Friday, December 28, 2012

"Count Your Blessings, Instead Of Sheep"

Just last night we watched the 'tevoed' version of the Christmas special that Jennifer Nettles hosted…the song she sang, "Count your blessings instead of sheep" resonated in my head all night long! After being extremely sick for two days and sort of feeling sorry for myself and yet not really even feeling well enough to do that, I knew when I heard her sing this chorus over and over…well, I knew it was speaking to ME!
 Count your blessings, Carolyn!!

So, as we all re-group and head into the New Year….a few things stick out in my mind! I've missed blogging…I've missed my blogging friends tremendously! But this is life and I have much to be thankful for! 
#1….2012 has been a wonderful year and I have loved making such wonderful "blogging friends"!
#2…I am blessed with a wonderful family and a strong group of life long friends!

 Here are just a few shots at the fun we had this Christmas and Holiday Season!

It all started with our annual Christmas Party! I don't think I will ever be able to stop having this party…I look forward to it all year and although it is hard…it is ALWAYS worth it! I love these people dearly!

Then we celebrated Christmas with my brother and his wife Marianna and their precious children! 
What a fun group we had!

We did our best to capture every moment of the festivities at each event…this was at my parent's house with my sister and brother and their families.

 My mom was loving having all of her children ( and grandchildren and one great grandchild) in one place as ALL mom's do!

You know, sort of like all of us "high school turned college age son's moms" liked having all of our babies home with us at the party that my sweet life long friends, Sharon and Roy Gilbert hosted! It was a ton of fun! And definitely so great to be re-united with long time friends that we love dearly!

It was the perfect setting for a family party!

I was thrilled that all of my children could be there!

Then, before you knew it was Christmas Eve and we were back at my parent's house! It was a special evening as usual and one that we always treasure. I tried very hard to not focus on all that I had to do to get ready for Christmas morning! ( it was very hard!)

Christmas morning breakfast always consists of "Overnight French Toast Casserole", Sausage-Egg Casserole, Hashbrowns, and Ham Biscuits…it was really yummy!
 ( just very hard to talk about after being sick so I will not elaborate at the moment!)

And for a brief moment as we played Mr. and Mrs. Claus I began to wonder if I was raising another Duck Dynasty son!

But I quickly realized my next blessing! 
#3-My precious children and husband that God so graciously gave me!
( and yes, it's black and white on purpose! It was early Christmas morning!)

Blessing #5, 6, 7 and 8…well, that would be my granddaughter Layton! In all of her spectacular glory! Just look at her! She is radiant! She is also a very talented hair stylist!

Ok…so Zoie was a bit overwhelmed but she survived!

 And then it was time for blessing #9- Christmas Day lunch with Jim's wonderful family! 

So glad we could get this group together! Like I said earlier, "a mom loves to have all of her children in one room at the same time!" This is especially true for my mom and Jim's mom! And we know it so we always want to make that come true if we can!

Yes, count your blessings instead of sheep may just be my new motto for 2013! We've had a lot of people suffer a lot of heartache around us…world wide and then also, very close to home. I am praying for my friend's, the Grote family tonight.

Blessing #10- Is definitely the fact that God blessed me with Eternal life in Him. Without that, everything else is meaningless! Thank You, Lord for Your many blessings!
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but would have eternal life." John 3:16
From our home to yours, I hope you have had a very Merry Christmas and look forward to the New Year!

With much love,


  1. Carolyn what a gorgeous family you have! How blessed you are to have such a big family. Thank you for sharing your Christmas holiday with us. I hope you're feeling better and tae care of yourself.

    I wish you the brightest of New Year!

  2. This post makes me so happy Carolyn and made me pause to think about my own blessings instead of feeling sorry for myself because I have played nurse on call for the last 5 days to my husband with the flu. I have much to be grateful for. As do you! Your family pics are AMAZING. A beautiful family inside and out (I can tell you all are the salt of the earth kinds of people....just my type:) I enjoyed seeing the love and happiness radiating from this post.....I sure hope you are feeling better, I am sure you will just in time for the new year. Cheers to a happy and healthy 2013...may it be one fabulous year!

  3. I hope you are feeling much better by now. Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos of what looks to have been a wonderfully blessed Christmas! I hope 2013 is a happy, healthy year for you and your family.

  4. Dear Carolyn ~
    I hope you are feeling better. Your family is beautiful, and I'm delighted you were able to spend time with them over Christmas. For Tom and me, the holidays are all about spending time with family and friends. Speaking of friends, thank you for your friendship in 2012. I'm looking forward to us meeting one day soon.
    Warm wishes,

  5. What a wonderful Christmas!!!! Such a beautiful family, a true blessing for sure. So glad we have become friends this year. Here is to a wonderful and Happy New Year! XO, Mona

  6. Hi Carolyn, So glad to 'catch up' with you after the holidays. Looks like a very happy, busy time. Hope you are feeling 100% again soon, and I am looking forward to another year of your blog! Wishing you and yours all the best in 2013!

  7. Carolyn Bradford,

    GOOD MORNING! WOW, what a lovely post, filled with much joy and beautiful faces! Every photo shows those special moments that YOU will always hold near to you! I LOVE THAT PINK DOG BED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The home, the food, the gifts, the smiles.....warm and wonderful my friend.

    I thank you for coming to visit with me and I wish you the best 2013 and may we always count our blessings instead of sheep! teehee...they are cute and funny creatures...interesting that we are compared to them in analogies in the scriptures!!!!!!!! Sheep do need much assistance, as we do!

    Love, Anita

  8. This was fun - to see your family and friends. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the photo of you and your son on Christmas morning...It's beautiful!! So sorry to hear you have been ill. Ugh. That is hard this time of year. It's easy to feel a bit down when you are under the weather, I get like that too.

    I understand what you mean about missing your blogging friends. Unless you are a blogger, you could never understand that true friendships are formed in this community. It's not what we do, it's who we are.

    Have a wonderful New Years, my friend. I wish you many adventures in 2013!!! xo

  9. Carolyn I loved seeing all of your precious family and the gatherings!
    Thank you so much for being an encouraging & supportive friend!

    Wishing you all the best in the Year ahead!

    Art by Karena

  10. What a beautiful family you have Carolyn! You are one lucky lady indeed! I hope you are feeling better after being sick. Thank you for reminding us what really matters...there are so many out there who aren't as lucky as us. We all need a little reminding from time to time :) Wishing you a great year ahead in 2013!

  11. What a gorgeous family, Carolyn. Just love seeing all of your pictures. For me, Christmas is so much about being together as a family and I just love seeing all of yours together. Wishing you every happiness in 2013!!

  12. Carolyn,

    These are such wonderful photos and I know this sounds silly.. but I can feel the love :) Beautiful family, and it looks like a good time was had by all. Being with family is THE MOST important part of the season.

    I start back to work tomorrow.. and my company leaves. I'm exhausted, but feel content having had so much family time.

    Wishing you and your family the very best in the coming year. Happy New Year!


  13. I loved seeing your sweet happy family and what a perfect sentiment! all the best in 2013~

  14. Carolyn,
    Happy New Year!! You indeed have many blessings to count. What a beautiful family...I see lots of resemblances!! And, that darling grand daughter of yours.

    Catch your breath and get some rest. December really takes it out of you....that's why I think God gives us January. Time to regroup!
    xoxo Elizabeth