Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: The Year In Smiles

Wow, 2013, what a year.  I can hardly believe all the changes that God has brought into our lives this year!! He has given us so many blessings, and I want to praise Him for each of those, especially for my husband and my children, and how God has grown each of them and made them even more precious to me over this year! So, without further ado, here is the Hart Family 2013 Year in Review!

In January, we stayed home, enjoyed retreats at camp, and played in the snow! Joel and I celebrated our 10th anniversary!

February was, you guessed it, more snow and retreats!! We celebrated Valentine's Day at home!

March was mostly snow and retreats, but it ended with a bang- Grandma and Grandpa Hart visited, and I was able to attend the Quirky Hobbies retreat at Bethany Camp! :)  We had a great visit with them, and enjoyed celebrating Easter at home!

April was a fun month, getting into spring and getting outside! We took a family trip to the Buffalo Zoo, and towards the end of April, we traveled to Iowa to be in Auntie Beth's wedding on April 27th! 

May started out with a Hart family vacation in the Smoky Mountains!! After we came home, we enjoyed getting out in the beautiful weather!

In June, Grandma and Grandpa Harriss were able to visit! We enjoyed the warm weather, and got ready for summer camp to start!!

In July, we got to meet (Judy's) baby Noah!! We enjoyed going to camp to see our staff and camper friends, and we celebrated Davey's 2nd birthday on July 26th!

In August, we finished up summer camp, took a family trip to Darien Lake with the camp staff, and spent some time at home as a family before Joel began work with retreats again! Joel and I were able to ride the motorcycle to Erie for a couple of days and just be together as a couple! During the month of August, after many months and weeks of prayer, God led Joel to submit an application to Lifeway Christian Stores to become a store manager.  August was a month of waiting on God to see if this was the direction He was leading us.

In September, we started back to school at home! Zachary is in kindergarten this year, Natalie in preschool, and David in Tot school.  David upgraded from a crib to a toddler bed, which was an interesting adjustment!  Near the end of September, Joel was accepted into the Manager-in-Training Program with Lifeway Christian Stores, and we began to tell our friends and family about the change God was working in our family.

October was back into the swing of things with MOPS and story hour at the Sinclairville library!  As Joel began training with Lifeway, God has provided much strength and encouragement for each of the five of us along the way.  At the end of October, our friends at Bethany Camp blessed us with a going-away open house party which was a wonderful time of celebrating the years that we have enjoyed working and living here, complete with LOTS of cupcakes, balloons, and the popcorn machine!  

In November, we enjoyed time with Anna & Elias, and had a great time on our family trip to Columbus! Joel and I were able to spend a few days together as a couple, which was wonderfully refreshing.  Then God laid it on the heart of a man who had never even met us to gift us the money to take our family to the Columbus Zoo! We loved it!! We celebrated Thanksgiving at home, and began to deck the halls for Christmas!

December is always a month of celebrations for our family! On December 5, Zachary turned six! He enjoys magic, and received not one but two magic trick sets! He currently wants to be a magician when he grows up!  He has lost six baby teeth at this point as well! To celebrate his birthday (and Natalie's), our friends Kelly & Sandy blessed us with a day at Chuck E. Cheese! On December 22nd, Natalie turned four, and received her very own Bible as her gift from Joel and I, which she was very excited about! We celebrated Christmas at home as a family.  With some of our Christmas gifts, we spent a day at the Buffalo Museum of Science!

You can see what kind of a whirlwind year (or at least a whirlwind fall) 2013 has been for our family! We are still waiting for the final word on where exactly God is going to ask our family to relocate, but we are trusting that He has that perfect plan in mind, and He will let us know in His perfect timing!!  He has been more than faithful in every step of this process, and we are constantly growing in our faith, and every day depending more and more on Him to lead us.

In thinking about a New Year's Resolution for 2014, I want to make Psalm 141:3 my theme verse: "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!"  I say so many, many words each day.  The prayer of my heart for 2014 is that every single word that exits my mouth would bring glory to God and Speak Life to those who hear it.

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