Monday, December 28, 2009

Crazy Christmas Travels

We have arrived home safely after interesting travels to Nebraska in the midst of the Christmas storm of 2009. We were thankful that we had planned to travel to Nebraska a few days before Christmas as we had arranged a suprise birthday party for my mom's 60th birthday. Even in the midst of the beginning of a raging blizzard many of Mom's friends and neighbors joined our family in celebrating her birthday. It was a great evening. Then it was 2 1/2 days of a pretty crazy blizzard with some major winds (50-60 mph) and snow that kept my extended family snowed in at Nana and Papa's house. My kids had a great time playing with their cousins and the adults managed to enjoy the time together without letting the close quarters and many children drive us crazy.

After 3 days snowed in at my parents we finally made our way over to Mike's parents (15 miles away), with a bit of drift-busting on the 26th and enjoyed Mike's family get-together that evening. Unfortunately our time with Mike's parents was cut short due to illness, as Mike's mom ended up in the hospital with the flu. So we decided to head home a day early. The roads were fairly clear on the way back to Iowa with a few slow spots due to blowing snow which caused some slick spots which led seeing a number of drivers who had very recently gone in the ditch. We were thankful to make it home without joining those drivers in the ditch.

Now we are excited to enjoy the week at home with some game time with friends, a bowl gathering with fellow Nebraska fans and our annual family-friendly New Year's Eve party. It's good to celebrate life with family and friends!! Happy New Year to all!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Craziness

The Christmas craziness is in full swing. Christmas parties, programs, letter, pictures, shopping, baking, decorating. On one hand it is exciting and fun, on another it makes me want to take a nap. I often wonder how we manage to get all the extra stuff done this time of year in addition to all the regular stuff that has to take place. But somehow it all gets accomplished. I'm blessed to have a very helpful hubby who loves decorating for Christmas. He routinely gets the tree up for me and helps the kids and I decorate it, along with putting up the outside decorations and hauling the boxes of other Christmas stuff up from the basement. Last weekend he was the one excited to get the process going. I'm so thankful for his holiday spirit.

I'm a bit behind on my Christmas cookie baking. I usually start in the beginning of November and begin stashing cookies in the freezer. I just got started baking cookies over the Thanksgiving weekend. I'm now trying to make up for lost time and get all the cookies baked for the Christmas tins for our friends and neighbors.

It is a joy to take time to get together with others and celebrate the season. Tomorrow night we'll enjoy the kids Christmas concert at school - and yes, their school still calls it a Christmas concert!! Friday night we'll enjoy our annual ministry leader Christmas party - a joyful time to enjoy a delicious meal and wonderful fellowship together with other brothers and sisters in Christ who we serve alongside throughout the year. Next week I look forward to a Christmas coffee with my Bible study girls and the annual holiday party with Mike's work - which is a fun night of good food and celebrating the wins of the company. And we hope to have our small group members for our annual Christmas dinner - the one of the few times a year we use our wedding china.

And once all that takes place, it will be time to pack the van and head to Nebraska to spend a few days with our extended family. The kids are excited to see all their cousins and we all look forward to the fellowship and all the amazing food!! I hope your December will be a month of joyful celebration with family and friends and that you will take time to remember the true reason for the season.