Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas with Caleb & Haley

What a gift today to have a few hours of Christmas while Caleb and Haley were with us!

Since they will spend the coming week with Haley's family in Bratislava, we made it Christmas at our house today, complete with stocking gifts for them.

I have an "in" with Santa who delivered early this year!

After returning from church, we had our traditional Christmas Eve meal of fajitas with all the trimmings, thanks to a long standing tradition that started 21 years ago in Germany with my sister-in-law, Kristi. (I really need to tell that story sometime...that deserves a blog post all its own!)

We then exchanged gifts, starting with an ornament to commemorate their first year of marriage.

Dave then loved surprising Haley with an oil painting done by a local artist. It's a view of the Beskydy Mountains where we live, her husband's childhood region! :)

While they opened presents, Kaylee got some lovin' from her girl!

It wouldn't be Christmas without Caleb getting some form of a flashlight! I don't remember why that tradition started, but it's been going since he was five years old when we first gave him one shaped like a whale. They've gotten a little more sophisticated as the years have gone by.

I had fun giving this gift to them.

Two and a half years ago, before they were even dating (though I suspected it would happen soon!), I bought this to give them someday after they married. It looked so much like them to me, and I just knew from the Lord that they were meant for each other so bought it in faith and with a prayer for their relationship.

I remember thinking at the time how fun it would be to pull it out for a Christmas present some day and tell them the story of how I'd bought it believing that one day they'd be married. It's been tucked away in my closet all this time waiting for that day.

It was fun to have today be "the" day!

Caleb then gave me a similar sentimental gift.

Three years ago he gave me three pictures for Christmas. One of Tyler, Claire and himself, creatively holding a different letter. Those three letters spelled out "JOY". It was such a special gift, and those pictures are on the wall in my kitchen.

At the time I remember saying, "Whenever you three marry, it would be fun to have three more "M, O and R". As in "More joy", which is how I knew I'd feel whenever God chose to bring mates to our children.

Today I got the first two of those letters, "M" and "O", held my precious daughter-in-laws. And it's true, I feel more joy for having them in my life.

I sure loved my sweet, thoughtful, sentimental gift!

Our afternoon Christmas celebration sped by, and soon it was time to head to the train station in Ostrava, but not before a quick picture out in front of our house to remember that they'd been here for 17 hours!

Oh how thankful my heart is tonight for God's goodness in uniting these two, and that we had a few sweet hours together today.

We'll see them again in a week!