Wednesday, December 23, 2009

25th Annual Eve Gathering

Thank you so much for your heartfelt comments about my Dad's passing. We feel your love and prayers more than you'll ever know.
We were grateful to find out that we didn't need to leave for Wisconsin till Christmas morning. That allows for us to spend Christmas Eve Day with our children here in Phoenix. Then Randy, Tyler & I will take off the next morning. We are well aware of the many snowstorms that are awaiting us. We are in for a couple wild travel days. We gave ourselves a little cushion in case we're delayed at all, but hoping to get there in 2 days. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we make our way across the country.

25 years ago Cindy, Stacey, Karen & I decided to gather our families together on Christmas Eve and thus began a tradition that we have honored every single year for the past 25 years. Only in the past few years have we decided to no longer celebrate on the actual Christmas Eve.

After that 1st year we decided to take an annual couch picture of our ever growing families. We each have 3 children and now with added spouses and grandchildren, you can see we have outgrown the couch.

Just for fun I thought I'd post one of our earlier couch pictures from 1990. Our youngest Tyler, happens to be the same age as our granddaughter's age this year. How cool is that!
Tyler is 2nd from the right sitting on the couch- Shawn & Miranda are seated in the middle of the couch.

Who would have thought 19 years later, I would be holding my 22 month grandbaby at our Eve gathering. God is so good.

Randy, Tyler & I can't imagine the below-freezing weather we are about to experience in Wisconsin in a few days... unlike our wonderful winter evenings here in Phoenix.

Look at our little Emolyn. She cracks me up!

She loves to do the motions to "My God is so great, so strong & so mighty...".

We always conclude our time together with the White Elephant gift exchange. Some of us spend months looking for the most unusual, unique, bizarre gift of all. And quite frankly I think I nailed it this year. This Bible-toting Bunny not only sings "Our God is an Awesome God" when you squeeze its hand, but its mouth moves and lights up in time to the music. Yes, unique but also rather creepy sounding. Emolyn adored the Bunny. Emolyn's Daddy got bobble-head Dwight.

Nights like these shared with loved ones have made it feel more like Christmas. And today I hope to fill our home with the scent of my gingerbread cut-out cookies. It's been hard to focus on Christmas when I'm so busy making plans to travel back home and all the while grieving my Dad's death. But I have never been more aware of God's hand on my life. Thank you all so much.


Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Dear Linda,
I am happy you were able to have a Christmas before leaving for Wisc. We have a big storm coming, you may have heard, so brace yourself for a lot of white stuff! I just heard a foot or more. I am worried about relatives getting to our house on Christmas Day~ I am so sorry about your Dad, Please know I am thinking of you and your family. Cindy

brandi said...

It's starting to thunder here. Thunder-snow!!! I will be praying for everyone traveling to Wisconsin!!!! Merry Christmas
Love Brandi

Laurie said...

Thanks for sharing the story and pics from your family/friends Christmas Eve gathering tradition! How great that you have all remained friends and in the area.

Emolynn kills me, she so cute and funny!

Safe travels.