11. We had really good flights. Both of our flights arrived early, due to strong winds pushing us along. I didn't lose any luggage this time, and we didn't have to go through the full body scanners or be patted down!
|At the Denver airport.|
|South African Flag. I made two of these.|
|A green elephant. The date is on the back. I don't know why Blogger likes to put my pictures up sideways.|
|A gray elephant.|
14. We had wonderful time staying with my sister, brother-in-law and niece the first night we were back.
|She loves her citrus!|
15. Brian and I really enjoyed celebrating Christmas with my Dad's side of the family. Everything was taken care of for us: our hotel room, and Nana and Papa even put in white elephant gifts for us.
16. Our hotel room had a hot tub!!!
17. From the white elephant gift exchange, I chose three heirloom ornaments.
18. The next morning, we were supposed to get up early and drive to Brian's parents' home for the traditional Christmas Eve celebration. We had arranged for my family to bring two cars so that we'd have something to drive. They forgot. Thankfully, my uncle offered to give us a ride to Des Moines, and Brian's grandma agreed to let us drive her car to my in-laws'. So although we had an extra hour and a half of driving, we made it back!
|The view from the dining room|
|Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree|
|Our somewhat matching Christmas socks.|
20. Most of our gifts arrived in time for Christmas Eve!
21. By buying flower pins from the Mercy House Shop, we supported the maternity home and give lovely gifts that my sisters (and myself) really love.
22. By using the Food For the Hungry's web catalog, we gave gifts of hope by donating in honor of Brian's cousin, my brother-in-law, my in-laws, and my parents. We gave a total of four guinea pigs, vitamin A for children and pregnant women, and two chickens.
23. By using Voice of the Martyr's website, we donated for four Bibles to be sent to China in honor of my sisters-in-law.
24. Because you've taken advantage of DaySpring's After Christmas sales, I have $20 to donate to Food For the Hungry!
25. We had a wonderful two days with Brian's extended family in Des Moines.
26. Brian's sisters are home for the holidays!
27. We celebrated Christmas with my family last night.
28. It was a joy to hang out with my little brothers and help my mom in the kitchen. And play with my niece, of course!
29. My mom bought the most amazing present for Brian and me!
30. It snowed off and on through the weekend, making a perfect white Christmas!
31. I forgot to mention, while our flights were early, we did run into some trouble when someone took our suitcase, mistaking it for theirs! Thankfully, they realized their mistake a few hours later and brought it back!
32. In keeping with the family traditions, I have my own Christmas stockings now!
33. Usually, my immediate family opens presents with a free-for-all frenzy, everyone opening them at the same time. Brian's family and extended family always does it one person at a time, as does my brother-in-law's family. So even though some complained about how long it would take, for the first time my family tried it. I greatly prefer taking turns, because then everyone gets to enjoy the gifts.
|O Christmas Tree the 2nd|
|Ethan's holding all his presents at once|
|And so is Edward!|
34. I've sold four books through Amazon.com!
35. We've had safety through all of our traveling last weekend.
36. I asked for a stamp with fancy script, preferably unreadable and French, because I'd used one belonging to someone from church like that and it was so versatile. And I got the exact same stamp for Christmas!
37. Since we've been back, we've gotten Starbucks a few times. It's a special treat, especially the peppermint mocha!
38. We're only waiting for one more Christmas present to arrive in the mail. It's for my in-laws, and I ordered it a little late, but it shipped today and will probably be here soon.
39. Brian and I had a friend take a Christmas picture for us, now I just need to make it into a Christmas card!
40. Brian and I don't have anything really planned today, so we can finally relax after a very busy weekend!
I hope you had a very merry Christmas filled with joys and blessings!