The month of January was great! We went skiing twice up at Mt. Baker and that was a lot of fun, the kids and I all took ski lessons and Princess was quite the natural. We also had a great snow fall and we were able to go sledding right down our driveway and into the culdesac. In WI we are so used to only being able to sled for a little while cause it's so cold, but the temps were mild and we had a wonderful time!
My very good friend, Darice, came to visit us in the month of March! It was so fun having her here and showing off some of our local favorites, including Pikes Place Market and a ferry ride to Kingston to get crepes, so yummy! While she was here, I introduced her to green smoothies, and although she is not a vegetable eater, she was pleasantly surprised. I also got to make her some fresh homemade whole wheat bread. I have been making our own bread (and grinding our own wheat) since November and this was the first time I had an audience. Of course, I messed up the first batch and totally had to throw it away!!! No clue what I did wrong, it was hard as a brick! The second time was a success and she loved it, and I loved being able to share our yummy bread!
April was a very busy month in our house...or out of our house, I should say. The first weekend was Easter and we decided to go away for this since Mr. M would be starting his underway periods soon. We decided to go stay at the Great Wolf Lodge for the weekend. We had a wonderful time Easter morning of family worship time and Tink told the story of Jesus' death and resurrection, and even had some visuals. The following weekend was Tink's first time participating in Fine Arts. She entered 4 categories and did such a great job! She learned so much and had a great time. The weekend after that, was JBQ (Junior Bible Quiz) districts. Princess did SO great!! She came in 2nd over all and her team came in second as well! I am so proud of how well she has done this year and how she came out of her shell compared to last year. She earned all her seals and even her Master Quoter!! She is on B level so Districts was the last competition for her team this season. The last weekend in April, the kids and I drove to Idaho for TBQ (Teen Bible Quiz) regionals for Tink. She also did marvelously!! Her team came in 1st place, she came in 8th place over all, and then she came in 1st place in an individual quiz off. It was a fun weekend and the other kids liked being at the hotel pool! This was also the last meet for her level for TBQ.
The month of May was filled with baseball. Tink and Princess both played on girls softball teams and Little Man played t-ball. It was a very busy season with practices on 3 different nights, but thankfully all games were on Saturdays. We love watching the kids play sports and learn about sportsmanship and teamwork. Scooter just had fun playing at the field! Scooter was also the big birthday boy this month, he turned 3! He also got potty trained! Our last one to potty train, it's a little sad, but boy it's nice to not have diapers anymore! He's such a big boy now and I wonder where my little baby boy went?!
We started out July in the great state of Montana at Glacier Family Bible Camp. Mr. M was not able to go with us due to his schedule, but we decided to go anyway! We are so glad we did!! We had such a great time! Filled with God's word, Worship, family time, and great friends. I really wished I would have written an entire blog post about our trip to Montana, it was so great! We loved the service times and Bible study, we went and visited Glacier National Park, went swimming in a freezing cold lake, watched the fireworks in a farmers' field, played cards and watched movies with friends every night, and the kids loved riding their bikes all over camp and down to the snack shack with their friends. After family camp, we still had a lot going on in July. We went raspberry picking and made freezer jam, I took the kids camping by myself (no easy feat!), and we celebrated Princesses 10th birthday!
August was a wonderful month!! We had a record of 80 days with no rain from some time in July till October! It was crazy! I decided to put the kids into a summer swim lesson program, 2 weeks, every day M-F. It was a tough schedule to keep but the kids loved it! Scooter was so happy to be in the water without Mommy! My parents came to visit us in August, also, and it was the best visit we've ever had. Back in April, my Dad had gastric bypass surgery and when they came in August, he had lost 80 lbs already!! He was like a whole new man! He had so much energy and loved playing with the kids and helped me do some craigslist furniture shopping. It was so fun having my Dad back again!! While they were here we went blueberry picking with a bunch of our friends and that was so much fun, it reminded me of when I was younger and my Mom used to take me strawberry picking. Mom and I also got a chance to meet a long lost relative, her niece, my cousin. My Mom's sister had died during childbirth and after the funeral, everyone lost contact with her and her Dad. I found her this year, on her birthday, and she lived 3 hours away from me! God is so awesome!! It was so wonderful to reunite them and get to know her. It's amazing how much she had in common with our family! The most wonderful thing that happened in August, though, was that Tink received a calling to be a Missionary! As her Mom, I am proud and excited, and also a little scared for her! That is a huge calling and I pray that God will continue to speak to her and guide her on the path that He has for her.
September brought many things to us, Packer fever, new renters in our house in VA (Praise the Lord!), preschool for Scooter (that only lasted till Christmas!), and Mr. M came back to us again! We have missed him so much! We knew he'd be leaving again soon so we tried to pack as much as we could into this month. We were able to go to a Packer game in Seattle, that was a difficult game to be at with those replacement refs and one of the worse calls in NFL history, but we still love our Packers! We also went on the May Family Camping Trip 2012, which included Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountains and the western shore, Deception Pass and the San Juan Islands, and the North Cascades. Again, another trip I wish I would have blogged about! Everything we saw was SO amazing!! God is awesome in His creation! We ended the month with saying goodbye to Mr. M again.
We started school on October 1st. I will know for next year to end at the end of June (not May) and not start until October, cause the weather was so amazing! I got to go on a fun field trip with just my little Scooter to a pumpkin farm, we had a great time and of all the wonderful orange pumpkins in the whole field, he went straight for a white one. None of my kids have ever picked out a white pumpkin, so for Thanksgiving I made a white pumpkin pie, it was very good! Mr. M and I celebrated our 18th anniversary this month! Even though we could not be together on this day, we are so very thankful for the grace and mercy and love that God has given us and that we can love each other through it all! We also celebrated Tink turning 14!! She celebrated the night of her Bible study with another friend whose birthday was the same week. This past summer, Tink started a Bible Study and Book Club for middle school, homeschool, girls and it has really been such a huge blessing for not only the girls but also us Mom's who have become our own little encouragement and prayer group. This also gave us the chance to get to know some missionaries who were visiting for awhile and I know that we are now life long friends!
Last but not least, December. The girls are both in their JBQ and TBQ programs again this year and doing really great. This year is a little harder for Princess as she has moved up a level, but she's getting faster on that buzzer every meet. Tink has been doing amazingly well, they are doing the book of Matthew this year. She has quoted chapters 1-7 and completed chapter 7 with no mistakes! Her team continues to take 1st place at all their meets and she is learning so much about God's word. Mr. M's parents came to visit and I never get tired of showing everyone this great new area we live in. It was interesting that when my parents visited, it was sunny every day and they joked about me saying that it rains all the time. Then when my in laws were here, it was cloudy every day and they never once got to see the beautiful mountains that surround us! When choosing the kids Christmas outfits this year, I ended up making Tink's skirt...sort of. We just could not find anything appropriate for her at the stores so I bought a dress the same as her sisters and then took the top off and made it into a skirt!! So thankful to the Lord for technology so I could skype with Darice and her sister to learn how to do this! One thing we really love about December is reading the advent book. This year we read Tabitha's Travels, and we loved it just as much as we did Jotham's Journey. It's such a great time with our family and I can feel God pulling us to do this more then just at Christmas. God has really been leading us toward a time of family worship in our home and I am excited to see where He leads us next year! We found out this month that we are going to be moving back to VA for sure. As I opened Christmas cards this year, I found myself in tears over the friends that God has given us over the years across this great nation. We opened cards from people here who don't want us to leave, and then opened cards from friends in VA who can't wait for us to get there, and cards from others that say, I know what it's like to move once again. How very blessed we are. One of my favorite services at church of the whole year is the Christmas Eve Candlelight service. To hear all the voices and see all the lights shining for our Lord in unity, it's just always an amazing moment to me.
Our family scripture has always been Phil 4:13 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
God has been leading me to a new verse, 1 Thes 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
I pray that 2013 brings us closer to God, closer as a family, and that we will reach out to those around us in love and support. That no matter what we go through in life, that we will be joyful, prayerful, and thankful!! I pray that 2013 brings you love, joy, and peace!
Happy New Year 2013!!