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August 2016
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Read a book published this year and 52 New Books in 2016 | 52

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I mentioned earlier that I'd completed my goal of 52 New Books in 2016. It was with this book: Apprentice in Death; JD Robb's latest in her In Death series with book number five thousand two hundred and ninety eight...just joking! I think it's book number is in the later 40's in the series, not counting the short stories of the same. As this is also a book published this year it goes toward my 2016 Reading Challenge: Read a book published this year.

Pretty crazy, right?

I mean 52 New Books in less than a year. I'm totally siked. I'm seriously considering upping my reading 'game' in 2017. I can see 80 new books, 90 new books, even 100 new books on the horizon. Excited beyond words.

But, to finish out this challenge I read J. D. Robb's latest, Apprentice In Death, in her In Death series. As I will forever love this series and Robb hasn't written a bad one yet - although some have been way better than others - Apprentice in Death was pretty good. Dallas and Roarke are sitting in a pretty good place and with some personal thrown in, otherwise it's all police work. I love the process Dallas goes through with her trusty sidekick and numerous other supporting cast to solve the crimes. 

Curious and curious- er if Robb is planning on ending this series anytime soon or if she'll just ride the wave. My take is for her to ride the wave of fans everywhere who would hate to see this series go. After 45+ books I haven't gotten tired of the characters or the storylines she comes up with.

So, 52 New Books in 2016 is a wrap.

I'll finish out my 2016 Reading Challenge, too, this year.

And, of course, I'll continue to read new books and see where it takes me.


Stories 2016 | a conversation with Wyatt @7

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If you don't know what to say to kids, ask them questions. They are more than willing to open up to you and with enlightening answers too! Like I did Ella when we visited Elizabeth this time last year and asked Ella these same questions I knew I wanted to ask Wyatt and Ian these questions. My plan, I hope, is to ask them each year - and watch how they grow and change and mature - through their answers.

Wyatt's were very exciting.

I'm not sure when he saw a velopiraptor but it must have been memorable.

He is definitely wild and loud. He's mister to his momma so he must see himself that way too.

Such a great idea so I wanted to document it in a simple way. I used Sahlin Studio's Celebrate kit. Perfect!


52 New Books in 2016 | Finished

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Today I want to share my completed 4 x 4 mini album of my 52 New Books in 2016. When I set the goal at the beginning of the year to read 52 New Books in 2016 I thought I was setting a lofty goal. In truth, I believe I did. But, I've come to love reading new books, of many kinds, and because of this and finding websites on reading like Modern Mrs. Darcy, I was encouraged to read! 

And read.

So, this September, when I picked up J. D. Robb's Apprentice In Death, fitting of course because this series is my all-time favorite - still, I completed my goal of reading 52 New Books in 2016. It feels good. 

Of course, I believe this means my 2017 goal needs to be loftier and one that will take me to the very last day of the year to complete. What will it be? 

75 New Books in 2017?

80 New Books in 2017??

90 New Books in 2017???

100 New Books in 2017????

Gonna' have to give this some serious thought.

But, in the mean time I wanted to share my mini album that I created to document my success!

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I used a 4 x 4 We R Memories album, Ali Edwards Designs, and One Little Bird Designs to complete my pages.

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For each page I added the book cover, when I finished the book, and sometimes a short blurb of what I thought of the book, and at times, I rated the book.

I read some books that were just okay.

And some books I just did not like - even if they had rave reviews.

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I read several genres of books from Memoirs, to non-fiction; Christian non-fiction, Fiction, and Literary fiction.

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I am so pleased that from all of my reading travels I found some new favorite series' such as Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series and Clive Cussler Dirk Pitt series. 

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I was definitely stretched as a reader through this challenge. 

And I loved every minute of reading reviews, reading blogs about reading, selecting books, buying books, filling my shelves with books, and reading!

Documenting the books I read here on the blog, making mini-pages for a mini album of what I read, held me accountable to my goal. 

So excited for this coming years new reading goal.

 


Prayers for my husband from his head to his feet | Day 22

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Prayers for my husband’s patience

Lord God completely humble my husband’s heart, and with a gentleness that reflects Christ, I pray he is patient with me, his sons, and those around him; bearing up with the love of Christ (Ephesians 4:2), through the frustrating times, even when he’s tired and things get tough.

Fill my husband, Lord, with the power of the Holy Spirit, with the knowledge of Your will and with all wisdom and understanding for this will yield patience in my husband (Proverbs 19:11) and so that he may live a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that my husband will have great endurance and patience and giving joyful thanksgiving (Colossians 1:9-12a).

As my husband is one of God’s chosen, holy and dearly loved by God, I pray he clothes himself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing up around others with these traits and forgiving just as Christ forgives (Colossians 3:12-13a).

I pray my husband is not hot-tempered which stirs up conflict, but instead, is the one who is patient and calms a quarrel (Proverbs 15:18). Even when my husband thinks he needs to charge a situation like a warrior, it is better he is a patient person, one with self-control because then he will conquer the situation (Proverbs 16:32).

I know it is frustrating for my husband when he does what is right and good and yet those who live in unrighteousness and do evil are rewarded for their sins. I pray my husband be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him and that he does not fret when people succeed in their ways and carry out their wicked schemes (Psalm 37:7) because through all this a patient endurance is being developed in my husband (2 Corinthians 1:6). Thus, I pray, he be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near (James 5:8).


Prayers for my husband from his head to his feet | Day 21

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Prayers for his self-control

Thank you, Lord, that the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). May Your Word pierce my husband and may he hide Your words in his heart that he might not sin against you, Lord (Psalm 119:11).

You have said in Your Word, that one who is ruled by the Spirit is better than one who can take a city and one who does not have rule over his own Spirit is like a city that is broken down and without a wall (Proverbs 16:32; 25:28) Help my husband to be ruled by the Spirit, Lord, walking in Your Spirit daily, moment by moment; build my husband’s walls to impenetrable strength and ever increasing; for God has not given my husband a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Increase in him the fruit of the Spirit that is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). As he comes to know Your will and Your ways more each day, add to that knowledge, perseverance so that he will keep doing what is good and right, so that he will become effective and productive in his faith (2 Peter 1:5-8).

I pray my husband lives by the Spirit, is led by the Spirit and not according to the flesh, laying aside his old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit and lack of self-control, but putting to death the deeds of the body so that he might live (Romans 8:13; Ephesians 4:22). And, I pray that my husband does not let sin reign over him, nor obey its lusts, and that he is not an instrument of unrighteousness but that he is dead to sin, but alive to the righteousness of God (Romans 6:12-13).

I pray God that You would give my husband an athlete’s mentality, one who exercises self-control in all things as he trains for the race You have set before him and help him, Lord, to run in such a way that he is disciplined, keeping his body under control, so that he is not disqualified, but may finish the race for the eternal prize and You are glorified (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Father God, I pray my husband would be a workman who is worthy of that which You have called him to do. Remove any traits that are overbearing or quick tempered; may he not give in to drunkenness, violence, or pursue dishonest gain; rejecting ungodliness and worldly passions, but instead, I pray he is hospitable; one who loves what is good and upright, holy and self-controlled, temperate, worthy of respect, holding firm to Your trustworthy ways and awaiting his blessed hope (Titus 1:7-9; Titus 2: 2, 11-12).

Lord, our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (2 Peter 5:8). Make my husband strong, spiritually awake, alert and self-controlled, standing firm, and steadfast in faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet, so that he may be able to resist the devil’s evil schemes (2 Peter 5: 9-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).

I pray God my husband has a love for You instead of the world or the things in the world because all that is in the world —the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. Help him Lord to live each day with awareness that the world is passing away with all its desires, but whoever does the will of God will live forever (I John 2:15-17).

I pray my husband is a wise man with a wise heart who instructs his own mouth and persuades his own lips, and guards his mouth and his tongue, and holds his temper in check rather than be a fool who always loses control and always loses his temper and thus, guards his soul from trouble (Proverbs 29:11; Proverbs 16:23; Proverbs 21:23).

And Lord, You say that it is not You that tempts my husband because You cannot be tempted by evil. I pray my husband is not tempted nor drawn away by his own lust, nor that he be enticed by his own evil desires because it is this that leads to sin and death. Rather Lord, give my husband strength to flee from lusts and temptations and to run toward righteousness straight into Your arms (James 1:13-15). I pray Your Word of truth over my husband. Amen.


Watercolor Abstracts

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I played yesterday. I had some serious fun making a couple watercolor abstracts. This first one in shades of blues and indigo, sized 16x20, I'll frame out in white I think and plan on hanging it in our bedroom; our bedroom is blues and white (with gray walls and a touch of red). I am in love with indigo slash blues - for our bedroom, mind you. I titled this print STORM. I love how it turned out.

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I titled this watercolor abstract FRONT PORCH. It's also a 16x20 and I plan on hanging it to the left of my front door. I recently painted my front door (on the outside) Teal Endeavor (which turned out phenomenal by the way) and I was really into the teal, mustard, and orange that are my living room colors; and the black I added because we are going to update our door handles and dead bolts and we are going with black hardware. The black with the teal will go really well with the teal and black glider and two Adirondacks we have for our front porch. And, after I've shared all; that's the reason I titled this watercolor abstract FRONT PORCH.  

I need to upload them to Persnickety Prints or Nations Photo Lab and have them printed, and can't wait to hang them!


Stories 2016 | Trump's

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I recently completed a few digital pages, 12 x 12 for our friends, the Trumps. These five kids (a sister and 4 brothers) were adopted in to Jordan and Jessie's family. We befriended them at church, but they've since moved to Colorado. Jessie posts tons of photos on Facebook and because I'd already started a FAMILY album for them I decided to keep it up as long as they'll let me or until it is too much for me. But, man, it's great having the photos to work with and the journaling to go right along with it. Jessie makes my 'job' (Read: fun!) easy!

Digital notes: One Little Bird Designs

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This is a blessed family. Don't get me wrong, they've had their fair share of difficulties; adopting 5 kids from seriously difficult backgrounds, isn't easy. But, they are putting in the hard work and the are better together.

Digital Notes: One Little Bird Designs

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I love how Jordan and Jessie's lives are solidly FOR these kids. It's a grand adventure of good times.

Digital Notes: Sahlin Studio, Freebies

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I love lots of photos, where the photos are the focus, over two-page spreads with minimal embellishments!

Digital Notes: Ali Edwards and Sahlin Studio


Stories 2016 | Just Samuel

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I just saw Ian in May. I treasure my time with this guy so much. He just bends my heart to his like no one else.

Then, Ashley posted these photos on Facebook.

And I about died.

Even though Ian has his goofy grin (tugging at my heartstrings here; enough already:), but, it's not so goofy here but he looks so mature, instead.

It's like he's saying, "This is serious business holding my little brother. I'm going to get it right!"

Samuel Cole, you are one blessed boy to have Ian for your big brother. 

 

And, digitally, I used all Sahlin Studio's Me and You kit.

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Love always.

Enough said.

 

Digitally, more of Sahlin Studio Me and You kit.

 


Prayers for my husband from his head to his feet | Day 20

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Prayers for his faithfulness

You, O Lord, are compassionate and gracious. You are abounding in love and faithfulness (Psalm 86:15); faithful and obedient even to death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). Teach my husband your way of faithfulness with an undivided heart to You, and to our marriage (Psalm 86:11).

Lord, you promise to preserve those who are faithful and stand for truth (Psalms 31:22) not letting them come to ruin. Teach my husband to be faithful and courageous, standing for what is right and true in Your eyes (Psalm 33:4). May his love and faithfulness for our marriage, and for me, stand fast (Psalm 85:10). Help him put on the full armor of God to stand firm against the enemy’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11). I pray he will be on his guard, standing firm in faith, against anything that would ruin his reputation or ruin the trust of those around him (1 Corinthians 16:13). I pray our marriage and our home will never be divided against itself because a marriage or home divided cannot stand (Mark 3:25).

I pray my husband is prudent and sees dangers that lurk openly and the dangers that are hidden (Proverbs 27:12). I pray he resists all adulterous temptations, fleeing from them as his life depends on it, running to You, instead: I pray he resists the temptation to indulge in pornography, resists entertaining immoral or impure thoughts, resists inappropriate relationships, resists flirting with the opposite sex; no temptation can overtake my husband except what is common to man. God, who is faithful, will not let him be tempted beyond what he can bear and He will always provide a way out. And when He does, I pray my husband takes it and runs to You (1 Corinthians 10:13)!

As Your love for my husband reaches to the heavens and Your faithfulness to him stretches to the skies (Psalm 57:10) so I pray will my husband’s commitment to his wedding vows to me be proven through love and faithfulness.

Father God, You have said anyone who has been entrusted with something, must prove himself faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). I pray my husband is a man who proves himself faithful in small things, in things unseen, neither conceals things nor hides things for they will be made known, but that he be trusted and found faithful for greater things (Luke 12:2). So, I pray he chooses the way of faithfulness and sets his heart on that which is good and right, holding fast to his marriage covenant, and not let him, or me, be put to shame (Psalm 119:30-31). But, that he, with this in mind, be established as a man worthy of his calling, and that by the power of the Holy Spirit in him he may bring to fruition every desire for goodness and every deed prompted by faithfulness (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

I pray Lord, in view of Your mercy, my husband does not conform to the worlds standards and the worlds ideas of faithfulness but may he be transformed by the renewing of his mind so that he may know Your good, pleasing, and perfect will for his life and our marriage (Romans 12:1-2).

In the mighty Name of Jesus, I pray.


Friday, with a cup of coffee | 9

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Here are 6 things we need to do if we love blogs and podcasts. I agree with this. It's hard at first, speaking from experience, but once I took the plunge subscribing to a bloggers product, I reap the benefits every month and she provides such quality product I don't even miss the subscription fee. Or should I say - it's worth it! I subscribe to Ali Edwards' Story Kit. Granted, I receive digital product each month, but the subscription allows me to enter a classroom filled with quality scrapbooking advice through videos and PDFs. The work Ali puts in to her subscription is beyond amazing! I'm not sure I would subscribe to something just to subscribe. I have to weigh heavily how much it is useful for me; if it's something I can do without; and if it is worth my time but more particular my money.

7 Spiritual Consequences to a hurried life.

Beyond beautiful. Esther Havens' photography. She has a series the Israel Collective; oh my! It definitely makes me want to add Israel to my travel list.

In the waiting. (This is life-impacting stuff).

A photo essay through Auschwitz. Heart-wrenching. But, beautiful.

Yes. Yes. And, yes. This is a fantastic read on marriage. 

Very interesting read at Modern Mrs. Darcy on the difference between a book that is not right for you and a book that is not right for you now. And read all the comments (there's a lot, but they're intriguing).

Ode to Coffee: 25 Lovely Photos to wake you up and kickstart your day (the photo above).