There are pictures all over the Internet of beautiful food. I give you a picture of crumbs.
Last night we had the privilege of 15 mouths around our table. With our friends we enjoyed laughter, Jesus, and food. It’s one of the things that I love most about sharing our home. The combination of those three around the table, I’m sure is a minuscule foretaste of heaven.
My Mother and I were recently talking about those recipes that you have never tried. Whether torn out of a magazine, sent by a friend, or printed out from the internet…many of these have taken up residence in my homemade cookbook notebook that I have made up so they will have an organized home to abide in. We discussed we need to use them more…so I did.
A new recipe that has been in my keeping since Montana which is 5 moves ago~
1/4 c. Butter, softened
1 c. Brown Sugar: Cream these two together
1 1/2 c. Flaked Coconut
1 c. Flour
1/2 t. Salt : Mix together and put 1/2 of mixture in greased pan
1 8 oz. can pineapple
3/4 c. Sugar
3 T. Cornstarch
1/4 t. Salt
1 T Lemon Juice: Combine in pan over stovetop and stir til it thickens: Pour into pan and cover with the other half left.
350 for 30 minutes
I doubled these since I had 15 and then at the last minute I also decided to throw in some Double Box Brownies which happen to be the easiest and yummiest brownies EVER!
This was all that was left in the pan but our tummies and hearts were full to the brim.
Dinah for The Troops
The other day we had some amazing friends over for dinner and the night from our old church in Italy. The time I spent with the adults, was lovely and quite knowledge retaining and beneficial. However, the kido’s needed some entertainment; therefore my version of the night is m much different then the parent’s version. So here it is!
Melanee Kate and Jefferson, passing time in the Chunnel.
Counting My Blessings
For those who don’t know, I just came back from an amazing week spent with my friends from church as we helped with VBS during the mornings (Vacation Bible School), and then came together during the afternoon for fun games, activities, and fellowship. Obviously a cool week like this in a different country provides many stories and subjects to write about. But as I was thinking through, I decided instead of trying to fit it all in, or focus on one minuscule thing that happened this week, I’m just going to count my blessings! Since I was there five days, it seems appropriate to name five different blessings, so here it goes!
Number One- My Sister!
Caroline has been my very best friend for the past 15 years…and though she wasn’t there with me all week, because she was either on planes or in Texas or Alaska, she still kept up with me. Caroline read every single message I’ve sent her, (Trust me, this is no small feat.) and she’s talked with me on the phone on multiple occasions. We’re oceans away, but Caroline has continued to be the best listener ever, an amazing adviser, and my best friend. So though she’s far and missed terribly, she still manages to be active in my life and one of the most amazing blessings.
Number Two- Friends who do not conform to this world.
I have found a group of friends who do not conform to the ways of this world. Though I think this picture explains enough, I’ll go into more detail. Everyone wants to be liked, to find a place, and feel comfortable in their surroundings. And because of this, sometimes we find ourselves trading who we are, and who we’re meant to be, so that we can feel good about ourselves. And in the end we’re doing the exact opposite of what we should be doing! And here, I found a group of kids who not only encourage and strive for the right things, but they are themselves, are open about problems, and they all just come together and love one another anyways!
Number Three- Seth
Seth is a baby. I’m guessing from his size he’s about six months. So here’s the background info on this. I was supper tired, and my editing system on my computer hadn’t worked all week. I was the photographer for the week, and it’s kinda hard to edit pictures if they go black every time you open them…So I was frustrated with that. Now on the last day I had finished pictures a bit early, and I have this darling friend, Sarah, who was helping out in the nursery so I went to go hide up there. And I must confess, though I love photography, I love kids WAY more. And I was secretly envious of all the other teens that actually got to interact with the children, rather than just take the children’s pictures. And there in the nursery…I found Seth. And I got to hold him and play with him for nearly a whole half hour. And this, for me, was a major blessing!
Number Four- Thank God For the Germans!
So you know how the Germans have the “You’re going to do it this way, and do it now,” reputation? Well, I can confirm, this is mostly well deserved. But the other thing I can confirm and explain with great humility is why they have this reputation. So here it goes…
Because, they’re right.
I cannot count how many times a German showed me an easier way to do something, or pointed out the obvious, whether with cutting fruit or my own spiritual walk with Christ. So though I don’t always like to be wrong, all I can say is…Thank God for the Germans!
Number 5-Great Things to Come.
So though I’m still excited about my past week at camp, (and still recovering, since I caught a cold from exhaustion) It’s not the main thing I’m excited about. I am so thrilled about not what happened at camp, but what WILL happen BECAUSE of camp. With a group of teens who are seeking after God’s own heart, and are learning together through success, and failures, ANYTHING is possible. And because of this, I am excited, and I am truly blessed to have friendships such as these.
This morning my heart is filled with sadness and gratefulness. What a
mixture the two are.
I can hardly believe we just sent our firstborn to University. I can hardly
believe we sent her over an ocean in order to get there. I can hardly
believe that 18 years can go that quickly. I can hardly believe in eight
years our home will be quiet. Well, only so quiet as I will be here and
there is just nothing quiet about me.
This week I’ve thought of something that I hadn’t pondered on in decades.
The children have gotten a kick out of it and Ed has smiled and laughed
every time it’s brought up.
When I was in the third or fourth grade we did a health lesson in school
that introduced us to blood typing. That morning we were given a piece of
paper that had our personal information on it. For whatever reason it was
very exciting. Somehow it seemed so mysterious and the classroom was filled with wiggly giddy children. I was O+ and so proud to be so, until the bomb dropped. It’s the most common blood type and for what ever reason it just burst my bubble.
Common, who wants to be common. What a silly word really as God has created each one of us so uniquely. Science proves it with each fingerprint being different. Scripture backs it up that God knows our hair count and let me tell you with all the hair that shows up on my white bathroom floor that is some serious counting and recounting…yet no big deal for my God.
So there I stood yesterday watching our very uncommon young lady ready to board the plane. We stood closely together, hand in hand, soaking up the
present moment, the past flying through my mind, and so excited about the
future. I was so grateful my sweet husband stood beside me. I was even
more grateful that God’s presence was so vivid. “Lord help me be brave,” I
asked him over and over.
I am not brave, but the Lord helped me be very brave yesterday. I will forever be grateful to Him.
So today my heart is filled with gratefulness. I am grateful for the
privilege of being Caroline Ann’s mother. I am grateful that I am alive to
launch her. I am grateful that she is ready. I am grateful for God’s
provision in where she is going. I am grateful for God making everything so
vividly clear that we’ve made the right decisions. I am grateful for two
sets of grandparents who can’t wait to be involved in her life. I am
grateful for parents who allowed me the privilege of flying. I am grateful
for the example of great launchers. I am grateful for three other children
at home who are preparing for the same moment. I am grateful for a little
guy who still has eight years to go. I am grateful for laughter, joy, and
peace. I am grateful for a new precious roommate who loves Jesus. I am
grateful for God taking care of the details again and again. I am grateful
for His Word that encourages my heart and offers complete hope. I am
grateful for Diet Coke, yummy eggs, cozy couches, gold walls, and quiet
Yet in the middle of it all I am sad. I miss her. It’s weird for our
family to be changing.
I am so grateful that God has such an amazing plan. Although I say I am
sad, I also don’t want to raise children forever. I want them to fly. I
want them to grow and see God’s goodness and learn to trust Him in new ways.
No matter what they say about my blood type, I am not common. Nor is our
daughter…for we were created in the image of God…the Almighty God who is worthy of my praise today and everyday.
Love in Christ,
Dinah for The Thomas Troops
Post Script~I am very aware this is the photograph is out of focus. My little black camera is dying and Caroline just helped me order a new one that Melanee Kate is going to teach me how to use :). I’ve kept a few unfocused pictures over the years which drives my man crazy. This mother’s heart does not care…so grateful to have it.
Last night right as we were about to eat our dinner I looked over and there our children were. Of course the picture you are viewing is a renactment but the original is forever etched in my heart. Granted I did have to tell them I wouldn’t feed them in order to snap it for you to see.
Those sweet moments that you catch in the middle of life that is flying by full speed ahead.
Caroline leaves Germany on Monday.
A new season for us all.
One that God is going to be in the middle of…bring it on Lord. We want your best!
What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived,
the things God has prepared for those who love him— 1 Corinthians 2:9
Dinah for The Thomas Troops
Move In Day Numbers:
1 Bright Sunshine
6 Excited Thomas Troops
1 Yummy Lunch Tray
15 Enormous Crates
1 Bed that doesn’t normally go together well, DID
1 Darling Fifteen Year Old that should really count for 10 average ones
5 Shirtless Men (my mother says this is CERTAINLY a cultural difference)
2 Loud Boys
1 Naughty Wardrobe that was refusing to step foot in the new home
3 Bars of Chocolate
3 Diet Cokes
4 Flights of Stairs and
12 Red Bulls (PRAISE GOD the Thomas boys did not have any)!
Though there is a lot more to be done, The Thomas Troops have accomplished much with the grace of God, and all previously listed above.
Melanee Kate for The Troops
Welcome to The Thomas Drama
For some who read this I know our family needs no introduction, but for others I know I need to at least provide a little background.
Over 22 years ago I had a moment with the Lord when I felt like He was asking me if I was willing to go anywhere He would call me. After I answered yes with every inch of my being I assumed I’d just signed up to be a missionary wife.
We are The Thomas Troops.
A husband and wife loving the Lord, one another, and our four amazing children. We are six sinners living together; extending grace and forgiveness as needed. Somedays it’s needed more than others.
When the children were little they would ask how many times we had to forgive each other. I would answer with Jesus’s answer of 70X7. Caroline was about 6 when she looked at me and said, “Mom you don’t really mean the numbers…you just mean again and again and again.”
God’s grace is so expansive and complete and we daily continue to learn to extend it to one another.
My husband is privileged to serve in the United States Air Force and we continue to see how much it is a team sport. The military member is the one who daily reports to work but our entire family serves. Our service stretches us, delights us, and helps us to be a small part of something so much larger than ourselves. It has been an adventure beyond measure.
We have just graduated our first child from our homeschool which is so hard to believe. Homeschooling was not on our original game plan but it was always on God’s plan and has been a fantastic addition to our lifestyle of frequent moves.
Our oldest will be attending Texas A&M University this fall semester so posts will be coming from around the globe.
When you ask our children where they are from you are likely to get a plethora of answers depending on the child you ask and how spunky they might be feeling on that particular day. The count at this moment comes out to be 13 locations and 15 homes. Again, depending on how you count extra houses and temporary quarters some of which we’ve lived in longer than some of our homes, this answer can vary.
The last three places we have lived have been Hawaii, London, and Alaska. I know, it’s still hard to believe and we’ve lived it. We are now in Germany which is also mind boggling!
While we were living in Hawaii and London I really enjoyed blogging for the first time creating a family journal all the while giving family and friends the opportunity to have a glimpse of what was going on in our lives. The children decided we should start a family blog in order to have a place to create together all the while accomplishing my original goals.
So here we go…THE THOMAS DRAMA will be a fun place to do just that. I hope you join us for the adventure as we continue to learn about Jesus and one another.
In Christ Alone,
Dinah for The Thomas Troops
Ed, Dinah, Caroline, Wyatt, Melanee Kate, and Jefferson