There are a few hours left of this year.  And what a year it’s been!  I’m so grateful to be able to share my family and the fun things we enjoy doing with everyone.  Thank you so much for reading our stories!

I have received so much joy from my children.  I have watched them grow and change in wonderful ways this year.  I thought I’d list my top 10 favorite blogs for this year.

10.  Down on the Farm with Abundant Blessings (click for the full story!)

What a fun experience this was!  The girls learned so much about farms and got to gain some real hands on experience.  Their little hands got to reach into the nests and grab out freshly laid eggs.  They pet a lamb, picked squash, and pet a chicken.

Kay brought out a friendly hen for the girls to pet.

Charlie brought out a lamb for the girls to meet. He was a spunky little guy.

9.  Our Handmade Home

I adore all the handmade things in our home that were made by people who we love so much.  I am so grateful for their time and love and for sharing their skills and gifts with us.

This sweet gown was made for me by my grandmother for my Christening. Willow and Laelia have also worn it for their dedications.

This rag quilt was made by Aunt Karen for Laelia when she was born. It’s so snuggly!

Aunt Season also made this kitty cat for Chloe for her birthday. Chloe loves her (Flowers is her name) so much. She is her frequent companion.

8.  Applesauce…mmm…

Applesauce is one of my favorite traditions that I love passing down to my girls.  The smell of simmering apples wafting through our home is so heartwarming.

7.  Petal Blanket

My little angel looked so precious on this petal blanket.  This petal blanket is fabulous for photography and cost less than $10.00 to make!

6.  Growth Chart

This is one of my most favorite things that I’ve ever made.  Every time I walk by it, I feel so happy.  We worked on it together as a family and it’s something we can take with us if we leave this house and hang in the next one.

5.  Fairies

Making fairies for our girls for Christmas was so much fun.  Scott and I would work together each night after he got home from work until the last fairy was finished.  The girls love them!  It has been a joy watching their imaginations unfold as they are immersed in creative play with their fairies.

4.  Door Table Extraordinaire

I have trouble finding furniture I like when we have gone shopping in the past.  Mostly because I find it to be too cheaply constructed for the price, but also because when you shop for it most likely it’s not going to be unique.  I love unique pieces!  So imagine how much fun we had making our dining room table out of a fabulous solid wood six panel door.  I just love it and I still smile every time I sit down at my table.

3.  little moments

One thing I try to keep in the foreground of my thoughts as we go about our day is how important each moment is for these people who depend so much on me.  The smallest moments matter so much—my attitude when they ask me for the 14th time in 5 minutes (literally) where we are going on a car ride, responding with gentle words when I just want to snap—it can be so hard to maintain a gentle manner toward them at times.  But each moment counts.  And each moment goes by so quickly!  And while we are in these little moments, it does wonders for me to purposefully and mindfully be in each moment and gear it toward the never ending goal of the mind, body, spirit integrated development of each little lady.  Oh how I love them!

2.  Operation Christmas Child

This will always be one of my favorite things to do.  It’s so fulfilling and a whole lot of fun to help out these precious children, many of whom have never received a gift.  I have been so blessed many times over from this experience and from sharing it with my girls and watching them fall in love with the shoebox ministry.

1.  Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtles

How could this not be #1 on my list?!!  We had been talking so much about seeing baby turtles in our family.  Weekly we would go to the beach and see the new nests that had been laid the night before.  We’d see some that had emptied while the moon shone above and could still make out the faint little flipper prints in the sand that their owners had left as they made their way to the ocean.  I truly didn’t think I would actually get the chance to see those little guys make their way to the water, let alone share it with my family.  Not only did we get to see them, the girls were able to pet their little heads and get front row seats to the biggest journey these little turtles would ever make.  So cool!

The level of cuteness just skyrocketed.