12 December 2010

Christmas parties and birthday celebration

Last weekend Steph and I had a wonderful afternoon/evening together. This summer funds were quite tight (not that they are much better now), so we didn’t do much to celebrate my birthday. Steph had some plans she was saving since then; she found a family in the ward who volunteered to watch the kids so she could take me out and have some fun (thank you Houcks!). She first gave me several new button-up dress shirts and ties to update my work wardrobe (I think the last time I got a dress shirt was in medical school). After dropping off the kids, she took me to a really cool thrift store called Plato’s Closet. It only has name brand clothing like Abercrombie, Hollister, American Eagle, etc, but has them for bargain prices. We were able to get me several shirts and some pants. Now I’m set for the next 5-10 years. :)

She took me to dinner at a place called Aladdin’s. They served huge plates of delicious Mediterranean food. We both picked a plate with chicken, beef, hummus, veggies, and a salad that were great. Then it was off to a small movie theater not far from our house. They only have one screen and show just one movie at a time, but for a reduced cost. They had the new Harry Potter 7, part 1, so we went and saw that. It was so good – it made me want to go back and read the book. Everything went just perfect – thanks so much Steph for the awesome birthday gift.

Last Saturday I also got the outside Christmas lights hung. This is the first year we have done outdoor lights. They were actually pretty easy to get up and now they look so cool with the snow. Oh, did I mention snow? Well, it started snowing last Saturday, and it basically kept snowing through Tuesday. When all was said and done, we had about 2.5 feet in our yard. That adds up to a lot of snow shoveling from our driveway. Luckily for us, Steph had found a snow blower from a garage sale this summer. We knew that it at least turned on, but since we got it in the summer we weren’t sure that it worked. Well, we got to try it out this past week, and it performed pretty well, especially considering it was from a garage sale. It definitely sped up our time on clearing the snow. Even so, Steph is already done with her snow/cold weather quota and is ready to pack the bags and move to warmer weather. :)

Steph has been taking the boy’s to a story time at the library once each week. They have a group for the older boys and then she gets to spend time with Courtland. She has really been enjoying this time they have together. The boys also really enjoy the weekly playgroup with other families from church.

Steph was able to enjoy a ladies’ night out activity this week with several other ladies from church. She organized this monthly event a few months ago and has really enjoyed the friendships she has made and the time she has spent with the other ladies.

Friday night we had my work Christmas party. Steph got a babysitter and picked me up and then we drove to the party. There was delicious food and good friends to spend time with in a relaxed atmosphere. We feel so blessed to be in such a great dermatology residency program and that I have such great co-workers.

Several of my co-workers heard really good news this week. Catherine matched with a dermato-pathology program in Hershey, PA (these are the people that look at our biopsy and surgery specimens under the microscope); Lou matched with a Mohs surgery program at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN; and Steve with a Mohs surgery program at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX (Mohs surgery is the special dermatology surgery that is done to remove cancers in hard locations like the nose, around the eyes, lips, and ears). They are all so excited. It made me look forward to that not-so-distant time when I will be finishing and can find a more permanent job!

For the past several months our church has paired up with the 3rd Presbyterian church to build a Habitat for Humanity home for a family in downtown Rochester. The members of our church donated ~$50,000 and put in several hours working on this house and some others in the area. The kids couldn’t help with building, so they set up a donation box (in the shape of a house) in the primary room at church. The kids were able to give the change they had earned from different jobs around the house. The dedication of the house was yesterday morning and we thought it would be fun for them to see what all the money and hard work had gone to. It was very emotional as this family was able to get a house of their own before Christmas. And then the boys got to see the house that their money helped to build. Such a great program! I am looking forward to helping out again in the future.

We had our church Christmas party last night. There was great food, lots of friends, and a beautiful program of skits and songs about Jesus Christ and the true meaning of Christmas. It was nice to be reminded of our Savior’s birth and life and how much He means to us.

Happy Birthday Mindy! The boys sure had fun talking with you tonight. We hope it was a great one.

Steph and Courtland woke up not feeling well today – a cold virus has been working its way through our family (like seems to happen every Winter). She missed a great program at Church today. Brother and Sister Gilchrist (who are both music performance majors) sang a beautiful arrangement of “Away in a Manger.” The talks were on having Christ as a sure foundation to build on and the importance of sacrifice. Isaac got to attend a portion of primary today. I can’t believe that he will move out of nursery and start primary in about 3 weeks. My kids continue to grow faster than I can keep track of. My Sunday school lesson was on Daniel chapter 2 in the Old Testament. This is about a vision that King Nebuchadnezzar had. Daniel was able to tell what the dream was and interpret it. The king saw a statue with a head of gold, trunk and arms of silver, thighs of brass, lower legs of iron, and feet and toes of a mix of iron and clay. Then a stone cut out without hands dashed the statue into pieces and filled the whole earth. The statue represented the Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, Roman, and European empires, and the stone is the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ that will fill the entire earth. It is so neat to see this prophesy as it continues to be fulfilled in our day. I was asked to teach the 12-13 year old boy class for 3rd hour. We focused on the Priesthood and Priesthood Authority. This is the authority that God has entrusted to man to serve others through the ordinances of the gospel. It is humbling to know that God gives this privilege to us to help others and try to become more like Him.

1 comment:

Tina said...

Hi-Cute photo of your boys.
It is probably just me, but I think that Isaac looks a bit like his Grandpa Steve! They are terrific looking boys, and I bet they are FULL OF MISCHIEF--Christmastime or anytime! Happy Holidays!