Sunday, November 05, 2023

{November's off to a tea-riffic beginning}

 Thankful the chickens are still laying so much for us!  We have some sweet family and friends that buy them from AG...and we eat close to 4 dozen a week ourselves.  We hope they keep this up! 


AG had her 11 year well visit on Monday!  It was great!  She is in the 20th percentile for growth and got glowing reports all around.  We added 3 more specialists to our list though...so we will be following up with those soon.  Such is life with a chronic, lifelong syndrome.  She is truly the bravest! 


Boss tried to go for a walk with the girls and me...thankfully Bear came to get him! He is enjoying the 4wheeler rides. 


Waiting for Bear during drums with the sweetest little passenger! 


Oh my!  He actually wants one of these.  ha! 


Grandaddy and Mimi brought back over a bushel of mountain apples for us so we are eating them daily.  So delicious!  

I think this is my favorite way to enjoy them...just saut√©ed with a little coconut oil and cinnamon.  yum! 


Grounded Science photos...they studied a little physical science this week. 



And AJ did some art work! 


We got a really cold snap for a few days.  Bear noticed that AJ was not dressed warmly enough to go out this morning to care for the chickens and gave her his jacket. 


On Friday, we loaded up and headed to Table Rock Tea Company for a work/school day.  The owners are just precious and began this business as an act of obedience after learning how to grow tea when they were running a nonprofit digging wells in Kenya.  We took the tour and tasted some tea.  It was lovely! 









Back home to this amazing gift!  The Lord really has been redeeming so much in our family...and this is no exception.  For 15 years we have been delivering Annabelle Baskets to MUSC for Christmas.  The past few years I've felt as though it's been a very lonely thing that I am doing in my own strength...and I'm not a fan of that personally.  I know that it benefits so many others and it's something we do in our daughter's memory but it's still really lonely to do alone...especially when others mention wanting to have been a part of it after the fact.  So, I swallowed my pride this year and put together an Amazon wish list.  I posted it on Facebook on Wednesday for anyone that would like to donate and we have received no less than 10 boxes a day since Friday.  Absolutely blown away!  
One lesson that our kids are learning is that the "church" that hurt us so badly last year is not really The Church.  They did not display the heart of Jesus (with the exception of one person) and will one day have to answer for that.  Friends weren't really friends after all.  And that is really hard to learn as an adult, much less a child.  BUT GOD...
He is redeeming that for us all and He is using this to do so.  
As each package comes in... from church family (the one we returned to and know is home for us and always has been), from real friends across the country that have stepped into our grief and come alongside, from lifelong friends that know our hearts and character...each package affirms to our family that we are still seen and known and loved and that what we do and have done matters.  
Church hurt is a real thing that so many let them turn them away from the church.  It almost did that to me.  But it wasn't Jesus that hurt us, it was fallen, sinful people.  I guarantee I've hurt others, too. I know I have.   And that's why it's important that I'm walking with Jesus so that He can point out those blindspots and let them change me.  But not everyone is convicted or changed or repentant...and that's on them. I wasn't built to carry that weight and I'm so glad He has given me the power of forgiveness.
Others have made their choice, we have made ours...  
We are choosing to live in abundant joy.
And are so very grateful for the ones God has given us that join us in this journey of spreading goodness and love! This is truly The Body at work together as God desires.

Can you even imagine how magnificent these baskets are going to be this year?!?!  Truly incredible!  


More afternoon walks...even if they are a little chilly!  That sunshine is power! 


And it just keeps on going!  Blessings upon blessings...


While the boys hunted, the girls cleaned up the garden and harvested our sweet potatoes!  They had the best time digging them up! 



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