Let me start by saying, I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I love the smells, the beautiful lights, the music, the excitement and the spirit that surrounds us. One of my most favorite things is the music. I love it all. Music always touches my heart and takes me back to certain times in my life, be they good or bad. The Alabama Christmas album and Dolly Parton's "Hard Candy Christmas" always makes me think of my Oklahoma family. Silent night always reminds me of my ballet recitals. The Elvis Christmas album reminds me of Christmas morning at my mom and dad's. But one of my MOST favorite Christmas songs has to be, "Mary Did You Know?"
I will be honest when I say I didn't used to love it. It just wasn't one that caught my attention...until I was holding my infant son. I find myself thinking about Mary so often, especially during the Christmas season. Traveling on blind faith as her aching body was most likely pleading with her to stop. Giving birth to a son in conditions fit for a farm animal. Laying her sweet babe in a manger filled with hay. Did she know? Did she truly understand what this little baby was going going to do and how He would impact the world FOREVER???
I look at my children and am overwhelmed. I have no idea what they will become. But someone does...and I trust in Him.
Claire couldn't even wait to put a coat on...so I, mother of the year 2009, just let her go out in the 16 degree weather. I thought that since it felt like -2 degrees that she would come in very quickly. Apparently I was wrong. Apparently she is part polar bear and I had to drag her in! Cohen joined the fun for a little bit too! Hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas...especially you GRAMMY!!! We miss you!
Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a good ol' Christmas toot. I don't think this video EVER gets old. I realized today...Claire is going to kill me for putting this on the web. But it's so stinkin' funny...pun intended.
Now I must go and wrap some presents and prepare for a WHITE Christmas!!! (We hope!)
how much I love the Care to Learn Foundation??? Click on the link and read all about it. I recently found myself in charge of the Care to Learn project at Claire's school. It really is a VERY small time commitment with a HUGE reward. One of my responsibilities is to pick up our food and hygiene items for the month and bring it back to the elementary. I then stock our shelves so that the backpacks may be sent home each weekend with children who only receive meals at school so that they will have something to eat while school is not in session. Thursday was my first day. Thursday was also emotional because it was my Uncle Gary's birthday. Thankfully I was upstairs in the food pantry alone...because I was having a hard time keeping it all together. I got weepy when I unpacked the canned pastas and soups. I was misty eyed as I stacked the juice boxes and fruit cups. It was the moment I picked up two sticks of deodorant that I just broke down. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's the thought of those children who might be made fun of because they don't come to school clean. But really I think it's the fact that there are parents who can't provide the basics so that their children can go to school and learn without being worried about their empty stomachs, the way they look or even smell. Worse....there are parents who probably could, but choose not to. It seriously breaks my heart that there are so many children who are sustaining themselves all weekend on the stuff I was stacking on those shelves. So this holiday season...or any season for that matter...please remember the Care to Learn Foundation if you have some spare change. At the very least, please pray for the children in our area who go without. I pray that God will touch your heart and lead you to help somewhere this holiday season. Just to help you out...here are a few more links you could visit.
Today I am thankful that our sweet Auntie Karen is celebrating her 48th birthday. I remember this past spring very vividly. I got news that Karen had received a diagnosis of breast cancer. I sobbed for a short while because I didn't want her to have to go through this. But then I stopped and prayed. God reminded me of HIS power and of Karen's faith in HIM. She did her chemo, dealt with the sickness and all the other lovely side effects, rang the survivor bell and is currently growing some new hair! All the while taking pictures for people and creating memories they will treasure for a lifetime!
In the words of Cohen, "OH I just love that Auntie Karen!"
Today I am SO thankful that my kids still mess up the words to Christmas songs. We were listening to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" today in the car. All of the sudden, Claire busts up laughing. "MOM!!! That guy just said TIGHTIES!"
"Ohhhh TIGHTIES of comfort and joy!!"
If I sold underwear, that would totally be in my jingle.
Today I am thankful to have my husband home. He's been gone for five nights and it was COLD without him here. It wasn't too lonely because I have two little yahoos running around and a host of family to keep me company. Which brings me to my next thankFULL. I am so thankful for my momma who came over to help me drag all my Christmas stuff upstairs. My house is starting to look a LOT like Christmas. YES, it is the week before Thanksgiving, but I LOVE to decorate for Christmas and I want to be able to enjoy it for as long as possible. Which reminds me, I am also thankful that I got two beautiful strands of garland from Sam's last year! PERFECT for my new banister!
Okay...so I am a few days behind. BUT I have a good excuse and it goes by the name of migraine headache! I got one Sunday and was just not into looking at a computer screen!
On Sunday, I was thankful that I have finally found a medicine that works on my migraines. But most of all, I was SO thankful to wake up with my mom milling around in my kitchen! She made me a cup of coffee and we had the best day! She had spent the night because it was opening weekend 'round these parts! I vote that this is a new tradition...we loved it so much!
On Monday, I was SO thankful when I picked up my girl at school and she had the best day! She was also VERY excited to get to the eye doctor. She will continue to wear her glasses and she picked out a new pair that are ADORABLE! I am thankful that I do not have to choose between glasses for my child and food on the table. I am amazed everyday at the goodness of our Lord.
Today, I am thankful for my cousin Amy. I have mentioned her before in THIS post and I adore her. My kids adore her. We spent the evening drinking cream soda, eating ham and cheese croissants off of Mickey Mouse plates and coloring Shrinky Dinks. We managed to have a few meaningful conversations about life and God. The evening was wonderful. Thank you Jesus for surrounding me with so many wonderful people!
Today I am thankful for my home. I never imagined it would feel SO much like "home" so quickly. When I drive into our neighborhood, I still shake my head and pinch myself. I can't believe this is my life. I love it here so much. Whether it be entertaining for holidays, hosting parties to raise money or collect items for children and families in need or simply having out of town guests (hint hint!!!) I can't wait to share this amazing space that God has blessed us with!!! For this...even ALL the hardwood floors...I am thankful!
If you can't tell, this is a roaring fire in front of two of my 3 favorite men. It's my little brother and my husband and the picture was taken by my dad...the other favorite man in my life. I'm thankful that I was (and still am) daddy's girl. I am thankful that I had a brother just 26 months younger than me to grow up with. I am thankful to have the love of a man who is good for so many reasons. MOST of all, I am thankful that they love each other enough that I'm not the least bit worried about them being in the woods together...with guns.
Until Thanksgiving I will be posting one thing each day that I am thankful for.
Today, on Veteran's Day, I am thankful for the brave men and women who have fought or are fighting for our country. Without them, I may not have the freedom to post my opinions here for all to see. I am also extremely thankful for their families and friends at home who are taking care of business at home. There are SO many out there who are raising children, celebrating holidays, giving birth, witnessing baby's firsts without their spouses by their side. I am thankful that they are strong enough to do this. It amazes me. Jana M., Kristen S., Lori W....you are my heroes. You are 3 of the strongest women I know. Thank YOU for your service to our country! I guess Bryce, Montana and Michael are pretty awesome too!!
Here are Cohen's school pictures! This would have been the day that we walked into preschool and I said, "Oh Cohen, all of your friends look soo...nice....OH NO!!!" That is when I realized it was picture day. The under armour shirt and tear away warm up pants were NOT gonna do! So I ran at breakneck speed to Kohl's and purchased a new outfit. I returned 17 minutes later and only had to spend $23!!! It was worth it. Heather Robbins always does a great job!
There she goes. My girl. She is sweet and sassy. Quiet but strong. She works hard at school. Can't wait to learn to read. Loves animals. Has her own sense of style that I hope never goes away. The boy that talks all the time sits next to her and she tells him to be quiet. (I witnessed it myself) She is VERY careful with library books. She loves Spanish, art and P.E. She loves her teacher. She wants a bunny. She wants to name her bunny Brian. She is generous. I. LOVE. HER.
A few weeks ago, we kicked off October with an 80's themed 30th birthday party for Brian's cousin Cory. Did we have fun? I'll let you be the judge. Big Daddy. Me. Jenny. Doesn't get anymore 80's than this. Cory. (He and Big Daddy had NO idea they got the same pants...a treat for everyone!) Janel. Me. Hair.
My Karaoke performance.
Costume Parade at Pre-School.
Claire's Fall Party
Halloween at our house!
Lunch: Super Sweet Snake Sandwich
Claire, Drew, Cohen, Chandler, Levi and Livi. (Not pictured:Carston)
Cohen decided that this was the haunted mansion.
We had a great month and I CAN'T WAIT for November and December! So much to look forward to and be SO thankful for!