Wednesday, November 23, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving Days 14-23

Sooo, my computer went completely ka-put. This is the reason for my lack of Thanksgiving posts. However, a few days ago, Troy's carpool partner/coworker/friend gave us his iPhone because he got a new one. It really was generous of him! Now, I can communicate via Facebook and blogging again, plus, I can post photos and videos of the kids so much easier! Yea! So, needless to say, I am thankful for John's generosity and his gracious gift of an iPhone that I can use as an iPod! And in honor of that, here is a photo I took of Owen on the iPhone eating rice and bananas for breakfast this morning:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 13

Today my little Owen turned six months old.  That is half a year!  I don't know where the time has gone, but I am so thankful for these last six months.  Owen is such a happy baby (during the day), which helps because is practically a sleepless baby at night!  I love the way he has a smile for everyone he comes across!  He has such a sweet little personality.  Even at six months, I can tell he wants to be "in the mix" of things when he is with his brother and sister.  He watches them and wants to be right there with them, playing just like they do!  I am so thankful for the last six months with this precious boy and I hope the next six months don't go as fast!  (Six month update coming soon!)
~Late night snuggle.~
Talking to his mommy! :)

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 12

There are some things that are seemingly "small" that I am thankful for.  Here are a few random things I am thankful for:
{A few of my favorite things}
* Amazon Prime.  Free two-day shipping.  All the time.  Do I need to say more?
*Trader Joe's dark chocolate bar with caramel and black sea salt.  YUM!
*The beach.  I can't imagine my life without it.  I've lived in Southern California all my life, so the beach has always been a quick get-away.  I look forward to a get-away with my hubby to the beach in the near future!
*Leggings.  In the late 90's I wouldn't be caught dead in them.  Now, I think they are quite comfortable.  And that isn't just because I'm a mom!
*Micro-fiber cleaning cloths.  They are great for everything from dusting to wiping down a stove to cleaning spots on the floor!  Even glass!
*The Gap.  LOVE their clearance section!  They closed the one in our mall.  BOooo!
*Peanut M&Ms.  They are good.  Too good.
*My mattress.  It's so stinking comfortable.  It is a Sealy Beautyrest with a pillow top...well worth the money!
*Subway's Chicken Marinara Melt.  I did this sandwich at Subway before it even existed.  Now it is officially a sandwich there AND its the 5 dollar sub for November!  Wooohooo!
*Fluffy, Cumulus clouds and blue skies---like we had today.  Southern California fall is simply beautiful!
Yup.  I said the list was random! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 11

Photo Credit:
I am thankful that my family and I have stayed well (so far) this Fall.  By this time last year, we had passed a variety of illnesses around already.  From the early fall of 2010 to late spring of 2011, our family experienced the flu/stomach virus, conjunctivitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, and the common cold----all of those at least twice.  Health will never be something I take for granted again!  Thank you, Lord, for the health you have granted my family so far this season!  I pray we stay well through the holidays!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 10

Today I am thankful for a friend, April, who, I am sad to say, I will be saying goodbye to tonight because she is moving to Michigan.  April and her family have lived near us for several years now.  She lived in the same apartment complex we did a few years back, and now she lives about a quarter of a mile down the street.  I will always remember the number of ways she selflessly served my family and I over the years.  She has brought us many meals, helped us pack when we were moving, and even has done laundry for us when I was on bed rest.  Even when she was very busy with a new baby, she found a way to help us when we most needed it.  She is the kind of friend who will pray for you when you need it.  God has used her to bless us many times, especially in the last year.  Although I haven't been able to see her as much as I wanted to socially, due to both of us having a new baby and my family being sick the first half of the year, she still found ways to bless us.  I will miss her and her family, but I am happy for them and the new journey are about to embark on.  I thank God for the several years he has given my family with April's family!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 9

(I'm the one on the right...all 185 pounds of me!)

Last week, my scale finally budged to 135 lbs.  So, today, I want to say how thankful I am to have lost 50 lbs since having Jackson 4 years ago.  50 lbs may not sound like much to loose in three years, but I have done that through two pregnancies as well!  I am finally fitting into clothes that I fit into before my first pregnancy!  I am wearing clothes I wore on my honeymoon!!!  I'm wearing clothes I wore before I got married.
(This picture was taken two weeks ago...will take a more recent "after" photo and post on my fitness blog)  I'm not sure why I'm not smiling in this photo!

In the last forty-five days, I have been doing a 90 day program called Supreme 90 Day.  Let me tell works!  I have gone from a size 11 jeans to...well...I fit into all my 7's, some of my 5's, and even some of my 4's.  SIZE 4????  I NEVER thought that was possible!  THANK YOU LORD for giving me the perseverance to get  through the struggles of weight gain and weight loss!  It takes a lot of work, but it is well worth it!  It feels so good to be healthy!

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 8

I am thankful for the Autumn.  I like some things about every season, but I LOVE the Fall!  I love the sights (although leaves don't get as pretty here), tastes and smells!  I love the way the sun sheds light differently this time of year---at a different angle, and, seemingly a different golden hue.  I love the dry winds that stir up and the sound of the leaves swishing in the trees and skittering across the street.  I love the smell of the fuji, gala, and honey crisp apples on my kitchen counter.  The spices of fall---the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamon---fill my nostrils with happiness!  And then, there are the tastes of fall---the pumpkin and apple laced with the mentioned spices---oh!  There are no words!  For Jackson's birthday, I made Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.  I love the recipe, but I do have to give credit to my sister-in-law, Robyn, for finding the recipe!  (Click here for recipe.) I'm not that big on pumpkin in things that do not bake in an oven.   I can do without pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin pancakes, but there is something special about a fluffy pumpkin muffin, bread, or cupcake.  Now, if you pair the baked pumpkin fluffiness with cream cheese, forget about it!!!  All I need to pair that with is a hot Chai Tea Latte!

Monday, November 7, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Days 4-7

I must say that I really tried to post everyday, but, my computer went ka-put.  So, I am taking advantage of a short window of time I am getting on Troy's laptop while he is taking a break from work.

This next post deserves 4 days worth of thanksgiving, though.  Today is my son, Jackson's birthday.  He is four years old.  I am so thankful for the four years God has given us to enjoy him!  I have enjoyed seeing him grow into a witty, talkative, curious, sweet and cuddly four-year-old.  He is genuinely excited about life, and, I am happy to say, he is excited to learn about Jesus.  This is Troy and I's number one prayer for him.  He will ask us to tell him "Jesus Stories" or "God Stories."  He asked me to sing him "God songs that Pastor Robert sings" when I put him to bed.  He asks questions about God, Jesus, and sin.  At four years old, I pray that he takes in all this information we are giving him and that God uses it to change his heart.

I thank God for the sweet personality he has given Jackson.  Everyday, at least twice a day, Jackson will randomly come up to me, kiss me, hug me and say, "I love you, mom."  There aren't too many things that warm my heart like that does!  With that said, I am so thankful for our big FOUR-YEAR-OLD!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACKSON!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 3

I'm thankful for my husband who let me sleep in this morning because Owen was up and down most of the night.  Usually I get up and make his breakfast and lunch and see him off with a kiss.  After last night, he suggested I stay in bed.  Sleepless nights are difficult, but its mornings like those, and that graciousness displayed, that makes those mornings a bit easier to swallow.
It's been 7 years since Troy first said "I love you" to me and since then, we have experienced what love truly means.  I am so thankful for our marriage in which I can honestly say I enjoy.  I am more in love with this man than I was 7 years ago.  He is hard working, patient, gracious, funny, creative, tenderhearted, and, on top of all that, an amazing father.  I am thankful for the man God has molded him into.  Thank you, God, for this precious gift of a husband you have given me!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 2

I am thankful for the ability to be active.  Six months ago, I was on bed rest.  I was "sitting on my nest" for a very long 5 1/2 weeks because little Owen wanted to come too early.  (Side note:  it was certainly worth it.)  Around the first of April, I got the news that I needed to be on "complete bed rest," due to regular contractions at 31 weeks.  This meant I could do N-O-T-H-I-N-G but get up to go to the restroom, and I had to take a special pill to stop the contractions every time they came.  It was so hard to just sit there when my kids were wanting me to be up and play with them.    I could literally feel my muscles turn to Jello.  I vowed that when I was able, I would get active again.  I started working out 6 weeks after my c-section and now I workout 6 days a week.  I can pick up my kids, even two of them at a time, with no problem at all.  I can run up stairs and not get winded.  I can lift weights!  With all that said, it feels so good to be active again.  I know God didn't create us to be sedentary creatures.  I am so very thankful that He has given be the ability and the strength to be active and healthy at this point in my life!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 1

It is really hard to start out twenty four days of Thanksgiving.  I mean, I do have a lot to be thankful for, but deciding on what to write about first isn't easy.  The first thing that comes to mind today is my children.  I have to be honest.  This morning started out pretty rocky for them.  For the most part, they slept in, which was a direct result of last night's Reformation Night Event that Troy and I put on at church.  They had so much fun and were out late (due to cleaning up after the event), that despite the efforts of two exhausted parents, they got to bed around 11pm last night.  This morning, the candy won at last night's event was on the kitchen table.  In hindsight, I should have put that away before they got up.  So much for hindsight.  Also on the kitchen table was their breakfast.  I requested that they eat their breakfast before eating any treat.  Normally, I wait until after lunch for all things sugar, but, I thought I would make an exception today.  I left the room for a minute to check on Owen and before I knew it, Jackson and Madelyn both had Tootsie Roll Pops in their mouths and their breakfast still on their plates.  I proceeded to take the suckers away, which was followed by a tantrum from Madelyn and a request by Jackson to go to his room.  Yes.  You read that right.  He asked to be sent to his room.  I had to nurse Owen, so, Madelyn went on crying and Jackson was sent to his room.  Breakfast is still on the table.  And, the candy is now hidden---probably won't reappear for quite some time.

It is a morning like this that I need to remind myself how much these children mean to me.  God has blessed me with them and given me the responsibility to raise them up in a way that glorifies Him.      I am very thankful for that opportunity.  As Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."  I am so very thankful that God has given me these three precious creations of His.  And it is with that thankful heart that I am reminded that I need to give these children grace, just as Christ has given me grace.  As it says in Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."  This doesn't always come easy on mornings like these.  However, when I think of Christ forgiving me, and all the silly, stupid things that I may do, and how He constantly shows me His grace and mercy, it does come a bit easier.  I pray for patience in dealing with these kids that I love so much.  I know that it is primarily by example that they will learn what grace is.

And with that, I am so very thankful for all the little things that they do to bring joy to my heart.  I'm thankful for the witty and insightful view Jackson gives me on the world.  I'm thankful that, even at just barely four years old, he shows an interest in Christ.  I'm thankful for Madelyn's spunky personality, and the silly smile she gives me when she is pleased with something.  I'm thankful that she is so very loyal to her siblings---the love and adoration she shows for Jackson is pretty priceless.  I'm thankful for Owen's sweet and happy spirit.  No matter how tired or hungry he may be, he always has a smile to give.  I marvel at these precious gifts God has given me!  I pray that I remember how thankful I am for these children no matter the occasion---when Madelyn puts crayons in her pajama feet and they are melted all over several loads of clothes in the dryer---when Jackson refuses to eat his breakfast, lunch, or dinner (that happens often)--- or when Owen is wide awake at 11...1...3...5...  You get the idea!

Twenty Four Days of Thanksgiving

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Psalm 100:4

As you know, Thanksgiving is on November 24th this year.  My goal is to record what I am most thankful for (in no particular order) everyday until Thanksgiving.  So here goes day 1...