Friday, February 12, 2016

What shall await us in 2016? {Year in Review 2015}

One more blog to finalize my Sabbatical. This blog started out as a family journal and I need to close it as one too!

2015 has come to an end.

In years past I have rejoiced at the thought (ready for a new year), but now I am fully aware I have spent an entire year without my dad on this earth.  Grief never goes away, but it gets easier with time.
For that: I AM THANKFUL.

Recently, someone asked Sean and I, "what is your life motto"? days have passed and we have come to this conclusion:


It really does sum up our desire as Christians, also for our marriage and for our family. We keep pressing onward, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

2015 kept our hearts awaken to God's love for us and His never ending faithfulness.

Sean officially moved out to his office this past summer! What a joy for him to have his own work space apart from our crazy household. It is amazing how he ever managed to get work done before. While his office is not complete, just a little further to go! He plans on putting an extra work space for the kids to homeschool. He also fenced in a garden area around his office with used wood from a neighbor whose fence fell down. He is a pretty handy man!

What would I do without him in my life? We see each other more than other couples might be able to handle, but it only makes our love stronger. I love that Priscilla and Hadassah (really any of the kids!) can go out and visit dad during the day. He always takes time to listen, discipline, teach, even tune violins, and is Mommy's personal shrink.  :)

Sean also completed a year long Leadership CoHort with a few men at our church. Lots of late night readings and small writing assignments. I only had to give up a handful of evenings and was very happy to see him studying the word with other men. It brought him back to some solid foundations of his faith in Christ.

Sean and I also had our first overnight WEEK LONG date this past December in LA!!!! (oh my goodness...four years since our last overnighter) and it was SO STINKIN' FUN to sit, talk, and laugh at every meal together. Let's do it again soon babe! wink wink.

Elijah, is turned 15 at the end of January! I often in awe that he is growing up before my eyes. He is almost a head taller than me and I LOVE IT. There is something sweet about a Mama hugging her baby, yet he is a young man. We let him have an istagram account this year to display he art talent with the world. He very quickly has almost 300 followers. He loves anything related to NASA, space, Marvel or Dr Who. He has a growing heart for the Lord. I pray he will use his incredible intellect to serve Him. He as the ability to learn independently and is currently almost done with Alegbra in homeschool. And hey.. why not learn Italian? ha! He is trying. Go Jo! "come su alcuni manicotti??"

Lydia, officially made our house home of "two teenagers" last summer: She is 13 years old. We spend many nights hanging out, watching movies, or just talking with those two! Lydia's talent with the piano is amazing. A true, "now self taught" pianist and prints sheet music daily off the computer! She is the second Mommy to her baby sister Priscilla. She can accomplish almost any hairstyle on Pinterest, loves buying clothes on ThredUp, and both her and
Elizabeth are learning the violin. And Geessh... She is wearing makeup now. She is beautiful inside and out. She knows we would give her the world if we could, but deep in her heart is so simple and frugal. Oh, and how can I not mention she is a Jane Austen fan?!.. but always loves a good mystery like Sherlock Holmes. Her language of choice (and has always been): French. "Oui Oui!"

Elizabeth, the true Chicken Chick of them all. Want to buy this 11 year old a gift? Real chickens will be on her list, but really anything chicken related she loves. ;) She has seen the life and death of so many precious chickens this year :( I feel bad for her! ( Note: No, we are not eating them. Some natural causes, some just disappear.)  She found a love for overalls, boots, hats and I am pretty sure will marry a farmer someday. As she desired, her hair long and beautiful. She loves snuggling up with a good book (Redwall or the Hobbit), or even drawing the cutest little animal sketches! Her love and compassion for her family truly shines and no matter what she always finds a way to make peace. I love your hugs and kisses Elizabeth Jane! Guess what her language of choice is? German!! (You think they would all learn the same, so they could talk behind my back! Wait let's translate that in German: "Sie denken, sie würden alle gleich zu lernen, damit sie hinter meinem Rücken reden!")

Jason, is all boy in every way. He is learning the fine art of getting is school work and chores done early so he can play play play. He is an amazing big brother to Mo, Dess, and Scilla! They'll play in the pool, trampoline, ditches, is always exciting with Jason.  He loves watching TV and got to see the Minion Movie for his 9th birthday last summer.   Without Jason our house would be too quiet! He makes random noises, sings, plays the kazoo, penny whistle, and makes the coolest gun noises. ;) Although, you will find him quietly reading Redwall books (like his sister Elizabeth), drawing, or making awesome lego creations.  He always needs a listening ear, love, and comfort hugs from his mama... (and I have no problem giving them)! Also a good back scratch from Dad before bed makes his day complete.

Hadassah turned 5 years old this past summer! She starred in her own YouTube movies with her little brother Mordecai. They spend almost every waking moment together playing some sort of pretend play. :D She loved learning how to swim without a life jacket, even practiced diving underwater. She went with her big sisters and I to see her first theater movie Cinderella. (She was ready to go home before it started, but we made it through!) Hadassah is right around the corner from learning how to read and loves doing math. We still cuddle and sing every night together. She rejoices to tell us that she LOVES Jesus with all her spirit! She doesn't want me to get old and she wants to stay a kid forever. She often talks about Grandpa making her peanut butter toast and she is so happy we will see him in heaven. Precious little girls she is!

Mordecai, my gentle boy who is coming out of his shell! As I type this, he is only a week from turning 4 yrs. Wow. He is mama's boy through and through. He officially does not take naps anymore. Usually you'd find him asleep on the living room floor in the afternoon, but now he stays up all day and will be ready for bed by 7pm. He loves his big sister Hadassah so much and is learning how to include his baby sister. He likes legos, puzzles, the playset, and trampoline. He has become the Coloring King and will cover every inch of the paper with colors. He also knows how to write is name in short: MO MO. He is simple little boy, but I can tell he is growing like a weed this year! He always loves to snuggle every night and is the first one up in the morning asking for cereal. Can I add he has the cutest giggle in the world!?

Priscilla . Oh Priscilla. She is a firecracker. A firecracker that almost did not "relight" last summer. We came seconds away from the worst tragedy a parent can face: The death of child.
By God's grace she did not drowned and now keeps us on our toes more than ever before! So thankful she is turning two next week! Priscilla has learned to communicate so much this past year and she gets quite upset if you don't understand her. The best answer is "Show me." ;) She loves to busy and serve. If I can think of jobs to give her all day she thrives on it! Weaning from Mama was a bit difficult (for both of us), but we made it.. She went to a bottle and sleeps in a big girl bed with her sister Hadassah. Money, marbles, play dough, and her alphabet books are among her favorite toys. Of course trinkets on her sisters top shelves and mom make up are fun too! When she is upset she ALWAYS had an older sibling to help her. If not, she will go "see Daddy" out in his office. She makes several trips out a day to see him ;) Oh, how we all love her and her vibrate daring personality!

I must confess, it took me weeks upon weeks to write this blog. Thus, why I am taking a break from blogging ;) I have been working so hard on every level, but with God's strength can carry on. I can do nothing apart from Him. In my down time, I like reading or snuggling with my husband watching Netflix. I am also helping lead a bible study with my pastors wife. I LOVE studying the word with sisters in Christ!

My biggest venture this year was becoming a Doula. It is a new passion of mine and I am in awe of God for letting me love and serve other woman.

Everyday I face much of the same duties with cleaning, homeschooling, training, meal planning, ect ect, BUT watching my children grow before my eyes is a gift. Yeah, they fight, bicker, tattle, and give me dirty looks (oh, i do loose it and yell).. this too shall pass, right?
We are a real family with real struggles all combined in 1100 sq ft. It makes for an interesting life to say the least! ;)

I really do hope to keep you posted throughout 2016, till the next blog feel free to follow us on instagram: buckoutfam.

Peace. Love. Grace.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Blogging Sabbatical

A blogging sabbatical after 7 years is not too shabby! Perfect from a biblical standpoint.. right? didn't the ground have to rest.. will have to ask Sean about that one. ;)

I really want to blog. I blog in my mind from time to time. I even have "notes" in my journal for my year end blog. That one I might sneak in this month or next. It will all come in due time.

Our life is so busy and I constantly remind myself : saying "yes" to one thing means saying "no" to another.

For now- being a wife and mother while homeschooling, taking care of my health, becoming a Doula, working a part time job online.... blogging is taking a backseat.

I am not excusing myself, just letting go a bit.

I hope to write more. For all who follow us or stumble upon us, may you have a blessed New Year. I pray you will find yourself talking and seeking the One who created us all. Through Christ there is JOY unspeakable.

Here are a few random pic from the year. Ones that just popped out and made me smile.

Rich by HIS love,

one of my favs

kids with the camera

his smile


from my rose bush

coastal nc

my boys


big brother playing hide and seek

why not

road trip

the violin comes in the mail

baby chick!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Chirstmas!

We had a blessed day! We hope you did too!
My slowest month of blogging since 2009. Wow.
Hugs and Love from us all!

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Quick Snippet of our Thanksgiving 2015

This was our first year waking up the older kids for the parade.
Sean shouted in their room "hurry, hurry, wake up the parade is coming!!!"

Here is a little video Lydia made of our meal. ;)

A few notes:
Mordecai refused to speak to the camera.
Priscilla is dancing to Broadway Parade Musicals.
Excuse the mess ;)
We had no special visitors this year and kept it really simple.

Hope you had a blessed one too!


Sunday, November 22, 2015

ESV Men's Devotional Bible {Review by Sean & Giveaway!}

Of Course this is not a review on the contents of the Bible as all scripture is breathed of God and awesome!  However there are so many study Bible publications out there it can be helpful to know which one will fit best for you.

I actually caught myself the other morning thinking that some day it would be nice to get a new Bible. While I love my current Bible, the print is really small and I am getting older so it might be nice (or necessary) to get a new Bible some day with larger print. And low and behold, the next day, a Bible arrived in the mail for me to review for my wife. Pleasant surprise.

I already love the ESV version of the scriptures for it's faithful to the text translation and ease of reading. I think it is a good translation for new believers just getting to know the word, and yet it would also be easy for someone who had been reading the KJV forever to start reading and not feel like they were reading a different book.

So what did I like about this Bible?

1. Simplicity

I have never been one to enjoy a study bible that is glutted with articles and notes for me to read. While I appreciate the wisdom of others in helping me discern truth, I fully realize that it is the scripture itself and not the notes and articles that are inspired. For that reason I have always enjoyed Bibles that have little embellishment to get in the way of me reading God's word, or to get my train of thought going in a direction that the Lord may not have had for me that day. The ESV Men's Devotional Bible has book introductions, articles, and the ESV translation notes but the scripture itself takes center stage.

2. Good Articles and Introductions

The articles in the ESV Men's Devotional Bible are great thought provoking truths that stay true to the text you are reading. I did not see anything that seemed psychological, or wacky, just good plain Bible truths. Being a men's Bible it is nice that there is a lot of encouragement for men in the notes. Back to simplicity though, the scripture is not overshadowed by men's topics. It's not like picking up a book on being a godly man that has some bible excerpts you can read on the side, it is as if the notes were written in a way that this Bible is for men who want to encounter God in His word. But because they are men holding this Bible the notes are at times focused towards issues that men face. Some men's study material gets carried away with sports illustrations, or cliche business advice. While the articles in here will still appeal to all men, they are more focused on the theology of being a man of God and issues of the heart.

3.  The Design

This is just me, but as a web designer, I think about things like layout, colors and fonts, etc.  I like how this Bible is all white, black and gold.  There is something cool about the simple black serif text on a white background with shimmering gold chapter numbers and headlines.  It has great clarity, but also keeps with the sacredness of the book that you are holding. While having gold shimmering headlines will not make my heart automatically more obedient to Christ, I appreciate that the design team no doubt took to mind the holiness of God's word when making that call. Subtle and with effect.

What did I not like about this Bible?

Nothing. Honestly it is very nice. It would be nice in leather bound but I am sure that option is available for purchase.

Who is this Bible good for?

Honestly I think this Bible version would be good for any man, whether new in the faith or a seasoned veteran, young or old. There is enough content in the notes to encourage and disciple new believers into digging deeper, and solid truths to remind old pilgrims who have been on the path for a long time. As a father of seven, Christian for over twenty years, and a person who has read the Bible cover to cover several times, I totally enjoyed it. I also think it would be just as effective as a gift to my 14 year old son, who is coming of age and starting to consider what it means to be a man of God. I highly recommend this Bible for any man or young man who wants to grow in their walk with Christ in His word.

Interested in winning a bible for a you, your husband or friend? Please enter the rafflecopter below!! :D

Our world presents daily distractions that can easily displace Christ as the center of a man's heart and life.  The goal of the ESV Men's Devotional Bible is to strengthen and encourage men through the life-giving Word of God and sound devotional content aimed at nurturing godliness.  With 365 theologically rich and gospel-centered devotions drawn directly from the Bible, this all-new resource was created under the editorial oversight of Dr. Sam Storms with contributions from over fifty Christian leaders.  Introductions orient men to each book of the Bible, exploring its unique contribution to a man's walk with God.  Thoughtful and instructive articles address the importance of sound doctrine, life in the local church, leadership, the heart, calling, and a host of other relevant issues for today.  The Men's Devotional Bible will strengthen men in their walk with Christ, helping them apply the gospel and the truths of God's Word in their homes, churches, and workplaces. 

- 365 brand-new devotions
- Brand new book introductions
- 14 brand-new articles
- Dictionary of key terms
- Ribbon marker
- Smyth-sewn binding
- Lifetime guarantee on TruTone edition
- Packaging: slipcase (TruTone), L-card (HC), permanent slipcase (Cloth over Board) 

Retail Price: $34.99

About Crossway:
The purpose of Crossway has been, from its founding as a not-for-profit ministry in 1938, to publish gospel-centered, Bible-centered content that will honor our Savior and serve his Church.   They seek to help people understand the massive implications of the gospel and the truth of God's Word, for all of life, for all eternity, and for the glory of God. 




Monday, November 16, 2015

Halloween 2015

Marry Poppins, a Burgular, Hadassah the Chef, Farmgirl, Postapocalpytic Character, Little Chicken, Two Parents, Jack, and Superman.

The Loot.

It was fun night. We call it "making memories".
Loved pulling the littles in the wagon.
The older kids eventually found us. They actually made it back to the van first and we found them.
Priscilla never kept the chicken costume on. Go figure. ..and EVERYONE thought she was a boy. Poor Girl. I had her in a brown hoodie with a huge flower on it.
Mordecai was adorable and tripped on at least 5 peoples porches.
Elijah decided next year he will hang out with his parents and pull the littles in their wagon... that made me smile.

For more detailed costume photos see our family instagram acct ;)

In His Grace,

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The NIV for Teen Girls Bible {Review by Lydia & Giveaway!)

About the NIV Bible for Teen Girls:
Today's teen girl needs reassurance that no issue is too big for God. The NIV Bible for Teen Girls, designed specifically for girls ages 13 to 18, will do just that. This Bible is packed with daily readings, highlighted promises of God, challenging insights, smart advice, and open discussions about the realities of life. This Bible is designed to help teen girls grow in faith, hope, and love. It is as sincere about a teen girl's walk with God as they are, helping them discover his will for all areas of their life, including relating to their family, dealing with friends, work, sports, guys, and so much more.

  • DAILY READINGS by popular Christian female authors including Bethany Hamilton (Soul Surfer), Annie Downs, Christine Caine, Nicole Weider, Elsa Kok Colopy, Crystal Kirgiss, Bekah Hamrick Martin, Denise Van Eck, and more
  • CHARACTER PROFILES of women in the Bible
  • BOOK INTRODUCTIONS for each book of the Bible
  • HIGHLIGHTED PROMISES OF GOD are verses worth remembering
  • A CONCORDANCE for help in finding verses
  • The bestselling NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV) of the Bible

Lydia's (13yrs) Thoughts and Review:
The NIV Bible for Teen Girls has a really appealing look to it, definitely something that I would pick up if I were bible shopping. I love that it is not to little-girly and that the writing isn't pink!

• I was realy exited when I found out that it had daily devotions from authors like Bethany Hamilton. The devotions where easy to understand, quick to the point, (which is great for us busy teens :) ) well written, and had a diverse amount of topics.

• Throughout the bible they have highlighted certain verses in a very, very, light pink color which I think give it a much cleaner appearance (compared to having them in little bubbles/boxes off to the side.)

• Another great feature they have is pages throughout that talk about women of the Bible. I was really happy when I found they had Lydia, Elizabeth, Esther ( or Hadassah) and Priscilla. All of us four girls!

• I feel like even the shape of this bible has a different feel, but in a good way. It's a little taller and not as wide as my old bible for girls, and much thicker. At first I though this was funny but when I actually read it and held it I found it very nice. However, it is sorta heavy and hurt a bit trying to hold it up while reading it (which could be easily solved by placing on a desk or your lap)

• Overall I would highly recommend this bible to any Teen girl. If I had to say something negative about it I would say that I wished that I could get it in another version (its NIV, and I like ESV.) However, if your new at reading the bible, the NIV version makes it very clear and easy to understand.

* quick note *
I have been comparing this to my old Faithgirls Bible.

For more information on The NIV Bible for Teen Girls see FACEBOOK and TWITTER !

We have an awesome opportunity to give one copy (yes, the bible!) The NIV Bible for Teen Girls to one of our readers. Please enter the Rafflecopter below and spread the word. Giveaway will end on November 5th! (Retails for $29.99!)

Because of Him,

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


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