Last week my family welcomed a new member into the Donald side.
We also said goodbye to another member of our family.
On December 28th at 6:00pm my cousin, Shelby, married Joseph Hennessy and he became an offical part of our family.
On December 24th at 3:00pm my beloved Petepaw left his earthly family to be with his heavenly Father and the other members of his heavenly family.
We laughed, we cried a lot but over all, we celebrated life. A life well lived and the beginning of a new stage with two people. It was hard but in the end we made it through stronger and closer. Please pray for my family during this crazy time especially my Grandma as she is trying to move on alone (yet not alone) and my cousin and her husband as they start their life together. They started off this week in a rough situation but, like one of my other cousins and I agreed, if it had to happen to one of us, it needed to happen to Shelby and Joe. They're the only ones who can go through this and come back out closer to not only themselves but to God as well.
Welcome to the family Joe! We love you and are happy to have you be a part of us!
Goodbye Petepaw, you are greatly missed but we know that you are in a better place now.
Love you both,
I'M BACK WORLD! DID YOU MISS ME? Of course you did! Duh! Ok, now I have to explain why I haven't blogged in a long time.
See there was this children's play at my old church that my brothers and I did...
... and work
... and I got sick two nights ago. (pity me :))
So just so everyone knows, I probably won't be blogging again until next year; which sound like a long time but really is only two weeks away. (Anyway, y'all go a whole week's worth of post in November so stop pouting! :) I promise to finish my series about my cousin's veil but considering that her wedding is a little over a week away I'll need to focus all my time and energy on finishing in time. This way by the time I start back blogging about it I'll hopefully have her actual bridal portraits to show her wearing the finish product. That will be much nicer than having to take pictures of me wearing it 'cuz then I would have to find a dress to wear with it (pj look so un-professional if you know what I'm saying :).
So, yeah, heads up to everyone out there. I just wanted to let everyone know what's going on. I ABSOLUTELY HATE IT when bloggers go for long periods without blogging and don't tell folks ahead of time. So I'm trying to prevent that. (Just a little pet peeve of mine)
Good bye 2013, it's been great knowing you!
Wednesday night was the last night of Hanukkah, which means that this will be my last post (not as in forever, you know what I mean)! As we lit the candles on the menorah we discussed how on the first night we talked about God made the light. And now on the last night we talked about how in the book of Revelations there will be a light that never goes out and there will be no need for a sun.
After supper we got to open our last set of presents, which were our ornaments. You see my family has a tradition. Every year my parents give each of us kids an ornament symbolizing something significant that happened to us that year. So one day when each of us leave home we will have a set of ornaments for our very own family Christmas tree (assuming that our spouse will provide the tree of course!). A few years ago Mama and Daddy started giving each other ornaments because they realized that there would be no ornaments left on the tree after we left!
Daddy went first. His ornament was a mini tallet (Jewish prayer shawl) with a blue M on it. This summer a congregation in Nashville sponsored us to go to the Messiah Conference at Messiah College in PA. We learned a lot there about the Jewish faith and Messianic Judaism.
For Mama's ornament she got an angel dancing with the word JOY under her feet. Mama got this because at the conference she and I took classes that taught traditional Jewish dances. Now not to be rude, but my mother is not the most graceful person on the face of this earth (not saying that I am either). So the first few classes she took really frustrated her. It was only after she found a teacher that really broke down the steps did dancing bring her joy. Now whenever she dances she smiles and has fun worshiping God in a different way.
Gideon got a campfire with a marshmallow and winnie. Every year on our 12th birthday Daddy took us on a trip. This year Gideon turned 12 and he and Daddy went camping in NC near the Joyce Kelmer Memorial Forest. They had a great time and Gideon came back with LOTS of stories!
This year Jonathan took up guitar and is being taught by Christopher's best friend (the same family who is here). But whenever his teacher calls to schedule a lesson, he always says "We need to plan a wink wink, nod nod, guitar lesson". What he means by this is Jonathan (and most of the time Gideon and Christopher) will go over there and practice for 30 mins or so...
...and then they play nerf war or sword fight.
Hence the "wink wink, nod nod part" (what else do you expect when your guitar teacher is only 17?)
Hey, as long as Jonathan can play Canon in D for my wedding one day, I don't care what goes on over there (and honestly, I don't want to know)!
So Jonathan's ornament had a little tag at the end of the guitar saying "wink wink, nod nod"
Christopher's ornament was a little more serious. Towards the beginning of summer Christopher tripped and broke his clavicle bone on his right shoulder and required surgery for it to be fixed. He also needed to have his wisdom teeth removed in September. So his ornament was two miniature copies of his hospital bands linked together. His patient numbers Daddy replaced letters with numbers to spell out TEETH and CLAVICLE (for example A=1, B=2 and so on) I thought his was really cool!
And mine was one of my business cards attached to a miniature version of a picture of a flower that everyone at my graduation signed (without the signatures of course). This year I accomplished the first thing on my bucket list and that was to graduate as a homeschooler from beginning to end. After graduation I started my online sewing business which was the second thing on my bucket list.
Next in no particular order is marriage and swimming with dolphins! (big grin!)
After the ornaments were given we ended Hanukkah officially by frying up some homemade doughnuts which are a Jewish tradition to remember the oil! (aren't you so jealous?)
I tell ya, Jews know how to par-ty!
Thank you so much for sharing this Hanukkah with me and my family! I hope that you learned a little more about what Jews all around the world are celebrating during this time of year. I also hope that it will give you a new perspective of how our Savior, Yeshua, is our Light and that knowledge will give a you a compassion for the Jewish people so many of whom are still looking for the Light of Life.
"Nes Gadol Hayah Sham"
A great miracle happened there!
The last kid in charge of a night was Jonathan. For his meal we had turkey sandwiches and chicken gnocchi soup.
As in the same kind you can get at Olive Garden.
After supper we made homemade peanut butter balls for Jonathan's activity. This is actually what he did last year for his activity but hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
(Jonathan did a great job at directing us on what to do)
(Don't ask me what these are. Gideon made them and I think he said they were snails or something. Couldn't just make a ball could he?
Such a Stewart :P)
(Daddy made a little dreidel. So cute! Once again, such a Stewart.)
While the peanut butter balls (and snails and dreidel) got cold in the refrigerator for dipping, we went ahead and opened presents.
(No one knows that this shy guy can get so goofy at times)
Gideon's present was a lego set that was originally Jonathan's that he wanted and Jonathan gave it to him. Sweet! Plus a bag of mini semi sweet chocolate chips to put in vanilla yogurt. Gideon loves that!
Christopher got a lining for his trench coat that he wears all the time. Jonathan even sewed it all by himself! (and you thought I was the only seamstress in the family; of course he had "direction" from Mom and myself)
(Here is a picture of the lining inside his coat)
And I got a much needed sleeve press for pressing sleeves and hems on pants. According to Jonathan though, I got the "lamest present" but as you can tell by my face I was pretty excited! DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEA HOW HARD IT IS TO IRON A SLEEVE THAT WON'T FIT OVER YOUR IRONING BOARD??!?!?!?!!!!!!!??????????? (very stressful)
The peanut butter balls still weren't ready to dip after we got done with presents so we watched an episode of Marvel' s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Hulu. So I guess you could say we had two activities that night. :)
*DISCLAIMER* While this is a great show it does have its issues. There are a few cuss words said and several sexual remarks including the fact that as of right now in season one (episode 8), two of the main characters are sleeping together.
Finally we got to dip the peanut butter balls in chocolate and eat a couple of course :) What a fun night we had Jonathan! Good job! Tomorrow I'll blog about the last night of Hanukkah.
We are already over halfway through Hanukkah! I can't believe it's almost over! It's been great though and I'm going to hate to see it all end.
Gideon was the next person in charge of a night and he kept everything hush hush. All afternoon long in between school he was running back and forth between Mom and Dad's room (where the scheming goes on) and every other room in the house. This guy had a mission to complete!
Finally when evening arrived we got to see just what exactly had been going on inside Gideon's head. For supper, Gideon requested homemade hamburgers and I tried my hand at making latkas for the first time. (They turned out yum, yum thanks to Sandi's recipe)
(At our house Christopher is in charge of the grilling and pancake making. He's going to make some woman very happy one day!)
The meal was awesome! You can never go wrong with homemade hamburgers. (and I didn't burn the latkas! Yay!) During the meal Gideon explained that our presents were hidden and we would be given clues as to where to find them. I went first because ladies always go first :). My clue said to check my jewelry box. But I'm not going to tell you exactly what my clue said because then you'll guess where all my jewelry is! Sure enough there nestled among all my bling bling was a tiny present. Now I had to get it opened...
...which was not as easy as it looks because Gideon put at least a whole roll of tape around it! (you taught him well Mamaw)
...and double wrapped it!
While I was unwrapping the second layer of paper I jokingly said that I expected some 14 carat gold earrings for all this trouble I was going through. Well 10 minutes later when I FINALLY got it unwrapped turns out that Gideon did get me a pair of earrings and while they weren't 14 carat gold, they were real crystals.
I had been wanting these for a while and this past summer I almost bought them online when there was only one pair left. Turns out Gideon bought them behind my back so when I went to go buy them myself and saw that they were sold I was a little upset. But in the end I got my earrings and everyone lived happily ever after!
Ok, moving on now.
Christopher had to find his present next but, being Christopher, he decided that he was going to read his clue while it was still in the envelope. (He also is going to make some woman very frustrated!)
Dad convinced him to open the envelope because he was having trouble (me roll eyes). His clue was composed of pictures and words telling him where to go. After some thought Christopher decided to look under his bed (like the phrase "where you count sheep" wasn't a dead giveaway. Me roll eyes again.) Gideon got him some much needed glue sticks for his monster high heat hot glue gun.
Christopher then proceeded to read us off everything printed on the package including the warnings section, the instructions and what size the sticks were. It was getting late at this point and we still had an activity to do so Jonathan just started opening his present and Christopher soon stopped when he realized that no one was listening to him.
Jonathan's clue, like Christopher's, had pictures. But his were ALL pictures with no words. After studying it for awhile, Jonathan leans back and says:
"Climbshoeon. Go up tree."
Then he turns to Gideon, wraps his arm around his shoulders and asks "Now buddy, what does this mean?"
Which Gideon replies "It means, Climbshoeon. Go up tree!"
Of course the next question to be asked was "Which tree?"(When you live out in the middle of the woods, you have to be specific with your trees!). But everyone knew what tree Gideon meant. Jonathan has this tree that he likes to climb up and read in and sure enough, that's where his present was.
Jonathan got a pair of crocs with fuzzy lining on the inside for the winter that can be taken out in the summer time. Just the kind of shoe he needed!
Now that the presents were over, it was time to move onto the activity. But Gideon couldn't just tell us what the activity was, no! He had to give us an activity to figure out what we were doing for the activity. (I said he had a lot going on in that head of his!) He wrote what we were doing on a piece of paper then cut the letters apart. We had to put them back in order to discover the message.
The letters spelled out CARDS AT TABLE. My family and I have gotten into the game solitaire lately but we never had enough cards to where we could all play together. Mom and Gideon had bought a few more card decks for only a dollar at Target so now we had enough to play doubles in groups!
It was late when we all piled in bed that night, but we were all tired in a good way. Gideon did a very good job on his night and now it was up to Jonathan to make another Hanukkah night memory.
Christopher was in charge of night 5 of Hanukkah, Sunday. The first thing we did was open presents. A great way to start off if you ask me! :P Christopher got Jonathan and Gideon both a book and he got me this hat made by a friend in our bible study. (Just a note about presents: we keep this small--usually under $10 a piece and we often try to make something or other creative cheap way to share some love with our siblings!)
His activity and meal were kind of combined. We went to the Terry's house to eat homemade pancakes (made by Christopher, the pancake master himself) beef bacon, eggs and potato latkes. Yum. Yum. YUM! The reason we had to go eat at the Terry's is because they were the ones with the beef bacon!
No just kidding.
The real reason was because for his activity Christopher wanted to do another Doctor Who night! We were excited that Nic could join us again (along with his yummy orange juice). Plus, this time we went early enough to spend some time with the Terry's three super children. However, we got to eating and partying and forgot to do photos until they had already went to bed. :(
(Mr. Chris partied hard as you can tell)
Great job Christopher! You planned out an excellent night!
Next we'll see what Gideon has in store for everyone.
Our bible study group wanted to do a party during one of the nights of Hanukkah so we could celebrate together as a group. What we didn't plan on was doing it in our new building! One of the guys who runs the building said that they were going to be closed on Saturday night so we were free to use it! This was the first time anyone besides my dad and one other man along with their wives had been in it so we were all very excited!
The first thing we did was eat (duh!) then each family lit their menorah they brought. We started the program after that with the skit my family did last year at Hanukkah.
(I think the Greeks and Maccabees had a little too much fun fighting! Look at those faces!)
Definitely think that the Scottish Hebrew anchorman stole the show! No one was expecting that, threw us for a loop there!
After everyone had changed out of their costumes the Worland family led us in some traditional Hanukkah songs. Of course the words were in Hebrew so not many people knew what to sing but we had fun listening anyway. At one point one of the songs was sung in a four part round (in Hebrew). It was REALLY pretty and the Worlands did a great job singing (since they were the only ones) ! :P
Chris Terry gave us a short little background on Hanukkah and challenged us during this "Week of Dedication" to dedicate ourselves to The LORD as His temples.
We ended the program with one last song then there was more eating, laughter and fellowship! I think the party went well! I hope we can do it again next year!
P.S. Just incase you were wondering, I didn't win The Ugly Hanukkah Sweater/T-shirt Contest. Mr. Chris did. Now I must go comfort the turkey on my shirt... and my wounded pride.
Friday night, night 3, was my night of Hanukkah. We had traveled home from Thanksgiving (Thanksgivukkah) with my grandparents earlier that day so we were all a little tired however we still had a fun night! Since my night fell on Friday night and according to the Jewish calendar Sabbath starts at sundown on Friday we got to celebrate Hanukkah and Sabbath all at once.
For my activity I wanted to do a scavenger hunt. I told Mom that this was what I wanted and assumed she would take care of it so that it would be a surprise for me as well as for the rest of the fam. Makes sense right? But apparently, I was supposed to come up with the scavenger hunt myself. In the end Mom planned it out because it was too late for me to come up with anything. Oh well. Mom did a great job anyway! Thanks Mommy!
So after supper we piled into the car and Mom passed Gideon the first clue. It said:
The moon may not be full, but the scenery is still great. It would make a perfect backdrop for a Stand Four/Macabeats video. Start at this location and light your candle while posing as a Stand Four/Macabeat. Have your photo taken and you can get your next clue.
And everyone in the van paused.
For a very long time.
Then Christopher remembered that one time a friend of ours took our picture by the Ocoee river with the full moon in the background. So we drove down there and got our picture taken, again....
Now the catch was that at every stop the boys and I had to get our picture taken. But we had to take it with candles like a mini Hanukkah menorah and each of us took turns being the Shamash (remember what that was?).
(Notice that Gideon's candle is in his mouth!)
Unlike the first clue, we knew exactly where we had to go by the third line on the second clue.
Old MacDonald had a farm. Ee, Ii, Ee, Ii, Oo. And on this farm he had a pig. Ee, Ii, Ee, Ii, Oo. Some of their animals may not be kosher, but we love this family anyway. Go to their house and have a photo taken with one or as many of them that are home while holding your lit candle. Then you can get your next clue.
We have some really good close friends of ours that the kids of that family help take of their neighbors sheep and they themselves own pigs (pigs aren't kosher).
(we were all laughing because the camera was set for rapid fire, where it takes multiple pictures at once. Mom couldn't get the "paparazzi" to stop!)
Our second clue was like the first one in that we had to visit some more friends.
You were afraid of her when you were little. But we know her bark is worse than her bite. Go have your photo taken with her “double troubles” while holding your lit candle. Then you can have your next clue.
Mrs. Teressa taught all of us in children's church when we were little and the first time we met her we were terrified. But then we learned that we had nothing to be afraid of! She and her husband adopted two super sweet twin boys that really are "double trouble" ! (and I'm their lucky baby-sitter! No I didn't get the clue. ;)
(AREN'T THEY THE CUTEST THINGS YOU'VE EVER SEEN?!?!!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes they really are twins! I promise!)
Our last clue ('cus we ran out of time for the others) led us to a couple we have dubbed as our official "third set of grandparents". He calls himself "old as dirt" and she, like me, owns her own sewing business. So we guessed that one right off too.
He’s as old as dirt and she’s creative with her hands. Go to their house, serenade them with “Happy Hanukkah” (Mom’s style), light your candle, and get a photo. Then you can have your next clue.
When we first started celebrating Hanukkah, Mom made up a song to the tune of "Happy Holidays" that gets on everyone else's nerves and that's the song that we had to sing. Mom tried to get a video but only got the last half, so we had to sing it again.
When you're in a family that makes movies for a hobby, you have to allow for multiple takes.
That's just how we roll folks!
After visiting for a little while we headed home for some leftover cake and presents! I decided to make everyone something myself so basically everybody got clothes! :)
A shirt for my Daddy
A casserole carrier for Mama but I couldn't find the pattern in time so I gave her the fabric and showed her the picture.
A hooded vest for Gideon
For Jonathan I made him a pair of pajama pants out of a soft knit material. He opened it and he goes:
"Ooh it's soft..."
:) That's the reaction I was wanting. :)
Christopher asked me to make him, quote "a shirt with stitching up and down the sleeve" end quote. So that's what I attempted.
Then he attempts to put it on without having to take his other shirt off.
And that was my night of Hanukkah! The next person in charge of a night is Christopher. I'll blog about what he does later because we haven't done it yet!
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