Friday, December 23, 2011

How We Celebrate Christmas

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, I'll just give you a quick overview of how our Christmas celebration usually goes in picture form, how's that? :0)

Meal with the Church family
Christmas Program

A Journey North

Playing Games with Family
Opening Presents from one another

Now this year will be a little different since Christmas is on a Sunday. However, it may be done later than usual, but I think all the same things are in store! :0)

To see how these other ladies celebrate visit

Jennifer at Joy Ever After
Jessica at It's the Little Things
and Judy at Contented at Home

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Program 2011

The greatest Christmas pageant ever? Probably not...but we got through another Christmas program! :0) We did the basic Nativity this year, with the kids acting it out as one of our Teens read the "story". The program went MUCH better than the practices! :0) But they usually always do... Our focus this year was on the fact that since Jesus came to earth, and gave us the gift of Salvation, the least we can do is give Him our heart.

Don't you love our little show off angel? LOL

Playing "Joy to the World" on the hand bells

Friday, December 16, 2011

Activities for the Christmas Season

Christmas Program 2010

Christmas is a busy time for everyone. It seems every year gets busier and more hectic than the last! Since we are the Pastor and wife, most of our Christmas activities revolve around the Church. This year is a little different than usual since Christmas is actually on a Sunday. Normally we are up North with family for the Holiday, but this year we will be at home for once on Christmas day!

This Sunday, December 18th, is our Children's Christmas program in the morning service. They will be presenting the Nativity in costume while one of our teenagers is reading the story. We have been working on the details for a while now, and will be glad when that part of the Christmas season is over! :0) On Christmas Day, the Church decided to go ahead and have all of our services. We will be having Sunday School, Morning Worship, and a Candlelight Service in the evening. Also, that day we will be having our Church Christmas Dinner at the Parsonage.

Activities outside of the Church, involve spending time with family, exchanging gifts, eating, and enjoying being together! On my husband's side of the family, we will be attending a big extended family Christmas party on the 26th. Every year they get together at a hall, decorate it all up, and eat together. On my side of the family, we will be getting together will all of our clan, and pretty much doing the same thing! :0) We get to eat lots of goodies around the Holidays since we see both sides of the family!

Overall, being with family is the highlight of our Christmas activities. What about you?

To see what these ladies do for the Holidays, visit...
Jennifer at Joy Ever After
Jessica at It's the Little Things
Judy at Contented at Home

Friday, December 9, 2011

How We Christmas Shop

This image brought to you by How to shop for

Ever hear the phrase, "shop til you drop"? Well, that's not me...I am probably totally unusual in this area...but what's new right? :0) Shopping is not one of my favorite things, but I do like to get something special for family members at Christmas time. However, due to the size of our family ( size I mean the number of members), we are not able to buy for everyone anymore. Our main focus is usually on the niece and nephews! Kids are so much fun to buy for that it is hard for me not to spoil them! :0)

Unlike probably most of you, not even the prospect of getting a fantastic gift for the kiddos can entice me to go shopping on Black Friday! I absolutely DETEST big crowds and long lines; so I generally do my shopping little bits at a time. I usually have a good idea of what I'm looking for before heading into the store, so none of this aimless, up-and-down-every-aisle shopping for me! (I TOLD you I'm not a shopper...) I go in, check for the best deal on the item I'm looking for, check out, and I'm out of there!

Maybe you think I'm a wet blanket...and maybe you're right. However, to me, the best part of Christmas is not the presents, it's spending time with my family. So, I suppose that is where I put my focus at Christmas time...sorry to disappoint you all! :0) Happy Shopping!

*For other blogs on this topic, where you will find normal people who LIKE to shop, visit...
Jennifer at Joy Ever After
Judy at Contented at Home
and Jessica at It's the Little Things

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Devotional Post

Most of you are aware that I am writing for my sister's blog Joy Ever After now, so I thought I would share the link to the devotional that I posted today.

Friday, December 2, 2011

How We Decorate for Christmas

I usually decorate for Christmas a little earlier than most people. I like to have it up in time so we can enjoy it, because after Christmas is over it's just not as much fun anymore! :0) So our decorations were up the week before Thanksgiving this year... Partly because we travel to see family the week of Thanksgiving, so putting them up the day after is not usually an option for us. Anyhow, as with my fall decorations, most of our Christmas decorations have been given to me over the years as gifts. The tree, however, is special to me because it was my Grandma's tree that I received after she passed away. Since I also have her living room furniture, it seemed fitting to leave the decorations the same color (and several of the very same ornaments she used). As a result, our tree is done in Silver, White and Pink. I do like to collect Snowmen so I have a few pieces that were given to me that I enjoy putting out each year. My dream is to someday have one of those little lit up Christmas villages to add to my decor. However, since they are a bit out of our price range right now, we just made do with some of the smaller pieces I found for cheap. :0) As far as outside decorating goes...I usually like to do the garland on my banisters entwined with white lights, wreaths, and swags under my front windows. However, this year was a little different since we're expecting our first child, I decided just to do things a little more simple. I still hung a wreath or two and put the swags under the windows, but no garland or lights this year for our house. Sometimes though...simple is better. :0)

This is another installment from the JOY EVER AFTER bloghop. Please stop by these other blogs to see how they decorate for Christmas!
Jennifer at Joy Ever After
Jessica at It's the Little Things
Judy at Contented at Home
and Liz at Inside the Mind of Mama Bear

Friday, November 25, 2011

How We Celebrate Thanksgiving

Since we live so far away from family, we never celebrate any holiday in our own home. However, SINCE we're alone most of the year, we enjoy this time away surrounded by our favorite people! :0) Our Celebration varies from year to year as to the actual events, however there is ALWAYS a common denominator: The BIG Thanksgiving meal! We, like most families, have our favorites that HAVE to be a part of the Thanksgiving dinner each year. For example, my mom makes the BEST Sweet Potato Casserole; my sister usually brings her delectable Cranberry Salad (not your typical stuff...); and since I am the Pumpkin lover of the family,my contribution usually is a Pumpkin Cheesecake or some other dessert made of that wonderful "orange stuff". Of course, that is not ALL that we eat, but those are some of the dishes that make things so extra special.

When it is the year to have Thanksgiving at my in-laws, things are done a little differently. We usually have the meal at my husband's Aunts house where there is enough food prepared and brought in to feed the neighborhood (and in fact, HAS been shared once the festivities were over)! I'll never forget my first Thanksgiving there...his aunt (always afraid there won't be enough food) prepared 3 whole Turkeys, AND a ham, just in case someone didn't care for Turkey... Needless to say, nobody went hungry that year... :0)

After stuffing ourselves silly, we spend time together laughing, sharing, and playing games. This is the main thing that I'm thankful for at this time of year- spending time together with the people I love most, my family!

*For other blogs on this topic visit... JoyEverAfter

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We have SO MUCH to be thankful for, don't we? This year, I'm going to just list my top 5 things I'm thankful for, and would like for YOU to post your top 5 in the comments box below.

1. The Blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses from all Sin, and gives us access to a relationship with Him!
2. My wonderful Husband Luke, who is the best I could ever ask for!
3. Our little bundle of Joy that is due to arrive in April! :0)
4. Our incredible family!
5. Wonderful friends that are a true blessing to our lives.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

35 Years...

This is belated now, but it is the first time I've been on our computer to post lately! :0) But Sunday, November 6th was my in-laws (Steve and Lynn LaVan) 35th Anniversary! We were actually visiting them on their anniversary this year, but we wanted to wish them a very happy Anniversary and many more!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad LaVan!

Vacation in the Smokey's

We decided this year that it was time we take an actual RELAXING vacation! :0) I know, novel idea, right? So, we spent a few days in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with my parents. The weather was perfect and the scenery gorgeous! Just not long enough... :0)

These pastor's just couldn't get away from Church...

Mom and I found us a new pair of sunglasses! ;0)

Dad trying out to be a scuba diver
As always, I'm the weird one who has to touch the Horseshoe Crabs
A diver was in the tank while we were at Ripley's Aquarium

I get my love of Ice cream from my dad... :0)

Joey's first birthday

First birthdays are always so much fun. Joey, our youngest nephew, just turned 1 on October 8th. We got to be there for his birthday celebration...

Joey trying to figure us all out as we sang to him...
The siblings showing him how to blow out the candle
Nobody had to explain how to dig into the yummy cake though!

"Let's put some in the hair"...

All done! :0) Bath time!

Jerrod's Birthday Celebration

I am WAY behind in posting pictures of events on here... but, better late than never. Our three nephews have birthdays back-to-back, (Aug. 7, Sept. 7, and Oct. 8), so their birthdays are usually celebrated together. Their big party was altogether, but then whenever their Aunt Nana and Uncle Luke were in, we had a small party for each of them. Anyhow, here are the pictures of Jerrod's birthday celebration. He turned 3! :0)

Jeffery is our little daredevil :0)
Opening his lightening McQueen potty chair

Joey, all smiles while sissy pushes him on the swing! :0)