Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish abundant blessings to you this Thanksgiving day.

Last year at this time we celebrated Thanksgiving in England as a family. 
Though it is not a holiday celebrated in the U.K., we insisted on pulling out all the stops and celebrating it the way we always have.

We are blessed to be back here in the states to celebrate officially once again, but we sure miss our time there with the friends God blessed us with.

May each one of you and your families have an amazing Thanksgiving.

This subway art was created at Craftily Ever After by Jessica. Thank you for creating and sharing it.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

birthday fun

My girlfriends and I like to celebrate each other's birthdays.
We usually go out to dinner and then lavish the birthday girl with gifts.

The coined term for our gifts to each other are called
"Auntie Bags".
An Auntie Bag consists of all kinds of goodies. The goodies can range from fun socks, to a photo frame with a special friend photo, to a sweater, or a favorite treat. I usually try to include all of those things or a variety of other things.
Sarah introduced us to the Auntie Bag. Her aunts, on  her mom's side, always gave them a plethora of gifts inside of one bag and it was fun to see the combination they came up with.
When Sarah first told me of this tradition, we quickly adopted it. I think one of my love languages is gifts: both giving and receiving. :-)

Lizzy is the birthday girl this time and we were all headed to Red Robin for a nice, juicy burger. On your birthday, they give you a free burger of your choice. On that particular night we had 2 extra coupons for $3.00 off and our waitress ended up giving us 3 free burgers. We kept trying to make her understand that we were only celebrating one birthday, but she insisted on the 3. So we enjoyed the blessing she gave us.

Isn't Liz's headpiece cute? It happens to be a little gift that I received for my birthday. I thought it only fair that our new tradition would be to re-gift it to the next birthday girl who will then have to wear it in public for at least 5 minutes. 

I think Liz Longstocking wears it well, don't you? 

Mike really wanted to be a part of his wife's birthday celebration, so now the husbands come along and we like that just fine!

Oh yum!

My man is quite the looker!

When we got home, we enjoyed Emma Lynn with her ever-joyful presence.
All of the kids can't get enough of holding her and making her giggle.

Here's our group minus the hubby's. 
We had fun playing on the Wii and then had cake. 

Nighty-night Emma.

We recently celebrated Sydney's birthday. That's coming up in a future post.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

i love you more

I read a beautiful post by Darcie a few days ago. It was about her family and her children and how much she adores them. She talked about how "I love you" is said often throughout each and every day.

And it smacked me square in the eyes.

I adore my family, too. 
I do what I do because of the love I have for each precious person in my family.
I cook.
I clean.
I do countless loads of laundry.
I scrapbook to save and cherish the memories we are making for the future.
I blog so that I can share with you all the love that exists here.
I homeschool because it's an answer to the call upon our lives.
I run around to their sporting events so that they can get exercise and enjoyment out of being involved.
I shop so they can have all they need.
I pray for them asking God to protect them, and draw them to Him.
I spend time with them so they know how much I love them. Still, I could spend even more time.
I arrange sleepovers so that they have more time with friends.
I... I... I...
do all of this without saying "I love you" often enough.

I know it shows in all of my deeds, but my words will be more meaningful to them.

And so God uses people like Darcie to teach me new things.
I have been intentional about saying the "I love you's" that my children and husband long to hear.

And it blesses my heart.

You should see the smiles that light up on their faces when they haven't expected to hear it at that moment.

It's priceless.

 Thanks, Darcie, for your beautiful heart and the abundant love you have for your family. It is contagious and has spread to my home.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Giving Thanks ~ Blogging

My "Giving Thanks" entry for today is blogging. I am extremely thankful for my blog, the people I've met through it, and for how it allows me to journal about our family and the adventures God has provided for us. 

Through blogging, I've met other Christian women, I've learned decorating techniques, I've been encouraged to menu plan, to organize in different ways, to craft, to be creative, to lift others up and pray for them, to share about our family, and the list goes on. 

Thanks to everyone that takes the time to read my blog, even if only occasionally. I love to hear from you and thank you for being an encouragement to me!

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Giving Thanks ~ November 7, 8, 9, & 10

Where did 4 days of my thankful posts go? 
Time flies by.

Leah at South Breeze Farm has reminded us to give thanks this month. Quite honestly, we need to have a thankful heart everyday no matter what comes our way. God tells us to, and I am up for that challenge.
So here's my list...

7.) Fun Things To Do
I'm thankful that we have this quad that the kids get so much enjoyment out of. The kids wear their helmets and drive all around our property. They love having their friends go for a ride with them. Braaten is taking my friend, Kristi, and her son, Tyrus, for a ride in this photo. 

8.) Watching Melanie play soccer for the first time.
She is in the bottom row, far left.
Honestly, it's good to be done with the season, but we had a lot of fun cheering her team on.

9.) Volleyball :-)
Both Braaten and Melanie played volleyball for our home school co-op team.
Our entire family enjoyed watching them play. It was their first time playing and they improved so much from the beginning of the season. 
Austin even got to be a line judge.

10.) Emma Lynn
Baby Emma is as precious as a baby comes.
I'm not sure I have ever met a more content, joy-filled baby than her.
She is 5 months old and my girls and the twins are in love with her.
When she hasn't been around for a few days, they ask for her and want her to come over.

I want to just squeeze her and love her up.
And today I did just that!
Her mama and a few other friends came over for coffee and scones.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Giving Thanks Day 6 ~ Friendship

Tonight we celebrated my girlfriend, Liz's, birthday. Six of us went out to eat while the kids were at home under the care of the oldest child of the group, Sydney, who is 19. 

The kids had homemade pizza and snacks and we ate big ol' burgers from Red Robin. After dinner we came back here to enjoy a homemade birthday cake and some decaf. We got our game on and played the Wii and listened to some familiar tunes from the 80's. And what a great time we had. 

Friendship is a gift. God is so gracious to provide people to stand alongside you,  that share your faith if they are believers, and just do life together. We had our husbands celebrate with us which was wonderful. We usually do the girlfriend thing, but Liz's husband, Mike, wanted to be a part of things. We decided collectively that our husbands should be a part of these celebrations from now on. They are great friends, too, so it just makes sense. 

I could say loads more about what my friends mean to me, and in another post, I probably will, but I think this sums it up well.

Leah over at South Breeze Farm is the genius behind this blog carnival. 
I'm just happy to be a part of it. 

Friday, November 05, 2010

Giving Thanks entry for Nov. 5th


This giving thanks thing sure helps me to focus on all of God's goodness.
Join Leah over at 
South Breeze Farm if you'd like to participate. 

Today I am thankful for my husband's job. He works for a certain, very famous cereal making company here in Battle Creek. Hmm... for fun tell me your favorite cereal that they make in your comment. :) He is very dependable, extremely intelligent, and great at what he does. The skill set God has given him allows me to stay at home full time with our children and I love it! 

Thanks, Honey, for all you do.

Have a blessed Friday!

BTW, my favorite is... Crispix :) I love Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes, too. 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

2010 Giving Thanks Challenge

Leah over at South Breeze Farm is hosting this terrific meme. She is encouraging us to talk about what we are thankful for each day in November. 
Thanks, Leah, for inspiring me to come along on this journey.

Sometimes it's easy for me to feel overwhelmed, complain, or simply not take the time to remember all the goodness God gives me each and every day. I don't like that about myself. I'm pretty sure it ties into me being an impatient person. The title of my blog is "Joy in the Journey" and I, most certainly, am not always joyful. Ask my husband and children. 

So now that I have aired one of the things I struggle with, it's high time I share what I am truly thankful for. What I write is not in any particular order, though it goes without saying for me that I am most thankful for my God, my precious husband, and my 5 children. Everything else is icing on the cake.

And since I am a few days behind, I'll put 4 things down and then keep up each day. I will also post it on my sidebar. :)

November 1st - I am thankful for our home. For many years we longed for a property that has acreage. We are living on 7 acres now, compared to 2/3 of an acre before our move to England. Our previous home was spacious, and fun, and a place we really enjoyed, but we have room to do all kinds of things now that we didn't before. We have a swimming pool, 9 chickens that give us fresh eggs daily, and a place to run around and play. I guess there was a whole bunch of thankful stuff mentioned in this 1st entry. 

November 2nd - I love my husband more everyday. He is an amazing provider and he loves the Lord and wants to honor Him in all he does. Just the other day we had to get everything that was on the floor of the kitchen out to have the wood floors refinished for the 2nd time in 6 months. (That's a whole 'nother story.) And on this particular day, I had a homeschool co-op that the kids and I are involved in from 8:45 until 3. After that we headed home, I made dinner, and then had to go to the chiropractor. Yes, chiropractors go to other chiropractors to stay healthy. :-) After the chiropractor, which took awhile because it was my 2nd visit in which I saw my x-rays, I had to go and vote. I was running out of time because the polls close at 8 and my appointment was done around 7:15. I did not want to miss casting my vote and I made it!
So after this long day, we had to clear the floor, not only of the kitchen, but the entryway, laundry room, and a powder room since all of these spaces are attached. Well, my dear husband cleared almost all of it while I brought kitchen stuff down to our basement. We are temporarily living down here (probably for the next week.) His work ethic is incredible and he knew what a long day I  had had, not that he didn't, and wanted to make life easier for me. 

Notice I am writing way too much because having been a horrible blogger in the past few months, there is tons I want to share with you. 

November 3rd - My morning coffee. Seriously, I love waking up knowing that I will have my Biggby's coffee as soon as I can get it brewed. 

November 4th - My children. I get to stay at home with the 4 youngers and homeschool. Our oldest, Austin, is at the local high school after being homeschooled for the past 7 years. He is doing fantastically, praise the Lord, and we are blessed that it is working out so well. And being home with Braaten, Melanie, Grant, and Cooper is what I love to do. Is it difficult at times? Yes. Would I change it? Not for all the world!

So that, my friends, is what I'm thankful for. How about you? Why don't you join Leah and write all about it. 

Blessings, Carol