Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Overflowing with thankfulness

"rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
Colossians 2:7

As I sit and think back on this past year of my life, there is so much to be thankful for. All the usual suspects are there; my family, great friends, shelter, all my needs met and many of my wants, a car to drive, etc. I could sit and write a book just about how thankful I am for my husband or for the amazing children that we have. But honestly, they are not what I most thankful for.

It's been an amazing year, but it's also been hard. The Lord has been doing some serious work in me, especially over the last few months. Ugly things have come to the surface that have required immediate attention despite my best efforts to ignore. And only by His grace have these struggles lessened a little more each day. He's given me new perspective and most importantly for me right now, a renewed sense of well being. Gentle reminders of how full my life is of blessings and to quit looking for the bad. I've come to the end of myself on so many occasions, and have found that His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

Today I'm thankful that I am rooted in Him. I am overflowing with thankfulness because He has once again done what He's promised to do. The Lord has strengthened me, renewed me and filled me with faith. He has been good!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Today Mathios is one-and-a-half years old. We like to celebrate happy half birthdays around here. Mati's seemed to be especially important since we weren't together to celebrate his first birthday. But we've made up for it today.

He quickly picked up on how this cake thing works!

Want a bite?

Smooshing it all together

As you can see, the cake was a big hit. So was the small present he got although he didn't know what to do about opening it. Thank goodness he's got a big sister to help him! Today also marks that we've been together for four months. How this little boy has changed our lives! We can't imagine our family without him and praise God for His amazing, crazy plan that brought Mati to us!

Happy Half-Birthday, Mati!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Reason #193 why my husband is the best...every night while I'm washing my face and brushing my teeth he crawls into my side of the bed and warms it up. Perhaps it's because he hates to hear the inevitable teeth chattering that will begin if I get into a cold bed. Or maybe it's the complaining that usually accompanies it.

But I think it's just because he loves me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas on my mind

Christmas is six weeks away and I can't wait! I've already been planning, thinking, and praying about ways to make this year special and wanted to share a few of the things I've found.

-The new Veggie Tales Christmas movie arrived at our house this week. We have watched "Saint Nicholas" twice and we all really enjoyed it. It's funny, engaging and reinforces the things that we are trying to teach Haven about Christmas and even about who St.Nick was. We own a few other Veggie Tales Christmas movies that I'm not a huge fan of. But "Saint Nicholas" is a great movie and I'm sure we'll be watching it a lot before Christmas finally rolls around!

-For the last few years I have received bi-weekly emails from Kids Craft Weekly. There are always great, easy ideas for me to do with Haven. Last year they rolled out a special Christmas ebook and I didn't buy it. But this year I planned to not make the same mistake! Six dollars well spent on this twenty page booklet full of fun ideas for holiday crafts. I can't wait to get crafting with Haven! And maybe Mati, too!
-One of Haven's absolute favorite things to do at Christmas is act out the nativity story with her Fisher Price Nativity set. I have no doubt it will be even more fun this year as we retell the story over and over to Mati. But I thought it would be neat for us to have another medium to use to tell the story and was thrilled when I found this set by H.A. Rey. Rey is the author and illustrator of the beloved Curious George series; he's a huge hit around here! This book has vintage style paper dolls that you punch out and fold. The interior of the book is a backdrop of the stable, complete with pockets to hold all the pieces. While we haven't yet tried this out, I know Haven's going to love it. And I am certainly already smitten with its vintage charm!

-I mentioned this book last year, but it bears repeating. "Come thou Long Expected Jesus" is a fantastic devotional to keep your mind and heart focused on The One we celebrate this time of year. I enjoyed it so much last year and am truly looking forward to reading it again.

-And last but not least, it's Operation Christmas Child collection time! We love being part of this ministry every year. Haven's been talking about it for weeks and coloring pictures to put in each of our boxes. A new feature this year is the chance to track your box and actually find out where it goes. You better believe we'll be tracking ours! Go here to find out what to put in the boxes and where to drop them off!

Happy preparations!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


After 20 minutes of hysterics, we finally got her to go to sleep on the couch with headphones listening to a CD of songs we made for her before we went to Ethiopia. It worked and within 2 minutes she was sound asleep. Once again, I'm thankful that my off-key signing voice is calming to my children. She's pitiful. I'm running a close second on the other couch with my snuggie (yes, I have one!). The flu has had us caught in its evil grasp 7 days strong. Praying that our capable, stalwart nurse doesn't succumb or we're screwed.

Praying for the feverish haze to lift...

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I usually love Thursdays, but not so much today. I've got two sick kids; and yes, I think it's the flu! It's been a long day spent holding hot little whiny bodies and trying to keep their germs contained, noses wiped and fevers down.

After a day like today there is no better way to end it then with some early Christmas shopping with your best friend and getting some amazing deals. The peppermint chocolate chip shake from Chick-fil-a doesn't hurt either.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Family Pictures: Round 5

So this is the last of the family pictures- I promise! Here's just a mix of family shots- me and Cale and then the kids together. Unfortunately, despite all our best efforts we didn't get a great shot of the four of us. We are going to try again sometime soon.

Thanks to Amber who did an amazing job capturing our family! We could not be happier with the way these turned out!