Merry Christmas 2016

 This is my scrapbook page of our 2016 Christmas. It will be mostly just pictures: out of order, random captioning, plus gaps. So many things of which I have no pictures.
We had ten days of holiday doings with parts of the family. The men worked days. We played evenings. We had two days where we were all on hand. It was fun, relaxing, sometimes wild, and always a blessing of richness to our whole family. Here are the girls with our new Thai fabric skirts. I had this epiphany/idea of how to bring home a pretty, useful gift to each of the girls while pushing our way through that crazy fabric place at Market with Lisl back in Thailand. Satisfaction.
    Of course, I love this picture. We have such nice times. I love these women! They love Jesus and their families and their life work. They laugh and cry in the right places for the right reasons. They’re completely human: both weak and strong and by turns. They struggle with wakeful babies and naughty toddlers and smart first graders and funny or ornery customers. They deeply love the children given into their care and spend their days in training and teaching and “savoring the moments with” them. They keep pretty homes and clean their dirty houses. Those married are loyal wives: loving and fussing by turns there, too, because that’s life. Good job, girls!

 One of our young moms decided to put in a few candles/pretties at the church for over Christmas. Loveliness that we all got to enjoy. Another young lady provided the chalkboard art.
We at Grace Bible Church had some blessed worship times of singing this Christmas. I think we sang our hearts out this year of Christmas songs for three Sundays in a row.

 One set of singers I wish I had a picture of to show you was of Clark, Adam, Dru, and Gabe singing for us on New Years morning at church. “Yes Lord, Yes!”
    Ten years ago they sang this song with the same gusto and then found wives, jobs, had children, and worked their individual ministries.And now they know a little more what is was they were singing back then. They sang it again with dedication and a deepened earnestness. Godly men, pressing toward the mark. God has been so good to all of us.

 We had a bit of Christmas-ing here at the Stone House before the rest of the family came home.  Traditional gift wrapping, giving and receiving.
   Elv and I got a new log bed from where I work. And a new wood rack for the living room fireplace. And we all received most of what we’d had on our lists. We have few needs and fewer wishes, I guess. Happy times. 

 I think the snow play is probably some of the best memories for these children. Some of them came from Thailand where they never have snow, so playing in the snow was extra special for them.

 Clark’s have a big, new room where a large family can meet to spend time visiting and playing games and eating. They had it ready for us in time as they hoped and it was perfect. We literally spend hours there.
Very nicely done, Clark’s.
Another thing I noticed this year was that our oldest grandchildren are reading, playing table games and piecing puzzles along with the adults. Not babies anymore.

 Charlotte and Clark both have a knack for making a room cozy. So her little touches of pretty were lovely.

 There was room for coloring, and puzzle piecing, and board games, and children play all at once.
There were soft chairs for naps and baby rocking.
Clark had the stove “lit” for coziness.

Feed the birds, tuppence a bag.

 Lunch with my munchkins on a sewing day. I love parties with them. I read the Boxcar Children aloud to them this year.
   Children provide the wonder that makes any Christmas or family gathering complete. It’s all new and miraculous and amazing to them. Actually, they are the happy miracle that keeps our lives normal and hopeful.

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