Sunday, December 30, 2012

Our 2012 Review {Thoughts From Me}

2012 has been a busy year for us.  The year brought us joys and sorrows.  Overall, it was one of the best years we could have.

This week in 2011 we discovered we were expecting a new addition to our family.  Jackson Lucas Lee was born in August 2012.  9 months of morning sickness, heartburn, headaches and exhaustion brought to us the sweetest joy we could ask for in one tiny, sweet little boy.

The older kids were thrilled to have a new sibling.  They look forward to helping to raise Jax and loving him, playing with him and sharing in every joy he brings to us.  Their world circles baby brother right now.

School wasn't nearly as structured as I had wished for us this past year.  Thankfully, we had reviews for the Schoolhouse Crew which kept us going, filling in as we passed through the year.  Many items we stuck with, using almost daily and many others gave us the change we needed to keep us going.  Needless to say, we look forward to another year with the crew as we continue to adjust to having another baby in our home.

This year we upgraded items in our home too.  The kids got new Televisions for Christmas.  We got new living room furniture at tax time. 

We have a new-to-us Tahoe. Most recently we purchased a new washer and dryer, which was much needed with washing 6 peoples clothing.  Baby things had to be purchased.

I must say my favorite purchase this year was my Nikon camera.  I've been able to work on my photography business this year and provide memories for my family and friends throughout the year.  Photos that have blessed those I love most.

I can only hope as we head into the new year, that next year will be as good to us as this one has been.  Our lives have been so blessed throughout this past year.  I'm hoping to accomplish much in 2013, all while watching my babies grow even more.  It's the first time in a long time, I can say I'm actually looking forward to the new year.

Happy New Year to all of you.  I pray you have the best year you can too!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winston's Turning 12 {Thoughts From Me}

Christmas is finally past and we move onto the last birthday of the year, which starts our birthday season around here.  Winston turns 12 on December 28.  I can hardly believe he's already 12.  My baby has grown up way too quickly.

Every day he comes one day closer to being a strong, patient and loving man.  In a few months, I expect that he will be taller than me.  In a few years, he will be grown and moving on.  Momma is sooo not ready for all of this.

I'm proud of my baby.  He's always supportive of me.  He does all I ask with very little attitude.  He's a servant and a man of strength.  He's kind to his siblings.  He enjoys working hard.

Recently, he's discovered a love of nature.  He enjoys hunting.  For Christmas, he shot his first gun. One of his presents was a starter bow set to learn archery, something he requested to do.

The years are getting shorter and I am trying to make the best of the time I have left with him as my child.  Children grow up way too fast.  They leave the nest before Momma is ready to let them go.  But every precious moment and memory they bring us is worth the process of going through it all.  I will never forget a single day, I've spent with my handsome son.

Happy Birthday to my precious boy.  May his life be all he wishes and his dreams come true.  He's been a blessing to my life and I pray he always knows love and happiness in his future.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Six Things We Say In Homeschool {Homeschooling}

Today I read a post that said Six Things We Say In School which I found pretty honest and cute so I decided to create my own list for homeschooling.

Six Things We Say In Homeschool
1.  I slept late.
2.  I'm warm and cozy.
3.  Explain it again, Momma.
4.  Can I help make lunch?
5.  Is it time for ____ yet?
6.  I love to be home!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Heaven In Her Arms by Catherine Hickem {BookSneeze Review}

Heaven in Her Arms: Why God Chose Mary to Raise His Son and What It Means for You by Catherine Hickem is an AMAZING book.  This one really makes you stop and think.  Written in an enjoyable and thought provoking style, Heaven in Her Arms brings to the reader a look at Mary and God that most never consider.

Heaven in Her Arms takes a look at Mary as the untouched virgin, God's choice in a Mother for his son.  It shows Mary as mother to Jesus.  Mary - there the day Jesus was born, there the day he was crucified - from first to last breath.  Mary is the Mother we all wish to be.

As a Mother, I found this book touching, bringing tears both for Mary as a Mother watching her son grow, knowing his life would be short but that he'd been brought to save the world.  What an AMAZING gift to give the World!  I can only imagine the joy and pain she felt in raising this man but this book definitely helps to bring that image to life!

This isn't just a book on Mary's gift but a book that leads as a guide to Mother's everywhere.  A six-week Bible study is provided inside the book to be used for personal use or in group studies.  Heaven in Her Arms provides an experience like none that I've personally known before.

Heaven in Her Arms is a Thomas Nelson book and is priced at $15.99.  This book would make an amazing Christmas gift for Mothers of any age, as well as Christians everywhere.  It's definitely one of my favorite books.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free for review by Thomas Nelson through their Booksneeze Review program in exchange for my honest opinion in a blog post.  I'm including this disclaimer in accordance to FTC regulations. 

When The Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall {Blogging For Books Review}

Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall is a best-selling Amish fiction writer.  Her books bring readers to the small private world of the Amish.  Leading readers to the small, private world where today's amenities have yet to touch.
When The Heart Cries is a part of the Sisters of the Quilt Series.  Hannah is a kind, sweet Amish girl who doesn't want to disappoint her family and upset their lives.  But Hannah has fallen in love with the neighbor, Paul, who is a Mennonite, a completely different faith than hers.  Marrying Paul would tear apart her family and change their simple, quiet lives forever.

To top it all off, tragedy strikes admist all of the other challenges.  Will Hannah come through it all?  Will she and Paul marry and live happily ever after with her father's blessing?  Or will her father refuse to allow these two to be together without disowning his daughter in the meantime?

This was a heart-warming, encouraging story that I really enjoyed.  I loved the imagery provided through Cindy's writing and the love between both Hannah and Paul and also Hannah's family.  I look forward to reading more books by Cindy Woodsmall in the future.

When The Heart Cries is available in bookstores and online through Amazon for $13.99.

Disclaimer - This book was provided by Blogging for Books from Walterbrook Multnomah for free in exchange for my honest review in a blog post.  I am posting this disclaimer in accordance with FTC regulations.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Routine Neurology Visit {Epilepsy Awareness}

Yesterday, we had an appointment for Laycie at Pediatric Neurology in MUSC - Charleston, SC.  It was a routine checkup to see how she's been doing and discuss her medication.  Just another visit for us.

Of course, everything went well.  I have concerns about her medication that we discussed with our neurologist.  For some reason, Laycie has side-effects for every medication she takes.  Depakote is no exception.

Her neurologist suggested I give Laycie a multivitamin with B6 to see if that helps to improve our side-effects.  B6 is not a new vitamin but the helpful effects on patients with Epilepsy has just been noticed by many neurologists.  It's being used in the hopes to help balance out negative effects many seizure medications cause.

Medicine has come a long way in the time since I was born 33 years ago, growing up with Epilepsy and even in the past 9, almost 10 years that I've been raising children with Epilepsy.  Every year more and more is becoming known about this disorder but there is still relatively little that anyone, doctors included, can understand.

What we as parents and patients of Epilepsy must remember is that the brain is such a complex unit.  Add to that the complexity of Epilepsy itself and well you find a lot of confusion.  The brain is like a complex computer with many different areas that control every single inch of our bodies, inside and out.  This computer is only completely understood by God himself and no other being can read or understand it.

What we can do to help learn more is to detail everything we can about how Epilepsy affects each of us, how it affects our children and our families.  We can share that information with other parents and patients, along with our neurologists.  We can ask to join in on Epilepsy panels and volunteer for testing.

All of these things together work towards the medical teams learning more and more about how our brains work and how Epilepsy affects each of us.  Nothing is too small and every one of us can help.  Ask and find out how you can do your part today.


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