more JOY...

I told you I'd show you some of the Alexander side of my family when my precious MIL uploaded them, so here they are!

Christmas Eve morning-- me and Mat with Mat's sisters, Kelly and Lenze

My two nephews, Aaron and Ethan

Christmas Eve night- Kelly and Damon with the boys

Dad (Mat's dad) and Mom2 (Mat's mom)-- my two wonderful "new" parents!

Me and Mat's Aunt Cathy's dog, Chloe; Chloe is a direct descendant of the dog that played Toto in "The Wizard of Oz."

There are my men...

The three girls...

This is the Mortons- Mat's Uncle Randall and Aunt Cathy, with their kids, Heath and Ryan. Heath's wife is Suzanna, and Ryan's kids are Allie Grace and Eli. Oh, and of course, Nanny's in the pic, too.

She's a total champ. She was excited about a present, I'm sure.

Aunt Cathy always sings "North to Alaska" every year on Christmas Eve. It's STELLAR!

My whole, new, wonderful family!

(I told you I was blessed!)


we are filled with JOY

"The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy."
-Psalm 126:3

Christmas was wonderful, short, and refreshing.

My theme for our three (short) days home was JOY. And the LORD showed me this theme time-after-time.

Here are a few reasons why JOY was my theme:

Mat and I got to go home, which, in itself, was a joy. We got to see everyone in our immediate families and most of our close extended families. We spent two great nights at Mat's parents' house and one night at my mum's with she and Gunter.

I got to see my Scottie, John Robby. (Short for John Roberts, my puppy's namesake. John Roberts is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.)

We got to see Gunter, who lives a long way away now in New Jersey.

And finally, after so, so, so many months, we got to see this face. Ellie Parker, how YOU have brought our whole family so much JOY!

I got to see my mum, and I'm not quite sure how I didn't get a picture with her, but this one of her and EPG is so sweet.

We got to see my Papa and my Mimi, who is sick with a disease of the mind, and we covet your prayers for her. I love both of them so much! They are the beginnings of our family.

And this is my whole family. I love my family-- and not just my side, but Mat's too, who I can now say is MY family, too. We are blessed beyond measure. God has, for some reason unknown to me or Mat, chosen to bless us both with amazing families, and for that, we are so grateful. (As soon as my sweet Mom2 [Mat's mom] gets her Christmas pics uploaded, you'll get a pic of the Alexander side.)

Mat and I hope you, too, had a wonderful Christmas, and we hope your focus was on Him-- God in human form, who came to Earth to dwell with US.

Merry Christmas, and we pray all the best for you in 2010.


our christmas traditions

I wanted to tell you about our Christmas Traditions. So here goes!

Oh, that's it. Just that.

Why are you still here?? I said that was it.

...And I'm serious.


mat and charlie brown

I have the best husband. And I'm not being cliche...I really have the world's best husband. I have, without a doubt, the most amazing husband that the Lord has ever created. I am confident of this. And this story will tell you just one of the reasons why I believe this is so...

We moved into our humble seminary apartment back in August. I'm still getting things situated here, and it's not been easy transitioning into the swing of life inside our new little house. I love it here...I really, really do. But our house is small, and we only have 2 closets (yes, you read that correctly...2 in the ENTIRE house).

I got out our smaller Christmas trinkets right before Thanksgiving.

(Insert long overdue Thanksgiving Mat and Whit Feast Picture here...)

Anyway, back to the story. I had almost just silently decided we would not be putting up a tree this year. Almost. And I almost decided this because I had no earthly idea where we would put it. No idea. And neither did Mat. So, I just almost decided not to put one up.

I called Mat from work today, and he said, "Well, I've been a busy little bee today." I, of course, had to inquire as to what that meant. He said, "You'll see when you get home."

On my lunch break, I drove home just to see what in the world he was talking about. I assumed he had done dishes or picked up his hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of Greek flash cards from the living room. (No, babe, don't worry about that-- I picked them up for you tonight.)

And I walked in, and I saw this...

Mat had gone out, and bought me a little tree for the countertop. And a Charlie Brown ornament that talks. And a card. And a tree skirt. And some simple Christmas ball ornaments.

I stood there, looking at that little tree sitting on my kitchen counter, and I cried.

And not because the tree was so beautiful (and it is, but the lights on the back...don't exist; there are only lights on the front), but because my husband knew, without me having to say anything at all to him about being upset because we didn't have a Christmas tree up, that I would love to have a tree. And because he did it without me asking him to. And because he bought a Charlie Brown ornament that talks to go on it. And because...because HE did it.

The card says,
"Long after the holidays have ended,
I'll still be celebrating the best gift of all...
I love you.
Merry Christmas."

And my husband, being the total champ that he is, wrote in before "us" on the card. He made it say, "...the best gift of all, Jesus, then us." That's my husband.

In the card he also wrote, "I think this is 'Just the right tree' for us. It only gets better from here, sweets."

As for that Charlie Brown ornament? You know the story of that scrawny little Christmas tree that Linus and Charlie Brown pick out for their Christmas play. You know, the one with only the red Christmas ball on it? Charlie Brown says, when you press the button on the ornament, "This is just the right tree."

And, Mat and Charlie Brown? I couldn't agree with you two more. It is just the right tree.



This is Ellie Parker Gunter...

...and her Uncle Mat and Aunt Whit-Whit think she's just beautiful.

Absolutely beautiful!




Click there to go to a great (and I do mean GREAT!!!) giveaway!!!

And be sure to tell them it was me that sent you!!!