One of our Christmas gifts was Season Passes to Dollywood for the 2008 season; if you ordered next year,s passes you got this Christmas Season free so on Saturday, December 22 we enjoyed a fun day at Dollywood. On December 22, 1996 Travis and I had been at Dollywood on our honeymoon, so it was fun to walk around eleven years later - things were a little different this time, we had three kids with us this time!
We finally arrived home late Saturday night (December 22) and we all were ready to be home and enjoy the rest of the Christmas Fun.
We enjoyed a great day of worship at church on Sunday. That evening the youth at church presented a Christmas program and at the end our Youth Pastor said something that stuck with me the rest of the week-end. He said, "We can't get caught up in the greatness and how amazing Christ coming as a Baby and forget that He only came as a Baby to die." Wow! Travis and I tried very hard this Christmas Season to find the balance of the fun of Christmas (Santa, presents, parties etc) and celebrating the Birthday of Jesus, but were we remembering and teaching our kids that we only have Christmas to have Easter? I thank God that He used Big Dave to teach me and remind me of something this year.
We celebrated with The Sparks on Sunday evening with great food and fellowship.
On Christmas Eve we enjoyed a fun day together - we even got out in the madness of shopping on Christmas Eve.
That evening we went to Ben Avon for a Christmas Eve candlelight service.
One of my favorite things we did this Christmas Season was go to the Sheriff's office after the service at Ben Avon to deliver goodies to those away from their families protecting us. There weren't many officers there, but there were a few that the kids were able to "thank" for serving us during Christmas. I hope this is something we can do every year.
Santa brought each thing the kids wanted and we enjoyed our morning home playing with our new stuff and a Christmas breakfast where we shared the story of our last Christmas box and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. Grammy and Big Daddy and Eric and Kristi and the kids came over for Christmas lunch; We loved having them in our home.
After a wonderful Christmas afternoon nap we headed back to Ben Avon to celebrate with The Ford's. Instead of drawing names this years, each person was to bring a $15-$20 gift card and we played a fun Christmas game. We had so much fun! I was nice to do something different.
After the Ford's we went over to Grammy and Big Daddy's to celebrate Christmas with them, Eric and Kristi, Amanda and Les and all the kids.
This picture of Steven is the only picture I have of our final Christmas celebration, we were all pretty tired, but my greatest Christmas 2007 memory came at Grammy and Big Daddy's. Grammy had handed out all the gifts and the kids had opened all their presents and I looked up from all the boxes and wrapping paper and saw that the girls were sitting at Grammy's feet and Samuel was beside Big Daddy and they were anxiously watching them open the gifts each of the had got and wrapped for them. I was so glad to see them be excited about giving a gift instead and just getting them. Samuel is old enough to understand and know the true meaning of Christmas; but the girls are still at the age where the fun and excitement of Santa and presents can come quickly take center stage - it was wonderful to see and hear them understand the Birth of Christ and demonstrate His love in their tiny hearts in their childlike faith.
So that's it - we are ready for 2008. We thank God for the wonderful Christmas He gave us and the things He taught us.
Each of us have a few goals and we look forward to the fun of the coming year.
Thank you for joining us in 2007 and we hope that you will continue with us in 2008.
Happy New Year!