Wednesday, November 24

Christmas Cards!

Every year, I procrastinate with cards. It's not so much the acquiring of the cards - there is always some great deal going on where I can get a discount on photo cards to send out to the family - I love Shutterfly's Christmas card designs this year, by the way! I procrastinate in the updating of address lists, the sticking the cards in the envelopes, and the mailing of the cards. OOPS.

One year, I even sent some New Year's Cards. That was before kids, so you know this problem hasn't been a new one. A woman from my BSF group sent Thanksgiving cards this year, which I thought was a great idea!

Shutterfly has been a great company for me to work with - I bought a photo calendar one year for my parents with kiddo pictures in it - they loved it! Here's a desk version that would be a cute gift! You can ask Kris & Andrea how they like their crazy photo mugs we got them last year. Plus they are giving me some free photo cards just for writing this blog post - woo hoo for me! So go check out Shutterfly's website and see what you can create this season!!


Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and today is jam packed with things to be thankful for! My mom is coming over! Woo hoo! I know there are lots of little second graders and their families who are super glad mom teaches, and I am too - but I really miss my parents in the school year time. I'm glad their work is appreciated and that they are loved. I am also thankful for summer break and days off from school, because I love spending time with my mom! We have pie baking and side dish planning on the docket for today.

And then tonight I get to have some girl time with some friends from high school. It's been way too long, and I need a good laugh, the kind of belly laughs that can only come of laughing at your high school self from a new perspective.

Have I mentioned that I am thankful for our new camera? It's nothing fancy, but it gets the job done with more megapixels than the last model, so that is a definite improvement.

Then tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I'm ready with my 18-day long list of things to be thankful for! Do you have any special traditions for Thanksgiving Day?? I would love to hear!

Tuesday, November 23

Two Days

It's just two days before Thanksgiving. It's finally starting to feel like November in Michigan - yesterday was balmy, today it can be balmy in my heart. Ha ha. My parents are picking up the turkey today and I'm excited to try brining for the first time. Let me know if you have any great hints for this!

I'm always thankful for naptime, but today especially so. I am grumpy, very much so, and a nice quiet house and some time in the Word is the recipe I need for a great afternoon.

I'm super thankful for my husband, who, while I was working on a project last night on the computer, singlehandedly took on another project that has been sitting for awhile and finished it up. He is, without a doubt, the world's greatest. And not just because he helps me around the house. He loves us in so many ways - I am so thankful to be married to him!

Unexpected surprises came in the mail! I love freebies, especially from Pampered Chef! Woo hoo for Tuesday!

What are you thankful for today??

Monday, November 22

3 days!

Wowsa, it's getting really close!! We set up tables yesterday to make sure we had enough space for the people coming to our house for Thanksgiving dinner! It's going to be cozy, but we have room - as long as no one cares if we get out the front door or not, ha ha!

I didn't mean to alarm anyone with my post yesterday - nothing huge and horrid is going on in our house; yesterday's sermon was just a fantastic reminder to me of the sufficiency of Christ.

Today I have a list of more things I am thankful for!

1. Our successful refi. I feel like I've been beating this to death, but I'm very thankful! The additional funds came at the perfect time, there were (and are!) several items that we've been saving up for and the funds will allow us to have the money available when the needs happen, and gives us a huge head start on our savings. It was also nice to skip a payment on our mortgage this month.

2. Freezer Meals. Every Monday should have one. I know I'm not the only one who wishes Monday was more like just about any other day of the week!

3. Family close enough to celebrate with. And far away family, who, God willing, we will see sooner than later. We miss you, far away family!!!

4. My diaper sprayer. It's the little things, I tell ya.

5. To-Do Lists and timers. Helps me focus, helps Mondays, helps kids. Why don't I do this more often? I'll never know.

6. The promise of a good old fashioned GNO later on this week. Already looking forward to it! Love ya, girlies!

What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, November 21

day 5/ day 4

Combining days again because I am forgetful. :-)

Today in church, our pastor reminded us that sometimes, giving thanks has to be an act of the will. He reminded us that sometimes there are blessings, sometimes there is loss, and ultimately, everything is okay because God Never Changes.

I think, in light of that truth, He alone is enough to praise today - so glad I am able to know and love the God who never changes, the Creator, the lover of my soul.

Friday, November 19

6 days

I can't believe there are only 6 days left. That mess up in the countdown really sped things up (ha ha). I am looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving for some members of my extended family this year, complete with gluten free turkey (thanks, mom & dad!) and hopefully, at least one gluten free pie. Test baking of pie crusts commences tonight!

I am very thankful today!

1. for PBS, which made my super-fast cleaning spree a happy time for me and for the kids. Thank you, Word World!
2. for spaghetti squash and farm fresh butter. LUNCH!
3. for sweet little boys who ask to play tic tac toe with O's and R's.
4. for "I love you, mommy" several (hundred) times a day.
5. for the hugs that accompany the words
6. for makeup to hide dark circles
7. for God's grace to let me see the beauty of my simple, blessed life.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 18

8 days/7 days

OK, I realize it's getting a little ridiculous - I know it is a week away so I'm combining. :-) I have been counting the day AND Thanksgiving, but really we should not count Thanksgiving! Silly me, I never was any good at math.

1. Thankful for BSF and the Isaiah study. Today we were reminded that God has a plan, and He will prevail, that no one can thwart His plans. What a comfort in the midst of living in this crazy world!!
2. I am thankful that the kids love LOVE their BSF classes. And that they can be counted on to take good naps on Thursdays.
3. I love naptime! Ahhh, quiet house.
4. And today, I am thankful for the 5 quarts of Northern Spy applesauce sitting on the counter, popping away as it seals. Aaron helped turn the crank on the foley food mill. He's quite a helper! Tomorrow I may try pie filling.
5. Thankful for being alive and getting to enjoy my two precious boys, all day most days. The challenges are there, the craziness is definitely there. But I wouldn't trade these guys for the world.
6. Thankful for friends who don't mind sharing great coupons. (thanks, Erin)
7. Thankful for REBATES ON APPLIANCES that just came in the mail. Yeehaw!

What are YOU thankful for today??

Wednesday, November 17

9 days

9 days left and at LEAST that many things to be thankful for!

1. Junior Highers. I love junior highers. Tonight is our annual food drive, and I'm really looking forward to it.
2. Friends. ((HUG)) to all my friends.
3. Sleep. Just keep it coming. (ha ha)
4. Sunshine on this gorgeous November day.
5. Clean windows to see the sun (even if nothing ELSE is clean!)
6. Taking a few minutes to read the Bible. AHHH, says my spirit.
7. Reece's peanut butter cups. The mini ones. I need an intervention.

So, what are you thankful for today as we count down the days until Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 16

10 Days

Thankful for
1. Raw Dairy at great prices.
2. Friends willing to help retrieve said dairy items. (Thanks, Hannah!)
3. Green Tea Lattes (TIFFANY!!!)
4. Leftover Potato Soup for lunch
5. THE KITCHEN IS DONE (well, except the backsplash...)
6. The promise of sleep, t-minus 6 hours, and counting.
7. A great sitter who did fun projects with the kids and kept them happy and healthy while I was gone for a few hours this morning.

Praise God with me for little and big things today!

And yes, pictures of the kitchen will be coming - but, unfortunately...we have to replace our camera first!

Monday, November 15

11 days

Whoops. I WAS thankful yesterday, I just failed to blog.

11 days until Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for a nice, cozy bed. I'm thankful for a great weekend of getting things done - my kitchen and mudroom will be back to normal before I know it. And I wanted to post some photos of the kitchen this morning, but my camera is out of commission. SOON, hopefully!

I'm also thankful for boys who wake up happy, most days.

And for gluten free oats, which I will be having for breakfast.

And for produce co-ops, which allow us to afford more organics and more avocados. YUM.

Hurray, Monday!

Saturday, November 13

13 days

My feet are about to fall off. I am thankful for the ability I do have to stand and talk to people all day, even when it hurts. Praise God for healthy bodies!

I had a great day at a holiday mart - vendor friends getting together for an open house. I sold a few cash & carry items and got some great leads, so that is always awesome. THANKFUL for friends and opportunities to build savings in this way!

Also THANKFUL for a fantastic husband who played with the kids all day and then is willing to come with me to a Pampered Chef show tonight for couples - it's the first time he's been able to come, so I'm really looking forward to it! Hurray!

AND thankful for the parents (mine) who are willing to come over and make our duo-show possible.

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 12

14 days

WHEW! I just made it in under the wire today.

Thankful for a day off work for Michael, equaling a working sink and DISHWASHER, can I get an Amen??

Also thankful for the magical effect sleep seems to have on attitudes around here. Mine included.

I'm also thankful for my chiropractor, who adjusted the whole family again today. Evan LOVES the adjustments; actually, both kids do really well.

And one last thing - Lucy's. I found boxes of Lucy's Gluten Free Cookies for 49 cents at Blue Knight today. Sometimes I like to take a million hours to bake up fabulous gluten free snacks. Other times I like to open a box and eat delicious snacks that are gluten free. Emphasis on delicious. Which doesn't happen often. SO thank you, Lucy. And thank you, Blue Knight. The boxes still had their grocery store tags on them - $4.79.

Thursday, November 11

15 days

Today, it's easy to think of a BIG thing I am thankful for. It's Veterans Day.

1. I am thankful for freedom. In fact, I was just talking about this on election day with a friend. People have DIED because they loved freedom, and wanted YOU to have it too. This is something I cannot fathom, but I am so, SO grateful. For freedom, for those who serve, for families that sacrifice time with their soldiers.

2. This is a small one, compared to the above. I am thankful I am not getting a tooth extracted today. It was scheduled, but moved for various reasons. I am glad to avoid that today.

3. Another small one. I'm thankful that the garbage disposal is hooked up. These are baby steps, but GOOD baby steps, to a fully functioning kitchen.

4. My husband, who works all day and then comes home to slave away until late at night getting things done in our kitchen. Yesterday he worked on it after a long work day, and youth group. He's so cool. I love him.

Count down the days until Thanksgiving with me - what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 10

16 days

Counting down the thankfulness days.

Thankful for more steps toward a working sink and installed dishwasher, and for friends who barter services to make it less expensive!

Thankful for God's peace

Thankful for another step toward kitchen completion - knobs and pulls and baseboard were installed today! (don't you love these sneak peeks?)

Thankful for wisdom from God, in the increments we need it and in His timing

Thankful for new neighbors, which means the real estate market on our street is looking up.

Thankful for escrow account refund checks. (YAY!)

Join me in the Thanksgiving Countdown!!!

Tuesday, November 9

17 days

17 days until Thanksgiving, and I have a lot to be thankful for!

1. a fantastic husband who works tirelessly to provide for us - and show us he loves us in many ways
2. a short lived cold (thanks, neti pot and GSE)
3. a sweet friend who doesn't mind watching the kids for me even though she has family visiting
4. crispy fall air, and sweaters
5. the hope of a soon-installed dishwasher, and water connected to the sink.
6. These kids, singing at lunchtime. (we have a special family song based vvvvvvvery loosely on the first few bars - or really, just the title, of this. Yes, it's true. Please don't judge, just laugh, like we do.)

So, what are you thankful for today? Help me count down the days!!

Monday, November 8

18 days

There are 18 days left until Thanksgiving (including today), so I'll be counting down the days with some little lists of little/big blessings. Here are a few for today:

1. A nice warm house (we turned on the boiler and turned up the heat last week)
2. A nice warm QUIET house this morning for a few minutes before the kids woke up. Hurray!
3. Kids waking up happy and rested
4. Sleep, to heal the body
5. Delicious coffee
6. A fabulous kitchen, slowly taking shape despite my indecisiveness about the kitchen faucet. *grin*

Join me, if you like, in this pre-Thanksgiving countdown. Would you leave a link in the comments if you do??

Thursday, November 4

Far Too Long

Karen likes to do brain dump posts. I shall follow suit, for it is a great idea.

1. I've been doing nothing but surviving. Sorry about the lack of posts. It's all I can do to upload pics to Facebook and update my status. The kitchen remodel took over there for awhile, and will continue. We are waiting for our kitchen sink (4 more days!) to arrive at the store, still need 2 sections of countertop done, the dishwasher needs to be installed, and we have a few finishing touches on the cabinets. I am loving our new setup, still can't wait for regular function to come back to the kitchen. I'm excited to start using real plates again and making menu choices based on things other than how many dirty dishes I will have to wash when dinner is over.

2. The kids are growing and Evan is growing into the 2's. He's been such an easy going kid but last night in the nursery he pushed over 2 kids in those play cars. And yesterday during the day he scribbled in sharpie all over the hallway walls. I strapped him into his high chair while I scrubbed the walls with Mr. Clean.

3. I have 50 daffodil bulbs that still need planting. If I don't hurry, the ground will be frozen. Ugh. And, YAY when spring comes and my yard explodes in daffodils. We also need to get the foot and a half of leaves off our grass, TruGreen keeps "yelling" at us because they can't do the final treatment due to the leaves. Obviously, I have far different priorities than TruGreen.

4. My kids are sleep deprived, which is not good. I have no idea how to fix it - they have been waking up in the middle of the night, multiple times, and refusing to take naps. We are all so grumpy. Well, Michael's not. I am hoping that it's just the fact that the house is unsettled, we've been letting them watch more TV than normal, eating more junk than usual, and we all seem to be fighting off seasonal sniffles. I hope that is all it is. I'm thinking of turning them loose in the backyard until they collapse in utter exhaustion. OK maybe not.

5. I bought a bushel of apples and I hope I have time to can some pie filling before it's too late.

6. When life is crazy, as it often does, I want to take my family and go somewhere all by ourselves, to see no one we know, hole up and just be together, and forget about the craziness. Anyone else feel this way? But then I think about how much work it would be to go away and I reconsider.

7. My new fabulous washer and dryer wash and dry clothes faster than I can fold them and put them away. This is not a new problem - I had issues with this with the old machines. There needs to be a folder-putter-awayer machine. Can I get an Amen?