Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Family of Friends

Tonight we attended a Christmas party with a group of friends from church. I was exhausted when we left home and only planned to stay at the party for the first few minutes. I intended to bring Emma home and put her to bed early so I could have a little down time. However, once I got there, I had a wonderful time visiting and I ended up staying the entire time. It actually felt very relaxing to sit and watch the kids play and chat with friends. I'm so glad I went.

We do a little gift exchange every year, and this year Emma felt the need to be of assistance. It has taken her no time to catch on to the idea of presents this season, and when she saw all those packages, she immediately concluded that she needed to be part of it!

Her first favorite part of the evening was playing with the rocking reindeer who could light up and sing "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer".

Her second favorite thing was spending time with Hai-Leigh, who is completely adorable and just enough older for Emma to consider her sensationally cool.

Hannah wanted to take little gifts for some of the girls, so we put together mugs of homemade cocoa mix. I know there are lots of versions of this recipe, but we really like this one that came from Miss Suzanne. We always have a container of it in our pantry in the winter months. It makes a HUGE batch, so you have to use a really big bowl and have lots of containers on hand!

Rich and Creamy Cocoa Mix
1 large canister Nestle Quick
1 large container powdered coffee creamer
1/2 large box powdered milk
2 lbs. powdered sugar

We found adorable mugs that were made of glass and etched with snowflakes. We tucked a bag of mix into each mug and tied it with a snowflake garland. They turned out really cute!

We have a tradition in this group that whenever someone celebrates a birthday they have to stand on a chair and spin in a circle while we sing to them. Tonight was Morgan's turn to take a birthday spin, and while I watched that beautiful young woman up on that chair, it made me grateful for the many friends that make our lives so rich.

I sometimes get overdone and grumpy and think I want to crawl off and be by myself for a night. But then I muster the strength to go hang out with these crazy folk and find that time spent in fellowship with those who inspire and encourage and amuse brings refreshment and rest to my soul in a way that being alone just can't do. So tonight I give thanks for the blessing of friendships, and for soaking up enough of their energy to be ready to face a busy week ahead!

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