Today the younger boys and I went to watch K in her school Spelling Bee. I have to admit that I was probably as nervous as she was! I hoped that she would at least get through the first round, but she ended up coming in 2nd place! I can tell you that she did not get the good spelling gene from me.
Every time she got up to spell a word, she would bend her knees and swing her arms back and forth.
Growing up, the Christmas ornaments were always kept in a big box in the garage until it was time to put them up (usually right after Thanksgiving). This became know as "letting Christmas out of the box." As per tradition, today we turned on some Christmas music and let Christmas out of the box. The Christmas season has now officially begun!
Some days it's harder to remember to be thankful than others. This week has been a tough one with my dad's cancer progressing and his surgery keeping us apart on Thanksgiving. But, I am working to be mindful of the things that I have to be thankful for, and there are many. So, on this thanksgiving I am thankful:
1. That I have family to be with today
2. That I have a wonderful dad in my life. So many have dads who are absent, indifferent, abusive; but I have an amazing, loving, Godly dad. So, for everyday that he is in my life, I will be thankful.
3. That heaven is a real place.
What are you thankful for today?
Sometimes I wish I could look into the future. I would like to see 20 years from now. Where will I be? What will life be like? What will I be doing with all of my kids grown?
Twenty years ago today, I was on the eve of my 18th birthday. The day before "adulthood." I wonder what would I have said if someone had given me a glimpse of the next 20 years? What if someone had told me that by the time I was 38 I would have lost two babies, my grandfather and father-in-law would both be dead, and my dad would have inoperable cancer? I'm pretty sure that I would have responded, "No, I can not bear all that. I will not survive it." Yet, here I am. A few holes in my heart. a few scars here and there. But here, living, loving, laughing, enjoying all that life has to offer. It's definitely not all sunshine and roses. There have been a lot of tears, a lot of anxiety. I still struggle with both sometimes. But if I had to do it all over knowing the outcome, I would do it.
I am sure that another 20 years will bring more holes, more scars, more sorrow, more worry. But I also believe it will bring more joy, more love, more laughter. I probably don't want to know what the journey will be. I'm sure it would scare me. I might wonder if I could survive it. So, I'll just take it each day as it comes, praying for strength along the way.
Today I am thankful for my church. I am thankful that my pastor loves Jesus and teaches from the Bible. I am thankful that when we get together as a church it is like getting together with family. I am thankful for the amazing women there who are not catty or cliquey but love and accept everyone. I LOVE my church! What are you thankful for today?
I was asked this this question recently, and told I had to think of something other than God, family, friends. Hmmmm, for awhile I was completely blank. Jokingly, I said, "food." Then, after pondering, I realized that was true. I enjoy finding interesting ingredients, searching for new recipes, cooking for others, and seeing people enjoy a meal that I prepared. So, when my M requested apple butter, I decided to make some rather than buy it. After all, what better way to celebrate fall then by smelling cooking apples all day.
As I usually do when I want to make something, I went on Google to search out some recipes. Then I merged a couple together, threw in my own touches, and went to work. According to my taste testers; K, M, C, and N; it was delicious. It was also very easy, and made the house smell wonderful.
Here is the recipe, for anyone else who wants to give it a whirl. Enjoy!
8 apples (I used Granny Smith but if you use a sweeter apple, you may just want to add a squeeze of lemon juice) cored and chopped (I left the peel on)
1 cup sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1/2 t vanilla
Throw everything into a pot. Add water to just cover the apples. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Check periodically. If the water gets too low add a bit more to prevent the apples from scorching. When the apples turn nice and brown, it's done. Use an immersion blend to blend it up nice and smooth.
Today is a day for remembrance and thankfulness.
As a nation we remember those who have served our country in the military. We think of the sacrifice they have made, or are currently making; being separated from loved ones and being willing to die for our freedom. We are thankful for their willingness and courage.
On a personal level, it is a day to remember the tiny soul that slipped silently from my womb into the arms of Jesus three years ago today. I think about that baby that I never got to know, and yes it makes me sad. But I am also thankful; thankful that God picked me to carry that baby, even if only for a short time; thankful that I will hold that baby in heaven; and thankful for the child that was born after the loss.
So today, I will reflect. I will remember. And I will be thankful.
M decided he wanted a chocolate cake for his birthday yesterday. I got a good deal on a box mix at the big box store and then found a recipe on-line which called for a boxed mix and a can of pumpkin. The recipe got great reviews from most people, but others said it was too dense, like brownies instead of cake. To combat this, I decided to add some water and corn starch.
The cake turned out amazing! It was super moist and we couldn't even taste the pumpkin in it.
Here is the recipe I used:
1 chocolate box cake mix
3/4 cup water
1 small can pumpkin
1 TBS corn starch
Mix together and cook according to the directions on the cake box.
On September 12th, Josiah would have been 11 years old. I woke up to a drizzly, cloudy day, as if the heavens were weeping with me. As I got into my car, a song came on the radio. It was a song that I had heard a number of times, but I had never before paid attention to the lyrics. I truly had no idea what it was about. But on this day, something prompted me to really listen to the song. Here is what I heard:
(Held by Natalie Grant)
Two months is too little They let him go They had no sudden healing To think that providence Would take a child from his mother While she prays, is appalling Who told us we'd be rescued What has changed and Why should we be saved from nightmares We're asking why this happens to us Who have died to live, it's unfair This is what it means to be held How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life And you survive This is what it is to be loved and to know That the promise was that when everything fell We'd be held This hand is bitterness We want to taste it and Let the hatred numb our sorrows The wise hand opens slowly To lilies of the valley and tomorrow This is what it means to be held How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life And you survive This is what it is to be loved and to know That the promise was that when everything fell We'd be held If hope if born of suffering If this is only the beginning Can we not wait, for one hour Watching for our Savior This is what it means to be held How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life And you survive This is what it is to be loved and to know That the promise was that when everything fell We'd be held
Amazing! That God would reach down to remind me that He knows my sorrow, that he weeps with me, and that He holds me still in the palm of His hands.