Perfect day yesterday and headed for another one today...

Welcome to our home, now decorated for the Christmas holidays...come right on in...

As I type this right now it's a little after midnight and  I'm sitting on one of the swings on our back patio looking at three beautiful Christmas trees,  in front of a fire in the fireplace while my kiddos sit in the jacuzzi listening to "O Holy Night", laughing and talking.  Really, does it get better than this?  Don't think so!  Oh did I mention I'm wearing my Santa hat with leopard material?  And my leopard "Snuggie?"  Yep.  Here are some photos and a re-cap of our wonderful day yesterday with plans for today.  I'll be posting this after midnight so hereafter everything will refer to "yesterday".

Jordan makes the perfect cup of hot chocolate tonight (Ghirardelli) and takes a photo of it in front of my sugared fruit tree in the kitchen.

Another photo that he took...thought these were cool.

Maddie wanted to lay beside the dining room tree as we decorated it. You can see her big black scab completely fell off today and she is getting new skin. I know it looks bad, but trust me this is 200% better than what she was three weeks ago!!! Today is exactly three weeks after her accident, by the way and about 2 and 1/2 weeks since her operation. She is coming along so well.

Here's my wonderful young man himself -- I got behind the camera this time and took his picture.  I am ever so grateful he has not gotten his call to leave for basic training yet and we have Thanksgiving and hopefully Christmas together.  (fingers crossed...)

This has shaped up to be the perfect Thanksgiving weekend.  I haven't had one like this in two years.  Several reasons for this, namely unavoidable pastoral expectations/responsibilities the last two years that cut into the weekend and took a whole lot of our family time away.  That was especially hard for me because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  (This had nothing to do with my Africa trips the past two years, by the way...I got back each time from Africa on Saturday night and Thanksgiving was the next Thursday, so that was not a factor.)  Sometimes other things happen that are unavoidable though. 

So this year the path was cleared and we basically had the perfect Thanksgiving.  All my children home at once (which doesn't happen as often with all our work, school/college schedules), and very special friends who are like family joining us, setting my tables just like I like and lots of great food and even better conversation and then yesterday it was time to do what I always do the day after Thanksgiving -- set up the house for  Christmas.   

This year we have seven Christmas trees.  If you are wondering why and have never heard me say why just go here.   This year we've added a tree in  mine and Larry's room.   You might have thought it was Christmas day as Savanna Rose came bounding in our room as soon as she woke up saying, "Get up!  Get up!  It's time to decorate the house!"  She was excited.  It took literally all day, til' about 10 pm to get seven trees set up, lit and decorated plus get out decorations like our Christmas village and other special things. 

At about 6 pm we were so hungry and Larry took a break from decorating to make spaghetti and Jake and Becca were with us for supper.  By the time we ate we were able to eat at the big table out by the main Christmas tree.   Later in the evening Larry lit a fire in the fireplace out on the patio and we had hot chocolate. 

Today is a very special day as well in that it's Larry's birthday.  Today he's going golfing with friends and then tonight we will have his family birthday celebration.   All the kids will be here and Larry asked me to make one of his favorite dinners as well as the prizewinning carrot cake I  made for him last year.  So I'll be busy in the kitchen today while he's golfing.  Becca and Savanna will be here to help and we'll have a relaxing girls afternoon followed by a fun family evening.

 I'll post photos of his birthday later, so check back!