Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Fave: Ducks

While our figurative ducks are rarely in a row, sometimes our literal ones actually are.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Days 23-29

November has been a great month, hasn't it? I've really enjoyed reading all the thankful posts written by friends and family.

November 23:
Yesterday my dad and I ran in the Walla Walla Turkey Trot and today, my mom, Lana, and I went for a long walk. I am thankful my parents are healthy and active.

November 24:
I'm thankful for day 2 of Thanksgiving food leftovers.

November 25:
I'm thankful for lazy Sunday afternoons that give Lana and I a chance to sharpen our mad turkey-craft skills.

November 26:
I recorded several cheesy holiday-themed romantic comedy movies over the weekend. I'm thankful Dan didn't chastise me too badly for my fondness of complete and utter cheese.

November 27:
This week is/has been quite hectic for us, and throwing a pre-made frozen meal in the crock-pot before leaving for the day made it easy to come home to a delicious dinner. I'm thankful for my crock-pot, but more so for the wonderful ladies of the freezer meal swap club. They're just as awesome as the meals they make.

November 28:
Wednesday is Awana day for Lana. I am so thankful she can go to Awana every week and spend time with friends learning about how much God loves her. She loves her class and I can tell she's really learning too.

November 29:
This is definitely our busy season at work. I am thankful to be able to do meaningful work and have great people to work with.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lana Explains it all: Happy Fun Thanksgiving Time!

Hi, I'm Lana and I would like to tell you about the happy fun time we had at Thanksgiving.
Mommy, Daddy and I drove to Oregon to see Grandma Cindy and my Grandpa Bear. 

First, I had to help Mommy with the pies.
I was a very good helper and even got to wear an apron. 

Mommy made all the pies and even made some little cute pies just for me.

My Grandpa Bear carved up our Thanksgiving turkey. 

Later, I got to help out even more by licking the beater after Grandma made whipped cream. 

Grandma Cindy has a really need iPad. She let me play fun games with it. Grandpa Bear told Mommy she should buy one for me. I think Grandpa Bear has a good idea! 

The day after Thanksgiving, we decided to not go into town to visit the crazy stores, and instead we went for a long walk.  

But, I didn't have to walk the entire way. The last 2 miles I got pulled in the wagon. Duncan the little dog even tried to ride with me.

Thanks Grandpa Bear and Grandma Cindy! I had so much fun with you! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Fave: Dress up

Beacause, really, nothing sets off Minnie Mouse ears like Mommy's vest and slippers. Right?
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Days 16-22

November 16:
Lana is growing and learning so much. I am thankful for each and every person who has ever read to her, colored with her, reviewed shapes or numbers or letters with her, and for every one who has simply invested time into this sweet girl. Your investment continues to grow and is more appreciated than you know.

November 17:
I am thankful for date nights with Dan. With all the people I hear saying disparaging things about their spouses, I am truly grateful I am married to a man I genuinely love to spend time with.

November 18:
While volunteering in Lana's children's church class, I am thankful for the opportunity I have to serve these little, wriggly, and infinitely curious 3- and 4-year olds.

November 19:
Lana had dance class today and I am thankful she has the opportunity to spend 45 minutes on Monday afternoons with a group of dancing girls and an infinitely patient teacher.

November 20:
It rained hard all day today, making me very thankful for the good tires, new windshield wipers, and other important safety equipment Dan keeps on the car. I am thankful I have a husband who shows his live by keeping Lana and I safe on the road.

November 21:
Lana threw up at 5:00 this morning, she'll be fine, but couldn't go to daycare. I am thankful I have a job that is flexible and thankful for a boss and co-workers who are understanding and willing to change plans when the unexpected occurs.

November 22:
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Besides a table full of food, I am thankful for the family I get to spend this day with.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Fave: 1st Snow of Winter

When you wake up to this:

You've got to go out and do plenty of this:
(Please note, the plans for this elaborate snow castle are Lana's own. I merely served as the manual labor and did exactly what the pint-sized supervisor directed me to do. I dunno, she might have the makings of an architect? Or at the very least, igloo builder?)
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Days 9-15

I'm continuing the series I started last week.

November 9:
Dealing with a cough, throat tickle, and achy-ness, today I am thankful for Nyquil and cough drops.

November 10:
Driving home from Seattle with a van load of friends and having awesome conversations with each of them, I can't help but be thankful for the gift of good friends, honest talks, hilarious stories, and forgiveness for my horrible singing voice.

November 11:
On this Sunday I am so very thankful for my church and what it means to be a believer within a body of believers. I recently read a blog post that gets right to the heart of the matter, and ties it all back to being thankful.

November 12:
On this Veteran's Day holiday I am thankful for the veterans, past and present, who sacrificed their time, bodies, and lives for our country. Not a single one served in vain and not a single one is unappreciated.

November 13:
Back to work after a long weekend, I am thankful for my job. Thankful I have meaningful, enjoyable employment.

November 14:
While running on the treadmill this afternoon, I realized how thankful I am for good, treadmill-worthy music to get me through an otherwise painful workout. Spinning on the ipod right now is Taylor Swift's newest, Red. Try it out, I think it'll make your treadmill time fly by.

November 15:
Lately I've been thinking a lot about Lana when she was a wee babe. I am thankful we took lots (and lots and lots) of pictures of her and her tiny new-ness. Looking at these hospital pics, I can hardly believe she was ever that small, or that this helpless noodle has become the glowing, growing, sweet girl we have today.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Fave: Shoebox gifts

Ever since we've been married, Dan and I have participated in our church's collection of shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child. We dutifully packed a shoebox full of small toys, coloring books, crayons, and a tooth brush, taped it up and dropped it off at church to be sent on its merry way.

We knew the boxes would be sent to impoverished children all over the world and for some it might be the only gift they receive at Christmas. This, of course, was heart-wrenching to me because I can't fathom any child not getting to open gifts at Christmas time. I felt good that we were helping one child in the world, but I let my potential impact rest at that.

A few Sundays ago the campaign for OCC began at our church. The congregation was encouraged to pack boxes and fill the front of the church with them. We were challenged to give generously to children we would never meet. I mentally made a note to start gathering items for the box or two we'd contribute. We then watched a short video about the project and I really began to understand what one shoebox can do.

The video showed children in a war-torn country enthusiastically opening their boxes. These children had never know peace in their country. I was amazed at the joy these children received from their shoebox gifts. One girl hugged her new dolly tightly and I was reminded of Lana clutching her dolly when she is tired or scared. A little boy grinned as he stuck a sticker on his nose, exactly the same way my daughter likes to put stickers on her nose. Kids colored in Mickey Mouse coloring books just like Lana likes to color in hers. I was at once struck with the reality that just as my daughter is a precious gift of infinite worth, so is each and every child on this earth. Every child should know they were created and are loved by an all-powerful, all-loving God. Every child should have the opportunity to know their Redeemer and learn about Jesus Christ, our true Christmas Child.

Samaritan's Purse created Operation Christmas Child because every single child is of value. I'd been participating in this ministry for years, but finally feel like I "get it" this year. I don't know where our two boxes will end up this year, but I do know that I am praying for the two children who open them and I hope they will truly know that a family in Washington thinks they're awesome and wants them to have a very Merry Christmas.

(Side note: The last day for shoebox collection at our church is Sunday, Nov. 11, but other churches have different days. Please check the OCC website for dates in your area. Also, if you pay the shipping fee online, you can actually track where your box goes. That's pretty dang cool. I didn't know that when we filled out our info, so we can't track this year, but we'll have to do it next time.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Days 1-8

In the month of November it has become popular on blogs and Facebook to post daily about something specific you are thankful for. It has been pretty neat to read about the things my friends are thankful for, and I thought it would be fun to do it myself.

Then I remembered I only post to Facebook once or twice per week and I feel like I'm imposing on other people's time and good nature if I post more often than that. I also remembered that I can't blog daily either. However, I can blog weekly, so every Thursday in November, I'll post a "recap of Thankfulness." Starting now.

November 1:
I am thankful for easy access to a variety of foods. I went to the Rosaures baking sale today and stocked up on baking basics. While I was surrounded by walls and walls of affordable, safe foods, I realized world-wide this is the exception, not the rule.

November 2:
I am thankful for a freezer full of home-raised beef, a garden that produced lovely vegetables, and the crock-pot that simmered all day to bring us delicious beef stew for our dinner.

November 3:
I am thankful for my body that moves without pain and does what it is supposed to do. I went running this morning and I was thankful to be able to move my arms up and down, stand up straight and tall, and consistently put one foot in front of the other.

November 4:
I am thankful for the opportunities I have every day to serve others. This evening a group of friends and I served pizza and soda at a large event for area youth. We stayed a few minutes extra to put away the tables and chairs. At the time, the service we performed seemed easy and a bit mundane, but because we served, the adults directly involved with the youth could spend some quality time with the kids, having deep and important conversations, and ultimately helping one teenager to forever change their life. I am thankful for opportunities such as these that show me no act of service is too small or too unimportant.

November 5:
I am thankful for sweet and insightful conversations with my daughter.
Lana: Mommy, we have to be HONEST.
Me: Yes, sweetie, we do need to be honest.
Lana: And that means we don't show our panties or our bum.
Me: That's MODEST. M-M-Modest means we don't show our panties or our bum. Honest means we tell the truth always.
Lana: Yeah, we need to be honest and not show our panties or our bum and we need to tell the truth.
(Smart girl, that Lana Jean. Yup sweetie, we do need to be honest and modest.)

November 6:
I am thankful for how hard and tirelessly my husband works. Dan got home late tonight because he worked at the Cougar men's basketball game, after he had already worked 10+ hours at his regular job. He doesn't always like it, but works so hard every day to take care of his family. I am inspired by his commitment and sacrifice every day and am so thankful for him.

November 7:
I am thankful for life-saving vaccines. Lana got her flu shot today (I got mine last week) and I am so amazed at the power of a vaccine. When I think that even a generation ago, suffering from polio, smallpox, or any other practically-eradicated disease was a very real possibility, I can't help but be thankful. Oh, and if you're in Washington, remember that we're in the middle of a state-wide whooping cough epidemic. Here's a not-so-subtle reminder to make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date.

November 8:
I am thankful for good friends. I'm spending the weekend in Seattle with a group of wonderful ladies. I am so thankful each of them has chosen to extend their friendship to me. I have learned so much from this delightful group and just know we will have the best time together!

(Come back next week for 9-15.)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Fave: Puppies Love Chocolate Cupcakes!

Veterinarians will advise you to NOT give chocolate to your puppy, but I just couldn't resist.
We needed a trick-or-treating fuel break last night and went to our favorite cupcake stop, Sweet Mutiny.

I think a chocolate cupcake (filled with delicious chocolate ganache) was exactly what the little puppy needed to get her through the rest of the houses of trick-or-treat night.
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