Friday, December 30, 2011

Pre-Christmas...a little late (part 1)

We have had such a wonderful break, & I'm behind on my holiday blogs.  We have seen many friends, opened our home to the staff & widows of the church, traveled to Fl & back, & loved every minute. A few highlights -
My Aunt Sally & Beth moved to Atlanta, so we made a trip to see them (This is the closest family has lived close to me in 7 years)! I got to see my cousin, Linda & her husband, Paul.  They got to meet Peyton for the first time.
Linda in Atlanta!   
The Starks, Miss Zadie, Miss Jeanette, Mom, & Me
My mom (in town from Ky) & I got to enjoy a Ladies Progressive Dinner with dear friends from Royston, Ga.  We ate too much, laughed a lot, & made many memories.  I am grateful for these women & the opportunity to call them my friends.
The Brister Bunch & Peyton
For Christmas Eve, we spent the evening with the Brister Bunch.  Both of our families live far away, so we decided to spend it together.  We loved getting to spend the special night with such fun friends. Thank you Bristers!
Thank you for sharing in my Christmas memories! 
Luke 2:10-11: "But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah,* the Lord."

Monday, December 19, 2011

6 Days Until Christmas!!!

I am thrilled that their are six days until Christmas! Who doesn't love this holiday? The Barlow Bunch is busy - preparing for a staff brunch, preparing for a widow's drop-in, finishing last minute gifts, visiting with Grandmama (who's here helping get ready for the brunches)... I could go on ....

Can you relate? Have you thought about others this holiday season? (not including your family members) Have you thought of those children who do not have water? food? homes?

Jonathan has challenged our church congregation to do more.  Weekly, we have watched videos on the Advent Conspiracy - Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, & Love All. It's idea - focus on Jesus, buy one less gift, give more to family & friends, & to love those less fortunate. Please check it out -


Can we take the Advent Conspiracy challenge together?  We DO still have 6 more days!!! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Choosing JOY this Christmas Season!

Auntie Anna came down to Royston, Ga for a visit this weekend!  We made many memories & cherished our time together.  Anna read to my kindergarteners (yes - they thought she was famous!), played with Peyton, Christmas shopped with us (I think I'm finished!), tried new Roystonian restaurants, & relaxed in front of our tree watching our favorite Christmas movies.

We asked Anna to give her testimony at Royston Baptist Church on Sunday, Dec. 11th.  If you know my sister, you are aware her powerful testimony.  I was amazed at her grace Sunday morning, as she had to share her story -a car wreak, a brain injury, a miraculous recovery, & a decision to live in JOY on a daily basis.  Anna reminded the congregants (& me) that we chose is up to us to decide. Anna shared one of my favorite verses that my family has repeated over & over - Romans 5:3-5, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." This Christmas, my prayer for you - that you are able to rejoice, preserver, & hold closely to the hope that our Christ Jesus brings us on Christmas morning.

A few pictures from the weekend -

Our Tree!

Auntie Anna & Peyton

Peyton, Susan, & Anna

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Turkey Day!

Rewind to Thanksgiving...yes, all my Christmas decor is up (minus the tree, which we're getting this weekend!!!).  
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving - lots of family time, lots of my favorite home-cooked casseroles, & lots of play time with the babies.  Thanksgiving was spent in Kentucky with my family - parents, sisters, brother-in-laws, lab puppy, & precious nephew.  Our big family event was running the 2011 Thoroughbred Classic on Thanksgiving morning.  It is my FAVORITE run all year - the prettiest scenery of any race, time to reflect on things I'm thankful for throughout the year, & running with my family.  (See pictures below - Mom & Jonathan both placed 3rd in their age division!) 
Highlights of the week - Mom getting up with me at 5:30am on Black Friday to go to Big Lots (haha), Peyton showing off his dance moves during the football halftime show, Strawberry Pretzel Salad & Pumpkin cookies (my favorite!), sharing how we've been blessed in 2011 during our Thanksgiving dinner, seeing my college roommates, Sarah & Shannon, & Codye & her adorable babies...a wonderful week.  Now, you may understand why I cried going to work Monday.
Peyton & Carter excited to go to park! 

Thanksgiving Photos! (Pre-turkey)

Lots of Love in this picture! 

Our Winners!!! Mom & JB both won 3rd place!

Visit with Codye, Campbell, & Barrett 

Grandmama with happy grandsons!

Grandaddy & boys

Look at the matching pjs! 
We will be with Jonathan's family for Christmas, so we exchanged gifts on Friday night.  Mom got the boys matching adorable! I hope you felt blessed this Thanksgiving.
May God bless you as we approach Christmas.  May we prepare for the Advent season with our minds & hearts. Much Love - Susan