Friday, December 4, 2009


When I think about the Christmas season it is hard not to think about gifts. As much as I don't want to admit it I have spent most of my life focusing on material gifts more than the gifts that truly matter. Not that I was so concerned with what everyone was getting me but what I was getting everyone else. Either way the focus was in the wrong place. To me Christmas should not be about material things at all. It is about recognizing the true gifts that we are given, not taking advantage of them, and showing appreciation for them. Like, the gift of:
  • Jesus
  • Quiet time spent with the Lord
  • My husband
  • Spending family time together
  • Looking into my children's faces everyday
  • Having close extended family and watching cousins play together
  • Prayer
  • Having Grandma and Grandpa geographically close (a gift we don't have right now but someday...maybe!)
  • Health
  • Life
  • Making a difference
  • The Bible
  • Public worship

    This is not an exhaustive list by any means. It is just meant to highlight a few of the most precious non-material gifts in my life. These are the things that are more important to me than anything material I could ever receive.

Pig Tails

Cutest thing ever!

Digging For Gold

Kaley loves finding long lost treasures in her diaper bag.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Daddy's Girl

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

We did not put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving but we did put it up the Saturday after Thanksgiving...close enough! The kids have been great with the tree so far. Kaley could not seem less interested so she hasn't tried to yank anything off of it yet. Braedon likes to rearrange the non-breakable ornaments along the bottom half of the tree, which we are totally ok with. We had a great time putting it up and we are looking forward to enjoying it for the next several weeks. I also setup all of my other Christmas decorations and that triggered a well needed decluttering session. So, the house is clutter free (for the most part) and decorated for Christmas. Yay!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving morning cooking Turkey and a few sides. We headed to The Snow's house later that afternoon and continued the celebration! Thanksgiving morning it hit me that I wanted to be more intentional about Thanksgiving, especially on Thanksgiving. So, I decided to write down each thing that I consciously said thanks for all throughout the day. It is so easy for me to think, of course I am thankful for this or that but to truly be intentional about it and say a prayer of thanks for those things throughout the day is something all together better. So, I wrote down this list all before about 1:00 p.m. Then, we headed out for the day and I got distracted so I didn't write anything else down. I can't stand that I failed again and let distractions get in the way of being intentional in Thanksgiving but I am a work in progress. God is not finished with me yet!
  • Jesus
  • Braedon's red hair
  • Kaley's smile
  • Family and friends
  • Great relationship with in-laws
  • My wonderful husband
  • Joy
  • Grace
  • Lovely
  • Leanne's surgery went well and over with
  • Andrew had safe travels
  • All things marriage especially marriages I know of that have been through it and are sticking it out and trying to make it better
  • Running water
  • Dishwasher
  • My husband's cooking skills

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kaley Turns One

November 9th was Kaley's first birthday. I ended up having to work that day and was heartbroken that I didn't get to spend the day with my baby. Once I got home from work we had cupcakes with a candle for her and sang Happy Birthday. Pam came over to help us celebrate. It was a short and sweet celebration but special nonetheless. Celebrating God's gift of life is always special no matter how, when, where, or how long. God, thank you for placing Kaley in our family and blessing us so much with her precious life. Let us never take for granted Your gift of life and seek to glorify You with it always. Amen!

Eating Birthday Cake

Friday, November 13, 2009

Opening A Present

Pam got Kaley a book called "God Knows Me" it is based on a Chapter in Psalm and is beautifully illustrated. Kaley had fun opening it and big brother had fun helping. Yay, we got a new bedtime story!

DNOW 2009

Our church does something called Disciple NOW weekend, abbreviated as DNOW. They are always in need of host homes and asking for people to consider opening up their home to a group of teenagers for the weekend. We had considered it a couple of years ago but were unable to. Last year I had just given birth to Kaley so I am pretty sure we didn't even consider it. This year we were excited to clean out the basement and make way for a group to stay in our home. At first, my attitude was quite simply that we are just filling a need. But, as the weekend grew closer I realized that my heart was bent toward the teenagers who God was going to place in our home for the weekend. I really began to care about their relationship with God even before I met them. God really gave me a heart to show them His love for the weekend. I have no doubt that they left here feeling loved, had a fun and spirit filled weekend, and grew in their relationship with Christ. God is so good and faithful to equip us in whatever area we are serving. Thank you God for giving me a heart for those girls who I will always remember!
In preparation for the weekend, we made a banner to cover up our storage in our basement. This picture is after we had tidy'd it up and I wanted something to cover up the stuff.

This is what we used to cover up the stuff. You can't read it very well but it says "Crazy Love" "DNOW 2009" and had the theme verse 1 John 4:9-11 written on sparkly red wrapping paper.

This is what it looked like with the stuff covered up.
We also blew up 60 balloons right before the group arrived. I didn't even have a chance to take a picture with the balloons but the girls really liked all of the decorations and I think it made them feel very welcome.

Mentoring Retreat

On the weekend of October 23, my mentor group and I traveled to Blairesville, Georgia and stayed in my mentor's lakehouse for the weekend. It was such a wonderful time of personal and spiritual connection for our group. We had quite time Saturday morning...without ANY interruptions! The setting was absolutely beautiful since the leaves had really started turning. We each were assigned a meal to prepare for the group and everyone made yummy, delicious meals so the food was fantastic. As a group we discussed our session assignments and our testimonies. It was fascinating to hear everyone's stories and wonderful to encourage and affirm one another. On Saturday afternoon we went to a nearby State Park and hiked for what was supposed to be 5 miles but I think it ended up being more like 7 (ish) because we decided to go a different way than originally planned. The hike was absolutely georgous and the top of the mountain was breathtakingly beautiful. We sang "How Great Thou Art" at the top of the mountain looking down into a valley of bright red and orange color. It was like a vision from a daydream vision...amazingly beautiful. Praise God!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kaley in the Tub

This what happens when daddy is in charge of bathtime. Bathtime is a lot more fun and we get some great pictures out of it. :-)

Pumpkin Carving & Roasted Seeds

We carved a pumpkin and then roased the seeds. Mmmm. My husband is a pretty awesome pumpkin carver and seed roaster. :-)

Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch and rode a hayride, drank apple cider, ate some pie, and laughed while Braedon made funny faces trying to pick up some of the pumpkins. It was a great time.