Happy New Years!
We have thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas season here in south GA right at home with special family & friends. What better way to end an unforgettable year? All 7 of us are as happy & healthy as ever. We are enjoying our new stretch of land complete with pecan trees & Nathan's new cypress taxidermy shop. We have put down new roots as we have begun a new journey at a local church. Since we are no longer pastoring, it feels great to just be a part of something again. We're enjoying this season of fellowship without all of the pressures & responsibilities that pastoring brings. We have been embraced by a great group of saints. The services & activities have been exactly what our souls long for! I am forever grateful that God knows what's best!
BEFORE Thanksgiving, my parents always bless my sister & I with a Christmas shopping trip in Atlanta. We have so much fun! I love seeing the all the decorations, huge trees, & enormous light displays! They spoil us with eating out at top notch restaurants & staying in beautiful hotels. They also bless us with Christmas $ for lots of great shopping. We have a great time together laughing & picking out gifts. I cherish those memories every year. We arrive home just in time to relax with one another for the holidays ahead without the stresses, worries, & rush of holiday shopping. We eat way too much for Thanksgiving. The kiddos all play together so hard! We decorate our houses, wrap the presents, & enjoy all of the family activities (& even more eating & togetherness) that the Christmas season brings.
This year they also gifted our families a trip together to Pine Mountain, GA which is home to Callaway Gardens' Fantasy of Lights. Even in the misty winter weather, the lights were amazing! The kiddos all enjoyed the long trolley ride light show, crafts, food, shops, & taking pictures with ol' Saint Nick! The cabin was beyond amazing! There wasn't a lot of rooming options there, so we just figured it to be a state park kind of primitive cabin...just praying it was clean, but WOW, did it exceed our expectations! They appeared to be brand new! It sported 4 porches, 1 of which was screened in. It also had a fire place with everything we needed. The bedrooms with private baths were all really big & nice too! The next morning it was neat to visit the beautiful butterfly gardens. It looked like spring time! The birds of prey show was even better. The different owls & hawks were so close flying around. It was very educational. All in all, we definitely hope to go return again. That was the perfect adventure of extra memories to add to the end of an awesome year!
Christmas time is so magical! I love all of the family gatherings & delicious treats. I cherish how time seems to run together as school is paused 'til the next year begins. I enjoy all of the extra winter cuddles as we drink hot chocolate under warm covers in our free country, in our cozy home. I am so blessed to experience the love in our neck of the woods. I am thankful my children love to create, give, & help others too. On Christmas Eve, we dress up & head out to my childhood church for candlelight service. We sing Christmas carols & hear the message of Jesus which seems to only grow sweeter year after year. My parents fix their famous shrimp creole & invite us all over for too many gifts. We snap pictures, change the kiddos into their matching Christmas pjs, & head home to tuck them into bed. I am continually amazed at their excitement...how they have no reserve nor stress & worries. O how I love the squeals of the morning as we watch the kiddos rip into "exactly what I wanted!" Even though here all is not calm, all surely seems right in the world. Soon cousins show up for Christmas brunch. We play hard together. Of course, we eat again & end the day exhausted with Christmas still strung all over the house. What better place to be with those you love?
Special note: The blog's giveaway winner drawn was a special friend of mine that introduced me to blogging several years ago. She is a wonderful mother of a half dozen! Check out her blog at www.momof6blessings.blogspot.com! She shows are true heart for giving! She certainly was well deserving! Sorry I was "missing" for a while during this time lately. Geek squad was working to fix my computer. I am finally back up & running! Now it's time to catch up on all of my blog reading!