Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 was good to us.

We accomplished a lot this year, including:

welcoming a new nephew

supervising the prom

running a first 5K

celebrating a new marriage of good friends, Allie and Josh

traveling to Australia

where we climbed through gorges and lived on the edge

prayed from afar as Carter and Sanja were married while we were abroad

 began a 3rd year of teaching and loving on ninth graders

traveled to China (and hated the food)

jumped off the highest bungy in the world

and survived to tell about it

graduated with an MBA

saw God work through Young Life

ran another 5K with college friends

Griswalded the house with Christmas lights

saw Mom through another hip replacement
and praised the Lord that there was no cancer
He heals completely.

perfected our goofy faces

and celebrated the holidays with joyfulness and thanksgiving!

How blessed we were.
How blessed we are.
Praise be to God forever and ever!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Candy? Yes, Please.

 I think I will be posting about Christmas from now until Easter.  I'm finally recovering from the busy-ness of the holidays, including my mom's hip replacement surgery on Christmas Eve Eve, Patrick's wonderful display of projectile vomiting as we returned home from all the hoopla on Christmas night, and my catching a glorious Christmas cold.  Other than that, we had a lovely Christmas.  No really, we did.  Despite all the craziness, we were able to rest, find moments of quiet and peace with family and friends, and enjoy the joyfulness of giving and receiving and just being together.

One of my favorite family traditions is the gathering of all the women a week or so prior to Christmas to make candy, cookies, and all sorts of goodies together.  Despite the snow, we got together on Saturday, December 17 at my mom's cousin's who's really like my aunt's house (got that?) in Christiansburg.  Everyone brings their own ingredients and we cook and bake and talk and laugh all afternoon.  There's usually a big pot of soup on for lunch and the coffee flows like water.  It's amazing.

 From the grannies down to the youngest.  We all love this day.
 This year I made mocha blossoms.  They were supposed to be peppermint mocha blossoms with peppermint hershey kisses in the middle but Kroger was all out of those.  I made it work with what they had. 

 And of course there was the passing around of our newest family member, Baby Charlotte ("Charlie").
 We think Mom may have faked her injury just to get the hold the baby the entire time.
(Just kidding, Mom.)

Do you see why this is my favorite day?  Babies, cookies, coffee, and my Granny all in one place?  I wanted to stay forever.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Happenings

I took a mental health day two weeks ago.  I needed to get some grading done and just have some peace and quiet before the rush of the holidays.  And seriously am I glad I did because things have gotten crazy fast!

We've decked the halls.
And I made a fancy and simple Christmas card holder out of ribbon and clothes pins.

We attended the annual Hanging of the Greens Advent service.
I love this service.  It's all about decorating and Christmas carols and Christ.
And kids singing.

We closed the service by dimming the lights and singing Silent Night in the candlelight.  One of the students strummed it on his guitar.  It was peaceful and beautiful.

Then, on Wednesday night, our cheerleaders did our Christmas dinner.  Instead of spending $10 a piece on silly little gifts for each other, we went to the mall, each contributed $10 to the pot and got gifts for a little girl off the Angel Tree.  It was a much better use of our money, a simple lesson in giving, and the joy of just being together.

Then we went to Carraba's for dinner.

On Thursday, I made a trifle.
We had a small Christmas get together with some girlfriends and the trifle was my contributed dish.  I used this recipe, only I used chocolate pudding.  It was to die for.  I ate it for breakfast on Friday.

I love the Christmas season.  I love that it's a season and not just one day.  So far we've a busy, but quiet time of fellowship, food, and joy.  I'm looking forward to next week.  I never want it to end!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

The Annual Herndon Christmas Tree Hunt was this weekend!

It started with lunch and gathering at the family cabin in Floyd, VA.

And lots of passing around of Baby Sayge!

It was his first snow.

Then we headed over to the Christmas tree farm. The snow was really coming down at this point. It was beautiful!

There was much playing in the snow, many frozen fingers, and snowballs abounding.

And of course some family photos.

And we found a great tree!

Which, at this moment, is still tied up and bound and laying on our front stoop.

We are all about the gradual decorating around here.

This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions, and it has snowed every year for the last 3 years on the weekend that we make this trek.

Happy Advent
and an official welcome to the Christmas Season!