This Christmas was by far, one of the best we have had in quite awhile! We were able to not only spend it away from the Army and the stresses of the Army, but also to be able to spend it with family for the first time in eight years was absolutely amazing! Since heading to Germany in early 2004, we have (sadly) spent every holiday away from family. This year, we were not only blessed to spend Christmas with Aunt Jeanette, Grandmama, Aunt Beverly, and Uncle Mike; we were also very fortunate to have Kevin's mom and dad spend the week before Christmas and Christmas day with us! We could not have asked for more, other than for my parents and both of our siblings (and now two nephews).
In the weeks before Christmas, the kids helped us to fill our house full of Christmas decorations. Nichols took it upon himself to decorate the tree one evening. Little did he know we had to redo it all because all the ornaments hung a tad bit too close to the ground.
Going into the second week of December, the five of us went to the college with Aunt Jeanette and helped her put up Scott's Christmas Tree and hang ornaments. The kids spent a lot of time running the sidewalk around the lake and admiring the other trees that had already been set up. For the past three years the college has allowed people to rent spaces for trees that are in memory of someone, or anything that the person chooses. For the past couple of years, Aunt Jeanette has placed Scott's tree from his apartment up in memory of the amazing life he lived. This Christmas marked three years and seven months since his death. If you have not followed our blog for long, I have written about his death on a few occasions. My cousin, Scott, lost his life May 25, 2008 (two days before his 26th birthday) when a drunk driver crossed the yellow line and killed my cousin on impact. In memory of him, his mom, my Aunt Jeanette, places his tree at the college for Christmas every year.
A couple weeks before Christmas, we celebrated Christmas at church with a "Hee-Haw" celebration. Fitting for out here, right? We weren't sure what to think at first, but all ended up having a wonderful time. Nic loved it because he was able to wear a "Cowboy" hat.
David and Terri arrived on Tuesday, real late, before Christmas with Kev's old John Deere riding lawnmower on a trailer, two leaf blowers, a weed eater, and a few other things as a surprise. Well, to say that we were surprised would be a full understatement. Kevin's eyes were filled with tears when he saw it all, just as mine were as I watched the expressions on his face.
Throughout the week, the kids found pure happiness and excitement in riding the lawnmower over our acre and a half property. While at the same time, it made all of realize how much they have all grown. In ways, it made me feel a bit sad as I realized the girls are far from babies now days. My how times have changed.
Throughout the week, Terri and ran all over Mena while she finished the Christmas shopping for her and David. It was much easier for Terri to finish things for the kids here versus in GA...especially since their truck was already loaded with goodies for the little Biddle's, as well as me and Kevin. Throughout the week, each one of the girls took a turn spending the night in the hotel with Grandpa and Grannie and having breakfast with them the following morning at Skyline Cafe in historic (downtown) Mena. Kevin and I have yet to eat there, but the four of them said it was fantastic and all enjoyed their meals!
On Christmas morning, David and Terri came over around seven in order to see the children wake up to Santa's gifts. The kids were enthusiastically surprised and overjoyed with their gifts. Each child received a bike, skateboard and small goodies placed around their bikes. We all spent a few hours taking turns opening gifts from everyone that was here, as well as family in Georgia and North Carolina. Thank to everyone that sent gifts!
Christmas afternoon, we ate Christmas Dinner at my Grandmother and Aunt's house. We opened gifts with everyone there and all enjoyed the family time we were blessed to have with one another.
To all that spent Christmas with our family, we thank you. Thank you for being here and for making our Christmas more than we could have imagined. We are immensely blessed to have each of you in our lives.
From our Family to Yours, we hope each and everyone had a wonderful Christmas!