Christmas Preparation

We are now officially ready for Christmas. No, all the presents have not been wrapped. Christmas dinner still has to be cooked. Some Christmas cards still need to be  mailed. But the important item on the list has been accomplished. The tamales for Christmas Eve have been assembled.

DSC_0014And I think tonight will be the annual watching of It’s a Wonderful Life. Then, maybe, we’ll get to wrapping the presents.


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A Christmas Caroly Week

I usually read A Christmas Carol every year in December. This year, we’ve also seen it/heard it twice. On Sunday evening one of the church’s in town put on a production, so we went as a family. For an amateur production, it was really lots of fun and well done.

Every year, the Folk School has a guy do a dramatic reading of an abridged version of A Christmas Carol (that Dickens himself wrote so that someone could read it in under an hour). I’ve wanted to go for the last couple of years, but something has always conflicted. We thought there would be a conflict this year, but a last minute change of plans allowed Dana and I to go tonight. It was also enjoyable.



The church youth Christmas party is Friday night, and we are having several of Lauren’s friends spending the night. They are going to work on debate together–they have their first debate next Tuesday—and then go to the party.


Lauren took the PSAT a year early for the practice. She got her scores back recently and was only 7 points away from what this year was commended. She placed in the 94th percentile of the juniors who took the test.

And Jenna made a 34 on her second go round on the ACT. Needless to say, she is finished taking standardized tests. She also finished up her junior college classes today with her history exam. She’ll take two more classes in the spring.

No snow in the forecast, but we still have 15 days until it becomes necessary.

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A little light rain and snow this Thanksgiving morning. The girls finished up the Thanksgiving puzzle last night, so I guess they’ll have to start on another one today so that they actually do a “Thanksgiving Puzzle.”

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Next Sunday, some of the youth are going to be leading worship for us. We have a very musically talented youth group, and I am excited to that we get the opportunity to help them learn how to lead and not just perform. It was so fun to watch them last week get together and decide what songs they were going to do. Since it is the season of Advent, they added two Christmas songs to their repertoire that none of them had ever played before. Within about 30 minutes, they had transposed the key, learned the music, and added some of their creativity to the arrangement.


Here, the pies are made, and some serious cooking is about to commence. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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The girls have finished up school for the week—time for a break. Dana and I went down to north Atlanta today for some early Christmas shopping and to procure the annual Thanksgiving puzzle:


In process and completion pictures to follow. Tomorrow the cooking commences. Won’t have any company this year, but I’m sure we will have lots of fun—if only we had the ability to watch a certain game or two. Of course, seeing how the Aggies and Longhorns play at the same time, it’s probably good that we won’t be watching either. Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

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Belhaven Visit

Quick but good trip to Belhaven in Jackson, MS this weekend.


Instead of touring campus in a driving rain storm like this summer, we got to tour in close to freezing temperatures. Despite that, it was a good visit, and Jenna got to sit down with the dean and turn in her portfolio, which the dean was very impressed with.

Then last night we attended the Belhaven symphony. They performed Tchaikovsky’s 5th. The girls really enjoyed it. Earlier in the day we had met the Concertmistress, a girl from Tyler.

We also got to see Emily and Elizabeth while there, as they are going to school just down the road (Mississippi College) from where Jenna might be.


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3rd App (to App)

Jenna finished her 3rd college application—to Appalachian State in Boone. Don’t know if that will be the last one or not.

On Thursday, we head to Mississippi for Discover Arts Day at Belhaven. Jenna will sit down with the dean of the Creative Writing department with her writing portfolio. She will be competing with the other creative writing students for more scholarship money. We will also get to see our nieces who are going to Mississippi College in Clinton—and so I suppose we’ll get an informal tour of that school as well.

Lauren and some of the other youth from our church have been leading worship for our once-a-month youth night we have. Usually we have several kids from other churches who come, and so it is a good experience for them. Last week, they were invited to lead worship at another church’s evening service. They did a very nice job.

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First Snow

We had our first snow fall of the year overnight—almost a full month earlier than any of the previous four years we’ve been here. Not enough to cover the ground, but too much for the end of October.


Can’t see the hill across the way very well this morning with the fog and snow, but this is what it looked like a couple of days ago. A rather muted, slow turning fall this year:

DSC_0019This is the tree outside our dining room window this year:


And this is the same tree at the same time last year:


In celebration of Reformation Day (the Anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 thesis on the door of the Wittenberg Church) yesterday, we had lots of people (34) over for German food last night. This is after most of the kids disappeared to play games. Needless to say, 34 is about the extent of what this house will hold. But it was a good time.



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