Friday, March 27, 2009

Just One More Day!

Here is the lovely Sydney. I hadn't uploaded a picture of her in the spot I wanted it in my post the other day. I wrote this and her beautiful self wasn't in any of the shots I put up. She's holding our friend, Natalie's, boy, Jonah. He is so much bigger than that by now as that was August, 2008. 

Anyway, did I mention that we are very EXCITED that they're coming? 

Safe travel girls. See you tomorrow. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Word-Filled Wednesday

For more encouragement, go here.

Wordless Wednesday - Gross!

A whole new meaning to "Going Green". 

Just thought I'd post a little silliness for ya! 

To check out more, hopefully not as gross, Wordless Wednesday posts, go to "5 minutes for Mom".

Stellan needs our prayers

Prayers Please

Stellan really needs prayer right now. When he was in utero, he experienced something called SVT (supra ventricular tachycardia - which is very high heart rate). Doctors thought he would not survive in the womb, and yet God had a different plan. The "Mck" family was blessed to give birth to a healthy, beautiful baby boy.

Fast forward a few months, and just last weekend Stellan began to go into SVT again. He has been in the hospital PICU where treatments are being given to stop this cycle and go into a normal heart rythm. You can read, by going here, detailed posts by MckMama (Jennifer) that explain what is happening. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Such excitement!

My fabulously crazy friend, Sarah, and her daughter Sydney are coming to visit in just FOUR days. They are staying for 2 weeks and we have lots of plans to show them around. We have been here since last May and have not been to London yet. I know....that' s crazy, you might think, but it just hasn't worked out yet. Sarah and Syd are giving us reason to get there and to a whole lot of other places. 

We are going to see "Durdle Door", Lulworth Cove, Corfe Castle, and Stone Henge before we even hit the streets of London. My blog friend, Joyce, has given me tons of ideas and places to visit in London. She is also the one who told me about the other places I mentioned that we will be going to see. I am very thankful for her knowledge and experience and for being willing to e-mail all of the links. (Thanks Joyce).  Joyce has great posts about her experiences in England, too, and I enjoy reading them every time. Go check it out!

Sarah and I went to New York City with my sister, Denise, last April and had a great time. We also had the opportunity to see the Lion King. Since it was a beautiful spring day, we walked in Central Park.

I told you she was crazy! She really wanted to buy these, but I talked her out of it.

Checking out the view before trying to go to see the Statue of Liberty.

Well, it's just 4 days and counting before they arrive. I'm sure I will have lots of things to post about after their trip. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request - *UPDATE*

Hi Everyone,

I truly appreciate that you were standing with me in prayer for Jamie. She had Benjamin David yesterday morning. He was 5 lbs and 2 oz, lots of dark hair and very handsome. I am very sorry to report that he was stillborn. Jamie and her husband are doing as well as can be expected. They have a strong support system through church and family. They are very strong indeed because they are depending on Jesus to see them through. 

May I ask you to please continue to pray for them. God has put it on my heart to pray for them daily for a year. I'm not asking for that commitment from you, just prayer for these initial days and weeks to lift them up.

Blessings in Him,


A dear friend of mine, Jamie, is pregnant with a due date of March 10th (over a week ago). She noticed that her baby wasn't moving as much, went to the hospital, and they found no heartbeat. She still has not delivered her baby boy and we are praying for a miracle that perhaps the baby was in a position where they could not hear him. That's the best case scenario. 

Please pray for this family that no matter the outcome, they will find healing in our Lord, Jesus Christ. This is such a difficult time. It's their first baby and I can't imagine the pain this is bringing to them.

Thanks for joining me in prayer.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our boy turned 13 today! and other happenings

Take a journey with me of how much Austin has changed in his 13 years. 

Going from 0 to 13 in one post is bittersweet to say the least. Actually, just yesterday the Lord gave me an idea to put those same years in a photo album (not the fancy scrapbook-one-page-in-an-hour-and-a-half kind), but the quick stick-em-in-a-pocket-and-quickly-journal-them kind). That was still a fairly monstrous task and I got from birth to 6 years and presented it to him this morning. The thing is that took me about 4 hours and this ONE post is taking me over 2 hours. Does that make sense? I hope it will one day when I have a "Blook" made out of my blog. I am ever so thankful that God prompted me to do that. Take a look at some of the photos I put in Austin's album. 

Note: I had to scan many of the photos (so excuse the quality), and since I got only to year six, you'll not find pictures from about ages 7 through 11. It's kept this post slightly shorter anyway. :-)

Here we are at the hospital in Pittsburgh. Austin Robert was born on 3/22 and weighed 8 lbs. 10 oz. 

I've always thought that he looks like a little man in this picture. It was fun parting his hair on the side.

Happy 1st Birthday, Austin! Does it look like he just woke up from a nap or is it me?

Oh what fun he had in his little jumpee thing! He looks a little worn out though.

He's about 9 months old here. (My photos are a little out of order because of the way blogger has you upload photos). Note to self:  Do NOT ever where straight-legged, tight, checkered, black & white pants again! 

Austin had a "Barney" party for his 2nd birthday.

Somehow I missed putting in a newborn picture of Braaten. She was born shortly before Austin turned 2. Melanie is our 3rd baby that joined our growing family in April, 2000. Austin was a big brother once again at the age of 4.

Austin and Braaten together around Christmas time when Braaten would be turning 1. Aren't they sweet?

We are jumping now to his 5th birthday where we had a bowling party. Here are his friends from left to right: Elizabeth, Victoria, Ian, sister, Melanie in the high chair, then Austin, Kyra, and sister, Braaten.

Austin's 1st day of kindergarten. We were all very excited for his big adventure. In second grade we started our homeschool adventure which was clearly a leading from the Lord. 

On December 24th of that year, he was a big brother to our twin boys, Grant and Cooper.

Birthday # 6. I'm pretty sure Grant and Cooper were napping or one of them was born a photographer. 

Austin was taking this picture and he did a great job. Look at those chubby little twins!

On his last day of school in 1st grade, we decided to take him to the driving range for a year well done. He's a sportsman through and through.
We're taking a giant leap to age 12. He played for the Marshall Redhawks with a travel team. I really miss him being able to continue on with that team since our big move. He has found a team in England, but it's just not the same.

In April of 2008, Austin was being presented with the Timothy Award from A.W.A.N.A. My husband was the Commander at the time and was honored to present 2 awards that day - one to Austin and one to Brianna. Pastor James, on the left, from our church in Michigan, was a huge encourager of the two of them receiving this award. 

Our proud Timothy Award recipient.

Here we are celebrating his 13th birthday at a restaurant in the Trafford Centre in Manchester, England. What a great mall that is!

Shawn took Austin on a dream fishing trip just yesterday. They were on a charter boat for 8 hours & caught over a hundred fish. That's a dogfish by the way. No one else caught one and really wanted to. They had an amazing time.

Can the boy be any happier?

I think this fish is called a "Dab". 

Happy Birthday, Austin. We are proud of the young man God is molding you into and are blessed to be called your mom and dad. 


I couldn't finish this writing without saying, this is my "100th" post and I'm SO excited! It has been a blessing to share our family adventures with you as we experience "Joy in the Journey". I've met so many wonderful blogging friends through this and have been able to keep in touch with my family and friends in a unique way. I have enjoyed every minute of it. 

Keep reading and it means a great deal to get your comments, too. All bloggers love comments. I guess that's how we connect. Here's to a hundred more posts!


FYI: Today is Mother's Day, a.k.a. Mothering Day, in England. At church, they gave out red mylar balloons that read, "I Love You" in white.  It was a really nice service.


Happy Sunday!! May the Lord's abundant blessings be upon you.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mom Missing! :-) 1/52 Photos of Me

Carin from Forever in Blue Jeans has set up a great year long meme that brings Moms out from behind the camera lens. Have you found yourself missing from pictures? If so, here's an opportunity to be the spotlight. 

I'm going to take it a step further and get "Dad" from behind the camera because he has been missing, too. At least in our home. 

This was taken a couple of weeks ago by my daughter, Braaten, while we were on a family walk.

Shawn and his parents were celebrating our nephew, Trent, playing in a State Championship game in which they won. It was perfect timing that we were visiting Indiana from England at the time and were able to go to "Indy" to see the big game.

To see more posts of Mom's (and Dad in my case) in pictures finally, visit Carin's blog. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Photo Shoot done by my girls

Oh the joys of being a kid...

Go to "Five Minutes for Mom" to see lots of Wordless Wednesday posts.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You're Gonna Miss This Moment - Breaking Bread Together

One of our favorite things to do is to visit the local "Chippy". That's where you get the famous English fish n' chips. One of the questions I get a lot is, "Have you had the fish and chips yet? My answer is a resounding yes! It's not the healthiest food to eat, but boy is it tasty. 

We recently had friends come to visit us, Pastor Ralph & Dianne, from Michigan. We walked into our little village of Lymm on a Friday night to share a meal together. They really enjoyed it and it is something we sure will miss. 

The closest thing I have had to it back home is "Arthur Treacher's Fish N' Chips". Does anyone remember that? My sister, Denise, used to bring us there when I was a  kid. 

You have to have with a little salt and some malt vinegar.

Melanie, Grant, Shawn, Cooper, Austin, Braaten, Pastor Ralph, and Dianne.

To post about moments you will miss, go to Pam's blog.

He's 2 today!!

Our boy, Fletch, just turned 2 today. I guess he is now considered an adult dog, but he really shows puppy behavior so much of the time. I am often asked how old he is when I walk him because of all of his energy! He is such a sweet dog.

Happy Birthday, Fletch!! 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Here's what's happening at our house

Just in case you were wondering what the current happenings are at our house, I thought I would fill you in. It's just basic life goin' on here for the most part.

Work has been keeping Shawn really busy these days. It seems like he is in meeting after meeting and has a full schedule. I'm thankful he has a job and he enjoys it, too. 

For fun he likes to play baseball with the boys on the weekend, spend time together with all of us going for walks, checking out a nearby town, or just staying home and catching up on 
our "Little House" dvd's. We are also huge American Idol fans, which airs here on Thursdays and Fridays. So don't tell me who has been voted off, because I probably haven't had a chance to see it yet, okay? :-)

We have been leading a small group that started in January and that has been going great. We now have 4 other families that meet with us with a total of 10 adults and 17 kids. We're studying Charles Stanley's, "Protecting Your Family".

We spend most of our time during the week homeschooling. Austin is in 7th grade and will be turning 13 in 10 days! Braaten is in 5th grade, Melanie in 3rd, and the twins, Grant and Cooper are in the 2nd grade. They were painting a picture together above. Homeschooling is a real challenge, but it's extremely rewarding. This is our 6th year and as long as God wants us to do it, we shall press on and appreciate the blessings. I wouldn't trade the time I have with the kids at home for anything. (That's definitely a "You're Gonna Miss This" post topic).

Here's Grant playing the Wii. The kids like to take turns playing either the Wii Fit or Animal Crossing. They just got a new game called, "Cocoto Kart Racing", which looks really difficult to master. 

Like I said, I keep busy with the kids during the week and also try to maintain this home, cook, do laundry...very sloooowly, spend time with friends, & play with the kids. Shawn and I have been trying to get back to a consistent date night. I have been quilting a lot more and love to scrapbook. That's a tougher one for me because it requires such creativity which takes lots of time. 

One of the great things I have enjoyed since I moved is that my groceries are delivered right to my door. It doesn't get any more convenient than that! I never had this type of service in Michigan, but my friend, Susan, from Minnesota has talked about having it there. I put my order in on my computer, book a delivery slot, and then voila''s here. 
We have had the run of the flu bug around here since some time in January. Thankfully everyone is well now, but 3 out of the 5 kids has had their share of it twice. Austin was feeling pretty badly in this picture, but was still trying to complete his schoolwork. He's been flu-free for several weeks now.

He has been shooting hoops out in the backyard aka back garden since the weather has been warming up. He loves playing a round of golf and taking lessons from his instructor, Steve. 

Baseball is starting up soon which always makes him happy.  

This is when Braaten was sick and she is one of the kids that had it twice.

The girls did a photo shoot recently and thought this would make a nice backdrop...literally!

Melanie is in the front garden. It reminds me that we will be putting in some vegetables soon. Most people start their gardening in March here. Shawn took the boys to the local B & Q, it's like Lowes or Home Depot, and bought seed packets, soil, and planters. Hopefully we'll have a successful year. 

We go for lots and lots of walks.

We're also trying to drink more water.  LOL

Braaten has been decorating the outside like it's her house and has been 
enjoying that. Her friend, Amy, had a blast, too, last Saturday.

Here's Melanie and Megan enjoying their newly decorated "house". 

That's about it for us. Our friends Sarah and Sydney will be visiting in a couple of weeks for 2 weeks. I am so excited about that. She's looking forward to just hanging out, but I think we'll be doing some serious sightseeing. For once, I will finally get to see London. It just hasn't worked out to this point. 

What's happening at your house these days?