Saturday, January 2, 2010

Where We Have Been & Where We Are Going!

Happy New Year everyone. I just wanted to share a few glimpses into our lives as we review the last 12 months and look ahead to the next 12. It is my aim to not just create a brag list but rather let you know how we really live here in the mountains raising our sweet ones.

The year has been a blessing and we have had to take it day by day and month by month. As many of you know the building industry has come to a grinding halt which has rocketed us into very uncertain financial times. Our lives have become truly dependent on the Lord and he has not let us down. God has provided for us through several Cornerstone remodels, H & R Block, family, gifts cards, hand me downs, our church, consignment stores and thrift stores. At times I have felt like life is boring and nothing ever exciting happens to me but when I reflect I truly praise God for the slow lifestyle we live here in Truckee. Now, that is not to say that I am bored in the least. A home, husband, 4 children and a home-school keeps me very busy in the day in and day out and I frequently say "I wish I could get bored." I love my family dearly and pray that in the coming year the Lord will continue to endear my heart to theirs and show me their real worth and value in His eyes. So let me start with me. The highlight of my year was all the hiking that we got to do this summer and fall (scroll down to see me and my shadows on a fall hike). I love the outdoors and I look forward to finding more family friendly hikes this next summer season. Blogging also became a big part of my time this year--there is a whole world out there, pick your hobby and you can find an online community to share your passion with and glean ideas and encouragement from. As for me I read homeschooling blogs, frugal living blogs, decorating blogs and spiritually encouraging blogs. I continue to enjoy great music and good books. Kari Jobe was the music artist of the year for me; check her out on YouTube if you need some good inspiring tunes. As far as books I read the Forever Faithful series by Karen Kingsbury, Unafraid and Unshaken by Francine Rivers. Unafraid and Unshaken our 2 books about the women in the lineage of Christ, both were great and gave me new thoughts to ponder about Ruth and Mary. I have started reading the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs (Available through the Truckee Library). Now I am not typically a murder mystery fan but these are great and super fun to read. I get to indulge my love of tea and reading in one fell swoop. I also revisited an old favorite The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elizabeth Elliot, just great encouragement for caring for my home and family. This next year I hope to read books by Debbie Macomber (Truckee Library). I read A Cedar Cove Christmas and really enjoyed it so I plan to continue on in the series. How do I have time to read? I make time. I try to get 30 minutes a day to read whatever I want. It doesn’t always work out but I think it is one of the keys to staying sane in a busy noisy house. I have discovered that it is not enough for me to be left alone in a room full of people doing their own thing but that I actually need to retreat alone and for me that is usually my room. So in the next year I hope to spruce it up with a few more pretty accessories, courtesy of the thrift store and a can a spray paint if necessary. I also aspire to beautify a few more areas in our home through thrifty finds and hope to be better at taking before and after photos. I pray that our lives both inside and out will be a thing of beauty to the Lord. I pray that the Lord will keep my heart open to whoever and whatever he brings into my life in 2010 (2010, can you believe it? I can't) So on the inner beautification side, I am continuing to work my way through the bible, book by book, trying to walk in the spirit day by day, praying the scriptures for my loved ones and keeping the Sabbath set apart as a day of rest and reflection with our family. I plan to do a bit more studying on fasting in the next year and have been so delighted to share my love of bible women with others. This past summer I lead a bible study called Bible Moms and then subsequently got to teach on Jochebed (the mom of Moses) at our local MOPS and Mary at our church's Christmas tea. I always knew I wanted to teach/speak but I just never thought it would be form the word, I always thought it would be in the form of counseling. Just a few last thoughts on the year ahead--I hope to reinstitute Movie Time Monday at our hose. I did this during the summer and it allowed me to get a lot of scrapping done while the children enjoyed a movie. I hope to sit more. Yes, you read that right, I said sit more. Just sit and enjoy my surroundings and the people in them. Sitting needs to become a discipline for me because many days I never even leave my house but I never just sit and enjoy what is in or around me. And finally, I hope we can plan a camping trip to Yosemite, I haven't been since I was very little and would love to enjoy it again with our family.
So enough about me and on to the rest of the Garbarino clan.

Kensley is 3 years old and full of life, both happiness and venom. She loves to dance, wear fancy shoes, look at books, count, paint and color. However, look out if she doesn’t like what you say or you cross a line she screams with the best of them.

July 2009--Lake Nacimiento

Emry Anne is 7 and in second grade. She loves to dance, draw, play with friends, watch TV and listen to books on tape. The Boxcar Children have been her favorite CD's to listen to. It has been a new world for us this year with all of the new girls in the neighborhood. Emry is learning to strike a balance between times with friends, TV and just being content to BE at home. It has and is a growth process for us both.

Martis Creek--2009

Ayden is 5 1/2 and in kindergarten. The boy loves to build and anything that transforms. He learned to ride his bike this fall on his own. He picked up a neighbors bike and just rode off leaving me with my mouth hanging open and Emry screaming "He's riding a bike, he's riding a bike! We also rejoiced this fall because Ayden is pull-up free--yahoo! (Only 2 more to go) Ayden is the opposite of Emry, she has friends in all directions and Ayden has very few. At times it has left him feeling very sad and mischievous to see his sister, his best friend, play with others. So we are problem solving and seeking solutions on this issue. It is so sad to see my dear boy cry tears over being left out.

Our backyard--June 2009

Brady is one and so much fun! He has been walking for the last month and talking up a storm. They say boys are so much slower to develop linguistically but that is not and has not been our experience. Brady has so many words and daily seems to come up with new ones. Last night he was saying Kensley's name, he tries to repeat most everything, now if he would just stop hitting his head on the tile.

Learning Loft--September 2009

Me and my precious jewels--Crystal Falls--September 2009

Now as for Jay he is plugging along. He continues to engineer, workout and love good food. He has perfected a sourdough starter and bread this year as well as tiramisu. He has us starting a P90x hybrid with Tony Horton's, One on One series this week and he still desires to stay fit and encourage others to do the same. We are blessed that he will be working for H & R Block again this winter and possibly the U.S. Census in the spring. He still plays monster with the children and is currently instituting a memory game with the children all over the house in the evenings. He has been attending a men's bible study on Friday mornings, reading Jerry Bridges online devotional, enjoying Facebook and maintaining 2 blogs of his own (see the sidebar for his links).

Paige Meadows--October 2009

Angora Lakes--October 2009

So that is it our lives in a nutshell. Thanks to everyone who sent us pictures and cards, we love the updates and pray your hearts will be open to the hand of the Lord in your lives in 2010--May God Bless You!

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