Sunday, December 29, 2013

Virginia Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!!  
Our Christmas season began with a very sweet preschool winter (singing) program, performed by Cooper preschool students (where I work).  With 150 kids on stage, and an audience full of supportive family members, it caused for quite the scene.  One of the songs that has been stuck in my head is "Must Be Santa!"  

On Friday December 20th, Aaron and I left Casey Boy with the Billings parents and we flew to VA for one week.

Music played a big part during our VA visit.  On Sunday, Aaron helped accompany on bass during a pre-service song with my dad, Phil, and Sarah (violin).

A new drum set in the basement gave us some entertainment as well :)  Aaron also enjoyed some piano lessons throughout the week, from none other than myself ;)  When we get home we'll pull out the keyboard for him to keep his skills up!  

One of my favorite events during the week was the Christmas Eve Service, hosted by Lindale Mennonite Church.  Every year four Mennonite churches, in the Northern District, plan a joint service.  It is a tradition for my family to attend this service.  And of course, we got roped in to helping with music.  Aaron and I were a part of an octet that sang during pre-service, and helped lead a few songs during the service.  For special music Aaron sang with Kevin Eby, a friend from Hesston College (pictured below).  Their beautiful harmonies were noticed by everyone and Aaron received great affirmation!  A few ministers were even suggesting we move back to VA, because of all the talent they want to add to their church! ha

 Cheering for the Chiefs on Sunday while we were there!  

For Christmas, Aaron made three beautiful shelves for some of the women in our families!  (and another beautiful piece that I will post at a later date)  This shelf is hanging inside my mom's front door.

On Christmas Day, we invited Grandma and Grandpa Risser and Neil Showalter for lunch!  Everyone helped get the meal together:  Dad and Phil peeled potatoes, Aaron made 7-layer salad, Mom planned and shopped for it all, the grands made the turkey and cranberry salad, and I whipped up the mashed taters and helped the chef pull it all together!  

While in VA we enjoyed connecting with Zion church friends, including the Wenger family!  Abraham and Aaron are the cutest, most precious boys, and we miss them dearly! These kids are their stand-in grandkids, until they get ones of their own! :)

There is no way I can comment on everything we did while in VA, but I hope these snippets are helping!  On December 26th, the Risser family (my mom's side) got together for a meal, fellowship, and games!  Picture below are only SOME of the Risser grandkids represented.  We missed all who weren't able to come!

And last but not least, Aaron and I are celebrating our FIRST year of marriage!!  We thawed our wedding cake topper, made by my cousins Lena and Leah, which was surprisingly still good a year later!  One year with an amazing, talented, good-lookin' man has been the BEST!  


  1. Sorry I didn't get to talk to you while you were out here. :-( Congratulations on your 1st anniversary! Your wedding was so beautiful.

  2. Thank you so much Kathy! It was a beautiful snowy day! I also received some of your beautiful pieces of jewelry this year for Christmas, which I am going to enjoy wearing all the time! :)

  3. Awesome Christmas pictures! It looks like it was a sweet and fun time! Congratulations on your first year of marriage! We are sure lucky to have your in our family, Maria!!