On Christmas Eve I baked six loaves of bread with the help of my awesome bread machine. I split the dough up into glass bowls, let the bread rise and slit the top in an X pattern to make it look pretty. I delivered the bread to our neighbors along with glass jars filled with home-made Cinnamon Honey Butter. If anyone is looking for a yummy treat to go along with bread or even pound cake, I definitely suggest trying this recipe. It is really good on gluten-free bread too! I cleaned the house, watered the plants, made final plans for Petra's care and packed everything we would need for 11 days away from home. It felt so good to be getting ready for a vacation!
Honey butter, topped with a flowery round of fabric, and fresh hot bread wrapped in parchment, were tied with twine and then delivered to the neighbors.
My clothes tend to be jewel toned and deep, bright colors. I didn't really notice this until I packed and all of my clothes matched each other.
See what I mean?
A pretty scene out my bedroom window, caught while I was packing. Blue Herons are so regal.
We left home Christmas morning with plans of either driving through the night to Burbank California, or staying in a hotel somewhere in Southern Oregon and driving to Burbank the next day. Our traveling weather was perfect, with only a little heavy fog. I was thankful it didn't rain because our huge suitcase was sitting uncovered, in the back of the truck. It would fit in the cab, but not if I wanted to recline my seat, so we opted to take the chance.
We drove about 8 hours, and then decided to take it easy and spend the night at a hotel in Roseburg, Oregon. The hotel had a free breakfast in the morning, and then we were on the road again all day since we needed to cover about 10 hours of driving. One of the most exciting things about reaching California is that you can go to In N' Out Burger. Their food is so fresh and yummy, and best of all, I found out I can eat their fries!
Entering California you could see the lingering forest-fire smoke.
The resident gas station guard rooster. When we stopped for gas in Northern California, we saw this strange sight. This rooster looked quite at home as he clucked around and guarded the median between the road and the gas station. If you walked up to him, he would come closer and stand beside you. If you got too close he would pretend to charge you, looking as intimidating as a rooster can look. Below is a little video, complete with crowing.
We arrived at the Marriott in Burbank, California early enough to deliver our bags to our room, and still have time to go say hi to friends and family that were milling around after the first day of meetings at the Shadow Hills Bible Conference. It was sad to miss the first day of conference, but we had the weekend and the entire next week off as well, so we were very excited. The conference was really good, and so many great points were made that really hit home. Happiness seemed to be a theme throughout. We learned how to reach it and how not to reach it, and the lessons were very practical. We also had readings in John 17 as well as a talk on the names of the Lord Jesus. It seemed we also learned a lot about the character of the Lord Jesus when he was here on earth as a man. His testimony was amazing and we have so much to learn from Him!
It is always fun to check out the play room and visit Brock from The Cary Crew. He is a great friend to all the little ones who hang out in that room, including Droo and Baby Cake! He dragged me over to see his sign, which read "No Moms!" and later he drew one that said "No Chatty!" Well, he used my real name of course. He is such a character and so adorable.
The pool looked so refreshing and I loved the covered seating to the side. This would be a fun place to spend a sunny day. As you can see, our first day at conference was pretty grey.
I loved seeing all the little girls dolled up. E.B. on the left is such a doll and you might recognize that adorable profile on the right, as it belongs to Amelia from over here.
One of the long food lines. This is an interesting photo because if you know people who were at conference, you can play search and find. I'm sure you'll find at least a few people you know, including Aunt Knittery in the bottom left who looks like she is making a basket with an invisible ball!
The Mariott is a beautiful hotel. I didn't have the guts to take very many photos of the decor, but it was all very cheery and modern. I would love my bathroom to look like this.
This was the biggest game of Round-Robin Ping Pong I have ever seen. The circle usually goes around the table, but this one had folds and curves in it just to fit everyone in! Watch the video below to see the fun for yourself.