Finding Joy in Him

Through Every Season

Tag: Outside My Window (page 1 of 3)

Spring Has Come and Zoe’s on the Run

 I took these photos of our tree shortly after we returned from our Spring Break trips.
I didn’t remember it flowering before, but I did remember the helicopter seeds.
I loved playing with those as a girl.  
Not sure I am going to enjoy cleaning them up as this tree matures.
It’s kinda a new tree.. our first tree died in the April 2011 tornadoes.
 Josh and Joel helped Mike plant this one.  🙂
It’s a Shantung Maple.  We bought it expecting red fall foliage.  We got yellow.
Zoe, turned her head the second I snapped this picture.  
Something caught her eye and she’s ready to run.
She has managed to get through a door and run off 
through the neighborhood several times in the last few weeks.
So thankful that she hasn’t been hit by a car.
Love,
Jenny

Running with Perseverance

Yesterday morning, Mike asked me when I was going to have the trash can the tornado ripped apart picked up.  I made the call a second time.  It isn’t easy to arrange a pick up for when you are home and they won’t forget.  I realized, too that it’s the trash can Joel took the trash out to.. the trash can Joel went and found after the tornadoes.. the trash can Joel duct taped together.. the trash can Joel brought into the garage on Wednesday nights.

It’s hard.  Should I even allow myself go down that thought path?  I
didn’t yesterday morning and here I am now at almost 3 AM.  Maybe it’s
better just to do the hard thing and allow myself to grieve even over the
trash can that is so easily replaced. 

Joel going to fish a trash can out of the April 2011 mess.

I had books (Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman, Heaven, and If God is Good by Randy Acorn) on hold at the library yesterday, so I went to pick them up on the way home from the chiropractor.  The best route was the route Joel took the day that he totaled his car.  I decided to take it.. to re-live it.. to face it.  It was hard before Joel went home; harder now.  I am so thankful that the city put in a much needed red light in response to Joel’s accident.

On the way home from the library, I chose another hard path; through the neighborhood just north of ours where I taught our three youngest how to drive just two years ago.  We spent so much time in that blue van.  Judi tipped one of the mail boxes on one trial run.  I learned a lot about self denial and control in that neighborhood.  I continue choosing to make myself do hard things, hoping that they will become easier with practice.

Mike planned this year’s vacations around Josh’s school schedule.  We had originally thought we would spread Joel’s ashes in the Smoky Mountains during Spring Break, but Josh was unable get off from his new stocking job at Walmart and we decided we just weren’t ready.. weren’t sure it was the right thing to do, so we’re waiting for wisdom, peace and more grace.

Judi
and James had the beginning of the week off so we took them and a few
of Judi’s friends up to Pigeon Forge to stay in a cabin.  It was a hard trip not
only because of our original plan but also because Mike and I had spent the
beginning of Joel’s last week on earth in Pigeon Forge.  We were glad
to have the girls there as an extra distraction. 

The girls on the cabin stairs.  Miranda on top, Rebekah, Judi and Nichole.

Spring Break, Mike’s birthday and Passover all fell on the same week this year.  I spent some time meditating on Jesus our Passover Lamb as I do each year while preparing to share the meaning of Passover in light of Jesus’ sacrifice.  That Monday night was our first Passover without Joel.  

I
explained to Judi’s friends that Passover is a Jewish day of
thanksgiving to God for their deliverance from slavery and bondage, and
that Jesus is God’s own dear Lamb sacrificed for our sins so that we
could be invited to join His family and enjoy deliverance from slavery
and bondage to sin.

Our Passover Table in Florida.

In the midst of my thoughts on Jesus’ and Joel’s deaths I found myself living with no will to live.  I had just spent the week before coming to terms with the fact that it might be 60 years before I see Joel again.  I had to accept that I could be in this for the long haul.  Remembering the events leading up to Good Friday, the week of Jesus’
death, and His sacrifice as I was reliving the week of Joel’s death in Pigeon Forge was
not something I had planned.  I needed the will to keep on living.

I began praying over and over, “Lord, if you are going to continue to leave me here to live, please, give me the ‘will and the do’ for it.”

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” 
Philippians 2:13

Finally, the Holy Spirit reminded me how God had instructed me to think of Joel when I was struggling early on.  He had said, “Think of Joel as having pushed ahead of you in the race.. and crossing the finish line in front of you.”

Meditating on this thought worked quickly to renew my mind; gave me hope and light.  It gives me joy to think of myself in a race with Joel, to think of Joel at the finish line waiting for me.  It reminds me to keep my eyes on Jesus, resurrected and beautiful, Lamb on the throne, and it gives me the courage I need to run with perseverance. 

Favorite picture of Joel in the Smokys.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1-2

I remembered last night that Joel was several years old before he could pronounce his name properly.  For the longest time, he would say his name was “Goel” with a hard “g” sound .. trying to get the “J” sound out right. 

Then I realized, that his early mispronunciation was actually a real word with meaning: “Goal.”  I will forever remember Joel and goal together now.. as I run my race, reaching towards my goal.

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:14

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the
test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has
promised to those who love him.”  James 1:12

The long trip back Wednesday afternoon to our present home without Joel was still very difficult and filled with tears, but thinking of Joel at the end of his race in his true home did add hope and joy to my deep sorrow.  Maybe our next Passover will be in the New Jerusalem.

Love,
Jenny

Instructions in the Night Seasons

I’ve had a difficult time expressing how I am doing lately.  Words won’t come.. only tears.. To keep my head from exploding, I journal.. sometimes hours a day.  Here is my most recent entry:

Sunday March 17th.. 

Last week, three months since Joel went home, I was struggling with the fact that murder had entered my “world;” that the evil of this world had been allowed to take my son away from me and I am still here.

Me with my new car.  So blessed.  We (our family) bought 6 cars in 2011.  Long story.

I am having a difficult time wrapping my brain around living in such luxury and comfort as our daily American lives allow; living in such a dichotomy of good and evil.  How do the two co-exist?  Pain and comfort.  Sorrow and joy.  Good and evil. 

Sometimes, I forget how to breathe.

In the midst of my anguish over losing Joel, I’ve been able to see God’s mercy.  I am thankful that He protected us from loosing three of our children that night.  Thankful that he allowed Josh to be a witness (he’s glad he was there).. while protecting the rest of our eyes from such horror… especially Judi’s.

This week I’ve struggled with the truth of God’s Word.  I know His Word is true and His promises are “Yes, and Amen in Jesus” just like I know that His salvation is eternal.. not just until the next time I sin.  He died for all my sins: past, present and future.  They were all future when He died for me.  This knowledge frees me from the bondage of condemnation; frees me to live free from the power of sin.  I’ve lived by it most of my life.

I am fully trusting in His forgiveness and salvation.. But promises?  I want to stand.. but I don’t know where or how anymore.  Promises of healing?  Many never receive until Heaven.  Promises of a hope and a future?  Are those for in Heaven too? 

Romans 11:33 Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

I am afraid even to write/think these words.. they are so selfish.. so many suffer so much all over the world.  Please, Lord, forgive me.  I say this with fear and humility.  Where is Joel’s protection from harm?  His hope and future.. but in Heaven? 

Do I dare to hope again that Your promises will be true.. here.. for anyone else?  Thank You, Lord, for the promise of Heaven… where You will wipe away all our tears and death will die.  I look forward to the day when You will put Jesus’ last enemy under His feet.  

Joel so proud of his first car.  Proud to be learning how to drive stick.

All the boys cars in the drive way.  Mom’s and Dad’s in the garage.

I understood that one day a car accident might take one of my children.. 16 months before Joel went home, He walked away from an accent where a large truck t-boned the car he’d owned only 10 days.  The shock almost killed me.  For weeks, I couldn’t speak of it.  But murder.. a gun?  I’ve lost all sense of security.

Joel the day after his wreck.  I was so glad he was alive.  No one could believe he walked away.  He said he was sore; felt like he’d been playing football. 

A thought I couldn’t allow myself to think last week was of the possibility that a trial could make Joel’s murder appear as just another tragedy; only bring attention to the evil in this world; actually glorify the devil.  Isn’t that what most murders do?  I so want God to be glorified in his death as He was in his life.  What can I do but trust God?  I obviously can not control what does or doesn’t happen in this world.

Joel was captivated by storms; displays of God’s awesome power.
He took these photos.  Spring of 2011.

The sad thought that did run from the bitterness of my soul over and over through my heart and mind all last week was, “I don’t want to live here.  I don’t want to live in such an evil world.”  It was my way of praying, “Father, if there is any other way.. let this cup pass from me.”

Toward the end of the week, I began praying that God would help me to submit and humbly accept and live where He has placed me.  

I am coming out of the shock and disbelief.
Moving into a wilderness of temptation.
Temptation to give up the good fight. 

Praying for humility and grace. 
Committing my heart..
To trust in God.

Standing firm in the belief of His goodness; 
Of His good heart towards me..
Towards Joel.

Dwelling in the land.. 
This wilderness of pain and suffering.
This evil world.

Feeding on His faithfulness.. 
While afraid.. confused.. 
Desperately lost.

Not knowing which of His promises are for me.
Are for here.. 
For now.

Which are left.. 
Safe to stand on 
When so many seem to have crumbled beneath my feet.  

My hope is found in Christ alone.

Psalm 37:3  Trust in the LORD and do good. Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.

Up until July of last year, I had been faithfully fighting/believing for my complete healing from my surgeries and other ailments.  I grew weary of holding out for healing.. of praying.. 18 months of asking/believing intensely and specifically about the breast cancer.. years for other stuff.

I finally came to the point of “God heal me if and when you want to.  I have asked enough.  I have to move onto other things.” Praying that prayer freed me to receive the emotional healing I didn’t realize I needed.  The emotional healing I so very much needed in preparation for Joel’s death.  Now I need so much more.  

My heart is broken.. crushed.  
Numbness wearing off.. 

Coming to the end of one survival mode 
Moving into another..  
I am just beginning to feel the pain and loss.  

Resting in “It’s God’s plan.. not mine.” 
His timing.. there is no rushing through the trial.  
I have to let it do it’s work in me.  

It’s His strength that will carry me through.  
He will complete the good work in me.  

I will do the good works He’s laid out for me 
As He enables me to do them.  

Right now my work is to trust and believe.. 
To seek His face..  
To worship.. 

To allow Him to work in me.. 
To obey as He leads.. 
To do what I see the Father doing.

The Lord spoke to me from Philippians 2:14 early this morning:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” 

With instructions to, “Try to learn to be content.”  

I was so glad to hear His voice that I didn’t mind at all that He was asking me to be content.. content to live in a world where my dearly beloved son, Joel, was allowed to be murdered; in this world of terrible evil and great blessing.

James 1:2-6  Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.   Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. 

It’s something I believe I can learn.. mostly because He asked.. and I know He enables us to do the things He asks of us.  I am so thankful for His instructions.  I am counting on Him for them.. for a way out of this vast, dark wilderness… for something to stand on.

Psalm 16:7  I will bless the LORD, who has given me counsel. Yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons.

I have a long journey ahead.  I am taking my journey one step at a time as the Lord gives me strength; feeding on and trusting in His faithfulness to love and carry me through.

 I am sharing it so honestly here partly for selfish reasons: for in the
past, it has freed me to keep moving forward in my journey… to
receive much needed healing, but I hope that it some how ministers to you, also.

Thank you for your prayers; especially for strength and God’s glory.

First Garden Harvest

My First Garden
May 8th
June 8th 
 July 2nd.
 We had over 100° weather last week.. and I still only needed 
to fill my self watering containers every other day.
Don’t ask about the tomato plant leaves.. they were
yellowing up when we had lots of rain every day.  See?
Watching my watermelons grow has been so much fun.
 This is what they looked like when we came home from CA.
They had flowers, lady bugs,
I had 9 baby melons at one point.
Only 4 survived (2 per plant) which is normal.  
Maybe that’s why they are so expensive.
  I used an old pair of pantyhose to make them slings.
  Some of their leaves have brown and yellow spots now.??
I need an expert gardener to move in next door.
My pepper plants have been fun too..

 Flowers

My baby jalapenos are huge now.
I heard that if you wait for them to turn red and
 “cork” that they’ll be sweet & spicy, too.

 Had lots of lady bugs in the spring, but think I needed

something bigger to eat whatever was eating my sweet pepper leaves.
They grew many more leaves and the peppers are looking good.
My first Cajun Belle was ripe this morning.
It’s tiny.. but good.

 The birds decided that my tomatoes were ready to harvest before I did.

I seen them spying on my garden for weeks.  

They been pooping on my watermelons too.

 I was going to wait one more day to harvest..

but I guess they were ripe enough.
I just had to shoo them away again.
Time to make a scarecrow.

Love,

Jenny

Rainbows and Double Rainbows

A few weeks ago Judi called me on her way home and said,
“Mom come out side.. there are rainbows.”
 I made her back up and position my car under the rainbow.  🙂
There were at least 2 rainbows that day.. I think I saw three.
And since then there have been 2 more in the same spot.
Mike said maybe it’s a sign that we are doubly blessed.
We are so doubly blessed and I love the rain, 
the nice Spring we’ve been having and the rainbows.
Thank you, Jesus.
Love,
Jenny

My SWC Garden (WIcking Planters expanded)

Last year one of my friends gave me a 
houseplant/flower arrangement for my birthday.
It was a nice surprise.. but left me distressed..
I’ve killed every plant I’ve ever owned.
I looked up how to water plants (I can kill them by
over watering or under watering.. lots of experience)
and discovered Self Watering Containers and Wicking gardening.
The plants have gotten huge.. I’ve been having some
trouble with them getting “leggy” (a new plant word I learned).
And amended the soil with mulch for better drainage.. so far so good.
My husband also surprised me for my birthday
with some Purple Sensation Alliums.. you can read 
about the Wicking Planters I built for them here.
A few weeks ago we bought some dianthus (the pink flowers)
 to go with them at a botanical garden sale. 
One of my alums bloomed early..and I wish 
I had taken a picture.. because the others
aren’t doing so well and haven’t bloomed yet.. 
see their yellowing pointed leaves?  
I thought their soil might not have enough drainage too.. but they 
actually needed water today and had tiny webs on them.. spider mites?
I am thinking about rubbing them down with alcohol and
 spraying some dawn water on them.  E-how’s answer.
These flowers are doing great.  I converted their pot into a SWC, too.
They look much better than last year when I was(n’t) watering them.
I got a new watering can for Mother’s day.  
Isn’t it cute?  I use it for the dogs and house plants.
And see the tumble weed behind it?  Do you think it
rolled here all the way from Texas?
Before my alums started looking sickly I got all excited
about trying a SWC vegetable garden with Judi.
This is her last year to homeschool and I thought it’d be
a good learning experience for the two of us.
 So after reading tons of stuff on the internet about
SWC, how to make your own, what you can grown in one,
soil recipes, how to grow small watermelons on a trellis,
and how to build a cheep trellis.. this is what I’ve got. 
The two blue totes I had on hand and I bought the 
three flexible totes and nylon trellis at Walmart for $5 each.
From left to right I have: Big Beef tomatoes, Mountain Pride tomatoes,
 Jalapeno, Cajun Belle, Orange Bell Pepper, 
and two Sugar Baby Watermelon plants.
So far so good.  The watermelons have already doubled in size.
I am using a different soil recipe than I did for the wicking planters:
3 parts potting soil, 2 parts mini mulch, 
and 1 part perlite (I used sand.. it’s cheeper).
I thought I could use the rest of the nylon trellis a cross the middle 
to support the pepper plants.. it needs some re-thinking.
Love,
Jenny

Wicking Planters Part 2

The next step in putting together my wicking planters was to 
cover the inside of my overflow pipe with screen and a cable tie.  
This will keep the bugs out of my water reservoir
and keep my pipe from getting clogged.
Next, I scoured my neighborhood for plastic containers.
Just happened to be recycling day.
It’s times like these when I wish my car was a little less conspicuous.  
I washed out then drilled half inch holes in all the containers.
The idea is to make space for your water reservoir and hold up the soil. 
I filled in the rest of the space with old packing peanuts.
Then lava rocks.  
The more containers the less rocks I had to buy.
My little car was more than full.
Our bank account less full.
Almost forgot to mention the filling tube.
I cut the end of at an angle to add to the ease of filling water reservoir. 
See it in the corner below?  You stick your water hose in your fill pipe and 
fill your reservoir until your overflow pipe lets you know it’s full.
Your soil wicks up the water as your plants use it up.
The air pocket left when the water is used up is also very good for your plants.
The only time your soil gets soaked is when it there’s a down pour..
and even then your plants won’t drown because 
the extra water will drain out your overflow pipe.
Genius. Right?
I knew I had enough rocks when it looked soupy.
 I lined up all my soil components.
I read that the best mix for my flowers is 
1 part top soil
1 part compost
1 part perlite 
I bought two different kinds of compost.
Cow and chicken.
The chicken has this written on the bag
“As oder free as naturally composted poultry waste can be.”
Can be translated.. “IT STINKS!” 
I will never buy it again.
 Bags
 and more bags.
 I used every last bag, too.
 This planater was leaking..
Joel and Judi helped me empty it out.
I re-lined it in the rain.
 Before filling with dirt, I lined the planter with screen
to help keep the dirt from falling into the water reservoir.
You can see it in the picture above.
This one’s ready for the bulbs.
Five in this box.  
In the spring I plan to buy some other flowers to plant with them.
In my research I learned that their blooms only last for 3 weeks. 🙁
So much work for 3 weeks.
But hopefully they will bloom for years to come. 
My last batch of soil.
I really enjoyed the hard work.
So nice to be feeling up to it. 
Here’s the box topped off with mulch out our back window.
Can’t wait to take pictures of the flowers 
overlooking the lake next spring. 
Boxes in the front.  Should get plenty of sun.  Yay!
Now I need to power wash the clay off our sidewalk.

Wicking Planters

When Mike and I were in Alaska, we saw these awesome purple flowers.  I remembered seeing them in San Antonio too and loved them.  We found their name on google: “Purple Sensation Allium” and discovered that they are related to the onion and come from a bulb that you plant in October.
Mike surprised me with 22 bulbs for my birthday! 🙂 
My thumbs are far from green so I started doing lots of research 
on how to care for them and discovered that they will rot in clay soil..
which is exactly what we have.. so I did more research..
About this time, the weather turned cooler and Mike started taking me and 
the dogs for walks.. wonderful.. feeling so much better.
One afternoon, I spotted this climbing wall etc. out for the trash 
and thought, “Those would make great planters.”
   
They wouldn’t fit in my car so one of Judi’s friends 
came by with a truck and picked them up for me.
A random hot air ballon flew over our house.
At first, I thought they were red wood, but while Joel and I 
were cutting them down to size we realized they were just pine 🙁 
So I bought some 5 year stain to help them last longer.
While I was waiting for them to dry, I started wondering how I was 
going to water these flowers.  I am always killing plants 
with either too much or too little water.  
So I googled “how to water your planters” and learned about “self wicking planters” and “earth boxes.”  
They are watertight planters with a water 
reservoir in the bottom and an overflow pipe so you can’t overwater them.
They only need to be filled about once a week.  Sounded great to me.
I did a bunch more studying and shopping and here’s how they went.
Josh, Joel and Mike helped me dig out the water reservoirs.
I cut an 1″ hole for the overflow pipe.
 I used WeedX in the bottom of the planters to help
protect the plastic liners from rock punctures.
I have a bunch and it’s not good for much else.
After a bunch of reading, I decided to make the water reservoirs
between 8 and 12″ deep and the soil 13″ deep.
The water will only wick up through 12″ of soil. 
 I used 8 mil. plastic liner.
 Measured and cut it.
 It’d make a great green house.
 Folded and stapled the corners over.
Enjoyed the fall scenery. 
 Ta da.. watertight planter.
 I had to be really creative with the overflow pipe.
Spent an hour at Lowes thinking in the plumbing section. 
I needed something to go through the wood 
and plastic and be water tight.
I used 3/4″ nipples and adapters..
Punched a small hole through the plastic.
 
Squeezed the nipple through the plastic and the 1″ hole I drilled.
Then used a bunch of silicone calk
and tightened the adapters on snugly.
Then I went in for breakfast while I waited for it to dry.

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a really nice weekend.  Spent it working on the yard and patio.
I am actually thankful now for the little bit of damage the tornado did to our house.  We got to shop for new patio furniture.  Bought some chairs and a table with a fire pit from Amazon. I’ll post pictures when they get here.
Mike and the boys put down some new mulch and planted some impatiens.
 

We didn’t realize it until much later, but we think the storm killed our tree.  We found damage low on the trunk.. we think that it must have been blown to the ground then popped back up.

We started from scratch looking for the best tree for our yard.  Based on the direction of the wind and the location of our tree and our house we decided that we didn’t want too big of a tree.  🙂

If you want to buy plants in Huntsville, we discovered that Bennett Nurseries is the place to go. They have free BBQ, drinks, live music and a miniature train.  It’s like going to a picnic.

A very nice man there spent a lot of time with us showing us and educating us on different trees. We learned that the fact that if you dig a whole in our yard it will fill up with water might not have been too great for our tree either.  He suggested several trees that would do well there and took the time to show us grown ones in the nursery.

 

 
We got a Shantung Maple.  Isn’t it pretty?  It came with the heart already carved in the bark.
I’ll write in “Mike n’ Jenny” in when it gets big enough.  🙂
We added a special soil mix into the clay to help with the water problem.
If it doesn’t make it, we are going to try a River Birch next.
Hot puppy.  It’s in the 90’s now.  In Texas, where Judi’s been, it’s been 111.  Crazy.

We took this picture before Judi left as a last ditch effort to get a family photo.
Sun’s in our eyes.. can you tell?  🙂
We normally take family photos in October.
It turned too cold too quick and we never got a good one.

I wanted to thank everyone for their prayers.
They plus the nice distractions God and Mike arranged for this weekend
are definitely helping.  I am doing very well.  Slept 8 hrs. last night.
Just the fact that I had to pack and clean and that my mom is coming would have
normally made me crazy, but I have a mightier God-peace about the surgery, tomorrow.

I am so thankful for my life and all God has blessed me with and
so glad that He has promised to be with us in the storms,
and that He works everything together for our good.

I have a couple of extra prayer requests:
My mom and Judi are on their way.  Made it to AR … and discovered that something is wrong with their brakes.  Pray they’ll have wisdom on where to take it and favor to get it fixed quickly, and enjoy the unexpected delay.

When I went to my last Thursday to my first pre-op appointment, we were told that the cat-scan showed two spots on my liver.  They don’t think it’s related to the breast cancer, but they were too small to tell anything and want to check it again in 6 months.  It was a little hard to take in, but Mike and I both are feeling from God that it’s nothing to worry about.. never hurts to take it to Him in prayer.

My confessions for today:
By your grace I am able to glory in times of trouble, knowing that they develop perseverance,
 and character and a joyful, confident hope that does not disappoint because of the love that You have poured out in my heart through Your Holy Spirit.  Romans 5:3-5

As I get to know Christ, who called me to and by Your glory and goodness, Your divine power gives me everything I need for life, making a glorious display of Your virtue in me.  2 Peter 1:3

Love,

Jenny

 

Scrapbooking Up a Storm

I normally scrapbook 5 to 7 pages once a year starting in October 
and send copies to my family in Texas as Christmas gifts.  
Kinda narcissistic, I know, but I do it because I love to receive scrapbook 
pages in return of their families.  Does that make me even more narcissistic?
We don’t get to see each other often enough and I love to see pictures of my 
nephews and niece and what they are doing in scrapbooks and on my sister’s blogs.
This year we met them in Arkansas in October, then my in-laws came 
to visit in November.. so I didn’t start scrapbooking until December.
It’s January now and a record breaking 29 pages later 
(we did a lot this year) I am still scrapbooking.
I only have 3 or 4 pages to go.. I will defiantly not be sending copies of them all.
Choosing which pages should go to who might be challenging.
I’ll try to pick the ones I think the kids will enjoy the most.
We had had snow Christmas day.. that added these 3 pages.. 
We had 4-6 inches of snow over Christmas weekend.. a new record for Huntsville.
Missed church because the roads were icy.
Josh got to help build the snowman this time.
He actually took the lead and insisted perfection out of Joel and Judi.
They spent over an hour on him.
James hid out in his room on the computer.  
I should have made him come out for the last picture.
So happy to have so many pictures to scrapbook.  🙂
Love,
J
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