Friday, November 26, 2010

365.198: Family Christmas Shoots

I got to take some family pictures this morning of the Bissons and the Montgomerys. It was fah-reezing. The kids were such troopers to be out there in the 30 degree weather at 8am. But look at the lighting we got--isn't it just delicious?

The Bissons

The Montgomerys (our shoot was cut short, so we only got a couple good ones!)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

365.197: The Year I Almost Slept Through Thanksgiving

I have been so looking forward to today's Thanksgiving with friends. For weeks. Maybe months. I got up super early and prepared all the dishes I was contributing, then the four of us headed over to the Montgomerys around 11:30am to get the turkey fryer started.
The plan was to eat at 4, so I brought the boys home at 2:30 for naps, and was planning baking my casseroles at home and being back by 3:45. After getting the boys in bed, I sat on the couch and noticed my eyelids started getting heavy. I thought I might just close my eyes for 10 minutes. When I opened them, it was 3:45! I hadn't even started pre-heating my oven, much less baking!
This moment felt the same as sleeping through a job interview or a final exam in college. This is the stuff nightmares are made of. (Seriously, my dad has a recurring nightmare that he sleeps through a college final exam.)
I threw the casseroles in the cold oven (which I turned on high) while I loaded the car with the cold food and sleeping boys. The Montgomery's oven was already going strong, and luckily my 2 casseroles fit right in! They were done at the same time as everything else! Yay!
I all my shenanigans, there was no way I was going to remember my camera. So here are a couple shots I stole off of Cristie's blog.

Our super long table to accommodate 22 people!

Cristie made beautiful centerpieces!
The boys table!

Playing games later in the evening.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

365.195: Hammock Fun

This is our friend Chloe! Her parents are our Lifegroup leaders, and Holden and Turner just adore her. (Unfortunately for Turner, he was napping when Chloe and her mom dropped by yesterday.) But Holden and Chloe had some serious hammock fun.

Monday, November 22, 2010

365.194: Thanksgiving Menus

What comes to mind when you think of a traditional Thanksgiving menu? For me it is Turkey, cranberries, green bean casserole, broccoli casserole, sweet potato souffle, rolls, and pumpkin pie. But it varies a little in different regions of the country. This year we will be having Thanksgiving with friends from Elevate: the Montogomery family, the Bisson family, and possibly 2 or 3 others. Here is the menu we've come up with:

Fried Turkey - McCormicks
Ham - Montgomerys
Sweet potatoes - Montgomerys
Green bean casserole - Bissons
Broccoli casserole - McCormicks
Sweet potato souffle - McCormicks
Stuffing - Bissons
Dressing - Montgomerys
Cinnamon rolls/blueberry muffins - McCormicks
Jello salad - Montgomerys
Cranberry relish - McCormicks
Apple cider - Bissons
Sparkling cider - Bissons

Pumpkin pie - Bissons
Chocolate chess pie - McCormicks

Traditional, in my opinion.

But then as I was browsing through a Thanksgiving cookbook*, I came across the details of the very first Thanksgiving. After signing a peace treaty with the Wampanoag natives (and losing 46 of the original 102 that sailed on the Mayflower), the Pilgrims decided to celebrate a bountiful harvest with a feast, which was actually a British tradition, celebrating "the goodness of God." This was a three-day ordeal centered around playing games, praying/thanking God together, and feasting. According to historical research, the menu at the first feast included:
  • Seethed (boiled) lobster
  • Roasted goose and boiled turkey
  • Fricassee of coney (rabbit)
  • Pudding of Indian cornmeal with dried whortleberries
  • Seethed cod
  • Roasted duck and stewed pumpkin
  • Roasted venison with mustard sauce
  • Savory pudding of hominy
  • Fruit and Holland cheese
Whoa! That is a lot of meat! I think I'll stick to my menu.

What are your favorite foods on Thanksgiving?

*All info from The Thanksgiving Table, Recipes and Ideas to Create Your Own Holiday Tradition by Diane Morgan.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

365.193: Thankfulness

Thankfulness ~ Choosing to respond to God, others, and circumstances
with an attitude of hope and gratitude,
seeing all things as filtered by a loving, sovereign God,
who can and will work all things for good.

The presence of God is attracted to thankfulness and squelched by a lack thereof. (Psalm 100:4)
Hope and gratitude lead to peace and rest.
Choose to be thankful for the hundreds of blessings you experience each day. And even when you don't feel like being thankful, choose to do it anyway. That is what the Bible calls a "sacrifice of praise." (Psalm 15:14, 23)

I've committed to something my church is calling 60X6. Every 60 minutes (once an hour), for the next six weeks, I am going to do three things:
Acknowledge God's presence and love
Thank God for whatever is happening in that moment
Listen to God

I have already started--I set an alarm on my phone to go off once an hour from 7am to 10pm. And in just this short time, I am already seeing/feeling an increased awareness of God's presence in my life! Praise Jesus!

Does anyone want to take this challenge with me?