The Not Too Funny but All Too True Story of How I Spent Christmas Vacation

What do Betty Crocker, Costco and my family have in common?  I wouldn’t have made it through the holidays without them.

My last post was on December 11.  I usually post on Tuesdays, but decided to push my Tuesday the 18th post to the 20th to time it closer to Christmas.  (This was influenced greatly by the fact that I had not written that post.)  I also figured that, if you are like me, you wouldn’t be reading as many blogs over the week of Christmas, so I planned on skipping that week altogether.

Plans are made to be changed, tweaked and invaded.  On the morning of the 19th of December my plans were invaded in the form of four of my grandchildren coming to stay with us while my daughter, their mommy, was rushed to the hospital with a major gall bladder attack.  If that wasn’t bad enough, she also had pancreatitis, which had to be resolved before the gall bladder could be removed.

So needless to say, life got serious.  Very serious.  Dena was in bad shape.  Her husband stayed by her side, as my husband and I, along with our sons and daughters-in-law prayed and watched the kids.  The kids, who are 9, 7, 4 and 8 months old, were wonderful, especially in light of being slightly traumatized as I  picked them up and brought them to our house while they watched their mommy be rushed to the hospital.

It was a very different Christmas season.  Thankfully, Dena was released from the hospital on Christmas Day and she came right to our house to nestle in our Lazy Boy and celebrate Christmas with us all.  We are grateful to God.  We are also amazed at the wonderful family that we have been blessed with.  Our son, Scott, took off of work that first afternoon to stay with the kids so I could go to the hospital and then watched the little two the next night so Bob and I could surprise Mia and Ella (the oldest two) with a night at the theater watching The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, which we had arranged weeks beforehand.  My son Joe and his wife Aubyron arrived on Friday afternoon for Christmas only to jump in with all four feet with the kids, chasing them around the yard, taking them to a movie along with Uncle Scott and helping in every way possible.  My son Jesse and his wife Dacia took Bob’s dad to the hospital to see Dena as he was so worried about her, and then carted the three oldest kids to their house for an afternoon giving us a much-needed break.  And that doesn’t even count the friends who prayed.

I am amazed at God’s provision.  Here it was the busiest time of year and because of that very fact, my family was around.  Bob had even previously scheduled vacation days the week of Christmas.

In light of all of this, our Christmas Eve dinner was a bit different.  We decided to let Dena off the hook regarding preparing any dishes.  After all, she was in the hospital and on a liquid diet.  It just wouldn’t have been right to put that kind of pressure on her.

Between my mom, my daughters-in-law and me, not to mention a strong showing by Costco and Betty Crocker, we had it covered.  Dinner consisted of a Costco spiral-cut ham, frozen yeast rolls, Betty Crocker Au Gratin potatoes (yes, right from the box), and green beans and pan roasted red onions (the one and only home-made dish).  Dessert was apple pie, fresh from Costco’s bakery.  We ate it all on fancy paper plates.  It was delicious.

After dinner we sat around a fire and sang Christmas carols, drove around looking at lights and then returned home to put the kids to bed.  We used our iPhones to face-time with Dena and her husband Derek so they could see their kids in their new Christmas pajamas.  I cried.  Dena cried.  But we all knew she would be home soon.

As I mentioned, our prayers were answered when Dena came home on Christmas.  She was still pretty weak, so she recovered at our house for the next four days.  Most of that time was without her kids as they were home with their daddy allowing Dena more effective and undisturbed rest.

So this is a portion of what I’ve been up to lately.  There has been no time for writing, at least no time that I have opted to use for writing.  Sleeping and being with the family took priority.  I hope to be back on a regular Tuesday schedule, but I can see that my life is not my own and that’s good.  I make the plans; God has his way.  It is very good.

Now I’m working on getting my funny bone back in shape.  Maybe Costco has something that would help with that.  I know my family always comes through, especially the grandkids.  All I need is a little energy to write things down, and I’ll be back in the swing of things in no time.  Meanwhile, I think I’ll pull out my Betty Crocker Cookbook and look for a chicken soup recipe.  That’s always good for the soul.