We've had a great Christmas break so far, especially given the fact that we haven't had any extra money to do "Christmas" the way we used to do it. Careful budgeting has meant no Christmas presents, no tree, no special holiday treats, no time to rest . . . or at least that was what it was supposed to be. Instead, God blessed us anyway.
One of the Sunday School classes from our church gave us a Publix gift card to buy a pre-cooked holiday Christmas dinner. So we got some wonderful food and invited a family (whose father/husband is off in Iraq) to join us in eating in on Christmas Eve. It was a lovely time. It was also handy in that we scrubbed the house relatively clean because company was coming. Keith even cleaned off the tops of the kitchen cabinets which had been cluttery for literally YEARS! This made me very happy!
Then, Christmas morning, we opened up gifts. We had gifts from our a group in our own Sunday School class, gifts from an organization that works in conjunction with Keva's school, and gifts from Keri Lynn who makes enough money from babysitting to feed a third world country. On top of that, Kathleen and Kylie got some extra-special gifts from Erin's family -- I'll post pictures soon and you can see for yourselves.
One of the volunteers that delivered the gifts from Keva's school also came with nice "gently" used clothing for all of us, plus a whole box of meat that kept our grocery bill down considerably! We've seriously enjoyed pork chops, ground beef and chicken breasts. And turkey. We got a turkey from the church for Thanksgiving, a turkey breast from our Sunday School class group, and a turkey from the lady who brought us the other meat. This has made Keith obsessively happy!
I was heartily surprised by a gift from Keith -- a camera to replace the camera that was stolen this summer in California. I have taken a hundred pictures at least already and will post pictures on the blog and on Facebook ad naseum as soon as Keith gets the camera software going on the computer.
Late into Christmas Day, one of the men from our church came by with a gift card for Wal-Mart. Keith nearly immediately marched Kristofer on down to buy him a Sunday suit, belts, dress shoes, etc. Kristofer used to be the "orphan" child on Sundays, but now he's looking might fine! And Keith just doesn't understand why women actually enjoy shopping for clothes!
Oh, and I can't forget last Sunday when I was sitting in our Sunday School class. Someone sitting next to me says, "Here, have this gift card for Kroger. I had this deal where I could get $30 at a time onto the card for free, but I hate going to Kroger." I said, Great!" (thinking it was about $30). Well, then, she goes on to say, "I get a little compulsive about this kind of stuff -- there's $330 on it.) Gulp. All I could say was, "Wow! Thanks!"
So much to be thankful for. Not the least of which is that I am back on the job again in January when school starts up again. I got the subbing job extended at least through January. The steady pay through December was VERY helpful. It's going to be a bit of a stretch going through the nearly three weeks of Christmas break, but all of the above blessings have made it a lot easier!
Thank You, Lord, for Your blessings and for Your servants who bless in such incredible ways! We are humbled.