Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thirteenth (and final) day

On the thirteenth day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee...
1. I'm thankful for God's amazing patience with me.
2. I'm thankful for God's provision.
3. I'm thankful for a husband who's a giver.
4. I'm thankful for the Christmas season.
5. I'm thankful for the internet - without which I would lose touch with the world.
6. I'm thankful for my ears to hear the joyful sound of my children's laughter.
7. I'm thankful for my eyes to see my children learning and growing every day.
8. I'm thankful for my arms with which to embrace my family and friends. (and they're extra long arms too - I give good hugs)
9. I'm thankful for my nephews, through which I have learned that boys can be boys, with all their rough and tumble ways - and yet still be sweet, kind, caring and well behaved little men - they give me hope that I might be able to handle it if God blessed me with a son.
10. I'm thankful for freckles. It was one of the first things about Joey that I fell in love with; and now I'm thrilled that Elley's got an abundance of them from her daddy! But best of all is when Elley climbs in bed with me in the morning, pets my face until I am fully awake and announces "you have to pick your favorite freckle for today!", and I pick one out and then have to find and kiss that particular one all througout the day! Precious.
11. I am thankful that in 10 days, the stress level in my household should drop drastically.
12. I'm thankful for the person who invented toothbrushes - seriously.
13. I'm thankful that I made it through my entire thankfulness commitment! When I started it - I was silly enough to not realize that 1-13 blessings, on 13 days adds up to 91 things to be thankful for! I realize that it probably seemed that some of those days I was really scraping for things, and that I was so incredibly random about it all; and for that I'm sorry. But I really think that making this commitment forced me into an attitude of thankfulness in a whole new way!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Twelfth day

On the twelfth day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee...
1. Cookie dough in a tub.
2. Peppermint lip gloss.
3. 24 hr SuperWalmart
4. School vacation days
5. Poinsettias
6. On-line shopping
7. Children who get as excited over Christmas lights as I do - alright - almost as excited, they at least refrain from clapping.
8. I'm thankful for my wonderful church family who is bringing a potluck dinner to my house and is going to prayer walk through the greenhouse before the poinsettia show.
9. Tissues with lotion
10. The open relationship with my mother.
11. Frozen pizza.
12. Comfortable sneakers that help my feet hold up through a lot of shopping!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Eleventh day

On the eleventh day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee...
1. I am thankful for paint supplies - I got some crafty type gifts to make for Christmas and I'm so excited to start them!
2. Slippers
3. Though I know it sounds terribly shallow - I'm thankful for my jewelry - those lovely sparkly things remind me how valuable my husband thinks I am.
4. This week I put up my Uppercase Living phrase that says, "Happiness is being married to your best friend" - which is cool, but the best part is that Joey picked it out - and it thrills me that he feels that way!
5. I'm thankful for my very thoughtful inlaws, who are always happy to babysit the girls for me - and even now just offered to keep them overnight tonight so I can get an early start on shopping tomorrow!
6. I'm thankful for my dear, dear sisters-in-law. All three of them grew up without sisters - and I enjoy getting to show them the joy of the relationship that sisters can share!
7. I'm thankful for easy, nutritious breakfast bars - mornings are usually pretty busy here!
8. I'm thankful for toilet paper - sounds silly, but just think about how it'd be without it, and you'll be thankful too!
9. I'm thankful for nail polish - it makes me feel so feminine!
10. I'm thankful for cell phones - I'm spoiled by being able to talk to my hubby several times throughout the day and it's wonderful!
11. I'm thankful that I've got at least one kiddo big enough to shower on her own!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tenth day

On the tenth day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee...
1. I am thankful for the period of time that we spent as youth leaders years ago. Besides being a real learning and growing experience for us - we created some great frienships that are still thriving!
2. Dustin - we just received a video update from this particular "youth" - who is now in his twenties and working with YWAM in Texas. What a blessing to have been part of his life and to have seen him grow and mature and get to the point where he is now, working full time in ministry. He is incredibly talented and it will be exciting to see just how far he goes!
3. Ashton - she was a teeny-bopper when we first started with the youth; and to see how far she's come is awesome. She stuck around PA for awhile and was part of our church, but now she's back down in Texas at YWAM as well - being obedient to what she feels God called her to. She has really become a dear friend (despite our age differences) and I'm very blessed that in the very short time that she's home for Thanksgiving break - she's making a point of coming to visit me!
4. Laura - she was one of the older girls when we started with the youth - and we formed a strong relationship early on, and it has grown, and strengthened over the years. She is like family! She was even with me through my labor and delivery of Eva - we played Settlers - it was a good time. Through youth group - we also began a friendship with Luke - and got to watch Luke and Laura's relationship grow and then were blessed to be part of their wedding last year!
5. Rachel - she was also one of the older ones in the youth group - and since high school, she started traveling with a missions organization, and through them, met her current boyfriend and moved to Texas. We miss her dearly - and my kids are beginning to think that all the people we love move to Texas! But I am so blessed that through that time of being youth leaders - which we felt totally unprepared for, but felt that it was a need we could fill - we gained some truly wonderful lifelong friends - and for that I am so thankful.
6. And as I'm thinking about my friends from different aspects of my life - I have to include my "on-line" friends. When I was on bedrest with Eva for nearly 6 months - I spent a LOT of time on the computer, and I found the website 'What to expect when you're expecting', which has message boards for your due date month. During that time, I got to know a bunch of other ladies who were due in June 2007 - and we really formed a bond - we sent each other baby gifts when our little ones arrived and we still send Christmas cards. I have now been part of this message board for over 2 years! I have formed some really great friendships - Annette, Jenn, Deb, Denise, Amy, Angela, Tamra, Danae, Cheri and more! - girls from all over the US that I never would've met if it weren't for my difficult pregnancy with Eva. And I'm so blessed to actually have the opportunity this year to meet a few of them in person! So, I'm thankful that God took something as difficult as bedrest to bring me some very special blessings!
7. I'm thankful for the friends I made like 18 years ago when I switched to a private school in fourth grade. Anita was my Best Bud - though a somewhat odd couple we still make - since there's about 9 inches height difference between us! Our lives have gotten full, but I can count of getting a phone call about once a month, and catching up and talking and laughing like we just hung out last weekend. We've weathered college, dating, marriage, babies, new houses - and we stick. She was one of the people I called when my dad died. I know I can count on her for support, prayer and help if I'd need it at any point. This is what true friends are.
8. Another sweet friendship that I developed back in elementary school was with Mindi - apparently I felt some sort of draw to very short friends, as she too is more than a head shorter than me. But we too have maintained a sporadic, but strong friendship over the years. She too got married shortly after high school and we have daughters only a few months apart in age! Though she lives nearly an hour away - she was such a support to me when I was on bedrest during my pregancy - she came and brought food, entertained my children with a living room picnic, offered all sorts of help like babysitting and cleaning - and in general was a big encouragement. We rejoiced with them last year too as they added a little boy from the Ukraine to their family! We are so blessed to have their whole family in our lives.
9. Since this turned into a friends post - there's 2 more that I can't neglect. Miranda kinda happened into our lives about 8 years ago. Just out of high school, she had just gotten engaged to our pastor's son - and our pastor suggested that perhaps we could spend some time with Luke and Miranda, as another very young married couple. I can't remember which was first - them coming to Joey's birthday party or our after church pizza lunch - but after that we were hooked. During their engagement, they spent almost every weekend at our house. They are such a part of our life now! We've shared new babies, new houses, new jobs - even Luke working for us for a while, which was great fun. I was blessed to be able to be with Miranda when she delivered her first baby the day before my birthday this year! And I'm so blessed that their little Elliott will call me Aunt Bets (I'm not even sure if they know how much that means to me!).
10. One more friend to finish out my 10 blessings for today. Ang - I met Ang when we started going to Catacombs church about 19 years ago, and with our gangliness and glasses - we became fast friends! Our lives have taken some round about roads over the years - she went to college while I stayed home and had babies - but in the last like 6 years or so, we have had a closer relationship than ever. She is my art buddy - for several years now, she and I have worked together on the art projects for the greenhouse openhouse - and it's always a special time of laughing, teasing, and using our God-given talents together. This year, I had too much on my plate, so I am not working at the greenhouse to prepare for our poinsettia show - the first time in 10 years. And Ang has taken over with the artwork. I am so thankful for her. And speaking of which - she's here to drop off her kiddos so she can go paint!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ninth day

On the ninth day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee...
1. I'm so thankful for Jessi today. I had a fun day helping her rearrange her furniture and hang some things on the walls - and it never ceases to amuse me how well we work as a team. We joke that we are each only half a brain, and we need to "engage" the parts into a whole to function well - but it really is amazing how much more we accomplish together! If she weren't soooooo much older than me - it'd seem that we were twins! ;o)
2. I'm so thankful for the opportunity that we had this year to launch our flower business. I feel so blessed to be able to use the talents that God has given me in such a great way that I enjoy! And it's really been a stretching experience for me as well - because I'm sooo not a people person, and it's really forced me to grow in that area.
3. I'm thankful for Aunt Beth - who is not an aunt by blood - but treats me as one of her own regardless. She came to see my Christmas tree tonight and ended up hanging out for quite a while just visiting and it was such a treat to catch up with her. It's awesome to have people in your life that are such 'constants'.
4. And speaking of 'constants' - I also want to include Mama and Livie. In the season of life where we each are right now, it's hard to maintain the regularity of visits, phone calls and whatever; but when we do get a chance to get together,there's joy in the relationship of family. I know some families don't communicate well, and don't have close relationships with their parents and siblings - and though we certainly have our rough patches - it's such a blessing to know that nothing breaks our family. I don't know many other families that laugh when they're together like my family does - we've cornered the market on laughter.
5. I'm thankful for the peaceful season that I'm in right now. I feel like I actually have time now to relax, and I'm really enjoying it! I don't think I've ever enjoyed staying home as much as I am now!
6. I'm thankful for the wonderful new holiday tea I found - it's called Candy Cane Lane - and it brings me joy
7. As hard as homeschooling has been this year - I'm thankful that I have the freedom to educate my children as I see fit. I'm so blessed to have this time with them, and seeing them grow, mature and learn so much is worth the blood, sweat, and lots of tears that has gone into schooling them at home!
8. I know I mentioned in an earlier post that I was thankful for my family's health - but I just want to say again, specifically that I'm thanking the Lord for the health of Eva and Lily this year. Lily had been 'diagnosed' with some allergies and we were told that she'd probably have to be on a daily medication - we had her prayed for, and other than severe ear wax issues because of her tiny ear canals - we've had no more problems with the allergies - and in general, she's been particularly healthy! And as we come up on December, I can't help but think about Eva's scary episode last year - and I have to praise the Lord again for my growing healthy little girl!
9. I'm thankful that the Lord blessed me with creativity. I'm enjoying doing things to make my house more 'homey', and I am aware now that not everyone has the ability to do that, and certainly not everyone enjoys it - but I do, and I think that's a gift.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Eighth day

On the eighth day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee...
1. I am thankful for my kind and understanding hubby, who lets me start my Christmas decorating super early - my house is 90% decorated, including the tree!
2. I am thankful for the wood stove, though it keeps my husband extremely busy, and causes him to be extremely tired - it is wonderful to relax in a 70 degree house.
3. I am thankful for the little step stools that I'm continually stubbing my toes on; because it means my precious ones are still little, yet learning to accomplish things (like reaching light switches and faucets!) on their own.
4. I am thankful for the sharp little toy crowns of all shapes and sizes that I regular cripple my bare feet on; because it is yet another reminder that I have beautiful, girly girls with great imaginations.
5. I am thankful for the Erdvig family, the family that moved into the area this summer, and found our church; they are a joy to be around - they're challenging, encouraging, and fun; and the fact that they have a sweet little girl about Anna's age, when Anna really needed some girl friends - is an added blessing.
6. I am thankful for my dear friends Luke and Miranda; who are like family, and are so relaxing to be with!
7. I am thankful for my sweet niece, Kaitlyn, who is growing into such an amazing young lady - and is such a great influence on my own daughters - besides being a great babysitter!
8. I am so thankful for my wonderful church family, and when I say family, I really mean they're my family - they know the good, the bad and the ugly about each other and love each other through it all. It's good to be part of that.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Seventh day

On the seventh day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee...
1. Today I helped move my dear friends Luke and Laura into their "new" house - and I am so very happy that the Lord provided such a great opportunity for them!
2. Joey pretty well got the house hooked up to the woodstove today, so I am thankful that we can have the thermostat set at a wonderfully toasty 70 degrees!
3. Since starting this year of homeschooling, I think I'm more grateful for weekends than I've ever been in my life!
4. After helping my girls shop for gifts for "Operation Christmas Child", I'm so thankful that I have such sweet and tenderhearted children who are so kind and giving.
5. I'm so thankful for Uncle Dave's understanding; he was happy to tend the fire tonight to allow Joey to have a much-needed family night.
6. I am so thankful for the health of my family!
7. I am so thankful for the babies that have been added to my family this year - Isaiah, Rosalee, Rinna and Elliott (who is not related by blood, but holds this "auntie's" heart in his grasp none the less!).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sixth day

On the sixth day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee...
1. I am thankful for the person who created fleece.
2. I am thankful for the person who created pillow-top mattresses.
3. I am thankful for the person who created scented candles.
4. I am thankful for the person who created decaff. tea.
5. I am thankful for the person who created ibuprofen.
6. I am thankful for bedtime.

Ok - it was a rough day for the thankfulness blog commitment....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fifth day

On the fifth day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee....
1. I am thankful for Joey's job - crazy as it gets at certain times of the year (like now!) - it's such a blessing to have him right here all the time, and to have Uncle Dave as his employer - it just doesn't get any better than that.
2. I am thankful for Joey's handiness with pretty much anything he puts his mind to - he can run operate heavy equipment, build stuff, wire stuff, figure out better ways for things to work, and so many other things that he can do with his incredible brain and talented hands.
3. I am so thankful for Joey's incredible patience with the girls and often with me.
4. I am thankful for Joey's silly sense of humor; and he's such a good sport - as evidenced by these pictures!
5. I am just so very thankful to the Lord for blessing me with such an awesome husband - he's my very best friend, and I personally think he's pretty much the best man all around, not to mention, incredibley attractive as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fourth day

On the fourth day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee....

This is pretty obvious too - but thinking about 4 things that I'm extremely thankful for was pretty easy!
1. Anna - she is thoughtful, gentle, smart, silly, mature, graceful, creative and kind.
2. Lily - she is energetic, funny, inquisitive, graceful, sweet, out-going, and snuggly.
3. Joelle - she is silly, squishable, cuddly, caring, encouraging and freckled!
4. Eva - she is caring, helpful, entertaining and so adorable you want to just bite her!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Third Day

On the third day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee...
1. I am so very thankful for little girls who love their sisters. Today, Evie was not feeling well, so at naptime, I sat down to rock her, and sent the other girls up to bed. When I went to put Eva down in her crib later, I found Lily and Joelle snuggled up together in Elley's bed. When Lily got up, I told her I saw them sleeping together and she said that apparently Elley was "scared of something and I wanted to be a good big sister". Precious.
2. Candles - it amazes me how calm I feel when I have candles burning - I need to take out stock in the Yankee Candle Company...
3. Two words - whirlpool tub. Amen.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Second Day

On the second day of Thankfulness, my blessings to share with thee....
1. My precious dishwasher - truly and honestly I thank the Lord for this wonderful appliance at least once a day - it has seriously been a life-changing addition to our lives.
2. An oven with a broiler. I spent years longing for a chance to make tuna melts at home, though I did enjoy them immensely at Jessi's house - and I now can make melts to my heart's delight!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thirteen Days of Thankfulness

On the first day of Thankfulness, my blessing to share with thee....

Not to be pitifully boring, but I have to go with the obvious - our new house. As I sit here typing in my warm, and quiet house - knowing it's freezing and awfully windy outside; how can I not count that as one of my biggest blessings?! So, to be specific - I am thankful for thick solid walls and heat!

{I was going to post 1 - 13 things every day for 13 days of Thankfulness up till Thanksgiving - I was supposed to start 2 days ago, but our internet has been acting up - so I'll just go for 2 days after Thanksgiving then! :o)}

Monday, November 10, 2008

picture pages, picture pages....

I realized today that I had not posted updated pictures of the house for quite a while! I looked back at my blog posts and found that I had finished quite a bit more "decorating" since the last pictures, so I thought I'd add some for those of you who read my blog and haven't been to see my house in person.
In order - Lily and Joelle's room; my bedroom; Anna's bedroom; the school room; and the living room.