We're starting to get settled here in TX, though it's kinda hard to feel Christmasy when the needle outside points to 72 degrees. I can't say I'm not enjoying it though, because I am! We all are! I felt a little down this weekend as my family celebrated together with my Grandparents at their annual gathering. The first one I've ever missed. My sister called me and told me about the feast and how everyone was doing, and everyone shouted, "HI, JODY!" so that I could hear them. I felt a little better.
Last week we were able to locate the box labeled "Christmas Tree" and then the boxes with the ornaments, and we set our tree up last week. The kids and I had fun making the house look festive, even if it's only one corner of the house. The other corners are still decked in brown boxes!
We even made a few batches of cookie dough together.
I'm also working on our Christmas letter. First up, I needed a family picture. I had outfits in mind. Rob had a great idea for a location. We stopped by after church, since we were all dressed up. Unfortunately, the wind didn't give pause to our plans, so we'll try again later, maybe later today. This is an actual, untouched picture of the wind and my hair duking it out. Definitely NOT Christmas-card worthy.
Saturday, the youth activity center had a Christmas party for the kids. There were pony rides (of which all but Lily said, "No, thanks." Not a novelty for the boys, but Lily, a girl after my own heart, can't say no to anything equestrian.)
Of course, they all got a turn sitting on Santa's lap. Even Caleb and Gabe, who had eyes only for the goody bags he was handing out. Seth ran in and grabbed Santa in a huge hug and shouted, "Hi, Santa! I would like a toy robot!" A little too enthusiastically for this mom who is trying to teach her children to embrace the true meaning and spirit of Christmas. Yet I happen to know personally that Santa is looking for a robot to fill a certain red-head's stocking.
That morning the children from our chapel performed some Christmas songs for the crowd, and they repeated the performance Sunday morning. The crowd favorite: "Go Tell It On the Mountain." Gabe is a natural, and he performed like a Broadway star. Caleb played it coooooool, man. Great fun was had by all.
And as the children shared the true meaning of Christmas by song, their sweet, precious hearts kindled in me the hope and peace Christmas brings, even without the Currier and Ives view out my window. Even with family and friends who are so precious to me miles and miles away. God is near, WITH US even, and there it is, the Christmas spirit my heart was looking for.