Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thankful Thanksgiving!

I truly believe this.
Being Thankful every day takes practice.
It takes time to reflect on all the blessings in our lives.
Blessings can be hard things as well as fun things.
Thankful to God for ALL His blessings!
Thankful for yardwork!
Lots and lots of yardwork this November!
I am Thankful we had a pretty mild November and were able to get it all done!
Thankful for the cutest little raker. Ever. 
Thankful for wheelbarrow rides for little kids and older kids to give them!

Thankful for awesome November skies
Thankful for little helpers
and pooped out helpers! She was such a hard worker!! 
Thankful for fall campfires
(and sorry to smoke out our neighborhood, with kids that kept throwing in leaves!)

Thankful for new piano students!

And old sweatshirts!
My oldest son wore that when he was little! 
Thankful we still have littles, they are such a blessing to have.
Thankful we found this amazing new veggie mix, it stir fries up so good and tastes amazing!
Even my non veggie lover ate this!
(well one of them)
Thankful for fruit snack snacks!
Want to make a little kid happy?
Give them fruit snacks. 

Thankful for lots and lots of rain this November.
Thankful for a little snow...and deer! 
Thankful we got just enough snow to take out boots, mittens and face masks!
Thankful kids get excited about the smallest of things.
Thankful for beautiful pink sunsets....
Thankful for "Mom dates"!
In a busy family, it's so easy to forget to take time out to be with each child.
They need it so much.
They need to know they are special in their own special way and that I care. 
Thankful for piano competitions
Especially where you get to meet the composer, Dennis Alexander!
(and go out with your talented daughter for much needed time together afterward)

Thankful for surprise visits from good friends!
(Minnesota Mom) 
OK, she called me last Sunday morning, met us for Mass and had brunch with us afterward.
Don't worry, I put her to work! 
That's a lot of girls!
Thankful for the time we got to spend together.
Thankful for burrito assembly lines and kids learning how to cook!

Thankful for fancy "Elsa" dresses and old holey jeans!
(and a girl that will only wear a braid if she is "Elsa" for the day)
Thankful for cute little bull dog hats that instantly turn
little boys into bull dogs!

Thankful for kids that dress themselves....
You wanted a close up of our turkey, didn't you?
Thankful we've been putting this old turkey up for a really really long time! 

Thankful for a great fruit salad! (perfect for Thanksgiving)
Cranberry Fruit Salad
1 pkg fresh cranberries, chopped
(with a chopper)
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained.
3 Braeburn apples chopped in medium chunks (I left the peeling on)
2 ribs of celery, chopped (with a chopper)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 pkg dry sugar-free cherry-flavored jello packet
(dry, just sprinkle it in and stir)
Mix all the ingredients, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Keeps well for several days

Thankful for a new favorite Banana Bread recipe!
My friend Susan gave it to me! (it's her mama's recipe)
 The back says:
Make a mixture of cinnamon & sugar to put on top before baking
Bake 350 degrees for about an hour
 Thankful that Advent started today!
It's a time to listen, prepare our hearts for Jesus and to be Thankful always. 
Thankful there's no snow left!
(Don't worry, we're expecting snow tomorrow!)
for my faith,
My wonderful husband
for my beautiful children
for home, food, clothes and all we need.
 Thankful I've always got plenty to do, see this pile of books?
That's my correcting pile.
Usually I correct as I go, but somehow last week, I got behind and
have several days in each subject to correct.
(for each child)
Thankful blogging is just the distraction I needed!
Happy first week of Advent!

Sunday, November 22, 2015


The Jubilee Year of Mercy starts December 8th,
just after Advent begins.
It is a time to receive mercy and be merciful to others.
I have been contemplating and praying a lot about this Year of Mercy
and what it means to me.
What does God want me to do?
How can I be merciful?
I try every morning to remember to ask God,
"What do You want me to do today?"
"Who can I help today?"
"Please put those You want me to help in my path today"
When I think of Mercy, I think of Blessed Mother Teresa and
how very merciful she was.
I yearn to be like her.
Psalm 69:20
"Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy,
but there was none,
for comforters,
but found none."
Mother Teresa says,
"Be the one"
Be the one to comfort Jesus.
With our own mercy.
We do not need to be merciful to others to gain heaven,
but how comforting it is to Jesus, how close we are to Him
when we are merciful.

"Be the one."
Wow. Yes.
Sometimes that involves going out and
finding ways to be merciful to complete strangers,
look for them, and really see them. 
Maybe it is the people we see at Mass, in stores, at work or school.
And, sometimes it is the people right here in our own home.
I want eyes filled with Mercy for others, like her eyes.
Like the eyes of my Lord Jesus Christ.
You can see Jesus in her eyes.
You can see Jesus in her life.
 She did not worry about what she was wearing or how she looked
She did not care what her hair looked like or if this poor baby
would pee on her.
That's what I see here, I see complete mercy and love.
No second thoughts, just automatic action to love.
I've been praying for ways to add God more.
More each day.
More love
More hope
More mercy
More Joy
What are ways we can add God?  Add more?
Add Mercy?
Be more merciful?
(my current reading)
I recently joined a Living Rosary Group for mothers.
In this group, each woman is assigned a decade of the rosary
(one decade is a mystery of the life of Jesus, it is one Our Father and 10 Hail Mary's)
I have The Wedding Feast of Cana.
John 2:5 "Do whatever He tells you."
 This is what Mary says in this mystery.
She's saying it to us.
We pray our assigned mystery for each other and each person's intentions
and for the vocation of motherhood.
If you are interested in joining us
by getting a decade to pray every day,
and being a part of this living rosary,
(when put together, several rosaries are prayed in unison)
please email me, and I will help you,
you do need to be on Facebook though.
(Jamie jo 99 @ gmail. com)
(no spaces)
Some ideas for adding God and being more merciful:
  • Go to Confession.  Yes, Confession.  If it's been a long time, then tell that to the priest, believe me, he's heard everything, and he'll guide you through it.
  •  Jesus waits for us to humble ourselves and ask for His Mercy in the Sacrament of Confession. He is Mercy Himself.  Arms open wide on the cross waiting to give you His Mercy. 
  • Go to daily Mass, start by going one extra day per week. (it's only 1/2 hour) You will start to yearn for God more, for Mass more, I promise, so try adding more days if you can.
  • Sign up for a holy hour at an Adoration chapel or if your parish has Adoration at certain times, GO!
  • Stop by an Adoration chapel for a quick visit with Jesus or stay a while and visit (pray or talk with Jesus)
  • Stop by a Catholic Church, sit in front of the tabernacle (the gold box with a red candle by it) Sit and beg for the graces He is wanting to give to you!
  • Start your day with the sign of the cross.
  • Start your day with what you are thankful for.
  • Remember Jesus during the 3:00 hour.  Try setting a timer so you remember.
  • Offer up the little things you do for someone you are praying for.
  • Offer up the big things you do and/or are suffering from for someone you are praying for.
  • If you can, donate the things you don't need instead of selling them.
  • Offer people rides that normally take the bus.
  • Cook a meal for someone in need, someone sick, lonely, elderly, or a mother of a new baby.
  • If it's raining out, offer your umbrella for someone that doesn't have one.
  • If it's cold outside, offer your coat to someone that needs one, it's probable you can buy a new one, yet, they cannot.
  • Likewise, offer your shoes, hats, mittens, scarves to someone in need that you see.
  • If you see someone ringing the bells at any given store during the holiday season, and they look cold, see if you can get them something. Maybe gloves?  Or maybe a warm drink.
  • Stop to say hello to homeless people on the street, ask if you can get them anything to eat or if you can get them anything they need at the store.  (you'd be surprised at what little they ask for)
  • SMILE!!  My Spanish teacher in high school, after finding out her best friend had committed suicide, told us no matter what, to smile at people, to always smile, that our smile might be the one thing that makes someone feel loved that day.  I've never forgotten that and to this day, think of it every time I smile at someone.
  • Clean someone's home
  • Bake someone bread or cookies
  • If you are talented and can sew or make special things, make something for someone, and give it to them for no reason at all.
  • Invite someone to dinner, someone you don't know very well, but, maybe see all the time, the worst they can say is "no". 
  • Pray for people, and tell them you will pray for them.  Bless them. 
  • Bring someone flowers. 
  • Call someone and tell them how important they are to you.
  • We must also be merciful to our own family in our own homes, it seems self defeating if we are kind to everyone publicly but forget to be kind in our own homes, Mercy starts at home.

(I could probably do another whole post on trying to be merciful at home)
  This is just a few ideas.
I'm sure you could come up with a ton more!
I am, in no way, an expert on this.
This is a list for me too. 
To always be yearning for God and
 striving for mercy and to be merciful towards others.
To remember the boundless mercy Jesus has for us.
You may be the only way someone sees Jesus or feels His love.
"Be the one!"

Monday, November 16, 2015

Thankful October in November!

I can't believe November is over half over already!
I'm late with my October Thankful's!
I wanted to get them out here though, so I can do November's soon.
Thanksgiving is coming!
Thankful for kitchen helpers!
Lots of kitchen helpers!
We decided to bake "fall cookies"
because we have a fall book that we read and in it,
these 2 little boys play in the fall leaves and then their mama bakes them cookies.
(she makes it look so easy)
It's a mess.

Thankful for fun memories of baking fall cookies.
Now when we read that book, we can say,
 "Remember when we baked fall cookies?"
Thankful for littles in jammies!
(it means they will be in bed soon!)

Just kidding!
Thankful for pumpkin carving!
It was really fun this year.
I did them a couple days early,
which makes all the difference in the world! 

Keep your eyes on that photo bomber in the background!
(she's trying to do her math!)

Of course we save our pumpkin seeds!

We roast them and that's what brings teenage boys around!
Thankful for teenage boys!
And Hot cocoa!
Oops, I caught this picture mid drip...but her eyes were beautiful.
 Finished pumpkins!
Thankful we just do them the old fashioned way...nothing fancy here!
(hey, this is fancy compared to when I was a kid, we just did triangles and a smile with teeth)

This is a crouching tiger, I think.
 Thankful for warmer weather and easy costumes
(that's my graduation gown!)
Thankful my teenage son loved handing out candy!
(he got to keep the leftovers)
We did celebrate All Saint's Day, but, this mama didn't get any pictures!
 Thankful for girls that still love to put in curlers!
 And wear party dresses!

 I'm going to leave you with my favorite veggie soup!
It's a "free" soup!
(all free veggies as far as calories!)
I just sauté onions and garlic with a little oil, add some basil,
green peppers, beef or veggie broth, salsa, and tons of veggies.
Green beans
Put it all in the crockpot and eat it all week!
Blessings to you!
Remember to be Thankful for even the smallest of things.
Thank You God
for faith, family, food and home.
 I'll be back soon for
my November Thankful's!


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