Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday! ~ Great Places!

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

At the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

To see more "Wordless Wednesday" posts, visit this blog.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Psalm 143:10 NIV

Teach me to do Your will,

for You are my God;

May Your good Spirit

lead me on level ground.

I have decided to join Sandy, one of my new blog friends, in memorizing this scripture. I want to be obedient to God's Word, learn it, and live it!

How about you? Are you memorizing a particular verse or verses in the Bible. If so, won't you share? I love learning from other Christian women. God is so good to provide friendships where we can grow in Him. There is nothing like learning from Christ Himself and His Word, the Bible, but I appreciate when God puts others in our path to learn and grow together.

Have a blessed day, my friends.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

You're Gonna Miss This Moment ~

This is not just any, old pile of fruit.

Every year on the first day of school, in our homeschool, my sweet children give me an apple, or a lemon, or an orange, or whatever fruit I have available.

It is such a sweet tradition because that piece of fruit they are handing me says, "I love you, Mom. Thank you for sacrificing and teaching me, for sitting and reading to me, for grading my school work, and juggling all the other mommy stuff you have to do. Things like thinking up what we can have for lunch, or throwing in another load of laundry, or baking more zucchini bread, or driving us to our riding lesson, or cleaning the house, paying the bills, or writing a new blog about me, or making the dinner I requested." OK, I know I quoted those statements, and perhaps they have never voiced it in exactly that way, but I know they are thankful for the education they are receiving at home because of what God has called us to do.

They have been doing this for the past 7 years and it touches my heart and puts tears in my eyes because of how much they mean to me. Homeschooling is no easy feat, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Having my husband behind me in this 110% makes my job so much easier. He takes on the role of grading, and setting up testing schedules, going over things he sees that the kids might be having difficulty with, and doing a million other wonderful daddy things, that it makes our homeschool that much richer. I couldn't do it without him!

I love you guys! I'm sure gonna miss getting that piece of fruit in early September one day.

"You're Gonna Miss This" is a weekly blog carnival where you write about moments that you'll miss with your kids. Those moments happen every, single day.

For more "You're Gonna Miss This" posts, go over and visit Pam. She is the brainchild behind this weekly meme and this is her 52nd week of doing it. Happy Anniversary, Pam.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

And the winner is...

I'll let you know in a minute. :-)

After checking my blog out and seeing that there were a total of 20 comments, including one "deleted one", we went to the kitchen and cut 20 pieces of paper. We numbered each one and the kids folded them and put them in a hat... so.

Cooper was the one to pick.

And the winner is #12!

Congratulations Erica @ Scottsville! It's a blessing to be able to send the books by Max Lucado and the Starbucks gift card to you. Please get in touch with me.

Thank you all for playing along with me and celebrating my one year
blogging anniversary. It's been a blast!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Blessings of Blogging

It feels like all I have been talking about lately is my One Year Blogging Anniversary for the past 5 or 6 days. That's because it's exciting news!! And because I have decided to do a "Giveaway", and wanted to get the news out.

When I think about the last year and being involved in this new hobby or venture, I have to think about all of the ways it has blessed me.

But before I talk about those beautiful blessings, I have to tell you that Pam over at "You're Gonna Miss This" is the inspiration behind me blogging in the first place. Thank you, Pam, for being my cheerleader in this. I have gotten so much out of blogging and you knew that I would.

The purpose of my blog at the time when I "signed up", was to journal about my family and the adventures of moving from the U.S. to England. What I didn't know would happen, was that along the way I would meet and get to know so many wonderful ladies (and one dear woman's husband that blogs, too. Hi Steve and Kat). You all have prayed for me, made me laugh, made me cry, inspired me to be a better Christian, Mom, Wife, Woman of God, a better prayer warrior, a better friend. I am completely blown away by all of this and am humbled and honored that I get to write and you choose to read it.

When I started "Joy in the Journey", I couldn't see myself lasting for an entire year and write about my anniversary. It just seemed like a daunting task, a difficult hobby, a time-consuming one, and one that I wouldn't necessarily be good at. The thing is you learn as you go. By the way, when I started, I had no idea what I would call it. I prayed about it and the Lord showed me that in as difficult a thing that moving from one continent to another would be, I would have to experience JOY in the journey. Isn't it easy to whine and complain? I'm pretty good at that from time to time. I wanted it to be a place where I can talk about the joys. Sure, I have rough moments or even days, but there is so much to be thankful for. So much joy to be had. And God, the God that gave me "Joy in the Journey" as a title in the middle of the night, receives all the Glory for He is worthy of my praise.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I get emotional just writing about it and thinking of you, my dear, sweet friends. I have met Pam and what an amazing, strong person she is. I look forward to spending time with her in the future and meeting some other blog friends that live near her. God is so good to connect us in this way.

Here's to the coming year and the many blessings God will show each of us. Let's all experience His Joy in the Journey.


Since there is a 5 hour time difference and it is only about 4:20 EST there and almost my bedtime, I will post the winner to my giveaway tomorrow morning and post it then.

Blessings and Love in Christ,

Wordless Wednesday! ~ Giveaway News!

Today is the last day for my "One Year Blog Anniversary" Giveaway.
The giveaway includes 2 books from Max Lucado and 1 Starbucks gift card for $10.

To read more about it, go to this post and leave a comment or 2. Hope ya win.

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, go to "5 Minutes for Mom".

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sweet Sheriffs, Salsa, Sunsets & Surprises!

Based on Melanie's love for my high-heeled, knee-high boots, she decided to dress up this way.

She and Braaten figure since I don't wear those boots enough, that they have an obligation, a duty, to wear them for me.

Oh no, this doesn't look so sweet!

Today Austin and I made homemade salsa together. And, boy, was it good! I was inspired by Mama M. at "Three Crooked Halos" to make it after she posted about it with the recipe included. Thanks Mama M!

He did a fine job helping me.

Doesn't that look so yummy? Fresh cilantro would have made it even better. I have had a difficult time finding it here. I'm not sure why. I guess there's not a whole lot of eating Mexican in these parts. Curries are something they eat a lot of in England, though, which is a whole 'nother cuisine. If you're looking for curry powder, well, you'll definitely find that. I actually fancy a mild Korma since living here.

Please pass the salsa.

After dinner, our 3 youngest children went off to their Monday night activity at church called Cru Club. Cru stands for Crusaders.

Since Braaten and Austin are the only ones home with Shawn and I, we decided to do something special with each one. Shawn and Braaten took Fletch for a nice, leisurely walk and then played Uno. Austin and I took a bike ride and caught this sunset.

He was a true gentleman, and at my request, biked home to get the camera for me. When he got there we took a few pictures of each other. I wish someone was nearby to take a picture of us together.

On our way back home, Austin said, "I love you, Mom. You're beautiful."

I knew right then that spending that one-on-one time together meant the world to him. And you know what, I felt the exact same way.

I love you, Austin!

~Surprises~ (I mean, Prizes)

If you have not commented, followed, or posted about my giveaway, please visit this post and read all about it.

If anyone only left one comment (letting me know that you are now or have been following me plus a general comment), please leave a second comment. I originally only wanted this in one comment, but I noticed a couple of people left two separate ones. That's OK with me. I just want anyone that did not do that to go ahead and leave a 2nd comment. I'm sorry about the confusion.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You're Gonna Miss This Moment ~ Giant Kid Slides!

Giant Slides & Other Rides...

Pam has been hosting this amazing, weekly meme for almost a year and it is a great one!
What moments will you miss with your kids? There are about a gazillion, aren't there?
Write a post about it and link it up to her blog over here.

Though we don't go to carnivals and amuzement parts too often, when we do, our kids get so excited. I'll miss those expressions on there faces when they are enjoying a ride down a giant slide or are sitting on a high-speed, rotating thingamabob.




Oh What fun!

Speaking of fun. Have you checked out my one-year blog anniversary giveaway that's coming up? If not, go over to this post and then leave a comment. If you follow me, let me know. If not, do that and you'll get an extra chance to win. A third way to win is to post it on your blog and leave me the link in a separate comment.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"I Choose Joy" & a GIVEAWAY coming up!

Grace for the Moment Volume I

Giveaway for my one-year blog anniversary!

The other day I picked up a devotional I have by Max Lucado, whom I love, titled, "GRACE for the Moment" Volume I. I read something in there that moves me and I want to share it with you.


It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming. In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.

For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose.

No occasion justifies hatred;
no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love.
Today I will love God and what God loves.

I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance.
I will refuse the temptation to be cynical...
the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see
people as anything less than human beings,
created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as
anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I will overlook the inconveniences of the world.
Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll
invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the
wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment
to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new
assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone.
Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to
the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked
before I will boast. I will confess before I will
accuse. I choose goodness.

Today I will keep my promises.
My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates
will not question my word. My wife will not
question my love. And my children will never fear
that their father will not come home.

Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle.
If I raise my voice may it be only in praise.
If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer.
If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I am a spiritual being...
After this body is dead, my spirit will soar.
I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal.
I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy.
I will be impassioned only by my faith.
I will be influenced only by God.
I will be taught only by Christ.
I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
To these I commit my day.
If I succeed, I will give thanks.
If I fail, I will seek His grace.
And then, when this day is done,
I will place my head on my pillow
and rest."

Above excerpt written by Max Lucado from "When God Whispers Your Name".

Do these words inspire you as they do me? Wow! Max Lucado is an extremely talented author and man of God. I want to live these words for Christ because He asks me to. It's not easy day to day, minute by minute, to display the Fruits of the Spirit, but it's what I aspire to do.

So here's the fun part, because it will be my one-year blog anniversary (Woo-hoo!), I am giving away a copy of "Grace for the Moment" volumes I and II. That's right, two books! If that's not enough, I want to also bless you with a $10 Starbucks gift card.

What you'll have to do to enter, and I never thought I would do this, is leave a comment and "Follow Me" if you are not already.

For one additional entry into the giveaway, post about this contest on your blog and leave me a link to that post.

Since my blogging anniversary is September 23rd, I will be choosing a winner on the 24th.

Thanks Erica for teaching me how to use some HTML codes. I learned how to use a "marquee" in my blog. :-)
Also, was I allowed to quote so much from an author's book without permission? I hope so.

Have fun and blessings to you!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

10/52 Photos of Me ~ "52 Weeks"

I have accepted Carin's year-long challenge of finally getting into the "picture". It seems we moms are mostly taking the pictures. Now it's time to be intentional and have your picture taken. Why don't you give it a try. If you do, visit here and link up with Carin.

Last weekend, we took a trip up to Scotland and had some of the most amazing weather. That's not typical, you know, and it made our trip all the better. I wrote a post earlier in the week about the Highland Games we went to see. If you haven't read it and would like to, click here.

We went on a mile long walk and saw these falls together.

On the way up a fairly steep hill, I put Melanie on my back for a very short time.

We enjoyed the view of a couple of farm houses behind us.

Mel, Bray, and I

On an earlier walk, we went to see a part of Loch Tay. They call lakes lochs in Scotland.

Just down the road from our cottage, there was a tiny little park. Why is it that a park means more to the children than all the walking and seeing great sights? It's a kid thing I think.

Pushing the girls on the swings.

We drove for about an hour around Loch Tay and stopped at this area that had falls everywhere and flowing steams that travel quickly over rocks. It was glorious to see. That's one place I think that caught the childrens' interest more than the park.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why, it's "Wordless Wednesday", of course!

"Faux Football"

For more "Wordless Wednesday" posts, go here, to "5 Minutes for Mom".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You know you're in Scotland when...

You see the Scottish blue and white blowing in the breeze,

with a huge crowd that came to watch...

lovely young ladies dressed like this and dancing like that,

with men in skirts playing the bagpipes,

marching in a parade and competing for a prize,

as a guy like this successfully tosses a heavy caber,

as tall as this and as heavy as I'm not sure what.

(This is known as the "Caber Toss" wherein a fellow a.k.a. "strong man" tosses a huge, heavy piece of wood as if holding a pencil by its eraser with careful balancing, running forward to toss it in the air with the hopes of it landing on its point and further falling forward with the eraser end far away from where he started directly in front of him).

While in Scotland at these "Highland Games", you might also see...

a guy like this who is apparently officiating and greeting people and loves being there,

a young fellow playing his bagpipes, with a desire to be the best, in front of two judges (who are tapping their feet as they listen to him play),

while men assume this position for at least 15 minutes before even starting the tug-o-war,

who look like this in the midst of the tugging.

Those same "strong men" hurl this heavy metal object round and round tossing it as far as they can possibly make it go,

as this guy attempts for at least the third time to toss that caber,

which this guy was also successful at doing,

while these guys play and play as the crowd joyfully listens.

We have been to two Scottish Highland Games in the past year and love having had the opportunity. Click on the button to find out more.

I'll be posting more pictures of our weekend up in Scotland soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"52 Weeks" ~~~~~9/52 Photos of Me

I have excepted Carin's challenge to be in at least one picture a week and post it on my blog. I love this blog carnival, and as I was looking through our photos, I have realized how few pictures I am in with the children. I plan on being more intentional about getting those shots with them. I certainly take enough pictures of the kids doing all kinds of stuff, and that's how this meme got started I'm sure. Mom is missing from the photos!

Case in point! It's me with a building; a nice building at that with loads of history. It is called Moreton Hall. I took my cousin, Cherie, there to see it. We enjoyed a tour and learned all about that particular home.

And next week, some or all of my dear children will be in the picture with me.

How about you? Why don't you join, and link your post with Carin over here.