Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 in Review

Wow, what a year 2008 has been. It has been one of change, one of growing, one of learning, and one of loving. I feel so blessed looking back, words really fail me. Here are some pics of what all has happened over the last year. And I can't wait to see what God has in store for 2009.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

When She Grows Up

Could this be what Morgan will be when she grows up.....

Morgan was playing dress up at her cousins house the other day. They had a doctors scrub outfit, that she put on. Oh, the possibilities that she has ahead of her.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Every Christmas, before any presents are opened, Ralph would read Luke 2 in the Bible. This year however, he did not read it - Madison did! It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating our first Christmas with Madison - this year she read the Christmas story to us! Wow, children really do grow up fast. I can't let my mind wonder, to how long before she will be reading this story to her children- because I do not want to cry tonight.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


We gave our girls a Wii for Christmas. We started looking back in August for one, before the holiday rush. We found one on Ebay for a great deal (contrary to some peoples thought - Ebay is great). So, that was what they got, plus a few other small things. I think they were pretty excited.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Family Night

For a the last few years we have not spent Christmas Eve at our own house. We were back visiting family, usually. We started a tradition when the girls were young that the night before we had our Christmas, we would watch a movie and sleep out in front of the Christmas tree. This year we are at our house on Christmas Eve! I have been so looking forward to this. So, we ate homemade pizza, our normal movie night meal, watched The Santa Clause 3 and then the girls dragged their sleeping bags out.
They are set for the evening and are anxiously awaiting tomorrow morning, and so am I.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you from the Yoder family.
Here’s our Christmas letter…just to catch you up on the events of our year. 2008 has been a rewarding year for us as we have made adjustments in our lives, our jobs, and our volunteer roles.
And don’t forget to share the Grace that graced the world years ago when God sent His Son to build a bridge for relationship with His creations.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Loving Life

My baby girl was loving life Saturday. It was a warm day, she was able to be outside playing and digging in the dirt and swinging from the monkey bars. I need things like this to remind me of the simple, fun things in life. To smile, and keep loving life.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ok, What!?!

My wonderful husband took me on a date tonight. We went to
Tallahassee, did a little shopping, ate out, and then went to a
movie. Being the wonderful man that Ralph is, he let me pick the
movie and we saw "Four Christmases" . I wanted to laugh, and I love
Christmas, so it seemed like a good pick. Before we went I read the
reviews and and the ratings. I knew there would be language that I
don't use. I knew there would be jokes that I would not retell. I
knew that going in.
Half way through the movie, not during a particularly objectionable
moment, several people get up and walk out. As they are walking out
I hear one of them say, "I can't watch something like this as a
Christian!" To which someone still sitting said loudly, "Amen!" My
thoughts to this was, Huh!?! Did you not read the review? Did you
not know you were watching a PG-13 movie? Did you not see "contains
language, crude humor"? Come on. These were adults leaving the
theater. They should have known. These were not children who needed
to be shielded. These were adults who should have educated
themselves before they entered the theater. Now, I know there are
things in films that sneak up, and yes, you should leave the theater
if you feel it's over the line. But to loudly state as you are
leaving that you can't endure this because you are a Christian.
Well, I say get educated or stay home.
I actually had a take away from this film. My take away is that your
family of origin can be screwed up, but your choice can be to break
family systems that are messed up. It's your choice.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Life is Messy

Ok, this week I have a whole lot of stuff rolling around in my head.  There seems to be a process that God is wanting me to go through.  To be honest, I don't want to go.  I will go, but I don't want to.  Because, here is the thing, life is messy.  When you are dealing with others, it gets messy.  People disappoint.  People die.  People move.  People hurt.  Dealing with people is messy.  Is it worth the mess?  C.S. Lewis explains it better than I can on why it is worth the mess, the pain, the loss.  

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."   C.S. Lewis - "The Four Loves"

Because without all those things we are left hollow, selfish shells.  I will choose to love, to let go, to hurt and be hurt.  I will not avoid pain, I will embrace it.  Because I choose to learn from these experiences.  I choose to love through these experiences.  I will choose the path God has for me.

Ok, I feel better now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A View from My Front Porch

Last week, Ralph got home a little early from work. He then went outside with the girls. I thought they were going to do a little clean up in the yard, and play with Belle. Then one of the girls came in and said, "Daddy needs the matches." I thought, ok, he must be burning some paper. Then another one came in and said he needed more matches. "Um, ok," I thought to myself. So, I went along with what I was doing and happened to walk by the window and see an orange glow in the yard. And this is what I saw........

My husband was burning our garden spot, with his daughters. I think you could probably consider it a "wild at heart" moment. For me, it was a "faint of heart" moment. But, I kept quiet and instead took pictures. I know he had it under control, it just made me nervous! The girls of course enjoyed every moment, so I wanted to document the fun time they had with their daddy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blountstown Parade

Ok, so we participated in the Blountstown Christmas parade on Saturday night. That meant that my dear husband missed the Florida/Alabama game. I will admit that it was a lot of work to get ready for it, but I learned a lot helping put that float together. Maybe one day I will share..... For now I will share a couple of my favorite pics from the night!

My handsome husband and me. I love his smile.

Morgan hiding behind the wand that Mr. Claude so "graciously" gave to the kids. I now have 3 of those things that light up and sing at my house.

And a picture of part of the float, with 2 of the virtues I struggled with last week - joy & peace. I think this week I have found them.

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Baby Girl

My baby girl got her ears pierced last week.  We were walking thru the mall and were actually done with what we had to do and leaving.  As we were walking thru the last store to get to the van we walked by the jewelry counter.  Madison and Laney started talking about earrings and what they would like for Christmas and Morgan said she could not wear any because her ears were not pierced.  Ralph looked at her and said, "Do you want them pierced?"  She said, "I think so."  So, we back tracked and found Claires.  She asked if it was going to hurt, so me and the girls explained that it would fill like a pinch, then it would be over.  She put her brave face on and went to pick out her earrings.  Then she asked me to hold her hand during the process, which I gladly did.  She held still and waited and then it was over with!  She looked at me and her eyes were welling up, so I scooped her up and she cried, just a very little bit.  No screaming or hysteria.  She was a tough one.  Which I kind of expect from the child who we sometimes call Bubba.  This was a neat experience in the fact that Ralph got to be there.  I had taken the other 2 on special dates to get theirs done.  He was glad he got to be there to document the occasion.  I am glad that we let her make this decision.  She has taken good care of them so far, and she is excited to be able to pick out her next earrings.  My baby girl is growing up.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Family Night

Ok, so it took me a week to post this. I can admit, I am slow, in many ways. So, we went to Justin and Belinda Smith's house Thanksgiving evening for supper. We had Potato soup and Cheesy Tomato Bacon Soup. Then we made pine cone turkeys, just like when I was a kid! Then we watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie that was about gratitude, which was also our virtue in UpStreet for the month of November. Here is a pic of the girls (and Clem and Justin) with the completed turkeys.