After reading several other blogs, it looks like we were not alone in our adversities the week leading up to Christmas. It started with a huge hawk deciding he would fly right into the side of my car. Oh. My. Goodness. It was freakish. I don't think he survived, but I didn't wait long enough to find out. I sat there dumbfounded for a few minutes before leaving him in the street as I drove away. What was I to do? Those guys are unpredictable. Meanwhile, while waiting for Direct TV and DSL to be hooked up, we went without the internet for 4 days. They hooked up DSL and somehow unplugged/cut our phone line. It was luckily only out for the day. Later that day, I called Alagasco to check on a suspicious smell. Sure enough, we had a gas leak. We went without an oven for 4 days before leaving for vacation. We just got back today to welcome the service man in so he could fix it. He just told me the part will be ordered and will arrive in 7-10 days. So, no oven for more than a week. We noticed it still smelled like gas when we got home today. So we called Alagasco again. After a crew of 6 men and their mini-excavator found the leak, they fixed it and were on their way. I got the stomach virus and was sick all day Christmas Eve. Ron got it and was sick all day Christmas. Even with the illnesses, we managed to have some good family time. We just did "family time" in shifts. And we were able to enjoy Christmas for what it really is. 'Cause it's not about me cooking a great meal in the oven...it's about the gift of our Lord, Jesus Christ.