Christmas Celebrations

Once again, we had a full house for Christmas. Ted and Sharon Monsour (our fifth daughter and sister) made it in on Saturday before Christmas. We were supposed to be leaving for a meeting in Pennsylvania that afternoon...but when there's family there, you can't just run off, can you? We were still having troubles with our van, so we traded vehicles with Ted and Sharon--they took our Subaru and we used their van to make the four hour trip to Homer City, PA. Our friend, Rachel Bourque, was waiting for us when we arrived and heated up our supper. Later Pastor Albarding and his family came to see if we were settled into the church mission room alright. Besides being a bit tired, we were doing pretty good. The services at Victory Baptist Church the next day went well. Dad taught in Sunday School and we sang some. He preached again in the main service and in spite of our "Christmas blunders", we managed to get through our Christmas songs in one piece. Why is it that you only allowed to do Christmas songs about 4 or 5 times a year? It sure makes it hard to feel comfortable, much less relax. The church had a meal prepared which everyone partook of with gladness. It was starting to rain pretty hard as we packed up with the willing help of church members. Then it was back to Morgantown, West Viriginia, and the Faith Baptist Church. Pastor Bennie Moran is still inviting us back for a Christmas service most every year, even though it seems like someone is sick just about every time we go. Thankfully, we were spared that this time. (Although, the flu bug hit once before and Joanna fought a cold another time...sounding as quiet as a mouse.) Ted and Sharon and their two little kids joined us tonight. Teddy, two, is quite energetic. Adorable Emeline is just...adorable. We coaxed Sharon into singing with us in the service. Jessica also twisted Sharon's arm and made her play the offertory. (Of course, Sharon can do it blindfolded!) It was nice to have them with us that evening. It doesn't happen often. Jonathan and his wife, Jessica, and their kids, Johnny, Nate, Ben, Leanne, and Adrianna made it in on Christmas Eve. As well, Matt and his wife, Julie, and their two little boys, Timmy and Zachary arrived the same day. (Actually, they drove in a caravan.) The action really began then! With a total of 20 in the house, there wasn't a dull moment. But it's not really a Marshall get-together without lots of noise and activity. Dad's hard work on our new outside furnace paid off with a well-heated cabin, for which we were truly thankful. The kitchen was a beehive, toys were found in all open spaces, and the talk was lively. Many long walks were taken to old haunts around the holler. The best part was when we sat around the table, just reminiscing about the "old days" of traveling. How good God has been to us, and how privileged we have been to serve Him together! Sadly, everyone was gone before New Year's Eve. We had a crazy night of games and food at our pastor's house--then prayed in the New Year. We're back to our regularly scheduled program now--if there is such a thing around here! By the way, the van is now back in service. Except that today Dad found out that we need a new battery. What's new.....

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