Valdosta, Georgia, 1:57 p.m., C.S.T., Dec. 24, 2009~
This is Gloriana Hughes writing! I am stopping in here to wish my family and friends a very merry Christmas!
It is incredible how God's orchestrated our lives. He brought little Lilyanna Xie to us from China, then He brought her through dangerous open heart surgery, and now He continues to bless us even more with an abundance of friends from around the U.S.A. and unexpected "blessings" from members of our church family.
Suddenly, when things seemed at their bleakest, He brought us through the fire. It looks like Ricardo (6) and Lilyanna (3) will have presents to open after all tomorrow morning. Just a little while ago, the postman came, carrying big, brown packages to the door, a big smile on his face. He wished us a very merry Christmas.
Friends from Tennessee (the Sanduskys), Alaska (the Kings), Iowa (the Granburys), and Kentucky (the Masseys) sent us some packages; what's in them is anyone's guess, but I have a hunch it includes surprises for Ricardo and Lilyanna for Christmas, which will make their Christmas morning even more special and exciting. The packages are sitting in our bedroom, away from curious little fingers or eyes; the kids are not to go in there until after the presents are safely under the tree.
And at church this past Sunday, Pastor Milano handed us an envelope. Inside was $500.00 in cash, plus a Wal*Mart gift card for $200.00. Another church friend, Peggy Milsap, handed us an envelope. Another $200.00 tucked inside, for a total of $900.00. WOW!!
I survived shopping for the kids. Rick and I went shopping at Wally-World on Monday while mama (my mom) watched Ricardo and Lilyanna. It was a nightmare, an absolute nightmare! It was only by God's grace that I a.) didn't kill anyone or b.) bite their heads off, although while in line, waiting to pay for the stuff, I was getting annoyed because the lady in front of us was arguing with the cashiers who were at the register. It was nuts!
I guess I will wait until after the holidays to go back to Wal*Mart. I don't know why people have to act so stupid, especially on what is supposed to be the most joyous time of the year! I think the Grinch has taken over their minds! *Sigh*
Speaking of Grinches, we had one strike our neighborhood. An elderly, disabled man who is a war Veteran had his Christmas decorations stolen by some teenaged kids. The decorations were found several streets up from us, smashed beyond repair.
The incident made the local news; it sickened me to think that some kids who have no regard for others could do such a thing. I am hoping the kids come clean and admit their wrongdoing; I also pray that the man gets the help (and support) he needs.
The man who is the Veteran is severely disabled: he is missing both legs and one of his arms. A triple-amputee. Which makes this situation even more shocking.
He lost his limbs during the Vietnam War. Such a nice man; he would never hurt anyone.
Well, I have to go. The kids have awakened from their naps (plus I heard Ricardo tell Lilyanna that they were going to "go hunting for what Santa brought them". I don't even think so! Those kids have another thing coming! I will write again soon; until then, may you all have the merriest of Christmases ever, and may God bless you for the New Year! May 2010 be kinder to all of us!!
~Love, your friend in Georgia, Gloriana Hughes. :)