December 2014

This month ended up having ups and downs.

Our bright star of the year was the addition of a new family member.
Welcome to the family Hunter Rose.

Even though she was due in November, our little cutie pie made
her entrance on December 2.

Weighing in at 9 lbs. 6 ounces and 22 inches long.
Big babies kind of run in the family.

I had three 9 pound babies and one 10 pounder.

Michelle ended up having a c-section.
After a 10 day stretch of getting her post-delivery pre-eclampsia
(I didn't even know that existed) blood pressure under control,
my little sister has recovered remarkably.

And this is our little bundle of joy.
I see lots of fun shopping trips in the future.

The photographer, Deanna Meredith Photography, did such a great job with her
new born pictures.

Cousin Cookie Decorating Christmas Party

Each year the young cousins have a gingerbread house decorating party
sometime before Christmas.  This year we opted to have a Christmas Cookie
party instead and it was a less stressful and time consuming.  Win...Win..

Jessica hosted it this year and provided a delicious meal.

 and Melissa brought melted Olaf yogurt/carrot cups which turned out cute.

Aunt Valerie wrapped little treats for all 9 of them to have a round robin gift exchange

And then it was on to the decorating.
I pre-made cut out cookies and ginger bread men for them to decorate.

 They all did such a great job.

After we dragged brought the bigger boys in from their Nerf gun fights, we made
their hot chocolate and divided up the kids and drove to a near by park for a beautiful
 Christmas lights display.

This year was fun and less hectic than when we did gingerbread houses.  We might
just do it again next year.  Thanks Jessica for hosting us all.

Now how adorable is my little nephew.  He asked me to take a 
picture of him holding his bat.  He has form already at 2.

Happy Birthday Melissa

For Melissa's party this year Randy and Carrie worked up
a surprise for her with a birthday brunch at Dexters.

With family and friends there to celebrate one of our favorite girls,
we really enjoyed the fellowship and delicious food.

Forgetting to bring my camera, we just had a cell phone shot 
of her blowing out her candle.  Mom fail, AGAIN!

To the baby girl who made me a mother and who is the most
generous person I know,
Happy Birthday Melissa.

Disney's Magic Kingdom

Melissa was gifted a couple of Disney passes so she decided it would
be fun to take Dylan to see the Christmas celebration at Magic Kingdom.
Taylor had just gone a couple of days before with her boyfriend and Randy
is in the middle of busy season at work so she invited Nana and Poppy to join them.

In spite of the fact that it had to be the most crowded I remember it ever being
in the 42 years I've been going there (did I just say that out loud)
we managed to have a fun time.

His mom didn't tell him where he was going until we arrived.

As soon as we walked into the entrance the Celebration parade began.
Perfect timing.

 After seeing some of our favorite princesses, queens and snowman we
were entertained with some of Dylan's favorite things.  Knights and dragons.

From this angle it looks like the dragon is setting the tree on fire.

Interesting side note, when I was sixteen, I participated in the Bicentennial 
1976 American on Parade.  I played several characters historical characters
in the parade but occasionally I was the dwarf, Doc.  Which is kind of
funny since I'm 5'10".

 Dopey is a family favorite.

and the parade always end with the big man.
M-I-C-K-E-Y   M-O-U-S-E

Two of Dylan's favorite rides is the People Mover and Buzz Light Year.

This would be the only documentation I was there because I'm
the one who always has the camera around her neck.

Dylan was briefly captured by Zerg but was able to break free.

Dumbo and Pirates of the Caribbean are also up on Dylan's list of must do rides.

The Castle is always so pretty at night.

We made our way to the front of the park and were trapped  were able to see the
Electric Light Parade right before we made our way to the monorail.
Along with 5 million other people with the same idea.   Ha
But memories, family time and a mostly smiling little boy made it worth the crowds.

An Unwelcome Guest

Up until now we were off to a great month of celebrating.

And this, my friend is where my December starts to fall apart.

I'm not sure if it was the daily visits to the hospital, the intermittent Christmas
shopping that I had finally begun or the trip to Magic Kingdom
but the night after our Disney trip at my Christmas GNO celebration
(another picture fail) I noticed I had a slight sore throat.
The next morning it was still sore but I knew I needed to really
get down to the business of gift shopping.
I left the house about 7:00 am and by noon some kind of
cold/virus/flu hit me like a ton of bricks.
I felt like I could barely make it home.

I was so sick.
The next day was Dylan's Christmas party at school that I was helping
Melissa with.  Needless to say I had to miss it and I had really been looking forward to it.

 Melissa and a few other mom's carried on
but by the time she got home that evening, she was sick also.

And a few days later, Mike came down with the same thing.

Our Large Family Christmas Party

Our big family Christmas party was that Saturday at my sister Tammy's house.
She has been planning all year.  Yummy food, an Ugly Sweater contest,
a trivia game competition, goodie and
ornament exchanges and our usual round robin gift exchange.

The large family Christmas Party is my most favorite thing we do each year.

We all had to miss it.  Only Taylor from our branch of the family was able to attend.

I will admit I was feeling a little sorry for myself and after my constant text
requests for pictures casual suggestion for real time pictures
 Taylor sent me a couple.

Of course I came to my senses and realized how blessed I am.  Besides, we were able
to enjoy some time to catch up on reading and watching
Christmas movies which we both love to do.

Mike and Melissa had it worse with more symptoms than I did.
I spent the few days before Christmas taking care of Mike, getting out our
Christmas cards and finishing up my shopping.

We both were feeling better, albeit completely wiped out, by Christmas
Eve and made it to my Mom's open house Christmas Eve party.
I know I must not have been on my A game that night by
the repeated comments of:

"What's wrong.  You look like you don't feel good"
"Wow, you looked tired"
"Is something wrong, you look like something is wrong"

The funny thing is I was feeling fine and I wasn't upset at all.
I was actually really happy to be celebrating with others.
I just must of not looked like it.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Morning

On Christmas, the kids came over for breakfast and to open presents.  In
my absent mindedness I only got a couple of pictures from the whole day.

After they left, we went back to visit with my mom for a while and
then came home and watch  "A Christmas Story" one last time.

With the help of my sister Kim and a very long back story,  Mike got me the purse
that I've pinned for and really admired for quite a while.
I just love it.

Mike's gift this year was a great recliner that will be beneficial for
his bad back.  He's wanted one for years and years and this is finally
the Christmas he got it (when it comes in mid January).
We were so blessed with lovely gifts from friends and family that we
are so fortunate to have in our lives.  We are so grateful for both.

Kelly, Matt and the kids weren't able to make it this year but she was on the ball
in the picture department.

 We missed not having them here on the holidays but this is one season
I think they're probably glad they missed.  Germs don't make the best presents.
But they will be here in a couple of weeks so were are filled
with anticipation about all the fun we will have.

Sea World Christmas Celebration

A couple of days before New Years we decided to go with my sister and her
hubby to get our final "Christmas light fix" for this season.  We hadn't been
to Sea World in quite a while and our passes were expiring so we made
a quick jaunt over for dinner and a few Christmas shows.

The lights were beautiful.
We were able to catch the Shamu Christmas Show and ride The Polar Express.
After dinner we walked around the park for a while admiring all the decorations and
Christmas trees.  It was a nice way to end the season.

We're winding down our year by staying home this New Years Eve,
renting a movie and ordering in Chinese food.

I'm grateful for all the blessings God gives me, especially
my family and friends that I get to do this crazy life with.

Happy New Year

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