Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

"If we complained less and were more thankful, we would be happier, and God would be more glorified. Every day thank God for ordinary mercies- we refer to them as ordinary, and yet they are so priceless that without them we are ready to perish. Let us thank God for our eyes with which we see the sun, for the health and strength to walk around, for the bread we eat, for the clothes we wear.
Let us thank Him that we are not among the hopeless or confined among the guilty; let us thank Him for liberty, for friends, for family associations and comforts. Let us praise Him, in fact, for everything that we receive from His generous hand, for although we deserve little, He provides an abundance."
-Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of men! Psalm 107:8

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Black olives on fingers has been a Thanksgiving tradition in my family for as long as I can remember (it's our greek blood). It's just not Thanksgiving until someone waves their olive hands around. Tristan won't go near olives (or any other food that is not bread) so this is the first year I've been able to get one of my kids to do it. Kenna looked at her hand and promptly exclaimed, "it looks like a froggy hand!" Well, yes. Yes it does. How come in thirty years of Thanksgivings that never occurred to me? I love the two year old mind.
And I love this silly tradition. What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?
We're heading out of town today to spend some time with good friends.
I hope your holiday is full of joy, blessing, family, friends and good food (and perhaps a few olives on your fingers).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

links to make you SMILE

For every one good picture of the kids I take, I have about a thousand of these -
No smiles there. Kenna looks like Cousin It and Kate is doing her rolly polly thing. I love it. You should see the attempts at getting our whole family in that picture. What I need is the help of a dear friend who also loves to to take photos and does a great job...oh wait, I have one of those! But she lives six states away. Shoot. For all of you in the Houston area, maybe you can take advantage of this sweet mama's skills. She has a new photography business up and running and some beautiful pictures to share over here at her new site. Tell her I sent you (that way if I ever do get the chance I can hit her up for a discount! hehe) Sara has some wonderful creative talent and three really adorable boys that give her plenty of practice with the camera - While we're talking photos, I bet you're all trying to figure out what to do for Christmas cards for this year, right? No? Well, you better get on it. Only 35 days left you know, but I have your solution! Head over to the Kojo blog and check out the amazing finds and creations by my friend Jordan and her sister. Their Etsy shop is full of gorgeous card designs -gorgeous! It gets better. Now through November 30, they are offering an amazing deal -purchase a $15 digital card design and get 100 5x7 photo cards with envelopes free!! When I saw that I was absolutely kicking myself for having already made our card. Theirs are SO much better!
So check out the links today and enjoy the photo goodness you will find at both. And smile!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

finding a new groove

The holidays arrived at our house over the weekend. We had a small Thanksgiving feast, Christmas cookie decorating and even some gift opening. On our last evening together, we took in the sunset over the marina as the kids clambered around the shore and the playground.
Today Shawn safely arrived at his new home-far-away-from-home and the kids and I are working on finding a new groove.
For now, that mostly involves taking some time to rest before the holiday excitement and travels begin. I'm going to finish unpacking from our trip and cleaning up the messes I ignored for the past few weeks. I'm going to let Kate smash all the bananas she wants into her hair at breakfast if it allows me to sit and drink my coffee slowly. I'm going to let the kids take hour long bubble baths (especially after bananas-for-breakfast) while I read on the bathroom floor. I strung up twinkle lights around our reading spot (consolation for not getting out the Christmas decorations this year) where I will spend many hours cuddling with kids and storybooks. I'm going to pray -a lot- for Shawn, who doesn't have these comforts of home and little ones to hug. I don't know how he does what he does.
But I know how lucky I am to call him mine.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Caught someone red-handed trying to pack the little one. Don't think it's going to work -she's very noisy that little one. Dad may not be able to take the kids with him but they will be dragging him along everywhere they go thanks to daddy dolls. I was ordering them for the girls and considering a photo pillow version for Tristan but he saw the dolls and said, "I want one of those because then I can hug it and it will be like he's here." Well, break my heart child -I ordered it on the spot. The kids all seem thrilled to have their daddy close by to hug whenever they want (well, Kate likes to chew on his head but in her world that's as good as a hug).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

carriage for a queen...or princess

Our Kenna loves horses, so the historic carriage rides in Williamsburg were a source of endless squealing and begging. At times like this it doesn't take much to pull on a daddy's heartstrings and the little princess got just what she wanted. As we were clip-clopping through town, the driver informed us that Kenna was sitting right where Queen Elizabeth sat in the very same carriage on her tour in 1957. We found video footage of it here. One day I think Kenna will find that pretty cool.

For now she was happy to simply enjoy the ride and practice her princess wave...

*family photos taken by our carriage driver

Friday, November 13, 2009

in another time

Where have we been? We took a drive north to Virginia where the Autumn leaves were amazing and, for a little while, we were in another time. It was beautiful and fun and too short. Now we are home, counting hours. Thanksgiving is coming and I mentioned to Shawn that part of me (the selfish heart part) just wanted to skip it. Then I look at my healthy family, our beautiful home, my courageous and honorable husband and the abundance of blessing in our lives. We have comfort and joy and hope for this time and all eternity. Every day is Thanksgiving Day.

The Lord is our strength and our shield
our hearts trust in Him, and we are helped.
Therefore, our hearts exult,
and with our song, we shall thank Him.
Ps. 28:7

Saturday, November 7, 2009

facing deployment

Soon there will be this much space between us and dad. Very soon. We are heading out of town today to spend a quiet week close together as a family before saying goodbye.
I think the blog will be a bit still for a while. I'll share pictures here and there but right now my focus is most definitely elsewhere. I'm sure you can understand that.
Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement.

Friday, November 6, 2009

seed winners!

Congratulations to Natalie and Alissa!
A special packet of Amaranth seeds will be on its way to each of you very soon.
I hope they bring you bunches and bunches of purple blooming joy next summer! (Alissa, you'll be happy to know that these babies love that Texas heat.)
I enjoyed reading all of your flower favorites and definitely got some ideas. I think I'm going to have to go find some bulbs to plant and satisfy this Fall gardening itch!

A garden really lives insofar as it is an expression of faith, the embodiment of a hope and a song of praise.
-Russell Page, The Education of a Gardener, 1962

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

semper fi girlfriends

I don't know what I would do without these amazing women. We get together whenever we can to celebrate birthdays and babies and just because. We laugh. We laugh a lot. And all too often, we have to say goodbye to one of our own as she courageously packs up her family and moves to where duty has called. We miss her. We miss her a lot. And we don't forget her.

Monday, November 2, 2009

a November giveaway!

 dahlia among zinnniasdahlia
As soon as the first frosty nights begin draining color from the flowerbeds, I start thinking about my plans for the next season. I can't help it. As I'm collecting seeds from dried plants and pulling worm-eaten vines from porch railings, I'm imagining what new things I might try to grow or what colors I'd like to see more of. Every year I find some of my flowers didn't bloom as well as I'd hoped or expected while other plants never cease to surprise me -like these amazing Dahlias and those porch-eating Morning Glories. Then there are my no-fail, always faithful favorites -the Amaranths. They pop up in every bed and flower pot whether I put them there or not and they grow no matter how much I neglect them (not that I mean to). I love these little flowers. I love the way they bloom so bright all summer long and then slowly fade into a crunchy ball of seeds perfect for plucking and saving -or sharing.

Which is what I plan to do! Are you interested? I have Purple Globe Amaranth seeds collected and waiting to be sent to two Zinnia Patch readers. Just leave a comment on this post and tell me if you have a favorite flower in your garden. I could use some ideas for next year and if you're lucky, you can add some purple into your plan!
Comments will be closed and winner announced on Friday.
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