...was interesting this year. Since I had spent the Fall semester as an exchange student at the University of Idaho it was my first time "going home for break. My parents moved into a smaller house thinking that their nest was emptying. It seems they had no idea it was to be a Full House for break, with nowhere to put anyone.
I arrived in Fresno on the 17th of December after an eleven hour car ride from Moscow, ID to Pheonix, OR with Luke and then a ten hour busride from Medford, OR to Fresno. It was an adventure, but I can now say that I am a more experienced person because of it. The first thing Mom and I did after she picked me up was hop on 41 N to go to In n Out (Where else should you go if youve been out of CA for so long). I decided two things. The freeways in central CA leave something to be desired compared to those of Oregon, and Californians really do drive fast.
For those of you who have ever experienced living away from home, and then going back for an extended amount of time you may or may not be able to relate to the emotional shock I had when I realized I wasnt going "home" persay, I was more visiting my parents house full of memories. (That and getting time to "hang out" with people I miss and love and was glad to be with again. )I was staying in my sisters bedroom that is my moms sewing room with a twin bed in it for the first few nights, then my Grandma Dixie came in from Spokane, and my sister got back from Canada. After one night of sleeping on the floor I was more than willing to accept Mark and Cindy's (My adopted parents from around the corner) offer to stay in their guest bedroom. I felt just like Anne from Anne of Green Gables when she got to stay in Diana's Aunt's "very best guest bedroom." Another bonus: I got to fabric gaze as I fell asleep!
I also realized just how much I missed my home church! Visiting other churches is fine and dandy but really there's no place like home. Call me biased but there is no chuch with a music team as good as NFC's. I got to go to the choir service the first Sunday I was home, I sang in the praise choir the second Sunday, I got to sit with my whole family at the Christmas eve service, and I got to get caught up on what NFC has been doiong this year at the New Years Eve reflection service. (The picture on the left is my sister Val, and me on Christmas Eve.) It was so nice to catch up with my church family and go to college age Sunday night dinners. All the awsome fellowship gave me a great spiritual re-charge that I was definately ready for!
I was super suprised at how many friends and family I got to see.
Aunt Maggie hosted a Harper Family get together. (See Below)
L to R George(Dad), Aunt Cyndi, Grandma Dixie, Aunt Maggie, Aunt Dorris, and Uncle Jimmy
My Cousins Kim, Tanya, and my sister Valerie
Tallest to shortest: Clark, Kent, Reid, Grant
The "Bugs" got to have our annual Christmas get-together which Destinie was so great to host!
We had our Christmas Morning Brunch...
(Insert Pictures Still on Aunt Maggies Camera Here)
...a day after Christmas dinner...
...a field trip to Yosemite with Beth, and Luke...
...and a New Years Party that ended at 10! (Val, Laura, Mark and Cindy made it 'til about 11:30 and then Luke and I made it until 121:15 ish? It was fun!
I got to go to the New Years Day sale/party at Quilters, and while Luke stayed and watched football with Mark all day, and that night Luke, Val, Laura, and I raided Whole Foods and got to have a very special "Whole Foods" meal of different apple varieties, clam chowder, cheeses, sparkling rasberry cider, steaks, twice baked potatoes, and salad. YUM!
Luke and I left the next day (Jan 2) starting the long trek back to U of I so Luke could take his PGM tests and I could start my RA training. We stoped in Phoenix OR and stayed at Lukes home for the night. The next morning Luke expertly repacked his car with BOTH of our stuff (his was bringing more sports equiptment, mine was more...well stuff) and we finnished the drive in a day, taking turns driving and listening the audio books Eragon, and Eldest. Luke also got to try out his cool Christmas Garmin, which successfully got us to what I think was the last In n Out of California (and back on the freeway again) and told us how far until the next Chevron. It was pretty cool.