In August Travis got a new, to him, car then in October he was involved in a car wreck when someone hit him. The insurance company gave him a check to get the car repaired and Travis had to get on a waiting list with an auto body shop to get an estimate. Finally, the auto body shop started figuring out the cost to repair the car and soon surpassed the value of the car so the insurance company declared it a total loss and on December 22 paid off the loan to the bank. That same day Travis made all the financial arrangements to get a new car then he and Keith went car shopping that evening and settled on 2011 Honda CR Z. Since the insurance company had a final check to get to Travis the deal on the car wouldn’t be finalized until Friday. Then the next day, Christmas Eve morning, the insurance company hand delivered to Travis the final check. So, Travis was able to get his replacement car on Christmas Eve day.
Around dinner time on Christmas Eve our extended family came to our house. We enjoyed good food and good company. For our gift exchange this year we used Elfster to draw names. It is a free, online tool that draws names according to restrictions you establish, such as a wife can’t draw her spouse’s name. Then participants can add a wish list that links to sites such as amazon. Participants can email anonymously or not and have group conversations similar to facebook. I think we all liked it and we plan on using it again. We also played the white elephant game which added more laughter to our time together.
For the first time in many years my father joined us on these special days marking this as a very special year. Christmas day we had a smaller get together and had a wonderful prime rib dinner. Our Christmas week was a joy!
For weeks I’ve been waiting for our trip to see the Chickasha Festival of Lights. Finally Saturday evening the chauffeur arrived at our house with the Hummer limo we rented for the evening and drove 18 of my family and friends to enjoy the Christmas lights.
You may think that a limo would be roomy. I suppose it all depends on how many folks are in it and with 18 people the leg room is limited even for those of us with short legs. Still, it was a fun way to spend time with family and friends.
Once we got to our destination we oohed and awed over the lights in the crisp, night air. Then we loaded back into the limo and when we got back home we had some comforting, homemade hot chocolate thanks to my husband.
Even though there was still ice and snow on the neighborhood roads several of my family were able to make it to my mother-in-law and father-in-law’s house for a Christmas Tree trimming party. Each one of us brought an ornament with our name on it for the tree.
Kelsey and Scotty accepted the responsibility to put all the decorations on the tree while I tried to figure out my remote control for my camera.
Part of the group visiting with one another after eating some goodies.
Chloe sitting pretty and hoping to be noticed.
Woo hoo! With this post I’ve completed a second year of photo journaling.
Christmas Eve was a nice evening with family over. We had lots of food and exchanged gifts. After the gifts, my brother-in-law surprised his girlfriend with an engagement ring and she accepted his marriage proposal. Later we enjoyed playing a card game and laughing.
Christmas morning there was no rush to get up and open gifts since we had opened most of them with Kelsey the week before. We did save a few gifts so we would have some to open. The best part, for me, was when we did FaceTime on our iPhones with Kelsey. We each got to see and hear her and she asked Travis to open her remaining gifts while she watched.
There was threatening weather Christmas Day but it didn’t really develop into much at our home. It was fun to have it actually snowing on Christmas Day. That doesn’t happen too often here in Oklahoma. As Keith watched the snow fall in our backyard he alerted me to a wildlife photo opp. There was a bird on our neighbor’s fence near the house with all the wind and snow whirling around him.
Later that evening when I looked out a window, Purrkins was all curled up on the loveseat with the snow as the backdrop. Such a peaceful view.
When the weekend arrived we took our Christmas decorations down and put them back in the attic until next year.
As 2012 drew to a close, Keith got us some Martini Asti because I like sweet wine and because sparkling wine is perfect for New Year’s Eve.
Ready. Set. Go 2013!
Our decorations for the tree are new this year. We decided to cull some of the very worn and hodge podge ornaments for some new, cohesive looking ornaments. We do have some ornaments that are too meaningful to put aside so we bought a table top tree and decorated it with those.
Last week when we did our family Christmas, I got a new lens and some cool filters for my camera, which I used for the two photos of the trees. The filter makes star bursts of the lights, pretty fun. Keith got an electric smoker. His very first dish in the smoker was smoked olives.
Most people have traditions involving specific foods at special times of the year, like Christmas time, and one of ours has become making and eating Aunt Bill’s candy. When you make a double batch it requires two people to stir and pour. The picture below is of Keith watching the candy thermometer for just the right temperature.
A few days later we had our family Christmas early because Kelsey will be in Montana over the holidays. It will be the first time that we won’t all be together on Christmas.
One of the fun things for our kids has been the silly things in the stockings and this year was no exception. They had their expected chocolate coins and a silly sucker that when you put it in your mouth looks like a character’s mouth. Kelsey’s was Rudolph and Travis’ was the abominable snowman. Then Travis put Keith’s gift in a backpack so Keith enjoyed pulling everything out one at a time before he finally pulled his gift out. It was fun to see Keith’s ‘excited’ expressions as he pulled each item out: a used notebook, a pen, a flyer, etc. Finally he pulled out his gift.
Sunday we met at my mother-in-law’s home to get together with family and put Christmas decorations up around her house. This December our family has Irene and Wes’ wedding in addition to Christmas. So, the preparations are underway for both festivities.
Visiting until more of the crew arrives.
Irene became the designated hooker, you know, the person who puts the hooks on the ornaments.
Keith had the honor of putting the tree topper on…ta da!!!
After 5 days off, today was back to work. Most times I’m not ready to go back to work, but I was this time. This evening my son picked me up and we attended a nutritional presentation. Afterwards, Travis and his friend put all of our Christmas boxes in the attic in record time. No doubt I forgot to pack something but the majority is put away.
Finally, I got to sit down and here’s a view from my chair that shows my new flannel pjs, my new tv, my new blu-ray dvd player and my new surname tile. Keith’s not watching an HD channel so the picture isn’t as large and clear as it can get.
With all our Christmas decorations back in their storage boxes and ready to be taken to the attic, I was able to find a spot for one of my gifts. My brother and sister-in-law gave me a really neat personalized tile and stand. It has our wedding date and surname on it. I like it a lot and for now like its spot in our living room.
Another cool thing we got was a new 42″ flat screen high definition TV and a wifi enabled blu-ray DVD player. We’re starting to have a really nice home theater.
We all woke up within an hour of one another and soon began opening our gifts. We each got things we wanted, needed, can wear or read. Perhaps you can tell by the expressions on my kids’ faces that the gifting was all fun.
Today we had plenty of leftover goodies and then Keith made a delicious prime rib. Kelsey said it was the best she’s ever had. It was excellent.