The kids are eagerly counting the days to Christmas by adding a new ornament to the advent calendar/tree every morning! (Thanks Stephanie Matson for this awesome new tradition)
2014 was a fast year with many projects completed. We officially have been in Iowa for a year in June! We have fallen in love with our small and quaint little town but enjoy the fun in the Quad City area area as well!
Anthony has been busy as usual with projects around the church. The long process can be exhausting at times but Anthony is a very hard worker. We were blessed to have his brother, Adam, here for 6 weeks helping with a few projects. The main focus for the church building would be the basement. We have added windows to every classroom, redone the floor, made a mothers room, organized and purged some unneeded items, and took care of mold issues! There were several helpers for each project and we were very thankful for them! Anthony also finished writing one book this year and is currently working on another one! You can order your copy on Amazon HERE! Or contact him to get a signed copy!
In May we also welcomed a church intern, Kalli! She is such a blessing as she helps with many odds and ends at the house and at church. We truly enjoy having her help but more importantly having her become a part of our family! We are proud of her and very eager to watch her continue to grow and listen to God's calling in her life.
During summer we also welcomed two other interns, Jesse and Aubrey at church! Each helping us sharpen each other. Aubrey has encouraged Anthony in some of the arts with spoken word (poetry readings)! It has been so exciting to watch both of these men share God through poetic and heart felt poetry readings. God sure put Aubrey and Anthony together to bring HIM glory and I am so eager to watch it all unfold as they make a great team!
Selah is in 1st grade this year and loves her school and friends. She joined girl scouts this year and is starting to practice the piano. She is a great big sister who for the most part is very patient with her brother! Selah is excelling in her class and is a great reader already reading chapter books! It is amazing to see how fast she is maturing and growing... seriously she is going to be taller than me soon!!!
Titus..."I wanna fight!" Those truly are the words coming out of his mouth daily. He is full of energy each and every day and very eager to learn karate, boxing, wrestling, or any other combative movements! He loves anything super heroes and when driving in the car he is requesting we "GO FASTER" or asking "are we here *there yet?" Even with his all boy attitude he still needs his mama cuddles each and every day. He is an early riser just to make sure he has time to crawl in bed and get those cuddles before mom has to get up for work... even if its before 5 am!
As for myself I am still a special education teacher in Clinton! I work with very high behaviors with many suffering from a variety of diagnosis'. My heart might break often at work but I know God has placed me there to truly love on any child who comes in... even on the really hard days when vulgar and junk is spewing off their tongues I am there to love and bring Christ in! I am still attending school working on my master's degree and looking forward to completing it! I am also very active at the church with the kids program, youth, and even preaching! This year I also had the opportunity to speak at a women's conference in June- IT WAS LIFE CHANGING! I felt so empowered by Christ that it left me hungry to do it again!
Here are a few more highlights for 2014:
Starting first grade!
Always enjoy our river view and river walks!
April worked on her gardening skills this summer and is excited to do more next summer!
4th of July-Family Time
Winter 2014 was very cold but don't worry at the end it was warm enough to still build this beautiful and bountiful snowman!
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2015! We are praying for you and as always we love and appreciate your prayers!
Since you all loved the other cookie giveaway I did last week I thought a St. Patrick's Cookie Giveaway would be another great one for those of you who have a sugar tooth. :) This giveaway is sponsored by Gourmet Cookie Bouquets ! I personally have not tried these cookies but looking at the pictures of all the cookie bouquets made me ready to try them! I absolutely love the creativity in all their Holiday Bouquets! 2 Lucky winners will win a fun St. Patrick's Day Bouquet that is valued at $50. GOOD LUCK! I hope one of my readers wins!! Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter the St. Patrick's Day cookie giveaway. The mandatory entry is commenting on this post, but once that entry is completed, various other entry options will become available. Any option is acceptable, but the number of entries per person are limited to the number indicated in the contest rafflecopter form. Entries will be reviewed and duplicate or uncompleted ones will be removed
St. Patrick's day is March 17th so its approaching quickly. I have a few ideas on art and food projects that i want to do with the kiddos. Hopefully I will have enough time to complete them and share them with you. This was a super easy one for those little hands. I cut the stripes of colored paper but if you are working with a preschooler or school aged child then they can practice cutting. The two toddler boys here only had to glue the pieces on their piece of paper. EASY, but they enjoyed it! :) It sure has brightened my kitchen with them hanging on the fridge! :) I also talked more about the Promise God gave us with the rainbow since I know that history a whole lot better then the history of the Irish Holiday!
MY MEMORIES SUITE Review and giveaway! (#1 rated scrapbook software) The above is one of the scrap pages I have created. Super easy and super fast. I only took a couple minutes to create a 8 page photo book. I am still going to do some more with adding more embellishments! The below is one I created all from scratch and it only took me about 5 minutes! :) SO EASY! Here is a great video explaining more about the product. There are also tutorials available on youtube.com I am not sure if you are like me but I have spent hours online trying to upload photos to the web to place them into something I was trying to create. THE BIGGEST BONUS to My Memory Suite is the fact that it is downloaded to your computer so you do not have to wait forever for a picture to upload! It made my experience much quicker then other programs I have used online. The scrapbook software was very easy to download on my computer and did not take long to learn how to create. :) One feature t