wordless wednesday (with words)…11.28.12

Somehow, Thanksgiving in our family has become somewhat synonymous with gaming.

It started with LAN parties and a bank of computers networked in Mom and Dad’s living room so many years ago I can’t even remember the game, with wires running everywhere. Headsets came along, and so did high fives.

Now, it’s a new generation and an XBOX, with Minecraft being the game of choice. And a little Halo 4, of course.

Some things don’t change.

I still had to work hard to shoo them outside and get the table set.

What funny unexpected traditions does your family enjoy?

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counting my blessings…

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I've mentioned before that it's been a rough year around here.  Health issues, financial issues, church issues…in many ways, I'm simply thankful that 2009 is drawing to a close. 

But my gratitude goes so much deeper than that. 

I am grateful for a Savior who never deserts me, never forsakes me…who walks with me each step of my day, who knows my pain and my joy better than I do myself.

I am thankful for my family. 

For a husband who supports and encourages me.

For a daughter who's love of creating mirrors my own, who's delight in creating mirrors her Creators and who continues to astound me daily with her insight and maturity.

For a son who is so full of life that he has to wake me up at 5:45 to tell me his hand is asleep…who makes us laugh and makes us cry and still loves to snuggle as a rather large seven and a half year old.

For parents who are always there, no matter what I need.  For a mother-in-law that I treasure.  For grandparents that continue to be my role models and cheerleaders all at the same time.  For brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews, for aunts and uncles…for the tapestry of people that create this family I love and miss so dearly.

I am thankful this year for the opportunity and the ability to homeschool my children.  It certainly hasn't been easy.  There have been days that I was ready to pack them up and send them off to school…but ultimately, I know we've made the right decision and I see that every day.  I'm thankful that I have this chance to educate not just their minds, but their hearts as well.

I am thankful for the choices we've made all along to live simply.  While I've continually had to find ways to make our budget stretch further and further, I am thankful that we've never lived extravagantly or far beyond our means.  

I am thankful for the call God has placed on my heart to be a homemaker.  There is no higher calling that I could aspire to than to make my home a haven for my family.  I find great joy in creating and serving meals that nourish and encourage health.  And I'm thankful for the desire God has given me to learn about nutrition, especially as it's looking like at least part of my health issues are food related.

Finally, I am thankful for oh-so-many friends…those that we share our lives with on a daily basis and those that are far away.  I'm grateful for the encouragement and prayers, for the friendship and for the support. 

2009 has been a rough year, it's true.

But it's also been a year full of God's love, shown in so many different ways and faces.

I am truly thankful.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: November 23, 2009

FOR TODAY… November 23, 2009

Outside my window…it was gray and gloomy this morning, but the sun has burned it all away.  A few more days of 80 degree weather and then we're supposed to dip down into the mid to lower 70's for the rest of the week.

I am thinking… that I need to be more intentional about putting together a home medicine kit – things like Oscillococcinum and Emergen-C.  I had to make a quick trip out last night for a few needs and it ended up costing me far more than I would have liked!

I am thankful for… my Mom (who can talk me out of dark places),  the support and encouragement of my husband, a day with just the boy yesterday, time to create with the girl

From the learning rooms…I had intended to do a short week of school, but with everyone but me not feeling well I think we're going to scrap that idea.  I"ll focus instead on putting the rest of our Advent studies in place for next Monday.

From the kitchen… with everyone not feeling well, I realized I'm out of chicken stock.  There's a pot simmering on the stove and bread rising on the counter for supper.  Pork chops tomorrow night, brinner (breakfast for dinner) on Wednesday and we'll spend Thanksgiving with family.

I am wearing… comfy black yoga pants and my sad, old purple t-shirt.

I am creating… Christmas lists, Advent studies and a wreath, a few new piecings, a calendar for the next 5 weeks.

I am going… to skip the Black Friday shopping frenzy if at all possible!

I am reading… Sense and Sensibility (still), Distracted (fascinating and a bit worrying) and getting ready to start my Advent study this weekend. 

I am praying for… my Mom's surgery tomorrow, peace, hope, a lessening of the financial stress, health.

I am hearing… Tom and the kids have invaded the living room and are watching last night's Next Iron Chef

Around the house… it's a bit of a mess…not too bad, but not where I'd like it to be.  I'm hoping to slowly work on getting it organized this week.

One of my favorite things… A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is on Thursday evening.  Someday, I'm going to do Thanksgiving Snoopy style!

A few plans for the rest of the week:  it's going to be a busy one!  Perhaps it's good we're taking a sick day today.  Tom has a cook out planned for the Skate Park on Wednesday, we'll travel about an hour on Thursday for Thanksgiving, Friday is unload day for the tree lot at church and Saturday is Hanging of the Greens.  I'm also planning to decorate our house on Friday and if I get crazy…I might just get a batch of lekucken going.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

122008 Caleb Page 

Caleb as a page in last year's Christmas production at church.  He gets to reprise the role this year and is so excited.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving week!

Want to read more Daybooks?  Head on over to Peggy's, where she graciously hosts The Simple Woman's Daybook each week.

Gratituesday: Flexibility

I'm feeling grateful thiThanksgiving 08- Sideboards morning for flexibility. 

I'm not normally the most flexible person when it comes to holidays.  I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner my first year of high school and have done it most years since.  I usually start planning in September, even though the menu doesn't change that much.  I love rearranging the house, finding chairs for everyone, making things special.  And I really enjoy spending all day in the kitchen…especially if I have someone who's willing to do the dishes!

I'd planned to do it again this year, but we got a call from Tom's aunt inviting us to their house last week.  

My gut reaction was no.

Then I thought about it a little and discussed it with Tom.  It's been a rough year for me health-wise and I'm still dealing with fatigue issues on a daily basis.  I usually end up spending around $100 on Thanksgiving dinner, and that's probably not the best use of our financial resources right now.  We don't get to see as much family as we'd like…and ultimately, Thanksgiving is about family for us.

So we called back and said yes…we'd love to come…what can we bring?

I do tend to get a little sad when I'm not the one doing the cooking on Thanksgiving, but this year I'm willing to be flexible.  I know it's going to be a wonderful day, wherever we are!

And I'm to planning Christmas =)

Want to view more Gratituesdays?  Head on over to Heavenly Homemakers!