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Bringing in the New Year Douglas Style

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Owning my life means “living with deep intention, bold faith, and generous love,” according to Sally Clarkson.

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She wrote this book Own Your Life to help moms develop a vision for living a life of purpose by finding out what God’s purpose is for their life, accepting whatever that purpose or calling is and carrying it out in a joyful, intentional, life-giving way.

 

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This large family of mine is a big part of God’s purpose for my life. Being a wife and mother is a big role to fulfill. I can only do it well as I rely on God’s guidance and strength. Doing it well includes being joyful and loving and gentle as I carry out my responsibilities. That is where I need the most supernatural help.

 

Speaking of responsibilities – this son, Morgan Keith, will now be taking modeling and acting classes. We took him to an audition and he was called back because they saw potential in him. I will do my best to help him fulfill his dreams and purpose for which God made and equipped him.

 

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This son, Patrick, just made his first sale. I have been doing the best I can to help him further his new career and develop the gifts that God has given him.

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This son, Shawn, was just offered his first full-time job, which he accepted, and he loves!!! I am committed to supporting him in whatever way I can so that he can continue to do a great job in this place of employment and any other endeavors that he undertakes.

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Another part of owning my life is creating a beautiful home for my family. The atmosphere is important. The sights and sounds and aromas of home will stay with my children forever. I will be intentional about creating a lovely place, with a peaceful, happy atmosphere so that my children will have fond memories and feel secure and content and have warm thoughts and feelings about home and family.

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IMG_20141215_074128Part of creating memories is keeping traditions for the holidays. We like to have a beautiful Christmas tree, a beautiful mantel including our favorite  manger scene and stockings that can be stuffed to overflowing!

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IMG_20150110_115954The biggest part of our role as parents is to make sure that our children know about God and know Him for themselves. Gary is reading the Christmas story from the Bible (on his phone!) before we open stockings or presents or anything on Christmas morning.

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We are teaching our children patience as they wait for their siblings to get up and wait to open presents. This is Emma waiting patiently. She was the first one up, and she had to wait for several hours before she got to open presents.

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Good things come to those who wait!IMG_20150110_115840

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We postponed our Christmas until Jan. 10. There were many reasons for this. One of them was that Shawn wanted time to get gifts for everybody this year. He really enjoyed buying gifts for all of us, and he said giving was his favorite part of Christmas this year. Here he is holding up his favorite gift, the One New Man Bible.IMG_20150110_121936

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Abby liked the pink camo backpack that her big brother gave her.IMG_20150110_122130

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And Morgan was happy with the grooming kit that he received from Shawn.

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Kelsey is holding and wearing her gifts.IMG_20150110_164039

Kelsey USED her gifts to make the German Chocolate cake, the Confetti cake and the Strawberry cake.

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Each of the FIVE birthday celebrants chose a different kind of cake, so we had FIVE different cakes!

Another part of making life fun and celebrating the gifts, talents, and uniqueness of each child is celebrating and encouraging their creativity. And Fiona is FULL of creativity. She made up a story about this little doggy, Boo. The story involves a Good Plan and an Evil Plan that Boo has to choose between. Fiona drew them on two pieces of paper. I found the papers and asked what they were about and then took pictures of it to encourage and validate Fiona’s creativity.IMG_20150109_171455

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Without any prompting from me, the kids made birthday cards for each other. Here Garrett is making a card for Morgan.IMG_20150109_163623

IMG_20150109_171420Fiona made a card for each person whose birthday we were celebrating. This called for lots of drawing! She finds out each person’s favorite animal and draws it for them. She just turned 11 years old. On this day, Jan. 10th!

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This was something I found in the play room one day right before Christmas, so I took a picture of it. When the kids see me take a picture of something they did, they know I think it’s very clever and special, and they feel encouraged to keep using their creativity.

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Having five birthdays within the first two weeks of January is – – A LOT to celebrate. So I decided we should add Christmas to the mix and really have a BIG, BIG PARTY. So we did. We had Christmas in the morning and the BIG Birthday party that same evening.


Anna didn’t seem to want her picture taken.IMG_20150110_164929

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Ha! Got her!IMG_20150110_164047

Emma had chosen a Confetti cake.

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We sang Happy Birthday to her first and she blew out her candles.

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Then we sang Happy Birthday to GarrettIMG_20150110_164318

And he blew out his candles. He had the German Chocolate cake.

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Then we sang Happy Birthday to Fiona, and she blew out her candles. Fiona had our famous Hot Fudge Pudding cake.

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Then we sang Happy Birthday to Morgan, and he blew out his candles. He had a lemon cake.

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And last, but certainly not least, Shawn blew out the candles on his Strawberry cake.

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And I did not bake nary a cake!

 

Kelsey baked three of them, Katie made one and Anna made one. I just relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere, the fellowship, the love and the fruits of their labor.

 

Which I guess you might say is the fruits of my labor.

 

The fruits of “living with deep intention, bold faith and generous love”.

I linked this post at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap-Up

And at A Wise Woman Builds Her House Link-Up

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