Christmas was unusual this year. With Kray married and with his wife and her family, Jason in Mexico and Michael in California, it was a rather small Christmas this year. But we made up for it by having our ward missionaries over for Christmas Eve dinner. Elder Gumperline and Elder Cheng, who was experiencing his first American Christmas (he's from Hong Kong) were a delight to have. Although our hearts missed our three boys, it was delightful to have them with us. Elder Cheng had never heard "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" nor did he ever decorate sugar cookies. Funny how we take there traditions for granted.
For Christmas the family got a new flat screen TV which dad hung with care when we got back from Grandma's. Matt got a chess set that he had to put together from a bunch of nuts and bolts and a saxophone. Chris got some clothes because he is now over six feet tall: jeans, church pants and a Seahawks jersey. Jessie got Olaf and Lia (some stuffed animals she wanted). Steve got a "Major Award" and a Ragnar Cowbell, (everyone needs more cowbell). And I got TWO SKYPE calls! We timed it so that for about 10 minutes we had both missionaries on at the same time! They spoke to each other in Spanish. It was pretty cool!
Jessie has started her competition season. She is on the Redmond High School Dance and Drill team and their first competition was pretty good. They have a long ways to go, but they have come so far. She is on a team of 21 girls of which only four are returner from last year's team. Part of all the competitions is a Drill Down. This is where a drill master gives commands and they have to follow. This isn't something that the teams necessarily practice. In fact, the last time Jessie did this was during summer camp way back in July! She ended up being one of about ten left on the field!