Category Archives: Uncategorized

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015

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I love Christmas and New Years. It’s my favorite time of year but this past year was just plain crazy. Being gone over Thanksgiving and then coming home sick meant December was halfway over before I came up for air. So, it seemed to me that Christmas came up rather quick and I felt quite unprepared!

That doesn’t mean we didn’t celebrate – even if I was sick (yes, again!) on Christmas.

Alyssa playing “Mary” at the school Christmas play.

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Kaitlyn and Caleb both had speaking roles and did a great job. (all photos of them contain photos of other children so I can’t post them here but trust me they did great!)

After the program, it was off to Florida and even though Kirk and I were both sick we still had fun on Christmas Day 🙂

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Receiving some gifts they really wanted:

Yes, Julianna REALLY wanted a microscope!

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Okay, so body puzzle wasn’t top on her list (that Leo doll to her left was) but she loves knowing what’s inside our bodies, so she thought this was pretty cool.

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A teacher set. She loves to play school.

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Getting $100 is pretty cool but getting halfway to a new laptop you’ve been saving for makes it even better! I think she liked it 🙂

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That is his happy face…

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My whole crazy family 🙂 They were hoping to Photoshop me in – I was NOT feeling well and was more than happy to be on the other end of the camera.

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And because we’re from Virginia, it’s just fine to go to the beach in December!

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She loves her shells!!

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And Happy 2015 to you!

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As it is a new year it’s time for me to make resolutions. If you remember I love making them!

This year, I’m still working on them 🙂

Last year, I really wanted to re-do the house and we started off well. I still haven’t posted pictures but we re-made Kaitlyn’s room completely over the summer. What I didn’t plan for last year was a trip overseas and all the prep work that would entail.

The cool thing is – I did two things last year that I’ve always wanted to do:

1. Fly overseas.
2. Learn to sew.

I’m pretty excited to have those checked off my list even if they weren’t official resolutions!

BUT, this year I’d still like to
– read through the Bible
– finish decorating the house
– be more organized
– spend less money
– figure out what to do with writing
– try to learn a new language – this is something I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t gotten to. The question is, which one?? Having traveled to Russia, I’d love to learn Russian but it’s an extremely hard language to learn. So Spanish?

Still working that out 🙂

To keep things even I have to post a picture of the other two girls!

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New Family Pictures!

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New Family Pictures!

My good friend, Kristina loves to take pictures. She swears she’s still learning but I swear she does a great job 🙂 What do you think??

Of course, she did have to work around my kids silly faces…

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Love my kiddos!!

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And my hubby, of course 🙂

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I liked our clothes colors with the yellow and white striped covering. Just fun.

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And by the lake.

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Individual shots:

Kaitlyn

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Caleb

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Julianna (of course the curtsy was her idea)

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Rachel

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Alyssa

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The trio together. Love that they are sisters who really love each other!

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My handsome boys:

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I love taking family photos. My kids, not so much. They try to humor me a little bit though and end up being good sports. But I was told by the photographer that she took quite a few shots were at least one of my kids was making a funny or weird face. Doesn’t surprise me.

At least they’re cute!

Thanks Kristina for some great family photos 🙂

My Tax Deductions

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I can’t help it. I just love this picture! I hate doing our taxes but at least it’s the one time of year that my kids actually make me money rather than cost me money 🙂 (Though of course I belive that they are worth every penny!!)

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Somehow these sillies:

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Turned into these:

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In the blink of an eye.

Still the same tax deduction though 🙂 Hmmm…

Hope you get to enjoy tax day with your own tax deductions!

Done and Done. First Draft Finished.

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450115_laptop_user_2I know you’ve been wondering about the progress on my novel. I have been too. I meant to have this done before last August and here it is April of the FOLLOWING year! Yikes, how did that happen? Well, I finally got to it and got it done.

I put it off long enough. The novel HAD to be finished. Feels like I’ve been working on it forever but now the first draft is officially done! I’m pretty excited about it. After Easter I didn’t want to blog again until I could blog this and I did it!

But of course the first draft is just the first step. Now I have to refine it and make it better. Do a little research. No, I don’t research first. I just write the story and then see what questions I need to get answered afterwards.

Of course this is just Book 1 in the trilogy I have planned but I’m excited about this progress especially since it means I finally got myself in gear to sit down and just finish it!!

Sooo, if anyone would like to read a first draft and help my novel be even better I would love to hear from you because I need all the help I can get! For now though, I’m just going to be happy that I finished the first draft and I’m going to aim to get the second book done quite a bit faster.

Title: Repay No Evil

Genre: Christian Suspense

I Exalt You, O God Book Review

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418a5S8HLNL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX285_SY380_CR,0,0,285,380_SH20_OU01_Feels like forever since I’ve been able to do a book review. Instead of an actual copy I ordered this as a digital copy and for some reason that was really complicated for me! After months of putting it off I finally decided that I had to get this book and get it read and I’m so glad I did!

I am a big Jerry Bridges “fan” – I enjoy his books – they are God-centered and Gospel-focused and this book is no exception.

Set up as a 31-day devotional each day is focused on God followed by a written prayer that glorifies God using scripture. It is easy to read and gives you an amazing view of God. How can you not be in awe of God when the author lays out how great He is? One of my favorite examples was when Bridges says he measured how much water he could hold in the hollow of his hand and came up with barely a tablespoonful while God tells us in Isaiah that he measures the waters in the hollow of His hand! But lest we think God is so far away as not to care, Bridges consistently brings us back to the gospel and what Jesus has done for us on the cross. Not only does God love us but God IS love.

This book is perfect for anyone who watns to have devotional time with God. It immediately focuses your attention on Christ, lays out Biblical truths and then walks you through a prayer praising God based on the truths that you have just read. The devotionals are short and can be read pretty quickly which makes them perfect for my own personal devotions as well as for my husband who has a very busy career and my pre-teen daughter who is just beginning to learn what having a devotional time means.

Bottom Line for this book: 5 Stars, Excellent, God-Centered devotional; Highly Recommend!

You can get this book as a hard back or as an eBook on your Kindle at Amazon.com

This book was received free of charge from WaterBrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books Program. All opinions are my own.

Holiday Wrap Up

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Sure it’s two weeks past Christmas and a whole week into the New Year but that doesn’t mean the holidays are officially over. Does it? The first week of the new year is always an interesting time. I spend so much time in November and December planning for Christmas, looking forward to celebrating and then putting all together that when it’s over it’s always a bit sad. Life, school and work all go back to “normal” – no more days off from school. Fortunately we were able to make a lot of memories and spend a lot of time with family.

We celebrated a little before we left giving the kids their gifts from his family so that we had a few less gifts to take to Florida. The kids were thrilled to get Scentsy Buddies from Great-Grandma. And they smell sooo good that everywhere we go I’m smelling some great stuffed animals 🙂

The Thursday before Christmas we traveled to Florida and arrived just in time to meet baby Aubree the day she was born. Christmas Eve we spent with the rest of Kirk’s family and the kids got a few more gifts from their aunts and uncles.

Christmas morning we celebrated with my mom and dad. Since it was Sunday we only opened stockings before church. The girls “patiently” waiting to dig in to their gifts. I love the Christmas PJ’s!!

Favorite stocking gifts: toothbrushes, toothpaste and of course, animal hats!! Love these too 🙂

Christmas unwrapping ended up being quite chaotic so I didn’t get too many pictures but I didn’t miss the joy on Rachel’s face when she got the robe she had begged for a few months! They love to have robes on cold mornings and I’m always one for practical gifts.

Kaitlyn and Caleb got a few things they loved too.

All in all a good Christmas. It was very different from our usual Christmas mornings but the kids all enjoyed themselves and seemed temporarily satisfied. Got to love kids – even the day after Christmas they were already starting their list for next year. But these are our human hearts. We think that we will find fulfillment in the things of this world but even all the gifts we could ever want on Christmas morning our hearts will not be satisfied because our only true satisfaction is in Christ Himself.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Happy New Year 2012!!

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As 2011 ticks away, I’m excited to greet 2012! I know that some people hate making resolutions, some people don’t do them at all and some people make them and break them in a week but for me it’s the one time of year that I actually write down my goals for the year ahead and since they are written down here in “blog world” they are out there for everyone to see which pretty much motivates me to stay on track and get it done.

I do go back and forth between detailed lists and lists that are a little more basic. This year I have more of “to-do” list for the year – things that I hope to get done before the year ends as opposed to big lifestyle changes or “resolutions”.

Sooo, here’s my list:

1. Complete my current novel and make revisions so that it’s saleable by conference time (August/September) – not sure I could make this a resolution but I’d like to have a contract and/or an agent by the end of the year but the last part is out of my control 🙂 This is my #1 priority this year which is why it’s #1 on my list but also the biggest reason I’m combining my blogs so that I have more time to write.

2. Repaint the basement – I’m tired of how the basement looks – my goal is to try again and see if re-doing it will make it more inviting.

3. A few other house projects: half bath and kids bath need to be re-done; we need some new furniture (whether new or new-to-us I don’t care but a few things need to be replaced!) – there’s always more to be done decorating wise around the house. Last year I had hoped to decorate every month and it didn’t happen so this year I’m being a little more lenient on myself but still hoping I can get a number of things done.

4.  Coupon more/save money – this is always a goal. Every year I look for better deals, ways to make a little extra money at home and ways to cut costs when I shop – this year is no different.

5. Stay on budget! We’ve set it and this year I want to stick to it and even shave off some in every category.

6. Learn something new – sew, cook, decorate, photoshop – not sure yet but I’d like to try something – this is dependent on how my writing goes – there are only so many hours in the day and I still have a husband and family but if there’s time I would love to learn a new skill 🙂

7. Eat healthier and exercise more – I’m not trying to diet and I don’t have a weight loss goal per se but I’d like to be healthier all around.

I think that covers everything! The start of a new year means a chance to start over and look forward to some new and exciting stuff.

I pray that 2012 is a healthy and happy year for you and your family and that you succeed at the goals you set.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

These are the goals and plans I have set for 2012 but the Lord will direct my steps. I don’t know what the year ahead holds but I know the One who does so I will trust Him with the year’s outcome. I hope you will join me on my journey.