November was a lovely month for the Whelans. We had a quiet Thanksgiving here in Lynchburg--we attended the Thanksgiving Day service at our church and then shared a wonderful meal with the Dunn family and their extended family and friends. As you can see in the picture, Luke got a "big boy haircut" a couple of weeks ago. His curls have already grown out a bit and look like they'll come back just as curly. Jackson is also changing in appearance. He has some little curls on the back of his head, two more teeth coming in, and he's growing with leaps and bounds. He is pulling up and crusing along the furniture, so we know walking isn't far behind. He says "da" all the time and can wave at you.

We got our Christmas tree at a local farm and put it in the den to the delight of the boys and the cats. The Christmas traditions at our church have been so meaningful and rich. We were chosen to light the Advent candle last Sunday. Last night we went to the lighting of the Chrismon tree, and next Sunday night we will have a "Hanging of the Greens" service. All of these things would be enjoyable in and of themselves, but it's more than for fun or tradition's sake. These events remind us of Christ's humble incarnation, and they point us toward His return. They keep us "looking eastward," and help us live in light of God's covenant promises. One of the wonderful things we appreciate about Rivermont is its diligence in making sure everything we do as the body of Christ is meaningful, purposeful, and biblical. Even the smallest details are meant to draw us back to our reliance on God's grace and mercy and remind us of the Gospel.

In totally unrelated news, we are now HUGE fans of the TV show 24. No, it's not currently on TV except for repeats on A & E, but we have rented the seasons gone by in order to catch up by the start of season 6 in January. We are currently about halfway through season 4, so it looks like we'll make it. I highly recommend it, especially for those frustrated LOST fans who want drama without all the unanswered questions.