Thursday, December 31, 2009

So Long 2009

Where did the time go? I can't believe 2009 is over and tomorrow begins a new year.

This past year has been filled with many highs and lows but if I had to choose one to describe the last twelve months I'd definitely say it has been a year of great moments sprinkled with many blessings.

Although our checking account is much smaller now and we no longer live in our beautiful dream house on the lake, our family has witnessed God's faithfulness in amazing ways.

Our children have thrived at their schools and had accident free sport seasons of football and basketball. We've all remained extremely healthy and survived the swine flu epidemic even without getting flu shots. Keith and I have grown closer together and our marriage is stronger than ever before. While my friends have lost family members in 2009, we have lost no one in our immediate or extended family. Yes, I'd say we definitely have a lot to be thankful for.

This morning I sat down and made my New Year's resolution list. It looks a lot different than last year's list which consisted of several specific goals I wanted to achieve. Typical things like eating healthier, taking daily vitamins, exercising more, a committed daily time with God, and consistent writing in my blog. I haven't been so good with the consistent writing though. My resolution list for 2010 looks like this:

1. Asking for God's will in every situation and not going to Him with my never ending wish list hoping He'd say yes to every request.

2. Thanking God in every situation whether it's good or bad. It's taken me some time but I've slowly learned that He does work out every circumstance for my good no matter what it looks like at first.

3. Bring glory and honor to God in everything that I do. This will be extremely challenging but I know that all things are possible through Him.

Sure, I still want to eat healthier, exercise, take my daily vitamins, and continue bogging but I know that if I seek Him first then all these practical things will taken care of too.

Now for some wonderful news that I received today. My dad has battled with cancer for the last three years. He was diagnosed with a form of lymphatic leukemia which basically means he develops cancer in his blood which attacks his lymph nodes. This past Summer he went through a radical round of chemo treatments. He returned last week for a thorough pet scan to see if the cancer returned. He called me today and told me that the results shows he's cancer free!

I have my P31, face book, and W.O.W. friends to thank. I sent out an email to them this morning and within 20 minutes I had almost 30 replies saying "I'm praying for your dad". Prayer is so powerful and we've certainly witnessed this first hand today.

Yes, 2010 is already starting off great. There is so much to look forward to and believe God for. I'd love to know what you're hoping for in 2010. Do you have any New Year's resolutions? What happened in 2009 that you're thankful for? How would you describe this past year in a few words?

Happy New Year sweet friends. You have been such a blessing to me and I am so very thankful for each one of you!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

The gifts have been opened, the pictures have been taken, the Christmas meal has been eaten, and the Christmas story has once again been read.

As our family enjoys a cold rainy day indoors, we relish in the pleasures of just being together on this very special day. When I think of all the hours we spent shopping for gifts, decorating the tree, hanging up lights, wrapping presents, attending holiday events, baking cookies, volunteering at church, celebrating with friends, and watching Christmas specials on t.v., it's hard to believe that all those preparations have culminated just for today.

I never did get our Christmas cards ordered and mailed out this year. We did get the family photos taken last week though. Right after a snow storm passed though our area. I'm thinking a Happy New Year's card would be nice for family and friends to receive from us. Our boys have changed so much these past 12 months that many of our relatives wouldn't even recognize them if they passed them on the street... hence the reason to send out cards.

Keith bought Brody and Carson air soft guns this year. Since they can't go outside to play (it is still raining), Keith has decided to set up a bull's eye target in the center of our fireplace so they can do some practice shooting. (I'm not kidding). I have little yellow pellets all of the floor. Some body's gonna be picking them up this evening and it's not going to be me.

Carson just came in holding his forehead. He tried to hit the fireplace target with his gun but the pellet missed and hit one of the ceramic logs instead. It ricoshed back and hit him between the eyes. I'm thankful that he didn't take one out. I seem to remember seeing safety googles in the packaging but for the life of me I can't undestand why no one is wearing them.

I bought Keith an air soft gun too so he could play along with the boys. He is such a big kid at heart. He's already used up all his pellets so I'm sure we'll be making a run to Wal-Mart tomorrow for more.

I just love Christmas time and it really has nothing to do with the presents. To me Christmas is all about spending time with my family, making special memories, and celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

This morning I woke up extra early so I could enjoy our beautiful Christmas tree while I sipped a cup of warm coffee and read through the Christmas story in Luke 2. As I sat all snuggled up in my favorite blanket, I thought about Mary and how she lacked the comforts and basic necessities that first Christmas night as she held her new born son in her arms. Humble beginnings, miraculous moments, and eternal results.

As night falls and everyone gets ready for bed, we plan to watch the Nativity movie together. I can't imagine a better way to end our special Christmas day. We have so much to be thankful for.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Testify this Christmas

Here are the photos I promised. This is a picture of my family. My husband's name is Keith and our two son's are Brody (14 yrs) and Carson (10 yrs)

Here is a not so good photo of the entire group. As you can tell, I'll lacking in quality picture taking capabilities.

This is Brody with some of his friends; Caleb, Alex, and Kerry

Wishing you all a great weekend filled with fun moments with your families.
Many blessings,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Cradle That Rocked the World

I just love this time of year. Christmas is fast approaching and before long I'll be writing 2010 on all of my personal checks. I've been busy decorating my home but haven't bought a single Christmas gift. My husband and I have asked our two boys, Brody and Carson, what they would like for Christmas this year and they honestly do not know. We are so blessed and truly have more than we really need. Besides, my favorite part of Christmas is not wrapped up in the those gifts. It's really the way we celebrate as a family and the special memories that are created each year.

I'll tell you about one of our favorite annual events in just a minute. First let me welcome you if you're joining me from my good friend, Karen Ehman's blog. Karen is interviewing me today as part of her 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway. If you haven't met Karen yet, be sure to check out her blog. Karen is an incredibly talented writer and speaker. Plus, she's one of the funniest gals I know. Just thinking about her makes me smile. Karen is celebrating this month with her blog readers through her special Christmas giveaway and today I'm giving away a Proverbs 31 t-shirt to someone so be sure to pop on over and register. You don't want to miss out of this one!

Now, back to one of my favorite holiday celebrations. Each year my son, Brody sings in a city wide teen choir called Testify. After months of long practices, they perform Christmas concerts at local churches, children's homes, and civic centers. It is so amazing to see over 140 teenagers worshipping God and proclaiming the birth of Jesus through songs, dance, and drama. As a mom, I couldn't be more proud of him.

This year their theme is "The Cradle that Rocked the World". When I really stop and think about that statement, I am easily brought to tears. To wrap my mind around the fact that God sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to live a life of complete humility for the redemption of man is an overwhelming thought. To think that Jesus left his heavenly home, completely filled with almighty power, only to empty himself and be wrapped in human flesh which probably consisted of no more than eight pounds is so incredible.

Yes, Jesus eventually grew out of that little cradle. He grew in stature and favor with God and man. He healed the blind, made the sick well, and performed many miracles. He died on a wooden cross for you and for me. Yet, on the third day He conquered death itself and rose from the grave. Now that is something to celebrate!

Yes, that cradle certainly rocked the world and will continue to rock the world until Christ returns to this earth once again in all of His glory and majesty. My prayer for you this Christmas season is that while your busy decorating, shopping for gifts, baking all those yummy Christmas cookies, and celebrating with friends and family that you'll set aside some special time to be with Jesus. To thank Him for all that He's done for you and to celebrate His presence in your life today.

Yes, the cradle that rocked the world - yesterday, today, and forever!

I wanted to post some pictures that I took this weekend at my son's concert but for some reason my computer isn't cooperating with me this morning. Please stop by tomorrow and I'll have them up for you.

Over the summer, Testify will travel to different states with another production so if you'd like to host them at your church, please write and let me know. They are an awesome group of teenagers who love the Lord and are passionate about spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thanks again for stopping by. If you have a minute, please leave a comment and introduce yourself. That would mean so much to me.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Unexpected Surprises

We have an unexpected guest staying with us this Christmas season. His name is Nicholas and he's from the North Pole :)

My son, Carson, came home from school last week all excited and eager to share with me about something that was taking place in his classroom. Several of his classroom buddies had received elves from the North Pole. Carson referred to it has having an "Elf on the Shelf". I hadn't heard anything about these elves. Then again, I haven't watched the news lately.

Carson really wanted an elf and said we needed to place saltine crackers, a small glass of water, and one of his shoes by the fireplace for the elf to arrive. That evening Carson carefully arranged everything near the fireplace but in the morning there was no elf to be found.

He was so disappointed and with tears in his eyes said "I'll be the only kid in my class that doesn't have an elf this year". He suggested that maybe he did something wrong and that's why the elf didn't arrive. I assured him that the elf most likely got detained by some big important assignment at the North Pole and not to get discouraged.

The following evening we placed out the crackers, water, one of Carson's smelling tennis shoes and sure enough, the elf appeared overnight! Carson was so excited he could hardly stand it. He quickly began writing a letter to the elf that was filled with lots of questions. He wanted to know all about his new friend, especially what his name was.

Well, since last week we've found out quite a bit about this little guy. First off, his name is Nicholas. He is nocturnal and gets into a lot of mischief at night when we're sleeping. He loves saltine crackers and water but leaves crumbs all over the place. He likes to dig in sock drawers, toy bins, and the kitchen pantry. During the day, he carefully watches what goes on in our house, making sure that Carson is being a good boy and obeying his parents.

Carson just loves his new friend Nicholas and is so proud of him. Just this weekend, Carson invited several of his neighborhood friends over the meet Nicholas. In fact, Carson wanted you to meet Nicholas too and asked me to please do a blog post this morning. I told him I would as long as I was able to post a picture of him and Nicholas together. He gladly agreed.

Here they are. I kinda think they look a lot a like too!

Merry Christmas,