Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year!

How do you celebrate the new year? Do you go out and celebrate until after midnight? Do you have friends over and celebrate at home? What are some unique ways of sending the old year out and welcoming the new year in?

We aren't late nighters anymore. Of course our girls are. But we also get up very early in the morning, and the girls usually don't. Lauren will be going to church with her "guy" friend. I say that because when asked if they are dating, she always replies, "we are talking". How ever he bought her a pair of Coach shoes for Christmas. And although he is working in Jackson, Miss for a little while, he made a special trip home last night to stay until Tuesday morning early so they could spend New years eve together. His church is having a special New Years Eve service, so she is going with him to that and then to a friends for a get together, so that leaves Megan, Noah, Andrew and I. Megan will insist on staying up past midnight. Noah is clueless and will be asleep by 9:00 at the latest. Andrew and I have been up since before 5:00 this morning, so we will be tired.
I was looking for different ways to celebrate without staying up half the night. I was thinking maybe we could celebrate with Italy. Italy is six hours ahead of us, so that means at 6:00 our time it is midnight there. So we could have a meal and some *Christian Champagne*(see below), toast in the new year at 6:00 and pretend we are in ITALY!! Which is somewhere I would love to visit anyway.

Of course, tomorrow, we will be having the traditional Black eyed peas cooked with ham hocks and greens. I don't like cooked cabbage so we always substute with greens. I will make a pan of cornbread and we will feast on the meal of the gods, or at least Andrew and I will, maybe Noah will try it also, but the girls wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. What can I say, they don't know what is good. I grew up eating this way, not just on the new year, but every week. We had beans and peas and greens and other fresh veggies for the garden. In fact, I lived on that kind of thing. Meat was never a big thing for me until I married and Andrew wanted to eat meat. Don't get me wrong, we had meat, but I preferred veggies.

Other than that, we will probably sit around and relax and enjoy the day. We may get out for a little bit and let me take some photo's with my new camera. I am going to try to start a photo journal of the kids, taking a photo of them every day of the year. Then at the end of the year, putting them together in a book for them, entitled Noah 2008, Megan 2008, and Lauren 2008. That way they can have something to look back on in the years to come.

If you have any suggestions of how to ring in the new year or spend new years day. Please share with me, either in a comment or a link to your post where you tell about how you will spend the new couple of days.

Today's Inspiration

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~Ellen Goodman

My New Years Blessing for each of us

May the New Year bring each of us peace, prosperity, happiness, and love.

May we accomplish all we set out to accomplish, and become everything that we dream of becoming.

May we find contentment and fulfillment in the areas God has gifted us.

May we learn from the failures of our past, and move forward with a new determination, passion and inspiration, toward the goal of becoming the best that each of us can be.

God bless each of you!!

*Christian Champagne*
1-2 liter Ginger Ale
1- jug White Grape Juice
The mix is almost a 1:1 ratio, you can adjust it to your taste
The white grape juice offers the non-alcoholic "champaign" and the ginger ale gives it the bubbles of champagne.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

100 Mile Diet

Have you seen THIS? It is so awesome! I would love to be able to do this. I am hoping to get the book this week. I heard them on a podcast (follow this link to listen) talking about it and their experience. I love the website and all the content. Check out your 100 miles.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Year preparations

I rarely make new years resolutions, at least not serious ones. Because I know that resolutions are usually forgotten after the first week or so into the new year. But because we are moving into a new year, I like to think of new beginings and plan the direction of the year ahead.

I am coming out of what I call"my three year funk". For the last three years I have gone through something... I am not really sure what. A trial, a dry place, a funk... whatever it is, and whatever the reason for it, only God knows, I hope that I am at the end of it. And I feel like there has been a re-awakening of sorts. I feel more alive and in touch with things than I have in the past three years. My mind is clearer, and my feelings and emotions are more balanced. I feel positive and have made positive changes in my life. First of all, I have lost 15 pounds and am working to lose more. I am exercising again, and I am making plans. However, one of my favorite saying is: "We make plans and God laughs." Not that He is laughing at us, but he is amused that we can make plans about a future that we have no idea about. I know that God supplies our needs and many times He gives us our WANTS also. He has for me many times in my life. So I don't mean, don't make plans, just make plans prayerfully and understanding that even the best laid plans go astray, and sometimes God has some detours in mind along our journey. And it is in those detours that He teaches us the lessons we need to learn in our lives. I know that He has been trying to teach me things over the past three years, and I hope I have been a good student and learned the lessons well. I know that I am a different person today than I was three years ago. I have different priorities and different aspirations. God is an amazing God and He will continues to strive with me, even in my frailties and humanity and carnality. He is still a loving God who is patient with me even when I don't get the lesson at first. Thank you God for being my constant companion.

I read a book by Robert Fulghum last week. It is his newest work called, What on Earth Have I Done. I have always appreciated his wit and wisdom. In an interview I heard with him, he said that when he was in seminary, he was told to keep his eyes open and try to be useful. Really, isn't that a great piece of advice...Keep your eyes open to those around you and what is going one around you---and do what you can to be useful in this world. I just thought that was great advice for all of us to follow. Be sensitive to those around you and use what you have been blessed with to be useful to others.

Again a new year is coming, and it offers each of us an opportunity to start fresh. All the things you wanted to do, but haven't, well now is your chance. My husband's job has moved us around some through the years and I always enjoyed moving to a new place. It offered so many possiblilities. It afforded me the opportunity to become anything I wanted to become, in the sense that the people I would be meeting didn't have any idea about me. There were no preconcieved ideas or notions about how I was suppose to act or what kind of personality I possessed. So I could become anything I wanted to be. When you are in one place all of your life, and people know you, they know your past, your mistakes and all your failures, sometimes they tend to keep you that person. The person you have always been. So it is hard to change in that type of environment. But new places, new people and a new life, offers opportunity to change without all the criticisms.

We have been in Arkansas for three years now. The three hardest years of my life. Three of the worst years of my life. Not saying anything against Arkansas, just that my time here has been difficult due to this trial I have been going through. The best thing about the past three years was the birth of my son. I suppose God knew that I needed something wonderful to help carry me through the hard times I was facing. Of course, my family is always something wonderful in my life, that goes without saying.

So with the new year approaching, I am contemplating the year ahead and thinking of ways to make my life more like the life that God intends it to be. I am going to search for the person that God wants me to become and hopefully come closer to that image that God imagined when he gave me life. I know that the past three years have been my training time, God has been teaching me, correcting things that weren't right about me, removing things from my life that didn't belong. Yes, it has been hard, and painful at times. I have cried and felt desperate at times. But through it all God was always there with me encouraging me and telling me that I could make it through. And with His help I am...

Words of Wisdom
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Sweetheart

Here is a photo of my hubby, that I took with my new camera that Santa brought me! Thank you Santa!

The best Christmas ever...

Merry Christmas everyone. Just wanted to post a link to this wonderful old time Christmas story that we listen to every year on NPR. Follow the link and listen...Hope you enjoy it as much as we do each year. It has become part of our Christmas tradition.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday memories

On December 18, 2007, Robert Thomason, my father-in-law, passed away. He was 79 years old. Several months ago he had a stroke and while in the hospital receiving treatment for the stroke, they discovered he had cancer on the brain. Then they discovered that he had it in other places also. Basically it had already spread beyond treatment.

The funeral was yesterday in my husband's hometown in Tennessee. We drove in on Friday afternoon for the family visitation and stayed until after the funeral yesterday. My sister-in-law's church had a meal for the family and after we ate we decided to pack up and head home. We got home about 9:00pm last night.

Andrew's dad was always kind to me and he helped us some through the years when we needed help. When we were first married and Andrew got out of the military, we returned to his hometown. Andrew's dad bought a house for us to live in. I was always very grateful for his kindness. I will miss him. I just wish I could have had the chance to tell him one last time---Thank you!

This is the second loss for my family this year. In June my grandmother passed away. I miss her so very much. She was so many things to me in my life...She was a wonderful Mawmaw and she gave so much to me through the years. She was patient, loving, kind...If I could have ten minutes with her now---I would just want to say Thank you for all you were in my life, and all you gave to will live on in so many ways in my life. Each time I make homemade biscuits, I will think of the many times as a child I watched her need the dough and roll out the bicuits. She always gave me some of the dough so I could make a little biscuit. She would put it in is own pan and cook it for me. Of course, it would always be lumpy and hard, because I didn't know how to do it like she did. Even now, although I have learned to make a pretty good biscuit, they still aren't as good as Mawmaw's. And never will be.

There are so many memories just like that one, that will forever shape the person I am today. She played a big part in my life, and I would just like to say Thank you were the best!!! Although you didn't accomplish great feats by the worlds standards, you were just an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life. You were an outstanding grandma that offered so much more than you realized. There are so many things, little things each day, that keep you alive for me. The memories of you are little treasures that I like to find in my ordinary day. Thank you for giving them to me...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thoughtful Tuesday

I got this in an email from someone dear to me. It really touched me and made me think. I wanted to share it with everyone. Enjoy this Thoughtful Tuesday post.
I meet regularly with a few friends and we ask one another that question. How is it with your soul? In other words, at the core of your being ... what is going on?
It's a bigger question than, "How are you feeling?" It includes body, mind and spirit -- everything. How would you answer that question today? How is it with YOUR soul? Are you caring for it?
After all, you care for your body. Do you care for your soul, too?Do you FEED your soul?
I'm told that a hummingbird flaps its wings some 50-80 times a second. It must eat constantly to work that hard. It takes tremendous energy simply to live.
We, too, must feed our spirits if we intend to be healthy. It may include prayer or meditation or the practice of other spiritual disciplines. Or taking classes and reading books that not only teach,but uplift and inspire.These are only a few of the ways we feed our souls, but without constant nourishment, our spirits will grow weak and listless.
Do you REST your soul? In our multi-tasking lives, sometimes the best thing we can do is to do nothing at all. Just to sit quietly long enough to let our souls catch up with our bodies.Charles Darwin said, "If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week.
"What rests your soul? Poetry? Music? Enjoying the beauty of nature?This is a wonderful world we live in -- a world full of wonder. Can you find ways to rest your soul?
Do you CHEER your soul? Use one of the greatest gifts you have been given is a gift of laughter. And it is a gift we never use enough. A woman diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis told me how painful the disease had become. Debra said that no drugs would touch thedevastating pain. "At times I prayed to die because I did not think Icould go on this way," she said."In 1996 I began seeing a doctor who gave me the most important prescription that I ever could have received.
He excused himself from the room. I watched him walking back and forth in the hall; he seemed to be in deep thought."The doctor came back in with this prescription. He told Debra to get some funny movies and to begin laughing. If she didn't feel like laughing, then she should smile. If she didn't feel like smiling, she should smile anyway. He said that it would increase the endorphins in her brain to help with her pain. She did just as he suggested. She smiled constantly. Her children teased her about the fake smile, but she told them that it was going to get rid of her pain.
And it did. Of course, not all of her pain is gone, but her newly acquired habit of laughing and smiling has made it manageable. And now Debra says that she takes only a fraction of the pills she used to consume, and that she would feel abnormal without a smile.
Someone beautifully said, "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass -- it's about learning how to dance in the rain.
"How is it with your soul? That may be the best question you can ever ask yourself.-- Steve Goodier

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy little girl

Megan loves horses! She has always loved horses as long as I can remember. So this past Saturday she got to start riding lessons. Saturday she took a private lesson with just her and the teacher, but yesterday started the group lesson. She will be taking on Tuesday evenings. A friend of hers is also taking the same day, so they are going to have a blast. Megan has never been more happy in her whole life. This is something she has wanted to do for so long. I am so thrilled for her. We went yesterday and bought some english riding boots for her. You would have thought that she had just been given a treasure. She was beaming! A smile from ear to ear! I hope that she will continue to enjoy them and do well. She is hoping that this summer she can participate in some of the shows at the arena where she takes lessons. We will see.

Lauren is getting ready to go to work. And Noah is up and going.....He woke up before 6:00 this morning! I was hoping to have a little me time after Andrew left for work, but "little man" is going strong.

I need to do some shopping soon. Lauren is going to be off on Friday, so maybe she will stay here and watch Noah while I go do some Christmas shopping. I am trying to figure out what to get Noah. We bought an organizer for his room the other day and made his bed into a "big boy" bed. I bought canvas organizers to put his books in and made a little reading corner for him. I took out the book shelf and rearranged his room so he has more room to play. I am going through his things and taking some to Goodwill to make room for things he will play with. But with this whole toy recall, and China situation, I don't know what to buy anymore. So I think we are going with bigger items; like a spring horse, an easel, and a few other things not made in China.

Need to get going on the day. Start Megan's school and do some housework.

Thought for today

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
Maria Robinson

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas time...again?

Well, the tree is up and what decorations are going up, have...I think. I really wanted to do more, but haven't had the time lately. Was hoping hubby would put up the icicle lights on the front of the house and I want to finish the front door decor, but other than that...when there is a two year old in the house, we are just glad the tree is still up...anyway...

No my son is not a terror nor is he unruly, but he is a boy and he is curious, so who am I to stifle his curiosity? Within reason of course. He has taken a liking to the Christmas balls on the tree; the GLASS Christmas balls on the tree...Let's just say, there are fewer glass balls on the tree than when we first put the tree up...and we will leave it at that. He hasn't learned to differentiate between a ball you throw and one you DON'T throw...

Anyway, lists have been made, but shopping is yet to be done. I am hoping to get some done next week. But things have been crazy around here the last couple weeks; like that is anything new. So I haven't done any shopping, none, not the first gift or stocking stuffer, nor have I wanted to fight those crowds to try to do any shopping. I did buy a box of Christmas cards the other day, (where did I put those things?), I am sure that we can get them into the mail before Christmas, sometime. I am just not that into the commercialized part of this holiday. I have reached a point to where I would rather wait until after Christmas to have Christmas. Just do the celebration of the Birth of Christ; which is why we have Christmas, isn't it? Anyway, have a special celebration of Jesus' birth without all the merchandizing and commercializing of the holiday. Then after all the huppla was over in the malls and shopping centers, and WAL-MART, then I will go buy the things my kids want, but no one else in my household is buying this "new" tradition that I am pushing to start in our home. I believe that when my kids are grown, that is what I am going to do. Of course considering I am 41 and I have a 2 year old... I will probably be in a nursing home somewhere unable to even feed myself, much less get out and do some shopping!!! Oh, lighten up, it's a joke!!!!

We also have 5, count them; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 puppies left to sell. I wish I could down load photos right now, because they are the cutest bundles of fur you have ever seen. I just know that everyone of you would be calling to buy one, if you could only see them.

Today is Friday, I do have things I need to get done before I go back to work tomorrow. Laundry, dishes, beds to make, floors to scrub, toilets to clean...But I don't want rub it in anyones face that I am having all of this fun by myself...I am just not one to be showy and I don't like to I will try to downplay my excietment about all that I will be doing today.

I will end this crazy post now. I need to get moving with Tae Bo so I can get my shower and get the kids started. Today Clifford is coming to the library preschool story time, so I need to get on with things so we will be on time. For those of you who don't know who Clifford is, well, I feel sorry for you. Clifford the big red dog has been around since I was young. I loved him as a child and now Noah does also.

Thought for Today
M. Scott Peck:
The truth is that our finest moments
are most likely to occur
when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable,
unhappy, or unfulfilled.
For it is only in such moments,
propelled by our discomfort,
that we are likely to step out of our ruts
and start searching
for different ways or truer answers.


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