So, every January needs a blog post about how the holidays went, dontcha think?
We went to our church for Christmas Eve service, and we were blessed by the service and being among God’s people. Then, we spent Christmas Day at home in St Louis. It was a nice relaxing day at home. If you didn’t see my last post with photos of our offspring on Christmas Day, you should go take a peek.
On December 26, we were planning to drive a rental van to Dallas for the week, but thanks to Budget rent-a-car, the van we reserved 6 weeks prior to the rental date was unavailable. Plan B: we drove our two cars to Dallas, convoy style. We didn’t have CBs, but we did have cell phones. We got off to a late start because of the rental issue, and then we learned that Mark’s dad had the stomach flu, so we took the long way to Dallas and stopped at a hotel in Joplin for the night and stayed until check-out time. We arrived in Dallas at about 8:00 on 12/27.
Cousins — Dressing up
Evangeline with Granddaddy & Sasha, the cousins’ new dog
All the cousins
Mark & Nevin, aka the sick one
At church on 12/28, our almost 10-year-old niece threw-up, thus putting off the joint family Christmas celebration. We settled on Tuesday, 12/30, for our yuletide family meal and present exchange. But, the St Louis Hornes would not be outdone, and Nevin started hurling in the middle of the night before the slated celebration. After much discussion and debate, we decided to proceed with our plans. Nevin was able to keep down bland food and ginger ale, so while he didn’t have much fun, he came along with us to the cousins’ house. Once there, we enjoyed lovely Dallas weather with grilled steak on the deck of Mark’s brother’s home. The kids played outside most of the evening, and we exchanged our family gifts. Let just say it was a very Wii Christmas!
The Dallas visit was rounded out with my regular trek to IKEA, where I genuflected to my favorite furniture and kitchen cabinets. I also bought a few baubles. I also had the opportunity to use a gift card from Macy’s for some nice slacks, a winter blouse, and, as Charis calls it, a coach’s outfit. The kids ate out with the grandparents, we had one more lower-key family meal at the cousins that included Mark’s cousin, his wife, and their two sons, and Evangeline got to have a sleepover with her girl cousin. There was a lot of laying around, reading books, playing Scrabble, and, of course, we had to give the Wii its inaugural workout. Oh, and I started having a severe toothache.
The older girl cousins
When we left Dallas early Saturday morning (on our way to the gas station at 6:45, when our goal to leave was 6:30–not too bad), Mark’s Dad was suffering from a pretty bad cold. Our return to St Louis was uneventful–thankfully. We had remnants of Nevin’s stomach flu and the beginning of Calvin’s to deal with, so we stopped at more bathrooms than we would prefer. However, this was a remarkable trip as no one threw-up in either vehicle on our way there or home. When we arrived home on Saturday, our happy dog greeted us after being visited daily during our absence by a couple friends in town. By Sunday, Nevin had a relapse of stomach flu, and Calvin’s symptoms had developed into a full-fledged case. My toothache had also became something that could no longer be ignored, so Mark was the only one who attended church on Sunday. On Monday, I found a dentist who pulled 2 teeth from my mouth. Now I am sitting at my dining room table writing this blog post with the left side of my face swollen.
I could refer to this Christmas as the rental car fraud–stomach flu–change of plans–toothache–bad cold holiday. But despite all the drama, it was a really relaxing and pleasant break. It is a blessing to have biological family members who trust in Christ for their salvation and for every good thing they enjoy. It was a blessing to put aside some of the trials of the past several months and just enjoy some relaxation. So, I think I’ll refer to this Christmas break as: “The God is Faithful and Knows When I Need a Break Christmas.”