This year we had five Christmas Eve services with kids ministry. I have to admit, I was overwhelmed going into the services, especially since they came right between two full weekends with their own programming. It took a lot to get everything prepped and ready to go, and honestly I was pooped by the time the first service came around. I had a GREAT time at the first service. It was fun, there was purpose to the activities, we had tons of volunteers, and the kiddos seemed to be having a great time. The morning of Christmas Eve was really busy trying to finish baking, and visit with my Grandparents since we wouldn't get to see them on Christmas. I spilled nail polish all over myself on the way into work, and must admit that my attitude totally needed a check.....and boy did it get one!

I was scheduled to go to church during the noon service. It was GREAT. It's hard to put into words how incredibly moving it was. I feel that it was the best Christmas service I've ever attended. Hands down. The Spirit of God was so thick in that room. What a great start to the day! The next two services were great. Alex was chosen to be the Christmas tree during one of our games ::
Around the time that the 6pm service started, I realized that I was actually going to be able to leave to be with my family for our annual Christmas Eve dinner. I was STOKED to be able to leave, and extremely thankful for the people that were staying to finish up. On the way to my sister's house, Alex and I were reflecting on the night and although it was hard to be "on" for all of those services, I don't know that we would have chosen to be anywhere else. Was it hard? Yes. Was it a TON of work? Yep. Was it worth it? Absolutely. All I could think about was how blessed I am to have been chosen for this time at this church. I know that I am incredibly undeserving, but He picked me. I think that we were able to convey the birth of Christ in a biblical, God honoring, FUN way for our kids, and how great is it that their parents were given the opportunity to experience something totally life changing at the same time?!

We are now almost a month removed from those services, yet I think that the feelings we felt during those services will guide us in 2009. Being able to do ministry with my husband is probably the greatest feeling, and I know that it makes my experience all the richer.


why i don't take days off

So, I've been planning some time off around Christmas and the first week of the new year. This may sound wonderful, and I know that it will be nice to have a break, but I honestly don't know if it's worth the craziness that I will endure to get myself there. I will be off the 25th, 26th, and 27th. Sounds great, right? Well, yes. Except the 27th is a Saturday. Saturday, the rooms need to be set up with curriculum and the offices will be locked down the 25th and 26th so the set-up volunteers will not be able to come. With me also gone, how will the rooms get set up? Oh, maybe I could set them up after the last Christmas Eve service? Nope. I am trying my hardest to leave during that last service because my family is getting together during that time for the big Christmas Eve dinner. Soo....that leaves me at the mercy of my volunteers. Hopefully they will be VERY flexible with me!

Then, I will be back to work on Sunday the 28th. At the end of the services, I'll be taking down all of the Chrismas decorations since they need to be down by Saturday and I have the entire week off. I also have to set up the curriculum for the following weekend since the building will be locked and the set-up volunteers will be unable to get in! This might not sound that bad, but that's only because you haven't seen my rooms...Alex climbed on our ceiling to put some trees on the roof and hung lots of lights and garland from a VERY high wall in the Playhouse. So, Alex should be able to get them down, right? WRONG! This happens to be the one day that Alex is going somewhere without me and will not be around at all! Yikes!

So, that gives you some insight into my life right now. Logistics are crazy. Christmas IS coming and I do need to be ready. My plate is full. My volunteers are amazing. My volunteers are also vacationing. There is curriculum to be written, volunteers to schedule, rooms to be stocked, curriculum to be prepped, emails to be answered and details to be ironed out. I know it will be a crazy few weeks, and at the end of it all, I just pray that Jesus is glorified in all that happens in the Preschool Playhouse...whether I am there or not!


maliah's cuteness

Maliah had a Christmas performance at school. Since this is one of the busiest times of year for me at work, I couldn't afford to take a morning off, but Alex was able to go with my dad and he got some pics for us. She's so cute! My mom and I were both jealous that they got to see her and we didn't! :)


we love our home.

We love our little home, but there was some white space that had been driving me crazy.

One trip to Ikea solved my white space problems! We got some wall decals for our closet doors. I have been wanting decals since I moved in, but Alex thought they were too girly. He finally gave in and we're both pretty stoked with the result. These ones matched the green in our bathroom perfectly!

We also picked up some frames at Ikea. I was trying to recreate something I had seen on a website (probably www.ikea.com). Of course my super creative husband was able to create something even better than I had pictured! Not only were we trying to fill white space, but we also wanted a place to put our friends and family on display. Prior to having this, all of our pictures were wedding pics, or ones Alex already had here before I moved in. I'm so thrilled with this piece...


it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

(again, I've been trying to post these for the past week, but haven't been able to add pics!)

Our little apartment is quite festive these days...we bought our tree last week, and got some other Christmas decorations since neither of us really had any...

Our tree is only 5 feet and we were able to fit it in our backseat!

In case you missed the star in that last photo, here's a close up (we really like black and white!)::

We had a BLAST decorating our tree and our little place. It makes us both so happy to see all the lights and decorations (and the smell of the tree is amazing too!)

My mother in law made us an awesome Advent calendar. We decided to add a little twist by eating the candy (since I LOVE candy canes) and reading a scripture each day. It's been a fun tradition for us to start, and a little way to not miss Christmas for ourselves while trying to bring it to the masses in just 1.5 weeks!


Our First Thanksgiving

Well, our first Thanksgiving as a married couple! (i've been trying to post this since the 1st, but my pics wouldn't load!)

We had a wonderful week that started with the Bennetts returning to California! We were excited to make our way down to San Marcos for the night to welcome them home. Here are a few pics::

I had to get back to work on Tuesday, but I was already in vacation mode (as was the rest of the office), so I decided to take Wednesday off too! We had so much fun on the days I had off! We were reminded of all we have to be thankful for....first was spending a little time at my grandparents' house...
...then off to the campground with the Pavones and Bennetts...

All in all, we had an extremely busy few days, but they were awesome!