Friday, August 19, 2016

Thankful Catching Up!

I've decided it's time to catch up on this long-neglected blog of mine! So much has happened and yet all is the same! We had some disappointing news in March and were not able to move. We took our home off the market. We ended up owing a ton of taxes and it just takes money to move and we are secure here. (tight and secure) We really had our hearts set on Arizona.  I couldn't even talk to anyone the first couple months without tearing up and getting all emotional about it. It took me time to work through it all.  To work through God's plan for us. It's funny, too, looking back, because we had prepared ourselves even emotionally to move and then when we couldn't move and had to stay, well, it was a whole new set of emotions! I can't even explain some things I've learned about myself.  I didn't think I'd get depressed about something really, in the big picture of life, that is so small.  I had to pull myself out of it.  After lent was over I'd stopped going to daily Mass, and all the extra devotions that I'd done during lent were done. I was dry. And disappointed. And sad. Only God can heal those things. So I started going back to daily Mass as much as I could and started another 54 day rosary novena and before I knew it, I was back to normal.  Happy to be wherever God wants us to be.
(and still dreaming of Arizona)

By June, the 3 oldest kids were in a play and that involved daily play practice and lots of ways for me to keep busy and preoccupy my sadness. The kids were in the play "Brigadoon" (our homeschool theatre group)

Rosie's solo part right here, Kind of hard to hear, but she did wonderful!

Jedi has a fun love song here and if you watch the whole play on YouTube you can see his other solo song, it's a really fun one! (YouTube version below)

The kids made new friends and so did I! I am so very Thankful for our wonderful Homeschool Theatre and feel so very blessed we were still here in Minnesota to experience it!

 Thankful for my sweet new 10 year old! 10 is such a fun age, she's growing up and at the same time holding onto her childhood play.
 We had a simple birthday party painting birdhouses and having ice cream sundaes after lunch!
 Thankful for summer parades for our unicyclists!  It's such a fun thing to do in the summer.
Thankful for our newest unicyclist!
 Thankful for sidewalk chalk and kiddos that still love to play with it! These 2 littles bring so much joy to my life!

 Thankful for summer campfires that must include s'mores!

 Thankful for stories on the porch
 all summer long!
Thankful for breakfast on the porch, all summer long also!

Thankful for my porch! I love everything on the porch! My husband loves the air conditioning so I love to go to the porch to warm up! I also love to do my morning prayers there and whenever anyone comes over I ask, "Would you like to sit on the porch?"
 So Thankful it's summer and we can spend so much time outside!
 Thankful for my backyard view! Want to know what I'm watching here?
 These cutie pies!  OH, my! Thankful for little $9.99 blow-up pools and water from the hose!
Watch this next video, so so cute!

Thankful for joy-filled laughter and pure JOY.

Pure JOY, I tell you, pure JOY!  Isn't this just the picture of happiness and SUMMER? (above)
Go ahead, click on the picture, see the joy!

 Thankful for cute little kiddos on the 4th of July sporting their red, white and blue for our country!

 Thankful the 4th of July means grilling pork chops and spending time together all day!
(after the parade of course)
 Yep, you guessed it, I'm on the porch here.
Thankful for our messy, loud and flawed life.  We are far from perfect, but our goal is holiness.
 Thankful for red, white and blue firework painting! This easy project turned out really nice!
(it was not night time, it was dark and raining out here!) (not that we wouldn't paint at night time because we would)

 Thankful for a brand new 14 year old! She's grown up so fast, I just can't believe it.
 Thankful for a "Lake Birthday" party with her friends, because her friend Lily has a mama
that's my friend! Sarah and I spent the whole day talking while the girls were in the water doing this:

 Thankful for non-photogenic kids.  Oh, my goodness.  "Pretend you are smelling the flower"
"Like this mama?" "No, OK you can really smell the flower, just smell the flower" "No" "That's not how to do it honey."
 "No, never mind, you don't have to smell the flower.  Or eat it."
 Let's just give that up and take a selfie!
 Thankful for sun tea!!  One of my very favorite things.  (to sip on the porch, of course)

Thankful for smart little boys that LOVE to do 1000 piece puzzles with their daddy!
I'm serious, he sits there so patiently and looks and looks.  He put at least 50 pieces in this puzzle.
(Daddy did the rest) Thankful for a wonderful husband that loves to do puzzles!
 Thankful for beautiful sun-kissed freckles on beautiful almost-12 year old girls
 SO very Thankful I got to see one of my very favorite people in the whole world!! SARAH!!  She used to live in Fargo, ND and we were able to drive to see each other a couple times a year, but last year, she moved away to Colorado.  We had not seen each other in almost 2 years!!
 Thankful this beautiful girl got to see her godmother!
Thankful for my beautiful mailbox this year. It was looking so nice until....

The dang deer ate all my morning glories.  NOT Thankful for the deer.  AT all. Not even a little.

 Thankful for vocation camps, theater camps, Sisters of Schoenstatt camps, Steubenville weekends, surprise overnight visits from cousins (above)
 Thankful we spent as much time here playing at the local wading pool, it's already closed for the summer.
 Thankful we were able to meet my cousin Kristin and her beautiful children at the wading pool a couple times!

Thankful my school room is back in order and hopefully we be ready for school in just a couple weeks! Speaking of school, Jedi is starting PSEO classes Monday at our local Community College! He also started a couple weeks ago working his first job! SO many things are going to change in our family this next year as he prepares to get his drivers license and saves for his own car! Thankful I still have him home for 2 more years.  Hug your kids extra, they grow SO fast.  The days are long, but the years are short, so very short.

If you are still here after this very long "catch up" post, thank you, may God bless you!  Thank you to the few ladies that emailed me with their loving concern, you are a gift. I hope to come back soon with my movie reviews!


  1. I had a minute or two this Saturday morning and stopped on by. I'm so glad that I did!! Another wonderful Thankful post so fun to read. Your family is so precious and beautiful. Those smiles are the best! As I've said, I know I'm happy that you'll still be in MN, so I can see those sweet faces. (That means we really better get together more often!!) It was so much fun visiting at the lake and it was one of my favorite days this summer. It looks like you will have lots of new adventure and things to look forward this year. Wow, your kids are growing up! Mine are too. ;) The school room looks amazingly wonderfully organized. I could just sit in there and enjoy the beauty. lol. I see you have one of my favorite people up on your computer there too. hehehe.

    Blessings on the upcoming school year and all the treasures that staying in MN will hold for your family. Let's get together very soon!!

    1. Yes! We need to get together more often! Blessings on your upcoming planning and school is about to get very busy....or busier, if that's possible!

  2. Love this. Love you. It's so, so, so hard to pick up prayer and other dailys when those times hit, isn't it? Just when we need it the most too! But it's a decision each and every time and it's all by God's grace after that. Do your kids go to daily Mass too?

    1. Funny, how sometimes when things are going good and happy, it's even harder to pray. Weird how that works, isn't it?

      My almost 12 year old will go to daily Mass with me, but she doesn't like getting up early. The others will sometimes. I like us all to go on Fridays. I don't make them though on other days, I want them to WANT to go! :)

  3. Great catch-up. They kids look so great, growing up! Sending you love and prayers.

  4. Oh Jamie!
    How much this warmed my heart this morning!
    Well, not the part about you sad heart, but selfishly that you were back, posting, inspiring, sharing, and smiling.
    I've missed you here in Bloggyland.
    And your babies are growing. As is there job...
    But Amen for little ones to let us do it one more time!!!!

    1. I have not even been READING blogs! I'll have to head over to yours. I have so much to catch up on! I've missed the beautiful friendships I've made on here, like yours! ((hugs)) right back!

  5. I feel your disappointment. I also went through that for years and years at our old house. My parents picked out the house we were to live in (long story short: they were saving us from living in an apartment and we "flipped" a house for them, and also paid rent.) And even though we were very thankful to have a HOUSE and not a tiny apartment, it wasn't the same when you don't pick it yourself, you know? For ten years, I waited to move. But something always happened. Pregnancies and extra mouths to feed. Job lay-offs. Heart attacks. One income. And our family was growing and we had kids sleeping in the sun room because we ran out of room. Finally came the day for us that God said, "Ok, now you can move" but even then, it took an entire of year of fixing the house up and many rude comments from potential buyers who said the house was too worn out and not updated enough.

    Anyway, God will tell you when it's time for you to move too! I have noticed in my life, that when I try to initiate things in my life, they either never happen or else they don't go well at all. But when I wait for God to initiate, it always comes by surprise and it goes very easily! So I hope that that is what will happen for you, in God's time! :-)

    And this is just a side-comment (probably not a very appropriate one), but I always find it very awkward to put those puzzles together with Wonder Woman on it, don't you? It's sort of like "Oh, I found Wonder Woman's cleavage." LOL

    1. Ha! You are right about that wonder woman part...I said that to Tom when he got the puzzle....I kind of cringed....

      And you are right on God's timing being best....

  6. Looks like you had just a wonderful summer! Sun kissed children having a blast...doesnt get anybody then that.

  7. I was so happy to see your post-I've been missing reading about your family! (I enjoyed and appreciated your email, by the way!) Your kids have really grown up! Glad you had a good summer.

    1. Thanks Jan! The kids have grown so much, it's amazing how fast that time goes. How long the days can be, yet the years fly by!! It's true.

  8. Thankful you are back! Thanks for reminding me to see the beauty in the craziness of life!

    1. Good, I'm glad that's what you get out of these posts....that's my goal, to show the many ways to be thankful even in messy, crazy lives!!

  9. Your Summer's must be so different from our Louisiana summers. It's so hot here we can't spend time outside. I'd much rather any other season so we can actually spend time outside. Nice to see you blogging again. I'm sorry for your hard times, I'm working through some difficult times myself. Praying for you!!

  10. I've been off blogger for a couple of weeks. (Just wanting to soak up every passing minute with my kids... you know the feeling.) I'm so glad to see you back up and blogging. The blessings in your life are just bursting out and makes so many others recognize their own blessings. God bless!

  11. Hi, Jamie Jo! Just read some of your most recent posts :) You have a lovely family and blog!


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