Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful Challenge - Day 27

Okay... can we say SLACKER! Yes - I am one :( I have not posted in quite awhile again! Soooooo, here we go :)

- my hubby was home for Thanksgiving this year
- a sweet e-mail from my mother
- dear conversations with various family members over the past few days
- overdue forgiveness regarding things I had not realized I was even harboring
- the freedom the forgiveness I have bestowed, giving me :)
- the sweet smell of a freshly bathed infant
- the blessing/curse of having too much
- knowing that though money is tight, love is abundant
- getting to attend the most loving and genuine church EVER
- watching my almost three year old play mommy - right down to "nursing" her baby
- holding a sweet baby in my arms
- my four year old wanting to attend "big church" with us
- the helping motherly nature of my eight year old
- the tender heart of my almost six year old
- trigger point therapy
- knowing I get to see a wonderful chiropractor!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Challenge - Day 22

After a long night with Sam screaming and writhing in pain, there is much to be thankful for!!!

- no pain for Sam this morning
- Ben slept fairly well
- an eagerness from the kiddos to get things done
- crafts with friends that turned out cute
- an understanding hubby of why our kitchen was a disaster
- 10 quarts of applesauce canned
- the blessing of being able to help others
- beautiful flowers gracing my table
- cooler days ahead

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful Challenge - Day 21

Today I am most thankful for:

- early morning cuddles with loved ones
- my four year old being a HUGE help to me
- having my school stuff organized
- my eight year old's desire to learn and read
- the joy of doing crafts with my kiddos
- hearing my youngest laugh at his older siblings
- sweet conversations with family on the phone
- a pleasant visit with friends
- a delightfully delicious dinner
- fresh applesauce
- a much needed chiropractic adjustment!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful Challenge Day 20

So much to be thankful for!!!

- a little bit of sleep this morning, after a relatively sleepless night
- wonderful Bible reading and studying time with the family
- delicious cream of rice cereal with homemade strawberry preserves mixed in
- the opportunity to clean my school stuff up, make applesauce, and catch up on some laundry
- not needing to go to the ER - Will knocked his nose pretty hard yesterday playing at the park, causing a nose bleed, and has been complaining of a headache, but seems to be doing well now
- watching my sweet hubby wrestle with the four older kiddos - what a joy to hear their laughter and watch them play together
- watching Katie and Lee pretend together - the stories the kids act out are hysterical!!! today it was "Mary Poppins"
- the helpfulness of the kiddos
- naptime - the three middle kids all took naps today :)
- hubby grilling salmon for dinner - oh my was it good!!!
- "stolen" kisses from my hubby - goodness I love that man!
- it is bedtime. With that, I say good night. I am going to feed my youngest blessing from God and go to sleep myself <3

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankful Challenge - Day 19

Wowsers!!! It has been quite awhile since I last posted on here!!! So much has happened during the last week... I'm going to try to include everything in my thankful list, but I'm positive I will miss some major things!!!

- the blessing of being able to help some friends
- the blessing of other friends helping me out :)
- the joy in my children's lives as they get to play with their friends
- the assurance that the money will be in the bank on payday
- being able to pay my bills online - oh it helps so much!!!
- spending the afternoon and evening with some dear sweet friends
- crafting time
- my hubby's willingness to overlook my messes when life gets hectic
- celebrating the birthday of special little people
- knowing that six months ago today, my sweet little Ben was added to my life - what a pleasure he is!!!
- knowing that while I may not be as good at some things as others, or as fun to be around or as "....." (fill in the blank), I am still loved by my hubby and kiddos!!! More importantly, I am God's creation and His child... He loves me and will one day welcome me Home with open arms!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Early morning ramblings

Have you ever sat back, looked at your life, and thought "wow!" ? A couple weeks ago I acccepted the thanful challenge, also known as the 30 Day Grateful Challenge. Perhaps this has heklped change my perception. As usual, life has thrown our family many curve balls! But through it all, our joy remains...

The end of October, Sam started having some health issues... and of course the doctors are all scratching their heads (seems like a common theme!). Through all of these trials, however, Sam has stayed a happy loving child!!! Don't get me wrong - when she hurts, she is whiny and fussy, but overall, she is taking everything in stride and keeping her cheerful disposition. I am finding myself focusing on the positives in the situation as well - we know she does not have cervical or uterine cancer... For those who know Sam's history, you know this is the third time in her short life (she is not even three yet) that the doctors have mentioned and tested her for cancer!!! But once again, God has seen fit to make it not that :)

Brad's work is being a beast. He works long hours and is literally on call 24/7. There is nothing quite like the cell phone ringing at 1 in the morning with the person on the other end calling to ask a "silly question" that could have easily waited until normal working hours, or they could have done a little research and figured out on their own. They are short handed, so he is stressed, but honestly taking it in stride. An inspection is coming quickly, meaning long twelve plus hour shifts, from early evening until the following morning, and yet, through it all, we are thankful he has a job. We may not get paid overtime (oh how that would our government further in debt!!!), but at least we are guaranteed a paycheck (as long as the government doesn't threaten to take it away again, lol). With all the medical bills we would be facing right now, again, what a blessing it is for Brad to have the job he does. Then, to top it off, he gets to retire in a little less than five years - Lord willing we will then be able to buy some property and live the life we feel God is calling us to.

Then there is the question of child salvation... what age is too young? Is there an age that is too young? Katie prayed for her salvation over two years ago... she was only five or six. Up to this point, she has had no desire to be baptized. We met with our pastor yesterday, and he "quizzed" her understanding. It blew my mind to hear her answer - she didn't answer by regurgitating what we had taught her, but rather took that information, applied it, and responded in her own words with an understanding that surpasses many adults' understandings. What a blessing and encouragement for us! And honestly, what a conviction by the Holy Spirit of how much more we need to spend in our Bible as a family and individuals. Katie has a tendency to read her Bible every morning and write her "biblical truths" from the chapter she has read - this is what she calls them. Wow! Every time I read over what she has written, I get goosebumps from how she really looks into the nitty gritty of what the Word is saying to her!!!

And then there are our two older boys - and my goodness are they boys!!! I have been told numerous times that boys are suppose to be destructive... I'm kinda glad, because mine certainly are!!! With that said, however, it ios frustrating in the mornings to look around and what I had not gotten accomplished the night before because i didn't have time... because too much had been destroyed. I am perplexed as to how I am suppose to get everything done in a day, without a headache, in a timely manner, without hanging some kiddos up by their toes :) But even after they destroy something, I still find myself being thankful that they are boys... God will use them for great things - for one day He will take their quirks and manly ways and work them for His Kingdom.

Of course to top everything off, there is the lack of sleep from my almost 6 month old, Ben, that is determined to NOT sleep through the night. Mind you, the other four children all slept through the night by 8-9 weeks... not Ben! And trust me, I have done some silly (aka stupid) things in my sleep deprived state! I have tried feeding the dog and starting laundry att the same time.... just so you know, dogs really do not want to eat laubndry detergent, no matter how citrus-y smelling, and dogfood does not do a very good job cleaning your clothes, no matter how crumbly it is :) And yet, I look at that sweet face and cannot help but smile! What a happy and content child he is! I would much rather take the time to feed him then not be able to nurse... or not have him in my arms at all!

And then last night there was our stove.... oh dear! I had made an apple crisp for desert last night... After the pumpkin seeds had been roasted, and while we were eating our dinner, I put it in the oven to bake. Brad walked in the kitchen to get Katie some more pasta, only to find that our oven was glowing... the heating element in the oven had caught fire. We turned the oven off - and yet it burned on. After about 20 minutes, the fire finally burnt out. When Brad looked up the part for this oven, we learned that it is "normal" for this to happen - and we were lucky it went out on its own! Many fire companies have been called out to people's homes for such issues!

So what is the point of my ramblings???? I guess I have written all of this to say that though life has thrown us curve balls, it is still all good! I've heard the old adage of when life hands you lemons you should make lemonade... I've seen others say that you can't unless life hands you sugar and water - otherwise it is going to be some sour lemonade. I say life does hand you all the necessities to make lemonade... Lemons = hardships, Water = God's love raining down on us, Sugar = our blessings.... So it all comes down to how we view it :) We really are blessed!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Yummy Potato Soup

Here is a recipe for some yummy potato soup - it makes 12 servings.

Cup of butter (we use unsalted)
4 C diced celery
4 C diced carrots
4 C diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 C diced potatoes (peeled or unpeeled - doesn't matter)
4 qts (16 C) chicken stock (preferably homemade - but if not, I would buy stock opposed to broth)
2 C heavy cream
2t sea salt
1C flour (I use gluten-free all purpose blend)
Toppings (optional): shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced green onions, crumbled cooked turkey bacon

Melt 1/2C butter in a stainless steel pan or in a dutch oven, over low-med heat. Add celery, carrots, onions, and garlic. Stir to combine, cover, and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Add potatoes, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Stir in cream and salt. Heart until steaming. Melt the remaining half cup of butter in a small sauce pan. Add the flour, whisking until smooth and thickened. Add this mixture to the soup. With a small hand immersion blender, blend until smooth and creamy, or put in small batches into a blender or food processor, until all is blended. Serve with toppings. YUM YUM YUM!!!

Thankful Challenge - Days 12 & 13

What a BUSY last few days! Whew!!!! Here is my grateful list for the last couple of days:

- baby babbling
- children's imaginations
- the beautiful Fall colors
- crisp cooler weather
- the sound of Sam playing with Ben
- Hearing "luv momma" from Sam - anyone knowing Sam knows this is HUGE!!!
- tightly squeezing hugs
- the way Sam is a little mommy to all her babies
- that Sam names ALL her babies "Ben"
- being fever free
- sleeping in until 8
- gluten free cake mixes since I forgot I needed to make one and didn't have time to make one from scratch
- celebrating the third birthday of a cute little girl of a friend
- seeing friends we have not talked with for awhile
- leftovers in the fridge so I didn't have to make dinner
- an early bed time (I'm talking 9 PM!!!!!!)
- the assurance of Salvation - including for Katie
- a pastor that will take the time to talk for an hour to our daughter!
- Will's desires to be in "big church" rather than children's church
- being convicted by the Holy Spirit during church
- picnics after church with other believers
- watching Ben discovering (and eating) his toes
- watching Brad play with the kiddos
- dinner in a crockpot

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful Challenge - Days 10 & 11

Lazy or crazy? Hmmm not sure which one describes me right now, but either way I never got on here yesterday to write my blog. So sorry :( So here is a combined list :)

- infant giggles as he plays with his brother :)
- my 4 yo trying to help around the house doing "chores"
- temps being gone for my 2 yo and 6 yo
- getting things pretty much figured out for a HUGE field trip (298 people ages 5 and older!)
- said field trip going relatively well
- enjoying the company of friends during said field trip
- the joy in my children's voices as they told their grandparents all about their day
- my oldest obeying what we requested of her even when her friends suggested the opposite (nothing bad even.... but she was told not to run at one point and when her friend wanted to go run, she told them she couldn't, and then later all the kiddos were told not to touch some things and a different friend, after looking at some items, offered something to Katie to look at and "finger" and she said she couldn't)
- yummy yummy baked potato soup
- the feel of the crisp cool air - LOVE the Fall!
- knowing that many of our friends hold our same values

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful Challenge - Day 9

What a day!!! Due to time restraints, I'm going to jump into what I am thankful for and fill everyone in through that :)

- an early start
- getting my field trip list broken up into smaller groups
- the gumption to tell the doctors exactly what I think about their nonsense!!!
- yummy coconut soup for dinner with rice added
- elderberry tincture to hopefully help boost the immune systems of the kiddos - especially Lee and Sam who are both fighting temps (103.1 and 101.5 respectively)
- early bed time for the same two
- for friends to gripe to :)
- for today to be over :) ready for bed - praying for an easy night!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful Challenge - Day 8

What a day!!!!! This time of the year never ceases to blow my mind and know me on my rear at the same time - so much chaos, and yet so many blessings! In a nutshell, still no answers for Sam, Ben is sick, Brad's work is bananas, I have too much going on and too much to do, and as always there is more month than money.... and yet I am so thankful for the blessings God has bestowed on us!!!

- a relatively good night of sleep (Ben was only up twice during the night)
- the smell of chicken stock simmering on the stove
- a sweet sister-in-law that mailed the kiddos boxed cereal
- said boxed cereal for breakfast so I could skip making it this morning
- children eager to say the pledges each morning
- a sweet hubby that stuffed the dishwasher this morning and ran it prior to going to work, since I was too lazy to do it last night before going to bed
- children old enough to help unload the dishwasher
- ACE school curriculum - such a great tool to teach little ones to phonetically read
- a speech therapist for Sam that is extremely kind hearted, and works wonders with Sam
- wonderful news regarding the health of one of my nieces
- sweet conversations on the phone, including one with a friend that I have not seen in quite a while!
- numbers figured out for an upcoming field trip (I think)
- walking with a dear friend
- getting adjusted by a superb chiropractor, who also adjusted my knee so I can start running again on Thursday :)
- fresh salad greens for dinner
- a sweet hubby willing to run to the store to get me a steak for my salad :)
- Ben and Jerry's ice cream (I really need to invest in an ice cream maker and learn how to make my own!!!)
- dear friends that will make me laugh when I'm down, will listen to me gripe, and will let me tell them my to-do list without poking fun at me :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful Challenge - Day 7

Some of the things I am thankful for may sound weird to some people, but.... well..... what can I say :)

- My middle son, W, had nightmares last night.... might sound weird to be thankful for this, but he had them due to a guilty conscience!
- Me being a light sleeper - weird again, but due to this I was able to hear my infant covering his face with his blanket and choking on it
- Getting up at 7 - this gave me time to get more accomplished today
- A good day of school for all three older kiddos
- my youngest daughter loving to pray before we start school
- sweet conversations on the phone this morning
- feeling normal... or that someone else is weird along with me :)
- sweet smiles from my baby boy, even when his temperature has risen and he is obviously not feeling well
- an enjoyable visit with a friend
- the opportunity to serve and encourage others
- serving a God that hears our prayers and knows our inner thoughts
- a hubby that has integrity and the welfare of his family and the desire to please God as his priority

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankful Challenge - Day 6

- Watching my children play together
- Baby boy smiles and giggles
- Being able to stay home with my God-given blessings
- Having my hubby home on the weekends
- Getting more appplesauce canned and pumpkin pureed and frozen
- The smell of apple cinnamon pancakes for breakfast
- The smell of chicken and potatoes roasting in the oven
- Fresh vegetables - crisp and tender
- The fact that I have given up soda - and have not indulged in any for at least a month :)
- Knowing our church is praying for our sweet baby girl
- The babblings of an infant as he discovers and toys with his voice and tongue
- The willingness of my hubby to help with the preservation of food and preparations for this week's school work
- The gentle but firm guarding of the children by our loving and loyal dog
- And tonight, for the upcoming warmth and comfort of my bed, blankets and pillow, as sleep takes over the wanderings of my mind

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankful Challenge - Day 5

What a hectic day - yet productive at the same time :) Even with today's trials, we have so much to be thankful for!!!

- Fresh 20+ lb turkey for Thanksgiving in my freezer
- Butter from grass-fed cows in the refrigerator
- 11 quarts of applesauce canned
- two fresh pumpkin made into pumpkin puree for pumpkins
- the smell of apples mixed with cinnamon simmering on the stove
- sweet friends that stopped by and visited this morning
- wonderful phone conversations with one of my dearest friends :)
- a bouncy seat that entertains my youngest
- a hubby willing to help me preserve our fresh foods
- the opportunity to join the CSA for the winter as well
- a daughter that loves to read - including to her younger siblings
- the joy of my children talking with their aunt on the phone
- knowing I get an extra hour of sleep tonight :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful Challenge - Day 4

What a day!!! S had her procedure today. Getting up at 4 AM was just not fun (especially after not going to bed after midnight). She did wonderful taking her versed and going back, though coming out of the anesthesia was not fun!!! She was extremely unhappy - as in screaming - and then got sick. Thankfully, after that, she slept. As for results... well... we still do not have answers of what is is, but we do know that it is not cervical cancer. We are thinking our next step is GI :( On to being thankful...

- An infant that slept for 4+ hours so I could get a little sleep
- little traffic on the road this morning
- a happy 2.5 year old
- nurses that worked wonderfully well with our daughter
- NO cervical cancer
- friends that took wonderful care of our other children - THANK YOU!!!
- family nap time :)
- leftovers so that I do not have to worry about cooking tonight
- a church full of people praying for our family
- friends that truly love us
- a God that knows all and sees all... that has everything for our baby girl planned out and can heal her in a blink of an eye

Thankful Challenge - Day 3

While I am posting this a day late, I wanted to do so anyways :)

I am thankful for:
- friends that are willing to run/walk with me
- an older daughter that can and is wiling to do her school on her own :)
- the opportunity to plan for fun field trips
- friends that I can trust to watch my kiddos over night
- the excitement I see in my children's eyes as they learn they get to spend the night with said friends
- friends we can spend HOURS talking with, on a regular basis

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thankful Challenge Day 2

Wow! What an incredibly relaxing day :) I spent my day enjoying friends via the phone and in person. Today is one of those days I do not need to "search" to find what I am thankful for!!!

I am thankful for:
- trusted friends that think of my family when they know we have "stressful" days planned
- said friends that call the following day to see how things went
- said friends to vent to, that I know will not repeat what I am saying
- leftovers so that I can quickly throw lunch together without cooking :)
- friends to craft with
- creative people that come up with incredible ideas that I can then copy or tweak enough for my needs, since I cannot come up with such ideas on my own
- this challenge, so that I can really reflect on what I truly have to be thankful for, especially in times where there are a lot of uncertainties
- an older daughter that desires to learn how to cook and sew; that enjoys helping with her siblings
- a hubby that doesn't think it is wrong to do the "womanly" chores in order to help me out


30 Days of Gratitude - Day 1

I have been challenged (gasp) to write what I am thankful for, each day, for the month of November. Knowing how hectic life is, and how pitiful I am regarding writing on my blog in any consistency, I realized the monumental task I have before me. At the same time, however, with the busyness of life, I also realize the NEED to remain thankful and to count my blessings, so to speak. And yet, here I find myself already a day behind, hahaha.

Day 1: Looking back on yesterday, there are definitely certain things I am indeed most thankful for:
- my hubby is not deployed, so though he may work crazy hours and is on call at all times, at least I know he is home safe with us
- a daughter that loves to read and write stories - I love her creativity and desire to learn more and improve herself
- sons that love to wrestle with their grandaddy and be boys - no matter how trying some of their antics are, I love that they are boys to their very core
- a father that enjoyed wrestling with his grandsons - what an immense amount of pleasure we all got watching them wrestle and hearing the laughter throughout the house
- a little girl that is not hospitalized this year.... this time last year, we were spending our days and nights at MUSC... this year she still has stuff going on, but we get to have her home with us, sharing her joy of life and love with each of us
- a sweet baby boy that loves life in general and is almost always happy - his smile melts any sadness or frustration away