Saturday, December 25, 2010

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH 2:30 AM and all is well!!!

We had our whole family Christmas tonight , all the kids and my mom, 2/3 of the local grandchildren and it was so much fun!!!!!!! I had a whole porkloin left over from Esther's wedding  and that was tonight's dinner meat. LOVE   smoked meat in mid December!! A departure from the standard  rice with every meal (although there was OF COURSE rice) was "Potatoes Supreme" one of our favorite potato dishes to go along. Photos are loading SO  slowly on my poor old computer so I'll share  a recipe instead. For a crowd of 20 use 3 bags of Ore-Ida frozend Potatoes O'Brien (with onion, pepper  and celery in the 'taters) 4 cans of Cream of Chickn soup, 1  1/2 containers of light sour cream. 2 cups of milk and 1 pound of shredded cheddar cheese. Grease a huge cake pan ( I use my three cake mix  size pan for this recipe), mix all ingredients together and spoon into the pan. Bake at 350  for 45-56 minutes or  until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. LEt sit for 15 minutes before serving. UBER  YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ( unless of course you are a non-dairy vegan........there is no vegan substitutions for this recipe ) With corn and rolls, and a mixed berry pie with ice cream for dessert, it was a Christmas dinner to remember!
Fun with the Secret Santa for sure as the Smith kiddos and spouses and Smith grandchildren exchanged gifts with each other lasted for a long time!! Everything from an  Airsoft gun and 10,000 bbs for said gun to an Aggravation board game to Gummy Bears, to beef jerky to deodorant, fancy Christmas stockings, and a fun fish-and-net bath toys from Daniel to his nephew Charlie and a soft fuzzy hat for Daniel from his big sister Esther made for a great exchange and a demonstration of individual imaginations at work!
Hannah and Jon gave me a new nut cracker for my ages -old collection and now in addition to my soldier in his camo-gear and my Uncle Sam, I have a Marine in full dress blues joining the traditional nut cracker soldiers. This nut cracker is my 38th. The talk of the evening was of course CHIGGER and Charlie's ongoing shock anddelight at receiving her. I'm pretty tickled that our WHOLE FAMILY  knew but no one spoiled the surprise! Work boots for Casey, a new heavy jacket for Esther, wonderful cologne for Hannah and Jon were mine and Charlie's gifts to our older chidren. Since Hannah and Esther  will be with their husbands' parents tomorrow for Christmas 2010, Smith Family Christmas was pretty heavily loaded in to Christmas Eve, and shortened by Esther and Casey having to drive 100+ miles to Casey's parents house tonight.  Christmas will be completed later today with Sopehak and Malachi and my mom again . We will read the Christmas story, sing carols and when my mom arrives for dinner later , more caroling and my last gift to her will be singing "Bethlehem Morning"  as she requested. I've been working all week; its been years since I've sung that song!
After everyone earlier tonight  left I still had stockings to stuff and distribute, and "stuff" to clean up so yes, here I am blogging at almost 3 AM. It was an awesome day, almost ever last minute thing that was supposed to arrive via  UPS/ Fed-Ex did arrive so no one is giftless . As we stop to remember that all the festivities started because of  a humble stable birth ( not even a home birth!!! a stable!!) and shepherds catching the overflow of joy from a heavenly host , the gifts and wrappings pale pathetically  in the REALITY of what God's Gift to us was. No big bows, no flashy paper or bells, but straw in a cave. No big bills incurred to give the gift but the canceling of the biggest debt possible. Its fun to give tanglible gifts ,  won't deny that, but if we would truly give as much thought to what GOD gave us as we do to what we are going to give each other, I suspect our walks with God would be closer ones. As I 've shopped and wrapped  I have really tried to shift my focus  and keep it on WHY I'm shopping in  November or December at all. Jesus, Jesus  JESUS
J E S US ....................no matter what else I do, what we do, all that matters for all eternity is what we do about the Gift of Eternal Life that God gave on on the day that  we celebrate as Christmas. I know that I have  confessed my sin and asked  God to wash away my sin,  and that I have received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, I know that God gave to me salvation and the promise of Eternal life though Jesus shed blood and resurrection from the dead...nothing that I did or could ever do  "earned"  my salvation, we can't ever "earn" redemption, but by believing that God sent Jesus as a baby  via  virgin birth  to be the final sacrifice for sin, we can be  given salvation. That's a gift we won't come close to understanding the fullness of until Jesus comes back to take His followers Home. I can't wait for THAT day! We celebrate that Messiah has come, but He came to come AGAIN and as big as Christmas is, as big as Easter is, THAT DAY will defy all description! Enjoy your Christmas day/weekend thoroughly as you ponder CHRISTMAS:  God's Gift in Christ's birth. Amazing love, how can it be !

1 comment:

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

:-)

AMAZING LOVE HOW CAN IT BE!??

Love you and wishing you all a very Merry CHRISTmas. So glad you were able to enjoy your family yesterday! Praying you got some sleep before the day begins!

HUGS!!!
Jill