Horn Happenings

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Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States

Saturday, December 31, 2005

A BELATED PICTURE POST

Here are a few pictures taken while my dear friend Bethany assisted John and me in decorating our Christmas tree. John was the selected photographer for the evening, but as you will see he did manage to hang up a few ornaments as well.
~Cara











Friday, December 23, 2005

CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

As a family we like traditions. Actually, we love them. A couple days ago while talking on the phone to a friend of mine, she happened to ask if we had any special traditions we observed during the Christmas season. She shouldn't have asked. That is, she shouldn't have asked if she didn't want to hear me prattle on for the next several minutes about my favorite Christmas traditions. :) Some of our traditions are a bit unusual, some funny, some we won't be able to do this year, and some I hope to keep for the rest of my life. Talking about our traditions reminded me just how dear to my heart they are, and so I'd like to share with you all just a few that mean the most to me.

Growing up we were the only family I knew of (besides my aunt and her children) who opened their gifts Christmas Eve. Never once though did I succumb to peer pressure and wish that we could have our gift exchange Christmas morning like all the other kids. In fact, I always felt sort of sorry for the other kids who had to wait a whole extra night for their presents!

Closing my eyes, I see in my mind our darkened living-room aglow with the lights of the Christmas tree, and the candles dancing their flames across the window panes. Packages lie neatly arranged around the tree, wrapped primarily in three different kinds of wrapping paper. Mom's tradition, in her organized and ordered way, is to use one kind of wrapping paper per child to ease confusion in arranging the gifts, and to give a coordinated look. Eggnog in hand, we take turns opening our presents while munching on homemade pepperoni bread, cheese and crackers, and chocolate chip cookies. It is the same menu every year. . . for that's tradition!

Christmas morning finds us seated around Dad as he opens the Bible to Luke 2 and once again reads the beloved Christmas story. Following the Bible reading, those of the younger generation in this family each receive a stocking stuffed with little packages to open. A new toothbrush in each stocking is a must - Mom never forgets. Often we will find a homemade Christmas tree ornament made specifically for us by Mom's loving hands.

This Christmas some traditions will not be able to be kept. We have always spent Christmas Day with extended family members, but due to distance that will not be a possibility this year. In previous years we've celebrated the day with a delicious brunch with my mom's dad and step-mom. Christmas dinner was shared with my mom's grandparents gathering around our heavily laden table. This year there was no Christmas caroling to our beloved neighbors, although we did enjoy the opportunity to carol to other people's neighbors, it simply wasn't the same. I am reminded to hold dearly and cherish in my heart those traditions we can no longer practice while eagerly anticipating the making of new ones here.

When I think closely of why these Christmas traditions mean so much to me, I see that the binding cord in each one is my family. Eating our special foods, opening our gifts by candlelight, watching our annual showing of "It's A Wonderful Life;" none of these would be the same if done alone. It's not really the traditions that are so special, it's who you do the traditions with that make them so dear. To put it in other words, my most favorite tradition of all is spending time together making memories as a family during the Christmas holiday.

~Cara

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

How can I possibly describe these past few weeks? Brimming with fun, friends, and good cheer, our first Christmas season in San Antonio has begun. Time will only allow a brief account of life at the Horn house these past few weeks.

This last quarter of the year is properly termed the busy season in the VF warehouse as they struggle to keep up with the amazing Christmas rush. John has become an able-bodied assistant in the warehouse helping out one or two days a week, and I’ve pitched in a couple times as well. Dad has enjoyed working hard and even helping break the all-time record of shipped boxes from the VF warehouse, but he won’t mind not having to leave the house for work before 6:30 a.m. in the morning.

A dear friend of mine blessed us with a week long visit earlier this month. During Bethany’s stay we attempted to keep an active schedule and achieved our goal quite well! From attending the Chronicles of Narnia Premier and watching a talented ensemble perform Christmas music; to visiting the Alamo and browsing through a Christmas fair; to shopping around San Antonio and decorating our Christmas tree, we all thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with Bethany. I especially appreciated her patience as she willingly accompanied me on my shopping forays in search of the "perfect" Christmas gifts.

This past Friday marked the first time the entire Horn family attended Vision Forum’s annual End of the Year dinner. It was a wonderful time of gathering all the Vision Forum families together to partake of a delicious meal and review what God has accomplished through the efforts of these devoted men, while pressing onward toward the goals for this coming year. On a lighter note, coffee was greatly appreciated as the night became morning, literally. It was nigh unto 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning before my sleepy head touched the pillow.

Saturday evening found us enjoying more food and fellowship at a Christmas party hosted by a family in the area.

During the beginning of the week, a glance into our kitchen would show that it had been turned into a cookie producing machine. Mom and I made countless batches of cookies in preparation for the holidays, and it made my heart sing for joy to spend those hours in the kitchen with my dear mother singing Christmas carols together.

Dad and I joined a group of church friends and others from the area on Tuesday evening for some caroling in the Spradling’s neighborhood. The Spradlings are a dear family from church who open up their home every year to hordes of hungry carolers following our spreading of Christmas love and cheer to the homes nearby.

If I don’t have a chance to personally wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, please allow me to do so now:

Merry Christmas to all from the Horn Family!

~Cara

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

FALL PICTURES

The autumn season here in Texas is not nearly as beautiful or breathtaking as back home, but occasionally we have come across some pretty foliage in our treks around the area. A few weeks ago we visited the RiverWalk in downtown San Antonio, and were pleasantly surprised at the lovely trees found there. So without further ado, let me present fall - Texas style.

~Cara

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John and Cara - underneath a green tree. Posted by Picasa

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Our sweet and lovely Mother Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 05, 2005

WHAT’S ON YOUR BOOKSHELF?

Here are a few of the books I either recently read, am presently reading, or will be reading in the near future:


So Much More - by: Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin

Freckles - by: Gene Stratton Porter

Christmas with Southern Living 2001

Hooked on Crochet - by: Candi Jensen

Diamonds in the Dust - by: Joni Eareckson Tada

Evidence Not Seen - by: Darlene Deibler Rose

1776 - by: David McCullough

The Bondage of the Will - by: Martin Luther

Nicholas Nickleby -by: Charles Dickens

The Quotable Ronald Reagan - edited and compiled by: Joseph R. Holmes

The Right Thing - by: CMDR. Scott Waddle (Ret.)


Reading books is one of my favorite forms of relaxation and enjoyment. I truly love it when others share about the books they are reading as I’ve discovered more than one literary gem that way. Would any of you care to share the titles of a few of the books on your bookshelf?

~Cara

Friday, December 02, 2005

CHECK THIS OUT

To see some pictures of Dad hard at work, click here.