Still Thankful About December

As Christmas approached, many most things on my ideal to do list in my head remained untouched. Day by day Christmas approached and some of the “important” things on my list got accomplished… but later than I would’ve wanted. Christmas tree was put up about two weeks before Christmas, but ornaments waited till Christmas Eve. Christmas pictures were taken, but many Christmas cards didn’t get mailed until after Christmas Day. I was left feeling unprepared for Christmas.

Taking the Christmas tree out.

Then I thought about the Christmas story.

Christ did not come as a baby exclusively to those who were “ready” for his birth. Yes, there were those who were prepared or expectantly waiting: Anna, Zacharaiah, the wise men, to name a few. But there were others who were not “ideally prepared” for the birth of the Messiah. These are just guesses, but: Mary probably would’ve liked the birth to have waited for a more “ideal” location. The shepherds probably weren’t expecting an angel to show up with the news of His birth. Those in Bethlehem didn’t even have a place prepared for this King, except for a manger… But Christ came. He came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

This gave me great hope. Perhaps it seems a small distinction, but an important shift in my view. I realized that what was ultimately important was as Joy to The World points out, that I “prepare Him room” in my heart. Yes, Christmas decor, gifts, and cards are nice. But they are meaningless without a heart prepared for Christ.

Even though it is now past Christmas as I write this, I would still like to take a moment to write down what I am thankful for in the month of December as a way of keeping my heart thankful and prepared for Christ.

I’m thankful for:

  • A fun game of “throw the ball in and out of the crib.”

He thought it was hysterical to keep throwing it out of the crib and let mom “try” to get it back in. Easily amused?

  • Gideon putting in a fake phone call to his Dad.
  • A two year old that can handle some spicy lamb curry, impressing his doting neighbor aunties.

This grown up boy can handle some spice!

  • Cool steps on the playground.

Have yet to find two identical playgrounds.

  • A toddler sized bulldozer in the mall.

Who cares who “Bob the Builder” is, the bulldozer is where it is at!

  • The cheap and tasty world of Satay.
  • Burnt carrots not meaning the end of the world.
  • Pictures that might have future potential?

Talk about a pose.

  • A church family that prioritizes the men of the church.
  • Frozen dinners making quick work of dinner.
  • An evening spent making reservation for a Bali getaway.
  • French toast hitting the spot.
  • A husband who is eager to serve me.
  • Daddy and toddler both being eager to go out on a bike together.
  • A ladies’ Christmas tea complete with tasty warm scones.
  • Great family photos taken by a friend.

I love the “palm-to-forehead” moment caught on camera. (Photo credits to Jason!)

  • A long nap. Just what mommy and toddler needed.
  • Getting something done before the deadline.
  • A cute basket case of a son.

Where is he?

  • Dried mangoes for a tasty treat.
  • Finding new uses for toys.

IKEA barn = parking garage.

  • Coming up with a feasible and fun Christmas gift idea.
  • Completing a handmade gift just in time to mail it off to its recipient.
  • Family time at the playground.

No, we did not ask him to give him a “pretend scared” expression.

This is the same kid who a few weeks before, hated this spinning contraption at the playground.

  • Lots of laughter in a white Elephant gift exchange.
  • Time after a church service to have fun.

There is no doubt: he loves the drums.

  • The Holy Spirit bringing a timely verse to mind in prayer.
  • A sweet Christmas Eve service.
  • Tree decorated and presents wrapped.

A quiet moment on Christmas Eve.

  • A toddler being content with and excited about a simple Christmas morning.

Pouring over his new Richard Scarry book.

  • Christmas dinner with our friends that have become our “Singapore family.”
  • Vacation where we don’t have to do dishes, laundry, or cleaning.
  • Enjoying the sand at the beach.

Mesmerized by the view of crashing waves and the feel of sand.

  • Great company and great smiles.

Hurray for vacation!

  • Bananagrams.
  • A breathtaking sunset.

Worth the countless steps we climbed to see the sunset.

  • A wooden duck with shoes entertaining us while we waited for lunch.

Hard not to smile with photography subjects as such!

  • Remembering to take a family picture in Bali.

Rice fields behind us.

  • Ending the “old year” and starting a new one with a friend.
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Thankful Catch Up. Days 308-331

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have you ever noticed that it can be hard to form habits and easy to break them? I have felt that I’ve dropped out of the habit of posting my thankful posts, even thought I somewhat continued to keep track. But I suppose the purpose is being thankful not the actual posts. That being said, for the sake of following through I’m finally cataloging pictures and thankfulness notes from the last few weeks.

(Disclaimer – some pictures are random because I missed taking pictures. This is more of a note for myself, when I look back later!)

We’ll be having our “traditional” thanksgiving with the fixings on Saturday, but I thought it would be appropriate way to celebrate this day by reviewing what I’ve been thankful recently. So, on this Thanksgiving…

I’m thankful for:

Day 308: Nov 4

  • Raisins on a bun.
  • Opportunities to apply Sunday’s sermon.
  • Fun using Kale for the first time working it into dinner two ways.

That bun didn’t last long!

Day 309: Nov 5

  • Breakfast exceeding my expectations.
  • Keeping in touch with my hubby through the day while he’s at work.
  • Indian spices creating adventures, aromas, and tasty bits!

At least I think this is what the recipe called for…

Day 310: Nov 6

  • Finding an excuse to bake with pumpkin… again!
  • Feeling at home with friends.
  • A free sewing lesson for a curious toddler.

“No, no. Don’t touch that one…”

Day 311: Nov 7

  • A husband willing to spend his lunch with us!
  • Watching the toddler learn a lesson… the hard way.
  • Developing a two year old’s vocabulary.

Ever since I had him stand here for a picture a few months back, he likes to stop and ask for his picture taken every time we pass it now!

Day 312: Nov 8

  • Teaching the toddler the art of sipping and enjoying whipped cream.
  • Sharing some of the best ice cream with great friends.
  • The soundtrack of a thunderstorm and comforting the toddler.

Not that he needed much coaching.

Day 313: Nov 9

  • That the Lord gives us a wonderful example of faithfulness.
  • Cute piano playing taking advantage of different generations.
  • A church family that is close knit.

Perhaps a future musician?

Day 314: Nov 10

  • My husband liking the pumpkin latte I made for him at home.
  • Noticing my hubby put up a picture waiting to be put in it’s frame.
  • Silly picture cut-outs at the mall.

Then he proceeded to take his camera/phone out and “take a picture” of mommy through the cut-out. Too funny.

Day 315: Nov 11

  • The toddler not minding the playground slide was out of service.
  • A private swim before the thunder started.
  • The hubby making it home dry.

Only in Singapore will you have a Warning sign in 4 languages.

Day 316: Nov 12

  • Happening upon random and cool buildings/structures.
  • Deep hues of a thunder cloud.
  • Surviving an afternoon with a less than optimal nap.

Even thunderstorms have a peculiar beauty built in. Creation is amazing.

Day 317: Nov 13

  • Finishing Bible study homework.
  • A toddler with a [large] healthy appetite.
  • It not being the end of the world that I’m behind on thankful posts.

Note: This meal was made/eaten on a different day – but I was in need of a picture – and this related to “healthy appetite” 😉

Day 318: Nov 14

  • A productive morning complete with tasty messes.
  • Unexpected fun in the afternoon.
  • Great friends at our home in the evening.

Silly fun on the Sentosa boardwalk.

Day 319: Nov 15

  • Exploring a spacious and well stocked baking supply store.
  • Getting to know a friend better.
  • Watching a toddler realize that he was walking on glass.

Picture from the day before… there were two many good shots in one day 😉

Day 320: Nov 16

  • Happening upon a “winter wonderland” in summery Singapore.
  • Clean fun in the “snow.”
  • Oddly feeling like it was snowing.

Just keeps getting handsomer with time… I don’t know how he does it! 🙂

Day 321: Nov 17

  • Making plans to have dinner with a sweet couple.
  • Trying a new bus route.
  • Watching the toddler take pictures.

Lol – so funny to see him imitate grown ups.

Day 322: Nov 18

  • A toddler-pretending-to-be-dog hanging on my leg.
  • A 2/3 successful family shot.
  • Running and making it onto a bus carrying a 2 year old.

Not sure what he was looking at, but it wasn’t the camera.

Day 323: Nov 19

  • Losing track of time playing in the sand.
  • Lasagna – need I say more?
  • Date night walking by the water.

“It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas…”

Day 324: Nov 20

  • The toddler requesting and granting me an awesome picture!
  • Friends who dote on the toddler just because.
  • The Lord answering my prayer for a taxi in less than a minute with pouring rain!

What a smile.

Day 325: No 21

  • Sleeping in.
  • My husband willing to take a taxi just to have lunch with me.
  • A super quick grocery run complete with a sweet cashier lady.

Picture from a different day – but same style of smiles are produced from sleeping in. 🙂

Day 326: Nov 22

  • Sharing a taxi.
  • Messy sugar being the “sweet” fun called gingerbread decorating.
  • The toddler requesting to sleep in the big boy bed.

Rail and pillows went up the following day after 2:30 bonk in the night!

Day 327: Nov 23

  • Hugs before parting with a friend for several weeks.
  • Being able to hear each other in a crowded restaurant.
  • Laughs shared with visiting friends over fake snow.

Fake snow at its best! :p

Day 328: Nov 24

  • A forgiving hubby.
  • Finding an umbrella in the bottom of the diaper bag… after I thought it was lost.
  • Feeling accomplished as a tutor.

Selfies = bus entertainment.

Day 329: Nov 25

  • The toddler’s transition to the big boy bed being pretty smooth.
  • Two hours of just talking and catching up with my mom.
  • Getting to do Chemistry and earn money. [Nerd moment.]

A good night’s rest in a big boy bed produces great smiles throughout the day!

Day 330: Nov 26

  • Surviving an attack by a mosquito.
  • The toddler preferring salmon to chicken nuggets.
  • Skills as a toddler entertainer while playing playdough.

When I make this, the immediate toddler exclamation is, “Dig!”

Day 331: Nov 27

  • Celebrating Thanksgiving with the making of Apple Pie! 😀
  • Putting to use gifts from Andrew: pie birds and crust protector.
  • Messes in the kitchen are temporary.

The pie bird worked – I saw steam escaping through it as I took the pie out of the oven. Score!

Happy Thanksgiving again! I hope you’re able to stop and take a moment on this special holiday to reflect on the Lords many blessings to you.

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Day 307/365: Nov 3, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • The cutest karaoke, live in my living room.
  • More successes than accidents in the effort to potty train today.
  • Hearing reasons to praise the Lord from more than one sibling!

His “song” was about Daddy. Too cute!

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Day 306/365: Nov 2, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Painting my own toe-nails for the first time in ages, and having fun even if they’re not perfect.
  • Wearing shoes bringing back memories from my sister’s wedding.
  • A great burger and even better company for dinner.

Also, thankful for the tan lines that mean I get to wear summer shoes year round!

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Day 305/365: Nov 1, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Grandma entertaining her grandson via computer despite tiredness.
  • Daddy sharing potty training duties and frustrations.
  • Keeping family traditions alive with pizza night.

That smile makes it worth trying potty training for a little longer.

 

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Day 304/365: Oct 31, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • A caring husband who listens to my potty training tallies.
  • Revisiting an old favorite recipe and adding spice for a touch of autumn.
  • Nobody knocking on our door on a day we choose not to “celebrate.”

Pumpkin Carrot Bars with Orange Icing

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Day 303/365: Oct 30, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Lunch with ladies.
  • A break right when I needed one (and didn’t think I would get it).
  • Time with the husband in the evening watching a cooking show.

A picture form a different night, but the same hubby and same warm smile.