Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Highlights from December

It is a highlight of our year when family comes home! And this year, we were so incredibly blessed to have ALL of our family home for Christmas! And when all are home now, that means 25 of us all together ... four daughters, two sons, four sons-in-law, a son's girlfriend, ten grandkids, a granddaughter's husband, and another granddaughter's boyfriend!

Twenty-five of our family + Gary's older single brother, and we were 26 around our table(s) for Family Christmas 2018 ...
We gathered at our home on Saturday, Dec. 29th, out-of-town family from Dallas, San Francisco, Brooklyn, and McCook NE, joining us and our two daughters & families who live nearby. 

It's such a treat to be together, and also that we can still all fit around our table(s) for Christmas Dinner. The six youngest grandkids eat at a table set up in our living room, but they join us for a family photo "around the table" in the dining room, and also while Gary/Dad/Grampa shares a short Christmas devotional before we enjoy our feast.

Our special Family Christmas Day together continued until 1 am the following morning ... gift-giving, games, a fun snack/appetizer spread in the evening, and more games ... so much joy and laughter, and many memories made. We are grateful to God for His blessings. Life is full of trials and hard times for all (including for our family), but also filled with such special gifts from God. We are filled with thanks for His gift of family.

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December was a very full month for us, as it usually is for everyone. Preparing for having family home, and also continuing with all the activities of Cru on our various campuses can make for a very busy time. But also a very blessed time.

Gary was in Dallas (Nov. 27 - Dec. 2) for the Annual Leadership Gathering of all Team Leaders with Cru, both with the college campus ministry and the high school ministry. While there in Dallas, he also was able to spend time one evening with family ... our daughter Cristy & Mark, and their family. And also blessed to go to a special Christmas Concert at Dallas Baptist University where our granddaughter Crystal and also her boyfriend Braden, attend. Crystal and Braden are both pursuing music-related majors while there, and had a part in the very special concert.

Back at home again, our days were filled with Christmas prep, a fun visit from our daughter Carrie & Tyler and their two children who now live in McCook, and various special musical and band programs that our four grandkids who live nearby were in during the month of December. We also greatly enjoyed time with our CityGroup (small group with our church, Citylight Omaha) at a sweet Christmas Party, and also an invitation from a couple within the group to be their guests at an amazing Christmas performance of the Trans Siberian Orchestra at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.

And also, our weeks were filled with Cru ... staff meetings, student meetings, and all the day-to-day administration of Cru Omaha. We finished off the year so grateful for all that God is doing in students' lives. And also so grateful for blessing us with having Jake on our team. It is a joy to serve together with him, and with our 25 volunteers who make Cru Omaha a reality.

Students gathered on our various Cru campuses for Christmas parties near the end of the month. Here are photos of two of those fun gatherings ...

Cru Christmas Party at Central High in Omaha

Cru Christmas Party with Fort Calhoun students

And now, we are into another calendar year of family, Cru, and more! Thanks for visiting Our Cru Communique blog, and we wish you a very Happy New Year!