Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas at The Ridge!

Allen (Mr. Beyer) was so kind and came to school this past week to eat lunch with two of my students...on "the stage!" The stage is where all students eat when their parents or special guest come to eat with them, it's very exciting & a privilege to eat on "the stage." The boys were very excited to eat McDonald's with Mr. Beyer. We also bought them Christmas presents and it just amazing how excited a 6 year-old could be over a box of crayons. I thought I would share the joy with you...hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let it SNOW, Let it SNOW, Let it SNOW!!!

On Wednesday, December 10, 2008 we were blessed with SNOW!!! It snowed not only once but twice! College Station was covered in SNOW and it was a beautiful sight!! Today in church our pastor talked about the snow brought out a sense of JOY that made us feel like kids again- he could not have been more correct. As you can tell from my smile, I was soo excited, happy, and giddy about the snow!

"....I believe the Wiseman saw, The baby born that the angels called the son of God Heaven’s child The great I am Born to take away my sins through nailed pierced hands Emmanuel has come...Oh I believe Christmas lives in me I believe!"
"I Believe" a beautiful Christmas song by Natalie Grant

What does Christmas mean to you?

Today is the third Sunday of Advent and ironically we lit the candle of joy! While Christmas is by far my most favorite time of year...I LOVE everything about it! From the music, to the family gatherings, to the winter-like weather, to the all the beautiful Christmas decorations and Christmas lights, to the Advent season, to the warmth of everyone's spirit, and most of all for the meaning of Christmas. What does Christmas mean to you?! This has been a very humbling year for me and while this Christmas season, Allen and I have probably the least amount of money we have ever had in our bank accounts...I can tell you that this Christmas season has been one of the most blessed and joyous of all. Really for the first time (or that I can remember), this year has completely changed my outlook on what Christmas should look like and what it does look like, for me at least. Allen and I had to make a Christmas list and it was actually a lot harder than it ever has been in the past. Since I started working in the public school system, my eyes/heart/mind have been opened up to a world I honestly did not know existed. Yes, while I knew poverty existed...I just really never thought about it. To think a 4, 6, or 9 year-old will wake up on Christmas morning without any gifts under the tree, or that over Christmas break they might not have food to eat or a warm place to sleep, just breaks my heart! And to know I look those children each and every day in the face and try to understand him/her, and try to make sense of what they are going through and did go through totally makes me think different of what Christmas truly means. This year Allen and I may have very few presents under our tree but nothing will compare to the love, joy, and blessings we have received from sponsoring 2 girls, a 4 year old and a 17 year old through our church and who are currently in the custody of CPS. Not just that but the comfort in knowing, we are in favor of God and we have answered his call. This year and Christmas has been a true testament to me and when God speaks, "try me, do this unto me and I will open up the gates of Heaven for you!" The video below is written from the old Christmas song, O Little Town of Bethlehem. It is said that the night Jesus was born, everyone in Bethlehem missed out because the town of Bethlehem was sound asleep. The song is written and song by Casting Crowns. I had the privilege of watching them sing it live, it's a beautiful song and really makes you think...what will you be doing when Jesus returns? Hopefully, not sleeping ;) and while we are rushing from store to store, going from holiday party to party, and traveling to and from...take a minute to ask yourself- what does Christmas truly mean to me?!

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! May Peace and Joy be with you this holiday season!!

Happy Birthday Cadee!

Nanna, Joe, and Uncle Allen

December 7th is Cadee's birthday! Allen and I went to San Antonio for the weekend (the 5th-7th) to help Cadee celebrate her birthday! Dandy and Momma B of course joined us :) We had a wonderful time visiting and of course holding baby Joe! Cadee, I hope you had a wonderful birthday weekend! We love you very much! I thought I would post some adorable photos I took of Joe while in San Antonio. He is photogenic like his Momma :)

who couldn't LOVE that face!!

Happy Birthday to ME!

Kara is sooo good to birthday surprise at Mom & Dad's

So my birthday was a few weeks ago but gosh it was a good one! I really was not expecting much considering I was turning 26...really not too much to be excited about, right?! My birthday this year fell on a Thursday but Allen surprised me with the festivities starting off early. On Tuesday night, Allen and some of our most amazing friends, Britt & Brooke surprised me with a wonderful dinner at Caffe Capri. My FAVORITE Italian restaurant in historic downtown Bryan...I was so surprised and it was so great to have a dinner date with the Lloyd's...two people I just adore! THEN Wednesday rolled around and my brother Justin called me and him and Nikki had come into to town to take me to dinner. I do not get to see him or Nikki near as much as I would like so it was great to see them! They took me & Allen to Texas Roadhouse and then to a movie...I can't tell you how much I enjoyed just spending time with them two! FINALLY, Thursday got here and it was my actual birthday!! At work/school, my co-workers threw me a surprise breakfast get together and gave me a very sweet card w/ a gift certificate. It was so sweet and to know and kind of them to make my birthday so special! Allen took me to dinner that night and we had a fabulous dinner/dessert/drinks at Christopher's World Grille- it was just wonderful! Then Saturday evening, Allen and I drove to Mom and Dad's and celebrated with them, Kara, Madyson, & Maddox. Kara set up a surprise thing at Mom's with the help of Madyson & Maddox. Madyson & Maddox did such a good job and were sooo excited to surprise their Nonni and wish her a Happy Birthday! I also got hand-made cards from Aubrey & Shaylee for my birthday, which were perfect and really warmed my heart! I have the most amazing family & friends! My birthday was so much more than I could have ever imagined and just filled w/ wonderful surprises! It is definitely a birthday I will never forget...I honestly didn't want it to end, haha! :)

Momma B got me this awesome sewing table! Thanks Momma B, I love it!

Kara & the kids got me personalized spatulas that say "Let's bake Nonni"
Soooo cute!!

Kool-Aid pencil pounch from Madyson...for my school she says :)

Madyson is looking soo grown up :(

Sisters...I love her!

Best Mom/Mimi ever!!

We love you, Dad/Papa!

I love that man!

Make a WISH!!