I Have Been Blessed

All about how God has blessed me. In my marriage, with my six children, through homeschooling, and our faith with recipes, large family living, and updates on our life.

A new page

Somehow it is 2013 already, and my mind has been swimming with all the possibilities that this New Year could hold. I’ve seen people on Facebook posting their word of the year, and although words have floated around, none have yet to take root. I can’t get past the word I have tried to set for my life – Blessed. I am so overwhelmingly, exceedingly blessed. For Christmas, my mom made me a gratitude journal “365 things I am thankful for in 2013”. The truth is I could sit down right now, and fill all 365 slots. Easily.

My dad asked me what my resolutions for this year will be and I told him I hadn’t made any. Although we will try to focus on getting healthier this year, I really don’t want to have the title of “resolution” onto it. It’s just something we knew we’d do after the stress and excitement of the holidays were over.

But what do I want to accomplish this year …. I want to pray more and judge less. I want to be a better me – a better wife, a better mom, a better daughter, sister, a better friend. I want to hold tightly to my priorities and my convictions. I want to stay positive. I want to remember that I am rich in love. My hands are full and my heart is fuller. That I am blessed with the opportunity to be in this life. With my wonderful husband. That I get to be the Mommy to these kids, in this house, farming, together.  I want to remember daily that I have everything I need and that the Lord has proven over and over again to us that he is faithful to provide for us in all situations. I want to remember over and over that I have MORE than I need, because He is also faithful to provide my wants to me as well.

Sometimes my faith is small, and God has to remind me that I am in His hands and He is taking care of it all. What do I have to worry about.

I was upset last week – the frost had knocked out some of our crops. Our green beans, our squash, our corn that was almost ready, our peas we had been hoping for …. all frozen. I was disappointed. But, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t all lost. In actuality only the tops of our plants had gotten freeze-burn, and underneath the plants were still thriving. There were still green beans I could pick, and flowers on my pea plants.

Then Saturday came, and it was raining. We haven’t  before had to do a market in the rain. I had convinced myself it was going to be a bad day. I told my husband on the way there “I think we’re going to lose money today. I don’t even think we’ll make cost. It’s a good thing your parents bought me a pressure canner for Christmas, because we’re going to have a lot of vegetables left over.” I had little faith. But I also knew we had everything we needed. Even if we had lost money and had a bad day, I knew it would be okay, because God had already provided for our needs this month. But I forgot. I forgot he takes care of us over and abundantly. Saturday ended up being the best market day we have had so far. We sold out of nearly everything. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude, and disappointed in myself for my lack of faith.

So maybe my word for 2013 needs to be faith – that I need to focus on strengthening my faith. Because God is good to us. WE ARE SO BLESSED!!!!!!!!!!

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Raindrops on Roses

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Season. We have so much to be Thankful for!! We have a Saviour who loves us and cares for us, provides for us and most importantly died for us. I have a husband I can be proud of. Who I love unconditionally. Who is a good to me, and good for me. Who is not only my best friend, soul mate, but also a wonderful Father. I am thankful for Brendyn, and Tyler, Madelynne and Adreya, Wyatt, and Cassidy. I am thankful my kids are healthy and growing and sweet, and loveable, and mostly good kids.

I am thankful for my Family – My Mother, My Father, My sisters, My in-laws, My nephews and my nieces. My aunts and uncles, my grandparents, my cousins. I am thankful for my friends in whichever category they fit in – church friends, homeschooling friends, scrapbooking friends, old friends, new friends. I am thankful for my church and our church family.

I am thankful for the fact that we still live in a free country. And I am thankful for the men and women who fought for that to be so. I am thankful for opportunities. I am thankful for the land to grow our garden on and the harvest it provides.

I am thankful for raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, and so so much more.

When I stop to count your blessings, all I can do is realize that I have been truly blessed!

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Mother’s Day

I know it was two weeks ago, but I obviously couldn’t blog about what we made or the cat would have been out of the proverbial bag. I am sure I have said before that I am very blessed to have FANTASTIC in-laws! One of my sweet sisters-in-law found a great idea for Mother’s Day that worked out perfect for us! The basic premise is you take a picture of each kid holding a different letter spelling out the word GRANDMA, print on magnet paper and WOW a personalized Mother’s Day Gift. Combined with my sisters-in-laws children there is a total of nine grandchildren, so we spelled Grandma with a heart at each end. But my kids call my Mom GRAMMY, which is perfect, because it was six letters!!!

I printed these black and white so that I didn’t have to coordinate colors in their clothing (especially since with their other Grandma, we did this across three families). I bought the magnet paper on Amazon. And I still have a couple of sheets left! Hmm… what other six letter words are there?

We also bought both of our Mom’s flowers and a gift. But I know this was my Mom’s favorite. In fact, she made copies of it and sent it to my Gram in Michigan and has another copy at her office. One of the guys she works with told her today, “If she keeps having kids, she’ll be able to spell out your whole address!” I’m a long way from the whole address but with another kid I could spell our city or our state!

I have been blessed!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: Hearing Cassidy laugh out loud (finally!!), Rain, Family (immediate and extended), Refreshing our living space by moving around furniture, Being able to buy our curriculum for next year

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Resurrection Rolls

I saw that a few home-schooling moms have been doing these with their children this week and my curiosity got the better of me. So, I looked up the recipe and we made these this morning! And spoiler alert – they were delicious. I also liked that they were both science experiment (What do you think is going to happen?) and Bible Object Lesson at the same time.

Ingredients:

2 packages crescent rolls

1/2 stick butter, melted

cinnamon sugar (you can make your own)

large marshmallows

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I gave each kid a marshmallow (this represents Jesus, if you’re along for the Object Lesson part of this!)

They rolled the marshmallow in butter and then rolled it in cinnamon sugar. (This represents the oil and spices they used to prepare Jesus’ body.) We did this part assembly line style. (It helps to have extra marshmallows on hand, in case you have children like mine who have the mindset “one for the pan, one for me, one for the pan …”)

Then you roll the marshmallow in a crescent roll, making sure to pinch the seams together. (This represents the tomb.)

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. During this time while we were cleaning up, I asked the kids what they thought would happen. Brendyn thought the marshmallow would pop out, like Jesus rolling the tomb away. We turned the light on in the oven and they watched the rolls bake. Tyler thought it looked like the rolls were breathing when they “puffed out”.

After you take them out of the oven, you do see a little marshmallow ooze, but once cool enough to handle, move a roll to a plate and show your kids what happened after they put Jesus into the tomb.

The TOMB was EMPTY!!! What a Great Reminder at Easter Time! (And again, these were very yummy!)

 

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Finally Time

We’re anxiously awaiting Brendyn coming home. He made it safely back into the States yesterday. I’m not sure yet who missed him more – Me, or his siblings. Tomorrow we’ll be having our Christmas and we are so excited. I’ll be doing the normal Christmas Eve stuff today – the cooking, the baking, the wrapping of the last minute presents, the waiting until they all fall fast asleep and putting out their Christmas Stockings, hiding garbage bags around the room to collect wrapping paper, setting out baskets for each child to collect their goodies. And then in the morning, Our Christmas Morning, we’ll be reading the story of Jesus’ Birth, Having Hot Chocolate and Cinnamon Rolls, watching the children open one present at a time and enjoying the day we’ve been waiting an extra three weeks for!

I am sure, even though I haven’t gotten the chance to hear about all he did, that Brendyn had a great time in Germany. The last time he went he got to see and experience things that he still talks about a year and a half later, his favorite being the trip to Neuschwanstein Castle.  (This is a picture he took by the way.) It will be interesting and a cultural lesson for all of us to hear all about how they celebrate Christmas in Germany and the different traditions he got to experience, hear about all the food he got to eat (one of his favorite topics!!) and about the exciting things he got to do. Mostly though, I am just ready for a big Brendyn hug. Three weeks at Christmas is a long time for a ten year old boy to be away from his Mom, or maybe better stated, too long for a Mom to be away from her boy.

We are so Blessed and Excited!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: Brendyn getting home safely, One Month until Baby Cassidy, Two Weeks to Our Ladies Fellowship, Four Loving Siblings who can’t wait to see their big brother, and Christmas TOMORROW!

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Oh Holy Night

There is so much to be thankful for. This past week I was blessed enough to host our Ladies Auxiliary Christmas Party at our house. My guess is there were about 25 ladies from our church who gathered together for a sweet time of fellowship. At our Ladies Meetings, it is my privilege to get to present the lesson or devotion. I took a break from what we have been studying (Titus 2) to present a Christmas devotion.

I based my Christmas devotion on the song, Oh Holy Night…..there is a line in the song that says, “And the soul felt it’s worth”. At Holiday time, it is easy to say “we are keeping Christ in Christmas”, and “Jesus is the reason for the season”, but at the same time be so busy looking for the perfect present, making our house look just-so, getting together the best meal that those simple statement don’t penetrate. I want to celebrate the greatest gift given to me – Salvation – by making sure that My soul feels the worth of the sacrifice Jesus made for me. I also want to make an effort to not be one of the “weary world”, but rather a “thrill of hope”. I can keep the joy in Christmas so others can know why I celebrate!

Our Christmas party is a special time that I really look forward to. I am blessed to be in such a loving church with a family of sisters!

I am so Blessed.

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: Sisters (and brothers) in Christ, My Salvation, A Loving Church, The Thrill of Hope, Love

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Fast Approaching

At the risk of looking too much towards the future and not enjoying today,I am really looking forward to this ever-so-fastly approaching Holiday Season. This time surrounding Thanksgiving on into Christmas is probably my favorite time of the year. I love this time where the weather is cooler, people seem happier because they are remembering all they have to be Thankful for, the stores are prettier as they decorate, ovens are busily working, and families come together.

For a Monday, this has been an exceptionally good day. Tomorrow will be busier, but today has been relaxing. The kids have been well behaved, School was finished without a hitch,  and we’ve even been able to get some things done around the house. I am really blessed.

We’ve been doing some extra work on Family’s and Memories and Thankfulness for our School Work. I love this. And we are starting something new where the bigger kids read to the littler kids each day. Tyler read Madelynne “Go, Dog, Go” and only had to ask a couple of words. Maddy looked at a book with Addy and Brendyn is waiting on Madelynne so he can read a book to her. Tyler had to draw a picture of a favorite thing we have done recently as a family. He drew a picture of Family Night at Church “FamLee Nite”. Love how he spelled it.

Over the weekend we had another of our Scrapbooking in the Country Crops and it went very well. It was a smaller crowd than last time, and I was definitely more worn out, and less motivated, but I always enjoy these weekends! I look forward to the next one in March, when I will also have a new addition to show off!!

I am SO BLESSED!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: A Hardworking Husband, Austin having a 4 day Weekend!!!!!!, A Working Washer and Dryer, Scrapbooking with people I am blessed enough to call friends, Well-Behaved Kids

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For the first time …

For the first time since Tyler has been born, I have no one in my house under two years old!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Wyatt!

My baby turned two. I have no babies, except the one I’m still growing! Now I have a toddler. A cute, smart, adorable, genius little toddler, but a toddler, not a baby. We love Wyatt. He is so cute, with a genuine smile for whoever looks his way! We had fun celebrating his two-year old birthday with friends, Chili, and Cupcakes!

For the first time ever in my life, I shot a gun. I shot a child-sized 22 gauge. (It was pink). Austin set up some cans for us to aim at, and I even clipped the top of a can on my first shot. I also shot his Judge Rifle, but decided I needed ear plugs to shoot that one. I have never really handled a gun before, so I was thankful for a teaching patient husband.

We're off to See the Wizard!!For the first time since Austin and I have been together, the kids got to go Trick-or-Treating. It was kind of a last minute decision. The middle kids are finally at the age where they really wanted to get a costume and go. I knew that I would want them to coordinate somehow and also have costumes that would not be considered creepy or spooky or scary. After some online research, I found these costumes and LOVED them. Madelynne was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Brendyn was the Scarecrow, Tyler was the Tine Man, Wyatt was the Cowardly Lion, and Adreya was Glinda, the Good Witch.  They had so much fun! I had fun dressing them, taking their pictures, and watching their faces.

I am reminded again and again How Truly Blessed I am!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: New Things, Getting to keep my children home with me, Enjoying the moments, Happy Kids, Chocolate in the House!

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