Thursday, November 22, 2012

An Abundance of Blessings

 Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :) This is the last day I'll be posting daily about things that I am thankful for but my hope is that all of us remember to have a heart of thankfulness year round. It is such a blessing that I am able to spend each day counting my blessings. It's more then being able to name one thing a day... each day I could be thankful for lots of things. :)

Recently, Miranda and I were talking about laughter. It occurred to me that lots of people go days with out even one laugh... maybe without one single smile. Thanks to the kiddos I spend most days with, my wonderful husband, my loving family and the most amazing friends any girl could ask for I most definitely laugh (and smile) every day. :D For that I am very thankful.

One of the best posts about Thanksgiving I have seen today came from a friend of ours, Tori. Her family is in the process of adopting a girl the same age as Tori from Ukraine. I think what she said is a good reminder to us all! :) She posted the following on her Facebook...

"Everyone on my newsfeed is talking about the huge meals they will be consuming with their families today, with turkey and honey ham and stuffing... The list goes on and on. Today I am just with my parents, and we ate at the only Mcdonald's in Simferopol, Ukraine. It doesn't bother me that it wasn't a "traditional" meal, because this meal is perhaps more in the spirit of thanksgiving than any "tradit
ional" one I've had in the past. I am thankful for Tania, for adoption, for second chances, for my dedicated parents, for Sacred Selections, and for all of the nice Ukrainians who have helped us confused Americans along the way. I do dearly miss being back home, but I know that this is making a huge difference in the life of a sweet girl my same age who otherwise has no family. Happy Thanksgiving y'all :)"
  All the best to you and yours this Thanksgiving! :D

 My Thankful Posts:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 21

Today I am thankful for my Dad.

My Dad is one of the strongest men I know. He has gone through lots of challenging things in his life. Now as an adult I think back to growing up and the way that he raised my sister and I. Anyone knows that it couldn't have been easy to be the only male in a house with two young girls to raise on his own.

I am thankful for the dedication my Dad has had and the example of a great Christian man he has provided.

I am thankful for all of the many MANY things that he has done and been there for over the years.

I'm thankful for silly things like taking us to see Backstreet Boys and N'SYNC concerts and standing in long lines waiting for tickets and tshirts.

I'm thankful for the hard work he put in to take care of us.

I'm thankful for his constant goal of making everyone laugh & smile.. even when he makes himself look goofy.

I'm thankful for his motivation, his encouragement, his punishments, his instruction, his wisdom, and his unfailing love. :)

From that man that runs around the neighborhood with a bat to the man singing 'you light up my life to a random woman changing  light bulbs... For new fruit tastings, creative dinners and the most boxes of girl scout cookies any parent has ever been known to buy & for the habit that sticks with me of facing products as I walk through a grocery store... I love you. :)

Thank you for being amazing Dad... in the past, the present... and undoubtedly in the future. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 20

Today I am thankful for an abundance of friends. Not many people are blessed with a group of friends so large that it is often a challenge to spend time with everyone you want to. :) I don't say that to brag about how many friends I have... I say it because I know that I am truly blessed with those people in my life. :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 19

Today I am thankful for my ability to make yummy dinners that I can enjoy along with my friends and family. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 18

Today I am thankful for my Mother.
This is a hard one for some to comprehend knowing that my Mom is no longer with us, but so much about her life and it's influence on others around her is a huge life lesson to me.

Things that my mother (& and various others along the way) taught me:
  • A smile is one of the most brilliant things people remember about you. If you are always wearing one people notice. (It's amazing how many people talk to me about my mothers smile & how many still remember it!)
  • True friendships have value. The quality of a friendship is not necessarily determined by how much time you spend with any given person, it is determined by things like picking up the phone and knowing you will be greeted like you've talked everyday in between.
  • It's okay to cry or tear up when you are talking about things you love and are passionate about. 
  • Being a good parent is about taking time, being silly, making a fool of yourself, getting messy and learning that you can't always be your child's best friend... at least not in those crucial years of teaching right from wrong. (...And that if your sleeping child wakes up because you popped popcorn and the smell is in the whole house... a late night snuggling & giggling is sometimes okay.)
  • Even "super moms" need a break. (This one comes from the fact that I always remember Mom mostly getting us ready during the week... but on Sundays Dad got us ready and fed us while mom got ready.)
  • Don't always be the one behind the camera. You are part of the memory... make memories of you for others. (This is why I will make you take pictures even when you don't like them! :D)
  • Be polite and kind to your elders and when in public show respect and be well behaved. (This is a lesson some adults still need to learn.)
  • 4 walls don't make a home, the love inside it does. 
  • Helping,out, stepping in, and being kind to others is a commandment from God, not a choice... but it's not something we should ever have to be commanded to do. Do it gladly and with love.
  • Life is short. Live as if this is your last day.
  • The people we love are never truly gone from us. Even those who have gone on, those who we don't see anymore.. if we love them they hold a place in out hearts forever.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 17

Today I am thankful for the anticipation of a short work week ahead and the fact that I can look forward to spending time with loved ones without having to fight work for days off! :D

One of the MANY positive things about being a teacher! ;)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 16

Today I am thankful for the sprite, saltine crackers & my wonderful family that takes care of me when I'm not feeling well. :(

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 15

Today I am thankful that I live in a country where I am free to worship God and openly talk about my beliefs.

More and more I feel that in America, Christians will soon be faced with much less then tolerance. We already live in a time where speaking out for what you believe in is considered a "prejudice". Taking an action that goes so far as to address your belief with the person who disagrees can now be considered a hate crime; But how can that be...? 

It seems that if you are standing up for the social norms our country now has then you are appreciated and acknowledged, but when you stand up for the opposite you are rude, intolerant or closed minded. Since when is it not okay for two people to differ on something? Is there now no such thing as a healthy debate of minds?

I pray that our country and our leaders never forget that we have freedom of speech and a right to stand up for and practice our beliefs... but in the face of what seems to be the opposite I have never been more grateful then I am now for my ability to speak and worship freely.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 13

Today I am thankful for my best friend Katie.

Katie and I met at church in 2005 and we quickly became friends. :) My friendship with her was one that happened someone instantly. Suddenly we were together all the time and as we tend to do in my family, that also means that before you know it you are practically adopted. ;)

Katie is beautiful both inside and out. She is one of the kindest people I know... so much that you have to be careful that you don't ask for too much around her.. because before you know it she will have gone to get it for you. :P She is one of those people that you know that you can count on to get along with anyone. (Even people who may not deserve it.) Her heart is kind in a way that you don't see anymore... it goes beyond what most people would even consider. She is a constant reminder and example of the christian woman that I want to be and I have her to thank for a lot of the growth I have had in my faith.

Katie can make just about anything funny... even stuff that isn't. ;) She has a laugh that is contagious and I'm sure to others we sometimes sound like giggling school girls.... but that's perfectly okay with me.

We have been through a lot together... ups and downs... tears and laughter... and lots of moments that you would probably look at and ask us "WHY!!!??" ;) Yet I wouldn't change any of it. No... not even the negative moments... because I think that every second has made us end up where we are. She is the best friend that I have ever had, and as such... it's not just a friendship... I truly see her as a second sister and I honestly don't know what I would do without her.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 12

Today I am thankful for my job. Not many people can truly say they enjoy their job. It's definitely not everyday that I come home giddy about my job but when I really think about it I have so much to be thankful for.

In my years teaching at Star Academy I have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people (parents, children and also co workers).

I have learned a lot about the value of being kind to someone even when you have had a bad day and that my mood truly does effect others.

I have learned an infinite amount of things about children and how to take care of them.

It is a huge outlet of my creativity and my tenancy to micro manage and plan. (If you know me at all you know that I love these things!)

I've learned to be patient.

I've learned a lot about how I would like to raise my own future children.

I have learned that your background and your "class" in society doesn't necessarily speak of your heart.

I have learned that in order to really get your message or your lesson across you have to share it in multiple ways... (this applies to both adults and children) WE ALL LEARN DIFFERENTLY! :) Also, that my way is not always the best way.

...and much much more!!! :D

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 11


Today I am thankful for God's grace that is greater then my sin and the peace in knowing that I am saved.

Nerdy Nurserys

This one is obviously my favorite... but, I had to share this list of Nerdy Nursery's because I know several people who will get a good laugh out of it! ;) 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 10

Today I am thankful for my friends so far away at FC! :(

You have no idea how much your wonderful Skype call made my night! Let's do that again soon! :D I miss you guys sooo much and I can't wait to see you guys soon when you are home!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU! It is not the same without you here, but I am very proud of all three of you. I know you are doing well and having a blast... :)

P.S.... When we be going to Harry Potter World? ;) :D

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 9

Today I am thankful for my husband Dan. :)

Dan and I met through friends and a few years later we "reunited" again by finding each other on Facebook. :P I don't know exactly what it was about him that caused me to be drawn to him... but I always was. :) That was in February of 2006!!!!!!!! (WOW!)

Like any couple... (any relationship really) we obviously have our moments of not getting along but at the same time he knows and understands me better then most people do & he always has. I am incredibly weird and goofy at times (& so is he) and yet it works. The fact that we are both goofballs makes for a lot of laughter & good times.

He is smart, creative, funny, & very handsome. ;)
He makes the best pancakes and cinnamon toast in the world.
He can pretty much give you the storyline and cast lineup of any movie you wish... including ones he hasn't seen.
He can make any combination of letters into an acronym instantly and he is the only person I know who is able to see those pictures in the picture books with random colorful images.

I love you Daniel Spencer Meredith ;) :D


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 8

Today I am thankful for scarves, sweatshirts, boots and big fluffy blankets. I love getting all bundled up and snuggling up in a blanket. :)

One of my favorite things to do on a cold night is throw a blanket in the dryer and get it nice and toasty warm before pulling it out and climbing in bed. :)

It's the little things. ;)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 7

Today I am thankful for my home.

I know that not everyone has a warm place to come home to at the end of the day and I am thankful that not once in my life have I ever been without that.

It may not be much, but it's home. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 6

Twenty two years ago, on this day I was blessed with a baby sister. Little did I know that when my little sister Miranda was born that I was getting much more then a sister. :)

Miranda and I haven't always been as close as we are now. Like all siblings we went through periods of closeness and periods of not being as close but what it has all come down to is the fact that she is now one of my best friends.

I am thankful for Miranda every day. She is always there for me without question... and like the best kind of friend that DOESN'T always mean she tells me I'm right or that I have made the best choice. I can always count on her to be honest with me and, even when I have messed up, shes still there for me.

I can't count the laughs and good times that I have had with her and I know that we will have many more. At times we tend to speak a language only we understand made up of giggles, facial expressions, memories from the past and internet memes. :P

On this, her 22nd birthday I am, as always, very thankful to have her in my life. :) 
Happy Birthday gal. ;)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 5

Today I am thankful for unexpected blessings. 

As I'm sure many of you know (or have experienced) figuring out your finances in the first years of marriage and the first years of having a family can be very challenging. Dan & have never really been in a place where we simply did not have money to pay a bill and for that I am thankful, but we have had times where we cut our budget very closely. When Dan was painting the winter months (Christmas time!... yikes!) would be layoff time for the painters... so we have definitely done the living paycheck to paycheck thing. The few times we were unsure it seems that with a simple coincidence the problem was solved.

...Truthfully, I'm sure its not a coincidence at all.

Matthew 6:26-  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
 I don't think that anything has ever humbled me more then when a random family I have done some babysitting for surprised us by buying a new battery for my car upon finding out that I would be needing a new one soon. How about when you are in a restaurant and suddenly your bill is paid and you spot a random person across the room that you know smiling at you? If it's ever happened to you, you know how amazing and humbling those kinds of things are. Just today I was given a sweet that made my morning.

Those "little things" that we too often forget to do for others can truly be life changing. 

The next chance you get... do something nice for no reason at all... and if possible make sure no one knows it was you. :) The joy in something so simple is refreshing!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Shed A Little Tear

I like things that make my cry; Call me weird, but I do. When something I experience, read or watch hits home enough to bring tears to my eyes it becomes something that means something to me.

I've been around people in my life who tend to shy away from movies or books that make them cry but I have never felt the need to distance myself from it in that way. The way I see it, if something makes me cry... it means something; it says something real; it relates to me, maybe. I love reading Nicholas Sparks and one of the things I like most about his books is that they get to you. It's hard to read a book of his that doesn't cause you to tear up; but in it's own way it's beautiful.

Whatever it may be... if it brings a tear to my eye, I know I not only read (or watched) it... I felt it. People tend to seek out ONLY the things they want to hear... but I can't see that that's really the best thing for anyone.

Sometimes we need that good cry; a chance to let it all out and more often then not, we NEED to see or hear something that moves us.

Thankfulness: Day 4

Today I am thankful for my sweet puppy Gryffin & his puppy cuddles. ;)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankfulness: Day 3

Today I am thankful for Ryan & Sydney and their parents, Mike & Lu.

I started working at Star Academy 6 years ago. One of the greatest privileges of working in an environment like I do is the opportunity to meet so many families. Lots of people come and go but when a child is in your class for (in most cases) a full year you really get to know the children and families that you see almost every day. :)

I met the Russo family when I had Ryan as a two year old. :) I taught him along with the rest of my class until he moved up to a new room when he was three but during that time I started babysitting Ryan and Sydney. The first time that I watched the kids, Sydney was just a baby (Now she is 4!) and I have been watching them ever since. Mike and Lu were both very welcoming to both me and to Dan upon meeting him and over the years we have become close to the whole family; In fact, they are like family to us!

I am so thankful that we met Mike & Lu. They are a huge encouragement and example to Dan & I. They mean so much to us as a wonderful example of a christian home and marriage and as friends. Sydney & Ryan and some of the sweetest and funniest kids that I have ever met! They put so many smiles on my face and have us laughing every time we are with them! They are such a joy to be around! :D

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sweet Baby Remi

Today I am thankful for my beautiful new God-Daughter Remi Kayla Preston. :) She was born this morning around 1am to an amazing Mommy & Daddy, Jessica & Ryan. She was born at 7lbs 6oz and 20 inches long.

I got to go see them at the hospital tonight & meet sweet baby Remi! :D She is such a sweet and precious baby! It is such an honor to have good friends like Jessica & Ryan and to be a God mother to Remi. :)

Our first picture together! ;) Meeting baby Remi!

CONGRATS to Jessica & Ryan on your sweet little bundle of joy! :D

Thursday, November 1, 2012

There is a time to be THANKFUL

Happy NOVEMBER Everyone!!

Thanksgiving makes most of us think about what we are thankful for because of the traditions of the season. :) All year around we all have many things to be thankful for... and as such I hope that we are thankful not just during this time of year, but everyday. :) That being said.... At times I think it is very helpful to really focus on thankfulness and be thankful for all that we have; for big things & for little things! Keep coming back! Each day in November I will be posting about something that I am thankful for. :) Some of them will be serious, some might be silly, and some will be short. As for the order, these things are NOT in any order of importance... Imagine me making a list and hitting shuffle... because that's basically what I plan to do.. ;)

Today I am thankful for the gift of expression.. (fitting I think, as I start this list on my blog). I am thankful that at any given time I can freely state my opinion or something I feel should be shared. We live in a place & time that gives us the opportunity to do so often and easily. Social media , blogging, texting, (cell phones in general, actually..), email, etc gives us the ability to share just about anything instantly. When we want people to know something... they know!

Sometimes the convenience of speaking out minds easily can be a negative thing. When you can instantly share with everyone that you know sometimes we forget to hold our tongue or we tend to over share. This can't go without being said... but I also feel that with a little extra thought these quick ways of communicating can be a blessing to us!

For starters... I can easily share this with all of you! :) Thanks for reading! ;)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

15 Days of Halloween


Our party hasn't happened yet, but I'll be posting pictures here of our costumes ASAP!! :) 
In the meantime, click back through the 15 days of Halloween Countdown! :) 

You may also be interested in:

So Cute It's SCARY
I Love Fall
An Abundance Of Blessings
Halloween Decor

Monday, October 29, 2012

Countdown to HALLOWEEN!: 2 Days :)

Potion Cabinet 
For the past several years I have made a "potion cabinet" of my own. This is a simple and spooky way to make your home look a little creepier around this time of year. You can find tons of printables online or just make your own. This year I made some labels of my own. Typically for mine I print the label and glue them to scrapbook paper that has a gothic look and then wrap the paper around boxes and jars that we already have at home. :) 
 Here is a link that you can print several labels from to get you started! :) Love Manor: Potion Labels

Theses are some pictures from my very own "potion cabinet" ;)

You may also be interested in:

15 Days of Halloween
I Love Fall
An Abundance Of Blessings
Halloween Decor