Friday, December 28, 2012

That Was Then, This Is Now

This time, 5 years ago, we'd just welcomed home our precious Sarah Beth and she was celebrating her first Christmas as an American! We had no idea just how much she would change our lives. Sarah loves completely, she feels deeply, forgives quickly, and she cares about others and their needs in a way that blesses everyone around her. She has changed each of us in this family and we are so blessed that God created her to bring glory to Him on this Earth as a McGuire.

In Guatemala to bring Sarah Beth home!  December 2007

The girls and I - Spring 2008
Sarah's first day with glasses!!!
Last week we learned that Sarah needed glasses, really bad, and I really didn't have many clues to point to her having a great difficulty seeing.  She is  very proud of her new glasses.  They are pink and purple, we wore pink today in honor of the occasion of picking them up! :)
From the time we picked them up, she never took them off until it was time to go to bed!
Abiding in His grace,

Yearly Beach Trip Photos - Relocated

As I have looked over my blog the last few days and reaccessed, I decided I needed to move some of my photos and update some things because it's been so long since I've been here and there's a little "housekeeping" that needs to be done.

This post will include some of those older photos, to relocate them and get them out of the sidebar.

Enjoy these "oldie but goodies" things really have changed.  We've all changed. Some of us a little, some of us a LOT!

Enjoying this gift of a family, while Abiding in His grace,

These photos are from our 20th trip to the beaches of

Panama City Beach, Florida!

Anna at Sundown

Anna at Sundown

My Bunch at Sunset

I am absent from the "beach" pictures this year since I could not walk in the sand.

Sarah on the Sand


Giann with Sarah

Giann with Sarah
Todd took this one.

The View From Our Balcony

The View From Our Balcony
These older photos are from our previous year's visit to the same place... Panama City Beach, FL.

Todd and I poolside. This is our 19th trip to the beach now.

We're getting old....

My girls and I enjoying a little shade.


My Big Girl!

Anna is 12 now and growing so fast!! 
(Wow, look up at the top of this post! What a difference a year makes, huh?)

Cooling Off at the Beach

This is how you do it when you don't like the ocean!
(Sarah's 1st trip to the beach. Age 2)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Links to Older Blog Posts Regarding Money, Spending, and Stewardship

I now have the ability to post updates to the blog on Facebook, so some of you who are here may be new to my blog, .  If so, I hope that some of you have found your way here...from there.

The following is a list of older articles in a series that I wrote during 2010, about how we use our money and about stewardship in general.

If this is a topic that is new to you, I hope that you will find this to be useful information.  If this topic is one that is important to you, I hope that you will find something that encourages you to continue to be a faithful steward of what you have been given, in whatever way God leads you to save for YOUR family.  Whatever the case, I hope that these articles cause you to think about your money, and whether or not you are honoring God, who is the one who has provided you with it, with your use of it.  The articles are all listed here according to the articles original title.  Just click on the title and it should link you directly to each article.

Shopping In Thrift and Consignment Stores posted January 9, 2010

10 Reasons Why You Should Tithe posted January 11, 2010

Crown Financial Ministries Money Forms and Helps posted January 12, 2010

Some of My Favorite Millionaire Quotes posted January 14, 2010
More...Millionaire Mindset also posted on January 14, 2010

Disciplined Finances posted January 18, 2010

Never Asked to Borrow a Penny Since (teach your children about borrowing $) posted January 21, 2010

Couponing, Is It Really Worth It? posted January 25, 2010

Coupon Shopping Trip Update...  posted January 26, 2010

Coupon Trip #2  posted February 2, 2010

My Current Read(s) posted February 4, 2010

I pray that these old posts will have something in that is helpful, useful, thought provoking for you.  If so, please post a comment.  I always want to hear your thoughts.

Abiding in His abundant provision,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hopeless Wanderer Designs

Hi Everyone:

Anna has finally gotten some of her necklace designs done, and they are beautiful!!

If you are looking for a last minute gift for someone, or want something special for yourself, this is a great option and her turn around time is really quick.

They are priced between $15 and $20, determined by whether it's one that she's made and has on hand, or if it is something customized just for you. They can be custom made using your favorite quote, a special saying, lyrics from a song you love, a favorite Bible verse, or your inititals for a monogram.  The chains are a ball and chain style, so she's even had an order for one that they cut the chain down to turn it into a key chain.

We will upload some pictures soon.  So keep an eye out.  In the meantime, you can visit her blog here and if you haven't already, PLEASE go like the Facebook page here.  She needs at least 5 more likes to secure her Facebook url.

Abiding in His grace,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thoughts From the Bible and Various Quotes About Money

These items were posted back in 2010, when I was working through a series of posts about money: what we do with it, how we should use it, and how we honor or dishonor God and others through our use of it.

Proverbs 10:3-4

"The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked.
He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich."
"A penny saved, is a penny earned."

~Benjamin Franklin

"If you make money your god, it will plague you like the devil." ~Henry Fielding

The real measure of your wealth is how much
you'd be worth if you lost all your money.
~Author Unknown

Psalm 24:1 (NLT)
"The Earth is the Lord's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him."

1/13/2010The amount needed to provide basic education, sanitation and drinking water for the entire world is the amount Americans spend every year on ice cream. Source

Acccording to Wiki-Answers only 8.5 percent of the earth's entire population own cars. Wow! In our mindset/society we can't image being without two!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Brief Thoughts on the Connecticut Shootings and Are We Too Busy For Christmas?

It's been a few days since I posted about my return to the land of blogging.  Sorry about that, I am trying to ease back into all of this.

I have been super busy and unable to get back to it again until now, but here I am.  I see that many of you are checking in regularly.  I know you don't post comments, but I watch you on my Cluster Map and I can see you...  :)  I would love it if you would post a comment and let me know your thoughts or share what is going on in your own life.

The last 5 days have included physicals for both of my kids, corporate work for our plumbing company, homeschooling, dance classes plus dance Christmas parties (one of which was held here at our home Friday night) a second Christmas Parade, and lastly a birthday dinner for a close friend of Anna's.  It has been C*R*A*Z*Y around here, as if that's anything out of the ordinary!  I'm sure that it is crazy at your house right now too.  So, I began to wonder, are we too busy for Christmas?

I AM looking forward to the upcoming break!  I'm sure those of you who have children, or work with children are especially looking forward to the break too, just the rest that comes when children do not have a specific schedule they have to keep that starts so early in the morning and ends so late in the day seems to help relax everyone.

Even so, I am struck hard by the reality that there are people in Connecticut who would give anything to have their sweet children here with busy schedules to keep.  As a mom who's had to go through the horror of planning a funeral for my first child and living through the burial, I understand what they are going through right now.  Even still, I know that I can not fully understand their loss, because my loss was different, not caused by a senseless act but by a congenital heart defect.  In the same way, they would not be able to fully understand my loss, having walked through weeks and months of illness, hours with physicians and the never knowing what the outcome would be.  Either loss, however, is a life event that forever changes who you are.  One of the most painful things for Todd and I during that time was just having to watch others go on with their lives, go through their everyday routines as if nothing had happened, while we felt as though we might not be able to take our very next breathe because the grief was so overwhelming that we thought we would smother under the weight of it.  Pray for these families. They will need the strength that ONLY comes from knowing God, and His character, to fully heal and make it through this time of tragic grief.

This Christmas season has been a little strange for me so far.  Things seem all out of order.  We have the tree up, but the ornaments aren't all on it.  My girls were supposed to have decorated it over the weekend, but my eldest didn't feel well, and the little one will NOT be allowed to decorate by herself.  There are many reasons for that decision, the least of which is that the top third of the tree would have nothing on it!  ;)  I have purchased some gifts for my kids but honestly they haven't asked for much, in fact they haven't really asked for anything that I think they're really serious about.  Sarah B. says she wants a train... Really?!?  A train?  What?  My mom has one that she sets up around her Christmas tree and it goes around by itself and plays Christmas music.  That is what she like Nana's.  Uh, NO!  THAT, is NOT gonna happen.  She's just going to have to enjoy Nana's when she's up at her house.

We only have a very brief 10 days left until we celebrate the most amazing gift ever given - God with us, Immanuel!  I pray that we are able to slow down, focus and really pay attention to what this season is all about.  Remember, it ISN'T about finding the right gift for a hard to buy for family member, or about getting our children all those things they think they want.  It's about the amazing gift of Christ.  The most amazing gift has already been given.  There's nothing we can give or receive that will ever be better than that!!

Matthew 1:23, " 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel.' " which is translated, 'God with us.' "

John 1:14, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

While we are taking our Christmas break, I've decided to revisit a book that I read and posted a about back in November, 2007. I read this book just a month before we traveled to Guatemala to pick up Sarah Beth and bring her home.  She came home just 3 short days before Christmas that year!  The book really meant a lot to me the first time that I read it and was a great source of encouragment to me then.  I could really use some encouragement right now ... BAD! So, I am going to be re-reading the book Passionate Housewives - Desperate for God. It was one of those books that really changed me in many ways. Right now, I'm feeling the need for some change in my life... some positive change!  When I read the book before, I wrote a post entitled "Are You Desperate for God?"  You can read that article here.

Abiding in His ever abundant, never-ending grace,

Monday, December 10, 2012

Updated Family Pictures

Anna and Sarah at the Pumpkin Patch October 2012
Family photo on our family beach trip July 2012
Sarah and I at the beach! July 2012.
Sarah with daddy at the beach 2012!
Sarah turns 6!! Happy Birthday baby girl!
Anna with Sarah on her birthday!

Daddy, Sarah and Mommy in Nashville, November 2012.
The whole family, including my mom, at the Columbia, SC Zoo in early 2012.

I'm Baaaack

Well, after a really long time offline, I am back at it.  I have had a few years of struggle: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  I am hopeful that those years are mostly behind me and I am ready to get back to writing as time allows and the Lord leads.  The breaking of my leg, back in March of 2010, really threw me for a loop in a way I've not been thrown before by anything else, and I have had a lot thrown at me over the years.

I hope that many of you have stayed with me, continued to check to see if there were updates, and if so...THANK YOU! Thank you for not giving up, for continuing to try to see if I was posting again, and more.  For those of you who've just checked in for the first map has revealed you and you have given me the courage to start writing again.  I am amazed that after more than two years of no posts, so many people are still reading my previous writings.

So, here we go again.  I'm going to try to get this off the ground again. We'll see how it goes.

Todd and I are about to begin our 10th year in business.  That is crazy!  It seems like only yesterday we were fretting, and praying and waiting for God to lead. Now, we sit on the edge of our 10th year.  The Lord has blessed each year in different ways, and continues to grow our business in ways we never could have imagined.

We proudly continue to homeschool our two amazing daughters.  Anna is now in the 10th grade and Sarah started Kindergarten this year.  Homeschooling has been difficult for me during this time of struggle, but it continues to be great fun to watch them learn and it is an incredible blessing to be with them throughout the day and to grow with them spiritually.  These girls are great friends to me already in their youth and I know that as they get older, the relationship with each of them will only become sweeter.

Our oldest is about to celebrate her 16th birthday!!!  She was about 10 when I started this blog, and she was anxiously awaiting her baby sister from Guatemala. Unbelievable how the years have flown by. For her upcoming birthday, and our plans are B*I*G!  I will definitely follow up with some amazing pictures in January, once the soiree has occurred! There are a few surprises for her and her friends so I don't want to announce it all here ahead of time. So, sssshhh.....  :)

Sarah Beth is now 6!!!  She had an amazing birthday back in November and she is having a great time doing Kindergarten this year.  I can't believe that on the 20th we will be celebrating 5 years since our adoption was final and she came home from Guatemala! My how the years have flown! 

I will try to upload at least a few up to date pictures.  The girls have changed so much over the last two years, I have changed too as I have been battling my weight following my two major injuries, Todd still looks the same to me.  In fact, when I see him, he is still the 16 year old boy I fell for over 27 years ago! His hair is just a little lighter and he no longer sports the moustache he had back then, but he's still as handsome as ever to me.

It's good to be back, I hope I am able to get back into the swing of things and that this will be a healing experience for me to get back to what I love...writing!  With that I will close with this thought...

"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.'"  James 4:13-15

So, Lord willing, I will continue to post.
As always, I continue to be,
Abiding in His Grace,