Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 Year in Review

This year has been an amazing year of blessings and lots of changes for our family. As you can see by the photos, 2014 was a fun year in which we truly enjoyed life, being with family and friends and having new adventures. 

JANUARY - We rung in the New Year by going out for Chinese with members of our New Life church family. I also celebrated by cheering on the NDSU Bison football team as they won their 3rd National Championship in a row and will be going for their 4th in 2015!

Fun with friends at China Star
FEBRUARY - As with every February, Rob and I both celebrated birthdays but this year I reached a milestone when I turned 40! I can honestly say I feel truly blessed making it to the 40-year mark considering at one time doctors didn't think I would live past my 20s. My mom made my day extra special by taking me shopping, going for lunch and relaxing while getting pedicures. I kept trying to tell her she was doing too much to which she responded, "You only turn 40 once!" Alas, moms are always right!

Fun Birthday Celebrations!
MARCH - We had the opportunity to take my parents out for dinner to celebrate Dad's birthday. It's great having my parents in Bismarck! I also took part in one of my favorite events of the year - JOY International's JOY Breakfast at the Ramkota where over 600 ladies gather together and enjoy a morning of food, fellowship and fun. Once again my sister, niece, sister-in-law and her sister and niece were all able to sit at the table I hosted.

Fun at the JOY Breakfast
APRIL - We celebrated Resurrection Sunday by first attending church then later going out to my parent's place for dinner. Faith continues to enjoy her integrative music sessions with a music therapist who comes to our home twice a month and also going to the Healing Rooms for prayer.

Fun at the Healing Rooms!
MAY - We welcomed the warmer weather and enjoyed finally getting out and about. It seemed we actually skipped spring and jumped right into summer! Unbeknownst to us at the time, it ended up being Faith's last year at Centennial Elementary when she finished 4th grade. I also wrapped up my career as a customer service representative at Coventry/Aetna as we began our venture of becoming self-employed freelance writers.

Fun in the sun with ducks!
JUNE - I enjoyed a couple of visits with my sister who lives in Nebraska as she traveled through Bismarck on her way to Watford City to celebrate our hometown's centennial celebration. I also discovered it's nice having a more flexible schedule which allows me to spend more time with Faith and take her to various activities. It has become our ritual to hit the library at least once a week.

Fun with family!
JULY - Faith, Grandpa and I were all disappointed the 4th of July parade in Mandan was canceled due to rain and lightning in the area. Instead, we had fun hanging out with auntie Barbara and playing in her water fountain. We enjoyed a visit from our friend Kimberly who was visiting from Kansas then at the end of the month we had a surprise visit from Rob's cousin Susie and her husband Steve who live in Waterloo, Ontario. They were flying their plane back home from Vancouver and flew into Bismarck for an overnight stay.

Fun surprise visits!
AUGUST - I enjoyed attending my first women's conference hosted by Century Baptist Church where I heard speaker and author Carol Kent give her astounding testimony. I also enjoyed reminiscing with my college roomies Keri and Mary who are both Ag teachers and were in town for their annual agricultural education sessions. We found a new respite care worker through Easter Seals who Faith really likes (she's picky about who gets to take care of her). We are grateful at how well she is working out for us.

Fun meeting new people! (Me with Gwen from KNDR and Carol Kent)
SEPTEMBER -School started after Labor Day in Bismarck this year but we didn't send Faith back to school along with rest of the kids. Instead, after much prayer and deliberation we decided to home school her this year. We are thankful for all the support we have received and it is nice to know many other Christian homeschooling families. Our primary goal is to teach Faith how to read. I have also been blessed to serve as Java JOY Coordinator for another season and Rob and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary.

Fun with Clifford the Big Red Dog
OCTOBER - This proved to be a monumental month for us! At the beginning of the month we attended the Love Unleashed Healing Conference hosted by the Healing Rooms of the Northern Plains. We were blessed to meet the director of IAHR, Cal Pierce and his wife Michelle. This month we also journeyed by van to Toronto, Ontario. We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with Rob's family, celebrating David and Jean's 50th wedding anniversary and a small baptism ceremony for Faith. After our busy month, Faith wanted to celebrate her 11th birthday by having a quiet day at home with her parents.

Fun anniversary celebration!
NOVEMBER - It wasn't even winter yet but the temperatures dropped to well below zero during November. We were especially thankful during the frigid cold snap we didn't have to get Faith to school and back home as her high tone kicks into overdrive when it's that cold! I had a nice time with family over Thanksgiving and got to see my nephews, Donnie and Preston who traveled up with their parents from Lincoln, NE. We had a blast playing a game called Loaded Questions that I actually won!

Fun with siblings at mom and dad's!
DECEMBER - Every year I resolve not to get too wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season so we can stay focused on the reason - the Birth of our Savior. Instead of being stressed and over committed, we have had lots of fun. Rob and I went to our first Christian concert together - the Newsboys. As a family, we attended New Life's Christmas Open House where we consumed lots of goodies made by Pastor Marc's wife. Faith and I had fun baking our annual treat - Happy Birthday Jesus cupcakes. Then on Christmas Eve I went to my parent's house for our  traditional meal of homemade pizza. The three of us spent Christmas day together opening gifts, laughing and relaxing.

Christmas fun with my most precious gift of all
All in all it has been a wonderful year in which the Lord has BLESSED us abundantly. We look forward to all that God has in store for us, our family and our friends in the coming New Year!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Faith's Thankful List

Last year, Faith began a new Thanksgiving tradition of writing down everything for which she is thankful. Since she could care less about eating a huge turkey dinner, I thought it would be great for her to have her own little tradition.

Here are ten things she says she has been especially thankful for this past year:

Daddy being her teacher - Faith is enjoying her first year of being homeschooled and although she and her Daddy butt head sometimes, she really likes him being her teacher. He is doing a great job at teaching her how to read. I'm thankful he is her teacher too because although I am usually the "patient one," he is better about not jumping in and giving her the answer when it's taking a long time for her to get it.

Pastor Marc - Faith really does love her pastor. Her new thing is to ask him to pray for her at the end of each church service. He of course is always more than willing even if he is running behind schedule trying to make it to the next service. We are all thankful for Pastor Marc and our New Life Church family!

Grandma - Although Faith loves her Grandpa Mike, she is especially fond of her Grandma Deone. While she isn't always too crazy about going to Grandma's house, she loves to have Grandma come over to visit, go the library with her and eat at Perkins!

Seeing Her Grandparents in Canada - Even though there were some tough days due to lots of driving, Faith was still thankful for the time we spent with her Grandparents in Canada. She also liked visiting her Auntie Joh and meeting her amazing dog, Rosie.

Her apartment - Admittedly, there are days I wish we lived in a bigger place but Faith really does love her apartment. It's a reminder to me to be thankful for a roof over our heads that helps us to stay warm during these brutal winter months. It's also nice having a smaller place because it's so much easier to keep up with the cleaning!

Her clothes - Faith likes her clothes, especially comfy pants and nice warm pajamas. I have to admit I like shopping for her too and have to try to not get too carried away. I only wish I could find some cute jammies just like hers!

Todd and Barbara - She loves her uncle and auntie and we wish we could see them more often. Even though they live here in Bismarck, they are both pretty busy. When Todd's not working on the rigs, he's trying to keep up with their tree business.

Healing Rooms - Faith goes for prayer at the Healing Rooms at least once a week. It's open every Monday and Tuesday and it's not uncommon for her to go for prayer both days. There are many days in the winter when it's like -10 degrees and we still brave the cold to get there. She loves it that much!

Integrative Music Sessions - Doing integrative music sessions is one of the best things we've ever done for Faith. She absolutely loves it! During her last session, Faith actually sang a little solo while Jonnica played the guitar. Jonnica is impressed with her incredible memory and the ability to memorize lyrics so quickly.

Sid the Science Kid - This is her new favorite show on PBS. It's also on Netflix. I think it's a great show for kids because it really does teach them cool things about science. Some of the fun things she has learned by watching the show is why bananas get brown and mushy and why Sid's ball made out of play dough doesn't bounce like other balls.

I'm thankful that Faith has gotten through another year without any major illnesses, no hospital stays and no surgeries. I'm also thankful for a husband who has been especially encouraging and supportive this year as I have nearly reached my goal of writing my book, Having Faith. I'm thankful too that my parents live close by and for God's amazing provision during this time in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Counting our Blessings on Faith's 11th Birthday

Faith's birthday always causes me to reflect on the events surrounding her "untimely" birth. Medically speaking, Faith was born eleven weeks prematurely. But when thinking about everything that happened eleven years ago, I'm more inclined than ever to say she was born in God's perfect timing.
Faith wanted to spend a quiet day with her mom and dad for her birthday
I've been working on writing my book, Having Faith. In doing so, I have spent hours pouring over all that took place before and after my daughter was born. Some of the details I had nearly forgotten until I went back to my journals and read my entries.

I arrived in Rochester, Minnesota on Saturday, October 4th. After being there for a couple of weeks without going into preterm labor again, the doctors were actually thinking about sending me back home. I lived in Watford City at the time which is about 700 miles from Rochester. I was waiting to meet with my cardiologist and obstetrician one more time before getting the okay.

It's really scary to think what could have happened had I gone back home. If I would have gone into preterm labor in Watford along with a placental abruption with no experienced medical care nearby, it would have been detrimental to us both.
Cupcakes too!
And now today with much praise and thanksgiving, we got to celebrate Faith's 11th birthday! While our lives have been filled with many challenges, Rob and I are grateful for our "bundle of joy" who makes us both laugh at least once every day!

In our adventures, we have also been learning something new every day. Today I learned not to send my husband to get Faith her birthday cake and ice cream because he'll come back with an ice cream cake plus ice cream cupcakes. Happy eleventh birthday Faith!

Faith getting ready to end her day in new birthday jammies

Monday, October 20, 2014

Photos From our Trip to Canada

We just returned home a couple of days ago from our trip to Canada. In just 12 days, we drove about 3,100 miles traveling to Ontario and back. It was a wonderful trip and we are thankful our van ran great, we didn't get into any fender benders, we didn't hit any wild animals and we got to enjoy traveling during the most beautiful time of the year.

We feel especially blessed we saw so many of our friends and family. October 13 not only marked Canada's Thanksgiving, but Rob's parent's 50th Anniversary. As if that was not enough, David baptized his only grandchild during our visit. Instead of describing our trip in words, here are some photos that portray our long but wonderful journey.

It wasn't easy to get Faith out of her comfy home to drive 1,500 miles to Toronto but she did it!
Our second hotel of the trip in Crandon, Wisconsin
Driving along Lake Michigan
Faith having fun on her very long field trip going over the Mackinaw Bridge
The bridge connects the Upper Penninsula to the rest of Michigan and is over four miles long
We finally make it to Gaylord, MI - home of the first Tim Horton's on our route
Oh Canada!
Thanksgiving dinner at Rob's cousin's home (Ken and Angela)
Faith with cousin Alexandra 

Socializing before dinner with cousin Brock
Nearly 60 members of the family sit down together for Thanksgiving dinner
A surprise cake and toast to David and Jean to celebrate their 50th
St. James Cathedral in downtown Toronto where David works as a minister
Queen Elizabeth II visited the cathedral during her trip to Canada in 2010
Faith was baptized by her grandfather during a small ceremony
Just outside of the peaceful church - lots of noise, buildings, people and traffic
The CN Tower appears through the fog while leaving downtown Toronto
Jean and Cari Jean shopping at the mall in Mississauga
Me with my beautiful and amazing sister-in-law Johanna
Meet Rosie the Greyhound - the newest addition to the Bousfield family
Breakfast at the Perkins Restaurant attached to our hotel
Saying goodbye to Grandmother
An Amish family's horse and buggy parked at a store in Ingersoll, Ontario
At the border going over the bridge to the good 'ol USA
Getting ready for bed in Lapeer, Michigan
What in the world are Pasties? They sure are popular in the U.P.!
Rob finding out what a pastie is - potatoes, rutabaga, onions and meat inside a pie crust
Our ladybug infested stay at the Barron Motel in Wisconsin
Crossing over from Wisconsin into Taylor Falls, Minnesota
Stopping for more coffee in Waite Park, Minnesota
The most beautiful sight of the whole trip - North Dakota sky near Bismarck!