Reflections of 2011

Naples sunset

As I sit here and reflect on this past year I am deeply grateful to the Lord for all he has done in our hearts and lives! 2011 has been a year of establishment and growth for our family. We have been challenged and changed because of the many blessings and trials we have encountered on this journey. The Lord has grated us the strength we needed during the hard time and given us peace to rest and enjoy the simple and beautiful moments along the way.

Here are some of the amazing memories that 2011 has left us with:

~ Moved into our new home!

Unpacking our entrance the day we moved in:)

~ Spent our first winter unpacking and getting settled, many renovations, and many long nights working on our new home!

~ Took a two week vacation in Naples, FL, visited Disney World and had a wonderful restful time as a family

Enjoying Florida!

~ Celebrated many Jewish feasts and festivals as a family and with our local church

~ Started a blog – A Simply Beautiful Life!

He loved snack as much as he loved playing soccar!

 ~ Judah started playing soccar which was a fun family event to go and cheer the little guy on:)

~ This summer we picked strawberries and enjoyed weekly vegetable shares from a local farm, it was delicious and fresh!

Heading out on the tractor to pick some berries!!

 ~ Enjoyed many family bonfires in our new backyard, we love having bush behind our home, it has provided us with many new adventures, such a blessing to us!

~ Welcomed our baby girl – Atirah Kaiya Prayse into the world on July 28th – what a gift she has been to our family!!!

Our little blessing from God

~ Jim was able to take a month off in the summer at the arrival of our baby and we spend some amazing time together

~ Built a deck on the back of our house and landscaped the yard

Helping daddy build the deck

~ Travelled to Ottawa to attend a nation wide day of prayer and fasting

~ Spent many afternoons swimming in Lake Nipissing

Ottawa Ontario

~ Enjoyed many walks while exploring treed trails near our home with the kids

~ Started homeschooling our son Judah

Playing in the pumpkins

~ Enjoyed a beautiful fall season here in Northern Ontario. We had fun in the pumpkin patch at Thanksgiving, reflecting on the many things we have to be thankful for!

~ Took the youth from the Harbour to an event in Hamilton Ontario called Acquire the Fire

We had SO much fun with all the leaves on our new property

~ Enjoyed the beautiful weather of fall and had a wondering time of Advent, preparing our hearts for the promised Messiah.

~ Had an amazing Christmas with friends and family. Enjoyed the first year of the gold, frankincense and myrrh gifts with our children.

Opening his frankincense gift on Christmas morning

~Brought in the new year with our wonderful friends The Weenings and their 4 children, we had a blast! (There were 7 kids, 6 years and under and it was incredible!)

Moving forward into 2012 we are hopeful and full of vision and purpose for the upcoming year. Jim and I have been able to sit and talk together about the upcoming year and we look forward to a year of intimacy and stillness before the Lord. We feel that we need to learn to seek the face of God, NOT for what he can give us or do for us but just simply to love Him and bless His heart.

Atirah in her favorite seat

“Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you” Matt 6:32-34. We believe that as we do this we will hear His voice and he will show us the will and desires of His heart for us. We are excited to spend time in prayer, worship and fasting.

We have had some time to refocus and revisit our finances, our goals, savings, insurance, givings and our time schedule for this upcoming year. It has been really amazing to look back and see how God and blessed us and then reassess our goals in these areas. We want to be WISE in every aspect of our lives. I am hopeful that we will walk in the center of His will for our lives and that new things are on the horizon for our family.

Left to right: Violet, Florey, Anabelle, Mercy, Judah, Atirah, and Sterling didnt make the picture:)

I feel as though I have grown a lot in the realm of motherhood. I have learned that I am NOT in control and that I need to ease up more to enjoy the simplicity of my children in this stage. I am looking forward to sharing more of my life, the good, the bad and the ugly, with all my blog friends in this upcoming year.

Pure Joy!

I believe that the Lord is going to speak and encourage us all in 2012. I believe the best is yet to come!

May you experience joy and peace today as you rest in His love!!

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