Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas!
From Our Family To Yours

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fourth Week of Advent



Heavenly Father, help us to celebrate Jesus' coming in joy and peace.  May we welcome him into our lives in a new way this Christmas, allowing him to love and act in and through us.  Help us to be like Mary, always ready and eager to do your will.  Increase our faith and love.  We ask all this through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Third Week of Advent



Lord, please hear our prayers.  May we always rejoice in your redeeming love.  Open our eyes to the goodness around us and grant us the light of your grace that we may never be overcome by the darkness of sin.  We ask this of you through Jesus our Lord.  Amen.

On Tour With The Nester!



I'm joining in on Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes today.  Check out the touches of Christmas at our house over on The Working Home Keeper blog.




Friday, December 11, 2009

People Over Things


Our Holiday Dining Room Table Centerpiece

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Awards!





Thanks to Andrea at Arise 2 Write for these two awards - The Circle of Friends Award and the Lemonade Award.  Just like Andrea, I'm passing these along to all my readers!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Second Week of Advent



Lord, give us pure hearts and minds as we await the coming of your Son.  Increase our hope.  We praise and thank you for all the good things you have done and continue to do for us.  May we serve you and one another in the love Jesus came to earth to bring.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read about another aspect of our Advent celebration - Our Jesse Tree - at The Working Home Keeper blog.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent


Our Advent Wreath

O Lord, stir up your power and come!  Rescue us from sin and all evil by your holy protection.  Help us to prepare our hearts for your Son's new coming in grace this Christmas.  We ask this through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Sunday, November 29, 2009



7 trees up with 6 decorated.  4 trees still in boxes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Let The Fun Begin!


Last year, we had nine Christmas trees placed throughout the house.  Since then, we've acquired a few more!  We'll be busy this weekend unpacking all our Christmas decor.  Nothing like hanging ornaments while listening to Christmas music and sipping on Chocolate Mint milk! 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More Pumpkins!

I'm not done with the craft pumpkins yet! Inspired by Thrify Decor Chick, I transformed some orange craft pumpkins I picked up on clearance at the grocery store into a beautiful bronze (Rust-Oleum Burnished Copper to be exact).


I created tags by printing mongram labels onto cardstock.




Now these pumpkins are ready for our Thanksgiving table!







Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Christmas Tree Lighting


Ashleigh & Reed in front of the Christmas tree



Ice skating



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Decorating for the Season - White Craft Pumpkins

Monogrammed & polka dot pumpkins for the dining room table

I've been expressing my creative side lately with those adorable white craft pumpkins from Michael's. Check out my latest creations at The Working Home Keeper blog.



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Results


Dave and I met yesterday with the specialist to discuss the results of the pathology done on the lymph nodes removed during his surgery. The results were good! No signs of lymphoma or carcinoma - praise the Lord! The test revealed a reactive lymph node but not what the lymph node was reacting to. According to the specialist, Dave's deviated septum could have resulted in the polyps that were in his right sinus. Which led to a chronic infection, enlarging the lymph nodes. So thankful we're not dealing with cancer, that the surgery is over and we can move on. Dave is healing remarkably well and got the go ahead to resume his running. Praise be to God.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Surgery


UPDATE -

Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers. The surgery went well. The doctor removed the two enlarged lymph nodes and some polyps from one of Dave's sinus cavities. She said nothing looked malignant, but it's being sent to pathology for further testing. Dave is resting right now. He's tired, sore and a bit nauseous.


Dave's surgery is tomorrow morning. We have to be at the hospital bright and early. If all goes well, he should be able to come home tomorrow late morning/midday. Dave's Mom is coming up tomorrow morning to take Ashleigh to school. And of course my Mom will be home with the boys. So the little ones will be looked after. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow. I'll update when I have a chance.
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.


So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Matthew 6:25-34

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The attitude we have in the wilderness, determines how long we're going to stay there

-Joyce Meyer

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Simple Pleasure No. 3 - Mums




Chrysanthemums on display at the North Carolina State Fair

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Praise Be To God!

Since Dave's last appointment with the ENT specialist, we've been bracing ourselves for the worst. As she came into the examining room this morning, we were ready to hear those awful words. Instead, we heard, "Good news!" The results of the blood test did not reveal lymphoma! He did have slightly elevated white and red blood cell counts. But not to the degree to indicate cancer.

We still do not have an answer as to what is causing the enlargement of the lymph nodes. The next step is to see if maybe a dental issue could be causing an infection. If it's not dental in nature, then the specialist will proceed with the surgery to remove two of the lymph nodes.

I can't offer enough thanks to those who have taken the time to pray for us and send healing, loving thoughts our way. It amazes me that people who have never even met us, would support and lift us up during our time of need. Thank you!

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
- Psalm 103:1-5

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall Simple Pleasure No. 2 - Fall Colors



"Come, little leaves" said the wind one day,

"Come over the meadows with me, and play;

Put on your dresses of red and gold;

Summer is gone, and the days grow cold."




Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call,


Down they came fluttering, one and all;

Over the brown fields they danced and flew,

Singing the soft little songs they knew.



- Come Little Leaves

by George Cooper


As a child, I remember waiting for the school bus with my Mom on cool, October mornings. She would sing a little rhyme about the leaves putting on their coats of red and gold. I remember her saying it was a song her grandmother would sing around this time of the year.

Recently I overheard my Mother singing the same rhyme to Ashleigh as they stood at our front door looking at the changing leaves in our yard. Now that I've found the origin of the rhyme, I'll make sure it continues to be passed along.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What We Know


Thank you to those who have lifted us up in prayer during this time of uncertainty. We know now that Dave does indeed have enlarged lymph nodes - not a salivary gland as the specialist first thought. Two of the glands will need to be removed surgically, and the other slightly enlarged glands in his jaw area will be treated with medication. While they are removing the glands, the doctor will also investigate the calcification and cyst or mold/virus which appeared on the CT scan in one of Dave's sinus cavities. We're also awaiting the results of additional blood work.

Not the news I wanted to hear. But we have a clear course of treatment to follow. So now we just do the next step and move on from there. Please keep us in your prayers!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

First Sleep Over

Having fun in the bouncy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Self Revelation


I'm reading a book by Joyce Meyer called The Secret to True Happiness. In one of the chapters, she talks about the things in our life which prevent us from resting fully in the peace of Christ. I started making mental notes to myself of the things which are keeping me from having that peace. There seems to be three major areas - rude people, things not turning out the way I expect them to and not knowing all the answers. The latter is what especially causes me to worry.

It wasn't until I was reading Jen's adoption story last week, that I realized the source of my need to have all the answers. Like Jen, I was adopted. But there's so much about my conception, my birth that I don't know. I don't even know my birth father. I've been content all my life not knowing. I don't search the Internet for lost relatives. I don't think about hiring a private detective or a reunion with siblings I didn't know I had. I don't ask questions of those who probably know. I had a father growing up, so there wasn't really anything missing.

But maybe having all those unanswered questions, is what creates in me the desire to know all the answers in the face of uncertainty. To undertake the impossible task of figuring out an entire course of events with a sense of omniscience not humanly possible. Which in turns steals my joy and keeps me from fully resting in Christ's peace. Hmmm...

Speaking of unanswered questions, keep Dave in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow. He's going in for a CT scan of a lump under his jaw. The lump is painless and he's had it for over a year. Our doctor told him it was nothing to worry about, maybe just a swollen lymph node. A few weeks ago, Dave's Mom (she's a former nurse) was visiting and he asked her to look at it. She went back and told Dave's Stepdad (a doctor) about it. She calls us back and tells Dave he needs to see a specialist ASAP. His stepdad had major concerns that it could be cancerous. Dave went in last week for a biopsy. We know now it's not a swollen lymph node but a salivary gland. The specialist is waiting until after the CT scan to review all the test results. But she did say the gland should not be that big. I'm trying not to let my mind wander into the area of the worst case scenario. It has also given me ample opportunity to give my worries over to God and affirm that even though I don't know all the answers, He does. And regardless of the answer, He'll be there no matter what.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Simple Pleasures - No. 1


Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter

YUM!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


The fields are harvested and bare,
And Winter whistles through the square
October dresses in flame and gold
Like a woman afraid of growing old.

- Anne Mary Lawler

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Please Pray for Gabriella

Please pray for sweet darling Gabriella. She is only 4yo (born the same month and year as Clay). She is awaiting a heart transplant and has suffered a stroke. You can offer your words of support at her mother's blog, Gabriella's Heart.

While I was typing this, Reedy ran in crying with a boo-boo for me to kiss on his arm. Right now, Gabriella's mother would probably give anything in this world to just be able to kiss away her little one's pains. Remember to thank God for your children and for their health.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall Decorating (on the cheap!)

Adding little touches of Fall to the house...inexpensively




Using what I already had - the candle, stones & holder from last year's Christmas centerpiece; shells and a small foam pumpkin from the Dollar Tree



A thrifted bowl, more Dollar tree pumpkins and pine cones from the yard


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last Day of Summer

Ah...sweet Summer memories!









Goodbye Summer. Till next year!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Reached Our Baby Step 3 Goal

With Dave's unemployment finally coming in, we were able to reach our initial Baby Step 3 emergency fund goal last week! And as usual with us, Murphy showed up to help us celebrate. More car trouble. But this time, it was an inexpensive fix - a new battery for the van. Since we are still in the midst of our "storm cloud", we are going to continue adding to the emergency fund for now. Then we'll move onto increasing retirement and college savings and paying extra on our mortgage (which Dave is really excited about!). So that's where we currently are on our journey of financial peace and freedom - sorta, kinda, not really finished with Baby Step 3 :)

Money Saving Mom - Monthly Financial Check Up

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Second Chance


We've all had moments where we've regretted an action - or inaction. Spoke too soon or with an unkind spirit. Most times, we're only left with our regrets and thoughts of what we could have, should have done differently. That's why today, I feel like I've been witness to a small miracle.

Remember when I wrote about missing an opportunity to provide a meal for a sick co-worker? God had placed a call to service on my heart but I delayed in responding. Well today as I opened my email at work, there was another request for meals! This time, I promptly replied that I would fill both dates if they were still available. Somehow in the short time I replied to the first email, another was sent saying only one date was left. So I picked up the phone and called to claim the remaining date!

Thank you God for giving me a second chance to answer Your call!


Share what you're thankful for today - visit
Heavenly Homemaker's Gratituesday.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

There's Gonna Be A Heartache Tonight

Kyle Busch finds himself in an unlikely spot - on the outside of the top 12 looking in. If he's going to make the Chase, he'll have to do it at tonight's race in Richmond. Go Kyle!


Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th


Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

~ Saint Francis of Assisi

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Do Nothing Kind of Day

The kids playing on a swing set gifted to us by neighbors. It's showing its age, but it's still sturdy enough for hours of play in the backyard.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

9 Years Ago...


Saturday, August 29, 2009

You Say Potato...I Say No-ta-toe

Today was the day - to finally dig out the potatoes. The plants had died off and I didn't want to risk any potatoes rotting underground from the rain showers we've been having lately. The kids gathered around as Dave dumped the container out. We shifted through the dirt and found more dirt, more dirt and more dirt. Oh, and five very small red potatoes - very, very small and slightly rotten. {sigh}

If this is my greatest disappointment of the day, then I should consider myself fortunate, right? The kids got to play in dirt, always an enjoyable activity for them. And I discovered something new about myself. That potato growing is just not my thing. Basil yes, potatoes NO!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Missed Opportunity

Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:24-25

Last week our HR department at work sent around an email requesting help with meals for a co-worker who is recovering from an illness. Nourishing foods have become a passion of mine. I love to cook and felt this would be a perfect opportunity for me to serve someone else with my talents (which I feel are very few in number!). Unfortunately, I waited and didn't promptly act on the call to service God had placed on my heart. When I called yesterday to select a date for my meal, all dates had been filled.

It was good knowing that between her church and work, there had been an outpouring of assistance for this co-worker. At the same time, I was disappointed that I would not have an opportunity to serve in an area that seemed to be so perfect for me. Why had I not answered the call to my heart when it was given? In the midst of my disappointment, God pointed out that daily I'm presented with opportunities to serve. The elderly neighbor that needs someone to chat with. The husband that sometimes feels forgotten. The woman in the grocery store with the screaming toddler that needs a "I've been there" smile instead of judgement.

Don't miss out on your opportunities to serve.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day

Off to 1st grade!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Finally!

Our first tomatoes of the season - finally!

It's been 9 weeks since Dave was let go from his job. Last week he finally received his first unemployment benefit check. It was a lump sum check for the last 6 weeks. We transferred it straight to the emergency fund and now we are $600 shy of the initial Baby Step 3 goal we had set before everything was put on hold! Thus far, we haven't needed to use the emergency fund and I'm hoping we can keep that up.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Souvenirs

Before we left for the beach, I told the babies I wanted to gather shells while we were there. Ashleigh took on this task with the same zeal she did strawberry picking earlier in the summer.

Now our dining room looks like this


Ashleigh washing & drying shells


And this!