Wednesday, December 31, 2014

When Love Was Born by Mark Schultz

Lights Out

Larry and the boys took advantage of the warm weather to take our Christmas Lights down off the house.
The guys did a great job.
I always love it when young men can participate in meaningful work, especially outdoor work.
These guys also helped us in the important task of preparing a grave for our family cat of fifteen years, Princess, who passed away just after Christmas.
Thank you, gentlemen.

Christmas at Mom and Dad's

I really looked forward to and had a great time at our family's Christmas party at my parents' house. Four generations were there and Mom and Dad had a present for every individual person!
We had a super meal, which we all contributed to.
This is a nice relaxing time of hanging out, sharing a meal and giving modest though thoughtful gifts.

Holly filled up the dessert table with her homemade treats!
The kids had fun with photo props.
I really enjoyed seeing my large extended family to wish them all a Merry Christmas.
We left at about 6:30 pm but many of the teen-aged grandchildren stayed until almost midnight!

Nut Fest Portrait

There was enough left in the Nut Fest kitty to frame a large picture of the group for my parents.
The three foot long picture turned out very well, after many trips to the store to get it just right.
We got it hung in time for Mom and Dad's Christmas Party. Additional pictures which were smaller were printed out for the rest of the group and will soon be mailed to all the participants to frame themselves.

Christmas Walk

Larry has told me about Christmas Days from his childhood when it was so warm out that he could wear shorts. This year was very warm. I wanted to go on a walk much like the Christmas Bird Count that I have heard of.
We didn't count birds or record the species but we enjoyed the weather and the exercise after so many treats.

Sunshine makes things nice, being together makes things wonderful.

More Christmas Memories

Christmas is the traditional time to take pictures of family members. They are usually very candid and one can see how folks grow and change in one year.

Merry Christmas!

Santa Baby

Although none of us like the creepy song this post is named after, we sure loved the outfit that Amiable wore on Christmas Day!
We had a different Christmas this year in that most of our married couples were with the other sides of their families on Christmas morning. It was wonderful to change things up and made the whole season of Christmas that much longer, with many different times of folks getting together.
Of course, it is never all about the gifts but once a year it is nice to show one's love with a gift that is fun to give and receive!
Our boys found boots under the tree.
The ladies got make-up compacts,
The married couples received bird houses,
Greg hand-made and then painted puzzles for the children,
and Chelsea thrilled Juby with a selfie quilt.
Thoughtful pictures,
a toy and book for each kid,
outfits for the babies,
and a very nice guitar for Larry were some of the gifts exchanged.
My children surprised me by going together to have a year of this blog published in book form! What a treat!

The Queen Anne Test

We have a new family joke that may stand the test of time. A few years ago, Sam gave a Christmas gift to a young lady of his absolute favorite candy, a small box of Queen Anne chocolate covered cherries, (retail price, one dollar). When the sweet, but unsuspecting gal opened the gift, she was not at all impressed with it. Sam got his feelings hurt so badly that he called her an ungrateful -----, and that was the end of that!
So now, any young lady that he talks to will have to pass the Queen Anne test- showing that she is grateful for a gift, no matter how small.

Gift Exchange

Sam and Jessie exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve. He gave her a pink sweatshirt that she really liked and he received a camo rain jacket for hunting that he loved.

It's a Wrap!

I set up a work table in my bedroom to wrap on and was able to comfortably wrap my gifts before Christmas. I am too old to get on my bedroom floor to wrap like I have been doing for years.
The kids wrapped their gifts in front of the tree. The boys don't enjoy the process very much but the girls and I love it, and we gladly helped them to finish it up.

Baking At Home

It was important to Natalie that we do some baking on a larger scale than usual before Christmas.
Inspired by Holly's example, I stocked up on the needed supplies.
The kids came over and we made double batches of cookies and our favorite pretzel candy.
Tori was waiting to use our ovens but ran out of time to do her baking. Sadly, she was up until 4 am on Christmas Eve baking in her tiny oven!
It was a few days earlier that we usually bake so we delivered our treats to our neighbors early.
We gave away so many cookies on Christmas paper plates to our friends that we baked again on Christmas Eve!