Y'all, I have not fallen off the face of the Earth, I just needed some time to process in my head and heart all that went on on my trip and also spend some much needed just-family time with my hubby and girls. I hope you understand, you seem like an understanding bunch ;), and I will be back to posting more regularly. Sometimes I just need a break from the blog/facebook/email world, ya know? And especially after the trip, I needed to re-group a little since the world did not stop spinning for me and I had to jump right back into mom/school/work/life duties-how rude of that world! But, I am getting VERY excited about the holidays coming up and really looking forward to the time with my family and friends, celebrating the millions of things for which I am thankful and also preparing to celebrate the reason for every single thing I am/have/do, the birth of my Savior!!!
So, to get things back rolling here on the blog, let's do a group discussion. What things are you looking forward to most this holiday season? Share them in the comments so we can all learn a little more about what this little Sheep flock does during Thanksgiving and Christmas and beyond and maybe get some fun ideas to add to our own holiday traditions! I will start with one that is weird and fun all at the same time: the last few years we have done, along with my sister's family (8 of them), a Mayflower dinner some time the week of Thanksgiving. We find an obnoxiously cramped and uncomfortable space (we have used a basement shop/tool room, an outside children's wooden playhouse, etc) and cram all 14 of us in there, much like the pilgrims were on the Mayflower (minus the barf from seasick folks and stink of various "functions"-we are not THAT committed to simulating reality) and we have dried beef and stale crackers and one year even had "ale" (gross!!!) for the kids to take a sip of since that is what they had on the ship as water was not available. Then we read the story of how the Pilgrims did this and more (one baby was even born aboard the Mayflower mid-journey!!), for a LONG time on a cramped ship going where they knew and had NOTHING, so they could come here to a new land where they could be free to worship the one True God. Funny how that part often gets lost in the stories of the Pilgrims and Indians and school plays-but the reason for their sacrifice and suffering was their commitment to honoring God's words in the Bible and not being forced to worship their earthly king. Many of them lost their lives and lost loved ones and suffered so dearly for the cost of religious freedom, so that I can sit here many many years later freely typing about the God I love. So, we laugh about our Mayflower dinner b/c it is weird and cramped and uncomfortable and the little ones cry and fuss and it is not really all that fun, honestly, and that is exactly the point. :) It is a very, very small taste of how it was for those first brave women and men and their families-I have nothing to complain about and so very much to be thankful for.
Ok, your turn-share your family traditions/jokes/things the holidays would be complete without in the comments! :)