Merry Christmas! · December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Despite the fact that our only Christmas program this year was Zachary's band concert, it seemed busier and more hurried than ever getting ready for Christmas.

Right now we are relaxing and enjoying Christmas day.  Julia has a nasty cold, so she has been hit and miss.  We were the last to arrive and first to leave the celebration at my parents' house last night because we were tired, and Julia was clearly not going to make it much longer.  She and Wyatt were sound asleep when we got home, and they were put to bed in their clothes. 

Christmas Eve was spent working in our church nursery after Andy got off work from his job.  We went from our service time in the nursery to the Christmas Eve service which had the most amazing ending I can ever remember for any church service.  Everyone was handed a battery operated tealight candle when we entered the sanctuary.  When our minister finished his sermon, he asked everyone to turn the candles on when the decade that they first came to a saving relationship with Christ flashed on the screen.  This took place during the singing of "Mighty to Save."  The sanctuary was darkened (as much as possible) for the event, and it was amazing to see the candles lighted decade by decade. We ended traditionally with the singing of "Silent Night" to candle light.

We then returned home to change, cook up something to take with us to my parents' house and hit the road.  Unfortunately, we ran into a couple of glitches.  We did not have the ingredients to make Andy's artichoke dip, and the stores where closed when we left church.  We also dug through nasty kitchen trash looking for a missing gift card we had gotten for my dad.  We also got him a pooping reindeer, and those who know him will understand.  As it turned out the gift card was still in the bag in the van.

Wyatt was very anxious to go, and admonished us to drive very fast to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

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We love the way our Christmas cards turned out this year. However, we ordered them in two batches, and the second batch arrived very late (Christmas Eve), so we may not send those out. The message at the bottom reads "We wish you lots of laughs, hugs, blessings, peace and joy this Christmas. Happy Birthday Jesus! Love, Andy, Tamara, Zachary, Savannah, Wyatt, and Julia."
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The gift that brings the tears.  Every once in a while, you give a gift so perfect that it makes or almost makes the recipient cry.  We are always reluctant to give to charity in anyone's name as we are choosy about the causes we support and figure everyone else is too.  However, this year we went out on a limb.  We draw names on both sides of our family, and we do this a little differently on my side because we can't stop our parents from buying for everyone, so we all buy for our parents, and then the adults (13 years and older) draw names.  Everyone buys for the kids.  Shopping for my dad is impossible because he buys what he wants and never offers any kind of a wish list.  Zachary drew my sister Tara this year, and she did not have much of a list herself.  There is a $30.00 limit on gifts, and the one idea I got for her only cost $15.00.  Therefore, I split the $25.00 cost of a day at camp ( for a Chinese orphan between the two of them.  I wasn't sure how they would react, but Tara loved it.  She almost cried.