Christmas in Memphis

We have some really great neighbors in our section of town.  The houses are old and full of character, but not so old and fancy that you feel like you have to tiptoe around.  And the families that live in these houses are full of character, too!  Some of our sweet neighbors threw a neighborhood Christmas party last Monday night, and we thoroughly enjoying getting to know our neighbors better (and discovering who was really good at Pictionary!).

Tuesday morning, we left early for Christmas with the Choate side of the family.  One of our family traditions is to read Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" out loud.  This year, we took advantage of our library's audio books and listened to a recording as we drove down Interstate 40.

We knew that some rough weather was headed our way, so soon after our arrival and some lunch, we headed outside to play ball with the cousins and get some wiggles out before we were stuck inside with all of the Christmas goodies.

Darkness drove us inside where we helped cook and worked on the traditional Christmas puzzle.  Oma always keeps us very well fed when we're at her house.

Wednesday morning, Aaron and his brother-in-law left early to go pick up Gran Choate before the speedy line of storms reached Memphis.  Pop stayed in the nursing home, which was really hard for all of us.  But we were so grateful that Gran was willing to come over and celebrate with us.

While we still had some sunshine, I took our kids and a cousin over to a local park to run around and play outside.

This girls loves her Pittsburg Steelers.  She does a good job of monitoring the players on her fantasy football team.  Our beloved SITAG and Aaron's brother make up our league, so it's ton of fun to play along.

Aaron and his brother-in-law made it back to Memphis with Gran in plenty of time to beat the storms.

We watched the Christmas movie marathon,

enjoyed a Christmas feast,

and opened presents (with a little help from a cousin sitting on Benjamin's belly).

Thursday morning came quickly and Oma cooked another big breakfast to fuel us up for the drive home.

And we hugged necks and were grateful for the time we got to spend with family who is usually spread all over the globe.

Next to Jesus, family is one of God's best gifts!


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