Monday, December 18, 2017

One year ago.....


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'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. 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!'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!