30 November 2011

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 30
  • a son ~ born on this day fourteen years ago, after four daughters
  • his hugs ~ when he was little he used to sit on my lap and reach his arms backward, up and around my neck and squeeeeeeeeeeeeze; now he has to reach down to hug me, but he still does
  • his eyes ~ big and blue, like his uncle from whom he got his middle name and his grandmother whom he never knew on his dad's side, and his grandfather and uncle on my side ~ and his blonde curls, which i couldn't bear to cut off for about the first five years, until he got tired of people thinking he was a girl and insisted!
  • his wit ~ sometimes he says things that just take me by surprise
  • his talents ~ writing, playing the guitar, figuring out how things work, problem-solving; he is quite brilliant
Happy Birthday, Joshua; i am so very glad you were born!

Oh, he is also a huge Johnny Cash fan, so this is in honour of him:

29 November 2011

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 29
  • the dear friend of my mother's after whom I was named; yesterday was her birthday.  she is an amazing lady, and I would love to be able to live up to her example
  • my past (Romans 8:28)
  • my present (Psalm 118:24)
  • my future (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • everything He has given me (James 1:17)

28 November 2011

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 28
  • Advent
  • hope
  • two sons both born during this season of the year
  • cool, crisp days and chilly nights
  • "The people who walked in darkness
       have seen a great light;
    those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
       on them has light shined." ~Isaiah 9:2

27 November 2011

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 27

We Thank Thee
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

For flowers that bloom about our feet,
Father, we thank Thee.
For tender grass so fresh, so sweet,
Father, we thank Thee.
For the song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,
Father, we thank Thee.
For pleasant shade of branches high,
Father, we thank Thee.
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For this new morning with its light,
Father, we thank Thee.
For rest and shelter of the night,
Father, we thank Thee
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

Keeping Advent ~ week 1

Please visit the Nativity Carnival over at A Ten O'Clock Scholar.

Our wreath is all ready to go this evening.  

We have green and purple candles, because I am using leftovers from my daughter's June wedding.  The wreath was given to me by my oldest daughter; it will go on the door Christmas morning when the tree has replaced it on the table.  I stole borrowed Kerry's idea and placed some gold, purple, and clear "gems" I had on the cake plate around the candles.  I also have four little brass angels that I bought at the thrift store several years ago that stand between the candles.  The only thing I had to purchase was the Christ candle for the center; my 15yo daughter and I decided to use a gold one this year.

The rest of our Advent-keeping will not begin until December 1st, because my son's birthday is November 30th.  

Last year I found these beautiful Jesse Tree ornaments, but not in time to use:
We will be using them this year.  

Each day we will open our little Advent box, take out the ornament and read the scripture passage.  Inside the box there will also be a little treat and, on certain days, a card with a special activity for that day written on it.

Advent Begins


26 November 2011

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 25 & 26
  • a wonderful feast with our daughter and her husband and his extended family out on the huge deck of the coffee shop
  • my son had a great time with his birthday bow & arrow and the target that my son-in-law made
  • a good night's sleep at a lovely inn courtesy of son-in-law's grandparents
  • a delicious complimentary breakfast at the inn
  • a very relaxing day Friday spent hanging about the coffee shop with my daughter while her husband was off shopping with his family
  • listening to Christmas music in the car with my youngest two
  • being home again
  • a rainy morning
  • leftovers for lunch
  • a nice teatime with my 15yo daughter today

24 November 2011

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 24

12 years ago my second son was born, and I am so very very thankful for him!
  • he is easy-going and a joy to be around
  • he is considerate, kind, and helpful
  • he is humble
  • he has a great laugh
  • he gives wonderful hugs and snuggles
Happy Birthday, Luke; i am so glad i get to be your mama!

23 November 2011

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 23
  • a successful morning of baking
  • a fun full day for the two younger kids as Austin's Park & Pizza
  • son's birthday present aquired
  • a nice Thanksgiving Day weather forecast
  • spending Thanksgiving/son's birthday with my daughter and son-in-law in the small town in the hill country where they are managing a coffee shop, and my son-in-law's family will be with us as well

22 November 2011

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 22
  • my grocery shopping was done by noon
  • my cranberry sauce is chilling
  • i think i have a workable plan for tomorrow
  • i still have some money for birthday presents 
  • my 9yo daughter wrote a lovely poem:
"I am thankful for...
A house to live in,
A family that cares,
A mama who helps me brush my hair,
Halloween treats and things that are sweet,
And all the friends that I may meet."

21 November 2011

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 21
  • a really good day at History Quest
  • rain
  • the engine light in my car turned off again ~ now, if i can just get my inspection done
  • a short work week
  • my husband makes the bed every morning

20 November 2011

Advent Prayer

I am joining with Kerry over at A Ten O'Clock Scholar for her Nativity Carnival.

It is hard for me to fathom that the first Sunday of Advent is a mere 7 days away!

I plan to pick up candles for our Advent Wreath tomorrow or Tuesday, and I will get that set up to go next Sunday.  

We will be praying this prayer as we light the candle(s) each night:

Advent Prayer

Lord Jesus, master of both the light and the darkness,
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!"  Amen.

Because my son's birthday is on the 30th, the wreath is the only special thing we will be doing for Advent until the first day of December.  I will be writing a separate post about the rest of our plans.

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 20
"Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise."
~George Herbert

19 November 2011

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 19

This is a very difficult one for me to write; I have been wrestling with it all day.  You see, today is my mother's birthday; she is 81.  She is also in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's, and we live halfway across the country from one another.  I guess I am struggling with writing this because I feel guilty.  I am so thankful for my mother, but I wasn't always.  We clashed a lot when I was growing up, and I didn't appreciate her.  I know that is true of many mothers and daughters, but it doesn't make it any less shameful.  When I grew up we got on much better and genuinely liked as well as respected each other, but I still don't think I truly appreciated her.  When my dad died I worried that he had been the glue that held us together; he loved both of us so much, and we both adored him.  We saw each other through it though.  Then she began slipping away and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  

I realize now what a precious gift of God she is and how blessed I am to be her child.
  • she suffered a lot in her life, and her steadfast faith and trust in God was a shining example
  • she was a prayer warrior
  • she gave me a love for reading and learning
  • she loved and respected my father
  • she taught me how to knit and read music and make jam
~ Happy Birthday, Mama, and thank you!

    18 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 18
    • yet another beautiful sunrise ~ i never tire of them
    • a good play day for my daughter and her friend
    • my children throwing the football around outside and laughing and having fun together
    • my husband's smile
    • an amazing sunset

    17 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 17
    • that my husband gets to work from home
    • that my youngest won't go to to bed until daddy & mama have prayed for her
    • for my home
    • for my bed ~ it is so comfy, a pillowtop given to us by a friend ~ my daughter and i call it "the cloud"
    • that God's mercies are new every morning

    16 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 16

    I am so very grateful for my daddy.  Today would be his 85th birthday, but he is celebrating it with Jesus.  
    • He was first and foremost a man of God.  He read his Bible and prayed faithfully, and he walked humbly with God.  He was a deacon and the church treasurer and an all-around-mister-fix-it; he even served as the music director for a time in our very small church.  
    • He loved my mama.  I remember once when she and I were in the kitchen arguing, and I was being downright rude to her.  My normally gentle daddy came flying in from the living room, grabbed me, and yelled "You may not speak to her that way; she is my wife!"
    • He loved me, and I never doubted that love; it was unconditional.
    • He was an artist and an engineer, and he loved music; he was always singing or humming or whistling.
    • He had a subtle sense of humour and many expressions that seemed unique to him.  I have since realized that most of these were not original, but rather regional and generational.  Things like: "forty-leven dozen", "fair to middlin' ", "the good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise", "no thanks; just had a bar of soap", and if we said, "Daddy, you know what?"  He would reply, "No, but I know his brother which." 

    ~ Happy Birthday, Daddy; i miss you!

    15 November 2011

    Nativity Carnival: Keeping Advent ~ Advent Playlist

    Kerry is hosting a Nativity Carnival over at her blog, A Ten O'Clock Scholar.

    Kerry has some great thoughts and observations in her post, so please go read it.

    My contribution this week is my Advent playlist.  I hope it will be a blessing to somebody.

    Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 14 & 15
    • vaporizers
    • medicine
    • tea
    • comfy couches
    • sleeping children
    • new neighbours
    • old neighbours
    • a nice visit with a friend of hubby's from high school after they reconnected on the book of faces
    • pay day
    • november

    12 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 12
    • flip-flops
    • skirts
    • thrift stores
    • frozen grapes
    • the ability to read & learn

    11 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 11 ~ Veterans Day
    • Thankful to God for the men and women who have served and are serving
    • Thankful to the members of our armed forces for their service
    • Thankful to the mothers & fathers, wives & husbands, sons & daughters, brothers & sisters who have sent their loved ones off to serve and count the days until they return
    • Thankful for the freedom that their service & sacrifice has bought & preserved
    • Thankful that God promises us peace

    A Prayer for Veterans Day

    Governor of Nations, our Strength and Shield:
    we give you thanks for the devotion and courage
    of all those who have offered military service for this country:

    For those who have fought for freedom; 
    for those who laid down their lives for others;
    for those who have borne suffering of mind or of body;
    for those who have brought their best gifts to times of need.  
    On our behalf they have entered into danger,
    endured separation from those they love,
    labored long hours, and borne hardship in war and in peacetime.

    Lift up by your mighty Presence those who are now at war;

    encourage and heal those in hospitals
    or mending their wounds at home;
    guard those in any need or trouble;
    hold safely in your hands all military families;
    and bring the returning troops to joyful reunion
    and tranquil life at home;

    Give to us, your people, grateful hearts

    and a united will to honor these men and women
    and hold them always in our love and our prayers;
    until your world is perfected in peace

    through Jesus Christ our Savior.

    10 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 10
    • my mistakes
    • the gift of confession & repentance
    • God's mercy & forgiveness
    • my weakness
    • His strength

    09 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Days 8 & 9
    • electricity
    • indoor plumbing
    • clean water
    • grocery stores
    • the internet
    • my computer
    • healthy eyes
    • healthy ears
    • healthy legs
    • to be alive right here & right now

    07 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 7
    Rejoice always;
    Pray without ceasing;
    Give thanks in all circumstances;
    for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
    ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

    Today I feel led to offer thanks for some of the circumstances of my life that I am not happy about.
    • the engine light is on in my car, and my inspection is this month, and I haven't finished paying off last year's repairs
    • we still live in Texas in the suburbs, not in the country in the Northwest
    • we are in debt, and I have to work
    • two of my children are not following God at this point in their lives
    • our church situation is ambiguous
    Rejoice in the Lord always; 
    again I will say, rejoice!  
    Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. 
    The Lord is near.  
    Be anxious for nothing, 
    but in everything by prayer and supplication, 
    with thanksgiving, 
    let your requests be made known to God.  
    And the peace of God, 
    which surpasses all comprehension, 
    will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    ~Philippians 4:4-7 

    06 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 6
    • being back on "God's time" as my grandmother called it
    • my first morning walk in probably close to a month
    • RAIN! just a little, but there is more in the forecast
    • meeting someone new at church
    • a mostly restful day of rest

    05 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 5
    • having my daughter and son-in-law about the house this weekend
    • my daughter and son-in-law including my youngest son and daughter in their day with their friends
    • the Godly and good example my daughter and son-in-law and friends are to my younger children
    • a fun day together at the Texas Science and Engineering Festival for my husband and my other son and daughter
    • a nice big family brunch to start our day

    04 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 4
    • my youngest has been asking me to wake her up so that she can watch the sunrise and have morning prayers with me
    • we have seen some beautiful sunrises; this morning it looked as is the sky was on fire
    • a clean kitchen
    • my brother and sister-in-law were married 16 years ago today ~ we don't always see eye-to-eye, but i need to remember to thank God for putting them in my life
    • my husband is just amazing; he is loving, kind, generous, patient, and a lot of fun; i am so very blessed

    November Daybook

    For Today...

    outside my window it is still dark ~ and cold: 37

    around the house ugh ~ it has been busy the past couple of weeks and it shows; this weekend will be a good opportunity to work around the house

    from the kitchen we are still enjoying last weekend's pumpkin butter

    from the learning rooms we are reading Rasco and the Rats of NIMH and Little House in the Big Woods; we are declining Latin nouns; we are enjoying How It's Made

    i am creating gift lists ~ two boys' birthdays and then Saint Nicholas Day are looming

    i am listening to John Michael Talbot Radio on Pandora

    i am planning a lesson on Mary Cassatt and American Impressionism for class on Monday

    i am pondering this post by Elizabeth

    i am praying for my daughter and son-in-law, who are driving home from New Mexico ~ and for rain

    i am reading Psalm 19 this week; The Innocence of Father Brown on my nook

    i am thankful for so much; for this time of year, a time devoted and ideally suited to giving thanks

    one of my favourite things is the end of daylight savings time this weekend

    click to visit the home of The Simple Woman's Daybook

    03 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    Day 3
    • sweaters! and a day cool enough to wear them
    • english muffins
    • homemade pumpkin butter
    • dark roast with cinnamon creamer
    • getting finished with work an hour early

    02 November 2011

    Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

    I am going to post 5 things that I am thankful for each day during November.
    I am already a day behind, but anyway...

    Day 1 & 2
    • several intimate and heartfelt conversations with my all-too-soon-to-be 18 year old daughter over the past few weeks
    • the privilege of praying for my children
    • autumn seems to have finally arrived (central Texas style anyway)
    • a second refrigerator given to us by our neighbour when she moved last week ~ we now have two fairly new and very nice refrigerators ~ both given to us this year
    • food given to us by our former neighbour ~ enough to last the better part of the week
    • an invitation extended to us from that former neighbour to come to her new house and bless it
    • great writers and the books they write
    • a gift card for my nook
    • google books
    • my very own printer ~ a gift from my husband ~ no more carrying my laptop upstairs and precariously perching it atop the piles on his desk to hook it up to his printer