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Backpacks, stories and faith

Backpacks, stories and faith

It’s been two weeks since we left Oregon for Skopje, Macedonia, our home for at least the next six months.

It’s a crazy thing to do: pack your family’s life into seven checked bags and six carry-ons and move to a country you’ve never been to, where you don’t speak the language and put yourself in the hands of complete strangers.

It only took long enough for us to hit cruising altitude on our flight out of Portland for me to wonder, ‘What the hell are we doing?’.  The fact that we were on a redeye, I’d hardly slept the night before and the kids were restless might have had something to do with it, but the thought crept into my head and stayed with me for the rest of our travels (which was a total of 30 hours – I don’t know how we survived). Continue reading


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A day in the life

House

I always love hearing or reading about other mom’s everyday lives. I usually learn something, am convinced to incorporate something new into our family life and I am always encouraged. I’ve wanted to do a post about what a ‘typical’ day looks like in my life for a while and I realized I am quickly running out of days in Oregon (20 days until we move to Macedonia!) so this is my chance. I’m not one to look back but I do enjoy remembering so while I do hope you can get something from this, I am also glad that I have one day of our time in Oregon captured in detail.

Here’s what Thursday, August 21st, 2014 looked like for us: Continue reading


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Kids and Major Life Changes – Guest Post at Red+Honey

6 ways to prepare your kids for major life changes

Today I’m posting at Red + Honey. Read the teaser here and click over to read the rest. While you’re there, stay a while! It’s one of my favorite blogs and I am constantly blessed by it.

It’s well known that kids need routine and predictability. They behave better when they know what is happening now, what is coming up next and they understand what is expected of them.

But what about when everything changes? What about when their routines are altered?

In September my husband, two kids and I are moving to Macedonia. Ryan and I have moved internationally three times already, twice with kids in tow, so we have a pretty good idea of how to handle the challenges we’re going to face. But when we moved before our kids were babies and while there were adjustment periods, they were minor. They’re 3 and 1½ now so we need to prepare them for the change and help them understand their new life when we arrive. We need to help our kids make this major life change.

Click here to read the rest!


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More with Less: The Freedom of Debt-Free

Freedom of Debt-Free

 

Welcome to the series More with Less where we look at various ways we can live a more abundant life with fewer possessions. I hope this series helps you to rethink how you view your money and possessions. You can read the intro My Journey with Money and previous installments: The Four Purposes of MoneyGive Your Money AwayCultivate Contentment, Own Less Stuff, and Fear, Faith and Money.

Today we make the Ryan’s final master’s degree tuition payment. It’s a day we’ve been working hard towards for over two years and, oh man, am I ready for it!

Before Ryan was accepted to his program we decided we would not take out loans to pay for his education. We knew it would mean big sacrifices, from making major cuts to our grocery budget (and spending in general) to moving back to Oregon. We knew it would be hard but going debt-free was best for our family1.  Continue reading


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The Long Journey – a family update

 

The Long Journey- Macedonia update

I am SO excited  in so many ways to FINALLY be writing this post! A lot, and I mean a lot, has been happening over the last two months, and weeks in particular, and I am glad I can finally share it with all of you!

Since getting married almost seven years ago, Ryan and I have been through our fair of major life changes. We have:

  • turned down a good paying job in Japan to take low paying jobs in Hungary
  • had a baby in Hungary
  • accepted a job in Ottawa, Canada the day before we left Hungary
  • had a baby in Ottawa
  • Ryan started grad school
  • moved ‘home’ to Oregon to pay for grad school without loans

Each step in our journey has been one of faith and with each step we see that God is infinitely more faithful than we are. We also see that the next step always requires more faith.  Continue reading


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Pessimism, Optimism and what Faith has got to do with it

Pessimism Optimism Photo

I’ve always been an optimist. I’ve always believed that things will turn our all right in the end. In high school a teacher nicknamed me ‘Annie’ because of my sunny view of life.

While in university I really believed I could change the world and was convinced I would maintain my high ideals and not become cynical like most people eventually did.

I would always have hope. Continue reading


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6 Small Habits to Increase Contentment – Guest post at Red+Honey

6 Small Habits to Increase Contentment When Life Isn't Easy Photo

I’m posting at Red + Honey. Read the teaser here and click over to read the rest. While you’re there, stay a while! It’s one of my favorite blogs and I am constantly blessed by it.

The couch is covered in unfolded laundry. The kitchen sink is pilled with dirty dishes. My unchecked ‘to-do’ list mocks me, my weekly goals are untouched. It’s already half an hour past bedtime and the kids are still running around, not even in their pjs. My husband asks where his work clothes are and I hear a child scream out through hot tears, ‘He hit me!’

What I want to do in this moment is scream, cry, run away. I want to be as far removed as possible from the responsibilities and pressures of managing a home and raising a family.

But what I need to do in this moment is to choose joy. To choose love for those entrusted to me. To choose contentment. Click here to read more…

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