Friday, November 30, 2012

December 2012 Bucket List


I am excited that the Christmas season is here!!  I Love Christmas time, but really who doesn't??  I am working on getting the decorating done and hope to show you some of that in the next few days.  But, I have been thinking about all the fun I hope to have this month so I thought I would share with you my December Bucket List.

 
Of course I kinda cheated with that last one because that encompasses a lot of our family activities for the month :)
 
I hope that you take time and make a plan of action for the month to spend time together as a family.  It's so easy to get caught up in the business, the hustle and bustle and forget to take a minute to enjoy the beauty and the spirit of the season.  We started this last year - making some intentional plans - and it was wonderful!!
 
Have a blessed day!!
 
 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Being Thankful

What a wonderful time of year!!  I've shared with you guys before how much I enjoy counting my blessings.  Looking back through the past and recounting my steps and God's hand.  But, until recently I've never really been what I would call a grateful person.  I complain a lot (about nothing).  I whine (about a lot of things).  Why do I do this?  Disposition? {Possibly}  Circumstances? {No - I know better}  Habit?  {I think so}  How sad is it that my habit is to be grumpy. 
 
A couple of weeks ago I started reading a book called "One Thousands Gifts" by Ann Voskamp{because I saw it in a post by The Nester whom I adore :)}  A friend challenged Ann, the author,  to make an actual written list of one thousand things she was thankful for.  She took the challenge and began journaling.  Just reading about the way her senses seemed to be heightened to even the "little" God moments that surrounded her throughout the day has inspired me.  I find myself noticing the positive side of even the most inconvenient moments.  And man oh man has it changed my attitude.  Isn't it amazing the effect gratitude has on our hearts?  I am working on making thankfulness my habit, because truthfully I have more things to be thankful for than I have things to complain about. 
 
Today I am most thankful for a Savior who takes me just as I am.  Who chooses to use me in my imperfection.  Who hears me when I call.  May I always be mindful of You.
 
I showed you at the beginning of the month our bare Thankful Tree.  Here is an update
 

Isn't it beautiful!?!  Look at all those leaves!!  There are all sorts of things that we have been thankful for this month and it has been great fun to document some of them in writing.  We actually used all the leaves!!  Next year I may have to make twice as many leaves because we are truly blessed, blessed, blessed!!  
 
Wishing you and your family a blessing-filled Thanksgiving!!  Turkey and family fun to be had!! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

17??? Oh. My. Word.

Today this boy turns 17...how is that even possible? He stole my heart 17 years ago and to this day he still takes my breath away. I am so proud of the man he is becoming.  Day by day allowing God to shape him and mold him.  Today I am collaborating with my husband to share 17 things we love about our first born - Garrett.
 

 
17. His adorable crooked smile, which he hates, but which reminds me of his grandpa - who had the same exact smile :)
 
 
16. He is an awesome big brother! 
 
 
 
15.  His humbleness.  He may be the best and brightest in the room but he would never say so.
 
14. His compassion - his is a bleeding heart like his momma - always hurting for the left behind and left out.


13. His determination - 2nd place is never okay.

12. He's a teacher - always willing to share knowledge with others.


11.  His love for the Lord.

10.  His passion.
 

9.  His faithfulness.

8.  His unwavering confidence in who God has created him to be.

7.  His understanding and appreciation of the simple things in life.

6.  He supports and encourages his sister and brothers.
 
 
5.  His strength to stand strong in his opinions and convictions even if he is alone.

4.  He enjoys just sitting and talking.  He appreciates relationships with people.
 

3. His faith-based outlook on life. He truly believes & knows in his heart that God has a plan for him.

2.  His good 'ol down home common sense. :)

1.  The fact that at the end of the day, when all is said and done, he loves his momma soooo much.
  
 
Happy Birthday Garrett!!  We love you and are so proud of you!! 
 (In case you couldn't guess 1-8 are from my husband and 9-17 are from me :))

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Our Thankful Tree

Hello all!!  Last year when I found pinterest I found these cute trees - "thankful trees".  I loved the look and the idea so I duplicated it.  And this week our "Thankful Tree" went up again. 

 
Counting my blessings is one of my favorite activities. Truly I have soooo many things to be thankful for. I know sometimes I get caught up in the aggravation of day to day living and I forget to take a moment and remember all the things in my life I have to be thankful for.  God has brought my husband and I on incredible path over the past 18 years of marriage with many twists and turns and bumps.  Sometimes (when we have a quiet moment just the two of us) we like to walk backwards through the path and connect the dots.  When you are in the midst of the mess it doesn't make sense and we wonder "what in the world?"  But, when you are through it, and on the other side of it you can look back and make that connection.  Those "oh, I get it now" moments are my favorite.  God is amazing and He always knows what's coming next, and next, and next.  Back-tracking and putting the pieces together helps me to remember that.  It's an awesome peaceful feeling to know that no matter what He is on the throne and in control. 

So, I really want to instill this thankful attitude in my kids as well.  I didn't have much participation from the teenagers last year so this year I have asked everyone to add one leaf to the Thankful Tree everyday for this month, and they cannot repeat themselves.  :)  If you have teenagers or pre-teens you know the constant mode of self-centeredness that they live in.  It's not their fault, they can't help it, that's just where they are developmentally....right?  Anyway, I hope that this will let them see how blessed they truly are, and right before Christmas when the lists start rolling in...
 
 
 
 
God has been really pricking my heart lately and stirring me to do more for the unloved.  I'm still praying and working through how all that is going to look exactly but I will most likely be sharing a little bit here.  Mostly I am just convicted that it is not someone else's responsibility to take care of these people, but as a follower of Christ it is mine.  I know I am only one person, but added to another one person, and another.  Well, you get the picture. 
 
By the way, I snapped this shot of my entryway/mudroom this morning before the kids left for school.  Here it is in action!!  Loving it!!
 
 
Praying that you take a moment to count your blessings, back-track over your life and put the pieces together to see God's hand.  Try it, you will be amazed.