Monday, January 5, 2009

What We Did Over The Holidays!

Disclaimer: I know the spacing isn't uniform on this post but, I got tired of working with it.
Once Todd got home we started in preparing for the holidays. First up, was starting on the beef jerky Todd always makes for our family members. Only problem was that when he got ready to put the meat on the dehydrator, which had been in storage, it didn't work. So, the meat went in the refrigerator and Todd went shopping. Thank goodness he found one I just can't say it, that store like Wal-mart that I refuse to shop at that starts with a "T".

Todd cutting up the london broils for beef jerky.

Next up was our annual Christmas party at Jeff and Tonya Mayo's. They are always gracious enough to host about twenty of us close friends. Unfortunately, this year some weren't able to make it so there were only about ten or twelve of us. We had a great time watching old choir videos that my brother Howard brought over. He is forever the archivist of all videos and pictures, and often reminds us that he could blackmail any of us. April, however, is quick to remind him that I have the video of him singing at my wedding that would blackmail him right back.

Me, April, Tonya, and Lisa. (Girls, it was the lesser of the 2 evils I had.)

Everyone gathering around the appetizers.

Then on Christmas Eve we started with my family at my cousin Holli's house. The main menu was steak, (everyone brought their own) and then of course we had baked potatoes and all the fixin's, sides and dessert. Everyone also brought an appetizer. So, there was no shortage of food.


Marvin, Uncle Olan (who finally got his hat to blink) and Todd cooking.

Everyones steak on the grill.

Living room group shot.

Marvin, Holli's husband, is a carver. He can carve anything out of wood with his pocket knife. He carved all of these ornaments on this Christmas tree.

And, he carved all of these little snowmen, that represent his wife and children. He has carved ornaments for most of our family members. He carved one for mine and Todd's first Christmas and one for Nathan when he was born and the one that means the most to me is the one he carved for Angel Ruth. April announced that he had never carved her any. My guess is that the Cruz-man will get one for Christmas next year.

After steak at Holli's, we went over to Grammy and Pappy's. Todd enjoyed Pappy's fried pork and I enjoyed Lisa's stuffed mushrooms and Grammy's peanut butter balls. Then the kids opened their traditional one present. Nathan has finally figured out that they always get matching pajamas. He got a lesson in family traditions.
Heather, Jacob and Nathan.
Nathan and Jacob taking a break from arguing.

Christmas morning started very early at our house.
I don't have any pictures of Christmas morning at our house because Todd always sets the video camera on the bar and lets it record. I got up very early and made Paula Deen's gorilla bread. Oh my was it ever more delicious. We had to wake Nathan up because we had to open our presents, then go to DeeDee and Grandaddy's and then back to Grammy and Pappy's. At our house Nathan's big gift was a new mountain bike. Todd and I exchanged practical gifts. He got me a car phone charger and a shower head and I got him tennis shoes. Our main gift to each other was a TV for the living room. After 10 years with a console TV and an antenna we turned manually, we are loving our new flat screen Samsung. Then we were off to DeeDee and Grandaddy's.
Grandaddy, Nathan and DeeDee.
Counting the chapters in The Tale of Despereaux.
Uncle Howie got Nathan a first edition book of The Tale of Despereaux. It was very important for Nathan to know how many chapters the book has. He also got a bunch of Mystery Tree house books.
The only DS game he got this year.
I made a breakfast casserole and we opened presents while it cooked. It was really good. Mama, Daddy and Howie went over to Aunt Mary and Uncle Eugene's for lunch and we went to Grammy and Pappy's for lunch and more presents.
Nathan and Jacob.
Pappy and his girl, Heather.

Uncle Tripp got Grammy and Pappy new watches.

Grammy was appreciative for her new watch but Pappy didn't think he needed one. Just because he has to change the time with needle nose pliers because the winding stem is broken off means nothing. Plus it wasn't an indiglo Timex. Oh, his son, (my husband) is so much like him.
Finally, the one and ONLY thing he really wanted.

We finished the year off with a cook out at our place. Todd and Pappy cooked boston butts on the grill and everybody brought a dish to share. The highlight of the day was the softball game. We had a blast. We all laughed at each other and us old folks realized that our bodies won't do what our minds think they can.
At the last minute, I realized that I hadn't taken any pictures and quickly ran inside and grabbed the camera. I was too busy eating and recovering from the softball game.

We are so grateful to all of our family and friends for a wonderful holiday season. We had so much fun and,...we kept Christ in Christmas.


Nathan's Uncle said...

Bubby was my best gift again this year! So glad you didn't let those mysterious people take Christ out of Christmas.

Holli said...

Oh how nice to read your recollection of Christmas. You have great pictures too.

Anonymous said...

Knowing you all enjoyed the various holiday celebrations makes my celebration complete. Christmas joy does not come from receiving, but from giving and seeing others made happy. I hope our relationship and celebration can last until the end of 2009 when we do it all over again. Grandaddy