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If you were dreaming of a white Christmas, your dream came true; barely. It was a nice treat to look outside and see the white stuff, beautifully, coming down on Christmas morning.
Our family had a wonderful Christmas Day together. How about you? There was no gift exchange, but we did share very tasty foods together. We spent the day eating and visiting; visiting and eating. I found time to make the praline cake recipe that I found the in the Missouri Ruralist. It turned out great. I even made homemade bread buns for the special meal. I haven’t done that in years. Those sharing the Christmas meal at our house were Jeane and Jerry Huff, Pam Shell, Bill Holland, and Maxine Lirley.
Maxine Lirley visited with James and Debbie Lirley, Jordan and Maddie for a while on Christmas Day. She also enjoyed getting to visit with three of her grandchildren, Jamie Boyd, Sara Whitaker and Michael Lirley and their respective families. Also present at the family gathering was Carl Whitaker, along with Marie Maggard, Darren Maggard, and Darrell Maggard and their family members.
Those attending the Christmas dinner at the Ozark Heart of the Hills Healthcare Center, as special guest of Willene Adams, Bob and Angie Adams and Maxine Lirley, were Howard Adams, Ralph and Barbadeen Laughlin, Jeane Huff and Mr. and Mrs. Gary Lirley. Other family members were invited, but they were unable to attend because of work obligations. The residents are always thrilled to have their families come and share a meal with them in their home.
Santa made a special effort to visit the Healthcare Center and bring gifts to all the residents during their Christmas party held on Dec.23. He brought smiles to all their faces as he roamed around the room, greeted each resident and even took time to pose with them for a photo.
Sharing in lots of food and fun, Christmas evening, in the home of Jerry and Jeane Huff were, David and Terenda Hampton, Jasper, Conner and Chandlin Nelson, Rex Hampton, Danny, Karri, Emma and Kate Hampton, and Jake Hampton. I understand that party didn’t break up until in the morning on Sunday.
Celebrating Christmas in the home of Jerry and Neva Maggard was their son and family, Jerry, Tattie and Zori Maggard. Jerry, Tattie and Zorie also enjoyed spending Christmas evening with Tattie’s mother, Georgia Maggard, and other family members. Tattie said that Zori was really enjoying the little kitchen outfit that she received as a Christmas present. This morning, Zori had sat her stuffed toy frog in the little highchair that is part of the little kitchen set, and was busy feeding it some Cheerios. I asked Tattie if she kept her camera ready to record these special moments. She told me that she did and that she also kept a diary of the new things that Zori did and the new words she spoke. Recording these special moments become more precious to one as years go by. I wish that I had taken the time to write more about my children than I did. I do have quite a few home movies and snap shots that we all enjoy viewing from time to time. Many of them are of family gatherings, especially at Christmas time.
Nikki and Adam Moreland and children, Noah and Abby, told me that they went to Adams parents for an early Christmas present exchange on Thursday. They spent Christmas Eve at home enjoying hot chocolate and cookies together. On Christmas morning, they enjoyed a traditional Christmas, pancake breakfast together, and then spent Christmas evening with Nikki’s mother, Georgia Maggard, along with other siblings and their families. She said that Abby loved playing with the Tinker Bell and the Baby Alive dolls that she got for Christmas, and that Noah was really enjoying his new Nerf gun. They both loved the Pillow Pets that they received as gifts. Seeing the smiles on children’s faces and watching them enjoy their new toys is a wonderful part of Christmas.
Ralph and Barbadeen Laughlin enjoyed sharing a meal with family members on Christmas Day.
I talked to Margi Gates on the phone. She and Pat drove to Grovespring, Mo. and spent Christmas Day with Pat’s sisters and other family members.
Les Eloise, Miranda and Elise Hallmark along with Vera Hallmark, Les’ mother, took part in a special Christmas gathering in the home of Les’ brother and family, Mike Hammon and children, Katie and Dalton. I asked Miranda Hallmark what part of Christmas she enjoyed the most. She said that she loved every part of it.
Stopping in for a surprise visit with Gary and Alice Lirley, one evening last week, was Bill Holland and Pam Shell.
Most of our congregation was present for Sunday Church services. Jake Hampton led the morning song service. Brother Jerry Huff welcomed everyone. Jeane Huff sang special music. Prayer request was for Jerry Maggard and for the Mark Degase family. Brother Les came through his Gall Bladder surgery just fine, and was ready and eager to preach God’s Word again. He thanked everyone for their prayers and phone calls during his ordeal.
The morning sermon was taken from Exodus 12. The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron telling them to instruct all the congregation of Israel to set aside a lamb or goat, without blemish, and at twilight, on the fourteenth day of that certain month, kill their chosen animal. Verse 7 goes on to give further, special instruction, “And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.” Verse 13 gives the reason for this instruction. “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
One important point that Brother Les drew from this Scripture was that just as the blood stains on every door post was evident to God of their belief and acceptance of his will, our acceptance of the gift of his Son, Jesus, according to John 3:16 in the Bible, is also very evident to him. As the words read in an old hymn that Christians love to sing, “When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.” God loves His children, but the application of the shed blood of Jesus over their heart’s door, where they invited him into their lives, must be evident before they can have Eternal Life with him. That’s what the Christmas Story is really all about. Jesus came to be that Sacrificial Lamb. Praise God for his gift to us. Please read Romans 10:9-13 for further instructions.
Well, the New Year will begin soon. We still have some Christmas goodies sitting around. Some of them will be eaten, some will go into the freezer and some will be given away, but come the first week in January, our family plans to return to our regular, lifestyle diet to lose the few pounds we gained during the holidays, and work toward our weight-loss goal. My husband lost 50 pounds last year and I lost 20. We need to lose that much more to have a healthier life. It will be hard, but going the other direction would be inflicting unnecessary pain and hardship on our lives. We do well with the Atkins diet, but each should choose a diet that agrees with their lifestyle and with foods they enjoy. Mostly, one should eat in moderation, chose the healthier foods and get plenty of exercise.
Take care, stay active and eat right this coming year. Our health is far more important than our wealth.