Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008!

We have been having a wonderful celebration of Christmas at home as a family. We've often been gone traveling in years past, so it has been nice to stay home and have a quieter time.

On Christmas Eve we went to our church's candlelight family communion service and enjoyed a time of prayer and communion. Coming home, we occupied ourselves with various things while the parents finished wrapping their gifts. Following family tradition, we opened the gifts on Christmas Eve.

But first we needed to document the occasion! Yes, I know that I'm constantly thinking like a scrapbooker... Here's dear Dad and Mom.

The four of us children at home this Christmas. We're missing our other three siblings and their families, but we do have a fun time together, playing at least one game each day!

We drew names this year so that each sibling bought for another sibling and a nibling (niece or nephew). I miss picking out gifts for everyone, but there are now 20 in our immediate family, so it's more time and cost effective to do it this way.

The parents gave Lydia and Elijah tool sets so that they will be able to fix their cars or other things should they have the need.

Daddy knows that I'm not as mechanically-minded, although I could probably learn if I took the time to, so he gave me something else in case my car breaks down. Laughingly I unwrapped a box of rocks, a sign reading "Fair Damsel in Distress" and a purse with these instructions: Fill the purse with the rocks and store with sign in car. Should you have car trouble, stand outside of car out of the way of traffic, holding the sign and carrying the purse on your shoulder. If someone should stop who is a less-savory character, use the purse on him as demonstrated in "The gods must be Crazy II." (A hilarious movie set in Africa, in which a woman knocks out guys who are trying to hold her captive with her purse that contained rocks she'd picked up earlier). In the picture, I am demonstrating what it would look like. Realistically, I shouldn't ever have to do this, as I do have a cell phone to call for help. However, I'll stash these in my car just in case! =)

I arose at 7 a.m. this morning, Christmas day, to fix a feast for breakfast. After my personal devotions and a flurry of cooking, we sat down as a family to enjoy cinnamon rolls, bacon, and fruit salad. Delicious! We then had family devotions in which we played instruments and sang Christmas carols and took turns reading parts of the Christmas story, interspersed with singing.

After playing games - "Bible Challenge" and "Chronology" - we ate lunch and then set out for the horse barn.

For years, Jubilee has wanted a horse of her own, as have her sisters before her. However, a horse is just too expensive for my dad to agree to maintain! Last year to her delight, however, our neighbors got two horses and said that Jubilee could ride them any time and help take care of them. It is her dream come true! They are now boarding them at a stable a 10-minute drive from our house, and Jubilee and Dad go every day to feed them, and often take them out to ride. Today, we all decided to go along!

Elijah rode Autumn Cloud first

Lydia enjoyed riding Alabama Blue, who is the smoother and more obedient of the two!

I alternately rode each of the horses, but Alabama Blue was the most comfortable. Though I am no where near as horse-crazy as Jubilee, I do enjoy riding them when I get the opportunity!

It was a nice day, with temperatures in the 60s. Though things are more barren in the winter, it still is nice to get outdoors.

We went for a walk in the field, down to see the creek. It was fun just to be together!

We then headed back to the barn, brushed down the horses and fed them. I couldn't resist climbing on the hay bales. =)

While the horses ate, we threw a frisbee and enjoyed watching and petting the kid goats that are also in the barn. Animals are a lot of work, but fun!

As I type, the curry sauce for dinner is simmering. I look forward to another evening enjoying family! Throughout this season, I am continually thankful for our awesome Savior Who descended to earth so many years ago. He is the reason why we celebrate!


sydney said...

We drew names out of a hat in our family too...for the same reasons. Big family, more cost-effective. ;-)

I love horse-back riding. My younger sister is also the big horse nut in our family! Looks like so much fun. Just out of curiosity, what is the weather like there...temperature-wise. It looks pretty cold.

Merry be-lated Christmas and Happy New Year to y'all! :-)


sydney said...

P.S. I got a chuckle out of your present, Anna. Very you, methinks!

Ella said...

It's good that you document your Christmas. I ought to....but I don't!

Do you have any idea how surprising it was to see you in pants?!

At least some of you were together on Christmas!

Jenna said...

We draw names for gifts too! It is very true that it gets way to expensive...

Merry Christmas (a little late)


Abigail @ Pearls and Diamonds said...

Hi Anna,

Thanks for stopping by Pearls and Diamonds...we'd love to hear your thoughts on the follow-up to Mary's story, as well, if you get the chance!

And we'd love to have you consider joining our blogroll:

Blessings in this lovely season!

Abigail @ Pearls and Diamonds

Anna Naomi said...

Sydney: The temperatures have gone up and down. That day it was in the 60s. The days surrounding it, it was in the 70s. The temperatures have gone down a little this week, with it mainly in the 50s.

Ella: Well, horse riding is one thing that it is smart to wear pants to do! There are riding skirts or culloutes that would be fine, but I don't have any, so I donned my rare pair of pants.

Abigail: Thanks for stopping by! I'm off to read your post!

Larissa Q said...

I enjoyed your description of your present! I also think that Autumn Cloud did not look happy in that first picture! Great interesting post of your family being a family - an important witness to the world in a time when there are so many broken or dysfunctional families out there.
God Bless.