Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Friday, January 6, 2012

Extended family Christmas

We had the extended Graber family Christmas on New Year's afternoon. This year we went to Al's sister's house in Little River. This was our first Christmas that both of Allen's parents are in heaven. Although we have gone to celebrate Christmas with Dad at the old folk's home, he hasn't been able to join us at our homes for several years because of his health.

When Dad died in August, as we were sorting his things, our sister-in-law, Brenda, took his old shirts with her. She knew someone in Lyons who made quilts from them. Isn't this neat?!

Russell, our brother-in-law, was wearing this pink t-shirt. Little River had a pink out night, where they honored Al's sister, Julie, at a football game. The whole town wore these shirts! She had breast cancer this year. Luckily, they were able to get it all and she is fine now.
After a delicious pot-luck (we always bring so much food!!), the children exchanged gifts. Then we did our traditional gift giving for the adults. Anyone who comes brings a gift. It can be a white elephant that is practical and useful, something you don't use anymore at your home, or it can be something not too expensive from the store.

We pick numbers. #1 picks the first gift. #2 can either steal #1's gift or draw from the pile. So on and so forth. This year I got stole from twice!

The girls always wrap their presents so nicely, but the guys love to throw it together. We have lots of fun and laughter!

After the gift exchange, we played a game that is a twist on the "telephone" game. You know where you whisper something into one person's ear and they whisper to the next person down the line. At the end, usually what comes out is not a thing like what was first said.

In this game, we all got a stack of paper. We all wrote down a phrase or word of something. For example, "baking a cake". The stack is passed to the next person in line. That person has 1 minute to draw a picture of someone baking a cake. Everyone passes their stack down the line. Now everyone writes down what they think that picture is about. So on and so forth. This is a hilarious game and we laughed and laughed at how it turned out.

Have a blessed and a Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Belated Christmas, part 2

We had our Christmas dinner on New Years' Eve. We missed you, Mindy!! Maybe next year we can do it all together once more!

The kids had been waiting to be able to finally smash the gingerbread house and take a bite of it! Sort of hard to see, but Hannah has the hammer and is getting ready to break the house.

I also made a yule log.
After supper, Santa arrived! (I think he needs a new beard!)

Santa passed out a present to each child. Before leaving, he tells them all to be good boys and girls for this coming year!
Papa comes back from "going to the bathroom". "Papa, you missed Santa!"
Emeri saw a Santa at the mall one time and asked her mommy, "Is that Papa?" We enjoy playing this game each year. My mom made this Santa suit for my dad many years ago. My dad has played Santa many times in the past. Although for us, Christmas is more than anything the celebration of Christ, it is fun to do the Santa gig a little.

Look at Eli's lip! He fell when we took a walk around the lake and boogered it up!

Mom gave me this lace tablecloth that used to belong to her mother.

My parents volunteer at Et Cetera and always include some kind of funny or gag gift along with something very nice and practical!
Adam got a reindeer with reindeer poop (chocolate peanuts)!

What a gift - the blessing of family!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Belated Christmas, part 1

We had made plans to have our Christmas on New Year's Eve day. Grandpa and Grandma would be coming and we would have a feast and then open gifts.

The day doesn't really matter, does it. We really don't know our Saviour's birthday anyway. On the DVD "Star of Bethlehem", he makes a clear case that Dec. 25 is the actual day that the wisemen came and gave gifts to Jesus! (see at bottom) What is important is that we celebrate God's love for us in His most precious gift to us - His own Son!

The grandchildren were so anxious. "Can't we at least open our stockings early? Please??" So that is what we did!

Eli's stocking was handed down again (it first belonged to Hannah) for the anticipated arrival of our 5th grandchild. Of course I had to have a stocking for that special one too!

Showing Sophia the nice burp cloth. Andrea's sister makes these!

Eli loves the movie "Cars" so I got him a Baby Kachow (his name for Lightning McQueen) stocking. I got these sweet hair pins for each of the girls. Julie is making these to raise money for their adoption.
Somehow I didn't get a photo of Hannah's new stocking. She is very much loving horses these days so I got her a horse stocking in place of her princess one.

Lots of fun and more party time to come the next night!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For centuries, skeptics and seekers alike have pondered the star of Bethlehem. The Bible describes unusual or even impossible astronomical events at Christ's birth. Was it a miracle or mere myth? This compelling DVD - from producer Stephen McEveety ("The Passion of the Christ") - examines Scripture, ancient writings, indisputable astronomical facts and more. Learn nine specific features of the star recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, how it established a date for Jesus' birth and death . . . and its significance for you today!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Family comes!

Our daughter, Mindy, came home for the holidays a couple of weeks ago but had to return to Alabama to work.

Our son, Josh is a worship pastor and could not get away for Christmas Day, so his family came this past week. I think this was the first time our family had to do Christmas in shifts. We made the most of it. Had a wonderful time with Mindy and then this week too.

We went on walks...

celebrated Staci's birthday...
played games....

(sometimes it may have gotten out of hand!)
The cousins wearing "matchy" dresses
Grandma Lois read to Hannah and Eli.
And we celebrated Christmas. That will be on the next post.