well...the surprise went down.
it's now safe to say that we are sending warm wishes from iowa.
we surprised the kids yesterday and told them to pack their bags. we left yesterday evening and drove straight through the night. we surprised chad's sister and our nieces and nephew...with a little help from the brother-in-law, and then rang chad's mother's doorbell and surprised her. needless to say...it was fun.
the happenings of this christmas will have to wait to be told...or maybe even just tucked snug in my memory...to be kept with the many other non-told about christmases of my past. we will see. something tells me this week will make enough stories of its own.
i will tell you that my favorite memory from this christmas came at the midnight, christmas eve candle light service at my parent's baptist church. this was our first year to make this work with the kids...and it went down about like you'd expect. it had a little of a: The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever feel to it.
first of all...annslee insisted on holding her own candle. which anyone within a 5 mile radius would see that this is a bad idea. but she would not be deterred. and you can forget about "helping" her hold it.
i kept a close eye on that flame.
i used to be all thrilled about the candle light service as a kid. it was like stars flickering in a magical night sky.
this year i just kept thinking...
this is a lot of fire.
my favorite part of the service was when annslee swiped all of the communion from nearly EVERYONE in our row. she would sweetly walk up and stand in front of you...smile preciously...and just as you smiled back at her thinking about what an angel this child is...she would reach in and swipe your communion cracker right out of your hand. when she did it to colton...i nearly fell of the pew laughing. that child. i swear.
santa came and sipped his milk...ate his cookies...fed his reindeer...worked a little bit of the puzzle...and tucked his elf friends in tight.
it was a good night.
and...now i must go.
i'm pretty sure we have a snowman to build this afternoon.
warm wishes, friends.