Monthly Archives: November 2008

Thanksgiving beyond measure!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We spent part of the day at my mom’s house and then part of the day at Tony’s brother’s house. The weather was simply gorgeous.

At one point as I was sitting on the swing outside at Mom’s, I was just really struck by how much work God has done in my family. For many years, we didn’t get together. For years I couldn’t have told you where my brother even was and there were years where my sister and I were not speaking. There were so many things that happened. So many hurts, so many tears.

As a Christian, I knew that I was called to forgive and forgive I did, but at the same time, there had to be some healthy space in order for healing to occur. Those quiet Thanksgivings and Christmases, God was so gentle with me. I treasured the time with just Tony and the boys and sometimes my mom, free from the pressure to just "pretend" that things were ok, when they weren’t.

And so I share with you now that God has simply amazed me by bringing my family back together again. I love watching the kids play, hearing everyone tell funny stories, and seeing how happy it makes my mother. I love that my children are seeing how God has worked in all of this. Years ago, I couldn’t have imagined us all being together again like this, but as the verse says above, He is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine!

I apologize for the blurry photo, but we were experimenting with the timer on the digital camera and forgot to get things focused properly.

I thought you all might like some other outtakes as well. (Just in case you were tired of seeing other people’s perfect family photos!)
Ummm, does that blinking light mean it’s… *CLICK*

OK, try and be still this time. Everybody SMILE. NO funny faces!
Oh well, I guess that’s as good as it’s going to get TODAY anyway. But just look at Mikey’s little Gwendolyn.
At least we got another great picture of her!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving whether you were with a bunch of family or just having a quiet Thanksgiving at home for whatever reason. If you’re in a season of being separated from some of your loved ones or dealing with heartbreak, I just want to encourage you that God CAN do even more than you can imagine to bring healing to those areas. It may take years, but once it finally happens, you’ll be blessed by seeing his handprints through it all.

Let’s play tag with our husbands now!

I saw this fun tag about husbands on Marsha’s blog and decided to play along.

So without further ado…. Here’s Tony!

August 06 pic

1. He’s sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen?  NCIS, ESPN, or FOXNEWS

2. You’re out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad?  Honey Mustard (I think)

3. What’s one food he doesn’t like? He’s not very finicky. But, let me think…. there was this one healthy raw goat milk thingie that he absolutely hated! (What was it Candace?)

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order?  Well if he’s really being wild – a coke. But he’s trying to avoid carbonated drinks, so he’s pretty much drinking water with lemon.

5. Where did he go to high school? Henry County High School, Paris, TN

6. What size shoe does he wear?  10

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be?  Memories (He hangs on to sentimental stuff) He really likes guns though too.

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? I really have no clue. Maybe I should ask, ya think? He does like a nice BLT sometimes.

9. What would he eat every day if he could? Oh man, I didn’t realize this was going to be so hard. Aack! He really likes variety.

10. What is his favorite cereal? OK, I’m starting to feel like a failure as a wife for not being able to think of these things. I’ll have to ask him, but I know that he likes Corn Flakes alot.

11. What would he never wear? Tight clothes. He likes things roomy.
12. What is his favorite sports team?  Wow, he has a favorite team for each sport. I guess the biggest one would be the Tennesse Vols.

13. Who did he vote for?  Definitely McCain!

14. Who is his best friend? ME.  But he has a lot of great guy friends too. Mark, Joey, the Dons, Joel, etc…

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do? Stay up too late working on the computer.

16. How many states has he lived in? Three: Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky

17. What is his heritage? Oh man, another stumper. His mom has been researching all of that geneology stuff. I know his maternal grandfather was Cajun, but other than that I’m just thinking Southern. :O)

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what would it be? Coconut. (ding ding – I knew one!)

19. Did he play sports in high school? Not in high school. He played baseball some growing up and LOVED jr. high football, but he got really into photography in high school.

20. What could he spend hours doing? Hunting, watching TV (especially sports!), visiting with friends, driving in the mountains in Colorado

21. What’s something cool about him? Oh, I know lots of these… He’s a great cook. He was a really early preemie. He has a great sense of humor. He’s a really hard worker and goes above and beyond what others expect of him. He says, "I’m sorry" easily. (It’s not so easy for me.) He takes great care of the boys and me. He draws really cute little cartoony things when he doodles. He’s fiercely loyal to his friends. He stands up for others. He truly enjoys spending time with his family and showing his customers our pictures on his laptop too. I could go on and on, but you all get the idea.

Let me know if you join in and answer these questions on your blog. I’d love to read YOUR answers.

12 Days of Christmas Unit Study Ebook – FREE!

I mentioned in this week’s THM about how TOS subscribers could get the 12 Days of Christmas Unit Study from Hands of a Child for free in this month’s Teacher’s Toolbox.

And right in the newsletter I linked to the Teacher’s Toolbox which includes the download. But apparently email programs and ISP’s are fickle, fickle tools and some of them block the links! I’ve gotten a handful or so of emails from people asking about it so I figure that I’d share the info here as well.

Sometimes I think that our monthly freebies in the Teacher’s Toolbox are some of our best kept secrets. Homeschool moms are busy and sometimes they just delete stuff from their inbox not even realizing that there is a WHOLE FREE UNIT STUDY in there, plus lots of other helpful tips. The print version of the 12 Days of Christmas Project Pack actually sells for $16.00 in the Schoolhouse Store! This isn’t just a sample of a few pages. It’s the WHOLE ebook that the folks at Hands of a Child are just kind enough to share this project pack in ebook form with our TOS Magazine subscribers.

So just in case you’re one of my blog readers and you missed it in THM this week, let me just share again the link to this month’s Teacher’s Toolbox. You usually don’t get this link unless you’re a TOS subscriber, but it had some great Christmas ideas in it that I wanted to share with you all.

So once you get to the Teacher’s Toolbox, just scroll to the bottom to where it says download this month’s freebie by clicking here.

Once you get to the download page, you’ll just need to enter your phone number to verify that you are a TOS subscriber. If you run into any trouble, you can always email and one of our friendly ladies will be happy to help!

I hope you all get to enjoy this great unit study. If you try it out, I’d love to hear what you think about it and what you think about our Teacher’s Toolbox. I’m always looking for good testimonials and for people to spread the word. Feel free to grab the ebook cover above and share with people how TOS subscribers can download the 12 Days of Christmas Unit Study E-Book.

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz…

Looking for a fun gift idea for the little people on your gift list?

I always like to make our buddy Matt-Matt something special for his birthday. Two years ago we did a personalized  memory game, but this year it’s Fizzy Stones!

I got the idea from Kid Concoctions of Biblical Proportions. It’s a great book full of hands-on activities that actually teach spiritual truths. If you check out that link at Amazon, they have lots of other neat titles too. Jon is really into "making concoctions" these days.

Anyway, it was really easy and lots of fun to make AND give!

We bought a big box of baking soda, one of those disposable GladWare boxes, a few little plastic treasures to hide in the stones (over in the party favor section, and a bottle of vinegar that I could send along so they could get busy watching those stones disappear!

You just mix 1/4 cup of baking soda, with 4 Tbs. water, and a few drops of food coloring into a dough. Put your little treasure in it and roll into a ball so that it looks like a stone. That’s all. Just let them sit in the open air to dry overnight.

The next morning you can just put the fizzy stones all in the GladWare box, and put it in a gift bag along with your bottle of vinegar. (It makes for a nice heavy gift. heh heh.)

The kids had such a great time watching them fizz and seeing what little treasure was inside.

You’ll want to have a  clear measuring cup or bowl handy so that you can pour the vinegar in and watch the magic happen.

The vinegar does lose its potency fairly quickly though so after doing a stone or two, you need to dump out that vinegar and get more before adding another stone.

Even the big guys get a kick out of it when the fizz starts to overflow!

This one was definitely a winner!

If you’ve got little people on your gift list for Christmas, this is one gift that they (and their parents) are sure to love! It’s not too noisy and it’s only a little messy, but the fun makes it all worth it. Just make plenty of fizzy stones, the cousins of all ages will want to join in the fun!

Get a FREE Photo Book from Snapfish!

I was flipping through the channels and saw them talking about organizing your home on Oprah today. For people that are overwhelmed with all of their kid’s pictures, art projects, etc…, they suggested taking pictures of the projects and then putting them all in a photobook. Great idea, huh?

Well here is where it gets even better!

You can get a FREE photo book from Snapfish when you click through this link.

You can put whatever you want in the photo book, it doesn’t really have to be your kids’ artwork. But you have to do it before midnight on Friday, November 14, 2008.

These make GREAT Christmas gifts. It’s a $29.99 value and all you have to do is pay the shipping. I’ve absolutely LOVED the ones I’ve done and just didn’t want any of you to miss out on this offer!