Tuesday, December 28, 2010

so this Christmas

will be...a very Merry Christmas, indeed!

I have endeavored to spend time (and money!) celebrating this Christmas! Especially since the last several have been sad and bleak in our family. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, I went over to Sarah's garage and pulled out 13 tubs of decorations (not all Christmas) and hauled them over to Mom's house to sit in her living room while I spent a week sorting and throwing away and getting out what I wanted to use.

As I unpacked, I decorated. The house turned out soooo beautiful!!! Just like I envisioned...all Christmassy and bright and cheery. I set up three nativities (creches), two trees (a 7-ft. live Douglas fir in the family room, and our "Charlie Brown" tree on Mom's German music box in the front rooms on the dining room buffet. Then an arrangement of angels on one piano, garlands and lights and tinsel over many doors, triple candles in the front windows, and a lighted wreath on the door.

Our celebrations began with Tricia's birthday on the 10th. We all went out to see Narnia's "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" in 3-D that night. It was so beautiful. It made me think of Daddy in heaven, especially as Reepicheep paddles his boat up the waterfall into Aslan's country right at the end. And it reminded me why I always abhorred cousin Eustace n the books. And as always, I got out the book to read again. :-)

On Friday the 17th, I met up with Cori & Brian and the babes for their Christmas portrait shoot. They turned out so cute!!! Mama Jones says that there is nothing static about Corrie Lynn. She was so expressive and spontaneous.

That evening, I treated the four of us (Mom, Trish, Sarah & I) to Pensacola Little Theatre's production of "Madeline's Christmas." It was simple but very cute. The main character reminded me of Mary Kate as a little girl! :-) The program's synopsis: "In PLT’s production, Kylie Branch plays Madeline, who lives with eleven other girls at a Parisian boarding school. When her classmates and teacher catch colds, it’s up to Madeline to nurse them back to health. They recover just before Christmas, but it will take a miracle to get them all home for the holidays."

On Saturday after our last wedding cake (for the year!!!), we four spent a little time clothes shopping at Cato and Payless. I wanted to get Sarah several new outfits for her birthday, but give it to her early so that she could wear them over the holidays and to Bob's wedding on the 30th. We found some fabulous things! But I still can't find boots that I like. :-(

I didn't have to work the bakery this year (my first one off in twelve years!!!), so I spent my week grocery shopping (Winn Dixie's ham and turkey was so succulent and delicious!), shopping with Mom (got some new pj's at Sears, baby DVD's & CD's at Family Bookstore), printing pictures at Walmart (August-present), picking up the nieces portraits, hauling out the last tubs, setting up the dining room table for dinner, and a Christmas Eve trip to Let's Play for last minute dolly bottles and wind-up mouse for Corrie Lynn and a Peter Rabbit for Juliana. Then I cooked and cooked.

First I made a big pot of mashed potatoes and a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows for the annual Christmas Eve dinner at Aunt Rosie and Uncle Greg's. And I began to thaw our ham and turkey; I felt like a turkey! I had forgotten to thaw it before! Annie & Baylen are now living in the upstairs of the Touart home. It was a fun evening, observing CL in a social atmosphere and catching up with our friends and family. After the party and presents time was over, we hung out down in the downstairs apartment with AR & UG and little Baylen (he's five now, so cute!), sipping hot tea and gabbing. It was so humorous to listen to the Santa reminders, having not grown up with it as youngsters.

The meats thawed very nicely in a sink of water overnight (thanks, Aunt Rosie!!!). Woop-woop! I was up Christmas morning cooking and cleaning and wrapping presents well into the day. Sarah had gotten sick, and she and Tricia were absolutely exhausted. I played Christmas music all day to liven the mood (I was stressed out by then!). Everyone else started to arrive after 3. It was a delightful evening. Cori even mentioned that my tree (decorated this year in white and gold with all my cross ornaments) was beautiful, and Trish tells me thanks for decorating the house almost every day. ;-) It makes me feel special that we have all enjoyed it so much! We all posed for family pics...

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for blessing our family. Without Your birth, our life would be meaningless. Bless Mama with good health and continued clarity and strength. Save our brother and heal his heart and life. Bless our nieces and draw them to Your salvation early in life. Prepare and bring Godly husbands for the three of us girls. And tell Daddy that we miss and love him dearly!

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