Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

My favorite 13 holiday Christmas movie moments...(Thanks to my friend, Kelly, who started the holiday movie idea...)

1. From "White Christmas"...the scene where Bob, Phil, Betty, and Judy are sitting around the table after the sister act and Phil pipes up about reading an article about orange juice and it's affect on children's teeth. The way Phil trys to change the subject of conversation to family and kids and the way Bob says "Pushing, Pushing" always makes me laugh.
2. From "The Elf"...the scene where Buddy asks for maple syrup on his spaghetti...and the response to the question "So, do you like sugar?"..."Does Maple Syrup have sugar in it? Then YES!" is so funny!
3. From "While you were sleeping"...the scene where the newspaper delivery boy falls off his bike
4. From "Christmas Vacation"...the first scene when the family sings "Deck the Halls"
5. From "It's a Wonderful Life"...the scene in the Ice Cream shop when George and Mary are kids and Mary says "George Bailey, I'll love you 'til the day I die"
6. From "It's a Wonderful Life"...the scene when Harry toasts George as "the richest man in town". I ALWAYS cry at that scene!
7. From "White Christmas"...when Bob and Phil dance the sister act
8. From "White Christmas"...when the General walks down the steps of the Vermont Inn, enters the theater, and the whole room is filled with soldiers. I ALWAYS cry at that scene, too!
9. From "White Christms"...all the song and dance numbers. What a GREAT movie...definitely my favorite! I could probably quote most of the movie
10. From "The Christmas Story"...the box marked "FRAGILE"
11. From "While you were sleeping"...when Joe Junior accuses Jack of "leaning" into Lucy
12. From "Peanuts Christmas"...when Linus recites the christmas story...and then at the end, all the kids hum "Hark the Harold Angels Sing" with "loo's"
13. What are yours?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Happy Birthday, Gwampa!

Today is my dad's birthday. Love you , Dad!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The First Advent

We're excited to start traditions in our family to observe Advent. Though we are not Catholic, we admire the Catholic tradition of Advent, which focuses on our preparations and our attentions to Christ during this season instead of presents, shopping, decorating, Santa, carols, concerts, cantatas, and all the other stuff that seems to define what this season is all about.

The Catholic tradition observes the 4 Sundays before Christmas, beginning the first Sunday before November 30, in addition to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as a special time to gather together and prepare our hearts for celebrating the birth of our Savior. Patrick and I have decided to participate in some aspects of the Catholic traditions that we think would focus our attention on Christ this season and teach our children to do the same. We've also labeled a theme for each Advent gathering (6 in all). As the years pass, we'll add some crafts, activities, scripture memorization, and other things during the week that will help support the themes and help our children understand the significance of our Savior's birth. At each gathering, we'll light our "Advent Wreath" as well.

Patrick and I have thought a lot about this and have spent several hours in discussions and preparations for our first service. I'm so blessed with a husband who desires to teach our children about Jesus and he's spent a lot of time organizing the scriptures and hymns to best focus our minds on Christ for each theme of the Advent gatherings. I will try to do my best in documenting what we're doing on each Advent Gathering.

Yesterday was the first Advent. Our theme for this week is that we are all sinners in need of a Savior and that Savior has been promised. During this service, we read about how all men are sinners (Romans 3:10 - 11, 23) and that God has promised a Savior to take away our sin (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:2, 6-7; Micah 5:2-5a; Jeremiah 23:5-6). The hymns that we sang were "O Come, O Come Emmanuel", "For Unto us a Child is Born", "O Little Town of Bethlehem", and "Lo, how a Rose 'er Blooming". (We actually have to continue some of our service from last night, since we're still fine-tuning our service content)

During this week, we'll decorate for Christmas and prepare our home for the Christmas celebration. I'll also review the theme with Mallory as well as meditate on these scriptures which should help focus our attention on the promise of the blessed Messiah! I'm really excited about this tradition. Though we're still planning on doing other things that are fun this season (like watching movies, shopping, singing secular carols, attending cantatas), our main focus will be on Christ.

Patrick and Mallory hanging out watching the Panthers game. I started pulling out decorations during the game.

Our first Advent service Posted by Picasa

Thanksgiving Pictures

Here are some pictures from our Thanksgiving meal together:

Checking on the Turkey:

Scoping out what's for dinner:

Gathering around the table:

Cayman's Thanksgiving Dinner:

Mallory's Thanksgiving Outfit (Thanks, Gram!):

Sycamore Shoals

In Elizabethton, about 10 minutes from our house, there is a state park called "Sycamore Shoals" next to the Watauga River with a beautiful walking trail. I come here with Mallory a few times a week to walk. It's a beautiful place near the hospital, so I see a lot of nurses and doctors walking around here. I've also seen several couples picnicing or strolling hand in hand, using the river as a means to strike up a romance.

Patrick and I took Mallory and Cayman here the weekend before Thanksgiving. We had a great time outdoors and we really enjoy the sound of the river.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

13 things I'm thankful about today's Thanksgiving celebration:

1. Patrick didn't have to work this morning!
2. We all spent time together this morning in prayer and thanksgiving for our salvation, our health, and our family
3. We were all able to take a walk down by the Watauga River this morning before I was in the kitchen to cook (and before Patrick and Mallory took naps!)
4. It only took me 2 hours to cook my first Thanksgiving meal
5. It only took us 30 minutes to clean it all up!
6. My first attempt at cooking turkey went well! Our bird was moist and juicy
7. Mallory's first tooth popped out today...on her first Thanksgiving too! And she tasted her first peice of turkey and mashed potatoes!
8. I had the 2 most precious people in my life with me at the dinner table today.
9. I was able to enjoy a peaceful meal with my precious family because of the brave men and women who are fighting in our military; I'm especially thankful for those in Iraq (thanks, Mel, for reminding me of your hubby over there! He's in my prayers...and so are you and the kids)
10. We have a home that is warm and comfortable and is truely a provision from the Lord
11. We met a new family who graciously made a place at their table for us; 3 strangers whom they didn't know but loving welcomed us into their home anyway, even on such a special day
12. I have an eternal hope in God the Father, who is my Savior, Deliverer and King
13. Tomorrow is a day to begin plans for the Advent, which begins Sunday. This will be a time when we will start traditions in our family as we celebrate the birth of Christ. I pray this time will circle around Christ - may he be glorified.

There is so much to be thankful for! I'm looking forward to hearing how your celebrations were!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mallory's milestone and preparations for Thanksgiving

Mallory turned 7 months old this past Sunday. It's hard to believe, yet I say that everytime I post something about her growth. I didn't have a lot of time to shoot pictures since Mallory was fussy and it was chilly outdoors. I didn't get many good shots in the 5 mintues we were outside, but this one was kinda cute.

My parents ended up coming to visit us this past weekend, which was so nice! My mom called me on Tuesday to say she and my dad were coming to stay from Saturday evening to Monday afternoon. I really anticipated their visit because I was in need of some good conversation and fellowship! The Lord timed their coming perfectly...they needed a "Mallory fix" and I needed their companionship. Mom and I walked around some open houses on Sunday, which was fun. Patrick and I found a house that we both really liked, but are still unsure of how we should approach it, since it's at the top of our price range and we still have 4 months in our lease. We're just praying about it and trying to be patient.

I see a lot of posts about preparations for Thanksgiving. I have mixed emotions about the upcoming holiday because this will be the first year I will not be spending this holiday with any extended family. With it being Mallory's first Thanksgiving, I really wanted the day to be special and be surrounded by grandparents, aunts, and uncles. I was a bit down for a few days and teared up pretty easily over nothing in particular. But, I think we'll end up having a very nice day, eventhough the day will not be as I had originally planned. There is a family in Elberton (where my parents live) that I know who has a sister that lives in Johnson City. I called her up last week and she graciously extended an invitation to us to come over for dinner on Thursday, but we decided to have dinner with just the 3 of us and just join them for dessert instead. I'm really excited about meeting a new friend and I'm so thankful that we'll be able to share part of the day with another family. Patrick will actually have to work in the morning, which will hopefully give me a chance to prepare our meal. This will be the first time I've cooked a Thanksgiving feast, so I'm a little nervous yet excited too! Since it will be just the 3 of us, I won't be slaving in the kitchen for hours, but we'll have turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and cranberry sauce. I'll probably make a pumpkin pie, too. We just finalized our plans today, so I've yet to go to the grocery store. I'll probably do that tonight. I know that this Thanksgiving will be very special for me, Patrick and Mallory. There is so much to be thankful for this year. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

I hope you all enjoy the cooking, feasting, and fellowshipping that is bound to happen this week!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

#1 vs #2

So, who's watching the Ohio State vs. Michigan game today? It should be an awesome game with some possible nail-biting action, which is always exciting in college football. I don't really know who to root for, but I hope OSU pulls out a V, which I think may give Florida a better opportunity to advance to a #2 spot down the road. Who are you pulling for?

Anyway, if Florida can hang on to win its next 2 regular season games (W. Carolina and FSU) and the SEC Championship (probably against Arkansas) then we're hoping to have one of the spots in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl!!!!

It should be a fun day in the college football arena!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Drama in NCAA football...

I'm sure my brother-in-law is looking forward to next year when Jeff Bowden leaves the struggling I know he's been one of FSU's fans whose been wanting his resignation. It looks like he took a half-mil' deal to"resign".

I hope the Gators kick their butts next weekend!!! It's be...a Florida Gator!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A strange "knock" at the door

I decided to share with you all an unlikely visitor that appeared on our doorstep last week. I would have forgotten all about it, but my friend Kelly wrote on her blog about her encounter with a "friend" she had this week and it reminded me of my visitor.

I was playing with Mallory last week when I heard a "knock" at the door. It was just one knock, so I thought it might be the kids next door playing around. When I looked out the front door, there was a bird laying flat on its face on my front door stoop. The bird flew right into our front door! To my horror, the bird was still breathing. It looked miserable; it was laying "spread eagle" on its face with its wings spread out and it's head cocked to one side at a funny angle. I thought it broke its neck and was laying there in agony. I paced the house, not knowing what to do. I kept checking on it and it kept on breathing. My heart broke. Part of me thought "just die so I can get rid of you" and the other thought that maybe I can rescue it, make a splint for its neck with some toothpicks and packing tape, feed it it milk from one of Mallory's bottles, and nurse it back to health. Um...for those of you who know me, I am SO inadequately minded where medicine is concerned, the bird would have probably died from my care than its original injury!

After about 5 minutes, the bird was still breathing. I felt so bad! I didn't want to be so cold to the bird and just let it die, so I did the only thing I knew and called a vet. I was crying by the time I talked to someone. I explained the situation to a vet nurse (is that what you call them?) and she informed me that they don't treat wild birds. She said "Sweetie, you're just gonna have to let nature take it's course, OK?". So, I hung up the phone, wiped my tears, and decided I was just going to make the bird as comfortable as possible while it died. I grabbed a couple of paper towels, opened the door, and to my chagrin the bird was sitting on my front stoop like nothing happened. It looked at me then flew off to the nearest tree.

I was so relieved! The stupid bird just knocked itself out when it flew into my door!!! I was so glad that I didn't have to know that I let a little creature suffer an agonizing death, because Lord knows that behind the door that the bird flew into was a medical idiot!!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

New pictures of Mallory

Here is a picture of Mallory and her friend, Sophie, getting strapped in for a ride! It was fun watching both girls in the backseat.
Here's Mallory and her Daddy playing with a new toy that I got for her. I went garage sale-ing here in JC and scored on a nice "learning table" for $6!!! And it even has a pizza on it (her Grandma and Grandpa will like that!!)
Mallory is sitting up now while playing with her toys. She's such a big girl! Posted by Picasa

My new website is up!

I've been working on getting my new website up for the past few weeks now. It's now up and running. Please let me know what you think and if you have any comments or suggestions.

Monday, November 6, 2006

A Mallory Moment...

In looking over my prior posts, I notice I write a lot about our happenings but not a lot about who Mallory is. She's showing her personality more and more as the weeks quickly pass and I wanted to share with you all what she's like. I left Charlotte when she was just beginning to interact more with her surroundings and some of you haven't even met her. So, I wanted to spend a moment describing a little bit about what she's like.

Mallory is a morning person. She's always bright and cheering in the morning. When I go into her room to get her, she's usually on her tummy playing with a crib toy. She always has a big grin on her face when she sees me or Patrick come in to get her. She'll snuggle a bit before she eats, which is a sweet time for me. She always has a big grin for Cayman, too, as she comes in Mallory's room in the morning and licks her nose. Mallory loves to play with her toys and listen to music after her first meal of the day. She's starting to sit on her own and is figuring out how different toys work. She's been playing with the same toys for the past 3 weeks and seems to be content with all of them. She discovers something new about each one regularly, which seems to keep her happy without needing to get different ones all the time. She loves to stand with assistance and gets so excited when she's up and looking around. Her playmate (whether it's mommy, daddy, or a stranger) usually gets amused watching her coo and squeal as she stands and rocks back and forth, shifting weight from one foot to the other. I sometimes think she'll skip sitting all together and go right to standing!

Mallory takes at least 3 naps during the day and sleeps about 11-12 hours a night. She likes to sleep! And she likes to sleep in her crib, which is nice. I sometimes wish for the days, though, when she snuggled deep in the crook of my arm and slept. Those times were so precious, yet fleeting, since she now likes to be alone when she slumbers. She likes to sleep in her swing, too, which I only allow maybe once a day. I have "control" over her sleep schedule at that point because when I put her in the swing, she usually goes to sleep and when I turn off the swing, she usually wakes up!

Mallory is a good eater, too. She likes new tastes when they are mixed with Oatmeal. I tried giving her straight baby food at first, which didn't work very well. BUT, anything mixed with Oatmeal is pretty good to her! She'll meal down when it's time to eat. I sometimes have to fight her to eat, but the majority of the time she's pretty willing to eat what I put in her mouth. She hasn't taken to Cheerios very well, but it's only a matter of time!

Mallory likes to look at strangers and always has a big smile for the clerk at the grocery store who tickles her foot and tells her how pretty she is. She doesn't mind playing with others, as long as mommy is around. I've tried to be inconspicuous at certain times so she'll get used to me not being there. Sometimes she won't fuss, but oftentimes she does. I can't figure out yet why she cries sometimes and will be good at others. I know that she needs to be eased into a crowd, though. If she's bombarded too much, she'll get overwhelmed very easily and have a melt down. But, if she gradually sees new faces while in mommy or daddy's arms, she's a much happier baby.

I thank God everyday for this blessing He's given me. I still have a lot to learn about Mallory and I'm still figuring out how to respect her personality and what activities are best for her. As soon as we're on one schedule, it gets mixed up somehow; either by Mallory or by Patrick's or my activities. She's a trooper, though, and just rolls with the flow. I don't deserve such a good girl. I've been blessed beyond measure and I pray that I can somehow give God sweet pleasure by my efforts in raising her, though I'm definitely inadequate to do so.

For those of you who read my blog and have children, I would like to know about your kids. A lot of you live far from me and I miss seeing your children and who they've grown to be. What are they like? What do they like? What are your challenges? What are your joys? For those of you who don't have children, I'd like to know about a spouse or friend that is close to you. Please blog or comment about them.

Blessings to you!

Friday, November 3, 2006

Autumn leaves

This is a picture of a maple in our front yard that has just started shedding its leaves. We're pretty much past peak leaf-peeping time, but this maple has held onto it's beautiful yellow leaves for some time. I'll be sad to see them go!

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Birthday wishes...

Today is my mom's birthday and my brother-in-law's birthday. I wanted to make sure they are honored today!!! Mallory wishes you both a VERY Happy Birthday! We miss you both so much and hope you have a good day. We'll be thinking about you both and praying for you!  Posted by Picasa


I found the cutest chicken costume at Toys R Us last week and decided to get it for Mallory's first Halloween. She was a sight! Cayman dressed up as "Smokey", who is the mascot for the Tennessee Volunteers. Patrick has decided to root for the Vols, since I come from a Gator-loving family. My brother-in-law is a Seminole and Patrick has decided to become a Vol; both teams are equally as bad as the next in a Gator's mind! But, Cayman was cute despite the ugly color of her sweater!

Mallory had her first pediatrician appointment up here on Halloween. I really like her doctor and was pleased at how thorough they were in understanding her medical history so far. Though it's not much, it's still nice that they were sensitive to her extended hospital stay at birth and made sure that they understood what happened. She ended up getting some immunizations, which I hadn't planned on. I turned down an outting with some of the ladies in the play groups that I've been going to since I wasn't sure how Mallory would react to the shots. Given that she had her shots at 3 and we were going out around 4, I just didn't want to do that to her! She ended up skipping a nap, which is ususual for her since she loves to sleep! Around 5:45, Patrick and I decided dress her up and to take her out to downtown Jonesborough for the festivities going on down there. We figured she'd fall asleep and we'd enjoy some time strolling around and people watching. She did fall asleep for about an hour and later woke up to the sounds of a local bluegrass band picking away at their banjos. She had a good time looking at all the lights and listening to the music. We later enjoyed dinner at Cracker Barrell, which Mallory was also awake for. She ended up not reacting to the shots like I thought and was pretty much a happy camper all night. We had a memorable evening and enjoyed getting out into the sights and sounds of our new surroundings.  Posted by Picasa