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Siesta Scripture Memory Team Celebration

Friday, January 27, 2012
Last weekend Dedra and I had the opportunity to go to Houston for some time of bible study, worship, scripture memory and girl time. Living Proof Ministries (aka Beth Moore) challenged blog followers to memorize scripture throughout the year of 2011. Those that participated are called the Siesta Scripture Memory Team. On the 1st and 15th of each month we posted a verse on the blog that we were going to memorize over the next two-or-so weeks. We also kept the verses in a little SSMT notebook so that we could carry them, and meditate on them, through the year.

It was an awesome weekend. The event was at Houston's First Baptist Church on friday night and saturday morning. We flew out of Huntsville at o-dark-thirty friday morning...but it was worth it since we could spend most of the day in Houston.

The first stop once we dropped off our luggage at the hotel was Berryhill's fish tacos. I got to take advantage of the fact that Dedra is from Houston and knew exactly where to go to get great food!
It was awesome to get to worship with Travis and hear from Beth in a smaller venue than a huge arena. I am not sure what the final head count was for the event...but I think it was less than 1,000. I also got to meet, eat and worship with at ton of amazing women from all over the country.
Early Morning Goofiness
In front of the scripture wall. My favorite photo from the weekend!
The rest of the weekend we spent eating, window shopping and driving around seeing where Dedra grew up and lived before she came to Huntsville. My how places can change. : )

We ate at so many yummy places while we were there. One of the last stops we made before we left was this cute little cupcake place called "Crave." OMGoodness it was amazing.
I am so infinitely grateful to have been able to be at SSMTC. It was a much needed weekend of worship, refreshment, and time in the Word. I pray that the verses I have learned and the words that I heard over the celebration weekend will stay on my heart throughout 2012.

I will finish up with the verse I wrote on the Scripture Wall:
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

NYC Day Six

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I promise, one day I will finish talking about our new york trip. But I also promise that it is way more exciting than what is going on in our lives this week...which is pretty much just work and sleep.

Monday morning we got up and took a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge.

This is pretty much as close as we came to the Statue since she was closed for renovation.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day. Notice that Andrew isn't even wearing his lightweight jacket. I think it made it up to about 70 degrees.
One of our favorite parts of the whole trip was the walking food tour we went on. It was a NYC living social deal a few months back. PS - its a great way to get sightseeing and food deals...sign up for the livingsocial and groupons for the city you are visiting a few months before you go. The company was Sidewalks of New York and they do food tours in several parts of the city. We decided to do the lower east side food tour. We had a tour guide walk us around the area for 2-3 hours and along the way we stopped for a snack at about 6 different places. The tour and food was all included in the price. Plus we got to meet a bunch of new people. There were 8 of us on our tour - and we were the only non-locals.

Here we are at our first stop: Yonah Schimmel Knishes. We each got to sample a potato knish which was very yummy!
Next it was off to Katz Delicatessen for pastrami. It was seriously amazing.
We also went to this little hole in the wall (literally...i think only about 5 people could even stand inside the "restaurant") dumpling house. But apparently it is so good that this is where the celebs come for their dumplings.
The pickle guys pickle anything and everything. The store is full of barrels of different fruits and veggies getting pickled. We got to try some of their pickled cucumbers and pickled pineapple. The pineapple was actually really gave it a nice spicy flavor.
Here is our awesome tour guide explaining the different varieties of picked cucumbers.
I skipped a couple places that I didn't take pictures of. Our last stop of the day was the Doughnut Plant for dessert.
I can't remember what the two kinds of doughnuts were that we sampled, but they were very yummy.
Later that day we had some time to kill before the show and we had no dinner we decided to go check out the restaurant and bar inside Dylan's Candy Shop. I use the word restaurant loosely as it was not much more than a snack shop (pizza, pretzels, etc) but it was just what we wanted. The exotic part was the bar...where they made all kinds of different cocktails with candy in/on them. Here is my strawberry NERD mojito. Yes those are nerds sprinkled on top. It was quite good.
Monday night we finally got to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. We had been looking forward to this the whole trip. We saw the traveling group perform in Winston Salem a few years ago which was nice...but it was a million times better in Radio City.
The end of the show really is spectacular. It gives you chills to see everyone gather around the nativity...and it is so refreshing to see Jesus celebrated.
In other news, I am heading to Houston this weekend with my coworker, and best friend, Dedra to celebrate a year of memorizing scripture with Beth Moore, Travis Cottrell and friends. It will be a fabulous and refreshing weekend. Can't wait to blog about it next week.

Happy Wednesday All!

NYC Day Five

Friday, January 6, 2012
Day five - getting close to the end. We started our Sunday at one of the bazillions of starbucks in the city...because some sweet friend send us an electronic gift card the morning we left on our trip. Thanks Kristen! : ) It was amazing.
Then it was off to the upper west side to go to the museum of natural history. We got there early in the day so it was not too crowded.
One of my favorite parts was this awesome origami christmas tree. Someone had made origami creatures of all the museum exhibits and placed them on the tree. I can't imagine how long that took to put together.
The far out picture just doesn't do the origami justice. Check out the dinosaurs and blue whale.
Speaking of the blue's the real thing.
After seeing the Night at the Museum we just had to go see this guy. He did not ask us for gum.
I think Andrew's favorite part was the dinosaur area...which took up pretty much an entire floor of the museum.
After spending the entire morning at the museum we were a bit hungry. Lucky for us the Levain Bakery was just a few blocks away. Apparently they make some of the best cookies in the world. Bobby Flay even had a cookie throw-down here. The cookies were amazing and warm because they were fresh from the oven. However they were so big we both agreed we should have just split one.
Sunday afternoon we had made reservations to have the plaza. We picked the plaza because 1) It is one of the quintessential places to do tea and 2) They actually had 4 different tea menus to pick from.
I got the "New Yorker" which had several different kinds of tiny sandwiches, scones, and desserts.
Andrew got the "Chocolate Tea" which was exactly what it sounds like...lots of chocolate. There was even a mini fondue pot of chocolate with a pile of things to dip.
After we had our fill of tea and "girly food" we got to go see the NYC Ballet perform the Nutcracker. Yes, I admit it was a pretty girly kind of day...don't worry 6 was much more Andrew's style. The Nutcracker was amazing. Not to knock Huntsville's annual production...but seeing the NYC ballet perform it at Lincoln Center was definitely superior.
Then we were hungry know it had been like 3-4 hours since we last ate. We had no reservations for this night so we decided to take a chance and see if there were any openings at Bar of Bobby Flay's NYC restaurants. We got in, and had a really nice unexpected dinner. Then we headed home to rest up for another busy day.

Tale of Two Christmases

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas morning we got up early and exchanged christmas presents with each other, put the breakfast casserole in the oven, and got ready for Moreland Family Christmas. Daddy, Aunt T, Aunt Kay, and Uncle Freddie came over about 10:30 for our annual Christmas celebration. It is always a blast and this year was no exception.

The Moreland clan...minus Freddie who was behind the camera.
Georgia Bulldawgs was a theme among many of the presents this year. Here are Aunt T and Aunt Kay with their new UGA wreaths.

And Daddy with his new UGA corn hole boards
All the boys got new hats...Andrew and Daddy got matching camouflage Auburn/Georgia hats and Freddie got a super useful 2-in-1 hat/glove combo that turns his head into an elephant. They look thrilled right?

Here is Sadie in her usual spot around Christmas...lounging under the Christmas tree.

We all agreed to pare down on the number of gifts this year...don't get me wrong there were still a goodly plenty...and lots of small goofy gifts...but we wanted to be able to spend more on helping those in need at Christmas. While we were opening gifts, we went around and all told how we helped others during the holiday season. It is is better to give than to receive.

Every year we celebrate my birthday alongside Christmas. Any one who knows me knows how much I love cookie cakes. This one was a double layered cookie cake covered in frosting...yum.


Christmas afternoon and evening we headed to Andrews parent's house for East Family Christmas. It is always such a sweet time of family fun. Ann made the traditional lasagna which was super yummy and we shared gifts. Here are some of the highlights:

Andrew got a super awesome nesting doll made of Auburn football players. Its a funny story...we saw one of these randomly in a shop in Alaska back in May. Two problems though: it was from 2006 i not auburns best year or best players...and it was $80. So we left it there. Apparently not long after that Andrew's dad's coworker had recently been to Russia and had run into them and bought a few (at a much more reasonable price) to bring home. And even better it is from know...Campbell, Cadillac, Brown, etc. Andrew was excited!
Ben was marveling at his tower of presents. Kids gifts take up a ton of space.
Kate loved her new tutu. She knew exactly what to do with it on...twirl.
For a trip down memory lane...check out what we got for Emily...the Mall Madness board game. Several months ago we were discussing as a family things we wished we had as a child but never got...hers was Mall Madness. So we went on a hunt for a copy, and you can find anything on the internet. Score.
Ben got a new bike from Granna and Granddaddy

It was a wonderful holiday season. Now it is time for a fresh start and a new year. I hope everyone had a restful holiday and spent time remembering the real reason we celebrate Christmas.
Goodbye 2011. Hello 2012.
Happy New Year Everyone!

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