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Month: November 2013

Our 1st Halloween in the Middle East

Our 1st Halloween in the Middle East

Most of the holidays we are used to celebrating in the states tend to come and go here without any recognition unless you are intentional to celebrate with friends. Halloween is one of those holidays, but my boys didn’t get the memo & were looking forward to celebrating.

We started the morning off with Halloween treat bags and jack-o-lantern pancakes.IMG_9465


The boys all decided they wanted to dress up as Star Wars characters…great, that should be easy. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that you can’t find Halloween costumes around these parts so we had to get creative. A trip to the local hardware store and a nearby mall & we were able to find pool noodles, pillowcases, Star Wars patches and rope.


It turned out to be a family affair with all of the boys wanting to help with the costumes. I even managed to find a job for Britten.


At some point in my life I had great aspirations of learning to sew but I never made it past sewing on a button or patching up a hole. But, if I do say so myself, I’m a master with the hot glue gun. We all have our own gifts! 

We cut, tied and glued until we had something that resembled Anakin, Cad Bain, Count Duku and a Jedi Knight…at least in the eyes of my boys.

Now can we just all ooooh and ahhh at how adorable Breck looks in his costume?


He’s In the Details

He’s In the Details


To most of you this picture simply represents a few vinyl stickers and several die cut leaves, but to me it’s so much more. You see, this is a visual reminder that we serve a God who knows our deepest needs.  He knows what we need before we’ve even had a chance to ask and He’s ultimately concerned about the finite details of our lives.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,

will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Matthew 6:30)

Let me explain…

For the past several years we’ve had a Thankful Tree in our home. The tree has taken on several different forms like a butcher paper trunk stuck to the wall with construction paper leaves, a few bare branches with circles cut from scrap book paper


and who could forget the Thankful Teepee that towered above our living room ceiling fan?


Fast forward a bit and I find myself downsizing ten years of life and somehow trying to make it all fit into 18 plastic tubs. Needless to say, when you’ve got a family of 6 and limited luggage space, you only take the necessities… and a Thankful Tree doesn’t make the cut.

As the holidays began to draw near I tried to think of creative ways to continue some of our favorite family traditions. Unfortunately, craft stores are non existent here and my creative juices weren’t exactly flowing. Thankfully we serve a God that’s much bigger than Hobby Lobby.

In September my uncle and his daughter came for a visit and brought with them two tubs our family back home had graciously packed full of goodies. My aunt, who has worked in some sort of school system for many years, shares my teacher heart and packed a few things that only a teacher would love. One was a vinyl sticker set of a fall tree and the other an envelope full of die cut holiday shapes.

My heart was overjoyed when I realized that the Lord had provided exactly what I needed. My aunt had no idea I had been racking my brain for the past month trying to come up with a thankful tree. No one asked her to pack those things but the Lord knew this mama’s heart needed something familiar. Without me even asking, my Heavenly Father knew the importance of making our holidays feel familiar.

So, how does the Thankful Tree work?

At dinner each night we’ve been memorizing 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We talk through how God’s will is for us to thank Him for all things; the good and the difficult. Then we go around and say what we thank God for, write it on a leaf and stick the leaf on the tree. So far we’ve been thankful for everything from Jesus to nap time, Mommy to my brothers, our neighbors and many other things. It is quite the site to see at the end of November when the tree is overflowing with paper leaves full of thanksgiving.

And that, my friend, is something to be thankful for.