-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

I know, I know, we just got through Thanksgiving! But, the truth is, Christmas will soon be upon us. This year, I feel more than ready. So, I thought I would take my excitement and joy for Christmas and put it into one of my favorite things, a list! 
My top 5 favorite things about Winter/Christmas:
1) Giving - I love to buy gifts for people and I love the joy on their face when they open said gift. Not because the gift is particularly expensive or shiny, but because I like to buy gifts that show I put some thought into it!
2) Family - By this, I don't mean extended family that I only see on holidays. I mean the family I see everyday, the siblings that get in my hair and drive me crazy. Now, I'm not about to get TOO mushy on you, but there is something about Christmas that makes everyone a little bit more manageable and friendly.
3) Traditions - I love traditions and the fact that it's something you can count on from year to year. I'm a little bit of a controlling person and I love something that I can count on to happen. Even the smallest things, like cinammon buns on Christmas morning, and the tedious-ness of sitting upstairs while the grandparents and parents get all 50 cameras ready to capture my morning breath (yes, I'm sure it's strong enough to come off on camera).
4) Snow - I love the feeling that snow brings, like Christmas is completed. I know that you can have hot chocolate and watch movies without snow, but it feels so much more productive with snow. Kind of like something to check off on the to-do list. (Watch hallmark movies with hot chocolate and snow. CHECK!) Which brings us to...
5) Hallmark - I LOVE cheesey movies! It doesn't have to be on Hallmark channel either, anything from It's a Wonderful Life to The Little Troll Prince. Christmas movies in general are fabulous.
EXTRA) Music - Christmas music is somewhat of an annoyance but I couldn't have left it out, what's Christmas without the music? I guess you could say we have a love-hate relationship. I have to note that I am overly excited for Michael Buble's new album!! woo! woo!

So there it is, as you are all gearing up for Christmas don't forget the most important part... The birth of Christ. Although the actual birth date is unknown (which gets on my nerves sooo much! Why Dec. 25th??) Christmas is an excellent time to take advantage and show someone the joy we not only find in the Christmas season but in Christ, our savior.

Something to think (and comment) about: What's your favorite part about the Christmas season?

           ~Jessica

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks


Happy Thanksgiving!!! 
I pray that no matter who you are or what you're going through that
you would feel the love of friends and family today
and more importantly...the love of God, from whom ALL blessings flow!

-Blessings, Lorraine and Jessica

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My bad!!!

I have to apologize, again!!  But this time to my wonderful husband and my children for forgetting to write about our anniversary in my last post!!  In trying to remember the events of last week to share with you, my brain shut down and I remembered nothing past Wednesday!!


On Friday, November 11, 2011, my husband and I, along with our children and my parents, celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. 

 



Our daughter, Jessica, had planned for weeks to cook us a lovely dinner and she saved up her money to send us out to see a movie after!  What child does this??  We are so truly blessed to have her as one of our daughters.

She prepared for us Ratatouille Stoup; a vegetable stew of Provence, typically consisting of eggplant, zucchini, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and garlic, served hot or cold.  Jessica followed a recipe that called for it to be part stew, part soup and added Rotini pasta.  It was amazing!!  I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical....but I loved it!! 


We opted to forego the movie, since we had been blessed enough the previous week to go see the movie Courageous with friends.  So instead, we took the day off and spent a few hours in the afternoon enjoying some of the shops in our area.  My parents joined us for dinner and after we celebrated with a delicious cake that our 11 year old, Joe made for us....from scratch and the icing too - I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm bragging...I really can't help myself!!


So it appears that I had a very good week, even though it started with sickness, it surely ended very sweetly!!  I am so thankful for my husband, my children and my parents who continually love and support me!! 


How was your week?  Anyone remember it??


<3Lorraine

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Splendor

I want to apologize for neglecting this blog for so long.  I barely remember the events of last week.  I believe the lingering sickness made its mark on the 7 year old, causing her and I to miss church and to cancel a long awaited visit from some special friends. 


Thankfully, the beautiful weather we've been having caused us to seize the day mid-week and we headed to a local park with our cousins.


 It was gorgeous, the fall colors surrounding us, the rich history of the land and  


spending time with people that we love.


God truly is an artist.  I am never bored with the beauty that He surrounds us with and I am so thankful for the gifts.

I'm positive that the week held a lot more events than the ones I've remembered.  But I think I'll leave those memories buried and just enjoy these - obviously they are the best ones!!

<3Lorraine





Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sore Throats and College Brochures

I've been struggling for a few days now of what to say and what to post. I'm completely out of ideas. This morning I woke up with a sore throat and a foggy view from my bedroom window. Not the best way to wake up if you ask me. Well, I do like foggy and rainy weather, one of my many weird quirks (that's what I like to call them, atleast). But, needless to say, a sore throat is not something I enjoy. But, I saw it coming. If you read my mom's last post you probably know that a sickness has, indeed, been making it's way through our household and, as always, I'm one of the last stops.

On the brighter side, my school day went by very speedily this morning and I'm contemplating a bike ride in this gorgeous weather. There's just one problem... I don't have a helmet that fits me and the cops where we live will pull you over if you are not wearing a helmet. Trust me, I've had it happen to me before. EMBARRASING!

To completely change the topic again, something I do quite a lot, I've been looking into a great deal of colleges and am awaiting the arrival of a great deal of brochures. I think the other day I set a record of requesting information from something around 10+ colleges. What can I say? I got college-happy! I'm looking into majoring in either Spanish or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers Of another Language) and minoring in the other. I'm struggling with the distance thing, I don't want to go too far, but I also don't want to be too close to home. This is definitely a popular topic in my prayer life recently and I can't wait for the direction and purpose God has for my life.

- Jessica

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend Fun

So today finds me at home instead of at church.  We've been battling colds here for the past few weeks.  It's no fun.  When you have multiple children, germs have a way of sharing themselves with everyone in the house!!!  (so kind of them)  Very rarely does it hit everyone at the same time, more often, it takes its time and goes one at a time....making sure that you miss out on weeks and weeks of activity.  It started out with our 11 year old, then moved to the 10 year old.  Now it's time for the 7 year old and I believe myself.  Luckily the 15 year old and the husband have been spared.  Although Jessica has complained of very small, cold-like symptoms...I'm pretty sure she will not go untouched!

I'm gladly accepting the break that a cold brings along.  Not that I wanted to miss church, but when it comes to breaks, I'll take what I can get!!  We've had a busy weekend and after a lot of busyness, I enjoy some down time!!  So the little girl and I are watching a movie marathon - High School Musical!!  Fun times!!!

Yesterday the boys had a birthday party to go to and it's location made running back home after dropping them off seem a bit silly.  We'd be home for maybe an hour and then have to head back out to pick them up.  So instead, the hubs, myself and the two girls went to a local mall, had some lunch and just walked around and wasted time, I mean, spent time together :)  We came home and hosted my parents for dinner and Christmas gift planning.  They pulled out the toy books and let the kids go through them, circling all of the things that they wanted.  What joy!!

Friday night we spent the evening with friends.  We went to the movies to see "Courageous".  I was told to bring tissues.  I should have listened!!!  I can't remember another movie that took me from hysterical laughing to trying to hold back the tears in one scene change!  What an amazing movie and challenge to the fathers of our world.  They have a big job to do, thankfully we have a Heavenly Father who not only sets the example of how to love, but walks by our sides as He leads and guides us to love.

I also started reading "Kisses from Katie" last weekend and finished it up on Friday.  It's the story of an amazing young woman who finds her heart drawn to the people of Uganda.  I could tell you more, but I don't want to give it away, instead I urge you to get the book and read it yourself!! It's another amazing challenge to all of us to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39) and to take care of the widows and orphans (James 1:27).  It has made me question a lot of things in my life.  We live in the land of plenty while hundreds of thousands of others live in the land of poverty.  It breaks my heart to think about all that we have and know that there are families out there who literally have nothing.  I am so thankful to people like Katie Davis who go and offer these people not only supplies for living, but a living hope...The Living Hope in Jesus Christ.  But, it's not enough for us to just sit here and leave the work to someone else.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, or write a book here on the spot (though I'm certain I could).  I will leave you with these two powerful challenges. Go see "Courageous" and read "Kisses from Katie".  I hope you find yourself moved to ask the hard questions.  

Love and God's Blessings - Lorraine

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Encouragement

So, I've been following blogs for almost a year now.  I was first introduced to blogging through a video that a friend had posted.  It was the promo video for Ann Voskamps, 1000 Gifts - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where you Are (Found HERE).   It moved me in such a huge way.  I immediately connected with this writer and her challenge to see God in everything and to give thanks no matter what the situation is.  I asked for her book for my birthday and I devoured it.  I started following her blog and it was like a daily dose of nourishment for my soul, and it still is.  I eventually added a few more bloggers to my list and now follow quite a few.  Some are about life and God, some are about homeschooling and others still are about decorating and crafts.  It amazes me that there are so many women out there who are just like me.  It amazes me that due to the internet, people are connecting in ways that we couldn't have imagined twenty years ago.

I started to feel a pull towards blogging myself, but like so many others, I doubted that I had anything worthy to say.  Honestly, I am not a writer, I haven't done anything on a large scale.  I'm just another mother who stays at home, homeschools her children, and tries to live a life that is pleasing to her Maker.  As a result of following some of these bloggers, I am learning to listen to God regarding who He has called me to be.  I am learning to trust that God has given me a song to sing, a story to tell and I would be remiss to turn my head and continue being only a follower and not a leader.

I can't tell you right now, how this blog will go, how it will ebb and flow, but I can promise that you will find it to be an open and honest place 2 gather.  Some days may be light hearted and just a recap of a crazy day that I've had and some others may be a bit heavier as I continue to wrestle with who God calls me to be.  I pray that you never walk away from here feeling disappointed or discouraged.  More than anything I believe God has called me to be an encourager, so Lord willing, you will find encouragement here.  I can do nothing apart from Him who gives me strength and all the glory goes to Him <3
             - Lorraine

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Answers

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" - Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

I asked, and boy... I received! I've been praying pretty consistently for a couple weeks now for something specific. For an answer. For an answer about my future. I had considered a couple of different careers.. nursing homes, financial manager, ICU nurse, but never this, at least not for awhile. When I was a kid I pictured the adventurous stories of the missionary. But those thoughts soon got pushed out of my head as images of "The American Family" replaced them. The husband, kids, chicken roast, and laundry soon took their place. But once again the meaningful life and adventure came back and stronger than ever. The thought didn't suddenly appear to me as I awoke one morning. I didn't have a revolutionary dream with 12 fattened calves. It just all seemed to piece together for me.

I love teaching Spanish to my 3 younger siblings; but teaching in a public school to American teenagers just didn't seem like enough. Nothing against American teenagers, I am one myself, but they just don't know the value of knowledge. My answer didn't come as a mission opportunty at first, but more of a teaching position. To teach English to the people of Honduras. But the more I thought of it, the more I considered a missionary position. Whether I'm supposed to call this a missionary position or a teaching position that I use to share my joy in Christ, I'm not sure.  I'm still praying for direction and I'm requesting your prayer as well.
              -Jessica