Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Did you know the Griswold's lived in Australia??

I can't believe that Christmas is two and half weeks away! And despite the 85 degree weather and tank tops, I am trying to get in the spirit. Last Saturday night, I put on my favorite Christmas movie, White Christmas, and did my favorite Christmas activity, put up my tree. The beauty of being a HIM worker is that you get lots of hand-me-downs. Case in point, my leaning Christmas tree with random decorations, which I inherited from former HIM Workers Jamie and Sammie. It's a modge podge of old baubles and colored lights, but I love it anyway.

The leaning tree of Pisa.

My favorite Christmas decoration. It didn't make the top of the tree this year, but it wouldn't be Christmas without Alex's 7th grade face smiling at me.

Christmas lights are not as common as they are in the States, but they starting to take off in Australia, and especially on the Central Coast.A local radio station does a contest each year for the best decorated house. (A group of young adults from church will go check out the best ones on Christmas Eve.) Somehow, I don't think this one is going to win...
The Aussie Griswolds
I hope you are having a great holiday season!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Beyond Blessed

I have experienced my second Thanksgiving in Australia, and it was even better than my first one. In my family before you can eat Thanksgiving dinner, you have to say what you are thankful for (or read your thankful acrostic if my Grandma is in charge of the festivities). This is what I would have said if I would have been standing in that circle among the Jackson Family:
I am thankful for other HIM workers like Anne and Joe and Tiffany Buck who I can share American holidays and all the other crazy things that come our way on this adventure.
I am thankful for my Australian family and friends who love and accept me, even my weirdo American ways.
I am thankful for a great HIM supervisor who let me take a day off in the middle of the week to celebrate.
I am thankful for those people who have gone before me in working for the Lord in Australia.
I am thankful for skype, which allowed me to talk to my entire extended family on Thanksgiving Day, including my 78 year old grandma and my 6 month old niece.
I am thankful for the Sydney Blue Sox and the Australian Baseball League, who provide a little slice of home for me.
I am thankful for old friends who know me and know I need extra encouragement when I am away from home on my favorite holiday.
I am thankful for my family, who love me unconditionally and support me. If they didn't believe in me, I couldn't be here.
I am thankful for my great boyfriend who just gets me and doesn't give up on me, despite the 15,000 miles that separate us.
I am thankful for the way God works and His timing that has brought me to this point in my life.
I am thankful for the church that unites people of different countries, languages, and backgrounds.
I am thankful for God for being a faithful father; for Jesus for being the perfect example and sacrifice; and for the Spirit for guiding me daily.
My first (of many) Sydney Blue Sox games. Watching live baseball is good for the soul.

Thanksgiving feast with the Bucks.
Anne, Tiffany, and I enjoying some good ole sweet tea on Thanksgiving Day.
We tricked Jude into taking a picture with us!