Friday, November 27, 2009

In The Midst of Thankfulness

As we got up yesterday later than usual, turning on the parade and beginning the food preparation a full day of events unfolded...

Kaiden who is 6 announced that he has his first loose tooth, to which I immediately got tearful realizing how big he is getting already! We called my parents to share the exciting news!

My husband cleaned his car and put out the reindeer in the yard.

This year I had decided I would make my grandfather's traditional homemade egg noodles in gravy with slices of hard boiled eggs. As I got out of the shower and heard the puppy yelp, I ran downstairs to find her smacking her chops after eating 1/2 of my batch off the counter...because I was still thankful (because she didn't get all of them) I *only* yelled at the top of my lungs "NOOoooo" bringing a running husband and two kids and sending two dogs running...

Okay, grace and mercy for the puppy, her life was spared.

We finished getting ready...put the timer on the turkey and green bean casserole...everything else was just minutes of prep work away from being ready, so we could leave it until we got back home.

We went to a church across town from us where we found out they were hosting a turkey dinner for shelter/Salvation Army people. The warmth of the church people welcoming us was amazing. Their hearts were truly in the right place as they shared with us the insight that we sometimes miss...yes they are here for food, but starting out what they needed was fellowship! The church people asked us to go mingle with everyone and be an ear for them. The stories we heard, the smiles and the manners of these thankful people constantly made me well up with tears. As we listened to people come up and share scriptures, a former gang member came and shared a poem laced with numerous verses, a song he wrote about his journey in life, prayers of people living in a shelter. I never imagined how fulfilling this would be for ME!

As we began to serve the food, I was so proud of my husband in his plastic apron and rubber gloves serving ham and turkey with a a plastic spatula and a fork. At his smile and giving nature exuding from every move. As a man came up for four helpings of ham and turkey and each time my husband beamed and said, "you tell me when to stop, I don't have to" and "I saved this JUST FOR YOU" the man melted and said, "you are wonderful". The people in the line that smiled graciously and said "yes ma'am", "thank you ma'am", each time it was said it pulled at my heart and captured the essence of thankfulness to me so intensely!

Then there was the man serving right next to me, proud of the chicken and dumplings he got to serve as we jokingly competed with promoting our "goods". He shared his story, a divorced, sweet man that had already dropped off his son with his ex-wife and was alone for the holiday and heard about the church offering the meal on the news and decided once he dropped his son off he would come and "be around happy people, and no longer feel alone". He made a point to look at each and every person and say HAPPY THANKSGIVING and the way people would forget about the food for a minute and smile and remember it was in fact Thanksgiving and someone cared to say that. He shared with me that his goal was to reach at least one person and he would feel content with the day.

As we cleaned up with extra plates of food going home with people and out into the community, our boys were sweeping and mopping,(and Kaiden was jumping off chairs, because I don't want to disillusion you, he was still 6 after all!) I saw that same man look around to see if anyone else had anything to say...he wrote a check to help the ministry, got a sheet of times and volunteer opportunities to do year-round...and walked out the door into the cold, crisp night. I ran to the door, forgetting his name and said "Hey!". He turned around and smiled and I said, "I just wanted to say it was great to serve with you, Happy Thanksgiving". He returned the compliment and I think walked a little taller as he walked alone to his car to leave.


In the midst of thankfulness, I am not sure who received more, who was touched more, or even who appreciated it the most...but what I know is that I was changed and my heart felt like it had doubled in size.

Sarah

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankfulness


I have not forgotten all of you, I just had a lapse of sadness hit me as we were getting close to the holiday the overwhelming feeling of my grandmother's absence hit me very hard. I am blessed beyond measure to say that when my husband came home that day for lunch and saw how glazed over and sensitive I was, he immediately called the office to say he was staying home for the rest of the day. What an amazing man God blessed me with! Not only did he stay home...he swept, baked his son's 16th birthday cake, wrapped all the gifts, cleaned up the house AND here is the big one, taught both of the boys for the day for me! I am so thankful for such a wonderful man!!! (He even put the HID headlights in my van, I know all you ladies are jealous right??)

This year, we are changing things up a bit! We are always with family and friends and things just kept not working out right year... finally it hit me, only the 4 of us this year meant opportunity! So, we searched and searched and found a church downtown that is sponsoring a Thanksgiving meal that we will go and help serve that day. It was actually an effort to find a place, the Salvation Army isn't doing one this year, neither is the YWCA. Surprising! We will get home in the evening and watch a Christmas movie as I get out some of my favorite holiday knick knacks (wish that I had shabby chic everything instead of what I have) and then proceed to find cozy places to tuck holiday touches all around my house. I have neutral-warm tones around majority of my house so the gorgeous white shabby chic look that I am growing to love will have to transform whenever we find our dream farm house to move to!

As always, I find time to reflect about things, whether it is the year, season, or just simply what is stirred up inside of me at the time.

For Thanksgiving this year I am thankful for a husband that supports me homeschooling and staying at home. A husband that consistently tells me that there is no one on earth prettier than I am and that he is amazed by me and what I do. (Which seems to always be said when I feel like I have been worthless that day and yet he knows!) I am thankful for my children to the point of it bringing me to tears! Dakota and Kaiden are an absolute joy in my life and they consistently show me that they are learning to be real people, with feelings, emotions, caring and sensitivity. I can share so many stories of how my two boys care for me and nurture me with all their heart, but not just me, anyone. They are precious and more and more I hear my grandma's voice in my head saying "Honey, you are doing a wonderful job with your boys". I am thankful for a God that gives Grace, Understanding, Patience, Wisdom, Forgiveness and new days to try things over.

Whether you need a fresh start or you are on your fresh path, look around and find the things that are new in your life to be thankful for and look at the past briefly and thank God for the things that are no longer there!

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Sarah

Friday, November 6, 2009

I wanna be Laura Ingalls "Wilder"

Dreams can take my thoughts away, each and every day...
I long to live off the land just like Laura did, to bake and can and mend my clothes and enjoy a hearth with a fire. I want a home nestled away from the hustle, bustle and noise. Now I am a busy person, but I don't want the distraction of someone's else's noise!

I long and desire deep within me to have a home with land, where my kids can dig, explore and learn by trial and error and not worry about property value and landscaping. Ah the reality of living in a subdivision where most of the choices are made for you. I remember building our home and wanting a taupe color and that wasn't allowed because our neighbor already picked that color and they wouldn't build two houses the same color that close together...Yes, I am serious!

The more I think about the times we live in I have determined one thing...I want to be Laura Ingalls only WILDER! I can be the Laura Ingalls that blogs on my (non-existent to date) laptop in the kitchen while I am baking. I will be the "Laura" that dances to Michael Jackson while she spray paints some restored freecycle item in the garage on a warm day. I will have a garden with enough corn to can for the winter, make my own popcorn, maybe an apple tree to supply enough homemade cider, a salsa garden because that is truly a staple in our diet for about 6 months out of the year. I will have a shabby chic decorated house in the middle of nowhere and able to relax and breathe knowing that that is how God intended for us to live. Do you ever read in Little House on the Prairie that the kids come late to dinner because they were at football practice until 7:45? Do you ever hear about Royal's frustration about not owning an ipod? Or Almanzo's disappointment that he can't go to the indoor waterpark with all of his friends for his birthday party. When I think about it in those terms it is honestly laughable what our society has turned into in some ways. Where are the simpler things in life? I want them back! The trust and respect in a parent because they are the parent, that is it, enough said! I want the peaceful, traditional, simpler life back!

I remain determined and prayerful that God will give me the desire of my heart. To be tucked away and able to live a simpler life. It is amazing how I am not searching but in devotionals, books and even testimonies of ladies at church have all been with the same common theme the past 8 months...a house with land that was desired and finally given. Whether this is a time of strengthening my faith or that the "evidence of things not seen" is about to reveal itself, I remain faithful and believing that one day my dream will come true!

What are you dreaming for in your life? Don't forget to dream!
"The difference between vision and daydreams is the belief that it can happen"

One thing I realized a few years ago in a seminar was that as we get older, we get caught up in working, routine and we lose our focus of what we want to achieve for ourselves. So my husband and I made a list, we want to go to Egypt to see the pyramids, we want to go to Israel, many things we wanted lined up together...except for living out of the city, which doesn't take much in WI, you can live 15 minutes from the mall and be out in a field here! God changed my husband's heart, I didn't have to do it, I actually just believed he would change his mind and sure enough, in the past few months my husband actually admitted that the more he thinks about it, the more he wants out of our neighborhood too...we have such a great heavenly Father! :)

Now it is your turn. What are you believing for? What do you desire and dream about?

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ahh...something fresh!

Fresh start...New month...almost a new year...cleaner blog layout...
Now I need to catch back up! How are my followers? Have you enjoyed the past few months transition from the freedom of summer (or possibly kids driving you crazy) to the scheduled days of school/home-school, sports, Scouts and everything else your kids do at this time of year?

Our school year has been going much better this year. My kids are happier and more in tune to me and to each other. My husband is more supportive than ever and starting to understand what our days consist of and taking part in pieces of things that he didn't before. Yes, improvements have been vast the past few months.

Granted, I still have paper piles that I don't show you pictures of, a basement that seems to laugh at me because every time I get it organized there seems to be a change in our life that adds more piles, boxes, and clutter to take it all away...
Drums, a puppy and her kennel, home school room, pantry for stockpiling, laundry, pillows, a workbench, snow tires...ah the list is vast and my time to clean it is short. Maybe one day I will hold a contest and the winner gets to come and spend a weekend with me cleaning out my basement...hey I live in WI...sometimes if it snows enough and people get cabin fever they will do ANYTHING to get out of the house! :)

I will work on getting on here more often I have missed blogging and the blogging world, but I needed a mental break since everything else seemed to be taking up my time and energy.

I am working on the details to host another giveaway very soon! Keep your eyes out for recent posts, I think the giveaway will only last a week!

Can you believe it is already November?

What is on your mind? I am anxious to hear!