Monday, November 30, 2015

November Blessings

In this month of counting our blessings, I have so much to be thankful for. God has really grown our family this month and provided for us in the midst of chaos. He has given our family so much this month, mostly closer relationships with each other, but it is far more than I had expected. God truly is the giver of all good things, especially of those things that money cannot buy.

What are you thankful for this month?

  1. An extra hour of sleep
  2. Hearing what God says about adultery
  3. Restful afternoon
  4. Reuben and Gabriel playing nicely together
  5. Jamey playing a board game with Jim and me
  6. Planning to plan
  7. God revealing more of our hearts to us
  8. Learning to function steadily in a chaotic day
  9. Finding consistency
  10. Growing in grace
  11. Seeing the Wilburn Family before they left for India
  12. Smoothie!
  13. Walking
  14. Good CG time at our house
  15. Leandro hanging out with the kids
  16. Working through things
  17. God giving me grace to help a boy having a seizure
  18. Making it through the day with 4 hours of sleep
  19. Jim and I really working through emotions
  20. Realizing so much of God's grace before I met Jim
  21. Jamey making me a card
  22. Time to relax for a few minutes
  23. God working in everything
  24. Going to bed early
  25. Going to see Jim at work
  26. Smoothie
  27. Getting most of the weeks school work completed
  28. Time to read
  29. God's continued grace
  30. Time with Jim
  31. Sleeping in a little
  32. Productive day
  33. Being together as a family
  34. Working through things
  35. Kids playing well together
  36. Having fun
  37. Learning about stealing
  38. God's conviction
  39. Growing with Jim
  40. Yummy sandwich at Flanagan's
  41. Good conversation
  42. Kids' napping
  43. Playing together
  44. Jamey helping the middle boys with recitation
  45. Getting up early
  46. Getting a lot of pictures uploaded
  47. Many Gospel conversations
  48. "Cupcake Wars"
  49. A freezer full of breast milk
  50. Kids ahead in individual work
  51. Jamey reading to Nehemiah
  52. Productive school day
  53. Productive house day
  54. Learning a new game
  55. Running errands alone
  56. Last day of co-op for the semester
  57. Secret Sisters
  58. Getting to co-op early with Jim at work
  59. McDonald's Breakfast
  60. Getting to see Jim at work for a few minutes
  61. Kids letting me sleep in a little
  62. Productive school and home day
  63. Talking through the resurrection
  64. Kids beginning to play well together
  65. Getting uploads finished
  66. Finishing up the school week early
  67. Dinner and Display with our co-op
  68. Good time with family
  69. Kids growing
  70. Evening with Jim at home
  71. Writing group
  72. Margaret joining us
  73. Family day at home
  74. Learning to work on things together
  75. Sam Growing in communication
  76. Learning about taking risks for God and living fully
  77. Commissioning service and reception for international workers
  78. Prayer
  79. God continuing to expose my heart to me
  80. Time with Gabe
  81. Car not being expensive to fix for now
  82. Kids playing well together
  83. Week off of school
  84. God working on me and helping me to grow
  85. Getting over a chapter read in my book
  86. Working on cleaning together
  87. Talking with God
  88. Hot shower
  89. Jamey teaching the younger kids
  90. Showing kids glow in the dark stuff
  91. Jim talking to the kids
  92. Lunch date at home with Jamey
  93. Productive afternoon
  94. Teaching kids to clean
  95. Feeling more normal mentally
  96. Very productive day
  97. Jim getting called off
  98. Putting kids clothes away
  99. Cleaning and organizing
  100. Getting most pictures uploaded 
  101. Finishing Lady Chatterly's Lover
  102. Productive morning
  103. Nice day out
  104. Talking through family and personal mission statements and goals
  105. Really communicating
  106. Neo doing well
  107. Catching up with Lindsay
  108. Good day out
  109. Yummy Panera
  110. Life planning with Jim
  111. Growing together in the knowledge of God and what He has for our family in this season
  112. Learning about coveting and how God wants us to view life
  113. Lunch with my sisters
  114. Hanging out as a family
  115. Kids welcoming Jacob
  116. Putting avocado on my eggs
  117. Productive day at home
  118. Growing with Jim
  119. Learning as a family
  120. Great encouraging time at book club
  121. Neo eating and pumping 4 oz
  122. Jamey reading from the Bible and taking notes
  123. Kids learning the Bible
  124. Good dialogue at CG
  125. Working through emotions more calmly
  126. Sam and Neo giving each other kisses
  127. Kids memorizing Scripture
  128. Coffee date with Jim
  129. Growing in working through things together
  130. Seeing my own sin
  131. Sleeping until 7:40!
  132. Spending the day with the McMillin family
  133. Daddy's surgery going well
  134. Lot's of good food
  135. Time and a half
  136. Kids being fully welcomed
  137. Celebrating Gabriel's birthday
  138. IHOP
  139. Hanging out with Becca and Ryan
  140. Pizza
  141. Ice Cream Cake
  142. Jamey loving Fireproof
  143. Growing as a family
  144. Finishing several projects
  145. Gabriel turning 3!
  146. Kids playing well together
  147. Talking with Becca
  148. God continuing to grow my heart
  149. Working with God and Jim to live life
  150. TV staying off until after dinner
  151. Learning about God's mission for His people
  152. Jamey asking how God redeems us
  153. Lots of leftovers
  154. Ryan and Becca getting us really yummy tacos
  155. Taking a nap

November Evaluation

Due to circumstances this past year, I'm not really changing my goals. Some will go that are not top priority, but I'm keeping the ones that fit with the overarching goal of having a God-centered life and the things I see Him leading me to right now. So thus far this is how it goes:

  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- Yes, I'm working more directed prayer into my day
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Yes! 
  • Memorize verses with the kids - We have memorized 10 verses together
  • Memorize Scripture- Doing this with the kids in school time
  • Go out for a date once a week- Yes
  • Go on a night away once this yearYes we went away for our anniversary!
  • Read 3 books together this year- Did not read any this month, this goal will not be met
  • Discuss plan weekly on Sunday Saturday afternoon- We are discussing plans but still need improvement on consistency and sticking to our plans as much as it depends on us
  • Spend 30 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- Getting better at this, still have a lot of growing, but at least we are progressing :)
  • Go to playgroup each Tuesday- Did not really happen this month and this one will likely be going away
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- A little behind in this but will be done soon
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- Need to go through pictures with Jim so this is on hold currently
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- Did some cleaning later in the month, but still not consistent hoping to grow in this next year
  • Keep up with my calendar- Status quo, still need improvement here
  • Being fully present when with my family- Getting better at this but always room for improvement
  • Continue sending out Prayer List- Yes
  • Read a book a month for myself- This month I read "Lady Chatterly's Lover" (review to come, I'm behind on my other review as well. Hopefully I'll get some blog posts written soon)
  • Journal 5 days a week- Yes! God has really been giving me opportunity to do this in the morning
  • Write (books) 3 days a week- I have written down some ideas for my nonfiction book I'm working on, and worked on the introduction with my writing group
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing and research publishing options- No additional work on this during the month
  • Finish Rosetta Stone Russian level 1 - Have not worked on this
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- YES! So thankful to have a new Sister in the group
  • Blog 3 days a week- Not at all
  • Go to water aerobics once a weekStarted back to find out that our instructor was moving and they are going to begin charging for classes so only did this half the month and this will be no more
  • Maintain weight until birthDid well with this, still gained some but far better than other pregnancies
  • Lose weight after giving birth- Just maintained this month, need a plan for this, but other things are taking priority
It's hard to believe November is at an end. This month involved a lot of ups and downs. We took a week off of school to teach cleaning and do major planning. Thanksgiving week was completely thrown off. But through it all, God has been faithful and is growing Jim and me together, giving us vision for our family and what we believe He wants it to look like. We are still struggling with execution, but hopefully during December we will get plans settled and 2016 will be a year of great growth for our family.

What was November like for you?

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Today my fourth child is 3 years old! How quickly the time has gone. Gabriel surprised us by coming a week before he was due, and he has continued to be a go-getter ever since then.

Gabriel is such a fun spirit. His name, we later found out, means mighty man of God, and is he ever strong willed. Though not extreme, he still seeks to please, but Gabriel is a determined little boy. He is rough and tumble and full of energy. His smile and laugh are contagious. He loves to learn and thinks he can do everything the older ones can.

I love to hear Gabriel talk. He is so excited about life and want to tell you about everything. He talks to his siblings and loves on them. Gabriel loves to dance and sing. He is just about anything you would expect a 3 year old boy to be.

As rough and tumble as he is, Gabriel is still sensitive and easily gets his feelings hurt. He loves hugs and kisses, but only when he wants them.

Giraffes are Gabriel's favorite animals. He also loves cars and puzzles. I am so thankful to see a love for reading in him already.

We started him with a preschool program this year and he gets so excited about learning. He loves to write and gets out his writing board for fun to practice writing.

I am so thankful God has given this precious boy to us. He is such a blessing to our family. God has used his life so much already.

Father, thank You for our precious Gabriel! Please make him into a mighty man of You and a man after Your own heart.


Photo shoot by Becca Camp