Friday, December 26, 2008

CRC Christmas Banquet 2008

Here are a few pictures I took at our Christmas banquet this year... which, by the way, was first class. The Hamptons, the Lockharts, the McDaniels, the Isaacsons... and all who helped, it was 5 star. From the "Guess Who?", the Parmesan Chicken Dinner, Jan's Desserts, the Pictonary Carol Game (that no one cheated in... lol), the the HILARIOUS comedy with David, Jordan and Bro.???(I can't remember his name... but also known as Derek Sherill). It was all fantastic!!! I did capture a few fun pictures but there were quite a few I chose to not publish due to very competitive looking faces, grimaces, hysterical laughter, or food being stuffed into mouths. HAHA (which mostly filled up my camera). Enjoy:

Here is a very stunning couple. Doesn't Sis.Bridget's hair look awesome? (hehe I did it!!)
Here is the most handsome guy in the world.Here is me and my beautiful mom Wilbanks and beautiful sis-in-law Heather.
Me and Michelle taking pictures of each other. LOL

Jason and Heather
We all had a great time at the banquet in our NEW FELLOWSHIP HALL. (WOO HOO!!)
...And a Merry Christmas to EVERYONE!!! Love you all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunday School Christmas Banquet

I am going to do some catch up blogging. It seems like the month of December has been loaded with parties, banquets, shopping, and fun all month long and there has barely been time to sit down and download pictures from my camera (Yes, the computer responds slowly to downloads unfortunately). So here is the first event I will share with you.

Bro. Jeff and Sis. Bridget Koehoorn did an amazing job with our Sunday School Christmas Banquet/Party this year. We had puppet shows organized and put together by Bro.Jeff, pizza and drinks from the Sunday School Department, games with Sis. StockingStuffer (Sis.Loretta, who was dressed as a giant stocking... adorable), gift exchange, and last but certainly not least... the Christmas story was read by candlelight from some of the older kids. I didn't get to capture all events during the evening, but I tried to get a picture of at least all who were in attendance.
Here is some of the kitchen help.
Here's a large portion of the party room.Here's Sis.Cheryll at fireside Gazebo serving punch.Sis.JoAnn, Sis.Cindy, and Sis.Loretta helping with the gift exchange.Sunday School Teacher of the year award went to Sis.Becky Taylor, hiding behind this Christmas tree. She is a phenomenal Sunday School teacher. Laura and Trey.
More kids.... now with their pizza in hand.
Teachers are staying busy serving their Sunday School classes.More kids who brought their families from our Sunday School route.

Let the games begin:

A really cute couple leaving the party.Bro.Earl, an awesome Sunday School teacher.
Another really cute couple... =)

We had a great time that night. ...And no, Noah did not attend. We had been at the church all day helping Sis.Bridget. Noah desperately needed a nap and I left him home with his daddy so he could sleep.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!! A very good friend of mine got me "dreaming" again (thanks Nelly!) As the curtain of 2008 comes to a close, I don't want anyone looking back behind my curtain to observe the "scenes" and "acts" that were never played out... be it neglect, lack of time, busyness, etc. Instead I want to "dream" and look forward to this Christmas and the new Year following it with a brand new stage set up. First of all I want to start Christmas traditions with my family. I want to read the Christmas story and pray together on Christmas Eve. This should be fairly easy since Noah loves books and we pray every night before bed, and most times as a family. Next I want to always take a family Christmas picture. Lastly, I would like to buy or make a personal ornament for our child(ren in the future) to put on the mantle every year where they could see their collection grow and remember Christmases passed. I am aware that as the children get older, traditions change or get modified. That is okay too... as long as we keep dreaming....

What are some of your Christmas dreams or traditions?

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Different Christmas Poem

I just received this email from my father-in-law. I had to post it since I just posted similar thoughts the day after Thanksgiving. This poem so aptly portrays my thoughts and feelings about my precious and beautiful country and those serving it.

Here it is ... by Michael Marks...

"A Different Christmas Poem"

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,

I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,

My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,

Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,

Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,

Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,

So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,

But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,

Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,

And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,

A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,

Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,

Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

'What are you doing?' I asked without fear,

'Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!

Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,

You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!'

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,

Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light

Then he sighed and he said 'Its really all right,

I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.'

'It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,

That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,'

Then he sighed, 'That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.'

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam',

And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,

But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,

The red, white, and blue... an American flag.

I can live through the cold and the being alone,

Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,

I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,

Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,

To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.'

' So go back inside,' he said, 'harbor no fright,

Your family is waiting and I'll be all right.'

'But isn't there something I can do, at the least,

'Give you money,' I asked, 'or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you've done,

For being away from your wife and your son.'

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,

'Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,

To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,

To know you remember we fought and we bled.

Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,

That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.'

-- Michael Marks

Friday, November 28, 2008

I Am Thankful

I am thankful. Yesterday I found myself repeatedly thinking about my wonderful country... the land of the free... the home of the brave... the sacred truth it was built upon. It rings so true to me this year. I caught myself wondering if I have taken these blessings for granted in the past. I am certain I have. I want to declare to you that I am thankful. I want to declare this while I can. There may be a point in my lifetime that I will not have those blessings to be thankful for.
My Diary of Thanks:
I am thankful that I can choose to start a business and keep the profits and not be forced to share the wealth. I am thankful that I can freely "choose" to share the wealth if I please. I am thankful that partial birth abortion is still considered murder. I am thankful that we still have "In God We Trust" on our currency.
I am thankful that we still support and defend Israel. I am thankful for our armed services protecting this great nation UNDER GOD and preserving her freedoms. I am thankful for freedom to worship the Living God. I am thankful for the few politicians who still are willing to stand strong on the moral and Biblical principles that this nation was founded upon. I am thankful for those who choose to remember the MEN WHO FOUGHT and the BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS that has made our country the great nation it is today. I am thankful for those who gave their lives to give future generations hope, freedom, and confidence. I am thankful I can speak openly about these things. I am thankful....
I am not ashamed to be called an American. As long as I can be thankful for these things, I am proud to be an American. "In everything give thanks." Why? Because it is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Lets not forget to pray for this great country and her leaders. The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Birthday Pictures

Here are some random pictures of Jeremy's 30th birthday party. We invited some people over Sunday night after church...of which there ended up being standing room only. No kidding!! We loved it. Not only that, Jeremy deserves it. Noah loved it too. He had a blast being the center of attention at his daddy's party. Mom Wilbanks made her famous Santa Fe soup, the Koehoorns brought over cheesy nachos. There were Snicker Doodle cookies, birthday cake, pina colada punch with ice cream, Harry and David's Sweet Onion Pepper Relish cream cheese dip, and lots of gummy worms scattered around to go along with the "Older Than Dirt" theme. I decorated with black balloons and had a picture collage on the cake/punch table. Bro. and Sis. Bittler brought their kids' Wii game for us to set up in the guest bedroom. Some of our friends' older kids claimed this room while the smaller children and older girls claimed Noah's room. The adults "stood" in 3 rooms. lol I say this because we didn't have enough seating in our house even though the entire perimeter of our living room and kitchen were lined with chairs.

Once people started arriving, the flow didn't stop. I got nervous and just started pulling people into the kitchen with me. Thank God for Sis.Bridget, Sis.Bittler, Sis.Kimi, Sis.Mary, Sis.Cheryll, Mom Wilbanks, and Sis.Natalie. These ladies just came in and knew exactly what to do. Also, thank you Bro.Bittler for asking me about pictures. I had gotten so carried away with the busyness of the party and had forgotten to have someone taking pictures. Luckily it wasn't too long into the party that he said something. lol I am grateful. Thank you Aunt Judy for taking pictures for me.

Once everyone had eaten, we lit the candles on the cake and sang while people pulled the party poppers and confetti went everywhere (I'm still finding it behind, around and inside my furniture... lol). It was great. After Sis.Mary helped me serve the cake, the crowd started dwindling down... many people had to get up early Monday morning. However, we had some PARTY ANIMALS stick around and drink coffee and play games and chat until 2am. As those of you who know my husband, he's the biggest PARTY ANIMAL -- always telling people to just stay the night since we have a spare bedroom and we'll stay up all night. HAHA You guys know its true!HAHA so much for getting up early (poor Jeremy had to). It was such a fun party and maybe next year we'll consider our new Fellowship Hall at church.

To my sweet husband of 7 and a half years, I am so blessed to have married you... that you chose to marry me. I thank God for you as often as I think about it. You are a treasure that I prayed for all throughout my single adulthood. Everything I prayed for: that you would love God more than me, that you would be a good example as a Father and a husband in our home, and that you would not waiver in your character, convictions, and in Truth; you are all that and more. God blessed me exceeding abundantly beyond what I asked or thought. You have a love for Truth and what is right. You have strong loyalties to what you believe in. I LOVE that about you... and that you don't hesitate to inspire others to do the same. I love your gentleness with me and our son. I am so thankful that our son has a wonderful example as a Father to look up to as he grows up. Thanks for being who you are. I love you with all my heart... forever. Love, Von de Leigh