Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009--A Year of Blessings

I stumbled upon a blog that participated in Gratituesday, and she had reflected on 2009 and her top 10 blessings. Well, I'm going to follow along and reflect and list my top 10 blessings of 2009.

#1. Our 2nd son, Dawson Daniel, born March 3rd. What an amazing little guy he is! He has brought so much joy and fun to us. We love that he is a big little guy who just lights up and giggles every time he sees his big brother. :)

#2. My wonderful husband. He has been such a rock for me in this year of constant change. We faced many challenges this year that would have driven a wedge between other couples, and I know that those challenges just brought us closer together and made our love for one another stronger than ever. I praise God for Renato every day!

#3. Camden. This little man is teaching me a lot too. Parenting can bring out both the best in us, and at times the worst. I'm learning every day to lean on God more than ever with my parenting skills. Camden is such a strong little leader. He loves to laugh and every day I do laugh with him in my life. I know God has amazing things planned for Camden's life!!

#4. Our rental house that we are living in right now. After constant transition for the past 2 years, along with living with family and friends for over 11 months of that, I am sooo very thankful for our own house, and our own space. (and my own kitchen!!!) :)

#5. Our time spent living in Brazil. I learned so many valuable lessons from God in the past 2 years. I know that without living in Brazil, I would never have learned them.

#6. Family and friends. Both of our families were such blessings to us this past year. We were able to live with Renato's parents for the last month we were in Brazil, and we were able to live with my parents for almost 5 months before moving to Colorado. HUGE blessings!! God has been teaching us about friends and what it really means to be friends. We are so thankful for our friends who have loved and supported us. We are blessed!

#7. Living back in Colorado Springs...and actually back in our same neighborhood! After living in a different culture with a different language, and with different (and scary) driving, and being mostly completely dependent on my husband for everything, you have no idea how thankful I am to be able to get out on my own and be able to understand everything that is around me.

#8. My dishwasher, clothes dryer, stove/oven, and fridge. After living a yr. and a half without a dishwasher or clothes dryer, I am SOOOO thankful for them and how easy they make my life. I'm thankful for my stove/oven because it's big (I can fit more than one pan in at a time) and it has a digital tempurature gage, unlike my teeny/tiny stove/oven in Brazil that didn't have a temperature setting. And I'm so thankful for a BIG new fridge with a big freezer too....that actually freezed food. :)

#9. A wonderful Queen sized bed to sleep on, and a bed for Camden, and a crib for Dawson. The bed we had in Brazil was a full-sized, foam mattress on a slat bed. Not very comfy. Camden had been sleeping on the floor since June...not that he complained at all. And we haven't had a crib for our boys to sleep in since we sold the one Camden had before we moved. So beds are a HUGE blessing!!

#10. My husband's business that he just started. Renato just started his own painting business 2 months ago. God's favor is on him as he has had many jobs come his way, and many great connections too. I just know that God is going to bless Renato and this business to not only provide for our family, but also fund our on-going ministry.

2009 was definitely a tough year of constant change and transition, but we have grown so much through all of the challenges. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us in 2010!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Rewind

Well, we once again survived Christmas, with New Years fast approaching. This is the first Christmas we've been on our own without any family around. It was definitely a more quiet Christmas, but it was good to start and continue our own tradtitions with our family. Christmas Eve we went to a church that had a Christmas celebration. Camden LOVED it and did really well through the whole thing....except for the Pastor's sermon. :) (Thank goodness it wasn't very long!) Then Christmas morning I made Cinnamon Rolls again, and they were fabulous! :) We opened presents and then just relaxed. OK, the boys relaxed, I cooked all day. (Which I loved!) We had some friends over for dinner and it was just a nice low-key Christmas. Here are some pics....

Here's our 1st attempt at a Gingerbread House!!

Here are the boys checking out one of Camden's presents.

Dawson had more fun with the paper....of course!!

Daddy and Camden trying to set up his new Car Parking Garage.

Throughout the whole season I've been reflecting back to last Christmas and how different it was celebrating in Brazil. What a blessing it was to spend last Christmas in Brazil with Renato's family! I will never forget my Brazilian Christmas!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Year's Menu Plan

OK, just found a new Christmas tradition! I just found this recipe and made it on the spot....YUMMY!!!! Peanut Butter Popcorn

Is it seriously the week of New Years???? Wow! We're still trying to get rid of the leftovers from Christmas, but we'll press forward into the New Year with lots of fun new recipes to try. The Apple Challah that I'll make for the New year is sooo yummy! I made it once this summer and it was wonderful! Not sure what we're planning yet for New Years Eve, but I'll plan on cooking and hopefully we can have some friends join us to help us eat up the yummy food and have some good fellowship. Hope your Christmas was a wonderful time filled with God's Joy and Peace! Happy New Year to you too!!

Monday- Hubby is gone....probably leftovers, or soup from the freezer

Tuesday- Ham and Bean Soup (using the ham bone from Christmas)

Wednesday- Pasta, Broccoli

Thursday- New Years Eve!!! Renato is making Leg of Lamb, Marinated Goose, Mashed Potatoes, Salad, and for dessert....Apple Challah

Friday- Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Saturday- Chilli (transferred from last week)

Sunday- Traditional Breakfast for Dinner!!

To find more Menu Plans, visit Organized Junkie!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Meal Plan

Merry Christmas!!! It's been such a fun season for Camden especially since he's finally old enough to understand more about Christmas. Of course we're trying to teach him the REAL meaning of Christmas, but he's very excited about Santa and most of all the presents. :) I really don't think he understands it yet, but I know it'll be soooo much fun on Christmas with him. And Dawson will just love tearing up all the paper from the presents. :) Here's the meal plan this week. For Christmas we're just having some friends over, so we're keeping it simple. Merry Christmas and have a wonderful week with your families!!

Monday- Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

Tuesday- Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice

Wednesday- BBQ Beef Sandwiches,

Thursday- Pasta and Cinnamon Rolls

Friday- Pineapple Ham, Au Gratin Potatoes, Almond Slivered Green Beans, Dinner rolls, and Flan for Dessert
*****UPDATE****** I used THIS RECIPE for dinner rolls and they are AMAZING. This recipe will be my new "holiday" roll/bun recipe! Golden Honey Pan Rolls

Saturday- Chilli

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner: French Toast, Bacon, and Eggs

****another update****** I also didn't make the BBQ pulled beef until Christmas Eve and it was PERFECT to have during the busy time of Christmas Eve and Christmas day....I need to remember to do that again next year!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Menu Plan

OK, here we go....another week....

Monday: Tuna Noodle Casserole (didn't have a chance to make it last week)

Tuesday: Dinner with friends! Yay!

Wednesday: Chicken Enchiladas-from cookbook Recipes To Remember

Thursday: Hubby gone?? Soup from the freezer...

Friday: Minestrone and Homemade Bread

Saturday: Lasagna (roll-over from last week)

Sunday: Chili