Monday, November 30, 2009


We had a great time this past week in FabEuless with my family. We had a late night drive on Wednesday...but got there in time for some turkey!
We enjoyed yummy thanksgiving with my whole family and I ran my Turkey Trot amidest the 12,000 people in a good time. I had a blast. I will hopefully do it again!

Friday we hung around the house and then Saturday we got to go see the Blind Side and take the boys to meet Santa.
It was a great trip!

Gracey, Lauren,
Cameron, John and Caitlyn


Not too fond of Santa!!!

Silver Bells

Silver's Christmas time in the Stroh House....
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Finishing it out

For today, I am thankful for my sweet friend, Erin. I have known this wonderful gal for 10 years! When I first met her it was at our freshman week at HPU and her brother, Clee, introduced us...I thought she was like 14. But she wasn't. She too was a freshman! We soon became quick friends and later roomed together for our sophomore through senior year. We have been in each others weddings, seen our kiddos be born, and just have had fun having life together. When I lived in Charlotte she even flew out to ride home with me that Christmas so I didn't have to drive alone. We even made t-shirts :).
Erin, Jens and Katelyn I am so thankful for you!

Now for tomorrow since I won't be on the computer, I am thankful mostly above all else for my salvation. God is so kind and so gracious to us through his loving kindness of sending his son, God in flesh, to come live a perfect life and to die as an atonement for our sins. He made a way for us when he didn't have too. For that, I am most thankful on Thanksgiving and every day.

So in recap: (Not in order of importance but of listing!)
1. Nate
2. Holly, Clee and Payton
3. HAFBC Student Ministry
4. Blake and Owen
5. Our friends, the Bates' and the Avra's
6. Mom
7. Veterans
8. Dad
9. Pete, Whitney, Tracey and Matt
10. Texas Children's Hospital
11. Peggy
12. Friends from out of state
13. Good health
14. Time with family
15. Jean and Tom
16. Erin!

I really could keep going...there are so many things I am thankful for. But for your sake...I won't!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

thought for the day

before I sign is a good tozer
God dwells in eternity but time dwells in God. He has already lived all our tomorrows as He has lived all our yesterdays.


I can't help but remember that this time last year we were snuggled up in a wintry mix of weather surrounded by loved ones at Hotel Freeman in Dover, Ohio.

We were fortunate enough to go and visit Jean and Tom, or more commonly know as Auntie and Uncle T! We had such a great time. But it wasn't just because it was Thanksgiving, or that we got to sit by the fire and watch the snow fall, or that we had help with the boys...but it was because we were with two of our favorite people ever!

So today I am thankful for Jean and Tom. They have not just been an Aunt and Uncle, but dear friends to us. They are two of the most giving people I know. They are unselfish, kind and an amazing example of how to have a godly marriage. Jean and Tom we are so thankful for you and the examples you are to us. Thanks for loving us, and spoiling all of us!!
Above are outfits Jean sent to the boys...they say, "I'm sweet on my Auntie!"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sheesh Louise!

I missed the weekend! I was so thankful to have time with my sweet family...I didn't blog. So that is what I am thankful for - time with my cute husband and adorable boys. We spent Saturday in our PJ's for the most part. It was cold and rainy, so we stayed bundled with the exception of a run for me (Turkey Trot is Thursday!) and running to Target. We came home and decorated the tree. Sunday was church, huge nap, breakfast for dinner and then Nate went to small groups and I made cookie cakes for his work.
See why I have so much to be thankful for?

On another note here are pictures from the big O's surgery...
Umbilical hernia

I got my 'Raffe and I am ready to go! Feeling good the day after - no pain meds...just tylenol

Raffe even got a hospital tag!

Now there's an "innie!" And still some sticky from the bandage...I HAVE bathed him...just can't keep him pinned down to work on the sticky!

Glad to be together again

Just to make you smile...Blake and Dada

Cookie Cakes!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I couldn't wait.

I am so excited about Christmas and I am not at all trying to bypass Thanksgiving...but...I just couldn't wait to decorate SOMETHING! Hopefully this weekend the house will start it's transformation!!! We will see if I can convince the hubster of that.
Today, I am thankful for good health. While being at the hospital yesterday I was reminded of how blessed the 4 of us really are. I saw so many sick, sick, kiddos. Owen has had to have surgery twice, but for some of these kids this was the 4th, 5th, or even into the double digits. I am so grateful that we have had as much good health as we have. I am so thankful for that.
The surgery went great. He was pretty subdued last night and really snugly! He slept great and has only had Tylenol this morning. He is already back to stealing Blake's toys :).
Speaking of Blake...he had a great day yesterday. He went over the the Bates' house and had Mrs. Ann and sweet Molly girl to play with all day. Apparently he had so much fun that when Daddy went to pick him up...he screamed and clung to Ann, then to Molly, not wanting to leave. He then came home FULL, and I mean FULL, of energy...he was making laps in the house!
I will post a picture of Owen's belly pre-op soon...many of you have asked what/why we were operating on you can see for yourself!
Thanks for the thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yeah God!

So today gets another "thankful!"
Yeah God the Caskey boys made it the first 24 hours! They are doing great and are planning on flying back to SC tomorrow!
Please keep praying for these little guys...the road is not over...

A circle is round

it has no end...that's how long you're going to be my friend...

Thank you girl scouts!

Today will be a some what long post. I am sitting at my desk and thinking of how blessed I am to have so many wonderful friends all over the place! I am so fortunate that those friends stay in touch with me through calls, emails, facebook, texts, visits...I am overwhelmed at their ability to love me even though miles are great.

So today girls that live in other states...this is for you...

I am thankful for:

Abbey, Todd and Allen (North Carolina)

Bianca, Matt, Caelyn and Urijiah (North Carolina)

Lindsay, Hal and Drew (Florida)

Kirsi, Brent, and Taryn (Minnesota)

Robin and Chris (Colorado)

Melodee, Jeff, Josie and Baby Crank (California)

And of course our friends that are too numerous to even begin to mention in Mississippi!

There are so many other friends we have in so many other states. These girls, minus Lindsay, were some of the bridesmaids in my wedding. We met the Ramsey's here in Houston and they moved to Florida about a year and a half ago.

The best thing about this is that miles really don't seem to matter. Time really doesn't either. We can pick up a phone after months and it feels the same as if we were together yesterday. I have numerous great memories of these girls and I love to reflect on them but our friendships don't live in the past, but the present.

I would also like to mention that every single one of them has come to visit me at some point.

I am also so blessed that each of these girls have an amazing relationship with the Lord, love their husbands and children (or dogs, Robin!) and are each women I respect greatly. Their giftings are so different that each one plays such a special role in my life. But above all I know if I ever needed anything I know they would be here.

Girls, thanks for being least in heart!

Love you all!

Side bar:

Check out these cute shirts I made! I totally stole the idea from some one's blog! But COME ON! I am not crafty and look at this!

My little turkeys! And look how similar they look here!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In law and in love :)

Today I am thankful for my mother in law I know some people really get the short end of the stick when they marry into a family. But not me. I really am so blessed to have married into the family I did. From day 1 of meeting Peggy she has loved and accepted me like she had known me my whole life. She also loves my family - like my parents and siblings. It is amazing to me that even though they live in different states there is genuine love and care that abounds.

So Peggy, thank you for always welcoming me with open arms. For being excited about Nathan and I's life together. For being a great Grammy, friend, mom, and one good shopping buddy!

On one other note. We got the privilege of having dinner with the Caskey's last night. They were such a fantastic couple and we really enjoyed sharing fajitas and stories with them. They had their surgery this morning at 730. Please keep praying for their little guys. The first 24 hours is the first big milestone to cross. BTW...we had a crazy little duo with us last night that were described in their blog as "bubbly and energetic"...I think that was gracious wording :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dust yourself of and try again

try again...if at first you don't can dust it off and try, try again...
I am singing that in my head because I totally missed yesterday in my challenge!
Ahh man!
But today I am back on and will hit it off with two things I am thankful for!
Thing 1: This will seem a little silly...but Texas Children's Hospital! Not only did they save Blake and Owen, but my pediatrician works for them also. And I think she is the best in the world! Today the boys had an appointment and she told me that she would be praying for Owen this Thursday when he has surgery (yes, O's having surgery :)). awesome is that?
She also likes to tell me all the time that they are miracles and I completely agree! TCH has also allowed us to continue to meet other couples with TTTS. I was recently introduced to a new family, the Caskey's, who have TTTS.
Actually, TCH didn't introduce us, but one of my former students from Charlotte, Rachel, who is actually now grown and married! Anyways because of TCH doing a wonderful job with getting the word about TTTS out, Rachel had followed the boys story. A few weeks ago her dear friend, Kelley, found out she was having twins and that they had TTTS. Rachel remembered my story, got in touch with me and got me in touch with her. I was then able to get them in touch with the team here, the best ones in the world!, and they are here today and having surgery tomorrow.

They are in town from Spartanburg, SC. They are getting consultation today and more than likely will have surgery tomorrow at TCH. Please pray for them their names are Jonathan and Kelley. Their twin boys are Owen and Rhys. They also have a 1 and 3 year old little girls who are back in SC. Please pray for this sweet family during this time. We know that God is able to save and heal! Thanks friends.

and for my #2: Blake finally is OVER 20LBS! Whohoo! 20Lbs 8 1/2oz! Big boy!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Brotha's and Sista's!

This one goes out to my wonderful brothers and sisters - by birth and law!
Pete, Whitney, Tracey and Matt.
Since I am the youngest by a few years and both Pete and Tracey got married before 22...I have know their significant others for YEARS! So, they feel real and not just "in law."
So today I want to say thank you to them! I am thankful to be so close with my siblings. We all lead busy lives and live apart but it never seems to make it weird...I still feel just as close to them as I did growing up.
Thank you for being great examples in marriage to Nate and me.
Thank you for letting me be a part of your kids lives - I really have the best nieces and nephews ever!
Thank you for taking trips to Houston to see us and be here when the boys were born.
Thank you for loving Nate, Blake and Owen.
Thank you for always including me when I was a kid.
Pete, thanks for teaching me to wrestle.
Tracey, thanks for letting me borrow your clothes when we were growing up!
Whitney, thanks for celebrating a good deal/something you got on sale with me.
Matt, thanks for being the only other person in our family to talk sports with!
Love you guys!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Today's pick is easy!

It's my dad! Today is his 57th it is fitting that today I tell him thanks!

Dad, I really am thankful for you.

I am thankful that you love mom more than you love us kids :). I am thankful that you love God's word and that you are a faithful student of it. I am thankful that you are unashamed about your faith and have a strong conviction to share it with your family. I am thankful that you are a really great grandad to all 7 of your grandkids. I am thankful for all of the quotes that I hated when I was in high school, but now think are really funny and they are always great illustrations when I get to teach. Some of my favorites:

"I don't mind, you don't matter."

"I'm not running for cheerleader."

"Those lights in the rear view mirror are mine."

"3000lbs of metal hurling down the concrete slab."

And Nate's personal favorite, "Stupidity is a choice."

Thanks for being you dad, you are one of a kind:).

We love you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

And in honor of yesterday...

since it was Veteran's Day, I want to say thank you to all of those who serve to protect our country! I think I will point out a family I know personally to represent all of those who serve.
Thank you Steve, Stefanie, Patrick and Ty Erb.
These are some friends of ours from church. Steve and Stefanie serve in the student ministry with us. They have two sons Patrick, who is a junior in high school, and Ty who is almost 11 months old! They are an amazing couple. They are so giving, caring, and kind. When we first got to know them in the summer of 2007, Steve was overseas serving (I think in Iraq...dont quote me.) He had just become a Christian and was over there as a missionary of sorts. He got to come home they had little Ty, and is now up again. He will be leaving next fall. Just last week I sat with Stefanie at Bible Study as we talked about all the things they had planned to do next year because it would be Patrick's last year at home...and now Steve won't be there. But they have amazing perspective even as they told our class on Sunday as Steve said proudly - "It's my turn!"
So many of these families sacrifice so much from their lives, to time away from their families...all for us. To that I say thank you!! Thank you Steve, thank you Erb family, and thank you all who serve so selflessly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In honor of this morning

the person I am thanking today is my MOM! I was at church this morning for an event I really do love, Mom2Mom. We meet 4 times a year and it's a time for moms to connect with other moms. My favorite part about it is that we get to have a mentor mom at each table. I love it because I simply love being around older women. They are so wise. I love hearing their stories and learning from their lives. But every time I leave I think about how lucky I am because I have the best mentor mom of all - MY MOM!

So mom, this one is for you. Thank you for being an example to me in all sorts of ways. On how to love your husband through respecting, submitting, serving, honoring him with your words. Thank you for showing me how to be a loving, kind, patient, and attentive mom. Thank you for all the late night talks, long phone conversations, and trips to Houston. Thank you for living at my house for a whole month when the boys were born. Thank you for loving me as I am, for loving Nate and Blake and Owen.

You are the best. I am so thankful to have you for my mom!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So there I was in the HEB parking lot...

With a car FULL of groceries, and two sweet boys in the back seat ready to go to happy hour at Sonic before heading home. I put the key in the ignition, turn it and NADA! Nothing happened. The car did not start! With the hubby 45 minutes away what is a girl to do?
And that brings me to my thankful list for November 10. Today I am thankful for the Avra and the Bates families.
I called Donna who tends to always be the one to run to the rescue. She was there in no time flat. I initially called her to ask her to take my groceries to her house so they didn't ruin and instead in true Donna form, she took the groceries and the boys to my house! Later that afternoon after we dropped the car off at the dealership we called to tell her we were coming home to which she said, you guys go get some coffee or a bite to eat. I got the boys! She's awesome. Thank you Donna Avra for being like family to us.

While I called Donna, Nate called Tim. He was initially calling him because besides being our friend he is our insurance guy. Nate wanted to double check about towing. Tim, also decided to go above and beyond. He showed up at HEB ready to jump the car. Luckily it was just the battery and he had it running in a few minutes. Who else leaves work in the middle of the day to come help you? Tim Bates does. Thank you Tim for being like family to us.

All of this happened in less time than it took Nate to drive from Conroe. So thanks to Donna we were able to spend a few minutes just the two of us on what also happened to be the 5th anniversary of our first date! It was a little different 5 years ago...

Monday, November 9, 2009

B and O - it's your turn!

Today, I am thankful for Blake and Owen. They are the joy of my little heart. Their giggles, light in their eyes, love for us, love for each other, never ending energy, and cutest little booties you have every seen, make me thankful everyday to be their mom!
It doesn't hurt that people always tell me that they are the happiest, smiliest babies around!
Thanks for being mine, buddies!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8th

Today is the student ministry at HAFBC.
Our family has been so blessed by this church. They took amazing care of us last year and have continued to love on us. Mostly they adore Blake and Owen. Last night we had a bonfire for the seniors. Nate and I have the privilege of "directing" this class. They really don't need directing. We have an amazing group of students and an amazing group of co-leaders. We had so much fun as Blake and Owen were handed from person to person. They got all sorts of treats, got to run around in the country and fell asleep on a hayride. Every single student there held them, played with them and loved on them.
We are so thankful for the student ministry at HAFBC because they feel way more like family than friends. And who knew 17-18 year olds were so loving :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Next Up...

Holly and Clee!!!!!!!!! (and Payton and baby #2)
Heston clan, my family is so thankful for your family. We are thankful that you are willing to stay at our house until midnight to let me almost beat Holly at Phase 10. That you love Blake and Owen. That you invest in our lives. That we can talk about serious, silly and everything in between. That you are examples to us on how to love one your family and others. That you will be friends for life!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Challenge

So, on my friend Todd's French Pressed Friday blog he has a challenge that for the rest of November you pick a different person everyday that you are thankful for and tell them why.

So Todd, I accept your challenge! (BTW, you should read Todd's Friday updates they are always good!)

So today, I will start with.............


Nate, I am so thankful for you. I am so thankful that you love the Lord more than anything else in this world. That you lead our home with a heart of faithfulness, integrity and grace. That you come in every night and give me a kiss when you get home. That you call to tell me you love me, multiple times a day. That you play horsey with Blake and Owen and that you are such a good dad they scream when you walk in a room. That you work hard to provide for our family.

The horse in action.

So, now I challenge you to do the same. You don't have to blog it...but do it!