Christmas 2014

Christmas was a little different this year because we were here by ourselves. Since we just moved here 2 months ago, we knew we weren’t going to travel anywhere.

(Just a little sidebar–on Sunday, December 14th, we sang together for our CCC Christmas Praise Gathering)….

We sang "God With Us" by All Sons and Daughters

We sang “God With Us” by All Sons and Daughters

On Christmas Eve we went to CCC for the Christmas Eve service and then came home and opened presents.

our little bitty tree in the background

our little bitty tree in the background

presents from my sister, Marcy

presents from my sister, Marcy

Paul got a new skillet for Christmas, and we love it!

Paul got a new skillet for Christmas, and we love it!

opening presents from my parents

opening presents from my parents

SANTA brought us The Coffee Hub giftcards! :)

SANTA brought us The Coffee Hub giftcards! 🙂

On Christmas Day we ended up spending the morning delivering meals for SouthSide Mission with another couple from our church, Randy and Diana. SouthSide Mission had it all mapped out and very organized, so it only took us an hour to deliver 29 meals! After delivering meals we went over to Randy and Diana’s, sang some gospel songs (while the boys played their guitars),  had soup and spent the afternoon playing games. It was really nice.

Randy and Paul, playing guitars

Randy and Paul, playing guitars

After the “calmness” of Christmas the chaos showed up on Saturday morning when Marcy, Kainoa, and Kainani showed up! It’s a long story, but she called me on Christmas Day and told me they were headed my direction. So, they flew all night and got here about 8:30 on Saturday morning! We tried to keep them busy, but every time we went outside they proclaimed “It’s FREEZING; I’m so cold!!!” So, it really was very hard to go anywhere because they had to bundle up into about 4 layers, complained the whole time, took forever to get out the door, and then took forever to de-layer to get back inside. (And, for the record, they were the ones who wanted to come here)!! But, we went and did things anyway! 🙂

This is Kainani under 2 blankets, with 4 pair of pants, 3 shirts, gloves, and a hat on!!

This is Kainani under 2 blankets, with 4 pair of pants, 3 shirts, gloves, and a hat on!!

Marcy and me....it really wasn't that cold, I promise!

Marcy and me….it really wasn’t that cold, I promise!

Apparently T-mobile doesn’t provide cell service in our area….Kainoa thought he had DIED!!

This poor boy didn't have cell service at camp or in Lacon!

This poor boy didn’t have cell service at camp or in Lacon!

It was really funny to watch him walk around, stand still, hold his arm up in the air, crouch down, sit down….all to look for “service.”

Saturday we went into Lacon (took about 10 minutes to show them the town), poked around a bit, took a tour of camp, and they ended up going to bed by 7:00!! (They stayed in one of our cabins–we don’t have enough room for them to stay in our trailer nor did I want them to because our alarm goes off so early every morning).

Kainani on top of the carved frog

Kainani on top of the carved frog

carpetball

No trip to camp is complete without a game (or TEN) of carpetball

Sunday we went to church and went grocery shopping. Then, that night we went over to a friend’s house from church; the girls watched “Frozen” and the boys watched “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Monday we went over to a friend’s house from church that has horses and 4-wheelers. I think the kids really enjoyed it, though they were “FREEZING!!!” They also have a log cabin, with lots of old antiques, so Kainani enjoyed that!

Kainani and "Trace" the horse

Kainani and “Trace” the horse

Kainoa testing out the ice

Kainoa testing out the ice

Kainani on Lance

Kainani on Lance

riding 4-wheelers

riding 4-wheelers

4-wheelers

4-wheelers

sharpening an axe!

sharpening an axe!

Tuesday morning some guys from our church came out to camp to help do a service project. Kainoa “helped” them, and then we all went out for a late lunch. Then, Marcy and the kids loaded up and left to go onto Michigan to see Leslie and her family.

It was a good visit, but I’m glad to have my house back…..with some peace and quiet. Now it’s on to laundry to wash all the blankets, sheets, and towels they borrowed!

I’m ready for the normalcy–no more holiday season for me!!

So Behind

I can’t catch up. I’ve thought about it. I’ve wanted to. I just can’t. I got a new laptop for Christmas, which would mean I should have an easier time blogging, but I have NO pictures on my laptop, so I’ve had to wait to transfer all of the pictures from my old computer (and my phone) to the new computer. It just takes time, which I haven’t taken. Anyway, no excuses….

Back in August, when we found out we were going to move to Illinois, I thought about what I wanted to do for work. I knew I didn’t want to work full-time (all day, everyday), and in all honesty, I don’t HAVE to work…I just thought it might be nice to have something to do to keep myself busy (as well as make a little money on the side). So, of course, I looked into subbing. Well, LET ME TELL YOU!!! Substituting in Illinois is definitely NOT what it is in Texas. At RLISD (in Robert Lee) and GISD (in Giddings)–where I’ve subbed before–all I had to do is fill out an application. In Texas (depending on what each individual school district decides) you only have to have a GED and no criminal background record. If the school decides to hire you, they pay for your fingerprinting, and you are ready to substitute. In Illinois it is completely different.

You have to:

  1. have a bachelor’s degree from a 4-year accredited college
  2. send in an “official” transcript from your college (for me, it was 2 transcripts)
  3. get a physical (from a doctor)
  4. apply for a substitute license through the state
  5. pay for your own fingerprinting (and travel an hour away to get it done)
  6. register in each county you want to substitute in

So, back in August, I decided I was NOT ready to commit to that….in total it was going to be $246 to pay for all of that, and we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to pay for all of that at one time. So, I waited.

Well, fast forward to December, and I decided to do it (so I could start in the spring semester). After about 3 weeks of trying to get all of my stuff together, getting the right paperwork, going to the doctor, paying all the fees, etc. I finally am registered.

Fingerprints

Fingerprints

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My “authorization”

As much as I paid to do all of this, I feel like this piece of paper should be made of GOLD!!

So, now that I have it all done, I just sit and wait….

Just a couple of pics and some words

Today I had lunch with my friend, Paige. She and I have known each other since 2010, when we joined Chillicothe Christian Church. We’ve been through a lot together and spent many, many hours talking, eating, crying, laughing, and sharing life together. She is moving on Thursday to Missouri. I will miss her greatly….

Paige and me

Paige and me

This past Sunday Paul and I got our picture taken at church. Apparently they are doing a church pictorial directory, which I didn’t know about, until Sunday. (Otherwise I would not have worn gray pants, and I would’ve made Paul wear a belt and tuck his shirt in)!!

Paul and Callie December 2014

Paul and Callie
December 2014

I cannot tell you how good it feels to have friends and to hang out with people on a regular basis. I alluded to it a little bit in this post, but it feels SO GOOD to be able to have spur of the moment dinner with friends or go out with people after church on any particular Sunday. Yesterday afternoon I made Chicken Taco Soup in the crock-pot, so we could have dinner when we got home from church. Well, after church we were invited out for dinner…with church friends. So, the Chicken Taco Soup was put on hold. Well, tonight we went out to Pizza Peel with Jim, Ember, the kids and Graham, so again….the Chicken Taco Soup was put on hold. Yes, I realize we should eat it, but it feels so good to have fellowship with other people! I LOVE IT!!

We have lived here exactly 6 weeks (TODAY) and we are so blessed to be a part of Great Oaks’ ministries and the Great Oaks family!!

A Night in Bethlehem

This past Friday night our church hosted a “Night in Bethlehem” We transformed the basement of the church into Bethlehem, complete with a Metal Workshop, Potter’s Wheel, Leather Shop, Scribes Tent, etc. with volunteers from our church playing out the roles of each shopkeeper. Once people finished visiting the Village, they could come over to the Kitchen and decorate cookies and help “make bread” (knead dough). Once they were finished with all of that, they could go “meet Baby Jesus.” (That was my job)….I was a Shepherd who led people to Baby Jesus.

(These pictures are NOT MINE–I give credit where credit is due–Kathy D. took all these pictures)….

Lisa and me (we were shepherds)

Lisa and me (we were shepherds)

London, the beggar (with the Holloways) looking on....

London, the beggar (with the Holloways) looking on….

Painter's Shop in Bethlehem

Painter’s Shop in Bethlehem

Nick and Olsen (as a guard and the tax collector)

Nick and Olsen (as a guard and the tax collector)

In the Metal Workship, making a bookmark

In the Metal Workship, making a bookmark

Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and Shepherd

Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and Shepherd

decorating cookies in the kitchen

decorating cookies in the kitchen

Kacer kneading dough

Kacer kneading dough

Mark and Gabe Read, some of our favorite people at CCC

Mark and Gabe Read, some of our favorite people at CCC

Cindy and Diana in the Carpenter's Shop

Cindy and Diana in the Carpenter’s Shop

collecting taxes....

collecting taxes….

Josh, Jay, and Nick, the guards

Josh, Jay, and Nick, the guards

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Bob, at the Scribe’s tent

Lori and Lisa (they are sisters)!

Lori and Lisa (they are sisters)!

I really had a good time. It was a great Community Outreach, and it’s already on the calendar for next year!

Randomness

Well, we’ve already lived in Illinois for over a month (by two days)! 😉 I can’t believe it’s gone by so fast. We haven’t been doing much out of the ordinary, lately. Paul’s been working, and I’ve been keeping busy with….well, whatever I do each day to keep myself busy (it changes everyday).

Last week was Thanksgiving, and boy did we celebrate! We ate our weight in turkey, dressing, casseroles, rolls, and desserts!! We ended up having 3 Thanksgiving meals, over the course of three days. Thursday (T-Day) we had our own Thanksgiving lunch, together at home, complete with turkey, dressing, pan-friend potatoes, and rolls. Then, Thursday night, we went over to the Montgomery’s house where we shared in a meal with about 16 other people, all the Montgomerys/Perhams/Holloways, etc. (They have a really big family, and they all go to our church)! I really enjoyed hanging out with them-they are very sweet and all so hospitable. Friday we didn’t do much, but Saturday we went to the Richard’s house and had lunch with their family. There was 8 of us all together. Again, they all go to our church. We ended up staying at their house for 8 hours!! We had lunch, went on a walk all around their property, played games, etc. It was really fun! So, we are turkey-ed out!!

Sunday was a normal day of church and grocery shopping–we’ve worked out a system that works really well, so far. We make a two-week menu and we go shopping every other Sunday. Having a menu has worked really well because then I don’t have to think about what we’re having for dinner; it’s already planned out.

Monday I put up all our Christmas decorations and yesterday I helped set up “A Night in Bethlehem” at our church. It is an interactive open house that we are having in a couple of weeks. All we did yesterday was put up “walls” (big canvas upholstery sheets, hanging from the ceiling) and painted.

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Our bookshelf, covered with decorations

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our “little” Christmas tree (complete with packages)!!

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downstairs, starting to create “walls” with upholstery

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painting old Halloween signs with brown paint

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Laura painting (You can see the “walls” in the background)

Tonight we are helping with “Hanging of the Greens” at church and then going to small group. We keep busy around here, that’s for sure!!