This and that.

It's Friday!
After a long week of all eight Eastmans suffering from a wicked head cold, we are ready for a weekend of health and FUN! And a few naps would be greatly enjoyed as well. Thankfully, with a light schedule and plenty of hours in each day, we will be able to enjoy both rest and fun.
Not much was accomplished this week, but the Lord graciously allowed me to "let go" so I would not beat myself up for the lack of schooling or anything else that is usually completed during the week. We used the downtime to enjoy dozens of hours of audiobooks, snuggling in blankets, and watching good movies - together. We may not have learned new details about leaders in ancient Egypt or how to subtract by hundreds, but we enjoyed each other - and it was good.

Three hours of Sunday night was spent in laughter!
I spent the evening with my teen boys and some friends laughing until we cried with John Crist. He is HYSTERICAL. Edgy - pushing the envelope at times - but he knows it, he owns it, and makes everyone laugh in the process.
My friend Gina is nine months pregnant, so we were hoping she would go into labor from all of the laughter contractions, but alas, she is still waiting for that child to arrive.
Danielle entertains us every time we are together, and she dives right into ridiculous conversations with my boys. I love listening to them!
Joann was on a date with her groom but left him to talk to me and snap a photo. Sunday was such a fun night!

Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie wanted to make sugar cookies for Christmas (the teens could not care less), so we pulled out the ingredients and baked away on Thursday.
We had a great time!
They worked together without fighting over who got the rolling pin next, and we produced 72 delectable treats for the family. Well done, guys!
Of course, we cannot share them since they are most likely diseased from our colds, but hey, we did it!

We had the privilege of joining some dear friends to celebrate their ♥25th wedding anniversary!♥
We ate dinner together and then attempted to capture some memorable photos of the occasion. And they are memorable alright! We joked that the top photo looks like a bad album cover. Large heads, tiny heads - we are all over the place!
But none of that mattered because we were there for one reason ... to honor a couple who have faithfully walked beside one another richer and poorer, sick and healthy, and in trials and triumphs - for 25 years.
We love you, John & Denise, and we praise God for the example you model for your children, and for the world through your joyful obedience to the God who has given you everything. ♥

I absolutely LOVE nativity sets!
When Dennis travels, he works hard to find one for me, even in the most obscure places.
These are three of my favorites.
The nativity in the top photo is from Africa. The brightly colored clothing makes me smile.
The lower left nativity is from Thailand. Beautiful ceramic pieces. I like that the designer made a thatched roof, just like the homes in Thailand.
The nativity on the bottom right if from Cambodia. The entire scene made out of paper! The pieces are tiny, no more than two inches high, yet the detail is wonderful. The sheep are my favorite.
Thank you, Dennis, for bringing these pieces of joy home from your travels! I will enjoy them every Christmas and cherish them always.

Aaand, here is Charlotte!
I am not sure why, but every time I see her in this position, I laugh.
Those huge FEET! I love them!
She is still a highlight of the day for Isaiah and Ellie. They release her from the cage each morning, hunt for her several times a day to hold her and call her like a dog as if she will come running even though they know she will not respond.
She is a sweet animal.
She has freedom in the house as she hops in and out at will, sniffing the fireplace for treats, looking for attention from humans, and constantly finding new hiding places which take several minutes of searching to discover.
In short - we like Charlotte!
Thank you for sharing her with us, Karen! Or should I thank BRETT?

~~~ I am not sure how your week went ... according to all you had planned, or filled with unexpected and possibly unpleasant surprises ... but I pray that in the middle of all that happened, you were able to trace the hand of God throughout and praise Him for being a God who promises He will never leave you or forsake you. We may not always "feel" His presence, but He is THERE. Ever faithful. Ever true. On the mountaintops when we feel joy unspeakable - and when we are in the lowest of valleys wondering if we will ever find our way back into the light ... He is there. He is God. And He is GOOD.
May this Psalm be the cry of our own hearts:
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name;
make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
tell of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and His strength;
seek His presence continually! Psalm 105:1-4

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