I am thankful for...
Thanksgiving. Every year, we as a nation, take a day to offer thanks. Filled with turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, peas, gravy, corn, bread, and all other feast-day trimmings. Tables dressed with fancy place settings and table clothes. Friends and family gathered all under roof. Football games, parades, and the craziest of Black Friday shopping on Thursday afternoon. However you dress it up, whatever the traditions, and regardless of what your day looks like, Thanksgiving is here.
Over the years, the Higham's have shared in a number of Thanksgiving day traditions. Most years were spent in Philadelphia, at my parents house. Our day consisted of the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, followed by a full turkey dinner with the entire Higham family. Other years were a mix of visiting family in Maryland or staying at whatever home we were living in. But the location of the day really never mattered. The fact that we were simply together, as a family, was what made our day great.
This year, we are staying home. We sat down one night and talked with the kids and asked what they wanted to do. As much as we love visiting family, this year, we decided to just remain home and enjoy the day as a family. But we didn't want to just have a day of sleeping in, laying around the house, sitting in front of TV, while Amy works in the kitchen. So instead, we are doing something different this year.
As we talked about what our day would look like, we thought, let's do something different. This year, we asked each kid what their favorite part of the Thanksgiving dinner was. As each one shared their favorite dish, we thought it would be fun if the kids helped to prepare their favorite dish. So, starting Wednesday, Amy started working with the kids to make their favorite dinner. Their are other thoughts we have for the day, but I'll share them later.
Right now, I want to simply share somethings that I am thankful for.
1. For my Amazing Wife...
Yes, my amazing wife. I can't begin to tell you how awesome my wife is. Seriously, Amy is incredible. She has been a constant support and cheerleader. She has stood behind me and beside me. She has loved me, cared for me, and become that suitable helper that she was created to be. She is an amazing mother, giving me 5 beautiful kids. I have often said, she is my Proverbs 31 woman. True to the verse, Amy exemplifies every aspect of what Proverbs 31 describes. I know I am a blessed man, thankful for the amazing wife that God has given to me.
2. For Logan, Nate, Aiden, Asher, and Breya...
Psalm 127:3-5a says,
"Children are a heritage from the ,
Hard to believe it's almost here again! But the weather is growing colder, the days are shorter, and the TV commercials are in full swing. Christmas is almost here! As we get ever closer to December 25th, I thought we'd do something a little different. I hope to share with you, over the next couple of weeks, some ideas for Christmas. Stocking stuffer mostly, but also a few opportunities to share Christmas with those around you.
For the Higham's, Christmas is an exciting time. In fact, in recent years, some of us (OK it's me...) have wanted to start some of the the Christmas festivities a little early! So from the decorating to the shopping to the gift wrapping, welcome to our Christmas series we're calling "Stocking Stuffers!"
#1 The Shameless Plug!
Okay, just so we can get it out of the way, the first in our Stocking Stuffer series is one of my own creations. I have always wanted to write children's books. Back in 2012, I wrote and self-published my first book. The idea came one night when our youngest, Breya, made her way to our bedroom in the middle of the night. When we asked her what was wrong, she said, "There's a dragon in my room." I thought, what a perfect title for a children's book.
With that, I started writing what would be my first official children's book, "Mommy, There's A Dragon in my Room!" A couple of months later I had finished the story and the artwork and sent it off to be printed. The book is over a year old and is available in both a print and digital ebook formats.
The story is simple and silly, written with repedative phrasing to help even the youngest of readers learn simple words to encourage them to want to read the book over and over again. (Sorry parents.)
So, our first Stocking Stuffer idea is, "Mommy, There's A Dragon in my Room!"
You can order your copy of "Mommy, There's A Dragon in my Room!" from Amazon via the link provided below, or you can order a signed copy, (signed by Breya and myself) from our website right here. Simply click on the link that suits your needs!
And let me thank you in advance for your order!
Be sure to check back each week as we share more Stocking Stuffers ideas, decorations, tips, and fun!
It's become one of our favorite Christmas decorations, the Lego Winter Village! A couple of Christmases back, the kids were given the Lego Winter Village Cottage and the Winter Village Post Office as a gift. They have been set out every Christmas since, and we love them!
A couple of weekends back, Amy and the kids started working on the Village to get it ready for Christmas. We try to store it assembled, but it often gets banged around a bit, so some minor reconstruction is usually necessary. Well I guess this year, there was some major rebuild required because it took them a goo bit of Saturday and Sunday to gather up all the pieces.
But now that the Village is re-assembled, it looks great! I wanted to share this with you because one of the things that we hope to do is share some of our holiday traditions (new and old) with you here on the blog. And with Christmas rolling in here in just a few weeks, we have a lot of traditions I want to share.
So far, our village consists of two main buildings the Winter Village Post Office (pictured to the right) and the Winter Village Cottage (pictured below). The post office is great. Complete with simulated snow for the roof, the Village is the perfect Christmas accent in your decorating.
The front of the buildings come uniquely ornamented while the back sides are left open, revealing the inside of the post office allowing for play. The Winter Village Post Office comes with 7 minifigures: female post office worker, male postman, female, 2 kids and 2 musicians and a dog! It also includes the winter pavilion (pictured at the bottom of the post) and mail truck (not pictured).
The Winter Village Cottage is probably one of our favorites. Sold separately from the rest of the Winter Village items, the Cottage is just awesome! On the outside, a quaint rustic winter cottage, decorated for the Christmas season, complete with greens and ribbons. But on the inside, you find a cozy little home. From the kitchen to the loft bedroom to the living room with fire place and chandelier, the Winter Village Cottage is simply adorable. There are plenty of details including the tiled floors, lights, chairs, and fire place. There is plenty to play with, or build and exhibit. I have added the interior picture at the very bottom of this post.
The Cottage comes with a plow truck, a wood shed, and an igloo. The set also includes 8 minifigures: mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, 3 children and snowplow driver and a kitten, owl, fireplace with LEGO® light brick function, chandelier, Christmas tree, wreath, gifts, armchair, kitchen appliances and bed. The storage shed features tools and firewood.
Both the Winter Village Post Office and the Winter village Cottage are retired sets. That means they are no longer being made. But you can still find them in various retail outlets. I have found them on Amazon and have created a special link if you would like to order one or both of these sets. There are three other Winter Village sets available; the Winter Village Bakery (retired) and the Winter Village Market and Santa's Work Shop. I have links for these sets as well.
If you love Lego's, you will definitely want the Winter Village for your collection. And the Christmas theme on the buildings make them perfect for your Christmas decorating.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
What do you fear?
The dark? That creepy thing under your bed? The unknown of tomorrow? Death? Dying? The loss of a loved one?
Maybe you fear hardship; the loss of a job, financial security, dealing with difficult relationships, sickness or disease , raising difficult children, insurmountable debt.
Whatever the fear, for you it's real. It's something that you face on a regular basis. And if you're not careful, if could consume you.
As I have sat thinking upon verse 4, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death," I wondered what that might look like. And the more that I thought about it, the more I determined that the valley is different for each of us. The imagery here is of the difficulties that we might face in this life and how they press in on us. Whether it's the news of cancer and a not so favorable outcome, or your spouse telling you they want a divorce, or a financial crisis bound to wreck our credit rating, or the painful loss of a child, these difficulties are some of the valleys we must walk through.
But David's words offer us a sure and certain hope. We are not alone. You see, David doesn't say 'if' I walk through the Valley... No, he suggests that we will. But when we do, our shepherd is with us.
The Bible talks often of how we will face trials, persecution, struggles, and difficulties. It's part of the life we live after the cusre. But it's also part in who we are as believers. God often uses those valleys in the shadow of death moments to refine us, strengthen us, and grow us to be more like His Son. It's sometimes a painful process, but the promise is, we don't have to go through those valleys alone. David says, even though we walk through difficult times, we can fear no evil, because our Shepherd is with us, leading us, protecting us, comforting us.
Would you take a few minutes today and think back to those valley moments? Look to see where God's rod and staff were evident. Sometimes we miss them in the moment, but after the fact we can see them. Thank Him for His protection. If you find yourself in the valley today, know that God is with you. And while it might be difficult now, remember what Romans 8:26-28 says...
"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." (Romans 8:26-28 msg)
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.