Thursday, January 04, 2018

Christmas Eve in New Mexico

Christmas Eve morning was spent at church.
It was a beautiful service and a perfect way to celebrate 
the reason for the season. (soooo true).
Our church family are wonderful people, and we love worshiping with them
each Sunday- but it was especially lovely on this Christmas Eve.
After church, we came home to a pot of beans I had cooking. 
 One of our favorite things is to dip chips into fresh beans and devour them-
 which we all did. (What is life without beans???).
Usually, after church, I take Angus for a walk somewhere on the ranch property.  
It's quiet and calming. I just walk, breathing in the fresh air,
 enjoying the peace and the gorgeous surroundings. 
Sometimes I listen to pretty music in my earphones. 
 This day, however, I got Mr. Nielson to join me.  
I am so glad!  
We talked about Christ and his birth.
We talked about God and our children.
We wandered miles away to a gorgeous spot on the ranch where a
 unique piece of property sits and where we hope to build our future home.
We talked about traditions and how grateful we are for the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Back at the ranch, the Little Nies had just 
finished up wrapping gifts for our neighbors
 (if you can call them our neighbors,
 we had to drive miles away to drop them off).
We packed in the car and delivered gifts to our new friends
and treats to the village fire department.  
This is a tradition we started last year, and we will carry on forever.
I want the firemen to have treats (for them, of course) but also for their
families, who will indeed be visiting them.
I go to fire departments because I was once on the receiving end
of their dedication, service, and sacrifice. I just generally love them.
Lucky for us, we have a volunteer fire department in the village.
It was fun to meet them and shake hands.
We came home, and Mr. Nielson and I began cooking our Christmas Eve Danish dinner.
We cooked potatoes, carrots, cauliflower in cheese, hot rolls, and salmon, 
and of course, I made the Risalamande with Claire and Jane.
After dinner was eaten and dessert devoured, The Little Nies
 opened their traditional Christmas PJs.
Then I asked each child to pick out a favorite Christmas picture book
 for me to read to them by the fire.
Unfortunately, I packed away most of our Christmas decor,
 including our stockings, so Lottie picked a regular sock
 for each of us and hung them on the fireplace screen.
  I laughed several times that evening, looking at the silly old socks.
This year Christmas Eve (and everything) has been different for us, 
but it's been so beautiful and fulfilling! 
 We love it. Change is hard but so good, and today, we experienced it.
Mr. Nielson and I finally went to bed around 4:30 a.m. because
Santa needed extra help this year putting gifts out to 
the children. We didn't mind.

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