you know you are in hicktown usa and around my family when...
1. they play NASCAR live at the gas stations.
2. when being taught an important lesson, the parable that is drawn is about someone who loves deer hunting.
3. you drop the ends of your words...like "hello sir, can you hold?" "sure thing darlin. i'm holdin'."
4. where you watch the ground when you walk...VERY important.
5. when life is as good as it gets...its the berries.
6. you walk out to the garage and find a gutted dear hanging next to the car.
7. where your bow, gun and pickup are JUST as important as your tractor.
8. the dogs names are biscut, dicie, doby...
9. you walk out the front door and can see at least five different close relatives homes without turning your head.
10. where christmas presents consist of longjohns, carhartt, and rockies.
i love my family and all their quirks!!
lets see. i left off christmas afternoon. i got to see most all of my amazing family. it was so much fun. dad's side of the family is growing by leaps and bounds. kerri, my cousin shawn's wife, is expecting twins and that was so exciting!!! by the end of the night we all FELT like we were expecting twins there was so much food! i got a purple velour sweatshirt, i got a black velour sweatshirt. and a black shirt. and money. the money was so nice. i can actually do something fun! like buy a christmas present! then last night we went over to papaw's.
it was very strange not having mamaw there at all. she loved christmas so much. but we all had fun just seeing eachother. when i walked in the house, i noticed a very peculiar smell...like skunk. after making a few descrete inquiries, i found out that papaw has a colony of skunks living under his house. it isn't just a small family, it is a full blown city! my cousin luke was joking that papaw had polecat for christmas dinner! ok, so i am stuck in the hills and i really slip into the west virginia roots. the country music (old country...bluegrass...), the dropin of the ends of words, the country humor...it is amazing.
papaw was in rare form tho last night. he had story after story to tell. he told one about aunt carla, which i WILL NOT repeat here for all to read...but we were all laughing so hard we were fit to bust a gut! aunt doris talked a mile a minute and uncle ronnie just sat back with his hands folded over his belly just smiling at all the goings-on. he works for little debbie...so his belly is quite like old saint nick's. =) luke and cindy and hannah jo were there. hannah jo is just now learining to walk, and is so cute. maddison, carl and mindy's little girl, is learning that she can stick her tongue out and get rave reviews from the grownups! but they are both shy so i had my work cut out for me. angie was there with her two girls, makenna and alyssa. they both drew me a picture and we had so much fun chasing each other around the house. at the end of the evening, we solemnly exchanged addresses and i gave them my cell phone number, with the promise of many letters and pictures. but they had to promise that they couldn't call without their mother's permission and after 7:00 pm. they are adorable. makenna is seven and alyssa is five. angie told me a story about the other day alyssa ran up to her and was all excited that she learned how to spell a word. when her mother asked her which word alyssa said "DVD!" Angie tried to keep a straight face and asked her how to spell DVD. Alyssa said "D-V-D!" she was so proud of herself! Angie then asked her if she knew how to spell UPS...Alyssa was stumped with that one! =)
the night got a little harder when it was just my family and papaw. we were sitting in the front room where mamaw would always sit in her chair, and he started telling us about how lonely he got. that he missed her so much that he would just sit there and talk to her chair. that got mer and i crying, but it was a good kind of crying. towards the end, he just kept talking and talking, knowing that when we left he would be alone again. we stood at the door for about 45 min. he hugged me at least five times and said, "now honey, you come back now, you hear? i won't be here forever. just like mamaw, i could slip away at any time. you just never know." that was hard, cause i knew it was true. i think that is why i fought so hard to get up here. i wanted to see my grandparents. i realized the value of family. they are my family thru thick or thin. they are lovely and colorful. and they will love me no matter what.
but despite the sad evening, it was lovely to see papaw. he looked good, but cries at a drop of a hat. it is hard to see my papaw who has been strong for so long appear weak. he has always seemed like such a big man. not tall or strong, but just a big man. and now he seems small and frail and tired. he keeps talking about going to mamaw. he misses her, and wants to be with her. after the sadness and papaw crying, me crying, mer crying, i walked outside and it was snowing. it was so beautiful. small little flakes falling gently down to the ground. i just lifted my face up to the sky and the little dots of cold fell all over my face. it was beautiful. it was a little bit of happiness falling from heaven.
today was better...today i drove an hour and a half with aunt carla to westerville to her doctor. we had so much fun in the car. i was driving, and she and i got so much talk time in. it was lovely. we spent an hour in the doctors office, then went over to new albany to visit mary jane, fufu, abigail, caroline and jim. it was so much fun. i haven't seen them in over a year...and it was a beautiful time of catch up. mary jane is so wonderful. i was so glad to spend time with her, and looking at pictures with jim from paris, bath, london...and more. tons and tons of pictures! mary jane wanted to hype me up for my trip this summer!
well, anyway, today was a wonderful day. it was lovely. i leave for south carolina tomorrow...drive drive drive all day. so if you have time and you have my phone number, please text message me or call me! i would LOVE to be not bored in the car!!!
first of all, i would like to apologize to all of those unfortunate people out there that had to put up with my text messages all day yesterday. drew fell asleep in the car, and goblet of fire just doesn't have the same mystery after the fourth time reading it. (lest you think i was driving and reading in the mountains...don't worry. it was on tape.) i just needed to find someone to keep me awake. and THANKFULLY!!! andrea kept me awake. some people promised, but never followed thru. i would just like to note for the record, that i almost died cause i almost fell asleep!!!
well we got here (here being grandma and grandpa hoagland's) last night about 7:45ish. they were both in the kitchen cooking something. right after i hugged them, grandma insisted that we all eat. there was veggie soup (which, funny story about veggie soup. i have always grown up with my veggie soup having roast beef of some sort in it. large chunks of meat. i thought it was normal, but apparently in high school i found out that weird people have only veggies in their veggie soup. idiots...) and clam chowder...grandma style. huge kettles of it were simmering on the stove. grandma then proceded to clean everything out of the fridge and insist that we eat up. i love coming to g'mas. some people think that only italians have food shoved at them from all angles, but in my family we are all tall and skinny, so our big toes stay in a perpetual state of emptiness. (ok...another side note here. i am in the living room on dad's laptop typing this. out the front door, that is never used, i can see the field across the road. there is something white out there and i can't figure out what it is...it looks like a sheep. but it also looks like a dog...or a llama...i'm confused.) so g'ma feeds and feeds and feeds us. the average height of the guys in my family is 6' 4''...well actually g'pa is the shortest now. then daddy then uncle jim who is 6'7''. but uncle jim has found a way to conquor the whole skinny thing, now we just need to teach him about keeping his pants up.
i did not get to sleep in the little girl's room, because it is full of stuff. but the little girl's room was redone when i was little for me, mer, kara and chloe. there are still dollhouses, dolls, pink frilly things and all sorts of girly things. so i slept in the boys room. it is orange and dark, but the bed sure is comfy! it was lovely waking up around three this morning and just walking around the house seeing all the things i remember from childhood. one HUGE change is g'ma sold the couch. the couch that all of us grandkids would sit on. we all used to fit on it, but no more. randy takes up half of it now! =) it was sad seeing the living room change. it hasn't changed since, oh i dunno, never really. the furnature never changed, and the arangement never changed. but everything else is the same.
g'pa is in his chair taking his nap now. it is a daily ritual. he can sleep thru fire and storm! amazing. he talks in his sleep now...but it is comforting to have him here.
tonight we have the family descend on us. the rollins' from west virginia, aunt marge and uncle jim from just around the corner. i can't wait till tonight. we also head over to the papaw's. that is craziness in itself! we will have so much fun. well, its lunch time and probably time to beat g'pas socks off in mou mou...or shoot the moon.
love to you all and merry christmas.
ethan and kat got engaged last night!!!! i am so excited!!! i don't think a date is set, but e, if you have any words of wisdom...let it be. just kidding. give all the info you want. love you both much and congrats!!!
"Well, I think I am going to go counteract the effects of the fall and take a shower."
“Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn;
from my mouth has gone out in righteousness
a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear allegiance.’
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
i have heard it said that good literature is such that you can read it over and over again and each time come away with a new appreciation for it. that you can find a new angle and perspective and never become bored of it. that the basics are fascinating all over again. well, i have come back to the simple things in the Bible and have found the awesome power they hold all over again.
i was in class and the teacher showed us these two passages and how they paralleled each other. (i will try and share my thoughts coherently and concisely but am not so sure i will succeed. so bear with me.) notice how that in isaiah it is God speaking. he is claiming the redemptive powers over man and that he ALONE is God, and that everyone who sees him for who he is has to recognize it.
then we come to the time of Christ. All along the jews have been promised a redeemer. a man who will come and save them, a man to finally bring them into his kingdom. the messiah. then a rumor goes around about a virgin girl having a baby. in a stable none the less. and the only people who heard about it were a few kings from the east, and some shepherds. the baby grows up into a man, in a humble town where nothing good ever hoped to come. then he makes claims to be THE MESSIAH. the King of Kings. can you imagine being a jew at this time? it would almost be like, if Christ were born in our time, him coming to spartanburg (which as we all know is the armpit of south carolina!! or even dayton ohio...) and being raised in the suburbs. he wasn't even born to an important family.
think of how impossible all this is and think of how amazing it is that God could come in that form. if Christ had not been the messiah, his claims would be so impossibly heretical and ludicrous! but he is the redeemer. every one of the passages that speaks of the coming Christ in the old testament was completely and fully filled in the new testament. it is wonderful to see again and be filled with love and amazement for my Lord Jesus that he was all God and all man. think of how desolate and pointless our lives would be without him and thank God he was who he claimed to be.
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!
my cousin joel thought he would be funny so he sent this picture to me
i am going to get him so good over christmas!!! just you wait joel! you can run but you can't hide! i could so take you! joel and i are in the second picture at the top...he is awful cute, i might be sad to beat him up so bad.........nahhhhhh!