Looking forward

It's been a few days...

How is everyone?

Can you even believe it's almost November? Which means, for us... it's nearly time for Operation Christmas Child! We did this for the first time last year and loved it. The kids and I have been talking about it for weeks and we're anxious to do some shopping and get those shoeboxes packed. For more information on Operation Christmas Child, go here.

Within the next couple of weeks we're going to be doing this again, too. I can't wait! I was looking at our Thanksgiving journal the other day and was so thankful we have this tradition. We started doing this in 2002, when Ella was just a baby. It is such a delight for us to thumb back through these pages and see God's gifts from year to year. If you're not already doing something like this, I encourage you to begin! It takes just one evening, minimal scrapbooking skills, some photos, a journal, pen, and a thankful heart. And your children will *love* the family project.

Today we went out to celebrate Aidan's birthday (Amy's oldest). He is SEVEN years old. I had the wonderful privilege of being there when this little guy came into the world, and it is such a joy to see the godly young man he's becoming. (It's those great parents of his!)

I just finished knitting my first hat! I'll post a picture as soon as I take one. I'm working up the courage to start a sweater. Not just yet, though.

"Homeschooling" would be a term you could use lightly around our house lately. We haven't done "school" for quite a few days. Mark has asked kiddingly, "What, is this like early-Fall break or something?" Yeah, pretty much. We've just been busy, what with birthdays and organizing and making meals for a friend who just had their fourth baby, leading small group (and having our house clean to host it), baking for one thing or another, laundry, colds,... you name it, we've done it. I even postponed school one day last week so that I could clean and rearrange our bedroom. (And Ella helped me, as I tried to explain to her that this was "kinda school"... you know, serving and blessing daddy this way. She completely bought that and was cleaning happily and helpfully.) I vacillate between being completely okay with this and stressing that I'm an utter failure.

One more thing...
Mark's sister Shelley is going in for surgery on Friday. She will be having a lump removed as well as some lymph nodes, and will follow up with radiation treatment. Will you join us in prayer for her, her husband, and their four children? Thank you, dear readers.

It is a gift to have such wonderful online friends, and I do love stopping by your blogs and catching up with each of you. (That is, except for Amy, who still needs a blog. Ame...?)


  1. Thanks for reminding me about Oper. Christmas Child. We did that last year and we'd like to do it again this year.

    The journal is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  2. If it is ok with you, let me just voice my vote... be completely ok with a light schedule!!! Your kiddos are so little; you are covering all they "need" to know! The things they are doing like helping serve at home ARE valuable!! You are in no way a failure and there is only one who wants you to believe that. And his native language is lies!

    I love your journal idea. We do something similar with the kids (make a turkey hand from their handprint and write what they are thankful for). But Scott and I aren't in it! We should find a way to add us this year. Great idea, girl! :)

    I think Amy should start a blog, too, so I can find out about this best friend of yours. :)

    Praying for Mark's sister.

  3. praying for Shelley and the family... Sounds like the action they're taking is what my Mom went through also, so praying as specifically as I know. Thanks for keeping us updated. Sending lots of love and hugs through the miles... Camee

  4. Hi Stacy :) I love the Tksgvg journal idea! Thanks for sharing that.

    I wanted to chime in with Cindy to encourage you as you school. Her words blessed me, too :)

    You can count on my prayers for Shelley - for peace and joy as she trusts the Father with this - and for all of you. Love, Q

  5. Stacy,
    Yes, I will be praying for Mark's sister as well. To encourage you, Yes, have fun with your little ones! They will remember these days having *fun* learning! It's ok that you don't do it everyday-they will see that relationships and serving others are very important..
    Don't you just *love* rearranging!?! LOL

  6. Yes! Don't worry about the school stuff. Plus, I saw how many library books you got this week! You are doing well, I would say!

    We are excited to do the shoe boxes again this year too. It was so tangible for us last year, --a blessing.

    And I am planning on shamelessly copying your thanksgiving journal this year! Our pages that we have done in the past always get lost and one book would prevent that. So thanks for the great ideas. And the permission to copy.

    And I am so glad you were there seven years ago and every year since!

    And no blogging for me. I guess we will just have to keep it on the IRL level.

    oh, and ps, Aidan still has those pads on!

    Love ya,

  7. Oh man, my feelings about my "homeschooling" these days are so similar to yours...and we're only in preschool! But I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who puts school by the wayside when things get busy. I certainly don't think you're a failure when I read this, so I guess that means I'm not either. :)

    I started a Thanksgiving journal two years ago but we never really finished our entries that year, so then I got discouraged and didn't do it at all last year. But I'm inspired anew to restart this year.

    And, we're doing Operation Christmas Child this year as well.

    And, thanks for the update on Shelley. I'll be praying.

  8. I want to start a Thanksgiving Journal this year as well- thanks for the reminder!

  9. We are planning to do the shoeboxes this year..thanks for the reminder. Could you post pictures of your Thanksgiving Journel? I am always looking for ideas. We did a page each with our kids on Canadian Thanksgiving this year.
    As for school....there is no way you are a complete failure! You are so committed and in love with those kids I don't think it's possible.I see that from simply reading your blog!
    I do understand the struggle though....I recently starting taking on some outside stuff to bring in income and I am questioning myself in the area of time management. Though it doesn't require me to be away from my kids very much.....it's that balance of dividing homemaking and school and then the work.
    I will pray for Mark's sister.

  10. Stacey, I love it that you are teaching your children to serve and bless. You are SO not a failure -- I am blessed by what you are doing! And yes, please post more about your Thanksgiving journal.

    Praying for Mark's sister ... she has probably already had her surgery, but I'll pray for the results as well as the radiation treatment.

  11. Hey again, friend. Wondered how Mark's sister did yesterday. Love to you!


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