Ready or not, people...it's here! We got our Christmas festivities kicked off this weekend. First, we were with my parents and sisters at Mom and Dad's in Walnut Grove. Grandma and Grandpa came for a little while, but headed home well before dark. It's never enough time with them, though, it seems. We had a good, chaotic visit - Kelly was sick and not feeling too sociable, so Dad drove him home after presents and eating so I could stay and visit a while. April and Rob and the kids stopped by for a couple hours on their way through to Chicago - it was great to see them, and it made me look forward to the end of the month when we get a few days with them! The kids got some really neat gifts, we ate a ton of food, and just enjoyed the day.
Sunday, the kids and I went to Eudora Baptist for church. We absolutely love our Crossway family, and we hate to miss, but sometimes it is fun to visit our old friends. This day, Rian, Heather and Steph were putting on the kids' production of "The Secret of Snowflake County". Molly, Hannah, and the twins all had parts, so we definitely wanted to be there for them. They did just wonderful! I can't believe how much time gets away from me. Seeing the girls on that stage made me realize just how quickly they are growing up. Chloe and Molly start junior high in just a few months...how did this even happen?
Last night, we all gathered at Jason and Steph's for our "Framily" Christmas - our friends who are like family - the Daniels, the Besses, the Brixeys and us. Let me tell you, we are so blessed with the greatest friends in the world. It's hard with our schedules being so different these last couple years, but carving out the time to still be together for the important things is what holds these bonds so tightly. I truly miss serving and worshipping with our best friends, but I love and trust where God has put us all. As I told Heather last night, maybe someday He'll see fit to put us into ministry together again some day...
Today, the three big kids have dr. appointments, but I promised them some holiday cheer this evening. Tonight, we will grab some cocoa and puppy chow, load up in the van and go see the crazy Christmas guy's light display. Then home for some gingerbread house building competition! :)
I'm glad for the week away from schoolbooks and activities. It's wonderful to not have a fully loaded schedule so we can focus on each other and the real Reason for the Season. I'm thankful for my Jesus every day of the year, but I'm especially grateful for this holiday season. The lights, the music, the goodwill towards men...I want it to last all year long. It starts with us. We'll do our part, as best we can.
Merry Christmas to you all!!