Christmas head count adds up to blessings

By: 
Krayton Kerns
Veterinarian

This Christmas, I will have all my descendants under one roof and it will be a merry. My oldest daughter, Meagan, and her husband, Tim, are hosting the celebration at their nine-bedroom house south of Great Falls. The Christmas headcount appears to have settled at 44. That sounds larger than it is, as eight of my nine mini-Kimmels are large only in noise. Lucas, the one-year-old, is still fat enough to score on the pediatric growth charts; a family rarity of which we are all so proud. 
Daughter Chelsie, son-in-law Marcus and my four mini-Warners are driving from Oak Harbor, Washington. This will be a special Christmas for them. Marcus is a career, Navy, avionics technician and in January he will hug his wife and little ones goodbye and settle onto an aircraft carrier for a nine-month deployment in the Middle East. Due to their infrequency, some hugs must last longer than others. I tear up every time I see the photo of Marc returning from a six-week, Blue Angel deployment and three-year-old, red-headed Raelee sprints across the tarmac to hug her daddy. May God truly bless those who answer the call of duty because their sacrifice is great.   
Tyler, my youngest, his wife Jill and my four mini-Kernses will convoy up with the trophy wife and me. Tyler will pull a flatbed trailer loaded with my freshly repaired hay wagon and I will drag my horse trailer carrying my runaway-prone mule team. My mollies are recent graduates of a physically intense, mule skinning boot camp where they learned to appreciate walking over exerting oneself to the point of collapse.
Joining us in Great Falls, is Tim’s Kimmel clan from Turner and Anna Kimmel See and family from Broadview. Kimmels make the best hay wagon, Christmas carolers. Their father, Pat, used to race chuckwagons, so they are not spooked by the high-speed scattering of wagon parts. Also, they are Christians, so are not afraid of dying. Sipping hot spiced wine and caroling behind the mule team loses its festive appeal when the screams of terror from nonbelievers drowns out the jingling sleigh bells .
God has truly blessed me, and I eagerly look forward to a very memorable Christmas with my large family. May the celebration of the birth of our Savior bring you peace and joy. Merry Christmas from the Conservative Cow Doctor.

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