Happy New Year!

Sorry to have been away for so long, but I've been having fun! Christmas was wonderful with my family. My sister was home for the holidays, and she even found her wedding dress while here! We were super excited.

This last weekend I met up with my girl, Nat, and we took a trip to Tulsa for Oklahoma Holiday Youth Convention.
We are still young at heart, and they had services for the "20Somethings." We had a wonderful time, and every service was awesome. God was there so strong, His presence was almost palpable. It was the perfect end to a great year.

Saturday we got up early and drove to a remote location not on any map, also known as the family farm. Nat's familie's farm, that is. Her Grandpa and Grandma live out in the boonies (a.k.a. the middle of nowhere) and every New Year's weekend her entire family gets together for Christmas. They have a HUGE family. As in, there were about 75 of us there. And that was immediate family. It was crazy.
It was also a ton of fun. Saturday morning the kids all opened presents, and then we hung out and talked until lunch was ready. We walked across the yard to her uncle's house, where tables were set up for the entire clan. They had everything you could imagine. Smoked pork loin, turkey, ham, the most amazing dressing I've ever had, mashed potatoes and gravy, fried turnips, cheesy potatoes, green beans, and at that point I couldn't remember the names of foods because there was so much.
After we ate, the guys cleared away the tables and set up chairs for church, which is a tradition on the farm at Christmas. Let me tell you...after having been at HYC with hundreds of other young people worshipping and praising God I thought church couldn't get any better, but this family showed me different. From the moment the cousins started leading us in worship, the room was simply saturated with the presence of God. It was one of the best experiences I've ever had. I really hope I get to go back again.
After church the boys were ready to go shootin'. I followed along, wanting to watch. Big Q, however, and his wife, Tammy, had other plans. He quickly stuck a .45 in my hands and instructed me to plant my feet firmly on the ground, shoulder width apart, nice and comfy.

Guns and me don't get along. The one and only time I shot one, it scared me to death, but Q is a really good teacher. As in, he needs to open a place of his own. One side shooting range, the other side for teaching Brazilian Ju Jitsu. (He taught me some of those moves, too.)
After I slowed my breathing down and lined up the 3 dots, he told me I wasn't a bad shot for a chicken.
Sweet Cayna and her beau came too. He brought the big guns.
Later in the day some of the aunts and cousins sat down for their annual game of Hand & Foot. It's a crazy canasta style game with about 7 decks of cards. I learned pretty fast though, and almost came in first with my partner. We were a close second after the second to last had put us down 3000 points.
Sunday morning we all got up and went to church with Grandma and Grandpa. Their town is super small, but cute and quaint. I saw this painted storefront and had to snap a shot.
Bailey girl managed to sit still for 2.5 seconds so her Momma could snap a shot of us.
After church, we quickly traded in our heels for our comfy shoes and jean skirts, since heels and sand don't really go great together, and spent a few more hours with Nat's family before heading back home.

In other words, the last week of 2011 was pretty stellar.

I can't wait to see what 2012 has to hold. I know it's going to be an amazing year!

-Jenn (With 2 N's)

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