Wekend Recap… From LAST Weekend

I love the Christmas season! Honestly, I do! But we move at the speed of light from one activity to the next, which leaves no time for sitting down and writing about those memories while they are actually happening. Since I have two little girls who are a bit under the weather today, which has caused us to stay home from church, I will take advantage of my time and catch up.
Last weekend was actually one of the BEST family weekends we have had in a long time. Because of several family Christmas happenings, both Jonathan’s and my parents were in town, along with Jonathan’s grandparents. Grandma and Papaw Hill are 88 and 90 years old, and have not traveled much over the last few years. However, they got a wild hair and decided to come to Birmingham for the weekend. What a fun surprise it was for us to have them come for a visit! We knew if we were ever going to get them to come back, we better show them a good time while they were here!
On Saturday morning while MA and I were at rehearsal for our church Christmas program, Jonathan took his grandparents for a ride through Birmingham, showing them all of “our” sights. They enjoyed seeing his office, our church, and they took a drive through some neighborhoods where they were blown away with the size of the houses! 

Saturday afternoon we went to the nursing home to have a Mills family Christmas with my precious grandmother. It was such a joy to be able to gather her family together to spend a great afternoon celebrating with her. Almost all of her grandchildren were able to be there. (We missed my brother’s family who live in Dallas and weren’t able to be there.)

Several of my grandmother’s siblings were able to join us, which she was so excited about. She is very close to her brothers and sisters, and she lights up when they come to visit.

Our rather large family came from all over to be here. My dad’s cousin John and his wife Elaine made the drive from Mentone, Alabama. It has been years since these cousins have gotten together, so it was nice to catch up with them and hear about Mentone. We will definitely be planning to spend some time in this beautiful little community very soon!
But the star of the day was my cousin Danielle’s new baby, Luke. He was born last week, and they stopped by on their way home from the hospital. Don’t worry… she didn’t bring him in to the party. Too risky for a little guy! She stayed in the car and we ran out to take a peek at him. He’s a cutie patootie, for sure!

Saturday night everyone came over to our house for a casual soup buffet dinner. It was one of the easiest dinners EVER, and it was a lot of fun. I prepared all the soups beforehand and warmed them for the party. We had Spicy Tomato Soup, Loaded Potato Soup and Santa Fe Soup. I added a fabulous new Greek Feta Salsa that my sister-in-law passed on to me, garlic bread and banana pudding (also made ahead of time), and I was good to go! I enjoyed getting to visit with everybody instead of being in the kitchen the whole time. We will definitely do that again!
Sunday morning, the Hill family all joined us for church. We weren’t sure how Grandma and Papaw would respond to the more rocking contemporary atmosphere at Shades Mountain since they are accustomed to a much more traditional worship style at FBC Meridian, but we were excited to have them join us. They were good sports, and I think they even enjoyed it!
Sunday afternoon, we all went back to church for our annual Christmas by Candlelight program. This is a HUGE production that our church does every year, and the children’s choir always has a part. Mary Anneliese sang with her choir and also was a part of an ensemble this year.
Once again, I was humbled by the fact the my girls get to be a part of a church that teaches them how to worship with their whole heart. Our music staff does not treat a  performance like this as a “performance”, but rather shows the kiddos that they are leading the audience to the throne of Christ. And they do it while helping them build relationships that will last a lifetime. These girls will one day be each other’s support and accountability to keep their lives clean before Christ. They will inspire and encourage each other to greater heights and depths in Him. Can I tell you how grateful I am for that?

Hope your Christmas festivities are well under way as we celebrate the birth of the King of Kings!

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