Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with life (with events going on around the world and things happening in our personal life). When I don't know what to do or think, I use a topical Bible that I have and look up verses pertaining to whatever thoughts or feelings I am having; it's so helpful to read what God's word says about specific topics.  In light of the upcoming holiday, I read every verse I could find about thanksgiving and having a heart of gratitude. As I read and re-read those verses this past week, I was filled with awe and peace and a thankfulness anew for what God has given me, how He has blessed Adam and I and how I love our little (big) family.

Here are a few of the verses that spoke to me, I hope you too, feel a sense of God's love for you in these verses and that you might be filled with a different overwhelming feeling...one of gratitude and hope!
Isaiah 25:1 “O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will give thanks to your name; for you have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.”

Colossians 1:15-17 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful...singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God....giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

Isaiah 38:19 “It is the living who give thanks to God, as I do today; A father tells his sons about His faithfulness.”

Isaiah 12:4-5 “Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name.  Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted”....Let this be known throughout the Earth.”

Psalm 136:1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”

I enjoyed this holiday season as I was able to reflect and think about all that God has given me.  I truly am thankful for all His gracious provisions, for the health we enjoy, for the family members I have and the support of truly phenomenal friends who are like iron sharpening iron for me.  I am grateful that God holds this world and all that is in it in His righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10 says, "Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God.   I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

This year Adam and I hosted Thanksgiving since my parents house was still a bit under construction. 
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I thought it'd be fun, now that most all our kids can write, to start a yearly activity of making hand prints with things that each one of us is thankful for to pull out and look at each year.  I think what the kids wrote is pretty cute.
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Lawson was grateful for his voice box, his "voysbocs".  We have been praying for a friend of mine's little girl who was born with a paralyzed voice box, so I thought it was precious that Lawson would put that down.  I look forward to reading these sweet remembrances every year!

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Ava Jane still needed lots of help writing her's, then she added more "words" herself.

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This group of people are precious to me.  I can't imagine my world without them, their support and their thoughtfulness holds me together some days.  I'm grateful for my "village".  Philippians 1:3 "I thank my God in every remembrance of you!"  As Dad likes to say, "we made a memory" and I'm so thankful to have spent part of my Thanksgiving with these dear ones!
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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Peyton's 10th Birthday Party

We celebrated Peyton's birthday this past weekend with several of his little buddies at D1.  The boys enjoyed throwing the football, playing several kickball games and pulling back and forth in a game of tug of war.  We had fun celebrating Peyton and can't hardly believe that he is now double digits!  Happy Birthday Bud; we love you very much!!
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Golden Anniversary

This weekend we had the opportunity to celebrate my Aunt and Uncle's 50th wedding anniversary.  It's a major milestone, one that not many people can claim, so it was truly worthy of celebration!  Marriage is a wonderful thing, it has really sweet moments that are nostalgic and memorable but it also has many challenges and hardships as two imperfect people try to live together daily, loving each other in spite of unrealistic expectations and unspoken wishes or desires.  Learning to communicate with each other and to live with a "reservoir of grace" toward one another is so very hard to do.  I'm thankful that Aunt Jane and Uncle Jerry have loved one another well, have remained committed to each other and persevered through the hard times.
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It was a surprise party and they had no inkling that many friends and family were gathering this weekend to celebrate them.
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This picture captures my Aunt Jane's surprised reaction.
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I liked this quote that I found, "A great marriage is not when a perfect couple comes together, it is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences."   Clearly, after spending fifty years together they have learned how to "enjoy" each others differences, it is that fact that truly reveals their love for one another.  Aunt Jane and Uncle Jerry, I'm glad I could be there and toast to your commitment to each other and celebrate with you this weekend!
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May God continue to bless and keep you, may His light shine down upon your marriage and may He fill you with His peace.  I'm grateful for your legacy and pray that Adam and I can follow in your committed footsteps.
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Monday, November 21, 2016

Thankful Feasts All Around

This year each of my kids had Thankful Feasts at school.  It was a pretty precious time of hearing scripture quoted that they've been memorizing and hearing all the things that they are thankful for.  I'm grateful for where they are in school this year and my heart is over come at times as I hear the things being taught in the classroom that we are also teaching at home.

Thursday, Ava Jane had her class program and did a great job quoting her verses and singing the songs.  How wonderful to hear her hiding God's word in her heart.
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Grammy and Gigi came to see her and she was thrilled to have them.
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Emerson's class has been memorizing Psalm 100 and what a joyful noise they made to the Lord as they spoke his words to all the parents and grandparents.
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I am so thankful for Emerson and how well he has been doing in Kindergarten this year. My heart wanted to burst when I heard him quoting these scriptures:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and we are the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness continues through all generations.
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Lawson's class played games and watched several Thanksgiving movies then had their feast too.
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The fourth grade had several visitors from the Game and Fish Department who shared all kinds of information about bears and other animals native to Arkansas. After all the feasting in the first two classes, I unfortunately missed all that the fourth grade did.  I think the kids had a good time for sure and are thankful to be out of school during this holiday week.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sugar Plum Ball 2016

Yesterday was Ava Jane's first Sugar Plum Ball.  She enjoyed picking out this red dress and wearing her new black "high heel" shoes--she loved how they clicked and clacked across our hardwood floors and thought she was a big girl for sure.  Adam gave her a corsage to wear, which she liked at first, then decided she didn't really want to wear it the rest of the night.
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How cute are these two?  This girl surely loves her Daddy and her Daddy is wrapped around her little finger most certainly!
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We gathered up with several of our friends, Ava Jane, Julianna and London Kate were so cute!

We took group pictures then the Daddy's and Daughters then they took off for the Purple Cow.  That turned out to be a a poor choice, as it took for.ev.er to get their food and ticket, but I think Ava Jane enjoyed going there none the less.
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After that, they headed down to the Statehouse Convention Center where the Festival of Trees was in full swing and dancing the night away was taking place.  Ava Jane had a fabulous time dancing around.  Here's a little taste of the fun she had.
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Here, Adam and Ava Jane were trying out the move from Dirty Dancing as the song "Time of My Life" played through the speakers.  I'm pretty sure this little girl was on cloud nine having her Daddy's complete and undivided attention all night long.  I'm so thankful they got to have an evening together and that she was made to feel like a princess!  A memory was definitely made and I hope many more like these will be in their future.
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