Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Our Oldest is 8!

Today our oldest, James, turned 8 years old. Though he is the first I can tell we're already entering a new phase. James is such a fun and exciting boy, but he is now entering those preteen years where he is beginning to come into his own. He's wanting to be called James and is testing it out (much like one of his parents) and is seeking out what he can be independent in. He loves school and learning, except his math facts. He really enjoys reading, drawing and overall being creative. This past week for fun, James began reading The Hobbit and telling me all the ways it is different than the movie! I love his amazing mind. God has given him such an incredible brain and I'm excited to see what God does with it.

James really loves his baby brothers and taking care of them. He always asks to get them out of bed, he feeds them and has started changing diapers. He is really preparing to be a father. He very much desires to have a family, which is so fun to see. When you ask him how many children he wants, he answers, as many as God gives me! What amazing faith! I pray God will continue to move in his heart and teach James to follow Him where ever He leads with great faith and without fear.

The most amazing growth we have seen in James this year is spiritually. He has been reading the Bible on his own, memorizing Scripture like never before, asking questions about anything he can think of related to Bible and theology, and growing in prayer. It is such a blessing to see God's hand working in your child! He obviously has a long way to go and battles with other fears, but God uses those opportunities for us to teach James about God's character and our flesh and the battle that we face.

We have been so blessed with James the last 8 years and look forward to many more years with him!

Father, please continue to move and grow James for your glory and to bring your Kingdom here on Earth. Give him a deep faith and show him how much he needs you to live. Please, let him love You more than anyone or anything and seek you in everything! Thank you for such a precious boy. Please make him into a man after Your own heart! In Jesus's Name, Amen!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Year 33

Today I celebrated 33 years of life! It's really quite unbelievable to me, but there it is. What most struck me today is I'm the same age Jesus was when he was crucified. It definitely caused me to pause and reflect. Jesus fulfilled His purpose on earth in this year. He died for the sins of the world. He died for me. It's sobering isn't it?

And yet, more than ever, I want to celebrate and rejoice. Why? Because of Jesus's 33 years on Earth, I can have a full life in Him, with Him, not only now, but into eternity. I have eternal life because of what Jesus did for me! How awesome and amazing is that!?

Year 33 has been wonderful, hard, fast and full of growth. I know my Savior and my God more deeply than I have ever known Him. Jim and I are closer than we have ever been. EVER! I have 7 beautiful children. I've learned how to love deeper, forgive more, trust God even when it doesn't make sense, be open, be unafraid to just ask, and really see people as people. I still have a LONG way to go in many of these areas, but by God's grace I'm more like Jesus today than I was yesterday. I am blessed beyond measure!

Father, thank You for 33 years of life. Thank you for sobering me, humbling me and yet still giving me reason to rejoice. You are the giver of life and You have filled mine to the brim. I'm so thankful that I am Yours and You are mine. Thank You for teaching me, growing me and never, NEVER giving up on me. Please continue to teach me to do the same. Thank You for another year and may every year be more amazing and full, until You call me home.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Two More Reading Challenges

As if I don't have enough going on in my life, I have two more reading challenges that I also want to work through during the year. Yes, two more! No I'm not crazy, I just want this to be a year of reading over TV. I really do enjoy reading a LOT and I want us to chose reading over watching generally speaking. I'm not holding myself to strict guidelines or anything, but having other challenges helps me to think about other things I want and/or need to read.

Full disclosure: I will be using some books on multiple challenges because one is crazy with 104 books for the year! So I may not get all of those, but I'm going to try. :)

If you want to join me you can follow the links below:

The 2017 Christian Reading Challenge with Tim Challies

2017 Christian Reading Challenge for Christian Women on Young Wife's Guide
There is one for men linked on this site as well that Jim is planning to participate in!

Both of these sites have PDFs that you can print off and keep track of what you're reading! Perfect for this check list perfectionist. :)

I have seen another challenge on a different blog that I may check out at some point too! This is merely to stretch myself and challenge myself to read more. And I always do better when there is something to challenge me.

So what about you? What reading challenges are you doing this year?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Back to the Classics Challenge 2017

Time for getting Back to the Classics again! Thankful to Books and Chocolate for hosting this challenge. So now time to figure out what to read for each category. A few of my books will fit in more than one category, so choosing where to put them is tricky since I haven't chosen all of my books as of yet. Below are the categories for this year and underneath are some of the books I'm considering. If you have recommendations for a particular  category or suggestions on how to arrange them, please share! 


1.  A 19th Century Classic - any book published between 1800 and 1899.

2.  A 20th Century Classic - any book published between 1900 and 1967. Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later, such as posthumous publications.

3.  A classic by a woman author

4.  A classic in translation.  Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. Feel free to read the book in your language or the original language. (You can also read books in translation for any of the other categories).

5.  A classic published before 1800. Plays and epic poems are acceptable in this category also. The Taming of the Shrew

An romance classic. I'm pretty flexible here about the definition of romance. It can have a happy ending or a sad ending, as long as there is a strong romantic element to the plot.

7.  A Gothic or horror classic. For a good definition of what makes a book Gothic, and an excellent list of possible reads, please see this list on Goodreads. Frankenstein

8.  A classic with a number in the title. Examples include A Tale of Two CitiesThree Men in a Boat, The Nine Tailors, Henry V, Fahrenheit 451, etc.

9.  A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title.  It an actual animal or a metaphor, or just the name. Examples include To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, The Metamorphosis, White Fang, etc. 

10. A classic set in a place you'd like to visit. It can be real or imaginary: The Wizard of Oz, Down and Out in Paris and London, Death on the Nile, etc.

11. An award-winning classic. It could be the Newbery award, the Prix Goncourt, the Pulitzer Prize, the James Tait Award, etc. Any award, just mention in your blog post what award your choice received.

12. A Russian Classic2017 will be the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, so read a classic by any Russian author. 


Frankenstein- fits in 3 categories, but likely will be used for Gothic or horror classic
A Canticle for Leibowitz- Will likely be used for an award-winning classic
Out of the Silent Planet- Probably 20th century classic
Perelandra- no idea just have it and would like to read it
That Hideous Strength- again not a clue
Taming of the Shrew- Classic before 1800 OR
Pilgrim's Progress- Classic before 1800 
Sherlock Homes?
Treasure Island
Anna Karenina- Russian Classic

That's what I have so far! I may omit some this year and use them next year if I find others that will fit the categories better. In put welcomed!

So where are you in your classics? Will you join the challenge?