Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I am thankful for ... New Days

The last day of the 30 Days of Thankfulness challenge is here!

I can hardly believe that tomorrow is December first. This year has literally flown past... It seems like just a little while ago that my cousin Kristen got married on January 1st... and now it's almost been a whole year. Whew!

Yesterday I missed posting. :( But I was thankful for something... warmth. It was a cold day and we started a fire in the wood stove in our fireplace. It was a wonderful feeling, the delicious warmth pouring out of that little iron box filled with glowing coals. I love warmth! I love warm hugs, warm cookies, warm smiles, warm sunshine, warm feelings of joy, and warm laughter at shared delights.

Today, I am thankful for ... fresh mornings, new days, and second chances. We serve a God whose mercies are new every morning. "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it." - L. M. Montgomery.
Every time I wake up and behold another sunrise... the sun's golden rays breaking through the darkness and lighting up the world afresh... I know I have a new day before me. With new mercies in it. :)
Soon we'll be entering a whole new year... 2012. I wonder what it holds for me? One thing I do know is that whatever I go through, I'll have a friend who sticks closer than a brother... my Lord and Savior. He'll be walking beside me every step of the way. :)

And that's what I'm thankful for most of all.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm thankful for ...Memories

 Today I'm thankful for memories.

We set up a table in the living room and pulled out two huge bins of unsorted old family photos, printed years ago and left in the dark. They'd been in their bins, undisturbed, for a really long time. My mom decided a little while ago that it was time to finally do something with them, so we found some photo albums and bought them inexpensively... and now are getting out the old pictures to finally sort and put them into books for easy viewing. :)

And wow... the memories that are surfacing! Even ones I'd forgotten about. And some of the photos I had never seen. How precious they are. Maybe I'll post some photographs of the photos on here sometime... I refrained from taking a picture of all the pictures spread out on that worktable in the living room, for I confess - we've made a royal mess! :D

It's incredible seeing what I looked like at five months old. And five years old. So cute! (What happened? Ha-ha-ha...) My brothers were such chubby little grinning munchkins! I wish I had those years back so I could give them another hug while they were still so small and adorable. Not that they're not adorable now, but they're just BIG and adorable... which isn't the same, somehow! :D It makes me wish I had been a better big sister.

It's also amazing seeing the clothing styles back then, even for kids' clothes. Especially if you're looking at pictures over 15 years old. It's so strange to see how much it's changed since then. I imagine one day that my children will look back at the pictures of me when I was a little girl and think it looks funny too... after all, it will have been a generation ago.

Also - I have promised myself to buy three or so video cameras and keep them in various places around my house one day, so that I can capture ALL of the cute moments with my children in the future. :D And take lots of pictures!!! I plan to invest in tons of CDs and/or flash drives to store my millions of digital photos. :D The moments and memories are just so special. :D

That's what I'm thankful for today. The memories. And the future looks even brighter. :D
 Speaking of future... my favorite season is almost gone! Here's a little fall wordart I found somewhere, as a farewell to Autumn... ;)

Can you believe there's a chance we might see SNOW in my yard tomorrow? That's what they say! And it feels like it outside too... there's a certain raw coldness in the air that feels like snow could happen. Shocking, really! ;) We'll see what happens. :D

Have a lovely week!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'm thankful for Colors and Writing

I missed yesterday! Boo-hoo-hoo! *sniff*

So... I'll make up for it by posting TWO things I'm thankful for today. :) That'll make it all better. ;)

I really am so glad my sweet friend Rachel started this challenge and prompted us all to join her! :) It has been a blessing to me! :D See the other posts at Young Homemakers!

I love writing.

I don't dedicate my whole blog to the topic of writing, nor do I really share about it much, but writing is a huge part of my life. I love my characters and plot twists and finding the perfect phrase or descriptive word. It's a very personal thing for me, and for a while I was actually terrified of the idea of publishing something I had written. It wouldn't be good enough... there would be so many flaws... what would people I know in real life think of my writing? Would they be searching my book for a character that looked just like them, and be offended because I had given the annoying character their same hair color? ;) (I know, ridiculous, right?)
I'm okay with the idea of publishing my book now, but I'm not planning on doing anything to actively market it until I write "The End" and do some careful typo-checking and tweaking of words. :)

But I'm so glad that I can write. I love writing and I am very thankful for it. :)

The other thing I am thankful for today is COLOR. I love colors! Colors move me and inspire me and excite me! I can be walking down the yarn aisle and spot a delightful skein of yarn in an amazing shade and have it bring a delighted smile to my face... whether I buy it or not! I love the colors in the leaves of Autumn and the roses of Summer. I love designing something with digital graphics with colors that become instant eye candy when placed together. I love throwing together shades of color that complement each other in a soft, cozy afghan. :) I am so thankful for the colors God created.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm thankful for... Fun!

Day 25 is here! Yay! :)

Today, I am thankful for Family Fun Fridays... which my family and I do when we can. Occasionally we have our family day on Saturday. We try to do something enjoyable together as a family. Board games and movies are usually what we choose.

Tonight on our movie viewing menu is.... well, here's a little hint:

Today I am thankful for family fun! :D Ta-ta now, the movie is starting... :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm thankful for Thanksgiving!

I absolutely love this holiday! It's the only one dedicated to giving thanks and glory and praise unto God, and it's American to boot. :)

Today I am thankful for the day of Thanksgiving! :)

Hope you have a happy one! :D

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I am thankful for... My Name

Day 23! Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I'm so excited! :D

Today I am thankful for something my parents gave me when I was born.

Something no one can ever take away from me.

Something that God knew before I was formed into being.

My name!


I LOVE my name. :) I think it's pretty. I couldn't imagine being named anything else... like "Emily Joy" which my parents considered quite seriously before settling on their choice.

I like it because... it's beautiful, slightly unique, slightly old-fashioned, yet not so uncommon that nobody knows how to spell it. I don't ofen run into other people with the same name. I've never wanted to shorten it to plain "Julie". There's an A on the end. And there always will be. :D

I am thankful for my name! What's yours? Leave me a note in the comment section... I'd love to see the names of the people who read this post. :D

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm thankful for... that "It's Clean!" feeling....

Today I cleaned the laundry/pantry/storage room. Woohoo! I also cleaned out the broom closet, earning a double pat on the back from my delighted mother. :D

We're cleaning the house this week partly in preparation for a Thanksgiving celebration, but partly because it just needed to be done. :D And the family we're having over wouldn't mind if our corners were dusty anyway. :D

There's just no way to describe that wonderful 'squeaky-clean' feeling! I have Dutch ancestry, and you know how those Dutch people are renowned for cleanliness. :D I guess cleaning runs in my blood. ;)

Today I am thankful for having things clean! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm thankful for... Surprises!

Day 21 is here! :)

Today I am thankful for surprises. :D I never had a surprise birthday party, (sadly) but I've had my share of surprises. Today we got one in that - our Perry Mason DVD's arrived early in the mail! :) I'm not going to tell you how many hour-long episodes we watched today. You'll think we need to get a life. (oh, ok... we watched 4.)

I love it when God gives us unexpected blessings sometimes in the form of surprises. :) While I also like looking forward to something and anticipating it, sometimes it's refreshing to be surprised with something wonderful, just out of the blue. :)


Sunday, November 20, 2011

I'm thankful for... Life.

Day 20 of the 30 Days of Thankfulness is here! That means... we're 2/3rds done! :D See, I can do *some* math... ;) Lol.

The number 20 has some significance for me... it's how many years old I am. Sometimes that downright shocks me... has it really been two whole decades that I've been alive already? 20 years is a long time.

I have been enjoying the miraculous gift of life for twenty whole years. Some little children never get to take their first breath... they are aborted before birth. I was one who got to be born, and live, and breathe. And I have had a wonderful life so far. God has been so good to me. He has blessed me with the best parents and the most wonderful younger brothers ever.

Today, I am thankful for my life. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I am thankful for... Internet!

Day 19! Wow! I've made it this far... I won't stop now. :)

Today I am thankful for... the Internet! :D
The internet is a powerful beastie. Either you harness it and bend it to your will, and amazing things are accomplished... or it sucks you in like a big black hole! :D I try not to let the former happen to me. It's easier now that I quit Facebook.

The internet has introduced me to some very special young ladies! Including the sweet, dear girls who also write for MOHL! :)

So, I am thankful today for the internet. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm thankful for ... Seasons

Day 18 already! wow. :) Sorry I was late with my post today... it was a busy day! :D But I am happy to say that we now have a 22 pound tom turkey sitting in our fridge, waiting to be stuffed and roasted in the oven on Thanksgiving morn.

Today I'm thankful for seasons. I was driving home with Daddy today after doing errands and picking up a few things at the grocery store, and the light was shining through the colorful trees, making everything glow with a radiant light. Driving up to our log home in the yellow, red, and bronze woods was a beautiful sight.

The glimmering light and glowing colors of Autumn reminded me how much I love this season. But there are things I love about each one.

Spring... for me, the season of fresh rebirth and new warmth after the cold winter. I love the first fragrant blossoms and the sweet smell of the earth coming back to life, and all the fresh green leaves. I was born into the world during this lovely time of year, and I would never have chosen another birthdate. :)

 Summer... long days of sun and fun and heat, best spent outside near the river or someone's pool, playing Ultimate Frisbee, or inside lying on my stomach on my bed with a great book and a fan blowing a cool breeze into my face. Carefree, going barefoot around the house... a relaxed time of year.

 Autumn... beautiful temperatures, gorgeous scenery. The woods around my house are at their most breathtaking, Thanksgiving and friends and family are near at hand, and the first cup of hot chocolate is sheer bliss, with perfection being the few handfuls of mini marshmallows thrown in. :D The newfound crisp feel in the air is indescribably wonderful.

Winter... I seem to prefer all the other times of the year, not having a fondness for cold, numbing fingers, toes and nose... but winter has its own share of hidden delights and sudden, aweing joys. Like waking up and discovering a rare Georgia snowfall and dashing outside with my camera to capture the memory of it. Softly falling snow is one of the great miracles of life. :D And gathering around the fire wouldn't be half as cozy if it wasn't so freezing cold out there... right?

What are your favorite things about each season?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm thankful for... Crochet

I really am so enjoying this challenge! It's a wonderful stretch to have to come up with one significant thing every day to be thankful for. :D

Today I am thankful for crochet. :)
 While my usual favorite thing to crochet is an intricate crochet block, later to be sewn together with other blocks to create a colorfully patterned blanket (afghan), I have loved making these slippers lately.

I am thankful that my dear mother taught me how to crochet when I was 8 years old. I have since been able to crochet for fun, for giving away, and also for earning money. :) It's been lovely!

Still Thankful,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am thankful for... Protection

We are experiencing some stormy weather here in my neck of the woods today. There are tornado warnings for our area and a few minutes ago I heard the tornado sirens wailing. This kind of made my stomach do a few little flips.

But you know what? It's moments like these that make me grateful that I have a big strong God on my side. :) He is there to shelter and protect his children like me. And I am SO thankful for that.

So, have a nice day. I'm going to get a few flashlights together in case we lose power, and gather up a pillow and blanket in case we have to go into my little half-bath in the middle of the house. But I can do this without any fear in my heart, because My Father is watching over me and hears my prayers. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I am thankful for ... Projects!

Today, I am thankful for fun and wildly creative and lovely secret projects. And graphic design. And God's word. But that's all I can tell you. :D

*HINT* has something to do with the beautiful devotional blog I write for. ;)

Monday, November 14, 2011

I am thankful for ... Encouragement! :)

There are some days when I stare out the window at a dripping, dreary scene of melancholy woods and wonder ... "Does anybody really care?"

Once in a while I wonder if anybody enjoys this blog but me. But then something happens that reminds me...

I have friends! I have followers who care. I have people who have been blessed by what I typed with my ten little fingers and then clicked "publish" for with my mouse!

And that is such a huge encouragement. It gives me the energy and the inspiration to keep on blogging.

And today... I have been awarded! By my oh-so-sweet and oh-so-nice fellow friend, author, and blogger... Rachelle!
Ahhhh! This award is so sweet! What a compliment...

I just wuv this little bumblybee...

The Official Blog Award Rules:
the same for both awards.
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
(Thank you, Rachelle! You have touched my heart today.)

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Give the award to 15 other bloggers.
(ugh. That's a lot. Plus Rachelle already awarded many of my sweet friends... but I'll do it!)
So, for 7 things about Julia:
1. I cannot go anywhere  now without somebody commenting on my hair, which is so long it falls to the top of my thighs.
2. I am currently in love with the Breyers' Blasts Oreo Mint ice cream.
3. I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK! Oh my goodness! Where has this year gone? It seems like life gets faster as I get older. (I'm 20 going on 21, if you must know).
4. When I swapped out my winter clothes for my summer clothes, I organized them by color, and now my walk-incloset looks like a big rainbow. ;)
5. I love mechanical pencils.
6. I wear Bath and Body Works fragrance mist almost every day, whether I'm going somewhere or not. ;)
7. I prefer warm weather to below freezing weather. 75 degrees is my favorite temperature... and when it's only 29 outside, you will find me in about 7 layers of clothing huddled in front of the woodburning stove in several blankets with a mug of steaming hot chocolate. ;)
That was fun! Now, for the bloggers I am going to award.... (I hereby jointly award all the MOHL girls along with Rachelle, by the way!! She got to it first...) :D
5. Jennifer from Dear Lillie (love this blog and shop, so creative!)
11. Vicki
12. Disney from Ruffles & Stuff (best craft-y ideas ever!)

So, today I am thankful for Encouragement!
Don't forget to check out the 30 Days of Thankfulness challenge

This post took me a ridiculously long time to put together! Whew! :D
Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I am thankful for... Music


"Seated one day at the organ,
I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly
Over the noisy keys

I do not know what I was playing,
Or what I was dreaming then,
But I struck one chord of music
Like the sound of a great Amen."

- Adelaide A. Procter


Music... among the gifts that God hath sent, one of the most magnificent! - Longfellow


The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.

I had a lovely day today meeting with some friends for praise and worship and a message this morning. We had a yummy lunch and some sweet fellowship.

Mama played the piano and I acted in the part of lead singer to help some of our friends learn some new songs... my head cold is lingering, so I had to be silent for a while after singing to let my voice recover. But at least I didn't croak. :D

Nope, it wasn't perfect. But it was music, and it was joyful, and it was unto the Lord. It was wonderful. I love music! I love the act of singing praises unto God.

I also love fun, bouncy music that you can play while cleaning the house  - to keep your spirits up while you eradicate dust and dirt.

And I love quiet, contemplative, instrumental music to play when I'm in a thoughtful or quiet mood.

I enjoy playing celtic-style music and hymns for energizing background ambience once in a while. (Did you know I have some Irish blood flowing through my veins? I'm mostly Dutch, but the love of an Irish jig did not wholly pass me by!) ;)

Music is so expressive. With it, one can speak out joy, sadness, praise, despair, and any degree of emotion in between... without using a single word.

Today, I am thankful for music!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the 30 Days of Thankfulness
What is your favorite kind of music?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I am Thankful for ... Creature Comforts

Today I am thankful for something I take for granted every single day.

Creature Comforts!

Air Conditioning.

Indoor Plumbing.

Hehe. The last one is the one that sparked this post for today. This morning, one of my brothers discovered that the wellhouse was leaking water. Daddy went and checked it out and realized one of the spigots (or something?) needs a plug (or something) and called the well guys to come and fix it. So... we filled up some jugs and then he turned off the water. Then he left for a job appointment. The well guys had said they would be right out.

11:11 AM, and they still aren't here. *sigh*
Thangs jest move a leetle slow-ah arayound he-ah. ;)

 But usually, we have running water + indoor plumbing + electricity + air conditioning.
And I am thankful for it! :D

Visit Rachel's blog for more info on the 30 Days of Thankfulness! :D

Thanking Him,

Friday, November 11, 2011

I am thankful for... Love

 Today, I am thankful for ...Love!

I wrote a post for Meditations of His Love that I would love for you to read. :)

To find it, click here.

Not to sound redundant, but I really would love it if you would come back and tell me what you thought of the post by leaving me a comment! :D

Find more 30 Days of Thankfulness posts at !

Have a Lovely day! ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Thankful for... Books

Today I am thankful for books!

I have always loved books. I learned to read when I was 3. And I am so thankful to be able to read, as well! :D I've been reading as much as I could ever since. :)

 Seriously, the thought of owning a library  makes me drool... :D (Figuratively, of course!)
 I love poring over piles of books at the thrift store... searching for hidden treasures that someone has left for me to find and claim. ;) It's the best of treasure hunts. :D

A good book, and a cup of tea... (Or in my case, some delicious fruit juice of some kind...) :) What a wonderful way to relax from the cares of the day.

I am thankful for good books! :)
Still being blessed by the 30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge! :)
What books are you reading right now? I'm working through a book of short stories by Lori Wick - not too impressive, "Voices from the Titanic" by Jim Walker - exciting, even though it's my 4th or 5th time through the book... and about to re-read "The Centurion's Wife" and "The Hidden Flame" by Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn. We found them at the thrift store. *score*! :D

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Am Thankful For ....Peace

Today I am thankful for peace.

Peace is such a wonderful thing to have in your heart. Especially instead of the reverse... turmoil, stress, uneasiness.

Peace is so special when you have it despite your circumstances! When many things around you are whirling and tossing and tumbling, having peace in the midst of it all is just amazing. :)

I wrote this post a while ago on the devotional blog, Meditations of His Love, for which I write with several other wonderful, godly girls. It's about how we have a Prince of Peace. :) I would encourage you to check it out, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it. :)

Remember, you can find the other 30 Days of Thankfulness posts at Young Homemakers! :)


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I am Thankful...

Today I am thankful for .... Thankfulness itself!

Wouldn't it be a boring life if we were never thankful for anything? Kind of like rich people with so many things that all those things seem meaningless? I am thankful for the chance to be thankful. :)