I, for some reason, am not able to find the cord that I need to transfer the video of Cole singing in church. So! A synopsis would be that he walked in with all of the kids and hung his head low the entire time. I, apparently finding the stage-mom within me, got his attention, telling him to ring his bell and sing. Instead of complying, he began yelling over the other kids, "Come on, Mom! Come on, Mom!" Laughing ensued, and I'm hoping other parents weren't disgruntled that Cole stole the show from their kids. I just sat there and thought, "Story of my life. He wouldn't think of coming to me - he wants me to make sure I come to him!" It was sweet though, and definitely a moment to remember! The girls got to make their debut as well, wearing little star halos on their heads and being carried in by beloved friends in the church. So sweet!
Our Christmas season was wonderful. It was the first time in my life that I was able to keep the real reason for the season in tact. What a difference that made in my celebration of Christ's birth! We spent Christmas morning opening our own family gifts and enjoying monkey bread with sparkling juice and then headed to Hastings to spend the rest of the day with my family. It was so fun, having my sister and Adam spend the night with AJ and my grandma came and stayed with us too. I loved it! We then traveled to Kent City to spend the rest of our time with Jake's family, his sister from Alabama in particular. It was so nice being reunited with family we barely get to see, but heartbreaking when we had to say goodbye again. Jake and I then went to our old church Sunday morning where it was so nice to see faces we haven't seen in quite a while, but people who we still love dearly. We spent that evening with our best friends, Derek and Katie. It just gave the feeling of home again and it was so nice to just be relaxed and ourselves. A huge blessing was having coffee the next day with two girls that I had in my small group when I was a youth leader in Kent City. What a joy to see how the Lord is working in their lives still and so humbling to be told that Katie and I have a part in that! It is a true gift when you can see how God uses you. All of this to say, we had a great holiday time! We were worn out by the time we arrived home, and it was a good feeling to walk into our house and have it all be so familiar and warm. We rang in the New Year by watching Pride and Prejudice (my favorite!) and doing nothing at all. No expectations, just being with each other. It was our best New Year's so far! (And I won't even mention how I dominated Monopoly the next day!) After all that has happened in our lives in 2008, we are excited for 2009 and what God will bring for us. I feel like it's a fresh start - a clean slate that I'm waiting for Him to write on and give us a new story to share for this year. Hopefully it won't be full of hospital stays or traumatic events that the last year had. But we know that it's in the Great Author's hand and we faithfully accept whatever He brings us. Thank you for keeping up with us throughout this last year and for all of your prayers and encouragement! We look forward to writing and sharing with you in 2009!Happy New Year!
Love, The Mannes
Love, The Mannes