time keeps on slipping

Greetings from my vacation!  There’s been a lapse in posts as we have been enjoying every minute of our quickly-evaporating time with our families.

Our first day was exciting as it snowed all day. Not just that, but it stuck. The boys played and played with cousins until it was time to open presents. I was able to sit on the same couch as my sister…without 9 hours between us and a telephone to hear her voice.  I could hear my Mom laughing and listen to my youngest nephew exclaim, “You got a TOY!” about each and every present we all opened.We had a glorious time. After we went to bed, the weather didn’t change too much and we awoke to an icy winter wonderland. This would not have been a bad thing, except for the fact we needed to drive to Tommy’s folks’ house. What should have taken us 25-30 minutes took us an hour and we were grateful to have arrived in one piece. For a moment, that might not have been the way it worked out. We arrived, however and were greeted by all of the Briggs side of the family. Tears started flowing as soon as we got there. It seems as if -in that split second when you see someone who you have been absent from – your heart leaps and explodes, and you realize fully just how much you have missed the nearness of them.  Oh! How we love our families!

We have not had nearly enough time to do all we wished, but I am so thankful for the moments we have had. It has been hard, but good for me. I know I will feel bereft as we drive away, but I am determined to enjoy what we have.

I took myself to Kroger. Just because. It was quiet, the aisles were wide and lovely. I had a grand time in the meat department. I smiled the entire time. It was not HEB. It was the best field trip I have been on in a while.

It snowed again today. It really snowed, too. Don’t you remember how I warned all of you in DFW that I was praying for huge snow? I guess He heard me and said “sure, why not?!”  I got to drive in it. I made Tate take pictures. He obliged. I knew I would not have that opportunity in a long time. Heck, even if we had not moved, I probably wouldn’t have that opportunity much. DFW is not really known as the snow capital of the south.

I am going to end with this: Do you have family nearby? The next time you are near them, soak it in. Resolve to remember just how it feels to be sitting with them on the couch, your feet touching as you shift and get comfortable. Etch the picture in your mind how he or she looks when they take a sip from their coffee cup and sighs. Hug a little longer. Look for the details. Savor.

That’s what I’m doing.

~Janna

Gratituesday

It’s 8:48 am on Tuesday and I am already “full up” with gratitude.  (1)We were able to eat yummy cinnamon rolls together this morning as my man has a visit with the doctor later on and is delaying his workday start. That was fun. (2)I had a great cup of coffee with delicious, totally unhealthy, horrible for you liquid coffee creamer. (3) I have minimal laundry to do today. (4) I am meeting a wonderful lady for lunch today without my chitlins. I have wanted to connect with her since I had my first conversation with her. I just love her sense of humor and the way her mind works! (5) My sweet boys are upstairs playing a new board game and having the greatest time. I love hearing them giggle together. Did I mention how great they are on long car trips? They are super travelers: air, car or boat. I am blessed. (6) Tomorrow night. TOMORROW NIGHT, I will be snug as a bug at my Mommy and Daddy’s house. Oh, people! I can’t wait! We are packing today.

I just have so much to be thankful for. I can barely contain my joy. I feel like dancing all around the house in my bathrobe and slippers-singing at the top of my lungs.  Sing with me…..

~Janna

Menu Plans

Not much to post on this!  We are leaving on vacation this week so my menu is short!  I do want to direct you to a new recipe that I am DYING to try. We are always trying to bring more homemade vs store bought items to our house and our consumption of salad dressing is off the charts!

http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/blog/ If you look at today’s post, scroll down and see the homemade salad dressings.   Let me know if you try one. K?

So, here’s the menu:

Monday:  (B) Muffins   (L) Croque Monsieur, veg sticks, applesauce (D) Roast that was on Sunday’s plan (we changed our minds!)

Tuesday:  (B) Cinnamon Rolls (L) Sandwiches (D) Fish Sandwiches, Salad, Fries

Wednesday: (B) Eggs (L) Sandwiches (D) ON THE ROAD!!!!

~Janna

just when you think you are over it….

It’s Sunday and I have been up since 6 am. Let me start by saying I despise am not a fan of mornings. Except on vacation ( I have no idea why).  We were all at church by 7:30,  all bright and shiny and I had to be on stage for choir. I thought I looked so cute in my black dress and churchlady red and black jacket, y’all.  Within 10 minutes, I was so toasty warm from the lights, I had to rip that jacket right off.  At 8:00 am, the kids from the kids’ choir started trickling in. Trickle is truly appropriate. Half of the kiddos didn’t actually arrive until 9:00. No biggie.

Fast forward to the service: Pastor Tommy (tee hee) invited the children to the stage after a bit and the kids came running. I just knew someone was going to fall up the steep stairs, but no one did. Yahoo!  I am going to brag on these babies for a second…THEY WERE AMAZING!!!! I’m not just saying that because three of them were mine. I’m not just saying that because I was the choir leader. It’s completely true. They sang two songs and rocked the house. As soon as the service was over, I happily threw my shoes off in the car (not my most comfortable pair, but they are so sparkly and pretty!) and took a deep breath. Vacation has begun for me!!!  I’m so happy. I’m so happy. I’m so happy.

We had our family Christmas yesterday so the boys will be occupied with their new toys and books.  I got a book on cheesemaking that has been on my Amazon wish list for some time. I am going to try mozzarella first. I think it will be the most rewarding. Did you know that traditionally, mozz is made from the milk of the water buffalo? Since it is pretty much impossible to get water buffalo milk here in the US, it’s most often made with cow’s milk. I don’t think I am going to be searching the internet for a water buffalo milk source. In fact, the more I think about it, the more grossed out I get.

Someday, we are going to go to Italy and tour several regions we are fascinated with. We also want to tour a cheese making facility in Parma. Doesn’t that sound like the coolest?  We have been able to do some international traveling, but we haven’t been back to Europe since we had the boys. I keep thinking they need to be a bit older to really appreciate it. It doesn’t make much sense when I remember that they have been to Honduras twice and appreciated it quite a bit, thankyouverymuch.  Still, I have Italy on the next few years’ horizon. If you have ever seen Rick Steves on PBS, you’ll know exactly where we want to go.

FYI: Just in case you live in the DFW area, I feel like I should tell you that we are praying superhard for the most snow EVER over Christmas. Cold, blizzards, you name it.  Just thought I would give you a heads up!

Tomorrow, we are going to have some friends over while Mr T is slaving away at work. We are going to make cake balls.  I saw them online and I just knew I had to try them. I’ll let you know.I am also going to start packing. I actually like to plan and pack quite a bit. I love the lists. They make me feel really safe. Does that make sense?   🙂

I’ll end this by telling you that yesterday, I read something that broke my heart. I cried and cried and had to ask God to help me forgive someone for what they said about me, my man and our friends. It was awful and I got physically sick over it.  You know, I thought I wasn’t a people pleaser any more. I really did.  I thought that it was no longer second nature for me. I was wrong. I really am sad when others are mad at me. I don’t have thick skin and I would prefer it if I could make everyone laugh and be happy. I guess I still have some work to do. After Mr T comforted me and prayed for me, I was doing so much better.

Although last night was a kleenex marathon;  this morning, one of the teens at our church sang and it was so good. In my head (and sometimes out loud, ugh) I’m pretty much like Simon on American Idol, so when I say he was really good, I mean it. Anyhow, he was singing and I was on stage and I caught Tommy’s eye. My eyes were watery because I was so touched by how God knows me and yet still loves me with an everlasting love. He lead us through wilderness and brought us here to the land of tortillas and grapefruit (that’s just like milk and honey, right?).  I knew just by looking at Tommy that he was feeling the same thing.  I was so thankful to share that moment in time with Tommy and to be sharing this life with him. I was thankful that even though I can’t possibly please everyone I know and will make them mad or upset at me at one time or another…I please God.   Now, that’s a safe feeling.

~Janna

bake o rama

I’ve been baking all day. Except for lunch, (which was tasty but brief) I have been standing in the kitchen doing my thing since breakfast. So far, I have made 3 loaves of sandwich bread, 1 loaf of cinnamon swirl bread, 1 pan of dinner rolls, 8 hamburger buns, 22 cheese calzones and I am about done with 12 bagels. I have a cake ready to go in the oven when the bagels are done.  I was going to make muffins, but I am too tired. Phew! It feels good to do it, though. 🙂

By the way, I am using a great new recipe for the bagels. You should try it. Really. They are beautiful!!

http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/blog/honey-whole-wheat-bagels

The boys and I will eat an early dinner and meet Mr Big Stuff at church tonight for a community outreach event. After that, all my guys will come home and I will stay on for choir practice. I am just hoping I can stay in an upright position this time! No falling on slippery floors!  I am ready ready to sing my heart out tonight. I hope I don’t hurt anyone’s ears in the process! Actually, I don’t even care if I do…I like singing that much!

Carter has been having a few breathing troubles the past couple of nights. We are praying it is just a weather-related thing. In any case, I am going to try and plug him into the pediatrician before we go on our trip and we’ll be bringing the nebulizer with us WITH THE CAR ADAPTER.  No more stopping at fast food joints to plug in with a bonus ER visit in San Antonio.  No thank you.

It’s still chilly here and I feel so happy about it. It’s my most favorite. I can’t explain how relaxed I feel with the skies are cloudy and the temperature drops. I was made for winter, I think.  My beautiful, wonderful mother in love told me the forecast called for SNOW on the 24th up in Fort Worth. I can only hope and dream this really happens. It would be like a special love note from God just for me!!

I had a wonderful, memory making moment with my Hayden Dooda today. I had my Ipod blasting Christmas tunes and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” came up. He came into the kitchen and we slow danced. He is getting so tall, I could almost rest my head on his shoulder. I’ll tell you a secret: I cried a little. It was such a beautiful moment with him. I hope he’ll always dance with his Mommy.

Hoping you are having a wonderful, happy Thursday wherever you might be….

~Janna

Stirring conversation

This morning, I decided to read the Christmas story to the boys instead of our regular Bible/Character Building time. We read the Matthew version and the Luke version and then wound up discussing the Holy Spirit – which brought us to Acts. The boys were really thinking about it.  We also talked a lot about what is means to be betrothed. Not such a bad thing, I think.  I told the boys that now, people get engaged but some call it off before they get married. We discussed how that could be a good thing if someone decides they shouldn’t get married. Then we discussed the alternative: invite God into the process. Ask God to lead you to your future spouse.

You may think I’m crazy to be discussing marriage, betrothal and what Mary meant when she said she couldn’t be with child because she “did not know a man,”  but I don’t think it’s crazy at all. It brought depth to the Christmas story reading and deepens the relationship I have with my boys. Do you think the subject matter isn’t thrust into our lives just about wherever we turn? Commercials for Gap clothing have young girls dancing around suggestively. Jack in the Box commercials are horrible. Even “kid” movies have innuendos that are becoming harder and harder to ignore.

I feel that as a mother of boys, I have to be especially on guard at what is aimed directly at my sons. I want them to grow up to be the leaders of their families (if they get married, which I pray they do), and leaders of their communities.  Will they be ministers, like Dad? Will they find the cure for diabetes or colon cancer? Will they build or repair things with their hands? Will they be compassionate to others? Will they hold fast to the truth and be what God wants them to be? I hope so. I pray daily they will.

~Janna

Thankful Heart

Last night, I was jogging down the hall at church to open a locked door for someone.  I did not notice the wet tile until I had landed on it. I did not land with panache. I did not land with style. I did not land with any kind of grace. I was embarrassed, to say the least.  I didn’t hurt for 5-10 minutes…but then the owies started. By the time I got home, I was in full-on pain.

Fast forward to this morning. My sweet, amazing boys felt sorry for their clumsy mom and made me breakfast in bed. It was the sweetest. Toast with cinnamon sugar, an egg and coffee. Oh, and my vitamins.  AND – they cleaned up the kitchen after.

I have a thankful heart.  (And a sore back)    Oh! I love my babies.

~Janna

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