It may not be exactly what we're used to, but a few little whispers from home made it a special morning for me. Our sweet online church recognized the beginning of Advent with special songs, readings, and lighting the first candle of their Advent wreath.
We bought our Advent wreath candles (I know, not exactly the ones I was dreaming of) last week but haven't made our wreath yet. How am I going to make a wreath anyway? There's nothing green anywhere to be found. Anyway, we pulled out our candles this morning "as is."
I tried to sing along to "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" but couldn't continue without tears. There was something about watching this church sing surrounded by Christmas trees and thinking of them coming in from the cold that had me all choked up. It's sunny, warm, and very lonely down here this morning. I'm nonetheless grateful for this little Advent morning in our living room and looking forward to a season of waiting and preparing for Christmas. And for a visit from my mom and brother, who will arrive Dec. 13. I'm so so glad.
I forgot to report on our Thanksgiving with friends in Lima. We had a busy but very fun day cooking and catching up. The food turned out well I think, but the best part was spending time with John and Heather, their precious kids, their neat friend Hillary, and our best language school friend David (now flying planes for SAM in the jungle). This photo is minus two photographers (John and I) but plus one baby in the womb! Heather's due date is Dec. 20.
Here's our final menu, in the order we cooked it. I'd make every one of the dishes again!
- Toll House Pie
- Peach Blueberry Pie (our first blueberries in over a year!)
- Sweet Cornbread
- Brined, Herb-Roasted Turkey (amazing!)
- Brandy and Orange- Mashed Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups (accidently put 1 c instead of 1/4 c of brandy... but they turned out okay anyway)
- World's Best Cornbread Stuffing (added toasted pecans and craisins)
- Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Onion Rings
- Mashed Potatoes
- Homemade Gravy