Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Year of...2015...

 

 And so the year of 2015 draws to a close, and I find myself thinking back over the course of the last twelve months, remembering certain events, special times and sorrows, and praising my Father in Heaven for His incredible mercy and grace for each day...

One has to look back to see where we have come from before we can go forward…we need to remember the workings of our Lord and hide His Word in our hearts in order that we may move into the new year strong and fresh with our eyes fixed on Him…

I am left in awe at God’s grace after going back and playing out the happenings of 2015 in my mind…a year of pain, hope, sorrow, happiness and most of all, growth…both in our hearts and in our lives...both spiritually and physically…
Jesus has seen fit to grow our family this year, and as we welcome His blessings, so our hearts become heavier under the weight of the love He has given us to share!

I would like to share with you the most memorable moments in 2015 and I do hope you will enjoy seeing a glimpse of 2015 through my eyes…

 ~
January…probably my favourite month of every year, and perhaps you’ve guessed why…  My birthday falls on the 3rd of January, and this year I celebrated my eighteenth birthday with friends and family, thanking Jesus for His many blessings throughout my life!  

January also saw me assist a very dear and special friend of mine with the photography at a mutual friend’s wedding…  Although we seldom see each other (even though we literally live 10 minutes apart), we have formed a sweet friendship and enjoy chatting over tea every so often…  To see the wedding she captured so beautifully through her lens, do visit her blog here

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In February I participated in a delightful tea cup exchange for the very first time!  Oh, what joy it was to wrap up a tea cup and some other lovely goodies and ship them to Canada, where the dear lady I was partnered with in the swap, lives…  To see my post on this lovely event, stop by here
 

February also saw our family experience the heartbreak of a miscarriage once again…it was a time of great sorrow, but also a time of drawing closer to Jesus and submitting to His plans for us…

 

We also celebrated my dear mother’s birthday and Valentine’s day with a special, memorable dinner

I sewed a lot more of my own clothes this year, and I am hoping to sew even more in 2016!


 

I took part in a 'Literary Heroine Blog Party' for the first time which was so delightful!

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March was a busy month as we celebrated Easter, played in a small concert with our string ensemble group and I prepared for a month away from home.
 

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In April I was led by the Lord to offer up my time and assist a friend’s mother with her little ones and home whilst her husband and older children were away.  I can honestly say I grew as a person through these few weeks spent away from home, and learned many things…I was looking after little boys, which was a completely new experience for me coming from a family of only girls!

 

I also visited my grandmother whilst in the Cape and you can see photographs from my trip here  I missed my little sister, Gabrielle’s birthday which I was of course heart sore about, but I was glad to know she enjoyed her special day!  What a special part of our lives she is!

 

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In May I returned home and settled back into doing what I love…I wrote a post called Finding Joy in a Season of Loneliness, which I hoped would be an encouragement and a blessing to other young ladies like myself, who have chosen to pursue the Lord’s will for their lives in becoming a daughter at home…it isn’t always easy or enjoyable, but He is the Master and Teacher, and His grace is sufficient for us…

 

 

In June Rebekah turned six years old, and we put together a sweet Princess party just for her!  I am so thankful for this sweet, compassionate little sister who has a quiet way of capturing your heart and loving you unconditionally…
 

We also went on an incredible drive up the old Montague Pass which I shared about here…this year I learned how blessed I am to be here, in South Africa, and to appreciate the unique beauty of this country!

~  

 

In July Beth turned eleven years old  My Bethy girl, as I call her, and I are very close…not in age, but we share a special relationship and a love for many of the same things including animals, calligraphy and the outdoors!

I also began corresponding through letters with a couple of lovely ladies overseas, and it has been the most precious thing to write back and forth and bless one another with words, pictures and little gifts!  Our Father knows just what we need!

I also took another trip to Cape Town in July which you can read about here

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In August I passed my Learner’s licence exam, and I am slowly but surely learning to drive…did you note the s.l.o.w.l.y. part, my friends?  {{smiles}}


We also found out Mom was expecting again, and although we wanted to be excited, the fear of another miscarriage kept us quiet and reserved in our joy…
  
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In September I again participated in a tea cup exchange hosted by lovely Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose  See the post from my reveal here

 

I also opened my Etsy shoppe which you can visit here!  I am stocking up where I can, so do stop by to see what I have been creating recently…


In September we opened our hearts and home up to this young lady  Our family is fostering her till the end of February 2016 when she will be eighteen and it has been a learning experience all round...it hasn’t been easy, but our God is great and continues to give us His love and strength…


This year I grew a bigger garden, thanks to some extra outside help each week, and so far we have harvested plenty of potatoes, squash, salad greens, beetroot, etc…   

 
How to Make Preserved Basil...see post here...

I am hoping to get a crop of brassica in before long…here are a few of my How Does My Garden Grow posts if you’d like to see how our garden has taken shape over the past few months…

 

We visited my grandmother in her mountain home again...this time, it was Nancy, Mom and I who enjoyed a little road trip!  {{smiles}}

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In October little Sofia turned four…can you believe this precious little girl is growing up so quickly?  She keeps life interesting and fun…


Nancy also celebrated her sixteenth birthday with a beautiful high tea with a couple friends…

In October I also announced my mother’s seventh pregnancy…a little boy is on his way, and oh my!  We are so excited!  My mom is now 26 weeks along, and before long we will have a little one running around…what fun that will be!

~

 

In November I signed up for an ornament exchange hosted by my dear blogging friend, Vicky!  I was so incredibly blessed through this exchange, and met some sweet new friends!  See my reveal post here


We also had two special young ladies spend a few days with us, and we celebrated our friendship with a lovely, girly tea party which you can see over here!

~

 
Our homemade Christmas cake...

December was busy…very busy, and although I enjoyed just about every moment, I think I am ready for a quieter time…  Christmas came and went, and I can definitely say it was a special one!

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This year I participated in a read-along for the book, Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott which was hosted by this lovely lady…I truly enjoyed discussing each chapter of my favourite story in depth!  Through joining this read-along, I was inspired to read more and have truly enjoyed it thus far!

I have seen some wonderful time period films this year including Belle, Wives and Daughters, David Copperfield and Far from the Maddening Crowd…my love for period drama has increased…I am captured by these stories and the way of life in those days…

I also read Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss, and this beautiful, challenging book is one I would highly recommend to every woman, both young and old…

What moments in 2015 stand out the most to you?

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...2015 was a wonderful year for...

 Baking...

 
Raspberry and Oat Muffins.. 
 
Scones and Raspberry Jam...

Portuguese potato bread...

Preserving...
 
Marmalade...

Cooking..
 
Morrocan Spiced Meatballs...
 
 Chicken with Tarragon and Peppers...

 Sewing...

 
 Patchwork embroidered cushion for a friend...

Embroidered clothes hanger...

Patchwork tea cosy...for my hope chest... 

Family...

Four of my little sisters and I...Sofia, Rebekah, Gabrielle and Beth... 

 
Gabrielle and I posing for a picture...

Crafting...

Fabric Covered Tins...

 Herbal Bathtime Teas...

 Decoupaged Easter Eggs...
Gardening...
 
Cucumbers...

 
 Potato flowers...aren't they lovely...?

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Dear friends, I am incredibly thankful and blessed by each of you, and praise the Lord for the friendships I have formed in this year of 2015…thank you for your kindness, your prayers, your encouragement and enthusiasm!  Blogging is one of my greatest joys, and every day I am overwhelmed at the kindness I receive from each of you!

I pray this next year of 2016 will be a beautiful year of growth for each of you…growth in our Lord Jesus Christ who loves us too much to leave us the way we are...  May we continue to strive to live a life for Him, extending grace and love to others in need and cultivating a deeper, more precious relationship with our Saviour.  He never promised an easy road, but He did promise to be near us and pick us up when we fall.  

 He is all we need, my friends…  Every day, thank Him for His goodness – sing His praises whenever you can!  May we not get caught up in the busyness of this life and allow the most important thing to become the least important…  I don’t know what this new year holds, nor do any of us…but the Lord knows, and I want to encourage you to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and what He did on the cross…yes, there will be moments of sorrow and days of pain, but never lose sight of His love for you which is deeper than the deepest ocean!

Thank you for the rich fellowship this year, sweet readers!  Blessings in Christ Jesus!


  ~ Then thou shalt walk walk in the thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble."  Proverbs 3:23 ~

18 comments:

Mildred said...

Dear Kelly-Anne, I wish you a wonderful birthday!
I enjoyed this year in review post very much. So much fun to get to know you and your sisters through your blog. I enjoy your sewing projects and gardening updates, too. I especially love your posts on tea time!
We have a large world map on a wall in our garage. I often look at the map and the miles between us and marvel at how the Lord would unite us in friendship through blogging. You are an inspiration and I pray that the new year will be healthy and happy for you and your family. xo

Camille said...

Happy Birthday, Kelly-Anne!! (Is it still your birthday as I write? It must be evening there.) This was a wonderful post full of beautiful things. You and your sisters are lovely...what a blessing you all are to your parents! (I know this because I am a Mama to four...truly, children are gifts from the Lord!) I appreciate your sweet heart and love for our Saviour....these attributes shine through in your posts. It's been a blessing to get to know you a little this past year...I look forward to getting to know you better in 2016. I noticed your choice of movies and have seen *Wives and Daughters*...one of my favourites too. May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek Him with all your heart. Hugs, Camille

Elizabeth said...

Oh, Kelly-Anne! This was more than beautiful :) I absolutely loved looking back with you over 2015 and even more than that, I so greatly enjoyed following along and reading along this past year. Your blog has become a warm and inviting, favorite place of mine and I always know that I will receive inspiration, encouragement, and joy from what you have shared.

I hope that 2016 is not only a wonderful year for you in "real life", but also in blogging. It is definitely an adventure being a blogger, and sometimes it's not always easy, but it is a wonderful adventure at that!

I look forward to reading more here this year and am excited to see all that you share :) May God bless your sweet efforts and continue to guide you as you share for His glory!!

Much love always!!

Shelby said...

Sounds like an amazing year Kelly-Anne!! I am so excited for you and your family about the little boy your Mom is going to be having! I will be praying that everything will go well. :)
Have a great 2016 Kelly-Anne! Sending you a big hug!❤

Paige said...

What a beautiful year, even with its sorrows. It really is good to look back, isn't it? :) In reading this post I also discovered that we have been following each other for longer than I thought...time flies! :)Here's to another year of sharing through blogging!
Happy 19th birthday! :D

Lydia S. said...

It was wonderful to read your 2015 recaps Kelly-Anne! And I really appreciate that you shared not only the good things but the hard things as well.
Hope you have a great 2016 and a very happy 19th birthday!

Cheryl said...

Oh, what a beautiful post! I loved seeing all the pictures of you and your precious family! Your photography skills are just outstanding, and you are so talented in so many ways!! And the blouse you made is so lovely. May the dear Lord bless you and your family with the happiest, most blessed new year of your lives! So thankful to know you, sweet friend. :)

Sheryl S. said...

Hi Kelly Anne, Happy Birthday to you. I do hope this day will be full of joy and happiness shared with your beautiful family. Gorgeous post and photos and such a lot of wonderful work done this last year. Keep that needle in hand. Blessing and hugs

Shoregirl said...

What a fun review of your year last year! I enjoyed all your beautiful pictures and memories! Hope you have wonderful year in 2016!

Margie said...

Sending you belated happy birthday wishes, Kelly-Anne! I thought of you yesterday. I sent you and Nancy another letter back in November, but perhaps its delivery has been delayed by the Christmas rush.

I enjoyed reading your memorable moments in 2015--both the good and the bad--and look forward to reading about your adventures in 2016!

Linda Walker said...

Dear Kelly-Anne! Happy Birthday!

Wow what a year you had! I enjoyed your recap of the year!

What a beautiful family! It's very exciting that you will soon be welcoming a baby brother! Congratulations to your entire family!

You are a special young lady and I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts and scrolling through your lovely images. Many blessings to you and your family in the new year!
xo
LInda

SpicingUpIdaho said...

Oh dear Kelly-Anne, I missed your birthday! I do hope and believe you had a precious outstanding birthday, and a very special day! It was such a joy to read through this post, and be reminded of the amazing posts that you shared with us this year, and such joy filled my heart that the Lord brought you into my life through blogging, and what a beautiful thing it has been! My nieces will always cherish the precious "Ellies" that you made for them... and how blessed I have been to read your thoughts and see the beautiful pictures and life you share in such a special way! I do pray great and marvelous things for your life this year, that the Lord will bring some dreams of your heart into sweet reality, and pour out His blessings richly into your life! Much love to you dear friend!

Amy said...

Happy Birthday Kelly-Anne! What a year you had full of treasures and blessings. I hope 2016 brings you much joy and happiness! You are truly gifted and I'm so blessed to have you as a blogging friend!
Hugs, Amy

Stephanie said...

My dear friend, Happy belated Birthday! I am so sorry I missed your actual day. I hope you had a beautiful celebration, sweet Kelly-Anne. What a joy it would be to actually be there to celebrate YOU :)

You, my dear heart, are such a joy to so many. You bring sunshine and happiness to many including myself. It's truly an honor to know you and call you friend.

This was a delightful post and it was great fun to see the year 2015 in review. May 2016 bring you much joy and peace, dear friend. Love to you!

Vicky Hunt said...

What a sweet and touching post Kelly-Anne! I enjoyed everythings about it. It was nice to see all your photos again as I have enjoyed each of your posts over the last year. I am so happy we "met" and I look forward to following along again this year. I know you must be eagerly anticipating the arrival of your new brother! How precious! I hope 2016 is treating you wel thus far and a belated Happy 19th birthday to you sweet friend.

Hugs, Vicky

Jazzmin said...

Kelly-Anne,
I am so happy to read your beautiful post to start the new year!! I actually read it when you first posted and just remembered I never commented and had left your tab open :) I was so delighted by your sharings and cheerful thoughts and joy of your year!! What wonderful blessings to see. It was also neat to read that you were born on the 3rd of January- happy belated birthday dear friend! We are January sisters, I was born on the 5th! :)

What a glorious year of joys you had, using your talents and time for the Lord. I pray you have a most blessed 2016 in every way!! And I can't wait to read your posts all through this new year.

Have a wonderful evening, sweet friend!

Jazzmin♥

Alex said...

Hi sweet friend, I left your (belated) birthday wishes on another post, but just wanted to say what a great résumé of your year this is! I don't think you have ever taken a poor photo...I especially like one pic in particular..you, playing the cello! Didn't know you could :)
Thanks for the inspirational post, you should feel very satisfied with all you have achieved! I do hope your Mom is doing well, and send my best to you all.

Rosemary and Thyme said...

Wow Kelly-Anne, you had an amazing year. So many beautiful memories captured in photos. That is pretty amazing.

You are surrounded by stunning landscapes and gorgeous family. I enjoyed my visit very much. I feel very fortunate to have a glimpse into your life.

Thank you for sharing.

Hugs,


Janet