"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

November 29, 2011

Here comes Santa...on a bike

You may remember last year when our 80+ year old

which she didn't want as a part of her decor anymore, and then called to complain that we didn't have it up and said she was coming over to help us set it up! ugh!

Unfortunately, we found it when we were getting out all of our decorations yesterday and what was even worse, it still worked. There's something to be said for things made 25+ years ago. lol Much to my chagrin, it just won't die.

We all stood around staring at it and wondering what to do with it this year. Or should I say, how to get out of setting it up...

My hubby's brother, Phil, volunteered to sit on it so that we could tell her it was broken, lol.
I thought we should bury it back in the attic and hope she'd forget about it.
Not my hubby. He decided to do the unthinkable....


He said a slot has become open to be the house with the gaudy Christmas decorations on our street and he intended to fill it. lol

He got some help from our cutest Christmas elf, Joy.

And so, Santa is now riding up our roof,

specifically facing the direction of her house.

Hope she enjoys it because I'm pretty sure that this will be his last appearance. lol

I think I'll be praying for one really strong breeze, which ought to do the trick. ; )


November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

Our Thanksgiving was blessed with:

great friends,





lots of laughs

and all our favorite games.


November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving fun

Wednesday has been filled with cooking. (last night I did the cleaning)
Pumpkin bread, deviled eggs, stuffing, green bean casserole, corn bread pudding, garlic spread, blackberry cheesecake and toffee, oh and I began brining the biggest turkey I've ever made! Fun, fun, fun!
I also picked up a Jan Karon book on audio cassette to keep me company in the kitchen(no place like Mitford for the holidays) and I have some Walton episodes to watch while I cook too. -Until football starts and the men take over the TV. : ) And a sweet boy of mine who works at Starbucks brought me something with Bliss in the name that was heavenly and blessed my day.

We have my brother-in-law staying here who will be joining us for Thanksgiving, also Carlos and my BFF and her family. Love a house full!

I saw a cute idea in a magazine, for a Thanksgiving table cloth. They suggested using a sheet and having everyone write in a permanent marker what they are thankful for and signing their names. Then you can pull it out every year to use and see who was with you and what God has done in the lives of everyone. I bought two vinyl table clothes to use instead, since we have to extend our table out so far for this crowd. Should be a fun keep sake.

I'm mindful of how blessed I was recently to go to San Diego and see all of my family members. I always miss them during the holidays. So, glad I get to enter this season with a full heart having just spent time with all those I love so dearly. I'm also thankful for the friends I get to spend holiday with. Lifetime friends, who have been in and around our lives for years and years (as in 20+). What a blessing they are. I'm thankful to be spending our day with such precious people who love us and who love JESUS more than life itself.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Ps. 107:1
Feeling so blessed,

November 19, 2011

Birthday joy or Joy! (both apply)

We are spending the day celebrating our Joy who will be 15 on Tuesday!
She is certainly a joy to celebrate because she is truly the sweetest girl on the planet. -We always wonder how we got so blessed.

Joy wanted a family party with a Doctor Who theme. That is a sci-fi show on BBC that has been running for over 40 years.

Joy loves it. Wouldn't Grandmum be pleased to know that Joy's favorite shows are on BBC. : )
I'd never watched it before, but I've spent the last few days going to the show's web site to get some recipes, (like K9 dogs and Sonic Screwdriver punch)

and getting costumes ideas for my trip to the thrift store so we could all be one of the show's character. My hubby and I both tried to locate a refrigerator box (to be the police call box that the Doctor travels through time with) that we could paint blue, but no such luck. I just love a theme!

Uncle Phil believes that no party is complete without

so we had those last night while we made the cupcakes.

First thing this morning we gave her our gift, which meant we headed off to Surf Style on Clearwater Beach for indoor surfing lessons.
(I had a Groupon deal for 60% off! whoo-hoo)
We saw one of these places when we were visiting Mission Beach, CA with my parents and she was really excited to give it a try. Plus, her other uncle gave her surfing lessons on one of our trips out there and she actually got up once, so she was excited to try it again.

Here she is with Dad who sang Beach Boys songs to her all morning. lol

Here she is with her 1 1/2 worth of private surfing lessons!

But we found out that one hour was PLENTY.

She's so athletic that she caught on quickly.

Although there were some wipe outs...

she was doing this by the time I left:

Whoo hoo!!!!

Our surfer girl!

Then it was Doctor Who party time!

Complete with Dalek cupcakes!

Here is Andrew as the Doctor!

I didn't quite pull off Amy Pond, my kids tell me (lol) but I tried!

Nathan was the Master (and looked quite mean)

Zac was Rory.

We did a trivia game, had the theme song playing and then we watched one of her favorite episodes. : )
And she declared it "the best birthday ever." Yay!


November 15, 2011

Flushing with gratefulness

Yesterday as I was in a waiting room at the doctor's office with my brother-in-law, I read an article that said basically that you haven't known gratefulness until you've been without

a flushing toilet for an extended amount of time. : )

Well, guess what happened when I got home?

A kicked soccer ball resulted in:
a broken pipe,
then 5 trips to Home Depot and now going on 13 hours without running water...

I'm going to be one grateful gal when our plumbing nightmare is over! lol

What a crazy coincidence huh?

The woman writing the article was about to host a wedding in her home. Now, there's something I'm glad I'm not facing today! lol

She also said:
"...gratitude is not the same as giving thanks. It comes from a deeper place that knows the story could have ended differently, and often does. Gratitude is surviving the worst thing you can imagine...and realizing that you are still standing."
Yes, amen!
And hopefully, soon-to-be still flushing! ; ) But we'll see.

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thess. 5:18

Have a great day!

(Article: Finding Gratitude by Heather Lende)

Edited to Note: This is the work of art that my hubby had me photograph that did result in us happily flushing, showering and washing clothes again. Yahoo! Good job! Honey!

November 12, 2011

Phil comes to stay

My hubby's oldest brother, Phil, is going to stay with us for the next six months. He is a stroke patient.
My hubby is in Orlando picking him up at the airport.

Since our home has 3 bedrooms, we made our family room into a bedroom.

We just finished it a couple of hours ago. I think it turned rather cozy.

We found this antique dresser today and emptied out our armoir for him to use. And no room in the home of any of our extended family members would be complete without at least one Longaberger basket.
For now, he is using the bottom half of Joy's bunk bed since he really liked it on his last stay. She's hoping for a futon or a daybed.
We may have to build a wall in the future, but for now, 4 curtains are giving it what I call a 'tabernacle look' and forming a 'wall.'

And since his birthday was this week, we will be celebrating tomorrow. Which will include a trip to his favorite ice cream place, BO's. : )


A magical day!

Some dear friends of ours blessed us with tickets to Disney again!

We felt so blessed to spend a fun day with our kids before we begin the adventure that is
care giving!

Zac bought Tiffany a ticket and she joined us for the fun.

"I'm positively certain that this will spoil everyday life forever."
~Anne of Green Gables

All pictures care of Joy and her new ipod touch! : )

November 5, 2011

Best chicken salad!!!!!!

Try it!

You will love it!

Last weekends fun!

I made a blackberry cheesecake

did some decorating

and we gave our very special friend

a birthday party!

Joy and Andrew made this cute balloon chandelier:

It is birthday season at our house and I realized that I can decorate now and just about keep them up until January. lol