Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 30 of Thanks

I felt it would be perfect to end this month with the thing I am most thankful for in my life.

I am thankful that I have a Savior!  I am thankful that God sent His son to be born on Christmas day to die on the cross for MY sins.  Then later to be raised again from the grave on Easter day to live again.  He lives in my heart.  I live for Him.  My Lord blesses me more than I deserve.  I only pray that I can do what He wants me to do.

I am so thankful for the way my parents raised me.  I am thankful for them being sure to tell me, "do unto others as you would HAVE them do unto you!"  Sometimes, it is tough & we want to treat others as they treat us, but we can't do that.  Yes, I know, it may be hard & there are times that we get beat up enough that I believe it is okay to cut the rope.  That is a tough thing to do, but sometimes it is necessary.

So, having said that...I must say a couple more things I am thankful for.

Liberty University.  I am so thankful for this university.  I am thankful that God saw fit to bring it into my life.  Talk about a LIFE changer.  Man, it is crazy how much God worked through my life during my 4 years there.  I grew as a Christian there, I grew as a lady there & I grew intellectually there.  I also gained many friends and have wonderful memories from my time there.  I was truly blessed!

Shaffer Trucking, H&H Chevrolet & places of employment while in PA.  I had some incredible boss's at these employers.  I am still in contact with all of them.  Not as often as I would like to be, but I know that they are there.  I learned SO much from each one and it was amazing to have the relationships with them that I did.  I thank God for JR, Sue & Mike.  I also am grateful to each of these places of employment because I met some pretty amazing friends at each one.  When I think about my friends, I have some from each area of my life.  I think that is a true blessing in itself.  I had so much fun working.  Sure, not everyday was fun, but I laughed, I cried, I had encouragement & encouraged, I was helped & helped...I met some wonderful people.  For which I am truly thankful.

One final thing before I end this 30 days of thanks, I just want to say how thankful I am for this journey.  At the beginning I thought this would be a breeze.  Then, part way through the month the devil wanted to attack.  Make me ungrateful for things that really I should be thankful for.  It wasn't always easy, but by the time I finished each blog, I was reminded how great God is to me.  How thankful I should continue to be.  So, I may do a thankful blog here & there.  I think the reminder is always good.  I think that we overlook things way too often (talking about myself first & foremost here), that we should be thankful for.  It is much easier to complain.  It is much easier to just go with the flow & not be content.  But, I am changing that in my life.  I am thankful.  I am blessed.  I have everything I NEED & more.  I may WANT something that I can't get, BUT...I don't NEED it!  So, thank each of you for joining me in this time this November.  I pray that each of you will realize how blessed you are.  Even if you are in need of something, whatever it may be, I pray you will take the time to find something you are thankful for.

God bless each of you!  With Love.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day of Thanks #29

I am so thankful for my health & the health of my family.

You know, we have things we deal with.  I have been struggling with lower back issues & headaches for a while now, but ultimately, I am healthy.  Sure, I may not be able to do some things right now that I want to, BUT, I know that in the end, this too shall pass!  I know that we are blessed.

I have a healthy 5 year old boy who has enough energy for all of us.  He is active.  He is busy.  He is able to run, walk, talk, scream, cry, laugh, yell...he is healthy.

I am healthy.  I am able to get up in the morning & do what I need to do throughout the day.  I am able to drive.  I am able to cook & take care of my family & house.  I am healthy.

I have a healthy husband.  He is able to get up in the morning & go to work.  He is able to drive and care for things around the house & play with his son.

So tonight, I am thankful for all the blessings that God has given us and especially our health.

Thank you Lord.

Thanks Day #28

As I have stated in previous blogs, I am so incredibly thankful for my friends.  Each one of you have an important role in my life & I am so thankful for you.
There is a special friend who I see almost daily.  She is like my sister in Texas.  She happens to live next door.  I am so thankful for Angie.  I am thankful God saw fit to put her in our lives.  It’s amazing how God always gives us who we need. 

With Dan traveling so much my evenings quickly became a little lonely.  A little over a year ago we invited Angie over for dinner & she joins us pretty much every night.  It is great for me, because I actually get adult conversation. 
Angie has become an amazing friend.  She goes out of her way to help us.  She keeps our dogs when we are away (even if for an extended period of time) and she pretty much helps whenever or however she can.

So, tonight I sit feeling blessed.  I appreciate the kindness.  I appreciate the love that I feel from her.  I appreciate how she is an “Aunt” to Eli in many ways.  I appreciate how she loves him.  I am thankful for the family we have in our neighbor.
Thank you Lord for blessing our family!

Angie & I

Eli & Aunt Angie

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day of Thanksgiving #27

I am so thankful for this time of year.  Easter is my favorite holiday, but Christmas is also a close favorite.  I am thankful for the time together with friends.  I love the house decorated (although I don't like the decorating part), I love the Christmas movies and I love the overall expression of giving. 

This year I am especially thankful for the enjoyment of seeing this season through the eyes of Elijah.  He is so excited.  He is enjoying every moment of this.  From decorating the tree & house with Daddy to reading Christmas books to singing Christmas songs with Mommy and looking for Scoot (our elf on the shelf) every morning.  He is loving it. 

I love this part!  He has asked for one main thing from Santa & Santa already has the item, so this momma is excited for Christmas morning.

The main reason I am excited & thankful for this holiday, is the birth of my Lord.  We are celebrating Jesus' birthday!  Eli & I were talking about it today & he was trying to understand why we give gifts for Jesus' birthday & asking what gift we give Him.  Wow!  I was humbled.

So, tonight as I write this, I wonder, what gift will you be giving Jesus this year?  He continues to bless me over & over again.  I want to be sure to give to Him. 

Thankful for a renewed meaning of Christmas thru the eyes of a child.

Eli's first Christmas 2007

First Christmas 2007

First trip to see Santa 2007
Eli admiring this year's tree 2012

Scoot--our Elf 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanks Day 26

Okay, so no secret here, I barely cooked before moving to TX (as I've said before) but, now I do.  We all get busy.  When I moved here I was inspired by my niece, Sarah, to menu plan.  I hate menu planning.  Have I mentioned, that I absolutely DETEST menu planning?!  However, she(Sarah) gave me a template and everything to begin my own meal planning. 

So, I did it.  For a while.  On & off, but wasn't really consistent with it.  Well, about a month ago I decided it was time again.  I needed to plan, so that I could better budget grocery planning, etc.  So I started planning 2 weeks at a time.  Then, my friend Julie & I were talking one day and she mentioned that she would be interested in doing a menu.

So, we started.  We get together every 2 weeks for about 1-2 hours and plan 2 weeks worth of menus.  This way, we know our schedule.  We know what days we need to have easy meals planned etc.  I am so thankful for this.  I am thankful for the friendship of Julie to be willing to do this with me.  I am thankful to Sarah for helping me originate this.  As difficult as it is sometimes, I am so thankful to have this menu for when I am planning my budget, for when I am planning my grocery trips and for when I am looking at my week.  What a blessing.

Last week, Julie & I got together & planned 4 weeks out.  Simply because of the holiday season.  We knew that life would get crazy & it would be easier to have 4 weeks planned out.  Perfect!!!!

So, today, I am thankful for Meal planning.  Lame, you say?  I say, NO way!  Try it!!!  It really is great!!!

4 Weeks of menu planning

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Day 25

Today, I am thankful.  So thankful for my church family.  Lake Houston Church of Nazarene (LHCN) family.  2 years ago when we moved to TX the task of finding a church home was our first and largest priority. 

When Dan & I were here in July 2010 on our house hunting trip we passed LHCN.  I told Dan immediately that I wanted to visit that church.  Knowing nothing about it, but just felt that I wanted to visit there. I did research online & we decided it was one that we definitely wanted to go to check it out.

Well, we did check it out & by November 2010 we determined there was no point trying anywhere else.  To be honest, our first day there we knew.  We knew we were home.

Since then, life has been amazing.  We can't say enough about our church family.  We have so many friends there & are pushed in our walk with God.  I grow so much from the feedings of the sermons.  I love participating in things that I can.  I love helping when I can & I purely, simply, LOVE the people. 

So, today, having shared a good portion of my day with my LHCN family, I am extremely thankful for each & every one of them.  I love how we come together to help when needed.  I love how we come together to help encourage others.  I love how we laugh together, cry together, celebrate together & mostly pray together.  Our church holds tight.  We are truly bound together in Love.  We are united first with our love for our Savior & then one another.

LHCN family...thank you.  Thank you for loving us.  Thank you for loving others.  Thank you for teaching me how to love one another by showing me.  I look forward to learning & growing in Christ with you.

The church t-shirt

Thanks Day 24

I am thankful for turkey.  Turkey?!  Yup, turkey. 

I deal with chronic back pain, which has been found to be a part of a medical issue that I have on going.  One of the things that adds to it is beef.  I've learned that beef is a natural inflammatory, so, we have pretty much stopped eating red meat in the Davis household.  Every now & then we will have a burger or meatballs, but, chicken, turkey & fish are our main meat choices.

Buying ground turkey, well, it is NOT cheap.  Honestly, I would try & stock up on it when I could find it on sale or in bulk, which was seldom.  But, it is what it is & ground turkey is what we use.

So, today...Dan & I were trying to decide what to do.  God had blessed us this month & our budget allowed a little extra for groceries.  Our Sam's club membership has expired and we were thinking we would go there, renew & stock up on some stuff.  However, after talking about things we decided that we didn't really need anything big from Sam's & should just go to HEB (our local grocery) and get our groceries for the week & be done with it. 

While at HEB I needed to pick up a pork roast for this week, so we were walking through the meat section...just as the meat manager was putting out whole Turkeys for $5 each.  WHAT?!  Well, we grabbed 3 of them.  Dan had purchased a meat grinder several years back when he hunted and would grind his own deer meat.  We haven't used it here in TX yet, but still have it.  I am blessed that my husband is a butcher by trade.  He knows what he is doing when it comes to boning out a turkey.  He ended up going back to HEB & bought 8 more.  So, we are putting 1 in the freezer whole and cut & ground the others into ground meat.  Plus, we are making broth to freeze.  All total we were able to put 83 lbs of ground turkey in the freezer & 20 Turkey Wings & approx 15 gallons of broth.  Not bad for $50?!

BLESSING?!  I say absolutely.  We are good on ground turkey for quite a while.  HUGE BLESSING!  I believe that God rewarded us for sticking with out budget and not over spending at Sam's on items that we don't absolutely need at the moment.  I believe God allowed Dan to be here today so that we could do this.  We are marking our calendar for next November for after Thanksgiving to go & see if we can do this again.  Thank you Lord for this blessing that has us well stocked for ground meat for next year!

Eli excited to see the turkey grinding & wanting to learn how to do it!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanks #23

As I mentioned in a previous posts, I am thankful for my friends.  ALL of my friends.  The ones I see on a daily & weekly basis and those I see more in the "virtual" world than I do the real world.  Today, however, I can't get one of my friends out of my mind. 

Something amazing happened.  God truly allows blessings to come full circle.  We don't know when or how it will happen, but I believe that He blesses us in ways that we need Him to & at the exact time we need it.

So, let me start this by letting you read a father's facebook post from October 21st:

 "I saw Jesus with skin on tonight. As we were leaving the wedding of a friend in downtown Houston a homeless man approached asking if we had any food. My 14yr. son Caleb Johnson of course noticed the guy had ratty old tennis shoes with no laces on. Caleb asked him what size shoe he wore and then took off his own relatively new Addias basketball shoes and gave them to the guy. After he tried them on Caleb asked him if they fit and if he wanted them. The guy said yes and thanked Caleb for the shoes. I don't know if the guy can play hoops or not but at least he's got the shoes to do it with now. I'm filled with joy to see my son following the Lord's promptings at such a young age."
I was at the wedding that Caleb was at & when I read this post by his father that night I cried.  My first thought was, wow...that would make parents proud.  Then, I honestly thought...hmmm, I wonder if they were okay with him giving his shoes away?  Ultimately, I thought of the blessing that he was to that homeless guy.
So....back to today.  Patty Johnson is a great friend of mine.  Her & Gary, her husband, have 5 boys.  Josh, Ben, Caleb, Philip & Luke.  When we first started our church in Nov 2010 we pretty much kept to ourselves.  For New Year's Eve, Patty & Gary invited us to their party.  We went.  I was nervous, but we had a great time. 
Since then Patty has been an amazing mentor to me.  She is someone I admire.  She is a Godly woman, a fantastic mom, an amazing wife and never stops.  She is there if you need her, no questions asked.  She will lend help even when she is running ragged herself.  She works hard.  I mean H A R D.  Her boys are home schooled by her.  Her 2 oldest are in college and she will do whatever she needs to do to make sure they know they are taken care of & loved, even though they are far away in IL.  Patty helps many people, especially me, in so many ways and never expects any accolades from it.
Gary...he and Dan, yes, I believe, they were separated at birth.  If you dare, hang around them.  By the end of a couple hours you will be asking to be left alone.  (LOL)  They are both sarcastic men & have the same humor.  (you know...the kind that gets annoying sometimes?)  In all seriousness though, I have met few men in my life that care for their families the way Gary does.  He works hard and is there when his family or church family needs him.  A Godly, talented man who has raised his boys to be God fearing men.
So, why do I say all of this?!  Well, God knows this family works hard, is diligent at giving & never expecting anything in return.  They love and do because they want to.  They know they don't have to & they don't do it to get.  They don't have elaborate items.  They are happy with what they have & get what they need to make it.
Last night, Patty & Caleb went Black Friday shopping.  As Patty is very busy with homeschooling, working, teaching lessons & teaching for the home school group...she always goes black Friday shopping because that is when she has the time to get her Christmas shopping done.  As the night began, she dropped Caleb off at Sports Authority to wait in line while her & a friend went to Toys 'R Us.  The great thing is with Sports Authority, the first 80 people into the store were to receive a gift card worth any where from $10-$500.  Well, Caleb was one of those 80 people.  He received a card, went into the store & scratched it off.  After finally being able to scratch it off & meeting up with his mom (I can't possibly put the entire story on here) they had the $500 card!!!!  There was only 1 card worth $500 given!  Yup.  God blessed this family.  The cool thing is, it was Caleb who got it.  Of course, he gave it to his mom to use for gifts for the entire family. 
When I heard this story today, all I kept thinking is Thank you Lord for blessing this family.  They really needed this.  It was a Christmas miracle for them.  Honestly, this helped them to be able to have a Christmas they wanted & honestly they deserve. 
Understand this, I'm not saying others didn't deserve it, but I just wanted to share this as it touched my heart so much today.  I praise God for this family & all they mean to me & I am so thankful He chose to bless them with this gift. 
No matter how your blessings come, whether it be monetary or other ways, remember, God IS blessing you.  Sometimes, we just need to open our eyes a little more to see it & receive it.  I, am blessed by this family.  I am blessed by their story.  I pray you are too.
Front: Philip, Luke Back: Josh, Patty, Caleb, Ben & Gary

Patty & Caleb at Sports Authority check out

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Today, this 22nd day of November has come to an end.  I have enjoyed this day.  I am thankful for the time I was able to have with my boys.  Dan was able to come home for the day & that made us extremely thankful.  So, as we enjoyed our day together & sat down for a modest family Thanksgiving "lupper," it was yummy.  As we listened to Elijah say the prayer I had to smile.  He did an amazing job & somehow our little man has grown up a little.  His word choice today was "thank you Lord for this lovely day and the lovely time with mommy & daddy, and this lovely food."  Lovely.  His bedtime prayer even included this word.  Makes me chuckle a bit.  Love him.

So, today, I am thankful for food.  For time with my boys.  For time to be us. 

Our delicious Thanksgiving Meal

Eli enjoys playing with his food.  Pulling apart the green beans.  :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanks Day 21

Today, even as I stayed at home on this the busiest travel day of the year, I thought of an item that I am very thankful for.  My vehicle.  I am thankful for a car that gets me from point A to point B and back again.  We may have issues from time to time, but thankfully our van takes care of us.  I realize that some people may not have this luxury, so I appreciate the fact that we have it. 

Along with our vehicle, today I am thankful for a few other items that we way too often take for granted.  My stove.  As I baked a pumpkin pie for tomorrow, I thought of how often I use the stove without even thinking about it.  Thank you Lord for this convenience.

Shower.  Thank you Lord for a nice hot shower.  I've traveled to third world countries & have experienced life without a "power" shower, as I call it.  Thank you Lord that I can go, turn on my water and enjoy a hot shower.

So, for this 21st day, I am thankful for these items.  God blesses me over and above what I deserve.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 20, 2012

My mind has gone many different directions today, however, I continue to come back to this same place.  I am so thankful for the teens, tweens and kids that God has allowed me to be impacted by throughout my life. 

As I sat with a teen this past weekend and offered some "advice" to them, I was reminded how often God has allowed me to be a part of His work in this way.  I am humbled.  I am honored.  It is a blessing in my life & most often I end up being touched in some way that I never saw coming.  Throughout the past 17+ years, I have enjoyed being a part of many lives. 

Thank you Lord for each one of the young people that have been a part of my life.  Thank you for those that currently are a part of my life & Lord, if you see fit, I pray that I will have more in my life.  Thank you for what each one of them mean to me.  Thank you for those that have already had an impact on my sons life.  Please Lord, help them.  Help them to follow after Your will and Your desires for them.  Keep them safe in the palm of Your hand.  In Jesus Name. Amen.

(as there is no way possible to post a picture of every young person that has impacted me, I will not have a picture tonight)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Day 19

I am so thankful for play dates.  I am not sure that a stay at home mom's keep their sanity without play dates!  Whether it be going somewhere or simply going to another home or having children come over here to play, it is amazing.  So refreshing to be able to have adult conversation while the kids are playing. 

Today as my friend Julie & I prepared our menu for the next 4 weeks (we usually do 2 weeks at a time, but due to the holiday season we did 4 this time)...the kids (my 1 & her 2) played and kept themselves busy.  It was so nice.  We accomplished a lot while they played & we were able to check something off our list.

So, play dates...they are a big part of our life.  We appreciate them.  Not only for my sanity, but for Eli's social interaction & his sanity as well!!!  :)  Thank you Lord for many friends that are willing to have them with us!

Garner & Eli in 2010

Play date at home...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanks Day 18

Today, I am so thankful for my Pastor's.  Growing up as a PK (preacher's kid) you have a different outlook on Pastor's & their family than some people.  I know that they are normal people going through normal things.  The only thing is, they are called by God to do a job & they are held accountable for this.  They have HUGE amounts of stress put on them.  "To whom much is given, much is required" (Luke 12:48).  Their "job" never ends.  They are on call 24/7, even when on "vacation."  They and their families too often live in a glass house.  It isn't always pretty, but the calling is something that isn't taken lightly.  Does the calling put them on the pedestal?  No.  All too often people put them there & then are let down if they make a mistake.  They are human too.  They don't always do stuff the way that we may "think" it should be done, but I know without a shadow of a doubt, that Pastors take time, they pray, they seek counsel, they wait & then they do. 

I have had the privilege of being Pastored by my father.  This was a blessing & maybe a curse.  Simply because you love having him there, but you don't always get the "Pastor" part of him. 

Well, now...I am extremely blessed with 2 Pastor's in my life that are amazing.  I am so thankful that God has allowed me to get to know them & their families.  I am encouraged & fed by them.  They are so open & available to what God wants of them.  It is refreshing.  They are there for me.  They pray for us.  They care for us.  They help us.  They love us.  We are blessed!

So, Pastor Freddy & Shannon (Isaiah, Isabelle, Illiza & Ilana), I am so thankful for all of you.  Thank you for following God's call on your life.  Thank you Shannon & kids for supporting your Husband & Dad.  Thank you for sometimes giving up your own time with him, in order for us (speaking for our family) to have time with him.  Thank you for all your sacrifice.  I know in the end, it will be worth it all for each of you!  The devil may try to attack, but remember, he will never win.  God is victorious!  Love you all!

Pastor Philip & Stacey (Elijah), I am so thankful for you all as well!!!  Thank you for answering God's call on your lives.   Thank you, Stacey & Elijah, for supporting your Husband & Dad.  I know that sometimes you give up your time with Philip when we need him.  Thank you for all your sacrifice.  As I said above, I know in the end, it will be worth it all for each of you!  The devil will try to attack, but God is victorious!  Love you all!!!

So, thank you so much for being my Pastors.  I admire you for who you are in Christ.  I appreciate all you do for me & my family.  Thank you for continuing to listen to God & following His will for your life. 
Pastor's Freddy & Philip

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanks Day 17

Today, I am thankful for the simple things in life.  Rather, the things that make life simple! 

Dishwasher...I vaguely remember life without a dishwasher.  I really think that I was too young though to really appreciate the value of it.  Not so much anymore.  I am so thankful for our Dishwasher.  It may be an older model and may be a little noisier than I would like, but I am so thankful for it.  It is a magical thing how I put my dishes in dirty & they come out clean.  Thank you Lord & I seriously mean, THANK YOU LORD!

Washer & Dryer.  Hallelujah!  I can throw in a load of clothes and do other things.  I can forget about a load of towels for a week in the dryer, press the touch up on the dryer & have them come our like new.  LOL.  (shhhhh....don't tell anyone that I do that!)  I know, you can admit that you sometimes do that too!  Seriously, I am really thankful for an automatic washer & dryer.  I do hang some of my clothes to dry, but goodness gracious, I am so glad I don't have to hang them all.  I am also thankful I don't have to individually scrub my clothes.  Goodness....Laundry....Love it! 

Microwave.  I remember our first microwave when I was a kid.  It was HUGE!  Oh goodness, we used it a lot.  Of course, we had to teach my dad how to use it, but wow, it sure made a difference.  Especially when it comes to heating soup or veggies.  How about microwave popcorn?!  Goodness, what a great thing.  Now a days, the microwave best serves me when I need to make my son some hot dogs, chicken nuggets or simply re-heat some food.  I am thankful for this invention.

One more I will mention tonight...Keurig machine.  Okay, maybe this isn't something to make my life easier, but honestly, I am thankful for it.  One cup of coffee at a time.  Hot & fresh every time....YUM.  Making life simple....YES!  Making life enjoyable?!  YES!!!  Thank you Lord for this!!!!

So many more "simple" things I'm thankful for, but maybe for another day. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanks Day #16

A little over 2 years ago, God rocked my world.  He changed our lives.  He moved us forever away from my family & friends.  Everything that I have known for 30+ years.  Aside from college (which, I was only 250 miles away), I have lived by my family.  So, moving to Texas was huge.  However, there is an amazing sort of technology now that wasn't there several years ago.  I am so thankful for that!  Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Skype, Facetime and Texting.  Thank you Lord, for each & every increase in technology that has allowed me to keep in touch with my family & friends.  The great thing about each of these items are that they allow me to keep in the "loop" & to see people face to face from time to time.  Love it!  So thankful for technology!

Our TX attire!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Day 15

This Saturday is National Adoption Day.  November 17, 2012.  This day is an effort to make awareness of more than the 100,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption.  On average this week (celebrated in every state, Puerto Rico & Guam) typically a one day event, around 40,000 children will come home permanently to their forever homes.  (info taken from

So, this is National Adoption Month.  This Saturday is National Adoption Day.  I am thankful for my son!  Elijah has been an amazing blessing in our life.  Although we didn't obtain him from foster care of get to participate in National Adoption Day, I am so thankful that USA celebrates that!!! 

My little man came home with us on June 22, 2007.  All we had that day was 1 baby boy outfit that we trusted God to fill.  He did just that.  I am so thankful for this blessing.  For those of you who may not know our adoption story I will have to tell it someday, but long story short...we were blessed with a 2 day old, precious baby boy.  Took him home from the hospital and enjoyed every moment of it.  We were blessed with many people helping & giving.  Our life has NEVER been the same since, thankfully.  On March 25, 2008 we went to court for the finalization of his adoption, so that is the day we celebrate as our "Gotcha" day, since that was the day he "legally" became ours. 

As I went to Eli's preschool today to celebrate Thanksgiving with him, it was a blessing because his class has at least 4 children who are adopted.  What an amazing gift.  I am thankful he has that bond with them. 

So, Eli keeps us smiling, laughing and sometimes crying, but overall, our lives are incredibly blessed.  I am so thankful for the morning boy that he is *even though I am NOT a morning person*.  I am so thankful for the energy he has *let me tell you he has a TON*!  I am thankful for the screams, for the tormenting, for the good moments, for the bad moments.  I am thankful for the memories we are  making from day to day.  I am thankful for Elijah Dylaun.  I am thankful for his personality.  For his loving heart and for the way he looks at me when he knows he did something wrong.  I can't get enough of him.  Good or bad, my little man will always have my heart. 

So, today & everyday, I am thankful for Eli!

Our 'first' family picture.  The night we brought Eli home.  6/22/07

Our precious baby boy on night #1

Gotcha Day!  3/25/08--We went to lunch after court to celebrate

Gotcha day evening....

2nd birthday...6/20/09

Current...10/2012--our 5 year old little man!
Today--at Eli's school Thanksgiving

Today--my independent little man

Nov 14

I am so thankful for my nieces and nephews & great-nieces & great-nephews.  I have been so blessed to grow up in a large family.  I may have been the youngest of 7 children, but I have enjoyed younger "siblings" since my nieces and nephews were so close to me in age. 

I am thankful for each one of them.  I love them all!  They each have had such an impact on my life in all sorts of different ways.  Although I don't see each of them as much as I would like to anymore, or even talk with them very often, I love each & every single one.  I wish life could be different sometimes & that we could all live side by side in order to know each one in a more personal fashion, but life is not that way.  We all have our own lives.  We may be separated by miles, but we are family.  Will always be family.  So....I'm still thankful for each and every single one.

Niece Amy & her Husband Scott --Children: Mollie, Kole, Gabe & Luke

Niece Melissa & her husband Billy--Children: Billy Jr, Kiera, Dominic & Camron 

Nephew William

Nephew Roy Jr.

Niece Sarah & Her Husband Eric--Children: Maddie & Sadie

Niece Renee

Renee's boys: Reese, Jon, Michael & Ethan

My Nephew Phillip & his wife Meagan--their child Blake

Nephews: Matt, Josh & Andrew-- Niece: Rebecca

Nieces Amanda & Brenna

My sister in law(Bridget) & my Nephews: Logan & Brian, Jr.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 13

Dogs.  Who knew?!  I am thankful for our puppies.  They are sweet.  They love unconditionally and for the most part, they put up with Elijah's craziness!  Last November we welcomed Kylie Cocoa into our lives and in March we adopted Sassy Lovey.  Both pups named by Eli.  I have never been a dog person really, but I fell in love with a dog that showed up at our house in Oct and after a long mess we couldn't have that dog because it was someone else's.  Now, we have our pups.  They are both good.  They play together just like sister's.  They love us.  We love them.  Simple.  Eli would love to add about 2 or more cats to our mix and a few more pets if he could, but for now...I'm thankful for the 2 puppies that we have.  Life is good. 

Sassy & Kylie

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nov 12, 2012

I continue to feel blessed every day.  Elijah had school today.  He is in the KIT (Kindergarten in Training) program at Humble First Baptist Church/CDC.  We dropped him off this morning and I got to thinking about his teachers.  I am so thankful for them!  Not only the ones that he has this year, but also the teachers that he has had the past 2 years there.  They have been so kind, so patient, so loving and so helpful in many ways.  I don't take it for advantage when I drop my little man off that there are people taking care of him.  I am thankful for that.  They are creative.  They are intelligent.  They are kind.  They CARE!  I am SO thankful for each one.  Ms. Lela, Ms. Deborah, Ms. Makeda, Ms. Darlene, Ms. Chrissy & Ms. Brenda!

I am also thankful for a teacher he had while we lived in PA. Ms. Susi.  I worked full time while in PA and dropping Eli off in the mornings was NOT my favorite part of my days.  However, Ms. Susi, helped me so much.  I knew that my son would get extra loving in the morning from her.  I knew that he would be played with.  I knew that he would be taught.  I knew that he was WELL cared for.  That was the relief I needed.  We love Ms. Susi.  We still talk about her a lot!  We are so thankful for her influence in our life!

So, today, I say thank you.  Thank you for investing in the life of my son!  Each one of you have left a print on his heart that will not be replaced!

Eli & Ms. Susi. 
We don't have pics with all the teachers, but we love them too!!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanks Day 11

Happy Veterans Day.  So, it is no surprise that today, I am very thankful for Veterans.  Men and Women who willingly sacrifice their time and energy to fight for this country that I know and love.  I am proud to be an American.  I have always had a love for this country and I pray that it spills over to my son. 

Perhaps it was the fact that I am the daughter of a Veteran.  My Dad proudly served in the US Air Force for 20 years.  Although he retired from the military the year I was born, I am proud to know that my Dad served.  I am also proud to have other family members who have served.  My brother Dale, Air Force Academy.  My brother Alan, Air Force.  My niece, Sarah, Army.  My Nephew, William is currently serving in the Navy.  I also have a cousin, Kellen, Army, who is currently serving & deployed.  Thank you all!

I know that I have many other friends and perhaps other family members who have &/or are currently serving.  Thank you.  I appreciate your sacrifice.  I am thankful for you!

God bless you all & God bless the USA.

My Dad--I need to scan a picture of him from his military days.
I also need to scan a picture of Dale & Alan from their days!
My Nephew, William, Currently Serving!

My Cousin, Kellen (on the left) Currently Serving!

My Niece, Sarah when she was serving.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 10, 12

Music.  I am so thankful for music.  I have enjoyed music from an early age.  It comforted me.  It probably helped that I didn't grow up with a television, so my spare time was spent either reading or listening to or playing music.  As a young girl I am fairly certain that I had the radio on in my room on a consistent basis.  Do you remember the days when we would record songs off the radio?  LOL!  I used to listen to the radio for HOURS to win contests.  Oh, and when I did win contests, I would record myself!  LOL!  Oh, the good memories. 

In school, I was one of those kids that loved music class.  I was so intent on listening and learning all I could.  I would sing at the top of my lungs, (because that is what we did in church afterall), and when it came time to learn how to play the recorder in 4th grade I was soooo excited!  In fact, I still own my recorder.  My son now enjoys playing it.  I practiced that thing all the time.  Also in 4th grade you could join the orchestra.  So, since my brother Brian played the string bass, and I wanted to be like him, I decided to play the string bass.  After 2 years of that, I realized that was NOT my instrument.  In 5th grade we were able to join the band.  I begged my parents to allow me to play the flute.  Well, my dad, being the practical one, decided that I needed to play the trombone.  My brother Alan had played the trombone, so we owned one already.  So, my Dad made me a the trombone for a year, do well, and then in 6th grade we will buy you a flute if you still want to stick with it.  Well, I "played" the trombone for that year.  I barely passed.  I HATED it.  Secretly I wanted to try to break the trombone so I couldn't play it, but I knew my dad was serious & I had to pass.  I did pass, but barely.  Back then we either received O for Outstanding, S for Satisfactory or U for Unsatisfactory for our Band class.  Well, I earned a S.  Just barely.  My friend Chad told on me and I almost failed.  At the concert, I just moved my slide back & forth.  Didn't play at all.  I HATED it, remember?!  Well, thankfully, I passed & in 6th grade I started playing the flute.  I will never forget buying my first flute.  We found one for a great deal & I LOVED it.  I worked so hard (I had to take band with 5th graders since I was starting a new instrument), but soon I was ahead & moved up with the rest of the 6th graders.  In junior high, I was determined and sat 1st chair in 8th & 9th grade.  In High School...still loved it.  Started private lessons & by 11th grade was 1st chair again.  I continued to play flute through college in the praise band (not college band--I was done with marching), but I loved and still love to play my flute.  Oh, and by the way, my Daddy bought me my open holed flute in 10th grade.  I still have it & it is still in fantastic shape. 

I also took piano lessons---which, I didn't love so much and I started voice lessons in 10th grade, which I LOVED.  I went on to college & graduated Liberty University with my Bachelor of Vocal Performance degree. 

One thing I determined as a teenager is that I needed to use my musical abilities for the Lord.  So, I did/do just that.  I try to use the talents He has blessed me with in any way that I can for Him. 

One other way the Lord blessed me is that I was able to teach private voice & flute lessons.  I did so for 11 years.  It was tough to give it up, but needed to be done at that time for my family.  I sure do miss those kids though!!!! 

Anyhow, music impacts my life on a daily basis.  I am constantly listening to music.  My iPod has over 6,000 songs on it.  I joke that it is bi-polar because it has such a vast variety of music.  So, before I continue to go on & on about this subject I will conclude.  I am so thankful God gave me music.  I am so thankful for the blessing that I receive from it & most of all, I am thankful I can worship Him with music!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thanks Day 9

Today, there is an overwhelming feeling in me of what I am thankful for.  I am so thankful for my friends!  I am blessed beyond measure.  I have friends here.  I have friends there.  I have friends in so many places.  My friends are there for me.  They help me in times of need.  They laugh with me.  They cry with me.  They help me when I begin new adventures.  They encourage me when I am down and out.  I am blessed.  I could name many, but guaranteed I would miss someone & I would feel bad, so I won't even begin.  However, most of you reading this know that I am blessed by you. 

I have friends that have been in my life for years and I have friends that have been in my life for a short amount of time, but I am blessed by each one.  I only pray that I have been & will continue to be a blessing to each one of them. 

So tonight, as I lay my head on my pillow I will pray for my friends.  I will ask God to bless them as He has blessed me with them. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 8 of Thanks

Today, I am expressing thanks for my home.  I am blessed.  So undeserving.  My house is small and plain, but it is just enough for us.  Plus we have an amazing neighborhood.  Lots of amenities for our little guy and it works for us.  We are blessed with good neighbors and overall peaceful.  Sure, we have our moments, just like anywhere, but we are blessed.  I am so blessed. 

Thank you Lord for our house.  Thank you for allowing us to be warm when it's cold outside and cool when it is hot.  Thank you for allowing us to have a playground & a pool & a splashpad.  Thank you Lord for all our neighbors.  We are incredibly blessed.  Help us Lord to use this blessing for Your good!  Amen!

Our Splashpad....we love it!

Our front door...I felt at home the first time I stepped in the house.

One of our pools...

Part of our playground