Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his,
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100 esv

Tick. Tock.

The clock is ticking away and I am a little antsy today to start the holiday!!! We are leaving Louisville around 3ish today for my Mamaw's farm in Tennessee. I can hardly wait to see the stars tonight - with no city lights to dim their beauty.

Tomorrow we will spend the day with a fair army of Robertsons - and some of the finest country cooking ever tasted. My cousin, Lane, even fries one of the turkeys. After dessert we will load back up and drive the 2 hours from the farm to Memphis.

A mere four hours after the first Thanksgiving meal is served, we'll eat again with the Dawkins clan. It's a hard life - but we're going to push through all that good food:)

We are especially excited about this dinner because yesterday at 2:14pm a new little Dawkins nephew was added to the number!!! David and I can hardly wait to meet him.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No More...for now.

It feels like David and I have eaten junk food for 3 days straight. Last night we finished our pre-thanksgiving-stomach-stretch off with a date night at Chili's followed by spectacular desserts from Louisville's Homemade Pie Kitchen with the Boevings. On the way home, we resolved to quit our lately developed junk food habit - at least for the next two days. This was an easy decision to make. We've eaten so many sweets and snacks lately that we are actually tired of them. We have a high tolerance - so this is a very telling statement. Last night I dreamed about drinking large glasses of clean, pure water - if that's not a sign that my poor body is craving less junk, what is???

This does not bode well for the rest of the holiday season. We're only in the preliminaries right now!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stephanie & Andy

This weekend our little abode on Crescent Court was full of people. David - who has been immersed in books for weeks now - was particularly glad to have his dining room desk covered in party foods and surrounded by friends.
On Friday night we celebrated Stephanie and Andy's soon-coming marriage. Since their wedding is in Georgia over the holidays, this was our opportunity to celebrate with them. Kyra - in addition to making an ocean of hot chocolate and some of the finest dip I've ever tasted - organized games. In the pic above, the soon-to-be Moores were learning just how much they know about each other. The other game brought forth all the competitive energy of one guest in particular. (ah hem - JULIE WIEGAND)

If we said the words "wedding, honeymoon or marriage" our clothespins could be taken from us. Julie - well- she set me up within the first 10 minutes and snagged a pin. Apparently she did this to a few others as well. Needless to say, she won the game at the end of the night.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Thread that Runs so True

Saturday night the Dawkins clan went to a play to celebrate David's birthday. Early on in our marriage we decided that for birthday and anniversary gifts we would prefer to go to the theatre. David set the precedent when he presented me with tickets to The Lion King at the Orpheum in Memphis on the night he proposed. (This was definitely the most aesthetically intriguing performance I've ever seen. The set was phenomenal!) For his birthday last year, I bought us tickets to White Christmas at the Orpheum.

Now that we are on a Seminary budget, we've had to be a little more creative in our tradition. David discovered that if you've never been to a play at the Louisville Actors' Theatre, you can get a first-time deal of $13 tickets! Hence our outing to Pride and Prejudice a few weeks ago for our anniversary. We'd discussed previously looking into school plays here in the Louisville area to keep the tickets more in our price range but had not done so yet.

A few days before David's birthday, I discovered that Trinity High School had the play A Thread that Runs so True scheduled for mid-November. Based on a novel by Jesse Stuart, this play chronicles a school teacher in the KY mountains early in the 1900s. I was super-excited about this surprise. I called David's sister Lisa to let her in on the scoop - hoping she could go with us for the evening. I couldn't exactly remember where Trinity was located but I knew I'd seen it on one of my common routes.

Three days before his birthday, David and I were driving down Shelbyville on a Friday night. I saw the school beside us and without thinking suddenly exclaimed "There's Trinity High school!!!"
David looked over at me.
"Wow, sweetie, you're really excited about Trinity High school, huh?" he said questioningly.
I am a terrible liar. I tried to cover my mistake though.
"Um. Yeah. I'm excited because I heard that there's a big football game there tonight," I said as we drove past an empty parking lot at 8pm.
"Football, huh. That must be some game to get you so excited."
"Yep. I was just really excited about that game tonight."

David laughed to himself for the next ten minutes while I sat in my seat fuming that I had opened my mouth. Three days later, he was still laughing as he feigned surprise while opening his birthday gift.

Oh well. So much for the surprise aspect. We did have a fun time at the play though!

Family Life Conference

This weekend David and I went to the Family Life Conference at SBTS with Dr. and Mrs. Hershael York. Friday night was a "Candlelight Dinner" which we found entertaining...because it was a romantic candlelight dinner with 3 other couples at our table. We didn't exactly gaze into each other's eyes! haha. We did have a GREAT time though getting to know some other couples on campus and spending time with our sweet friends Bonnie and Justin! (Memphians may remember them from the Progressive Dinner Pics.)

The conference is an annual event for the Seminary Wives' Institute. We truly came away encouraged and appreciated the very "earthy" wisdom that the Yorks had to offer. It was great to spend some concentrated hours thinking about ways to love each other better in coming days.

As a gift, each couple was given a copy of "Love and Respect" by Eggerich. Though David and I read a range of marriage books before our wedding, "Love and Respect" has undoubtedly been the most referenced for me. It is full of Scriptural truth that is exceedingly practical in married life. I highly recommend it!!!

There's my book promo for the week:)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


For those who have been waiting on the edge of their keyboards for the verdict: the meatballs were FABULOUS!!!! I feel less intimidated after this initial try - and may add them to the menu more regularly. The great thing about David Dawkins at meal time is this - even if it's terrible - that guy will find something to compliment! He's always honest even if he has to say "Wow, Laura. This is such a creative meal." ...he's still appreciative. It makes me braver in the culinary arts.

This weekend, inspired by Laurin Boeving's seasonal door flowers, I found a little basket at Goodwill and bought some 50% off flowers at Hobby Lobby. Our stairwell door felt lonely to me. I wanted to keep the cost low in case the project..umm..didn't work out. I've never been known for my flower arranging skills. In college, if flowers ever found their way to our dorm room, Rebekah- who worked for a florist - had to arrange them. In Memphis, I relied on my mom's amazing creativity. Thus, I've never really worked on my skill. Without them in Louisville, though, I forged ahead. Here's the result of my struggle with moss and silk flowers:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mrs. Dawkins's Meatballs

The multi-talented Mrs. Dawkins up to bat at a family baseball game this summer. (Ok. It's the only pic I have on hand today.)

Last night at around 10pm I decided that it would be a great idea to try out one of my mother-in-law's famous recipes - Sweet and Sour Meatballs. Now, I'm not much of a carnivore and admit that the first time I tried this dish it was more out of social grace than desire. I was immediately swayed. They were delicious.

I asked my sister-in-law Lisa for the recipe months ago but have not been brave enough to try it. Mrs. Dawkins is a fabulous cook. So far, I've not attempted to re-create. Last night though, driven by sympathy for my airport-bound husband...who was in Minneapolis after a snowy flight from North Dakota...I gave it a shot.

The meatballs are in the crock pot as I write so I can give you no verdict until our stomachs are satisfied. But - they were easier to make than I expected, though I did not anticipate the intense level of raw-meat handling meatballs exact. I HATE touching raw meat. I scrubbed my hands in scalding water afterward, doused them in alcohol, and sprayed Lysol bleach over the whole kitchen when I was finished. Even still, I feel nervous about contamination in my kitchen.

Alas though the meatballs are baking. Husband made it home safely. And I am thankful that it is Friday and the weekend is before me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Blizzard

David is in North Dakota for a few days at a conference with his boss.

I know. North Dakota???

Random. I wasn't even sure that people lived there.

More randomly than that....there is a blizzard warning in North Dakota right now.

I am sure there will be adventure involved.

As for me - sunny and 70s in Louisville today. Isn't weather a wonder?

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Acorns

A few months ago, David and I began working in the Nursery at our church for a few hours one Sunday a month. Yesterday was our Sunday. We work with the "Acorns." This means wee ones. The acorns…will eventually attain "Oak" status in the nursery.

David and I….very obviously…do not have children. Nor do we consider ourselves to be thoroughly trained in child care. We would not really call ourselves "kid" people. It's not that we don’t like children…we think they're wonderful little people. We just don't know what to do with them most of the time. For those who wonder about my background at Beautiful Gate in Africa…let me remind you that I was the Household Manager. This means I did administrative tasks. I worked for them and loved it. I still didn't know what to do with them though.

When I was in college some of my friends volunteered to work with the kids at the Baptist Children's Village. They would go in the afternoons and play with them in the gym. I volunteered to go - as a tutor. They would play with them. I would do homework with them. Gym time evokes the same emotion for me it did when I was 10. I stand around aimlessly wishing desperately I had a trick or two to entertain. Thinking about my lack of coordination. Wondering if a ball is going to fly across the room and knock me to the floor. I would not say that my strong point is….um…playing. I never quite know what to do with children if I'm not teaching them or serving them. Conversation only goes so far. Ok - in the Acorn room it doesn’t go anywhere.

Yesterday was a particularly lively day in the Acorn Room. Because of the large volume of Immanuel Babies…the Acorn room was split in two…so that the one year olds aren't "loving" the newborns by crawling on their heads. For us this meant that David and I were the only workers in the new room. We had a lot of cry-ers yesterday. David and I responded to the desperation by singing innumerable rounds of "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Old MacDonald" interspersed with broken stanzas of hymns.

One of the kids pushed over the baby gate in an escape attempt. David thenceforth was the gate guarder….covered in 3-5 crawlers for the duration of the morning. At one point, the supervisor came over to check on us…undoubtedly because of the chorus of cries coming from the Acorn vicinity. As I stood with the flailing Jonas* in my arms, the recently mobile Derek* vied for my attention by trying to pull up…on my pants. My elastic waist pants. This resulted in an embarrassing moment for me and the nursery supervisor. Next time I am going to opt for belted apparel when I work with little Derek.

Let's just say by the end of the morning, I wasn't exactly hoping for the blessing of quadruplets one day.

*Names changed to protect the innocent…or in this case…innately sinful.