We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, but Kristi & Cami weren't home so, though it was nice, low key, and my cooking was delish, inwardly I was pining for Christmas dinner when ALL of us would be home together. The fact that my efforts were appreciated by my darlings at home helped, but inside my heart I was glad to see Thanksgiving pass so I could move on to the next big thing which was packing all the Fall/Thanksgiving decorations up so I could dare to unleash the beast held at bay for far too long. I had spend so many lonesome teary Monday's with flat screen emails. With Kristi serving her Mission in Raleigh, North Carolina I had spent the last 18 months with thoughts of Christmas 2011 dangling in front of my minds-eye like a carrot in front of the weary horse plodding along it's well worn path. Now it was here. It was time.
Cut loose the beast. LOL!
There was joy in the flurry of planning, cleaning, scrubbing, and decorating. Jerry & I have been married for over 30 years so you can imagine how many Christmas decorations we have accumulated over the years. When it's time to pulled the bins and tubs of decorations out of the garage my kids roll their eyes and tell me it's going to look like Christmas 'puked' in our house. I tell them, "No it won't! Because most of the tubs are filled with paper since I pack so carefully. In case I ever wanna turn and RUN!"... Hahahah! Decorating for me was both exilerating, and excruciating because I could hear in my head our little Kristi as she'd sing as we decorated... (from 'Little Mermaid') "I have gadgets and gizmo's a-plenty, I've got Hooz-it's and whats-it's galore, you want thing-a-ma-bob's?...I've got 20. But who cares, no big deal...I want MORE!" Then I'd unwrap an ornament she made when she was in kindergarden. Oh...my.
My family kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas. I felt like I was in a state of perpetual thanks and gratitude to Heavenly Father. I was continually thanking Him for one blessing received after another. There I was standing there as my valiant daughter walked through the airport doors and into my waiting arms. Visits by family, friends, and hearing my daughters reports, testimony, and songs. Parties, good food, shopping, wrapping, laughing, loving, and HUGGING (lots of hugging). But there was also tears, adjustment, confusion, as our wonderful full-time Missionary came home from her busy, scheduled, intense, Spirit filled days of service....to...well...us. :) By the time we went from Thanksgiving to these pictures in our living room on Christmas morning...Christmas was sweet, and calm, and wonderful. I just wanted to absorb them all. To inhale my sweethearts and hold them close. I could picture a mother hen gathering her little chicks under her wings. That would be me. If you see me and I am beaming..it is most likely that it's because my Jerry and my kids must be close by.
Kristi handing out the gifts. We slept til
around 10am. It was so nice.
Jered is over there grinning because he finally gets to use his new hard drive for his Xbox 360. And his new Batman game. He had opened the sides of the packages to 'Make sure I'd gotten the right ones.' He didn't want to be disappointed on Christmas morning. He wasn't LOL!
Cassi and Jerry. He got an Iowa
Hawkeye hat. He LIKES it..a LOT!
Cassi & Kristi got clothes, clothes,
oh...and did I mention more clothes?
I got Jerry an autographed copy of
Dan Gable's autobiography which is
completely out of print. It was one of
'those' finds. Also a brand new retro
Iowa Hawkeyes wrestling Hoodie.
Momma got a new toy. Jerry is a KEEPER!
I didn't have time to do my annual Christmas letter this year. I may do an Easter one. I really do enjoy making one each year. So much has happened and I love reading the ones from our other friends and family. This year was kinda wild though and since I am not Linda Carter (Super Woman), or Zena (Warrior Princess), or Jeanie (well...you know)...I just ran out of time. I love y'all though. Trully!
I feel so blessed to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I have experienced the wonder of having one of my children serve the Lord on a full-time basis. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is amazing. He changes lives. His message is also an invitation to Come Unto Him...for His burden is easy, and His yoke is light. Following His teachings will bring us closer to Him, because as we follow Him we become like Him. How can we know and profess to love Him if we don't, won't, and have never done what He asks us to do over and over in the scriptures? And that is..."If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15) No-where in the scriptures does our Lord tell us..."Tell me you love me." He does not. But the scriptures are filled with the Lord telling us the way to show Him we love Him is to 'Keep His Commandments'. My prayer for myself and my family this year is that we take the Lord at His word. That we keep His commandments and in so doing we honor our Savior, and show Him of our love for Him.