Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hi There, Remember Me?

Well, I'm pretty sure some of you didn't even notice I was gone...because you, like me, have probably busy scurrying around in the November hustle and bustle!  But for those of you who may have noticed it has been two weeks since I stopped by, let me just say it is not because I didn't want to sit down in my green chair and write.  No, it's just that like for many of you wives and moms out there, this time of year is FULL and basically non-stop.  That being said, I am so grateful that this week is Thanksgiving break.  What a welcome blessing this week off of school and regularly scheduled routines is during this season!  I know we all need it!

I thought I'd share a little bit of what has been going on the past couple weeks, so I will remember life as it was this November.  Here are some snapshots of moments in the life of an absentee blogger.  Hopefully I won't bore you to tears. You may want to grab a Christmas decorating magazine, just in case...  :)

Let's see.  The past couple of weeks I....

*have been craving raw vegetables.  With dip of course.  Broccoli, cucumbers, carrots.   I have especially been craving tomatoes, and have eaten so many that I think I have a deficiency of some sort.  Lycopene maybe?  At any rate, I have definitely been getting my five a day!  And my share of light sour cream and ranch seasoning, ahem.

*discovered that half a bag of steam-in-the-bag broccoli mixed with a can of Campbell's cream of potato soup (prepared as directed with milk and sprinkled with sea salt) makes a nice, big, warm bowl of goodness for lunch.

*have been opening my windows much of the time.  For the most part, it has been breezy and beautiful here!  A few days have gotten a little too warm, but we've mainly had a lot of high 60's and low 70's with strong breezes that rush through my windows and make me happy.

*got to share lunch with our friend Debbie, who is a walking miracle.  Miss Debbie was Trevor's Sunday School teacher when she suffered a massive heart attack during which she was without a pulse for several minutes.  They shocked her multiple times to revive her and did a cooling process on her body to try to help prevent total brain damage.  During her coma and long stay in the hospital, Trev and Madi prayed their little hearts out for this dear lady, and spent many visits in the waiting room of the hospital with Miss Debbie's husband and family.  By the grace of God, Miss Debbie defied the odds and the doctors' predictions, woke up, and has made unbelievable strides in recovery.  She has her struggles...but the doctors' literally refer to her as a miracle.  Trev joined us at a very charming tea room to celebrate Miss Debbie's birthday for a special lunch, and he was in rare form.  We laughed so much and the restaurant staff was ready to take him home!  Debbie had the grandest time, and it was an afternoon well spent.

*got to share in Trevor's Harvest Gathering at school.  What a treat for our family!!  He has two fabulous teachers who made this a fun, memorable time.  He was proud as punch when we came into his classroom, and was especially proud of this centerpiece at our table.
We had a Thanksgiving style meal served in the cafeteria and upon seeing that 5 adults ate for $13.75, my dad said we should eat there more often!  I must admit, their stuffing - not bad!  God bless those cafeteria workers.  They have quite a job, and do it well.

*got to help out in Madi's classroom - her teacher was gone and asked me to help the substitute make turkeys out of Oreos and other sugary goodies!  Madi was all smiles when I came into her classroom, and I think that's a really neat thing about this age.  They are gaining more independence, but they really love when Mommy can be around because Mommy (for the most part) still rocks.  And that is fun.

*had a googly eye crisis.  (I know, hang on to your seats for this one, it's gripping.)  I have basically converted our guest room into Santa's Workshop where I (the busy elf) am making a lot of homemade gifts for Christmas.  For one of my projects I needed googly eyes.  I happened upon some at Target and when I got home, I took them out of the bag and put them on one of my end tables in the living room.  I know for a fact I saw them there.  Then they disappeared off the face of the earth.  And I looked and looked, and drove myself crazy searching for this $2 pack of googly eyes (which sounds ridiculous, but I don't have a store with googly eyes right around the corner and didn't want to make another trip).  I never found them, so on my next Target run I picked up another pack of googly eyes.  I got home, unloaded my bags, took the trash out, got to work and realized - you guessed it -  I couldn't find my googly eyes!  I checked every bag, and even started digging through the trash that I had already taken to the bin (this was getting serious, y'all) thinking I had lost my mind. All of a sudden mid-trash-digging, I realized I had stuck one Target bag in my guest room a.k.a Santa's Workshop and that perhaps they might be in there.  They were, which was much to my relief because girls, I was seriously on the verge of checking myself into a mental institution!  Whew.

*packaged our Operation Christmas Child boxes and dropped them off for delivery.  I look forward to doing this every year!  The kids enjoy it too, and this year were so into it that instead of doing one boy box and one girl box as planned, we ended up having enough presents and supplies to pack two boy and two girl boxes which made my heart happy!  I am always convicted by this project, and it such a wonderful, easy way to allow your little ones to give to others.  I pray the children who receive those boxes will know how much God loves them.  If you don't know what Operation Christmas Child is, google it and you'll find out about an amazing ministry.  (I said google not googly, don't worry, you can relax now, everything's just okay.  :)

*spoke at a ladies ministry event we had called "Don't Get Your Tinsel In A Tangle" (more on that fun evening to come!).  It was an event with inspirational ideas to help in our planning for Christmas.  I taught a workshop called "A Homemade Holiday" and helped with some music, but was blessed by the entire evening, especially the devotional which a dear woman named Susan shared with us.  Her words were thoughtful and filled with wisdom, and I so enjoyed what she had to say on the topic of "Can Martha Have A Mary Christmas?"

*had the privilege to work alongside my family, another family, several youth group students, and many others I did not know but was able to serve with at a mission type ministry packaging boxes of food that will be distributed to families in need.  With an army of workers pitching in, we were able to make assembly lines to accomplish a large amount of work in a condensed amount of time.  It's always neat to see that happen!  What would take a few people weeks can take a group of people hours or days.  I was especially blessed to see my 6 year old daughter and her 7 year old BFF working side by side so enthusiastically and eagerly.  I pray their hearts will always be tender to the needs of others and that taking time to serve will be a priority in their lives.

*made a Thankfulness dinner for our family, including my parents and grandma.  It was food and conversation and thankful hearts around the table, and lots of laughter as the kids got everyone dancing along with the Wii afterwards.  Laughter is good medicine!  I enjoyed that evening at home together as a family.

*celebrated a friend's 40th birthday at a nice restaurant and laughed so hard with friends that my jaw hurt.  Again, how cathartic is laughter?!  We even laughed our way through a nearly 40 minute traffic jam in a parking garage (I'm not kidding), something that normally would have caused my rather claustrophobic self to stress out!!  It's amazing how friends can make anything fun.

*got to experience two magical Disney days.  The first was with my husband on a date day (magic, I tell you) where we got to eat our way through Epcot, trying little bits of food from different countries. This was a dream come true for a foodie like me!!  We had cheese and chutney in Ireland, ravioli in Italy (my husband's favorite), creme brulee in France, a shrimp taco in Mexico (my favorite!!).  It was a lovely day outside and we took our time, eating, talking, enjoying the day and each other.  Then we went to Hollywood Studios to ride the rides we can't normally go on when we have the kids with us - we love us some RockNRoller Coaster and Tower of Terror!!  It was fun!  I am thankful for days like that.

The second day was yesterday when we officially kicked off Thanksgiving break with a family day at Disney.  The weather was great (minus a quick afternoon shower), the kids were so well behaved, and we went from morning until night making magical memories together.  It is a blast seeing them enjoy themselves so much!!  From our pleasant surprise to see a huge gingerbread house at one of Disney's hotels, to our first ride on Soaring at Epcot, to our last ride on Star Tours at Hollywood Studios and all the music, shows, and fun in between, it was a wonderful day well spent as a family.  Definitely worth the 12 hours of stroller pushing and lunch and dinner packed at home and toted around, without a doubt!  One of my favorite parts was leisurely enjoying the 5 million (unbelievable) Christmas lights on the Streets of America with my little family, and dancing on the illuminated streets singing along to Christmas favorites with Madi while snow, even thought it wasn't real, fell from the sky.  That was a special moment in my life!  These are moments we will remember.

So those are some bits and pieces of my life the past few weeks in a nutshell!  We have a funeral to help with today and family coming in this evening, then we will be in Thanksgiving mode, so I don't know how much I will be able to post the next few days.  I do hope to stop in to share my reflections of Thanksgiving which have been at the forefront of my heart during all the fullness of November.  God is so gracious and good, and I am ever grateful.  I am thankful to serve Him, grateful to live this sometimes hectic but definitely wonderful life for His glory.  I hope in the midst of your chaos your heart is content.  I pray this day finds your soul settled no matter how busy the calendar is!  Happy Thanksgiving week dear friends and readers!  Enjoy this day!



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