Home for the Holidays

I am late in posting, and feel like I am behind!  After upgrading our computer, I was unable to access our blog to add to it!!
I finally figured out how to get in!  Yay for the non-techie getting tech savy!!

After being gone for four months in the fall, it was good to be home for the holidays……
We had a great Thanksgiving, including the traditional hike.  This year was to Stillhouse Falls.

We believe in starting the kids young!  DJ loved it and was very adventurous.

Paul and DJ chillin’ while waiting for the rest of the group

We even got a  current family picture!


We got home in time to be at Hailey’s baptism, performed by her daddy!

and took Hailey and Tegan and met up with Alicia, Bubba, Kayla and Brayden to see the movie, Frozen.   
We celebrated the December birthdays,

Nathan

Karyn 
DJ
  

Dottie


Hailey 

Ali


and enjoyed some Christmas programs;

Brentwood Baptist celebration, 

TubaChristmas, with 100 tubas of all shapes and sizes at the First Baptist Church in Nashville.  Nate and Chris joined us and the kids enjoyed the playground prior to the concert starting.

Dulcimer performance, along with a display of various Dulcimers Tennessee Music Boxes.  Dulcimers are musical string instruments made in all shapes and sizes, played on the lap.  It was a special display at the Tennessee State Museum.

We enjoyed Christmas traditions of tree decorating (with extra help this year!! 😉
and of course,
Gingerbread houses, done in shifts as people arrived!

While in NH, I found this loveable gingerbread couple on the side of the road with a “free” sign beside them.  They enjoyed the trip home, 


and added an extra welcome to our home.
New Years day brought sadness and tears when a dear friend, extended family member, co-grandpa, Bruce Johnson, died after a tragic fall.  
At his celebration service, it was confirmed others loved and appreciated him as we did. His death will forever leave a hole in many lives. We were reminded we are not promised tomorrow.
Looking back on 2013, we have had challenges and have been stretched.  We have learned lessons we did not necessarily realize we needed to learn, and God is still teaching us…. He is not finished with us yet. 
We arrived at our January project a few days late, and “hit the ground” working.  While at Wilderness Ridge Camp at Smithville, Texas, we attended service at the Cowboy Church on Sundays, just a few miles from the camp.   They start their service with the song “I’ll Fly Away”.  We looked at each other, both thinking of Bruce “Flying up” after falling! The message was another reminder to spend time in the Word, and stand up for our faith in the year to come.  Then they close with “Happy Trails” (Roy Rogers and Dale Evans theme song)!  No matter where we worship on our trips, we have been blessed with the fellowship of other believers.  This was no exception….we had a refreshing time of worship and fellowship!