Christmas with Texie

We weren't sure she was going to make it after the ice-storm in Dallas, but thankfully Texie found a way to get to Minnesota for a Christmas visit in December! The week or so before Christmas, Trav's Mom flew in for few days to spend with us and the kids.  It was definitely a cold destination for a Texan but she braved the freezing temps and we had a great time! 
The kids were thrilled as always to have Texie at our house. 
It was especially fun to have her here for all things Christmas!  No cozier time to be in Minnesota (if you have to be here in the winter) than Christmas.  
 With a babysitter in the house, Trav and I were able to get out one night for what is becoming a favorite tradition of ours.  The MN Teen and Adult Challenge Christmas Concert is hosted by our Church and it is the most amazing night.  We love this ministry so much and it is incredibly moving to hear so many testimonies of people recovering from various addictions, only because of Jesus in their lives and the incredible program at Teen Challenge.  We sat behind a former student of ours who graduated from their program just a year ago, a student who was struggling with a drug addiction for several years and who had broken his family's hearts repeatedly.  It's amazing to see how his life has transformed since being in Teen Challenge and it was especially sweet to sit behind he and his family, this time watching as an alumni.  
Every year they bring an artist in to sing with their massive choir and this year it was Bebo Norman, whom I just love!  He is retiring and I knew this would be one of the last times I'd get to hear him live.  His voice and his music are just beautiful but his humble demeanor and his own testimony about his brother's addiction was especially touching.  Overall it was a sweet night and we were thankful to enjoy it together.  It's one of my favorite things to kick off the Christmas season! 
 Trav's Mom is always sending special things for our kids but because it was Christmas, this visit was especially fun and present-filled!  With a large and blended family our kiddos are the blessed recipients of many gifts from grandparents and aunts/uncles, in addition to Trav and I.  It's always nice when we can spread out the gift openings so that they can appreciate and enjoy each one.   
 Texie wanted to enjoy the looks on their faces when they opened her Christmas presents and we were happy to make that happen.  Our kids were definitely happy to make that happen! Ava loved these little figurines from one of her favorite Disney shows, Sophia the First.  
 And Carter was immediately smitten with this fire truck and the many lights and sounds it makes!

 Sweet thank you hugs...they love their Texie! 

 It didn't take long for those gifts to get opened and the playing to immediately begin.  
 Thank you Texie for the fun toys and the other clothes, shoes, and special things you gave the kids. 
We are glad you were able to come and enjoy the prelude to Christmas with us! We enjoyed it too! 

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