Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Christmas

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was enjoyable. I arrived home in Georgia late on Friday night, and family started arriving Saturday around noon. We had seventeen people and five dogs at our house for Christmas Eve (only 13 people and 5 dogs spent the night though). We had a big Christmas Eve dinner. Genny, I'm sure my plate looked like something Rebecca would fix - turkey, ham, mac and cheese, butter beans, cranberry relish, and of course rolls. We also had stuffing, potato salad, sweet potato casserole, chocolate cake, and banana cake. Oh, I fixed my white chocolate popcorn too, and it was a big hit.

After dinner we played with the kids, then did our traditional "pirates Christmas" ornament exchange and gifts with those who had to leave. Some of us went to the Christmas Eve service at Mom and Dad's church - the pastor's daughter sang "O Holy Night" and let me just say, she could rival Amy. Wow! It was a really good service. When we came home we played some Christmas trivia and then I beat my Uncle David at Boggle for only the third time in my life. It was a good night! (That's the game we play every time we're together, and it's always a challenge.)

We didn't have any little kids spending the night, so we didn't think we'd have to get up early to see what Santa brought. But one of the dogs was a little too excited to see Santa, and woke us all up with his yapping. So we had our traditional Krispy Kreme breakfast and then exchanged gifts. Santa was good to all this year. We had said we weren't going to go overboard this year - the point was simply to all be together. But we all received some nice gifts. I got a couple more Willow angels for my collection, a Target gift card (which will definitely come in handy), and my big gift which was a nice suit in which to interview or present papers.

All the aunts and uncles had other family members to go see for Christmas, so everybody left early this afternoon. Mom, Dad, Ben and I spent the rest of the day watching Elf, playing marbles, and relaxing. I will say, there were quite a few tears today from Mom and Aunt Kathy, because they were all really missing Nana (she died last January). We all missed her, and it wasn't really Christmas without her here. But it was nice that most of us were together. My Aunt Patty and her family ended up not coming at the last minute because my cousin BJ was in a wreck late on the 23rd. Thankfully he was not hurt (though the car was totaled). God protected all of us in our travel, and we thank Him for that.

Anyway, I hope everyone's Christmas was filled with blessings, and that you enjoy the rest of the holidays. I'll post some Christmas pictures later. Until then, Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I Got Elfed

Check this out. I just made an elf of my family! This is too fun.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My fortune

My fortune from lunch at Pei-Wei today [actually my third fortune - I kept eating fortune cookies until I got a fortune I liked =)] was:

"A dream you have will come true."

Great news! Now I just want to know which dream and when. Details, I need details!!!!

Holmes Family Out-takes

So, here are the funny and less-posed pictures from the Holmes Family photo shoot on Saturday. Hope you enjoy!
And my favorite (I wonder what Abigail was seeing that nobody else noticed...)

Holmes Family Photo Shoot

On Saturday I did a Christmas card photo shoot for the Holmes family in the prayer garden area of the seminary. It was quite warm out - thankfully we did the pictures before the weather turned cold and rainy! I really enjoyed being able to practice my photography, and I think we got some great shots. Here are a few of my favorites. Check the next post for the "out-takes" (the funny pics).
(Genny, don't be mad at me for posting that last picture. I know you don't like it, but I think it turned out really well!)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas in Reverse

Well, after an exhausting weekend, Christmas in Reverse is finally over. I admit I always feel a let-down the day after the musical, knowing that we won't be working with those songs anymore. I almost always fall in love with the music, the message, and the story of the children's musicals, and it's hard to let them go. That's especially true with this one, since it's the first Christmas musical I've directed, and you all know how much I LOVE Christmas.

Anyway, last night's presentation went much better than Saturday night's (at least in my opinion). We had a large crowd in the congregation, and the kids seem to feed on that energy and strive to do their best. Last night, the scoffers did not get attacked by a palm tree and made it out to laugh at Noah at the right time, the wise men did not have to deal with unruly and one-legged camels, all four shepherds herded the mass of little sheep, Mary and Joseph's harmony was absolutely beautiful, the angels sang the good news from the baptistry, and the light of the star radiated throughout the sanctuary. I must say, my favorite moment was at the beginning of "Silent Night" when the soft spotlight shown on the whole nativity and the star was shining in the baptistry. It was so beautiful. I wanted to reach for my camera, but knew I didn't have time before I needed to bring the kids in to sing, so I told Rebecca, "Quick, take a picture!" I hope she (or someone else) got the shot. Here are a few of my best pictures from the weekend.

Mary and Joseph - this first picture of Mary (Brittany) and baby Jesus is my absolute favorite!
Angel choir, including Gabriel and Joseph's angel

Shepherds and sheep

Wise men

Prophets and Noah's group

Star, innkeeper, and narrators

Me and my "best girls"

Unfortunately, I didn't get any full choir pictures since I was directing. These others were taken when other things were going on and I wasn't needed in the conductor's seat. I know Brenda and Dave took pictures during the presentation, so hopefully I'll be able to share choir pictures soon. But I will go on the record as saying the choir worked really hard and did a great job.