With the Christmas season and so much more going on, we did not manage to get out a November update. So here is a two-month note full of info and pictures from the adventures of the Peterson family and Providence Reformed Church.
November began wonderfully. Mitzi and Travis had the sweet joy of visiting with family in Illinois and surprising some dear friends by crashing their birthday party. That was possible because we were in town after an outstanding conference in Louisville.
In mid-November, Travis’ mom hopped on a plane and joined us here in Las Vegas. We have found that it is a lot of fun for us to spend Thanksgiving together. While Mama [Maw-Maw] was with us, ,we got a lot done.
We took a few fun family photos (special thanks to Karen, a young lady in our church who has interest in photography).
We went to Ethel M to see the beautiful Christmas lights in the cactus garden, a Vegas tradition.
We chose to go out for thanksgiving rather than fixing a meal at home. This year’s choice, Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ was excellent. It’s hard to beat the options of smoked turkey if you feel traditional and BBQ ribs if you are less into the bird.
We also got up to Mt. Charleston to enjoy the views. It is a neat thing to be able to drive away from our home in the desert valley, and, in half-an-hour, be at 7,650 feet of elevation among green grass and pine trees.
Then came December. Perhaps the coolest family fun thing we have been able to do in a while came because of the kindness of so many dear friends as a gift for Mitzi’s birthday (we’ll not mention which one, but it ends in a 0). Friends from here in Las Vegas and in Illinois chipped in to send our family to Disneyland. Ever since we moved to the west, Mitzi has wanted to take our kids to the original Disney theme park. We never thought we would get the opportunity simply because of the expense, but thanks to the kindness of so many friends, we made it. As the word of God tells us, every good gift comes to us from the Lord, and while we certainly do not think that Disney is a spiritually important thing, we know that such sweet family memories are a grace given to us by God.
Also in the month of December, Mitzi’s dad, John, made it to visit us here in Vegas for the first time.
Josiah continued to work hard on his karate, earning his green belt.
Our family had a wonderful Christmas together here in the desert. It is a tradition for the Peterson family to get new jammies on Christmas Eve.
It is also a tradition for Mitzi to make lots of sweet treats for the family including peppermint fudge, toffee, buckeyes (chocolate peanut butter balls), and cake balls—this year including pumpkin, carrot, and red velvet.
As the year drew to a close, for the first time in two-and-a-half years, we were able to get our family back to Illinois for a visit. It was great to have everyone together for Christmas at Granny’s house. It was also a lot of fun for us to have some of the midwestern treats that are not available here in Las Vegas (nobody in Vegas has deer sausage, Prairie Farms custard, or Quatros Pizza). The trip was quite an adventure, as we left temperatures in the mid-60s for temps in the single digits. But we survived, are glad we went, and are glad to be back where it is warm.
Providence Reformed Church
As does any church, we love it at PRC when people join our church formally as members. At our annual meeting at the beginning of November, we had the honor of adding 7 new members. Of course we take no credit for this, as the Lord will build his church according to his will and for his glory. So we give God thanks and we continue to pray that he will continue to grow our church as fits his plan.
We have begun our celebration of the season of Advent at Providence Reformed Church. Like many churches, we light candles and do special readings to focus the congregation on the biblical promise of the coming of a Savior. It is nice to have different groups and families to help us make this happen each year.
Our Sunday evening Bible study, affectionately known as Sunday Night Live, made it through the Gospel According to John in 2017, basically covering a chapter per week. We will return on January 14 with a new study that is an introduction to the Bible in 5 sessions.
In December, we had Christmas parties, a Baby dedication, and all the great things that we get to do together to abide in Christ together for the glory of God. Christmas Eve was, as always, a special time with our church family gathering in a home to sing, light candles, and remember the story of Christ’s birth.
Please join us in praying for the following:
- Pray that God will continue to grow us in our love for him and desire to see and spread his glory.
- Pray that God will bring people to our church who need to hear his word and join in worship.
- Pray that we will be able to continue to form relationships with people in Las Vegas who need God’s grace.
- Pray for our children as they grow, continue in school, and serve God in our church.
- Pray for a solid start to 2018 as we recover our sanity after the hectic holiday season.