Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Merry and Bright

One of my favorite passions and hobbies is decorating my home. I love picking out colors and pieces that will make my home a warm and inviting place to be during any season of the year, but I especially love decorating for the holidays! There is just something special about cheery red Santa's, green and red stripes, and twinkling little lights that warms my heart. If you have ever been in my home, you know that I have a love for all things primitive and vintage, and this year I thought it would be fun to decorate one of our Christmas trees in a bit of an old fashioned/primitive way. We always put up two Christmas trees. One homemade/family tree with all of the children's homemade and personalized ornaments on it (this year we are going to chop a real tree down at a tree farm!), and one tree that we decorate with a particular theme. The past few years I have gone with a red and gold theme, to match the colors in our dining room, where the tree stood. But seeing as we are in a new house this year, I wanted something different. I wanted primitive. I was envisioning popcorn and red wooden bead garland, brown paper ribbon, and old fashioned looking ornaments. I wanted to wrap our gifts in brown paper grocery sacks, and tie them with huge red and white bows. I wanted simple and old fashioned. Nothing else would do.

But then, one fateful day last week, I made the very grave mistake of taking Emma with me on an outing to Target to look at all of the primitive ornaments. Because there, three shelves over, a package of sparkly, shiny, pink and turquoise ornaments began calling her name. Oh, yes, there were purple ornaments in that package, too. Pink, and turquoise, and purple ornaments! At Christmas! And my daughter was in love. Insert big problem. Pink, and turquoise, and purple do not go nicely with primitive brown and red. Whatever was I going to do? I bought the ornaments Emma fell in love with, of course, along with pink, sparkly, bright wrapping paper and shiny turquoise bows with purple polka dots, and I put my dreams of a primitive Christmas to rest. And you know what? After putting the tree up yesterday evening and staring at it for the past twenty four hours, I have decided that I think it looks amazing. It is cheerful, and merry, and bright, and when we turn on the lights, it looks like something out of an add for a beautiful candy store. And I love it! It is perfect for our family. Perfect for my six year old who has an eye and a love for bright colors. Perfect for my four year old who adores all things sparkly. Perfect for our home that is currently housing seven females this holiday season. Simply perfect, and merry, and bright. What can I say? It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Weekend Wrap-Up

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend has come and gone, and we are now back to daily life in this home of ours. Which for me is okay, because it is my magical Monday! It is nice to have a few hours to myself to catch my breath from the busyness of the past several days. Our family had a wonderful holiday! We enjoyed a simple, yummy, Thanksgiving dinner with my mom and dad. Everyone went around the table and said what they were most thankful for this year. Boss said he was thankful for his faith (I heart him, by the way). I said I was most thankful for Jack's safe delivery and wonderful addition to our family this year. His life has been such a blessing. He might even complete our family, but that is still being debated :). Emma and Kate both said that they were thankful for God and for our family. I heart them, too. Jack said he was most thankful for bottles, bananas, and binky's. At least that is what I think he would have said, you know,if he could talk. I do believe though, that the highlight of my day was when one of our big girls (residents) said to Boss and I that this year she was thankful to us for loving her and treating her like family during this past year that we have been together. I may or may not have shed a tear. Makes what we do everyday totally worth it.

That evening we went over to our dear friends and neighbors (really, they are more like family) for more food and fun. My favorite part was flipping through the holiday newspaper ads with the girls. (My friend girls, not the residents or my little girls. Just felt the need to clarify, seeing as there are so very many girls in my life!) I have always wanted to experience Black Friday, but have never had anyone to experience it with. Now I do. Just another way that God has blessed me with where we live and who we are surrounded by.And the next morning I actually joined the masses and went shopping with my friends! In the name of honesty, I didn't actually head out with them at four in the morning. Instead, I met them for breakfast at eight and joined them from there :). But I still got to witness people shoving in line and being nasty to sales clerks, so I would still say that I got the full experience. Only I was a bit more rested than everyone else :). That evening our family loaded up our van and headed out to Bob Evans to eat dessert for dinner, per Emma's request. Yum. A perfect ending to a perfect holiday day.

On Saturday, my mom and I took all of the girls (both big and little) to see Tangled, while all the boys (both big and little) stayed home to watch Ohio State beat Michigan. (See? Even after eight years, I am still Boss' lucky charm.) Can I just say that it was a great movie? I usually do not like cartoons, but this was super great. But perhaps my favorite part was watching my oldest daughter's face in the golden glow of the movie lights, as she watched a particular scene with her eyes aglow and a smile on her face. In one scene they release hundreds of glowing lanterns, and Emma leaned over and whispered to me that she wanted the sky to look like that on her wedding day. I may or may not have shed a tear at the thought of my oldest baby growing up and getting married. That evening Emma and I decorated the inside of our home for the Christmas holidays, everything except for our Christmas trees. This year it was fun to have a little helper! She really got into the spirit and magic of it all.

Yesterday (Sunday) we worshipped, rested, and then celebrated one of my besties fortieth birthday. I may or may not have shed a tear over my love for her and at the thought that when I am forty, Emma will be leaving our nest and heading out into the world as a newly eighteen year old. Sigh. Why must they grow up?

Life. It is a constant flow of growing and changing. Giving and taking. Complete joy and deep sorrow. That is why I am so thankful for this time of the year. The time of the year where we celebrate Christ, our families, and what really matters in life. We truly have so very much to be thankful for. And may we always remember to thank the Giver of all good things!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Scenes From Our Table and Home

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Really Great Day

Today was a really great day. A really, really great day. First off, Boss let me sleep in. I currently have an ear infection and pneumonia, and last night I took some medication that really had me flying high. Within half an hour after taking it, my lips were completely numb and the rest of my body was tingling. I kept having to ask Boss if he thought I was still breathing because I could not feel my chest. It was crazy, and once I got over my anxiety, I slept great. Better than I have in weeks! So sleeping great, and sleeping in were both really great starts to my day.

After I was up and functioning the boys (aka Boss and Jack) went out to get new tires put on my sheep (my "she" jeep) in preparation for winter, and left all of us girls to get started on our cooking. I had forgotten how fun it was to spend the day preparing for a Thanksgiving feast! The past few years we have celebrated the holiday with Boss' family at their home, so all I have had to do was show up. Sometimes that is really nice (the just being able to show up part), but sometimes (a sometimes of the very rarely variety) the Betty Crocker in me comes out and I love everything that goes into hosting a special meal. On my list to make today? Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, Broccoli Cheese Casserole, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing. and a Cream Cheese/Chocolate Chip Ball. Yummy. So I got to work!

I turned the radio in the kitchen on to a station that was playing Christmas carols, our families first of the season, got my two tiny helpers their aprons, and we went to town! The girls cracked eggs, stirred things, and licked beaters. And in between helping they watched movies or made Turkey crafts with the big girls who will be spending the holiday with our family. We never got out of our jammies, and there was far more laughing and helping, than bickering and complaining, so that makes today a very good day. Once it got dark outside we loaded up our van and headed to town to get pizza. Carols were playing in the car, warm heat filling the van, and five girls, both big and small, were laughing and enjoying being together. My heart was filled, and my soul was smiling.

After pizza we came home, got back in to jammies, and piled onto the couches in the living room to watch Home Alone. While we watched, I made place cards to set on our table, with each persons name on them that will be joining us for lunch tomorrow. While I usually do not love cooking, I do love preparing a beautiful table! Now, everyone is tucked into bed and I am waiting to give Mister Man his last feeding of the night. My heart is filled with anticipation and excitement over the day tomorrow. We will enjoy lunch and the afternoon with my parents and then we will head to Ms. Faye's for an evening of games, fun, and laughter. We have so very much to be thankful for. Hope your Thanksgiving is blessed!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Eight years ago today started out like any other typical day during that season of my life. I was twenty years old and in my junior year of college at Texas A&M University (some of the most fun years of my life, I might add!). That year, November 23rd fell on a Saturday, and I was home visiting my parents in preparation for Thanksgiving. A certain someone, whom I now lovingly refer to as Boss, had accompanied me on this trip. But back then he was not Boss, he was just Boyfriend. And that was a very important day for Boyfriend. Ohio State was playing Michigan, and Boyfriend took those games very seriously. He still does. That day, Ohio State beat Michigan, and Boyfriend told me that I was his lucky charm and that he was thinking of keeping me around forever. My heart melted and I got a little rashy at his words. In my world, getting rashy is a very good thing. I get rashy when I am excited and nervous. Back then, Boyfriend made me rashy all the time. I even threw up on our first several dates, but that's another story for another day. Back to this story. Oh yes, Boyfriend was saying he thought he would keep me around since I was his lucky charm. I believe after that game we went out to eat with my parents and then we went bowling. I remember I was wearing tiny gray pants (because I was quite tiny back then) and a pink and gray sweater. Boyfriend kept telling me how beautiful he thought I was. Boyfriend beat us all at bowling and told me once again that I was his lucky charm and would I mind sticking around forever? You got it, more rashes for me! I just remember it was a really fun day. I was so in love with this boy. After we returned home to my parents, Boyfriend suggested that we go for a walk around the lake in my parents neighborhood, the neighborhood where I grew up, the lake that I used to ride my bike around as a child. So we started walking. And holding hands. And looking at the stars. It was a beautiful clear night. And at a certain spot, Boyfriend stopped. And took my hand in his. And then he got down on one knee. I was certainly rashing at this point, and it is quite possible that I might have squealed. Boyfriend then proceeded to tell me that he loved me, and that he didn't want to live another day of his life without me, and would I do him the honor of becoming his wife? I kept asking him if this was really it, was I really being proposed to? Was he serious? Then he opened a white ring box that he held out to me and showed me a beautiful diamond ring that sparkled almost as much as his eyes, and I knew this really was it. And I said yes. And my life was forever changed for the better. And six months later we were married on a beautiful, hot, summer day in May, and boyfriend went from being Boyfriend, to being Boss. My best friend, my confidant, my rock, my life partner. I am so glad that he asked me that important question eight years ago today. And I am so glad that I said yes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shining Star

For those of you who do not know her, my Kate is a shining star. Literally. Her eyes sparkle and twinkle when she is happy or excited and her smile can light up a room. (Boss polishes his shotgun on a nightly basis in preparation for her high school years. Or rather, he would if he had a shotgun. Those are not allowed in the foster parenting world, but you get the idea.) But Kate is not only cute. She is also very funny! And likeable, and smart, and so on. So it was no wonder that her teacher picked her to be "Star of The Week" for mini school last Friday. She was so excited! We made her family poster, she picked out her favorite stuffed animal and book to share with the class, and then she was ready to go! She was slightly nervous that she would forget the names of the people on her poster when sharing it with the class (After all, Daddy, Mama, Emma, and Jack are easily forgettable names! Ha!), but she said it went great and she came home with a special "Star of The Week" hat, which she has yet to take off. I think it is safe to say it was a successful day. So proud of you shining star!

Two more Kate funnies to share. Funny number one.Last week her mini school class made family portraits (pictured above). Kate was very sad to show hers to us, because she was afraid that Daddy would not recognize himself. She was sad because her teacher did not have any silver yarn to use for Daddy's hair, so she had to use black, even though Daddy's hair does not look very black anymore. Ha! Precious. Boss did not find it quite as precious as I did, but we all got a good chuckle out of that one.She definitely keeps us laughing!Funny number two. A few days ago, the girls and I were sitting at the table doing school work. In Kate's preschool workbook, her instruction was to draw a picture of her very favorite person. Immidiately her eyes lit up as she thought about who she was going to draw, and right away she got to work. My Mama heart imagined that she would draw her sister, or maybe Anna Boverie, possibly her Grammy, or maybe even me. But who did my little stinker draw? Herself! That's right, folks. My Kate's very favorite person on this planet is herself. Wow. At least she does not struggle with low self esteem! Ha!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sweet Boy of Mine

** Alternately Titled: Eight Month Update **

Sweet Boy of Mine

Why must you grow,
sweet boy of mine?
With your cheeks so rosie,
and your eyes that shine.

You grew in my heart,
then my womb, now my hand,
I love you so deeply,
though you don't understand.

I want to remember each moment,
it all,
I want to hang on,
to you being so small.

You entered this world with a head of dark hair
and a loud, robust cry,
Now somehow, without my permission,
eight months have gone by.

You used to lie,
so still on my chest,
Yet, soon enough,
you will take your first steps.

I love you all over,
chubby fingers and toes,
You love when I kiss you,
and nibble your nose.

Your laugh is sweet music,
to this Mama's ear,
I want to wrap you in my arms,
and forever hold you near.

I know in my head,
that you must grow every day,
But in my heart,
my sweet baby boy you will stay.

And this Mama's heart will always say,

Why must you grow,
sweet boy of mine,
with your cheeks so rosie,
and your eyes that shine?


Yes, it's true. Today my youngest babe turned eight months old. I really am not sure where all of the time has gone. I look at pictures of Jack when he was a tiny newborn, and don't know where that baby went. As sad as I am to watch him grow and change, one thing is for sure. I love the little boy that he is becoming. Jack, you are such a happy soul.Your laughter abounds in our home. Your sisters adore you and love that you are now old enough to play and interact with them. Your eyes light up when Daddy comes home from work. You still stroke my face while I feed you. You are pure love.

In case it is not obvious from the new pictures below, Jack is a BIG boy! I imagine that he would weigh in at twenty pounds at eight months old. He well surpasses both of his sisters at this age. The boy loves to eat. He will eat any fruit or veggie that you ask him to try, still chugs his bottles, and I believe that last night I caught his Aunt Candy feeding him a little taste of pumpkin pie. (Really, is it any wonder that he loves her?) Jack also loves his new, big boy car seat, and taking baths in mama's bath tub. He is still sporting only his two bottom teeth. Sleeping is going a tiny bit better than it had been. He still wants to eat a couple of times each night (we are in the process of stretching this out), but at least he will fall back to sleep. Sometimes Daddy is nice and lets Jack sleep in bed with us. Mama would never be that nice, and when she discovers them in the morning, both boys get lectures.

Jack, we love you.

Cool Dude

Dear Jack Ryan Huston Zickafoose,
You are one cool dude.
Love, Mama

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Count Your Blessings

In this world and culture that we live in, it is so easy to get caught up in what we don't have that we think we deserve, or what others have that we think we want. I am just as guilty of this as the next person. One of the biggest struggles in my daily walk is comparing what I have, to what those around me have. And lets be honest, sometimes I am down right envious! I mean, who wouldn't want a body that naturally goes back to being thin after birthing three children? Or who wouldn't want to have a housekeeper, or live in a beautiful home on a handful of acres with horses roaming around in green pastures? Or jobs that pay six figures? Or children who sleep through the night without even so much as a peep? The list could go on and on. Comparing myself, my family, and my life to others is a battle that I must constantly fight against. Because the truth is, the only place it gets me is to a state of discontentment in my heart with the lot that God has given to me. The life that He has called me to. And that is not a good place to find myself in. And while I have no doubt that God wants me to strive to be thankful and content in any and all circumstances (His Word says this is so), and to think about this daily, I am especially thankful for the month of November, where we set aside a special time to count our many blessings. And when we really stop and think about it, don't they abound?! Man, oh man. My blessings are many. Might I share a few with you?

I may not be naturally thin, but tonight I am thankful for a healthy body that was able to conceive and carry to term, three beautiful children. And while I do not have a housekeeper, I am thankful for four teenage girls who help me keep our home as tidy and clean as possible, usually with a smile on their faces. And while the horses in green pastures is probably a pipe dream, I am thankful for a cozy, country home, filled with nice possessions and even nicer people, that just happens to sit on 160 beautiful acres (wink, wink). My bank account will testify to the fact that we do not make six figures, but tonight I am thankful that we are well on our way to being debt free (just one more vehicle and those pesty student loans and we are there!), that we have discretionary income, and that the blessings we receive in turn for working in this field far surpass six figures any day. And what about those children of mine who refuse to sleep through the night? This is a tough one for me! But, I try each night to simply be thankful that they are alive and well enough to cry out for me. There are many mothers whose arms are empty that would love to be in my shoes. And for that, I am oh, so very thankful. Not to mention that I have a wonderful husband who has NEVER complained about sharing in the work of raising our children (and that includes night time awakenings)! Indeed, my blessings abound. It really is just a matter of perspective, isn't it?

So, friends, I want to challenge you this season to stop and count your many blessings. They are certainly there, if you will only take a moment to stop and look for them!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Magic of Monday

Most people dread Mondays. Perhaps they dread that the weekend is over, or that they must start back up to work for another five days. Or perhaps they dread the thought of waking up early or the busy schedule of the coming week. It seems that most people really live life for themselves during the weekends (you know what I mean, spending time doing the things that they want to do), but the rest of the week they live for their employer, if you will, meeting the demands of their job, and juggling the hectic schedule of family and work. But not me. I am so thankful that Boss and I decided a very long time ago (at the beginning of our marriage, really) that we would not live the "traditional" American life, of working the Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm job, simply to make ends meet or to climb a corporate ladder. A few times in our life together we have strayed from our non-traditional work plan (mostly from necessity, but occasionally by choice), but we have always jumped back on the train just as fast as we could each and every time. Why? There are many reasons, really, for our non-traditional family/work lifestyle choice, but one of the reasons is because we get to love Mondays. When you work in a field or mission that you love and are passionate about, you get to love every single day, really. Each day is a day for me to get up and love on my family. Each day I get to ask the Lord what He would have for me that day, and I get to try and accomplish those things. Each day I get to serve others, and enjoy my home. Yes, life is good. Certainly not perfect, but very, very good. And in my world, Mondays are especially good.

Every Monday, my parents give me the gift of five hours to myself. Pure bliss. The girls have dance class every Monday, so my parents offered at the beginning of this dance season to take the girls to class each week. And as if that were not nice enough, they offered to take Mister Man, as well. Ahhh. Sometimes I don't know what to do with all of that time to myself! If the night has been a particularly long one with my tiniest babe, I usually crawl back into bed and pull the covers up to my chin and rest. Sometimes for one hour, sometimes for four :). If I am feeling well rested already, my day to myself almost always includes a chai latte form Starbucks or Panera Bread, some Target browsing and sometimes buying (my favorite store on the planet!), and usually some time at home or at the main office to get organized or caught up on something that I have neglected during the previous week. No matter what I do, the time alone is always appreciated.

I feel quite blessed that I don't have to dread Mondays like most of the rest of the world. I feel blessed that I work in a "job" that really isn't like a job at all. I feel blessed that Boss and I are serving in the same field. I feel blessed that I have family close by that is willing to spoil me. And I feel especially blessed that at the end of my magical Mondays, that three little heads are smiling and waiting for me to smooch their cheeks and ask them how their day has been. Yes, in our home, the magic of Monday is a beautiful thing. I hope you can find a way to make Monday, and everyday, magic in your home, as well. Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Best Friends

Today I spent the day with my best friend. We didn't do anything big or fancy, just a late lunch at a steak house and then a late afternoon movie,but it was nice. There wasn't even much talking, and if we are being completely honest there was a teensy bit of arguing (remember, we are still living in the land of sleep deprived parenthood :), yet on the drive home from our date my heart still felt full. Moments with my husband are a gift. The beautiful ones, the boring ones, the great ones, the funny ones, the hard ones, and even the ordinary ones. All of them are a blessing. I used to forget that, and sometimes I still do. Sometimes I only want our life, our marriage, to be exciting and fun. Ordinary will not do. But the longer we are married to each other, the more I am learning that ordinary is beautiful. Because ordinary is life. It's our life. It's the unfolding of our love story on a day to day basis. It's in the way he still opens my car door. It's in the way his hand reaches for mine without even thinking. It's in the way he knows that when I say "five more minutes" (in regards to reading) he knows that he can really expect me in a half hour. It's in the way he tells me I am beautiful when I first wake up in the morning and have no make up on. It's in the way he knows how much I love Christmas, so he already got the lights out of storage to make sure that they all work. It's in the way that he makes loving plain, ordinary me, feel extraordinary. So yes, moments with my husband are a blessing, and I want to cherish each one. He is my best friend.

Ordinary no, I really don’t think so
Not a love this true
Common destiny
We were meant to be
Me and you

Like a perfect scene from a movie screen
We’re a dream come true
Suited perfectly for eternity
Me and you

Every day, I need you even more
And the night time too
There’s no way
I could ever let you go
Even if I wanted to

Every day I live
I try my best to give
All I have to you
I thank the stars above
That we share this love me and you

Every day, I need you even more
And the night time too
There’s no way
I could ever let you go
Even if I wanted to

Ordinary no, I really don’t think so
Just a precious few
Ever make it last
Get as lucky as
Me and you
Me and you

Lyrics by Kenny Chesney

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Growing Up

A couple of weeks ago I was flipping through some pictures that my dad took with his camera, and this one caught my eye. I love any photograph that contains one or all of my children in it, but there was something about this one that caused me to pause. For some reason, in this photograph, my biggest girl looked old. Since I am not really a fan of my children growing up (because that means in twelve short years my oldest will leave our safe and cozy nest and fly away) I decided that it must have been the lighting or the angle that made her look so grown. Surely she was still my tiny girl, so I decided it was just a fluke and carried on about my day. But tonight it happened again. I was chatting with a friend in the hallway after Bible class, when Emma darted by and caught my eye. I caught my breath and stared. She looked old, again. So, it was true. She really is growing up. Tonight she was wearing a trendy, plaid, button down shirt , sparkly skinny jeans, and grown up tennis shoes. Gone are the days of caricature T-shirts and tennies. She had fixed her own hair in a sparkly headband and side ponytail, her new, usual do. She smiled and I could see where her two new bottom teeth are coming in. Another sign that things are changing. My heart is breaking and bursting with love for this growing girl, all at the very same time. I suppose that is what mothering is all about. Remembering the past, yet allowing them to spread their wings a bit more each year. Have no fear, she is still my sweet and silly almost six and a half year old, with a large emphasis on the silly. But every once in a while there are glimpses of the girl that she is becoming, and those glimpses take this mama's breath away.

Thank you God, for the gift of my children, and thank you for the privilege of watching them grow. Help me not to take one year, one month, one week, hour, or minute for granted. Remind me each day that time together is precious. Amen.

*** For my mommy memory: At six years old, Emma weighs in at 38 pounds and is 45 inches tall. She is still a tiny thing, but is growing taller by the day! ***

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In the Quiet

As I sit here typing, everyone else is in bed and the house is quiet. Because our home houses nine people and two furry animals, it can often be quite a chaotic place during the day, but the late evenings are mine. I do look forward to the day when Boss and I can retire for the evening at the same time again, but for this season, it is simply easier for me to stay up until Mister Man's last feeding of the night. I used to dread the quiet of the evening. I did not like the stillness. It gave me too much time to think. During the first year after the births of each of my daughters, late nights would be the hardest time for me emotionally. Along with the stillness and quiet would always come the anxiety. But this time around? This time around, things are different. Now I view this quiet time alone as a precious gift.

You see, often times the days are just about doing. Rushing, rushing, rushing, going here and there. Changing diapers, giving bottles, reading aloud, wiping bottoms, teaching arithmetic, making lunches, returning phone calls, folding laundry, and correcting behavior. Sometimes it feels as though there is not even enough time for me to catch my breath! But that's okay. I thrive on busy days, on mothering, on helping others, and generally on being surrounded by people. I suppose that is why the unique lifestyle of house parenting suites me. Being a people person comes very naturally to me. But it took a long time for me to enjoy being with only myself. It took a long time for me to appreciate the quiet.

I am not sure why the quiet used to bother me so much. Perhaps it is because I did not know who I was back then. I was a young, overwhelmed, wife and mother who was searching for her place in this world, and when I was "busy" I could pretend that I had this thing called life figured out. But in the quiet moments, it was evident that all I was doing was pretending. In reality, I had no clue! All I knew was that I wanted to be somebody in this world. I wanted to make a difference and lead a life that mattered. Mediocrity was not an option. I wanted a happy life lived with no regrets. During my busy days I could pretend that I had all of this! But in the quiet, the Enemy would attack. "You're a nobody," he would say. "There are a million mom's on this planet." " What makes you any different?". "Your life is not making a difference." "You're only living to please yourself. To earn recognition for your name." And therein lied my problem. The Enemy was right. I did want all of those things. To be somebody, to make a name for myself, to matter. But I wanted them for my glory. To make myself feel better. I had it all wrong! And that is why I did not like the quiet. When all of my busyness was stripped away, I did not like the person who I was.

But God has been teaching me a lot this past year. He has been teaching me about living for His glory instead of my own. He has been teaching me that the only way to be somebody in this world, is to be somebody in His name. For His sake. He is in the process of showing me that the only way to find true happiness and contentment is to die to myself, every single day. And He is showing me all of this in the quiet. And suddenly it is not so scary anymore. There have been many changes in my heart these past several months about what(Who) I want my life to stand for, and how I want to live my life. I have been sharing my heart with Boss, and we have been talking and praying about some changes that need to be made in the way our family lives the life that we have been given together. I am excited to see where He will take us on this adventure of growing, changing, and stretching our lives. So I will continue to seek Him in the quiet, because now He is meeting me there and I am no longer afraid.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Happy November, yall! Whew. October was a whirlwind of a month here in our neck of the woods, and last week alone was enough to make this mama's head spin. In addition to the girls Halloween dance and our campus Halloween party, we also attended our church family's fall festival/trunk-or-treat, had a pumpkin painting party, and trick-or-treated in Grammy and Da's neighborhood last night. The only things we did not get to do on our "Halloween" list for the month of October was to visit the local fruit farm to pick apples (though we will still make plenty of apple cobblers this coming season!) and carve jack-o-lanterns. I feel quite badly about not making that last item happen. Definitely won't be winning mom of the year anytime soon! Oh, well. Lord willing, there is always next year! Last night I breathed a deep sigh of relief when the girls took off their costumes for the last time and we retired everything to the dress-up clothes bin. Another successful and fun holiday under our belts, and more sweet memories etched on our hearts and minds. So long, Halloween 2010. And welcome November!

Today I was so excited to take down our Halloween decorations and CLEAN! I boxed up the decorations we had out, tossed all of the pumpkins into the garbage can (we were up to 16 pumpkins on our front porch!), cleaned the main level of the house (including purging all of the countertops of papers that had accumulated), and then set out our few meager Thanksgiving decorations. I have long debated over whether I wanted to be one of those people who decorates for Christmas in November, since it is the most magical holiday of the year, but alas, I can't seem to bring myself to do it. I can't eat our turkey dinner, while watching the lights blinking on the tree. It just doesn't feel right, so I compromise by actually decorating for Thanksgiving itself. It makes me feel better. :) We do, however, put our outside lights up in November while the weather is a bit warmer, and we also start watching our collection of Christmas movies. We just can't seem to wait for those. Every November first, out comes the movie Elf so that we can watch it 3,492 times this Christmas season. Just kidding. Sort of.

So that is what we have been up to. Soaking up the last of October, beginning to prepare our minds for Christmas, doing a little schooling here and there, snuggling, teaching Jack Ryan how to crawl. You know. Just living life and thanking God for each day that we have been given together. These really are the good days!