Friday, November 30, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: finale

Life in Christ.
Eternal life through Christ.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, 
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-3

3 in 30: finishing strong and looking ahead

My goals for the month of November have been to...

Go through boys' closet: declutter, separate into keep/donate/sell piles, make a list of clothing to purchase to get through the winter months.
Begin sorting through "hot spots": A move is in our future. I would like to get a good start on decluttering before crunch time.
Found some time to sort through the miscellaneous items being housed in our desk.  It's load has lessened.  May get to some other hot spot areas this afternoon...and will carry this goal over to December. 
Encourage intentionally: As I am encouraged by others, I hope to extend that same encouragement to others.
I have found that in encouraging others, I reminded myself of many times God strengthened me through encouragement in my life.  It's been a blessing to intentionally look for ways to encourage others...but, I know there are so many opportunities I missed, too.  It's a lifestyle change I hope to continue.

Looking ahead to December...
Begin sorting through "hot spots": A move is in our future. I would like to get a good start on decluttering before crunch time.
Keep Christmas simple and meaningful.
Help our family focus on His presence not the presents.

May your days be merry and bright!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 DoT: {day 29} something in your home

The things that I am thankful for in my home are numerous.
Here is the short list...
the people who reside there with me ♥
central heating/air system
running hot/cold water
washer & dryer
shared love & laughter
pictures/photo albums
family heirloom quilts
windows that allow the sunshine in

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

just a couple more days...

...until the December Photo Project begins again!
I so loved the challenge and joy of taking at least one photo each day of December last year that I have signed up for this year, too.  Hopefully, this will jumpstart me into taking more photos in 2013 than I have in 2012.

December Photo Project 2012

30 DoT: {day 28} a gift

Outside of the gift of salvation from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I am most thankful for the gift of friendship extended to me by people who know me and still love me anyway.
Truly I do not believe their could be a better gift to receive than that of is better with friends to share it with.
Thank you anyone who calls me friend!  I cherish you and your friendship.

30 DoT: {day 27} a song

I am thankful for any song that is all about giving praise to the One who is worthy of it in all circumstances of life.
I am thankful for silly and fun songs that can be sung with my boys.
I am thankful for songs that begin right after Thanksgiving and continue until Christmas Day!  Bring on the Christmas carols...Rudolph...Jingle Bells...Holly Jolly Christmas...Hippopotamusases...and all the others!
It, indeed, is the most wonderful time of the year!

Monday, November 26, 2012

30 DoT: {day 26} a charity

The charity that first comes to mind is Locks of Love.  I love the concept...I love that it costs nothing to grow your hair...I enjoy the joy I have seen in girls who are growing their hair out long enough to one day donate to this charity.  
Maybe one day I will do it myself...maybe. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

30 DoT: {day 25} a luxury

My smartphone and my laptop come in at a tie for top luxury items...things I could live without, most certainly, but things I would miss having around if they were no longer at my fingertips.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

let the countdown begin...

Just purchased my ticket to Anchorage, AK for June 2013!
No matter how many times I click "confirm", the excitement remains the same.
God has done great things, is doing great things, and will do great things again in the hearts of His children and those who need to hear the Gospel in Alaska.
God is good!

30 DoT: {day 24} a photograph

Here are a few of my favorites...but I am thankful for every moment, place, and expression I have ever captured in a photograph!  

Friday, November 23, 2012

30 DoT: {days 22 & 23} a book & wisdom

I am most thankful for the Bible!  

Favorite words of wisdom...
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr.Suess

30 DoT: {days 20 & 21} a keepsake & a disappointment

A favorite keepsake of my own is my "got moose?" T-shirt from my first trip to Alaska in 2008.

A disappointment that turned into a blessing for me was when I gave up my window seat this past summer in exchange for an aisle one on my flight into Anchorage. My post, "a willing sacrifice", tells of this disappointing moment turned blessing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

30 DoT: {day 19} health

A few weeks ago I was stricken with an awful virus...while my body was weakened I picked up a bacterial infection which turned into a sinus infection and bronchitis.  It was a week of simple horribleness.  I laughed as I had prayed just a week prior that God would help me curb my appetite so that I would not want to snack as often or eat as much.  He answered that prayer of mine for my appetite was surely gone for awhile. Not quite what I had in mind,'s not my choice on how He chooses to answer.  :)  It has worked, however, and the snacking urge has not returned still to this day.  Praise God!
Along with the answered prayer, I was reminded of how good healthy feels.  It reminded me to give thanks for each day that we go without major or even minor illnesses!  All three remaining family members were able to enjoy the benefits of being sick after me.  Each one, thankfully, was less ill as it was passed on.  That is opposite of how it usually goes.  As the wife and mother of those getting ill and still recovering myself, I was extremely thankful for that!
Our overall health as a family is good....nothing less than a miracle!  This is a reason to give thanks this year and all years God blesses us in this way!
God is matter what!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

30 DoT: {day 18} Scripture/Saying/Quote

"The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me,
because the Lord has anointed Me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and freedom to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of our God’s vengeance;
to comfort all who mourn,
to provide for those who mourn in Zion;
to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
festive oil instead of mourning,
and splendid clothes instead of despair.
And they will be called righteous trees,
planted by the Lord
to glorify Him."
Isaiah 61:1-3

If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything.

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." ~Confucius

Saturday, November 17, 2012

3 in 30: Progress!

Go through boys' closet: declutter, separate into keep/donate/sell piles, make a list of clothing to purchase to get through the winter months.
Begin sorting through "hot spots": A move is in our future. I would like to get a good start on decluttering before crunch time.
Slow going, but going, nonetheless!  Began by going through Christmas decorations and the closet in which they are stored along with other not used everyday items.  
Encourage intentionally: As I am encouraged by others, I hope to extend that same encouragement to others.
I am enjoying this one!  Notes, emails, fb messages, blog comments, phone calls, face to face conversations...the opportunities to do this are endless!

30 DoT: {day 17} a store

As a wife and mother, I am thankful for any store that offers great deals, everyday low prices, and one-stop-shopping opportunities because I would rather not spend all my time and money running around town for things.

30 DoT: {day 16} an experience

I am thankful for experiencing...
God moments.
Family gatherings.
Wow '08 Alaska...and '09, '10, '11, '12, and...  :)
Walks on the beach.
Deep sea fishing.
Serving others.
Hard times that stretch and grow my faith.
Hot summer days.
Jumping in leaf piles.
Spring flowers.
Road trips.
South Africa.
Holding hands.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 DoT: {day 15} a recipe

I am so thankful for Mom and Grandma who took the time to teach me the way around a kitchen!  They wrote down several of our family favorite recipes and I still use them today...and hope to for years to come.  They also taught me how to make do with what I have and make something good out of it.
Grandma always made the best pies when I was growing up.  No one does it like Grandma...but I hope I am close to getting as good as she was!  (Although Grandma is still with us, she doesn't make pie anymore.)
My favorite recipe that I have is for grape pie.  We had two different recipes growing up, but the one Grandma wrote down for me is the one I always use.
It reminds me of several things to be thankful for when I make it...
Grandma who wrote the recipe down for me when I went away to college.
Mom who still gathers grapes for me when they are ripe and freezes them for me.
My aunt, Lavone, who sprays and takes care of the grape vines so they produce wonderful, round purple balls of greatness for the pie!
Family and friends who request the pie to be made...I have a habit of holding onto the grapes in the freezer for a "special" occasion.  They remind me that any day is special enough for grape pie.  It really is that good!

Grandma's Grape Pie
1 1/2 lbs. Concord grapes
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tblsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 Tblsp. melted butter
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter

Skin grapes and set skins aside.  Bring pulp to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Press through a sieve to remove seeds.  Add skins.  In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt.  Add lemon juice, melted butter, and pulp mixture.  Stir well and pour into one deep dish 9 inch pie crust.
Topping:  Sift together flour and sugar.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over pie mixture.  Bake at 400°  about 40 minutes or until set in the middle.

Date pudding, pumpkin pie squares, homemade noodles, Thanksgiving dressing, raisin cookies, raisin pie, date cookies, or about 50 other recipes could also take the #1 spot of my favorite recipes...just sayin'...  :)

the water receded

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.
Genesis 8:1-5
There are times in life when the water rises...and continues to our circumstances called life.
Like rain, there are certain things that are not in our control.  Not at all.
Legs out from underneath us.
Spiraling out of control.
I was reminded of this passage and my heart is encouraged.
Which part of this verse is my favorite?  There is a debate going on.
But God...
God remembered Noah (or insert your name here)...
The water receded.
God's got this.
He will remember His own.
The flood waters will recede.
Until then, I am holding on tight to my God and His promises.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 DoT: {day 14} something new

Because of the LORD’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
 They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!

Lamentations 3:22-23

30 DoT: {day 13} something old

Apparently I'm the "something old"...I downloaded the photo and totally forgot to come back and compose the post to go along with it yesterday...

There are a number of things that I am thankful for that fall into the category of "something old".
The first three things that came to mind were...
The Bible...God's Word, although written in ages past, is still alive and relevant today.  I do not know where I would be without it, honestly.
The Earth...although I may not agree with the age some scientists say, I know it has been around a long time.  All the adventures of others before me has opened the world up to me to explore on my own and find treasure and make memories for years to come.
My 90 and 91 years of age, respectively, my Grandma and Grandpa are still two of my favorite people ever.  I have been blessed to have them in my life for so long!

Monday, November 12, 2012


30 DoT: {day 12} a gadget

I am amazed at all the gadgets available to us today.  When I think back to my first computer experience in high school and then the excitement of an email account in college, I laugh at the humor of it all.  I did not have a cell phone until a couple of years after college.  Portable music devices were boomboxes that people carried around on their shoulders.
Oh, how the times have changed for the better!
My boys do not remember a day of their lives without computer or cell phone access.  Alex knew how to turn on the computer and use a mouse to open his counting and colors games by the age of two.  Tim, the same.  They both know how to work my smartphone better than I do...and are counting down the years until they may get one.  Scott even got in on the smartphone fad and began using my first one that I gave up once the camera quit working after I dropped it in some water.  (oops!)  Alex has a ipod touch on his wishlist for Christmas...Tim already has songs picked out for when he gets one, too.  
I do love the technological gadgets, but my favorite gadget is my camera.  This year has not been a great year of photo taking for me, but I do carry it most places I go.  I forgot it camping late this summer and I felt like I had left part of me at home.
It is not a grand gadget, of sorts...a gal has to dream about something...
It's just a camera that captures moments in time for enjoyment in future days.  Digitalization of cameras has so many pros, I can only think of one con.  There was a hint of excitement when one would walk up to the photo counter to see how the photos turned out.  Holding those photos (that captured what you hoped they did) in your hand was like holding a treasure.
That being said, I love the fact that you can evaluate photos immediately now to get what you desire before having to gather the fam back together again for another photo shoot...or accept the fact that your memory from a trip somewhere is captured with a blurry scene or someone's hair sticking up.
I am thankful for God giving me a love of taking photos...I want to have memories to pass on and stories to tell my grandchildren one day.  I am also extremely thankful for a very patient family and group of friends that do not mind me always seemingly lagging behind when going somewhere because I have stopped again to take a photo of a flower or an overlook view.  They also know at one point or another I'll gather them in just to hear them say, "Cheese!"
It is worth it, though, in the end.  We love going back and looking over our photos from trips and special occasions time and time again.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

30 DoT: {days 10 & 11} a memory & a tradition

My favorite can I possibly choose just one?
My favorite memory is the one that makes me smile, laugh, and perhaps cry (from laughing so hard) while remembering when.
It could also be said to be the one that makes me stand in awe of the awesome God I serve.
Or, perhaps, it is the one that brings out the testimony of just how far God's forgiveness has been extended to me.

My favorite family tradition it enjoying Thanksgiving in Indiana.  As many of us as possible get together and catch up while enjoying wonderful food....turkey, dressing, noodles, mashed potatoes, Grandma salad, and (my all time favorite holiday dessert) date pudding.
Our immediate family favorite tradition is us being home together on Christmas morning.
My personal favorite tradition is celebrating my best friend's birthday...twice!  One year in college, she and I were working on the summer housekeeping crew.  It was June and she noticed on my calendar that her name was on one of the days and just started laughing...I had written down her name in June instead of July. So now, we joke about what she's doing for her birthdays each year.  I try to get in a phone call to her, too, when it's possible.  She always asks where I'm spending her birthdays...and the answer is, for at least one of them anyway, Alaska.

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 DoT: {days 8 & 9} a restaurant & a website

The restaurant that comes to mind is Stoll's Lakeview Restaurant in my hometown. Owned and operated by Christians, it was a great first job! They gave me my first job in college and worked around my schedule for me. Made some good friends while working there. Aside from gas money, it gave me an eye opening experience on how to handle serving others...and the fact that some people appreciate the littlest of things, while others are not pleased with anything. You take them both and make the most out of what you are handed.
The website I am most thankful for is my own. God has given me courage to begin blogging...not for money or followers, but for His glory alone. A place to express myself in order for God to use as He delights. I had signed up months before I ever typed a word for a post. I could not come up with a title. Apparently when the time was right it just all fell into place. Some 400+ posts later, I still am enjoying the blogosphere. I have blogs I visit, but will not begin naming them because I enjoy so many for different reasons, I do not want to leave anyone out.
[Typed on phone while away...forgive any autocorrecting errors that it might have.]

3 in 30: beginnings

My three goals for the week were on my mind everyday.  Had it not been for a crazy busy schedule that had us running in and out all day, every day, this week, I might have been able to get to more of my goals than I did.  It's not because I didn't want to get at my tasks, it was because I was never at home long enough to get at them after all the normal everyday things like meals, dishes, and laundry were attacked.
Go through boys' closet: declutter, separate into keep/donate/sell piles, make a list of clothing to purchase to get through the winter months.
Well, we took a moment inbetween appointments on Tuesday to go and get the boys some pants that they desperately needed for this fall/winter.  Poor guys grow so fast that they seem to always be in high waters.  Alex picked out a red pair of pants from Old Navy...and he looks good in them.  I never would have imagined...
Next week we will work to make room for their new clothes in their closet.
Begin sorting through "hot spots": A move is in our future. I would like to get a good start on decluttering before crunch time.
I hope knowing where I want to begin this goal is an actual beginning. :)  No time this week...maybe next!
Encourage intentionally: As I am encouraged by others, I hope to extend that same encouragement to others.
This one was easier for me to accomplish.  Wrote some notes of encouragement to others and made sure to tell my boys everyday, more than once, something to encourage them.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

30 DoT: {day 7} a scent

I first must give thanks for the fact that I have an amazing Creator who gave me a nose with which I can enjoy the aromas of my favorite things in life, such as...
Apple pie baking in the oven.
A perfectly pink rose.
Fresh sheets just in off the clothesline.
Pot roast and veggies in the crockpot for Sunday lunch.
Midnight Pomegranate lotion which takes me right back to Alaska every. single. time.
Fresh cut hay.
Apple cider and popcorn in the fall.
Brownies cooling on the counter.
Salty sea breezes on a warm summer's day.

Thank you, Lord, for all the small things in life that make it so wonderful to be alive!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 DoT: {day 6} an article of clothing

My tried and true, way too big, rough around the edges, giver of warmth, but most comfortable thing I own...Taylor University sweatshirt.
I remember purchasing it in our little bookstore on campus.  I should not have splurged on it, but I did.  My guess is that it has paid for itself by now with all of the wearings I have gotten out of it.
Maybe why this sweatshirt holds a special place in my heart is because it represents the most amazing college years a person could have in life.  There is little left to represent those years for me and numerous others due to circumstances out of our control, but that's a long story for another day.
Only God in His infinite wisdom could have put this gal in just the right place at the right time in her life in order to learn, grow, experience, and enjoy all that my years at TUFW had in store for me.
Thank God for providing for me in the way of tuition, a job, friends, and the best of the best in Bible professors!

Monday, November 5, 2012

30 DoT: {day 5} a place

Now I know most everyone who knows me would guess that a place that I am most thankful for is Alaska.  With good reason, too.  I do thank God for opening my heart up to His work being done in such a marvelously, wonderfully, amazingly beautiful, yet unchurched state.

Honestly, I am thankful for a place...any place...God calls me to be at work doing His work.

My own backyard...a place to play, explore, rest, enjoy God's handiwork displayed for me in nature, and raise my boys.
My church...a place I worship, pray, hear God's Word taught faithfully, fellowship with believers, and serve others.
Bible Memory Camp...a place I learn the truth about God by reading and memorizing His Word, see living examples on how to live out my salvation, worship, have a blast, all the while making disciples.
These United States of America...a land full of beauty that tells of a magnificent Creator...all of them with their own history and stories just waiting to be heard and explored.
Far off lands...places I have been...and places I dream of being one day.
Heaven...the place I long to be the most to enjoy the presence of my Lord and Savior for evermore!

In my heart I call anywhere I lay my head down at night "home".  I do not know how that is, but it I do consider it a gift.  I love to travel around and come home again.  I am so thankful and feel extremely blessed that God has granted me the opportunity to see so many places...and with each place meet wonderful people, even if only for a moment.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

30 DoT: {day 4} favorite snack

Being thankful for a snack seems kind of funny.  It works out, however, that with every snack that I have considered giving the title of "favorite" to I also hold fond memories with special people, for which, I am indeed very thankful to have in my life!
For example, take "Puppy Chow".  It could easily qualify as my favorite snack these days.  I do not make it very often and never just for myself because I cannot quit snacking on it.  Having it in the freezer does not help, either, because it is even better when frozen.  One of my best friends in youth group, back in the day, introduced me to Puppy Chow.  With every batch of it that I make, she comes to mind...and I still love her bunches to this day.
Another in the race for favorite snack is chips and dip.  Before you correct my grammar, I do not think of chips and dip as plural, but as one food item, therefore, "is" is correct. :)  I do not buy said snack often at all for the same reason as with Puppy Chow.  If it is around, I consume way too much, too often.  This snack brings warm fuzzy memories of times spent with my best friend from college, who is still my best friend today.  It is funny, but when we are about to get together we both have a higher craving for chips and dip.
The healthiest of my favorite snack foods is radishes.  I simply love radishes!  The memories of Grandma and Grandpa planting seeds, weeding/thinning out the radish row, picking the radishes, and then finally cleaning and tasting the crop...that all just adds to the wonderfulness of the taste.  Sometimes they would plant the early lettuce and radishes inside old tractor tires filled with dirt.  That was such a great idea for raised beds and recycling all in one!
So, even if it seems odd to be thankful for snack foods, I am thankful for the people who mean so much to me that are associated with them!  Food and family/friends...they go hand in hand. :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

30 DoT: {day 3} a cozy place

I am very thankful for our home...but if I had to choose the cozy spot I am most thankful for it is in front of our living room fireplace.  Nothing soothes my soul more than having a roaring fire going to combat the cold temperatures.  Add pink fuzzy slippers and a mug of hot cocoa and you have perfection!
The crackling wood, the dancing yellow flames, the glowing embers as it dies's therapy for me and I love it!
So thankful that back a few years ago we found a home with a large fireplace for me to sit in front of and dream of summer!

3 in 30: getting with the program

It has been more than a few months since I have last linked up with 3 in specific reason why, just life, I'd say.  We'll see how it goes again now.  There are a few things that have been on my mind to begin accomplishing in the next few weeks, so some wonderful, encouraging accountability just might be the ticket to getting my to-do list a little shorter.
November goals...
Go through boys' closet:  declutter, separate into keep/donate/sell piles, make a list of clothing to purchase to get through the winter months
Begin sorting through "hot spots":  A move is in our future.  I would like to get a good start on decluttering before crunch time.
Encourage intentionally:  As I am encouraged by others, I hope to extend that same encouragement to others.

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 DoT: {day 2} an animal

This may sound crazy, but the first animal that came to mind that I am most thankful for this year is a moose. Not just any moose, but the first one that my NBC family saw while in Alaska.  
Trust me when I say that there is nothing sweeter than seeing a moose in the "wild" (even if it is in the city limits) for the very first time.
I have been there myself back in 2008...the first moose sighting is simply something I will never forget.  
Each time one is sighted it is just as exciting for me.
Since 2008, I have had the joy of leading other teams on their moose hunts.
God has granted favor and always provided at least one, and usually more, moose for my teams to see and squeal with delight over.
This summer, I caught our second moose sighting on video.  It still makes me laugh out loud.  Enjoy!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: {day 1} a person

Jesus, the Son of God, my Savior!
This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit. And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son as the world’s Savior. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God-God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us.  1 John 4:13-19