Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Since we are heading to Arkansas tomorrow morning, Santa Claus came a day early! The kids were obviously excited as they ran into the living room to see what Santa left this morning. I've mentioned before that Mackenzie asked Santa for a Barbie Bike, Care Bear Cub, and Medical Plastic Earrings; Josiah asked for a Cars Bike, Cars Scooter, and a Skate Board. I am so very thankful to be able to say that they were both delighted with what Santa brought today!
Mackenzie's inspecting the loot on her side of the Christmas tree. She picked each item up, including a princess sheet set and pajamas, one by one and narrated happily as she exclaimed over each item with the same level of intensity as the item before it! Her gratitude was obvious.

Josiah, with his bed head, went about his morning quietly with an occasional "wow" or "that's cool" comment here and there. He was enthralled with each item, too; however, I wasn't sure he would ever get off the bike and scooter long enough to even see his other items! At the kids request, Santa left two presents for each of them wrapped and under the tree.

Josiah, after eventually dismounting the bike, did spend a great deal of time with the Matchbox space shuttle rig set. He had not seen it before and seemed to enjoy the surprise. The kid loves space ships.
Mackenzie cuddling with her two new care bear cubs, or carabeara cubs, as she calls them! She was so sweet in asking Santa for these. She told him that it did not matter which tummy symbol or which color the care bear was...just any little care bear cub would be fine! She was excited to find two of them wrapped up from Santa this morning.

Josiah checking out his stocking.

Mackenzie, stunned over the hair barrets in her stocking. They happened to be just like some she put in a Christmas Shoe Box for Operation Christmas Child. She oohed and aahed over those barrets, but in the end she managed to pack them for the child whose entire Christmas would be arriving in a shoe box. She was quick to comment, "that box isn't very big if that's all they're getting, Momma." Very cool that it sank in and very cool that she got some, too! :)
(BTW, I found out via email yesterday that our boxes went to Madagascar! I had no idea they could use the barcoded label I printed online from Samaritan's Purse to track the location of the boxes!)

Well, this post is mainly for my own records, but I do want to take advantage the fact that someone might be reading all this to say, Merry Christmas Everyone! Take time among the festivities to thank our Lord for the birth of Jesus...the whole reason we celebrate! What an amazing moment. God being born as a human baby. All for us and our salvation. Wow. I cannot imagine a life without the knowledge and hope that comes with knowing Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour. I hope and pray that you know Him, too. His birth is truly something to celebrate. Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mackenzie's First Christmas Program

In spite of an ice storm in Arkansas this past Monday night, Nona & Mzee managed to travel (yes, they were determined!) here in time for Mackenzie's first school program this past Tuesday. Mackenzie did not know they were coming in time for her program, so she was thrilled to see them in the audience after sitting down on stage! David and I were on the front row, right in front of her; Nona and Mzee were holding Josiah right behind us. We were all easy to spot from where Mackenzie sat! And, yes, we had the video camera rolling. :)
Here is Mackenzie, following Emma, into the auditorium.

From left to right: T.J., Emily, Mackenzie, and Emma.

Most of Mackenzie's four year old class on stage. (They were on the far right with the three's in the middle and the other four year old class on the left.)

Mackenzie sitting perfectly still singing with all her might!

T.J. sat with that glare on his face the whole time! He did not sing at all; it really was hilarious.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

T.J., Emily, and Mackenzie

A proud, pleased Mackenzie to see her little contingency front and center with cameras rolling! :)

As soon as the program was over and the children starting filing back to their classrooms, Josiah asked to go up on stage to join Mackenzie. He was so excited to be near her, and she was happy to have him there!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Starbucks, Please

I mentioned in my last post that both kids were sick starting Tuesday night...well, first thing Wednesday morning, after vomiting ALL NIGHT LONG (as in 9+ times in one night), Mackenzie pipes up and says, "I know what will make me feel better, Momma! A Starbucks frappuccino!" We all fell apart in a fit of laughter. As sick as she was and she wanted a Starbucks frappuccino?! As soon as we calmed down enough for her to get another word in, she said, "Please, Momma, I just know it will make me feel better."
I certainly couldn't deny her request! :) I showered, dressed, and was off to Starbucks on a mission. Mission accomplished. Request filled. And if my memory serves me correctly, Mackenzie has not vomited since then! Josiah, on the other hand, has continued vomiting...even today. Sigh. I am thankful that so far the rest of us are still well. Neither child is 100% yet, but they do seem to be improving. :) (BTW, it was a vanilla bean that is caffeine free!)
So, the picture I uploaded for this post is of Mzee helping the kids with a wooden airplane craft project. I uploaded it because if you look closely, you'll see that Starbucks drink, one on either side of Mackenzie. (One was hers and one Josiah's...Starbucks will let you pay for one bigger drink and separate it into two smaller cups at no additional cost...FYI that saves money and still gets a drink for both kids!) ;)
(Oh, yeah. I should give a shout out to my mom and Mark for all the extra assistance cleaning up loads and loads of vomit. I'm not sure how we would have survived without their help!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Anniversary Weekend Trip

This past weekend we spent one night in Pigeon Forge. Both kids tried ice skating at Ober Gatlinburg for the first time. I was shocked that they BOTH wanted to try it, and even more shocked at how balanced they were on the ice! All four of us thoroughly enjoyed it.
Here's a picture of Mackenzie and me ice skating together. :)

Here's a picture of the kids "doing it by themselves" with me nearby...just in case!
(They did come away from the railing some, too!)
Josiah "skating" by himself. :) (with a little help from the railing, of course!)

Mackenzie and Josiah in front of the toy solider at The Inn at Christmas Place.

The Glockenspiel in the two story lobby inside The Inn at Christmas Place. It really worked, too! Every hour the two elves strike the bell, Santa comes out of the top, and the clock sings two Christmas carols.

The kids going up the stairs in the lobby with the clock in the background. I just love clocks! Especially cuckoo clocks!

The kids peering over the railing at the elegant nativity scene high up in the lobby.

Up close of the nativity scene in the lobby.

Then to Dollywood at Christmastime! I rode in one elephant with Mackenzie; David and Josiah rode in another one. It was raining, so we did not have to wait in line at all! We just walked right up and got on any ride we wanted to...very, very nice. :)

And since there were no lines...the kind man operating the Lemon Twist (i.e., Tea Cups) took the time to take a picture for us! I thought this one of all four of us in the teacup turned out pretty good. :) We had a fun weekend...then we came home...Mackenzie had her first ever school Christmas program on Tuesday, then came home and she and Josiah both began vomiting late Tuesday night...all night long...and into the day on Wednesday...nice.
(More posts to come with some pics from her Christmas program...)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Heart to Heart Christmas Party

Our wonderful group of friends! Typically, we enjoy time together in Bible study and fellowship; tonight, we enjoyed a Christmas party together. All in all, there are 14 adults and 14 kids. We were happy to have the Miller's join us this evening, and we missed Allison Mease as she was sick.
(Side note: The Miller's are the ones who founded our group back in the Spring of 2006.)
Here are the kids! Yep, that's a busy group. A great big THANK YOU goes out to Mary Doty and Adam for making it a wonderful evening for our precious children!
Thanks for coming, Everyone! :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Wedding

The horse drawn carriage delivering me from my room to the wedding gazebo where David was waiting.
Horse drawn carriage with Moon Palace Resort (Cancun, Mexico) rooms in background.

Opening prayer by Martin Bolden, random missionary in Cancun who officiated weddings for The Moon Palace...he really did a good job, too!

Cutting of the cake, which by the way, had moist strawberry filling and was heart shaped!

Rice being thrown as we exited the gazebo. My mom and Mark were in attendance; David's parents and brother were in route! (Remember, we had a December wedding...well, flights were delayed and we had NO IDEA what happened to David's arrived into Cancun without them...we had to make a decision about whether to continue or post pone the wedding as it was late afternoon already and not much daylight left...we went ahead with the wedding, still not knowing the whereabouts of David's parents or brother...after the wedding, much worry, and Stateside help from Debbie Duke, we found out that they were, in fact, still coming but delayed! So. We met them at the airport still dressed in wedding clothes!) Made for some funny memories. People at the airport cheered for us!
(Also pictured above is Pilar, our wedding coordinator, who did a fantastic job with our emailed instructions.)

Picture session afterwards on the grounds near the gazebo.

I like this one with the ocean in the background.
Our hands with my bouquet.

Have I mentioned that it was a VERY WINDY day?! My hair and veil were everywhere!

Obviously, the sun was setting fast in these last few pictures. If you just looked through all those pictures, bless you! That was a lot of pics! Thanks for walking down memory lane with us.