Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Come and Go

Austin had his first sleep over. Abi wasn't too happy about not being able to tag along. So, Mark and I tried to make it extra special by making her some nice tasty treats.

 I think she enjoyed the tasty treats

Looks yummy, huh? It was!!!

The Bender kid-o's came over while Justin and Lizzie went to Justin's company Christmas party. We had a lot of fun. Pacey got extra sleepy in the middle of dinner. At one point she put a piece of pizza in her mouth, but then fell over in exhaustion!!! She stared at the ceiling for a few minutes, but then was able to finish her diner!! It was so cute. She also found it funny to plop down on Luke's head or right on top of Kelly!! We had our share of laughter for sure!

 Abi, Pacey, and Luke

Abi and Pacey snuggling         Kelly, Abi, and Luke

Between the women's Christmas banquet and Christmas eve there was a hole lotta shoppin' goin' on! I won't complain because I love to shop. Even window shopping is fun for me!

This year we bought a fake tree, so our annual trip to the Christmas tree farm is no more. Another tradition that we didn't have this year is our small group's Pancake and Pajama party for the kids. We really missed that this year. We didn't make it to Papa's ranch to feed the cows either. Nor did I have time to make Christmas pajamas for the kids or a Christmas dress for Abi this year. We were scheduled to  have Christmas morning at Grammy's and Papa's, which required traveling out of town for the first time since 2004 (for Christmas, that is). The weather was in the 80's the week of Christmas, and Mark and I told Austin and Abi the truth about Santa Clause. So, Christmas just didn't seem like Christmas  for me this year.

Christmas has come and gone. We are moving into a new year, and I am hoping that next year the traditions will return!
Austin and Abi in their Christmas best

Austin HATES to take pictures!! We have to bribe him to smile!

The Brewer Family Christmas 2010

 My handsome boys being goofy as usual!!!

So sweet!!! 

100% Daddy's girl! 

Sluz during our gift exchange

Mark trying on his fancy UT Snuggie

Christmas Morning!!!!

 Stocking hung with care!!

 Christmas threw up!!!

First gifts 

 Meet Rebecca, Abi's new pal

Santa's surprise at 3AM!!!!

 Stocking time

Baby Jacalynn's first Christmas!

After getting up at 3AM to see what Santa brought, 17 hours later they crashed!!! 

Abi, Jacalynn, and Austin snuggling on the couch 

Abi and her cat, Sweety 

Abi and Grammy 

Abi and Uncle Jimbo

We celebrated Mark's dad's birthday on the 28th. Happy birthday Tom!!!
 Tom and Wendy

 Abi, Kenzie, Austin, and Shawny

Mark and Me

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy, Happy Holidays!!

It is my favorite time of year!!! I love the holiday season, beginning with turkey day through the New Year. I love family traditions and time spent with family and friends. One of our family traditions is DecemBear. Mark did DecemBear as a child, and now it is has moved to our home. It is a form of an Advent Calendar. DecemBear, is a small stuffed bear that moves around his house 'looking for Christmas'.
 Mark and Austin doing the first day of DecemBear

Austin and Abi with DecemBear

This year, we allowed Austin and Abi to pick out their own 4ft tree for their rooms. 
 Austin's tree

 Abi's tree

Austin and Mark putting the Angel on the top of the tree

Though we spend days trying to get Christmas shopping done, school is still in full swing. In Austin's A&P class they are learning about the eye. This past week they dissected a cow's eye and made this REALLY awesome diagram of the human eye. 
 The front of the eye, a plastic cup for the cornea, a paper bowl (black on the inside) for the sclera, and brown construction paper for the iris

 The inside of the eye (two bowls tied together): The left side of the diagram shows the back of the iris, the lens (a magnifying lens) and crayola putty formed around the lens as the muscles. The right side of the diagram shows the retina and how the nerves (plastic string) come in through the back of the eye. 

 The back of the eye: a clear pvc tube shows all the optic nerves moving through the tube.

One of the biggest blessing I count of all of my blessings (and boy, are there a LOT) is having wonderful friends to share the joy of the season with. Last night we had our church's annual Women's Christmas Banquet, a benefit for CareNet. I decorated a table with the help of the women in our small group.
 Kim, Lizzie, Brandy, and Sarah
 Naomi and Me

Apparently, I was too busy eating to get a pic with all the ladies! Missing from my pics were Kathryn and Dani.
Our table, we went with an eclectic and whimsical theme 

The place settings that I put together:
 Naomi's place setting

 My place setting

Lizzie's place setting

In our children's ministry, we have been learning about different virtues every month. December's virtue is 'Joy'. This past week we discussed 'Expecting' and defined joy as 'finding a way to be happy, even when things don't go your way'. We talked about joy being a choice with effort put forth, not just a feeling. So, I am choosing to put as much effort into this season of joy as I can. Each new day with my family and friends is a reason to be joyful. Each new day that comes with the opportunity to serve God is a reason to be joyful.