Sunday, November 29, 2009

And we give Thanks.....

Some little misc. tidbits on our Thanksgiving weekend..... First off, we traveled with 3 crazy Indians.
After our wonderful Thanksgiving dinner - thanks GrandMom - we played Thanksgiving trivia and got to pick a prize from GrandMom's prize basket if we answered correctly.
We added a nice touch to Thanksgiving by mixing it up with a little Christmas giving.

GrandMom played game after game after game with the kids and they loved it!
Mommy crashed this weekend....
and more games...
Brian and his Dad were the ones that did the "get up in the middle of the night to do Black Friday shopping". Never could you see two more content guys to come home with flat screen t.v.'s. Here they are putting together an entertainment center. Thank you for the T.V. Christmas present Mom and Dad!
I peeked outside and found GrandMom laying beside our van while she was playing hide and go seek with the kids. To top it off, it was pretty cold and windy.
Taking a walk with GrandMom while the guys continued to work on the entertainment center and t.v.

GrandMom and Lindsey..

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Of Holidays past.....

Something I am so very thankful for is that my mind has a huge compartment filled, to the brim, of wonderful holiday memories. Only by God's grace and goodness I was blessed with a wonderful family who have always loved and served our Lord and Savior. Likewise, Brian has the same heritage and we just enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with his family.

While I could go on and on about all of my wonderful memories of holidays past, I have come to realize that many do not have that experience in their lives and even as I sit here I know of way too many who are going through some very tough times.

So....I just wanted to look back at a Thanksgiving and a Christmas that forever has stuck in my mind as ones where -even through some difficult circumstances - I knew God was 'walking it' with me.

I was a junior in college and my Texas buddy and I decided to surprise my parents, for Thanksgiving, in IA. Originally we were going to visit a good friend of ours in Maine, but decided that the weather may not be the best heading up North (this fact will be quite funny in a moment). So we leave Cedarville College, in Ohio, singing 4Him songs at the top of our lungs. We make it through Indiana and Illinois without too much trouble. Then one of the biggest Iowa snow storms ever hit on our way to my home.

Let me just say that it is NOT a good idea to travel in a major blizzard with someone from TX. She had never experienced such a thing and her exclamations just added to the stress. Between Cedar Rapids and Waterloo there is just about 30 miles of nothing. My friend had counted 25 cars in the ditch before I had asked her to please count in her head. The radio had to be off too as it really took everything in me to keep the car on the road.

We made it to Waterloo and I just couldn't make it the next 20 miles home so we pulled off to a hotel. The first one was booked up with stranded people. The second one had one room left. I still remember my TX friend opening her car door and falling into a hill of snow. When we got into our room we found out, watching the news, that they had just closed the interstate we were on. That just NEVER happens in Iowa so it just goes to show what kind of blizzard we had.

The next morning I snuck downstairs knowing it would take an hour just to find the car in the ice and snow. I gave great entertainment to the hotel clerk as I pecked away at the ice cube of a car. Getting in it finally and needing both feet to push open the passenger door. Whew! But I knew this all would freak out my TX friend and I was determined to make it home for Thanksgiving dinner.

We did make it that day. Surprised my parents as ALL their friends were telling them: "Aren't you glad Janet didn't come home in this." I handed my Dad the rental car keys and didn't drive until we had to make it back to college.

How thankful I was to first of all have a Heavenly Father who guided my car and kept us from spending the night in a snow drift. Secondly, how thankful I am that I have an earthly father who loved taking car rides with me every day from the time I got my permit at 14 until I received my driver's license at 16. Who would take me on gravel roads and he would get out of the car, take out his hankerchief and put it on the road, and then have me drive over it again and again to make sure I knew where my tires were. He said some day you might not be able to even see the yellow and white lines and really need to know where your tires are on the road. He also always had me drive on snow and ice. And for fun we'd even take the station wagon to an empty parking lot and do the best donuts. With a wagon, you could easily spin around 5 times. I have two fathers who prepared me and watched over me that scary night and how thankful I am for that.

Well.....this is WAY too long. The other 'holiday story' is harder to write. Brian and his Dad are the ones getting up in the middle of the night for Black Friday shopping. So....I'll shut this down for now and hopefully share another holiday tomorrow.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saying Goodbye.....

I guess I've known this, about myself, for awhile... I am not good at goodbyes. So if anyone has a handle on that one, I'd love a lesson in it. :)

Today we had to say goodbye to some dear friends of ours. While it is sad for us, we are so happy that they are able to go to where the Lord has their family. Last Tuesday these crazy friends even had us over to celebrate their son's birthday. The Dad even decorated the dining room while the Mom planned all the fun games. These are pictures from Tuesday night.

Today we had lunch at Fat Daddy's with a large crowd of their friends. It was a special time to spend together and we literally sat for hours as they awaited the time they would need to be at the airport. As the crowd dwindled down, we just kept refilling our drinks and the kids ended up playing 'duck duck goose' on the floor in the restaurant -- but none of us parents cared. :)

Please pray for this dear family in the weeks to come and all of their adjustments. I LOVE the fact that this family keeps eternity in mind and has little care and concern for this world other than sharing Christ with those that need Him. Our kids are sad and will miss these sweet friends as will Brian and I. We know it won't be forever.

Just tie a string on a spoon and have it go through everyone's shirts and pants -- and laugh until you cry!

Yes, there is a reason why we wrapped up 5 boxes of cereal in Christmas paper.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Laundry, laundry, laundry......

How did I get so far behind???
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Monday, November 09, 2009

"Flip in Fall"

It's this time of year I am so thankful for all Brian does around here, despite his busy work schedule in preparation for Christmas concerts. From taking kids to the dentist, doing triple coupon grocery shopping before work, taking over two extra rehearsals for one director that was sick and another director that threw out his back, doing all of the yard work along with setting up a tether ball pole for the kids. Doing math with Austin and being my tech support at home. Piano lessons for the kids.... Running off to Home Depot, for the second time on Saturday, while seeing me relaxing in the sun and catching up with a neighbor for a couple of hours. More could be said in just one week in the "life of my husband".
The entertainment factor alone is huge. The picture above is a good hour of the kids just laughing at his facial expressions after supper. The picture below is Brian trying to escape and not being too successful. When he gets home -- he is "on" until those kids get to bed.

And........drum roll please.....he is the one that always remembers that we have to "flip in fall, spin in spring". You know......the way you keep your mattresses nice for years and years to come.
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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Such a fun night !

We had the best time, tonight, celebrating our friend's - Sofia and Lily's birthdays at Build a Bear. The picture above is Reece right before picking out his bear. (He'd also just finished a celebration dinner including much cake and ice cream!)

So great to see Lewis and Austin join right in. Before long these boys will feel much too old for such things. Times to cherish for sure!

I loved spending time with some sweet friends! Brian and Bill joined in for most of the party, but did take a little time to sneak up to the Apple Store.

Here Lindsey is pumping in all the stuffing for her bear.

Reece and Sofia bathing their bears until Reece decides to stick his own head under the "shower" and bathe himself.
The whole gang at the end. What fun times!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Trophy Day!

The weekend before Halloween Lindsey and Reece had their last soccer games and trophy parties. This is a great time to have a second camera since the parties and last games were at the exact same time. I went with Lindsey and Brian went with Reece.
Lindsey had the best time this year. Awesome coach and sweet friends. The moms and I are hoping we can have the same coach and girls in the spring time. Their party was at a nearby park and it was actually fun to see the girls running around together NOT on a soccer field.

Reece had his party at his coaches' house. They were going all out with a brunch. While the girl's team had bagels and cupcakes (I know....strange combination.) the boys had an entire buffet. Brian was asked to bring sausage to this "men's" soccer party.
I love to compare this picture to Lindsey's picture. I guess the caption could be: "Boys will be boys!"
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Monday, November 02, 2009

Is this a sign......

that my kids want a dog????
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Sunday, November 01, 2009

A taste of Heaven...

Tonight the worship team did risers and the congregation had the privilege of worshipping along with this wonderful group for the entire service. As Pastor Horner said that our hearts came in one way and we left with different hearts. So true. All around me people were
wiping tears, raising hands and hearts to the Lord. Thank you Tina, Beth, Kate, Scott, Joel, and Sonja for the beautiful solos.

I just know we all felt like we had experienced a taste of Heaven.

Even so Lord quickly come!
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