Last week we experienced ‘the whirlwind’ for the first time in many years. The whirlwind that is otherwise known as traveling over Christmas. For the past 9 years we’ve lived in Illinois, thus, no traveling to see family & friends over Christmas. The last time we did this (when we lived in Missouri) we only had one kid, and since she was only 11 months old, she didn’t ask very many questions. It was a bit noisier on the way back to Illinois this Christmas, although Angry Birds did keep them occupied for quite awhile 🙂 In a word, the trip was wonderful, awesome, fantastic, blissful…ok, that’s several words–it was a great trip! We didn’t get the white Christmas I would’ve loved, but at the same time, I LOVED not worrying about the weather while we were driving. We were able to make it to the extended Lehmann Christmas (my dad’s brothers & sisters families) on the 23rd, spent the day with Matt’s family on Christmas Eve, made it to church in Bloomington on Christmas morning, and were with my family the rest of Christmas Day. Our kids loved opening presents, but I think the thing they enjoyed most was playing with their cousins. We played a fun game at Matt’s family Christmas–a series of questions to be answered by both husband & wife, all the answers were a number and then we had to see how close our answers were…our biggest spread was the question about how many miles we’d put on the family vehicle in the past month–Matt ‘forgot’ that we went back to Illinois over Thanksgiving, and I ‘forgot’ that I don’t drive to preschool 3 days a week and 50 miles round trip to church on Sunday anymore! 🙂 (But I was still WAY off!)
We had so much fun visiting with family & friends during the week we were there, although it seems like there’s never time to see everyone you want to. On the way back to MI we stopped to break up the trip….
This is kind of backwards, but I can’t end without mentioning the HUGE blessing we received the second weekend in December. There is a church near us that each year ‘adopts’ the SMAT students who have families (I think Jaelah mentioned this in an earlier post)–their desire is to bless the kids for the sacrifice they are making as part of a missionary family. They got new snow boots for all our kids just before Thanksgiving & you’d have thought it was Christmas then as excited as they were. The church had asked for suggestions for something each child might be wishing for…and I was, and still am, BLOWN AWAY by their generosity…I had thought maybe they’d each receive a gift or two, but like I said, was just blown away when they started carrying in gifts, and gifts, and more gifts. The girls couldn’t stop screaming 🙂 Mariah & Jaelah were jumping up and down hugging each other after they opened their bean bag chairs and Sierra tried to jump & hug her new horse at the same time. Luke couldn’t get his tractor out of the box fast enough. Each one also opened a warm blanket to snuggle under & a pillow with a handmade pillow case.
Not only that, but 2 huge boxes of food that covered our table. It was a real mix of emotions for me, in the past I’ve always been on the ‘other side’, the giving end, helping with the Adopt a Family collection and Thanksgiving meal baskets our church put together each year. To be on the receiving end was just overwhelming, brought me to my knees to be so loved on by people who really don’t even know us. The Body of Christ is just amazing. It was so fun to watch the kids faces and see their joy & excitement at this major once-in-a-lifetime blessing. Of course, we didn’t have any blank dvd’s to record it, but it is recorded in my heart. Do I realize that our kids ‘needed’ this less than some others might? Absolutely. I was thankful for them to have this treat, and so thankful too that they understood and appreciated it as such–not something ‘deserved’ or to be expected, but a rich blessing from a wonderful wonderful group of people desiring to serve some of God’s little children.
We have been so blessed, in so many ways. All praise and honor and glory to the One who created us!
And Happy New Year to all of you!