Tuesday, September 11, 2018

We will NOT forget!

Today is September 11th, 2018. 17 years ago today was the terrible tragedy that took so many lives.  I'll never forget that day. We had just moved in to our home in Barnstead 2+ months prior. We had started our homeschool season that day. It was just me, Brittany and Maddie. Brittany was 11, and Maddie was 6. We didn't have the TV on that morning and so it wasn't until after lunch that we heard from someone at our Bible study what happened. We couldn't believe it!

Each year we take time at this time of year to remember and pray. The kids in my homeschool now were not even alive at that time, and so we take time to teach them all about what happened! Time to reflect and remember the fragility of our lives which are but a vapor. 

As promised in my last post, here are the details of our GoRuck Light. On Saturday, September 8th, Ellie and I participated in NH's first Go Ruck Light challenge and it was a 9/11 Memorial challenge. It was incredible, it truly was. It was somber, yet 
encouraging. Sad yet challenging.  

I'm still trying to process it all. It was an amazing day full of raw emotion combined with physical and emotional struggle. It's super hard to put into words all of the feelings. The minor pain we endured is NOTHING compared to what happened that day and the time following it. 

We carried our ruck sacks through the streets of Manchester following our American flag. We carried stretchers with 200lbs of sand bags on them, as well as lots of other various weighted sand bags. We took time to share how we were effected by the events of this day. We worked together with and side by side with people that we had just met that day. It was a day of remembrance, and a day of fellowship. It was a day that I will NEVER forget, just like this day. 
















Friday, September 07, 2018

And just like that.....30 years!


Top of the morning to you all! Let me start out by saying I am SOOOOOO sorry that it's been so long since I've posted. Life has been super busy, wonderfully good, really hard, but super busy to say the least! BUT...I so love reading updates on all of you! And I LOVE my blog and keeping people updated on us....and I super duper LOVE pictures! LOVE LOVE LOVE them....and so I truly must make this a priority!!! Truly!! And so here goes! 

So in May...right before Mother's Day, I ran a Spartan Sprint race. YUP...I did...it was HARD, wet, and super muddy, but this Mother of 14 and Grammie of 5 made it!! Will there be another one in my future....Ummmmm....I don't think so...but we shall see! 



We had a really great summer! Really great! It went by super fast, but it was wonderful! Over the 4th of July we went camping in Bethel Maine and attended the River Rock music festival! That was awesome! Just incredible! Previously we had gone to Soulfest which was great, too, but we liked this MUCH better. Smaller, but still amazing artists! We got to see Mercy Me, and that was just great! One of their songs...Even If...has made a HUGE impact on my life this year! 


"I know You're able,
And I know you can,
Save through the fire
with Your mighty hand, 
But EVEN IF you don't, 
My hope is you alone!

"I know the sorrow 
and I know the hurt
Would all go away 
if You just say the word,

But EVEN if you don't,
My hopes is you alone!

Oh how I let these words just wash over me, especially in the hard days, and there have been MANY.....but God is faithful, and He is good ALL the time...and I'm so thankful I'm here to write about it!

I continue to press forward on my journey to fit and being healthy! I still go to the gym, and last month I went to a naturopathic doctor for some health insight. I had muscle testing to see which foods my body accepts and which foods it rejects! It was VERY eye opening! VERY....Turns out I need to stay clear of gluten, dairy, peanuts, peanut butter, cocoa and chocolate, sugar, and MSG. It's going to be really tough...especially for me...NO cheese, (and this girl grew up on sharp cheddar NY cheese! )....BUT....I'm already seeing amazing results! Amazing! And so....I will press on with this! 

We ran the Alton 5K in August. That was GREAT!


This has been a BANNER year for our garden! Amazing! We had raised 2 pigs this winter, and their pen was in the garden, and so we had GREAT fertilizer! We had an incredible asparagus harvest to start things off! 27 pickings!! 

And then we've had an abundant amount of peppers, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, spaghetti squash, onions, corn,  lettuce varieties, yellow squash, kale, swiss chard,  peas, carrots, and we will have dried jacob's cattle beans, soon, too! Not to mention strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and soon grapes! And an abundant herb garden as well! God has been so good to us this year in our garden! And what a LOT of analogies from scripture to gardening, and weeding, and harvesting! Take a peek at some of our amazing harvests:





This year my daughter Brittany taught me to make my own sour dough and kombucha! That's been awesome! I now have super HUGE scobys and my kombucha is doing really GREAT!! That's soooooo good for gut health!! I also did some canning and made dilly beans and pickles and zucchini relish! I purchased a dehydrator that's amazing and I've made a LOT of kale chips and zucchini chips, too! 




And......last but CERTAINLY not least.....is a surprise from our kiddos!! They gave us a get away for one night in York Harbor. They sent us to this LOVELY bed and breakfast called The Morning Glory Inn! It was incredible!  I HIGHLY recommend it! We went last weekend! We had such a GREAT time!! 
Here are some shots! Of course I LOVE the ocean! Just LOVE it! We walked the cliff walk in York, and ate lots of yummy food, too!  We met some wonderful people as well! As Glenn's Grammie Winslow would always say..."I have good kids!" and we truly do!!





And then...we came home to another surprise! The kids had put together a 30th anniversary party for us! A complete surprise! What a blessing it was! My brother and his kids came from VT, and we had a LOVELY afternoon! Thank you all so much! We received some money as gifts and we were able to purchase some new bedding which was much needed! And so I cleaned our bedroom and put up photo collages and the new bedding and it's just wonderful! Take a peek:









And so! That pretty much brings you somewhat up to date on the goings on here at Grace Abounding Farm! God has been so good to us! Thank you for your love and prayers! 

Tomorrow I go on my first Go Ruck challenge! It's a Go Ruck Light and it's 5-7 miles! Ellie is doing it with me! I PROMISE to keep you posted! 

Good bye for now! 

Love you all!

Mary


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

There ain't NOTHING gonna steal my joy!!!

I LOVE this song by Zach Williams:

My precious littlest grand baby Becca! She truly has amazing joy! 
Old Church Choir
There's revival, and it's spreading
Like a wildfire in my heart
Sunday morning, Hallelujah
And it's lasting all week long
Can you hear it?
Can you feel it?
It's the rhythm of a gospel song
Oh, once you choose it, you can lose it
There ain't nothing, there ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
I got an Old Church Choir singing in my soul
I got a sweet salvation and it's beautiful
I've got a heart overflowing 'cause I've been restored
There ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
No, there ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
When the valleys that I wander
Turn to mountains that I can climb
Oh, you are with me, never leave me
Oh, 'cause there ain't nothing, there ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
I got an Old Church Choir singing in my soul
I got a sweet salvation and it's beautiful
I've got a heart overflowing 'cause I've been restored
There ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
No, there ain't nothing gonna steel my joy
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Till you find that gospel beat
'Cause it's all you'll ever need, all you'll ever need
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Till you find that gospel beat
'Cause it's all you'll ever need
All you'll ever need
I've got an old church choir, singing in my soul
I got a sweet salvation, and it's beautiful
I've got a heart overflowing 'cause I've been restored
There ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
No, there ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
Oh, there ain't nothing gonna steal my joy.
So get lost enemy! You are NOT going to steal my joy! 
This song has been my mantra these last days. Truly.....I need to keep it fresh in my day because there is nothing the enemy likes more than trying to steal my joy....trying to get inside my head and discourage me! I just need to say...."sing louder church choir!"....

Monday, December 18, 2017

One year ago.....

September/2017

Good afternoon faithful blog readers....I'm so sorry about the fact that it's was one year ago today that I last wrote a blog post. Will you PLEASE forgive me? You see, life as I knew it has ramped up, and gotten even livelier! Our family has grown 2 more times since my last post! And AnnaBella has been home for one full year now! From orphan to beloved sister and daughter! Incredible! 






I call them my triplets! 

Last year at this very time, JoyAnna was in the Children's hospital recovering from a serious intestinal surgery. She ended up recovering nicely, and has done really well with her stomach since then. 

We had a really nice Thanksgiving and Christmas season. 

Rosie turned 5 in January! REALLY hard to believe! 

Jon and Jerry started 2 brother's shoveling business and had a WONDERFUL season serving 4 customers locally! Gotta LOVE the entrepreneurial spirit! 

In February, JoyAnna and AnnaBella (who we call Peppy) started at the Barnstead Elementary school. JoyAnna in 3rd grade and Peppy in kindergarten. They really did well that school year!

_
This is us at Peppy's kindergarten Christmas brunch! Such fun! 
______________________________________________



My view as I sit and write to you all! 

Fast forward now it's December 2017! Truly this is how hard it is for me to be able to have the time to sit, and focus and write to you all. Again, I apologize. Such is my life right now! Sometimes I've been known to say this to my kids....
"This is the story of my life!
A movie starring me!":) :)
Just the truth of things right now. 
Today is Monday, December 18th.  JoyAnna and Peppy are at school. Glenn and Edward are at work building a house. Ellie is at work at Hobby Lobby (can I just tell you how much she LOVES this job! ??) Jon and Jerry are working on Christmas creations in the basement. Nicole and Rosie are doing art projects in the kitchen. So me...WOW....I'm able to sit by the wood stove as it's super cold here today, and try and get caught up on blogging! I recently has a friend say to me..."Why aren't you blogging right now? Are you having troubles with blogger?"....NOPE...I'm not....it's just that carving out the time is hard! VERY hard....but here I am trying to right now! 

I can't even begin to believe that Christmas is one week from today. The time has truly flown by, each day melding into the next. I'm always trying to remember to build monuments to God for all He has given us each and every day.

Okay...so hmmmm...where was I?? Oh yes....Just as Joy and Peppy were finishing their school year, God added to our family with a precious 8 year old little gal named Meira. What a blessing she and her family are to us! She came to us in June. 


Also in June I celebrated one year at our local Cross Fit gym! Oh how I LOVE working out there! It's been such an amazing blessing as my body has changed and gotten sooooooo much stronger! I'm actually signed up to do a Spartan Sprint in May of 2018!! It's a 5 mile course with 25 obstacles!  (pray for me with this one! it's a HUGE stretch for me!).....I'm told that fitness goals should be a bit scary and this one certainly is!

Barbels are my FAVORITE for lifting! 

one year at gym...eating mostly clean! 55lbs and countless inches gone! Even though I'm embracing my "crown of glory" a.k.a. no longer coloring my hair...people say I look waaayyyy younger! What do you think??


I was also introduced to a new to me sport this calendar year. It's called Rucking. It's basically walking/hiking with a weighted back pack. I LOVE it! It centers me and helps me to focus and really just think and pray! Truly....it's an incredible total body workout! I can't even begin to describe it! Just try it! I'm up to carrying 55lbs in my rucksack. Glenn actually bought me an official rucksack and ruck plates. 




 I'm also signed up for a Ruck Light challenge in September! That's totally more up my alley! :) :) It's a 5-7 mile course that you do with a team and a drill sergeant, etc! FUN!!


We had a pretty wonderful summer albeit VERY busy....Glenn's business was busier than it's EVER been! What a blessing though! We were able to purchase a wonderful new to us travel trailer/camper!! It's pretty amazing! We were able go camping 2 times at Grampa Dave's house....a.k.a. "Rest Awhile Park" one site campground! What a blessing it was to be there with him!

 I was invited on a cruise to Bermuda in August and that was quite an experience for this small town girl! Wow!


 Glenn and I also were able to attend A Mother's Rest Retreat in Virginia for parents of special needs children. We stayed at a glorious bed and breakfast and really had some wonderful time together just being us and resting. We can't wait to do it again! 


We continued to have an amazing garden this year. Our asparagus bed gave us a bountiful harvest of over 20+ pickings! We LOVE asparagus! We had a GREAT strawberry harvest, too! Lots of yummy veggies!




This year was the year of Edward and Ellie doing Spartan races! They both did the Sprint and the Super. Edward also did the Beast which completed his longed for Trifecta! (3 races in one year!) I'm so proud of them! They both turned 18 this summer, too, and got their licenses and they both have full time jobs now, too!


Our pool continued to provide us with cool fun enjoyed by all! What a blessing it is! We still make great use of our in-ground trampoline, too! 

In October we got to have a dinner with Grampa Dave before he left for Florida along with Uncle Matt! We also got to go to our semi annual lunch at the Sky Light Dining Room, too!  That was super fun! We cherish those times together!










We celebrated National Adoption day at our state house again this year in November.  We got to meet our new governor, too! That was a HUGE blessing. We also added Edward and Elisha's old babysitter to our family this year! Her name is Amy, she's 28, she lives in Concord, and she comes to church with us now each week. God is so good to have given her to us!





In November of this year, our daughter Grace began a new adventure for her! She now resides with her biological sister Magnalie (pictured below with her) in Massachusetts! God is so good to have orchestrated all of this! Grace was able to transfer to the Marshalls in her local area, which was great for her! 

Yesterday was our church's candlelight service. Before attending it, we watched the Nativity together. What an amazing movie. What a GREAT reminder of the reason for this season and the greatest gift of all! CHRIST! 

We were able to do our annual gingerbread house making day with Brittany and her girls and Maddie and Becca, too! What a blessing it was to us! 





As I sit by our wood stove updating you all, I'm reminded of all of our blessings! This year our family has decided that instead of spending money on gifts for each other, we would pool together our gift money and spend it on gifts for families in the Samaritan's Purse ministry gift catalog! 



Did you know for 14.00 you can buy a family a dozen chicks that can provide them with protein daily and income? How about feeding a hungry baby for a week for 9.00, or buying a dairy animal for a family for 60.00, or sponsoring a farmer for 45.00, or a bicycle for a missionary for $100.00? Seriously...the possibilities are incredible! The impact even greater! And know what? with each gift comes the gospel message, too! I'm soooooo excited to be storing up our treasures in heaven in this way this year! 


As a family in our gift envelope we have 508.00! So we can give a HUGE variety of things! What's even better.....our children are completely on board! Their hearts are so soft toward giving and others. I'm truly humbled by this beyond measure! 

Prayer requests for us:
*In November, Glenn got hurt. He has an MRI on his knee on Wednesday of this week. Please pray for God's will with all of this and wisdom for the doctors and for Glenn, too!
*Please pray for our testimony in our community.
*Please pray that JoyAnna could get in to the Monarch school in Rochester, NH. A day program for students with special needs! It's amazing!
*Please pray for our adoption of Meira and Amy this upcoming year.
Just had to sneak in a picture of one of my granddaughters little Miss Becca Lyn. Maddie's baby girl! She's so precious! 


Okay....this note and the photos catches you up somewhat. I promise now to try and blog at least once a week from now on! 

Oh and we LOVE comments and encouragement and blog visitors! We LOVE questions, too! 

Love you guys all so much! You mean so much to us! We thank God for ALL of you!

We are on Facebook:  Winslow Gang
We are on Instagram, too: Glenn_ and _Mary _Winslow

Bye for now!