Thursday, December 4, 2014

November Blessings

During the month of thankfulness, I should have so much to be thankful for, but my brain is at a loss and I did not write as I went through the month. It has been a challenging month, but I know I can remember quite a few things to be thankful for. So here it goes.


  1. Learning to have deep conversations
  2. Celebrating new life with friends
  3. The Sholtes family
  4. Finding out we're having another baby
  5. Being due the day after my sister :)
  6. Being able to go to Georgia for a week
  7. Visiting with the Kalath family
  8. Mamaliga cu brunza!
  9. Celebrating Gabriel's 2nd Birthday
  10. Visiting with the Elrod family
  11. Meeting baby Lily
  12. My kids loving to play with their cousins
  13. Thanksgiving with my family
  14. Good visit with family
  15. Watching "Winning London"
  16. Getting to go to the closing session of Sojourn Network Conference
  17. The Cheong family
  18. Learning more and more to rely fully on God to be my everything
  19. Time to rest and sleep
  20. God's continual provision 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

November Evaluation

Spiritual
  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- Yes, usually for strength or wisdom sporadically throughout the day
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Not at all 
  • Memorize verses with the kids - Did not learn anything new in November
  • Memorize Proverbs 31:10-31 and Romans 1 (I hope to add more to it, but this is where I want to start)- I have made Proverbs 31:10-31 part of Lillian's school curriculum for this year and have  most of it memorized generally still need to get it in solidly. 
Marriage
  • Go out for a date once a month- Still going on 1 a week and I think this is our new goal
  • Go on a night away once this year- Yes, went overnight to Lexington for our 10th anniversary, and planning to go away a few days at the end of December
  • Read 3 books together this year- We did no reading together but SOM work this month
  • Discuss plan weekly on Sunday afternoon- Still improving, but mostly
Kids
  • Spend 30 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- Not at all
  • Go to playgroup each Tuesday- Missed a couple due to weather
  • Take kids to Science Center or Zoo at least once a month- No and this will not happen the rest of the year
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Did not write in any this month, have catching up to do
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- I did not even try to work on this. Clearly this was a little over ambitious for this year. Maybe in 2015
Homemaking
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- Nope
  • Keep up with my calendar- I wrote most everything on my calendar,that's about as far as it went
  • Being fully present when with my family- Getting better at this, though this mostly meant being present with Jim this month
Ministry
  • Continue to host Women's Prayer once a month- Yes
  • Have at least 4 Childbirth Conversation classes this year- This may have been too, lofty of a goal. I do not see getting another one in this year as it stands right now.
  • Start Childbirth Conversation blogYes! It is finally launched. You can check it out here
Personal
  • Read a book a month aside from Class material- I'm reading a lot between reading with Jim, school with the kids and by myself, so we finished some books with school, but I did not personally finish anything this month
  • Journal 5 days a week- I think I wrote maybe 3 days
  • Write (books) 3 days a week- No writing
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing and research publishing options- No editing
  • Complete Childbirth Conversation book- Did not work on this at all
  • Plan for next novel and write in November- I don't think I will be doing this. There is just too much going on.
  • Finish Rosetta Stone Russian level 1 and begin Level 2- Have not worked on this
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Yes!
  • Blog 3 days a week- Obviously I blogged 0 days in November
Health
  • Go to water aerobics once a week- Still not getting this in. Would love to, but still working on family priorities
  • Maintain weight until birth
  • Lose weight after giving birth- This goal is on hold until after I give birth again! Now I'm back to the above goal
What can I say about November? I barely remember it. It was really hard physically, emotionally and spiritually. Most days were spent in long hard conversations with little sleep. I had little time with God, but He continued to sustain me. All of my goals went out the window as I sought to care for my Jim and help him wrestle through truth, the most important task I have been given in this life. God has shown me how good He is, even in the middle of challenges. He has even chosen to bless us with another child. My God is amazing and continues to show me His goodness and greatness everyday. Without Him, I would be lost.

How was November for you?

Gabriel is 2!



On November 28th our 4th turned 2! It's hard to believe 2 years have passed since Gabriel joined our family, as so much has happened. Gabriel has grown so much in 2 years. Recently he has become so verbal, talking and crying to be heard. He loves his siblings and wants attention from everyone. It's so much fun watching him wrestle with his brothers. Jamey loves to tickle him and make him laugh. Gabriel has a contagious smile and laugh. He gives a big cheese smile when we pull out the camera. He loves to explore and be outside. Running is so much better than walking. This year he got to move into a crib in the room with the older boys, which he loves. It is such a blessing watching him grow closer to his brothers. Though he does have the role of annoying little brother down pat when he really wants to bother them. :)
Gabriel is rough and tumble, but also very sensitive. He loves hugs and snuggles. When he gets hurt he wants his Daddy. He loves his Daddy. He also loves to snuggle with Mama. It's so much fun rocking with my sweet little boy.
Gabriel loves to learn as long as he is moving around. (Such a boy :) ) He really likes to sing, dance and clap. I think we have a real music lover on our hands. Anytime he hears music he pays attention. He is beginning to like to color and read books. He really wants to write. It is so fun watching Gabriel learn and grow.
Gabriel loves to eat and eats just about anything you put in front of him. He could eat all the time, and it sometimes feels like he does. It was such a blessing to celebrate his birthday with family on Thanksgiving day. We are so thankful for Gabriel's life in our lives!

Father, thank you for giving Gabriel to our family. He is such a blessing! I pray You will save him by Your grace and make him into a mighty man of Yours. Give Gabriel a deep love for You, Your word and Your ways. May he love You with all his heart, soul, mind and strength.

Friday, October 31, 2014

October Blessings

October has flown by and I have not kept up with our blessings as well as I would like. There have been so many in everyday life that I want to record, but when I get the chance to write I battle to remember everything! (Can I get an amen on that?) So here is what I can remember from this month. I'm also listing some that I had forgotten from last month



  1. Getting to meet Jim for lunch during his on campus time for his modular class
  2. Seeing God move in Jim's heart
  3. Laughter of children in the back of a car during a road trip
  4. Watching Jamey grow as the oldest
  5. Seeing friendships beginning to form between our kids
  6. God consistently drawing me out of a thought life that is damaging
  7. God digging out lies that I believe and bringing me to life and freedom in Christ
  8. Dedicating Samuel to the Lord
  9. Getting to go to our first Redeem Marriage event
  10. Going to the Word and Words conference
  11. Growing in my love for the Lord
  12. Desiring more than ever to know the love of God and teach it to my kids
  13. God's love for us
  14. Sam turning 6 months old
  15. Celebrating Sara's birthday
  16. Working on my books
  17. God using hard things to draw us closer to Him and each other
  18. Celebrating new life with friends
  19. God's mercy and grace being poured out on us
  20. Jamey telling me he wants to obey
  21. All of our kids learning to play together well
  22. The kids asking to go outside and play
  23. Jim and I growing in love for each other 
  24. Jim and I communicating better
  25. Reading more again 

October Evaluation

Spiritual
  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- Yes
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Yes! 
  • Memorize verses with the kids - Still doing this every week of school
  • Memorize Proverbs 31:10-31 and Romans 1 (I hope to add more to it, but this is where I want to start)- I have made Proverbs 31:10-31 part of Lillian's school curriculum for this year and have  most of it memorized generally still need to get it in solidly. Sort of looked at Ephesians 1
Marriage
  • Go out for a date once a month- Still going on 1 a week and I think this is our new goal
  • Go on a night away once this year- Yes, went overnight to Lexington for our 10th anniversary
  • Read 3 books together this year- We have been reading lots of stuff for school of missions, but have not completed another book together yet. We started a book that we will hopefully get through next month.
  • Discuss plan weekly on Sunday afternoon- Still improving, but mostly
Kids
  • Spend 30 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- We are still improving on this, but we are getting closer to this goal. Right now we are really evaluating what we want our days and weeks to look like with new rhythms
  • Go to playgroup each Tuesday- Missed a couple due to weather
  • Take kids to Science Center or Zoo at least once a month- No and this will not happen the rest of the year
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Worked on these this month
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- I did not even try to work on this. Clearly this was a little over ambitious for this year. Maybe in 2015
Homemaking
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- Still are not doing well with this. Hope to improve as we work out new rhythms
  • Keep up with my calendar- Did fairly well with this overall, still room for improvement
  • Being fully present when with my family- Getting better at this. God has been really working on me and helping me to do better in this area
Ministry
  • Continue to host Women's Prayer once a month- Yes
  • Have at least 4 Childbirth Conversation classes this year- This may have been too, lofty of a goal. I do not see getting another one in this year as it stands right now.
  • Start Childbirth Conversation blogYes! It is finally launched. You can check it out here
Personal
  • Read a book a month aside from Class material- I'm reading a lot between reading with Jim, school with the kids and by myself, so we finished some books with school, and this month I finished "A Love That Multiplies"
  • Journal 5 days a week- I think I averaged this this month
  • Write (books) 3 days a week- Worked on writing a couple of days. We are seeking the best way to get this into our new rhythms
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing and research publishing options- Did a little editing one day
  • Complete Childbirth Conversation book- Did not work on this at all
  • Plan for next novel and write in November- I don't think I will be doing this. There is just too much going on.
  • Finish Rosetta Stone Russian level 1 and begin Level 2- Have not worked on this
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Were not able to meet this month but planning to meet tomorrow!
  • Blog 3 days a week- I don't think I quite reached this, but wrote more than I thought I would
Health
  • Go to water aerobics once a week- Still not getting this in. Would love to, but still working on family priorities
  • Maintain weight until birth
  • Lose weight after giving birth- I joined Weight Watchers and I am down almost 15 lbs! 
October has flown by in so many ways, and yet some days were like molasses. I did not get as much done in October as I would have liked, but a couple of weeks ended up far more challenging in other ways that I had anticipated. One thing God is continuing to teach me throughout all of this is He knows what priorities should be at the top and when other things come into play and we must listen to Him to know how our days should go. God is good and continues to teach me a lot as I fail to reach goals, but learn how to live the life He has given me to live.

How was your October?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Felicity Learns A Lesson

I read Felicity Learns A Lesson with Lillian as part of our homeschool day. I enjoyed this book far better than the first for several reasons. As Lillian and I study the Proverbs 31 woman, there were many things in this book to talk through that related to this passage such as taking care of a home and doing good to your husband and family. It was also good to talk through trusting God and obeying His commands and how to respectfully disagree with authority. We also enjoyed the end with historical note about school during that time period. It is a fun way to learn history in fiction.

I would give this book 4 stars.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Love That Multiplies

This second book by the Duggar's I was really excited to read. As a whole it was an interesting book, much of it not being surprising since I have watched some of their show. It begins with the story of Josie's birth, which I had seen. It is well written and sounds much like they talk. Since the first 2 section of the book was more retelling, it was not very interesting to me, but would likely be for someone who is unfamiliar with their story.

I really appreciate their emphasis on prayer and their love of Scripture. There is a lot in their lifestyle I could get behind and even follow. I enjoyed the chapters on homeschooling, marriage, Jim Bob's hobby, and Michelle's heart for moms. Some of the tips they gave are very useful and I need to go back and read again. (I really need to read it again and write down things I like.) They clearly love Jesus and desire to please Him.

There were several things I did not like about the book. I was very saddened by their emphasis on effort and little to none on grace. Though many of their ideals seem good, there appears to be a lot of legalistic tendencies, which I either fall hard for and buck fully. I struggle with reading things like this as I battle this balance. I was also saddened as I read their chapter on dating. It seemed from what they said, I would never have been allowed to marry Jim. I may be reading too much into what they wrote, but that is the impression I got. I see so much of separating themselves from the world that I do not know how to read things.

I think I would like to read it again to wrestle through some things and write down what I think is good and appropriate. Because of the mixed things I saw, I would only give it 3 stars, but I would still recommend people reading it.