Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas '09

We had a wonderful Christmas this year!  We began the festivities by going with our good friends, Ryan and Carmen Long, to Andrew Peterson's "Behold, The Lamb" concert in Nashville at the Ryman.  We had great seats in the balcony right over center stage.  The concert takes you through the entire Bible (basically), and it is a moving picture of Christ.  The most moving part for me was when Jill Phillips sang "Labor of Love," which describes the night Mary gave birth to Jesus.  Here's a few verses:

Noble Joseph at her side
Callused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
In the streets of David's town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

The next day, we traveled to Chattanooga for Ryan to be a groomsman in a wedding of one of his former students at Christ UMC.  It was a beautiful wedding, but I have to tell you about the funniest part.  One thing they hadn't practiced at the rehearsal was communion.  After Richard and Abby were pronounced husband and wife, they then took communion and served it to everyone in attendance.  They began by serving the groomsmen, as the entire congregation watched.  As they went down the row, each groomsman took a piece of bread (which Ryan is allergic to), dipped it in the cup, and then ate it.  Ryan's eyes got really big and I started to internally panic - but also laugh - as I realized the predicament Ryan was in.  I kept looking at him, wondering what in the world he was going to do.  When it got to be his turn, he just looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, dipped the bread, and stuck it in his mouth.  He had this tiny grin on his face though, so I knew he must be up to something.  A few minutes later, when the congregation's attention was diverted elsewhere, I see Ryan (up front on stage) bend over behind the groomsman beside him and spit out the bread into a napkin.  It was so funny that I began to shake the pew violently with silent laughter.  I'm sure the people around me thought I was totally irreverent, but I could not help it!  Ryan was giggling too.  I think I laughed for a good 5 minutes.  It was great, and now we can forever give Richard a hard time for trying to kill Ryan at his wedding.

The next few days were spent celebrating Christmas at my (Ellen's) parents house.  We had a great time celebrating with both grandmothers, my brother, Daisy (the dog), and Mom and Dad.  We had amazing food, too, thanks to my mom and brother.

We then traveled to Knoxville and spent time with Ryan's family.  We celebrated with Kim, Kiley, Atticus and Harper (the dogs) Meem, and the whole Hatfield clan. After that, we celebrated with Allen and had a great time. All in all, we enjoyed the taste (and amount) of food, going to the movies, and having fun with one another. Here are some pics of Ryan competing in the "Amazing Race" to find his last present.

After a great time with family, Ryan and I are happy to be home!  In case you wonder what "home" looks like for us right now, here's a picture of the cabin we are staying in for now.  Thanks to Discipleship Focus for graciously letting us live here for free!

Also, here's a pic of our totally awesome 4 foot tree:

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