Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happiness. Lately. November 2014 (vol 6)

Happiness.  Lately.  November.  My monthly collection of "Happiness" - appreciating God's goodness in the little things and seeing his grandeur in the simplicity of my life and "Lately" - what I've been into and up to...

It's a short list this month, not because it hasn't been blessed, but because this last week I've been fairly detached from the online world.  I've enjoyed it that way - lots of time to recuperate from bronchitis and be with my family - but not a lot of time to reflect back on November :(  

Happiness is...

Aaron getting to meet his pen pal of a year and a half!!  Isn't that great?!  We took our second family road trip/vacation this year (unheard of) to spend a few wonderful days with my Aunt Janet and then to spend a day with Aaron's pen pal, Joseph, and his family!   Joseph's mom and I were in Residence Life together in college and though we were close friends then, we haven't seen each other in ten years!  So, it was a real treat for Aaron and for me :)  We met them for lunch at a pizza place and of course all the kids hit it off very quickly!  Then we went bowling and then back to their house where the boys played outside and Legos.  We hated to leave shortly after dinner, but we had to get back on the road before it was too late.  We're really hoping we'll be able to spend more time with their family again soon!  

the first snow

Picture out my front window when it was sunny where we lived, but dropping 7 feet of snow
 on friends 15 minutes south of us.  You may have heard about that crazy storm...
first fire in the fireplace! 


from the kitchen - a first snow cake :)

I've been reading...  

I finished Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy, by Rumer Godden  I don't read a lot of fiction these days, but I forgot just how much I love Rumer Godden and might have to stop watching mindless Netflix so I can get back into my reading habit :)  

 Soul Gardening Journal.  Have you heard of this?  It's wonderful!  Created by mothers for mothers.  It's free!  but they will gladly accept your donations to help continue publication.

Advent reading.  Here's my previously published list of Advent favorites and added to it this year is the book chosen by my prayer group, Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting, by Mother Mary Francis.  

I've been crocheting lots of of stuff for Christmas!   I'll probably have some updates on all that as Christmas gets closer.  Gotta keep a few secrets here ;)

Thanksgiving in all things.  Thanksgiving was hard this year.  I posted this St. Josemaria quote the Wednesday before - I really needed to take it to heart...

"Make it a habit to raise your heart to God, in acts of thanksgiving, many times a day. Because He gives you this and that... Because someone has despised you... Because you don't have what you need, or because you do have it.

"And because He made His Mother, who is also your Mother, so beautiful. Because He created the sun and the moon and this animal or that plant. Because He made that man eloquent and you He left slow of speech... Thank Him for everything, because everything is good."

I read this only a few hours after finding out that we would not be hosting guests for Thanksgiving due to the illness going through out family.  Rereading this was so instrumental in helping me not dwell on the disappointment, but instead to bless God for our circumstances - our immediate family would still all be together, cozy, at home!  Thanksgiving was still hard.  We were sick and we were "alone."  But it wasn't terrible.  And in the days after, we received a lot of help from my wonderful, generous parents, especially while I got to a doctor, got meds, and went back to bed.  And we're finally starting to come up out of the illness.  Finally.    

So, I think that's it.  Short and sweet.  I think it will be a little more like that as we proceed through December.  I have a long list of things I've been wanting to write about, but I think it's more important right now that I focus on His short list for me - peace, prayer, joy, family.  I hope you all have a blessed Advent!

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**  Feel like joining me in reflecting on the past month and sharing some of the moments that made you happy and the things you've been up to?  Link up your November list of Happiness. Lately.  I'd love to have you join me! **  Don't have a blog?  Let's chat in the comments!


  1. Hope you are better now!
    Can I borrow 10 For Sorrow... when you are done?
    Also - neeeeeed the tutorial on those adorable icing snowflakes!!

    1. I should just buy the book, but the copy I have now if from the library. I'll return it soon in case it's the only copy and you're going to request it :) (Did you ever read In This House of Brere?? Hmm... maybe I need to re-read that one again...)
      As for the snowflakes - I just used melted chocolate in a plastic gallon bag, snipped the corner off and "drew" them onto wax paper. Even though it's pretty simple, I had to do about 5 times more than I needed until I got uniform shapes/sizes that looks good enough to use. The kids were eating the leftover snowflakes for a few days afterward... No one complained that they were sub-par ;)

  2. So sorry you weren't feeling well and that illness was going through your family! That really is so hard. Two years ago we had no family to host except ourselves because we live so far from everyone. I was definitely sad to start, but then really enjoyed being able to completely spend a day in thanksgiving with our little family. So, I get it. Pray you all continue to feel better and hope to link up this week! We're off with naps so I haven't been blogging or playing with photos taken as much as I'd like! ;)

    1. Oh, and your photos are gorgeous! And, so fun that Aaron got to meet with his pen pal!! Love it! I hope my boys have pen pals! :)

    2. It was really special! I hope they stay friends and can get together often! I had a pen pal from Greece when I was a kid, but I never heard from her again after I sent her a letter in which I revealed that I didn't know souvlaki was Greek food. I clearly was too ignorant for such a cool pen pal ;)

    3. Ha, finally got around to recapping our November! Can't link up anymore, but I did it :)

  3. I miss the trees looking that, with the teeny red berries!!

    What fun for your son to meet his pen-pal! I hope my girls can meet theirs one day...

    1. How did you find pen pals for your girls? I think it's such a great idea, but it had never even occurred to me until Aaron got a letter in the mail one day asking if he'd be up for it! It's been the best thing - writing practice and friendship all in one!


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