We spent an wonderful Thanksgiving with all our children and families in and out, here in Gilbert. Heaven truly is felt when your children are together. We played, we laughed, we ate, we shopped, we met up with cousins, and we loved. The ones from far away are always a light. I am so thankful for the effort each one makes to be here when they know they'll all be together. That is a complete blessing! Brothers and sisters have connections that no other can share.
Last Thursday night, Kate performed in a huge Christmas choir that performed at the Mesa Center of the Arts. She looked so grown up. I'm so glad she appreciates singing with a choir; especially at Christmas. When the music started and those children joined together to sing as choirs of angels, the tears popped out of nowhere. So profound!
Then (last Friday), Randy and I flew up to Orem to be with Julianne and family. Emmie and Peter had a piano recital, Julianne had an orchestra concert, and Emmie was in a Christmas musical in the city. The thrill it gives a couple of Grandparents to witness their own far away kids perform at Christmas! My eyes fill with uncontrollable tears at the sound of Christmas music anyway. But when it's your own! Well, let's just say, I can't wait until next year.
Julianne and Brenden were so gracious, even through rushing to get kids everywhere. They willingly took the time to pack us all in the car and drive to Salt Lake Saturday night (amid massive traffic and crowds), to walk on the grounds of Temple Square under the breathtaking Christmas lights. After this year, the temple will go under a reconstruction for four years, and the lights most likely won't be as wondrous. All with happy hearts, happy kids, and even a gelato stop in the middle of 30 degree weather! We appreciated the trip SO much! As Randy and I get older, simple things become more meaningful. This was a Christmas to remember. We got home last night in time for the beautiful Christmas Devotional from SLC.
This morning, I participated in a Light the World RS group at the nursing home. Carianne had volunteered she and I to play a duet (Jingle Bells). We sang and shared, wearing our Christmas colors to the hilt. A wonderful program was given in a spontaneous style, which made for sweeter. At the end, Maddie, Lettie, and Eliza sang "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" all decked in their Santa hats. Yay for sharing Christmas with united smiles, songs, and happiness.
Tonight I am headed to the Higley Center of Performing Arts to see Henry perform with his school. He loves to sing, too. Thank goodness for Christmas and the chances to Falalalala! And for children. And for grandchildren.
It's only December 9. I have enough Christmas in me to carry me through.
Our children will be spread apart for Christmas day. That's OK. We do see them a lot, which we are extremely thankful for. We'll be fine, especially with memories implanted so far.
I'll be busy wrapping and taping myself with their joyful gifts of music, especially the carols proclaiming His Holy birth. And drying my eyes when I think of their sweet angelic voices.