Thoughts on Thursday

Happy Thursday!  It’s been a pretty great week!  Little Miss H is smiling with more frequency and definitely giving up lots of half smiles.  Roscoe P. got his senior (yes, he’s now a senior but not getting any senior discounts at the vet!) wellness check.  The best thing I can say about that is that no one was harmed in his examination.  Also, the week has not been a total rain-out.  Who am I kidding?  Any four day week is probably a good one!

Sadly, I have to report some bad news.  Luvs diapers stink!  We are now the proud owners of an Amazon Prime membership.  I thought “Great!  Let’s order diapers!”  They are very noisy due to material, and they are scented.  I HATE scents!  The smell of baby powder (which is what they smell like) reminds me of a time that I used way too much baby powder as a child and nearly made myself ill!  Looks like I am off to Sam’s Club again for diapers!

Since I’m home on maternity leave (which is officially over in a week as Big H will be out of his M-F preschool), I have a bit more free time when the Little H naps.  I’ve been trying to return to my daily devotional time.  So far, I’m doing pretty good!  I think the best thing is to be flexible with when it actually happens.  This is also true for work-outs, but I digress.

I like to flip through my Bible and read random selections.  Now, I prefer the New Testament.  I mean, who doesn’t?  However, I try to show some love to the Old Testament sometimes.  I happened to flip to Ezekiel and read chapter 34.  It was talking about a bad shepherd v. a good shepherd.  It talked about how the good shepherd lovingly tends the sheep and does not rule with force or cruelty.  This passage reminded me of my children.  If I do not tend them, they become prey to any “animal” that comes along.  It also says that the good shepherd will give the best food, rest, and peace to his sheep.  Now, the good shepherd spoken of in this passage is God.  I realize that I can’t be the perfect parent/do everything for my children to make them have these perfect existences.  However, I do feel sure that God holds me responsible for my “flock.”  As I was telling Holden last night, I have to correct him and teach him how to behave.  I have to be an example of whatever I want him to do.  The Mr. and I are their first teachers, their first coaches (you should know how much sweat and tears have gone into H’s first soccer season), first confidant, first of many things.  It’s my job.  God gave me these two precious little people, and I only have them for a few years.  I’m so thankful for the job.  Even when Big H asks ten million questions in 2 minutes and Little H has been crying for an obscene amount of time about NOTHING, I am thankful for them.  It would be completely fine though for everyone to take a moment of silence every once in a while.  🙂

Ezekiel – Chapter 34

11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord.16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

from Bible Gateway

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Cute little sheep, aren’t they?  I’m quite sure they smell better too.

Natalie

Do I really have to teach this Tuesday!?!?!

A week and a day away from Turkey Vacation!  This is the first full week in 2 weeks.  We had off for Election Day {technically it was an Inservice Day}, and we had off last Tuesday for Veterans Day.   Bottom line, give a teacher a day off a week, and we will most likely want another {Reminds me of that book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie}  I. Can’t. Wait. To. Thanksgiving. Break!  I’m so looking forward to a little time off with family.  Although I haven’t fought Ebola, lost my job, or developed a terrible illness, I confess 2014 is my least favorite year in years.  Through many ups and downs, I try to remain thankful.  Some days, it is easier than others.  Some days, it is easier said than done.  I’m going to share what/who I’m thankful for up until Thanksgiving in these areas…

1.  my family

2.  my health

3. my job

4.  material things

Let’s start today!

1.  my loving husband who admittedly loves even the weird things about me

2.  the ability to run {even at a relatively quick pace!}

3.  being able to greet the students each day with a “good morning” and actually having a few {morning people!} respond with a “good morning”

4.  this one has to be coffee, tea, or any hot beverage.  especially as I prepare to shiver on a field trip today.

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All Images Taken fro Pinterest.

A few things to share…

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I made these yummy brownies when my mom and sister visited last weekend.  I did *try* to make them a little more healthy by substituting one egg for a “flax egg” {1 tbsp. flax seed + 2 tbsp. tap water) and adding cinnamon {health benefits of cinnamon – Daddy read the first.}.

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1.  Victory!  We put shoes out of the walkway.  2.  Gross food fact.  3.  Birds on a wire after my gym workout last Tuesday.  4.  My favorite breakfast = The Mr.’s least  5.  Decor at Hobby Lobby – No, thank you.  6.  My joy.

Have a great Tuesday!

Natalie

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for…

my health

brownies

free Teacher Pay Teacher downloads

wet little boy kisses

hair long enough to put up and out of my face{!}

olives

being outdoors {even if it meant cutting grass today}

family and friends

inspiring people

being able to witness gratitude in others

hot showers

early and peaceful mornings.

Happy Thursday eve, friends!

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The Thanksgiving That *Almost* Didn’t Happen

Hi There!  Wow-whee.  What a Thanksgiving!  I have to admit it was more than I could handle!  It all started on a call from H’s daycare on Wednesday that he was running a fever.  I quickly left work early on the early dismissal day (who wants to tell their administrator that one!) and picked him up.  After a quick pack job, a bit of lunch, and some Tylenol, we were off.  We being Roscoe the dog, H, and I.  At about the halfway mark between my house and my parents’, the yuck happens.  Poor boy starts to throw up.  In the car seat.  And I gotta go to the bathroom like no body’s business.  Now the dog is afraid and climbing all over.  By the way, it’s also raining.  I quickly changed our plans to eat with my in-laws and headed up to my parents’ house.  Upon arrival, H threw up again in the freshly cleaned bathroom.  I have to say I sped most the way there but am so glad we made it before the 2nd vomit and before I embarrassed myself by wetting my pants!  To help combat H’s dehydration, I asked my sister to drive me up to the local pharmacy for some meds and Pedialyte.  We got it for a very expensive price, but things got even more crazy/expensive on the way home.  We’re chatting away on the dark, back road until we hit a deer.  I’ve never been in a car accident before, but I can tell you it’s no good feeling!  I looked up just in time to see the deer go flying through the air.  What a scary moment.  Thankfully, we weren’t hurt besides for the snatch from our seat belts.  Once we got over the shock, we then noticed the poor, injured deer hopping around on the road.  Although I am admittedly a meat eater, I have to say that if I had to kill it myself I think I’d think twice or perhaps become a vegetarian!  A hunter stopped by the check on us and shot the deer to put it out of its suffering (more on this later).  Then, my daddy shows up to survey the damage.  Then, enters brother too.  A regular pre-Thanksgiving get-together!  I go home with the Pedialyte which sort-of indirectly caused the whole thing!  Stinky, sicky Holden!  It turned out the car might be totaled.  Things seemed to be perking up, and we all were in one piece to celebrate a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.  By the way, the deer was never found after the guy shot him.  Go figure.  Here are some pictures before things got messy again!

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Fast forward to Thanksgiving night, H has no appetite and then throws up again!  Then, we all head off to bed.  3:30AM starts the yucks for me which continues on until 8 o’clock.  Fabulous stomach virus.  This was such a bummer as we had arranged to go Black Friday shopping with my mommy and sister WITHOUT Holden.  Things could get crazy and productive!  After nursing my sick stomach with tea and toast, I decided to pull myself up by my figurative boot straps and do it anyways.  We finally ventured off to Black Friday around noon and ended up having a great time!  I was fueled by toast, a sesame bagel, and applesauce all day but hey!  No baby, no worries!  Unfortunately, the Mr. did end up coming down with a belated case of it on Sunday around 4:30AM.  I’m very pleased to say that we are all back to our normal eating habits and are feeling A-OK as of right now.  What a doozey of a holiday!  I hope yours was illness-free and a little more recharging than ours.  Thankfully, we did not end up at the hospital or the funeral home.  There’s optimism for you!  Personally, I don’t think I’ll ever forget this Thanksgiving as I’m sure my family will not either.  I have to say this leaves me more than ready for a healthy holiday filled with bellies that stay full of yumminess.  17 days to go until Christmas Break!!!   

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Judge Not the Early Christmas Folks

Since the Mr. and I had our own place, we (meaning the Mr. directs me where there are ornament “holes” while I *artfully* cover ever square inch of that tree!) decorate for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Well, I know this is early for some people.  We’ve gone even a bit earlier this year and put up most decorations this weekend with the exclusion of putting the ornaments on the tree.  Saving that for some weeknight fun!  I don’t know why, but I always feel slightly embarrassed about my Christmas spirit.  I play my Christmas music loud and proud cruising around at least until the Mr. vetoes the cheesiest selections.  It’s a magical time of year that takes us out of the ordinary and helps us really seek out beautiful ways to celebrate wether that may be food, home decor, and/or special events.  Me, I like them all!  Christmas cookies, church services, special outfits (I have an over the top, blatantly obvious Christmas skirt this year – don’t worry it’s not cheese-tastic!), and of course special little events for us to experience as the little family we are.  Since we are traveling and spending the special holiday away from our little home, I wanted to be able to enjoy Christmas in our home as much as possible.  Hence, the big drag-down from the attic.  I’m quite proud to say I lugged down all the mess myself.  The Mr. was manning the vacuum which is totally necessary when you’re taking out all those oh-so carefully packed figurines and decorations packing in Styrofoam.  H actually had a decent mouthful of the stuff (Styrofoam that is!) and decided it was so delicious that he didn’t want Mommy’s annoying fingers to pry it out.  Here are some pictures from our weekend at home.  

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First hair cut ~ Only slightly traumatic…

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Decaf Vanilla Latte a la Starbucks with this handsome dude and his equally as handsome daddy.  P.S.  Check out the lady’s crazy boots behind H.  I have to admit to some staring!

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Free Christmas Cookies!  Aren’t these little nuggets precious!  From Bergey’s Breadbasket in Chesapeake.  Very quaint, nice place and people.  They thought H was the bee’s knees, and I agree of course!  I think we scored the free cookies due to his smile.  

 

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H was amazed by the Town Center Illumination!  We got to see part of the parade with some parade balloons, cheerleaders, and best of all a big fire truck.  

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Blurry but I love it.

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Even though I get overwhelmed by all the hustle and bustle, the work that goes into fun is so worth it.  I confess I kind of didn’t want to rush after dinner, bundle up, and drive to Town Center (woo weee, it was literally a less than 10 minute drive).  I’m so glad we did. Seeing H’s face light up when he saw all the people and lights was so worth it.  Seeing him sitting on the shoulders of the man who has held my heart for 13 years as of December 6th was beyond.  Cheers to you who drag out the garland and silly Santa decorations early.  We need this spirit to remind us of what is important this time of year and always.  No, it isn’t Black Friday or just the food treats and gifts.  Really the spirit of Thanksgiving should stay with us all year, but I feel that the holiday season is just a reality check we need sometimes.  Have a wonderful week.  Only 2.5 days to go until we are family bound.  

Life Lately

I could say that life has been busy lately.  I’m going to skip that expression and pick stressful.  Although it has negative connotations that “busy” doesn’t, you might as well call it what it is.  Now, this is the part where I get a little frustrated with myself.  I’ve not been stressed about where my next meal is coming from, how I’ll get to and from work, or even the health of myself or my family members.  No, I’ve been stressed about tiny, little issues.  I’ve been stressed about big decisions about career and house.  However, there is not a life or death situation going on.  We are so very blessed to be able to pay our bills and even have left-overs for fun things.  We work on the very same schedule and get to spend most evenings at home with H.  We are all healthy as can be, and I even ran my best 5K time on a treadmill (21:39!!!) this past Sunday.  Things are good.  The question is why do I feel stressed.  Why do I feel like things are just terrible sometimes?  

Personally, I’m all in favor of throwing the negative forces of the world under the bus and shifting blame.  🙂  Truth be told, it’s my own mind and heart that works against me.  I can control my thoughts and attitudes through the One who strengthens me.  I know that I tend to get a little cranky/envious/hyper/stressed – – -all of these things this time of year.  To combat this, I started up my thankful garland which was so easy!  Just tied up some twine and then printed out a small leaf template online.  Then, I traced a few leaves and wrote something or someone I was thankful for on a leaf.  I attached the leaf to the twine using some mini clothespins from the local craft store.  Presto!  Thanksgiving DIY that is meaningful.  

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a fall study with GoodMorningGirls.org

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which has neat little daily pages to keep you on track…

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I find that I need anything and everything to keep me put together.  Fall and winter brings so much fun and joy, but it certainly can also bring feelings of stress, comparisons to others, and just plain old ungrateful thoughts.  Here are a few other things I’ve been doing to boost those flagging attitudes…

running more

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eating more fruit!

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How do you stop the holiday/fall crazy feelings?  

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Seasonal Selections

There are so many thankful lists going on plus my very own thankful garland (ideas seen on this post) filling in with leaves of blessings that I’m going to jump on the November/Thanksgiving bandwagon with a quick list of my own.  

I am thankful for so many things!  Today I am definitely thankful for coffee, peanut butter plus nut butters in general!, forgiveness, my partner in life, children’s smiles, and public libraries.  Always giving a shout-out to those fine establishments.  🙂  Can’t forget this sweet boy too!

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And these sweet hands collecting acorns…

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I’m also so thankful to be getting a little nippy weather headed our way.  We were in the 70s today which is just crazy!  Cheers to the weather headed our way!  Other fun things I’ve been up to include finally baking my pumpkin bars seen here.  These turned out less bar-like and more delicious cake.  All is good though since they came out so yummy.  I also whipped up some pumpkin loaves with left-over canned pumpkin.  Here are the bars looking scrumptious with the cream cheese frosting.  P.S.  Homemade cream cheese frosting is ridiculously simple and so much better than the canned stuff at Wally World.  

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These were dangerously good, so I enjoyed a couple and shipped out the others with the Mr. to work and then to family.  I do like baking, but my complaint is that for two people some of the recipes are humongous!    What do you do with all your baked treats?  Perhaps I should have tried freezing some?  Happy Baking!

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