Here we are, finishing up our first week at Still Water, and I figured it’s about time I do a bit of a Christmas Recap!
First of all, I need to confess that I did a terrible, horrible, no excuse it’s so bad, job of taking pictures of our actual Christmas Celebrations. But I did do a fairly good job of documenting some of the other fun stuff we did while we were with the kids. Here are some highlights:
Franklin Park Conservatory Aglow
Lara, Alexandra and I went early enough that we could (Okay, so that Alexandra could) enjoy the outside park area
but stayed late enough to enjoy all of the inside sights, like Fairy villages
and creative gingerbread houses
and other fun activities.
Finally it was back out to see the gardens all ‘Aglow”!
It was a super fun (and quite beautiful) Girls Night Out!
Friday was our joint Christmas with Lara and Toby’s family, and after the presents were opened, Gary and I took all the girls out for a shopping spree. As part of their Christmas gift they each got $50.00 to spend at the store of their choice (within reason!).
We hit Target, Old Navy, Barnes and Noble, and finally Blick’s Art Supplies. These kids are really good shoppers, getting the most bang for their buck! It was a fun afternoon, navigating a shopping extravaganza with 5 girls aged 4 through (almost) 16!
Girls – Happy. Grams and Pops – Exhausted!!
Generally each year we try to do an “all together” day, apart from the actual Christmas celebration. Both Toby and Lara have birthdays in close proximity to the holidays, so we try to combine a fun family activity along with birthday meal out. (I know, we’re crazy!) We’ve done indoor mini-golf, bowling, and trampolining in recent years. This year we decided to go the (pseudo) educational route and took advantage of The Big Explore in downtown Columbus. Many of the city’s excellent museums were free as was public transportation. Couldn’t pass up that Free thing!
and bus rides (a first for lots of the crowd!).
We had a great BBQ lunch and even enjoyed a couple minutes of an outdoor fire pit!
All in all, it was a great day. We ended it with Jeni’s ice cream, who in celebration of the Big Explore was selling their ice cream for $.75/scoop. Now since the usual charge is $4.75/scoop, you can imagine that the lines were long. But Oh.So.Worth.It.
(Somehow 12 of us had at least two scoops each (some had 3)) and our total bill was $14.00. It was a crazy good way to end our Big City Adventure!)
Oh, My! The games we played! Racko, Bananagrams, Battleship, Bingo, and any number of card games….
There were even games to be played at our lunch spot while we waited for our BBQ in Columbus!
Games, shopping, sightseeing, movies, – we even fit in some ice skating!
Hugs and love and giggles and memories – another wonderful Christmas is in the books!
You know there are more pictures, right? Well, you can check them out HERE!
(Spoiler alert – there’s one of Gary sitting on Santa’s lap. You better check them out!)
Well, I made it! A thankful-type post every day for the month of November. Phew! I might just say that today I’m thankful that tomorrow is December! But as I looked back over the month, I realized that I never actually gave thanks for the Really Big things in my life.
Like this guy –
who drives me around the country, still laughs at most of my jokes after all these years, and loves me regardless.
I’m so thankful for him!
Or my Family –
Kids and grands, sisters and in-laws, nieces and nephews and everyone in between. Whether they are in this picture or not – they fill my heart with thankfulness.
And let me not forget the great thankfulness I have for our good health, safe travels, resources, coffee, and dark chocolate.
The technology to actually SEE our grandkids when we talk to them, and send them silly Bitmojis (once I figured them out!) when we text is something I never even knew I could be thankful for.
But please know that I am not just thankful for these things. I am actually Giving Thanks for these (and so many other) things. And I am giving that thanks to my LORD and Savior, King of Kings, LORD of Lords, and Friend to Sinners like me. Without Him these would be empty Thanks indeed.
Thank you for coming along on this Thankful Journey! From the little things like leftovers to the big things like family – may you also be richly blessed with a spirit of Thankfulness.
P.S. To those of you who have subscribed to this blog and have gotten an email EVERY.DAY.THIS.MONTH – please know that the craziness will be slowing down. (To those of you who would like to subscribe and get an email when I do post, just fill in the subscribe box on the top right. You will not be placed on any mailing lists, I promise!)
There’s a Bill Gaither chorus that starts with
“I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God”
One of the beautiful parts of our current lifestyle/journey/adventure is the blessing of our enlarged Family. Each month as we work a project we are joining with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that we would not have met (in all probability) were we not part of SOWERS. As we visit churches around the country we are continually struck with the Family connection we feel when we come together to worship. Tonight we were part of a wonderful illustration of that Family as we joined our Waco kids for their annual “Friendsgiving”. There were about 7 couples and maybe 57 children. (OK, so that number might be a little high, but oh, my, there were bunches of beautiful kiddos! So much lovely chaos!)
Let’s also say that the food was pretty fine, too!
So today I can say that I am so very thankful to be part of the Family of God! And that in His providence, He continues to grow it!
I’m so glad I’m a part of the fam’ly of God!
I’ve been washed in the fountain,
Cleansed by His blood.
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the fam’ly,
The fam’ly of God.
…to be thankful for these days. But tonight I’m reminded just how very thankful I am for the family that God chose for me. For the three kiddos he blessed me with and for the man who has been beside me all these years.
A nice grainy picture of a picture, circa 1987. Man, I love these people!
I’d like to say I’m thankful for this guy –
He married my sister almost 50 years ago, and today is his birthday! He’s been a teacher and a pastor, has parented five children and is now Pap-Pap to 19 (!) grandchildren. I’m so thankful for his rock solid faith, his strong love for my sister and his family, and his devotion to Penn State football. (OK, the Penn State obsession is not quite so important, but it certainly is part of Who He Is!). And I’m also thankful that his birthday is in November, since I’m trying to do a thankful post every day and this was an easy one to do!
Happy Birthday, Fitz!