Saturday was spent puttering around the house, getting comfortable once again in our large home with the many people who reside here. We also spent a significant amount of time readying ourselves for the Christmas Ball that night, put on by a group who does English Country Line Dances in Salem and Rolla. Mum, Dad, Abby, Zeke, and I all went - we dressed up and had a wonderful time.
Sunday night, we had dinner with our friends Jan and Gary Bloom - an exciting, thrilling dinner of course - and then went over to Rolla Bible Church to see their annual Christmas program. I had been invited to go over to the Hickles' house afterward, and didn't think anything of it when Mark seemed to take a while to leave the church and head back to his house. We walked into their kitchen, and I noticed a cake on the table - before I had time to process why, my friends jumped out from all over and yelled, "Surprise!" And boy, was I surprised! My 18th birthday was celebrated in grand fashion that night, with cake, Apples to Apples, basketball (in the cold, with the girls watching like old times), and wonderful time with friends. What a perfect evening - and what wonderful friends I have!
Monday was another great night - our family went caroling at two nursing homes with the Hickles and Nisbetts. It's the first time I've ever been Christmas Caroling in four part harmony, and I must admit that I stayed silent a lot of the time, just so I could listen. Do you remember going caroling when you were a kid? If you're like me, everything was fine as long as you were singing - but then the adults insisted that you walk around and say hi to the old people. That was the worst! They smelled funny, and always wanted to hold your hand, and you never knew what to say to them, because they were complete strangers! Well, I've grown out of that - actually, that's the part I look forward to now. To see their faces light up when you walk over, and you're the one who reaches out for their hand. . . Definitely worth it. Try it sometime - maybe even not around Christmas, but just sometime when you're feeling down. After caroling, we had dinner at Hickles' and then played games for a while. Then, I went over to the Quakkelaars' house and played Santa Claus, wrapping up presents for their early Christmas celebration the next morning, while Mr. and Mrs. Q did some last minute shopping. It was fun to imagine those kids opening their gifts the next morning, and praying for each of them as I wrapped up their individual gifts.
Here are some random pictures from break so far:
Girls - stay away. I will fend you off with a fork.
This is me with my two little sisters.
Don't ask about the hair.
One got curls, the other got blond - me?
I'm stuck with straight and brown.
(Okay, I lied - the curls aren't natural, but still!)
Oh - and this here is Andy. My only older sibling.
I think he is helping Mum in the kitchen.
Or rather. . . not helping. Mum in the kitchen.
Then Tuesday morning - bright and early off to Georgia! (More on that to come. . .)