Friday, November 30, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 30

The month of November comes to a close...and yet I hope the habit of thankfulness remains. Sorry for the overwhelming number of posts today. I couldn't post from the camp but I kept notes on my phone. Then when we returned home it was crazy busy. But I didn't want to forget any of the blessings that surrounded me throughout this time.

Tomorrow ushers in one of my favorite times of the year. We have so much planned and so much to do, but I love all of the festivities.

Today is my transition day:
I am thankful for wonderful memories! Danielle and I decorated the office for Christmas today. We put up 3 trees...including, for the first time ever, my travel tree! As I unpacked the ornaments I was swept back to New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Biltmore, Los Angeles, Alaska, Boston, Las Vegas and South Africa. Sweet, sweet times spent with family and friends!

And I am thankful for each one who has taken the time to read this month's gratitude post. Happy Holidays to all!

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Giving Thanks: Day 29

Thankful for breakthroughs...and for finding the perfect gift for our guests this year.

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Giving Thanks: Day 28

I am thankful for Lidocaine patches and pain relievers. I've been doing a lot of walking the past few days, getting ready for our company Christmas party. Tonight the pain in my leg was pretty thank goodness for modern medicine. I think I'll take it easier tomorrow.

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Giving Thanks: Day 27

The Lord has so wonderfully blessed my life with friendships. [You have often heard me talk about my Girls (Robin & Stacy) or the Bible Study Ladies]

Tonight I had the pleasure of dining with dear 'sisters in Christ' and being reminded once again of God's tender mercies toward me. We have been separated nearly 13 years by a common heartbreak, yet after reconnecting this summer over monthly lunches/dinners it is as though the time apart melts away. There is much to be said for friendships built on the solid foundation of Christ.

So tonight I am thankful for the gifts of grace, forgiveness, humility, friendship and reconciliation.

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Giving Thanks: Day 26

Thankful for a busy, yet productive day at work. It sure is good to see things picking up again.

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Giving Thanks: Day 25

Thankful for an uneventful and safe trip home! Sure will be good to sleep in my own bed tonight.

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Giving Thanks: Day 24

I am so thankful for this time with my family of origin. Last night we were able to share time with Rosa & Steve over Daddy's fried catfish. This afternoon was lunch and shopping with Rosa and Mother. Tonight was spent around the bonfire with aunts, uncles and cousins (with a side trip to see a face on a tombstone at the cemetery - craziness)!

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Giving Thanks: Day 23

Today I am thankful that even with their dad and I away for the holiday my children have chosen to spend their holiday together. Hope y'all have an amazing dinner tonight...just like the brunch you shared yesterday. We miss you guys!

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Giving Thanks: Day 22

Today I am thankful for my extended family. Thank you for laying aside any differences that might exist and spending time together. Thank you to my sister and brother-in-law for hosting the Jenkins clan at your beautiful cabin. And thank you all for keeping me 'real'. Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without a few smoking guns and dead clay pigeons lying all over the yard!

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Giving Thanks: Day 21

Will took his first deer with stick and string. While he celebrated his first archery kill, I ate humble pie!

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Giving Thanks: Day 20

I am thankful for time in a deer stand with My Hero (even though all we saw was a large bodied buck that we couldn't shoot because he only had one tiny spike), lunch with my mother, and dinner with my dad, stepmother and sister.

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Giving Thanks: Days 18 & 19

Giving Thanks: Days 18 &19
On Sunday afternoon I sat in my deer stand and watched a young deer lay up in a bedding area right beside me. I watched as she groomed and rested, occasionally she seemed to doze off but for the most part she was alert to any sounds or movement around her. As Jim and I have often wondered aloud to one another about what deer do all day, I considered this a true blessing to behold.

After an hours nap time, she left her bedding area and began grazing on the acorns all around my stand. I took several pictures of her with my phone and texted them to Jim and Will.

Once she finished feeding on the acorns, she casually strolled off down the road stopping for a bite here and there along the way. I called Jim and asked him to meet me at the end of the road with my warmer clothes and a bite to eat since it was nearly time for the evening hunt and I had not planned on being on my stand for that long when I left.

Moments later, as I took the first step onto the ladder of my stand, the tower of the stand pulled loose from the platform in my hands. As my foot hit that first step, I could see the rear rise and begin to fall toward me. In that split second I knew I would have to jump to the ground or the tower would pull me down with it. I pushed off with my right leg and jumped approximately 7 feet to the leaf strewn ground below.

After jumping, all I remember is seeing the tower falling above me. I knew that it would miss my head so I balled up on my right side and prepared for it to crash across my left.

Next thing I knew I looked up and saw my gun lying across the platform and the tower behind me. I immediately reached for the phone in my pocket and called Jim.

As I told him what happened and asked him to come get me, I sat up and took inventory of what was hurting. I decided to try and stand up, but then I thought about all those football players and how they are told to lay there until the trainers arrive. So I lay back down and waited. The funny thing about waiting is you begin to listen to your body as you concentrate on breathing. My right leg seemed to have caught the brunt of the fall. Thankfully what I feared to be a broken leg was just a major shin splint from landing hard on my foot. Both knees were tweaked and my right ankle hurt.

When Jim and Will arrived to help me up from the forest floor, I realized just how close the tower was behind me. We still can't explain how it happened aside from God setting His angels guard over me -- but the corner of the tower's roof hit about a foot behind my legs and then rolled the whole thing end over end away from me.

My sweet husband took me back to camp,put my ankle on ice, compressed my shin in a wrap, fixed me a strong drink (we didn't even have a Tylenol around) and put me to bed.

As I got up the next day I was surprised to find my right leg doing well while my left knee was worse and my right shoulder and ribs were aching. I went back to bed!

A few hours later I got up and decided I had better at least get dressed before the boys returned from hunting. The more I moved the better I felt. After a quick trip to Walmart for food and ibuprofen, I decided to try to hunt that evening.

I won't lie, getting up in that stand was a little scary...and I was moving slow from the sore ankle and knees. But I just knew that I had to get back on the horse (so to speak) or I might never get the nerve to climb a stand again.

That night I took my first deer of the season.

So for Day 18, I am thankful for God's gentle care -- of me and of that little doe I was privileged to watch all afternoon.

And for Day 19, I am thankful for the courage to overcome minor injuries and return to a family tradition that I love.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 17

Just crossed the halfway point to our hometown. Looking forward to spending some time with family and getting out in the deer woods over the next few days. Wishing our other four children could have made the trip too.

Thankful for a few long, slow days ahead.

Updated: just crossed over our last state line. Almost there!

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Location:S Shelby St,Carthage,United States

Friday, November 16, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 16

This morning I slipped my puffy jacket on for the first time this season. I pulled a piece of paper out of the pocket from our trip to NYC -- the tickets for Accomplice: The Village. Just looking at that piece of paper brought a smile to my face.

So today I am thankful for sweet memories made with dear friends...and I look forward to many more.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 15

I am thankful for Pintrest -- it inspires simple but fun creativity when I just need a break.

My Pilgrim hats may not look as good as theirs...but they sure were fun to make. Can hardly wait to try out the turkeys tomorrow!

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Giving Thanks: Day 14

{I did it again.  I forgot to post last night when I got home.}

For day 14, I am thankful for time spent sitting in front of a roaring fire.

Our fireplace looked very similar to this last night...except without the stockings or the garland because this picture was from last Christmas!  LOL!
Yesterday was one of 'those days'.  You know the ones that begin rather calm but then spin out of control as you realize that (1) you are leaving on vacation in two days...and (2) your vacation will be during a holiday...and (3) you have fifty holiday things to do the week you return so (4) you better get some of it taken care of now.  You have those days too, right?

After work I needed to make a stop at Hobby Lobby to pick up a few more supplies for Custom's 'Battle of the Golden Boot' contest based on the football game between LSU and Arkansas.  That place was C-R-A-Z-Y busy!!!  I was trying to talk to my cousin on the telephone as I walked in but I kept bumping into people so I had to cut the conversation short.

It was nearly 7 pm by the time I made my way through the Hobby Lobby madness.  I called Jim to ask if they had started dinner (they hadn't) so I picked up a Super Meal from Taco Bell and beelined it home. 

Because my day had turned so hectic, my sweet husband welcomed me home with a roaring fire!

After eating our dinner in front of the television (bad mama), the boys filed out to their bedrooms.  So, Jim and I turned off the news and just sat in front of our fireplace deep in conversation about everything and nothing.  It was a great way to end a day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 12 (On Day 13)

Yesterday I found myself so 'self focused' that I couldn't find a single thing to be thankful for.  I also couldn't bring myself to make a post because I knew it would be dishonest to do so.

Isn't it amazing how quickly a sense of gratitude flies out the door when we focus our eyes on self?

As I look back on yesterday, I see that I began with a sense of not being enough...moved onto a defensive position of justification...and ended the day feeling ugly and grumpy.

Yet I also look back and recognize the blessings I couldn't see at the time:
  • Friends to break bread with - literal bread and the Word of God
  • Finding the problem BEFORE it affected the innocent recipient
  • Getting in the kitchen with My Hero to tag team dinner - we are so much more creative as a team than as an individual
  • Face to face dinner time with all three of my boys
So while I am thankful for the unseen blessings of yesterday, I am also thankful that a new day can bring a new perspective and that the Lord never leaves us in our muck and mire.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 11

I am so thankful for family. Both our immediate and extended. From an early morning phone call from my dad about his deer, to text messages with my sister, and finally an afternoon at the corn maze with my kids and all the grands -- it has been a great day.

(pictures to follow!)

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 10

Today I am thankful for forgiveness.
Who knew misplaced tools and the lack of a working water hose could cause a girl to act so ugly?
Oh yeah, that's right. Jim knows.
Thanks for being as ready with a hug and a kiss as you were to call me on my tantrum, baby.
(I told y'all we have our days. Good and bad!)
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 9

Jim and I will be heading out in just a bit for our last regular season game as football parents. When the boys were small I just knew they would both follow in Jim's footsteps and play basketball.  While Brian did just that, Will was never really interested in the whole round ball through a hoop thing.  When we moved to Waller he found his place on the football field instead.  (He had played flag football at the Y in Alief.)  It took me a little while to learn the rules and to be able to follow along, but I have grown to love the game.  

Over the years the kids have taught me so much through their individual passions and talents.  With Meagan I learned the beauty of a piece of choral music, even if the words were foreign to me.  Kelli's time in the Crimson Cadettes taught me to recognize dance routines as either a kick routine, or jazz, or lyrical, or pom, or hip hop.  With Bri it was mixture of choir and theatre and softball...but theatre really had her heart.  So, I learned about one act plays and techie tricks to make a stage look a certain way.  Brian was all about the round ball in high school and I had some knowledge of the game from when his dad played.  (Technically, I played one year too...but I don't think I had a single point, so I started keeping the scorebooks.)  When he picked up art and started playing the guitar, my world broadened once again.

So, even though this picture is of Will and football -- I want my kids to know that I am thankful for each one of them and for all the ways that they have broadened my world.  You are each unique and wonderful and dearly loved!

Senior Night 2012 at Waller High School

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 8

I am married to the most amazing man.  I don't know what to tell you, ladies.  We met and married at such a young age that by the world's standards this thing really shouldn't have worked out.  When people ask us how we have made it 30+ years, we just smile and say "Only by the grace of God!"  And it is the truth if ever we uttered one.

I was reminded last night that it is not just the big things that make him amazing, but the simple things sometimes mean even more.
  • Like watching him hook a fish on Sunday evening and then let Davin reel it in like he had caught it.
  • Or the way he played with the grandchildren Monday night at the restaurant.
  • Or him volunteering to do laundry on Tuesday evening as I made dinner.
  • Or last night when he saw the desperation on my face as I contemplated making dinner and (again, unasked) offered to go pick up something instead.
So today I am thankful for this man of mine -- My Hero!  I love you, babe.

Jim on the day he brought home his new truck!  Like a kid with a new toy.
PS.  For the sake of true authenticity, there are some days when we can barely speak to each other through the gritted teeth.  On those days, I would almost give him away. (And him, me.)  LOL! 

But I still love you, babe!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 7

Today I am so thankful that the Lord has everything in His faithful hands. 

I was scheduled to meet friends for Bible study today at lunch. After finding out that one of us couldn't make it until Monday, the three remaining decided to just grab lunch instead.  As it turns out, we needed that lunch together.  It was a time of encouragement for which I am most grateful.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 6

I am so thankful to live in a country where "...government of the people, by the people, for the people" still reigns. (Abraham Lincoln -- the 16th president, not the vampire slayer.)
And I feel doubly blessed to be living in a small rural community where voting took a grand total of four minutes door to door!  I feel for my former neighbors who are enduring near one hour lines in Houston just to cast a ballot.

Whether your choice is Democrat, Republican, Green or Libertarian...I hope you vote today.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 5

I am so very thankful that all of our children remain close enough that we can celebrate life's milestones together -- the big and the small.

Celebrating Brooke's (belated) 5th birthday.

This boy has been eating salsa since he could hold a chip!

Pawpaw made her squeal with laughter and then promptly put her to sleep. He has still got the touch!
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 4

On this, what would have been my Grandma Fulton's 93rd birthday, I am thankful that my "raisings" are being passed along to another generation. Sunday dinner followed by a little fishin'.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 3

Tired but blessed to spend the day helping out a friend. We were able to hang out and do a little Christmas shopping while we worked so I count that a Win - Win!

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Giving Thanks: Day 2

Sharing Will's last home game with family and friends...including Miss Delayne who was attending her first ever football game. And it was a WIN!

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Giving Thanks: Day 1

An unexpected visit from our 'Baby Girl'.