Thursday, January 1, 2009
Christmas Memories & New Year Fun!
Happy New Year to all! 2009 is here and I finally have a chance to fill you in on our Christmas festivities. We had a good holiday ~ busy of course but good. On Christmas Eve, we packed up the kids and everything but the kitchen sink and took off for my in-law's house. For the first time in 15 years we decided to spend the night in Albion on Christmas Eve to save ourselves some traveling time and hopefully have a little less stress. In past years, we have gone to Shawn's parent's house on Christmas Eve, came home and then traveled back to Albion on Christmas Day to my parent's house. Well, we did save ourselves some travel time but our plan did little to diminish the stress level. When we got to Grandma & Grandpa Jerry's house, Joey started showing signs of a cold and/or sinus infection. Runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, etc. but seemed to feel okay. We dined on delicious prime rib, potatoes and other yummy dishes. The kids received a Wii from Grandma & Grandpa Jerry for Christmas so they got excited about that. They hooked it up right away and I have to admit, it is fun ~ especially the bowling. After presents, I headed to help my mom get some things ready for Christmas Day. We decided to split the family up for the overnight stay, so the girls and I stayed at Grandma & Grandpa Lawson's house and Shawn stayed at Grandma & Grandpa Jerry's house with the 3 boys. This would have worked fine except the girls had a nap so it was after 11p.m. before they went to sleep. John & Tommie stayed up late to play the Wii and Joey started feeling worse as the night wore on. He likes his own bed and couldn't get comfortable in the pack-n-play and plus he wasn't feeling good. In the morning I found out he only slept from about 3am to 7:30am. I guess I got the better end of that deal. About 2am Shawn thought he would just drive him back home but guess where our house key was? With me in my purse. Shawn didn't want to wake anyone by calling to get the key but eventually they got some sleep. After Joey woke up he was playing and getting into everything but had such a terrible runny nose. Santa brought the kid's presents to Grandma & Grandpa Jerry's house and the plan was for me to bring the girls down there for the gift opening. But the girls kept sleeping and sleeping and sleeping ~ it was after 9:30 before they woke up. By then the boys had texted me 1000 times about when we were coming so I finally told Shawn to bring the gifts to my mom's house and they could open them there. About the time Shawn got everything packed up, the boys loaded up and arrived at the house, my sister and her family and my brother and his family got there too. In the meantime, I'm running around like a maniac trying to get things ready for Christmas dinner, the girls don't want to put on their Christmas dresses, all the boys want to do is open presents, and it seems like it is 150 degrees in the house. Ah, I cherish these Christmas memories! ;o) Now I'm not complaining ~ I love Christmas and I was so happy we could all be together, have delicious food in our tummies and share the joy of this blessed holiday. Oh yeah, it also helps that I got a new camera! After months of dropping subtle hints, I did get a camera for Christmas. Thanks Mom! Stay tuned for awesome editions of What Is That Anyway? coming soon to a blog near you. Shawn and I also received a beautiful quilt that only took 16 years to complete. When we got married in 1992, Shawn's Grandma Heany wanted to make us a quilt. I went with her and helped pick out the material with burgundy colors which was one of the colors at our wedding. Anyway, a few years passed and I kind of forgot about it. Once in awhile, Shawn's Grandma would say "One of these days I will get that wedding quilt done for you" or "I need to get to work on that wedding quilt of yours." I knew her intentions were good but years of failing health took their toll on her and sadly she passed away in 2007. Shawn's Grandpa had passed away in 2006 and earlier this summer there was an estate auction. My Aunt Carol and I were looking through some of Donna's belongings ~ material, art and craft supplies, and more material. Well, Aunt Carol knew that Donna had never finished the quilt she started oh so many years ago. She said "Wouldn't it be great if we came across the material you picked out for the wedding quilt Donna started to make you?" And what do you know, a couple containers later we found the material! I couldn't believe it! I hadn't seen it for 16 years, but recognized it immediately. It was all cut in squares and ready to be pieced together. Well, my Aunt Carol is a seamstress too ~ she loves to sew and make quilts. She said "Why don't I take this and see if someday I can get your quilt done?" I think she was as excited to find it as I was.
On Christmas Day, one of the last packages was wrapped in a garbage bag and it was for Shawn and I. Thoughts of the quilt did cross my mind but then I figured there was no way my aunt finished it already. But guess what? When we opened it, here was this beautiful quilt started with love and good intentions 16 years before! I was overwhelmed! Unfortunately, my Aunt Carol wasn't able to join us on Christmas but my mom told us that she had worked and worked on the quilt and even my Aunt Marlene (who is also a quilter and lives in Minnesota) had a hand in helping to get it finished. It is beautiful and I love it! I made Shawn hold it up so I could take a picture of both sides of it which I included in the slide show above. I can't believe it's done after all these years ~ thank you so much Aunt Carol and Aunt Marlene!
The rest of our 2008 passed without much fanfare ~ we survived the traveling, the overnight stay, the cooking, the eating, the packing, the unpacking, the cleaning up, and the winding down. A call to the doctor's office the day after Christmas got Joey on an antibiotic for his sinus infection and he is much better now. We are also surviving Christmas break ~ the kids go back to school on January 6th. After the first day I wasn't so sure if we would make it or not ~ but here we are and I know they are excited to get back to school! ;o) We stayed home with the little ones on New Year's Eve ~ I watched the ball drop on TV at 11:00 so I wouldn't have to try to stay up until midnight. Are you classified as old when you do that? I hope not! John and Tommie spent the night at friend's houses so we had a nice supper of their favorites on New Year's Day and wore our party hats. Nothing beats starting out the New Year with little smokies, our special recipe nacho dip, hot wings, tator tot casserole and garlic bread. Hope 2009 brings joy and blessings to everyone! Happy New Year!