Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Gifts

holy moly.  if you know me you can probably imagine my squeal as i opened this puppy.  my very own fancy camera?  i thought i would never see the day {well at least for a few years or so of scraping & saving}.  thank you sweet parents for giving us so much more than we deserve {just like Jesus}.

since having our super cool, awesome, new gadget we've been taking some pics around the house.  any excuse to figure out our new toy.  we're definitely just beginners but we're having so much fun!  since i didn't have this before christmas i only captured some of the aftermath.  i have a few of christmas to share soon.

playing with the flash.  i don't think it's as bad as everyone says...
my new books!  i finally can finish narnia. and then have it foreeeever!
christmas at our house
our 2010 family ornament
ben's new old man 'monster boots'.  he loves to jump & stomp in the snow in them.  what else can you do with that much traction?  you gotta stomp.  it's awesome.
benny didn't look that excited to be my 'subject'
i'm so much sweeter...
well, maybe not.  ben said that's the face i make when i'm angry.  i promise i wasn't.
.just a little peak at some of our loot.

my grandma got me this awesome vintage...um...i'm not sure what they are called but thing to hold yarn etc.  isn't it adorable?
turned of my automatic focus to try and do it myself.  nothing but a blur.

as much as i loved seeing our families, being with benny & enjoying time away from work, my favorite part of the holiday was of course, our true gift... celebrating the birth of our Savior.  i so enjoyed reading & re-reading the accounts of Jesus coming to earth, Lord wrapped in skin.  i loved participating in the longing & waiting that took place for a Messiah to come & rescue us from our Sin.  what grace!  i love to remember God's grand plan, His love story to us, the redemption of his people.

matthew 1:18-22
"This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”)."

galatians 4:1-7
"What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.  The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.  But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.  Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”  So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


meet our dear friends, the postons.  ben & i are blessed to get to live life & do ministry with these brothers & sisters of ours and we have the honor of getting to love on our little God-baby, silas. 

{look at his face in that picture...um hilarious}

yesterday i got to see this little guy take 5-ish unassisted steps towards his poppa.  it was awesome!  he's going to be running around in no time.  he could definitely do it now but i'm pretty sure he doesn't just to be a stinker.  i didn't want to forget such a sweet sight! 

aw little baby si, you are growing up!

precious pictures stolen from jenna

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

christmas joy

once upon a time i begged you to make this a reality...incessantly in real life & also{here}. benny decided to make my doodling dreams come true and made me this chalkboard...little bit of chalkboard paint, white paint & crown molding makes for one thrilled little lady. thank you benny, you are the sweetest husband. here's our board all ready for christmas. i told ben yesterday, "don't you feel like you live in a fun house now?" {like a house that's fun, not a carnival house with mirrors}. and we do live in a fun house! i can't wait to doodle all over it, write sweet nothings, scripture, love notes, songs...i just smile thinking about it!

what else have we been up to?  oh well...just wrapping a mountain of gifts like little elves.  here were a few of my favorites...
ben's mom gave me a bundle of flannel, much of it being what i would call 'christmas plaid' and it is beyond perfect for making little fabric bows to adorn my packages. now if i could just get my hands on another roll of kraft paper i'd be in business!

i have more gifts to try and figure out than i estimated a week ago {which stinks}...i thought i was done! oh well...i've got three days right? {YIIIIIIIIIKES!}

hope your christmas season is merry & bright.  may you have blessed time in the presence of the King!

Monday, December 20, 2010

my perfect saturday: girl christmas, lunch w/ everyone, uk basketball & a party

the longest running christmas tradition that i participate in {outside of family of course} has been a little thing i like to call, girl christmas.  we think we've traced the origin of the celebration back to our sophomore year of high school which means that way back in 2001 this blessed occasion was born.  9 years ago.  i can't even believe that.

our first girl christmas was in our friend nicole's basement and we gave each of our friends ridiculous gifts from a luxurious store called 'the 99 center'.  if you've never been, you've never lived.  i was only able to find old pictures from our second annual girl christmas.  the quality couldn't be more awful but i just had to share.  i can't remember if we drew names for this many girls or if we just bought for anyone we wanted to buy for or what.  we were crazy.

during this time we also introduced boy-girl christmas where we let our guy friends in on the fun.  it was essentially a quarter of the girl christmas girls and whoever we were dating + our dear friend max.  back to our 99 center gifts and the hilarity that it brings.  we essentially tried to get each other the most absurd crap we could find.  aw friends.

shan, the other jen, the other shan, lauren and lyd aren't in the pic...i don't know why.
ps our scanner sucks
things got a bit more tricky after we all parted ways for college.  we tried to get everyone together on their christmas breaks up at home but it became more and more challenging to fit it in everyone's schedules.  some got married, some moved farther away and our group shrunk a little but we kept kicking.  at this time {2004 and 2005} i remember drawing names and picking out sweet presents specifically for the person.  not junk, actual presents. 
some time around there our group windled down to 5.  me, rach, tiff, cory & shan.  girls that had been friends for about 6 years by this time.  besties.  jenna was living with shannon & i and got "grafted" into our girl christmas circle of love.  that's the word we like to use, just like God grafted us into the family.  best friends, roommates, family...it's fitting.  in 2008 {i think} we decided to run with homemade girl christmas.  everything we gave had to be homemade.  we drew names within the 5 of us and crafted our little hearts out.  after this proved to be such a success we decided to do smaller crafts so that we could give them to each person.  that means each girl gets & gives multiple gifts.  that is one of the most fun things about our celebration being small, it is intimate, and personal...and everybody wins big in the craft department.  it is so much fun.  you can see last year's girl christmas {HERE}. 

we had another addition to our clan this year {we tried last year but failed, successfully made it work this time}.  after i went and got hitched, shannon & jenna moved in with another bestie, holly.  being a dear friend to all & a roommate to some, holly then was "grafted" as well. 

in a time that is hurried and stressful and busy, i really cannot imagine one place i'd rather be than enjoying a perfectly calm day with just a few of our closest friends, chatting, sharing life & giving to each other something that we've put our own time & heart into creating. 
i stink and didn't wrap my gifts individually like my sweet friends.  i made a community box to open but i think it turned out pretty sweetly.  i had all the materials lying around.  you may see more of this down the road {wink wink}

here are my beautiful girl christmas friends
{aaand we all have brown hair & a heck of a lot of boots.  treat}
a lot has changed since we started all this. not just to our tradition but to our lives.

three have gotten married, one has had a baby boy, one is pregnant with her own little guy, one marriage on the way, one new relationship, five undergrad graduations, one masters, one grad student, four full time jobs, and each of us passionately love the Lord and knows him more deeply than we did 10 years ago. we are truly blessed!

here are our crafty crafts:
headbands from holly
wristlet from cory:
wreath from rach:
stationery from jenna:

and these little ruffled, zippered pouches are my creation.

to you three girls:  thank you for celebrating NINE years of girl christmases with me.  it's so fun to think about doing this every year until we're old & gray {or dyed back brown}.

the rest of our day was ridiculous.  party visits friends party food friends...on and on and on

couldn't resist getting a christmas pic with my boo!
after a 16 person lunch at cheddars & a belly full of chicken fingers we headed back to our abode for a uk game and so much fun with friends. gosh we love our friends.  which includes a new friend, scott...SHOUT OUT gilly!

here's shan and silas getting to know each other.  he was flirting with all the ladies.  sorry about the red-eye...i know his pupils are black.
oh my little nephew, you are a stud!

we ended up at the poston's for a surprise birthday party for our dear friend kyle and literally laughed our buns off.  and now for your giggling enjoyment:

purdy asked me to to put this on here.  love you!