I thought about a thankfulness post on Thanksgiving day, because there are so many people and things, and experiences I am thankful for. Even the people, things, experiences that have hurt and left permanent marks on my soul.

I make a choice everyday to serve and love God when my circumstances seem bleak, because I want God to be made strong in my weaknesses... I think weaknesses make God excited to really show off His strength and glory.

I feel like the biggest thing I have learned over this past year is that my relationship with God isn't about what He can do for me, but what He can do with me.

And for knowing that on a level that has made it part of who I am, I am grateful the most.

I am also filled with thankfulness as this holiday season kicks into full swing. I look forward to this season with much the same excitement as my three children, the youngest needs merely see a Christmas ball in the package and a smile breaks across his face.

The decorations are late in getting up this year as we were all sick in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, and now my husband is struck with a lovely case of food poisoning.

But I know in the weeks to come as we pull out the tree, and dust off the ornaments... place each Nativity in the bookcases and on the furniture that there will be a deeper joy that fills my heart. A joy for my savior and how He works in ways I can not see.
Recently I posted about Ebates on Myspace :

"It's basically just a portal for online retailers like amazon, target, barnes and nobel...pretty much anyplace I might shop online...So the deal is that I get cash back when I do my regular shopping...I like cash back.It makes me happy :)I also get referral bonuses if my friends and family sign-up and shop ...Also, you get a 10 gift card when you sign up... you chose between amazon, sephora, target and some others.So check it out and see if your interested."

With things tightening up with the economy and my family being a one income family I have really been interested in how to make every penny stretch. I don't need a lot of stuff, God provides quite nicely, but it's always nice to have some wiggle room too. God is being very generous in showing me these too and I really enjoy showing them to others too!

Someone teased me after I posted about Ebates that I was just in it to get my referals, and while I don't deny that referals rock, I want to share the wealth too!

I also just found out about Swagbucks...which is a way to earn giftcards just for websearches.

I have my own special referal link to both swagbucks and ebates in my sidebar, check them out and sign-up if you are interested.

Also watch my twitter on the sidebar for fun freebies as I find them.
“Among female students only, those who scored highly on neuroticism (i.e. anxious, insecure characters) were more likely to blog. This is consistent with work on internet usage that also found an association with neurotic personality types, but only among women.”
( The British Psychological Society: Research Digest Blog)

I'm just saying...
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I was tagged by Maggie, and since we are layout twins, I'm gonna play...

The rules are that when you are tagged you have to share 7 things about yourself and then tag 7 other people...

I'm not sure I have seven interesting things I haven't shared...

1. I think I decided last night to start a new business and I'm super excited. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and with finances being so tight now seems like a really good time. Once I get things off the ground then I will share a lot more of it.

2. I have had my eyeballs removed from my head...twice. When I was little I was born cross-eyed and had surgery to correct it around age two. That made it worse and so I had a second surgery around age 5. That surgery went really well but when I am sleepy my mother and husband can see one eye drift a little.

3. I hate saying "I didn't finish college". Last night I was talking to one of my husband's colleges and his fiancee and I mentioned it and it just sounded so profane and made me feel small. It's not that I regret my choices about school but when you are talking to someone who just finished their MBA it's hard to quantify the value of making choices that are a little less mainstream. How do you say in a brief conversation that the pull to be a mother overshadowed any degree?

4. I use oil to wash my face. It's the only product I have ever loved and it makes my skin feel amazing. When I tell people about it they look at me with a mixture of confusion and curiosity. I can explain the logic of not creating a vicious oil overproduction cycle, but even when when people are curious they are often afraid to take the step.

5. One of my biggest...not regrets...but opportunity that I missed that I am sad about, is that I will never have a home birth. Being at home is the safest place for most women to birth, and I think if I had been home with my oldest son's birth I might never have needed the three cesareans I've had.

6. Up until a month ago I was super intimidated by the deli counter in the supermarket and since I didn't know how to use it I never did. Now I have figured out that it shouldn't be intimidating and it's saving me tons of time and money.

7. I was on several episodes of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I was an extra for a while in 1994 and ended up on that show a lot. the pay was alright and it was pretty interesting but not a suitable way to make a living.

Yay...I did it... now to tag 7 people not tagged by Maggie?

Krista, Cassi, Rachel, Kevin, Candice, Brittany and Finding Normal...yay! I did it!
With my desktop dying, and my life taking a sudden turn over the last week Blogtober got left in the dust. I want to try again but no months work well with Blog in the Name, except maybe Bloguary... so I think I'll try again then.

I was most looking forward to posting a little bit about my banners on the 31st... but what's to say today isn't good enough?

September 29th:Those beautiful fall leaves were actually shot last January, in the mountains of Big Bear.

September 30th: Body wash and dishsoap acquired for about $3.00.

October 1st: A nice shot of a carafe of Espresso and my half finished cup of Iced White Chocolate Mocha. This is quickly becoming a Wednesday Night tradition... not only is it super yummy, it reminds me to pray for, and thank God for my good friend Sarah off following God wherever He may lead her. I am slightly jealous of her adventure, and highly honored to be able to be someone with whom she shares this part of her life.

October 2nd: I have this dream that I will get a tattoo to commemorate Eden's life and her great blessing to me. It would feel amazing to have something so permanent and visible, for a baby that few got to hold and meet, and who's time on this earth was barely a whisper. While I play with the idea I hennaed it. I loved that tattoo. It made me feel connected to my daughter in a new and unique way. So on a day where I wrote about birth I chose a picture that celebrated Eden.

October 3rd: My eyes, the windows to my soul. I have changed a lot over the last few years and I can see it most clearly in my eyes.

October 4th:The funniest part of this photo and blog are that they were posted within about two hours of discovering I was pregnant yet again. The photo is My husband's fajitas plate from our family lunch that afternoon.

October 5th: In realizing so many of my relationships are changing and evolving to the point of extinction, it becomes ever more obvious that God did something amazing when He put my husband and I together. So the photo of our feet on the green grass of Dodger Stadium just seemed obvious.

October 6th: The streetlights just around the corner from the awesome home in which I am blessed to be with my kids, all day. everyday.

October 7th: My daughter's beaded string things, made for my friends before a girls' night.

October 8th: Tis is an amazing tray of cookies from our annual women's retreat and while I can't get into why this was the shot of the was perfect.

October 9th: This locket was $5.60 and one of my most treasured possessions because inside are the photos of all four of my wonderful kids. It hangs near my heart an my daughter likes to put kisses inside. I also put cherished memories of nights filled with laughter inside.

October 10th: On the eve of her 8th birthday I could look into those eyes and see a depth uncommon for girls her age.

October 11th: Too Busy celebrating!

October 12th: Ice cream for breakfast.

October 13th: I wanted to put a picture of my sweet eden here, but I never took any. Every photo of her that exists was taken by someone else... so I opted for the surprise flowers left on my doorstep.

October 14th: Candles and flowers we keep to remember our daughter

October15th: On a warn autumn day i think of the beach, where Eden's ashes were scattered and here is a photo of the shore.

October 16th: The great big crash...

October 17th: I try to press on with a picture of my youngest son and the computer he has that works better than mine.

October 20th: I struggle to write the words, my youngest writes on himself.

October 21st: A boy and his math.
I wasn't going to write a "Post Election "post. I just kind of wanted to let the day pass and be grateful the election was over and mourn the choices that we made as a country... but I have been reading the post election blogs and now I can't seem to keep myself silent.

I voted for McCain. I really truly think Obama is not the best choice for our country. I can't say I was head over heals for the republican ticket, I had questions there too...but Obama inspires something like dread in my spirit.

That said, Barak Obama is now the president elect of, what I believe to be, one of the greatest nations on earth.

I now have a responsibility to not only grudgingly accept his position, but to support him with prayer and action where I can.

I can not claim to know what his standing is with God, but I can pray every single day that he will come to know Jesus in a new, amazing, and intimate way. That he will lead the country with strength, dignity, and morality.

I would love to see President Elect Obama become a leader I am proud of. To see him become more than I ever imagined he could or would be when I inked my ballot yesterday.

I refuse to accept yesterday as the end of everything. I refuse to give over my country to fear and defeat.

Just this once, I am going to hope and pray to be proven wrong in what I believed yesterday.