Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thankful for a Special Six Year Old

November 29, 2007: Today, my middle son turns six. It seems like just yesterday that he was saying "ku-wai" (screwdriver) and "hi-tactee" (helicopter), and pointing to ANY light and screeching "eeeeeee-Light!"

Aaron surprised us with his arrival. I was induced 4 and a half weeks early because I had HELLP syndrome, where my blood pressure skyrocketed, my liver was freaking out and my platelet count was dropping. The only "cure" is delivery, so we almost got a Thanksgiving baby instead of a Christmas one!

We had tried so hard to have him in the first place. Tests, treatments, fertility drugs - finally we got our little man. Jeff's first child, the long-awaited sibling of my son, and the answer to many prayers.

He was tough from the beginning. He weighed less than 5 pounds with his early arrival and all, but he never went to the intensive care unit or had any special treatment. He was fine, with the minor exception of being a hard-head during his hearing test. :-) We survived a few unnecessary scares, and went home after 2 days.

He has always been inquisitive, more interested in how his toys were assembled than in actually playing with them. I said he would be an engineer :-) And his incredible brain (comes from me!) just astounds us every day. We can't spell things we don't want him to hear anymore - he can figure out what we're saying. He's reading first grade books in kindergarten, and his coloring and drawing skills foreshadow an interest in art.

He has his moments of smart-mouth attitude, but can be the sweetest thing, too. He is precious, and God has blessed me abundantly by letting me borrow him from heaven for a little while.

Happy Birthday, Aaron. I love you bunches!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Still Thankful!!

Today, I have lots of thanks. I'm thankful for the smell of freshly fallen and slightly damp leaves. Just smells like autumn! I'm thankful for prescriptions that cure strep throat (what my husband somehow contracted). I'm thankful for finishing a test knitting project that I promised Firefairy I would do.

And I'm thankful for winning blog contests! I won this contest celebrating Gnat's 100th post. I get some cool knitting Christmas cards! Yay me!

And I'm thankful that today I finally have a day off...

Monday, November 26, 2007

What a weekend!

OK, so I've been absent for a few days. I had to work this weekend, and frankly I'm just beat. One more day to go, and then I get a day off. Yea!

I have still been thankful, and God has heard. I just haven't posted here. I still don't have much time, so I'll just hit the highlights of the past few days:

I'm thankful for my oldest son, and how he's growing. He was praised for his "fathering" skills by total strangers, for watching his brothers at the Appalachian State football game. I guess he was being watched by an older couple sitting behind them. He was also "in charge" Sunday while my hubby was sick in bed and I was at work. HE EVEN HAD TO CLEAN UP POOP! My 3 year old still won't do that in the potty, and big bro got to handle it. I LOVE IT!! Somehow he has escaped diaper duty all these years. He'd NEVER changed a diaper until now. Hahaha!!

So right now, I'll close by saying thank you Lord for my oldest son, Michael. A little rain. A good weekend at work, if there is such a thing. And sleep. I'm thankful in advance for sleep...and thankful in advance for my husband's healing so he'll stop whining :-)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Birthday Thanks

November 23, 2007: Today I am giving thanks for one thing: my wonderful husband, Jeff. Today is his #*th birthday (he doesn't like getting older!)

God put him in my life at a time when I had no one left. My parents were there for me, but not in a way that I needed. I was going through a divorce, as was Jeff. I was about as far away from God as you could get. At that time, it had been years since I had darkened the doorway of a church or lifted a prayer. My last, and best, friend had abandoned me, because I was so miserable that she "just couldn't take it anymore." Thanks. I didn't learn THAT until years later...

So here I was, the full-time working mother of a beautiful 4 year old boy, trying to learn how to be alone. I had never lived alone my whole life, never completely responsible for myself.

The first time I laid eyes on Jeff, my heart just pounded. Funny now looking back how God was confirming my direction! I'll just say that we "clicked" right away, and neither of us ever looked back. He truly is a soul mate for me, however corny that sounds.

We eventually began going to church together, and for the first time, maybe ever, I looked forward to it. We were married there almost 2 years after we began dating. That day I not only gained a special man to be my husband, but an even more special man to be stepfather to my son. He's taken him all over the East coast to baseball games on "boys-only" trips. They enjoy their time together. He truly is a father to Michael and loves him like his own, and for that, I couldn't be more grateful.

Of course, he's also an amazing father to our own two sons. (Except for teaching them the App. State fight song. Enough already :-)) Those boys adore their daddy, and he just does things for and with them that makes my heart smile. We are all very blessed to have Jeff in our lives.

So, today I am most thankful for that sweet, amazing man who doesn't look a day over 29 :-)

Happy Birthday, sweetheart. I love you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A New Way to Think About Thanksgiving

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Cornucopias overflowing with harvest treasures serve as centerpieces, little handprints serve as turkey bodies in preschool artwork, and everyone is thinking, “How much food should I cook this year?”
When Thanksgiving rolls around, we think about, well, giving thanks. We often reflect on the past year, and focus on the good things that have been present in our lives. We are grateful for our families, maybe for a new job, or even just happy to have the day off from work.

My boss shared a story with me that turned my Thanksgiving thinking upside down. While a woman named Elaine sat in church one day, she felt that God was telling her, “Thank me for saving your father.” She was confused, since her dad was not a saved man. But again, she felt that God was asking her to praise Him for saving her father. It was a big step, because Elaine had a very strained relationship with her dad.

Eventually, Elaine just decided to step out in faith and do what God asked. So she praised God for saving her father. But he wasn’t saved that night. Or that week, or that month. But that man was eventually saved, a short time before his death. And his daughter Elaine, the one who had praised God, was the very one God used to lead him to salvation.

My boss’s own daughter Kristy was actively seeking a job in a new town, and trying valiantly to stay positive after several months of unemployment. My boss was praying hard for a job for her oldest child. Kristy reminded her mom of Elaine’s story, and decided to thank God in advance, for the job He would provide for her.

Within days, Kristy had a call from a company she had applied to, asking for an interview. The job description read as if had been written just for her. She met all the criteria. The benefits included tuition reimbursement. (Graduate school is what had prompted this move in the first place!) And one of the people who would be interviewing her? It was none other a previous employer, from a huge city, eight hours away.

I am glad to report that she is now working at that job, as a testimony to God’s grace.

What it boils down to is exactly what Hebrews 11 describes: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Thanking God in advance is saying to Him, “I know that You are going to provide this. I know that You will answer this prayer. I know that You will make a way.” Elaine took a step in faith. Donna did, as well. Praising God before we get blessed is living by faith. Isn’t that what God wants for us?

So, let’s put a different spin on Thanksgiving this year. Instead of just being thankful for things in the past, let’s praise God for the blessings yet to come!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Where's Rudolph?

Rudolph ran off and needs to be found before Christmas Eve.
He is hiding in EtsyMom shops.
When you purchase the item with Rudolph, you will receive a free gift. Prizes vary from shop to shop, so please see the item description for prize details.
Santa can't leave the North Pole without him, so please hurry!
Search for EtsyMomRudolph at

Thank you for shopping Handmade with EtsyMom!

Find more information about EtsyMom at and at


November 19, 2007: I am thankful for those who answer God's call to the mission field. For those who heed God's messages, and obey what God has asked (I'll miss you, Karolee!). For showing my husband what a blog is :-) And for soft, warm comforters to hopefully catch some sleep under tonight...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Good Sunday

November 18, 2007: Today, I am very thakful. For a church that loves on its members. Where small groups form just when and where they're needed. Where acknowledging our pastor can leave him speechless. That he finds my little blog enjoyable enough to put on his blog as a "favorite." :-) Which leads to hearing from an old friend VERY unexpectedly.

I am thankful for warm, homemade chili with lots of onions and cheese. And fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies.

For kids who say the most unexpected things that make you laugh when you shouldn't. For kids that I often wonder what God was thinking when He picked me to be their mother. For kids on a sugar-rush from said fresh cookies who run wildly around the house screaming jibberish and laughing :-)

And for my football team just barely squeaking out a win, when it should have been easy :-/

My Latest Charity Knitting Project (still in production)

OK, here's my newest Givin' Knit Away project: a brown boy bear for the Mother Bear Project. The Mother Bear Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children, primarily those affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of hand-knit and crocheted bears.

You can buy the pattern on their website for a $5 donation, or it can be found in the book Knitting for Peace by Betty Christiansen.

My little guy is brown, with an off-white seed stitch sweater and blue trousers. I hope my embroidery skills can actually produce a cute face for him! My plans are to make a little sister for him, wearing a skirt instead of pants. We'll see if all the finishing for him causes burnout and leaves him as an only child:-)

I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Silly (to you) Saturday Thanks


November 17, 2007: I am thankful for shiny sink faucets that I can see my reflection in. For toilets with no rings. Bathtubs with no "ick." Sparkling canisters. An empty kitchen sink. Clean rugs. Folded laundry. Sorted/discarded toys. Making headway on turning the nursery into a playroom! Because all that means that I had the day off, and that I have a roof over my head!

Can you guess what we did today? :-)

And Nyquil. Thank God for Nyquil...

Another contest, for the boys (probably!)

Like Spiderman? Then check this giveaway out on 5 Minutes for Mom!

Cute Give-away for Girls

Here's a quick and easy giveaway from Bonnie. Happy 200th Post!
November 15, 2007: I am thankful for the abundance of food You have blessed us with, as we remember that not everyone is so lucky. I am thankful for a church that fellowships and celebrates Thanksgiving together. For spending time with friends. For the crackle of a real fire, the smell of wood smoke, the soothing heat that emanates from the hearth...

I am thankful for funny three year olds who ask to hear "Miss Tomwin" (aka Chris Tomlin) and "Deremy Tamp" (aka Jeremy Camp). Future worship leader? :-)

November 16, 2007: I am thankful once again for God's provision, in the form of a house sold. Truly an answered prayer!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Few More Thanks

November 13, 2007: I am thankful to have a good job, that helps keep a warm roof over my head...

November 14, 2007: I am thankful for my small group and the people in it. I am thankful for learning new things and being useful at work...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Veteran's Day Thanks

November 12, 2007: I am thankful that my husband has been such a great stepfather, and bonds with my son so well. I am thankful for brothers playing football in the yard. I am thankful for unexpected surprises!

And this Veteran's Day, I am thankful for all the servicemen and women who gave their lives for my freedom. For those serving right now, to protect me and my family. Thank you Lord, for the brave soldiers who fight for our country...

Monday, November 12, 2007


I just have to share my virtual happy dance here: I just got my first sale in my Etsy shop today! I joined the Etsy Christian Artist Street Team (CAST), Etsy Moms, and Etsy Bloggers this weekend and, VOILA! Not that they are necessarily related, but...

Now I can shop! I promised myself no new knitting books or yarn until I sold something. I listed my first item several weeks ago, and I SURVIVED! Woo Hoo!

And no, I probably won't post a "Yippee" every time I have a sale, unless they're all several weeks apart. Maybe then :-)

Real Thanks

November 11, 2007: I am thankful that I am a member of a church who practices acceptance, and not merely preaches it.

Our small group was just about to end in prayer when a stranger with a tattoo on his forehead asked timidly if he could join us. Without batting an eye, everyone at the table shook his hand, introduced themselves, and asked what prayers we could raise up for him.

A few moments later, our service began. The topic? Acceptance.

I truly believe that he felt accepted, both by us and by our Lord. He went to the front of the church and got on bended knee during the altar call. What did he pray? I don't know. But that gentleman felt God's hand on him, and witnessing it moved me to tears.

Thank you Lord, that he was able to find you here...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Saturday Full of Things to Be Thankful For

November 10, 2007: Today I am thankful for our cold and blustery day that kept us indoors. I spent the whole day with my two youngest sons, and we played games, and watched movies, and ate junk - all day. It was great! I was a good mommy - no spanking, no yelling, and no one getting sent to their rooms. My kids, for a change, were angels. We stayed in our pajamas all day...

And to top it off, the kids are sitting quietly at the dining room table, coloring The Incredible Hulk and Batman. My five year old is a perfectionist,and his pictures are amazing. He stays inside the lines, and his strokes are even. Beautiful. (Yes, even the Hulk can be beautiful :-)) His baby brother, at 3, is standing in the chair, furiously scribbling with his black crayon on every page. His blond hair sways as he moves, and he is wearing only one sock. He is just too cute!

Today Lord, thank you for letting things be slow, quiet and good. Thank you for my children...

Thanks for the Unexpected

November 9, 2007: Today I am thankful for unexpected gifts - a free ticket to see Florence Littauer at my mother church, Biltmore Baptist Church with a "new" friend I'd like to know better. I am thankful for learning new things about Angie and her family, and the opportunity to grow closer to her. I have had very few friends since my first marriage collapsed, and have prayed for God to give me new ones. I believe He may be anwering that prayer now. I am thankful for seeing old friends. I am also thankful for a "ladies night out." I am thankful that God cares enough about me to be obviously giving me a lesson in encouragement, since that topic was EVERYWHERE I went this week :-) Now I pray that He will open my eyes and ears to receive His mesage...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thankful Thursday

November 8, 2007: I'm thankful for a good dentist. An occasional entertaining TV show. And mostly, for an encouraging God who shows up when I need him most. In the form of cloud crosses flanked by rainbows on sunny days, to remind me that He is there, and that He always keeps His promises. Who but God can do that?

Look How I Got Thanked!

In this time of giving thanks, I wanted to brag a bit and share how someone thanked me. My buddy Karolee sent me this lovely card, drawn by her 16 year old DD1. Isn't that awesome?

She is a multitalented girl, and you can read her mom bragging about her right here...

Thanks Karolee and DD1!

Mid-Week Thanks

November 7, 2007: I am thankful for the sun warming my car on a cold, blustery day. For George Strait music at work :-) For a small group to fellowship with. For clear, starry skies. And for real estate agents :-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Check out these birds! A friend emailed me this yesterday...

May the bluebird of happiness smile upon you today! (Or something like that!)

A Thankful Tuesday

November 6, 2007: I am thankful that God's provision allows my family to sponsor a little girl through Compassion International. That in her sweet six year old way she covets our prayers, asking us in her last letter to "pray for God to touch her daddy." That her family seems to be safe from the flooding and devastation in Mexico. That my family is safe, warm and dry. That our faithful God provided a job for a faithful Daughter. That my education was put to good use at work today. For a husband that will honestly critique my writing without making me feel bad :-/ And I'm thankful that my mother-in-law made us homemade apple pie today :-)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Thanks

November 5, 2007: I am thankful that the time change now lets me have my morning sunrise on my daily commute again. For 80's and 90's music that makes me fondly remember the past. For good conversation with my mother-in-law. That I wasn't harassed mercilessly at work because the Colts lost last night. For a boss who appreciates me. For kids that make me smile and laugh. For that sweet smile my husband gives me that says he's truly happy to see me...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Thanks

November 4, 2007: Today I am thankful for the glorious appearance of our Lord in our worship service this morning. I love it when He comes to our worship service :-) I am thankful for finally finishing projects started long ago. I am thankful for satisfying meals and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. And I'm thankful that the Colts-Patriots game was a close one, even though my team lost. It will only make them stronger :-)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Today I'm thankful for...

November 2, 2007: I was thankful for a better day at work. That it was Friday. That my middle son is losing some of his bad attitude and becoming recognizable again. That there is still some fall color to enjoy for one more weekend...

November 3, 2007: I am thankful for a quiet house this morning, allowing me to pray and write. For hot showers, with water from a well that isn't dry yet. For beautiful, cloudless fall days...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I'm Giving Thanks

Recently you may have noticed that this blog has become a big contest factory and Wordless Wednesday post. Those will still be here. But I have been somewhat lacking in anything, well, uplifting, to say.

Stress levels are high in my house for a plethora of reasons. Most days I deal with it OK. Lately, though, it seems to be catching up with me. Today I have described myself to others as an old grouch. We had to put our dog of 16 years to sleep yesterday, my five-year old got terrified at a CHURCH trunk-or-treat (scary things just don't belong there!) and couldn't enjoy our outing, and work responsibilities (that I don't necessarily actually have) just got to me today.

It was quite timely to see Leah's post today. My life could always be worse. MUCH worse. My life is actually pretty darn good. I think sometimes I want things to seem wrong to feel more normal, like I don't have enough problems or something.

So, this month I am going to make it a point to recognize something I am thankful for every day. Hopefully it will become a habit! :-)

November 1, 2007: I am thankful that God has gifted me a little with the ability to write. That was confirmed today when I won a "Highly Commended" rating on a story that I wrote for a Faithwriters Writing Challenge. I pray that God will continue to affirm that calling, and use me to bring Him glory...

(If you are interested, it was called "At Water's Edge" in the Beginner level "Christian Baptism" challenge. I think you can search by name, too.)


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