Christmas · thankful Thursday

A Little Christmas Thankfulness

A little gratitude is what I need to shake off today’s family-drama-funk and re-embrace the beauty and spirit of the season.

Though I do sometimes wish we didn’t try to cram an existence into thirty short days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I had hoped to slow down this year, enjoy that I wasn’t rushing at the last minute (because that’s when school ends) to get everything done.  But folks, time shrinks just when you think it’s expanding and it’s nine days until Christmas and I don’t have any gifts wrapped, any cookies made, or any extra serenity floating around.

But today I’m thankful that while I may not be the craftiest, thriftiest, efficient-ist mom around, I did get to go to my girls’ Christmas parties and be glad they have teachers they love who love them right back.

Belle and Claire who sit together and play together and eat all the classroom snacks together.

Madelynne’s class exchanged books and her teacher was smart enough to time that exchange with the half-price bookfair.  Total gift cost: $2.50

I’m also thankful for this wonderful woman.  Her daughter and Belle are in the same class this year which is fun for us because I clearly don’t see her enough when I go in for my OB checkups.  This is Brittney, my fantastic midwife who delivered Amelia, held me while I cried when the test was positive, and in May will hold this baby boy even before I do.

I promised in my last post that I was going to write about lots of holiday baking in the next few days and yesterday I broke out one of may favorite cookbooks that I am ever so grateful for.  A dear family friend gave it to me for my wedding and it’s full of all those recipes everyone loves to eat.  And there are never ingredients I haven’t heard of and can’t get at the local Ingles.

But, alas, apparently the banana bread recipe can’t survive me having to turn off the oven to go get the girls and run an errand after school….it was almost done…so I thought maybe it would be okay…..two loaves have survived to be gifted but one fell into a delicious pile of banana bread crumbles.  Which means now I’m wondering if I can salvage it into a trifle.  If there is success, I’ll let you know.  In the meantime, stay tuned for a post of the recipe because I promise, if you follow the directions, it’s the best banana bread EVER.

And if you’re my brother-in-law reading this, yes I’ll make a new loaf for you.  And yes, I’ll include icing.

What’s your favorite Christmas recipe?  Let me know and link up with Thankful Thursdays below!

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Home · · thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday I am choosing to be thankful for all that I normally grumble about because after all, all life is a gift, and filled with blessings we disguise as work.

My tiny little house….

Our house has never sold and in eighteen months on the market has had five showings.  It’s not happening.  We owe too much and it’s worth too little.  So it’s coming off the market, and we’re learning to live in a cozy space most people think is crazy.  But a wise friend told me last night that she grew up in a small house with two sisters and loved it, and she said, “It made us closer.”  Having observed the sweet bond of her family, I believe her.  And it does make us closer.  We have to watch tv together, the girls are almost always less than ten feet away when I’m cooking or cleaning or talking on the phone or blogging.  Our small house has taught us about what is necessary and what is not.  And while we’ve still a long way to go in eliminating clutter, we do have less “stuff” now that just takes up space and more of the stuff that’s important to our lives for this moment.  Like Weeble treehouses and dollhouses and art easels.  Other junk went so those things could come, and I’m grateful.

The dishes….
I hate doing dishes.  I’ll cook all day long if someone else will wash and load and put away.  I don’t know why I make dishes such a big deal because whenever I actually break down and do them, it takes fifteen minutes, tops.  But I hate it.  Confession: I cooked a chicken in the crockpot on Sunday.  The crockpot was filled with soapy water that night in anticipation of a scrub.  Guess where it still sits?  That’s gross, I know.  In my defense, however, it’s the only thing in the sink longer than 24 hours.  So, I hate dishes.  But dirty dishes mean my family ate that day.  And they usually ate pretty well.  Pots mean I cooked instead of giving into the temptation of going out and a sink full of dishes also means I thought it was more important to rock Amelia and read to my big girls on these nights we’ve gotten home late from soccer and church.  And I’m thankful my husband could care less if we have dishes in the sink as long as there’s food on the table.

Our tiny house has won me over to the open kitchen/living.  I like this one for someday.

Source: via Lindsey on Pinterest

The laundry…
Piles of laundry mean my kids have an over abundance of clothes.  Which they do.  I don’t mind laundry like I mind the dishes.  Laundry to fold means I can sit on the couch and watch a movie while Amelia naps.  Important note: laundry MUST be folded while Amelia naps.  Otherwise she “helps” by unfolding.  I’m also grateful that today is Pajama Day at the girls’ school since I’m behind on my once-a-day loads.  Sheesh, what have I been doing this week?  By the way, if this was my laundry room, I would never do laundry.  I would just keep it pristine and keep the real work hidden away.

I might get some work done here, though.

Did I mention I’m also thankful for Pinterest?

Linking up with the lovely Julia over at Black Tag Diaries.

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thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

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Since my last post was a bit of a downer, and I am working toward emergence from this foggy new existence, I’m grateful that Julia reminds me each week to stop and be thankful.  
Because I’ve sure been slacking on my gratitude journal lately and rather than counting all the amazing gifts God has given me, I’ve been lamenting those he hasn’t.  
But not today.
Today, I am thankful for random, silly, small things that make my world a little easier and my life a little brighter.
Like Stouffers Lasagna.  All I do is unwrap and bake.  Genius.  My kitchen stays clean and I don’t get nauseous browning meat.  And I bought it on sale with a coupon.  Yay for $5 supper.
Speaking of my coupons, today I’m grateful for my local Ingles.  Usually I complain a bit about Ingles.  They’re our only grocery store and can be a bit pricey.  But the checkout girls know me now, especially since I come in pretty regular with Millie in the mornings.  Yesterday the sweet Starbucks girl helped me figure out some hot tea that would soothe my throat and not irritate this sensitive baby, then today when one of my coupons wouldn’t scan, another cashier told my cashier, “She’s good.  You’ll learn who uses coupons right and who doesn’t.”  How nice to know I’m in the right for once!  And did I mention the free cookies in the bakery?  Sometimes it’s the only way we’re getting in and out without mommy having a meltdown.
But when I am having a meltdown, I like to look at colors like this and remember that all God made is good.  And He gives strength to those who have none left.
And blesses us with more than we deserve. · reflections · thankful Thursday

Small Graces


That’s what time the oven glared at me, red and accusing this morning when I ran back in the house for my coffee, my keys, the phone book.

We had one of those mornings. And I needed a number to double check directions to an appointment and I needed to call while I was driving them to school so I could make sure I was where I was supposed to be on time and time had gotten away from us and now my kids were late to school.

I know it’s not a big deal.  It’s a little thing.  A mistake.  A blip on the parenting radar that would be forgotten but the looks on their faces when I jumped in yelling, “Buckle up!  You’re late!”, were so hurt.

Late?  They’d have to sign in at the office, right?  Isn’t that what you have to do?  And I would have to wrestle Amelia back into her carseat because I couldn’t very well leave her in the minivan while I ran in to sign the paper that condemned my kids to a tardy notice on their report cards.

“Mommy, how can we be late?” Madelynne asked all quiet from the backseat.

They’ve inherited perfectionism from their mother.   But anti-lateness?  That came from their father.

We whipped in the turn lane with me silently thankful that we are in the school only two miles from the house. We cruised down the drive and….stopped.  In a line of cars too backed up for 7:59.

“Mommy! Doughnuts!”

It’s Krispy Kreme fundraiser morning and as they stumbled out the automatic doors, the sweetest elementary counselor waved me on.

“No one’s late today!  We got behind.”

Small graces.  And a $5 package of doughnuts.

Thank you, Lord.  I just needed that small reminder.

Friends · thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday, I am exhausted.  I know you don’t want to hear that, but I am.  Who knew staying home was so much work.  Am I doing it wrong?

Anyway, I am oh, so grateful, this week for so many folks who are helping me with my problem of over-commitment.  I think it’s an illness I’m hoping to put in remission soon.

First up, I’m beyond blessed by this sweet friend.  Somehow during her kids’ naptime yesterday she managed to help me do my MOPS job, calm my nerves, and encourage my heart.

Then there’s this….

who doesn’t love baby showers?  And though I was a little apprehensive at first that I shouldn’t have tried to plan something on a week when I’ve got a dozen other commitments, the blessings that have come my way during this week have been amazing.  And the shower’s not even for me!  When our host site was already booked, another wonderful friend offered to host at her beautiful new home (that’s right across the street!), ladies are planning dishes galore and everyone can’t wait to decorate in blue for this family’s first little boy (he’ll be welcomed by three big sisters).  But for me, the best part has been finding the most wonderful deal on the perfect gift.  Can’t wait!

It’s not this…though that would have been fun!  Who wants to do this for the next baby shower?

Finally, we’ll be traveling over to E-town for the first time all summer to celebrate birthdays and the anniversary of my grandparents at our annual family event: Lazy Hazy Crazy Daze of Summer Meltdown.

And that’s an event sure to be blog-worthy.  Good food, fabulous fam, big waterslide.  And a meltdown or two, I’m sure.

Have a fabulous weekend (you know you’re already planning it)!

Linking up with the crafty Julia at Black Tag Diaries.
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