Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

Wow! I can't believe it is already time to move into a new year. I remember sitting on my friend Nicole's couch last year and she was helping me start this blog. I had several reasons I started to being I wanted to have a way to tell people about our trip to Yellowstone and Oh Boy am I ever glad I had the blog world then! It keep people up on our situation and provided so much help and prayer from back home! Another reason I started to blog was to allow our family and friends who don't live close stay up on what's going on with our family on a daily basis. Also...I wanted a way to get to know other pastor's wives and gain wisdom and friendship from them. And last...I wanted to share our lives and show people...we are real...we struggle...we laugh...we live...we fight...we don't always do the right thing, but we try and give them a glimpse of what it's like to live a life in church leadership and hopefully encourage them in their relationship with God.
Thank you for allowing me to share with you our lives for this year. I have meet some amazing people through the blog world. I am not really sure who all reads this...because I will be having conversations with people and think...they could only know that if they have read my blog...hmm...I know it's not an exciting life or anything..:) but it's my life and I love it. I pray each of you look forward to where God is leading you in 2010. I am looking forward to the changes he is making in me and my family. I will be sharing them with you over the next few days. A lot has changed in my life in 2009, some good...some not so good...but change is always hard for me.
Highlights & Happenings in my family:
*My parents celebrated 40 years of marriage
*Matt and I celebrated 16 years of marriage
**Jaden was baptized @ of the best days of the year!
*I got a Mac
*Jaden broke his wrist
*My uncle Gene died
*Our Yellowstone/Grand Teton/Mt. Rushmore trip...probably the highlight of our year!! Loved this trip and would do it all over again today...great friends and a great adventure for our family.
*Built a deck
*Matt got stitches from the "free deck"
*A great Football season
*Virtual roundtable with PWs
*Loss of our Sweet Lab Maggie
*Bible Study Fellowship
*Trip to Dallas...without kids!
*Meeting Francis Chan
*My sis n law released her Bible Study!
*Matt's grandpa McCroskey died
*Lori diagnosed with cancer
*Small group formed
*Announcement of Stone Canyon campus
*watching lives changed for the Kingdom
*Marriages saved
There are so many other things...but these are some that just stand out to me. I am blessed to have been a part of all of this! Bring it on 2010!
This is my theme verse for the year....
Colossians 1:10-14
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 
Happy New Year to you and many blessings to come!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Big Top Cupcake

Ok..I got a big chuckle when my niece opened one of her Christmas gifts. She is going to Culunary school and wants to be a chef. For Christmas she had asked for the Big Top Cupcake...which I had seen on TV several weeks ago and Matt and I totally made fun of it! So when she opened it...we looked at each other and died laughing...

But I was soon "eating" my words. Kenzie made a carrot cake for my dad for his bday with this little thing and it was good!! You can put filling inside of it and then put the top on. She decorated it so cute! So...Aunt Steph and Uncle Matt  recommend this little cupcake for your child's bday cake. It fed all 10 of us with some left over! They were thin slices, but's more than you think in that little "Big" cupcake. I am not a informercial guru and you can actually get this at Walgreens my sister said. Anyway...just incase you are tempted to get's really not a bad deal.
This is her cake she made...remember it's a carrot cake...she did an amazing job on decorating it!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Grandpa and Grandma T's Christmas...

We traveled to Stillwater on Sunday to finish up our Christmas Celebration with Matt's dad and Stepmom. It's only a little over an hour to get there so it's an easy trip. We are soo blessed to have our family so close. It is very uncommon in the ministry to live by both sides of your family and we realize that!
Our kids really enjoy going there because they live on a farm. First thing when we got there Grandpa pulled up and took them to finish feeding the cows. My kids are animal lovers so this is always a treat. Then Matt's step uncle Tony took the kids sledding behind the 4 wheeler so they were already having the time of their lives! Playing in the snow, sledding down the pond hill and climbing all over the hay bales and getting to shoot pop bottles with the 22....good times!
Matt's brother's family also came and our kids LOVE playing with each other. They look forward to our time together and I am so grateful for that. We both have 2 girls and one boy and so it is perfect! We were able to visit with his aunts and uncles also which we hadn't seen in a long time so that was nice.
Krista and I

One of the things that I cherish about our time together is my friendship with my sis in law Krista. She grew up a PK and now she is a PW. We can talk about things that I can't share with anyone else. The cool thing about us is that we were friends before we were sis in laws. I love and admire her so much. Being married to brothers we can really relate to each other!! :)
Grandpa and Grandma Thomason & Grandkids

What a great way to end our Christmas Celebration of 2009.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy 60th Birthday Dad!!

Today is my dad's 60th bday! WOW! Along with celebrating his bday we celebrated his 2 year post liver transplant. 2 years ago on Christmas Day he received a new liver that saved his life! It was a tough and scary road for us for about 6 months, but Praise God he pulled through and is doing so well today! It is a ABSOLUTE miracle. I have no doubt that God will and can still perform miracles!! There is no other explanation than that for my dad doing so well.

My dad is a hard working man. All my life I remember him working so hard to make ends meet for our family. I remember...when you could leave your windows open back in the day...him after working all day at the parts store....he would come home at night and work on people's cars in our garage. I remember the sounds coming into my room of his tools and the revving of the engines. He can take a car that is wreaked and rebuild it with his bare hands...that always totally blows my mind! He LoVeS to fish...loves Dallas Cowboys and Nascar racing. He is definitely a mans man if you can't tell. He can fix anything...and if he can't...he has friends who can! I remember when I was little he had this air pump in our garage. I would bring all my friends down to air up their tires on their bikes...I guess one day I brought my friend into the garage to have him air up their tire and after her was finished I said "See...I told you he was a genius". My dad loved this comment. But really I thought he was!!

He was tough on us. Didn't put up with anything. We knew not to mess with him or we would face the consequences and if we pushed my mom over the edge we knew we would have to deal with him next. SCaRy!! But you know...I always felt protected around him. I knew that if anyone tried to harm me...he would take them Out!!

It hasn't always been an easy relationship for me with him. I am sensitive and a hugger...but honestly I am probably more like him than I realize with some things. I look more like him and I have his red hair. As I have gotten older we have became closer. I see a soft hearted Papa who loves his grandkids. I see a Papa who loves to have his family close and would protect them at all cost. I see a Dad who is proud of his daughter and gives her hugs and loves her family. I see husband who loves his wife...and has for over 40 years now...he is a committed man. Committed to the Lord and living a life that praises him...a miracle walking around and knows that he is! So Happy Birthday Dad!! WOW! You look great for 60!
My mom and dad:

We love you,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

And our dreams came true! We received around 8 inches of snow through the night and this is what our house looked like when we woke up! So after opening presents and making was time to play in the snow!! Our dogs had a blast chasing each other in the snow.

Then Matt broke out the 4 wheeler and luckily I had him stop
and purchase sleds a couple of days ago! Let the fun begin!

He pulled the kids behind the 4 wheeler...we live on a
country road and there is hardly any traffic...he even had his Santa hat on!
Matt and I all bundled up

Danielle and Brooke

Danielle throwing snow at wouldn't pack very well...

I even pulled Matt...:)

We enjoyed the snow...good times as a family!

Happy Birthday Jesus!!

We always make Jesus a cake...but this year we made cupcakes. We used Red Velvet cake for Christmas and then decorated them with sprinkles and wrote Happy Birthday Jesus on them...

Pillsbury has this amazing Frosting in a can...worth the extra money! So easy to frost things! I stink at frosting things so this works for us! The girls did all the decorating...I just wrote the letters on them...
Celebrate Jesus Birthday!

See Kristina...I told You I can't decorate cakes! LOL! She is great at it!

Christmas Morning!!

We were up by 7:00 am...Lauren wanted to make her famous sticky buns for everyone so she got busy on that so they could cook while we opened presents. She amazes me...she is growing up so fast. She loves to cook too.

While they were cooking the present opening began! We had a great time opening gifts. They buy stuff for each other every year and for Matt and I...I always love those gifts! They always get socks, undies, and gum in their stockings...and all 3 of them got a framed pic of Maggie.
Here is Jaden's pile!

His big gift was a guitar...he wants to take lessons...he has already started on my Mac by using the Garage band...he wants to play for Jesus at church some day...ahh...Lauren made him a little house for his 2 mice (not real) he loves to sleep in...he got a airsoft shotgun...a nerf double barrel gun...(I promise he isn't to big of red neck...he wants to be in the Air Force and fight for our country). I tunes card, and a cover for his Ipod...a rubix cube and a few things here and there.
Brooke's pile:

Brooke didn't really ask for anything big so she got lots of little things instead. She wanted some boots and some skinny jeans and some shirts. Barbie clothes and make-up...she is going to wear make up before Lauren...Oh My!...I tunes card and a cover for her Ipod, a necklace with a charm that says Faith and some other little things she wanted...
Lauren's Pile:
She also wanted boots and clothes mostly...I tunes card, headphones, cover, shoes, a Faith necklace also, crazy socks, hair bows, and lots of other little things here and there.
I wasn't going to show you our piles, but I want you to see Matt's...he is just so practical...and the kids know it...a grill cleaner..a roll up duct tape and a screwdriver! LOL! I did get him a GPS...he has wanted one so long and I got it for a really great price. It's something he we were going to buy I just went ahead. And the kids got me bubble bath...which I LOVE to take baths!! I would live in there if I could! And Matt got me a wireless mouse for my laptop which I am soo excited about as I am learning Photoshop Elements 8!

Each year I feel like our Christmas gets better and better. As the kids get older I think they are really starting to grasp what it is all about. They always say thank you and how much they love their gifts. It's worth all the hard work that goes into putting it altogether when I see how happy they are. I am a gift giver...I LoVe to see the look on their faces! I can't hardly wait for them to open their presents. So thankful that we are able to provide for our family like we can. I look forward to many more Christmas mornings together.

And finally we enjoyed our Yummy Sticky Buns...Thanks Lauren!!

Reading, PJs and Hot Chocolate

On Christmas Eve we have a tradition that the kids get to open one present...and it is always a pair of PJs...they put on their new PJs and read about Jesus' Birth. This year we added hot chocolate because of the snow we played in before we read. It is a precious moment for us...all the kids snuggled up with their new PJs and reading God's word. I hope they keep this tradition with their families some day.
New PJs...I always try to fit their personalities with these...

Reading of Christ Birth and Hot chocolate

Santa's little treat...

We don't make a big deal out of Santa...but we just have a little fun with it.

This is will be gone in the morning!!

Christmas Eve @ my Parents

This year was a little different for our family because our church had to cancel the Christmas Eve service due to the weather. We were very sad about this, but we know it was for the best. But it left us with a lot of unplanned time to hang out so that we just made the most of it!! We always to go to my parents house on Christmas Eve and open presents. Since we were home earlier than usual...we watched Wheel of Fortune..which my family loves and I really think my mom should go on! Anyway...we told them whoever answered the puzzles would go first...needless to say...most of the adults go the puzzles...but it was fun anyway! We just gave the kids our turns.

We had tons of pics so I just made a slide show to make it easy! If you want to watch...great!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Nana and Papas
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We are so blessed to live so close to our family to get to share these precious memories together.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Giving is a Gift

When my cousin Lori was diagnosed one of my friends, Tracy sent out an email to all her friends asking them to pray for Lori and her family. Little did she know by hitting that send button it would bless Lori the way it has...the internet has changed our lives in so many ways...between email...blogs...Facebook and may other avenues we have a phenominal prayer chain. The email reached into the heart of a lady named Lisa Wilson @ Oak Tree Software and this is where God began to do His thing! Lisa collected a list from Amy (Lori's sister) of things that they wanted for Christmas...never imagining what would come of it.

On Tuesday night I meet Lisa @ Lori's house to help her get all the gifts in....OH MY GOODNESS!! We carried in bags and bags of gifts! I bet they had 10+ gifts of each one of them. Lori was completely is what she said in tears "I don't deserve this..there are so many people out there that need this besides me". I told her...these people are blessed to bless is a gift to them. They wanted to do this and she needs to accept that people want to help her. She has done so much for people over the years and now God is blessing her. I told her NEXT year when she is all better we will find a family and bless them...she agreed...she will be here next Christmas and we will do that! Along with the gifts they also gave her this amazing gift card book FULL of gift cards! It has slips under each card so you can keep a tally! It is soo cool!! One gift we asked for is a video camera for Lori to record herself talking to the kids...she is opening it here.

Lisa...what a sweet spirit she is! You could tell that it was truly a blessing for her to do this for Lori and she in no way wanted any glory for all of this. She said that is what Christmas is to others. A total to someone in need.

Here is what I saw...Lori and the kids feeling loved...seeing joy in their faces...forgetting for a little bit that Cancer has interrupted their lives...hope that everything was going to be ok...showing love to strangers...and that giving is a gift. See these smiling faces...that says it all. Meet Jacob, Lori, Lacy and Austin.

This is Lisa and her family with Lori's family...

Now after Lisa left my parents and sister show up...and if you know Lori she turns everything into a laugh! She shaved her head last week and someone gave her some wigs...they were a little old...but they meant well. She does have one from the Cancer Center that pretty...this is what happens when we all get together...

Ooooo who is that sexy brunette? LOL This is one of the old ones...

Here is her pretty one from the Cancer Center...

This is the group...isn't Lori pretty without hair too? She has a gorgeous head! end this is a gift....thank you Jesus for the gift of Salvation...the greatest gift we could ever receive. Thank you for blessing Lori's family this week.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa Z.

On Tuesday we headed to Matt's brother's house in Kansas to have Christmas with his mom and step dad and his Brother's family. Krista fixed a wonderful lunch and then we opened gifts. We always take our tradition picture in front of the Christmas tree with Grandma and Grandpa.

Then the present mania begins! We always go from youngest to oldest. Jaden wanted a guitar this that is what he got from Grandma and Grandpa Z....and partly from us too...we are buying the case. His response..."this is the best Christmas present I have ever got". He wants to take lessons...believe it or not we found out when we got home that our Macs have a program called Garage Band and it give you lessons on it! Who knew? He has been playing his guitar all day...loves it Anyway he wants to learn how to play so he can play for Jesus @ it!

Lauren and Brooke asked for I Homes to dock their (soon to receive) that is what she got them. She is very good about getting what they want and there are no problems! Yeah!

Alexis striking a pose in her new coat!

After the gifts were finished the boys went out to shoot their guns....they love doing this!

We always enjoy our time with Brian and Krista and Joyce and Paul. So blessed! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Z for the awesome gifts! We love you!!

Simple Gift Wrapping Idea

My sister in law does this and so I tried it this year after being there yesterday. You know..labeling and wrapping all those gifts takes some time! Every year Matt and I have a marathon wrapping night usually a few nights before Christmas after the kids go to bed. I like to just drag it all out one time and get it done! And people...I consider myself crafty and creative somewhat...but I totally STINK at wrapping gifts! It always looks like a kid wrapped it. I am not kidding you! But you don't care what it looks like...thank You for that! I really try to wrap most of their gifts...I like gift bags...but the kids love rippin open those gifts so I try to not to use very many bags for them.

Ok so here is the simple idea...I have 3 kids. I use 3 different kinds of wrapping for each kid. That way they are not labeled and they have no idea which ones are theirs! It's great!! This year I actually found some small rolls of paper at Target for little boxes and I bought 3 different colors instead I have 2 colors/kid. It really threw them off because they thought it would just be 3 different colors under there! LOL! Tricky woman huh?
The rest of our family...cuzins...aunts...grandparents...etc...I label them. But I don't have to by as many labels this way. I did write down the colors I used for each child because...I'm forgetful! :) Anyway...use it if you's just a fun way for our family to enjoy opening gifts!

OHS 1990 Girls..

Every night this week we have had something fun and picture worthy so I am going to just go for it! Monday night about 15 girls that I graduated with that are on Facebook went out to dinner. You know I am always nervous about these kind of things a little bit. You just never know how it will go being around people you really haven't been around in 20 years! Which when I say that i think..I will be out of school 20 years in 2010!! Gee Whiz!! But one of my good friends was going so we talked each other into it. We met at Teds. Here are some pics...
The whole Group

The Band girls! We had so much fun in Band...Ashley and Rhonda...great friends and very sweet!!

Angela and Leslie (aka Skeeter) Now these gals are the ones that could tell some wild Stories on me...some of the things we did we could easily be in jail for! You think I'm kidding...but I a NOT!! But they are all grown up and love the Lord too! Yeah!

Jenn and I..she is a strong and amazing woman. I admire her so much. Her daughter Haley had CF and struggled with it her entire life...but lived a outstanding life! She didn't let the disease slow her down and was a significant example to so many in her short life.

What's great is I get to see Shelley all the time! She goes to our church and she is so much fun
Cheryl, Tina, JoDawna, Wendy and Melissa

Shelley, Leslie, Angela, Jenn, me, Leslie

It was a great night of catching up with some of them. We moved back home almost 13 years ago and I really haven't spent much time with my HS friends and I am so glad God has allowed me to get to spend some time with them. It brings me so much joy to know so many of them love the Lord and are raising their families to do also. Thank you Jesus! But also I think he is telling me...reach out to the lost ones...they need to hear about Me!