Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Reader's Digest Condensed Version of Christmas

Today I'm hitting the Pause button on the hustling and bustling to jot down some quick thoughts on the Season and share some of the highlights so far.

The last couple of Friday nights we've driven out to the Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina to look at the spectacular light display.  This is one of our very favorite family Christmas traditions.  It's a fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation and the owners of all the fancy-schmancy houseboats decorate their boats, docks and the marina and local businesses sponsor the decorating of all the Lodge buildings and cottages and pretty much anything else that doesn't move.

Here's a view from the top of the hill leading down to one of the docks:

(I would like to apologize for the quality of the pictures or the lack thereof.  These pics were taken with my iPhone and she doesn't take good pics at night.)

Here's the family walking across the water to the dock through my personal favorite, the tunnel of lights.

That last sentence made me giggle.  I don't mean that my family actually walks on water like Jesus, although they are pretty great if I may say so myself.  There's a floating bridge thing-y but you probably figured that out.

Here's one of the fancy-schmancy houseboats:

(Wes is actually having a better time that it appears in this photo!)

Sometimes they even have a real Santa that hands out presents to the kids.

That sentence just made me giggle too.  Obviously, he's not a real Santa!

I think he's just an elf.

The houseboat-ers also have a table set up to receive donations for Make A Wish and free hot chocolate and candy canes.  One man told us this year that they've raised over $250,000 over the years that they've been doing this.  That's a lot of donations from families just looking at some Christmas lights!

Everyone at the marina is so friendly and of course, there's fun Christmas music.  It just makes my heart full.  Life in a small town is beautiful sometimes.

I also really enjoyed our wonderful Christmas party at church.  Have I mentioned how much we love our church, Fellowship Church?  It was such fun and heart-warming time.  Wes had to miss due to business travel but the girls and I went.  We ate some fabulous Christmas goodies...

(See how I ate some carrot sticks to offset the sugar and fat in the rest of it?!)

We ate, laughed, talked and played board games.  Then we had a beautiful time of worship singing Christmas songs by the light of the twinkling Chrismond tree.  Our four teaching pastors took turns reading the Christmas story.  We shared our favorite Christmas memories.  I left with my heart full again.

We also had our small group Christmas party at our house this year.  I just love our small group!  We have the most precious group of college students!  We ate ourselves sick, played Phase 10 and exchanged ornaments.

AmberJen and I made a marathon shopping trip and I completely finished my Christmas shopping.  I don't think I've ever laughed so hard, had so much fun and been so exhausted.  Totally worth it.

My friend Jen and I went to the Kari Jobe/Al Denson Christmas concert.  Do you remember Al Denson?  If you are a child of the 80s you should.  I'm sorry to tell you that Jen and I both thought Al was dead.  We were very happy to see that he is, in fact, quite alive and still sounds exactly like he did when I used to listen to my bootleg cassette of him.  Yes, kids, that was way before CDs.

Kari Jobe.  Oh. My. Word.

I thought it just couldn't get any better than Revelation Song.  And then she sang "O Holy Night."

And I almost came unglued.

I really don't think someone who can sing like that ought to also be so beautiful.  It just doesn't seem fair.

Not that I'm jealous or anything.

Caitlin goes to an after-school kids program on Wednesdays at the local Methodist Church and they had their annual Christmas musical.  Caitlin sang "Angels We Have Heard On High" with two other little girls.

So that's our Christmas season so far in a nutshell.

We've had lots of fun and made lots of memories.  But this year we're also all too aware that life is fragile and fleeting.  So this year I feel a bit like Mary...I'm treasuring up all these things and pondering them in my heart.  Thanks for sharing them with me.


Carpool Queen said...

I don't know how you've had time to blog with all the dog-washing that's been going on at your house.

Good thing you've got these happy memories to sustain you in your hour of need.

Jennifer said...'ve been busy!! Funny thing is, I was with you on most of those adventures!!

Our shopping trip was a blast!! We saw so many shoppers with great holiday spirit!! ;)

Kari Jobe?! There.Are.No.Words.
She is amazing!!!

I hope you and your family have a great rest of the holiday!!

Love you sweet friend!!

Merry Christmas!!

Jennifer said...

Oh...and that wiseman in the pic of Caitlin singing?!?!

He's a doll...wonder who he belongs to!! ;)

Kendra said...

Wasn't Al the singer with the Dawson McAlister conferences?

I loved Iron Mountain and visiting with the houseboaters. We have something like that here but not on water. So, Christmas traditions continue!

Amber said...

Why am I vacant from so many of these fun things? Christmas parties? Kari Jobe? Oh. Right. Because I'm a loser.

Love you guys so much! So blessed to call you friend.

Enjoy the rest of the Season.

Anonymous said...

That you so frequently crack yourself up cracks me up.

And I was laughing that you though Al Denson was dead. We're talking Al Denson, not some 92-year-old man, right? Oh, I loved Al Denson. I had all his tapes. Remember those? Before CDs?

Would have loved to have been at that concert!