Sunday, December 27, 2009

Family Time

I love this nativity scene carved in Kenya. My mother gave it to me many years ago, and when I set it up, I always remember how precious she was to me. She used to place small brass camels as well as various African animals around the manger of my family's scene. This year, Tim took a look at our own creche and mentioned that he didn't think there were any elephants at the stable in Bethlehem. Oh, why quibble about a few details? After all -- it's Christmas! The Palmer family Christmas of 2009 was warm, joyous, and blessed. We began by taking an Iraqi family to shop for things they needed. Our home church, First Baptist of Camdenton, Missouri, had sent us a generous gift gathered by the children who attended vacation Bible school there this past summer. Their gift also helped a family from Burundi to enjoy a Christmas blessing.
Then came the moment we'd been eagerly awaiting -- Geoffrey arrived from Nebraska! He's the production manager at an advertising agency in Omaha. His employer sent him a few days earlier than planned so he could shoot some commercials for a company in Atlanta. He looked wonderful and far too grown up.
The Christmas tree in the corner of our living room was a reminder of so many cherished family memories.
But there was much work, fun and general silliness ahead! One afternoon, Geoffrey and I decided to bathe both dogs. Tessie, eleven, is never happy about bath time. Before I knew it, Geoffrey had climbed into the tub to keep her calm.
After the baths, Tessie was cold and shivering. We dressed her up in one of my warm sweaters. Suki curled up beside her friend, and they both relaxed and fell asleep.
Another memorable moment came when Andrei brought home a jacket, neck warmer, and ear protector band given to him by a very sweet woman where he works. When he put on the ear band, this was the result.
The day before Christmas eve, we all went to Stone Mountain Park. It was gorgeous -- lit up and shimmering as beautiful music filled the air. We rode the train around the mountain, singing Christmas carols and listening to the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.Andrei was beside himself with joy when he discovered a patch of real snow! He misses Missouri, and we are already planning another trip to Stone Mountain so he can ride a tube down the snow-covered hill. For the past 25 Christmas eves, Tim has gathered one or both boys and read "The Night Before Christmas." I also read the Biblical account of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem.
Everyone wrote a letter to Santa Claus, and then we went to bed. Good thing, too. There were some very sleepy people in the Palmer house this year. Tim has the ability to sleep soundly in an upright position. Geoffrey slept 14 hours one night and dozed off whenever possible.
Even our wild little Suki got drowsy.
Christmas morning, Andrei assumed his favorite task -- passing out the presents.
He gave Geoffrey two bags of beef jerky -- which interested Suki immensely.
Perhaps she scored a little smackerel?
Andrei received glue sticks so he can continue building his amazing cars.
Tim was delighted with his new polo shirt.
I got an electric blanket. Yay! Even in Hotlanta I have the coldest feet known to mankind.
Andrei got one, too.
He was happy with the welcome mat for his new front door.
Tim always loves to get books to read.
Did you ever hear about the 5th Beatle? Yeah, that's him in the groovy glasses.
The Refugee Sewing Society's yarn group provided this black scarf. Gopi made it, and I bought it for Geoffrey!
"Starship Troopers" is a Geoffrey-Dad favorite.
Geoffrey gave us a GPS, so we can finally navigate Atlanta without getting lost every few minutes. Wheee!

My happiest hours were spent putting together this 1,000 piece puzzle of Bruges, Belgium. Tim and I took the boys there to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The puzzle brought back fun memories, and it made lots of new ones, too.
Geoffrey and I stayed up several nights into the wee hours -- setting pieces in place, talking about the past, present and future, and laughing a lot.

As I write this, Geoffrey is in Chicago preparing for another commercial shoot tomorrow. We all miss him so much. How very blessed we are! We all love each other, and we are surrounded and filled with the Holy Spirit, the greatest gift of all.


Carla Gade said...

Oh, what a beautiful blessing of Christmas and family. (I got a little weepy reading this!)

My family Christmas is posted at

I gave also gave a little plug for Victorian Christmas there.


Kathryn said...

I'm a little late catching up on your blog, but I LOVED this summary of your family Christmas. Felt almost like I'd been treated to a little visit with the Palmers. Would love to see you all again!
--Kathy O.