I Have Been Blessed

All about how God has blessed me. In my marriage, with my six children, through homeschooling, and our faith with recipes, large family living, and updates on our life.

Finally Time

We’re anxiously awaiting Brendyn coming home. He made it safely back into the States yesterday. I’m not sure yet who missed him more – Me, or his siblings. Tomorrow we’ll be having our Christmas and we are so excited. I’ll be doing the normal Christmas Eve stuff today – the cooking, the baking, the wrapping of the last minute presents, the waiting until they all fall fast asleep and putting out their Christmas Stockings, hiding garbage bags around the room to collect wrapping paper, setting out baskets for each child to collect their goodies. And then in the morning, Our Christmas Morning, we’ll be reading the story of Jesus’ Birth, Having Hot Chocolate and Cinnamon Rolls, watching the children open one present at a time and enjoying the day we’ve been waiting an extra three weeks for!

I am sure, even though I haven’t gotten the chance to hear about all he did, that Brendyn had a great time in Germany. The last time he went he got to see and experience things that he still talks about a year and a half later, his favorite being the trip to Neuschwanstein Castle.  (This is a picture he took by the way.) It will be interesting and a cultural lesson for all of us to hear all about how they celebrate Christmas in Germany and the different traditions he got to experience, hear about all the food he got to eat (one of his favorite topics!!) and about the exciting things he got to do. Mostly though, I am just ready for a big Brendyn hug. Three weeks at Christmas is a long time for a ten year old boy to be away from his Mom, or maybe better stated, too long for a Mom to be away from her boy.

We are so Blessed and Excited!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: Brendyn getting home safely, One Month until Baby Cassidy, Two Weeks to Our Ladies Fellowship, Four Loving Siblings who can’t wait to see their big brother, and Christmas TOMORROW!

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Oh Holy Night

There is so much to be thankful for. This past week I was blessed enough to host our Ladies Auxiliary Christmas Party at our house. My guess is there were about 25 ladies from our church who gathered together for a sweet time of fellowship. At our Ladies Meetings, it is my privilege to get to present the lesson or devotion. I took a break from what we have been studying (Titus 2) to present a Christmas devotion.

I based my Christmas devotion on the song, Oh Holy Night…..there is a line in the song that says, “And the soul felt it’s worth”. At Holiday time, it is easy to say “we are keeping Christ in Christmas”, and “Jesus is the reason for the season”, but at the same time be so busy looking for the perfect present, making our house look just-so, getting together the best meal that those simple statement don’t penetrate. I want to celebrate the greatest gift given to me – Salvation – by making sure that My soul feels the worth of the sacrifice Jesus made for me. I also want to make an effort to not be one of the “weary world”, but rather a “thrill of hope”. I can keep the joy in Christmas so others can know why I celebrate!

Our Christmas party is a special time that I really look forward to. I am blessed to be in such a loving church with a family of sisters!

I am so Blessed.

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: Sisters (and brothers) in Christ, My Salvation, A Loving Church, The Thrill of Hope, Love

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Showers of Blessing

In reflection, it is so easy to look back over 2010 and see that God has had his hand on us, protecting us, providing for us. He has done more than take care of us. We have sincerely been Blessed. There have been weeks when our entire income was $20. But somehow God kept providing for us. Whenever things got real tight, I worked hard at trying to remember God is in control and taking care of us, and He always came through. Not once in 2010 did our Bank Account go into the negative.

We had a great Christmas. God provided for us in the way of sales on just what would be perfect for Christmas. Toys from Toys-for-Tots. We got a remarkable gift from a stranger. (A $97 tip on a #3 sale of vegetables – I almost cried!!) God has really taken care of us.

I am so thankful! I am so blessed! I can’t wait to see how big 2011 is going to be as I get even better at putting my faith and trust in Him.

Five Special Blessings to me today: Our Lord, My Wonderful Husband who I fall more in love with daily, My fantastic five, My family who I got to spend the holidays with and enjoyed every minute, A warm house to live in with a working heater and a full refrigerator.

I AM SO BLESSED! Hope you are too!

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I Believe in Santa’s Cause

When I was a kid my Mom LOVED The Statler Brothers. The first present I remember helping my Dad choose for my Mom was a Statler Record. (Yes, I am old enough to remember records – vaguely!) The Statler’s sing the song “I Believe in Santa’s Cause”. Me too.

Over the years, many people have asked us how we do Santa, or how we handle Santa or if we do Santa. Here’s my answer and the reasoning behind it. First, I don’t think Christmas has to be either/or. I don’t think that you have to choose Santa or Celebrating Christ’s birth.

With our kids, we have always put the emphasis of Christmas on Jesus and his birth. We read the Christmas story to our children before they open any presents. We have been known to bake Birthday cakes and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. We have participated in Birthday Gifts to Jesus, Christmas plays about Jesus, and will attend church next year on Christmas Day since it falls on a Sunday.

But we still let our kids believe in Santa. I’m not sure who came up with the idea that believing in a little make-believe is bad for children. We let our children watch TV where animals talk, movies where flowers have feelings, we think it’s fine when they pretend they are Daddy by putting on Daddy’s shoes, that they are the Mommy to a baby-doll. Make Believe is a part of being a kid.

So how do we do it? Well, we don’t lie to our kids. If asked point-blank if Santa exists, I reroute the question and answer. “Well, what do you think?” Brendyn and I have had many conversations that solely exist of his thoughts on the subject. Our kids have never even received Christmas presents from Santa. They have seen him at Restaurants, Fire Stations, and the Mall. They think that Santa has helpers that dress up to be in lots of places to visit kids while the “real” Santa is at the North Pole making toys.

Tyler covers his bases completely. If he sees something he wants, he just says it out loud. “Then God will hear and tell Santa.”

Five Special Blessings to Me today: Kids who are young enough to still have child-like faith, Jesus who is the Reason for the Season, Opportunities to work, Kids who are excited when Mommy comes home, a new cell phone.

Have a wonderfully Blessed Day.