Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  I have to say that Christmas this year was a busy one for us!  Between parties, shopping, Christmas light-looking, present-wrapping, caroling, driving up and down the mountain more times that I can count, church programs, Christmas cards, Hallmark movies, trips to family and friends...whew -- are you tired?  But in all honesty, I LOVE this time of year.  I thrive on the energy of other people.
  I was able to stop and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.  I was able to sing a few of my favorite songs at our church and help with directing the choir - it was a blessing!  The programs and preaching that I heard touched my heart - ever-reminding me of the REAL meaning of Christmas!
  We had our family time with opening presents at our own home on Christmas Eve.  That was a first for us.  We usually wait until Christmas morning to open presents, but we had a family get-together, so we had to change it up.  I found that this past year I have had a lot of changing it up.  Being patient and flexible!  Boy -- I have a lot to learn in that area of being patient!  But, in any case, that was so fun to spend time shopping with the children and then wrap the presents.
  We took a trip up to my parents' home in High Point, NC - my hometown!  I LOVE coming up here.  I have so many fun memories of just my own childhood that come flooding back when I am there.  One of my fond memories is of going to the movies over the holiday.  Well, this year a new Star Wars movie was out over the holidays.  We took time to go tonight as a family.
  Many of you know our Sullivan has challenges.  He is not really where he can control the volume of his voice - if he wants to yell, he does.  My mom offered to take him out in the waiting room and watch him while I got to watch the movie - that is the kind of Grandma I want to be -- our children are so blessed to have the two awesome Grandmas they have in their lives!!  In any case I had a blast from the past when I sat in the theater and watched those wonderful yellow words scroll down the black background - hearing that famous Star Wars music as we read of the new story unfolding in this famous saga!  YES -- I LOVE Star Wars! It did not disappoint!  Can't wait until the other ones come out!
  When we were done, Mom, Siler, Seth, and I went to Tanglewood Park to see the lights -- they are so beautiful!  Everyone needs to go to see this at some point in their life!  Although I will have to say at some point if you have young people with you, you will hear the ever-famous phrase -- "Are we done yet?"  My mom and I never tire of seeing the lights.  It isn't just the presents and trees and snowflakes and bells and snowmen, but there is also the Nativity Scene.  It is just another reminder of why we celebrate.  Heaven's Greatest Gift came down to us.
  As this New Year has started - I can't believe that tomorrow will be day 2 of 2016! - let us ever hold dear in our hearts all year the reason that Jesus came to Earth.  He came to live a perfect life, to die a horrible death, to victoriously rise again, to one glorious day COME and take His people home!  That is me and, Lord-willing, you, too!  If you have never taken time to think about Jesus, this is a wonderful time.  Start your year with a fresh, clean heart!  I am so excited to see what this year is going to bring!
  I am ending with one of my favorite Christmas songs (since I didn't get my December entry!) Mary, Did You Know.

Thank you for reading my little thoughts.  It is always meant to bless and lift you up!

Blessings for this New Year and my the Lord keep His hand upon you in all of your comings and goings!

Love, {{hugs}}, and Blessings!


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