Saturday, January 7, 2012

All By Myself....

Anyone remember that song by Eric Carmen...think ya have to be an 80's chick!

How many of you like to be by yourself....raise your hands??

That's what I thought...alot of us!

Some of you are looking around thinking...not me. I love a crowd, the more the merrier.
Glad God created you...you make our world fun & you connect with people easy
with no barriers.

Some of you are looking around thinking...me...no doubt. I like to be left alone.
I love you gals...you are usually confident, solid people...that don't speak unless needed & people
listen when you say something.

And then there is the group I fall into...yes...I no doubt need time alone...
EVERYDAY...or I will go crazy. But I enjoy a good cup of coffee with a friend...a party &
hanging out with people...but I get overloaded if it's too much & demanding of my time.
Now...don't misunderstand me, I believe Bible calls us to be a part of the Body of Christ & hold
each other accountable...Jesus surrounded himself with the apostles. He set a clear example.

I had coffee with one of my friends this week on my day off..after she talked me into bootcamp that almost killed me!! LOL!! We don't get to have coffee very often now that I'm working, infact
it's been 6 months. But she said to me...that's why I love you...you aren't needy & demanding of
our friendship & you're ok if we don't get to sit down & chat for a long time & we can
pick right back up & enjoy our time. AMEN!

My friend Tiffany blogged about Will the Real You Please Stand Up? over at L & L
on Thursday.  To quote one of her points:

"I like my alone time more and more each year. At first l felt like something was wrong and that I needed to change, now I realize the alone time keeps me healthy."


As I was reading it I found myself thinking....that's exactly how I feel. I used to think I had to
go & do & be all of this in ministry & in my life. But as the years have passed, I know that I need
 & I crave my time ALL BY MYSELF!!

I have a quote I often share with women...."I wanna to be invited, but I really don't wanna go."
And they always laugh & say...I totally agree!

When I come home from work I spend about 30 minutes all alone in my room...I will read emails,
take a nap, read my bible, or just chill. I have found I am  a better mom, wife & child of God if I
spend my time alone. That has been my biggest challenge as a working mom is finding time alone.

I guess for me it comes down to balance & truly seeking where God wants to use me in His kingdom.
I have to be picky & not always say yes to every event, party or coffee date that comes my way.
It's ok to say no if you feel like it is stealing time away from  your family & mostly your walk
with God.

Be excited for who God has designed, created & called you to be.

How about you? I guess the question is...
Are you an introvert....an extrovert....or 1/2 & 1/2 if that is possible? Which I think it is. I need a
good balance of both to serve my God.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

HIghlights of 2011

My Friends Kate & Rachel informed me of how you can turn your blog into 
a scrapbook several months ago. Being that I do not scrapbook anymore...bummer, 
I have decided to use this blog as a way to do that! 
And what I thought would take me a couple of hours took me oh...
a couple of DAYS!
 I thought I would put together some highlights of the year so when I turn my
blog into a scrapbook I will have this as a reminder of the year 2011! 
January
Jaden turned 10...wow double digits!!
We took some of his friends to play paintball...Cody Street & Baylor Haynie.
 For His Bday dinner he picked 
Joe's Crab Shack & took his buddy Baylor. He loves crab legs. 
Jaden doesn't like cake very much so we get him a dozen of Krispie Kreme donuts
& stack them up & make a donut cake.
He has really gotten into guns, hunting & such this year. 

Lauren turned 14 this year. I don't know how we will top this bday!
Our friend Sean is buds with Toby Mac & he got Lauren back stage 
passes to see Toby Mac & we got to stand in a private area during the 
concert & watch. I have to say...it was an awesome time. 
If you have never been to a Toby Mac concert...you need to go!
She also wanted a Krispie Kreme cake. 
We took Hanna Scott & Alex Cook with us to the concert. 
For her Bday dinner she picked Teds Mexican Restaurant.

February
Brooke turned 12 this year. She had several friends over for a night of
Minute To Win it games & the famous chocolate fountain. It was a lot of fun! 
Hailey Scott, Avery Taylor, Marti Tibbles, Emma James & Emily Shields came 
to the party to hang out. 
The big present this year for her was a her cell phone! 
 Oh this girl has loved the phone before she could talk so
she was so happy. For her bday dinner we went to Los Cabos. 
Brooke wanted a homemade Chocolate chip cookie for her cake.
Snow...snow & more snow.
22 inches of snow was the BIG news this year! I have never
 in my life seen that much snow in Oklahoma. We were out of school for 
2 weeks & we couldn't even get the Expedition out of the driveway for a couple of days.
We pulled the kids behind the 4 wheeler on the sled. They will do that until 
their faces freeze off! Matt got the old tractor out to shovel the snow. 
The girls took the dogs to obedience school. We remodeled the kids bathroom & 
the living room/kitchen area. We almost poisoned our family one night when 
we put the sealer on the concrete floor. I'm not kidding either!! The fumes 
seriously were to strong. Everything in our house tasted like sealer for months.
The girls & I went to Winter Jam with some friends. 
Love worshipping with my girls & as they are growing up we are 
having more & more opportunities to do this. 

March
We celebrated a life well lived...Eunice McCroskey, Matt's Grandma 
passed away. We watched as her mind slowly slip away from us in the last few years.
Grandma McCroskey was a Godly woman who loved her husband of over 70 years
& was so proud of her family. I will always remember her laugh & how she & Grandpa 
would tell stories & kept us all entertained. We will miss them both. 
We spent a couple of days in Kansas with Matt's Brothers family during Spring Break. 
They just moved into their new building this year so we loved being able to worship with them & their church family. 
Matt & I went to the Chris Tomlin concert with our FCC staff.

April
Mom & I hosted Danielle's wedding shower. We had all kinds of delicious treats...
one of my favorite was these yummy cupcakes my friend Grace made.
One of the best moments of the month was Greg giving his life to Christ & be 
baptized on Easter weekend. Praise the Lord!!
Every Easter we dye eggs in our garage with the kids. Even though the 
oldest grandchild is 23, they all still come up with the most colorful eggs 
& look forward to it each year. 
One of their favorite parts of dying eggs is, the Egg toss!
As you can see...we make a mess!! 

May
Armed & Dangerous...3 days full of fun, encouragement,
relationship building, Amazing Race, sleeping in a 5 star hotel, Nashville,
worshipping with my PWs, tears, prayer time & a retreat that left 
my cup over flowing in ways I haven't yet found the words to express.
Those ladies are precious to me. 
I subbed in Kindergarten another 6 weeks for Mrs. Hensen.
Danielle & Lonnie graduated from The U of A.
May 22 we attended church at Carterville & had the JOY of hugging on
some of our first youth group kids who are now all grown up. 
Then we attended Kenzie & Amanda's graduation, little did we know as 
we left we were in the middle of the biggest storm ever to hit. 
As we drove to Christy's the tornado sirens were blaring. 
We waited out the storm & from the news we had no idea the 
devastation that was happening just 1 mile from us. 
As we headed out of town, we saw just a small glimpse of what
the tornado had destroyed. It wasn't until we were home that it 
all began to unfold before our eyes what had happened to a town
we once lived in...& still loved. 

June
Danielle & Lonnie's wedding was the big news of the month!
It was so much fun! We danced, had a photobooth, a wonderful dinner
& Matt did an amazing job! Everyone looked so beautiful. Probably 
one of the most fun weddings I have ever attended. So proud 
of this couple & I can't wait to see how God uses them. 
Lauren went to HS camp & one of their days was spent cleaning 
up debris at a park in Joplin. Service projects always help put 
things into perspective. 
Jaden went to Galveston with his Grandma & Grandpa 
Thomason. To quote Jaden...the best time of his life. 
They went to the Space Center & if you know Jaden, 
he is all about that kinda information!
I went on my annual trip to OKC to spend time with some 
ladies that always build me up & refresh me. We were in 
the youth group together & we have a blast each year. 
Brooke went to Jr. High camp also.

July
We took our annual summer trip to Branson, except this year
my crazy family talked me into Ziplining!! I bawled like a baby 
when we pulled into the parking lot & almost wet my pants!
I was so scared. But I bucked up & did it & I liked it so much 
that when we went to YQ I went again. GASP!
We took the kids to the Dixie Stampede, so GOOD!
We spent the 4th at the lake with my family. So relaxing &
the kids look forward to it. 
Jaden went to 5th grade camp at Cyokamo. 
After 18 years...we finally got to take one of our own to YQ.
I so enjoyed having Lauren there! For the first time we had
a bear get into a tent & pretty much scared the pants off us all!
God is so good & many lives were changed in the Colorado mountains.
August
We had our first mud bowl with the kids & some of their friends.
I think it will become an annual event. 
I started my full time job as the Principal's Secretary at the 6th grade Center.
Celebrated my 39th bday by going to the Cheesecake Factory with my
sweet family. YUMMY! 
The kids started school...big year for Lauren. She is officially a High School
Student at the Mid High. Jaden began his last year of Elementary.
And Brooke is a 7th grader now. Time seems to fly faster these days.
Their first day outfits always show their personalities. Nana comes down before
our first day of school to pray with us. 
August always brings the start of football season...hot...hot & did I mention
that it's been a HOT summer? Day upon day over 100 degrees. 

September
Celebrated Matt's 39th bday at the lake over Labor Day...that's him with his 
favorite Strawberry cake! Jaden's football team rides on a trailer in the 
Homecoming parade each year. Jaden wanted that gun in the picture & I told him that if
he could turn off his light for 7 days straight he could earn that gun. Only took him
3 weeks to make it all the way to 7 days. Shocker!

Meet my PW friend Kendra from Iowa! She was helping one of her friends move & she
stopped by & stayed with me for a night! That's what I'm talking about when I say
I love these PW ladies!! I was so blessed that she decided to come stay with me!!
Great conversation & a friendship was made in person!

October
Jaden played his best bud Baylor in football this year. We took the kids
to the Walk Around at OSU, it's a Homecoming weekend celebration.
That is a treat! The things they make out of 
tissue paper is incredible! Matt went to Highpoint with Brooke. I guess it
was colder than Matt ever remembers at HP this year. They hike & have 
all kinds of fun activities in the outdoors w/ our Jr. High students.
Lauren didn't want to trick or treat this year...:( I knew it was coming soon.
She is growing up. Jaden was an army man & Brooke was a baby.
We took them to a couple of neighborhoods. Jaden had practice that night
to get ready for the playoffs so our night was cut shorter than usual. 
But that's ok...we still managed to get more candy than we needed!
November
3rd time is the charm! Jaden's team has went to the INFC championship 2x's &
this time THEY WON!!! In the last 15 years they are only the 3rd team from 
Owasso to win! GO Rams! I felt like I was at the Superbowl! 
Matt picked up the team from school in that race car limo. They 
thought it was so cool! 
And meet Peggy & Caramel...Lauren's new piggies!! 
They are so cute & have a lot of personality! Never thought I would
own a pig to be honest. Lauren is so good with them. We will show Peggy &
eat Caramel. I know...seriously? 
My mom always makes the best stuffing for Thanksgiving. I 
am so Thankful I have a lot of family to hang out with & laugh 
with for the day.

December
We have so much going on in December. One of our traditions is to 
go to Branson for the weekend. We hang out in the condo & play games, go shopping & eat!
Silver Dollar City is a big part of our experience. We love the food, the lights
& especially the train ride where they tell the story of Jesus' birth. 
Praise the Lord they celebrate His birth!!
Hard Luck Diner is always on the menu for Lunch. Matt loves him a Strawberry 
Shake from there! Love old diners where you can still get a burger & ice cream.
On our way we stopped & visited my BFF from College Lana. Don't know what 
I would do without her friendship all these years. 
Again...Jaden took his hot Condo bubble bath! 
Branson

FCC Christmas this & that!
The Pitmans host our annual staff Christmas party in their home. 
We play a white elephant game & just chit chat!
Our Senior minister's wife Pam, host a Christmas dinner for the PWs
with an ornament exchange. These ladies always brighten my day.
We helped welcome MacKenzie into her new family. The Adsit's 
will adopt her soon. Watching God work in this situation has 
been a JOY!! My niece Danielle has taken on a small group of girls
this semester & had the privilege of baptizing them!! 
I was one proud Aunt!! 
Family Time
We spent a couple of days in Stillwater with Matt's family.
The cousins has such a good time hanging out. Wish
they lived closer to us. 
My family gets together on Christmas day & has a big dinner.
This year Danielle & Lonnie were in Louisiana. We sure missed them
but understand we have to share them. 
December Fun &
Happy New Year!
Brooke has a group of 4 girls that are a blast to hang out with.
So couple of their moms & I took them to dinner downtown & then went ice skating, 
made a craft & had some yummy desserts. So thankful for God placing such
great friends around my kids. 
Jaden had to get 6 stitches from the pocket knife his grandma Z. got him.
We asked her to get the knife so it was our idea for him to have it!
I jokingly said...I'll call you when we go to the ER, um didn't know it would be
within 24 hours of receiving the knife! Oh the life of having a BOY! 

We ended the year with the Taylors & the Johnsons playing 
games & hanging out. 
2011 has been a year of some changes in our lives. We added some 
new family members & said goodbye to others. 
 God continues to work in our 
lives & in our hearts. I am very blessed. 
Looking forward to the journey ahead. 
My prayer is that we love God & others deeply.
Let us go with God.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking back...Looking Forward...Change.

Looking back today...to 2009. Depressed...bitter...confused...one word...Change.

Change in my marriage
Change in my best friendship
Change in my Job
Change in my role as a Pastors wife

Change...change change...

Have I mentioned that I don't like change? It takes me awhile to adjust to be honest.

In December of 2009...I was at the bottom of a pit & didn't know how to crawl out.
I needed help.

My friend Stephanie from New York comes every Christmas & we have coffee. One simple
conversation gave me hope. She told me about a website called Leading &  Loving it. 
I had no idea how much that would impact my life. I was craving a friendship...understanding...
a true relationship that accepted me for who God called me to be in my life.

A friendship that I had held dear to my heart, like a sister... ended without any warning & I had no idea why really...besides the fact that I was a Pastors wife & she no longer wanted to have
any thing to do with church or me & she began shutting me out. I was depressed. I was consumed with
it day & night & let it tear me up on the inside. I longed to call...go to her house & just spend time
with her...but she made it very clear, she wanted nothing to do with me. Never had anyone shut
me out of their lives...I didn't know how to handle it. And to be honest...I didn't handle it well.

I began to question my call to be Matt's wife. Why would He call me to be a PW? I was/am a mess. I let Satan tear me up & begin to have his way with my heart. I felt unworthy. How could someone who was so close to me be turned away from church & my family? I must be doing something wrong. I must be letting God down. I must...I am...I was...who does Stephanie Thomason think she is anyway?
I must have talked to her to much about church life...never again will I do that I thought. I am the reason she no longer loves God's church. She couldn't handle it. I was to open...to real.

My job as a preschool teacher ended rather harshly. I felt useless for awhile...I began to sub. Which has lead me to the most amazing job today. God always leads us when we follow.

Matt left the role as the youth minister & began a new position as the Campus Pastor. I was lost at church...didn't want to go...felt so alone there...out of my element...bitter. I missed youth ministry so much my heart ached to go back. And again...no close friend to help me thru this time. Loneliness.

I remember Matt & I having one of the worst fights we have ever had Christmas day in 2009...it wasn't his fault. I was the lost one. I was the lonely one. He was trying so hard to help me...but he couldn't fix me. That's when God lead us to marriage counseling. One of the best choices we ever made in our marriage life. I believe it truly changed our marriage & saved us.

Since that time...my life has changed. Changed for the good I'm learning. I can't say I have a deep friendship like the one I had before. Maybe that is good...maybe God pruned that off because I had put to much of myself into it & not into what he has called me to be....Matt's wife & Lauren, Brooke & Jaden's mom and mostly His servant. Not what someone else says I am. I don't think that friend would have ever encouraged me to pursue my role as a Pw like I have & so He knew it must end. I tried to reach out to her last year & again she made it very clear that she doesn't want my friendship. I just wanted to sit & ask...Why? What exactly did I do that made you end our friendship? But God did give me a peace about her & that's all I needed.  So it is what it is...Matt was very clear I was not to reach out to her again or read her blog ever again. He was tired of me being hurt & sad & it was time to move on. He is wise.

Why am I looking back...because I am looking forward. I am praising GOD for what he has done in my life over the last 2 years. I am so grateful for my Leading & Loving it group of ladies. I have 5 amazing ladies He has given me that love me...encourage me...pray for me & make me laugh!! And guess what? They are a HOT mess too!! I love it! Not only do I have these 5 ladies...I have many others that God has given me to seek advice & see me for who God has created me to be. I have discovered many of them have been hurt in friendships within their church & I'm not alone after all. My friend Lori Wilhite who head up Leading & Loving it...has impacted me from the first time we spoke on the phone. She is pushing me...encouraging me & showing me how to lead as God wants me to lead.
Lori...thanks for showing me...it's ok to be who I am. Don't change that.

For many years I have had a heart for other PWs. I have always wanted to reach out to other PWs & show them it's ok to not be the typical PW. If you can't play the piano...sing...and you aren't this mild mannered quiet wall flower of a gal...IT'S OK!! The Typical PW probably doesn't & never has existed!!! So I started with my PWs here at FCC & that's how it all began. Change.

I have been given an opportunity to share my story to many women. Yes...I have been ask to speak at a Retreat at Ozark Christian College where I went to college. I am nervous...excited & want to pee my pants!! LOL! I will share how this all came about in another blog because to be honest....this is a long one today. But it all comes back to one conversation God lead me to with my friend Steph. You never know how a conversation can change a life. I am thinking of sharing some of what is in this Blog post at OCC  & that is why I am writing this...to begin to gather my thoughts.

Change...it comes even if we fight it. Make peace with it...grab hold of God & get out of that PIT!
Thanks for letting me share my heart today. I have had this on my mind lately...I'm truly blessed to be
where I am in life. Thru the heartache...He brings JOY.

HOPE...
a 4 letter word that Changes a life & made this PW realize who God created her to be is Best!




Monday, December 26, 2011

Smile...Stop it...Be Still...Family Portraits...GEEZ

I almost didn't do it this year. You know...a Christmas Card.

But how could I not? We always have...
I mean...come on, I'm a photographer.
Take a stinkin pic of my family & just DO IT Already!!

It was down to the wire...one week before Christmas.
Everyone got dressed up...ok ok...as dressed up as my very
casual family can manage to dress up. Don't judge...ahem.

I had one rule...no hoodies or sweats. Ok I guess that's 2.

We managed to pull it off. Can I admit that my family has to be the
ABSOLUTE worst clients I have ever had to work with? The words...
Stop...be still...don't touch her/him...quit laughing...SMILE were uttered
on a regular basis. They are goofballs!!! But they are my goofballs.

Oh you can bet I got on my soap box & said...I do all these things for you
and this is the one thing you can do for me...how many of you have said that
before family pics? Uh huh...come on now. Admit it!!! hee hee!!

And it doesn't help that I had to set the camera & make a mad dash to
get in the pic. Matt said...go buy a remote after that session. Score!!

In the end we managed to take a decent pic thanks to Photoshop!


Yes...I'm slowly becoming the short one in the family. Not much longer huh?

I'm so glad we took the time to do this. It really wasn't as bad as I make it sound...
ok maybe I needed a Dr. Pepper after it was over. 
I love my family. They are a Blast! And a good looking bunch if I do say so myself.
I hope to catch everyone up soon on life as the Thomason's House.
Hope you had a Merry Christmas!! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

WOW! This past week has been amazing!! I was thinking maybe I should just do a weekly update. I have a bloggy friend who does that & I have always enjoyed her once a week blogs! We will see how it goes.
No promises!!

We have been in the midst of football since August 1st. It always amazes me how we go from sweat pouring down our faces, butt sweat that makes you feel like you have wet your pants & you have to go home & change clothes because you might as well of jumped in the pool you are so wet! Have I mentioned that I sweat? I do. It's gross.

Anyway...we have been on the same team for 5 years now & they have won their division 4 out of 5 years...undefeated each year...went to the championship game 3 years now. But have never won the Championship game...until this year. IT WAS AWESOME! We love our football team, we love the coaches, the parents, the team...everything. We all work together so well. But last Saturday night...18 boys won a championship...that they have worked so hard for. I was so proud of my #66. The whole family came to watch. Nana & Papa, Grandma & Grandpa Z. Grandma & Grandpa Thomason, Aunt Christy, Kenzie, Danielle...He has his own fan club!

On Sunday...it got even better. Matt spoke about baptism & we had
24 people get baptized on Sunday morning. They keep coming & coming. 
Praise the LORD for changed lives!! That's what it's all about!!

Matt & I started a young married small group a couple of months ago. I love this group. They are so freshing & innocent. 
They bring JOY to my life & refresh my love for Matt.

I'm proud to announce we have a new member of our family. 
Her name is Peggy.
She is 7 weeks old.
She is black & pink.
Peggy...is a PIG.
She is so SOME PIG!!
Lauren gets up early in the morning & feeds her then checks on her several more times
after school. I have to admit...never thought I would have a pig...but it's fun. 
Lauren will show her in FFA this year. I have a feeling she will do incredible.
This is right up her alley.

Life has calmed down a bit since football ended this week. We are staying here for Thanksgiving this week. My moms dressing is to DIE. FOR!! I am not kidding you!!!!!!!!!!!!
My family is BIG so we have lots of food & eat until we want to bust. 

I have taken 2 more photo shoots since last. I will share a few of my favs for you.


I am having a blast with this new adventure. 

Thankful for so many blessings this week. 
Happy Thanksgiving. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What's going on??

I sure do miss posting on here. I miss reading your blogs too.

Life has changed a lot at the Thomason household this year.

Working full time, starting my photography business & being a wife, mom & everything else that goes with my life...I have had to pick & choose what I will take the time to do. Unfortunately blogging is not a priority for me right now.

Jaden's team has went another year undefeated & we are heading to the Championship game on Saturday. I know it doesn't sound like a big deal to most people, but to get to the final 2 out of about 50 or more teams is a BIG DEAL to a 5th grader. We are part of an incredible team with Christian coaches that love the game & love our boys. I miss it when it over...but I will be glad to have my boys home at night & sit around the table for dinner on a more regular basis.

Lauren is getting her hog soon...like maybe tomorrow. I can't wait. FUN! She is really involved in our youth group & FCA. She amazes me. I love that girl. She is who she is & doesn't give into peer pressure. She is a leader.

Brooke has a solid group of girls that she hangs with a lot. I love all of them. I am so thankful for her spirit & love for life. She seems to be losing that little girl look lately..BOO.

My job is going great. The things I see & hear in that office are CRAZY! I am amazed at some of these parents & the lack of control they have on their kids in the 6th grade. I have seen the good, the bad & the down right ugly. But in the midst of all of it...I have seen mercy, grace & love shown. I work with some fabulous people that love the Lord. I have made a new friend in the other secretary. She is funny, wise & kind.

I must admit...keeping up with life at home & working has been a bit of a challenge for me some weeks. I have an amazing husband who pitches in & helps or I would be a basket case for sure.

My kids have adjusted well to me working. I think me easing into subbing a lot helped us transition a little easier. I seriously have great kids when it comes down to it. I know...I might be a little bias...but shouldn't I be? I really don't deserve to be their mom...it's only by the GRACE of GOD that I am their mom. They are way better kids than I was...for sure. AMEN.

Lots going on...I am still here. Just fewer & farther apart in the blog world.
Love you all.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Diving in...finally

I have been practicing.

Learning.

Watching.

Stalking others.

practicing some more.


I feel like was on a diving board holding onto the edge & finally
jumped into the water instead of crawling back down the ladder. 

(you know what I'm saying right Charlie ?)

I dived in. 


I have finally started my Photography Business.

A dream of mine for years.

I have been paid for 2 photo shoots now.

Squeal!!!

And they actually like their pictures.

I have a Facebook page if you want to take a lookie. Go here.

I took one of my small group girls Senior pics....here are a few.

And the fact that she is gorgeous helps me look good too. :)









 I pray I use this talent to bring Glory to His name.