Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday baking and other items...

I know I have been absent lately. Things have just been so busy. I have so many things I want to share...

First, I'm typing this post at 1:36am because I am baking some treats for my co-workers, and tomorrow is that last day of school. That means that this little missy put it off until the last minute and is paying the price by staying up late. Ugh.

Tomorrow after the glorious last day of school for 2008 (the kids have been insane this week -- nothing has been accomplished academic-wise), David and I head to Richmond to officially celebrate my dad's 60th bday and see my grandparents. My dad turned 60 on December 10, and David and I actually drove to Richmond the night of Dec. 9 to surprise him. We got to Richmond about 8:45pm and had to leave at 4:00am to get to work on time, so we were only there less than 8 hours. But the 6.5 hours of driving were totally worth it to pull off that surprise. He, my mom, and my sis and nephews were all so surprised when we busted through the door! I took video and David took pictures, and maybe one day they'll make it up here. Did I mention we stopped at a restaurant to pick up some ribs for my dad on the way?

Last Wednesday, we celebrated "Christmas Together" as a homegroup and church. First, our bible study gathered here @ HOC for our annual white elephant gift exchange. Then, we all headed to our churchwide Christmas party. That was a lot of fun. The staff team had brainstormed this great idea to light sparklers and sing "Silent Night" but the sparklers created so much smoke everyone was coughing and laughing. We did sing, but it wasn't quite the serious moment we had hoped for. Oh well. We are a unique church... :)

Speaking of church, my talk on Proverbs 31 went well on Dec. 7, and it should be online now if you want to listen. My talk is 7 out of 7. (Well really 7 out of 8, but it says 7 out of 7).

On Monday night, a bunch of our women staff went Christmas shopping in Roanoke. There wasn't much I needed to buy, but the company was amazing. 7 ladies stuffed in a mini-van making the 45 minute trek to a better mall is always a blast. And I did find a great shirt at Ann Taylor Loft for under $10.

This Tuesday night, we had our annual church staff Christmas party, and that was a blast as usual. Good food. Amazing Tracy Pace desserts. And the white elephant exchange that features steals and husband/wife plotting and manipulating. It's everything a Christmas party should be.

Tonight was packing night for France. We leave in a week, but the next 7 days will be crazy. First, we head to Richmond 2 days. We return on Sunday and will be getting the house ready and in gear for my family to arrive Monday. My parents, sis, bro-in-law and 2 nephews are coming to spend Christmas here in Blacksburg. We are so excited to be hosting!!!!

We're literally hosting an informal Christmas Eve service at our house for NLCF folks who are around, and then, we have Christmas Day! We need to leave Blacksburg by around noon on Christmas so my family can drop David and I off in Roanoke at the airport. They'll go back to Richmond to see more family, and David and I are off to FRANCE!!!!!

I am so excited I am beside myself. I cannot wait to write about that once we return. We'll be gone 10 days and return January 5. We'll be spending Dec. 26-30 in Aix en Provence, where Dom & Hilary live. Then we'll head to Paris on Dec. 30 and spend the rest of our time there. That means New Year's Eve in Paris! We'll see how good my 4 years of French did...

Oh, and I'll be taking a ton of pictures, especially now that we got a surprise amazing Christmas present from my folks -- a digital SLR camera. They gave it to us early so we could practice before the big trip.

Anyway, I think my bread is about done, and it's almost 2:00am. That means I really need to get some sleep soon since my alarm will go off in about 3.5 hours.

Tonight was our

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