Thanksgiving Tablescapes

Oh yeah, this is my favorite part of decorating for the holidays – the table.

Here are some inspirational pictures from our Thanksgiving tables over the years.

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A Letter to My Son

Sorry I’m sending this again, the link didn’t take before. So let’s try it again.

I love this letter! It is a great reminder of the things we should be teaching our boys and girls. Our girls should read this too so they know how a boy should treat them.

When I was younger I said I would have my boys opening doors for me at the age of 2. I have to say I haven’t accomplished that yet, but now that the little dude is 7 I should start working with him on it. Every girl loves a boy with manners!

Please click on this to read the post:

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When Moms Are Weak

My mother suffered from serious depression during much of my childhood. I don’t remember her ever getting me up for school, making me breakfast or packing my lunch. I did all of that myself starting in the 1st grade. I was given an alarm clock, poured a bowl of Cheerios for myself every morning alone, and made my own lunch everyday.

I don’t tell you this so you will feel sorry for me, I turned out ok. But I tell you to explain how I turned out OK.

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My mother and I had a conversation recently about these years when I was young and taking care of myself. There is still much pain over the subject that we are slowly working through. But at some point in the conversation she said to me, “I knew I wasn’t being a mother to you. And when I couldn’t do things for you or be there for you – I could pray. And that is what I did. When I couldn’t do it myself, I asked Him to fill in the gaps for you.”

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And I can sit here today and tell you that He did just that. He filled in the gaps. He pursued me, gave me strength, discernment and wisdom. He was with me and had a great purpose in mind for my life. I had to go through some hard stuff along the way, but He was with me in every painful step.

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This fall has been a difficult one. We are over scheduled and I hate that. I can’t spend time with the kids as much as I would like, we are always rushing and I feel like I am not being the mom I want to be. So I take hope in prayer. Because of my story, I have buckets of faith that when I am weak as a mother, God is strong. He will fill the gaps and protect my children, give them strength and bring people into their lives who fill them as well.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

On the days that we just don’t have it to give or when we make mistakes in mothering our little ones, He is made perfect in our weakness. It’s not fashionable to boast about such days but maybe we should – at least to ourselves and close friends!

Thank you Lord!

 

 

How Are You Going to Change the World?

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This question was asked of my 1st grader’s class. “How are you going to change the world?”

And my son’s answer was, “I’m going to be a football player.”

My reaction, “How is THAT going to change the world?”

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And then came his beautiful explanation.

“Well when I’m a football player I’m going to help up all of the players when they get knocked down.”

Well, shut my mouth.

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WOW. Wouldn’t that change THE WORLD if we ALL just helped up those who got knocked down around us? We don’t have to pick them up, or hold them up. We don’t have to stand around for years supporting them up. But if we just help them up. Just a friendly gesture, a good sportsman like move, an encouraging statement. It would go so far.

That’s how I want to change the world too.

Thank you little man. I love your wise words.

My Personal Monologue

About a week ago I wrote a post about “Who God Says I Am“. And in that post I said I had a fun exercise to do with that info. Well, here it is.

Some, no, many days I need a good dose of who God says I am to combat what the world says I am, or I say I am, or what I think others think I am. Right? Do you ever do that too? Well, I have a terrible habit of letting those negative messages sink in  and run my life instead of letting God’s message dictate my attitude and mindset. After looking up what the Bible said about me I came up with a personal monologue that I wrote down and keep somewhere that I can easily access it when I am needing a little dose of God thinking.

I took several of these things I found that really resonate with me (and combat some of my typical negative recordings) and put them together in a short paragraph. Really simple. But so impactful. Throw one of these together for yourself and see what difference it makes for you.

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So the next time I start getting down on myself with the lies that fill my head I will say:

“I am God’s child and I belong to Him. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am not condemned for the wrong I do because I am saved by grace. I am never alone. I am a co-heir with Christ. I have a  heavenly calling. I am a temple of God and His Spirit dwells in me. I am God’s workmanship created in Christ to do His work that He planned for me. I am chosen and called by God. I have wisdom from God. I am the light of the world. I am a victor. My labor is not in vain. I can never be separated from God’s love. I am strong. I am forgiven. I am chosen by God, holy and dearly loved.”

Yeah, take that!

I may even play the “Rocky” theme song as I read it.

Now you write yours…and please share it, I would love to see what you cone up with.

 

Rainbow Art Party

Well, the birthdays just keep coming! This one was really fun, and fairly easy.

Theme: Rainbow Art Party
Age: 10

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We opted to have it in an art studio where an artist instructed the girls on painting a picture. Each participant painted their own so they came out unique but “the same”.

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Invitations: I designed these and had them printed up and we mailed them out about two weeks ahead of time. They didn’t say “NUM.1” on them, obviously. Who names their kids such things?

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Activities: We started with some food and chatting while we waited for everyone to arrive. Then we began the painting. The teacher instructed them on the background and while they waited for that to dry they took a break for dinner. After dinner and snacks, they finished their masterpieces.

Food: We had pizza delivered for our main course and with it we had rainbow fruit and veggie platters. As a treat I let the girls have some soda with straws and “clouds”. they came out so cute! Then while they returned to painting we had some rainbow candy to snack on.

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Cake: Since I didn’t have time to make my own double decker rainbow dot cake, I made a run to the grocery.  They said they usually needed 24 hours notice, but since I am a “special customer” they would make an exception. So sweet! But since I don’t know them, and because this is a big chain grocery, I’m sure that’s what they call all their customers. But it didn’t matter, I needed a cake and they were happy to help me out in a pinch.

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About-Kylie

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Decorations: I made rainbow puffs and stuck them on sticks in jars. The food was as much decoration as anything. Then I added a pennant, personal poster and the glasses with straws and clouds topped it off.

The girls had a lot of fun, and it wasn’t too difficult for me either. Fall is busy 🙂

Children Experiencing God

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I pray that my kids will experience God in a real way everyday. I pray that as they encounter God in their lives their faith will grow and they will see who He is for themselves. Not just what their Sunday School teacher says, not just what their parents say, or worse, what their friends say. But that they themselves KNOW that God is real.

I pray these things, but I don’t always get to be there when it happens for a child.

But the other day, I did have the opportunity to see God at work. Number 1 and I have had many, many conversations about appropriate books and inappropriate books for her age lately. And I have come down on the “too protective” side according to her (and some of her friends). Maybe so. But I made the decisions (with some help from http://www.commonsensemedia.com) to help guard her heart and mind UNTIL she is ready to deal with such topics.

This isn’t about how over-protective, or permissive I am as a parent, It’s about how number 1 saw God in our conversation that day.

As I explained to her why I didn’t feel those books were appropriate to read yet and why it mattered, I quoted:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

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She looked at me and said, “you just read that off my paper.”

No, I hadn’t.

But sure enough, there it was written right in front of her and as I quoted it, she looked down and saw it for herself. When I told her that in fact I had not seen that written there I looked at her and said, “God just spoke to you. You, my sweet girl, just had a moment with God. Believe that.” And in her reaction I know that she knew it too.

Thank you LORD!

Who God Says I Am

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Being vulnerable may have it’s benefits (see this previous post), but it’s sure scary. Because what if I get hurt? What if someone uses my vulnerability against me? What if someone doesn’t respond well to my “stuff”. What if they don’t say anything at all?

Crush me.

The other day I led a little girls Bible study and did a horrible job. Not really horrible, but it wasn’t good either. The kids were squirrelly and I wasn’t making it very fun. I was tired and distracted and was seriously lacking in confidence. I came home and considered two options: 1. sitting here all night beating myself up for not being awesome OR 2. reflecting on what God thinks about me. I decided on the later as Matthew 25:40 came to mind, “The King will say to them, ‘Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!'”

I may have been hum-ho that night but I was serving Christ. And I know that because I have the Holy Spirit living in me God can still move in great ways despite my weaknesses and inabilities. What an amazing truth. So I thanked God for my failures that night comforted that in my inadequacies He is glorified.

This senario is one I have with myself All. The. Time. So much so that I realized a long time ago I needed truths to combat the voices in my head that beat defeating messages over and over again. So I looked up every verse I could find on what God says about me and who He says I am. These verses below are what I use to fend off the negativity about myself in my brain.

Honestly, there are are so many identity truths in the Bible. He has a lot to say about us! Here are some (many) that I have handy for just that special occasion when someone turns me upside down and the deflating chants begin. Take these and chew on them for a day or so. Then I have a very cool exercise for us to do with them!

I am a new creation in Him!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17

I am reconciled in Christ.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Cor 5:18-19

I am righteous and holy.
“And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24

I am saved by grace as a gift, not because of my performance. 
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” Ephesians 2:8

I am a co-heir with Christ.
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. If indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share with His glory.” Romans 8:17

I am chosen and called by God to produce fruit.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16

I am not condemned for the wrong I do
There is no condemnation for us (Romans 8:1)

I can never be separated from God’s love 
Nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.(Romans 8:39)

I have wisdom from God 
Because of what God has done, you belong to Christ Jesus. He has become God’s wisdom for us. He makes us right with God. He makes us holy and sets us free. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

My labor is not in vain
Because you belong to the Lord, you know that your work is not worthless. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

I am God’s child and I belong to Him
You are all children of God by believing in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

So he decided long ago to adopt us as his children. He did it because of what Jesus Christ has done. It pleased God to do it. (Ephesians 1:5)

I have every spiritual blessing
Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Those blessings come from the heavenly world. They belong to us because we belong to Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

I am forgiven
We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Through his blood our sins have been forgiven. We have been set free because God’s grace is so rich. (Ephesians 1:7)

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)

I am chosen
We were also chosen to belong to him. God decided to choose us long ago in keeping with his plan. He works out everything to fit his plan and purpose. (Ephesians 1:11)

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4)

I am for the praise of his glory
in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:12)

I have been seated in the heavenly realms
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:6)

I’ve been given the incomparable riches of God’s grace
in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7)

I who was once far away have been brought near
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)

I am built together as a holy building
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)

I may approach God with freedom and confidence
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)

I am fearfully and wonderfully made
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14)

I am strong
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

I am never alone — God will not leave me
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

I am a citizen of Heaven
But we are citizens of heaven. And we can hardly wait for a Savior from there. He is the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20)

I radiate light wherever I go.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

I shine like a firework in the night.
“Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” Philipphians 2:15

I am a daughter of Light. 
“You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”1 Thessalonians 5:5

I am the salt of the earth.
“You are the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:13

I am a vessel of Divine Light.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6

Beams and light and joy exude from within me. 
“Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.” Psalm 97:11

I am a victor.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

I have a heavenly calling.
“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” Hebrews 3:1

I have royalty in my veins and lead with integrity.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

I am designed for good works.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

 

My Favorite Fall Kids Craft EVER

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This has to be the cutest idea ever. I had two kids do this craft in preschool and all the parents were nuts about it. The only problem is that you can’t keep it since it is all organic material, but the pictures of them will last forever.

Each child received a small pumpkin and they had all sorts of food, ribbon and material to decorate with but mostly food. Each child got to pick out what they wanted to use for eyes, a nose, mouth, ears and hair if they wanted. Then the teacher attached them to the pumpkin for the children with corsage pins.

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This is a great idea to do at home and then use as your halloween table decoration!