Yet again, a long period of time has passed since our last entry. Alas, the responsibilities of coursework and research stole away time, precious blogging time. Now we're turning a new leaf in 2007, and we have a chance to start over again and aim for consistency in blog postings.

During the fall semester, we spent a lot of time with our new friends in C'ville. We hosted many dinners and enjoyed the hospitality of friends. We've enjoyed fellowship at Christ Community Church, our church home, and we've been introduced to many new customs and delicious foods, thanks to our international friends from Mexico, China, Thailand, Taiwan, and Turkey. We've attended UVa soccer, football, and basketball games (go 'Hoos!), witnessing both disappointing and exciting games.



Curby's parents came to Virginia for Thanksgiving, and we had a very productive time. Over the span of three days, we painted our kitchen cabinets to brighten things up. We also celebrated our third anniversary by dining at Al Dente, a fancy restaurant on the downtown mall. On Thanksgiving Day, we drove to Alexandria and enjoyed a delicious meal with the Alexander family--Curby's sister Katie, her husband Joe, and Curby's cousins from Durham--Lindy, Cameron, and Kit.



The next day, we saw more of the Alexander clan--two of Ron's first cousins and their children and grandchildren. We drove to a historic church site in Aldie, Virginia, that served as a hospital during the Civil War, particularly of interest to us because Ron's great-grandfather R. J. Marshall, while fighting as a Confederate soldier, was wounded in battle and treated there.



After Thanksgiving, we had a very eventful last week of class and finals. We each had several papers to write, as well as some final exams. We survived the experience and were very satisfied (and somewhat relieved/surprised) by our excellent grades!

At the end of finals week, we loaded up our car with luggage, Christmas presents and one extremely excited Australian Shepherd and drove to Oklahoma so Gina could get some information for a research project she is presenting this spring. From there, we drove to Dallas to see friends and family. We spent a day touring downtown Dallas, and we got to learn all about the JFK assassination at the 6th Floor Museum. We also got to spend some time with Gina's brother and his family. We always have fun playing with the nieces and nephew. Before heading to Houston to see Gina's cousin Kara and her family, we spent a day with Curby's grandparents in Farmersville, where we had a fun time visiting and going to Catfish Cove for lunch. While in Dallas, Gina was able to see friends from OBU (Lua Brown with soon-to-be-son Owen and Lisa Black with son Jude). We also arranged to have dinner with some friends from First Baptist Church-Euless, Brent and Terri McCall (and their baby Maci Lynn), as well as Sheri and Desmond Fergusson.



We had a lot of fun in Houston, spending time with Matt, Kara, Emma, and Luke. Everyone is doing well, and we played lots of games together while catching up. Please continue to visit Kara's blog at prayforkara.blogspot.com when you have a chance. so that you can stay updated on her progress and know how to pray for her and the family. From Houston, we headed to Simpson, Louisiana to see some of Gina's relatives, as well as do some research on her family history. We met Gina's parents there and got to spend some quality time with one of her cousins and a great aunt and uncle. While there, we discovered the grave a long-lost great-great-great-great grandmother. It was quite the find!



After our stay in Simpson we drove to Baton Rouge to celebrate Christmas with the Johnson family. We stayed with Gina's grandfather, Pap, and got to see many cousins, aunts and uncles. Sydney, while being banished to her crate most of the time, did get to perform her frisbee tricks for everyone at the park on Christmas Eve. And we watched a lot of football. In fact, I think it's safe to say if there was a football game on during our four-day stay -- be it high school, college or pro -- we watched it.



On Christmas Day we drove to Shreveport, Louisiana to be with Curby's grandmother, Mawmaw. We had a nice time visiting with her, and we got to take her to lunch at one of her (and our) favorite restaurants, the Olive Garden. The next day we left after lunch and made the drive back to Charlottesville.



It's nice to be in C'ville during the breaks, when the college town pace has slowed a little. We celebrated New Year's Eve by attending the First Night celebration. The weather was a little wet and cold, so we didn't stay the entire time. We actually celebrated the New Year by picking up a friend from the airport, which was actually kind of fun. The next day Gina fixed a traditional Southern New Year's meal with ham, collard greens, black-eyed peas and cornbread. We had several friends over and enjoyed the day talking, eating, playing guitar and, of course, playing games.



Since then we have been working on school projects and manuscripts, finishing some things around the house, and planning more dinners with friends. All in all, we are grateful for having made it through another year, knowing we have grown in our love for each other and for the Lord. As one of our New Year's resolutions, we will try to update our blog more often. Of course, it's not looking so good since we are just now getting to it on January 11. But a start is a start ...