My heart was set on an Advent devotional series throughout the month of December but time got away from me so, instead, I will share some photos I took of Kamden with Yaya and Grandaddy in Kentucky and reconsider my blog schedule through the rest of the year. Yaya is the Greek word for “Nana” and is pronounced Yah-Yah. My mom insisted she be called Nana but I refused because her mother is my Nana. We can’t have two Nanas and confuse the world, so we compromised and used the Greek translation. Bonus points: Yaya is unique and Kamden now says the word all the time.

Tuesday was our only full day at my parents’ place so we had to use time wisely: gun range with my Dad in the morning, lunch with a longtime friend and my Neenie, a family portrait session for my cousin and his family at Audubon State Park in Henderson, Kamden’s photo session with Yaya and Grandaddy before it got dark, and dinner at The Feedmill for some fried gator and crawfish tails before watching the UK basketball game.

Kamden was too excited to nap so he convinced Grandaddy to get the Kubota tractor out.

Kamden - KY Thanksgiving FOR WEB-3

Every time Kamden said Yaya she’d squeal, making Kamden laugh, which made Yaya laugh even harder. Then they started high-fiving.

Kamden - KY Thanksgiving FOR WEB-8

Kamden did well with the plethora of dogs, including the new Red Healer pup, Molly, and the Beagle/Healer mix, Dink.

Kamden - KY Thanksgiving FOR WEB-11

Dink, Firecracker, and Ben had just returned from their afternoon run through the woods and open fields when we began taking pictures. When they saw us by the old tobacco barn, they came running. Miss Molly loved having a pint size human around that was closer to her level!

Kamden - KY Thanksgiving FOR WEB-12

“C’mon Grandaddy, let’s go!”

Kamden - KY Thanksgiving FOR WEB-14

While this trip to Kentucky was a quick one, it was exactly what my soul needed. I hadn’t been to my Beloved Bluegrass since August 2014 for a family reunion. In case you forgot what Kamden looked like in August 2014, here’s a reminder of my Chunky Monkey who had no neck and lots of rolls:

Thompson Family Reunion 2014 SMALL-5

You’d think in a family with several photographers and camera enthusiasts, we could find a decent spot without weird setting sun shadows on our faces. Oops! Here is Nana with her three grandchildren (me – 31, Brian – 26, and Noah – 15) and Kamden, her only great-grandchild in November 2015:

Nana + Grandchildren-1

I hit the toddler jackpot because Kamden is such an epic traveler. He’s been on several flights since he was an infant and slept on every one of them about 92% of the time. Last week, he was awake long enough to lift and lower the window shade about 1,398,640 times while we were on the runway waiting to take off. As soon as we were in the air, he was asleep. He woke up when the wheels were lowered right before landing. Plus, it’s really nice to hear passengers talking about your well-behaved child and receive compliments from the flight crew too. I choose to sit in the very back of the plane so we’re always the last passengers to exit the plane, giving us opportunity to thank the pilots for a safe flight. Last week, Kamden got a high-five from both pilots and a bag of goldfish from the chief steward.

I hope everyone had as wonderful of a Thanksgiving with your loved ones as I did with mine. I know I won’t wait another 16 months before visiting again!

In the spirit of Christmas and the beginning of this Advent season, consider the story of Abraham and Isaac from Genesis 22:

And as they sat there on the mountaintop, watching the embers of the fire die in the cool night air, the stars above them sparkling in the velvet sky, God helped Abraham and Isaac understand something. God wanted his people to live, no die. God wanted to rescue his people, not punish them. But they must trust him.

“One day Someone will be born into your family,” God promised them. “And he will bring happiness to the world.”

God was getting ready to give the whole world a wonderful present. It would be God’s way to tell his people, “I love you.”

Many years later, another Son would climb another hill, carrying wood on his back. Like Isaac, he would trust his Father and do what his Father asked. He wouldn’t struggle or run away.

Who was he? God’s Son, his only Son – the Son he loved.

The Lamb of God.

If you are looking for a wonderful children’s book that’s beautifully written, easy to understand, and has the most amazing illustrations, consider The Jesus Storybook Bible. You won’t be disappointed.