Romans 12:1-2

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2

Monday, January 30, 2012

Finished Not Complete

Christmas 2010, my Dad gave M and L a puzzle.  We started it last February when we were snowed in.

The puzzle has been on the dining room table all year.  I have slid it over for the boys to work on school projects, we've piled laundry from the dryer on top to be folded, and when we have company for dinner I just set everything right on top of the puzzle (I put the laundry away!).

Saturday night we made brownies and finished the maybe hundred pieces left.  Two pieces are missing.  M said that was pretty good considering it was out for a whole year.

 I told the boys that it was fitting that the puzzle was missing two pieces becaue our family is missing two - Grandpa and Nanny.

On Thousand Gifts - January 30

1120 Unexpected help with dinner

1121 That they still tell me what’s going on

1122 Invitations to play games on their Kindle

1123 Thoughtfulness to call

1124 A new Bible study

1125 Hearing how God called someone to our church

1126 Mission

1127 Knowing God is helping my hurting friends

1128 Telephone calls

1129 Amazing walks

1130 3 gifts found in Christ: salvation, hope, joy

1131 Working out before school

1132 Before noon: slipping into slippers during lunch break

1133 After dark: praying while ironing

1134 Being with Hubby during his triathlon

1135 That he was gracious about his car

1136 Finding new flowers for the headstone

1137 Spending time with Aunt

1138 Wearing jammies to work

1139 Testimony of salvation

1140 Godly examples

1141 Dinner out with another couple

1142 Finishing the puzzle after a year

1143 Being able to find humor in kindergarten

1144 God’s quick response to mine

1145 Media free time accomplishing its purpose

1146 Hearing how they have shared Scripture with friends

1147 3 graces found in my friends: attentiveness

1148 Knowing

1149 Shared life

Sunday, January 29, 2012

On the Home Front - January 29

A peek through my window…. It was another beautiful weekend. Hubby cleaned out the front flower bed and it looks great!

What’s going on this week… 100th day at school! And an anniversary of sorts…of Dad’s passing. Aunt and I went and put new flowers on his and Mom’s grave.

What “the boys” are doing… they’ve gotten their weekend chores done and have pretty much played video games all day. We’ve reinstituted no media after 6pm on Saturday nights so they are looking forward to seeing what we’ll end up doing together as a family tonight. We want to prepare our hearts for worship with our church family. Soccer scrimmage after church for L.

On my mind… After we dropped Hubby off to prepare for his indoor triathlon this morning (Sat.), I took his car and the boys to get some breakfast. The problem is his car is low, I am short and the curb at McDonald’s was high. I scratched and broke off a piece of the front bumper. I absolutely can’t stand it! He takes such wonderful care of his car (and everything he has) and I messed it up.

On my bedside table… James, Mercy Triumph, the new Beth Moore study.

I am richly blessed… God answers the cries of our heart so quickly.

I’m praying for… a friend’s husband who has had quite the ordeal with being ill this past week.

Our home… cleaned and ready for small group!

Menu planning… New month and I still need to do this. We’re having teriyaki chicken, rice, and broccoli tonight. I’m making chicken in the crockpot for chicken tacos/taco salad for small group tomorrow night.

A photo or two

Decemember 2007

Monday, January 23, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - January 23

This list is longer than normal because I missed last week!

1079 Writing ability and supplies to do it

1080 Walking by boys throwing rocks in an empty creek – youth

1081 Sitting with my family having dinner & celebrating

1082 Dinner on paper plates – none alike

1083 The heater kicking on now that it’s getting colder

1084 How the moon is still handing low in the sky to greet me in the mornings

1085 Daffodils

1086 Bright warm sunshine

1087 Assistants

1088 Slipping away a few moments with a friend

1089 Excitement of snow starting to fall

1090 Seeing the ground blanketed in snow

1091 L helping me with my coat

1092 Spending a few moments with M – playing and chatting

1093 The complete wonder of young children

1094 Can do attitudes

1095 Work already started on

1096 Responsibilities

1097 Fleece jacket when it was colder than it should have been

1098 A ride from our parking spot to theirs

1099 Three meals out shared together, time, conversation, and being

1100 Meeting families of dear ones

1101 Seeing God’s grace in their lives after all these years

1102 Standing on the pier close to the one I love

1103 6th time in Florida

1104 Crossing bays

1105 Patience when traveling (ours and others)

1106 His provision

1107 My early birthday present

1108 A year of God’s love applied after losing so much

1109 In any inconvenience I have absolutely no reason to complain

1110 Time to read for recreation and for growth

1111 One gift that made me laugh – Hubby’s silliness

1112 Sharing laughter together

1113 One gift that made me pray – work situations. I am so thankful that Hubby has a job and that I do (somewhat)

1114 One gift that made me quiet – pondering memories

1115 Acceptance and inclusion

1116 Time with my family in front of the fire

1117 A Friday evening at home

1118 Being at our final pinewood derby together

1119 Seven years of Cub Scouting

Saturday, January 21, 2012

On the Home Front - January 21

A peek through my window…. We’ve finally had some winter chill. It’s sunny today and not overcast though. It looks beautiful and tomorrow holds promise of being in the 60s. If you peak out my window and slightly over you can see the front door and would know I finally took down the wreath and put away the “Merry Christmas” mat!

What’s going on this week… Our church in action meeting is tomorrow night and I’m really looking forward to that. I feel very blessed to be a part of our church. On Friday, Hubby and I are meeting acquaintances from our college days for dinner.

What “the boys” are doing… L is using his Kindle while waiting for Dad to help him finish some chores, M is at a neighbor’s house (yay!). We just finished our final Pinewood Derby this morning. Sigh… L has practice this week and a scrimmage Sat. and M. needs to get busy on his poetry project! Almost forgot – we’re all going to a college basketball game tonight!

On my mind… Thursday was the one year anniversary of finding out Dad’s cancer diagnosis and it was much harder than I anticipated. Feb. 1 is one year since his passing.

On my bedside table… I read “A Texan’s Promise” while away and finished “The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow” (I must admit I skimmed a lot of it – never got into it). Last night I finished “Hearth at Candlewood”. This is probably a record of fiction reads for me.

I am richly blessed… Am enjoying using Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare to add to my list of 1000 gifts. Hubby and I were blessed to spend the weekend away together last weekend and to visit “boys” (who are grown men in their 30s with their own families!) from Hubby’s first youth group. I delight is seeing God’s grace in their lives!

I’m praying for… mentioned “boys” and their ministries. I’ve spent time praying for Hubby and the boys quite a bit this week. I do miss my prayer walks with J the dog so I am looking forward to spring!

Our home… In case you’re wondering I did get the Christmas decorations down before our trip last weekend (although they are still waiting to go into the attic!) I’ll be so glad to finally reclaim our house! We’ve enjoyed time in front of the fireplace as a family a lot lately and I’ve absolutely loved it!

Menu planning… Sammy’s Dish (Broccoli Chicken Bake) – One of Hubby’s favs that I started making as newlyweds. I don’t make it often now which make the boys glad because L doesn’t like the broccoli and M doesn’t like the onion rings! Tator tot casserole tonight, cube steak and bumble bee (shells) macaroni for lunch tomorrow and pizza tomorrow night.

A photo or two…
Very thankful to have taken these pictures a year ago.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Mile in His Shoes

"A Mile in His Shoes"

This movie is definitely worth your time.  Whether you like using movies as "Family Movie Night", to teach a lesson, are looking for wholesome entertainment, or have boys who like sports movies - this is the movie you're looking to see.

I guess this movie was on TV originally in the fall, but we missed it.  It recently released on video and I'm so glad my family had an opportunity to see it.  We watched in on Thursday night and again on Friday night!  My children (ages 10 & 12) only had positive things to say about the movie (including many uses of the word "cool").  You don't have to be a kid or a boy though, A Mile in His Shoes is is inspiring for all.

The following links and product description will give you a much better description than I could.  From me, you just want to know that this is a great movie - we love it!




Dove Foundation Review:

About Mile in His Shoes:

From the director of "Angels In the Outfield" comes an inspiring story about a special boy with an amazing gift, and the coach who believed. Dean Cain and Luke Schroder star in the gmc movie based on the book "The Legend of Mickey Tussler".

(From Anet again:  This movie is rated PG and I am guessing it is for a scene where someone gets hit - although it is not physically shown and for some mild flirtation.  I was completely comfortable watching it with my children.  If you have young children, they won't "get" the story line, but there isn't anything inappropriate about the movie in my opinion.)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Travels to Tampa

Hubby and I enjoyed our weekend getaway and we have both decided that we love the Tampa Bay area!  We didn't let the fact that it was COLD hamper our visit- Our big "to do" was to visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  Don't think "aquarium - lots of marine animals that are there for you to see".  The mission of CMA is to rescue, rehab and release and it was awesome to see firsthand the aquarium fulfilling its mission.  CMA may even sound familiar if you've seen A Dolphin Tale where it was Clearwater Marine Hospital.

The temperature kept us off the beach, but it was still nice to walk along the pier and to have all that uninterrupted time together.  Even with travel challenges, it all worked out great and we are thankful for God's provision for all the logistics.

We were both enamored by the sea turtle.

Winter doesn't do a "show" but visitors may watch her therapy sessions.

Loved seeing old friends and meeting their families.  The next pictures shows what had captured everyone's attention!

Our lunch meeting was kept a surprise from L & L - a fun lunch and a dear memory to treasure. (This post is missing the picture of one friend, but I'm not sure Hubby's phone has her - FB does!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Our First Snowfall of the Year

Even with this small amount, it was just delightful as the snowflakes started falling as we were leaving church last night!  At home we all peered out the window as the snow started accumulating in the back yard.  The forecast was for only a 1/2 inch, but we all dreamed of school being canceled in spite of the prediction!  On the way to work this morning I marveled at the blanket of beauty on the ground and rooftops.  Amazing how excited I can get over a little snow!

Last February I wasn't so excited about this much snow...

We will see what the rest of winter brings!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

And the Stocking Were Hung By the Chimney With Care

Except at my house when I was growing up we just hung our stockings on the wall.  We had a fireplace and mantel, but I don't think Dad considered it "safe" to hang stockings there.

I often clean house without focus.  Someone in my house asked me when I was going to finish my ADD bathroom cleaning. Lol.  Anyway, I saw the boxes in the corner of our dining room.  One was from early-February, 2011.  Hubby went and picked up my Dad's belongings at the Veteran's Center for us once the roads cleared.  The other box was from June.  After Aunt and I cleaned out our parents' house there were a few things I brought home right away...and there they have sat.

I glanced at the boxes tonight and decided I would start putting things away thus get rid of the boxes.  This was as far as I got...

I held the stocking and felt inside it.  Then I wondered what things must have been in it each Christmas when I was a little girl.  I'm positive there would have been a small memo pad each Christmas.

These were our stockings this Christmas.

I don't worry about the safety of the fireplace - just that they are too heavy for the hangers or that the dog will eat whatever candy is inside (has happened before!)

I almost love stockings more than presents under the tree.

I'll try again on the boxes another time.

Monday, January 9, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - January 9

Whew!  I've been in Kindergarten four days and I'm exhausted!  I love it though, and have learned so much.  I have much to be thankful for every day both at home and away from home and I don't want to let the opportunity to keep recording graces to slip by.

I've mentioned "walk" twice and take such joy in the time in prayer, exercise, soaking up the sun, and being with my dog.  We have had such unseasonably warm weather since Christmas - even hitting 70 a couple of days!

1060 A 7 wk. break in Sat. sports

1061 The Canadian geese flying dark against the purple and pink sky

1062 Hot tea

1063 Devotions before school

1064 Silly songs

1065 A day that went pretty smoothly

1066 My constant Companion

1067 I got a walk in today!

1068 Brothers getting along!!!

1069 I can do it!

1070 The sound of the soccer ball being kicked

1071 God’s peace

1072 Warm walking weather (still)

1073 A winter swim

1074 Visiting

1075 Hubby and L working on the derby car together

1076 Plans for a surprise

1077 God ministering to and answering prayer through a song

1078 M making the school Geo. B.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

On the Home Front - January 7

A peek through my window…. We’re still having unseasonably warm weather. If you look outside my window right now, you’ll just see that it’s dark outside!

What’s going on this week… We have lots of evening things going on and then Aunt will come stay with the boys (and the house and the dog) while Hubby and I go away for a long weekend.

What “the boys” are doing… watching NFL playoffs with Dad. M has a poetry project to start working on and he’s not very excited about it!

On my mind… Not feeling well – allergies and sinuses. I’m also thinking of L’s upcoming Arrow of Light ceremony for Scouts. I did the invitations and program for M’s so I volunteered for the same and am revising what I have.

On my bedside table… Still reading The Prayer Life of Agnes Sparrow on my kindle. I’m planning on taking the Kindle on our trip. I’d like to read another book I have on it (also gotten for free from Amazon) that’s called Unfriend Yourself – about giving up social media for three days.

I am richly blessed… Kindergarten went great this week! I’m learning so much and I have another long term sub job (ESL) lined up for March.

I’m praying for… our church. Today was the beginning of a 24 hour prayer and I had the privilege of having the first hour of it. Also praying for our new music pastor.

Our home… I got so much laundry done last week and there’s more piled in the laundry room now! The Christmas tree is still up! But hey, in addition to my prayer walk and L’s soccer game I was able to take care of meal planning, grocery shopping, banking, the Arrow of Light stuff, and reserve a hotel room!

Menu planning… Roast, potatoes and carrots in the crockpot. Chinese Chicken Morsels, Rice and Veggies. Sloppy Joes, chips, and fresh fruit & veggies. I found a great pdf or excel meal planner at The Better Mom.

A photo or two…

A couple of shots from Christmas Eve that didn't make the Christmas post.  I wanted to post a picture of the cabbage rolls I made on the 26th, but the truth is an appetizing picture of cabbage rolls just isn't possible! 
They tasted yummy though!

Friday, January 6, 2012

For Anyone, Regardless of Age

I actually started reading this book at my in-laws’ home over Thanksgiving. When we came home and I was given the opportunity to receive a copy for review, I quickly accepted. I have always admired Billy Graham and my husband became a believer in Christ through Graham’s ministry. About ten years ago we also had the opportunity to visit Graham’s Retreat Center, The Cove. The first thing I remember after driving through the gates is feeling overwhelming peace.

Nearing Home is all about growing old gracefully, what Graham has learned about aging and his desire to finish strong. As one can expect from Graham, it is written with a great amount of Scripture and wisdom. Besides the mentioned reasons, I was drawn to this book because I don’t recall seeing any other Christian authors writing on the topic. I am thankful for Graham’s model.

I am closer to 40 than 90, but this book can be for anyone! I particularly like how each chapter starts with a Scripture and a quote, how Graham encourages mentorship, and the description of Heaven. He also does an excellent job ministering to the heart when he talks about loss and grief.

As believers, we are all nearing our true home because each day here is closer to a day there and we don’t know when our time will be. Nearing Home would make an excellent read for anyone desiring to grow in their faith, regardless of age.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cricket Keeping

We had a "cricket incident' in our house yesterday.  (That's what M referred to it as when Aunt called and I was unavailable for the phone.)  I didn't blog it because I didn't have a photo, but now I do.

Yes, I know those aren't crickets.  But the picture does include son, L and his love for "animals".  The picture was of L cleaning the cockroach cage at his volunteer job at the pet shop.  Why would anyone have a "cockroach cage'????

Back to the cricket incident.....A few nights ago as we were returning home LATE, L declared his gecko hadn't eaten in days, but he had been asking and asking to go get food.  Really?  One of L's strongest character traits is persistence so I don't think the ONE time I remember him casually mentioning it as "asking and asking".  Since his pet store was closed, I took him to the other (late remember), but we had a dilemma - the small crickets were almost microscopic and the large ones were way too large (they aren't supposed to be bigger than the space between the gecko's eyes).

However, there was one bag of prebagged crickets (who woulda thought?) that were the right size.  That's what L got and only put a few in the cage.  No more problems, right?

Except when we went to get mealworms (what we really wanted as gecko food) L forgot his money.  Except when we got home from soccer practice there was a loose cricket on the wall in the hallway.  Except for the cricket bag had a small leak.

I told L to put the rest of the crickets in the gecko cage.  I had no idea there were so many! So - I had L get out as many as he could and put them in the cricket keeper.  This was the first time in five years that it was actually used to keep crickets!

Now for the incident that M referred to - L was already in bed when I could hear the cricket that was still in the hallway.  I told him that if it woke me up during the night that his name would be mud.  "What's that mean?",  he asked.  I ran to grab my camera to take a picture in the hallway and L bounded out of bed and grabbed the cricket that was closer to the ground now.  I called out for him to take it outside ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE STREET.  He made it half way across the yard, dropped the cricket off and ran back inside! He had bare feet and no shirt!

Now it's Friday night and one of the crickets that was still in the gecko cage was being extremely noisy.  Even L finally had enough and caught it and put it outside.  That brings our grand total to 2 frozen crickets, a few still in the gecko cage, an unknown amount eaten by B - the gecko, and about 15 STILL in the cricket keeper.  Once those 15 are gone, there will be no more cricket keeping!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hubby's Hands

These wonderful hands went back to work today.  Hubby is an extremely hard-worker.  It's one of the qualities I admire about him.  He's always careful to balance his work with caring for his family too.

Last night, Hubby started easing back into work - grading papers and such.  He didn't do much of that during break and I'm so thankful.  Not so much for me, but for him.  I think he truly feels like he rested and had a break.

Of course he finished a big project during his time off!  Over a year ago, he had the heater in his truck "fixed" (didn't last long) and those who fixed it cracked the dashboard.  However, they didn't take responsibility for it, yada, yada, yada.  During break, Hubby fixed the heater AND replaced the dashboard.

Thanks Hubby for being great at fixing things on our cars and around the house.  You have saved us thousands and thousands of dollars.  I think your hands are wonderful!

Monday, January 2, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - Happy New Year!

Numbers 1042-1059, really.  I still haven't figured out why when I copy in Word and paste here that the numbers change.  If anyone knows, please comment!  It is Monday and we all (including me subbing) go back to school Wednesday.  Although in some ways I am wishing for more time to give to my home (we really just took time off during this break), I am thankful for a sub job.  I am also ready to get back into "normal".

708 Lost water bottle found when we didn’t even know it was lost

709 Jesus Calling – wonderful devotional

710 Time with Aunt Friday and Saturday

711 Winning a giveaway

712 Safe flight (for Hubby and L in horrible winds)

713 New Year

714 Hubby working on his truck and detailing the car

715 Friends over

716 Vegetable soup simmering on the stove

717 Catching some of the Rose Parade (I love parades!)

718 After Christmas sale on candles

719 New things for church and work on the horizon

720 He said go to the conference

721 Sweet moments at bedtime

722 Answer to prayer

723 4 tubes of Nivea lip balm for $2

724 Purple sleep pants and pajamas

725 His presence and peace