Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Fun

Christmas has come to a close here in beautiful N. Ireland and I can definitively say that my first Christmas here was an absolute delight. Let me recap a few of the highlights.

The Wednesday before Christmas Margaret and I went to Tallin's Christmas Play. He was one of the 3 kings and did a wonderful job. Sadly I forgot the digital so I don't have the photographic proof of how amazing he was but trust me he did a wonderful job. That evening we went to a Carol Service where Judith's (Ray's Brother Stewart's Fiance) son Harry sang beautifully.

This is a picture of the church the Carol Service was held in. Taken courtesy of Ray's camera phone.

Thursday Ray and I finally finished painting our living room. Margaret had arranged for some movers to move the furniture ( which she generously donated to our cause) from her house to ours. We were so grateful because the move happened with no inconvenience to ourselves. We then went out and about and bought a Christmas tree and decorated it to the hilt.
This is our tree in all it's glory. I was so relieved to be done painting and to have a tree. It just wouldn't have felt like Christmas without one.

Friday Ray and I went to Brogans Carol Service. Here a Carol service is done in the church and it's hymns and the nativity. Here is a picture of the church where it was held.

Brogan played the recorder and he did a marvelous job. I thoroughly enjoyed myself watching him perform. Here he is giving us a personal performance.

Saturday we just got ready, did any last minute grocery shopping for the big holiday.

Sunday we had a wonderful Carol Service at Church. I was asked to play the organ for said service and after a frantic phone call to C.S. Walker I felt like it was going to be ok. It did end up going fine.

After church we had Stewart & Judith over for lunch. I made Connie Allen's famous Broccoli Cheese Soup. It was delish. We hung out with them and chatted and played some Phase 10.

That evening we spent with Stephen Smyth and his family. We read Luke 2 and the B of M account to the birth of Christ and their was a nativity play. I was so appreciative of them inviting us over to share that with them. I really felt the spirit once again whisper to me of the divinity of Jesus Christ and I love doing things that are centered on Him and to take time to remember what the season is all about.

Christmas morning Ray came over and we opened our gifts from each other and the package that my parents had sent. It was so nice having a little piece of home in a foreign land on Christmas Day. My favorite gift had to be a book that Lacy had made of pictures of Canyon. I think the fam had a fun day in Utah as well. Here was one of the pictures Dad sent me that was taken on Mom's new digital camera.
We spent Christmas Day with Ray's family. His mother made us a wonderful Christmas dinner and we enjoyed spending time with Ray's parents and his brother and fiance. I have to say that Margaret and Ray Sr. spoiled us terribly at Christmas as well. They gave us many fine and thoughtful gifts that were greatly appreciated.

The following day here is a holiday as well. It's known as St. Stephen's day or Boxing day. It started out that people here used to give gifts in boxes instead of wrapping paper so the day after Christmas they would put their leftovers into these boxes and administer to the needy. Now it seems more just a day to be with loved ones and not at work!

We spent that evening with the Elder's again and this time got to be with the Nephews and give them our Christmas gifts. We also got to stay that evening and I got to meet all of Margarets siblings and their spouses. Most of whom I was meeting for the first time.

Schwoo.......clearly we had a jam packed and wonderful Christmas. I must admit that the last 2 days Ray and I have taken things VERY easy. We have both been exhausted from all the fun and merriment. Here's hoping that everyone else had as fun and as merry a Christmas as we did in beautiful N. Ireland.


lacy lee said...

Looks like such a fun Christmas! I missed you!

Anonymous said...

The tree looks gorgeous. It sounds like you had an absolutely lovely Christmas!

Congratulations on finishing the painting. I hate painting.. my arms always hurt afterwards..