Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Almost Christmas!

Well, I thought it was about time for another update, and now that I have temporarily relieved myself of all of my evening work (i.e. worked my tooshie off this week and now I’m done with my projects.. yay!) I have an evening to do so. Not to mention that I am suffering from what apparently 95% of the population of Scotland is suffering from right now.. Ian started it. I thought I was going to make it through with my awesome immune system, but I had to stay up until 2 a.m. on Monday to get some work done (seriously.. deadlines had to be met.. and I didn’t dilly dally either, promise!) and my immune system made it very clear on Tuesday that if I wanted it to do its job, I was going to have to try harder than that. So now I am being punished. My immune system hopes I will remember this next time. And so do I. So I am not at Bible study like I would normally be at this time on a Thursday. No, I’m on the couch, hoping I can breathe through my nose tomorrow, not to mention hear, and have a normal sized throat. That’s what I’m hoping.

Now on to the fun stuff! On Saturday we had our very first womens’ event in the St Andrews Free Church! It was all very exciting :) We had it at our flat (Ian wasn’t there of course, being a man and all..) and started off with about 10 of us and ended with 13 (I think.. unless my memory is failing me, which is very likely). We had a Christmas tea with lots of goodies, which I forgot to photograph, and we made Christmas cards for the residents of the Gibson house here in town. It falls under the category of an eventide home, or a care home for the elderly.

We had a wonderful time visiting together and are looking forward to planning a few events for next semester. Any of you ladies out there with ideas, please send them my way!

Here are some of the ladies that helped serve Saturday morning..

And here are the results!

They were beautiful little cards, and I must say they turned out wonderfully despite the many claims of not being creative. You never know until you try and I hope many of these women will have more confidence next time! :) They were all different and so creative – maybe this will become an annual event!

We’ve had our Christmas tree up for several weeks now (we put it up the weekend of Thanksgiving) and, as last year, we LOVE it. It was an awesome investment as well. Super cheap and a wonderful addition to the living room. Let me demonstrate…

This is what I see when I come home from work..

If that isn’t just the coziest little corner you ever did see! If only that was frost in the window instead of the never-ending condensation :) (side note: I got out some wrapping paper to wrap Ian’s present tonight and you’ll never guess what I found all rolled up in it… MOLD! Man, the things I never knew I’d have to worry about in life!)

It’s such a sweet little tree and has been greatly enhanced by the red bobbles this year (left for us by the beloved Williams! Thanks guys!). By the way, do you call them bobbles? I thought I always did, and then I was informed that it’s kind of a UK word. If it is, it just snuck right in without me even batting an eye! I’d like to know how crazy I am, so if you could let me know what you call the brightly colored Christmas orbs, that would be fantastic :)

Let me highlight the main parts of the tree.. You have the bobbles, the sparkly ones are my favorites; the hand-made twig stars which somehow survived being stored over the last year; the ribbon from the Poundland candles we purchased last year that ‘hold’ the stars on (even though they fall off all the time); the lovely lights that warm the room so nicely; and the noticeably plastic ‘tree trunk’ from our £4 tree! I think it works well together :)

And finally, my very favorite part of the tree..

The BIRD ornament! Yay!! This ornament makes me well up with good memories and love from our trip to Germany in April. While we were there, we took a day and traveled to Northern France with the Smith family to find some of their favorite wine (and to discover why it was their favorite!). Alyssa’s Grandma was with us and we made a stop into a Christmas shop where each grandkid is allowed to pick out an ornament every year. Well, bless her heart, Grandma let Ian and I pick one out too! It is most definitely my favorite ornament ever and I think it is beautiful! I am so grateful for it :)

Last Saturday evening (after the morning festivities and an afternoon of working – boo!) was the Christmas party for work at the…. Old Course Hotel! I’d never set foot into that place, and honestly didn’t think I ever would, but lo-and-behold, not only did I set foot in it, I ate, drank, laughed, experienced my first Christmas cracker, and danced (if you can call it that). It was beautifully decorated and the food was sooooooooo good. Pumpkin soup with crème fraiche, RED meat (it was either ribeye or prime rib, I can’t remember.. I think it must have been prime rib because that sounds nicer and it was the Old Course after all) with yummy grilled vegetables, and then a luscious lemon tart for dessert. I really enjoyed the evening and spending time with my co-workers outside of work. I have to admit, I only hit the dance floor when I was dragged there.. Cut me some slack, I haven't been to a proper dance since high school! :) Anyway, there was much drama about what I would wear because the one nice dress I brought with me had a stain and snags across the front when I pulled it out of the closet - which would’ve been cute no doubt, but I was a little intimidated by the Old Course I have to admit. I found a dress I really liked, but it was very much out of the price range of what I was willing to spend on this outfit. However, my sweet hubby went out and bought it while I was at work to surprise me, so I got to wear it after all. And now I have the ‘little black dress’ that I’ve never owned, but always borrowed from dear friends :)

(you’ll notice I’m bracing myself on the wall, that is apparently to keep my balance while I stand on one foot.. I think it’s a lovely pose! :)

And, lastly, so you can see the fruits of my labor.. Ian’s presents under the tree..

The tall on on the left is from Terry, my boss, for both of us, but I thought I’d wrap it anyway just for fun. The one in front he already knows about and has been playing for about a month.. And, the one on the right is the only one that remains a complete surprise that he is going to love! :)

I wholeheartedly hope that each of you find much love and warmth this season, whether you are with family or away from them. Jesus is not bound by location.. May He fill your heart with grace and mercy, and may you reflect on the truth that while we celebrate His birth on December 25th, we’re really celebrating what that birth made possible - his life, death, and resurrection, and His sure return to make all things new. May you share in this anticipation with us this season!

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