Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas! May your heart personally know the best gift ever given some two thousand years ago - the babe in the manger, our Lord Jesus Christ - given by God the Father at just the right time in history. It's not about our presents, the food, the gatherings, the tree and decorations and definitely NOT about Santa Claus ..... as little Juliana says, "We don't believe in Santa Claus, Mommy. We celebrate Jesus' birthday!" At the age of 5, she is surely not missing anything by not having Santa as the center of the holiday .... Holy Day ..... that is meant to celebrate the coming of our Messiah, in lowly human flesh, to eventually buy us back to Himself ... if we would only believe the unbelievable miracle of His salvation. His gift to us is signed, sealed, wrapped and delivered - not in His birth, but in His resurrection. We merely have to admit our need, realize there truly is no other way to enter Heaven and accept his gift - open it - experience it - believe it. I believe! Do you?

Grace, taken by Jeremy.

Mom, taken by Jeremy!

All Sarabeth truly wanted was the dollhouse.

Nathan, the Hulk!

Oh, wow, Bionicles!!

Ryrie study Bible - oh, yeah!

Ice fishing pole for Dad.

Jeremy, the Batman!

Sweet Juliana.

The first gift of Christmas 2008!

Christmas Eve dinner - yum!

Mom with the littles.

Christmas Eve we used to eat seafood - coming from Maryland, that is not an unusual thing. Crab cakes, steamed shrimp, sauteed scallops .... but getting good/fresh seafood is not as easy here in Iowa, so we have slowly, year to year switched menus. This year we went simple - with a spiral ham, roasted vegies (potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots), breaded green beans and warm rolls. Jeriah and Shawna came in just prior to dinner. Strawberry slushies were a hit with everyone, especially the littles! For those of you who have seen our home before, note the new look of our kitchen - redesigned, painted, new lights .... I love it!

Mary with her "older" girls, Caitlin and Grace.

Sipping strawberry slushies while waiting for Jeriah/Shawna.

The littles with their new aprons that Lynn made for them.

The littles decorated rice krispie Christmas trees - Jeremy had to get the trick of picking up the tiny m&m's and figured out how to place them where he wanted them - then he was off. There is nearly nothing this kid won't try to do and usual accomplish! All the kids had a great time of it - showing us how each does things differently. Nate's rows of m/m's were all the same color; Juls set her m/m's really close together and took forever to get them done; Sarabeth did them exactly like Mom had shown them ..... not an individualist heart at all! : )