This year Christmas filled our hearts with happiness and peace. We arrived Christmas Eve in Houston to spend the holidays with the family there. It was a first time having everyone together for anything.
We feasted like kings and each gained more weight then we'd care to admit. This included trips to Cheesecake Factory, Whataburger, P.F. Changs, an all you can eat pizza buffet, and sizable portions of hot queso dip, holiday punch, or even lobster alfredo.
Christmas Eve we read the Luke 2 account and Callister/Reynolds/Meservy family favorite, "Jest For Christmas".
On Christmas we awoke and spoke with Elder Meservy on his mission in France via Google Hangout (a hip, free, video chat program). He was merry and fun. He even called my sister E to repentance in French per my request. He regaled us with the news that he is recording at least one witnessed miracle each day in his journal. Missionaries, of course, frequently experience wonderful and special miracles.
Next, we opened our Christmas gifts and went out for the traditional Sears Christmas scavenger hunt. We all piled into the car with and took a dog with us--we searched the city, the animal groomers, and even the "roach coach". There we were chased down by a foreigner who thought we were up to no good. The reward was sound.
At church we enjoyed fabulous musical performances and then a very stimulating talk by newly returned veteran Bro. Lamkin. We made it barely on time.
During the week we zipped over to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M in Houston. This was a definite highlight--I gained a new perspective and renewed respect for George H. W. Bush. His determination, service, and standing alongside and for right were inspiring. We also saw a hawk or an eagle up close near the protected grave of his young daughter.
Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Bang, Scrabble, checkers, and chess never stopped running. We watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Rise of the Planet of Apes, Thor, Up, Scrooge (musical), and more. We also caught a glimpse of Jimmer Fredette and the Kings beating the LA Lakers.
On New Year's Eve the Fike's threw their annual fireworks display and it was phenomenal. I am from Las Vegas but I doubt I have seen anything that good that close up since I was very young if ever. We shot off Roman Candles and let the suppliers go to work on the big guns. There were, of course, all the fun garnishes like smoke bombs, sparklers, and more. It was an 'A' in my book.
Texas is filled with very kind and very polite people. Christmas with family in Texas was delightful. We definitely are looking forward to Christmas with the Vegas family in 2012 too.
Thank you to J & E for the photos--hope you don't mind that I nabbed them.