Another Snowy Day

We woke up this morning to snow–it was a little strange because our high yesterday was 55 degrees, but I guess it dipped below freezing last night, so we got snow. It wasn’t much, but enough to make camp pretty. (It was about what we got a week or so ago).

walking up to get the mail this morning

walking up to get the mail this morning

camp road

camp road

side yard

side yard

side yard

side yard

you know...our usual "selfie" while on our walk

you know…our usual “selfie” while on our walk

Not much, but it’s pretty when you’re from Texas and not used to it! I don’t think we’re going to get much more this week…

Church-Wide Thanksgiving Lunch

As I mentioned in this post, we had our Church-Wide Thanksgiving Lunch this past weekend. It was really nice–having it at Pearce Community Center was a lot better because there was a lot more room to walk around and “enjoy” visiting with each other.

I cannot take credit for these pictures-Kathy D. took them, and she did a great job (so I just stole them from her)!

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I would guess we had about 150+ people there. It’s amazing how many new people are at CCC–it’s a wonderful thing for them, but there’s so many people I don’t know!!

Lots of food!

Lots of food!

(The turkey I cooked is somewhere in there)! 🙂

The Drake family is so talented–they sang our “blessing” before we ate!

Singing our blessing

Singing our blessing

I can only imagine the conversation between Lori and her granddaughter, Aza.

Lori and Aza

Lori and Aza

The Montgomery/Holloway family–one of my favorites!!!

Love this family!

Love this family!

Two women at church that I just adore!

Jenny and Kara

Jenny and Kara

And, because you can never have too many pictures of us!!! (Ha, ha, ha)!! I LOVE this picture!!

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Paul and me November 2014

Just a Couple of Pics

The other day I had to make a return to Old Navy (I ordered 5 things and only ended up keeping 3 of them), so of course, I had to try-on, just to see if I could find anything “new.”

Well, this is the outfit I actually went shopping in–Old Navy/Gap should really just pay me to be a walking advertisement for them!

You're welcome, Old Navy

You’re welcome, Old Navy

Red Vest-Old Navy

Blue Jean Shirt-Old Navy

Striped undershirt-Gap

Jeans-Old Navy

(By the way, I bought another puffer vest–my 3rd one–just because I love them so much)!!

Since I was dressed cute that day, and Paul was “dressed up” because he had gone to a meeting that morning, I figured we needed to take a nice picture together!

I thought it turned out really cute!

cute new pic November 2014

cute new pic
November 2014

Well, I’m all caught up on blogging, I think!! I figured out if I use Google Chrome (at home), then the pictures will upload!! They are SLOW going, but at least it works…..

Christmas Parade

Yes, Christmas parade. Chillicothe has their Christmas parade the weekend before Thanksgiving every year. When we lived here before we never participated because we always had groups at camp that weekend. Well, this weekend it worked out that we could go to the parade. And, we were IN the parade! Chillicothe Christian has a “float” in the parade every year and passes out hot chocolate packets with our church information “stuck” on top of the packed (it’s what they’re kind of known for)…..

Anyway, this year they didn’t have a “float” but instead they made a “human” Christmas tree. They had 5 people who rode bicycles and created the tree outline with garland. Then, on the inside they had 20 or so youth that held up ornaments to create the inside of the tree. Paul and I helped on the outside of the tree, handing out packets of hot chocolate to the crowd. It was a really short, fast parade, but it was fun!

"Attempting the human, bike Christmas tree"

“Attempting the human, bike Christmas tree”

Neil holding on to the garland to make the outline of the tree

Neil holding on to the garland to make the outline of the tree

Sarah in line on her bike

Sarah in line on her bike

the youth gathering to be the "middle"

the youth gathering to be the “middle”

walking in the parad

walking in the parade

And, here’s a new picture of us that I think is really cute!

Christmas Parade 2014

Christmas Parade 2014

Gobble, Gobble

Last Sunday the hospitiality team leader came up to me at church and asked me if I would be willing to cook a turkey at our house (for the church Thanksgiving fellowship meal this Sunday).

Uuuuummmm…….OK. I’ve never cooked a turkey before, but that’s fine. I asked if I could have a SMALL ONE!!!! This is what I got!!

23 pounds!!

23 pounds!!

I think there really was no SMALL turkey because they were all over 20 pounds! I picked it up at church on Tuesday afternoon, and it was still frozen solid! (According to the chart on the back of the package, for 23 lbs., it was supposed to take 5 days to defrost it! (That was cutting really close)! So, I waited until Saturday to cook it, just in case!

Poor bird!

Poor bird!

I had to stick my hand WAY UP IN THERE!! It was still frozen in the middle and COLD!!! (I actually didn’t end up getting it all out–there was a “sack” in the back that I didn’t get–Paul found it later but it hadn’t popped, so we were OK)!!

We borrowed a meat thermometer and an electric knife from Ember, and that helped a lot!!

(Ignore the face)!! He was ready to carve....

(Ignore the face)!! He was ready to carve….

CAM04676 IMAG0475It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It cooked fairly easy (3 hours in the roaster). Cleaning up the cutting board and the counter when it was all over was kind of gross (and messy), but overall, it was alright!

It smelled like Turkey. It looked like Turkey. And it tasted like Turkey. So, that’s a success in my book!

Chocolate Making Party

Last Saturday (a week ago) Ember invited me to go with her to her church for a Chocolate Making Party. They have a lady in their church who makes chocolate candies, treats, etc (as a profession), so she was going to hold a “class” on how to make Chocolate treats. It was really fun! We had 4 different “treat” stations we could go to, so we ended up making quite a bit (because at each station we could make 3-4 items). I came home with 2 platefuls of treats. The guys at camp helped us eat some, but the rest went to Bob, at church.

The Girls

The Girls (Ember’s mom went with us, too)

Hannah making chocolate covered cherries

Hannah making chocolate covered cherries

Rebecca stirring caramel

Rebecca stirring caramel

Silly faces

Silly faces

Hannah and me

Hannah and me

Two plates full

Two plates full

We got all the recipes to make our own at home, but realistically, I probably won’t do that (nor do I need to do that because then all I would do is eat them)!!

All He Was Meant to Be

Now that I’m home during the day, I watch a lot of TV. (I’m usually multi-tasking while the TV is on, so it’s not exactly like I’m “vegging” all day). Anyway, yesterday I watch Kathie Lee and Hoda, an extension of the Today show. They had a real sweet feature story about a young man (teenager) who has an older brother with special needs. The young man’s mom had written into the show for a “Everybody has a Story” segment, talking about how Zach (the young man) has always taken care of his older brother, Austin. Well, it was really sweet and definitely a tear-jerker. (Here’s a link to the story, if you want to see it).
There was a vocal artist on the show (Alison Love) who sang them a song (that was written specifically for them). It was a really sweet song, but….there was one line in the song that I didn’t agree with, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
The song was called “When I Get to Heaven”-it talked about two brothers taking care of each other, and when they get to Heaven, Zach will be able to see Austin run, play, and speak.
But, the one line I didn’t like was….
“He’ll see him whole, healthy, happy, and free…..and he’ll see him and all he was meant to be….”

That one particular line just left me perplexed because it is implying (that) right now Austin is not living a whole, happy life and that he has to wait to get to Heaven to be “all he was meant to be.”

Why? Why does he have to wait? Maybe this is what the Lord wanted for him all along. Maybe this is how he was meant to be.

In Psalm 139: 13-16a (NLT) it says,
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.”

Before the beginning of any of our lives the Lord knit us together….we were woven together in the womb.
I’ve watched my mom knit before-it takes times, patience, precision, and a certain form of art and creativity to make sure each stitch is done in the correct way, done at the right time, and with the right form. It’s intricate work, people. (And that’s with a pattern to follow, most of the time)…..

So, I guess my answer to anyone who asks the question, “Why did God make him like this?”would be….

God made Austin this way. He made him to be just as he is. Every detail of his life was planned ahead of time. Every special need that he has (I don’t know what they are) was planned for him. He was MEANT to be this way….

(I know the people who wrote the song didn’t mean any harm by it, and I know they were writing what they thought, in their hearts, was the best, but it’s just wrong).
Psalm 139: 13-16 (The Message) says,
“Body and soul, I am marvelously made!”
“…the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”

God knew….
Before the beginning of time, He knew. He knew Austin would be this way. He knew any child with special needs would be the way they are. He knew, and He meant it to be that way.

The young man I referenced in the beginning (Zach) said that his brother has so much life in him, so much character, and he’s always making them laugh and teasing them.

SO MUCH LIFE!!! That’s the way he was meant to be! This is his life, exactly as God planned it from the beginning.

Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV) says,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart….”

This young man (Austin) was set apart from the very beginning—God set him up to do great and mighty things. His great and mighty things may look different than our great and mighty things, but he is still achieving greatness. In his own way. In his own time. In his own life.

He was meant to be. Here. Now. On Earth. Alive. In Christ. He was meant to be.