Christmas was so different for us this year. We began our move to Groom, Tx on December 19. We only moved the things we had with us in David & Lindsey's house. The rest is in storage and will come later. So we're living bare bones in the parsonage at this point--but we really wanted to be here sooner rather than later. So...no Christmas decorations. And I delivered all of my gifts to my mom's house in Pampa where we all planned to meet on Christmas day.
Zach & Shanna called us and told us they were coming on Christmas Eve to our candlelighting service. They were going to surprise us, but they didn't know what time it started. So they gave us a call and I was able to cook supper for them. As we were dishing up food, Matt rang the doorbell and walked in the door! We were definitely surprised!!
Shanna got a photo of all of us with the timer on her phone before we walked over to the church. The parsonage is right next door to the church.
Dax with two balls he found to hold.
As we were getting seated, my mom, my sister and her family all walked in! I was so surprised!
Teri Williams (Chris Coffman's sister) from Pampa also showed up! She said Chris had told her he drove more than 30 minutes to his church...so she could drive to Groom. Their grandmother helped build this church in Groom. It's such a small world!
Before the service started, my brother, Gary and his wife, Amy, walked in--from Amarillo. It was so special having my family with me on our first Christmas Eve in Groom.
The praise team did an amazing job. We sang 4 Christmas carols together and then they sang, O Holy Night. It was awesome!
It was also my first time to play piano at our new church. (Matt caught me in action)
Barbie Bowen read The Tale of Three Trees to the children. Dax joined them on stage (his back is to me in this photo in the gray jacket)--holding two balls he'd been playing with. He sat so still and really listened. He told me what the story was about later. "Trees...and Jesus."
Andy gave a gift to Garrett--a young man who is truly a servant in our church. His message was that we have to receive the gift of Jesus in order to actually have Him.
And then we had the candlelighting. Andy started with his one candle and it grew as each person passed the light until the church was full of light. It was so special. After the service and after we had hugged necks and wished everyone a "Merry Christmas", my family joined us at the parsonage. Mom had cooked and brought supper for everyone and we sat on our few folding chairs and enjoyed one another.
This is the beautiful scenery we saw as we drove from Groom to Pampa on Christmas morning. It was amazing!
Mom's tree was loaded with gifts!
Dax found Granny's train and was perfectly content playing with it by himself.
Gus took a nap on Granny's water bed. I think his mommy had to wake him up a couple of hours later to eat. That bed has kept many a child asleep through the years!
We have a Sanders tradition of letting the kids open their gifts first and then going around the circle and opening gifts one at a time. (It's a lengthy process!) Ryan, Addie & Benjamin were elected to hand out the presents this year.
This was the first kid to open a gift. Uncle Matt gave Dax this drum. He immediately put it on and never took it off. We asked him, "Dax, do you want to open another gift?" "No," he said.
My mom is in the center of the photo. She wins the trophy for the holiday! She worked like a horse to cook for all of us and make the day so special! (Although my sister contributed a lot!) Andy's mom is to the right in the photo.
Both my mother-in-law and Sandra's mother-in-law joined us and were a part of the day.
Addie wanted a Jesse doll for Christmas. Her other grandmother got Addie the cowgirl hat. What a perfect match!! Ryan & Benjamin were playing hard all afternoon and I missed getting a photo of them.
My sister & I had recently hit the antique stores in Pampa. I had admired these glasses (looked at them twice!) and told her I wanted to start collecting 1940-1950's drinking glasses. She surprised me with these!! I was so excited!
My mom got me this enamel covered cast iron pot. I love it! And it was so needed since my pots and pans are in storage.
David sent us all this photo Christmas night. Our last Christmas for our family to own 512 Crockett, Borger, TX. He & Lindsey are selling the home to buy a farm between Borger & Fritch--which is their dream-come-true! This house has served our family well for the past 21 years. I love this house and it's so full of Dietz memories. I'm hoping a sweet family fills it again.
What a blessed Christmas...and how blessed I am.