Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since this is the last Thursday of November & my last Thankful Thursday post (until next year, anyway) I thought I'd do something a little different. A list. It's always hard just to pick one thing to do a Thankful Thursday post about, so today, I'm not choosing just one. Since it is Thanksgiving Day, 2011, I'm going to share 11 things of which I am deeply Thankful for. We should all be doing this, after all that is what Thanksgiving is for, to remind us to stop and count our Blessings. And remember to give Thanks for all we have . . .

1. My Husband, John. A Great Man, Husband & Father. I love you babe.

2. My Kids. Kyle, Zach, Erica & Alexia. They bring me so much Joy in life!

3. Our Family. Today we will get to be with many of them. First The Forbis' at John's Mom's house in Casa Grande & then The Finks at my Brother's house in Glendale! Which of course means we will be eating a lot! I LOVE Family time!

4. Health. We, Thankfully, are all pretty healthy. Having lost people close to me, I realize just how fragile life really is. And am grateful for every moment.

5. My Home. Yes, it is way too small for 6 people to be living in, (especially when half of them have a lot of musical equipment) but it is our home, a place we can be ourselves and be together.

6. Our Cars. Even after this week, when on the way home from work I had a flat tire. But without a car, I couldn't get to work, or Church, or my kids activities, etc.

7. Social Media. (Don't laugh!) Through things like Facebook, Twitter & Blogging I have reconnected with many old friends, people who over the years I had lost touch with. And made many new connections, with people I would never have met otherwise!

8. Good Books. You know I love to read! And Books can become our Friends, our Teachers, a Mirror, an Escape, etc.

9. Tinkerbell. No, not the Fairy, though I do like her! Our little Dog, Toy Rat Terrier to be exact. We've never really been pet people, until Tinkerbell came into our lives. She was given to my girls for their eighth Birthday & has become such a fun part of our family.

10. Education. My kids are learning so much more than I'll ever know. Both my boys are in College and both with Scholarships that I am very grateful for! We should never stop learning. And always be Life Learners!

11. Last, but certainly not least: God. He is ever Faithful. Even when it might not feel like it. When I have doubt or worry, He is always there for me to turn to in my time of need. He provides for us, comforts us, guides us. Thank you God, for all You are & all You do!

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are some of the things you are Thankful for today?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Our Breaking Dawn Adventure!

The latest addition of the Twilight Saga films has just been released!
Breaking Dawn!
I took two Vacation Day's from work just for the Premier!

We started out the week by rewatching all the three previous Movies!
Erica & I have read all the Books,
Lexi is reading them now.

I headed up to our local theater at around 3 in the afternoon to get in line.
(the Movie Premiered at Midnight!)
I of course was armed with a good Book! :)
Some people got there as early as 6 AM!

You see all kinds of people in line:
People with Babies, yes, waiting all day in line & seeing a Midnight Movie! :0
There was a group of women (with NO teenagers, or kids!)
all wearing matching shirts that said "Member of the Cullen Wedding Party"
all doing each others hair & make-up!
They were quite entertaining!

My daughters joined me about an hour latter,
after they got out of school!
They too were armed with Books, Games & even some homework!
I may be a "Cool Mom" doing the Twilight thing,
but they still do have to do their homework!

We had friends join us through out the afternoon & evening.
Bringing us dinner & snacks!
The line now wrapped all the way around the mall!

My girls went to walk the line, to see how long it had gotten,
and asked what should they do if they see someone we know?
So, I took the opportunity to teach my girls the art of "Small Talk!"

Later, a friend of theirs joined us in line & wanted to see how long it had gotten.
And as they were going to see Erica turned around & said
"Don't worry Mom, if we see anyone we know we'll do that small talk thingy!" :)

We played a few rounds of Twilight Trivia
along with some other games.
And laughed a lot.

We were let into the Theaters at about 9:45 PM.
We had a plan, and sent some in the group right to the Theater to get seats,
and others of us headed to concessions.

I had gotten us so close to the front of the line we got great seats
(at the rail!) :)
And were first in line at the concession stand!

My son Kyle, who goes to a lot of Midnight Movie Premiers,
brought the girls up to me when they got out of school.
He had class that night,
then met a group of friends from his College Church Group
at Tempe Market Place to see it
wearing this . . .

That's right, he's a trader!
My girls & I are of course Team Jacob!
Many of our Friends we saw it with are Team Edward,
but we let them stay anyway! :)

The above picture is Kyle & his group at the Premier.
(Yes, Jena, I stole this off your Twitter account!) :)
It really was quite an event!
And a really good, very intense Movie!
It was so much fun!
Though I was VERY tired! (I'm too old for these Midnight Premiers!)
And now we have to wait an entire year to see part II! :(

Friday, November 18, 2011

Goodbye Teenage Years!

Today my Baby Boy is no longer a Teenager!
How did that happen?!
How did he get older, and I didn't?! :)

I remember when I turned 20,
I was sad I wouldn't be a Teenager any longer!
I don't think he feels the same way! :)

We Love you so much, son!
And are so proud of the Man you are becoming!

On to the adventure that will be your 20's!
Happy Birthday Zach!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Quality Time

I remember being a young wife, after we had moved across the country & ending a day of my husband working late in tears, when he asked me what was wrong, I exclaimed "You don't Love me!" He was dumbfounded. "What are you talking about?" he asked. I responded with "You don't spend any time with me!" A light bulb went off over his head that night, that looked something like "I need to spend time with my wife in order for her to FEEL how much I love her!" We made sure we had Date Nights from them on.

A few years latter we discovered what would become one of my favorite Books of all time. It is called The Five Love Languages by: Dr. Gary Chapman. In this Book, Dr. Chapman tells us there are Five Love Languages (hence the name of the book!) :) They are how we give & receive love. And how we show others we love them & why we feel (or don't feel) loved. We need to speak all five of them to keep our spouses "Love Tank" full.

The Five Love Languages are: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Gifts & Quality Time. There are a few questions to help you uncover the Love Language of the people around you, as well as your own. Maybe your husband gives you flowers & your thinking I wish he'd just tell me he loves me, or just take the trash out with out me asking him too. Those are clues into his Love Language, as well as to yours. In short: Physical Touch means exactly what it sounds like, You need physical contact, the hugs & hand holding, etc. Words of Affirmation is needing to be told how much you are loved & appreciated. Acts of Service means you feel Loved through someone doing something for you. Gifts is you need tokens of someones love. And last but not least is Quality time . . .

My Love Language is Quality Time. I feel loved when someone spends time with me. (Remember my little story at the beginning?) Now I have always appreciated my husbands high work ethic, but I need TIME with him in order to feel loved. He realized that before we had ever read this book, which just confirmed what he already knew. Good Man! That's why things like Date Nights & Family Vacations are so important to me. To me Time = Love! We also discovered that his Love Language is Physical Touch. Unfortunately that is my least spoken Love Language, as I'm not a touchy feely type of person. I have had to literally remind myself to do things like hold my Husbands hand when we are walking together. Now it comes a little more naturally to me. :) But, let's get back to me! :)

You are probably wondering why I'm telling you all this in a Thankful Thursday post, right? Well it's because as you are reading this I am right now spending Quality Time with my Daughters & some friends of ours, standing in line all day for the Movie Premier of the newest film in the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn. That's right. My girls & I have a shared love for the Twilight Books & Movies. And we even went on a Twilight Tour in Forks, WA. this summer. I love spending time with my kids & this is something we love to do together! Quality Time! And I will forever treasure these memories of time spent together. Thankful for Quality Time with those I love & who love me.

I highly recommend the book The Five Love Languages. I give it regularly for wedding showers. It can & will improve your marriage. He has gone on to write The Five Love Languages of Teenagers & Children, (along with some others) Both are really good. We can all benefit from knowing how we & those around us receive Love, so we can speak to them in ways they not only understand, but benefit the greatest from. Today I encourage you to be Thankful for those around you & to spend some Quality Time with those you love the most.

Monday, November 14, 2011

In-Spite Vs. Inspire

Over on my About Me page you will find this paragraph: "I do not in any way think that I am a great mom. I might be a good mom (or at least a good enough mom)! But I do know that I have great kids! They are not perfect by any means, but they are great none the less. ~ I pray that some of why they got that way was "INSPIRED" by me, and I know that part of how they got that way was "IN-SPITE" of me!" No truer words have ever been spoken.

I take great pride in my children and I have been told many times over the years that I have Great Kids! And Trust me in this, like everyone else, my kids are flawed. And believe it or not, so am I! (You're shocked, I know!) :) Yet, God has truly Blessed me with 4 Amazing kids! I'm sure every parent feels that way. Or at least I hope they do, & that they let their kids know they feel that way!

I Blog about parenting, but am quick to admit, I am not the perfect parent. But nevertheless, In-Spite of me & all my flaws & shortcomings, I can post a Thankful Thursday about my family (scroll down to see it) who I am truly thankful for. They really do make me look good! :)

I looked up these two words (or phrases) In-Spite and Inspire. In-Spite of means that something happened even though something tried to prevent it. And Inspire is to stimulate to think, to act, to influence.

I pray I can Inspire my Husband, my Children, my extended Family & Friends, my co workers, and anyone I come in contact with, or who reads this Blog. An Inspiration is something that stimulates imagination & good will. I have always consciously tried to Inspire Imagination in my children, and they are dreamers! Just like their parents! :) And who has more influence over our children than we do? Especially while they are little.

But even as they grow up & become more & more influenced by those around them, like Friends, Teachers, Television, Movies, Etc. As their Parents, we still have great influence in their lives. We continue to help shape the people they are becoming, even when they are spreading their wings and it doesn't feel like they are listening to us. :)

Who can you Inspire today?!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday:A Family That Plays Together & Stays Together!

I can not convey to you just how Thankful I am for my Husband
of over 24 years
And our 4 Children! I Love my Family.

None of us would be who we are without the Love & Support of our Family!

We stick together through thick and thin!
The good times & the bad.

Loving & Supporting each other,
Every step of the way!

Being there to Laugh with you!
Or at you when the situation calls for it! :)
Or to be a shoulder to cry on when you need one.

The day looms ever closer when my boys will be ready to leave the nest.
I'm not looking forward to that day,
But I know it won't change who we all are to each other.

I'm not the best Wife/Mother there is,
but they all make even me look good!

I'm glad that we can be, and are
A real Support System for each other!

I love my Family more than words can say!
And today, and everyday I am beyond Thankful that they are mine!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

We All Need A Little Insurance Sometimes!

We went to a friends Costume party on Halloween. We ate, played games, sat around a fire pit & handed out candy to neighborhood kids, while ours went around the neighborhood as well. It was a lot of fun!
I wanted to come up with good (& inexpensive) costume ideas. I though I'd go as Flo, the Progressive Insurance lady, and John could be the Geico caveman, but he'd need a wig to cover his bald head! :) Then a commercial came on for Allstate Insurance, with Mayhem, the guy who causes all the accidents & wallah! He wore a suit & the best part of the day I got to beat him up! :) He ended up with a scar on his forehead, a band-aid on his cheek & a big ole black eye & a little blood running out of his mouth! For Flo, my daughter Erica straitened my hair & there was a whole lot of teasing going on, to make that big ole poof! I found a blue headband at the dollar store & a plain white apron at Hobby lobby for under $5.00! Kyle made & printed out the name tags & Guess What?! We won the best couples Costumes & a Walmart Gift card! Yay Us!! And we saved on a bundle on Insurance! Ha ha.
Lexi, my little Flower Child, went as a Hippie! No surprise there for anyone who knows her! She looked so cute! "Peace Out Man!" And Erica had the brilliant idea, (which Zach claims he thought of first) at the girls' Paris Birthday Party, to be The Eiffel Tower! Look how cute it turned out . . .
And she also won a prize for the most Creative Costume! Her hair is the only thing holding the Eiffel Tower on her head! She braided it around the legs! Magnifique!
"It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Superman!" Or rather Zach, as Clark Kent himself! Though he's having a hard time finding a phone booth now a days!
Kyle decided to go as a Tourist! As always, Living Aloha! "Hang Loose Dude!"

We hope you all had a Happy & Safe Halloween as well. And now that we've all eaten our weight in candy, admit it, you know you have! Let's bring on the Holidays! I'm already listening to Christmas music! Yeah, that's how I roll! :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Even A Mom Needs A Mom!

Two years ago I started a tradition here on my Blog, I call it Thankful Thursday's. Where every Thursday during the month of November I will Blog about something I am Thankful for! You can read my previous years' entries here & here, then just scroll down through the months posts.
And well . . . It's Back!

I spend a lot of time talking about being a Mom.
But, even a Mom needs a Mom!
Today (and Everyday) I am Thankful for mine!

My Mom, Pat Fink, just celebrated her 80th Birthday!
Happy Birthday Mom!
You are & always will be Forever Young!

Family Portraits:
(My Mom in red gingham! and yes, that's me in the yellow ruffles!)

(At my Brother's Wedding, 25 years ago)

(Our last Family Portrait before loosing my Sister & my Dad)

My Mom & I with 4 of my Brothers at her 80th Birthday Party this weekend!

I have always loved the relationship between my Parents & my Children.
They have always shared a special bond.
I never really knew my Grandparents.
And am so Thankful that my kids know theirs, and are close to them.

Grandma's Girls . . .



My Mom taught me how to be a Mom!
I couldn't be Me, without Her!
Thank you Mom, for Everything . . .

Three Generations!
Me, My Mom, & My Daughters,
Dancing through Life together!