Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!! I hope that everyone has a wonder filled day focusing on the things that make life worth living.

Today I am so thanks filled for my God. His grace, mercy and forgiveness are beyond my comprehension but I am so thankful for them.

Today I am thankful for my DH (dear husband). He is the bestest! Just last night he tromped all over shopping with me and took me out to dinner and then this morning cooked a wonderful breakfast for the whole family...even making me heart shaped pancakes.

Today I am thankful for my children. I know so many sweet couples who are trying to hard to have children of their own (or had to go through so much to get the ones they have) and seeing the heartache that infertility can bring makes me focus on the gifts that God has blessed me with. I don't know why I was blessed like this (surely, of no worthiness of my own) but I hope I never lose sight of what wonders they are.

Today I am thankful for the country in which I live. Freedom...real freedom is what we in America have. I am thankful daily for the men & women who continue to fight and the sacrifices that their families make so that my family will be safe and free. I am thankful for those who have died in the fight for freedom, my freedom.

Today I am thankful for the shelter, food and clothing that I have been blessed with. I am thankful that I have access to medical care and that I can provide that to my children.

Today I am thankful for the "Belles", a group of friends who are scattered all over the world but found me when I was really in a lonely place in life and have continued to love and support me. Though we are all in different places and seasons of life our friendship is a beautiful thing!

Today I am thankful that I have a chance to really soak in the blessings and gifts in my life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How could I forget??? Another milestone...

Yes, DD has her Driver's Licence now. I took her to the DMV yesterday morning and she passed their required Road Test, took the photo and now...well, now the panic begins. She is excited to have crossed this milestone...Me? Not so much!

Today, even though she didn't have to go to school she was up early. She was getting all pretty to drive over to have lunch with her Daddy and (at my request) check out a store close to his office and their prices on slim Christmas trees (we have decided to put a slim one in her room this year instead of the full figured one she normally has), then she was going by Starbucks ( a girl has to get her fix) and the bank and post office to mail something for me. To say that letting her drive away - alone - was hard, is a major understatement.

Ho, Ho, stockings!!!

Last night DD and I were out for a bit of retail therapy and I found a great pre-Christmas score!!! New stockings for the whole family with each person's monogram accented with Swarovski crystals for only $9.99 each. Yes, $9.99! I have wanted to replace our stockings for several years (6 to be exact) but never found any that I liked enough to shell out the $ for 5 new coordinating ones. Since the arrival of DS#2 (6 years ago) we just let the kiddos use 3 of our previously 4 coordinating stockings and DH and I did without (yes, we are so selfless!). These great velvety monogrammed stockings (complete with coordinating tassles) are at Bed, BAth & Beyond I am so excited to see what Santa puts in my stocking!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Holiday (pre holiday rant...ah, uh...thoughts)

It is almost "that" time of the year! I have already read one holiday themed book. I finished The Christmas Pearl,, by Dorothea Benton Frank yesterday morning. It was cute and I did like the southern recipes included in the back of the book such as one for Mint Juleps, Breakfast Casserole, Red Rice...oh, and don't forget Light Fruitcake...yes, I actually like a good, southern style fruit cake (especially one that has been soaking in rum or brandy for a good long while before the Christmas season). I picked up another Christmas book today by Melody Carlson, The Christmas Bus, which looks like a good one. DS#2 and I have been reading Thanksgiving books nightly and we watched Mickey Mouse's Christmas video last night, no less. The movie Elf is slated to make its seasonal debut at our house tonight! Christmas music has already been a regular in my CD player and we have our Christmas Card photos scheduled.

I guess, truth be told, I am a holiday nut. My DH and I even got married in December so that I (ahhhh....WE) could have a Christmas themed wedding! I love Thanksgiving through New Year...or at least most years I do. Sadly, we have been known to get so busy that we miss the true spirit of the season.
The 1st couple of years that we lived back in the South, and closer to extended family and old friends, I think we tried to do all things with all people and it really stretched our sense of sacredness in this season. Last year was better. I really felt my family was able to focus on what the holidays are about ...starting with being thanks filled for all the blessings bestowed on us from our gracious, merciful Heavenly Father through the celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ's looking forward to a happy new year in 2007. I so want to have that again, this year.

This year brings with it new challenges and resolve on my part to not miss the truth in this season. Now that I am working, I won't be able to completely, totally handle all things holiday and my family just show up and enjoy it. I will need some help. I will also probably need to adjust some of my own expectations (because you know what they say about expectations...they are only premeditated disappointments). I may have to forgo the hand woven magnolia garlands that I do and find some lovely, lush pre-made garland (I actually saw some at Sams today that had some nice looking artificial magnolia leaves woven in!). I may have to do less than Martha Stewart meals and take advantage of some talented local caterers and bakeries (not to mention my good friend the Schwan man who brings all his frozen miracles to my door twice a month). In any case, I will need to be fierce in protecting and planning for our family time in a world that would rather intrude and steal it completely.

Of course, Macy's has had Christmas decor up since September, and I have even seen houses in my area that are already decked out for the holidays, but somehow that doesn't seem to be setting up for a calmer holiday season to me. I am not really sure what made me want to write on this topic but I hope and pray that everyone will do more with less and we will all be determined and intentional about stopping and enjoying the sense of wonder and childlike joy that surrounds being Thankful to the Lord, from whom all blessings flow, and lose ourselves in awe at the perfect and precious birth of Jesus Christ. Merry Pre-Holidays! my soap box.

Friday, November 2, 2007

It's that time of year....Pumpkin Farm Visitin'

Yes, it is that special time of the year when all young children seem to find themselves on a trip to a Pumpkin Farm. We are, of course, no exception to this rule. This week, after 2 other tries (both on rare rain days here in North Georgia), DS2's kindergarten class managed to make it to the wonderous land of where pumpkins grow!

Here we are on our way to take the hay ride (funny 'cause due to lots of people having allergies...there was NO hay). This was a fun one, though, because the man running it handed out some "I spy" papers with things for us to seek on our journey. The kiddos loved it!