HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR CHRISTMAS Christmas is long gone, but we thought we'd catch you up a bit on the last Marshall Reunion at the ole' cabin... Life here in "the holler" picked up the pace over the Holidays. Brad and Deborah and their seven children came to be with us this Christmas. We anticipated the Wells' arrival with great excitement. It was hard to believe it had been over five years since they had been at our place! We were anxious to meet their youngest daughter, Jennifer, who was now three years old. They arrived in town late Thursday evening the week before Christmas, after some confusion over directions...they were quite tired upon arrival, but in good spirits. We celebrated one of the little girls' birthday that evening, complete with a "motorhome" cake that Mom baked and decorated. Other family members were planning to be here the following week. Jon and Jess were to arrive Tuesday, and Ted and Sharon were expected on Wednesday. Monday evening, all of a sudden--in walked Matt and Julie--who had told no one but Dad and Mom about their coming! They had told us they wouldn't be able to make it this year since they had already gone to Florida with Julie's family for an early Christmas celebration. Boy, did they fool us. What a nice surprise! The house was full and there were lots of kids running hither and yon. We had one wild time one evening with a candle falling over and spilling wax all over the place, along with one of the kids falling over a picture frame and cutting his knee. Everyone survived, though. The kids loved the woods behind the cabin. They called it "Narnia" and spent many a happy day out-of-doors. We enjoyed having all sixteen of them here. Mealtimes were something like a daycare, but they had so much fun. Christmas Eve was special with a candlelight service at our church. There were carols and Scripture readings and it was nice to take a break and celebrate the real reason we were together. Christmas Day dawned and there were piles of gifts under the tree, with anxious children afoot. But the packages could not be opened before we had a quiet time of reading the Christmas story. It was sweet to hear the children taking their turn reading. Emeline, the youngest in attendance, kept walking back and forth and saying, "Bible, Bible". The meal took several hours to prepare, but everyone got in on the thrills of making the Holiday meal. The younger kids helped Papa with the fruit salad and others were busily engaged making various and sundry dishes. After the herculean task was over and the meal had been consumed, we spent the rest of the day relaxing, (of course!) resting, taking walks...just having a time. Another day we went to Canaan Valley, an hour or so from our house. It is known for its ski resorts, beautiful hiking trails, and state parks. We didn't have much time to spare, but we did have a contest pretending to "ski" or roll down a hill (depending on the age) and played a relay around a small area of grass. Doesn't take much to amuse us! That evening Dad, Mom, and the three ladies still at home went to sing and preach at a prison in Grafton. Brad, Deborah, and their youngest, Jennifer, came with us. Brad gave a great testimony and Deborah sang a solo. The rest also sang and Dad brought a message. Matt and Julie had to leave first, but the rest of the gang stayed over the weekend to be at our church. Pastor Cumberland and several other key people were sick, so Jonathan was asked to lead the kids' songs in Sunday School, Sharon played the organ, Jonathan and Jessica sang a duet, and Brad preached the main message. What a privilege to serve the Lord as a family! And that about wraps it up...another unbelievable Marshall Reunion.