Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Randy's Christmas concert

Hey everyone in the greater Phoenix area! Randy's Annual Christmas Concert is this Saturday night at Open Door Fellowship on 19th Avenue/ between Northern and Dunlap. Click here for more info. And come early because of limited seating.
This concert has sorta evolved over the years and become quite the family affair, with Shawn on lead guitar and Miranda and Tyler doing background vocals. I tease the kids, referring to us often as "The VanThompson Family"! But seriously, can you imagine what it's like for Randy & I to be on stage with our kids, to share in this tradition over the years! It's beyond words!
But whether you can come or not, please pray for us that night. This time of year can be so difficult for many that have lost loved ones, that are alone, that are hurting, and they come seeking some comfort and hope and truth. And of course we pray they will find peace in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks for partnering with us in this way... really means alot.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

the birthday gathering

The birthday girl enjoying her SUSHI! What a fun dinner celebration! Definitely a new tradition. Shawn & Nicole brought the best take-out soups with won ton chips and fortune cookies. I made an Asian salad with mandarin oranges and toasted almonds. And of course, lots of edamame. Then we ordered several varieties of SUSHI. And can I just say, YUMMO!!!

I have a thing for cake plates, as you all know, and happen to think that everyone should have one. So of course I had to get one for Miranda. Do you not love her cake plate from Target! You will find it in the Christmas decor section. Cake plates are so much more than for cakes. In fact, mine have never seen a cake. Miranda plans to put hers in her bedroom for all her pretty stuff.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Miranda's 23 on the 23rd!

Happy Birthday Miranda! My baby girl is 23 years old! Her "golden birthday"! I have all her birthday gifts ready and waiting. And tonight the family gathers again, this time for her favorite, SUSHI!

The birthday girl on Thanksgiving Day with her brother Tyler. We had such a fun day! We recorded Randy's parents sharing how they met and then married 65 years ago this month. What a blessing to hear how the Lord provided for them over the years.

The whole gang! From left to right, Shawn & Nicole, Tyler, Carol & Don, Randy, Dad Thompson, Mom Thompson, me and Miranda.
Ok, so I did it again. As the meal was winding down, wouldn't you know... I had forgotten to set out the cranberry sauce. And do you know why I forgot the cranberry sauce? Because I forgot to write it down on the menu that I write out every year so I DON'T forget anything!
So I have a question for all you bloggers out there. (all 7 of you that read my blog!) Has that ever happened to you? What have YOU forgotten to serve your guests?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

last year at this time...

we were on our way to Oklahoma City for Thanksgiving. Randy and I, Shawn & Nicole, Miranda and Tyler drove 20 straight hours to my sister Kathy's home. We had such a great trip! Imagine Randy & I in the front seat "listening" to the 1st Season of "The Office" while the kids are watching it. That was my introduction... very strange when you can't see what in the heck you are hearing.
But what a memorable Thanksgiving we had!

And the best part? My niece and nephew's darling kids! Cousins Parker and Kennady are the best of buds and waaay cute!

And I was pleasantly surprised to see the most vivid Fall colors everywhere! Who knew! What a treat!

The whole gang in Chickasha, Oklahoma looking at the incredible Christmas light show! A MUST SEE if you live remotely close!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with your loved ones.
We are so thrilled that Randy's parents are coming over for the day. They live in Surprise, Arizona. They just celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary this month and we plan to honor them all day long. I want my kids to hear their story, how they met, their 26 years in the Air Force, raising five kids, how they lived all over the world, overcame the loss of their only daughter Patty at 18 years old to a drunk driver and their son Barry to cancer three years ago. They are such an amazing, loving couple. I am blessed to have them in my life!

Friday, November 16, 2007

my blue bike

I had a bike like this while growing up. Only it was blue. I got it for Christmas. It was a beauty.
I loved riding my bike. I loved the freedom... daydreaming for hours while peddling along the country roads.
My brothers and I would see how far we could ride our bikes without touching the handlebars. I once rode all the way to York without touching the handle bars. York was one mile from our family farm. A little bitty town of a couple dozen people. I was so proud of myself.
I keep looking for a bike like this one, with a basket to decorate seasonally. I saw in a magazine where they put twinkle lights all over the bike and it glittered so magically in the snow. They filled the basket with shiney wrapped packages and sparkley big bows. Can't you just see it! I know we don't have snow in Phoenix... but I would still love to do that. Ok, so maybe someone out there will decorate an old vintage bike for Christmas and post on their blog! Let me know.
All to say, I am so thankful for memories... reflection... reminiscing.
The image of that red bike reminds me of moments and feelings of my blue bike and that makes me smile.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

aqua images in CA

How does that happen? Well, because I love aqua blue. And come on, this is Southern California. It's everywhere!
We had to go pick out several surf boards to use as props for the Marriage Getaway at Bo's Cafe and I went a little crazy snapping pics. Is it just me or does this picture remind you of a collection of colorful Fiestaware dinner plates. Anyway, Randy and I were surprised to find out that just one of these surfboards cost waaay more than both our first cars!

For all you fabric lovers, yes, that is a piece of Amy Butler fabric that Nancy draped over the podium. Don't you just love how it coordinates with the colors in the skimmer board!
And speaking of my dear friend Nancy... she coordinated all the details that went into making this Getaway such a huge success... I mean everything, the lovely gift bags, picking out the menus, transforming the ballroom into Bo's Cafe and tons more. She is one talented gal! Check out her amazing images from the Getaway on her blog here.

We loved working along side these dear friends that we have known for 30 years! And what better way to fellowship than over a meal at the beach house... homemade soups and stew and crusty breads... and check out the dessert on Nancy's blog!

Monday, November 12, 2007

where in the world has linda been

in San Diego!

To surf? Umm, no. Remember, I can't swim.
But last Wed. Randy and I drove over to San Diego for a Marriage Get Away Conference that Leadership Catalyst puts on and we were a part of the music for the conference (check them out here) and the first night we stayed mere steps from the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar!
What a beautiful beach house! Thanks to Lee & Sandy!
I took this pic early Thursday morning watching the surfers catch the big waves. How do they do it!

Then we stayed at the Four Seasons Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, CA the rest of the week. Oh my gosh! What can I say... waaay out of my league... fresh orchids every day, unbelievable food, our bedding turned down each evening, huge plasma TV, down pillows and duvet. What a treat! But truly another world. (this pic was taken off their web site here)

Check out the views from our balcony! Gorgeous. Breathtaking.

Met so many wonderful couples from all over the country. Once again I was so moved by the power of these truths that are communicated to these couples. Randy and I always come away renewed and more intentional in our love and commitment to one another. I am so thankful to be reminded that our marriage needs to be a priority.

Like I said, delicious food! But look how pretty these desserts are!

Here the guys are rehearsing at the beach house. Ok, I know one of them is my husband, but I gotta say it... these guys are good... I mean really good! On Saturday night they played a concert of fun, oldie songs... "brown eyed girl", "dream baby", "love me do", "love potion no. 9".

Man oh man, I am such a groupie!
More pics to come.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

apple pie

This is all I have to show from our family gathering last night... the apple pie I made from the apples I brought back from Wisconsin. I couldn't believe I forgot to take any pictures! Well, they loved the pie along with the split peas soup and the Honeybaked ham and the scalloped potatoes. A delicious Fall meal was devoured by all, along with lots of sweet love and laughter!

Later as I climbed into bed, I was tired but so happy, and I sensed some of that familiar contentment going on inside... and... dare I say, a smidgen of peace and... could it be... umm... joy?!
Aaah yes, joy. Yup, it's all coming back to me now.
Thank you God.

Monday, November 05, 2007

love my crazy kids

I am going to see these four fab kids tonight and I can hardly wait! It is getting harder and harder to get us all together and tonight will be our first for dinner since we got back from WI.
I hope they are ready for the 900 pic slideshow of our trip to WI!

These are a couple pics from Shawn & Nicole's annual Halloween party. Tyler and Miranda couldn't be cuter! What a fun party! What a crazy bunch and I am sooo thankful for each of them, especially my little grandbaby growing inside that cute little flower!

Ok, so I dressed up as a French Gardener. Not sure what a French Gardener looks like... but I happen to think I look like one. I found my "made in Paris" blouse at my little thrift store for 99 cents and I'm wearing my baby blue crocs and my garden hat and cute apron... and well, I'd say I pulled it off.
Randy's western shirt was also found at my little thrift store for 99 cents. He about died when I told him he was wearing it for Halloween! But he was a good sport and looked oh so very handsome.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

thankful in November

I can't believe it's November already!

But there's lots to look forward to... the SUNS start their 40th season tonight! GO SUNS!

My beloved GREEN BAY PACKERS are 6-1. Which excites me to no end because Phoenix is hosting the Super Bowl this year and I would love to see my PACKERS there!

What else... oh ya, 32 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yeah! Now that I'm a working girl, I will need all the days I can get! I do love shopping. But I'm not a Mall shopper. But then again I do love all the hustle & bustle that comes with the Holiday season in the Malls.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. First and foremost, I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving. I am going out on a limb here but well, I have plans to post most every day till Thanksgiving... an exercise in becoming aware of all that I am thankful for.
I don't know about you but I am feeling rather negative lately and I don't like it one bit. I am well aware that I usually suffer post-vacation blues, especially after the trip we had. It was so wonderful, so perfect. And then reality sets in. Our older van breaks down. While Randy is fixing it, he notices that our desert front yard rocks are floating in water... the main water line had busted. Not good. All in the first day that we are home. And it has gone downhill from there. We have basically had our older van towed three times in the past week. Not good. But it's fixed and running like a champ again, thanks to Randy.
So how do I remedy this attitude of doom and gloom? By choosing to believe that I am so blessed... that I have all that I could ever want or need... that HE is enough, all that I need... and that I am enough, just as I am. My prayer is to go into the Holiday season with peace, joy and contentment.
So today, this first day of November, I am thankful for my health... the health of my family... the health of my little grandbaby yet to be born... the health of my parents. Let's choose to take better care of ourselves. Let's have a really great day.