Another year has come and gone. . .
In this post, I'm just reflecting on the past year, what each month brought, how God has blessed. . .

January 2011
I was dreading sending my girls back to traditional school. The holidays had just ended and the whole family was together, every. single. day. And we just absolutely loved every minute of it. . .
Click HERE to read more
February 2011
For February to be such a short month, it was so completely pack with things to do! Husband and I decided to de-clutter a few places in the home. . .but all the while, the Lord was decluttering our hearts, preparing us . . . February was hectic (click HERE to read more), but God, in His great wisdom, provided comedic relief (click HERE for a chuckle).
Click HERE for de-cluttering ideas

March 2011
When March came, spring fever hit! I wanted to get outside and plant something. The sun was shining more and tulips and daffodils where everywhere! Also, there were 3 months left in my daughters' school year and I was in the thick of planning our 1st upcoming homeschooling year. A friend of mine took me under her wing and answered question, upon question, upon question. . . and she still does. You can read about one of our "mentoring sessions" HERE.

Click HERE to read about my Spring Sunday.
April 2011
This month was full of new things. . .new life! It was in this month that we celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! When discussing the importance and symbolism of the Passover, my daughter provided a little more comic relief; click HERE for more chuckles. Also, new to my blog. . . Music Mondays made it's debut! I love singing/music and it's just a way for me to share God's gift to me with you. And one of the most special gifts. . .the Lord allowed my womb to cradle life again. . .we found out a couple of weeks before Easter.

No Idle Bread
Click HERE for my 1st Music Mondays post
May 2011
I was happily in the throngs of morning sickness during this time and most of my posts were "Music Mondays." Lots of fatigue. I was literally counting down the days until my girls were finished with their school year. I had a few random posts though: HERE is one when I ask God's forgiveness. . .

. . . and another one HERE about laundry :o)

June 2011
Finally June was upon us and the school year came to a close. Please know that for all intents and purposes, my daughters' former school was not "bad!" I have no real horror stories, you won't hear me bad-mouthing the teachers. (In fact, there's one teacher that remains a family friend.) However, God took us in a different direction and we're grateful. We finally shared the news with the girls that school would be a at home from now on!
Click HERE for more on Kindergarten graduation
and school room preparations!

Click HERE for a fun Music Monday
July 2011
It was HOT HOT HOT this summer! My goodness, I think I would blink my eyes and be exhausted and sweaty from just that! LOL We were still My Husband was still working hard to get our school room together. I launched our home school blog, The Chelmont Academy. Also, motherhood weighed (positively) heavily on my heart, such a tremendous blessing, yet a great responsibility. Here are two posts on that: Motherhood is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank) and Mother's Day at Any Time???

August 2011
After much preparation, prayer, sweat, tears, all of it. . .the school room was finally complete!!! (I'm forever grateful to my Husband for how hard he worked--go Babe!) So, our first home school day began in August and we were SO EXCITED!!! This month is when I also shared with you, my sweet readers, that my Husband and I were expecting our baby boy. Here are the two posts that share our journey: A Mother's Confession: Of Sorrow and Joy (Part 1) and A Mother's Confession: Of Sorrow and Joy (Part 2)
Click HERE to read about our 1st day of school

September 2011
So school started and I was knee-deep and elbow-deep in schooling these kiddos each day. It didn't take us too long to get into a routine and it just felt good. With everything that was going on in our lives, we wondered why we hadn't home schooled before now!?!? So much convenience and flexibility! With motherhood still on my mind, here was another post I shared: Do I Need a Break?

October 2011
I don't know why, but for some reason, October tends to be a busy time in my life. . .I'm still trying to figure that one out. Anyway, I joined a few challenges to help keep me grounded in the things important in my life (my faith and my family!).
Making Your Home a Haven Challenge--Click HERE for a fun post!
31 Days of Love Challenge--Click HERE for "I Really Like My Husband"
Mama's Mission of the Month--click HERE for my October Mission
November 2011
Oh, boy! Was this a full month! I was busy trying to prepare for our little one, whom we were expecting sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I wanted to get my children as far along in their schooling as possible, so we kept on pushing forward. Our dog had puppies. . .have mercy! Then of course, we celebrated Thanksgiving as a family (click HERE) daily almost daily noting of the blessings God has given.
Click HERE for my last Gratitude Challenge post
December 2011
Alas, we reach the end of the year. God has done so much and I am so grateful. . .still in awe of how wonderful He is. This month was a celebratory month. . . the birth of my precious baby boy and of course, the birth of the Holy Babe. Lots of love, lots of joy. . . much to be thankful for!!
Click HERE for JD's intro post!
Click HERE for our Christmas Traditions
and HERE for a cool, "modern-day" Nativity Story

Thanks for taking time to review the year with me. I pray that God would greatly bless you and your families for the coming new year. May you be used for His purpose!!


A Fun Look Back. . .

by on Saturday, December 31, 2011
Another year has come and gone. . . In this post, I'm just reflecting on the past year, what each month brought, how God has blessed....
Photo Credit
As my Granny would have said, "Thank God for JESUS!"
Merry Christmas everyone!!

Fit for a King!

by on Sunday, December 25, 2011
Photo Credit As my Granny would have said, "Thank God for JESUS!" Merry Christmas everyone!!

Merry Christmas!!!



{Misletoe and falling snow
and presents under the tree,
But most of all and best of all,
A Saviour came for me,
A Saviour came for me.}

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.


Fall on your knees! O hear the angels' voices!
O night Divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night Divine, O night, O night Divine.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is Love and His gospel is Peace.
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother;
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His Holy Name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

One of My Favorites. . .

by on Friday, December 23, 2011
Merry Christmas!!! {Misletoe and falling snow and presents under the tree, But most of all and best of all, A Saviour came for ...
So, my husband and I are 2 sleepy-head peas in a pod. . .:o)
But we are still so eternally grateful and are enjoying each moment of having our new baby boy add to the richness of family life!

Two weeks in picture form. . . enjoy!

Birthday
JD squinting at the world. . .or those beautiful flourescent lights!

Tired Mommy w/ cute baby :o)

Home at last. . . Father and son

My oldest (SJ) and my youngest;
she's such a "Mommy Jr."

TM excited to hold baby brother

My MOM!!! a.k.a. "Abuela" to my children,
which is Grandma in Spanish

Play-Doh "food" my mom made with TM

The girls prepared a tea party feast. . .

. . .JR swiping 2 pieces of "bread"! LOL
Clean kitchen because of my Mom. . .

Clean clothes because of my Mom

Clutter around the house because of me and the baby.

Our cat-napping quarters:
Daddy in the recliner,
JD in the bassinet,
Mommy on the couch.

Sleeping, again :o)

JR has been sticking close by. . .he tells me every day
that he missed me when I was in
the hospital.

JD tuckered out from riding to the airport. . .
"bye-bye Abuela, see you in January!"

Puppies have FINALLY moved on to their new homes. . .
my girls miss them, but I'm glad!

We've had a couple of doctors visits (JD is 9lbs now!!), my husband's parents stopping by, late nights and early mornings, my older kids remembering to use "inside voices," etc. Life is definitely full and I'm so glad that God chose to bless our family this way.

2 Weeks: A Peek Into Our Lives

by on Wednesday, December 21, 2011
So, my husband and I are 2 sleepy-head peas in a pod. . .:o) But we are still so eternally grateful and are enjoying each moment of havin...
"In this day in age, just about everyone you know is on online, networking, emailing, "liking" and "friending." Below is sort of a retelling of the Nativity Story, had those Biblical figures been around in our technically advanced world. Please enjoy this and share it with others." -Unknown




Merry Christmas!!!

Linked with:

A Social Network Christmas

by on Sunday, December 18, 2011
"In this day in age, just about everyone you know is on online, networking, emailing, "liking" and "friending." Bel...


My children have always enjoyed a good book about animals, reading through on their own and then sharing with me the things they've learned. This book is no exception. It is full of lots of colorful pictures and many facts about specific animals and animal groupings.

My daughter and I have used the book to supplement her science lesson. She is studying Life Sciences and we are working our way through animals that are of interest to her. This book came in handy as opposed to making another library trip or me pulling information from the Internet. When I asked my girls what they thought of the book, the both said they liked it and that they would like to look through it on their own. They told me that they "wish the words were bigger" and that "they should have alphabetized the animals; that would make it easier to find the one we want."

As a Christian mommy, the thing I love most about this book is that it begins this way: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. . . " (Genesis 1:1). The introductory pages teach that God is the Creator of all life and that He designed animals as part of His creation. It explains how God intricately designed animals as part of His purpose and His plan for creation. I think that is simply awesome to find this in a children's science book, Scriptural references and all.

In part, I agree with my daughters, it would be easier if the animals were presented in alphabetical order. However, since it isn't alphabetized, it gives my girls good practice with using an index! So, I think it works out well. :o)

 I received this book free from New Leaf Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

One tradition I began in our family is to decorate our home for Christmas on the day following Thanksgiving. (I don't do Black Friday; I don't have the patience for it!! LOL) So, each year, the kids and I get the Christmas music going and we decorate with whatever we have. Usually my Husband goes to work on this day--he likes the peace and quiet at the office because everyone else is still on vacation! So, the kids and I have made it our goal to get finished decorating before Daddy comes home.

This year was no different. We put up our Christmas Tree and hung our ornaments, and set up other decorations around the house. (I'm having trouble getting a good pic of the Christmas tree, but here are some others!)

Wood stove display. . .just trying to spruce it up a bit!
Of course when we light a fire, I'll have to move everything. :o)

My kitchen table centerpiece, kind of, maybe.
I'm not sure how I like it yet!
These are a branch, hollies, and pine cones from my yard.
My daughter and I painted the "berries" on the taller branch.

Little stockings hung on the inside of our front door!

It is always so much fun reflecting on the ornaments, who it was from, what special memory it holds, how old the kids were when we go the ornament. It is also very funny to watch the kids decorate because they don't mind putting 4 red bulbs on the same limb!

Another tradition my husband and I have started is to browse the stores after Christmas to get a deep discount on left over ornaments and decorations. Last year we did this, but forgot all about what we bought. So this year, when I opened up the Christmas storage boxes, I had a few surprises. Here are some of them. . .

Snowman door hanger. . .
Gold garland. . .pretty!
A few of my favorite ornament surprises. . .




We also do a Christmas countdown each year. Last year, we did a countdown to Christmas Scripture Chain, which can be found HERE. It was pretty fun, and my kids enjoyed it. This year, I decided to make something that would last us and that we could use it for years to come. . . .

Our own Christmas countdown blocks.
Click HERE for instructions on this craft!!
And now, to our newest tradition of all. . .we are celebrating this blessed season of Advent with our family's first Jesse Tree. . . .

Our Jesse tree up close. . .
Jesse tree hung on the wall with ornaments.

We are so excited! The kids and I "designed" this tree. If you're interested in what a Jesse Tree is all about, how to make one, and some very nice resources for one, click HERE for more details!

What are some of your Christmas traditions???
Merry Christmas, All!

**(FYI: This post was created days ago. . .I'm not super mom--not yet!! LOL Click HERE to check out our newest family blessing!! :o)**

Linked with:




Christmas Traditions

by on Friday, December 09, 2011
One tradition I began in our family is to decorate our home for Christmas on the day following Thanksgiving. (I don't do Black Friday; ...
Introducing the newest addition to our family. . .

Our big boy who will be known here as "JD"!!
I can't believe how much he weighed at birth! My other children were all around the 7lb mark, give or take a few ounces.

So far, things are progressing well with the both of us. Thank you so much to all who prayed for us.

I am praising God for His mighty power and His marvelous works. As a song once said, "He has done great things for me so I will bless the Lord!!"

Until next time my friends. . .

He's Here!!

by on Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Introducing the newest addition to our family. . . Our big boy who will be known here as "JD"!! I can't believe how much...
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