Sunday, December 30, 2018

Hopes for 2019

2018 was a year! It was a busy year, lots of change and adjustments throughout. It presented many challenges that we met head on and has left me seeking God in ways that I never have before. It was hard, we lost people we cared about as the older generations diminish more and more. I've seen people I love hurting and there being nothing I can do for them. I've hurt too.  I've been challenged in ways I have never been challenged before and felt utterly helpless a time or two.  We've had a lot of fun. We've enjoyed the simple life, the wonderful moments  just existing as a little family on this planet. We've had victories and a whole lot of defeats. But a new year is set to turn the corner in mere hours and I wait and wonder with expectation. I have learned that so much that happens in a year is out of my control and I am willing and able to roll with the punches, but I still like to give myself a few goals as I look ahead. I know I won't accomplish all or even most, things change but I am very goal driven so this becomes one of my favorite posts to look back on each year. 


2018 Goals: Dig deeper in my devotional time and find a small group.  

The small group thing didn't work out because our church still hasn't offered one in our area, but I am glad to say that I really created a great daily habit of digging into my Bible, praying and even recently added journaling. It has been very rewarding as I've leaned in to God this year and really focused that it isn't about me, but about Him.  I look forward to this time each day and it has paid dividends for me this year as I've had to rely heavily on God through hard moments. 

2019 Goals: Develop a family devotional time. I also really want to focus on more prayer time and feel led to try spiritual fasting as we seek his will and plan for us in 2019. 



2018 Goal: Prioritize time together  

We had a really really good year of marriage and I am thankful for that!  We've faced some hard times not in our marriage, but just in life, Through that though, I feel like its helped us grow in vulnerability. Peter also started a new job this year and that created some new challenges as he's home quite a bit less during the week and that created some frustration as we had to adjust the family dynamic. But we've learned how important communicating is and I think we are through that adjustment now. But I also know that intentional time together is KEY to being able to survive his work load and the challenges of raising all these little ones. So with that our 

2019 Goal: Go on way more dates this year!

Family Life
2018 Goal: Value quality time and make sure they feel loved  

I constantly feel like a failure as a mom, so this one is a tough defeat for me. As the kids get older I feel like the parenting challenges are getting way harder! And I haven't done a great job. So anyway, this year one of my primary focuses is on being a better mom. I have spent a lot of time thinking about patience and what I need to do here.  And after lots of reflection I think the key to more patience is my 

2019 goal: present time.  Put down the phone and computer, put down my expectations and plans for the day and just spend more time being present with the kids. Most of my impatience comes from my goals for the day and what I want to accomplish so if I let go of those, give up dumb distractions, I know I can grow in this area. I just want my kids to know they are loved and valued. 


2018 Goal: Pay off Peter's car  and grow retirement savings!  This was a big year for us financially, especially as Peter started a new job that was really able to propel us forward! And it is awesome to be debt free and so close to our retirement savings goals.

2019 Goal: reach full contribution amount for retirement savings 


2018 Goals: Yard clean up  This one became really easy as we hired out yard maintenance this year. I'm sure all the neighbors are very happy with our decision as are we. It has definitely reduced some stress and lets be honest, Peter just doesn't have the time anymore. 

2019 Goal: at least start to replace our windows (our house as 39 windows, so this is a big one) and finish a lot of our smaller home projects that have been on the to do list for 5 years! 

Personal Health:  

2018 Goals: I had none and while I probably deserve an f in this department this year, I did implement intermittent fasting over the last few months and I have really loved it. I actually feel a lot better doing it and I've lost 13 lbs so far without even trying! 

2019 Goals: Even though I've been working out recently I want to continue and develop a good habit here and continue with the intermittent fasting. I have a lot of weight I would like to lose too but that is not my primary focus. Sustainable habits is!

Vacations:  2018: We traveled to lots of fun places like Disneyland and San Diego, Arizona and Wallowa Lake. We got away as a couple for 4 small getaways, it was awesome! 

2019:  This is one of my favorite goals because I love to get out of town! We haven't set all of our plans for the whole year but we are going to have some fun for sure with Hawaii and Disneyland on the calendar and hopes of a southern Oregon road trip. Sabrina has hopes of going on her solo trip with mom and dad too! I also hope we can repeat history and get away on 4 or so weekend getaways as a couple because man alive we need them!  We love vacation countdowns! 

As I spend time reflecting and praying about the year ahead a word usually comes to mind. This coming year I feel "trust and obey" on my heart as I continue to put my faith and trust in God for our family and future. More than anything we want to live out HIS desires for our life.  Our pastors closing 2018 sermon summed up what has been on our heart perfectly - 2019, lets make it not about us! I want to live with an outward focus this year on loving others better. I have no idea what he will put on our hearts this year but I hope I am willing to receive whatever he has with open hands, ready to do his will. 

Psalm 37:5-6 Commit your way to the Lord, TRUST in him and he will do this, He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn.     

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 In Review

Well, here we are at the end of another year. I always spend a lot of time on reflection at the end of the year as I think through all that has happened and I look ahead to what I hope is to come in the year ahead. What we enjoyed, what successes we had, what I wish we could have changed. It feels like it was a really hard year. We lost some people we love, I've seen people I care deeply for in heartbreaking situations.  I've experienced it myself. But yes, there was so much joy too with our little family and I can't and won't diminish that. I will still count my blessings every single day! So lets back on some of the reflections of our year!  

In January we went to the beach for the weekend, I didn't get any noteworthy pictures but it was a stormy weekend and that's Peter's favorite beach weather.

In February Eli turned 7 years old and we had a big surprise for him!

The next week we were off on a surprise trip to Disneyland! We had so much fun! 

But on our last day we received the unfortunate news that Great Grandma Keyser had passed away suddenly.  

In March we attended our favorite adoption conference

In March we also snuck away on a beautiful weekend at the coast for my birthday and a time to celebrate Peter starting a new job! 


Then there was of course Easter

And more Birthday's as Malachi turned 8 years old

And Sabrina turned 6

The whole family spoiled me for Mother's Day!

And then Miss Sabrina graduated Kindergarten

And we wrapped up Awana and the one year we would have 3 sparkies

Sabrina got those training wheels off her bike

And Miss LB's dream came true as she got to start ballet

Malachi started piano lessons

They piled on the love for Father's Day

The 4th of July consisted of Eli getting his biggest catch as soon as his pole hit the water and a little bit of family fun to end the evening


We also headed off for one of the kids most favorite yearly traditions as we went to great grandma's house! 


Peter celebrated his birthday with a hike and lots of dessert

LB turned 4 years old!

And we celebrated our 12th anniversary in a swanky downtown hotel!

We had our first broken bone experience, fortunately just a finger but still ouch! 

Malachi participated in his first musical

We also celebrated our 8th Family Day!

The kids started another year of school


 And then we had a blast at Wallowa Lake 

These two lost their first teeth right around the same time

And we added a new member to the family, our 69th foster pup but keeper Mr Groot

We tried something new as LB started preschool

3 of the kids ran me ragged this fall as they played soccer, but we had a blast watching them!

We had a wonderful time in San Diego spoiling Eli and exploring a new city

We had an Incredible Halloween

We got away for a couple days as a couple in beautiful Southern Oregon

Groot graduated basic manners

Malachi is loving Hip Hop

We also snuck away for a couple more days of couple time (and work) to a new state for me - Arizona!

And then as quick as a flash, we celebrated Christmas!

It is a very blessed life I live. I am so grateful for another year of health and happiness with these kids and my amazing and awesome husband.  I will be back soon with my goals as I look ahead to 2019. But Happy New Year to all! 

Friday, December 28, 2018


Well Christmas has come and gone in what feels like a blur. Our 4 days of Christmas this year were busy and we're on the backside of it now still trying to recover and well, in all honesty try to sort through the overly spoiled children's stashes of stuff from grandparents and find a place for everything.  I've spent over 6 hours over the past 2 days cleaning and organizing 3 rooms to try and find space for it all. So all I can say is WHEW!

But here is our recap:

LB had her preschool Christmas production.  Our little sheep sure did find a way to become the center of attention as we had no doubt she would find a way to do!

She was completely exhausted by the end of it all and passed out at ice cream!

And then my favorite part of the holiday prep, the baking began!

But my favorite part of the holidays has nothing to do with the load of presents but everything to do with just spending time with these people I love and adore the most (and Peter who isn't pictured, but he already knows that!)

Christmas #1 was at my parents house! LB left a very happy girl getting the top gift on her Christmas wish list!

On Christmas Eve we headed off to our Christmas Eve service and then over to my Grandma's house for the free for all with the ever growing amount of great grandkids opening presents and it's always nice to hang out and catch up with cousins. 

And then home, where the stage was set for Christmas morning!

Groot and I shared the same sentiment for the 6AM wake up call! 

And then for the traditional Christmas morning lefsa

And we ended our day with one more family Christmas with Peter's family, some food, games and one last dash of presents. 

The kids had smiles on their faces from beginning to end, we got to see everyone we needed to see and we are two exhausted but very blessed parents as another end of year approaches.