Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year's Eve!!!

This year to bring in the new year, we spent time as a family. We made a campfire in our backyard, roasted smores, and popped a few fireworks. The boys had an absolute blast and so did we. I think this is how I want to spend the rest of my new years to come and I look forward to the boys growing older and having good heart to heart conversations by the fire.

Blessed To Be A Blessing

God has been doing a work in my heart in the area of giving. It started with the month of November being National Adoption Month. I heard several parents talk about their journey in foster care and adoption. My heart has been opened to receive and accept God's plan in our own family. Also in this month, my heart became awakened to gratitude. I began seeing all of the things I have as God's blessing in my life, large and small. I have started a gratitude journal that I believe has changed my life.
In the month of December, as the mail flooded in with Christmas cards, one very special one came to our mailbox. In the card was a $50 check with a note in it asking us to do a very hard thing. The sender wanted us to give it away. I was stunned. Many thoughts ran through my mind. Some selfish, some convicted by the Holy Spirit. In the end, I was supremely thankful to God that He had used this person to bless us in order to be a blessing. My next thought reminded me that we had received much this Christmas season and hadn't once thought to give it away. I personally had been acquiring more goods for myself and my own family. We had decided to give the money along with some of our own money away, so I began looking for the right family. Since cooking and providing good food for my family is close to my heart, I wanted to give away groceries. We connected with two other families in our church and were able to give a lot of food to three, all very different, families in need and it came back fast. As I was on my way to deliver the groceries, someone handed me more money for my own groceries!
One family in particular stands out to me. She's a single mom, just getting out of jail. This was the first Christmas she spent with her daughter in many years. I will never forget her phone call thanking us. The exact words were, "I ate today. I will have food tonight. But all I have in my house is a box of cereal and some milk. I didn't tell anybody, but the Lord knew we needed food." I can understand going from paycheck to paycheck, but I can't imagine going from meal to meal, not knowing where your next meal is going to come from. I am thankful that the Lord enabled us this Christmas season to have been a life changing blessing in three families' lives.
I don't do New Year's Resolutions, but my goal for 2012 is to be a blessing in as many ways as I can. I know there will be many times I will forget and only be minded toward me and mine, but I hope this upcoming year I will be reminded over and over again to give of my time and money. I will end on this quote by Tim Sanders that will keep me balanced, "By giving in secret, you are free from anything other than the joy of imagining the difference it will make." Lord give me many opportunities this year to give in secret.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

So Big

Mazie is growing up so fast. We have found her standing up in her crib after naps and it still shocks me every time. She is trying to pull up on everything but is not strong enough to hold herself up for long. She is even crawling around already. She is very attached to me which I don't mind at all. It seems like time is flying by with her and I am truly enjoying every minute of it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Isaiah's Special Guest

Since Isaiah's birthday is two days after Christmas, we decided to have a special birthday for him. We invited Santa and he actually came! It was hilarious when Santa walked through the door. The kids were in awe. It was a great time with friends and family.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

MOPS Ornament Exchange

About a year and a half ago I was in a "desperate mother" place. I called my sister to vent and she told me about MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). It's a national organization for moms of young kids. At each meeting we get breakfast, the chance to hear an inspirational speaker on mom/woman topics, connection with other moms in the same season, and a little break from our kids! It has been such a blessing to me and helped me so much in this hard but worth it season of life. Pictured above are the girls who make it all happen and some new dear friends of mine. We ate, chatted, and played a Dirty Santa game with Christmas ornaments. It was a great night.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cajun Snow at Grandma's

Every year growing up my grandma makes fake "snow" from Ivory soap. She shaves it and mixes it with water until it becomes the consistency of heavy whipped cream. She gets a real tree, makes the snow, and the kids put it on the tree with their hands. By the time we are done, it looks like a Cajun White Christmas! My sister and I have done it our whole lives and now it's our kids' turns. This was the only picture I managed to get this year - Mazie (7 months) and I on the left and my sister, Brigette, and her baby, Bailey (10 months) on the right. Since Brigette and I are the only two siblings, it was very special being pregnant with and having our first girls at the same time. I hope my dad is watching. He would get a kick out of it.