Somehow our times together as a family always fly too quickly. And this Christmas was no exception. Wow. What a delightful time! Due to various travel schedules, we had about two days of non-stop action and fun. (Okay, so we did find a few hours for sleep, too.)
Here is a picture re-cap, with many thanks to Bethany and Kori for their photography:
Every year our gatherings grow in a delightful new element: grandchildren! With the cousins now being old enough to plan and interact, it was fun watching them enjoy their time together.
Rachel's famous cinnamon rolls-in-the-works
We reserved a gym for one afternoon, playing some very competitive games of volleyball.
Meanwhile, the little ones were highly entertained by Nathanael and Charissa.
Enjoying a moment with Ruth
Charissa loves being an aunt!
Gym-time wouldn't be the same with out some highly-competative basketball.
(Are you catching a common theme here?! Yes, when it comes to sports, we're quite competitive!)
We returned home to prepare the evening feast.
With 10 ladies cooking in the kitchen, it was a jolly good time!
The menfolk serenaded us with several 4-part carols while we ladies tidied up. It was quite impressive considering the impromptu request! I think we've started a new tradition.
One of our long-time traditions is allowing the youngest members of the family to pass out the Christmas gifts. This year Asher and Arianna were old enough to help 'Grandma' and they were thrilled. It was quite amusing watching them try to remember all our names and get each gift delivered to the correct person.
Here you go!
For an evening activity, we played a game where all the married women had to identify their husbands with only their noses peaking out from the sheet. As you can imagine -- it made for many laughs on both sides!
I think our times together become more and more precious as the years continue. Each new person the Lord adds to our family brings such delight and joy. As we grow, our relationships blossom and we treasure the time to encourage each other on the common road. We're grateful almost to tears for the Lord's ever-present working as we seek to deepen our walk with Him.
May you and your family experience more of His love and grace in 2014!
Grace, mercy, peace will be with you
from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ,
the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
2 John 1:3