Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December 13, 2016

I Think I Have Already 
Celebrated A Family Christmas
December 13, 2016

Dallas - Fall/Christmas
Mid- December!
Almost no gifts have been bought, delivered, or exchanged.  Almost no traditional Christmas "goodies" have been eaten.  No Christmas cards have been written!  So why do I feel I have already celebrated a family Christmas?  The last few weeks have been packed solid with family time.  There have been so many wonderful memories shared and new ones created.  I can see it has been almost 10 days since my last posting and I don't have to ask where those days have gone.  They have gone into my heart and memory.
The trees were beautiful
Starting late last month, we went to San Antonio for a weekend and during that time we were able to attend church with our son and daughter-in-law on a Sunday when David (our son) was singing a solo with the choir special.  His multi-talented wife, Diana runs the camera that broadcasts their church services live on Sunday mornings.  We sat on the top row of the balcony to be beside her while she served the Lord by helping to bring their services to those who can not be in the auditorium each Sunday. 
One of the tired children after a day of play
December started with the McAllen Christmas parade (they call it a holiday parade, but we all know what it really is).  That is where I left off with my last blog posting.  On Monday following the Christmas parade, I took Mom to the dermatologist to have a place removed from her leg following a biopsy report that said it needed to be done.  That evening I packed after my day at the office, and on Tuesday morning returned to McAllen to care for six grandchildren for a couple of days.  Their mom had made a quick, fun trip with her mom to have a little time together during this busy time of the year.  The children and I had so much fun.  They were on their best behavior and full of ideas and energy.  One day was gray and gloomy outside and the next was a beautiful day to be outside for a while.
One of the three children now playing on basketball teams
Our son was home in the evening.  He texted me about the time I got home from taking one of the girls to her ballet class and offered to pick up supper for all of us.  I gladly accepted his offer and later we all sat down for a pizza supper.  He spent time with the children before they were headed to bed and he and I had a little time to visit one-on-one (a rare occurrence).  I am sure his wife feels the same way.
They set up this obstacle course for fun
On Wednesday about noon I had to leave there and go to San Benito and then Harlingen for a sonogram and blood work for my thyroid doctor visit tomorrow.  That night it was time to do laundry so I could pack Thursday night for our trip to Dallas on Friday.  We left just after noon Friday and drove to Temple stopping at our favorite place for supper along the way in Round Rock. 
Magnolia Market in Waco
Saturday morning Ron agreed to take me to a place I had been eager to see and shop in, Magnolia Market in Waco.  I bought a few small items and we got some photos on a very chilly morning - it had been 28 degrees overnight.  The day was beautiful though and after my shopping we went on to Dallas and stopped at the Christian book store where Stephen works, Logos, near the Southern Methodist University campus.
Fall colors and Christmas decorations in the middle of December

A surprise baby shower had been planned for his wife by some friends from their church and a few who were not going to be able to attend had delivered packages to the Logos store.  We picked those up and took them to our hotel room to keep Kristina from being able to see them if he had taken them home. 
The leaves were falling with each gust of wind
Dallas was having it's first real cold spell of the season and the trees had turned beautiful shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple.  We took a few photos of the fall foliage next to the Christmas decorations.  At the store there was a display for the day of beautiful hand crafted silver jewelry and I was able to select a piece I had been wanting.  This one is by Jack Hall from Seabrook,Texas and I enjoyed chatting with his wife who was in the store to represent him at the display. 
My new necklace drop that I selected
Our hotel check-in was next on the list of to-do items.  We needed to stash the gifts before we went to Stephen's and Kristina's.  After visiting with them for a while at their house, and seeing the great progress on the nursery, we went to eat and then to do a little shopping. Back at their house, Ron helped Stephen with some household repairs and then we ordered pizza late that night.
The proud parents-to-be
Sunday morning was worship and Sunday School at Stephen and Kristina's church.  I was able to use my Cochlear microphone clip and must have been near a speaker, because although we were near the back of a very large auditorium, I could hear the entire service very well.  We went to lunch and took some photos before saying our good-byes.  Kristina thought we were heading to Houston where I had scheduled an appointment with the audiologist for Monday, but actually we were returning to the hotel to load up those lovely gifts again and head to the baby shower. 
So in love!
Kristina was very surprised by the shower, but I think even more surprised to see us there.  Ron and Stephen left as the shower started.  The decorations were great, the food was way too good, and the friends are treasures that are precious to Stephen and Kristina.  My sister, Janet, was able to come from her home north of Fort Worth for the shower and that allowed me to spend time with her this Christmas season.  After the shower, we loaded those now very familiar gifts and returned to Stephen and Kristian's.  We were all tired, but on our last visit, they introduced us to a favorite eating spot of theirs, Matt's Mexican Food.  We happily agreed to return there for supper before closing our visit so all of us could get some much needed rest.  I think I had better stop at this point and pick up the rest later.
Still in love after 51 1/2 years
All I can say is, if the family part of Christmas stopped right now, I could not complain, except that we have not been able to see Bob and Vickey.  First and foremost, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Christ child who came to earth to eventually pay the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross so that we could spend eternity in Heaven.  That celebrating is extra special when we can be with family for that time of the year. 
My sister at the baby shower for our daughter-in-law
This year Stephen and Kristina are not able to travel and must stay close to their home.  None of us had done our shopping so we did not celebrate Christmas while we were in Dallas, but we were celebrating the soon to-be, birth of a male child who is very special to us already.  As I watch the excitement on the faces of our son and his wife, how much more excited must Mary have been to be carrying the Christ Child.  If you have never heard the song, Mary, Did You Know?, may I suggest that you do a search (google or your favorite search site) and listen to this song that touches my heart every time I hear it.
 The four of us who ate, shopped, and visited
 away the few hours we had to be together.

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