It's the most wonderful time of the year...

It's really hard to believe it's Christmas again already. I say that every year, so I don't know why I am surprised. The only thing I am not liking this year is that I will have to go to work on the 26th. I did get to leave early yesterday and today, so that helps I guess. Since a lot of people will be out all week and hopefully we won't have that many people coming in, the office should be pretty relaxed the week between Christmas and the New Year. I have pretty much all of my shopping done, except for my dad and stepmom, who are so hard to buy for. I did manage to send out Christmas cards this year too, although they were not the cute photo cards I had envisioned. Maybe next year...

Our Christmas will go pretty much as it has for the last few years...Christmas Eve at my dad's and Jeremy's grandparents', Christmas breakfast with my family, then to Jeremy's aunt's house for most of the rest of the day. I hate spending so much time running around between families, but until we have little ones of our own that's how it will be. One unexpected turn of events: Jeremy's sister is going to be getting married at the family celebration this year. I am still experiencing quite a bit of shock so I don't have a whole lot to say on that subject at the moment. I do hope and pray that it goes well for her though.

One of our youth group members has left us this week. She completed all her high school requirements and will be starting Jacksonville in January. This is one of the girls from the United Methodist Children's Home, and she has been with us for several years. She will be largely on her own now, and as always, I worry about that transition from strict rules and oversight to complete freedom and self-reliance. These girls are not the typical college students. There are no parents to hold them accountable (at least not that I've ever seen), and no one to pick them up when they fall (as we all inevitably do). K. is the first one to leave since Jeremy and I have taken over the youth group, and I pray that we've taught her something that will be meaningful to her somewhere down the road. It's so hard to get through to these teenagers...most of the time it feels like we are treading water and getting nowhere. Anyway, even though we've had some trying times with this young lady, her presence will be missed. I wish her the best of luck, and I hope that she will stay the course in her college life and overcome her rough beginnings. Watching these girls grow up makes me even more thankful for all the opportunities and all the blessings I have had in my life. God is so great, and He exceeds my expectations all the time, even though I am nowhere close to deserving.

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