First though, I'm so proud of myself! I figured out how to embed a Spotify playlist of music which has ministered to my heart in the sidebar of my blog. It is my "heart encouragement" playlist, and I thought that you might enjoy listening to it as well. 'Cause all of us need heart encouragement some days, right? If you are reading this in an email or in a reader, you will need to go to my blog to see and listen to the playlist. www.joyfulmomofmany.com I do hope that it blesses you as it has me. For some reason, music has a way of speaking to my soul in a very deep and profound way. You too?
First up in photos: my "word" for 2013. Courage (purchased here). Because I can always use a reminder.
The children and I are all gradually adjusting to life in our new home.
I love the windows and light here! Our new home backs up to a park/greenspace which has the most fabulous running/biking trail. So the children and I can simply walk out of our door and run or bike! Incredible!
A few weeks ago on an unseasonably warm day, Jake and I were able to go for a nice long ride together on that trail~ what a blast! I *love* having adult children who are such fun to spend time with!
And get this, not only is there a running trail, but a river (a small one!) runs through this park, right behind our house!
Check out the frog that the boys found there! He's *huge*!! It was still pretty cold out, so he wasn't very active. Isn't he neat?
Caleb very kindly agreed to go running early one morning with me several weeks ago (very kind of him because I run *so* much slower than he does!), and we came across evidence of one of the most ambitious beavers around! Check out the size of the tree that he was attempting to fell! And it wasn't going to fall towards the creek, either! So funny!
Really, the biggest news around here, by far though, is that I am a grandmother now! Our oldest son Nathaniel and his sweet wife Jamie blessed us with "little" Stephen Nathaniel a few weeks ago! Is he not adorable?!
Stephen had to spend a few days in the NICU, mostly precautionary, it ended up. He is doing just fine now. Is that not the *cutest* baby?!!
We can hardly wait until April 1 when Nate, Jamie and Stephen come visit us! We are all so excited to hold little Stephen!
Caleb and Joshua are involved in Civil Air Patrol and actually got to fly a few weeks ago! They were even able to take over the controls of the plane once they were up in the air! How cool is that?!!
And, since you know that I love sunset (and sunrise) photos, I had to include these! I get to see the prettiest sunsets right from our house here!
So fun when I catch them reading to each other as well.
My mother recently purchased the devotional Jesus Calling for me. Highly recommended! I am seriously suspicious that the author Sarah Young has been spying on me because so many of the daily devotionals seem to be specifically targeted to my current circumstances/challenges.
And of course, I had to include a cute Jasper photo! Oh how I missed my little corgi! I think that he missed me too because he pretty much follows me around the house and plants himself at my feet whenever I stop walking. Last week I was cooking in the kitchen and looked down to see this!
The big, big story around here the last few weeks is snow! Initially we received a smallish dusting of snow... so pretty!
That turned out to just be a warmup for the two huge snows that we received this past week! The first one was 14" and the second, on top of that was 8"!! So fun!
Isn't this a sweet picture that Abbie took of herself out in the snow? I can't believe that she is 16 already!
The most recent snow was a very, very wet and heavy snow! Look what I awoke to see out of our front door!
I helped the boys shovel our driveway that day. What a workout that was, moving such heavy snow! We had so much fun, raced to see who could shovel a path to the street first, threw a few snowballs, etc.
The chairs on our deck looked like they had snow cushions on them!
Joshua, Jon and I got to go take a super-fun walk in the deep, deep snow that morning! It was *way* over the tops of my boots! Hard to tell in this photo, but it was almost to my knees!
It is not easy to see in this photo, but there is the most lovely stone fence right behind our house! Here it is, quite frosted with snow.
And here it is, with just a small amount of snow. I *love* considering the history of something like that stone fence. Who made it and when? The labor that went into that fence was a part of somebody's story. It intrigues me.
Thank you for praying for us, and for your loving emails and notes. You are each deeply appreciated.