Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Genius

It drives me crazy how much Halloween candy costs. Yes they have sales this time of year, but a big bag of chocolate candy can be around $10 or more! And yes, I am cheap, but I think I found a way to keep the Little Treaters happy and stay on budget this month. Answer: Pixie Sticks!
The sugar candy is way cheaper than the chocolate. 1 bag of pixie sticks is on sale at Target this week for $2 and it comes with 120 sticks! We can give 3 sticks per kid, and I am sure we won't have more than 40 Treaters. And this way I can keep Gus in check - he likes to give lots of handfuls of expensive chocolate to cute children. Am I cheap? Yes. Smart? Yes. And I think the kiddos will like it too!

P.S. The cute felt kitty bag is also from Target - T's trick-or-treating bag this year!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkins . . .

The pumpkin patch didn't go over very well today. Thomson hated it. We put him down in the perfect spot for a cute picture and he started SCREAMING. Everyone was looking at us and saying "Poor baby". Something scared him and we couldn't figure it out - so this is the only picture.
I tried giving him some cheerios to cheer him up - teaching him emotional eating early I guess. But he kept screaming with the cheerios in his mouth. Better luck next year, ha!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

He longs to be gracious to you

Thomson and I have started going to CBS this fall - Community Bible Study. I am in a small group of sweet women with an encouraging leader. It is so good for me to get out of the house and fellowship with these women, even though Thomson misses his morning nap and it makes the rest of the day pretty hard.

I woke up this morning and asked God to speak to me today. And He did. And I wanted to share it with you that you might be encouraged as well. Last week at CBS, Kim Carmack referenced Isaiah 30:18:

"Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you,
For the Lord is a God of justice,
How blessed are all those who long for Him."

I was so struck by this verse - that God longs to be compassionate to ME. So I wrote it down last week and tucked it away. And today God made it real to me.

After bible study I went to pick up Thomson from the nursery. He was happily playing when I walked in, and his face lit up with this huge smile, and I melted. It is a hard feeling to describe, but nothing is better than knowing that Thomson could choose anyone or any thing to love the most, but he loves ME. Why? Because I am his mother, his provider, his best friend and companion. I teach him things and show him new things. I know everything about him. I know exactly what he needs, even before he asks for it.

When I walked into the nursery, Thomson didn't look down at the toys and say "But mom I am still playing, I am not ready to go". And he didn't look at Ms. Sandra and want to go to her. He looked right at me, squealed with happiness, and reached out his arms for me to pick him up. And that is just what my heart longs for - and what God longs for from us. God on high loves us and is so glorified when we choose to see Him as the best of the best. That everything on this earth - every material posession, every goal we think we should obtain - it all pales in comparison to Him. And yet he longs for us!!!

It reminds me of John Piper, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him". Nothing on this earth comes even close to His splendor and nothing we can buy or make or obtain on this earth is even close to our inheritance from Him. Even though it all looks really pretty from this angle.

Happy Friday - I'll be back soon with a yummy recipe!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dear Gus:
We are eating out tonight. The electrician is still here and has been here all day today and yesterday. And we are paying him HOURLY. That's right: HOURLY.

Right now he is drilling a hole in the celing in my kitchen cabinet. He said he can "work around" the dishes and glasses and I said "But those are our fine crystal and fine china. I think I should remove them". I started taking the crystal glasses down and he started to carry them to the other side of the kitchen, and I asked him to just let me do it because his hands are so SO dirty.

OCD? I think so. But I am so over it after 2 days of this and we are still on the clock!!! Oh my goodness. And my house is a wreck and Thomson can't nap because it is so loud.

So sweetie, we are eating out to dinner and will you help me clean up this huge mess when we get home?

love you, Natalie

Happy Birthday Happy!

Thomson is 11 months old! He is asleep in my closet while the electrician is banging away on my living room wall. Technically in a few weeks, he will be a Toddler, and even though he is not doing much toddling, I am trying to convince myself that he is not my baby anymore.

He is a lot of fun! He is still always happy and smiling, laughing or talking all of the time. Or focused intently on some small object. He copies or tries to copy a lot of things that we say. Yesterday I said "uh-oh thomson" and he started repeating "uh-oh". So funny. He also says ma-ma and da-da and I think he is trying to say dog. He loves dogs and thinks they are so so funny. He is standing up on furniture but not taking any steps. He sits on the floor and rotates around in circles trying to get what he wants. It is a form of scooting but he spins in a pretty tight radius so he doesn't go very far. He has 4 teeth that have come through up top along with the 2 on the bottom that came in awhile back.

We just got back from St Simons on Sunday - a quick trip to celebrate Dad's birthday, 6-0. There were no fireworks but lots of laughs and a great time together. Erin put together a framed print of "60 Things We Learned from Our Dad" that we all contributed to. Some highlights were "Be careful who you give a lakehouse key to" and "How to make eggs in a cup". Also "If you give too much money to the church, Uncle Sam will question you" and "One thing I am thankful for".

Dad has lived a life of compassionate service and those of you who know him know exactly what I mean. He is deeply concerned for others and has lived his life to help other people - be it free legal advice for a young (or old) person, setting up a family in a new housing project, famously teaching Youth Sunday school for more than a decade, or staying excited about Marietta football even when they are mediocre. He is passionate about everything he gets involved with.

This verse stopped me in my tracks, it describes so many of Dad's gifts that he has been given by God's grace:

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us . . . If a man's gift is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." Romans 12:6-8

There are countless examples of how Dad's life has demonstrated these gifts and how he has allowed God to use him in these ways: serving, teaching, encouraging, contributing to the needs of others, leadership, and showing mercy.

How lucky am I that I have had this example shown to me daily for 30 years.

Happy Birthday Dad - I love you very very much!