We had a lovely Christmas! After all the shopping and wrapping, and Christmas cards sent out (okay, I caved this year - I didn't have enough time to make our cards, and so we went with a photo greeting card from Walgreens! It was so easy, I may have to give up making cards altogether!), we made our annual trek to Wisconsin. On Saturday, we drove up to Prairie Du Chien and celebrated the holidays with John's (Jared's dad) family. When we woke up the next morning, we were greeted with a rather hefty snowfall! We had a door in our hotel room that opened up to the parking lot, and the snow was a good 2 feet tall when we opened that door (see pic below!)! We were unsure how the roads were going to be (we had a 2.5 hours ahead of us to Lake Mills, WI), and after the guys scraped snow off our cars and shoveled a decent pathway for the cars, we decided to brave the winter roads (we're no wimps!)!
(4 generation pic - Jane, Grandma Uecker, Joshua, & Jared)
We made it to Lake Mills in a little over 3 hours, and were able to celebrate with Jane's family (even though the Packers didn't deliver our Christmas present!). It was good to see both Jared's grandmothers and to catch up with the extended families. Late Sunday afternoon, we drove back to Illinois. It took longer than expected because of the weather and other unforseen circumstances, like a semi hanging over the bridge which caused traffic to detour and take a different route!! We were very glad to arrive home, and back in our own comfy beds after a weekend of traveling! However, more food and festivities await...
Christmas Eve was spent in Elmhurst with the family. We opened lots of presents (it seemed like the tree exploded this year!), and enjoyed a wonderful lunch together. Jane started a tradition last year by making a birthday cake for Jesus. We sang "Happy Birthday" and of course, Joshua's job was to blow out the candles (he made good attempts, but Jared had to help him a little!). Matt and Anne left soon after, and the rest of us did what was usual after a big, hearty meal!
For the first time, we spent Christmas Day by ourselves. It was such a special day (equally special because we got to stay in our pajamas all day!). I made a pork roast for lunch, and we watched the Nativity Story in the afternoon. What a powerful movie - true story, too!! Thank you God for your son, Jesus!
Even though I miss caroling at my students' homes every Christmas, God has blessed us this year with many other meaningful memories:
- our neighbors were able to come with us to the Christmas Service at Willow
- we had a great Moms' Group Christmas Party, and we finally got to meet each other's hubbies (here's a pic of us moms and our kiddies!)
- we are so blessed to have friends who care about us
- it's Joshua's 2nd Christmas, and he's 19 months!
- Joshua is now in his big boy bed. We got him a toddler bed for Christmas, and he's transitioning well. We rearranged his room, and after taking down the crib, there's definitely more room for play. Besides all the gifts he received (he loves all the trucks and cars, and the puzzles, too!), we pray that he will come to know the true meaning of Christmas!
Happy new year!!