Black Friday Tragedy...

I was totally joking yesterday as I titled my post "I Survived Black Friday"...there were crowds, chaos and I did even get yelled at, but I never doubted surviving!!! I can not believe that 3 people did die yesterday...of course, lots of people die everyday, but not while shopping!!!

Two people were shot to death at a California Toys-R-Us...A SHOOT-OUT AT A TOY STORE!!! And the Wal-Wart door greeter in New York was trampled to death...people stepped over and on this employee and others trying to come to his rescue, including Police Officers trying to preform CPR and a woman who is eight months pregnant...then the shoppers complained and refused to leave when Wal-Mart closed due to this horrible tragedy. I love a good bargain, but this is terrible!!!

Black Friday Continues...

I never go shopping...really, never!!! I occasionally splurg and by groceries at Target so I can treat my self to sushi and other fun Market Farms treats, but shop...never. So, after my orientation to Black Friday at Wal-Wart, I came home, collected my thoughts, scanned the sale ads...again and hit the road. I made a mistake, however, I invited Keith and agreed to let Gid come along. Keith wanted to go to JCPennys and look for jeans. I felt his blood pressure rise and tension permeated the air as we walked into the door and saw the masses lined up at the cash register. He went straight to the Levis, complained about the price and was ready to leave. I preserved, suggested some other jeans, listened to his complaints and walked away. We did get Gid an even beeter coat (a 4-in-1 that will actual keep him warm, dry and is orange) for only $23...which will require an additional trip to Wal-Mart, but I love Wal-Mart and have several things to return.

Once we finished at JCPennys, I dropped off the my excess baggage (Keith and Gid) and worked my way through the flyers. I loved Hobby Lobby and was to get lots of Christmas necessities and one of the best buys of the day was a 64 count box of crayola crayons for $1!!!

Now I am completely exhausted, but off to our friends to do Boot Camp with the girls, while her sweet husband watches all the kids!!!

More Memories...

Great weather, fun times and lots to eat!!! Gideon is working on his swing and ME is practicing for her career in cosmetology.


I Survived Black Friday!!!

I am such a novice!!! This was my first Black Friday (and possibly my last!)...I scanned the Sale Ads yesterday (all of the Sale Ads), determined Wal-Mart would be my first destination (and even did a little pre-shopping last night...thinking I was ahead of the game!), got up at 4:35 (still very confident), had laid out my clothes (I was planning ahead), but could not find our keys in the dark, borrowed Leta's keys and Keith's credit card (since my purse was in our locked car with the missing keys), and my adventure began. God was already pouring out His grace and mercy, when I barely missed hitting our car with Leta's car (car repairs would have made the $8 coat for Gideon...the only thing I really needed...seem a lot more expensive!!!).

As I turned the corner to Wal-Mart at 4:50, I started laughing at my stupidity and inexperience with Black Friday! Every parking space was occupied, cars were lined up around the edges and fbegining to fill the field next to Wal-Mart. Common sense would have told me to turn around and go home, but my sense of adventure and lack of money spurred me on!!! I could not believe the people, the pushing and the pure craziness!!! I headed straight for the coats, dodging carts and the masses...I did everything, but belly crawl to save $5. I found one of the last coats in a size 8, but could not turn around. Once in side of Wal-Mart, I could not get out! Sooo, what's a girl to do, but SHOP!!!

I found PJs, hoodies, long johns and oversized coloring books all for $4. I found great DVDs for $2 and several other toy items for the kiddos for Christmas (from Granny who was snug in her PJs, sipping tea and sitting by the phone answering my calls!!!). I finally found a cart, managed to make the rounds, ate a soft pretzle at Subway inside Wal-Mart and at 7 AM made my way to the check-out lines. The lines were sooo long, but once again determination paid off. I found a rather short line, grabbed some magazines and began my wait. I was suprised I only had to wait 25 minutes!!! OK, I spent way more than my alotted $8 for Gid's coat, but had a blast and am thrilled with all of the bargins. I am now contemplating heading to the Mall!!!



The family is all gathered and the food is ready!!!


Making Memories While We Wait To EAT!!!


Thanksgiving Preparations...

Granny and her little helper are preparing the turkey!!! ME only had time to smile for one picture, because she is very busy!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Give thanks today!
Give thanks to the Lord!
Give thanks to the Lord, for HE IS GOOD!!!
His faithful love endures FOREVER!!!

Praise the Lord!!!
Happy are those who fear the Lord.
Yes, HAPPY are those who delight in doing what He commands.

My heart is confident in you, O God;
no wonder I can sing your praises!!!

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness.
Let the whole world know what He has done!

Not to us, O Lord, but to you goes all the glory!!!

This year has been filled with trails and triumphs; tears and laughter; gains and losses; many changes~major changes, but we rejoice through it ALL that God is at work and He is faithful. We are confident in the Lord, trust in Him alone to lead us (not simply point us in the right direction, but take our hand and walk with us), provide for us (a home when we have no place to live; clothes when we have none to wear; a car or a bike or the energy and ability to walk to where we need to go; friends to surround us, encourage us and love us where ever we may be) and sacrifice for us (gave His son, His one and only son, so that we can experience freedom and the abundant life with Him)...the Lord has done all of this and so much more!!! Blessed be the name of he Lord!!!

We pray that this Thanksgiving you would see the Lord at work in your life, place your trust in HIM and give thanks for all He has done for you!!!

A Great Day...

Resting with a movie and peace and quiet!!!

Happy Birthday Troy!!!

Happy Birthday to the coolest big brother ever...OK, you are my only brother, but you are AWESOME!!! I love you and hope you have a great day!!! Aren't you almost 40...you are for sure if you round up!?!?

Thanksgiving Memory...

Thanksgiving Day 2007 was one of my favorites. Things like turkey, Stove Top, pumpkin and pecans are Thanksgiving necessities, but can be difficult to find in Russia. Last year, I drove to Metro (an accomplishment in and of its self!!!), found 2 frozen, skinny, little turkeys (that were sooo not cheap!!!) and was elated!!!

I studied how to brine a turkey, prepared my 2 precious babies for our mouth watering feast and dreamed (not for long, since I was up at 4 AM to begin cooking!!!) about the sacrifice they had made to bless our Thanksgiving Day!!!

We pulled all of our resources together and joined our dearest colleagues, friends and Russian family for a fabulous Thanksgiving Celebration I will never forget!!!

Tomorrow, we will spend Thanksgiving Day with the Sullivan clan...the first Thanksgiving all (or at least most...Cody, Leslie and Kyle~We miss you guys, but are thankful at least some of us have jobs!!!) will be together. I am already stuffed and my pants are squishing into my sun burnt belly (how long must I be reminded of my stupidity!!!).

This is an unexpected blessing that resulted from our failed return to Russia. We have sooo many thanks to be thankful for...practically free, fat turkeys; sweet Bakers who prepared our pies (thanks Wal-Mart!!!); and our sweet family to stuff our faces with and discuss our misery and regrets for that last plate full we ate!!! I love Thanksgiving!!!

Please join me in praying for our dear Russian teammates who are really struggling this Thanksgiving. Yesterday, they received horrible news and are experience a great sense of loss. Pray God's will would be made evident to them and His grace, mercy and loving kindness would rain down upon them!!!

Guys, I love you and am praying for you!!! I hope this same smile covers your face this weekend as you wait upon the Lord.

Praise God even when you don't understand what He is doing.
Henry Jacobsen


Thanksgiving Day Warning...

I just discovered the most horrible news...I would advice you to stop reading!!!

OK, just remember I told you that you should not read any further, but since you insist...

Did you know that the average person consumes 3,000-4,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day!?!? That is so horrible...especially since by the time Thanksgiving officially arrives, I will have already celebrated 3 other times!!!

It gets worse...there are approximately 229 grams of fat in the usual Thanksgiving meal (the recommended daily intake is 44-77 grams!!!). And if all of that was not bad enough, you will have to run 39 miles or do 6 hours of high impact aerobics to burn off all of those calories!!!

We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving anyways!!! We are headed to New Mexico tonight after Gideon's basketball practice and I have packed lost of stretchy pants to accommodate all of the extra calories and my burnt belly!!!



Grandpa and Grandma gave Gideon a special desk for homework!!! It is perfect with lots of storage!!! Gideon loves it and hopefully it will help him learn lots!!! Thanks Grandpa and Grandma!!!


Thanksgiving Feasting Continues...

Tonight, we had Thanksgiving dinner with our Church family. We had a great time laughing, feasting and fellowship, while the kids ran wild being silly and having a great time. We are so thankful for VBC!!!

An Afternoon "At The Beach"

As you probably have already learn, I am very transparent. About the only thing I will not share is my weight (and will share even that on a good day!) Sooo, I recently became a Mystery Shopper!!! I thought that it would be a fun way to make a little additional cash and maybe get a few free meals. However, after 3 telephone calls and an additional $10, I agreed to spend the afternoon at the beach...OK, "At The Beach" is actually a Tanning Salon! I do not tan, have not attempted to alter my skin color in years, have not payed to tan since the 80's and do not care that I am pasty white!!! However, a free tan, an addition $10 and a very sweet, desperate representative pursued me to tan...however, I am not tan, not even one shade darker but burnt...really burnt!!! I guess I will be spending my extra $10 on aloe vera lotion!!!


Phillips Family Thanksgiving...

Today, we celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents. It was a great day...just seeing my dad brings a smile to my face!!! Barbara worked hard cooking and I worked hard eating...we make a great team!!! Seriously, she made a fabulous ham (I had 4 pieces before lunch was even served, 2 servings at lunch and ham sandwiches for dinner!!!), all the trimmings and delicious pies!!!

To my totally sweet Russian teammates and dearest friends...I wish you could have been here to share the pie...I thought of each of you and the many Thanksgivings we have shared as I stuffed my face!!! I love you guys!!!

ME anxiously waiting for FOOD!!!

Fun times and fabulous memories!!!

And of course a trip to Grandpa and Grandma's would not be complete without fishing...no matter how cold it is!!!

Thanks Grandpa and Grandma for an unforgettable day!!!

A Morning With Anne...

A day in Enid would not be complete with a visit with the Abernethy's. We had a delightful morning with hot cider, pumpkin bread and fabulous time of fellowship!!! I am so thankful for the treasures of love, encouragment and wisdom I always find with the Abernethys.


The 2nd Annual Thanksgiving With A Twist

We had a blast kicking off Thanksgiving festivities with our totally awesome Sunday School Class!!! We ate until we thought we thought we would burst (or at least I did!!!) and then acted like we were still in High School (no offense to those who still are) being totally silly, a little competitive (OK, it was cut throat competition!!!) Scavenger Hunt!

We loved hanging out with our friends,

making new friends (Angie from Colombia and Georiga from Nigeria),

and pure silliness!!! We went on a scriptural scavenger hunt...finding items that represented the given scripture references. Of course time was limited and interpretation was questionable, but I laughed so hard tears were running down my cheeks!!! I still think that scissors could represent a double edge sword!!! I love you guys and had a great time...even though it was sooo not a tie!!! :-)

Thanksgiving Kick-Off...

This is a typical portrait of The 4 Sullivans...ME pouting that she did not get her way; Gideon having a ball doing his own thing; and Keith and I throwing our hands up, trying to laughing at the whole mess!!! We hope you have a great week and remember all the things you have to be thankful for!!!


I love reading exercise magazines, watching The Biggest Loser and dreaming of running in a race (with out literally dieing), but honestly I am sooo lazy, have very little motivation and no tolerance for pain. I like the idea of being in shape and full of energy, but wonder if my dream will ever become a reality. Keith and I went to a class this morning called Boot Camp. I walked more than ran, stood more than squatted and the entire time was wondering when my heart would leap right out of my chest!!! I am off to reward my pathetic attempt at exercising and drown my sorrows in a bowl of ice cream!!!


A Mouse WAS In The House

Last night, when we returned home from Church...tired, whiny and hungry....ME started screaming. OK, she was already whining so much, her screams didn't really startle me, until Keith said, "There's a mouse!" Of course, I didn't believe him, until ME jumped up on the chair (screaming even louder), Keith grabbed the broom and Gideon started asking questions. I said, "Can you please wait until I have made my PBJ?" We have learned that mice are fond of peanut butter and I didn't want to have to share my sandwich!!!

This afternoon, after the third trip to Wal-Mart, Keith is victorious and is going after the rest of the family who reside in the attic!!! To see pictures, which I refuse to post pictures of our dead, unwanted house guest, may it rest in peace, please see Keith's Facebook page...for those of you who still do not have a Facebook account, this is not a reason to get one!!!


Is Gideon Sick?

Gideon woke-up sick. How do you really know if your kid is truly sick or just hoping to ditch school?!? ME was sick earlier this week and ME and I both have been coughing. Gideon has never pretended to be sick before, but he might consider it now! When in doubt, my solution is always...submission, "Go ask your daddy!" :-)


ME and I were having such a fun time visiting with friends, we were late to pick-up Gid!!! OK, only 5 minutes and would have been even less if I would not have told ME to run. She fell and "broke her leg"...OK, she is very dramatic!!! She scrapped her knee, but everyone around us thought she had broken it, because she was crying so loudly. I scooped her up and walked as fast as I could caring a 35 pound, screaming, little girl. We found Gid waiting in the gym and his teacher outside searching for us, because Gideon was worried we had forgotten him!!!

He got green today and daddy promised him that they could go shopping for a basketball. He is loving basketball and has told everyone who would listen about his 7 baskets!!! Thanks Houk gang for the Birthday gift card, which purchased the ball! We love and miss you guys!!!


Lessons I Am Learning...Or At Least Trying!!!

I just finished the final day of Beth Moore's Stepping Up: a journey through the Psalms of Ascent. Even though it is a six week study, it has taken me almost half a year! I have had many distraction, done several other studies, but have continued my journey with the Lord through these precious Psalms. It has been amazing the way the Lord has used this study to speak to me over the past 6 months. He has taught me to cry out to Him, "A Psalmist not only gives God praise but also pours out their heart in intimate disclosure"; He has surrounded me with His mercy, protection and righteousness; He has calmed my spirit as we walk with Him through this journey; He has reminded me of His faithfulness and goodness; and today He taught me about being blessed.

"To bless God is to acknowledge gratefully what He is; but to bless men, God must make of him what he is not and give him want he has not." The more we learn about God, the more we understand that the primary reason He asks us to surrender everything to Him is to make room to receive what He wants to give.

First Practice

Tonight was the beginning of a new adventure. A month ago, Gideon didn't really even know what basketball was and wasn't very sure he really wanted to find out!!!

The Green Waves got acquainted with basketball and their new team mates.

Gideon loved shooting the ball and...

made 7 baskets!!! I was shocked and thrilled...but mainly shocked!!!

Meet a few other Green Waves...

The Proud Mothers and Green Wave Cheering section!!!

Future Green Waves...

Future Green Waves getting bored and contemplating a new career path as Artists!

And the fabulous, extremely patient Assistant Coach!!! Thanks for helping our kids explore the world of basketball!!!

Go Green Waves!!!