Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Away in a Manger

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;

The stars in the sky look down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes;

I love Thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;

Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care'
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What's God up to?

My brain has been in overdrive. I don't even know where to begin in writing this post. God has been showing me something lately. The thing is that I know He is not finished. All I know is what I have learned so far. I will do my best to organize my thoughts...

I have always felt like the Lord deals with me in "themes." Like throughout different periods of life, everything I do (my Bible Study, my books I'm reading, my thoughts...) points to a common theme. Sometimes the theme can last a few days, sometimes it can last years. For at least 2 years in college the theme was to learn to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and body. After that, during Senior Year of college the theme was very much about trusting God. At this time I was learning to trust Him with His plans for the church we were currently serving in, with all the craziness our college was going through, with finding us a church to serve at & a home...all before we had to move out of the director's apartment at LC. The next big theme came up about a year after graduation when our church was going through a time of sifting. So much went on during that time: members left, the preacher left, D became interim, D became Pastor & so much more, but that would require me to write a book so we'll just stick with the basics. The theme at that point in my life was that God is Emmanuel-God with us. Recently, God has been teaching me, showing me, telling me to, "Decrease myself, so that He may be increased." I know that theme is not finished because I have only just begun to hear Him on this one, but lately I just feel like He has so much to say to me.

For the past couple of weeks, everywhere I turn, I hear about the death of a child, loss of a baby, or a miscarriage. It's really getting to me. I have developed such a compassion for the mothers and families of these children. The thing is that it has surrounded me so much lately that I have to ask God-what are You showing me? What do You have to teach me? I don't know if it is because I have a child now, but just the thought of this speaks to me in so many ways.

The other day I asked God to reveal Himself to me in a new way. I'm incredibly excited because I know God is answering this. He never leaves me. He is always there waiting to teach me things...if only I would always have my eyes open. If I would just stay in waiting.

I feel like all that God is showing me now is an answer to my request. (Showing me through the things that I am reading, experiences, EVERYTHING!) So far I have realized, more so than ever, just what a sacrifice God made by sending His only Son to Earth just so he could die for me. He loved me that much! He loved you that much! As December begins, I want to make a point to celebrate Jesus' birth, the reason He came and God's sacrifice every single day. I want to do my very best to have my eyes open to my Father. I don't want to miss a thing.

Thank You my Father for all of my blessings, for Jesus as my example, for my life with You eternally that Jesus' death provides & for making the ultimate sacrifice because of the love that You have for me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I Love Thanksgiving! Who knew?! Every Fall Dustie has to hold me back from jumping right into Christmas. His rule is I cannot decorate for Christmas until AFTER Halloween. :) Having Jax this year has really given me a new outlook on each day. Maybe it's because each new day brings a "first," but I am more eager to make every single day special and to savor every moment. This year I actually enjoyed Halloween and the fun celebration of children getting to dress up, have fun and goof off. The following month I have so enjoyed getting to take time to think about all the things I have to be thankful for. The list could go on and on, but here are some of the highlights:

I am thankful for:
-My Salvation
-My Family
-Church Family
-My Mom and Mammaw keeping Jax everyday
-My job and the freedom it gives me (espeically as a Mommy)
-Fall-for all the wonderful sights, smells & tastes!
-Christmas-and that I NOW get to start the celebration of Christ's birth!

This month we enjoyed so many things about Thanksgiving! We thought about what we were thankful for. We learned to thank God for those things. (Yes, I do realize I will probably have to "re-teach" this lesson next year...and the year after...and the year after...) We made goodies for the people that we are thankful for.

We learned about the Pilgrims.

And the Indians.

Putting together our "Spiced & Iced Pumpkin Cookies" YUMMY!

Jax in the midst of Thanksgiving-ness!

Jax-the pumpkin is just a prop! Now look at the camera!

Jax will enjoy his very own sweet potatoes & green beans for Thanksgiving Dinner. Here he is "practicing."

Sweet Taters are YUM!

Ladies Love Cool James...

Happy Birthday to the original LL Cool J!

5 years ago a small white ball of fur was born & was destined to become part of the Dunn family. On our first Christmas as a married couple, Dustie gave me Hootie James. Right away he and Dustie made a special bond & quickly became best friends. (So much for being MY present!)

For Hoo's birthday this year Jax stayed at Gammy & Gamp's house (my parents) & Hoo got to be the only child for a night. He thought it was wonderful! He has been a great first child. He is so very mischievous and wild. He has helped prepare us for parenthood. We have had many wonderful adventures with him & look forward to many more!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Family Fall Festival

Just wanted to get these fun pics up from our Fall Festival. Hundreds of Vivianites showed up for the fun. It was such a success! Jax had a wonderfully exhausting first Halloween!

Modeling his costume

On the way to the festival.

Adorable friends!

More cute friends!

Fun things to do!

With Lolo getting ready to do the potato sack race! :)

Dustie and Blake racing.

What are these yummy looking things?!

Too cute to be scary...

Milk break

Bro. Blake & Jax (Jax's children's Pastor)

Always a MON-STORRRR...not just for Halloween!

Pooped from all the festivities!

No Tricks, All Treats

Jax decided he wanted to make some "treats" for his Sunday School teachers and the nursery workers, so that is what he and I spent the day doing on Halloween. It was sooo the perfect day! Sunny outside & very cool. We snuggled in our pajamas all day long & enjoyed our Saturday!

Jax relaxing, ready to make some truffles!

They MUST be packaged in a fun way!

Working hard putting the ribbons on.

Setting it all up...

Counting to see if there's enough...

Lots of boxes...


Havin fun!

The finished product.

All ready for church in the morning!

These truffles were SUPER EASY (um...I made them lol) & so yummy. Thanks to Barefoot Contessa for the recipe:
Chocolate Truffles


1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate (Lindt is good)

1/2 lb semisweet chocolate (Ghiradelli is good)

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon prepared coffee

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cocoa powder, confectioners sugar, sprinkles, nuts etc. (to cover the truffle)


Place chocolates in heat proof mixing bowl.

Heat cream until it just boils & allow to sit for about 20 secs. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into the chocolate. Add vanilla & coffee. Stir with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside for an hour. (recipe says @ room temp, but after the hour at room temp I put it in the refrigerator for about 30 mins to help it set) Scoop out & roll in your hands to form balls. Roll in topping of your choice. Refrigerate, serve @ room temp.

Enjoy! :)

All Dressed Up

A few weeks ago we were able to celebrate 2 wonderful weddings in one week! The first couple, Kase & Meghan, were married a couple of weeks prior to the celebration (it was just a small, intimate, family wedding). The second couple's wedding was actually on a Thursday night. Incidentally, we celebrated both weddings with the same family-the Gorsulowskys. We've been friends with Jim & Pam for a few years now & were SO looking forward to that day! (Yes, our friends may be on a little tv show known as The Office...) We know we're cool; you don't have to tell us...

The Gorsulowsky / Chiles Wedding Reception

Jax in his "tux" for Meghan & Kase's reception.

Meghan & Jax

It was soooo pretty-wish I had a pic of the cake & the awesome buffet!

Jax loves Mrs. Erin! Praying for the day she & Kev. have kids-they'll be awesome parents! Until then, they can borrow ours. :)

Jax & his Mrs. Pat.

The Halpert Wedding!

Erin got a beautiful & YUMMY wedding cake!

Jax & Erin hangin out...

Jax, Erin, Andrea, Meghan & Dustie. Food was soooo good!

Dustie "lol"-ing & Kevin makin some goodies!