Wednesday, January 4, 2012

December ReCap...

Our days have been relaxed and hectic all at the same time if that is even possible!!

One of the hi lights was dinner out with my "Ladies Prayer Group". Not all were able to come, so this is by no means an exhaustive pictorial, but I was so thrilled to have a night out with some of the most amazing women on planet EARTH!! They treated me to a dinner at The Plum Garden, an Oriental (... yes that means I have no idea if it is Japanese, Chinese, or Indian!) restaurant where they prepare the meal in front of you on a HuGe griddle, (probably not the right name for it!) complete with fire and pyrotechnic visual hilarity. This is about a minute long... he was quite... ummm... talented?
Of course he flung rice balls to EvErYoNe!! I only got a picture of Jane trying to avoid the assault. We were about 50/50 when it came to catching them. If you missed the first one... he was more than glad to let you try again!! Poor Amy was likely to have been choked at his first rice ball selection... nearly the size of a GOLF BALL!! She kindly asked for a smaller one! 
 I opted not to post the pics of the inevitable "fails".... suffice it to say there were pieces of rice in places rice should never go. And likely if we search hard enough we will still find a grain in our clothes... even after washing!!
Jolie and Jen
 My friends are so beautiful outside and in, and they spoil me terribly. I love it!! Some I have known literally all of my life, and others I have been acquainted with for years and have only recently kindled a wonderful relationship with them.
Kim and Jeannine
 Most are from my home town, which inherently gives a very close connection... the kind of "you know you are from ____ when..." sort of thing! But all are precious and I have an intimate connection with each of them. Collectively we make for a pretty rowdy bunch!
Tonya, Kim, Amy, Colleen, Kelly, Jolie, Jane, Kim and Jeannine.  Loves!! 
This was the best of the group shots. Taken before all were there :(  A cell phone in a darkly lit room does not make for a good picture! I tried to enhance it a little... nice try! :-/

Suffice it to say, I have a wonderful support group from my home church, and it extends to several ladies outside of church as well. I love that they meet every month and I am blessed and honored and humbled all at the same time. They truly love me and my family in a precious way, and if they don't really... well they sure fake it good!! (I know, bad grammar!)

Christmas was a terrific weekend. Our family went to Dan's as well as my parent's home for the holiday. Church was beautiful, and everyone had a great reconnecting. Perfect! I received a gift of flowers from a nice young gentleman... trying to score points with me maybe, but they were beautiful nonetheless! I actually think he is just a nice young man :)
I actually got two bouquets due to a delivery error at the florist, (sent the first to me on the wrong day) and they sent another to me on the right day! Double treat! They were quite beautiful, and a lovely bright spot in our little home :) 

We received dozens of Christmas cards that we loved to get. Many had pictures of the families and while we expect our children to grow up, it is always a surprise to see other children change so dramatically! I realize ours have as well when I compare the new card to previous years! 

We have more than enjoyed our month home. Dan has been working every day on scheduling and calling and such, and our calendar continues to fill up for more meetings in the coming months. He also has been speaking at different events and ministries here at church. We feel like time home is just the Lord allowing us to keep connected with our home church, which is growing and changing. Each return greets us with new members and families to get to know! That is a huge blessing to us. We love knowing our home church is still about the Father's business! Praise God the Gospel is preached faithfully and clearly without compromise! 

New Year's Eve was spent with great friends. Just the two families together was such a nice treat! Usually it is a chaos of people and trying to get any real conversation is nearly impossible, but this was just the opposite. Our children were all over town, but they are still young! 

New Years Day we spent celebrating the birthday of our oldest son, Josiah. 18!! Whew! He got his license a few weeks ago, and in NYS have to wait until 18 for all restrictions to be off, and he had little time to wait! It is nice to have another driver... no more midnight milk runs for mom and dad! Celebrating the small things in life!! :) 
My favorite preaching pic of Dan! :) 
Dan is preaching for our home church Wednesday night next week. It is quite an honor, as we are so seldom home but the opportunity was available, and he was thrilled to accept the invitation. He has known about it for several weeks, and is still quite unsure what to preach on. Truthfully, I would be worried if he knew already! 

January is definitely going to bring many wonderful things, and I will be sure to document them. I have enjoyed this break from our norm of deputation, and sometimes find it hard to believe how different our lives are in just one year. We are at 60% of our goal to leave for Zambia full time, and wonder just how different things will be next year at this time. For us, next year at this time we hope to be in Chipata!! Who knows though. December 21st, 2012 is supposedly a big day in the future...  maybe it will be very different for the whole universe! 
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