Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Thankful 2018

 I thought I'd do a THANKFUL re-cap  of 2018 to catch up on my blogging. We'll see if this helps. I'd love to get back into blogging, but my busy life with teens and littles just seems to put blogging on the back burner. OH the days when all the kids were little. JANUARY 2018, We went sledding. A lot. We do live in Minnesota. I'm also THANKFUL we have a giant hill right behind our home. THANKFUL for little cookie-baker helpers. We also bake a lot in the winter. 

 THANKFUL FEBRUARY 2018 Lots of game playing and movie watching with good friends!! We are so very blessed that our kids have such good friends (this only shows a few) We also had a woman in need with 6 children live with us for about 6 weeks.  This made this house even crazier than it was but we were honored to be able to help.

THANKFUL MARCH 2018 Nicholas, my oldest turned 18. This is bittersweet even now, almost a year later. My book-end boys here. It seems like yesterday he was the age of our youngest. The days are long my friends, but the years are so very short. Cherish your children RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE. Before you know it, they won't be there at that age anymore.

 THANKFUL APRIL 2018 This month had a lot going on. Looking back, it was a long month! Easter picture above of the kids. April had a TON of snow and cold.
 And melting snow. Always fun to play in!
 Lots of games with friends.
 More snow.
 More games with friends.
 First Communion for this little beauty!!

 Graduation pictures for my oldest!
 Goofing off with his buds
Our family, so very THANKFUL for our beautiful family!

 THANKFUL MAY 2018 Spring in Minnesota had finally sprung! We had, I think, the longest winter I've ever experienced.

 THANKFUL for Hudson, our dog and the good care Clare here gives him
 Piano recitals with a brand new pianist!
 Katherine won a piano competition and was able to perform at the MMTA Honors Concert down in Minneapolis. It was a very special honor to be able to participate in.

 She also was CONFIRMED!! What a gift we have with our Catholic faith.
 Here she is with her sponsor, my good friend Tracey.
 Again, so very THANKFUL for so many wonderful, faith-filled friends!
 Mother's day was in there, the obligatory picture with their mama!
Nicholas also graduated with his Associate's degree from the local Community College and graduated high school! It was an exciting spring. (more on his graduation HERE)

We also said goodbye to Tom's dad, Grandpa Dean. He fought a good, long fight but in the end, cancer won. We miss him dearly.

 THANKFUL JUNE 2018 This pretty girl turned 12!! Can you guess her favorite color? Yellow, bright as the sun!
The rest of the month is a total blur, filled with camps, unicycling in parades and planning Nicholas's grad party! Oh my gosh, I couldn't have done the day without the awesome help of my good friends Nicki, Laura, and Marisol. Here are a few pics of the end results which included painting, cleaning, lots of yard work, staining the porch and painting the doors and outside of the house, completely cleaning 11 years worth of garage, planning and preparing food, decorating, and those picture boards....oh my goodness!! It was an awesome party, everything turned out amazing!! I'd still like to do a post on the actual party but we'll see. (just for future parties so I can look back!)

 THANKFUL JULY 2018 My beautiful grandmother turned 96, here I am with her and a few of my cousins! Below, she is with 7 of her 10 children. (2 are deceased) My dad is the man in the picture!

 THANKFUL for summer parades, especially the 4th of July! Everyone is so American and filled with patriotism! These are our unicyclists...

 THANKFUL these 2 girls were able to spend a couple days (a couple times) with their grandma!! She taught them how to sew doll clothes and quilts!! She is a blessing to us and they will treasure these days spent together forever.

 My oldest daughter turned sweet 16, she did not want a cake but only sherbet....so we tried to make it pretty! 16 meant starting a new job at Panera Bread, working towards her driver's license and getting ready for college classes at a local community college. She accomplished a ton in 2018.
 I finally got to meet my online friend Shannon and a couple of her beautiful 11 children!! It was a highlight of my summer that's for sure! You can find her blog HERE. Felt like we've known each other for years and always been friends!
 THANKFUL AUGUST 2018 Another highlight was meeting up with my friend Lori. She has had to persevere in her faith through some really really hard things and I look up and am so inspired by her living faith example.
 One of her daughters and my daughter had become online friends and not met until this day we met up in Duluth, MN. It was a day trip and we only had a short time to visit, but I treasure the time we had and vow to plan a much longer time next summer to visit!
I may have to write a post just on our day trip up to Duluth. I am so excited to go back to Duluth this coming summer. I actually wrote as one of my goals for 2019: "Go to Duluth each month in the summer!"

Another THANKFUL August thing was I was able to visit with my cousin Denise! She came from New York and we had a nice visit. Cousins are special people. We kind of re-connected this past year and it just felt so good to SEE her! I miss her and wish  we lived closer. When we were little, we were in our aunt's wedding. This is our aunt Suzanne. Isn't she beautiful? In the picture below you can see us, we are 49 now, we were 3 years old at the time of  Aunt Suzy's wedding.

 Aren't we sweet? And Aunt Suzy just looks so beautiful. She looks like a model here. I love this picture.
 Bridget here turned 9. Yes my baby girl is 9 now. And very grown up. She had an ear-piercing birthday!
Here she is with my mother.

 THANKFUL AUGUST 2018 This beautiful girl turned 14. She is so mature and grown up it's hard to believe she's only 14. She has several babysitting jobs, dog sitting jobs and volunteers at the local animal shelter. She's got big plans for life!

 School started. Only 4 left to teach. My oldest daughter started PSEO classes at a local Community College. (Post Secondary Education Opportunity--FREE college in her junior high school year)
 I got to see my grandma again, she's so beautiful!!
 I got to see my cousin Kristin. Her children's birthdays are in September and she always has a really nice party for them.(and invites ME!)
 We were holding onto every last bit of summer we could!
 Tom and I celebrated our birthdays. Our birthdays are one day apart. It's fun to celebrate together.
After 11 years living in our home, I found out that the hill behind our home has amazing sunsets. (11 years!!) THANKFUL I've even been trekking up that hill this winter just to see the sunset.

 THANKFUL OCTOBER 2018 was filled with biking on trails (at a local church parking lot!)

Heading to a local college nature reserve to walk and enjoy our last few days of warmer air. The fall colors were amazing.
 My sister Brenna came along for this walk!

 Highlight for October was my good friend Sarah and her daughter (my goddaughter) coming to visit from Colorado! Such a blessing to be able to see each other!!

She is so beautiful inside and out. We pretty much talk daily in some form or another, usually messaging through Facebook Messenger. (sometimes phone calls when we just have to TALK!) Sharing recipes and encouraging eachother in life.

 THANKFUL NOVEMBER 2018 Clare was in a Homeschool Theatre presentation of The Importance of Being Earnest. She is an amazing actress.

 We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! And got a new puppy!! We named her Penny.
 She is very sweet and all the kids love her!
 THANKFUL DECEMBER 2018 Tom and I celebrated our 23rd wedding Anniversary!

 My baby celebrated his 7th birthday!!(Yes, I said 7!) He had a Kylo Ren birthday. My kids always love the bad guys.

 We had a very blessed Christmas!
 We got to celebrate Christmas with my Grandma who is  now 96 1/2 years old!
THANKFUL I reached my goal 6 weeks ago and have maintained it and as of yesterday have made "LIFETIME" on WW (Weight Watchers) I've lost 57.6 pounds and it took me exactly 17 months to do so.(slow and steady wins the race!)

It's been a blessed year filled with grace and LOVE. Thank you God for my faith, my husband and my family and friends. As we begin this new year of 2019, I will focus on my very favorite bible verse: