Category Archives: holidays

rejoice!

o come, o come Emmanuel, and ransom captive israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the son of God appear.

rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, o israel.

o come, thou rod of jesse, free thine own from satan’s tyranny; from depths of hell thy people save, and give them victory o’er the grave.

o come, thou dayspring, come and cheer our spirits with thine advent here; disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.

o come, thou key of david, come and open wide out heavenly home; make safe they way that leads on nigh, and close the path to misery.

o come, desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of all mankind; bid thou our sad divisions cease, and be thyself our King of Peace.

rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, o israel.

what a holiday yesterday was! christmas eve here in southwest oklahoma was a snowed-in one, with power outages and the use of quite a few flashlights. :) christmas day was filled with pilfering through stocking stuffers, plugging in numerous AA batteries into my nieces’ new toys, and cooking a delicious dinner with help from my sister and sister-in-law. despite the blizzard and the sketchy road conditions brought with it, both my brother and sister’s families were able to make it down to the country to celebrate together. we, as a family, have more than we could ever ask for: love and laughter, a mother whose fight with cancer this winter has been nothing but a blessed one, and God with us. He is Emmanuel, the Word made flesh. prophecy foretold His arrival, and yet He was the Messiah few expected or recognized. may we celebrate each day how You came and walked in our skin.

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the thursday thirty, issue eleven.

yeah yeah, i know it’s a full week after thanksgiving – and it’s almost the end of this thursday as it is. nevertheless, this thursday thirty only feels appropriate if it outlines 30 things for which i’m thankful – part of a much longer list in itself. :)

  • having a relationship with the Father & Son.
  •  inheriting one-half of each of my parents’ qualities.
  • having siblings to admire & count on.
  • bearing the title of ‘peanut’ to my four fantastic nieces!
  • having been raised in a small town.
  • having teachers throught elementary/high school who genuinely cared for me, and still being overjoyed to see them when i return to my hometown.
  • the opportunities i have had to travel & experience so many cultures at such a young age.
  • the other opportunities i have had to excel in academics, & for those who believed in me along the way
  • getting accepted to my dream college, receiving scholarships to make that dream a reality, and for having professors here who are committed to our success and growth.
  • the mentors who have carried me through some of my darkest days, & who have been there to rejoice with me in my sweetest ones.
  • never having to go without what i need.
  • having access to loads of information at my fingertips – i mean, can you imagine having to write college term papers withOUT internet databases?!
  • sweet tea. :D
  • a passion for frugality & stewardship.
  • a closet full of clothes.
  • a pantry & fridge full of good food.
  • the blessed assurance that His plan for me is perfect, even when i try and nudge Him to move things along a little more quickly. :)
  • the home i have found at lifechurch.tv, & the multiple ministries i have gotten to serve in there.
  • the switch small group of 8th-grade girls that i get to lead!
  • the beauty of my state.
  • how He has worked through my mom’s recent diagnosis. we have so much to be thankful for during this season.
  • the lifelong circle of friends God’s given to me, both in high school & at obu.
  • the time i spent in mexico & turkey on mission.
  • red dirt music… if i can say that? :)
  • my esl students in the intensive english program.
  • southern cookin’.
  • the feeling i get when i drive in the country.
  • the friendships twittering has fostered!
  • that everyone in my immediate family lives within two hours or so of campus. this has literally been a lifeline for me while in college.
  • every heartbreak & lesson learned, as much as i try to deny it sometimes. i couldn’t very well be me without ’em, right?

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sweet potatoes & sweet surprises.

my goodness – is it honestly already december? despite my great love for this school, it was a smidge difficult to drag myself back to campus after such a splendid break. this thanksgiving brought me…

  • some much needed time spent with my precious family. it feels like years since i have seen my father, though in all actuality it’s only been the few months since this semester began. i love that man yet always want to roll my eyes at him at the same time. it was good to hug his neck, though, and a rare compliment even leaked out from him about my cooking – now that is a moment to remember, folks! [here’s a free tidbit for you – while discussing his technological illiteracy, dad told us that he still refuses to use a gradebook for his classes on the computer, and instead compells his school’s computer teacher to do it for him. naturally, we wondered what sort of compensation he gives her for this kind service to an old man. “i pay her in turnips,” he said matter-of-factly. “turnips? really, dad?” laughter then ensued. “well that, and any other fresh vegetable i have.” hehehe. and he said it all with a straight face. i love this man. it just goes to show you how simple and sweet small town life can be.] it should also be known that my mama and daddy are the best parents one could ever hope to have. i am extremely, without a doubt, overwhelmingly blessed.
  • texas hold ’em. that’s right, i now know how to play a poker game. what a great skill to bring back to my christian college! this newfound pasttime should, by no means, suggest i am at all good at this intense sport. but i am working on my poker face from now on. if i fail to laugh at something insanely funny, be assured that it’s only practice.
  • a glorious family announcement. i’m going to be an aunt again!!! my sweet sister is twelve weeks pregnant with her second child, and i am so so happy to have another little one on his or her way to us. kaitlyn, my sisters three year old daughter, shared the happy news as we sat down to our meal with the following prayer: thank you for the food, thank you for our family, and thank you for the baby in my mommy’s belly. weeeeeeeeeee! i firmly suspect i will have my first nephew next june. call it a hunch, but i’m pretty good with those! with my three nieces, i have a feeling he will have no shortage of bosses around. :]
  • did i mention i make a mean sweet potato casserole? i too did not know this until thursday, but apparently i have quite a knack for the squash-related dishes. besides my established task of making the pumpkin pies, i decided to try this recipe out. it was quite a hit!

sweet potato casserole

ingredients:
2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 cups mashed)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons melted butter
topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
scrub sweet potatoes and cut in half if large. bake in their jackets until tender. cool; slip the peels off and mash well. stir in sugar and salt. whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and 4 tablespoons melted butter. stir into the mashed sweet potato mixture until smooth and well blended. spoon the mixture into a lightly buttered 2-quart baking dish. combine remaining ingredients for the topping; sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture. bake at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes.

how was your thanksgiving? do you have any new or old favorite thanksgiving foods?

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