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52 Gratitudes 2015 | Finishing out the year.

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Finishing out the year strong with my 52 Gratitudes project. It is a wonderful lesson to wrap up in. Amidst a trying year giving thanks, being grateful has been one of the positives I've held onto in order to sustain. It has now been 3 years I've done this project and while it may seem like it is time to move on to another project, I decided I need to amp up this project, instead. 

In honor of my One Little Word for 2016 - GIVE, my 52 Gratitudes will be called GIVE thanks. I purchased these (below) from Val Marie Paper and rather than photograph and journal digitally as I have been doing for years, I will be hand writing my gratitudes, my thankfulness, over the course of the year. Daily, weekly, at a minimum.

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Each gratitude journal has 1000 lines and I bought two - just in case! I will have plenty of room to GIVE thanks to God over the course of the year. Will I blog this project? Yes, I think so. In some way - I'm just not sure how yet. But, I am very excited to take pen to paper and hand-write my thanks, my gratitudes, my gratefulness to God. He deserves it!


stories 2015 | this makes my heart happy

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Over the years God has fitted and weaved others, young women mostly, or couples, and couples becoming families, Melanie and Mark (Sidnie, Blake, and Selah), Kim and Brad, Stacia (Steven and Spencer), and this big family, the Trumps; a young couple who adopted five siblings, into our lives, nestled them in then out as each one has moved away (tears). This time, these kids would come upstairs at our church to the K-5 children's ministry where Jeff, the boys and I serve every week, Jeff would interact with them with his Donald Duck voice, then we befriended their soon-to-be real parents. Then,

God spoke,

"Give to this family.

They need you."

We listened.

And now, they are leaving too! But, I'm certain God will bring another. 


December Daily 2015 | 15

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For no other reason then creativity I made this day. Plus, laughter. I loved these papers from One Little Bird and knew I'd include them in some way and multiple times within my december daily. I made the wood elements and the word art and just had fun moving papers around until I liked the arrangement. It was a couple hours of just playing fun. And I wanted to include it in the album. Doesn't tell a story except 'laughter'. I've done a bit more this month as it's been rather lacking over this past season and past year for that matter.

I still have a few more stories to tell and then I'll call this project good. I'm not going to worry about it being a full 25 'day's of stories.


December Daily 2015 | 14

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We watched Savannah Christian Church's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever with our little adopted family, The Trumps. It'll be our last 'together' time with them before they move to their next duty station as he is in the Army. It has been special getting to know them and making them a small part of our family. Jessie told me recently that we have been such a blessing to their family that they feel like we are family. We just listened. Invited them into our home and our lives. Gave them our time. Shared our table. Humbling to say the least when it is this couple, who've adopted five kids, who are blessed.


December Daily 2015 | 13

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'Tis true. I'm losing momentum in this December Daily but there are still simple little stories to tell. This is another story I've been pondering for awhile. Actually, for weeks, each Wednesday and Sunday I walk through our church doors and see that awesome sweater-like backdrop set up for 'selfies' of each families #bestchristmasever. Honestly, I couldn't name just one. Again, honestly, I don't think there is just one. The year Ashley and the boys were staying with us over Christmas. The year we began the tradition of giving one gift from each person. The year we began going to Brewers Tree Farm to cut down our own tree, which has since become a tradition. The year we began giving Jesus gifts in various ways. 

I'm thinking the best Christmas ever will be the ones we keep Jesus in our hearts and minds, embrace the spirit of giving instead of receiving, filled with laughter and merry and peace in our home.

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Digital Products: Ali Edwards and One Little Bird


stories 2015 | oh what fun!

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Oh what fun it was putting this page together with these fun photos of Elizabeth in her Christmas - sy apron and her chef's cap - I want one so bad! I absolutely love it when Elizabeth catches photos of Ella when she isn't posing but doing, and making memories - like baking Christmas sugary cookies topped with red and green icing - and snow! Oh what fun!

Digital Products: Little Lamm & Co.

P.S. I'm posting this page while Jarrod is playing Christmas music on his phone, baking up bacon in the oven for on our pizza's, Jeff and John are out back working on the walk way out to the marsh getting ready to come inside and make pizza's and I'm battling a pretty tough bout of arthritic pain enough to take medicine.


52 Gratitudes 2015 | 41-49

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Got behind posting my 52 Gratitudes for 2015. Thought I'd do a big catch up in one go. I just recently made a large Persnickety Prints purchase of 'photos' for several album projects such as our Date Night album, an album for Maggie, Noah's 1st Year album, December Daily, this 52 Gratitudes project, and the 30 Days of Thankful - but I'm behind on a couple of those projects, although not by much thankfully, and plan on another big catch up after the first of the year, when I'll be planning my 2016 projects.


December Daily 2015 | 12

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Remembering Jesus this season. We've done a lot of giving this Christmas season. It feels so good. For me personally I'm getting a jump start on my One Little Word for 2016 - GIVE. I cannot express how awesome it has been to move beyond myself and give, sometimes money, sometimes large tips, sometimes gifts to young friends. So, in the spirit of Christmas and the reason for the season and the reason for living with a giving heart all year here is December Daily - Day 12.

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I used a Paislee Press template with One Little Bird digital products for these pages. Added some of my favorite Christmas Bible verses (ran out of room though). Love how it turned out!

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Photo of our lighted Nativity glass and vinyl blocks. Probably my favorite decoration for Christmas. This year, besides our tree, it is the only decoration we put up for Christmas.