What a wonderful time Christmas is!! A time for reflecting on our Savior's birth and how He came as a baby, lived as a man, and died for our sins so that we may have eternal life!! There is no greater gift than that!
We had a very special Christmas this year as once again. The highlight was Dave being able to come home from Texas and celebrate with us. It was an even shorter visit than at Thanksgiving but we were thrilled none the less.
The best gift was that we got happened on the Friday before Christmas. Dave was not supposed to get in until late Friday night but he found out at the last minute that GFA was closing the office early on Friday. So after morning prayer, he called Delta to see if there was any way he could switch his flight. This was at 10am - they said they had a flight scheduled to leave at 11am and they could get him on that flight meaning he would arrive 7-1/2 hours earlier than scheduled!! Now this was all God because GFA is over 20 minutes away from the airport and he still had to have our friend Jeff drive him there, go through security, get his new boarding pass, and get on the flight all within an hour. He made it and we got the most wonderful surprise of all this Christmas by having him here for longer than we had thought. Yes, Samson has missed Dave too! (don't ya just love his Christmas "bone" tie??)
He arrived just in time for dinner and we had a good southern BBQ dinner at a local homemade BBQ place near our house - Kelly's. It was super yummy. After that we came home to relax. We got in our PJ's and just hung out watching movies and spending time together!!
Christmas Eve was a wonderful day. We got up and had a yummy breakfast and just enjoyed some time together!
Dave decided he wanted us to open the gifts that he had gotten us from Texas. Of course, there were no complaints about that! Kira got a true Stetson Cowboy hat,
Andrew was thrilled to get an Angry birds shirt and "Animal" shirt,
and I was in love with the special boots he got me as well as a wonderful new book written by one of our friends at GFA.
There was also one more gift we had wanted the kids to open before Christmas that they could use on Christmas day! It was their brand new Bibles!!
They were thrilled. They both had been asking for a new Bible for a while now. They read it every morning and Kira had grown out of her kids Bible. They both also wanted the same version that Dave and I had so when we would read together as a family, they could follow along easier. They both got the new ESV Student study Bible and love it. It has great little notes and as Dave and I were looking through it, we had even learned some new things too.
On Christmas morning, we awoke to a beautiful day and got up and ready for church. We did let the kids open their stockings which to be honest I have never done before (we don't do the whole Santa thing, I understand that many do and that is ok but we have chosen not to). Sometime through the years we had all been given a stocking with our name on it (well mine's a hat but who cares ;)).
I filled it with the necessities that I knew they all needed plus a little treat - yes, everyone got new underwear and socks in their stockings but they loved it anyway :).
I must say that I don't remember ever going to church on Christmas because it's usually the Christmas Eve service that churches have but we were thrilled!! What an amazing way to start the day that we celebrate Jesus's birth!! Our service was beautiful and our praise band even did an amazing version on Trans Siberian Orchestra's "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" - it was awesome and if you know me, you know I love the Trans Siberian Orchestra and was the first to introduce my family to them many years ago :).
We came home and while the Christmas dinner was finishing up cooking, we opened the rest of the gifts from the grandparents and each other :). We always get leary of how many gifts the kids get and taking away from the true meaning of Christmas wasting money on toys that are thrown in the toy box just a week later. I was very proud of our kids this year. They asked for very minimal and I knew they would use everything they asked for -- still too much in my opinion but I was grateful.
Kira got some body spray -yes, she is growing up :(. She got a diary, some earrings, a worship CD, a scarf, a baby duck that you feen - no, it's not real-hehe, and some games.
Andrew is utterly still addicted to legos and K'nex and plays with them all the time so his big gifts this year were Bionicles or now known as Hero Factory as well as a Narnia movie, and some games.
Dave got some new PJ/lounge pants and a journal to write down the things God is teaching him!
The best part of the day was when we ordered from the GFA Christmas catalog together. It's amazing that the best part of Christmas is still the giving!!
After that , we settled down to a yummy homemade dinner complete with my first homemade apple pie. I have made fresh fruit pies before but never apple. If you can't tell from the picture, it was hard to wait until Christmas to have it so it's a half eaten pie that we enjoyed on Christmas Eve too :)
Samson was wiped from a wonderful Christmas but he wanted to me to wish you all a very Merry CHRISTmas and a very good night ;)