Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Greetings

We joyfully greet you from Texas this year! Yes, I know you are hardly even surprised to hear that we would do something so crazy. It has been a wild ride, with such a complex story that I finally began this family journal, or blog, in an attempt to document the details. There is no way the highlights of this year could fit into one letter, so you are now essentially at the doorway to a book! But please don't let that scare you off. Take your time, bookmark the page, come back and catch up on old articles whenever it suits you. I try to add to it at least once a week. Be sure to check out the photo albums listed to the right, as well as links to my recipe website (all my favorites are here!) and a few other sites I find notable.

In the first half of the year, we renovated our kitchen and basement, provided accomodations and hospitality to guests at least five different times, hosted four parties of 10 or more people, and attended the third and final Burdine family wedding in a 15 month period. That alone was my entire to-do list for the year, and it was complete by July!

Then, suddenly the way opened up in front of us to move to Texas, something we have been desiring to do for five years. Read more about the process, starting as we shared our intentions with our friends in Salt Lake in June, and continuing through August. We arrived in Texas August 13, just two days before our 10th wedding anniversary. Right now we are living with Justin's parents in College Station as we continue to wait for our house to sell in a slow market.

As far as a summary of what our life is like right now, many of the entries from September through November share about family events. See Weekend Expeditions for a sample. We have squeezed so much into this year! However, our life is probably still similar to yours in that we spend a lot of our time and energy on the mundane.

Maren is doing so well in Kindergarten. She is reading, which makes Mommy very proud! Her teacher works with the class every day on storytelling techniques; I am certain that every one of the students in the class is prepared to become a professional author! Maren's favorite time of day is the last half-hour when they have self-directed time in the different centers. We hear the most about it because that's the last part of the day. Sometimes she plays with blocks, sometimes on the art easel. But her favorite center of all is the home center, where they have a chance to play in the play kitchen, and with baby dolls. She also enjoys getting in the kitchen with Grammy at home any chance she can get.

Jesse is all the things you might imagine about a two year old. He is exploring his world, testing limits, and bursting with personality. If left alone more than 30 seconds unsupervised, beware to the world around him! Sigh... in fact, as if to prove the point, while I was writing that last sentence he was playing with a Sharpie marker someone left lying around... Like many younger siblings, he is a performer, with a wonderful belly laugh that invites you to laugh along. He plays hard and naps well, although we see him at any random hour of the night, trying to climb into bed with us. And what is it about naming the beast, that makes it come out? I am now grateful for document recovery on my computer, as Jesse just climbed under my desk and turned off my power strip while I was writing... Maybe I should stop telling you what a terror this sweet angel can be if you don't pay studious attention to him!

Justin has been adjusting to his new job as a computer systems analyst for a company called K2Share, which is teaching him a lot about... whatever it is he does all day. The team he works with is pretty tight, and we have even hung out with some of them socially. He has begun getting involved with the video production element of services at our church, although this job is requiring more hours and energy so he doesn't have a lot left over for volunteering. Mostly, Justin spends his down time with his dad, working on projects around their house that have needed attention for awhile. Justin, dad Jim, and brother James banded together this fall with one of Jim's associates to form a garage band, and they have already performed once with rave reviews!

In this season of transition, I have discovered that I have both a passion for and some skill in writing. Once this blog got started, I began to see stories all around me just waiting to be told. I have begun a newsletter for the parents of our church, but am also beginning to assemble the outline of a larger resource, which could turn out to be a book or a website publication. At the moment it just feels like I should keep moving forward into the world of writing, to work out where God is leading me to use this gift. I just have to be careful that Jesse is either sleeping or engrossed in a movie before I get started each day...

We sure love each of you. Our friends enrich our lives and provide support for our crazy adventures. Thanks to all of you that have come to visit over the years, those who call and write and send care packages, and to those who found us on Facebook! We hope that by living near half our family, we will now have more opportunities to get out around the nation and visit Boston, Spokane, Portland, Birmingham, Phoenix, Tucson, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and more!

All our love: Justin, Krista, Maren and Jesse

Monday, December 17, 2007

Santa's Wonderland

We were enchanted last weekend to discover one of the more beautiful, and also expensive, light displays I have ever seen in my life. Santa's Wonderland is a drive-through light extravaganza, with the option to park and visit Santa's town at the end of the tour.

The lights included several eye-catching tunnels, an aquatic scene, numerous miniature villages, a representation of Aggieland, and Santa's house including reindeer flight school. The tour concluded with a Nativity scene, followed by one showing Calvary and a tomb, complete with moving lights to represent Christ's resurrection and ascension. Amazing.

Having been drawn into fantasy by the drive, we parked and paid some more to go into the western-style town. We were greeted by a bubble machine blowing “snow” onto the children, then looked around to see a central fire pit surrounded by several gift and gourmet food shops. At one end was a huge glittery flag of Texas inviting us to pose for photos; elsewhere Santa was holding court and listening to Christmas requests.

Maren greets the world from Texas

Behind one row of buildings we found a free outdoor movie, tractor display, pony rides and a petting farm enclosure. Of all the offerings we chose the Texas flag photo backdrop and the petting farm. As for the rest, it was pretty overwhelming. We decided that perhaps next year, when all the Burdines plan to be in town, we could go on the drive on Christmas Eve after our traditional Chinese food dinner.

The kids were also mesmerized by the lights and the chance to pet the animals. This is a fun time of year to participate in events that will blow them away!

Jesse reaches for the "snowflakes"

Friday, December 14, 2007


Mom Burdine is bummed we never got a family photo at the family wedding this year. I think she could just use this picture for her cards, and explain that everyone else was busy running around and the cat was the only one who could make it to the photo shoot. I don't know if she'll go for it or not.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Building Compassion

For some reason we have found more ways to reach out to the community than in previous years. There were canned food drives at Justin's company and Maren's school. Incidentally, Maren's motivation was to bring in the most cans so her class could "run through the halls, not like a Falcon" (Forest Ridge students walk with Falcon Pride, quiet and orderly). And her class actually won the competition, which thrilled her. Guess we'll work on motivations in future opportunities!

There have been bags of food prepackaged at the grocery checkout that caught my eye. We are so blessed, how can I ignore the needs of the hungry?

There is the Salvation Army Bell Ringer at the entrance to the grocery (can you tell where I do most of my shopping?). Maren loves raiding my wallet and car for coins to give to the bell ringer.

And Tuesday night we took the kids to a group event where we did some Angel Tree shopping. We met up for dinner, then each family in our small group took the Christmas list of a child in need, and buzzed around Old Navy and Target for gifts. Maren loved the chance to "be Santa" for someone whose parents weren't able to give nice things to their kids. Maybe this will open the way in the future for that conversation about Santa and whether he is real. Maybe Santa can be real, it's just that he is us.

After everyone had paid for their selections, we got to go in a back room at Target and wrap gifts as a group. The list we got was for a 13 year old boy, one of 9 siblings. He only had clothes on his list, which I thought might be a little hard for Maren to understand or relate to. But she enjoyed helping with the wrapping, and the next day she was able to tell Grammy what she did. So it's something to build on.

We had fun, and enjoyed the opportunity to do something nice for someone outside our circle. I hope we can remember to continue the tradition throughout the year, not just at the holidays. The more my children have a chance to be aware of people in need, the greater the possibility of God moving them to a lifetime of compassionate service.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's Beginning to Look...

Oh, who am I kidding? Let me stop there for a moment. Let's say, if I really use my imagination, it's beginning to look a lot like people are putting up the Christmas cheer all over town.

River Center Mall in San Antonio

I have done my Christmas shopping in good faith that this is the season, since it is the one that comes after Thanksgiving. We have lit the tree, hung the Christmas lights, and even baked a few goodies. Traditional Christmas busyness is crowding our family calendar.

Yet for this transplant from the Great Lakes, recently hailing from the home of the Greatest Snow on Earth, Looks Like Christmas is still missing something.

There are green leaves still on the trees, which sets my internal clock to September. There are brown leaves blowing off the trees, and the occasional cold November rain to set that clock to late Fall. And do you remember that time a few months ago in your own house, when the ladybugs were everywhere for a few weeks? Our ladybugs just started to come inside a week ago. Although yesterday was cold, today feels like a gusty March day. I am having quite a challenge to believe that Christmas is upon us.

Playing outside with no coats, on December 6

The disparity of climate from what I expect was especially noticeable during our weekend in San Antonio. The flower beds had poinsettias planted in them, the River Walk was bedecked with lights, garland and a festive atmosphere; yet we were walking around in shorts and sunglasses!

I hear that the weather, while not out of the ordinary for this season, is also not the norm for every year. Apparently the group we traveled with had made this pilgrimage two years ago, and their experience that time involved blankets, gloves, sharp wind and cold noses. So I will count my blessings to be enjoying this temperate weather in mid-December.

An historic building, seen from Alamo Plaza

Good news is, we are traveling to Ohio in a couple weeks. I am hopeful that our visit to the Great White North will include some white, and also reset my internal clock to believe that the year is about to end and a new one about to begin. Perhaps once I can get that into my subconscious brain, I will be better prepared to face the Texas winter and appreciate its variety. After all, it only lasts about six more weeks!

The sun sets on another beautiful day, December 9

Anyone feel the need to escape the gripping cold for a few days in January? There is a guest room open, now that James and Whit are buying their own home! This is a fun place to visit in the winter.

Even if it never really Looks Like Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

San Antonio Getaway

Justin and I had a magical weekend to ourselves in San Antonio, thanks to the participation of Grammy, Guppy, Uncle James and Aunt Whitney caring for our bambinos; and Larry and company sponsoring our lodging and entertainment in a magical destination that becomes even more so during the holiday season.

Friday was a busy day as I got the car all licensed and tagged to be officially Texan. Justin came home a little early from work, but I hadn't packed yet so we didn't get too much of a head start. We took off about suppertime, and arrived to our hotel in time to spend a couple hours wandering the streets before midnight. The Hyatt Regency stands in a perfect location in the heart of the River Walk tourist district, and also only a short block away from Alamo Plaza.

The wonder of beautiful architecture, horse-drawn carriages, and riverboat tours was only increased by the seasonal displays. There were lights in expected places; they were also draped all through the trees, as well as encrusting the horses and their carriages. There were ribbons and bows in expected places; there were also poinsettias growing in flowerbeds next to palm trees. The mild temperature, and the ease of wandering at our own child-free pace, enticed us to enjoy the leisurely walk, to stop and drink in the magic. At the end of our walk we ran into some of Justin's coworkers at a Jazz Club, then we retired for the night.

Saturday we roamed the River Walk for a quiet morning hour before meeting with a group for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. Later in the afternoon we were treated to an extended riverboat tour, where we had a chance to hear history and see notable locations all along the River Walk.

We wandered to the mall with a smaller group, stopping along the way to admire a few Arts & Crafts booths. Apparently these local artisans come sell along the River Walk the first weekend of every month. We had fun chatting with a few of them and learning more about their craft.

The company Christmas party was in the evening, and I loved the chance to dress elegantly and mingle with the work family. Our party room within the hotel had a balcony with breathtaking views of the city. The CEO used the opportunity to thank not only the employees but their family supporters as well.

To add to the sense of being treated to a very special event, we were also given a basket in our room that included fine chocolates and a bottle of wine. Pretty classy, especially considering how big of a change this work environment is from the last place where they usually (but not always) paid their employees.

Sunday we ducked out for one more quick visit to the River Walk for shopping purposes, then headed out of town. We took a bit of a detour because right about that time Justin realized his phone wasn't working right, so we headed to an Apple store (we don't have one in College Station yet). After a couple hours Justin had traded his phone for a new one, and we were finally on our way.

It didn't take long for the magic to evaporate once we were reunited with the kids, but we were truly glad to see them again. They seemed to have survived just fine without us for a few days.

See more photos of our magical weekend by clicking here: San Antonio

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Each year since Maren's birth I have worked to create the traditions that will be remembered as part of our family Christmas season. Each year we change it up a little, and revise things we may have done before. We have made cookies, posed for pictures, visited Santa, and decorated Christmas tree ornaments.

This year we are again using a tradition that has always had a part, but which gets revised every year: Advent. It seems Advent is different things to different people. To the best of my understanding, it is a tradition that helps us prepare our minds and hearts to focus on the central part of Christmas, Jesus.

Last year we made an Advent wreath as a family craft project. I am quite proud of that wreath, because it incorporates my choice and placement of items with Justin's artistic approval, and craftsmanship of thoroughly anchoring each piece so the wreath could withstand a nuclear blast. I believe and hope that we will use this wreath for years to come.

We started on December 1. Family candle time, as we have started to call it, only lasts a few minutes but I think the kids have really latched onto it this year. We start out by lighting the candle and singing a Christmas carol. The kids take turns opening a window on our Advent calendar that gives a phrase of the Christmas story each day and shows a picture of a precious little animal underneath. I have an Advent book that uses each day to show how all of Creation and history leads up to the coming of Jesus; I read through that devotional entry then lead us in a short prayer. At the end, we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and the kids take turns blowing out the candle.

It may very well be that the candle and the windows on the Advent calendar are all the kids will remember about this time. But the focus of the candle gives life to a very special moment when our family comes together and talks about Jesus together.

We have not yet begun to incorporate devotions into our daily life. But I believe this season of Advent may be just the thing to create a habit we can continue into the coming year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside?

We hung Christmas lights this past weekend. Well, to be more accurate, the men of the house hung the Christmas lights. They also power-washed the dormers. Traditionally this job is done the day after Thanksgiving, but last weekend was that kind of damp cold that chills your bones for hours.

You can see that it was a gray day this weekend as well. However, what you cannot see is that the temperature was almost 80, and the air quality was actually humid, and a bit stifling! Who would have thought—certainly not I.

The two days since then have been beautiful, crisp, sunny, and freezing. Yet I accidentally sent Maren off to school in a t-shirt because it looked like a much more beautiful day than the one before!

As we joked about this phenomenon, we came to a few conclusions about weather in Texas. First, the weather in Texas is delightfully varied. We may not get snow as often, and we definitely won't have the months of deep-freeze that you get up North. But any given day can include temperatures of 40 to 80 degrees. In fact last night included below freezing temps, because we had a hard frost this morning.

The second conclusion is really the obvious one, but just feels funny because it is not true everywhere in the country. You can't tell the weather just by looking out the window. Today looks just like any other day. The only difference is that you need a coat to be out there! And Saturday and Sunday looked fierce, with blowing wind and gray skies; yet we all ended up in shorts as we played and worked outside the house. You just can't tell until you open the door and feel the air on your face.

My recommendation? Always have a coat handy, wear layers, and never forget that you may just have to use both the heater and the air conditioner in the same day. It's just part of the fun of Life in Texas!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Giving Thanks

I feel compelled to stop in the midst of this season of plenty, and articulate how much I have to be thankful for. To be sure, there is a lot that overwhelms me about my situation. For those of you wondering, our house is still lingering on the market, at its lowest profitable listing price, and we are still living with Justin's parents. I greatly miss the autonomy of running my own household. Our cars are acting up, one possibly nearing the end of its usefulness. We are in "temporary" housing for the second year of Maren's short life. We all miss our friends from Utah and Michigan.

Yesterday was a low day for me, as I realized anew the length of our commitment to live with Justin's family. We are not just talking until our house sells, but probably for a year beyond that as we save up money we were hoping to see in profit on our house. And that in turn has other implications for our decisions for the next couple of years. Right now it feels like a great weight.

Yesterday was also Sunday, and not so strangely I felt the message at church was tailored exactly to my flood of emotions. It was built around Psalm 73, one of my personal favorites. I'd like to share parts of it here.

As for me, I came so close to the edge of the cliff!
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
For I envied the proud,
when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
They seem to live such a painless life;
their bodies are so healthy and strong.

Was it for nothing that I kept my heart pure
and kept myself from doing wrong?
All I get is trouble all day long;
every morning brings me pain...

Maybe you have seen this as you look around. Those who constantly seem to flaunt the natural order, who somehow have it all: beautiful children with colossal birthday parties, expensive houses, shiny new cars, and vacations in the Caribbean. How do they do it? In my own mind I don't even offer a judgment as to whether They are wicked. My personal understanding extends to a more general Others.

It is so simple for me to listen to the whispers in the back of my head, that my life is too out of control and I need to take it back! That whispering voice would have me notice all the Others who seem to have it more together than I, and compare myself unfavorably against them. That same voice would have me be jealous my own friends, by whispering that these Others have a much less complicated life than I do.

So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper...
Then one day I went into your sanctuary, O God,
and I thought about the destiny of the wicked...
Their present life is only a dream
that is gone when they awake.

Those perfect people I seem to compare myself to (who don't even really exist in reality, they are just putting up pictures to convince others) are not trading in eternal commodities. The castles they are building for themselves, to impress each other, are not even made of the stuff I am seeking to fill the longing in my heart.

Then I realized how bitter I had become...
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
you are holding my right hand,
You will keep on guiding me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

I am convinced that the whispering voice is the Enemy, trying to drive me away from God my Rock when I really need to be clinging closer than ever. There is so much truth that can get overlooked when I forget to seek God's perspective on my life!

One truth is that my friends, whose stories differ from mine, are still living through complex and varied situations. Just because I don't view their daily life under a microscope does not mean they don't struggle to get through each day just like I do.

Another truth is, Justin has a job that pays reliably. His company in Utah is all but defunct now, and had we stayed this would have been a lean fall. We are so fortunate to have family near us. We have plenty to eat, more than enough to entertain us, and it's going to be a good Christmas.

And more truth, we are here in Texas going through this challenging transition time because it is where we want to be. While I may find myself feeling uncomfortable, and I may feel out of control, I am here because of decisions I made that I would not change if I could do it again. In the big picture, I am content that we are on the path we want to be on.

God takes care of more than we know to thank him for. I truly feel that he has blessed us out of his glorious riches, much more than we deserve. As I live through my daily life, I sometimes overcome and frequently fall short in confiding my troubles to my Maker. The days I do use my challenges to draw closer to God are the most meaningful days of my life. I truly desire to make every day one of those days.

Lord, help me to come to you every day with my thanks and my needs. Thank you for the plenty in my life, and thank you for my knowledge that you care about the things I want. And more importantly, thank you for my confidence that knowing and being known by you is the only thing I really need in this life.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Barn Stormin'

We had quite the adventure around here this afternoon. Occasionally we'll see a small plane flying in low figure-8's right at the edge of the undeveloped property next to and across the street from us. There has always been an element of wonder as we watch the aerial acrobatics that seem reminiscent of crop-dusting days, yet we never have had an answer as to why the planes would be crop-dusting undeveloped land.

This particular afternoon began like many others, with a little yellow plane circling and diving for at least half an hour after I got home with the kids. It was pretty cool to see it storming the tree line over yonder above the neighbor's property. I was thinking I should have gotten out my camera to show how close to the ground that plane seemed to be.

About 30 minutes later, the performance moved a little closer as the crop duster (as we have come to call it) suddenly buzzed right over the house. What the heck?!

We piled back outside to see what was happening. Sure enough, he came back as if on a repeating loop, and he passed not very far over the house at all. I ran inside for the camera, and came back out in time to catch at least two more passes directly over the house.

By this time, Dawn had called the sheriff. As cool as the idea of barn storming sounds, it somehow loses its glamour when you are the one on the ground, and your children are right there in the yard with you. Not to mention your house. Well the sheriff called back and confirmed that this was indeed a crop dusting plane, being used by A&M students to practice crop dusting maneuvers, over the property next to us.

About half an hour later, the barn stormer returned. Mom called the sheriff again, bless her soul. I think the pilot believed we were simply enjoying the show, and never considered we were calling the police and recording him for evidence. He actually did a loop-de-loop right over the pool after he had buzzed the house four more times.

This was a really cool experience in some ways. I got good pictures, and nobody got hurt. It provided almost an hour of entertainment, and the kids loved it.

And yet, it was also so very NOT cool.

I find myself hating the spoil-sport-ism I feel, cringing at the fact of how uptight we must all seem to someone on the other end of this experience, getting chewed out by an instructor for a little flashy performance.

But common sense says that flying at such a low altitude leaves very little room for error. These may be ace pilots, but an unexpected sputter, a slight misjudment, and suddenly there could be an ace pilot planting a crop duster in the roof of our house, or worse, in the swing set with my babies inside. And if something did happen, I am pretty sure there would have to be significant inconvenience on our part even if someone else paid for all the damages. No, it's just not as cool when you consider the reason for the thrill is because of the implied danger, and moms are in the business of keeping their cubs away from danger.

So Mr. Hot Shot Crop Duster, thanks for the memories. It really was a thrill. But I have the photos for my album now, so please keep your future airspace antics over terrain that is only inhabited by longhorns and deer. I will be watching, and I will be just as impressed, I promise.

Mother Bear

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Report

This morning I had my first turkey sandwich of the season. Which is reasonable, since this is the Monday after Thanksgiving. What is amazing about my turkey sandwich is that there has been so much food in this house all weekend that I just haven't gotten time to look into reinvented turkey. I did snack on plates of leftover Thanksgiving dinner for three days, but am now pretty much done with potatoes and stuffing for awhile. I just hope the desserts are still tasty by the time I get around to those.

Anyway. This page is hardly big enough to contain everything I would like to say about food from this weekend. When I get a chance I will post my food thoughts on my food site, you may visit them there. Let it suffice to say that there was a plenitude of good food all around us this weekend. I was also glad to hear that my friend Jeanette was able to put together a Thanksgiving feast in the Philippines, together with her fellow World Racers.

This weekend was everything we could have wanted in a holiday weekend, other than the lack of a complete family quorum. I personally kicked off the weekend Tuesday night by parking my car and myself here on the property for what turned out to be until Sunday. And I didn't miss the trek down the long winding road one bit. Maren was off school starting Wednesday, and Dad Burdine didn't go into the office that day, so it was actually a five day weekend for him, the kids and myself. There was lots of food prep on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then it kicked into high gear on Thursday.

Maren and I began Thursday by watching the Macy's Parade. Then we turned on the Lions' game in honor of my Papa who always had that on at his house when I was a kid. He passed away 13 months ago, and I think I missed him more during that game than I have yet. Later I turned on the Cowboys' game (with much more satisfying results) just to have it on in the house, while the indoor dwellers moved to another room for a viewing of Elf. Oh, I probably should not have had Maren watch that yet, but she did find many things to giggle over.

The outdoor family members worked at rearranging the garage into its new life as a music studio. Earlier in the day they had made a trip to Lowe's only to find it closed, but undaunted they put in several hours of organizational work anyway. It's looking better all the time!

Late in the day we set up the craft tables in the living room to create the platform for the family feast. Whitney oversaw the decorating while Mom Burdine orchestrated getting the food all hot at the target moment, and the kids just tried to stay out from underfoot.

I don't even remember what happened after supper. Too much food in my brain, I guess.

Friday was the big A&M annual matchup with the Texas Longhorns. For the first time in at least half the season, the players showed up for the game. They made a variety of plays, completed passes, converted third downs into first downs, and actually found the end zone several times. They entertained the crowd with at least three trick plays, some of which worked beautifully. They dominated the game, giving Aggie fans something to cheer about after an embarrassing season, and capped off the whole experience by holding on to their lead until the end of the game.

What apparently came as a surprise and a letdown to the players but was fully expected by everyone else was that the coach announced his resignation at the end of the game. Even a win against Texas could not make up for a season marked by scandal, multiple blowout losses on a national stage, and an obvious lack of direction that characterized most of the games. And what do I care? I don't know, but I love to watch well-played football, and watching the Aggies this season has been anything but that. Along with many frustrated Aggie fans, I sincerely hope to see more of the purposeful team that played Friday, next season.

We were so jazzed about A&M's win that we built our own token bonfire out back and toasted marshmallows before putting the kids to bed. Totally awesome.

Saturday the rain came. The lights never went up outside the house, as the cold and wet were too much for the thin-skinned natives. We focused on “out with the old” as the guys continued organizing the garage, and Dawn organized the living room closet. Most of what came out of the closet went into the garage. When the dust settled, we were ready to decorate the Christmas tree. We played Christmas music, burned the Christmas candle, and got out the Christmas treats (more about those in the food blog).

Sunday was still pretty full. We had brunch after church; Dawn makes amazing stuffed french toast. In the afternoon we decorated gingerbread houses. And for the rest of the day, we played video games. Just before bedtime, we created a slideshow of our weekend adventure and agreed that it was a pretty perfect time.

To see some of the pictures from our weekend, visit my Thanksgiving photo album. Hope you enjoy this glimpse!

This morning was quite a shocker. Oh holy cow, 6:30 came early this morning. I am still recovering, and here it is time to go pick up Maren from school already. I'll get to that food post later, I promise.