Monday, December 29, 2008

VOLS Basketball Game

Jody, Taylor, and I went to a UT Men's Basketball game Monday night. We had a great time, although we missed Aubrey who was spending the night with a friend. The atmosphere in Thompson Boiling Arena would get anyone excited about UT Basketball. Here are some pictures of our evening. Thanks Papaw for the tickets!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bennett was baptized...

on Sunday, December 28th at Stock Creek Baptist Church. His Dad, Benji, baptized him. It was a special day. We are so proud of you Bennett.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

We had a great Christmas. Here are some pictures of our holiday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Are You Ready for the Holidays?

I found this devotional helpful this week and hope you will too:

Are You Ready for the Holidays? By Van Walton

"What matters is not your outer appearance.. . but your inner disposition. " 1 Peter 3:1 (MSG)

Devotion:This year I am tempted to keep a close count of the number of times I hear the question, "Are you ready for the holidays?" What does that mean exactly? If I were to guess what people mean when they ask one another if they are "ready for the holidays," I would say most are not talking about spiritual readiness. I bet what they typically mean is, "Have you made a list of all the stuff you need to do before the 25th and have you checked it off?" Usually the answer that follows is a long list of to-do's before Christmas day. Baking, sending Christmas cards, buying and wrapping gifts, hiding presents from the children, or delivering them to neighbors, choir or play practice, preparing for guests, or preparing to travel. My list also often includes planning and attending parties, house cleaning, and finally -- my favorite -- decorating.

I wonder, if Jesus were making a holiday preparations list, what would He include? What if those who were there on Christ's birth day could advise us on getting ready for Christmas? What would be on their list? Joseph might recommend we listen closely to the voice of God to prepare. Mary may suggest we ponder the miracles of heaven.Perhaps the angels would propose we sing about the King.The shepherds may gently guide us to follow their act of worship.Possibly the wise men would teach us to give Jesus our most valuable gifts.The innkeeper may suggest "Hospitality: open your heart and home." And Jesus' list would likely encourage us to be a light on the hill pointing the way for others to know Him.

Comparing my to-do list to the ones above, I wonder if I lived at that time, would I have missed Christ's birth? Would my busyness have kept me from slowing down to take time to worship in the stable? Unfortunately I have "missed" many Christmases in the here and now because I've not slowed down long enough to bow my knees and experience the miracle. I want Christmas for my family to be more about an act of worship and awe than a frenzy to decorate, shop, and jump through the world's hoops. I don't want to miss the true reason we celebrate.

A few years ago I set out to purposefully plan the way I celebrate. As a result, my Christmases have become increasingly simpler and at the same time my heart has become increasingly more satisfied. Are you ready for the holidays?

Father, Thank You for sending Your son to point the way to You. Please remind me that preparing my heart for You is more satisfying than any other preparations I could make. Simple and pure devotion to You is what makes this season so special. Help me balance my time and keep my focus on You this year. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources: Advent: Making Christmas About Christ by Lisa Robertson
The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life by Louie Giglio

"My Christmas List of Blessings"

"My Christmas List of Blessings"

My Christmas List is more than just a way to keep track of
The special people God has brought into my life to love.

It's like a treasured scrapbook filled with pleasant memories
Of all the times God's answered prayer through friends and family.

Every name's a touch stone that leads to a place and time
Where God has used another's heart to reach out and touch mine.

It may have happened years ago or even yesterday
But every person on my list has changed my life some way.

Through simple conversation a warm hug or a shared meal
Every person on my list has helped me grow or heal
Or laugh or love or learn or smile...the blessings never end
As God allows our paths to cross as family and friends.

So please know that this greeting is more than a Christmas wish
It's a "thank you" card to God for putting on my list
Each and every one whose name I've come to hold so dear...
Those who've shown me Christmas joy each day of the year.

Written by Vicki J. Kuyper

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wilderness Resort Indoor Water park

On Thursday, December 18th, we went to the new indoor waterpark in Sevierville, TN called Wild Water Dome in the Wilderness Resort. The grand opening was on Thursday and we were invited, through a homeschool group, to come and enjoy the indoor waterpark for the grand opening. There is a large wave pool, a surf rider, 3 waterslides, a play structure with a tipping bucket of water, a hot tube, and a toddler play area with swings. It was so much fun and what a great PE class for the day!!

The pictures of the girls below are while waiting for the waterpark to open and a picture of the surf rider. We can't wait to go back!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We went to Black Bear Christmas in Pigeon Forge, TN on Wednesday, December 17, 2008. The food was delicious, the music and dancing was good, and the show was good. There was snow in the show and we saw real live reindeer!! We had a great time.

Field Trips and Classes

One of the best times to home school is during the Christmas season. We are able to do so many extra curricular activities that we would not have time for if we were "at school" all day. We have gone on many field trips. We visited The Ramsey House (some pictures from this trip are below). We toured the house and learned about the history of the house. The kids then made a craft that would have been similar to what children would have made at the Ramsey House many, many years ago. Taylor's group made candles. Aubrey's group made dolls.

We went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Bijou (this is one of Aubrey's favorite shows). The show was great and actors did a fabulous job.

We have also been participating in a Christmas Around the World classes. My friend Abby put these classes together last year for her daughters and opened it up this year for other children. Taylor and Aubrey went to the classes and learned about Christmas celebrations in Italy and Brazil. The girls had a great time. Thanks Abby for opening up your home to the other children and teaching these classes.

We have visited Ronald McDonald House with Aubrey's small group from co-op. We took gifts to the house for children to open on Christmas Eve. Taylor and Aubrey had a great time picking out gifts to take to the house.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bennett's Birthday

Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to Bennett,
Happy Birthday to You!

My nephew, Bennett, turned 7 years old on Tuesday, December 16th. I can't believe the "baby" of the family is turning 7 years old, I remember the day he was born!!

He is such a special boy to us. I hope you had a great day Bennett.

Here are some things I love about Bennett:

1. He is funny. He will do whatever he needs to get a laugh. However, most of the time he does not have to try - most funny things he does come naturally!!
2. He has a sweet spirit. He is very caring. When I was sick in August with the stomach stuff, he was at the house one day after school. I had to leave the room to be sick and when I came back he asked if I was okay and if I needed anything.
3. He has the best hugs!
4. He loves to play sports - football, basketball, and baseball especially. He plays on basketball and baseball teams during the year and I enjoy watching him play, except for when he gets hurts!! He is a competitor!!
5. He loves Jesus!! He asked Jesus into his heart on Wednesday, December 10th. He wants to be a preacher like his Daddy and he loves his church.

Bennett, you can always know that Uncle Jody and Aunt Amy are very proud of you. We think you are AWESOME DUDE!!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Program at Church

On Sunday night, December 14, 2008, Taylor and Aubrey participated in the Christmas program at Sevier Heights Baptist Church. All the children's choirs participated. The children did a great job. They sung several songs and did one song in sign language which was really pretty.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Seymour Parade

On Saturday, December 13, 2008, Aubrey marched in the Seymour, TN parade. The weather was beautiful for the people who participated (I thought it was cold to sit and watch the parade!!). It was not too cold for the people who were walking and moving around and it was not raining. This was Aubrey's first time marching in the parade with dance the studio. She had rode on the float with the dance studio until now. She was a little worried that it would be a long walk. She said it was not bad at all!! She had a lot of fun with her friends. They handed out candy and waved to the many people who had came to watch the parade.

Taylor did not participate in the parade because her preteen group from church went to a nursing home to go Christmas caroling. Then the group went to West Town mall to eat dinner and Christmas shop. Thanks Mr. Jesse for taking the kids, Taylor had a great time.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Get to Know Fellow Bloggers

It is time for Christmas edition of "Get to Know Fellow Bloggers". I was tagged by a fellow blogger to answer the questions below:

1) Wrapping paper or gift bags? I really lile to wrap gifts if I don't wait too long to start wrapping and then gifts bags are faster!
2) Real or Artificial tree? Artificial
3) When do you put your tree up? One to two weeks before Thanksgiving
4) When do you take your tree down? Usually a few days after the New Year.
5) Do you like eggnog? Never tried it but I am sure I would not like it!
6)Favorite gift received as a child? a doll my mom made for me.
7) Do you have a nativity scene? Yes!
8) Mail or e-mail Christmas Cards? Mail
9) Favorite Christmas Movie? Elf
10) When do you start shopping for Christmas? Hmm, just depends. I usually start way before Thanksgiving.
11) Do you hang mistletoe? No
12) Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? all the yummy food!
13) Lights on tree? Yes a pre-lit tree that has white lights
14) Favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night
15) Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay in town but not at home.
16) Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prance, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph
17) Angel or Star on top of tree? Neither, a bow
18) Open the presents Christmas Eve or Morning? Christmas Day!
19) Most annoying thing about this time of year? Hateful people while shopping
20) Favorite ornament theme or color? Silver and Red
21) What do you want for Christmas this year? Time with family and peace
22)Who do you tag to answer these questions on their blog? Anyone that reads this and wants to add it to their blog!

The Living Christmas Tree

Here are pictures from the Living Christmas Tree from 2008. It was a great time. If you did not get to see the performance (or if you did and you want to see it again!) and you have Comcast On Demand, you can watch it on television right now.

Goto Comcast On Demand > Choose Get Local > Choose Holiday Specials