5th Anniversary of our move to NY

I just had to post to commemorate the 5th anniversary of our move to NY.

In someways, it feels like yesterday. I can quickly conjure my feelings and sensations of pulling into the driveway at dusk on that St. Patrick's Day, a Friday night, and seeing a full parking lot. I wondered in learning that it was full because of the quarterly healing service taking place. The parsonage empty and relatively dark, the kids and I along with the Wolf family (dear friends who moved us) walked around what would become our new home. So fresh and clean, newly painted and waiting.

I could not have known then what I know now, of course. Could I have imagined that the difficult fall the preceded the move (releasing aunt to Jesus after long battle with breast cancer, 3 weeks later my grandmother, Thanksgiving week a great aunt) would turn into a difficult spring (saying goodbye to grandfather, several trips, selling house, etc.)? I wouldn't have imagined that I would struggle with depression again. Emerging from that I welcomed my fourth baby into my womb. We also welcomed many friends and family into our home (sometimes in back to back weeks). All total we had over 7 weeks of company between July and November. SOOOOO many memories in such a short amount of time.

It was a busy first year, and first year blended into second and third and fourth. Now five years have passed. Of all the things anticipated- many have come to fruition, many, of course, have not. Wonderful joy-filled seasons stand side by side with painful challenges and yet another struggle with depression. Of course, our Lord's promises are EVER FAITHFUL and He sees us through hard times and brings us round by grace to joy again. I marvel at the Lord's provision for us- a home the perfect size, close to the church with the great blessing of having our Daddy breeze in and out of our day as he comes and goes- visiting, to meetings, to services. A wonderfully large backyard (beyond the borders of fence!) and a loving community of faithful believers.

Thank you for hanging with me through this journey of sentiment! I'm reveling in this blessing and promise from Ephesians 3:
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

TONS of new books to read

I have just returned from a wonderful trip to Texas. While there, I had the opportunity to get together with friends I haven't seen in over 2 years. I asked them all to recommend books they'd read and either really enjoyed or were very challenged by. Having a big gift card to Amazon, I purchased them all (Merry Christmas to ME!) in typical "American" fashion- which I know in a few days I feel a bit condemned for when I begin reading. I'm showing them to you here- and thought I'd ask you- my "not just in Texas" friends- what have you been reading that's changing or challenging you? PLEASE let me know- I'd like to add them to my list! God IS indeed moving among us- and what more could we really want??? This world holds nothing for us that isn't of Him. If you've been through any major trials lately, I think you know what I mean.
God bless you in the growing,

Snow = Complain?

Well, the snow has been falling fast and furious for over a month now. I've been noticing that the complaints seem to whiz out almost as fast (though it didn't start that way)!

Wednesdays have been snow days for 4 out of the last 5 weeks here, incredibly. The great thing or tough thing, depending on your perspective, about homeschooling is that snow days and cancelled school don't have to cancel homeschool. I think this is great because we don't get way behind. Kids say, "Aw mom, can't we just have a snow day?!?!" And, of course we do. But, we get a little done those days, too.

So, when the snow starts to fall and the complaints start to fly, what can we do to curtail our whining? Is there something to be thankful for? Something that can now get accomplished --- even if it's snuggling in to watch a movie or a larger chunk of time to finish a project? Maybe there's a craft or game the kids have been begging to play- but the daunting setup has kept you saying, "Not now" (for me that's the yard sale $1 pottery wheel--- why did I say "yes" then?!?!)? Are your kids healthy- there's something to be grateful for? If they're not- we can be grateful that we're not missing anything by staying home.

All in all- I'm finding that if I'm relatively cheerful, the kids will be. If I let their complaining get to me and join in--- well--- it's all downhill from there. As we say in Texas (and you probably have a version, too!), "If mama ain't happy, ain't NObody happy!!!"

So, common, let's get happy!
Trying in NY,
Katherine worth your time!

Do you shop online? A friend turned me on to this site- which pays cashback by percentage for shopping online. The concept is that businesses pay small percentages for "click-throughs" on advertisements- and Ebates gives that to consumers as cashback. It only takes a moment to go to their site first and get cashback and frequently free shipping or other discounts are available as well. Check it out! Inspired online shopping- just in time for the holiday shopping season. : )

American Girl Doll Bed/Trunk Combo Recommendation

I wanted to pass on this bed/trunk combo for American Girl Dolls that I found last year. I ordered one for Hope's birthday last year. I paid for the trunk, Grandma bought the bed, and Oma bought bedding--- altogether- very affordable and a very nice keepsake. I started looking for this because Kirsten was being retired last year, and I had always thought I would buy the trunk to keep the dolls in until they had daughters. With it being discontinued, I thought I'd better get on that. However, if you've looked into them, they're VERY expensive- and- by October- they were sold out. So, I went looking online and found this one for a quarter of the price! We got it and LOVE it. The bed actually fits inside the trunk- and the doll can lay on the bed and clothes can be stored underneath the bed. The man who makes them was quite willing to work with me on customizing it, too- which I appreciated.

Without further ado...the link to the Bed/Trunk Combo. : )

Also, if you have these dolls, may I also recommend the Beautiful Girlhood Collection at Vision Forum? Particularly the historic dresses and books. To get all 4 books and dresses is about $100 but they can be purchased individually. We have really enjoyed the books. I can't recommend all the clothes- we were very disappointed with the Medieval Princess Doll Dress--- the Velcro destroyed the dress the first time we put it on the doll- and it didn't fit very well. That said- the historic dresses were much better. Books were GREAT! : )