Monday, December 28, 2009

Time of Reflection

2009 as we know it is ticking down. What will we remember about 2009? Perhaps that this has been the year for some home improvements, some planned, some not.
In January, we took out the carpet in our kitchen and bathroom in the entryway and replaced it with linoleum that looks like tile. Next up was replacing our square wooden columns on the front porch,(they were rotting from underneath) with round fiberglass columns. We covered the porch ceiling with siding to protect the wood from moisture and it looks great! We also replaced our broken shutters with some new ones!
The next planned renovation was to replace our single pane wooden windows with triple pane energy efficient windows. While this was going on, we hosted the middle school boys group from our church for a weekend. Our home literally busted at the seams! The best memory of all that was hearing the boys play praise music with our piano and their guitars! The music and their voices brought encouragement to our neighbors and smiles to our faces. What a great time, amongst the construction!
About three weeks after that, we thought we were finished. Ha! Our hot water heater decided to leak, causing quite a mess in the garage. Thanks to an awesome father in law it was fixed that very day!
Side note here, my neighbor and I decided to add to our yards this year and line the ditch that divides our lots from each other with fire bushes. We each bought 6 4ft. bushes. The great thing was our neighbor and I got a deal from the bush guy and for just $5.00 a bush we got the holes dug, a liner put down, the bushes planted and mulched! Whoo hoo!
On the outdoor note, Teri and I got busy buying some various day lilies and planted them in our yards this summer. We also planted some monkey grass. I pulled some old ugly bushes and used the grass to replace them. At Teri's home, we pulled weeds and recreated several areas in her yard. I have never shoveled as much mulch as I have this year. The end result is so beautiful!
A few weeks pass and we discover in the heat of summer that we have to replace our 20 plus year old airconditioner unit. The Lord provides and that was so far the last big thing we have had to replace in our home.
On a personal note, Chad was honored at Austin Peay State University this year with the 2009 Radiologist of the Year award. He had no idea he was even nominated! His work with incoming radiology students was recognized in a way that truly humbled him. We are so proud of his accomplishments!
In September, I was asked to become a staff writer for a local magazine, Clarksville Family! To say that I was excited is an understatement! A dream come true. To have something that I pour myself into for fun, to be published for the world to read and to get paid for it too! Whoo hoo!
Chad and I got to work with Extreme Makeover Home Edition here in Clarksville! I never got to see TY, but I was able to work with another star and help install a low flow toilet! It was a great experience to see how that comes together, and to be able to participate!
Cory is navigating middle school well, we are so proud of him! He is on his forth year of piano lessons with Mrs. Magnuson and it shows! His recent recital was an opportunity for him to show off his skills! Cory has true musical talent, it is neat to watch him grow and stretch himself and his abilities.
Brian was able to reconnect with several of his long time soccer buddies (they played together off and on since they were four. This produced a team of 10 year old boys that were able to claim the title of undefeated this season! Congratulations Brian!
Both boys have matured so much this past year. They have poured themselves into helping others by getting involved in community projects on their own accord! Through our church, they both have shown leadership skills in set up early Sunday mornings to leading the childrens worship working the sound and light boards.
We finished a year involved in a small group Bible study and have started up a singles group for 20/30 year olds. We also went to New Mexico and worked with the Navajo, and took a train ride in Colorado.
Second side note! We had an armadillo sighting in our neighbors yard! WOW!
This has been an eventful year, and we look forward to whatever God has in store for us in the upcoming year of 2010!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ICE - A Charlie Brown Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Our family and some friends that are adopted family also, got to open a present early! We got to go to ICE together!
We were all ready for our work/school day to be over so we could get in the car and drive to Nashville. ICE is held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. (over by the Grand Ole Opry).
Since it was a Monday evening, there was no line to buy our tickets! Thanks to Clarksville Family Magazine we had a coupon we could use! Next up was to go get our blue parka's. The ICE workers loaned a parka for each of us to wear inside! We needed them!

(p.s. if you go wear gloves.. I forgot and my fingers were cold!)

Once inside we took a group photo and then moved on into the big freezer! Oh! The colors! Yes, the ice was colorful! We took so many pictures! Charlie Brown and Linus greeted everyone in the scene of them leaning on a wall and talking. Further in we got to see the group of friends ice skating. Next up was Lucy at her psychologist booth.
We saw Sally with her list for Santa and Linus with his blanket, we got to slide down a big ice slide. The kids loved this, Sweetie even managed to go down face first.. (even though it was against the rules).
Schroder playing the piano, Cory wanted his picture next to that. Then we went into another room and saw all the different color ice Christmas trees. The following scene was Charlie Brown with his tree showing it to Linus.
Then we got to see and listen to a recording of Linus reading the Christmas story. It was neat, set up with lights and all like a real production!
In yet another room, we heard the group of Peanuts characters sing Hark the Herald Angel sing.
Last but not least, on the way out you get ushered into another room where in clear glassy ice some talented ice makers, chiseled out the nativity. Our eyes were drawn to the 2 story angel at first, then we stopped to listen to the Christmas story. As the story moved on, each character talked about was lit up. Very beautiful.

If you get an opportunity to go, please visit and get tickets. It was so much fun!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It is that time of year! The weather outside is a chilly 28 degrees this morning and the news tells of snow falling in San Antonio, TX. WOW!
No snow here. Bummer.
It is amazing how quickly our calendar has filled up for the month of December. My fist signal that the Christmas season is upon us is Operation Christmas Child. (I wrote about that last time). Today was one of my top favorite moments I will treasure all month.
Today, at First Baptist Church, Cory had his piano recital. He played Hall of the Great Mountain King and The Music Box Dancer. He did such a good job! There were several children ranging in age and skill level. It was a beautiful way to start December!
Afterwards, my friend Teri, and I went to the local Catholic Church and visited their craft fair. Lots of fun things to pick up for Christmas! We bought a couple of little things and moved on as we each have lots to get accomplished today!
Tonight we plan to attend Clarksville's downtown Christmas Parade! It will be all lit up and the boys look forward to the little candy pieces that will be thrown from the floats.
Later this evening we will warm up at our friends home in St. Bethlehem, up the road a bit. We are having a Christmas dinner and will sing carols and I've heard that Santa will pay another visit!
As the days and weekends fill up for all of us, please remember the reason for the season. Jesus!