Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry and Bright

We had a wonderful Christmas!  A good mix of busy-ness and rest.  We used to run ourselves ragged trying to make every single holiday gathering on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  We did too much.  We finally said starting saying No.  We didn't do Christmas Eve breakfast like I have always done.  We slept in instead.   My parents usually have our good family friends over to their house on Christmas Eve afternoon.  They did again this year, and Calvin and I went.  Patrick went to the mall instead.  He loves going to the mall on Christmas Eve.  It is his thing.  And instead of demanding that he come with us, I was happy to let him do his thing.  He ran into his parents and ended up getting some quality time just them and him.  That doesn't happen very often!
While I was taking a shower, Calvin snuck out of the house and went and got Starbucks for everyone!  He is a child after my own heart.
We all met up at the Christmas Eve service at church around 5:30. 
It was a beautiful and humbling service.
Perfect to set the tone for the focus of our Christmas.
The other Herndons lit the advent candle.

Then we gathered over at my parents house for dinner and presents.
This was the first year we did not go to my grandparents on Christmas Eve.
My grandfather passed away in June of this year and my grandmother had a massive stroke around the same time.
It was hard to do something different, but my dad and I really enjoyed cooking the dinner for everyone!  He loves running the kitchen.
 Dave and Katie are in for the whole week!  We loved spending Christmas Eve with them.  Calvin and I went over to my parent's house again yesterday to just hang out.  I love having everyone in and just piling up in the living room!
Calvin made a family calendar in his Desktop Publishing class at school and gave it to my parents for Christmas.  It was beautiful.

Dave and Katie spoil my Calvin.  They got him a Kindle for Christmas!  Now he is excited to read! 

Neva got lots of new clothes and shoes.  She really loved stacking up all of her presents over and over.
And we all got a pair of Toms! 

We came home that evening and, as tradition follows, watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation for the 4th time this season! It is our FAVORITE Christmas movie.
Calvin fell asleep, and Patrick and I stayed up late wrapping the rest of the presents.  Just before we about to go to bed, I lost my glasses and was looking for them everywhere.  And then I realized I had wrapped them up in a present.  Yes, I am losing my mind.  So I had to unwrap and them rewrap the present they were in.
On Christmas Day, we opened presents as a family.
Calvin and I found this shirt for Patrick.
It was so appropriate!  He wore it all day.
I got a new jacket.
Calvin had the most presents!
Lots of clothes, new dress shoes and tennis shoes, and a pair of really nice earbuds for his iPod.
The cats loved the wrapping paper mess and proceded to play hide-and-seek.
Look, Carolyn and Andrew!  I got a planter box for my garden!

Then we went to my other grandparents' house for the annual Christmas Breakfast.  And took no pictures.  But it was yummy!
We came home and napped and then went to my in-laws around 4:00.  We decided to do presents and then dinner so the kids wouldn't be out so late.
Sayge was out cold from all the Christmas fun already when they arrived.

I love this picture of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law!  His shirt says, "This guy loves his wife!"

My sister-in-law Beth made this for my mother-in-law!  It is made of wood salvaged from Patrick's grandparents' house.  It has a poem about grandparents on it that she wrote and then the bottom has cute little replicas of all her precious grandchildren.  So cool!

Isabelle decided to wear all of her Christmas gifts at once.  She was a sparkle fest!

This warms my heart so much.

As you can tell, Sayge did not stay out-cold for very long. :)
It was a fabulous Christmas, full of food and laughter and fun!
And most importantly, Family.

Hope yours was as Merry and Bright as ours!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve

This year I tried, I really did, to slow down and savor the Christmas season, and for the first time in years, I do not feel like Christmas snuck up on me.  It was just the right amount of savoring and slowing, waiting and dreaming, taking my time and yet feeling the anticipation in the air of the special day that was coming.
{I wanted it to be a glimmer of the anticipation we feel as we wait longingly on our precious Savior.}
I brought home less work.

We've played Christmas music in the house.  In the car. In the classroom.
We watched a Christmas movie almost every single night
(but I still can't seem to catch the very beginning and the very end of The Polar Express. 
I think I've seen the middle a hundred times now!)
We decorated the house.

And hunted a tree.

We went to a few parties.
And sang Christmas carols.

We sent Christmas cards.
In the midst of it all, we all came down with the flu. 
But we survived are all the better from a few days of rest.
And so, we'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas Eve!
May this day of anticipation be a day of joyous waiting,
a time of family and friends
and longing
to be with our Lord,
made possible because of what he did in sending Himself in that humble baby
so many thousand years ago.
May God's Grace and Mercy be real to you this holiday season!
The Herndons
P.S. I promise to be better at blogging in 2013!  Cross my heart.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

...and then it was November. {What We've Been Up To}

Hello there blogworld!  We have been a little Absent-tee, as is my style around this time of year.  Fall (ahem...or should I say Winter?  It's 36 degrees outside as I speak!) has settled in quite nicely and we are busy, busy, busy.  When are we not?   That is the question.

Here is a short, photographed list of what we've been up to lately, just to catch you up to speed.

Back in August, highschoolers invaded my house...
Calvin had the cross-country team over for a pool party. 
They cleaned up after themselves. And said Thank You multiple times.
We were very pleased.

I got a new (to me) dishwasher!

Thanks to my wonderful Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle Billy. 
And my two great guys for installing it for me.  Apparently it was quite the job.
Finally getting into a routine and back to cooking dinner. 
Yummy baked potato soup on a chilly night.

Back to school means back to the hussle and bussle of lesson planning and grading.
But I love my kiddos this year!  They are SO fun. 
I look forward to hanging out with them every single day.  And that is saying a lot!

The culinary arts students at school have started a new teacher cafe, where they cook meals from scratch for teachers every other week or so.  It's very reasonable pricey and super yummy!  
Exhibit A, pumpkin cheesecake!  I love my job.

Someone went to Homecoming...(see my new yellow door in the background!)

Calvin's cousin came to town for a rugby match.  What a fun experience!  We love Andy.  He has been a breath of fresh air and a great encouragement for Calvin in his journey to adoption.

Patrick is now one of our church's youth leaders. 
He and Calvin got away last weekend for a fall retreat. 
They had a blast!

I think that about brings us up to date!  Life has been a messy, busy, lovely whirlwind over the past few weeks.  Thanks for coming along on the ride with us!