Family Life, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

Why am I Thankful?

‘The more you practice the art of thankfulness, the more you have to be thankful for.” – Norman Vincent Peale

When I think about what I am most thankful for, it’s never anything I own. It’s always my family and friends. The people we do life with. The ones who get you through the hard times that make the good times so much sweeter. I’m thankful for my house but I am more thankful for the people inside who make it a home. I’m thankful for my car, but I am most thankful it gets me safely to North Carolina and Tennessee to spend time with family. I’m thankful for all of the Thanksgivings spent lingering around the table talking with loved ones, some who are no longer with us. I’m thankful for memories of Thanksgivings past. The tears my Grandfather Gordon always cried when the whole family gathered in my Grandparents’ kitchen and held hands as my Dad prayed. He was the only one who could get through a prayer without crying. My Grandfather always treasured seeing his family gathered together. It moved him to tears every holiday. I’m also thankful for Thanksgiving memories made with my in-laws. We’ve spent Thanksgiving at the beach, different houses; one year everyone crowded in our tiny three bedroom house to celebrate Thanksgiving and to celebrate the birth of my youngest daughter. Even with all us crammed in that tiny space my heart was so full.x

“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is. – Ernest Hemingway

So today, let’s list-actually write down or type out what we’re thankful for. List the little stuff…like the sunshine dancing on the floor, lighting up the room after a week of rain. Or the art work or photograph that makes you smile every time you walk by. The smell of something yummy cooking or the scent of some delicious takeout. I made a list to share of what I’m thankful for. As I wrote it, I felt like they say the grinch did, and my heart grew three sizes.

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.‘ – Willie Nelson

What I’m thankful for.

A wonderful, amazing husband, two sweet girls and two loving eccentric old lady dogs.

A house that is now home. Fully renovated and repaired.

A tribe of amazing friends. I never thought I would have such amazing girlfriends in my life but I really do.

I have two sisters living in Georgia. One is only fifteen minutes away.

Sunsets.

My bother- in -law is home safe after almost a year in Afghanistan.

This month I got to spend time with all four of my sisters. Really good quality time.

The beach.

I have three adorable nephews and three adorable nieces.

I’m thankful for my large shower. After ten years of trying to balance on one leg crammed in a corner, in our old house, this large shower still makes me happy.

Traveling.

I’m thankful for all the trees around our house that are gorgeous red and yellow colors.

Good food!

I’m thankful for a dinning room full of tropical house plants that make my heart sing when I walk by.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to homeschool our girls.

Sushi and sake.

I’m thankful for art, music and classical education.

I’m thankful for long summers and short winters.

I’m thankful for hard seasons that make sweet seasons even sweeter.

I’m thankful for my grandparents. I’m thankful my daughters got to meet all four of them and still get to spend time with my Memom and Granddaddy Wilder.

I’m thankful for my huge extended family.

I’m thankful for the 13 foot Christmas tree my husband picked out in true Griswold style.

I’m thankful for the men and women serving our country.

For the missionaries spending their Thanksgiving in a different country away from their family.

I’m thankful for Whole Foods bakery making gluten free pecan pie.

I’m thankful for a pool where we made so many good memories with friends and family this summer.

I’m thankful I can call my mom whenever I want to.

I’m thankful my youngest daughter is so creative.

I’m thankful my oldest daughter is a little scientist.

I’m thankful God is the same God who created the world, changed the hearts of kings and then sent us His Son.

I’m thankful for forgiveness and salvation.

I’m thankful I’m the daughter of the Most High Warrior.

I’m thankful my kids love Jesus.

I’m thankful for coffee.

I’m thankful for extra thick memory foam on a king sized bed.

I’m thankful for sparkle lights .

I’m thankful for Christmas.

I’m thankful for Disney World. And being able to be a kid again.

I’m thankful for my wonderful family I was blessed with when I got married. Now I can say I have six sisters.

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” Maya Angelou

I am thankful for you, reading our blog each week and coming along on this journey with us. Comment and tell me some of things you’re thankful for this year and if you’re already decking the halls or waiting until after Thanksgiving to decorate.

” What if today, we were just grateful for everything?” – Charlie Brown

I wanted to share some pictures of the people and things I’m thankful for. Post some pictures what you’re thankful for in the comments!

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military, Motherhood, Uncategorized

At Home in the Military

Oftentimes in the military you hear folks refer to “home” as a state. California, North Carolina, Texas, etc. Home is where you were raised, where you came from before the military. Most of the time it’s the place you go back to every chance you get. Since marrying a soldier I have always felt a little odd referring to our home state as our home although that’s the normal thing to do. My husband and I were both raised in NC. Both of our families are still there. We think of it as home. Yet, I still feel strange calling it that. It doesn’t feel right. Since we’ve been married “home” for us has already been in 4 different buildings and two different states. We get to move around a lot and make new homes all of the time. We’ve lived in an apartment, a big house, a town house and even our friends’ house! That’s Army life. I want to think of our home as the place we are now. Not where we were or where we may end up in our future. Home is our family. It is wherever we are together. When my husband is deployed, he cannot wait to come home. I cannot wait for him to come home. That is wherever we are together again.

 

Here is a little look into our current home. This is the home where I found out I was pregnant with our sweet Benjamin who is now born. However in these photos I was over 20 weeks along with him. We were gearing up for another baby and another deployment. Our friends from Bible Study own a photography business Our Mighty Song Photography. You can see their beautiful work on their website: https://www.ourmightysong.com/  Lynnea does REALLY beautiful photojournalistic style of photography. We were so pleased she came to our house to take these for us. Now we will always be able to see the memories of this little townhouse and this season of life that we were in. Daddy gets off work, Ayelee is over the moon excited that he’s arrived. We love to do everything together with our kiddos. Eat, play and say goodnight. Here is a typical evening in the Griffin home!

 

View More: http://ourmightysong.pass.us/cateandgabe

The above photo is a more accurate picture of life right now. Except I’m not always smiling. Sometimes I’m pulling my hair out! But that’s what you do in your own home. You are able to cry and laugh at yourself and miss the ones you love. I sure do miss my sweet soldier. His little girl does too. We cannot wait for daddy to be able to tuck his sweet Ayelee in bed again. View More: http://ourmightysong.pass.us/cateandgabe

Homeschool, In the Kitchen: Recipes and More, Motherhood, The Creative Home, Uncategorized

Strawberries & Weeds

 

We were out playing in the backyard by the slide and these purple little flowers caught Ayelee’s attention. I love how simple a child’s delight can be. I wondered when was the last time I ever picked wildflowers?

We played out in the sun until Ayelee started to almost turn pink and then we went inside for some refreshing strawberries and “Gentle Sweet.” Gentle Sweet is a stevia and xylitol mix that I buy from http://www.trimhealthymama.com. It tastes just like powdered sugar (to me it tastes better!) and I know it’s having zero impact on Ayelee’s blood sugar levels or her teeth. I highly recommend Gentle Sweet. It is also a wonderful sugar substitute for baking.

 

Ayelee kept giggling as she ate. She couldn’t help but show her enthusiasm for the delicious snack. I’ve had so much on my mind lately and I need to slow down. I think about Ayelee’s joy in finding the purple flowers or relishing the sweet and juicy strawberries one bite at a time and I wonder…the extent of her joys are in these purple flowers or our hugs or our story-time. Her biggest worry right now is that mommy will tell her “No more strawberries.” She doesn’t know what trials look like yet. She doesn’t know there is even greater joy around the corner and with greater joy comes greater heartache. My husband Gabe is currently serving overseas. She is probably confused that her daddy is still “on an airplane” but she is shielded from the reality of his situation. She is just so trusting. In that moment, I wanted to be as amused and excited about purple flowers as much as Ayelee. I thanked God for his goodness and His glory displayed in all things. In Gabe being overseas and in His hands. In purple flowers and in Ayelee’s innocence. Even in the refining moment of being humbled by a child.

 

Ben Ben wasn’t as excited about strawberries as we were :p Pictured above is this sweet little aloe plant that I found at Aldi. I love Aloe Vera plants for their healing powers. Growing up my mom always kept a huge Aloe plant in the house and used it on our cuts. Now I like to use it not only for cuts but for my skin! Aloe leaves contain a plethora of antioxidants including beta carotene, vitamin C and E that can help improve the skin’s natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated. It also reduces stretch marks so it is a great moisturizer during and after pregnancy. If you aren’t about plants then I highly recommend this pure, non-GMO, food grade aloe vera gel for your skin and hair…
Organic Aloe Vera Gel Great for Face, Hair, Sunburn, Acne, Razor Bumps, Psoriasis, Eczema – 12 oz.