So much to write about and so little space.....ha ha.
December 21. Our 39th Wedding Anniversary.
Sondra and I celebrated another anniversary, this one being our 39th. Yes, we were married at the end of 1971. We were so young and in love.
David's wife, Meche, flew in from Mexico and got in around midnight after we went to the movies and dinner. They had reservations at the Hyatt at Ontario Mills for three nights, so they went directly there when she arrived.
December 22. Seeing the Christmas Lights in the Area.
We already had our Christmas tree up, but we wanted to wait until Meche arrived to put all the trim on -- the lights, the red beads, the many ornaments. Sondra loves to remember how each ornament made its way to our tree, as a great many of them were made by our kids as they grew up in elementary school. Other ornaments were brought over from Germany as we lived there in 1972-1973 while I was stationed at Bad Kreuznach, near Mainz and about an hour from Frankfurt.
When it got dark on Wednesday, December 22, we went to see the display of lights on homes in the West County area just below the mountains around here. Roger and Julie and daughter Jennifer, Shawn and Crystal and little Bailey, David and Meche, along with myself and Sondra enjoyed the night together.
December 23. A Day at Disneyland.
Crystal asked us to set aside Thursday, December 23, for a special day that she was planning for me and Sondra, with David and Meche also asked to be a part of this. Crystal kept it a secret, so when we arrived at her house that morning, she gave us all tickets to Disneyland for the day. It was part of her Christmas present to all of us.
What a great day we had. It was both adventurous and relaxing, if that makes sense. We were in no hurry, and we just enjoyed being together and watching Bailey have a wonderful time. Because David and I have had trouble lately with walking long distances, we were given the option to use rented motorized scooters. At first I was tentative, but after we got them and started using them, they were actually of great use and great fun! Shawn and Crystal brought their fifth-wheel trailer, and at the end of the day we sat inside and ate our dinner before heading home.
December 24. Christmas Eve Service at Church.
On the night of Friday, December 24, I led our church in a Christmas Eve worship service. We sang Christmas carols along with the reading of the nativity story from the gospels of Luke and Matthew. I gave a short devotional message retelling the narrative of the birth of Christ and what it means to us as believers, and then we sang "Silent Night" to close out the service. Afterwards, one of the young men in our church put on a Santa suit to help the children further enjoy the night. Sondra fixed an enchilada supper for our family to eat as we came home after the service.
December 25. Christmas Day.
What a special day in celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Christmas really becomes special when we can spend time with family and our loved ones. At our house, we had Evan and Callie, Shawn and Crystal and Bailey, David and Meche, Alden, with me and Sondra making a total of nine for the day. We opened our gifts in turn, so that we could enjoy the gifts that everyone else received. Then, we had a huge Christmas meal of ham, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, rolls and dessert. What a feast!
I'll just share how blessed I was. My kids got together and bought me a Kindle e-book reader. I was thrilled. (I have already downloaded several things for my Kindle -- the Bible, a whole Bible commentary set, a book by Martin Luther, and then a book called The Confession by one of my favorite authors John Grisham.) I also got a pro Popcorn Maker, some other hardback books and CDs, some polo shirts along with some special Charger shirts, a digital photo frame and a "I Love Papa" picture frame (in which I will put a photo of all my children sitting with me in Oklahoma), a watch and some socks!
December 26. A Day to Worship at Church.
Today was the last Sunday of the year for us to worship together as a church body. This year has come and gone so quickly. So much has happened in all of our lives. Some things wonderful and full of joy, some things sad and full of sorrow. But, through it all, God gave us strength and power to perservere with hope and peace and satisfaction in his great plan of the ages.
It was some kind of week. I would not have traded this week for anything.