Family PIc April 2015

Family PIc April 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Our Birthday Tradition

Birthdays are special at our house.

Each year, the birthday boy/girl gets to choose a place to eat out, and since we don't eat out as often as many families, it makes for a special treat for all of us.

Tonight, we visited a local restaurant in celebration of Gregg's birthday.  His birthday was two days ago, but tonight was the best time for all of us to go out together.

While the kids and I tend to choose more familiar places to eat, Gregg is notorious for scouting out some place to "widen our horizons."  He's always trying to choose somewhere we have never been.

Sometimes that works out well.

Sometimes, not so much.

(Like the year we visited the Indian Cuisine Restaurant with 5 little ones in tow. We walked into a place with candlelight, cloth napkins, and waiters in tuxedos.  I wanted to leave, but Gregg said it would be fun!  We learned that the service was awesome. We also got lots of compliments from other customers saying how nice it was to see parents bringing their children to a nice place to show them how to display proper manners.   I was just praying my boys wouldn't belch or pass gas loudly!  Or pick their nose or spill their drink!  We learned that we didn't care for the high amounts of curry used in the Indian traditional dishes, so it's a running joke in the family that they have really good bread, b/c that was our family's favorite part of the meal!  I have to admit it was a fun memory.  Gregg was right.)

So...this year, Gregg took us to George's Italian and Lebanese Restaurant.  None of us had ever been.  Somewhere new...a little culture learning and adventure with our 9 children.

3 brick-oven-baked pizzas...

 2 baked lasagnas...

1 philly cheese steak calzone...

1 George's trio (lasagna, manicotti, ravioli)

3 appetizers (chicken fingers, cheese pies, and some kind of other little pastries we can't remember the name of)

1 Tawook chicken...

10 waters...

And everyone was full!

The service was kind and helpful.  The atmosphere was nice.  The food was good.

$138.00 + $20 tip = $158.00 family birthday meal

This is what a birthday meal looks like for our family of 11.  It seems crazy to me that we would spend so much on a meal when I could literally have bought 2 weeks of groceries with that amount!

But, this is something special we enjoy doing as a family.

It's something our kids look forward to experiencing.

And, it's something for which we plan and budget.

It's Our Birthday Tradition.

Room By Room...Here I Go!

"The wise woman builds her home, 
but the foolish tears it down with her own hands."  
Proverbs 14:1

It's after 11pm, and I've been organizing and muddling through mounds of clothes for my two oldest sons.

For the past 6 HOURS. (minus a little time to eat dinner)

They are 15 and 16 years old, and for the past couple of years, I have let them sort through their own things to "weed out" what didn't fit and "get rid of" unwanted clothing items.


It became apparent to me, recently, that I was going to have to get in there and help do some of the purging and organizing.

Teenage boys DO NOT have good judgement about what ACTUALLY FITS. (Caleb insisted that he needed to keep his size 14 boys camo shorts. He wears men's clothing!  Nathan tried on a long sleeved shirt that was at least 3 inches above his wrists and INSISTED it was fine b/c he LOVES the color yellow!)

Compound that small fact with the mentality of my oldest to keep EVERY article of clothing because it has some special meaning to him...

And compound it with the incessant NEED of my 2nd oldest to keep EVERY t-shirt he has ever owned (especially all the orange ones).

Don't get me boys are not filthy.  The floor of their room is never covered in items.  There isn't trash strewn everywhere.

They just tend to stuff their drawers and closet with everything.  They don't seem to know what they have, and so they wear the same 5 items that get washed all the time.

Have you ever seen a drawer full of worn-out boys' underwear buried under stained and stretched socks?  

Trust me, it's not pretty!

No more.  We must clean out.  We must simplify.  

Slowly, but surely, I will make our home a haven of peace and rest.  It need not be a place of stress due to STUFF.  

I'm ashamed of the way I've neglected our home.  

I'm ashamed at how much we possess, when there are so many who have so little.

Lord, help me.  Give me discernment in what to keep and what to give away or throw out.  Help me hold lightly to physical possessions; I tend to be so sentimental!  Help me not to hesitate getting rid of something for fear I may need it in the future.  Lord, you have always provided abundantly when we needed it!!

Lord, show me how to organize a home for 11 people in such a way that it can be a BLESSING.  

Room by I go!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy Birthday To My Man...

Yes, he's real...and he's mine. ;)

Love of my life.

Best friend.

Irresistible lover.



Loyal husband.

Endlessly energetic daddy.

Devoted follower of Christ.

Bread winner.

Security provider.


(for more on what I love about Gregg, check out this blog I wrote a couple years ago...)