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. 

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