Today is Boxing Day and is “lounge around” day. We have had an amazing Christmas and it has been absolutely wonderful to spend it with our family together and Jesika’s parents as well.

On arriving on December 23rd, my sister, Doris, and her family, with the exception of David and Jocelyn, came over and we exchanged the gifts we had for one another. It was a great evening with much laughter and fun. Family is so important and it was great to be able to spend some time with one of my siblings and her family. We are heading out to Langley, B.C. on December 30th where we will connect with my sister and brother’s families. Looking forward to that as well.

Christmas Eve was great as all of us went to the Christmas Eve Service at to Westspring Free Methodist Church (once known as Calgary FMC) where Rob Van Norman is the pastor…it was a wonderful service with lots of singing Christmas carols and a good talk by Rob. They had a Christmas Quizz on the screen before the service and it is amazing to see how we have put so many extras into the Christmas Story and which events are actually recorded in the Scriptures. Jesika and I laughed as we sang the Christmas Carols as so much of what we sang was all added on to the Christmas Story. Nothing wrong with embellishing the surroundings of the story…we can all use our imagination to fill in the blanks…a tradition we had in our family as our kids grew up was that we could each pick our favorite food and that would be our menu for Christmas Eve…so that’s what we did this year…Matt and Tamara stayed home from the Christmas Eve service and Matt put together this amazing dinner…enchiladas, cabbage rolls, pergoies, greek salad, farmer sausage and lots of baking for dessert. We then opened one gift which, of course, were new pyjamas, to be worn on Christmas morning to open our stockings and then our gifts…we ended up playing Trivial Pursuit (which we received from Jordon and Wendy Cooper for Christmas) until the early hours of the morning…it was funny as the game was based on all USA information so alot of it we didn’t know…Tamara, Daniel, Jesika, Matt and I played and Jerry and Kathie sat out…but in the end they were our friends and knew more of the answers than those of us who were playing…isn’t that always the way it works!!!

Christmas Day was awesome…we didn’t get up early but finally around 9 we began to open our stockings. It was great fun as we all took turns going through our stockings. Daniel, Kathie and Jesika made each of us a stocking which connected the who we are as people…it was so funny…mine was in the shape of a high heeled boot with fur on the top…Matt was made from his old hockey quilt…Tamara’s was made into a high fashion boot with a ankle bracelet…it was great! We then took the rest of the mornig to open our gifts…my goodness there were gifts under the tree…lots of great gifts…lots of new books to read…a new purse from Tamara…gym membership for Jerry for the year…ipod for Matt and Jesika from Tamara…new cell phone for Jerry from Tamara…even Niko and Griffin received gifts…treats for when they listen and obey Matt…and much much more. I am really excited about the books I received from Matt and Jesika, Daniel, Jordon and Wendy, and Jerry…some of them are “The Lions of Al-Rassan” by Guy Gavriel (a great novel from Matt and Jesika); “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova from Daniel; “The World is Flat” by Thomas L. Friedman from Jerry; “Germs, Guns and Steel” by Jared Diamond from Jordon and Wendy. I am reading “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson, received for my birthday from Alyson Hamm; Jerry and I also got slippers from Dwight and Joanne and Jerry received a huge calculator so he can see the numbers to calculate what he will need for retirement…I also got another “Matilda” plant ornament…

We had an outstanding Christmas dinner…Daniel put the turkey together…literally. Jerry and I brought a 20 pound turkey from Saskatoon…well when it came to carving the turkey…Jesika called and said…come and see what is inside the turkey…well what Daniel had done for stuffing was…inside the cavity of the turkey he put in a duck…and inside the duck he put a cornish hen…and inside the cornish hen…he put cranberry stuffing…everything turned out just succulent…all the meat was so tender you could cut it with a fork…Daniel had read about someone doing this and said if the turkey we brought was large enough he would give it a try…it was amazing…Jesika did a great job of carving all three birds…we also had mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, creamed corn, carrots, dressing, and of course, cornish hen, duck and turkey…together with some awesome wine…it was great!

Anyway, this afternoon we are going to see “The lion, the witch and the wardrobe” matinee and then off for dinner at Chianti’s to celebrate Kathie’s birthday that happens tomorrow. Daniel and Kathie leave for home early tomorrow morning…

We are hoping to celebrate my niece Heather’s birthday on the 28th and then head out to Edmonton to see Christa and Rod for the day…so far the holiday has been great…no asthma or allergies from the dogs…Matt and Jesika purchased an air filter which has really helped…

I have come across some words in the book “Gilead” which I have never seen before…one of them is “crepusular”…another one was “susurrus”…fun finding out what they mean…learning something new every day! That’s what life is all about isn’t it…learning!!!

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