Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ending 2009 and Looking to 2010

Each year I usually make the typical New Years Resolutions. I want to eat healthier, feed my family healthier and exercise more. This usually comes after a month of being on a diet of sugar. I'm not sure I put too many things in my mouth this past month didn't have sugar in it. If it didn't, it was probably some sort of meat or covered in grease. Sounds appetizing, doesn't it? This year is no different than every other year. I hope to be more faithful in my exercising and I also hope to start running again this year. Maybe a couple 5k's?

But as Christians we always need to be examining ourselves and when we start a new year I think it is a great time to reflect on the past year and look to the coming year. This past year I made a great commitment to being more faithful in my daily devotions. I did a pretty good job. I also stepped out of my comfort zone probably more than I usually do.

As I look to the coming year, I desire more from my walk with God.

I desire to know Him more deeply.

to love Him more fully.

to serve Him with more devotion.

to know His word, to write it on my heart.

to talk to Him not only in prayer times a couple times a day, but all day long.

to give God ALL of me not just part of me. Not just my leftovers.

to sing praises to Him like no one else is listening, just an offering of praise to Him!

As a wife and a mother - I desire to be a better spouse. To love and serve my husband. To be selfless. To be an encourager. To enjoy my children. Be faithful in teaching them. Take time to enjoy them more.

As I look at this list, I know I will fail over and over again. But even as I know this I still press on, knowing that I have been purchased by the blood of Christ and that has not changed from 2009 to 2010.

What about you? Have you examined your life? What are your resolutions for 2010?

O God, You are my God;
 Early will I seek You;
 My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
Psalm 63:1-4

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Fun

My house is clean, I had some friends over this morning and the kids are tired out and actually taking a nap which rarely happens anymore. The dishwasher is running, so is the wash machine. Gotta love modern conveniences! Since these machines are doing my work, I thought I'd share a few photos from Christmas with you.

Christmas Eve we went to church and then came home, had a nice dinner and a quiet evening at home. The kids decorated a gingerbread house and got to open 1 present.

I got a great deal on Webkinz but I'm not so sure this was a great idea. To go on the website they really need to read. My kids don't ,so I have been busy taking care of four pets.

Christmas Day we opened the rest of the presents. Brad opened his Garmin GPS Navigator. Real Surprise! If you didn't read the story about this you can go here. The boys got the drum set that they really wanted and the girls got the Princess Polly Pockets that they kept asking for.

Yes, the drums have been moved downstairs!

We spent the afternoon at my Dad's house with my 2 sisters and their families and my Grandma. It seemed a little quiet without my brother and his family there.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shocking Message

Sunday night my husband and I put the kids to bed and sat down and watched this message given by Paul Washer that was recommended to us by a friend. I'm going to warn you, it's long. Almost an hour long. So don't try to sit down real quick and watch it while you have kids asking you questions and running around you.

It is definitely worth it and I hope that you all take the time to watch it. I'm sure many of you will have extra time this week due to the holiday. If this doesn't change your life and bring you to your knees in repentance then............................. you fill in the blank.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Day In the Life of a Bargain Shopper

Dear Husband,

Thank you for not working the day after Christmas so that I could aimlessly walk around stores looking for a good bargain.

Your Wife who loves a bargain


Dear Kohls,

Thank you for starting off my shopping adventure with some nice slippers for a nice price so that my husband doesn't have to feel left out anymore because he is the only one who didn't get new slippers for Christmas.

A lady with cold floors in her house


Dear Target,

50% off is not clearance! 50% off is a sale price. I can get these prices before Christmas, therefore I will not be buying any of your items and storing them for a year.

Extreme Bargain Shopper


Dear Target Shoppers,

Why are you all going nuts and filling your carts full with all of these Christmas "bargains". $2 for a roll of wrapping paper is not cheap. Do I need to give you all a lesson in Clearance shopping?

Extreme Bargain Shopper


Dear Lady at Target,

When someone has a shopping cart the size of Texas, do you think you could be patient enough to let her maneuver her cart or are you in that big of a hurry.

The lady with the big cart


Dear Mom,

I wish I could tell you how sorry I am for being so annoying when I was a kid and we went shopping. Don't worry my kids are making up for it. I'm not sure how many times I heard today, "my feet hurt", "I'm tired", "I want to go home".

Your Daughter


Dear Lowes and JoAnns,

I have nothing to say to you. You were a disappointment.

Frustrated Shopper


Dear TJMaxx,

I refuse to stand in your long line for 2 rolls of wrapping paper and some hooks. I put my items back. Don't worry, I still love you and will be back again.

A Loyal Shopper


Dear Alex and Amanda,

Sorry for dragging you in a million stores. I saw those cute stockings at Target with the letters on but they didn't have an I for Isaac. I became determined to find stockings. You did whine a lot but it was somewhat justified.

Your determined Mom


Dear Menards,

Your Dutch sale was a dissapointment to this Dutch girl.

Cheap Dutchwoman


Dear Girl sitting smack dab next to your boyfriend in the pick-up truck in Walgreens parking lot,

The only thing I have to say to you is, "Really????"

The woman in the mini-van that has been married for over 9 years


Dear Walgreens,

You have been so good to me with bargains the last couple years I am not sure why I chose to leave you until last. Thank you for being the only place with lots of cheap wrapping paper.

A relieved bargain shopper


Dear Dollar Store,

Since I did not have much luck shopping today, I think you will be seeing me next year for the rest of my Christmas wrapping needs.

A lover of all things that are only $1


Dear house,

Why did you not clean yourself up while I was gone? Now I have to make the kids do it!

The lady who is trying to ignore the after Christmas mess

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Gift

For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11

Today I will be celebrating with my family, the Word became flesh. What a blessing to know that our Father loved us so much that He sent His son to this earth.

The older I get, the more I take time to reflect on this and am TRULY thankful for this great gift. Without this gift we would have no reason to celebrate today. This day would be empty.

I pray that all of you would have a blessed Christmas day and take the time today in the midst of food, family, and presents to celebrate Christ's birth. May you all join with the angels in praising God and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!
Luke 2:14

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Little Helpers

Brad was home from work today so he painted our newly drywalled garage. He had some help!

He is training them young and looking forward to all the help they will give him in the future.

While they were painting, me and the girls went to the grocery store. I wish I had my camera with so I could show you my little helpers as they pushed those little miniture carts through the store.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Verse of the Week

I will be taking a break from posting a verse of the week until after the new year. Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing the verses that I have memorized up until this point.

In January I will be back and am going to attempt to memorize a chunk of scripture. If one of your resolutions for the new year is to memorize more scripture, I hope you'll come back in a few weeks and join me for the challenge.

Friday, December 18, 2009

All I Want for Christmas

My kids have been singing "All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth!" This bring so many memories back of my mom singing this to my sister when she had issues with having no two front for a very long time. Which is a whole other story. Everyone in our house actually has their 2 front teeth, so I wished for different things.

All I want for Christmas is these 2 things:

1. Stools for around my island in my kitchen
2. Photoshop

I opted for the stools as being my #1 choice and I have already received this early Christmas present. Thanks to my husband!

MckMama  is giving away Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 and over at The Grammie Diaries you can win Adobe Photoshop Elements 8. I enter a lot of giveaways on blogs but I don't think I have ever wanted to win so badly! I am telling you all because if I tell you I can get an extra entry to win! I know, it's purely selfish! If you'd like to go over there and enter, be my guest. If you win feel free to give it to me. I will gladly accept your generous gift!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gratitude 252-271

holy experience

God's protection over our family as we drive on the roads


vicks to help with coughs

deliveries on the doorstep

Christmas cards in the mail

an early Christmas present - stools for the island

Handel's Messiah - what a joy to hear the gospel put to music.

online shopping

chocolate covered pretzels decorated by little hands

the smell of pork tacos cooking in the crock pot

being able to sit in my heated home and look out the window at the snow


stockings hung by the fireplace

decorating Christmas cookies

Eating them - even better!

red and green frosting from Aldi

a little nap

Christmas tree with lights shining bright and ornaments hung

red berries and fake evergreen branches brightening up my house

celebrating 60 years with my Dad

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Verse of the Week

This weeks verse is also a verse that has been to put music in the Handel's Messiah. As I have mentioned in the past, I'm not very good at memorization so music definitely helps me. I'm hoping it helps me this because when I wrote it out on my index card it took up the whole card!

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken smitten by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astry; We have turned everyone to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  Isaiah 53:4-6

Once again, if you are memorizing scripture with me I'd love to hear from you and hear how it is going.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Favorite Pictures of Christmas Past

The First Christmas. Pre-Isaac. So Cute!

I will never forget this Christmas when my mom and I took the kids to Picture People. The kids would not stop crying! When we left, we were sure I would not be buying any of the pictures. When we came back, I laughed so hard when I saw this photo that I had to buy it. This was the first and last time I took all 4 for a professional picture at Christmas time. I still have the large photo hanging in my hallway.

This is my personal favorite. I still keep it posted on my fridge.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

Black Friday. A day when millions of Americans wake up early or maybe don't even wake up because they never go to bed, to find the best deals on all kinds of gifts for Christmas. This year my husband had to work so I opted out of doing this but decided to get up a little early to go to Walgreens and CVS to get some of their freebies and a few good deals on toys. I thought they opened at 6am, so I set my alarm for 5:45.

If you don't know me very well, I don't like mornings. I especially don't like mornings when it's cold. I also firmly believe that if the clock doesn't have a 6 in the beginning, this is an ungodly hour and you need to be in bed. 5:59 NO, 6:00 YES. So to get up before 6 is big for me.

Of course when I got to Walgreens......CLOSED! Same with CVS. They didn't open until 7. I decided to head over to Target since I had time to kill. While I was sitting at a stoplight looking at all the filled parking lots Moody was on the radio. The man was talking about the commercialism of Christmas. As I sat there, I thought, how many of us would get up this early to go to church or spend time in God's word or to pray. If I'm honest, I know I wouldn't.

My point is, how much time do we spend shopping for presents, wrapping presents, baking goodies, cooking elaborate meals, decorating the house, addressing the Christmas cards, and the list goes on and on. We have joined the world in the commercialism of Christmas.

As my kids get older I see them excited to look through the toy catalogs, pick out what they want, ask over and over what they are getting and when they get to open presents. Will I ever stop this from happening? Probably not. My kids are sinners just like me and I haven't been able to cure my coveting and my selfishness. But what I can do is point them to what Christmas is really about.

I'm not talking about just telling them occasionally when they start getting greedy or bringing them to church Christmas day or listening to Christmas carols. It's about truly preparing our hearts.

To be honest, it's not just doing this for them. It's also doing it for me and my husband. It's so easy for me to get so busy with all this other stuff that I forget to take time to prepare for Jesus birth. I need to take time myself to reflect, to slow down.

A few weeks ago at my MOPS group a couple came and spoke about an advent book that they had published. I ended up purchasing one and I absolutely love it! It has 25 days with 25 doors to open. Behind each door is a Bible verse and all together they tell the story of Christ's birth. It has really been a blessing to spend a little time together as a family each night reflecting on this. Each night we read the previous nights verses and then open a new door. This has really helped the kids remember the story. We sing a few Christmas carols and pray as a family. We often pray for the families that we have received cards from in the mail that day. Just know, if you send us a card our family will be praying for your family. The kids really enjoy doing this and look forward to it every night.

I would love to hear how your family prepares for Christmas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Verse of the Week

It's Monday night and I am just getting to posting the verse of the week. I wasn't home too much yesterday and my Mondays always seem to be busy. This weeks verse is an easy one. If you have ever heard a performance of the Messiah (which I did yesterday) then you will know this verse. So I hope you will all join me this week. Just jot this verse down on an index card, set it where you will see it often and when you pass by it, just sing this verse to yourself or belt it out and remember why we celebrate Christmas!

For Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon  His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, December 3, 2009

While Mommy is away, the kids will.......

make cookies.

make a mess.


Brad loves Christmas cookies. You know the kind. The ones you have to roll, cut, bake, and then decorate. I will be honest, I loathe making these cookies. I love to bake, but these cookies make such a mess and take so long to make. My loving husband knows I don't like to make these so he often joins in. Usually, I get the honors of baking them and then he decorates with the kids.

I was gone one night so he decided to tackle baking them with the kids. They didn't turn out so good, so I think we will go back to my baking and his decorating. I'm grateful he tried to tackle it though. When I got home there was hardly a trace of this mess. He had it all cleaned up!

Brad also handed me the camera and said, "I took a few pictures in case you wanted to put them on your blog." What a sweet guy!

And where was I, you ask? Off playing Bunco for my first time ever! Guess who won first place?

You guessed it, ME!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Christmas Story

I have to warn you this is a long story and it is really cute and funny when told in person, so I am hoping a can convey all that on here. Also, I may ramble, but any of you who know me are probably used to that anyway.

This year I decided to get something for Brad that he would like as opposed to something he won't like but needs. Like clothes, socks, you know the sorts of gifts. I decided to get him a Garmin. As luck would have it, he told that's what he wanted about 2 weeks after I decided to get that for him. A few weeks ago Target had one on sale so I hauled all the kids to Target and we bought it for him.

Some of you may see where this story is going as soon as you saw I took the kids with me.

One night I was gone (don't even remember where) but apparently Isaac told Brad that we got him a map. Thankfully Brad didn't hear him and when he tried to get it out of him, all the kids were very good and didn't tell him. I thought I was in the clear.

Last Monday night, Brad comes home from watching some football at a friends house and tells me that Best Buy is having a sale on Garmins if I wanted to return the one I got him and get him the one from Best Buy. He knows this because his friends roomate works at Best Buy. Needless to say I was not very happy that he knew and I also wasn't happy that he told me right before I was to go to sleep. I couldn't believe he found out!

It turns out that my dear little Alex decided to give Daddy a hint as to what his Christmas present was. You guessed it............she told him it was a map! Since Brad knows I wouldn't get him a road atlas or a globe he figured out what it was. That's why I married him, all those brains! He's so smart!

The next day I checked out Best Buy online and there was a nicer one for $10 cheaper and free shipping. So we loaded up the kids again to head off to Target to return the first one. I didn't even tell the kids why were going, just headed into the store.

When they saw I was returning it one of them asked, "Why are we returning Daddy's present?"

Looking at Alex, I replied, "Because someone told him what he was getting."

Alex giggled, smiled and with a guilty look said, "It wasn't me."

The clerk and 2 ladies behind us in line burst into laughter.

Kids then ask,"Are we getting him something else?"

I reply, "Not while you are with me."

Again, women behind me are thoroughly amused by all of this.

So we came home and the kids informed Brad that his present has been returned.

As I said, I ordered a new one online. Now all I had to do was make sure that when the box came I found it.

Hmmmmm, do you see where this is going?

Monday afternoon Brad came home from work early and I headed into work since I had a few things to do. When I got home I noticed a box in the middle of the living room with a Best Buy receipt hanging out of it and the box was empty. I immediately took it and asked Brad why he would open it and where is the gift?

He told me how the events unfolded. He was on the phone and Joshua saw the box on the front porch brought it in the house and opened it. He took the gift out of the box, saw what it was and immediately went to hide it so his dad wouldn't it see it.

So I went to Joshua and asked him where it was. He was so excited and it was so cute, he was so proud of himself because he intercepted the gift before Brad could see it and he quickly went and hid it under the bed. The look on his face was just priceless. The girls let me know that they did not spill the beans and that they told Dad he was getting a horse.

Well, once again Brad knows what he is getting but the kids are sure that he doesn't. So now Brad can open his gift Christmas Day and act all surprised.

Hope you all followed me on that one. Now I just wonder what the kids will surprise me with since Brad texted me about 10 times while he was shopping with the kids to find out what sizes to get?????