Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Tenth Anniversary

This is our wedding picture from 1997. I guess over the years we've gained a few pounds and some of 'us' (not to be too obvious), have lost a few hairs... we've gained several children ... and lost some more hair...

The Bride

The Groom

The Ceremony

The Cake (Brian's Mom made it!)

The Car!

Looking through all of these old pictures (and I made the kids watch the wedding video with me today) brings back so many good memories! I can't believe it's been 10 years! I won't be sappy here on the blog ... but I am so blessed! Brian is an incredible husband and father and I often don't know how he puts up with me ... except by God's grace. I am thankful that he exhibits such grace in his life and in our marriage - I hope to be like him someday. I am thankful to walk alongside him in this journey ... I wouldn't want to live life with anyone else! I love you Brian and I look forward to many more decades!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas 2007

We all had a wonderful and relaxing day today! And the turkey turned out wonderfully yummy - juicy, tender, mmmm! Most of the thanks goes to my wonderful husband who did all the yucky stuff for me (cleaning out the cavities, etc - ugh). The kids didn't seem too impressed by our wonderful Christmas dinner, but Mommy and Daddy were. (We missed sharing it with family but that means we don't have to share the leftovers - and that is a good thing!)

Everyone in their Christmas pj's

Calvin with his Mac Lego Truck

Emmie in her dress with her dollhouse

Ellerie looks like one of Emmie's dolls!

Coleman with his race track

Coleman also lost his 3rd tooth this week. He had already lost 2 and the 3rd was loose but not quite ready - until little sister bumped it with her head!

As I was uploading Christmas pictures, I decided to take a trip down memory lane... my how they grown and changed...

Christmas 2003 with Coleman and Emmie...

Christmas 2004 with Coleman, Emmie and Calvin...

Christmas 2005

Christmas 2006

Finally, Christmas 2007!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas and Tradition

Here is a sweet story written by John Piper to share with your family this Christmas...

We all know that Christmas is about the birth of the Savior - the Word becoming flesh - to dwell among us ... to save His people ...

But it's also about tradition that surrounds that Truth! As our kids are growing older, we hope to instill special traditions during this time of year. Each night we have celebrated Advent through the reading of The Advent Book. Get this book for your young children! By the time Christmas gets here, they can recite most of the Christmas story all by themselves. We have also created other traditions around here: like making Christmas cookies, building (or trying to build) gingerbread houses, making and painting ornaments for the tree... We hope to create these and more memories as they grow older.

Another important tradition ... not so spiritual ... but oh so important ... surrounds Food! Come on people - that's what I'm talking about. This year we are staying in town for Christmas. Brian's parents live in town but they are going to be gone on Christmas day, so I can't count on them for the Turkey. (And I love me some turkey - and the leftovers for sandwiches, etc.) So... if we want turkey, then it's up to me to cook it. Excpet for the fact that ... I've never cooked a turkey. In the 10 years we've been married, I've been able to work it out that someone else did it. Now, everything else I can handle ... side dishes - done but the turkey? Well, I have my instructions ... so we'll see how it goes...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas to You!

A few weeks ago, we made some pictures for our 2007 Christmas card. Here is the winner...
Merry Christmas from Coleman, Emmie, Calvin and Ellerie!
It is ironic that the above picture is actually the FIRST picture we snapped. We were having our picture session before we left for church so I didn't really get a chance to look at all of the pictures. I just wanted to take a bunch so there would be plenty to choose from. So I tortured the children for several more minutes before we went to the church. Then I tortured them some more when we got home ... here are a few of the other shots...

It looks like Coleman is about to drop the baby, but he's not ... I don't think...

Sibling love ... I think she's squeezing his neck a bit too fierce...

Sweet brothers...

Sweet sisters...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Barber Christmas

Last weekend we were able to get together with the Barber side of the family for Christmas. Brian's brother and his family came in town to join the rest of us (Brian's parents and Brian's sister and family live in-town). This was our first attempt at a family picture and it was a pretty painless process!
The Barbers (Sr), The Brian Barbers, The Jason Barbers, and The Shawn Bransons

PawPaw and Ellerie

Calvin got his first guitar - looks just like his Daddy!

Coleman is playing with his new Leapster (the Cars game of course).

Lincoln Logs (Hours of fun .... and hours of clean-up)

Emmie has a pram for her bitty babies...such a little Momma...

And Daddy has an Ipod!

It was fun for us to be together! It was busy and loud with 10 grandbabies but we all had a wonderful time. Later that afternoon all of the girls went to watch the Nutcracker together while all the boys went to their respective homes to put together all of the new toys! I don't have any pictures from the Nutcracker yet...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gingerbread House Fun

Tonight we attempted to make a gingerbread house.
Dad and Emmie working hard... Dad with the icing and Emmie tasting the decorations.

Coleman - strategically placing the peppermints (which may lead to the downfall of the house...)

Calvin eager to help decorate (and to help eat the gumdrops).

Uh - oh - the roof is starting to slide! The boys thought it was hilarious because the candy kept falling in the middle of the house.

Here it goes a little more ....

Ok. Daddy to the rescue... he put the roof back on. (We thought the icing might be getting too warm so we put the masterpiece in the frig)...

Wishful thinking...

Advent: Annunciation

This post is a little late, but better late than never right? Here is an Advent meditation that Brian wrote for our church, celebrating the first Sunday in Advent (December 2).

Today we worship Christ by looking and meditating on the annunciation of his coming. His advent was foretold by the prophets. All of history finds its center in the word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Today, as we break away from the traditions of this world, may we remember and honor God by recognizing and exalting in these words recorded for us in Scripture.

The beloved disciple, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, got a glimpse back before history to see the preeminence of Christ. He writes these words in the first chapter of the gospel of John verses 1 through 5. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God, All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

More than seven centuries before these words of John, the prophet Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was allowed a glimpse forward to prophecy the most scandalous and glorious event in all of history: the God of the universe wrapping himself in flesh and being born of a virgin. In the book of Isaiah, chapter 7 verse 14, he records the words of the LORD to king Ahaz, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah continues to speak the word of the LORD and to give us the messianic prophecies of chapter 9. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Picture Update

This is some fall fun the kids were having a couple of weeks ago. Somehow, half of those leaves ended up inside my house when they came in for a bath...
Last weekend, we went to a local mall for our annual train-riding tradition. This year, they made the track much shorter while increasing the price ... but they still had fun!

It was hard to get a good picture of everyone while feeding Ellerie her bottle...

Ellerie also tasted her first ice cream... she's saying something like "mmmmm"! That's my girl!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thanksgiving in Georgia

Once we finally got to Ga, we had a great time (although we hate that Dad was also sick for a day). This year, I watched my Mom make her famous cornbread dressing, learning her secret tips ... I may even try to do it on my own for Christmas this year!

We had the staples that we have every year... turkey, cornbread dressing, broccoli casserole, carrot casserole and dessert! Of course I was in charge of desserts and I tried Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake. It turned out to be delicious. Here's the recipe if you want to try it...

Now the pictures...

Mimi with Little Bit...

The kids at "Mimi's Playground". (It's actually the playground of the church where my Dad serves, but for some reason the kids call it "Mimi's playground."

Calvin sliding...

Daddy Mac, Emmie & Coleman

Emmie swinging (I know it's a little blurry, my Mom took the pic)

Daddy Mac and Calvin

With the grandkids...

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Kingdom of God

Here is an excerpt from Brian's sermon yesterday...

Our God reigns. That is the proclamation of the people of God in the kingdom of God. Listen to what Rev. Burk Parsons, the editor of Tabletalk magazine, writes about the kingdom of God: “…the kingdom of God should be more simple to define than just about any other theological term. It’s quite plain really: God reigns. Or, to say it another way: The kingdom of God is the omnipotent rule and sovereign reign of Almighty God over all things, the inauguration of which came with the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ Jesus and the fullness of which is yet to come. Nevertheless, while it is important to have a good, biblical answer to the question, what is the kingdom of God? It is just as important to have an honest answer to the question, whose kingdom do you serve? Are you the king of your own kingdom? Are you the self-appointed potentate of your own, private little empire? You may answer with a hearty no, but does your life demonstrate that you are a servant of God or a servant of self? We all certainly want to be part of the kingdom, but most Christians want to serve the kingdom on their own terms.”

What great questions to ask ourselves during this season. It is one thing to celebrate the coming of King Jesus as the baby in Bethlehem. It is something altogether more important to live every waking moment for King Jesus. What is the implication of his rule and his reign upon your life? What are your decisions like? Do they look just like the rest of the world? Are you any different today because of Christ’s dominion over all reality?