Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Word Wrap-Up

Another year has flown by and it's time to reflect and move forward as January 1st is right around the corner.  The first of the year always brings the excitement of new beginnings, fresh starts, and the anticipation of what is yet to be.  As I've looked back over the all the years in which I have chosen a word I've noticed that it truly does keep me focused and pressing towards the things God wants.  2016 was the word LEAD.  I wanted to be a better leader in my my home, at church, and at my job.  I looked for opportunities that would force me to lead and I jumped at them.  The first being to take the challenge of reading the One Year Bible this year.  My church is full of amazing women of God and I knew I wanted to be among them so I found out what they were doing and joined in, and one thing they do is read the One Year daily.  It's such a great way to get the Word daily and routinely.  After 365 days, it's pretty much become a habit and has made me better in so many ways.  I have always read the Bible daily, you know, a verse here a chapter there, but this year I get to end the year saying I've read the whole Bible, every word of it!  To be a follower of Jesus it's so important to know His Word. I'm looking forward to continuing this reading throughout this next year so the words and stories and promises can continue to soak in.

Last January, I also prayed to have an intern join me in the classroom.  I knew it was a long shot because they only look at teachers who have been in the field for over 3 years.  Plus, I missed the training class over the summer due to Youth Camp.  So, I was prepared to have to wait another year, but I continued to pray about this opportunity.  When I turned back to school last January there was paperwork in my box for an intern.  I was shocked and confused! I went and talked to the Assistant Principal just to make sure there hadn't been a mistake.   Sure enough, everything was good to go and I got my first intern!! 
And with the start of the 2016-2017 school year last Fall, I got my second intern! I have been so blessed with young ladies who have a passion for teaching and an internal motivation to do their best.  You never know what you will get with a randomly placed intern, but God has been so gracious and given me great girls to work alongside.  

2016 has been a great year with lots of learning and stretching and I'm proud of the progress I've made.  A year almost doesn't seem long enough for some words, but 2017 is coming, like it or not, and He has already set my sights on the new task at hand.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Day

With the boys at their dad's and the other kids with the mom's side of the family, Richard and I had a
rare and quiet Christmas morning with just the two of us for breakfast.

My family drove in and we spent the morning opening all of the adult gifts and ate a wonderful lunch, and then waited for the kids to get home.

I made a ton of gifts this year with my Cricut, so almost everyone got a decal or homemade shirt of some kind.

Richard surprised me with a standing mixer!! I can't wait to try it out!

All the kid returned home around 4pm and we geared up for round 2 of presents.  They first started with their stockings.  Baylee received money and a small scavenger hunt for the boys.  There were a few small presents around the house which led them to the porch for their big gift.

All the boys were pretty excited except for Teague.  He wouldn't be in any of the pictures at first but then he warmed up to the idea and actual shot at the target a few times. 

Then we opened the rest of the packages and everyone got some great things!!

An Active Faith shirt
A Duke hat for our future Dukie
A metal detector
My Sweet Tea and Jesus creation for Baylee
And a maze contraption that kept Teague busy

  It was a full day and a very full Christmas. We are so blessed to be able to celebrateChristmas multiple times with multiple families.  God has put such special people in our lives and we are thankful for each one of you!  

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Eve at the Hollingsworth's

Since the girls came in a few days earlier than Christmas we decided to take them to look at Christmas lights with us.  They each wore a little jingle bell necklace and every time they saw a house with lights they would ring their bells.  I have a former student who's house is amazing, so I knew we had to take them there!  The whole ride there the girls wanted to sing Christmas carols.  The two they knew were Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is coming to town, so those are the two we sang. Maysen only knew two lines of Santa Claus is coming to town; you better not cry, you better not that is what she sang for a good 30 minutes!! It eventually turned into her chanting, you better not pout, you better not pout, you better not pout!  They were so cute and so excited. 

There was a place for pictures and a box full of props to use.
They even had real snowing falling!
Afterwards, we came back and had hot chocolate, candy canes and cookies.

On Christmas Eve, we went to Roy and Lynette's for Mexican food and gifts.  The girls and Lynette had beautiful sparkly outfits.
 Koby started the night off with the reading of the Christmas Story.
And Kelby prayed over the food.  
After dinner, we put on our matching pajamas and opened gifts.  This year we made some for Austyn and Maysen, too.

The girls both received a vanity so they loved going around and putting make up on everyone and doing our hair.

Roy and Lynette are so easy going and welcoming in their home.  Between all the girls toys and accessories and all of our gifts strewn about and the wrapping trash we had yet to pick up; we had made quite a mess of their living room, but they never act like it bothers them.  I love being a guest in their home.   What a wonderful evening!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

McCaig Christmas

This time of year always has many Christmas celebrations and the McCaig's were our first! Judy had a wonderful meal and way too many yummy desserts! She and Neal also came up with some great games for us to play! 

The first was White Elephant, except none of brought things.  She and Neal had de-cluttered and had White Elephant gifts for us all!!  It was hilarious to see their faces as we chose a wrapped gift from the pile.  Here is what the kids ended up with; snowman decor, a cookbook, and origami book, and 9 pounds of pennies!  Kelby stole the pennies away from Richard when Dominic googled the dollar value of 9 pounds and it's about $17! 

The next game was played wearing oven kits and opening one package.  It went round and round the circle until Dominic finally got the last of the wrapping off and found 10 brand new dollar bills.

Baylee received the game Speak Out, where you put the contraption in your mouth and try to say words while others guess.  So they all wanted to play that  next.  It was hilarious!

One of the gifts was a maze inside a ball with a marble you had to get around the maze without letting it fall.  Richard tried and tried but no luck making to the end.

What a great way to kick off this holiday season.  Judy and Neal always know how to host a great gathering and we enjoyed every bit it!!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Winter Formal

Our winter formal for the youth was a success! Since we were coming in from staff retreat we relied on our wonderful leaders to decorate, order food and get everything set up for the evening, and they did a great job!

There was dancing and games and food and gifts.  It's always fun to hang out with this group.