Sunday, December 27, 2009

Alexander Christmas 2009

We had a wonderful Christmas filled with relaxing, visiting, laughing, eating, opening gifts, and remembering Jesus' birth.
All four of the boys received laser tag guns:
Sheridan was given many sweet girly gifts. Unfortunately, she hasn't yet learned the importance of being thankful for all of her gifts. With great excitement, she began to open her final gift:
She immediately realized it was two replacement "woolies" ("Woolies" are satiny blankets that our mom sewed for each of us when we were newborns. Sheridan's original woolies are nearly in shreds from being carried around so much):
She was obviously expecting a toy. Her demeanor dropped drastically and she sadly exclaimed, "That's not a present!":
We spent Christmas Day visiting with many relatives. Sheridan helped Nannie open her present:
Sheridan with our grandmother:
A few days ago, Harrison, Sheridan, and I (Meredith) baked and decorated Christmas cookies. I was given cookie cutters on my birthday for my hope chest, but decided to use them early. :)
Harrison, who asks to be referred to as "The Fist", is convinced that he's the strongest "man" in our family, but still loves helping me with Christmas cookies each year. A few of the 10-12 year old girls from church planned a lovely Christmas Tea Party for the little girls a couple weeks ago. Sheridan had such a fun time and continues to talk about her tea party.

Sullivan, Harrison, & Sheridan's Homeschool Christmas Program

Sullivan, Harrison, and Sheridan prepared the following Alexander Homeschool Christmas Program for the blog! Sullivan and Harrison recite the scripture they recently memorized, Exodus 20:1-17 (The Ten Commandments), and Sheridan follows with her recitation of Luke 2:1 and singing her version of her favorite songs.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Weather Outside is Frightful

But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let it snow, let is snow, let it snow
Thank you for all of the birthday wishes! I had a wonderful 22nd birthday and your thoughtful comments contributed greatly to my lovely day. Although I have already thanked Oliver for his blog entry, I want to publicly acknowledge his kindness in writing such a sweet post for me. I am certainly not the most talented cook in Virginia, but I am happy that he thinks so. :) I spent my birthday with my family. In the evening, Mama and I went shopping in Richmond. I spent the birthday money I received on a gorgeous off-white pea coat (below). It was originally $260, but between the clearance price and a coupon, I paid only $105. It is such a classy coat and I am confident that I will be wearing it for at least 3-5 years, so I feel it was a very good investment.
Also during this past week, I have been baking many cheesecakes to fill farm orders. It has been more stressful than baking for the restaurant because the restaurant can work around my cheesecakes' imperfections (occasional cracks), but I hate selling cracked cheesecakes to individual customers for their holiday parties!
Oliver and I began working out this past week. We've been to the YMCA's gym three out of the past four days and are liking it a lot. We are trying to get well acquainted with the equipment before the gym becomes very crowded with people trying to get in shape after the holidays.
My cousin, April, flew in from Nashville and has been spending time at my grandparents' home two hours away. I was looking forward to spending time with her this weekend, but unfortunately the huge amount of snow has cancelled my plans. Instead, we have had a snowed-in day at home spent reading, watching movies and basketball (the Texas/UNC game and the Duke/Gonzaga game), the boys and Sheridan played outside in the snow, and I baked gooey cinnamon rolls (thank you, Abigail, for the recipe). I am very pleased with the way they turned out and I hope to make them again very soon. :)
The roads are too snowy to attempt to make the two hour drive to church tomorrow morning, so we will be enjoying another delightful, restful day at home!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Meredith!!!

Hello! This is Oliver.

Meredith, along with all the qualities you all know she has, is a cheerful, sensible, and amazing young woman. There are many things you do not know about Meredith. She is the most talented cook in all of Virginia. Daily, Meredith teaches Sullivan & Harrison, bakes multiple loaves of bread for orders, prepares meals for our family, and much more. Our family is very blessed to have Meredith.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Alexander Christmas Letter 2009

Merry Christmas from the Alexander family!To read a recap of the events that shaped our family's year, please visit the following four links:

A New Alexander Adventure: Moving to the New Farm

Tim & Joy's 25th Anniversary Celebration

Elliott's Graduation Celebration

Our New Farmhouse's Before & After Pictures

Our family wishes you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2010!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy 16th Birthday Oliver!

Today is Oliver's 16th birthday! We celebrated by going out for dinner at Oliver's favorite steakhouse and enjoying his birthday ice cream cake afterwards.Oliver has a great servant's heart. Daily, Oliver joyfully goes out of his way to serve others in our family. Just a couple days ago, I (Meredith) was dreading sorting through the 75-100 milk jars that had been returned over the past few days. Before I headed out to begin my task, I realized that he had already sorted all of the jars for me as a surprise! This encouraged me and took the edge off of the job ahead of me.

He is also a very hard worker. I don't think there are any other 16 year olds whose work ethic could possibly mirror Oliver's. In whatever line of work he may choose for his future career, he will most definitely excel because he has the necessary determination to see a job to its completion. In a generation abounding with visionless and directionless young men, the few who rise above our culture's expectations stand out as young men with great, exciting futures ahead of them. I am so proud to have a brother like Oliver who is among these rare young men!

Happy 16th Birthday Oliver! I love you!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

We had a great Thanksgiving at our grandparents' house in eastern NC. Grandma Lou always prepares a delicious feast! Family visiting after the meal
Cousins playing ball outside
My 3 year old cousin, Dustin, asked me to take a picture of him like this... I don't know why. :)
Elliott and OliverSheridan and our cousin Lauren
Harrison and Sullivan wore their cowboy outfits for the day
Of course I (Meredith) didn't take any pictures of the group gathered in the family room because that would (heaven forbid!) possibly be considered a distraction to those watching the football game. ;)
One of the reasons that I like Thanksgiving is because it ushers in the holiday season, but I am not so enamored with the holiday season to brave the Black Friday crowds. There just isn't anything that I could possibly want badly enough to get out in that madness!
Instead, I spent most of today on the road with Daddy. We drove a couple hours north to buy a cow (our cows' milk production has been very low and we've been in need of more milk to fill our orders) and did the Charlottesville milk delivery afterwards. Holly is a healthy-looking 3.5 year old Jersey.
After the past two weekends being very busy with big events, I am looking forward to a laid-back weekend!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Farm Day 2009

Our 2009 "Day to Give Thanks for Udders" Customer Appreciation Day was a great success with hundreds of guests visiting our farm yesterday. It is very hard to know exactly how many people came throughout the afternoon, but we estimate around 400. It was a lot more than we were expecting.

Our new sign at the road was ready just in time!Guests visited the animals and toured the restored farmhouse. Oma, our grandmother, welcomed visitors to enjoy hot apple cider and cookies indoors. Unfortunately, I only made about 200 cookies, so we ran out early.
Sammie, our farm dog, with her red bandana Mama decorated the farm with over 70 pumpkins that she was blessed to find discounted for only one penny each!

View of our farm from the road Mama painted the unsightly pumphouse and converted a coffee table thrift store find into a cute cow spot-decorated bench.
Elliott's turkeys have all been slaughtered and most have been sold. Tomorrow Elliott and Oliver will be helping our friends, the Wilsons, finish processing their final 100 turkeys.
It was exciting to see Elliott's hard work pay off as many of his turkeys sold in our new farm store.
Oliver, Mr. Joel Salatin (author and prominent pioneer in organic farming in the United States), and Elliott at an event a couple weeks ago The hay loft was converted into a movie theater for a showing of the recently released documentary "Food Inc."
Daddy constructed and Oma painted the cow for the childrens' cow milking stationSheridan demonstrating milking the cow (it had water with dish soap in it so it would appear like bubbly milk) The cow milking station was a big hit among the children!Daddy operated the hay rideChildren also enjoyed the swingsOliver was in charge of the new farm storeIt was a great day, but we are so happy to be finished! Our Customer Appreciation Day is the biggest farm event of our year, and it often seems that everything we do around the house and farm is in preparation for this one day. It is so nice to have it out of the way. Now we can relax and fully enjoy the holidays and upcoming winter.
A barn cat, affectionately named, "Sheridan's Kitty", cuddled up in the hay