Monday, December 26, 2011

reflective moments

A couple weeks ago when the whole family was gathered around the firepot in the backyard,
I began asking everyone to share about what's going on in their lives...
it was then that my 3 year old granddaughter Emolyn pipes up and says ~
"Mimi, how 'bout we relax and just look at the fire".

Well, on this day after Christmas, I'm reflecting on those hectic days leading up to Christmas...
and I'm wishing I had heeded my granddaughter's perceptive words...
taking those much-needed moments to relax in front of the woodstove... mindful of the sweet memories that I might be missing in the midst of all the chaos and distractions.

One of those sweet memories ~
spending the day with our dearest friend Ed. What a precious, loving, Godly man.
We had him sit at our dinner table over a bowl of split pea soup and tell us his life story ~ 80 years of success and sadness, joys and heartache, blessings and hope. 
We sat there in tears at times, especially as he retold the story of meeting his beloved wife Nancy over 50 years ago on a blind date... and of her painful passing 5 short years ago. Oh how he misses his dear Nancy.

Ed also came bearing gifts ~ his signature Beef Jerky is legendary among the men of our church! And this year he made 4 kinds of Beef Jerky ~ Cajan, teriyaki, chipotle mesquite and jalapeno! Randy could hardly wait to sample them as soon as Ed left... but had to humbly admit that the cajan proved almost a bit too much for him, and that's saying a lot!
Ed also had a gift for me ~ a vintage wooden Stanley level!! Oh my gosh, does he know me or what! I will cherish it forever and ever!

Our traditional Rice Night means gathering with friends, eating their traditional foods, sipping Tom & Jerry's ~ and the ultimate crowning moment ~ a bowl of Steve's Norwegian rice pudding topped with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Omg, you have no idea... euphoric.

I could hardly wait for Grace's hotter-than-heck sausage, my swedish meatballs wrapped in Barb's uffda-awesome lefse... and Michelle's mouth-watering Beef Wellington. And that's just naming a few of the many succulent dishes.

our son Shawn, Randy and his brother Don
I'm also thankful for our traditional night of caroling at Mamaw's, my husband's precious Mom. Have I told you that I have the best mother-in-law and that I love her dearly, and feel so deeply blessed to know that she stands in the gap as a faithful prayer warrior on our behalf every. single. day? Well, she is and I do and she does... every single day. She is truly a faithful friend and a steadfast, Godly woman. 

Aww, my favorite two Emolyn's in the whole world! 
I about cried when I saw this picture of the two Emolyn's experiencing the powerful spirit of music. I think it was during Randy's rendition of "Oh Holy Night".

I am half German (my Mom's side) and I have never tasted stollen bread... till this past week.
One of the preschool Mom's gave Kathy and I each a loaf of stollen bread made by her husband who is a head baker here in Phoenix. I'm telling you, this stuff is amazing! Oh, did I mention it's soaked in brandy? And I just may have singlehandedly finished off the entire loaf, after sharing only a few slices with a few select family members.

I hope and pray you had a memorable Merry Christmas and that you will take the time to reflect on moments that may have gotten buried in the chaos of the season. It will warm your heart.

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