*that despite the lack of desire from just about all parties besides myself, Nathan, his two brothers, and my new sister-in-law, Anna, participated in the first annual Luce family turkey trot, consisting of a scenic two mile jog through Lakeland. Maybe next year will add feathers to our outfits. I didn't want to press my luck today, for fear of total cancellation. But next year...
*for the salvaging of the maiden attempt of providing the rolls to the Thanksgiving dinner. Homemade rolls, that is. I've been responsible for picking up the package of Sister Shubert's plenty of times before. But this year, thanks to the inspiration of my Secrets homemaking class, I decided to go hardcore. That meant buying yeast for the first time in my life, and after only three trips down the baking aisle, I was very relieved to find it.
This morning I was in the zone, getting up to make the rolls first thing so that they would have time to rise two times before lunch. All was going according to plan, until 1 1/2 hours into the 2 hour rising process I saw we had hit a bump in the road. Namely that the dough wasn't rising and, in fact, looked more like soup that dough. "What could have gone wrong?" I asked myself as I stared at what was clearly not going to turn into anything that could be kneaded and rolled out in 30 short minutes. I'll tell you what it could be. It soon came to my attention that I skipped over one line of the instructions. The one that told me to add 2 cups of flour. Yes, that definitely makes a difference. Well, there was no time to start over, so mission salvage Thanksgiving officially began. I went ahead and added the missing flour, fully aware that yeast is finicky and the dough might not rise. But rise it did, and even though I have a feeling that the fluffy factor may have been damaged, the rolls themselves were edible and served with pride.
*that Nathan didn't fall off the roof today trying to look for the football he had thrown from the backyard, with intentions of hitting Micah, who was standing in the front yard. There was much talk of ladder positioning, roof steepness before Nathan finally mounted the ladder, willing to risk it all for the $10 ball from Wal-mart. It was then that Nathan's dad made the fortuitous discovery that the much worried about football was actually quite safe on the ground, hidden by a shrub, but very much on the ground.
*that at least one of my new culinary attempts went according to plan, and actually turned out to be Thanksgiving-worthy delicious. Carmel Pecan Pumpkin Bread Pudding. It's a mouthfull to say, but it's worth every syllable. For a pumpkin and bread pudding loving kind of a girl like myself, this was a little piece of heaven on earth.
*for two turkey-wearing little girls, a handsome husband, and a wonderful family (both sides).
*for Jesus. When you boil it all down, and take everything else away, there is Jesus, and He is more to be thankful for than I will ever have words to do justice.
So today, and all the others, I am thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!
What a week. It was totally wonderful and completely crazy. It was busy and it was meaningful. It was emotional and it was hysterical. And by the time last night rolled around, I was enjoying that wonderful, exhausted feeling that comes when you can finally let your hair down and relax after a whirlwind schedule.
The good news is, now I finally have time to tell you about it! So here we go.
Thursday: Day one of the Christmas Tea at Faith (my church!). My pastor's wife called me months ago to see if I would be able to speak and share our story, and I was thrilled. I remember over a year ago having a conversation with God, telling Him that I wanted Him to use our story to however He would, in whatever ways He wanted to. If that meant me sharing it, I wanted to do it. The story of Poppy is the story of God's faithfulness. It is the story that shows how amazing, how loving, how good, how powerful, and how all-knowing our God is, and if He can use me to share the hope I have in Him, I want to do it.
The night was beautiful, and I was so humbled to be able to have a part in it. The theme was "Jesus, the Light of the World," and I shared how God is the light that brings us hope for living, even in our darkest hour. As I retold so many aspects of our story, I was blown away once again by how God took care of us, loved us, and blessed us through the gift of Poppy.
Friday: I got to do it all over again. The Christmas Tea is a two night affair, with each night bringing in a new group of ladies. It was great.
Saturday: The big day. Marianna's 4th birthday.
But first, I had a 5k race to run. That morning I got up early before anyone was up and headed out to run with my friend Samantha. We got to the race at 8:15, thinking the race began at 8:30. But it didn't. It started at 9:30. The big bummer was that we had planned on running our extra mileage (we were supposed to run 8 to keep up with our training for the 1/2 marathon) after the race, but instead we found ourselves running 3 miles before the race started. Then we ran the 3.1 for the race. And then we ran two more. The really funny thing was that we both managed to get 1st place in our age divisions, even with the less than optimal conditions. So all in all, success!
In the meantime, Marianna was spending her birthday morning having a date with daddy. They had pancakes at Ihop before running over to the mall to go on the spider jump.
As you can see from the clip below, it involved some high-flying action, and the birthday girl loved every second.
And finally, the moment had come for the pink poodle party—the one Marianna started planning just two months after she turned three. It was so much fun, from the poodle cake, to the silly games, to the dog collars, to the poodle "paw"dicures. Marianna loved it.
There is no such thing as too much pink believe it or not, but if there was, we got awfully close to the limit =).
It has been amazing. No rain. No coats. Only glorious fall weather, begging for parks and zoo trips and bike rides. So what gets left behind? Blogging. And that is A-Ok by me. We'll trade in the nice weather for frequent updates any day of the year! I hope all of you have been enjoying the same.
The weather is supposed to continue for several more days, but I wanted to pop in from my weather break to tell you about something incredible we got to experience on Sunday and Monday. A man by the name of Ken Ham came and spoke at our church, teaching 7 sessions over two days. Have you ever heard of him? He is the founder of a ministry called Answers in Genesis, an organization built around the principles that the foundation of the Bible is built upon the truth found in that very first book.
We all have questions. I don't think we can be alive in this period of history and not have questions about many of the topics Ken Ham and AIG focus their attention. Do you ever wonder about evolution vs creation? How dinosaurs fit into the Bible? What the Bible says about the age of our earth? Was the flood a literal world-wide catastrophe? Where did all of the races come from? How do science and religion fit together?
All of these questions and more he discussed with compelling arguments and logic. He is passionate about those questions because he believes with all of his heart that they matter. He explained that many people who have a relationship with God say something like this, "Well, I believe that creation _____________ (fill in the blank), but it doesn't really matter." He argues that nothing could be farther from the truth. I won't be able to do his argument justice, although I wish I could, but let me say, if you are the least bit curious about really having some foundation for what you believe, or if you want a strong, biblical argument for any of these topics, you need to check out Answers in Genesis. His talks were some of the most vital I have heard on this subject. I wish everyone could hear him in person, but I do believe that all of the DVDs of his seminars are available, in addition to a wide selection of books and other materials.
Something else that he spoke about in great length was the Creation Museum. It's located up in Cincinnati, and it sounds amazing! The museum takes you through the pages of Genesis, complete with exhibits on dinosaurs, the flood, the tower of Babel, and more. It looks incredible, and as soon as the girls are old enough to go and understand what they are seeing, we're heading that way.
In other news, we here at the Luce household have a busy week in store, not the least of which involves a birthday for a certain soon-to-be four year old. In the midst of birthday preparations, there are race preparations for a 5k I have Saturday morning, and speaking preparations for a Ladies' Christmas Tea I will be sharing at on Thursday and Friday nights. I would appreciate prayers for the last item! So it will be busy, but a fun and exciting busy. I'm sure I won't check in before it's over, but rest assured that pictures of a pink poodlena birthday party are to come!
Halloween has become the new Thanksgiving, don't you think? In days past it seems like the Christmas decorations waited until black Friday, or at least until Thanksgiving was just around the corner, and talk of Christmas shopping was reserved for the four weeks counting down to December 25. Well, those days are obviously no longer.
Today as the girls and I walked through the mall, Marianna was quick to notice the glittery garland strung from the ceiling, squealing with delight about the beautiful decorations. I also heard djs on the radio talking about the numerous websites out there dedicated to Black Friday sales. You can evidently go to blackfriday.com, blackfridayads.com, blackfriday.net—you get the picture. And it's only the first week of November.
I'm sorting out how I feel about all of that. Every year it seems the advertising market stretches us a bit more, makes us feel a little more comfortable with Christmas music before Thanksgiving, decorations the day after Halloween, and the build up of huge sales weeks before they actually take place. So is there anything so wrong with that?
Not really. It's still my choice to decide when I will personally dive into the holiday bliss, but the early marketing steals away a little of the fun. How so? There's something of a let down in waiting until the day after Thanksgiving to really get into the season, only to feel like you've finally given in to the tide around you. Instead I wish we could all get on board together with one big giant unveiling of the Christmas season. An all of the sudden, BOOM, it's here and it's all around us kind of feeling.
It's the same with snow. What's better: Going to sleep with no snow and waking up to find a blizzard has come while you slept and left you with 2 feet of snow, or gradually throughout the day and evening watch as 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch builds up on the ground until finally, you have enough to go out and play in? I rest my case. Everyone prefers the overnight blizzard.
And that's what I miss about Christmas. I wish an overnight blizzard would hit the Friday after Thanksgiving, knocking us over with the Christmas joy and jump starting the season the right way. I'm all for capitalism, but I do feel the loss of what marketing has taken from me by exploiting these early November weeks.
Don't worry, it won't steal my joy. I will make my lament and move on. But still, don't you think Christmas would be just a little nicer if it waited and came when it should?
And just to show solidarity with my topic, I will post a Halloween picture of my girls. No red and green for us. Not yet. But it's coming =).