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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Card

Frankly, I love Christmas cards. Sometimes I don't get them out quite on time, which seems to really stress out Kelvin. Sometimes I just wait and send Happy New Year cards. Oh well, it still brings a smile, late or not, huh? More frankly, it was just too hard to send them out this year. There's a little face missing from our family picture nowadays. So, please forgive the lack of postage for those of you who usually receive one, but here is our Christmas card this year. Enjoy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I wish we cold have all of you over to join us by the fire for s'mores and hot chocolate and enjoy each other's company. It would be fun to watch the kids' anticipation for tomorrow morning grow by the minute and read the Christmas story together.

Luke 2

1 At that time, Augustus Caesar sent an order that all people in the countries under Roman rule must list their names in a register. 2 This was the first registration;[a] it was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to their own towns to be registered. 4 So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. 5 Joseph registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged [b] and who was now pregnant. 6 While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, 7 and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough. 8 That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened. 10 The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. 11 Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. 12 This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box." 13 Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying: 14 "Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God."[c] 15 When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem. Let's see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about." 16 So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a feeding trough. 17 When they had seen him, they told what the angels had said about this child.18 Everyone was amazed at what the shepherds said to them.19 But Mary treasured these things and continued to think about them.20 Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything they had seen and heard. It had been just as the angel had told them.

But our backyard is probably too small for such a gathering, so please join us through the blog. I recently found (or more likely it was divine intervention from God himself) Ann's blog. Her relationship with Jesus is precious. She draws you in with her writing and makes you yearn for more...more of Him. Below is the video she shared today. You can also find information on how to download an Advent Devotional Book on her right sidebar. I have thoroughly enjoyed mine. For today's Advent devotional Ann writes,

At that time, for such a time as this, now in the fullness of the long journey of time, God sends out an order for His Son to make His way into the world and God who has no beginning or no end, He travels into time to meet us as a helpless babe.

Joseph journeys with his Mary and God comes nearer and people around the globe push in closer, the whole of Earth waiting with bated-breath, all the dusty world with all its heavy baggage journeying to Bethlehem tonight. We seek a deliverance of our own.

But tonight there will be no rooms in the inn.

Jesus comes as a traveler and if we follow Him, this world is not our home, but heaven is our destination, and we put on our shoes and go out into all the world, so more will hear of Him and journey with us to the cradle of the King.

Lord, we are almost there and our waiting and yearning and seeking and journey is almost over—or are we just beginning the greatest journey of all?

Unwrapping more of His love in the world. Put on your shoes and go for a walk today. Sing a Christmas carol out loud. Go into all the world today and tell one person about the coming king and how He loves.

the cross in christmas from tammi dryden on Vimeo.

Merry Christmas from our family to you. May you find the hope that comes from knowing the One who humbled Himself and came as a baby so He could take the sin of the world, our sin, upon Himself and die on the cross for us, providing salvation for all the world and the promise of eternal life. Hallelujah!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

iPad for Sale! **Updated**

iPAD for sale! We won a NIB 16GB iPAD in a raffle to help friends raise money to cover adoption expenses. We will sell the iPAD to the highest bidder and give 100% of the money to their adoption fund. Bidding starts at $100 and ends at noon Tuesday. Post bids often...have fun!

We are also running this on fb, FYI. You can go to my page here. Kelvin's is out there too, but I want the highest bid to come in on my page, so I'm not sharing his link with you. Hee Hee! So far, his FB page has the highest bid at $400 $500! Oh man, come on friends!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Parties updated with photos

Yesterday I went to Cora's Christmas party. It was so cute! I'll post pictures and video later. Today is Luke's party. Tomorrow is Carleigh's party. I'm also singing at a party in the morning for some of the wonderful people from Bay Area Rehab. Many of them were Emma's therapists. I hope I can get through it without shedding tears. There's not much pretty about a sobbing singer!

Of course I forgot to take the camera to Carleigh's party. I always forget something!
The big kids are playing basketball and cheering for Upward this year, and they are supposed to learn a scripture every week. This week's verse is "And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 Good reminder of how we should live, huh?

Well, off to get ready for party numero dos.

Merry Christmas!

p.s. I got through singing at the therapists' Christmas party without tears while I sang!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A few of my favorite things

Christmas 2007...

Peek-a-boo! Sweet little angel under the tree!

What a great smile! So excited about her Christmas party at Wee School!

Wanted to ride Luke's new 4-wheeler!

Christmas Princess

Three Amigos

Oh, how I wish this spunky little monkey was still with us...and well. I don't know how to describe the pain I have felt the past several weeks. Sometimes I feel like I can't even breathe. With our loss of Emma, everything, however big or small, is magnified. Even the smallest tasks are more difficult than they should be. Picking out her headstone has proven to be especially difficult. Nothing is right. Every time I leave the marker office I cry. Picking out a marker for your daughter's grave is just not what a parent should have to do. It's backwards. I don't know why we waited until the past month and a half to make this purchase. I guess it's just been too much to bear. But now, at a time when we should be celebrating the arrival of the Savior, looking at the sparkling lights, taking in the sights and sounds of the season, enjoying the merriment of friends and loved ones, now is when we are approving or disapproving (as it has been for the past 6 weeks) sketches for our daughter's grave marker. I hate death! I understand in my head that Emma is in a wonderful place celebrating the birth of our King, but a heart is a powerful force with which to reckon, and my heart is absolutely shattered into pieces. We have continued with our celebrations, and the kids are totally excited that Christmas is just 14 days away, but there are days I would just like to stay in bed with the covers over my head and hibernate through this season of life. Thank God He sent His only Son to live among us, fully man and fully God, sinless, taking our sin upon Him on the cross so we can have the promise of eternal life with Him after our time on this Earth. Thank God, I will hold Emma again and hear her sing Joy to the World/The Lord is come/Let Earth receive her King./Let every heart/Prepare Him room/And Heaven and nature sing! And Hark the herald angels sing/Glory to the newborn King!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The children were nestled...

The children were nestled, all snug in their beds on the couch...
Couldn't you just eat her up?!? This isn't the best picture since it was taken from the camera on my phone, but the batteries were charging from my regular camera, and I couldn't resist.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Fun

I think the kids have really enjoyed the
Advent Calendar.

I know I have! It's been fun thinking up fun, inspirational, reflective, yummy ideas to put into the muffin cups! Sunday afternoon the kids read the little paper inside the cup. "Merry Christmas! Let's go to a Christmas parade!" And so we did...

Grammy (my mom) came along. It was fun and a tad bit cool! I was glad we could pull the Yukon up to the street and sit in the back!

My little reindeer!

Totally in awe with all the festivity!

Gotta love Charlie Brown!

These little elves were adorable! They were making pizza!

Jesus is what it's all about!

Carlegih and Luke had a BALL catching the candy and taking in the sights!

Luke could. not. be. lieve. his eyes! Only in Texas!
We had such a good time! The only thing that could have made it any better was some hot cocoa! mmmm! Today the message behind #7 reads

 Merry CHRISTmas!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dunnam Christmas Party

Last night we enjoyed getting together with Kelvin's extended family. It's always nice to visit with the aunts and uncles and cousins. There were tons of little ones running around. Between the four cousins who were there, we had 12 kiddos there! FUN STUFF! The food was good and the company was great!

The "little" girls
The "Big" Boys

The "Big" Girls

Little Miss Curious
Playing the gift game
Our nephew, Andrew, and his girlfriend, Amanda. Aren't they adorable?!
My sweet, silly Carleigh
Cutie Patootie!
Our cousin who looks just like my friend's son! Crazy!

 Kelvin's cousin, Clay and his wife Kim. Loved visiting with them!

We all had a great time! I guess I got preoccupied and stopped taking pictures. There were lots more of us "Dunnams" there. I wish we could get the kiddos together more often. They were all so sweet and got along so well. It would be nice if they knew each other better. For now, I'm thankful for our annual Christmas party and sporadic visit here and there throughout the year.

 Merry Christmas Dunnams!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Calendar **UPDATED**

(More details on the Advent Calendar Below)
Last year I was reading Sarah's blog and was totally inspired to make an advent calendar. It didn't happen last year, but this year, I was determined! My girlfriends and I stayed up late into the wee hours of the morning last night to get these sweet things finished. What do you think?

I just love the way they turned out! I saw the idea for a muffin tin advent calendar somewhere but can't for the life of me remember where. She used a mini muffin tin, but I took two regular-sized tins, drilled holes in the bottom edges, and connected them together with ribbon I had in my craft box. I found the cheapest muffins tins in town at Kroger on sale for under 4 bucks! The scrapbook paper was half-off at Hobby Lobby, and I added a few cute details from old Christmas cards for FREE, so the whole project was well under $10!

I can't wait to fill each one with something fun to get ready for Christmas! Don't tell the kids, but I bought a really cool new Christmas book for them at Cora's book fair the other day, and the little note inside the tin tomorrow will give instructions on where they can find it on the shelf! I love Christmas! This year will be a bit bluer without my sweet Emma. The sparkle isn't nearly as bright as it once was.

So, what's going on at your house to get ready for Christmas?

Okay, so here's what we did to make our muffin tin Advent calendar...

~You need 2 12 cup muffin tins, which works perfectly for an Advent calendar, which has 24 days! :) Of course you can use the 24 cup mini tin, but with three kiddos to provide treats for, I needed a bigger cup size. (I just had to giggle with the last sentence. Who couldn't use a bigger, or perkier, cup size? Hee, Hee!)
~Get a box of adhesive magnetic sheet

~Cut whatever shapes or designs you would like to cover your muffin cups. We did circles, but you could do squares or whatever.
~Decorate the front of the the paper, adding numbers 1-24.
~Cut strips of the magnetic adhesive and add to the edge of your covers.
~Arrange your numbered papers however you wish on the muffin tin. I put mine in order from 1-24, but my friend suggested it might be fun to scramble them for a little challenge for the kiddos.
~Add treats or notes to the cups.
~Get excited each evening when it's time to reveal the treat of the day. The book was a hit last night! I think tonight's note will suggest we make s'mores indoors.

Spread marshmallow cream on graham crackers with a piece of chocolate...yum! You can also microwave a large marshmallow on a graham cracker for a few seconds, then add the chocolate...yum! Either way is fun and yummy!

Have fun!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What a week!

We had a wonderful week at the deer lease. It was a huge change for us since we are usually in town with family for Thanksgiving, but we decided to take advantage of the week off and head out of town. I made the dressing early and took it with us along with a Cajun smoked turkey and a whole lot more. I even made the apple pie again! It was yummy the second time too!
Apple Upside-Down Pie

Carleigh had the opportunity to hunt with Kelvin this time too. We were so excited for her when they drove up in the Scrambler with this bad boy in the back!

Man, the standard is set high for this little chica! My 8 year old little girl shot her first 8 point white tail buck!

The marks on Carleigh's face are the result of a long-standing "tradition" which Kelvin convinced me and Carleigh she had to do after harvesting her deer. It's the deer's blood! EEEW!

Luke was chomping at the bit to get his hands on that deer!

We got a play-by-play around the campfire when our friends joined us. The Garretts have a lease a half mile down the road, literally. And our friends, the Bakers came up Thanksgiving evening and joined us for the long weekend. We had a ball!

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