Our Christmas Day was fairly quiet. We had several parties leading up to it, but on Christmas Eve, we went to the early evening service and had a friend over for dinner. We intended on going to the midnight service but ended up falling asleep beforehand. We were disappointed to miss the late service, because it's always wonderful, but we were just too tired. In retrospect, we probably would have skipped a party we went to the night before. Lesson learned. We just can't pull off those kind of hours anymore.
Christmas Day was really nice. I woke up early(ish) and made breakfast and hot cocoa. I tried to patiently wait for Nich to wake up, but eventually, I had to nudge him awake. We opened stockings together while eating. We had intended on reading through the Christmas story in Matthew and Luke, but our pastor actually included it as part of the service on Christmas Eve, so we read "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" instead. It might have to become tradition. :~) We then opened gifts and headed over to Chris and Keri's for Christmas dinner. It was just five of us (Chris, Keri, Chris' brother Will, Nich and me), so it was quiet. We both miss our families a lot this time of year, but it was nice to be with friends. Nich and Chris have known each other since they were eleven or twelve, Nich lived with Chris' family for a while, they were in each others' weddings, etc. so they're pretty much family. :~)
For New Year's Eve, we both had to work, but afterward, we headed south to Peekskill to celebrate with our friends from Virginia, Dan and Nancy, and their adorable baby girl, Rebekah, who just turned one. Dan has family that lives in New York, so they come north once a year or so. It was a fun, loud, uproarious, rollicking good time. Karaoke brought out adventurous sides of both Nich and Dan that I had not expected. Nich sang the entirety of "Bohemian Rhapsody" BY HIMSELF. I would post pictures, but my laptop died, and Nich's doesn't have a port for the memory card.
I've applied to the substitute teacher registry again, so I'm waiting to hear back from them. I'm praying for sooner than later. I've also applied for a long-term substitute position for middle school French at Hudson Falls, but as I'm not certified in that area (I do have my undergrad degree in French lit. though), I'm not sure if they'll consider me. In the meantime, I've been working at Bath and Body Works in the mall, which has been fun, but definitely not enough hours or pay. I've also been keeping busy working on projects for all the babies! I do believe we are easing out of the season of life where everyone we know is getting married, and starting last year or so, everyone's having babies! :~) This keeps my hands busy, but my heart joyful.
Nich's still working at State Farm and hoping to possibly take a night class come summer at the local community college. It has been a slow journey for him, one that requires much patience and grace on both our parts toward the school. They dropped him from an entire semester's worth of courses by mistake without telling him or the professors, and he didn't find out until after the fact. So on record, it looks like he never took those courses, so he's missing 15 credit hours of courses. They're being very unhelpful in figuring it out, so a year and a half later, we're still trying to get someone to help us. This would be something we would appreciate prayer on.
We are thankful for good health throughout this busy season and for a safe home to live in and have shelter from all this snow we've been getting. We are also thankful for the ministries (teens and young adults) with which Abba has entrusted us, and we anticipate this new year to bring us much joy and growth through those. Nich continues to serve in men's group and as part of a focus group for our church, and I will be continuing in Tuesday night Bible study with a group of women.
I guess that's all for now. :~) If you have favorite memories from this past Christmas, please share! We still have our tree up (although our other decorations have been taken down), and Nich's still playing the Transiberian Orchestra in his car. We like to eeeeease out of the Christmas season.
"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner