Sunday, December 27, 2009

a new season

Wow. What a whirlwind has happened since October...

November held Philip's Senior Composition Recital where he premiered 7 new pieces ranging from voice and strings to choral to electronic to saxes and strings. It was so amazing to hear his talent and get to "show him off" to our family and friends. He has such a gift.

The end of November we headed out to my parent's house for Thanksgiving. We had so much fun meeting our new nephew, Mason, who is just about 6 weeks younger than Jude. There were 6 kids under 7 in the house for 2 days! Whew! The funny story from Thanksgiving was that I made the turkey, since I have for several years now, but never for my family. So I did it this year (I use Alton Brown's recipe... YUM), but I forgot to bring our probe thermometer that stays in the meat with the cord that comes out of the oven to the reader. So I had to use my parent's normal meat thermometer. Fine. Until I realized two hours into cooking that it was not reading. So I pulled the thermometer out to check it, and the whole end of it had broken off INTO the bird! We didn't know what to do! Call grandma, call my aunt who's a nurse, call poison control! My sister-in-law ended up calling poison control and they said as long as we just eat around the red liquid, we should be fine. And we were. And the bird was delish.

December 12th, Philip graduated summa cum laude from HSU!!! His graduation was something so incredibly special: not just because it's a wonderful accomplishment and it's been a hard road, but this completes a long season of restoration in our family. Three years ago we decided it was time to go back to school and finish what we had started. Also, it marked a completion in God restoring what the enemy had stolen from us way back in our "retro-hippie phase" as we lovingly (or not so lovingly, really) call it. As soon as he walked across that stage, we both felt a HUGE burden lifted. No more weekends literally filled with homework, nights coming home from work at 6 and studying until bed, no more school or working on Fridays(!), etc, etc. I don't really know if anyone really knows what it's like. Feeling like a single parent, having double the amount of work to do just to make the sacrifices you have to because you've made the decision that it's just going to have to be that way for awhile. What an amazing and glorious day graduation was. To those contemplating dropping out of school for whatever reason.... don't. That's all I have to say about that. Your education is so important. No, it's not the most important. But it is important. And definitely worth it. We're just so excited to start a new season....

December 13th, Philip and I celebrated six wonderful years together! What a great weekend it was! Lots of celebrating goin' on. I sure love that man. And I know he does me. And that is a wonderful feeling.

Christmas came next. We'll start with the BLIZZARD that blew into Abilene on Christmas Eve. Yes. Blizzard in Texas. Weird. We had about 6 inches of snow and lots of wind. It was so fun to play in and a great day for it all to blow in, since we didn't have anywhere to go. Our communion service at our church got canceled, but we decided to do it as a family anyway. What a special time! We read the Christmas story out of Deron's Bible and explained again about who's birthday we were celebrating. Then we read the Last Supper out of his Bible and talked with him about the sacrifice Jesus made for us so we could have abundant life. His little heart is so moldable. It was awesome to see his mind and heart turning, thinking about the things of the Kingdom. Then we prayed together as a family, under the lights of the Christmas Tree and decorations. What a sweet time... then we watched a G-Force and had ice cream. It was cute. :)

Christmas Day was exhausting. Beginning super early (thank you, Jude, who still is not sleeping more than 3 hours at a stretch *sigh*), we got up and opened our presents to each other. Notable gifts include an incredible wall hanging that says "Be still before the Lord"- I've been wanting decor that has scripture on it to adorn my house with the Word!- and a new Harry CD. Philip got a great t-shirt that he's been wanting that says "I heart Katy" :) and a mousepad that says "My name is Philip and I am a Ninja".... you have to know him I guess... oh, and a binary clock. Look it up. Deron and Jude got lots of toys and clothes and books. Typical.
We forged the icy roads after that and had Christmas and lunch with Philip's family which was fun! Then we took off for Irving and finished celebrating there. But of course, what is a get-together with my family without some singing? This time, my sister printed out some Victoria motets for us to sightread just for fun. Are we weird? It WAS fun! I like telling people of the family reunion we had about five years ago when my aunt borrowed a few octaves of handbells from their church and we all played them for fun. Anyway, the day after Christmas we went to visit Erin and Clark and their kiddos (with one more on the way!!!!) at their new house in Dallas (conveniently right across the street from Northpark Mall and Maggiano's!) and then went to pick out my graduation present with my mom and uncle.... a new guitar!! I've never had one before and have always wanted one of my own for many reasons. Anyway, it's a Takamine, gorgeous and easy to play. It has a rich, mellow tone and is now my very own!! I'm very excited!

We are back home now and are enjoying it immensely. I can't wait to get back in the groove and see what awesome things God has in store for our family and me!

One thing I do know though, I am making a huge effort to spend more time in His presence. Not just quiet times, not just prayer, though these things are important. I want to abide in Him. I want to be constantly near to Him. Anyway... more on that later...

Have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!