Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My very first "Tackle It Tuesday"...


After.....ahhhh :-)

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I think seeing Tackle It Tuesday was enough to inspire me to get a job done I've only been contemplating. 

It's not a big job per se, it's just a job I've been avoiding. I figured I could find what I needed if I dug around a little. And since in England, we don't have enough closet space, it made sense that my pantry would be messy and out of order. Especially since in that small space, on any given day, you will find a mop, broom, dustpan, paper towels, light bulbs, batteries, cake decorations, sprinkles, peanut butter, a first aid kit, Doritos, a bazillion cans of green beans, various kinds of jams, my mother-in-laws canned cherries, & well, uh.....you get the idea.

So tonight it took about 45 minutes and my pantry is back in order. Have you ever thought something would take much longer than it actually did, and then wished you had done it much sooner? I know I have. 

OK, now I can go to bed....


Monday, October 27, 2008

Menu Plan Monday... I thought I'd give this a try! 

I used to plan our menus, for awhile anyway. I found it to be extremely helpful when I did, but somehow I got away from it. Maybe I'll see the benefit in it once again, and get back to doing it as often as possible. 

  1. Monday:  Chicken Pot Pie, Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, and Fruit Cocktail
  2. Tuesday:  Barbecued Pork Chops, Baked Potatoes, Veggies
  3. Wednesday: More Chicken Pot Pie (because tonight I made a ton), Bread, & Salad    
  4. Thursday:  Pasta, Caprisi Salad, Garlic Bread    
  5. Friday: Fish & Chips out because we're in England :-)
  6. Saturday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
  7. Sunday:  Homemade Pizza, Fruit    
I look forward to having a plan now! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Random Thoughts...

I love taking pictures of the kids as they are walking ahead of me, or looking on at something. Isn't this a great shot? That's something I'll definitely miss as they get older; seeing them at this age so curious and filled with wonder. (I'll have to take a turn at "You're Gonna Miss This" and officially post some of the things that I will miss). I am having a tough time figuring out how to use the Mr. Linky and all that new blog stuff though. I'll get it soon.

Today we had a really good day at school. I was getting caught up on grading the kids' work and they have been excelling. 

Braaten and Melanie had some friends over to play. That has been great because it takes time to form those friendships. Austin has some friends that he sees at church and youth group and the twins play with a neighbor quite a bit who lives just a few doors down. Things are moving along and I think the kids are enjoying it here.  I went to my bible study last night and am getting to know some of the women there as well.

Shawn is on a business trip as of today. He flew to Dublin, Ireland and will be back Thursday. Fletch will be here in just 3 days. Lots to look forward to with him being here. 

Like I said....random thoughts. Just thought I'd share. I shall say "goodnight" as it is 5 hours ahead here. 


Sunday, October 19, 2008

a bit about Braaten Noelle...

Braaten Noelle is our second child and first daughter. When I was pregant with her, we were sure she was a boy simply because boys seemed to be dominant in the Busse family. My sister in-law, Jill, had 3 in a row before she had a girl, so we assumed such would be the case with us. We didn't want to find out what we were having beforehand, so the excitement was built up when it came time to have our baby.  To our amazement, and again, only because we were just about sure she was a boy, we felt that it was a miracle when the doctor said, "It's a girl". I understand that every child is a miracle from God, we just looked at her as our miracle in a different way. Shawn couldn't stop smiling at the fact that he now had a daughter.  

Braaten has a really special name because it belonged to my mother. My mother's maiden name was Braaten. Her full name was Carol Ann Braaten, which means I received her first name when I was born and my daughter received her last name when she was born. My mom passed away about 4 years ago and didn't get to spend but a few years with her namesake. It's amazing though, because Braaten has wonderful memories of her Grandma even though she was only 6 when she died. She knew that she was really special in her Grandma's eyes.  

Bray, as we call her for short, loves to play "mommy" to her twin brothers, Grant and Cooper. She is holding Grant in this picture. She has always had a loving, nurturing way about her. She would love nothing more than for me to have another baby, but that is just not going to happen. Our Lord has blessed us with five wonderful children; our quiver is full. 

Here is Cooper with her. I don't know how she carries them; they're so big!

 Some of the things she really enjoys doing is reading, scrapbooking, quilting, sending e-mails to her friends, watching me blog and read others, photography, playing tennis, and helping me cook. Now if you go and read my profile, she sounds like my twin. :-)

She is a great blessing and a joy to our family. I'll tell you about Melanie in a day or so.

Doggie Update

All hapy to see Fletch. The other dog in the picture is Sara, Fletch's little girlfriend.
What a happy pup!
I think I was practically in tears here.

Fletch will be here on Friday. That's just 5 days away! I thought I would post a few normal pictures of him. The last couple were ones that I messed around on Picnik with. So here are the kids and I with him from a visit to the U.S. back in August. He remembered us and boy were we happy about that.

Friday, October 17, 2008

a bit about Austin

This is Austin, our first born, now 12. Hmm, he's got that 12 year old boy's persona. You know the one I'm talking about. It's where he wants to now challenge my every word, or annoy his younger siblings by teasing them when they were just minding their own business. He doesn't do these things as much around his dad, I proclaim. And once again, he says, "Yes I do, Mom." Between you and me... no he doesn't. Well maybe just a tiny fraction of the time.  Wink! 

Maybe it's just me who likes to be right all the time. I'm not happy to admit that. Or maybe I want control too much over who he is and how he behaves. God has used this sweet, young man to bring me to Him in repentance more times lately than I can count. 

Austin's a great kid. He does well in school here at home. He loves to play and have fun and gets really excited about the little things. His current interests are sports, just about any kind. Baseball is top choice. We even found a baseball team in Manchester, England. It is definitely not a sport played here much at all. Their big sports are "football", you and I know it as soccer. And the other sports kids tend to play here are rugby, cricket, and tennis. Since we moved to England, he has been taking golf lessons and is loving that. 

Austin is gentle, kind, loving and sweet and he loves the Lord. He's my firstborn and I'm extremely proud of him.

More on our other blessings from God soon.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hill Top

This is the Lake District in England.

We drove through this kind of rain to see Beatrix Potter's home. 

The picture with all of us is Hill Top in the Lake District. It's where Beatrix Potter lived after becoming a famous author.  It was really neat to visit there and see the original furnishings, artwork, and decor she had back then. We walked through the house, while holding one of her books titled Samuel Whiskers, and saw illustrations of actual places in the house.  The kids loved finding the inspirations for her drawings. People were dressed up in clothes from that period as well. 

When we first tried to make our way to Hill Top the day before, it was pouring buckets outside. We had three measly umbrellas, or brawleys, as they call them in England and each had our wellies. Shawn didn't though, which meant soaking wet feet, but he never complained. He usually doesn't because of his mild-mannered nature. When I asked him later why he didn't complain, he said, "What's the point"? I thought to myself and then proclaimed, "I don't know, it just feels good to do that sometimes".  It really doesn't help anything if you think about it.

Anyway, right before we got out of the van, our GPS took us to a landing that had ferries going across to the other side. We had no idea that we had to cross Lake Windermere to get to Hill Top. We proceeded on with a new destination programmed in the GPS and continued to drive. That's when we got out of the van with our 3 umbrellas for 7 people and trudged onward to catch a different boat. We were soaked by the time we inquired about how to get to see what we had come to see. It would have also cost us quadruple or more to get on the boat and then get on a minibus to our final stop. Hill Top. 

Our kids, bless their hearts, all had good attitudes considering things weren't working out as expected. We did end up going to a 3rd place set in the GPS which was William Wordsworth House another hour away. That will have to be in a different post.

Shawn and I planned on leaving the next day if the rain continued. But, behold, the sun was shining when we woke up. We all got ready and punched in those numbers again in our GPS, and off we were. We were determined to show our kids a place so many people had recommended. Being a homeschool family, it was the perfect place to learn a great deal from.

At Hill Top, we ended our tour at the souvenir shop. Of course! Since our family loves books, we amassed a small collection of Beatrix Potter books, a movie on her life titled, Miss Potter, which Rene Zellwiger starred in, and some stationery to add to my stash. The movie, by the way, was extremely well done. We all enjoyed it immensely. I would highly recommend it. 

The Lake District in England is a gorgeous place to see. If ever you happen to travel to England, make it a point to go there. It's breathtaking! God has made beautiful places for us to experience. 

There was some serious joy in that journey!   


Monday, October 13, 2008

The Continued Countdown

Just a quick update on our dog, Fletch. He'll be here in 11 days as noted on his picture. The kids are bounding with excitement. Do you think they'll sleep the night before he arrives?? Well I keep talking about the kids' excitement but haven't mentioned my own so much. I CAN'T WAIT! He's a sweet boy. 

We'll keep you posted on how things go and definitely will post more pictures especially when he gets here. 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Today is a good day...

This morning we all got ready, had our Sunday morning pancakes that Shawn makes, and then headed off to church. It was great to be there. God has a way of giving me just what I need. I praise Him for that. 

You see, it was a bit of a rough week for me. I can't exactly pinpoint what was wrong, but I was not myself. I was pretty moody, tired, worn out you might say. I took naps on a couple of differnent days which helped, but my spirit has been heavy. I've been cranky and not the patient person I truly desire to be. 

That's where the title of my blog comes in, "Joy in the Journey". Before I attempted to start a blog, the title of it and its contents was really important to me. I prayed before I went to bed the night I wanted to start blogging and asked God to show me what He wanted it to be called. He showed me and that's how I got my title.  My desire is to do His will and to ultimately bring honor and glory to Him. So recently being so moody and impatient hasn't lent itself to truly experiencing this "Joy in the Journey" as it were. God is molding me and shaping me and teaching me to be more like Him. When I do it my way, I tend to get it wrong. 

In church this morning, my Pastor preached on one of the beatitudes, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God".  He talked about how being beautiful on the inside is far more important than being beautiful on the outside. He said, in not so many words, that what is in our hearts will come out of us in the way we deal with people and how we treat them. Being moody and impatient certainly doesn't help my inner beauty to shine if am not mindful of how I am treating others. 

I am thankful that God reminds me that His grace is sufficient for me and that I can have "Joy in His journey if I am obedient and attentive to His will in my life.   

Monday, October 06, 2008

A simple walk...

This afternoon I took a much needed walk, by myself actually. I usually take a walk with the kids around the Lymm Dam. It's a beautiful place near our home in England. It's just about in our backyard. I love it here because there is a walking path with trees alongside a small lake. There is an old bridge halfway around which is where we are standing in this picture. 

Anyway, today I was able to walk and think and praise. Praise God who created it. I was thanking Him for the opportunity to be here and appreciate another part of the world He created. I get lonely sometimes since I'm new here. I homeschool, too, so having coffee with a friend during the day is not something I get to do much of either. My friend, Sarah, who lives in Michigan, would sub for me with the kids on occasion. She worked with our kids in school and that gave me a break. I could take a walk or work for an afternoon, or meet a friend for coffee. I'm a bit more limited now. 

So today was great! I loved being able to walk and enjoy the fresh, fall air. I had my I-pod on with some of my favorite music. It's all about joy in the journey... 

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I'm thankful for lots of things, although sometimes I don't show it. I'm thankful for my husband and kids. They are a joy to serve. I love beginning each new day with them and seeing what the Lord has for us.

I love the Lord and am so very thankful for his grace. Everyday I can start over when I've made a mess of things. 

I'm thankful for all of my friends and family. For Susan, Sarah, Lizzy, Shannon, Natasha, Natalie, Jamie, Vickie, oh the list goes on. For my sisters, Denise, April, Cindy, and Tracey, and for my brother Jimmy. It's great to stop and think of each one and realize how much they mean to me. 

I've recently moved to England from Michigan, and though there are challenges of leaving all that you've known, I am thankful to be here. Thankful for all the places we get to see, and the new people we get to meet. For the great experiences that our kids get to have. 

I am also thankful that our dog, Fletch, is coming to join us here on October 24th.

I'll share more another time... thanks for reading. :-)