Friday, September 18, 2015

Liebster Award

The last few weeks have been busy being back in the swing of our home schooling days. With a 5th grader, 3rd grader, 1st grader, and preschooler all doing school, it gets kind of crazy at times. Add in the twins getting in to things and I am on my feet running from student to twin the moment I get up in the morning until the time my head hits the pillow at night.

This year, we have the older two taking some courses through Veritas Press Scholars Academy. It's such an excellent, prestigious school that has really been challenging for them. Our oldest is participating in both live and self-paced courses where our second oldest is participating in self-paced courses. Other subjects I work directly with them on. I love seeing how each child is growing and developing through our days in what they learn and know.

Our first grader loves math and can sometimes get two lessons done in a day. Our preschooler will work on workbooks, practice her cutting, and loves coloring as well. I will often read books to the twins and they will play in the playroom as we get some of the core subjects done. It's hard to believe we are moving through the year as quickly as we are already.

Being a very organized and on-task person, I often struggle with time management with everyone. I like being able to cross off x, y, and z from the list of things we need to get done and have it completed at certain times. I like to make sure we cover everything and some. When someone goes over a time scheduled for an activity, I nearly panic at the concept of being off-schedule which can nearly put me in a heart attack. This year with more people and things happening, I am learning to be less structured in a way that I don't get so crazy mom-teacher on them. Let's just say we've had a lot of grace days through this learning process.

God is teaching me to rely more on Him and I am surrendering a lot of my own expectations so that everyone can have peaceful days. Not only are my children learning a lot from me but I am learning so much through them. Patience is an area that I am constantly learning as I tend to want things to happen right away.

I am still working on not being overly connected online as I learn to connect more with the people around me. In addition, the break from blogging has been a welcome relief as I have been able to focus on the beginning of this school year without distraction. I enjoy the quiet and not getting too caught up in too much online even though I sometimes feel like I miss out on keeping up with everyone. I realize the most important moments are happening around me so I am trying to stay focused on that for the time being.

I was given a Liebster Award yesterday morning for my blog and I felt so honored by it. This award is about finding new blogs and getting to know the people behind them. Though I've been blogging for a year and half now, I wanted to participate in this so I can share a little about the person behind this blog.

Being apart of the blogging world has allowed me to connect with some amazing women. I've been receiving neat notes in the mail from some of you lately and I just love hearing from you. I may not be as active in blogging as I have been but I wanted to thank my friend for the nomination and participate in this activity.

My good friend, Elizabeth, over at Blessed Beyond the Mess chose to nominate me for this award. We are so much alike in a lot of ways. Elizabeth has 8 children and we will soon have 7 in our home. She is a military wife and both of our families were stationed together in Idaho for a couple of years. I really got to know Elizabeth living down the street from her. Each Sunday evening, her family would open up their home for Bible study and fellowship. It was so amazing to have all the families gather in her home and share in God's goodness as we grew together. It was a place many of us could come to for support when our husbands were deployed as well. It helped to keep us connected and sane.

I am also so thankful to have her for a friend as she has been a wonderful mentor to me. Her second oldest was born with a cleft palette and the baby we are expecting in November will have a bilateral cleft lip and palette. She has been a great source of wisdom on it all. And just the fact that we are both considered crazy for having lots of "littles" has bonded us together. :-)

If you get a chance, head on over to read her post called I Said Yes. Like Elizabeth, we felt like God asked us to say yes to having seven children. With it has come lots of criticism from others as it's so different from the norm these days. My husband and I felt God's call to welcome these children into our home. I don't know if this is the last one for us. I also feel a nudge to adopt someday as well. We have prayed about it and allowed God to guide our hearts over this decision. This is where He has led us so far. And we LOVE every minute of it!

Here is my post on some of the funny comments we've received over the years about our family when we've gone out into public. Joking aside, we love our wild, crazy life. Even on hard days, we find comfort in the grace being given to us by our Creator and Author of our faith. He has given us so many fun personalities all with varying gifts. He will use each of our children to do amazing things for His kingdom. How cool, is that?


1. How did you choose the name of your blog? I have always loved the character trait of "joy." In fact, I would have loved to have named one of our girls Joy but since our last name is McCoy, I wasn't sure that it would go over well with others. Nonetheless, I love being around joyful people. Don't you? The kind of person who wears a smile on their face can brighten up a room.

When I was a little girl, we had a camping trailer. There was a mug my mother kept in the trailer to use when camping that had the saying, "When you smile at the world, the world smiles back." I loved to think about that saying and what it could do for people. With it, I've always striven to be one of those people who wears a smile on her face. When I pass people in the store, I want people to wonder what makes me so happy. The answer is Jesus. He is the one who gives me unspeakable joy. It doesn't mean that I don't have hard days or difficult trials. We all have them. But we all need people to be uplifting in our lives and that is someone I strive to be for others.

2. What are you most passionate about in this life? I am most passionate about my faith and my family. Jesus is the rock of my salvation. He has gotten me through so much in the past and continues to fill my soul with hope each day. My family are the ones who are there no matter what. My family are not only the ones I am related to but the ones who've been an inspiration to me. I have sweet friends who encourage my walk and give me high fives to keep doing what I'm doing.  

I am also passionate about helping children who've been abandoned along with supporting women in very poor communities trying to get away from things like human trafficking. I like to support fair trade organizations like Fair Trade Friday. I feel good when I can help someone in need whether through supporting adoption, shopping with Fair Trade organizations, or supporting missions. 

3. What is your favorite food? I am such a foodie and I am particularly drawn to health foods. I love to study nutrition and the body. With the challenges of having two children with severe food allergies and now having a dairy allergy myself, I have learned different ways to eat. Before, cheeseburgers were my thing. Yes, I love them. But since I can't have them without breaking out in hives these days, I have found new things to enjoy. I don't know that I can limit myself to one food but I love fresh, organic foods from Farmer's Markets. With this pregnancy, I am kind of obsessed with these dairy free ice cream bars from SO Delicious. 

4. What is one moment in your life you will never forget? The day my husband and I started going
together was a day I could never forget. We both worked together at In-N-Out Burger and I had a serious crush on him forever. He would offer to drive me home from work because I had no license yet. We would sit in my folks driveway and have these great conversations. We had so much in common and viewed life the same way. I graduated from high school a semester early and my parents surprised me with a trip to Disneyland as a graduation present with all of my family. When I returned from the trip, Mike came over and asked if we could be boyfriend/girlfriend. I was so excited! Four and a half years later we were married and I have never looked back. 

5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? After moving so many times with the military, I have learned that you can make any place your home. This is a tough one because I really love this area of Georgia. I wouldn't mind living around Idaho/Montana areas. I love mountain areas and being able to see God's amazing creation. So as long as I get to enjoy His beauty by being able to get outdoors while having my family nearby, I am happy. 

6. If time, money, and talent were not an issue, what would you love to do? I would love to travel all over with my family. I know we'd need to wait a few years until they are older. But it'd be fun to travel around, even just seeing the different parts of the U.S. It'd be fun to take our family on a year long road-trip, bringing our school along and getting to check out the different sites that we have here in our own country. Mike and I are so going to do the RVing thing someday. It's going to be such a fun adventure. 

7. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? Oh, I have been given such great advice from so many people. My Nana used to tell me that if I wanted something done, I needed to do it myself. I've always kind of done that too. I make it a goal to be a hard worker and not sit around. My parents have taught me that no matter what I do to put my trust in the Lord. He will guide my path. My Grandmother taught me to be brave and keep pressing forward. I had a mentor in MOPS tell me to be sure to home school my children spiritually. Don't expect the church or anyone else to do it. I needed to be sure to teach them about Jesus and read to them from the Bible. I strive to do that daily. 

8. What is the silliest thing you have ever done? I do things like starting the wash but forgetting to move it to the dryer. And I am a little on edge when I get overheated. For some reason my body temperature is warmer than most people. So I sleep with the fan on, even in the winter. My poor husband! But something silly that I've done in the past was when I would get the syllabus in college on the first day of class. I would look it over and stay up night and day for the first couple of weeks getting most of my papers busted out. Throughout the semester, I would adjust as needed but the majority of the work would be completed right away. I have this need to get things done as soon as I know about them. I cannot procrastinate even if someone paid me. 

9. How do you want people to remember you? I want people to remember me as a woman who loved Jesus so much that she wore it on her face. I want to be known as a person with unspeakable joy. Also, I want to be remembered as a person who was genuine and willing to share her downfalls, even though I may wear a smile. I don't care about fame or fortune. I don't care if I am super popular. But I do want to be someone who shares the light of Christ with the world. 

10. Who or what has had the big influence on who you have become? I went through a lot of trial and temptation early on in my life. I faced some very hard situations that I feel has shaped the person I have become. My parents were very hard workers and raised us up to know Christ. They did not become believers until after marriage so they had to learn a lot as they went along raising their family. I was fortunate enough to have amazing grandparents as well. I spent a lot of time with them growing up when my parents worked. They were very wise and shared a lot of important life lessons with me. They lived through the Great Depression among other things so they passed on a lot of good values. 

11. Who is your hero? My husband is my hero. He is a man of faith who loves the Lord. He works so hard at providing for our family always putting everyone else first. He has fought for the freedom of our country. He is a true gentleman who treats me like a lady along with our girls. Our boys are learning so many amazing qualities of manhood from him.  He is better than any Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightly. I still swoon over the sound of his voice or being in his presence. He is my hero. He is the one I prayed for as a child. And he is the one God gave to me. 

  1. I love Fall and my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I love that we get to be thankful for the things we have been given while also celebrating with those who are near. I am excited this year to be expecting a baby at Thanksgiving. 
  2. I love babies but pregnancy is hard for me. I can do the baby stage and lack of sleep. The hard part for me is being pregnant. I have trouble slowing down and taking breaks. I am still in awe that I am pregnant for the sixth time. The whole process of a baby being created and born is so amazing to me. 
  3. I don't do heat well... at all. 
  4. I would love to be able to sew and I have tried so many times. I have never been very good at it. I love the things that can be made from sewing. 
  5. But I do enjoy cross stitching. I just never have enough time these days to sit down and make something from it. I enjoy it as a mindless activity right up there with word searches. 
  6. My favorite books of the Bible are Nehemiah, Acts, Ruth, Proverbs, and Luke. It goes in that order too.
  7. Pink was my favorite color for years. But I am now in love with yellow and mint green. I still like pink too... just not as much.
  8. I just love classic books like Mary Poppins, Chronicles of Narnia, Jane Austen books, and Brer Rabbit. I can read them over and over again. 
  9. I do not like big crowds. In fact, I get panicky when I have to drive in traffic or be somewhere with a lot of people. I much prefer small towns and small groups of people. 
  10. I have trouble seeing outside even on shady days. My eyes are very sensitive to light and I need sunglasses when I step outdoors. 
  11. I love coffee and especially holiday flavors. I prefer local coffee shops over Starbucks. I am also a fan of Peet's coffee. 

ARE YOU STILL WITH ME? This is a long blog post...I apologize. Here are the blogs I am nominating for the Liebster Award. Go check out their blogs if you get a chance:

Tara @ Praying on the Prairie

Denise @ Just Me, Being Me

Drusilla @ Loved As If

Amanda @ Mommy Adventurer

Michelle @ Found


1. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
2. Have you always been a writer?
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
4. What is your favorite holiday and why?
5. Name three words that Jesus would say describes you.
6. Who is the biggest influence in your life?
7. What are your favorite books?
8. Where is one place you would like to travel?
9. What are you passionate about?
10. If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
11. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Have fun answering! Don't forget to check out those blogs and follow them.