Category Archives: Christmas

Dashing Through the Sand.

This is what I was up to on Christmas Eve, while everyone else slaved over dinner. ...in fact, this is what I've been up to since my legs staged a coup last Friday!

Good…morning?

*Yawn

Alright, first things first. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely abhor the thought of giving up Christmas music so quickly!  I simply don’t see a reason for it. This one has been stuck in my head for about seventeen hours now-I kid you not, I’ve probably played it on repeat no less than twenty times just this morning. It’s got all of the sweet flirtation of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”-which routinely gets stuck in my head every year from about October to February. Give it a whirl.

Perfect. Now that we’ve got our mood music, I can go ahead and admit that I slept through call to prayer #1. And #2. …and quite possibly, #3. I can neither confirm nor deny that one. The point here is that Christmas tuckered me out! This may even call for a nap later. I wonder if Dayton will let me borrow his snuggie…

…nooot a chance. I don’t think the boy’s taken off that monstrosity since Ben gave it to him yesterday morning-we’ll be prying it off his cold, dead body one day. Or rather, his snuggly-warm dead body. [And there, you have the sheer genius of the snuggie. Currently selling

Christmas Eve dinner!

 like hotcakes in Japan.]

Sleepy and snuggie-less, my mug of caramel truffle coffee [Divine. If you’re a coffee drinker, switch immediately.] and I are here, as promised, to regale you with stories of Christmas in Dakar!

We rolled off the floor at about ten thirty AM, and were unwrapping presents by eleven. [And THERE you have the

Right before caroling on Christmas Eve!

latest Christmas morning I’m going to experience for approximately the next eighty-seven years.]  Now, confession is cathartic, so here’s mine for the day: My name is Ashley, and I am the world’s worst gift-giver.

Whew. I feel cleansed.

But it’s no exaggeration-for all of my wonderful intentions and as much as I adore the people I shop for, nothing throws me into a panic like having to pick out the perfect gift for somebody. I’d rather be boiled alive in a vat of hot chocolate, or have my gums scraped repeatedly with an ice-pick. I’m not kidding. I prematurely age approximately eight more

The boys unwrapping the African shirts we had made for them. Get in line, ladies...

 years every time a friend of mine has a birthday.

Drama, drama drama.

Given that I’m so exceedingly, atrociously awful  with this whole gift-giving thing, I’m always entirely caught off guard when somebody is really good at it. And let me tell you, I have five teammates that are. Michelle, for instance, has been listening to my grandiose plans to track down a fabric market in Dakar, find a tailor, and have an apron made in a funky African

The snuggie. Me-OW.

fabric for months now. I’ve been talking about it for months-but it’s always just sounded like too. much. work.

I’ll give you one guess as to what that sweet girl had under the tree for me yesterday.

And then there was Ted, who found the. most. gorgeous African scarf I’ve ever seen. I have the world’s most persnickety, obnoxiously picky taste in clothing-and over the years have perfected the delicate art of placidly arranging my face into a faux-excited “oh I absolutely adore pleather!” expression. It’s entirely convincing-puncuated by elated gasps and exclamations that would suggest I’d just won a trip to Paris or gotten that pony that’s been on my Christmas list for 23 years straight. But secretly, I’m always cringing. Dayton understands this about me, and apparently when Ted told him he was off to track me down a scarf, he simply rolled his eyes and shuddered, knowing full well that nobody should ever attempt to pick out something I’m going to end up wearing. [Or rather, that they hope I’m going to end up wearing. ;)]

The boys unwrapping the grill we got them. ...the grill that wouldn't light last night, resulting in a two hour fiasco that left their male egos forever bruised. Merry Christmas!

 

…to both Dayton and my stunned amazement, I didn’t fake a thing yesterday. LOVE it. Somebody’s Mama taught him well.

Ben, being one of the most thoughtful people on the planet, had snuck a stack of my favorite classic books onto the plane last October, and has been hiding the stash in his room ever since. In fact, Ben had all of his Christmas shopping done in October! Why oh WHY am I not that thoughtful?!

Dayton gave me some beautiful glass Christmas swizzle sticks for my coffee [where he found those in Dakar, I’ll never know], and he found us CHAIRS! Glory hallelujah, we can now seat

Ben: "It's like we're a family!" Ashley: *exasperated sigh "THAT'S what I've been TELLING you for two years!" Aaaand cue the laughter you see here.

four people around our little kitchen table. Epic poems will be written about him for years to come. I may even do a lyrical dance…just as soon as my legs decide to start working again.

And Christy…bless her. About a week ago, she looked at me with an amused grin, and this is the conversation that ensued:

Christy: I don’t have anything for you for Christmas.

Ashley: …yeah, I haven’t gotten you anything yet either.

Christy: There’s nothing in this country that I want.

Ashley: Me either.

Christy: Do you want to just not get each other anything?

Ashley: …we’re going to be friends forever, aren’t we?

We gave each other the gift of blissfully stress-free jack-squat. Which might sound grinchy to you, but was hysterically

Unwrapping the clues that led to our chairs upstairs!

 perfect for us. [And in my defense, her birthday present is tucked safely away in my super-secret hiding spot! I’m all over it this year. :)]

The rest of our day was spent throwing together brunchfest [and guess who found bacon in a Muslim country??], watching the Grinch, skyping with friends and family back home, eating dinner together…the usual cast of characters that you fully expect to enter stage left on Christmas day. And it was magic. There are only 364 days left until Christmas next year-and can I just say in all sincerity, that I am silly excited?

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s story, tentatively titled “Why no one in my family should ever ever EVER take Ambien no matter HOW badly they want to fall asleep.” And oh boy, am I ever going to get it for telling you that one…

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Repeat the Sounding Joy! [Because There’s a Reason To.]

“Every good and perfect gift is from above…”  (James 1:17)

Da-who-dores, da-who-dores, welcome, welcome  Christmas day!

Merry Christmas! I have been entirely astounded by just how beautiful this day has been. Let’s be honest-you knew that a piece of me was dreading waking up on Christmas morning in the heat, on the floor, in Africa, an ocean away from the people I love most in the world. I would have given anything to have been beaten out of bed at five AM by the insistent little hands of my overjoyed toddler cousins gleefully heralding the long anticipated arrival of Christmas morning-and was steeling myself instead for the dull drone of the mosque. I ached to be home.

Would you believe that right now, at about midnight on Christmas night, I am deeply, deeply thankful that God’s sweet gift to me this year was the mosque instead of my family?

You see, given that this is our second year in Senegal, we have a couple of established Christmas traditions. Christmas Eve is gloriously devoted to caroling, a Christmas Eve “service” [read: projecting a Mark Driscoll podcast onto the wall], and steaming mugs of peppermint hot chocolate while we watch Elf [who taught us that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.]

It was the caroling that got me. We sang all the beautiful old songs that to my recollection have never been unfamiliar. But never before have they struck a chord with me quite like they did last night in the boy’s kitchen. I grabbed a pen and kept furiously scribbling lyrics while we sang each song like we meant it. I’ll show you…

“Mild, He lay His glory by-born that man no more may die.” [That was for me. God Himself left heaven for me! I am pursued and adored and treasured by God Himself. And I am safe.]

“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.” [I didn’t understand hopelessness until I moved to a Muslim country. Not really. Jesus entered into the story of humanity-our story-and brought HOPE. Emmanuel-God WITH us. Actually with you and me! Rescuer. Healer. Restorer. Redeemer. Rebuilder. And He’s here!]

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till HE appeared-and the soul felt it’s worth…a thrill of HOPE, the weary world rejoices! For yonder breaks a NEW and glorious morn-fall on your knees, oh hear the angel voices! Oh night divine.”  [He came, and a weary world finally had reason to rejoice! Hope and joy are both traced back to a dirty stable in Bethlehem.  Jesus brought hope and joy to broken people-to you and me. And now we rejoice not in our circumstances, but in Jesus! My joy is not in Christmas trees or my family or being healthy and comfortable-it’s in Christ Himself. ]

“Then let us all with one accord, sing praises to our heavenly Lord. That hath made Heaven and earth of nought and with His blood mankind has bought. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel-born is the King of Israel!” 

 “O come, Thou Day spring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here. Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death’s dark shadows put to flight. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.” [I love this idea of light coming and shattering the darkness of sin and death. Again, something that means a lot more to me now than it did two years ago.]

Good tidings of GREAT joy that are for all the people. For unto us was born this day, many many years ago, a Savior! And oh, how desperately we needed Him. How desperately I need Him. Our lives should “repeat the sounding joy”-and not just today, at Christmas-but every day. Because there’s a reason for hope, and a reason to rejoice!

And so Merry Christmas to you. I hope today you know how passionately loved you are. How pursued and treasured. That in a new way you understand the wonders of His unfailing love for you- and how very, very good God is.

I’ll tell you all about Christmas in Dakar tomorrow. But for now-heaven and earth are rejoicing-we ought to join them!

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Just a Spoon Full of Sugar. [Butter is Better than Prozac.]

The ghetto-fabulous little gas oven that we got to use for the day!

Today was baking day. Or more accurately, three homesick girls self-medicating with copious amounts of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.  

Because as my Mother taught me, there’s almost no problem in the world that can’t be solved with a biiiig stick of butta. And butta is a much more socially acceptable coping mechanism than some of it’s prescription counterparts.

And so we baked. And baked. And then just to keep everybody guessing- we baked some more. Given that the blizzard of flour and sugar that ensued in the kitchen earlier today is as close as we’ll get to a white Christmas-…I may have gotten a little carried away. But oh, was it ever worth it. The most intoxicating, mind-numbingly divine smells were wafting from that rusty little gas oven-chocolate chip muffins [why do I even bother eating anything else?] and sour cream cinnamon swirl coffee cake [Martha may be a felon, but the woman can throw together a cake like nobody’s business…], monkey bread [say what?] chocolate chip cookies […okay, so given the fact that I literally quadruple the amount of chocolate chips my muffin recipe calls for and I doubled this batch of cookies…I’m sending out an SOS for more chocolate chips.] cinnamon nutmeg apple crisp and homemade Hawaiian pizza….all together now: be still my beating heart.

It was glorious. It was therapeutic. Eyes rolled blissfully into the backs of heads, taste buds broke out into the hallelujah chorus and my skinny jeans went and had a good cry.

And there was much rejoicing.

Laura-vraiment merci for letting us come use your oven all day!  Christy will name her firstborn child after you.  You heard it here first. [And so did she.]

Now, I’m going to level with all of you. There have been some tears around here lately-and by “here”, I mean my apartment. [Our he-men teammates upstairs don’t cry quite as often as Christy and Michelle do. ;)] We really miss home. And right now, I miss my mobility. It looks like the reindeer trot tomorrow morning won’t be as feasible as I’d hoped-but don’t you worry, because we’re going to find another way to work in those costumes.  

Anyhow, I just thought I’d be honest and admit that this isn’t easy. And sometimes, it’s with slow  reluctance that I unclench my fingers tightly wrapped around my dream of Christmas at home, and slowly, slowly hand it over to the God that died for me. We have to work at remembering and believing

Monkey bread. Delish.

 that following Jesus to Africa is worth it because He is good and enough. Enough. Not in a barely-scraping-by sort of way-no, not even close. In an overflowing, I can’t out-give Him no matter how hard I try kind of way.

Now if you’ll excuse me, we’re going to go have ourselves a very merry little Christmas now!

And a very Merry Christmas to you, too.

Let nothing  you dismay.

Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day!

To save us all from Satan’s power

When we had gone astray-

Oh, tidings of comfort and JOY!

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Of Drag Queen Angels, and a Beanie Baby Jesus.

My second year of STINT [better known as “STINT: The Remix”] has become my proverbial second child-thus, I have taken very few pictures. This week I worked to remedy that. Now, they say that a picture is worth a thousand words-and so today I’m going to let mine do most of the talking.

This is the finished product. Charlie Brown Mohammad Jose. Don’t you just love him?

Fatou Ba had Michelle and I over for lunch this week. The sweet girl made Tiebou Yoppe because she knows it’s my favorite.

Michelle with Fatou Ba [in pink] and the rest of the gang. We had a rousing conversation with her boyfriend regarding the minute little detail that he’s allowed to have four wives, and she’s only allowed to have one husband.

Commence the hilarity. :) On Friday, we hosted a Christmas party for aproximately 45 of our students. We played a number of different games, among which was “pin the star on the tree”. In a concerted effort to inspire our students to go green, we cut all of the stars out of old magazines. [On second thought, it may have had something to do with the fact that we didn’t have any normal paper. My memory is a bit hazy.]

I know I’m not supposed to have favorite-but if I did, Miriam would absolutely be one of them. I adore this girl.

Pin the star on the Christmas tree had multiple amusing outcomes, among which was the occasional star ending up on someone’s head…

We taught them some Christmas carols!

For the rest of my life,  I think I may tear up when I sing “God and sinners reconciled”. Don’t let that line slip by unnoticed this Christmas. Don’t let that line slip by unnoticed any Christmas.

“Emmanuel-God with us”. With you and me. How beautiful is that? What a vastly different idea from what these Muslim students believe-that Allah is distant and unconcerned with their lives.

Okay, this is where it gets good. We projected the Christmas story out of Luke onto the wall, and read it together. THEN, I asked for ten volunteers, who were given a bag of props and a couple of minutes to figure out how they were going to act the whole thing out.

While the Christmas story was read again, they filed into our crowded kitchen and performed a very ghetto-fabulous rendition of the story of Jesus’ birth. [A story that some of them had just heard for the very first time minutes earlier.] This is Mary…

…who looked slightly more like Bon Qui Qui. Here’s the unhappy couple being told that there was simply no room in the inn. For a moment there, I thought the innkeeper was so sorry for them that he was going to go ahead and find them a spare corner, effectively destroying the whole thing. Never fear-Martin stood strong, and kicked them to the curb stable.

Much to my great chagrin, Adama gave a very stirring, disturbing picture of the pain Mary must have endured during labor. Oh, yes.  As I stood in the corner wincing and breaking out in cold sweats, she sprawled out on the floor, huffed, puffed and groaned until a beanie baby Jesus popped out. With a very concerned Mohammad Joseph bracing her from behind and looking for all the world like an expectant Father.

And here we have our drag queen angel, who with incredible flair [and not a little bit of va-va-voom] announced the birth of the Messiah with all of the delicate poise of an overly-enthused drunken sailor.

Here we have one of the wisemen giving beanie baby Jesus His gift. What baby wants myrh when you can have light-up plastic snowman from Walmart?

The three wisemen. Er, wisepeople.

The greatest regret of my young life will forever be not getting that skit on video! On a serious note, as fun as it was, it was also a fantastic way to teach our students why we really celebrate Christmas.

Our next activity was a Charlie Brown dance-off. We selected five volunteers [read: I goaded five people into volunteering, two of whom were Ted and Michelle], showed them the clip of all the Peanuts characters dancing, and then the participants were instructed to pick one of the dances and mimic it. The closest immitation won-as measured by the  good old applause-o-meter.

Marie [pink zebra stripes] won. Michelle came in dead last. I think she wants a rematch.

As Forest Gump would say-that’s all I have to say about that.

Stay tuned for my next blog, tenatively titled “In Which I Visited the Senegalese Emergency Room.” Now there’s a good story! [And clearly, it all worked out in the end and I’m fine. There goes my cliff-hanger ending…]

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What the Grinch and I Have in Common. [Christmas: Unwrapped.]

 
 
 

My family-the best part of the “wrapping”. :)

“The Grinch stood puzzling and puzzling. ‘How could it be so?! It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!’ He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming-it came! Somehow or other-it came just the same.”

 

 

Few people find as much delight in the “wrappings” of Christmas as I do. I am entirely enthralled by the winter wonderland of snowflakes and mistletoe, jingle bells and pine trees, cider and reindeer cookies…

 …sometimes, more than I am with the God I am supposed to be celebrating.

Living in Africa has given me an opportunity to experience what I have conceptualized in my head as “Christmas: unwrapped.”  If you take away the caroling out in the snow, the garland and Christmas tree and shimmering white twinkle lights, the cranberries and cinnamon and apple pie, peppermint mochas and chewy molasses cookies, the Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, snow angels and cozy knitted scarves, lovely sleigh-ride weather and Christmas radio and jingle bells-if you take away my family [the people I most dearly love in the whole wide world]-…well kid, you’ve got yourself an unwrapped Christmas.

I positively adore the wrapping. You know I do. And what’s more, I am entirely, unwaveringly convinced that God gets excited about all of it too.

BUT. One of the things that God has been teaching me since the day I boarded my first Dakar-bound flight last year, is to adore and treasure and delight in HIM more than in His gifts to me. And don’t get me wrong-the pieces of Christmas that I love are indeed heart-fluttering gifts to me from a God that I ardently believe gets a kick out of the wonder they provide. But they are not the point.

What a tragedy if in the breathtaking splendor of the Christmas season-in the elaborate grandeur of our oversized trees and countless yards of garland and ribbon, in the magical, frosty flurry of snow and holly and mistletoe and all of our packages, boxes and bags…we miss the stable.  A tired, decrepit, ordinary stable that didn’t smell a thing like apple cinnamon or peppermint.

Christmas is God’s passionate pursuit of you and I in the very midst of our utter rejection of Him. It’s Jesus leaving His home for Christmas to reconcile God and sinners like me. It’s a thrill of hope and joy to the whole world-because we are deeply, intensely, forever loved by the God that created snowflakes and Christmas trees and peppermint mochas. There is hope. There is joy. There is marvelous cause for great celebration and greater worship-cause to fall on our knees and hear the angel voices proclaiming that Christ our [yours and mine!] Savior is born! And heaven and nature sing.

 “For behold, I bring you good news of GREAT JOY which shall be for ALL the people [Senegalese and Americans alike]. For unto you [yes, you!] is born this day in the City of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

 Let every heart prepare Him room.

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

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Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time.

It would appear that Santa and I are both busy making lists these days.

  1. Michelle and I have decided to make our whole team run a 5K that we’re calling “The Reindeer trot” on Christmas Eve. Sadly, given the excessive amount of hohos and Teddy Grahams that have been disappearing around Dakar lately, I’m rather concerned that it’s going to turn into more of a “Reindeer waddle”. Nevertheless, we will be dressing up like reindeer and prancing through the streets of Dakar as though nothing at all is out of the ordinary. Pictures to come, assuming we don’t wind up in the Senegalese women’s correctional facility downtown. [Or possibly, especially if we wind up in the Senegalese women’s correctional facility downtown…]
  2. “Well the fire is slowly dying-and my dear, we’re still goodbying.” What a lovely way to talk about kissing. Kind of like “There’ll be much mistletoeing”. Who knew that kissing was such an integral part of Christmas music?
  3. The other night, my team and I watched Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. Christy was the only one aside from me that had ever seen it before-and I made HER watch it back in college. That CAN’T possibly be normal-tell me the rest of you include this in your Christmas movie repertoire. Is this real life?
  4. With Gretch this summer at the happiest place on earth.

    4. I have a skype date with Gretchen in half an hour. Thank God for webcams, broken headsets, fuzzy African internet connections, and best friends. And everybody said amen.

  5. A friend with an oven in Dakar has offered to let Michelle, Christy and I come over to spend a day knocking out some Christmas baking on December 22rd! Be still my beating heart. Visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads have been happily replaced by visions of cinnamon rolls, molasses cookies, pumpkin pies,  gingerbread, chocolate chip muffins, apple pies…how much baking can three oven-less girls get done in one afternoon? We’re about to find out. Back it up, Teddy Grahams-you’re about to get “nexted”.
  6. In a fit of genius, I washed all of my running clothes at one time this afternoon. Thus, I shall have no choice but to run in sopping wet running shorts this evening. Which is perfect, because I really don’t think I was attracting quite enough attention as it was…
  7. Next month, my team and I are attending a STINT conference

    Notre Dame! And SNOW!

    in Spain. [I know-life is hard.] We’re in the process of planning some vacation time while we’re in Europe-Paris, here I come! Of the three duffels I hauled to Senegal in October, one was entirely devoted to sweaters, boots and a pea coat. Repeat the sounding joy.

  8. Speaking of pea coats, last night for the very first time since we landed, it was [almost] cool enough to wear sleeves! Next stop: snowflake Christmas pajamas.
  9. Really, I hate to be that girl. I do. But Kellan’s coming in 79 days and I’m so excited I don’t know what to do with myself! If the reindeer trot doesn’t get me arrested, tackling my boyfriend at the airport in a Muslim country ought to do the trick.
  10. And a partridge in a pear tree.

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Of Sugar Plum Fairies, and Nine Year Olds Gone Wild.

With some of our loot today. :)

My apartment looks like a troop of unruly nine year old boy scouts were left to their own impish, gleefully mischievous devices when grocery shopping. An absolutely embarrassing number of sugary American confections in telling, obnoxiously loud neon boxes are spilling out of cabinets that are much to small to contain the armies of teddy graham bears and peppermint kisses doing their utmost to hide within.

God bless them-every one.

As I sit here munching on a hoho and reading “Cooking with Paula Deen” [hohos make me feel close to Paula], I’d like to clarify something: I promise, I really am a food snob. [If it helps, I’m eating this hoho off a plate with a fork!] I can’t tell you the last time I put a hoho [or it’s equivalent] into my mouth before this one.  I’m absolutely mad about cooking and quite frankly, I’m rather good at it.  I love what imagination can do to a little bit of flour and a whole lot of decadent chocolate and creamy butter. And despite what that implies, a hobby of mine in the US is coming up with divine dinners that will make you forget your middle name, but are astonishingly healthy for you.

Well, here in Africa [where government recommendations on the proportions of fruits and vegetables that are advisable in your diet are viewed less as helpful, and more as imperialist propaganda], things are a bit different. Thanks to my rice-loving African counterparts, I’m currently in the process of ensuring that there will indeed be no carb left behind when I hop on a Raleigh-bound plane in seven months.

Something about life in Senegal can take a food snob and leave her unwaveringly convinced that she can’t possibly go

Given that I've been turning progressively more and more green all week over the snow you CH kids got this week, here's a picture of the last time I was in CH for snow. Coping. Mechanisms.

 another day without a ding dong. And so when sweet friends ask what I’m dying for in care packages, I’ve been known to request foods that several months ago wouldn’t have gotten a second glance from me, and now occupy the better part of my daydreams.

Hohos, teddy grahams, candy canes, French vanilla coffee, wheat thins, and chocolate chips [oh. my.] were premier on wish-lists that I sent back across the ocean several weeks ago. Yesterday morning at about five thirty AM, Ben and I ran [okay, on one cup of coffee the best I could do at that hour was amble confusedly] to the airport to pick up Jason and Courtney-two coaches of ours from the US that are here for a couple of days to observe what we’re doing, offer feedback, and ensure that we’re not contemplating throwing ourselves into oncoming traffic in an effort to get home for Christmas. They both packed duffels full of presents from our families, friends, and some Bible studies that have “adopted” us back home! I wish you could have seen that group of twenty somethings bursting out in peals of irrepressible, elated laughter as we unpacked Funyuns, Jiffy peanut butter [not, mind you, intended to be eaten together], and enough zebra cakes and Christmas candy to keep us sugared up until 2011. The caption to that picture in my head is “nine year olds gone wild”-and was. it. ever. hysterical. I had a laughter induced headache at the end!

I’m not kidding. I took two advil. 

Vraiment merci to everyone that had a hand in the madness that ensued in the kitchen last night. You made a STINT team feel overwhelmingly loved and cared for. And in no particular order, on my part…

Thank you Talley and everyone else from the SP for all of the teddy grahms, coffee and magazines! You guys are so sweet-we’re rationing everything you sent for team movie nights from here until Christmas. :)

Thank you Mary and the EKU Bstud for the magazines, hohos, chocolate chips, coffee and the lemon heads for my “lemon days”. :) [Wildly creative, and SO thoughtful.] I wish you could have seen my face when I found a “Vogue” in that stack of magazines! You’re not, unfortunately, endearing yourselves to the men on my team given that I made Ben promise to read to me tonight…;)

KStew, thanks for the Christmas music, candles, magazines and stuff to remind me that I’m a girl. You get me, and I miss you. :)

Our early Christmas was serendipitously timed in the midst of a rough week-God knows what He’s doing, I think. And the weary world rejoices.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to run. Dayton has goaded me into trying my very first Funyun.

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