Sunday, March 31, 2019

It's Been a While! A Look at 2019 So Far...

 Life has been busy here in Western PA for the past few months. Homeschooling, homemaking, church, co-op stuff (I'm in charge of graduation this well as a few other important things!), teaching classes and doing some personal training at the Y (as well as exercising on my own)...among other things have kept me on my toes! I'm doing an indoor triathlon in the month of April....and preparing to kayak in an *Adventure Race* with a friend in June! I still have my etsy shop too! I fill orders as soon as I get them, if possible, so I can ship them quickly!

Chris has been working as usual, taking care of our family and providing for us. As weather allows when he is home, he has worked on things around the house. He works at auctions with our brother in law a couple times a month and has been leading men's bible study at our church a couple times a month. He is also a deacon at our church and is responsible for things there! He turned 40 in March. (I'm still trying to process how we have aged so quickly! I feel like high school was just a short while ago! Although I'm *still* in my 30' I haven't quite hit that "middle age" milestone yet!) He's still a wonderful husband and father. He is truly my other half...and I praise God for him daily! I love when he can make it into the gym with me and we workout together! We still flirt with each other...I love that! Almost 19 years of marriage and we still flirt! In September....I will have been married just as long as I was single!

Madelyn has been working a lot...she helps at my dad's garage (doing paperwork stuff) and cleans there too, works at a local pharmacy/gift shoppe, babysitting, and helps for a couple hours of child care at the Y (as well as fills in to help with swimming lessons for little ones). She also works daily to get her school done, attempts to do her chores....and practices playing the piano (as she plays at church on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings).

We went dress shopping for our homeschool co-op's formal that is coming up later this month. Madelyn put on a hat and glasses and she looked so cute I *had* to snap a picture! She saw it and thinks she looks awful...but I think she looks beautiful and adorable! My pretty baby girl is all grown up!

A few pictures of silliness after church one day (Madelyn drives separately because she has to go to church early to get ready to play the piano for worship...she and another girl play). Although you can't see it, I do wear a head covering for church (1 Corinthians 11)...

 My boys are doing well. They are growing much too quickly for my liking! X is taller than both Chris and me! I can hardly fathom how he will be 16 this summer (and Madelyn will be turning 18!!). Xavier has been working 3 afternoons a week at my dad's garage still. He learns a lot and gets a lot of experience. It's good for him and really helps my dad! He still practices his banjo and enjoys playing.

I love this picture of Madelyn and X at my dad's garage! They are both mid-laughter and it makes my heart smile big...

Jaxson has been drawing a lot in his free time. He is still our artistic one! He loves to draw and sketch! He put a piece of artwork in our homeschool co-op's academic fair this past weekend and won 3rd place over all the high school entries! So fun! He also enjoys making videos to put on youtube. He still takes guitar lessons and enjoys playing as well!

Here is Jax with his award at the academic fair:

I've been trying new recipes when I can. I received an instant pot for Christmas from Chris's parents and it is *awesome*! A friend let us borrow her air fryer to try too....and we've been having fun with it as well! :)

Here are some mini meatloaves I made...but I used a different recipe than my normal one:

And a new cheeseburger soup recipe I tried:

Our cats and dogs are doing well. As soon as my head hits the pillow, I have cats all over me (see below)....Ok, I'm being a bit dramatic as we only have TWO cats...but those two always have to be laying *on* me. It drives me bonkers...but I kind of love it too...

Cash and Mickey (below) enjoying their bones and basking in the sunshine. Spring is coming here...soon...I'm sure of it. We've had a few spring-like days...but right now we have a small layer of the white stuff. I'm looking forward to nicer weather when we can be outside enjoying God's creation!

Last...but definitely *NOT* sister's come to town some and I snapped some pictures of my nieces and nephew...unfortunately...I didn't take ONE picture of Eloise! Bummer! She was always off playing Legos or at an appointment while I watched the younger ones!


Dusten (with my aunt's dog who I was dogsitting for that day. She was away and her little Spencer gets terrible anxiety when he is alone)...


And I *love* this picture! Dusten and Audra...

So there is the last few months in a nutshell. hasn't been all butterflies and rainbows 'round these parts. I've had muscle injuries and pain. We've been dealing with some extended family troubles and sadness, as well as trying to be burden-bearers for dear friends who have been going through some terrible trials lately. We've had head colds and coughs....and just the normal ups and downs of this thing called life. God has been gracious to us through it all though. We keep our prayers to Him and constantly remind ourselves that He is our constant source of joy and contentment. Busy schedules (and we don't even have our children in activities like many families do nowadays...I can't imagine the running that would entail!) can cause stress...but we take one thing at a time.

My lack of posting is because of life...and because my children, although still beautiful to me, aren't wee little ones anymore. Life seems to keep going quicker and quicker. I miss it being slower when they were little....when everyone didn't have jobs to run to and responsibilities to fulfill. Well, Chris and I did...but my children were just that....children. They played and enjoyed their lives. Sure, they helped with chores and such...but it was all just *slower*. Now there is schooling, working, chores...and fun activities when they can get fit in! Oh my! Don't get me wrong...I am thankful for this season of life. I just miss that one too! ;)

I've also seen the Lord work in me as I have gotten older (and hopefully wiser). I've also seen Him work in Chris which is a beautiful thing. Chris has become a good leader of our home...and I trust that he makes good decisions for us. We're both still being in progress...but there is beauty in the growing.

Before I go....I wanted to share some things I listen to while I'm doing cardio on the elliptical. It can tend to be I enjoy listening to podcasts from Apologia Studios (the link is to their youtube channel but you can look up their podcasts on itunes if you want). You can also find Desiring God's podcasts on there too! On can watch some videos from the Headcovering Movement if you are interested in why I cover in public worship. And videos from Living Waters (Ray Comfort) are always encouraging and good too!

OK...this post is incredibly long...and I know I rambled. Please forgive that...I wish I would have sat down earlier to put more thought into it all....but here it is...after 10PM and I am exhausted with a busy day and week ahead of me. I'm still a homemaker/housewife and homeschooling mama....and as mundane as that may truly isn't. I seek to honor the Lord by serving others....and to do that, I keep busy! :) I want to head to bed and spend some time in prayer before nodding off to sleep!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to hear how you are doing!