Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve at the Uebels

Today has been a joyful and refreshing day before Christmas here at the Uebel house. Outside of preparing the meal that's on the stove (a Christmas Eve tradition here: standing rib roast, Yorkshire pudding, and mashed potatoes), we haven't done any work, but have instead rested and enjoyed being together. We started the day by taking the dogs for a walk at a local park, then got showered and met some friends for lunch at Skyline. The afternoon and evening has been filled with family games (Scattergories was a big hit), playing music on the guitar and piano, reading, and taking a short nap. In past years, we've gone to midnight church services on Christmas Eve with friends, but this year we're changing the tradition to something entirely different: hanging out at Westy's (the local pub). What a great gift to have a day of rest with family and friends.

Tomorrow will be filled with presents, and food, and more family (including most of my cousins being here, something that doesn't happen often anymore). It will also be the consummation of the advent season that has been refreshing for me this year. There are a lot of situations around me where I've been waiting in hope for God to come and restore, and advent for me has been a reminder that hope is good. We are not foolish to hope because all of our hopes have their grounds in Jesus and the Incarnation, which we celebrate tomorrow. Even if the tough situations around me don't turn out like I pray for them too, my hope is not in vain because my hope is in the restoring power of God that will be seen in completion one day.

Petting a donkey at the local nativity manger scene earlier today.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Break has begun

We made it to Cincinnati. Driving through the mountains of West Virginia yesterday was absolutely beautiful with all the snow-capped mountains and tree branch icicles. We went to see Awaited, a Christmas show, last night at Crossroads (a church here in Cincy). It was such an amazing show and really got me excited for Christmas, especially the celebration of the birth of Jesus!

We don't have much going on today or tomorrow. However we have already been to Chipotle in the 23 hours we've been here- oh chicken burrito with black beans, mild salsa, and cheese how I've missed you! Next up on the menu-Skyline Chili. I'm taking advantage of the light to-do list by reading. I'm reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo first, I decided I needed to add a little fiction to my life. The book got a lot of great reviews and Nic said he really enjoyed it (he read it this summer), so we'll see. That's it for now. Enjoy the Cincinnati skyline!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 2 of the Blizzard of 09

14 inches of snow later we're still hanging out at our house. This morning after Nic made a delicious breakfast we ventured out to campus to see how much snow had fallen. The answer-A LOT! We're starting to see a bit of the pavement reappear on the street in front of us. There have been dozens of snow plows drive past since this morning but it's certainly pretty dead out there compared to a normal Saturday. Mabel seems to love the snow, she's pretty funny to watch as you bounds through it all.

I've been pleasantly surprised by the amount and variety of food we have in our house. I did not frequent our local Kroger the day before the storm hit, honestly I didn't think we'd get this much snow. I saw on the local news last night that one Kroger in Roanoke, VA saw 5,000 customers come through their doors Thursday, keep in mind that's just one Kroger!

All that to say we're still enjoying it! Hope you're enjoying a Winter Wonderland too (or at least a lazy weekend)!

Mabel posing in the snow

My lovely husband digging out my car

Who knows....

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas (or the week before)

We're currently experiencing the Blizzard of 09 here in Blacksburg! It just started snowing at 2 pm and you can tell by the picture below, it's already snowed A LOT. The weather forecast says it's supposed to continue snowing through the day tomorrow. When it's all said and done we may have up to 2 ft of snow. Good thing we don't have anywhere to be this weekend! For now we'll sit by the Christmas tree and enjoy watching the many snowflakes as they come down. Hopefully the power won't go out!

Our front yard and the street in front of our house

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lessons learned from TV (Warning-Spoiler Alert)

As mentioned in a previous post I love the show Glee. There has not been a Wednesday night that has passed this fall where I was not parked in front of the TV at 9pm (unless of course I had a mandatory event scheduled during that time in which case I watched the episode on Hulu the next day). Anyway, a couple of Wednesdays ago was the fall finale, and though I could easily argue that this episode was the best so far, there is one scene that continues to haunt me. You see, Mr. Schuester's wife Terri has been faking her pregnancy throughout the entire season and last week Mr. Schuester found out. But the big news broke this episode that he decided to leave his wife and be with the high school guidance counselor Miss Pillsbury.

As the two embrace for a kiss in the final scene of the show, I found myself torn. On the one hand, I'm shouting with joy because they've finally ended up together! Everything in me despises his wife because she is conniving, demanding, and annoying; I totally understand why he would leave her. And Miss Pillsbury is so sweet and innocent, doesn't he deserve her after everything he's been through with his wife?

But on the other hand she is his wife. They have pledged their lives to each other (yes fictitiously I realize) and you can't be going around kissing other women when you're STILL married! I am a firm believer that the vows you make to one another on your wedding day are one of the most sacred acts you'll ever be a part of on this earth, yet that night in front of the TV I found myself encouraging Mr. Schuester to break them!

Now don't hear me wrong here, I'm certainly not saying we should avoid TV shows like this because they depict immoral behavior. In fact I think quite the opposite. I love TV shows, movies, books that make you think like this. They put you in a place where your faith becomes more than what you say but what you do and how you act when reality comes knocking. A few months ago Nic turned on TNT to find A Time to Kill playing. I sat on the sofa nodding in agreement with Samuel L. Jackson as he opens fire on the two white men who raped his young daughter. Wait a minute, why am I agreeing with murder? Didn't Jesus say in Matthew 5:38-39 "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also?" My friend Karin told me about another movie like this called The Boondock Saints, where you find yourself cheering for revenge and retaliation and putting the world to rights in this strange kind of way. I must admit I haven't worked up enough courage to watch this one yet, but I really want to. Are there others that I should know about, (and it doesn't have to be just movies either)? Let me hear your thoughts!

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, long time no post

Turns out we've been pretty horrible at this whole blogging thing recently. To bring you up to speed, here's a few recent highlights. Nic is almost done with his first semester of seminary! He is in the process of composing his 15 page research paper & finishing up the last pages of his 2,000 page reading requirement. I've been keeping busy with a random assortment of things. One of them is my BLAST program. I recently finished the book If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat by John Ortberg, which I absolutely love & highly recommend! I must say this is one of those books I never would've read on my own-the cover is really glossy and bright blue with a boat on it but that old saying "Don't judge a book by it's cover" is certainly true in this instance. I'm currently working on What's so Amazing about Grace? by Philip Yancey and I'll report more on that later.

Christmas has certainly arrived here. We put our tree & decorations up last weekend and we had our first snow of the season here in Blacksburg on Sunday. Nic's parents came for a visit this weekend and we had a wonderful time hanging out with them! They even installed a new lighting fixture in our dining room that looks awesome!

Last night we had our 2nd annual Discipleship Leader Christmas dinner. It was so much fun to have everyone over and decorate our house with festive plates and napkins :). I love having people in our home A LOT, I've been telling Nic lately that's something I really love about our job. And I really hope no matter where God leads us in the future that's something we can continue to do. That's it for now, expect some pictures to follow! Merry Christmas!