Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008 ~ Happy Birthday, Jesus!!

What a wonderful Christmas we had!!! God is so good! The month was crazy, as usual, but so many of the busy activities were so sweet as we celebrated the birth of our Lord. We had wonderful, God honoring musicals at church. The children did a wonderful job as they presented, "God's Gift for Santa" that my dad actually wrote. It was especially neat for me to watch because I was in it originally when it premiered about 26 years ago! I know...I'm getting old!! Then our adult choir presented a musical entitled, "That Name...Jesus." It was one of my favorites that we have done. Very fun and worshipful music. It was also extra special because we combined with my mom and dad's choir from Woodstock Baptist Church in Jacksonville and performed it once there, and once at our church. I enjoyed getting to be a part of that with them. And Emily did a solo in it at our church and did a wonderful job!! Of course, we were very proud parents!!!

These are just a few of the things that occupied our busy month. Finally, on Christmas Eve we had one of my favorite services all year that is called, "Candles, Carols, and Communion." It is always such a sweet time as we come together as a body of believers and worship in song, scripture reading, and communion. Afterwards our sweet friends the Wise's and the Groves' invited us to join their family for a wonderful Christmas dinner. It is so special to have families that "adopt" you and treat you like their own when you can't always be with your own family. We are blessed with many that God has placed in our lives that truly are family to us, even if the relation is not by blood.

That night James totally surprised me with an unexpected gift while we were at their house. I opened it and to my surprise and shock their was an incredible camera inside. I mean a REALLY nice camera with 2 lenses and a huge book of instructions. (I have yet to have the time to read it yet!! :) So the rest of the night was spent at least figuring it out enough that I could use it the next morning.

Well, the next day was filled with celebrating with family and I think the pictures will tell the rest of the story since this story has gotten way too long!! :) I hope you all had a blessed Christmas too!!!

Our two kitty cat babies. They were the only ones still awake by the time I got my battery charged for my new toy!! I had to practice on someone!!

Emily's first shot of the morning!! "Wake up!!!"
She wanted mittens and a hat. Too bad it was almost 80 degrees that day!!
Florida Christmas!!

Tigger was so helpful in the gift opening activities!

Helpful again!!! Gotta love Tigger!

Emily's Vera Bradley backpack. She's wanted one for a long time!!!

Emily in utter amazement as she opened her big gift...Wii!!!!

Dana's turn!!! She was just happy with her little slinky and books!!

Daddy reading to us about Jesus' Birth

Dana and her slinky!!!

My grandmother, Bambi and all her girls. L to R Aunt Carolyne, Aunt Gwen, Bambi, Leanne (my mom), and the baby, Aunt Melanie

Lauren, Emily and Kala

Dana Woo

Daddy and Dana!!! So sweet!!!!

Mommy and Dana!! Precious!!

Me and my precious mom!!

The Hodges Fam! Jeannie, Leanne, Gene and Julie

James and Jeannie

Emily and Bambi!!! She found the hidden pickle ornament. Long story!

Bambi and the picture of my girls that we gave her!

Papa and Emily with his special reindeer toy!!!

Sweet Emily and her DS game from Aunt Julie and the girls

Yay!!! Wii Fit from Mamama and Papa!

James and his gator blanket from Papa! Go Gators!

Kala, Lauren and Aunt Julie resting on the couch!

Sweet Mamama!
Sweet Papa!
Dana in her new ball pit from Mamama and Papa! She loves it!

Little Dana!

Dana pounced on Papa while he was dozing!!!

Dana eating her foot that is wrapped around her back!!
I know...painful! It's a piece of cake for her!

Mom and I cracking up at a terrible rendition of "O, Holy Night." We listen to it every year and cry our make-up off laughing!!
Dana having fun!

Sisters!!!! Dana and Emily

Mommy and Emily playing tennis on the Wii! Hilarious!

James playing the Wii!

Universal Studios

We had the opportunity to go with our Middle Schoolers on their discipleship reward trip to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure. James and I both went so why James went to Islands of Adventure to ride all the rides and things that make me sick with the big kids, by dear friend Tessa and I got to take Dana and her little one, Hannah to Universal to do some more of the "little kid" stuff. And for those of you that know Dana you know why she loves to go there....that is where the "Barney" show is and we all know how much she LOVES Barney!!!

Emily and her friend Rachel on the way down.

Jeannie and Dana with Shrek. Yes..he is picking his nose.

Princess Dana!

Mommy and Dana on the fun teeter totter. Dana loved it!!

More fun on the teeter totter.

Rachel and Emily striking a pose!

"One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish!!"

Dana loved the ride. And some of us stayed dry!!!

Tessa and Hannah! So sweet!

Emily and her little buddy, Hannah! They love each other!!
Dana staring at the camera!
Barney LIVE!!! The girls' were watching intently!!
Hannah giving Baby Bop a hug!
Dana rubbing Barney's nose!!

Mommy and Dana with the whole Barney crew!! Barney, B.J. and Baby Bop!!

Dana patting B.J.

I think Dana wanted to take Baby Bop home with her!!

We finished the night watching the Macy's Day Parade at Universal!! Dana and Hannah both loved the parade even though it was freezing outside. They had a ball!!

Dana was sooooo excited!!!

Hannah's favorite part was catching the colorful paper confetti that shot out about 5 times during the parade!!

Still smiling!
Emily and Dana on the ride home! Shouldn't they be tired by now????