Whew! Is Christmas over already?! Wasn't I just contemplating the fact that Christmas was closing upon us? We had a fantastic holiday, spent with family in the Kansas City area. Grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, food, presents, movies, hours playing Nintendo Wii, shopping, laughing and truly enjoying the season is how we spent the past week.
Claire and Nolan even participated in a children's pageant at my sister's church on Christmas Eve. Our kids definitely have a flair for the dramatic... I have no idea where they get that from...
Next week is back to school for Claire, Kelly has one more week. And it's time to pack. We have several large furniture items in our house in Mayer as well as many items to pack such as glassware and china, not to mention the garage. We close on the 12th, but would like to be all packed up before then. Then comes the packing of our apartment, we're looking at rental homes for the time being. Have I mentioned how much I love moving?!
We are so grateful that our house has sold, and the process has been smooth. The inspection went well and we finalized all the paperwork while we were on vacation. I do a "thank you Jesus" dance everyday when I realize that we are remembered, taken care of and loved like no other.
We are soaking up our last couple of days off this weekend, with a low-key New Year's Eve (I'm sure it'll involve movies, popcorn and an early bedtime). Dinner with friends tonight, and bit of shopping (returns, exchanges, sales... you know).
We head into 2007 with excitement for our future. We eagerly anticipate an amazing year - can't wait to see what's in store! Happy New Year!
Nolan was recently featured on the local news during a quick visit with Santa at the mall. He & I had been at Caribou sharing a hot chocolate and cookie when Santa set up for business. We weren't planning on the visit, but Nolan was eager to see the big guy. We had been told that the media was there, but we didn't know if or when it would actually air. Santa asked if Nolan had been a good boy this year, and his answer: yes! He then asked what Nolan would like for Christmas and Nolan whispered his wishes in Santa's ear. We didn't see the newscast ourselves, but many others in Rochester did. Here's to our celebrity!
...At least that's what the sign will say on our front lawn. Yes, we are happy (no - thrilled!) to report that we accepted an offer on our home last night. It's non-contingent, the buyer is pre-approved with great credit, with a quick closing: January 12th.
Thank you to all of you who have remembered this little detail of our home in your prayers. We consider it a fantastic Christmas present!
1) Engines: I've posted previously that our Blazer has given us some trouble. Well lately, she's up to no good. We replaced the starter after we moved to Rochester. Last week we did an overhaul of several various parts... which ones, I'm not exactly sure - you'll have to ask Kelly about that, but it was quite a bit. And after having her back for 24 hours, and a new sound like a motor boat (as Claire observed), she was back at the garage. After much work to figure out what what wrong... the Blazer is getting a Christmas present: a new(er) engine! We're passing this vehicle down to our kids, that's all I can say.
2) Birthday: We had the pleasure of spending an evening with the Fisks and various other long-time friends to celebrate Mitch's birthday. The babysitter managed to put all 5 kids (Spanns & Fisks) to bed by 10:30 pm, so all in all, it was a success! And a great time...
3) Cookies: I invaded upon the Morgan's kitchen yesterday and baked, baked, baked. Baking in our oven is nearly impossible, and if you want to bake cookies to give as gifts, it's not a good idea (unless, half-baked, half-burned cookies are someone's idea of a perfect present). Ang and I both created many Christmas goodies to share. We head back on Wednesday to finish the project. Thank you Ang! (And Happy Birthday!!)
Is it true, less than a week until Christmas? Perhaps it's the lack of Christmas decor, absence of snow or just our new circumstance, but Christmas has a different feel this year. Saturday we head to Kansas City to visit family, we're looking forward to it. Our trip to Texas has been cancelled as Kelly's mom is unable to travel at this time. We're enjoying receiving Christmas cards and letters... the photos and cards remind us of the people we love and miss during this holiday season.
We're praying that our family stays healthy, as Christmases past have been greeted by flu and other illness. And we pray that you & yours are able to celebrate the season with your loved ones, to reflect on the real reason for the season, to thank God for the ultimate gift: His Son.
That's what the song says, anyway... But truly, we have entered the Holiday season with lots of activity - much of it just this weekend! Friday began with my visit to Claire's classroom to make gingerbread houses. It was a treat to see Claire in "action" among her classmates and listen as they performed a few songs. It was a fantastic mess, but the final product is fit for a gingerbread princess...
Friday night we headed over to the Santa Sock Hop at the Y. We did the hokey pokey, the "reindeer version" of the chicken dance, hung out with Santa, made crafts and ate cookies. Claire really said it best when she stated that "It didn't look like Santa... but like someone who dressed up as Santa." Smart girl.
Sunday afternoon, Claire & I went to a Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party, hosted by the cast of our local Nutcracker production. We dressed up, ate more goodies, drank hot chocolate and enjoyed a mini-version of The Nutcracker.
And finally, Sunday night we all went to our church's "Follow the Star" family Christmas celebration. It was three hours filled with stories, crafts, movies, a petting zoo, dinner and worship. It was a great reminder of what the Christmas season is all about.
Another fast weekend to Mayer & back again. We left Friday around noon, met with our new realtor, decided to lower the price of our home (again) and do a bit of painting and cleaning to spruce up the place. Then we headed to New Germany where we spent an evening with the Purcell and Moorhead families. After a great evening of food & friends we headed to the Fisk home where we spent the night, visited and ate some more. Saturday morning found us back in Mayer, cleaning and painting, while the kids were with friends. That afternoon we went to the Hazelbaker home where we were treated to a late lunch and more visiting which stretched in to the evening.
It was a whirlwind of friends, work and activity... And it makes us realize just how fortunate we are. We have people in our lives who take us in, watch our children, feed us, love us. We are so thankful. And sad that these people aren't in our daily lives as we now live 100 miles away, but we'll take 'em any way we can.
We're happy about our decision to change realtors, and when she prayed over the sale of our home, we knew we'd made a good choice. We don't know why or how this all fits into God's plan, all we can do is take the comfort that comes with knowing that it just does.