I pray that everyone had a blessed Christmas.  

Our current denomination (even though each congregation is autonomous– it IS a denomination) does not celebrate Christmas.  The congregation we attend is more progressive.  I’m positive the preacher would have preached about Christmas, but we weren’t there.   So Christmas eve, we went into our little town and attended a church we knew would be celebrating Christmas, not just preaching about it.  And we weren’t disappointed.  It’s not a church that could solve our issue– but it was nice to be there. 

We did our annual last reading of advent and homemade eggnog when we got home.  We also exchanged our home made gifts.  A yearly tradition now for about 5 years.  We do it to get our focus off of the materialism.  It helps us focus on the person we’re making the gifts for and what they would really like. 

Christmas day was so nice.  We set out the African drums and purse for the older 3 from "Santa Dad and Mom"  We open stockings first, then breakfast is what is in the stocking.  Hey, it’s only once a year and why not have a sugar overload for the rest of the day!  After breakfast and showers we opened the rest of the gifts.  We left the gifts under the tree, and one person went and got a gift and gave it to the receiver.  When that gift was opened, that person went and picked out a gift he had gotten and gave it.  It took a little longer to open gifts, but it was nice.  There was time in between to explore the gift you had been given and not any crazy, frienzied opening.  Shane’s revelation this year and a tradition I’m sure we’ll keep.  I made ham, green bean casserole, hash brown casserole and my grandma’s refrigerator rolls for dinner.  And cheesecake for dessert. 

Shane knew he was getting the Geneva Bible, but oh well.  I guess it’s about time.  For 11 years he has always left mine somewhere I would find it.  This year I did not.  He found a really inexpensive MP3 player so I am finally in the 20th century– ha, ha.  But while everyone else is listening to their music I am listening to Terri Maxwell, John Piper, D.James Kennedy, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Woodroll Kroll and others.  Yippee!  I even have a plug in my car stereo where I can add it and listen with a $4 adapter that Shane found yesterday at Wally world.  Princess, has enjoyed the electronic word scramble game Shane found,  Bubba has a new chemistry set to try, Malachi, has been enjoying the spy gear, Precious was more interested in the paper than the gifts.  And we all have enjoyed the new to us "Calvin and Hobbes" books.  Just remember Calvin = Bubba and you’ll know life at our house.

Wednesday night found us a Pizza Street meeting with Princess’s birthfamily.  Not as stressful in years past, but we really worked to keep our children calm.  Considering past years, it was nice.  And it’s behind us until June or July.  We are in a delimna over a doll that birthmom got her.  It is not a Barbie, but it is a Princess doll–very similar.  We had to let our Princess decide what the right thing to do was.  As much as she wanted to keep it, she finally made the best decision and that is why Shane and her were at wally world yesterday.  She didn’t find anything to replace it, but the shelves were pretty bare. 

The children and I made Easy Toffee Bars, Sweet Nothings and Spritz cookies to give as gifts.  I also made scruptious Extra Rich Hot Cocoa Mix for Shane to take to his co-workers.  I wanted to get some recipes up, but as usual lately…. 

Praying God’s blessing on each of you for the new year.