Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"I'll Be Home For Christmas..."

I thought that since we had not a single family member come over for Christmas this year, I would post pictures of our home decked out for the season. This is for all my dear friends far away that could not visit this year as well. We miss you! Merry Christmas!

This is my FAVORITE! Back in 1997 when Josh and I were dating we went to a Christmas parade downtown the day after Thanksgiving. We were going through shops and I saw a nativity I loved in an antique shop. The next day he went and bought it for me and surprised me that Christmas with it! So romantic!

Wreathes on the doors.

Nativity on my high bookshelf next to the globe. Very fitting I think. "Go ye, into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."

A little paper ornament...

...on our decorated house plant. :)

Salt and pepper anyone?

A little touch of red to make it things festive.

This is the window looking out the back yard.

We wrapped garland around the pillars that separate the living room and dining room.

Our Christmas tree, complete with lights burned out on the bottom and in the middle. He he!

Good tidings to you where ever you are...

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland!

Yesterday after the girls took their nap, we went outside for some winter fun!
Emma had the day off of school because of all of the snow, so we decided to kick off our Christmas break with some playtime in the snow. I love the snow! I am so excited with how much we got!
Addie was a little leery of the snow. She would only walk out on a shoveled path.

Come follow me!

Look how deep it was!

Addie even was concerned when other people strayed from the path. We are going to have to break her of this disliking of snow!

Emma said she felt like she was on top of a mountain. Poor Michigander doesn't know what a mountain is!

Friday, December 19, 2008

"Christmas Cookies and Holiday Hearts..."

"...That's the way the holiday starts!" That little song runs through my head every year since I learned it in first grade. :)
Last night we decorated Christmas cookies. Well, Josh and the girls did, while I took some pictures. Recovering from the stomach flu is not a good time to get in on the merriment. They were having such a good time though, that I had to come out of the cave that is my bedroom and see what was so fun.
I am happy to report that I am completely healthy now, and back to the merry making. :)
We actually got 10 inches of snow, and school was cancelled, so Christmas vacation has started early! The girls stayed up late last night (we knew that there would be no school with the snow storm coming) and so they are napping well today. I am hoping to get them all bundled up to play in the snow when they wake up. :)

Josie putting on each sprinkle very carefully.

Addie's turn.

Emma getting a little extra help from Daddy.

The finished product. A masterpiece!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I love celebrating the Lord's birth. Do you know what is even better? Seeing little children celebrate. :)
If you would like to visit last year's post, you will see with me how much Emma and Josie have grown in the last year. CRAZY!
This year will be the last year Emma is in the little kid group. Next year, she will be with the big kids!
I wish I had video, but that camera broke last year. I hope you enjoy these pics as much as I did the day. :)
My favorite picture. Josie saw her Daddy and had to wave. :)

" Away in the manger..."

"...the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head..."

"Ring the bells..."

What a sweet choir!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's So Hard To Say Goooooodbye!

Last Saturday was graduation time again. This December class of 2008 was very special to us. They came in January 2006 to an ice storm and no power for three days. This was just a week before our sweet Addie came into the world. They came, and learned. We grew to love them. They are family.
Please pray for these 25 students as they go there separate ways. 23 of them are continuing on with New Tribes Mission! Very exciting! These are the World Changers.
Thank you Lord, for letting us be a part of their lives, even for a short while.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Angels From the Realms of Glory!

That is what I thought I heard coming from my front porch on Thursday night.
That evening started out really quiet. We usually have quite a few people over on Thursday nights, but this was the last day of classes and many students were packing up their dorms, and greeting their friends and family that are visiting for graduation. It was kind of sad.
Slowly, some students started to trickle in, and before I knew it we had a houseful of people, and then there were Carolers! Glorious music proclaiming Jesus birth rang through the street! :)
After listening to a few Christmas carols (in English AND Korean) we invited them in to warm up and to eat some Christmas cookies. It was a great evening. :)
"Angels we have heard on high..."

Some carolers enjoying the warmth, and buttery spritz. :)

The only male in the group of carolers, but not the only base. :)

David's family from North Carolina came over just in time to hear the music.

I just thought this was a funny shot Josh took through the mirror.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tacky Christmas Sweater Party

Last Saturday Campus Life (one of the ministries we head up here at New Tribes Bible Institute) had it's annual Christmas party.
We usually have a formal party. You may have remembered my post from last year about it.
This year we decided to go casual and have our first annual Tacky Christmas sweater party. Everyone I talked to loved it, and I think it will be done again.
We had tacky decorations, tacky food (like jello molds, and fruit cake) and even played some tacky games. To top it all off we watched Home Alone 2. It was supposed to be the original Home Alone, but the dvd rental place had the wrong one in the box. What is more tacky than watching a sequel to a movie? :)
I would like to add that I wish someone would have told me that when you go to a tacky sweater party you are not supposed to get dressed up as tacky as can be, but rather make yourself look gorgeous with a tacky sweater on. At least that's what everyone else seemed to do! Oh well, maybe I can try out to be one of Santa's elves if this missionary thing ever falls through! Ha!

My example of elf attire!

This is what you are supposed to do. Look ADORABLE with an ugly sweater on.

One of the games we played. This is called carpet squares. You listen to what the record says to do, and you copy it, all while standing on a carpet square. It was a hit!

One of the tackiest sweaters there. Yes, it lights up.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Raffle Dinner

Pretty much every semester the senior class raffles off dinner with the staff. We always laugh at this, because we have students over for dinner at least three nights a week, usually more. So, doing the raffle dinner is never that big of a deal, except occasionally we get students over that haven't yet been, so it's nice.
This year I decided to make it "fancy". Well, as fancy as I know how to do. I even broke out the "Christmas china". Basically I got some Christmas china as a wedding gift, but I rarely get to use it, because we are usually gone at Christmas.
Well, last year we used it (maybe?) and then we used it Monday. :)
We had a good time having our "regulars" Jesse and David over, and some new students, Spencer and Lisa with their baby girl Abby.
It was a fun night. We are glad they put their tickets in our bag. :)
All of us for the raffle dinner.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

Sunday evening we spent as a family decking our halls with boughs of holly. Well, maybe not "holly" per say, but we did put up the tree! :)
We were so glad that three special students, Jenna, Liz and Sarah, were able to come and decorate with us. These girls have become part of our family, and soon two of them will graduate. We will miss you Lizzy ba' dizzy, and Battle axe!
We are getting excited about Christmas here. What a great time of year. Josie and Emma love singing songs of Jesus birth, and writing their own. It's very merry around here. :)
Here are a few pics of the night. Josh was there, but he was the photographer most of the time. :)

Addie is such a cutie! She did not want to hang ornaments, just hold them. :)

Sarah and Emma giving Sonny some lovin'.

Josie thinks she is Clara from the Nutcracker. I wouldn't doubt for a second that she thinks this nutcracker comes to life at night. :)

Liz, Addie, Jenna, me, and Emma hamming it up for the camera.

Emma got to put the star on the tree this year. Her pose makes me laugh. Such a drama queen.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Over the River and Through the Woods...

...Well, it may not have been exactly like that. I should have said "Over the pot holes, and down 127, to Grandmothers house we go!" :)
After our time in Howell with my folks, we travelled to Ohio and spent some time with Josh's other sister Sarah, as well as her hubby Steve, and Livvie, Simeon, and Sophie at Grandma and Grandpa's house. That would be Josh's parents if you are not following. :)
They just moved into their new home a couple weeks ago, and we "broke it in" so to speak. We had a really wonderful time with Grammy and Grampy, and the Curry clan. Boy did we miss Ben and Emily and the Snyders though!
On Saturday, we made it to cousin Ron and Jeanne's house for a Mathew family get together. It was so good to see everyone, and have a great time visiting. A lot of these family members we had not seen since Ben and Emily's wedding a year and a half ago, and some even longer!
Me being the genius I am, actually didn't get any pictures while we were there. I did bring our camera, but completely forgot to use it! Josh assures me that is a Mathew trait. :)
We did get a couple of pictures with Grandpa Hertel. :) We were so glad to be able to visit with him while we were down there.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. We got home on Saturday evening, and got to go to church this morning. After naps we decorated our tree! Those pics will be coming soon. No students wrapped in Christmas lights singing "Jingle Bells" this year though. :)
Josh and the girls with Grandpa Hertel. :)

Josie and Grandpa making corn bread. Gluten free, of course. :)

Grandma reading one of a gazillion stories that she read that weekend.

Uncle Josh teaching Livvie how to whistle different notes. There was a whole lot of whistling going on that weekend!

Thanksgiving with the Frazier's

Wednesday evening we headed to Howell to spend Thanksgiving with them. We got there pretty late, and put the girls straight to bed. Josh, Dad, Mom and I watched "Christmas in Connecticut" while I made a pecan and a pumpkin pie for the next day.
We woke up and watched the Detroit Thanksgiving day parade then the Lion's football game while mom and I finished making the meal. We did pretty good I'd say. It was delicious! :)
After our 2 o'clock dinner we just lounged around, and visited. I even got a nap!
We did miss my brother and sister and their families, but we are looking forward to getting together for Christmas at my sister's new home in Indiana!
Even though they were all missed, we still had a great time. Thanks for inviting us over Mom and Dad!
Addie and Josie "patiently" waiting. :)

Thankful Hearts!

We have had a wonderful few days with family. I am so thankful for the time we were able to spend with Ken, Chris, Winston and Cora on Wednesday. They were able to stop by on their way to Grand Rapids to be with Ken's family. The kids had some fun playing in the snow. We had some potato soup for dinner and then some of Chris' famous blueberry pie! We were sad that they all couldn't stay longer, but we are looking forward to Christmas with them!
Addie stayed inside while the rest of the kids played in the snow.

I said snow, but maybe I should have called it slush. It was melting fast that day!

The girls warm up with some homemade cocoa and a little "Christmas in Connecticut".

Our lovely meal together.