Family Holidays

We basically spent the month of December (Dec. 6 – Jan. 6) in north Texas. Aubrey to be exact. We wanted to stay closer to Oklahoma and Missouri for our trip to see family for the Christmas holidays.

When we arrived in Aubrey, I knew that I needed some much needed time for myself. We had just spent a little over 9 weeks in the STL area with my dad after my mom passed Aug. 23rd. Then we spent a week in Springfield visiting Jack’s family. Next, we spent a month having fun with Mike, Jenn, and the grandkids in Edmond, OK. Needless to say, I kind of “crashed” when we arrived in Aubrey. I was way more exhausted than I thought, as I slept in most days until 9:30 a.m. or later!

I also needed some time to privately grieve. Jack was patient with my mood swings and my need to just be “lazy” and take care of myself. We still had some Christmas shopping we needed to do, and we even made time to see a movie. When the time came to head out for our Christmas trip, I felt refreshed, invigorated, and ready to go.

First stop was Edmond, OK. Our oldest son, Jeff, drove up from Florida and met us at Mike and family’s house for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We went to the Christmas Eve service at Mike’s church. After the service, we took a family photo.

Back row (L-R): Jack, Jackson, Mike, Jeff. Front Row (L-R): Betty, Jade, Kylee, Jennifer.

After church we went back to Mike’s to have our Christmas and open presents. Here are just a few pics.

Finn and Zoey really do like each other and get along great, even though Zoey has this funny look on her face.

The day after Christmas we drove to Springfield (Huffman family) and then on to St. Louis (LaTurno family) to have Christmas with the rest of our families. Here are a few of those pics.

All in all, it was a busy but great Christmas!

We headed back to Aubrey, TX, after the New Year, spent a day or two getting the RV ready to travel, and then headed to our next destination.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”


Christmas Chaos: Round #2 = Christmas FUN!

Every year we spend days and weeks preparing for Christmas Day.  Shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, all while watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music.  Then there is laundry and packing clothes and loading all the gifts and setting out to travel 8+ road hours to visit family. The actual day finally gets here, and before we know it, it’s over.  If your family is like ours, you had lots of gifts, food, laughter, and gift wrap trash to collect.  Following all the chaos we played every new game the little kids received as well as the games the “big” kids received.  Then we ate some more and watched the new movies the kids received.

My husband and I feel so blessed that God has allowed us to have our “core” family (both our sons, daughter-in-love, and three grandchildren) all together with us on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Extended family arrived later in the day for a couple of rounds of Hand and Foot Canasta which half of us had never played before.  Learning all the rules and nuances was a blast, and when one of us novices made a silly mistake…well, let’s just say it was hard to get back to the game for all the laughter.

Christmas Eve, before the grandkids went to bed, my son wanted to read Twas the Night Before Christmas to all the kids.  This was the first year that I knew of that he wanted to do that, and my first thought was, “What a great tradition to start with his kids!”  As you can see, this most definitely is a 21st century reading of this classic Christmas story (Hint for those who are Baby Boomers or older:  He is NOT reading from a “traditional” book; he’s reading on his iPad).


Here’s just a few pictures of the fun.









Throughout the years, my husband has usually helped me with the Christmas shopping as well as the wrapping (yeah, I know…I am one LUCKY BLESSED girl!).  However, this year, since I am now retired, I guess he figured I could do all the shopping and wrapping by myself.  I didn’t mind…well, maybe I minded a little.  The last night I was wrapping gifts, my husband was sitting there doing nothing relaxing, watching television.  I said to him, “Dear, I am REALLY sorry that you won’t have a good Christmas this year.  I have deprived you of all the ‘JOY’ of Christmas.”  He asked me what I meant by that.  I explained that since he didn’t get to help with the shopping or the wrapping I was just SURE he wouldn’t ENJOY Christmas as much this year!  You should have seen the look on his face!

Last Christmas, as well as the Christmas before, my husband and I had “AGREED” to NOT get each other gifts.  He didn’t abide by that agreement either year.  Both years he got me a really nice gift, and I had nothing for him!  This year I told him if he got me anything, I would be promptly returning it.  I HAD to makeup for not getting him anything for the last two years, so I surprised my husband with an iPad this year for Christmas.  I thoroughly enjoyed the look on his face!

But…wait!  It gets even better.  Unknown to him, I bought myself a gift.  I wrapped it, filled out the card to myself (all except the “From” part), and had my DIL to take it to him with an ink pen.  I told her to tell him to sign his name to the card and give the gift to me!  Needless to say, we all got a good laugh out of my little prank!


Oh, yeah…I almost forgot to tell you:  I got a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad that I got for Christmas last year (remember — when we weren’t supposed to get each other gifts!).


%d bloggers like this: