Monday, December 20, 2010

Holly Jolly Christmas

Sunday: Day of crazy-busy fun and fellowship!

Grady had an early start by leaving the house at 8:00am for several deacon/elder interviews with new members. That left me to get three kids fed, dressed, in the car, and to church. Ordinarily, this isn't a big deal, but Micah had other plans.

- Make a mess in his underwear: check
- Spill his cereal milk: check
- Throw a tantrum and kick his foot on the wall leaving a big black mark: check
- Receiving a spanking and wail uncontrollably for 10 minutes: check

Oh well. At least Annalyse looked cute as can be. And at least we actually arrived to church on time. And at least by the time we got to church, Micah had changed his attitude.
The Worship Service was nice, as usual. There were sprinkles of red and green throughout the sanctuary - no doubt people digging out their token Christmas sweater to wear once a year.

After the service, it was on to College Group. It was a full house since most everyone was back on Christmas break. It's always fun to have a crowded room and get caught up with friends. 

Grady taught this week and his lesson involved help from several volunteers. Actually, from several "volun-tolds." When not enough people volunteered, Grady told them they were going to be involved.
In between laughs and on-the-fly acting, I think Grady communicated a message from Proverbs on the value of diligence and hard work in all areas of life. 
After College Group, Grady had a meeting about the upcoming Passion 2010, lunch out with several College Group friends, and then a meeting about a possible summer mission trip to Asia. 

After College Group, I had to run around the hallways to collect three kids from different wings of the building - all who made it clear they were tired and hungry. It's always nice to have whining kids as I walk out of church. It really helps me display loving patience since I'm surrounded by hundreds of onlookers. (Ha!)

That afternoon, after a quick lunch and short naps, we headed next door to say Happy Birthday to Miss Elizabeth, a newly-crowned Sweet 16 Year Old, who occasionally babysits the boys. 

In a matter of minutes, Grady Lee had emptied several branches from their Christmas tree, Micah had scarfed down a slice of pizza, and Annalyse had been passed through several sets of adoring arms. Thankfully there was a cartoon on in the other room that occupied the boys, and Grady Lee didn't discover the piano in the corner.
No sooner did we say Happy Birthday and make a short visit, and it was time for us to walk back home so I could make a couple of appetizers for the College Group Christmas party that evening. As I was rolling pigs-in-a-blanket, I counted the seconds until 6:00pm when the babysitter was due to arrive. I was tired - mostly just tired of running back and forth with kids in tow.

Several of the girls donned some wonderfully ugly Christmas sweaters. I scanned our local Goodwill and Salvation Army, but much to my dismay, was unable to find anything. If only my mom would have saved her plethora of snowman sweaters from her kindergarten teaching days...
Annalyse proved to be the hit entertainment all night. She went from one set of arms to another and I never really knew where she was for most of the evening. I figured if I didn't hear hungry wails coming from another room, she was a-ok.
After lots and lots of yummy appetizers and more desserts than you can imagine (gluttony isn't really a sin, is it?), we gathered in the living room for a white elephant gift exchange.
Lots of practical things (gift cards) and lots of strange things (finger tips that light up). I managed to score five sparkly-new matchbox cars and a coloring book for my boys. Stocking stuffers for sure!
After watching 32 people open and trade and fight over gifts, it was time for us to call it a night. Annalyse was beyond delirious, and although she never cried all night, the fact that her eyes were glazed over and bloodshot clued me in that she was tired and needed her bed. Grady and I bid our farewells and headed home while our 20-something friends continued to party the night away.
When we got home, I opened a gift from one of our college girls. Oh.My.Yummy.Goodness! This basket was jam-packed with sugary sweetness. Peppermint hot cocoa from Starbucks - my favorite! Chocolate kisses - everyone's favorite! But, the best part?
A homemade brownie gingerbread-shaped family - with PINK bows for not just me, but my baby girl! I still get excited that there is now a girl in this family... (Thanks Ashleigh!)


  1. Wow, what a day! Sounds busy, but lots of fun, too! Annalyse looks SOOOO cute in that first photo, love the adorable cream dress & red tights!! Jeff was home sick on Sunday, so I cna sympathize with having to pick up kids from all over the building & know the feeling of trying to walk out cheerfully with lots of whiny kids!
    That gift-basket is fabulous & that brownie gingerbread family is adorable!!!

  2. What a fun-filled, BUSY day! I too can totally sympathize with having to get everyone out the door and to church flying solo! Not an easy task at all!!!!
    LOVE that gift basket too!!!!