Monday, December 21, 2009

Last evening the children from church put on a play, "The Visit of Jesus"-the story of Conrad the Cobbler. A big thanks to Carol Yoder for arranging the play, and to Ruth Drawbond and her kids for all their help! This was the first time since we moved down here that they did anything like this and the kids absolutely loved it!!

Conrad the Cobbler (Jake Weaver)

Helping the little boy (Jay Yoder) who had no shoes....

The poor old lady (Carmen Miller) with a load of sticks on her back.

After the story, the did the birth of Jesus as well.

Here come Mary (Maria Weaver) and Joseph (Luke Weaver) on the donkey (Ben Yoder).

Mary & Joseph arrived at an Inn to find a place for Mary to have her baby....the Innkeeper (Danny) didn't seem to promising...but then he led them to the stable out back~


The shepherds and their sheep came up front (it was too dark, I couldn't get a good pic, plus they all had their backs to me) The angel (Tamara) appeared to them to tell them a baby had been born....

Then more angels joined her :) (Ayla Yoder, Robin Redmond, Tamara and Carmen Miller)

Mary & Joseph with baby Jesus

One of the cute little sheep (Ian Miller)!! :D

Stephen Redmond and Ian Miller

The whole cast....reciting Luke 2
(I think one sheep is hiding in the well as the donkey :) and I don't see Angel Robin!!)

Thanks again to Carol for taking the time to work with the children, design the props and put on this play! You ALL did a great job!! :)

We also had the privilege of hearing Mike N Jo Martin share about Haiti. They are home for a few weeks.
That was all followed by a yummy Christmas snack time and fellowship! :)

We are getting ready to head to SC for a few days this week to spend Christmas with Dan's family. Looking forward to it! Hope you all have a blessed Christmas week!! Remember to celebrate the One who is the Reason for this season!! Happy Birthday Jesus!! :) :) :) We love you!

~Merry Christmas All~

Thursday, December 17, 2009

From the time our children were babies, I took them to have their pictures done at Sears every year. I loved their SmileSaver plan and most of the time was very pleased with the outcome. I also sank alot of money into the pictures too!! :) When we moved to FL, there was no Sears close by so I took them to Walmart. The pics were hit and miss, so the last 3 years I took them myself. Sure is a whole lot cheaper! :)

Well, since Danny just had a birthday and Tamara will in a little over 2 weeks, I decided it was soon time to be thinking about their yearly pics. This morning I woke up and noticed that the weather was supposed to be cloudy with rain only showing up late in the day. (Perfect picture taking weather) So I woke the children up and told them to get dressed for pictures!! ;) Actually, I didn't quite do it that quickly! :) But we had some other errands to run, too, so we got ready and were out of the house soon after 9.

We made one stop, took a number of pictures and then were done. I knew I had got some that I was pleased with and so I laid aside the temptation to stop other places, got our business done in town and went back home. :) Good me! :) (I think the kids were very happy as well!! ;))

So here are a few of the pictures we got..... which do you like best??



I thought it should be easy to pick one, but then I edited some, so I had to decide which I liked best of each pose....sepia, black n white, glow, low saturation, etc. Why do I have to make it so hard?? :P

I got the kitchen all cleaned up after we got home, and then after lunch we started baking cookies. We made Peanut Butter Blossoms, shaped sugar cookies and choc. mint chip. Tomorrow we will make another 3-4 kinds! :) (Yesterday I made those little ones with the peanut butter cups in the middle...forget the name). I did take some pics, but just realized I didn't put them on the computer, so maybe after tomorrow I can post some of all the baking~

While I was baking today, I had Christmas music playing. One CD I pulled out was the Gospel Express "He is Lord" Christmas CD. It is a '95 album and boy did it bring back memories. For a little bit I found myself back in my parents home on Greenville Mom's big kitchen....baking cookies at Christmas time. Wow, a wave of homesickness came over me!! :( But I am thankful for all the things that shaped my life and got me ready for where I am today!! I think I could say that one song on that CD is probably my most favorite "non-traditional" Christmas song. I tried to find the song online, but no luck, so I am going to type out the lyrics for you! Enjoy and be blessed!!

~~Salvations Story~~

God searched earth and heaven, for one to stand the test,
One without blemish, One on whom all sin would rest.
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, and God knew it must be Him,
So begins Salvation's story in the town of Bethlehem.

And the angels were rejoicing on that day when Christ was born,
They hovered all around him, that early Christmas morn.
Mary layed Him in a manger, in a stable so serene,
And the angels closely watched the newborn King.

Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man,
He healed the sick and He raised the dead as He preached throughout the land.
But the priests and the Pharisees vowed that Jesus they would kill,
And bruised and battered, He carried a cross up Calvary's Hill.

And the angels were crying for they did not understand,
Why Jesus had to die there on the cross as other men.
They wanted to come and take Him home, but Jesus did not ask them to....
So He died there on the cross for me and you.

Don't despair and be not afraid, for this story is not through,
He conquered the grave, defeated death, and claimed the keys to hell too.
He arose triumphant, the Son of God and King of Kings
And He's coming back to take us home and there His praises EVER SING!!!!

And the angels were rejoicing on that day when Christ arose,
For now they understood just why Jesus was chose!
No one else could do what he has done, to give His life so willingly,
Oh What LOVE my Saviour has for you and me!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weeks are flying by. I thought I'd try to keep updating every few days and it's been nearly 10 since my last update! :O So much has happened....during this busy month of December! :)

One evening when we were in Marianna, we stopped to visit a former inmate who worked for Dan in the chapel and was released around Easter. It is good to see men being able to rebuild their lives outside of prison. Pray for Tony!

~Tony & Dan~

December 5 was the Blountstown Christmas parade.
My friend Elizabeth was marching with their church float/band.

The "smoke" was steam from Dan pouring himself a cup of coffee right beside me! :) (It was a COLD night!!)

The famous Christmas bus, driven by local realtor, Danny Ryals.

After the parade, our church did some caroling in the Pioneer Settlement. We had a very small group this year! But it was still fun! :)

After caroling, we were invited to join some homeschool friends at the Pickrons. We had yummy snacks, great fellowship and then had fun putting a puzzle together!

December 7 was the annual GEMS Christmas Banquet. This year it was held at Seminole Winds in Tallahassee. Very good buffet and great people to visit with! :)
We sat at a table with Mike & Candice Nissley (below) and Gary and JC Montgomery. Gary and JC have recently become interested in working with Gospel Express, but do have their own ministry as well. Candice is one of the board members and is the planner, organizer, designer, and whatever else, of the Fundraiser Tea's and Banquets! She does a WONDERFUL job and loves it!

Gary & JC

~More of the board members and missionary chaplains~

Bill & Dot Slabaugh~auction committee members

Ken & Marcia Stoner~auction committee members

Lee & Jan Hoover~auction committee members

John & Edith Nissley~board members

Merrill & Marie Detweiler~board members

Monroe & Ruby Hochstedler~board members

Jonas & Emma Bontrager~board members

David and Jill Smith-volunteer chaplain

John Maxwell~volunteer chaplain and our neighbor :)

Dan & I <3
Thursday, Dec. 10, the children and I drove up to Thomasville, GA for the Victorian Christmas. Dan had Elder's meeting, so he couldn't go.
We enjoyed it as usual. The children always look forward to playing in the "man-made snow", but this year they were asking a $3 donation per child. We decided that was too much to pay to play in snow!! :P
Got the chance to eat some of TH's yummy chicken pita's again. MMMMM!!!

We also enjoyed the musicians playing up and down the street~

Met my sister Chris and her children there. The girls had their picture taken with a "Snow Princess".

The live mannequins are always a highlight for me!

Roasting marshmallows~

The children watching another live mannequin. People would go up to the glass and try to make them laugh! They have amazing self control!!

Live nativity~

Saturday night we were invited to Eric & Yolie's to celebrate Collin's 1st birthday! Wow, this year flew. He was born when we were in PA for my brother's wedding...that just seems like a few months ago, not a whole year!

The cute (and yummy!!) caterpillar cake Yolie made. :)

Opening gifts! What fun :)

We were given tickets to watch "The Nutcracker" on Sunday afternoon by our friends, the Pickron's. Most of them were involved in it in some way. Roy and the 3 oldest were in the play and Kay was a behind the scenes helper! :)

Roy with his step-mom. (In all his made-up glory....and with HAIR!! :) ...I bet it's all shaved off by now!)

We were not allowed to take flash photography during the production, so at the end I took a few of the entire cast.

The cute little mice....

Kayla Pickron (in the red and black) giving an award to the lady who was in charge of it all.

Today is Dan's Monday to work all day. Every other Monday night they have mentors come in to the chapel program and he has to be there. He went to bed with and woke up with a sinus headache...I hope it left him by now. I think it's this crazy weather we are having! It was so cold this past week and now it is back up in the 80's again and very humid...lots of rain!!

We are looking forward to heading up to SC for Christmas. :)

Well, I must go make supper for the kids and I and then I still have a few "chores" to check off my list tonight!! Blessings~