Christmas Morning and my three chicks are home safely in my nest. I don't think I will ever feel totally at ease when they are scattered about the world doing their own things. Even though I know intellectually that it is time for them to start spreading their wings and flying, I still feel most comfortable inside when they are under my roof.
Ryan is home for a few weeks from Hillsdale College where he is majoring in English. He has always had a passion for words - being a very verbal child right from the start. His real and most driving passion is his music. He has become quite an accomplished guitar player and song writer. I am constantly amazed at how good he sounds and how good the songs are that he writes. So he will be knocking around here until mid-January.
Kate is taking a break from gymnastics since she hurt her shoulder. She is wrestling with whether she wants to quit altogether at this point. She doesn't have that many more months left, and it seems like this might be a good time to just move on. I am not opposed to it, since I only have her home for one more year. She will be a senior next year. And she still has syncro.
Jess is just busy being 11 - preteen through and through. She thrives on her friendships, pets and activities - both gymnastics, synchronized swimming and piano.
We had a very nice Christmas this year. We started off with the proverbial "bang" with a visit from our friends from Shanghai. They moved away last Christmas and we got to spend a couple of fast and furious days with them here. We had a little welcome home gathering here that was a lot of fun. Everyone enjoyed being together and catching up. It was hard for me to grasp that they would be leaving again so soon. Patty and I got to go to coffee at our old haunt, Barnes and Noble, and talk about just "stuff". It was like they had never left. I really look forward to them returning in 2 more years!
Next, we had our Christmas here and we got up around 8 a.m. and opened gifts for a while. Then we all loaded up and went to church. In some ways I was sort of dreading having to go out and interrupt our family time, but in the end, it was really great. It was very worshipful being in church and seemed actually more like a real Christmas. Billy preached a great sermon on 9 non-returnable gifts using CRISTMAS as an acrostic. Then Ben showed a slide presentation of the orphans in Mexico opening the gifts that we sent them. That was really touching to see. Just singing the old carols and being with close friends worshipping was really uplifting.
Later on, after church, all of us pitched in together for a cooperative effort to make Christmas dinner. Ron had already spent much of Saturday cooking pumpkin pies, Christmas fruit cookies, Sweet Potato Pudding and Congealed Salad, as is becoming his tradition. So on Christmas Day all we needed to do was to cook the turkey, stuffing, beans, mashed potatoes and rolls. I acutally successfully stuffed my first turkey. It turned out quite delicious, which was a relief, since the one I cooked at Thanksgiving was less than desirable. All these years, either my mom and dad or Ron's mom had made the turkey. So I wasn't sure how it would turn out. But I was determined to try to succeed, since we all love turkey. In the end, all turned out great. It was one of our better Christmas dinners.
Ron's parents came over for the evening, and we all had a really nice time. Ron's p's gave him a really nice GPS system to use on the boat, although it is a hand held and can be used for other things as well. I think they really enjoyed the dinner, too.
Key gifts this year were: Ryan's banjo, Katy's coat and ski pants, Jess' Harry Potter movies, Ron's snow shovel (LOL) and my Altered Journal Book. There were lots of other great things, but we will limit the list to the above for now. The best gift of all was just being together as a family and celebrating the birth of Christ and our salvation in Him.