Monday, November 30, 2009

Gobble, Gobble.

We had a very Happy Thanksgiving - full of family, friends and yes, food!

The Robertson clan - minus a few of the men-folk who had already returned to the field by the time the rest of us had recovered enough to move outside for a family picture. Harvest is upon us.

At the Dawkins Dinner, we ate another round of delicious food. Which included, hands down, the best turkey I've ever tasted - thanks to David's dad! Last year Louise Anne spent Thanksgiving week in the hospital with the arrival of Braxton. This year the little guy joined us for the celebration.

Lindsey and Andy posed for a few pictures on the farm prior to their beautiful wedding on Saturday night...picture and details to come!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Governor William Bradford's Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1623

To All Ye Pilgrims

INASMUCH as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience; now, I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November ye 29 of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor, and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.

With gratitude for the abundant provision of our very gracious God,
Happy Thanksgiving from the Dawkins Family.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On the Road Again

This afternoon we making the 5 hour trek to my Mamaw's farm in the Tennessee hills. I am looking forward to a few hours in the country to see the starry sky and wake up to fresh air. Tomorrow her house will be stuffed to the brim - both with people and every good country dish imaginable. Thanksgiving is really the only holiday when almost all of my aunts, uncles and cousins still gather. I love it.

After a 1pm lunch, David and I will jump in the car and make the 2 hour trip to Memphis for a Dawkins Family Thanksgiving. David's dad prepares and carves the turkey (must be where David got his amazing turkey skills) and his mom cooks for days to ensure that not one thanksgiving delicacy is left off of the table. We are especially grateful that Lisa and Brad will be in Memphis at the same time we will be! A rare treat that makes us treasure holidays all the more this year!

The rest of the weekend holds some VERY exciting family events...more on that in days to come.

When I consider the families that God has so graciously placed us in, my heart is indeed overwhelmed with thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The fate of our turkey.

I know you've been anticipating this post on the fate of the turkey in our fridge. Paul even suggested that we tweet about the progress. Yeah, right. I don't think David's used twitter since the day he set up an account. I have never even been to the site. Paul, next time just come on up for a visit and tweet for us.

We had an exciting morning on Sunday. David stuffed that turkey and I passed the spices off to him to rub the bird down. I spent the morning running to the bathroom because all the raw meat at 9am was too much for my preggo senses. In the end though, with a little manipulation of the faithful crockpot (a larger one than usual borrowed from Kim) to ensure that the lid was sealed....

....the turkey was a grand success.

It was seriously delicious. Special thanks to Kim for hunting down recipes to accomodate my obsession with using the crock pot for all things possible.

I was very domestic this weekend. Admittedly, I'm not much of a chef. The thought of spending hours in the kitchen on a Saturday is not my idea of a good time. The concept of homemade yeast rolls has hitherto always been stopped by the reality that for 25cents a roll, I can stop by O'Charley's on my way home from craft browsing at Hobby Lobby and pick up a dozen hot rolls with honey butter. If I average in my time and ingredients for homemade rolls, O'Charley's puts me out on top. This weekend though, I figured as long as I was going to try my hand at turkey cooking, I might as well make my own rolls as well. After a panicked phone call to my sister-in-law and Brandi, I discovered that I'd forgotten a cup of flour. I remedied this though and the end result....

Now tell me those don't look beautiful...albeit unbaked.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lights around Louisville

As the holiday season quickly approaches, I've been taking note of a few events I'd like to go ahead and put on our calendar which always seems to fill up rapidly at this time of year. For those in the area, I wanted to pass along a couple of events that were news to me!

Southern Living listed Louisville as one of the top five cities for a Southern Christmas! A few events caught my eye:

Light up Lake Forest: 1200 homeowners light up houses and lawns beginning the first week in December about 25 minutes from the city.

Sleigh Rides in a horse drawn carriage with Santa @ The Summit from 12-5pm December 5-6, 12-13, and 18-20.

Somehow, I got on the mailing list for Kentucky Magazine. I almost threw it away but perused the pages for a few minutes and found it actually had some great articles! They listed some of their favorite events for the season around the state. A few more that caught my eye:

Christmas in the Park in Elizabethtown, KY from November 26-Jan 1. More than 100 holiday light displays (over 1 million lights) on Freeman Lake.

Winter Wonderland in Owensboro, KY from November 27-Jan 1. This really sounds like the best one around...though it's 2 hours from Louisville! They have tons of holiday happenings including the tri-state's largest outdoor skating rink. Free ice skating on Mondays!

Southern Lights 2009 in Lexington, KY from November 20- December 31. A dazzling array of lights through the Kentucky Horse Park complete with a petting zoo, pony and camel rides and craft vendors.

Grateful for a season to particularly ponder the coming of Jesus, the light of the world.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I admit that sometimes I am a little overly eager to volunteer when exciting opportunities come up. The problem with this eagerness is, it is not always accompanied by the skill required to perform the task for which I so eagerly signed my name. At such times, I'm a bit like the kindergartner who wildly waves her hand in excited willingness before the teacher explains what the volunteer is needed to do.

Our church is hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday afternoon for the fairly poor community in which we worship. What an exciting opportunity to show thankful hearts to God by serving and blessing others! When volunteers were requested in our Care Group, I eagerly signed my name and decided that it would be a great idea to bring a turkey. A thanksgiving turkey. I could have chosen mashed potatoes or green bean casserole or any number of things that I actually know how to make and left the turkeys to the chefs. But I didn't.

I've never made a turkey. I've never even watched anyone make a turkey. At 29, my aunts still man the kitchen at Thanksgiving. I usually end up in their way, and wind up on the couch watching some random movie with my cousins. I just bake a cake and bring some chips and dip as an appetizer.

Skilled or not, I will be battling a turkey this weekend with no mom, mamaw or aunt to assist me. As I write, the bird is thawing in our fridge.

I'll let you know how it goes. I've no doubt it will be a blog-worthy experience.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A New List

I turned in my final book review for the semester and only have the exam left to take at this point. My one little class. David, on the other hand, is a different story. Still a few more weeks with his nose to the books.

In this new found freedom, I pulled out a list I've been making this semester of books I'd like to pick up when time permits. The list is longer than this...but these three may just be my Christmas break reading. I think Lee may have suggested Madeline L'Engle at some point...any other suggestions or affirmations?

And just because he's playing on my Pandora this morning, I want to let you know that I seriously think Jack Johnson is among the best lyricists of our time. When I stop to listen, I'm always amazed at the cleverness and clarity of interpreting our modern times in his songs. That comment was for free.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Acorns who grew into Sprouts

I spent a lot of time in the church nursery this weekend. We had an event on Sat night and I undertook the little ones. A 7 year old who was much cooler than me (in a puff vest and trendy jeans, no less) taught me how to throw the football from under my leg and I then attempted to throw it from behind my back while spinning around. This didn't work out too well for me.

A 4 year old spent 30 minutes telling me stories about his life and family. This, I found quite entertaining...for the first 10 minutes. The real problem was that I was sitting on the floor against the wall and he was towering over me. He was an unbelievably close talker and unfortunately still has a lisp. My attempts to use my legs as a buffer between us didn't work out...he would just sit on them. Thus, I was sprayed quite thoroughly for the entire conversation. Laura's thought for 30 minutes: "Swine flu! I really hope this kid doesn't have Swine Flu."

On Sunday mornings our once a month rotation has been moved from the Acorns to the Sprouts. The fact that these children can talk takes our assignment to a whole new level. We have to teach a lesson. David attempted to have them memorize a passage...which was not wholly successful. When we were coloring, we had to specifically direct them not to stick the crayons up other people's noses.

They are potty training. Their parents look at us as if it should be simple to take them to the restroom every 30 minutes as they instruct it across the barn door. Then their parents leave and David and I just look at one another. What do they mean? Do we just say, "Alright buddy, see you in a few minutes. The bathroom's over there." When they say they need "help" what on earth does that mean? Needless to say, the Dawkins classroom had little success in this area.

And we have an aggressor.

If ever I hear shrieks of unrest, I need only look in the direction of one little 2 year old. He is a very cute little 2 year old. He is a very smart little 2 year old. He is still working on his interpersonal skills though.

When hit in the face by another child with a toy and upon finding that a ball was simultaneously snatched from his hand, he burst forth in a rage previously unknown to me. As our calming skills with 2 year olds have yet to be refined, we didn't have much success. Finally, in despair over this injustice, the little guy bolted screaming to the nursery door where the nursery coordinator caught him before he ran shrieking into the sanctuary. Thankfully, David and I are taking all the parenting classes available before the arrival of the little one in May. We need it.

And in case this post isn't random enough for you....Saturday a preying mantis parked outside our door. For some reason in Africa I became convinced that preying mantis are aggressive attackers and that their little pinchers open wide enough to take your entire face into their clutches. David assured me this is not true. Nonetheless, I was glad when mantis moved on from his station.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sermon Recommendation

Sometimes the best sermons are like a punch in the gut that, in the end, are better than a friendly slap on the back would have been.

This morning in chapel Matt Chandler preached such a sermon. I was grateful for the words.

Click HERE to listen online.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Splash and Kick

At Mississippi College, though I didn’t realize it at the time the water programming was top notch. They’ve since won awards. My freshman year I took Deep Water Running with Rebekah, Marjo and Michael P. It was, to put it mildly, ridiculous. We weren’t exactly the most serious students in the class. We watched under water videos of Ms. Smith in a black wet suit so we were sure to get the moves correct. I once almost drowned because, in hopes of getting a really great work out, I put ankle and wrist weights on that apparently weighed more than my body mass. The theme for the class? When water moves, miracles happen. And so they do. Truth be told, I enjoyed it so much that I did indeed take another water exercise class as an elective in my time at MC. I think Rebekah took Karate that semester. We were pretty cool in college.

Last night I went to the Water Aerobics at the Seminary. I’ve gone to the class 2-3 times before in our years here to stretch out muscles when I’m sore or get some cross training into my routine. The reality is, I hate swimming. If you’ve ever seen me swimming, you know why. I look like a fish flailing about in the water. I can only turn my head to one side to get breath because I always swallow water on the other side. And though I did indeed have my life guard certification at one point, it is always necessary for me to hold my nose when jumping in a pool. I can’t dive. Thus, Water Aerobics is a compromise for me. Apparently, water work outs are just perfect for pregnant gals. Since this whole keep-your-heart-rate-below-140 business has put a serious cramp in my running style (along with the fact that I prefer my couch over pavement these days), I’m trying to diversify.

So honestly, I have an attitude toward the water aerobics class. I’m-too-hard-core-for-this is rolling around in my brain as I put on my tacky one piece. How hard can it be? How much are you really building by lifting foam weights under water? What is accomplished by a leg kick in the shallow end? Can riding a noodle like a horse across the pool really count as cardio? Really?

The humbling reality of pregnancy is: I was out of breath in water aerobics in the first 20 minutes.

But the worse truth is that by the time I got home from class at 10pm, I realized that I had pulled some sort of muscle…in water aerobics. David was laughing hysterically as I tried to stretch it out. I guess I shouldn’t have been so hard core during those shallow end leg kicks. They’re too advanced for me these days.

Pride before the fall.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Undefeated.

This weekend David and the Boeving men took a man-trip up to Indianapolis to watch the Colts play football.

Wearing his blue to show support of Manning and team.

Since David has yet to write a blog post here on our "family" blog, I gave him the camera and asked that he contribute some pictures of their man journey. The guys arrived at the stadium a few hours early so that they could watch the team warm up...and have time to enjoy their stadium food.

Their seats were pretty much on field level, eh?

Due, no doubt, to the avid support of their fans, the Colts once more took the victory yesterday with a 20-17 win over Houston putting their season at 8-0!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Screwtape Letters on Stage

For David's birthday I gave him tickets to see Max McLean perform The Screwtape Letters at the Brown Theatre! The reviews for the show have been great. We're looking forward to a night with our theatre buddies - Michael and Erin - who keep us posted on the latest productions in Louisville!

“We will make the whole universe a noise in the end.”

Bluffed by the Peak

Sometimes when you hike, the peak of the mountain bluffs you a bit. You're climbing your heart out, you turn a corner and see a ridge that you're sure must be the top of this beast. All your adrenaline kicks in and you truck it up what you think must be the final few yards only to find that it was just a ridge. There's another steep incline ahead that you couldn't see from your lower position. And so you take a breath, gaze at the view that is getting better and better, and shuffle your hiking boots again - trying to regain your motivation.

For 48 hours, I was as excited as I would be just before I see the next challenge over that ridge. I seemed to be reaching the peak of morning sickness. My food was remaining firmly in its proper place. My energy level was such that the gym became my friend again. I did not look with too much disgust into our pantry.

I was getting ready to throw a party to celebrate. I called family and friends last night to tell them the good news. When I woke up this morning, I hopped out of bed and went to fix my own breakfast. (Dear hubs usually brings oatmeal to me in bed before I make any movements.) But alas, it was all a bluff. I soon discovered that I was once more laying motionless on our couch clinging to my trash can.

Nonetheless, I'm shuffling my boots once more and hoping that this next ridge is the peak of the mountain. The hike is always worth the view from the peak. I think it just may be in sight!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Speck in My Eye

Before I went to Africa, I saved up my hard earned dollars and bought a Canon Rebel used from my friend Barry. It was one of the best investments I've made. I love my Rebel and it's seen as many sights in our few short years together as a little lens could hope to focus in on.

On my last trek to Africa, I distinctly remember changing lenses in a particularly dusty spot and thinking to myself "Pretty sure I just put African soil on the inside of my camera." Indeed, I did. Consequently, for the past few years, I've had a nasty little black spot on most my pics to which my eye gravitates immediately when I look at my pictures. A lot of times, I try to edit it out...which works fairly well. Nonetheless, I've found it quite frustrating.

This week, a friend asked me to take a few shots for their family prayer card as they are scheduled to leave for the mission field in the next couple of months. The request brought that little black speck fresh into my mind. I called a camera repair shop and was ready to give in and fork over my fun money for a speck free camera again. Monday night though, I decided to try to fix it myself before taking it in to the store. I got out the handy manual and carefully opened the internal lens and shutter. There it was!!! I could see a little piece of African sand leftover from my final safari affixed to the reflector. Against my manual's instructions, I opted to go with a q-tip and try to get that obstruction out myself. (Do not try this at home.) And guess what?

It wOrKed?!?!?!

I never fix things. But I fixed my dear little rebel and took that speck right out of his eye!

The fact that I am blogging about it, I suppose, makes it obvious enough that I was quite excited about my success!!!

And the photo shoot...very fun. And I actually liked looking at the speck-free pictures afterward:)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Girly Details

A few gals have asked for a bit more detail on the happenings of the 1st trimester with Baby Dawkins. If you don't care, I understand! Read no further. If you happen to want to know about my pregnancy food inclinations, on.

When did you first suspect?

This little one was a delightfully welcome surprise in God's perfect timing, thus I wasn't paying attention in particular but I started to notice some odd happenings in my fairly predictable body. My first big tip off was during my long training run with Laurin for the 1/2 Marathon. I like to run. I thrive on running. We got to mile 4 and all that was going through my head was..."quit, quit, quit. just let her keep going. you're too tired for all this." And finally at mile 5 I gave in to the feeling and walked for a little while. Odd. Just seemed a little odd. Two days later the pregnancy test was undeniably positive and it seemed to make perfect sense.

How did you tell David?

Nothing spectacular or creative. I had 30 minutes at home between work and a meeting. I'd felt tired and sick all day...and just kept thinking "surely not. i'll just take a pregnancy test to get the suspicion off my mind. maybe i'm just getting sick." So I didn't tell ole hub and when those little lines appeared I ran into the kitchen to get him in utter shock. Then, we screamed a lot.

On Morning Sickness

I haven't had morning sickness. I've had all day sickness. It does begin when I roll over for the first time in the morning but continues to appear at unpredictable interludes throughout the day. I'm averaging 2-3 trash can occurrences per day right now. Perhaps 45% of my waking hours are spent with that queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I hate food. If I could take it intravenously right now, I would. Sometimes I crave Doritos...but sometimes I craved Doritos before I was pregnant. This I consider to be a sign that all is healthy and normal with the little pea. Perhaps the embarrassment of sprinting down the hallway at my office to the bathroom is preparation for the many, many moments to come in which I'll find that parenthood opens the door to more social awkwardness than I previously imagined?

Boy or Girl?

David is thoroughly convinced (with no medical evidence) that I am carrying his first born son - a strong a sturdy lad with whom he can frolick about jungles and wrestle alligators. My confession is this: as much as I would like a sweet little girl to bedazzle with homemade bows the size of her head and other crafty creations that would make me squeal with delight, in my gut (once again with no medical evidence) I think David is right. And of course, I have to give the disclaimer - we'll gladly and gratefully take either one:)

Surely that's enough for now (Laura imagining you yawning)...more to come though, no doubt:)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kentucky Fried

This weekend David's parents passed through Louisville on their way to see Peyton Manning play for the Indianapolis Colts. It was great to see them for a bit and share a meal together in celebration of David's birthday. We went out to Claudia Sanders' Dinner House for the first time.

Located next to the home Colonel and Claudia Sanders lived in after the rise of Kentucky Fried Chicken, the dinner house serves up seriously Southern dishes with portions that were reminiscent of Lambert's in Missouri. I opted for the grilled chicken but took a few bites of David's fried pieces. While the grilled was indeed tasty, next time, I'm going for the was the best fried chicken I've tasted in many moons. For those up for the trek, it's located about 30 minutes outside of the city and surrounded by beautiful Kentucky farms and horse stables. The drive was delightful.

Delicious dinner. Even better company:)