Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Today was a different Christmas experience than we had planned.  Zachary came down with the flu, so it has been just the three of us at home this year.  Anna is enjoying her first Christmas; she thinks it is an extra long weekend with Daddy at home.  What more could an eight month old want?
 Anna liked the bell I wore.
 I had her pose with her stocking.  First Christmas!
We had our quiet time together reading and singing.  I love lighting the Christ candle on the day we celebrate His birth!
Since we didn't have a family gathering and Zachary was resting for much of the day, I had some extra time on my hands.  I wasn't going to decorate a tree this year, but I pulled it out of storage yesterday and decorated it with ornaments I have collected since I was a baby.  I took the time yesterday to pop some popcorn, so it was ready to string with some cranberries today.  This has been a desire of mine for a long time, but it didn't quite happen until today!

When life gives you lemons, make cranberry relish.
We stayed in contact with both sets of parents throughout the day.  We were even able to do a Skype call with my parents, brother, and sister.  We missed seeing our families this Christmas, but we are glad we had the chance for Zachary to rest, and we will see our families soon.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas from the Pruett Family!

This was a big year for our family.  We transitioned from a newly married couple to a family of three!  Our daughter, Anna Christine, was born on Palm Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 8:53 a.m. She weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces at birth and was 21 ¼ inches long.  That was eight months ago, so she has grown a lot since then.

Currently, she is an active crawler and uses furniture, walls, and us to stand up at every opportunity.  It has been fun to watch this gift from God grow and develop.  Parenting is the biggest challenge we have ever faced, but we thank God for the opportunity to care for this little one.  It is our privilege, our duty, and our great joy to care for her.

We chose to name our daughter after someone you might read about this Christmas season.  Her story is at the end of Luke 2 after the part about the manger, shepherds, and angels.  Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to be presented to the Lord.  Anna, a prophetess, recognized Jesus as the awaited Redeemer when He was just a newborn! The name “Anna” means “gracious” and “merciful.”

The name “Christine” was chosen to honor Elizabeth’s mother, Christina Marie Moore, who has fully embodied her name’s meaning, “Follower of Christ.” Our prayer for our daughter is that her name would come to pass literally in her life.  We pray she would come to know the grace of God, become a follower of Christ, and, like her namesakes, give thanks to God and share the good news with others!

Our church family blessed us in so many ways while Elizabeth was recovering from childbirth. To everyone who prayed, brought meals or clothes, visited, etc., we extend a big Thank You!  Both of us were extended to our physical limits, but God provided.  There is nothing like having a newborn to remind one of God’s promise, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Zachary continues to work at Covington Aircraft. Outside of work, he spends time continuing his education, developing his skills with computers, web design, and photography, and playing with little Anna.

Our home life in Okmulgee took up most of our time and attention this year, but we were blessed with many opportunities to visit our parents and other family in Ponca City. We are so glad to be only two and a half hours away.

We also made two larger trips.  Anna was only six weeks old when we spontaneously hit the road for a weekend away.  And we do mean spontaneous.  A “short” evening drive to put the baby asleep led us to St. Louis, Missouri.  With only the clothes on our backs and a well-stocked diaper bag, we had everything we needed to unwind and enjoy a relaxing time on the road. We are glad the places we stayed had complementary tooth brushes! We talked, reminisced, and made new memories while our baby slept peacefully (most of the time) in her car seat.

November was an exciting month.  Our little family went with Elizabeth’s parents on a trip to Iowa to visit family.  Our first and longest stop was to see Grand Aunt Mary Willson – the older sister of Elizabeth’s paternal grandmother Marjorie Moore.  This was the first time (since Elizabeth was old enough to remember) for her to see any of the “Muckey” side of the family since Grandma Moore died before Elizabeth was born and all of the Muckey grand aunts and uncles live great distances away.  It was a sweet time of fellowship, and memories were made that will last a lifetime.

From Aunt Mary’s home, the journey continued as we saw cousins, historical family homes, and cemeteries in the Mapleton, Hornick, and Odebolt areas of Iowa.  It was a whirlwind of a trip but still a genealogy dream come true for Elizabeth and an opportunity for Zachary and Anna to visit several new states.  For one reason or another, Anna has already been in six states during her first eight months!

This Advent season, we remember the first coming of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, and prepare our hearts for the day He will return for us.  We pray a blessing over your Christmas and the year to come.

Merry Christmas from Zachary, Elizabeth, & Anna Pruett 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Swedish Tea Ring

My grandmother's sister Mary holding the 1948 Tea Ring
One of my 3rd great grandfathers was a Swedish immigrant named John Peterson. He married Clara Olson, the daughter of Norwegian immigrants. John and Clara had a daughter named Palma Lena. Palma grew up to become the mother of Irene Beatrice, my great grandmother. It is this family line that carried down the Christmas food tradition that is my favorite: the Swedish Tea Ring.

My mother made this special treat (like the two above) for us every year at Christmastime, just as her mother had done before her. Growing up, I knew I would carry this special tradition on when I was married. My first Swedish Tea Ring went in the oven last year; it wasn’t as pretty as the ones I enjoyed as a child, but I have many years ahead of me to work on my technique!

My First Tea Ring: 2011

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Lighting the First Candle

Anna's First Advent

Anna's quilted stocking is just about done; we just need to add her name to the front. After some adjustments to the pattern, it is now small and quaint -- the perfect size for a few treats someday when she is old enough (that she will know are gifts from me and her daddy). For now, I am planning to use it for our Advent celebration. Anna doesn't understand or appreciate the Christmas season yet, but I want to do something that will have lasting and eternal value in her life. My idea is to write a prayer or a blessing each day of Advent leading up to Christmas. I want to be intentional about praying for my precious daughter this month!