I have been so bad about taking pictures the past couple of days. This season is always so busy. I wish sometimes that people would just slow down and think about the reason they are put on the earth. To love people. I need to become so much better at this. It’s crazy how I get so caught up in things that, in the big picture, do not matter at all and I forget about the goal of my being on this planet…. to love people… to possibly be the difference in their lives. I hate that I’m bad at keeping up with relationships. I hate that I don’t do good with calling, writing, emailing… just to let people know that I care. But I do care, so very much. It’s the whole reason I was put here … to care. I know that whoever does read this is probably tired of my ramblings and resolutions for the new year… but again, this is something that is on my apparently long list of things to work on. The relationships in my life mean so much to me and it makes me sad to think that maybe they don’t even know it. What’s interesting is that my church is starting a series in January called One. It’s going to be about unity. I believe it will be the best I’ve ever heard my Pastor preach (who also happens to have won the Best Dad Award for 2007 🙂 ). It’s going to be awesome. You can check it out at:
The other news that I haven’t blogged about yet is that Joseph finally got the tattoo he has been asking for, for so long. He sat in Polly’s chair for two hours while Scarlet and I waited patiently (well, she was asleep). He was so very excited with the final result. He had designed two separate tattoos (one for each arm) but with the help of Polly decided to get one piece on one arm. It’s amazing. It’s what he always wanted and never thought he would do it. I guess it sounds so weird, depending on what generation you are I guess, but I am so proud of him. It’s not that the tattoo IS who he is, but it does portray who he is very well. He has had so many conversations with people because of that tattoo. He would have never gotten to drop just a small bit of hope in their lives if he hadn’t have had it to start conversation for him. I admire him so much for his ability to connect with people.
I will probably be posting many pictures and little words over the holiday. It will be full of fun and busyness. I pray that you have a wonderful Christmas, that you make a few memories, and also that you will be a light to someone walking in a dark place this season. That is my prayer for us all.
Happy Birthday Jesus.
Scarlet got her first shots on Thursday. Bailey took good care of her. 🙂 The dogs are so funny. If she starts crying, most of the time, they beat me to her. I have found Bearon many times already to her swing licking her tears (or drool) off of her face. 🙂 Anyways, the vaccines were hard. She got three shots and one by mouth. Ahh…. it wasn’t Mommy’s best day. I cried all the way home. Scarlet, on the other hand, was a trooper. She didn’t even act upset. The only time she acted any different was when I took her into Target later that day. She didn’t appreciate that. I needed to do some Christmas shopping to make me feel better. How many more of those days do we have to have? A lot they say. But at least we have a two month break before the next round.
One night last week, we decorated the tree for Christmas. Scarlet absolutely LOVES the lights in the tree. We laid her under the tree in her moses basket and she fell asleep there. It was sweet. 🙂 Earlier that day, I decided to bake bread. I think I will do this every week. It was easy and yummy. After we got done decorating we watched Evan Almighty (great movie) and ate homemade bread and apple butter from Momma-too and Paw. Yummm…. here’s the recipe for anyone whose interested:
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
2 cups of warm water
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup of honey
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
5 cups all purpose flour
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water (110F/45C). Add honey, stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Work all purpose flour in gradually. Turn doughout onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 10-15 minutes. When dough is smooth, and elastic, place it in a well oiled bowl. Turn it several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough, and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
2. Punch down air in the dough. Shape into 2 loaves and place into 2 well greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise in a warm spot until dough is 1 to 1 1/2 inches above pans.
3. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 25 – 30 minutes.
4. Eat, Enjoy, and have a wonderful Christmas!!!
Most recently I have been thinking and studying about what it is to create a home. This is really the first time I have felt “settled” since being in Virginia. My idea of home has always been different than most. Growing up, I remember growing sunflowers in our garden, our cast iron stove with some good smelling concoction always simmering on top of it, handmade things (whether it be Dad’s fishing flies or Mom’s clothes she’d make at the factory), boxes and boxes of fabric (what I wouldn’t give for all of that now), or homemade potato soup at the dinner table. These are all some of the most special things to me about my childhood. My parents probably remember the ‘reason why” we lived like that. But my perspective of my childhood was so different from reality, I guess. I had no idea our financial situation, or what life was like outside of my home. I didn’t know all those quaint things were so cozy to me until I left them. And now I am realizing how very much a family needs a home. A real home. A warm, cozy place where everyone can be themselves and feel safe. I know that it’s a little early to be making New Years resolutions, but my next year will be spent making sure that my family has a place to call “home.” I understand that it will never be perfect, there will always be something to do: dirty dishes in the sink, laundry to fold, dinner to cook, and sleepy children. My hope is that, just maybe, in all of that, I can see the beautiful gift it is to have a family of my own and create an atmosphere for us all to enjoy even in the toughest of times….And through this new parenthood experience I have gained a whole new appreciation for my own parents. They were not perfect and they had a lot to work through when they started their family. I am so thankful that they never gave up on each other or on me. If they had… I would not be the person I am today. So, thank you, Mom and Dad, for your obedience to the Lord and your strength to follow through.
So much has happened. Trips to Tennessee and Georgia, lots of winter recipes being cooked, raking leaves, picking out and bringing home our tree, and Joseph sang a Christmas carol last Sunday that was incredible…. all of which I wish I had blogged about at the time that it happened… but I will try to make up for it.
We drove an 8 hour trip to Atlanta in the early morning hours on Thanksgiving Day. It took us almost 12 hours to get there. I would love to say that it was the traffic or the baby’s fault that it took so long… but no… we were both so very tired by the time we actually got in the car that we stopped and slept. 🙂 We were so very glad to finally be there. I had been waiting so patiently for Turkey Day to come so that Scarlet could meet some of the most special people in my life. We had SO MUCH FUN! Nana and Shannon did such and good job on Thanksgiving dinner! They blessed us so very much. They gave us our own little Christmas! They sat us down and handed us all the presents under the tree. We were so suprised! They picked out beautiful outfits for Scarlet, leapord skin boots, and we got a wonderful, cozy blanket that now lays over our couch. Oh! …and thanks to Gary, for the coffee for the road! It’s the only thing that got us home. I’m sippin’ on my Christmas Blend right now. 🙂
Shannon, Scarlet, and I
Levi, Heaven, and Scarlet
Granddad, Nana, and Scarlet
The day after Thanksgiving, we drove a little ways to see my best friend, Liesel and her family. I hadn’t seen her since May. It was amazing to spend time with her and realize what an incredible friendship we have, even from far away. Scarlet loves her crazy Aunt Swiesel!
What amazing people God has put in my life. It was a cool thing to see them love my family just as much as I do, even from far away. I love that. I love them.
Gah! Now I’m all teary… I hate being miles away from people when they are so close to my heart.
DSC01315, originally uploaded by tabithasuo.