Amazing to think we are three days into 2011! A new year feels like an empty book to me. A year from today, what stories will the pages tell?  

Did everyone have a merry Christmas? I know lots of you had a white Christmas. We had a very, very wet Christmas. Still raining today! It’s been raining so much that the grass feels like a sponge. The dogs love it. I feel as if I’ve been wiping paws and washing towels for two straight weeks.

Dogs + rain = MUDDY PAWS

We had a fabulous Christmas! Our first with baby Blake. He’s almost 4 months old and is getting so responsive. He has a wonderful squeal that he discovered and likes to try out as often as he can. And when he makes eye contact with a person, his face breaks into a huge gum grin–as bright as the explosion from a flash on an old time camera!  And I love watching my other kids become aunts and uncles. They were wonderful with the baby–even the hard stuff, like exploding diapers and staying up late into the wee hours to walk the baby to sleep.

 Christmas day was with the extended family.We had 22 Woods gathered together! The only ones who were missing were my niece, Hilary, and her husband, Dom, who are missionaries in Aix-en-Provence, France. So we skyped with them! So for about fifteen minutes, we had all 24.

  Best moment was when my dad met little Blake, his first great grandchild:

Actually, the very best moment came when Dad saw my son, Tad, who is a freshman in an out-of-state college and rarely home. Dad doesn’t really recognize us any more–but when he saw Tad, he said, “Hello, Tad.” We all looked at each, as if to ask, “Did you just hear what I heard?” And we did! Alzheimer’s is a strange disease…but we’re so glad Dad is still with us, and treasure those moments when he’s “really” with us, like recognizing Tad.

So…I bought an iPad. I LOVE IT! Have only had it a few days (bought it fifteen minutes before the Apple Store closed!) and am already hooked. Looking forward to traveling with it next week. The contest will start soon for “The Search” (which just released, officially, on January 1st). Hope you’ll join in for a chance to win an iPad! And roses, delivered to your door! 

Hope your week is a good one! I feel as if the holidays are over and it’s time to get back in the saddle. Great stuff to look forward to–radio program begins up this week with a wonderful guest–Kathleen Fuller.

I sent a manuscript in on Saturday that I’ve been working on for months–squeezing it in between newborn baby visits to Rhode Island, a trip to my publisher in Michigan, family obligations. I think it’s my best book ever. Actually, I’m hoping each book is better than the one before.

And I’m getting ready for my Ohio trip! I leave on Sunday…hope I might get a chance to meet you, if you’re anywhere in the area! I’m praying for a week of good weather! I have a feeling that I have NO idea what Ohio-cold feels like. But… I am going to find out!

Good Things are Coming!

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