31 Things: Day Eleven

Today, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness for my church.
Chad and I go to Vineyard KC North. We love it!

I feel so blessed that we found a church that we not only like, but where we feel like we belong.
The worship is amazing.
The Pastor preaches from the Word – unadulterated and not sugar-coated!
Our small group (as blogged about before) has given us community, accountability, and support.
We are just so thankful to find the body of Christ flourishing so well in our new home city.

Today was the grand opening of the new sanctuary/lobby.
The oldΒ sanctuaryΒ was still in good condition, but our church had grown so much they were doing about 7 services over the course of one weekend!

Now with the new building, they are able to cut that down to 4! πŸ™‚

Here are pics of the new sanctuary and lobby areas…

New entryway:

Lights in new entryway:

New lobby:

New coffee station/area:

And last, but not least… the new Sanctuary!

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Do you have a church family you’re thankful for? πŸ™‚

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31 Things: Day Ten

Christmas Music!

I have always loved Christmas music.
I am that annoying girl who could listen to it ALL YEAR LONG.
Christmas music just makes my heart happy.
So today, after driving alone in my car more than I normally would, Β I found myself thankful for it – and thankful that it is being played on the radio 24/7. πŸ™‚

I definitely have some favorite Christmas songs.

My absolute favorite Christmas “Carol” is and always will be O Holy Night… this song never ceases to give me goosebumps. πŸ˜‰

One of my favorite versions… this girl can sing!

One of my favorite “jazzy” Christmas songs:

One of my favorite classic Christmas songs:

And one of my favorite up-beat songs:

I also like this song:

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There are even more Christmas songs I love and am thankful for.
I will spare you.

But if you guessed that I enjoy nearly all of them – you are not that far off. πŸ™‚

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So, do you like Christmas music? If so, what are some of your favorites? πŸ˜‰Β 

31 Things: Day Nine

Today I am thankful for other people’s kids.
Seriously.

I love being able to love on my friend’s kids!
I love buying them gifts.
I love spending time with them and making memories and taking pictures.
I love Β watching their faces light up when they see me.
I love watching them grow up. πŸ˜‰
Most recently, I love that sweet little boy named Jackson has added my name to his 40-word vocabulary.
He only can speak about 40-something words in the entire English language, and one of them is MY name! It seriously makes my day every time he says it. πŸ™‚

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Right now, the two kids I feel the closest to because of proximity and time spent together are my friend Melody’s two sweet boys: Jacob and Jackson.

Today, we all went to the Crown Center and watched trains, ate lunch, and played in the Christmas setup outside.
It definitely got me thinking about how much joy these two little boys bring to my life.
Kids are such a blessing from God.
Just because I don’t have any of my own yet, doesn’t mean I can’t be blessed by the children in my life that belong to my friends. πŸ˜‰

As I was saying goodbye to them today after our quality time and began to walk the other direction, Jackson began blowing me kisses and shouting my name – he didn’t want me to go!
*contented sigh*

Here were some of the highlights from today…

This was Jackson’s face when he saw me! πŸ™‚

Jackson with Jacob watching the model trains at Union Station:

I didn’t get a good picture of Jacob’s face today. Like any great on-the-go 3 year old, he has a hard time holding “cheese” faces for very long. πŸ™‚
But he is such a cute kid!
Picture his dad took:

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Another friend of mine in Kansas City just had a baby. My friend Jennifer had a baby boy named Bentley about one month ago.
He doesn’t know me yet, but he certainly will. I am going to be his part-time nanny in the Spring!
I am looking forward to watching him grow and learn and recognize me. πŸ™‚

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My best friend Kimmie lives in Florida and has a little boy that I seriously love SOOO much! I had been waiting for this little boy to be born for nearly 6 years.
When I finally saw him, my heart melted!
I wish I got to see him more, so I could really love on him!
But I still try and spoil him long distance! I love him to pieces!
I am looking forward to meeting his little sister sometime next year. πŸ™‚

Judah in an outfit I bought him:

Another one of him when I went to visit recently and we went to a pumpkin patch. πŸ˜‰

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Last, but certainly not least are the Bougher boys.
I probably get to see them the least, but I LOVE these boys.
I always bring them Christmas gifts, and I pray for them and their family often.
Their parents (Brian and Angie) were my former youth pastors…now they’re my friends/family.

Their boys are not only incredibly handsome, but are growing up to be some of the funniest, warm-hearted, godly young men I’ve ever seen….

Here they are all together:

Collin is the oldest.
I lived with Β Brian and Angie when he was born.
I got to hold him, change his diapers, etc.
I bought him his first Chicago Bears jersey.
I LOVE this kid. πŸ™‚

Nathan is the middle boy.
He is a lot of fun to be around and is always making everyone laugh!
He is HILARIOUS!
Look how handsome he is! πŸ™‚

Andrew is the youngest.
He is soooo sweet!
I haven’t gotten to spend nearly as much time with him, but I was around when he started taking his first steps.
I am definitely looking forward to seeing him again in just one week! πŸ™‚

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I am not sure why my very closest friends all have SONS!
Crazy!

But I am so glad they let me be a part of their kid’s lives.
I am glad they let me love and spoil them.
I am glad I get to be “Aunt Tasha” to these amazing boys.

I am so thankful for the sunshine and the joy that my friend’s kids bring into my life. πŸ™‚

31 Things: Day Eight

Today the thing I was thankful for did not actually cross my path.
So far, each of my posts I have tried to keep to something I was thankful for within the specific day I was posting.
However, somewhere in here it needs to be known that I am thankful for a good warm thunderstorm.
Since that is not likely to happen at all in December, let me just use today as the opportunity to explain.
Rain.
There is nothing quite as cozy as a thunderstorm in the middle of August.
Not the kind where there is hail, the power has gone out, and there are tornado warnings.
The kind where you can open the curtains and just stare at it.
The kind that makes you want a cup of tea, a blanket, a furry kitty, and your favorite book.

The kind you don’t mind driving in because it’s not too strong, but the kind you would so much rather be napping during.

A cozy, steady, nourishing rain.

A rainbow always comes out at the end of such storms.
The trees and grass are always a bit brighter – a bit greener.
And the world – for just a moment – doesn’t seem nearly as thirsty.

Like this kind of rain:

For these types of moments:

Or this:

Or this:

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What about you? Do you like the rain? Why?

31 Things: Day Seven

 

It might sound silly, but I seriously love the sky – especially sunsets. I honestly didn’t give it much thought until I moved to Texas. The sky in Texas is so much bigger and so much more beautiful than you can imagine if you haven’t seen it for yourself. When I was down at Teen Mania, I would find somewhere on campus where the sky seemed the most expansive and I would just sit and watch the sunset. Later when I was living in Tyler, I would take weekend drives to uptown Dallas. There was this parking garage there that gave me a 360 degree high-up view of Dallas. The sunset during those moments seemed to envelope me….

I think sunsets always stood out to me because they represented hope. I am not intentionally trying to be cheesey…. I really felt a sense of calm and peace as the sun would turn bright orange and change the color of the sky and clouds around it as it descended. I knew it wasn’t gone for good. I knew it would be back again in the morning…. and somehow, that gave me hope.

I was worried when we moved to Missouri that I’d have to say goodbye to my beautiful sunsets. But I was wrong! The sunsets in Missouri are still beautiful. You can’t see as much of the sky because of the hills, but they can still be just as breathtaking.

I am thankful for the sky and sunsets. πŸ™‚

This was the sky looking outside my front door this evening. Beautiful!

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31 Things: Day Six

Today I was very thankful for friends that drive across town to hang out with you. Nicole and Liz drove up to Zona Rosa and we all ate and drank at Granite City (this post almost became about how I am thankful for Disaronno!) and then we went shopping. It was all planned just a few days prior and was a welcome intermission to my mind-numbing school week. We had a lot of fun and I felt very blessed. πŸ™‚

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