Christmas with the Family

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All of our children, except for Zach and Emily, made it home for Christmas.  We even go snow for Christmas.  One of our traditions is to see a movie together, which was “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” this year.  Since Christmas Eve was on Sunday, we took in two worship services.  The kids all went to First Baptist of Galesburg in the morning.  Cheryl and I worshipped at Raritan Baptist, since I am their interim minister.  We joined each other for lunch at Peaches in Burlington, IA.  We had to make a stop at Snake Alley to show Felipe, who is a foreing exchange student staying at the Komenda’s, the crookedest street in the world according to Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Christmas Morning we opened presents. I made sure we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  The menu for Christmas Dinner was Ribs, French Fries, and all the sides.  The games of choice this year were Catch Phrase and Dudo, a dice game Felipe brought from Chile. 

Grand Canyon Trip

We’re back from Arizona.  We flew on Dec. 8 to Tempe to join Cheryl’s nephew and 9 others to hike down the Grand Canyon.  We got in a couple of preliminary hikes to get acclimated and did pretty well.  When everyone else go there, we headed to the Grand Canyon.  We stayed the first night at Bright Angel Lodge.  The photo is my first view of the Grand Canyon.  I have never been there before.  I knew it was big, but seeing the Grand Canyon made be realize how big it is.  Photos can’t really express the grandeur!

As we hiked down Kai Babb trail, we realized, for sure, how big the Canyon is.  The trail down was about 7.5 miles.  We stayed two nights at Phantom Ranch.  On the day we were there, we hiked up to Ribbons Falls, a 12 mile round trip hike.  We couldn’t have asked for better weather.  We then hiked out on the Bright Angel Trail, which was 10.33 miles.  Altogether, we figured we got in about 33 miles of hiking.

Surpisingly we did very well, not exhausted, but definitely tired.  Though there were thoughts of gazing at the stars, we all found that we went to sleep pretty early each night.

At Least 46 Dozen Cookies

This past Saturday, Cheryl, Leah and I baked cookies. This was our 2nd annual Christmas Cookie bake.  We had a great time baking a huge variety of them!!  We took a time-lapse video of the event, which included modeling aprons of years gone by.  There is a video and a picture of all the cookies on the Family Album page. Cheryl has posted pictures on her FaceBook page, as well.

We tried not to eat very many cookies.  Actually I did verly well.  Since I also got a 15.3 mile bike ride in before making, I lost 1.1 pounds when I weighed in on Sunday.  I have to admit thougth, since we were invited to someone house for dinner, and after caroling had pizza, I acturally gained weight over the weekend.  I will have to stay focused and disciplined this week.  It may be hard – our pastors’ cluster is having our Christmas party tonight. Maybe I will lose it while I am hiking down the Grand Canyon.