinner. I will use my new kitchen aid mixer to attempt mashed potatoes tonight. biscuits and salad will compliment our meal. note: I am not a cook, but I do try to make an effort ;^)

I feel > relaxed. My honey was home for several days. A great time for us all to wind down a bit. I am an organizer maniac, and our schedule has flown out the window the past several weeks which has been a great lesson for me to grasp... to go for the ride when needed, to enjoy the small moments in every day. Life continues to go on, so I am enjoying the scenery as I go!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our 1st Christmas with snow!
we had lots of soft snow at first! we laid in it like a bed but it was too fluffy to make angels. Later we had snowball fights. we built a snowman. we went sledding down our driveway we ate snowcones. then we made bird seed feeders for the birds.
we had lots of fun playing together.
by: katie

Monday, December 22, 2008

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!
Note: the kids are enjoying their slushy 'snow' cones, yet for the picture, TJ is in bare feet for the picture outside our back door...brrr! ;^)

Oh, such abundance of snow we have! It is so beautiful! I can't help but smile when I go outside... really, lol. Now, I am fully aware that when this stuff starts to melt we are in for a muddy, slushy mess... but for now?...

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas... yep, that will be most likely in our area, simply amazing for us 'rainy day folks'.

Christmas is quickly upon us, yet I can't help reflecting on "gifts" already received this blessed season!

Things that are making my heart smile this week...

*seeing T.J. rock baby Bryson to sleep.

*fresh made "snow" cones from my honey!

*My Katie-girl singing 'Away in a Manger'

*having Nick help put chains on my van.

*Andrew's expression as he recognizes the Charlie Brown Christmas theme song on the radio.

*T.J. cookin' up tasty hamburgers all on his own! Yum!

*Friends who call 'just because'!

*Fred & Nick shoveling our driveway; phew! That was a lot of snow!

*sharing weather reports with Joe (although, admittedly, I rather prefer if he were here with us already, Christmas IS in a few days)

*curled up on the couch with family and a warm fire, giggling about good times!

Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights James 1:17

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We seem to be extremely blessed this past week, even as our home budget is at it's very modest, God is good and faithful in all circumstances.

1) The ladies in our homegroup "treated" me to a generous shopping spree (with the guise of me not having a baby shower; yeah, that would be, like, last May~ they are just too sweet for words! ) which in turn gave me something lovely to wear out with my honey!!

2) A Mystery Dinner Train Exursion for Fred's Christmas company event. Our Joe and Miss Sara were also able to join us! (HA! Joe moves out, and Dad is still boss ;^)

3) Shelby, our sitter, gave us free service as a Christmas "gift" for our special night out! What a beautiful young lady!

4) Nana went all out for a craft day day for our kids! Picture frames adorned w/ sea shells and buttons... along w/ photos taken of the project-at-hand to place in the frames! precious!

5) We have snow~ the kids love it, and we are blessed with an extended visit with Joe!

6) We enjoyed our "annual Gingerbread Man decorating party" w/ Angie and the girls!! (Mmmm, the aroma was delightful)

7) Until this past year, I did daycare for years. One of the families that I cared for (3 children) has just given us bags of baby clothes, a high chair, and a playpen! All were very much needed and on my 'want' list! wee hoo!

8) A lovely, large, sectional couch gifted to us from a stranger ~ ALL of us snuggled on a couch for movie night will be priceless!

Wow, those are just a few of the most obvious blessings I am sharing... tomorrow I will share the littlest things that snag at my heart strings also...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bryson is 6 months old

Our oldest with our youngest...
sons...priceless at any age!

It is official...
Our littlest guy?
not so little...
22 lbs 11 oz!

Thanksgiving Day photos

above: Nick w/ mom (me)

above: our family piled on the couch ;^)

Joe and Dad (Fred)

Katie, me, and T.J.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Life's Blessings 101

ok... so I humbly admit that life for the last several months have felt like a rollercoaster (I do not enjoy rollercoasters by the way) ... clank, clank, clank, up, up, up we go, slow n steady, fighting hard to get my ducks-in-a-row (routines, schedules, children, my sanity)... then....whooooooosh!!! Ahhhhhhhh! Normal folks? arms flailing, hair swooshing, crazy laughter, going with the ride, so to speak. Me? white knuckled, eyes closed, screaming (more like hyperventilating at times). It never looks that bad at the beginning, and really it is not so bad after it is over, but during? it sucks the life right out of me. For the last two months the ride has been consistantly repetitive really (no loop-d-loops, thank God literally), yet draining none the less...
up-no one has been sick
down- there is always someone who is not sleeping, thus momma duck is not sleeping.
up-Fred is employed by a great company who treats us well!
down-he is working...a lot (really!)
up-we are out of debt, so to speak
down-root canals? broken windows? always something to challenge our budget.
up-did I mention that Fred is working a lot? a blessing in this economy...
down- his blur of work, eat, sleep, in the midst of my blur of holding the fort down (so to speak)
up-homeschool is going well...learning curves balanced, attitudes in check, willingness present.
down- I am so exhausted from cat naps through the night, minimal shower options, being a one-armed she-rah packing a 20 lbs munchkin (ok...just because he is a cutie pie doesn't make it any easier, lol) on my hip all day while multi-tasking anything at hand with my right side, that I don't have enough energy to push the education button to the potential I think it could go

-am I whining? ...yes
-too hard on myself?...probably
-selfish attitude? times
-grateful?... always

Give me the strength to be joyful always, pray continually, and to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is your will for me! 1 thess 5:16
In Christ Jesus' name, Amen

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Do I dare say "I love this time of year?"

~The Christmas music... although I do not enjoy it before Thanksgiving, I do truly enjoy the good ole classic festive tunes, My favorite... caroling on a haytruck, hot cocoa at hand, w/ my children aside us.

~The Christmas lights... although our own lights run on the simple side, my eyes twinkle at seeing fancy, eloquent, or creative displays of lights! My favorite... going to the local city's raceway display of lights; lots of visual creativity in the warmth of our own van (bonus: if I go late enough, the littles go to sleep on the way home ;^)

~The Christmas tree... although a challenge year to year to actually get one, a tree is a sensory pleasure to enjoy. My favorite... sitting in the still of the night curled up on the couch just to observe the little lights reflecting off of the ornaments (much like Jesus' light reflecting off of us onto our children).

~The Christmas baking... although difficult to not overindulge, it is delightful to receive a plate full of homemade treats made from the heart of someone who cares! My favorite... passing on my Grandma's special melt-in-your-mouth fudge making tradition to my own children.

~The Christmas Spirit of Giving... although we are not fond of the commercialism aspect of this time of year, we have, in the past, been over abundantly blessed during true times of need, thus... My favorite... blessing others as God allows us!

~tis the season to be jolly...fa la la lalala...
May the God of hope fill you (and yours) with joy and peace as you trust in Him this blessed season!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Andrew is "4" today!

Our simple guy... much like his dad! No thrill, no fuss, living the norm is a must. Birthday cards from the mail seemed to briefly shake up his mood?? (don't most kids LOVE mail?). Later, a simple gathering w/ his siblings and bestest pal Aria (w/ big sister Monique) was more receptive. He even let us sing "Happy Birthday" to him, and blew out his own candles.
Sounds odd to those that don't know him well, but he really does drum to his own beat... very active and imaginative, but truly enjoys his down times to himself, in which we have found to respect his needed space through out our busy daily life.