Saturday noon we celebrated with Wendy’s mom’s (Vander Hart) family. We had a potluck in the basement of Grandma Vander Hart’s apartment building with the extended family. Of course, we ate waaaaaay too much. Wendy brought her key lime cheesecake! Wendy’s grandfather handcrafted a lot of toys for a local toy ministry that sends them to needy kids. Grandma had a bunch of the toys left and let the grandkids pick what they wanted. It was really cool. Wendy and the girls picked out a wooden tractor and a doll bed.
After lunch, it was back to our house for the Hall crew. We opened gifts and the had a chili supper. Wendy has been slaving away in the kitchen for over a week and it paid off. We had a spectacular meal and stuffed ourselves with her spritz cookies and chocolate truffles 🙂 After supper there was a heated guys vs. girls match of Trivial Pursuit (guys won!). Lots of laughs. Lots of joy. Just the way it should be.
Yesterday morning the four of us opened gifts and had a family breakfast. Then it was getting cleaned up and off to Des Moines to celebrate with the Vander Wells. Wendy brought chocolate mint cheesecake along with the truffles and cookes. Tim had baked Figure 8 cookies and mom had cinnamon rolls and russian tea cookies. Oh my lord, it was a wonder they didn’t have to roll us home! We had a wonderful lunch and then opened gifts. Tim and his girlfriend bought the four of us the game "cranium" so the whole family got together to play through the late afternoon. Before we left for home, the family gathered to lay hands on Taylor and pray for her trip to Panama.
What capped the day off for me was getting unexpected e-mails and phone calls from friends and family wishing us a Merry Christmas.
Family. Friends. Food. Fun. Laughter. Joy.
It was a great Christmas.