Saturday, December 29, 2012


Today I am hosting our sibling Christmas party.  There are five of us, four sisters and one brother.  We have been taking turns hosting a get together during the holidays for many years now, and this is my year again.  We often have so much food, especially the snackie stuff and cookies, that we could feed the hungry in a small community!  This year I laid down the law.  Each person is allowed to bring a plate of only one dozen goodies.  We'll see what happens!

I decided on a soup luncheon for the menu.  We are having three soups to choose from: wild rice, chili, and chicken and dumplings.  Add a tray of meat and cheese, several kinds of crackers, and some fresh out of the oven corn muffins, and I think we'll have a simple, but nice meal.  Of course I expect everyone will probably have some of each soup, so I think we'll get filled up!

We have another tradition that I really love.  We do not exchange gifts.  Instead we have a basket or small box sitting out, and each of us is invited to drop in some cash or a check.  Then the person hosting the gathering picks a charity to send the gift to.  And it's my choice this year!

The table is set, the soup is made and ready to reheat, two sisters are bringing the other two soups, and all I have left to do is whip up the corn muffins.  And I have planned a surprise for the afternoon.  Hopefully a certain little princess will stop by to visit.  Only one of my siblings has seen the great grand princess, Abby.  We have got to remedy that!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


We were 26 yesterday.  That is 26 plus the great grand princess, Abby.  I did manage a few pictures of the whole group, but somehow the camera wanted to focus on Abby most often.
This is part of the gang
and here's another part of the gang.  A few of the younger ones were in the pool already.  What's food when you have a pool adjacent to the party room grandma rented at the motel!
Mommy had dressed the princess for her first Christmas in a green and red tutu.  I think she is wondering what is going on!
But she was an absolutely perfect little girl at the gathering.  She tasted her tutu
but decided her fingers tasted better.
Great grandpa had his turn holding her, as did most of us!
I was just snuggling with great auntie Thea when they put the fluffy pink and purple hat on me.  My auntie Anna made it for me on her new knitting machine.
Time out with auntie Katie.
And this is the new hat I got from grandma.  I'm going home now so I can rest from all these festivities!
I think the only casualty of the day was when cousins Ben and Jaden had a little shoving match, and Jaden ended up in the pool fully clothed!

We had a very nice day.  Lots of food, lots of catching up, lots of love.  We missed Tya who wasn't feeling well, and Chris and Amy in Alaska, and Lenny, Connie and Sam in North Dakota, and Courtney in Idaho.  But having 5 of the 7 kids plus spouses, 13 of 15 grandkids, and the great grand princess Abby there, made for a blessed Christmas celebration.

Hoping you enjoyed the same.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Probably the show that turned out to be the most fun on our trip to Branson, was the Leroy New show, A Tribute to Marty Robbins.  First of all, hubby saved  half the cost of admission by being a veteran!  Yay for 20 years in the USAF!  I wasn't sure about this show, after all we hadn't heard anyone talking about how wonderful it was, and there were no long lines waiting to buy high priced tickets to get in.  But when we entered the small, but comfortable theater, and I saw this, I knew we were in for a fun show.
Leroy New did a great job on the Marty Robbins songs.  I could sing along with each one of them!  The opening was....guess....
Yup, it was!  A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation.  Brought me back to high school!
Then came the bad boys, Waylon and
Hank Sr. even stopped by.  We were also treated to a little Johnny Cash, a little blue grass, a Floyd Cramer number, and some Christmas songs.

I was so impressed with the whole show.  There was not a single off color joke, not a swear word, nor anything that embarrassed me.  Each time they sang a Christmas carol they removed their hat.  They spoke lovingly of their family.  Each mentioned his faith and love of his Savior.  They honored the veterans in the audience, and we sang a song for our country.

If you go to Branson, do take in the Leroy New Tribute to Marty Robbins in the IMAX Theater.  Well worth it!

Monday, December 03, 2012


Just a day or two ago it was the end of October, and now it's the first week in December.  Uh?  Where did November go?  Who took November?  I do remember having turkey at son Kevin's place, and cooking a big ol' ham and cowboy beans and having a house full here, but I don't know where the rest of the month went.  Why before you know it, 2013 will be here!

That means Christmas must be coming up really really soon!  Is your tree up?  Mine isn't.  Guess I should do something about that. However, I do not stress out much over Christmas anymore.  For years I made myself sick with the planning and worry and hustle and bustle, and I refuse to do that anymore.  Now I just try to enjoy my family, and go with the flow.

Actually, life has gotten much easier since we gave up trying to buy gifts for everyone.  With 7 kids and their spouses it just got to be too much when you add in the 15 grandkids and now a couple of spouses there.  So a few years ago we started just giving gift cards to the grandkids and December became a lot easier.  However, this year there is a new great grand daughter, so I'm sure there will be just a tiny little bit of shopping done!

And I do enjoy doing a little decorating and baking, but not to the extent that I used to do.  First of all, no one needs 15 different kinds of cookies, do they?  A couple of batches of cookies and special breads is enough.  The main thing is the gathering together and enjoying each other.  And I do need to get going on planning those gatherings, but otherwise I refuse to worry about anything.  Try it.  You'll be able to enjoy the real meaning of Christmas so much more if you don't stress out.

So, I'm sitting here in my new slippers, a birthday gift from sister Ruth, sipping my french press coffee, and contemplating turning the master bedroom into the guest/sewing/office, and moving the master into the present guest room.  I would gain a little space in the room that gets more traffic, but more importantly would gain more useable wall space for the sewing area stuff.  If I start it, can I get it done in a couple of days?  We're leaving early Friday morning for a little get away to Branson to see Joseph at the Sight and Sound Theater, and a Christmas show, so I'd like to have things back together before we leave.  Ummmmm, gotta think on that one a bit more.

And for your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of the great grand princess Abby, singing Christmas carols!