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Giving thanks to God

Thanksgiving table at our house

Thanksgiving table at our house

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving with your family and your friends this year. I’m so happy that our three daughters, Heather, Eden, and Leah, our son-in-law Craig, and all our grandkids (missing one!) came this year to eat the Thanksgiving lunch at our home–and we even had guests, Heather’s boyfriend Andy and his three kids, Kelsey, Kaden, and Eian his baby boy. This year we had a new family member join us–Craig’s and Eden’s new baby, Willow. Our family is growing!

Ray made his special, sweet holiday ham that our kids always request. As usual, it was a hit! I made the turkey, the dressing (there’s a debate if it’s called “stuffing” or “dressing”), and crescent rolls and everyone else brought a dish. 

Baby Willow

Baby Willow

 

Thanksgiving 2017 tablecloth, decorative plates, cups, & napkins

Thanksgiving 2017 tablecloth, decorative plates, cups, & napkins at our house

Here’s our oldest beautiful daughter Heather with her boyfriend Andy and his baby son Eian. The baby is about 4 months old and so cute! Heather adores him already. The green bean casserole Heather made for our meal was so good. I was busy cooking and serving, so I forgot to take pics of the yummy food, but people are more important anyway!

Heather, Andy's baby boy Eian, & Andy at our house

Heather, Andy’s baby boy Eian, & Andy at our house

Heather decided to also have a Thanksgiving dinner celebration at her house with her two girls and Andy and his kids. Heather’s table looks so elegant and pretty with the cloth green tablecloth, cloth napkins and napkin rings, blue plates, and decorations. They enjoyed ham, potatoes with gravy, mac n cheese, sparkling cider juice, and buttered rolls. They look happy here. 

Heather & her two girls Andy & his two kids Heather's Thanksgiving meal

Heather & her two girls Violet & Annabelle
Andy & his three kids, Kaden, Kelsey & Eian
Heather’s Thanksgiving meal

Here is our middle beautiful daughter Eden with her husband Craig. Their toddler daughter Piper is a busy bee, so it’s hard to get a picture of her being still!

Eden & her husband Craig

Eden & her husband Craig

 

Piper is a busy bee!

Piper is a busy bee!

Here is Ray with our youngest beautiful daughter Leah, and then me with Leah. I love this pretty plum-colored blouse on her. She made home-made pumpkin rolls for our meal and they were delicious! The kids loved them!

Ray & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017

Ray & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017

 

Me & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017

Me & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017

All our grandkids except one, our grandson Jacob, were able to join us this year for Thanksgiving. We were able to see him today at Eden’s house. He’s so adorable and getting so tall!

Our adorable grandson Jacob

Our adorable grandson Jacob

Heather and Andy bought me some beautiful, fresh flowers for the Thanksgiving family meal. I had been wanting some flowers lately, but didn’t buy myself any. They didn’t know that, but God did! What a sweet surprise.

The beautiful flowers that Heather & Andy bought me

The beautiful flowers that Heather & Andy bought me

 

Orange lily, rose & other beautiful flowers

Orange lily, rose & other beautiful flowers

I’m so grateful that all our family was together this year. The food was delicious, but God and family are what really matter.

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”–Psalm 9:1, NIV

How did you celebrate your Thanksgiving? Leave your comments below.

Thanksgiving napkins

Thanksgiving napkins

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Blog, Faith, Family, Homemaking, Parenting, prayer

We have a new family member! Baby Willow!

Ray and I are so excited that we have a new family member–Baby Willow, our 5th grandchild! She was born yesterday and is 6 pounds 3 ounces and 19 inches long. Her name is Willow Cathleen Rose Gooch. She’s beautiful and precious!

Willow Cathleen Rose Gooch Beautiful & precious!

Willow Cathleen Rose Gooch
Beautiful & precious!

Our middle daughter Eden decided to test her new makeup, Younique, for which she is a presenter, to see if it was labor-proof. It was! Isn’t she the most glam mom ever? I thought this was hilarious. Only Eden would do this, haha!

She has always loved makeup. Even when she was three years old, she’d look through our friend Kim Weber’s purse to find lipstick and put it on her little lips. 

Our daughter Eden labor-proofing her Younique makeup

Our daughter Eden labor-proofing her Younique makeup

 

Craig & Eden waiting for baby Willow in labor room

Craig & Eden waiting for baby Willow in labor room

Although Eden went into the hospital the night before, active labor started at 7 a.m. yesterday morning. She had her before supper time, and she only pushed for five minutes—amazing! I’ve never heard of such a short pushing time!

baby Willow

baby Willow

 

Craig & Eden

Craig & Eden

After labor Eden was hungry, and she could order whatever she wanted to eat at the hospital. She chose a cheeseburger, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, grape juice, and a chocolate brownie. Her pickle looked like it had a face on it, which made all of us laugh.

Eden's meal

Eden’s meal

 

funny "face" pickle on Eden's cheeseburger

funny “face” pickle on Eden’s cheeseburger

Eden is 110% Sanguine, which means she is very outgoing, has one volume (loud!) and talks constantly. After giving birth to Willow, she was sitting up in her bed, talking non-stop to Ray and me, while eating her cheeseburger, laughing at the “face” pickle, and telling us how awful the mashed potatoes with gravy were. I was extremely amused that she had all her makeup still on and was talking a lot after just having a baby.

Me & Ray at hospital

Me & Ray at hospital

Willow’s body temperature wasn’t quite warm enough, so both Eden and Craig had to do skin to skin contact with her to warm up her body. We weren’t able to hold her yet because of this, but we were happy to see her right after she was born. We are praying and believing that all is well with her.

Craig having skin to skin contact with Willow

Craig having skin to skin contact with Willow

Craig’s parents live in Oklahoma and sent gifts to Willow and Eden, which arrived while we were visiting them. The big, soft elephant is so cute and I wanted to take it home!

Gifts for Willow & Eden

Gifts for Willow & Eden

 

Willow's balloon

Willow’s balloon

I love the cute little blankets that hospitals provide to wrap babies in after they are born. This one has ducks, which I adore. 

duck baby blanket

duck baby blanket

Ray and I are so happy that all went well with labor and delivery, and that we have this new precious, beautiful baby as part of our growing family. God is good! Please keep them all in your prayers. As a young married couple with little children, they have many needs for provision. God is Jehovah Jireh, their provider, amen.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”–Ephesians 2:10

Precious baby Willow

Precious baby Willow

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Blog, Faith, Homemaking, Marriage, Parenting, prayer

Our 25th silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party

Ray & me at our party

Ray & me at our party

Ray and I recently had our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary and bought our home. I wanted to celebrate with our children, grandchildren, and a few friends who prayed for us to buy the house.  God answered my prayer and our 3 beautiful daughters were there. Our grandchildren being there were the cherry on top, and I believe it is what God wanted, displaying His glory of what He has done for us. 

Table set for party

Table set for party

I was so happy to have our three beautiful daughters and four precious grandchildren (with one on the way) at the party. This made my whole day and filled me with joy.

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” – Isaiah 55:12, ESV

Our family, from front to back, L to R: our grandson Jacob, granddaughters Annabelle & Violet, our daughter Leah, Our daughter Heather, granddaughter Piper, me, Ray, daughter Eden, Ray's parents Charles & Sue Jones

Our family, from front to back, L to R: our grandson Jacob, granddaughters Annabelle & Violet, our daughter Leah, Our daughter Heather, granddaughter Piper, me, Ray, daughter Eden, Ray’s parents Charles & Sue Jones

 

Since the party was on Mother’s Day, I gave our daughters a hand-written, floral note card and little yellow roses inside a teacup that reads, “Live, laugh, love” to tell them how much I love them and thank them for the honor of being their mom. I’ll post more about Mother’s Day and the gifts they gave me in a separate post.

Me giving our daughters their yellow roses & card

Me giving our daughters their yellow roses & cards

Pretty yellow roses I gave our daughters

Pretty yellow roses I gave our daughters

Ray’s dad and his stepmom Sue Jones drove in from N. Little Rock, Arkansas for the party and to visit us. We enjoyed their stay.  I’m not so sure his dad enjoyed it as much, as he was busy fixing things around our house, like installing an electrical plug by Ray’s work bench in the basement (he’s a licensed electrician) and helping Ray reattach the evaporator to the furnace, which had fallen off last week suddenly (this was quite a job!). Sue blessed me so much with encouraging words to minister to my heart. 

Ray's stepmom Sue & his dad Charles Jones at party

Ray’s stepmom Sue & his dad Charles Jones at party

I bought wedding bells, silver and aqua decorations at Dollar General for our “silver” 25th wedding anniversary. I thought they were really pretty. I still have the original cake couple topper in white and red that was on our wedding cake, and set that out, too. 

cake topper

cake topper

wedding bells

wedding bells

silver plates

silver plates

silver and aqua napkins

silver and aqua napkins

I also set these out as decorations, too, on the bar at the party:

  • my wedding album and original wedding guest book;
  • the blue roses carried by one of my bridesmaids;
  • my black garter (now faded black and purple);
  • the 7 silver, one-dollar coins a friend gave us as a wedding gift;
  • a gorgeous sunset-colored rose I received at church on Mother’s Day with the other women from the pastor;
  • a white candle and anointing oil from Jerusalem, Israel, that Ray’s friend sent us as a house-warming gift;
  • and the Mother’s Day gift Ray gave me, an “Our Home” picture.

I asked our guests to sign the original wedding guest book, and said that if Jesus tarries, guests can sign it again at our 50th anniversary! (Grace, God!) I also bought bubble wands for our grandkids to play with at the party. 

Wedding album, guest book, rose & Our Home picture

Wedding album, guest book, rose & Our Home picture

The rose I received at church for Mother’s Day

Ray's gift to me on Mother's Day

Ray’s gift to me on Mother’s Day

The “Our Home” picture reads:

“God chose this very house for us, to be our special home. A place that we can fill with love and call our very own. This house will hold our memories, our laughter and our tears, and it will be a place that’s safe to talk about our fears. And so we pray that God will make this house into a home, and we will give our praise to Him, Our Cornerstone.”

Our children bought us beautiful cards and gifts: a card on papyrus paper about the hummingbird, a large flip flop picture, white candle with a shell, and shell picture for my ocean-theme bathroom upstairs. The papyrus paper card was very pretty and unique!

I love the flip flop and shell pictures and candle; they went perfectly with my bathroom colors! The pic reads, “Life is always better in flip flops.” Amen! Although I love high heels (which I wore to this party), I am a sneakers and flip flop, beach kind of gal!

Papyrus paper card

Papyrus paper card

Flip flop pic that our children gave us

Flip flop pic that our children gave us

 

shell picture

shell picture

Shell candle

Shell candle

My in-laws bought us a beautiful silver and purple card with money inside and a lovely glass 25th wedding anniversary picture frame with a picture of Ray and me when we were by the Sea of Galilee on our Israel trip several years ago.

silver purple card

silver purple card

silver anniversary picture frame; Ray & me in Israel

silver anniversary picture frame; Ray & me in Israel

Our friends Dan and Liz bought us a really pretty silver card  with red hearts (I love hearts!), with an Olive Garden gift card inside it. OG – yum! Ray and I will have to go on a date soon! 

silver card

silver card with red hearts

All of these were very thoughtful gifts and I loved them!

Here’s some pics of us with our guests:

Piper feeding her mom Eden at party, haha

Piper feeding her mom Eden at party, haha

Jacob at partry

IOur grandson Jacob at party

Ray with our friend Dan Zacharias

Ray with our friend Dan Zacharias

Our friend Liz Zacharias with Ray's stepmom Sue Jones

Our friend Liz Zacharias with Ray’s stepmom Sue Jones

Dan getting food, me making sure all is ready, Ray

Dan getting food, me making sure all is ready, Ray

Our daughter Eden talking as usual, lol, Ray, our granddaughter Piper handing Ray his pushup handles

Our daughter Eden talking as usual, lol, Ray, our granddaughter Piper handing Ray his pushup handles

Ray holding our granddaughter Piper--precious!

Ray holding our granddaughter Piper–precious!

Us singing happy birthday to our granddaughter Violet & friend Dan

Us singing happy birthday to our granddaughter Violet & friend Dan

Violet opening her birthday gifts

Violet opening her birthday gifts: a pretty summer dress, an anklet & toe rings, and daisy flower hair bands

Violet not knowing what an anklet is, lol

Violet not knowing what an anklet is, lol

Violet in her dress

Violet in her dress

My friend Liz opening a gift from me at the party

My friend Liz opening a gift from me at the party: a decorative box & pretty necklace

Our tall granddaughter Annabelle (standing) and our 3 daughters with Piper

Our tall granddaughter Annabelle (standing) and our 3 daughters with Piper

Our 3 beautiful daughters with their yellow roses in the teacup I gave them

Our 3 beautiful daughters with their yellow roses in the teacup I gave them

Me giving Ray his gift - sterling silver cuff links

Me giving Ray his gift – sterling silver cuff links

Me & Ray opening gifts at the party

Me & Ray opening gifts at the party

Me & Ray - 25 year silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party

Me & Ray – 25 year silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party

Ray & me and our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah & Eden (and Piper, our granddaughter)

Ray & me and our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah & Eden (and Piper, our granddaughter)

Our family

Our family: I’m so thankful they all were there! Thank you, Jesus!

The party cake with a silver border & purple flowers. It reads, "25 years & a home. This is God!"

The party cake with a silver border & purple flowers. It reads, “25 years & a home. This is God!”

The cake says it all. It’s been a long, hard journey. But by God’s grace and mercy, Ray and I are still together, married 25 years, and we are now home-owners. This truly was the work and miracles of God!

*******
You can read about our very difficult marriage in my book on our marriage, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light & Hope by an Imperfect Wife, at Amazon that is on sale now for just 99 cents, by clicking here:

 

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