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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving :: And November Newsletter

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Dear Friends!

This holiday has taken on such renewed meaning in my life since I met her and read her book.

I started my own list, which is pretty much how I started this blog,  and it’s somewhere in the 1600’s, but I know enough to know that that’s just a tiny, tiny glimpse of His gifts.

I can say from the depths of my heart, as the Bible is so clear as well, that it is so easy to pin my lack of contentment, anger, doubt, fear back to a lack of thanks.  Since I began this journey I’ve known times when the way to life was to thank Him, BUT I WOULDN’T!  How’s that for learning the obstinacy of my own heart?!  But, even here, there is thanks.  Thanks that this light shines and the darkness is easier to recognize for what it is too and this is the real truth :: the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

And for all of you who follow our journey, here is Our November Newsletter that updates you on our family and the ministry we are called to in Central & Eastern Europe.

May You be FILLED with Him and His Great Love for YOU today and no matter the joy or sadness that a ‘family holiday’ can bring, may YOU know the depths of His love for you…TODAY.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

As Much As I Have of What’s Been Happening

From the beginning of June to the beginning of October we moved 5 times, yes FIVE.  We also travelled from Orlando, FL to Fort Collins, CO and then back to Pennsylvania.  I was too much trying to just keep my head straight to get picturesSad smile But, as with all things, I want to be thankful for what I do have and most, all that I remember of what’s given to fill my heart…this precious family I have and HIM.

The only picture I have from our ‘Colorado house’ is this one of Susie playing in the bottom of the dresser drawer when I was packing up to leave.Smile

I’m happy to say that we were really living a lot and enjoying the sweet relationships there, so that’s how I took in our time in ColoradoSmile

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A Plains of Nebraska Sunset in the first leg of our trek home

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Some fuses for our lighters blew {due to overuse, no doubt;}, so we didn’t have any DVD entertainment for the first 9 hour drive…so like in the good-ole-days circa oh, less than 10 years ago!, mama spent some good time nestled between the kids reading, doing this little piggy, etc.

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Priceless face post-nap, don’t you agree?  These little troopers have sure spent some serious time in the car!!

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We stayed with some dear, generous friends the first month we came back to PA.  They had a butterfly bush and my much-better-photographer-than-me hubby took these pictures.

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We’ve had chances to meet up with family.  My nieces Kaylie & Kelsee holding Susie’s hands.  My twin sister’s son, Judah, with his ‘Mama Abby’. {we look too much alike for our kids to call us ‘auntie’.Smile}

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‘Duck, Duck, GOOSE!!!’ at the Castle Park in Doylestown.

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Hanging out and eating at our friends’ house

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We had a wonderful family day together with Jared’s family at Knoeble’s family amusement park.

Susie zooming down the slide with DaddyPrincess

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The manual cars…Jared’s mom remembered him and his brother riding these when they were little.

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JJ with his hands up on the roller coaster.  It went through four times and till the end his hands weren’t upWinking smile

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The whole familySmile

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awww…my beloved and I.  It’s nice to get pictures of just us and remember it was once ‘just us.’

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It’s amazing that these sweet kids still have smiles for us when they’re in the vanSmileSmileSmile

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As a belated Birthday present, JJ went to meet Thomas the Train with Daddy.  Mommy and Susie were sad to miss it, but JJ was surprised by some other friends :: Our Florida Family.

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‘I’m the #1 Engine in Sodor’

Thomas is surely saying behind Jared and JJ.

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Maybe Sir Topham Hat is telling JJ ‘You are a really useful Engine {aka :: Little Boy}!’

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Uncle Jamie and Little JJ were up from Florida for a Daddy-Son weekend and met up with JJ and Jared!  Both of the JJ’s really, really love Thomas!

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And then it was time for Susie’s Birthday.

We made her favorite…CHILI!!!  No lie, the spicier the better with this girl!

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My first attempt at a doll/princess cake. 

I used the Pampered Chef batter bowl and a dark chocolate cake mix substituting applesauce for the oil.  I thought it would be dry because it needed longer to bke through, but it was really moist. 

I topped it with a dollar store knock-off Barbie and a couple pieces of a dollar store play jewelry :: a ring for a crown and a bracelet twisted and taped for a necklace.

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Susie did a great job blowing out the candles.  She was a star birthday girl, for sure!

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She was great at opening presents and letting older cousins and brothers help her!

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After church, Jared, the photographer, took some pictures of the kids to ‘mark’ their 4th and 2nd birthdays.

As you can see, they are GROWING! and GROWING! and GROWING!

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The second place that we lived in PA was a very quaint little one-bedroom apartment.  Since there was only a stall shower we had to come up with a tub for Susie. 

Enter :: Ducky Tub! 

She loved it and would run right to the bathroom to get in it whenever we mentioned it!

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Susie also found her special play place under the table at the apartment.

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Here are some pictures of the one-bedroom place.  We did LOVE it, but when we realized we would be in PA until January, and a missionary house became available, we decided it would be worth it to have more spaceWinking smile

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Also, when we set our goal date for January 1st, we decided it would be great to enroll JJ in pre-school.  So, in early October he started at a nearby school three afternoons a week.  The Lord worked everything out and the icing on the cake is that JJ’s teacher is one of my former students who became a good friend!

These pictures are from a field trip to a local farm and orchard.

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Farmer Caleb did a great job with the kids.  He did a whole presentation on how to make cider.  After trying to SQUEEZE IT and hit it with a little, middle and bigger hammer, we figured out we needed cheesecloth.  Then we all got to try some apple cider!

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JJ got to pick one apple and he picked a nice BIG oneSmile

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For the month of October, I wrote for 31 days STRAIGHT at my other blog, Fan the Flame

A series called ::

31 Days to His Heart

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And we have all drunk in the colors of fall.  This was one of the things we missed so much living in Florida…the glorious changes of the seasons especially in the colors of Fall.

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It’s good to be back here…I am planning to revive this blog and keep it STRONG as we settle into life overseas in Budapest.  Keep checking in, please!!!