Friday, November 28, 2008


Well, the family has left, the fridge is overflowing, and the dogs and kids are exhausted. We are so very thankful this year for so much, and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our family (although we missed you Dad!). Yesterday was probably the most laid back I've ever been hosting Thanksgiving and I'm not really sure why. It was busy, and I was more in-charge than I've ever been without my Dad here being co-chef, but for some reason it was especially good. After dinner we convinced everyone to play a round of Cranium and it was hilarious. Today everyone came over for brunch and then we took a walk, the kids went fishing, we gave campus tours, and everyone hung out and helped finish off the pies. It was a relaxing, perfect family gathering (minus one) and we are so thankful for these past 2 days.

We're also very thankful for the next 2 days of relaxing with *our* little family. Tonight *A* and (H) gave a singing and dancing show while ^J^ played the ukulele. This weekend is our traditional time to start crafting Holiday presents so I'm especially looking forward to snuggling on the couch in front of the fire reading and knitting. My mom got the kids a Playmobil nativity set so they are totally engrossed with that right now. You should hear some of the stories coming out of our mini Bethlehem...tonight I heard Mary exclaim "Oh, no! I lost my hat (her veil had fallen off), Shepard will you get it for me?" and since we have hidden the baby Jesus until Christmas, there are all kinds of stories like this:
"Where is Jesus?"
"I don't know, let's go look for him!"

It's too perfect. Happy post-Thanksgiving weekend to you all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quickly now...

I'm trying to prepare the house for Thanksgiving so I can't write much although my mind is full of things to say. Maybe I'll have time for a breather later today or tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some pics from our weekend with friends.

Friday night we had our friends over who have a 6 year old and 4 year old. Here is the kids table...they insisted on all sitting on the same side. Such cheeseballs!

The next day they came over to play in the leaves and had a big time.
Sophie had fun too as you can see by the ample dirt on her nose.

Then on Sunday we all went to the children's museum in Chattanooga. We ended up splitting a season pass which turned out to be a great deal and now we can go anytime. O.k., I'm off to clean.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 it me you're looking for?

I've been out of town, and out of ideas lately. Just uninspired I guess. But I came home from spouse night at the pub and ^J^ had cleaned the house, so now I'm feeling a lot better!

These past couple weeks have been really busy. Too busy actually. I need a break and I'm so excited about Thanksgiving coming up. We host turkey day traditionally and moving here will not change things. Our families come to us, and we have a great time. My favorite part about Thanksgiving though is the days following. I love the actual day and being with everyone; but when you host you are in the kitchen most of the time, and once it's time to eat, I'm not even really hungry anymore. But on that weekend following, I'm in heaven: there's a full fridge, the house is clean, I feel very crafty, and leftovers taste so much better.

Plus it's o.k. to start thinking about Christmas after Thanksgiving is over. I can not stand that the stores think Christmas starts after Halloween. I'm learning more about what it means to be an Episcopalian and "celebrating" Christmas these days, and it is very appealing to me to have Advent be a season of anticipation and waiting and excitement. I'm not yet sold on the idea of waiting until Christmas Eve to decorate...I like a little bit of something in my house to celebrate the season, but I'm excited to start holiday traditions like an Advent calendar and wreath and celebrating Saint Nicolas day. My favorite part of Christmas is the tree, so when I hear about people waiting to decorate their tree until Christmas Eve, I can't believe it. I understand why and all that, I just don't know...One thing we're going to try this year is to gradually decorate the tree throughout Advent and have it totally done by Christmas Eve. I think we'll have each of us put on one ornament every night, my question is where do I store all the ornaments in the meantime...Anywho, I'd love to hear any other Advent traditions and celebrations. Please share! Oh, and what about that big, red, fat guy...does anyone else think lying to your children about him is kinda weird...

Of course I still took them to see him this past weekend. It was the annual welcoming Santa weekend at the mall and our favorite quirky marching band from Little Five Points is always there blaring carols up and down the aisles gearing people up for Santa's big entrance.

They're a riot as you can see, and the drag queens never disappoint. Ya gotta love Atlanta.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gotta Go Knit

Seriously, I have no time today but by mid-week if I haven't had time to post anything, I start feeling guilty. Today is insanely busy. Normal Wednesday morning stuff: bible study, choir practice, community Eucharist and lunch, and then home for *quick* naps because we have a princess birthday party to go to at 3:00. *A*'s good buddy is turning 4 today who is SO into Cinderella, so much so that she proclaims she has "changed her name to Cinderella" when anyone calls her by her real name. So of course we got her some princess paraphernalia and we'll be bringing our dress-up clothes to the party for all the girls to change into and dance around and then eat castle cake. Good times.
After the party, it's home for dinner (leftover homemade chicken pot pie, I'll post that recipe at some point) and then when ^J^ gets home from his marathon paper-writing-night at the library, I leave to go help set up for the Spouses of the Seminary/PMO auction, which is tomorrow. I'm on the organizing committee for this event and have been nominated to be in charge of it next year so, eeeek! Oh and I made some earrings to donate as an auction item, and have started a baby hat to donate but have not finished, so now I gotta go knit.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chilly Chili

It is very cold here tonight, supposed to get down to 30, and it's just had that snowy feeling outside all day. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a snow freak, anytime it gets cold enough and if there is *any* chance of precipitation, I think it's going to snow. I guess it's from growing up in places where we rarely saw any snow, and if we did it was no more than about 3 inches. So I just checked the weather report to make sure, and as I was scrolling the 10 day forecast, on the very last day, next Tuesday the 18th, they're predicting snow showers! I know a lot can change in over a week, but it's still exciting! Apparently they are "due" for a big snow storm here, I just want to have some snow that lasts long enough to play in for a day or so. Last year in Atlanta, it snowed on *A*'s birthday and that was really fun! She thought it was all *just* for her, and the kids who came to her party at the fire station couldn't decide which was cooler, the fire trucks or the snow.

We just got back from a friend's house and they made delicious chili and had a huge fire in the fireplace. On our way home we were remarking how awesome it is to be here. We are grateful for so many things: for ^J^ to have to opportunity to study something he is so passionate about, for me to be able to be with the kids, for the kids to have so many friends close in age, and for the amazing support and friendships that are built-into this experience. It's easy to take this all for granted when you're here immersed in the day-to-day-ness of it all, but truly we are so blessed to be here. Yes, we may be struggling to sell our house and all the financial troubles that come with that, but we have been given so much here that money can not buy. Yes, we got a free meal tonight, but we also became closer to our friends, watched our children play and laugh together, and learned about classes and the professors who teach them. Money can not buy these things.

Money helps though, and so do donations of our favorite coffee (thanks moms!). We are so appreciative for the support from our diocese, families, and church home. Your generosity sustains us (literally!) and allows us to experience this place fully. So I know it's a couple weeks off, but thanks, for your giving.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fall is...

1.) ...looking outside and seeing color everywhere. The world outside my window is literally orange right now...
2.) ...soup for dinner.
3.) ...crunchy walks.

4.) ...sunset starting at 4:30! Apparenly since we're on the edge of the time zone and living high up, the sun sets really early here. I'm not too thrilled about this, especially when it's the middle of winter and it's dark at 4 o'clock!
5.) ...pumpkin everything...I've made pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin muffins all in the last week! Luckily I have given most of them away for various causes so I haven't actually consumed all those baked goods!
6.) ...thinking of and planning Thanksgiving, we host every year and can't wait to have everyone up here!
7.) ...slippers on feet.
8.) ...crafting for Holiday presents.
9.) ...a season of new smells; wood burning, leaves decaying, things baking.

10.) ...going fast and I don't want it to end! The leaves are so perfect this week, but they're really starting to fall today and we're supposed to have rain tomorrow. At least I have some pictures to remember them by!

Happy Fall Y'all!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

If Only They Were of Age...

My children have become obsessed with the election.

I'm not kidding. They know when the candidates are on t.v. and know their names. *A* talks about them on a regular basis. We aren't crazy-political people, but we are excited about this election and I guess my super-observant daughter has picked up on some things. I suppose I should be non-partisan with my children and not encourgage one side or another but I really didn't think I was going to have to do that this early in their lives.
Even (H) who is new to this talking thing tries to have conversations about him. This was what happened tonight while sitting on the couch flipping though the channels with him...
As I pass a channel with football:
(H): "putball"
Then I pass a channel with 2 men talking:
(H): "guys"
A commercial for Chili's:
(H): "samwich"
Next we breeze by a car race:
(H): "cars"
I'm flipping quickly now because we're into the news channels and we pass MSNBC:
(H): "Obama"
So I flip back real quick and there's Obama getting off a plane. I affirm his knowledge and then keep changing channels. Then (H) says "Obama" again and starts waving (because what do politicians do when they get off planes? They wave.) Finally, he says "Obama, outside". Yes, he was. Should a 21 month old be this concerned about an election?

What about a 3 and a half year old?
The other day she randomly walked in the room and asked: "Mommy, is Barack Obama our hero?" I know she doesn't quite understand the role of a president, so this was her best guess. If only we could all be so optimistic and full of hope.

All this to say, go vote. If not for your own sake, for my children's sake who's political views have to wait another 15+ years to be counted.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Hallow's Eve

Here are some pics from our evening of trick-or-treating.

We went to a friends' house after loading up on candy and sat around the fire. Good times.