Thursday, 1 December 2011

Some Recent Pics

All but the last photo is from our trip to see my parents in October. I will post more about it later.

Lookin back at the year

After posting my month of thanks, I looked back at my blog, only to come to the realization that I haven't posted anything in almost a year! Where has the time gone?? Boy, I have been neglecting you, haven't I? I have never really been a writer, as I didn't think that any thing I would say would be beneficail to anyone. I have often thought of things, wanted to write them, but then doubted myself. It is one of my faults. I must work on that one. So, I think it is time I try to overcome my insecurity, and get a move on. I just need to come up with some sort of routine for it.

Month Of Thanks

For the month of November, on my facebook, I did the Month of Thanks. I really enjoyed it, and thought I should post it here. So, here it is in its entirety...


1 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for the opportunity of being raised in a christian home by parents who did their best to teach me right.

‎2 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for a husband who takes care of his family. Last week we "celebrated" our 15th anniversary while in the states with family.

3 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for my 3 kids, Breanna, Iestyn and Ian. And even though it is hard to say, I am even thankful for the 2 that I was never able to hold in my arms.

4 Nov (Month of Thanks)...I know, you're wondering why this preacher's wife hasn't said anything about being thankful for her "religion". Truth is, today is the first day that I have had the extra time to sit down and try to write my gratitude concerning this area of my life down. Truthfully, I wanted to write all 30 of my days at the same time b/c I didn't want anyone to feel that they were further down the list that someone/something else. I want you, my fb friends, to walk away from my post KNOWING that I know the real reason that I sit here, in the place I do. So, here goes...Today I am thankful for the love of God, the grace of God, the forgiveness of God, the protection of God and the direction of God (and sometimes the correction Of God). I can go to sleep at night knowing that I am in the place that I should be and I can wake in the morning knowing that nothing can touch me without first going through HIS hand. Even though there may be dark days ahead, I know who holds tomorrow and I will rest in HIS hands. There is NO way that I could ever write all the things that He is to me...(If we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made, were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade...To write the love of God above, would drain the oceans dry, nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky)...there are some things that words could never convey. So, in the short version...I am thankful I saw my lost condition, asked for and received forgiveness, heard His voice and followed His direction and thankfully rest in His protection. I could use the words penned by many other authors, but that would still only scratch the surface. All I can say to finish this off is, Thank You Lord, for your blessings on me!

If you, my fb friend, sit there and do not know what or who I am talking about, let me first say that I am available anytime to talk, and let me say secondly, I am sorry b/c I obviously haven't been as busy sharing with my friends as I should. My reason for joining fb was to keep in touch with my family who know me, but over the time, I have become fb friends with people that I don't know personally. My prayer has been that other's would come to know the God I serve through me, but if you sit on the other side of your computer and don't yet know, please find someone who can tell you...Either me or someone who you can physically sit beside you. All I ask is that you not wait, but find someone today to share with you the things I know already. I would not trade my life for anything. I only wish I could do more to show Him my thanks.

5 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Having a bit of trouble settling my heart on today's thanks. The devil always knows when to blind-side you. Yesterday, I knew exactly where I was. Today, I am in a whirl-wind of emotions and thoughts. None of it concerns the knowledge that I am His and He is mine, but in the uncertainty of what tomorrow may hold. When I said that there may be troubles ahead, I had no way of knowing how they would appear, and was hoping some of it would hold off before hitting, but the devil is relentless in his attacks against christian families. In saying that, I will say that today I am thankful that I have someone to pour my heart out to in the middle of the night when I feel alone in a problem/situation and know that He knows and understands and can calm my troubled heart. Praying for guidance in sensitive matters.

‎6 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for the house we live in. It is nice having a place were we don't feel as if we are sitting on top of each other all the time. It is the perfect size for us. It is within walking distance to everything here in town. In the 14 years that we have lived in Wales, the Lord has always provided us with good landlords who are willing to do what needed to be done. My aim in life is not to have the biggest house, but to have a house that is a haven from the world.

‎7 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for my extended family. We enjoyed the time we were able to spend with you while we were in. From eating out to eating in, from going shopping to playing in the park, from fits of laughter to a few shed tears, from monetary gifts to hand-picked gifts, from sitting on the couch together to warming hugs, from McDonald's to Cracker Barrel. We have a great family! Forever with us. Love you all!

‎8 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for all my friends. Even though we may not be able to sit down together over a spread of food, take our kids to the park together, or share hugs, I can spend my days remembering all the good times we have shared over the years. The most important gift you can give those you love, is the gift of a shared memory. Silly make-up parties with your bffs, times of prayer around a matter that you both hold dear, times together at a loved one's passing...and so many others will help to make the distance seem smaller and help to remind us that, even though apart, we are never far from each other's heart. You will never know how the memories we share help to sooth an aching heart. Love you all!

9 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for the churches we have had the privilege to work in/with. We have learned SO much over these last 14 years here.

10 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for my avon customers. They have helped us be able to afford little extras. My first round of customers helped me to pay for my driving lessons/test and my second group has helped to off-set the cost of our trip to see my parents. I may not be the top-seller...but I am thankful of the things my little group has afforded me.

11 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for the men and women who have fought to protect both my freedom and the freedoms of others who were not lucky enough to be born in a country with basic human rights. I was blessed to be born in the USA and blessed to be living in the UK, many others do not have the privileges that we live with every day. For our nephew, Michael Blaze Gilbert, thank you for your service to our country. Love you. God Bless our military!

12 Nov (Month of Thanks)... I know some of you will think this is a silly thing to be thankful for, but I will say it any way. I am thankful that our cat Velvet has settled well in her new home. When we were planning to go to the US, we prayed about where she would go. She was raised in farm-land, so when she came to us...on the main road...she had trouble settling and she couldn't go outside. Some friends of ours moved house recently...into a bungalow in the middle of farm-land...and we immediately started praying that the Lord would work it out to where Velvet could go back to living the way she did before she came to ours. Thankfully, she has settled in well with our friends and their kids, and they have asked to keep her. She can now go back to chasing birds and stalking mice. : ) I am also kind of thankful that she never got the chance to bring me any "presents".

13 Nov (Month of Thanks)... Today I am thankful for a properly running clothes dryer. It now takes me a third of the time to do laundry. : )

‎14 Nov (Month of Thanks)... Today I am thankful for the advances in technology that make it easier to keep in touch with family and friends than it was 14 years ago...AND MUCH CHEAPER!

15 Nov (Month of Thanks)... Today I am thankful for my health. I am aware of those friends/family with health issues, and remember them often in prayer. The issues I have pale in comparison with others.

16 Nov (Month of Thanks)... Today I am thankful for the little school that has welcomed our family in and been such a great help with Iestyn's different problems. When we first came here, the teacher completed an assessment on Iestyn and came back with 3 pages of things that he had problems with. 4 years on, and there is almost no sign of any of those issues. This is all down to the teachers themselves, as he has never been seen by an educational psychologist to diagnose him (one of the big problems with socialized medicine). The school may have its issues, but I cannot fault them on their care/concern for Iestyn.

‎17 Nov (Month of Thanks)...I know, I have already said this before, but I am gonna say it again...I am SO thankful for the great friends I have. Really looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with some of our missionary "family". They have proved themselves to be true friends and co-labourers over the last 14 years. As I sit here and think of next week, I get excited that we can get together and enjoy each other's company. I know we can't all live close together, but it sure would be fun if we could. I don't know how many of us are going to be able to be there, but I am looking forward to a good day! Dixie Quade, Gail Gritts, RuthAnn Wickham Pickett, Jaime Owens, Missy N Richie Orrick, Janice Marshall, SteveandMarcia McLean, CAN'T wait to see you all.

‎18 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for the knowledge to find great bargains that my mother, Debra Kay Couch, instilled in me as a girl. It is great fun to search out and find bargains. Thank you mum, truly a gift you gave me that keeps on giving. : )

19 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful that my boys let me sleep til 8:30am. : ) Not everyone wants to wake up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning!

20 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for our little chapel. We are expecting a visitor today. : ) It always lifts our people when we have visitors.

21 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for the opportunity that I have to cook for Luncheon Club. It's like cooking for 50 grandparents! (How I wish I had the chance to do this kind of thing for my grands/greatgrands.) Most of our luncheon club can no longer cook for themselves, so only get full meals when they go out. I enjoy it so much.

22 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful that I now only have to travel 11 miles to the nearest Tesco. Why is it so easy to travel so many miles across the US, but difficult to do the same here in Wales? Maybe it has something to do with all the twisty roads. : )

23 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for the 2 pair of winter boots I bought at the sales last year (for £5 each)...they will keep my feet warm this winter. : )

24 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful that even though I can't spend time with my blood family, I have the the best "adoptive" family to share Thanksgiving with. I have SO MUCH to be thankful for. Looking forward to a great day.

25 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for a day of shopping with friends.

26 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful that I got to do my Black Friday shopping in Wales...Americans do crazy things on Black Friday!

27 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for continued safety for our family.

28 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for doctors...even with their faults, they help us to help those we love. Thankful that God has given man the ability to search out and find ways of making us better (sometimes).

29 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today I am thankful for my drivers license...both the cheaply gotten American one and the one that took me a years worth of selling avon to get. : ) It is so nice to be able to take myself to the grocery without dragging Ronnie or the kids.

30 Nov (Month of Thanks)...Today is technically the last day of our 30 days of thanks, but may I strive to remember that I have MANY things to be thankful for every day! Here are just a faith, my family, my friends, good food, love, laughter, our little chapel, beautiful scenery, reasonably good health, lovely home, my luncheon club peeps, and SOOOO many more...but you get the point. With a grateful heart, signing off. : )

Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed posting them.

Friday, 14 January 2011

My Christmas Present

For MANY months now, I have been searching for a new sofa. Since moving back to Wales, we have been sitting on a 2 seat sofa and a chair. That was fine for a while, but we are all getting bigger. : ) Last month, we went looking for a sofa at a furniture store. We found one that we liked the look of, but not the price. I remembered a sofa I had seen in a catalogue, and wondered if it was still available. It was kind of a shot in the dark, because I couldn't sit on it before I bought it, but it looked lovely in the book. So, after lots of looking and praying, I was able to purchase the sofa at a clearance price. So, I booked my delivery slot...and the snow began. I was rather worried...for both my sofa and the delivery drivers safety. He was to pick up the sofa at noon, and then deliver it to ours at 3:30. BUT, due to the snow, he finally arrived at 9:30pm. So, we unwrapped the new sofa...and went to bed. I am so glad it is finally here, because we can all sit on our new sofa TOGETHER!

Some Christmas Pictures

Snow Nov-Dec 2010

As you can see, we have been tolerating...I mean enjoying...some very wintery weather here in Wales. For most of November and December, we have been surrounded by lots of snow. I have never seen this much snow in my life. It has made things more challenging. The kids have missed SO much school, but have enjoyed the time off a little more than they should. : ) Since we live in a small village in the heart of Wales, we can find ourselves cut off in this kind of weather. Breanna spent lots of time sledging in the snow (aka. sledding to those of you in the USA). Iestyn spent most of his time snuggled up inside the house...he is an inside person. Ian enjoyed a little of both. Most of our planned Christmas activities had to be post-poned until after the New Year. Thankfully, the snow has been replaced by rain, and most of the snow is gone.

Good Intentions stink!

As you can tell, I haven't done a very good job of updating our blog. I have never been much of a writer, but I would like to do better. So much has happened these last few months. Our schedule has become increasingly busy. We have enjoyed a wonderful day out for Thanksgiving as well as a great Christmas. I promise to try harder to post more often. I wonder if I need to put it in my schedule?