Monday, February 16, 2015

Our gifts from the Lord these past many months!

Come and sit by our warm toasty fire with me and let's get caught up! Here is your cup of tea! I realized that it's been 3 months since I've last visited with you, my faithful blog readers. I'm soooo sorry to have taken so long to "chat" with you. Life here at Grace Abounding Farm has been busy, and my time to sit and write and think clearly has been a bit well...a bit limited to say the least!

We have been incredibly blessed over these last few months. Did you know that Jeremiah and JoyAnna have been home for 6 months already? One half a year has already gone by. At times it feels like this is true and at other times it seems to have flown by. Does that make sense?

Take a peek at this photo.
Isn't it incredible? On the left is right after we landed in Manchester, NH on August 6th. The one on the right was taken February 6th. Look at JoyAnna. She is our little blossoming flower! What an amazing blessing she is to us. Look how withdrawn and to be frank..."drugged up" she is in the first photo, and look now!! Looking at the camera (ie:  me, who I must say...I am her favorite at the moment!). She totally has come out of her shell, and continues to do so. Jerry, too. His English is amazing and he has a servant's heart! Just the the other day he said to me..."Mom, please, let me do that for you!"....and..."Mom, you are a good cook, this food is very, very, very, good!". This is a child who came to us 6 months ago with NO English at all! NONE!

And so they are doing really well, and I can NOT imagine my life without them. They bring such joy and life into our home. They truly help us to enjoy the little things in life! 

JoyAnna finished her casting process, and has now been fitted with both legs in an A.F.O., which is a brace. She wears these daily, and sometimes at night, too, to keep her feet in the right position. We are waiting for an extensive equipment evaluation so that we can begin the process of physical therapy and also weight bearing and standing, and then gait training. This is going to be an amazing blessing! I say...TAKE THAT.....orphanage who tied her in her crib and did nothing with her! Take that! God has big plans for our JoyAnna...BIG PLANS!! And...she is a living and breathing testimony to the Grace and Mercy and Healing powers of our Lord wherever we go!! Everyone in the family is adjusting very well!

Glenn's work has been going really well. He was able to take a 4 week break over Christmas and the new year and work on some projects here to include new hard wood floors in our living room, our kitchen and our hallway. We LOVE them! 

We also have had a new addition to our family since we last "chatted". Meet Turner, our chocolate lab puppy. What an amazing blessing he has been to us. We took all of our Christmas money and pooled it together and decided to get a puppy. We researched and found a wonderful breeder up in Turner, Maine (hence the name) and took a field trip as a family to pick him out. We then went up in January (the day after Rosie's birthday to pick him up!) We have enjoyed reading the "The Art of Raising A Puppy" by:  the monks New Skete. It's been an invaluable resource in helping us to train him. Grace is his official trainer, and he's doing awesome! This Thursday he'll be 12 weeks old. He came to us at 7 weeks old! 

He's been such a blessing! Caring for a puppy is a wonderful resource to promote healing and growth in a family, and especially in adopted children, too! I promise to share more about him at a later time!

Speaking of Rosie....she turned 3 on the 21st of January...where in the world has the time gone??Where???? We had a wonderful celebration with Brittany and her family at McDonald's (Rosie's choice)...she had a great day! She's our littlest treasure from the Lord and we are soooo blessed to have her in our life! What a gift she is!

We are in the midst of our snowiest winter that we can remember. We've had 2 blizzards fairly recenlty. And...Glenn's snowblower has at Grace Abounding Farm, there has been LOTS of character building shoveling going on! Yay! We have fun while doing it, too. Here are some shots from yesterday...our entire morning was spent shoveling! 

Let me tell you something exciting about me...I've known about Trim Healthy Mama for a couple of years now. And I followed it for awhile off and on. Well...this is my 2nd week of following it whole heartedly and WOW! What a difference I feel! I lost 5 lbs and one size in clothing already! February 7th is my starting date and I promise to keep you posted of my progress! I would appreciate your prayers as I take on this adventure that I would be strong and stand firm in the Lord, and treat my "temple" in the way I should! That's soooo important!

Can I tell you some other exciting news? Our family is growing in more ways than one! Our daughter Brittany (married to Chris) is expecting our 3rd grand daughter in late June, early July. We are tickled pink!! Yay!!

And...our precious daughter Madelyn is in an official courtship with a wonderful young man from our church. And so at some point this summer, we will be gaining a son in love, too! (Photos to follow with permission from the young couple!) This is such a blessing to us! We really strive to train up our children in the way they should go, and it gives us great joy when they are following the Lord in this way! What a blessing! I promise to give more details and photos soon! VERY soon! It's ALL good! 

As I write this, I pray for some children in an orphanage in Bulgaria. Tomorrow they are scheduled to be transferred to a terrible place. Oh how I pray for these precious children. Please Lord, intervene. Please prompt families to come forward for them. Please, Lord! As our life settles down into a pattern and a rythym, and as we prepare to send off one of our precious children into her next chapter of her life...I find myself wondering what plans God has for our family this year. Will it expand again? Does God want us to say "Yes" to another child or children? We are ready..."yes Lord! we will go!" We will say..."YES"...and so we wait on Him, the author and finisher of our faith to show us...we cry out...."Here we are Lord....send us!'.....promise to keep you posted on that front, too.

It's been sooooo good to catch up with you! Soooo very good! Let me give you a quick update on everyone else:
Grace (18) hopes to finish her homeschooling this year and is working VERY hard to graduate! She hopes to pursue something in the medical field in her future!
Edward (15) is doing great. You'll often find him headed to work with Glenn to help him. That's been a wonderful apprenticeship for him.
Elisha (15) has 41 pen pals and if you are blessed enough to be on her will get regular encouragement and blelslsings from her! If you aren't on her list and want to be...just let her know! 
Jonathan (11--soon to be 12) is going to be the tallest Winslow I do believe! He likes to do anything creative! 
Nicole(9) has become a big help in the kitchen!
and Rosie(3) she has 2 speeds...full speed and sleeping...and this is why I can spend this time with you right now....because she's sleeping!! :) :)

We are all doing really well here. We decided that 10 years with goats was enough, and so we no longer have them. We do have 45 laying hens, and so are always blessed with fresh eggs. We are planning out our garden now for the spring, and are excited about that! We have to put up a fence around it this year, though, as the deer have discovered it, and they've told their friends! 

There is a mud room in our future! Yay! I'm sooooo excited! It will be off the slider in the kitchen! Yay! I'll keep you posted on that, too. 

How is your family? Please fill me in! I LOVE to catch up! Please email me at, or friend me on facebook:  winslow gang is my name! I LOVE to use technology to stay in touch with you all! 

Well dearies...our time is coming to an end. Thank you soooo much for your prayers, your listening ear and your encouragement...they mean the world to me! Promise me you'll stay in touch!! It was awesome to catch up with you!

Till Next Time,
In His Love,