The Christmas Season traditionally starts for our family the weekend after Thanksgiving, so that is where I will start this post. There are 65 pictures for you to enjoy.
On the Sunday after Thanksgiving we gathered at Skye and Ryan's house (which is Shiloh and Jason's home) in West Columbia, SC for the blessing of Little 'MO' Guffey, a.k.a. Micah Osborne Guffey. Since everyone was looking so nice they decided to get a family picture after church.
The following Saturday I treated myself to an early birthday present and bought a new suit. ... Okay... I bought 2 new suits and one new dress/coat ensemble. Everyone sing... "I feel pretty...".
They were still cutting sugar cane here in early December. This is looking out of my office window. Another tradition they have here that we have missed for both Christmases is the lighting of the bonfires along the Mississippi River. They have huge bonfire building contests all along the levy and on Christmas Eve they fire them up to light Santa's way through the fog to their homes.
Cody and I left on Monday December 17th in his little pick-up truck to drive to Utah. We drove to my sister Sandy's house where she and David had a delicious dinner waiting and then went to watch Charlotte play in her last basketball game of the season. We spent Tuesday night with Cami, Jacob and the kids in Gallup, NM and on Wednesday drove through ice and snow to Springville, UT to spend the night with Hillary and Jake. We arrived in Idaho Falls on Thursday in time to go to Gideon's Pre-School Christmas program before heading to Menan. When we got home the house was a cool 43 degrees. They floor heat had been set on the Vacation setting so it took it a couple of days to warm up. We spent Thursday night with Cali and the kids because their house was warmer and then Friday Morning we went back up to the house to get it decorated and ready for company.
Because it was obvious we had a mouse problem, I sent Cody to the animal shelter in Rexburg to get a house cat for us. He came home with the cutest little black kitten named Geo (I call him George) and a 4 month old bull terrier/pit bull puppy name Sugar. Yep... that's the last time I send him for a mouser.
Hillary, Jake and Toby arrived around 4:30 followed by Jesse, Kelly and Tyree. Cali and the kids had come up earlier to help us decorate.
Due to the bad weather in the mid-west Darryl's flights were delayed so he didn't get in until midnight. On Saturday we continued our frantic decorating and finally finished about 10 minutes before Cami and Jacob arrived with Lily, Ransom and Gage.
On Sunday Morning Darryl fixed Goldenrod and sausage for a late breakfast. Cali and Travis were the only ones who didn't come for breakfast, but they met us all at church and then we had a wonderful dinner of baked ham, potatoes and green bean casserole afterwards.
We are great holiday eaters, and since Christmas Eve was my birthday we celebrated with delicious soups, Salad, Birthday Cake and Caroling the neighbors.
After Cake and ice cream, Birthday presents and caroling....
We hung the stockings on the fireplace mantle....(all 18 of them when you count the cat's stocking),
While Gideon and Lily oohed and awed over Grandma Cindy's display of 'activities' (nativities). We talked about baby Jesus, put the kids in their new pajamas and went to bed to await Christmas day.
Because I am so old (56) I had two delicious birthday cakes!
And wonderful Presents. (My new waffle iron is the bomb!!)
Santa was good to us this year, as he is every year.
Hillary!! What are you doing to your foot?
Gage's toothbrush with the suction cup is just perfect!
A little Hungry, Hungry Hippo Madness!
A Red Ryder Repeating action BB Gun!!! (Watch it kid, you'll shoot yer eye out!)
Gage and Sugar snuggle uncle Jake.
A unicorn bike helmet.
New train books...
A triceratops bike helmet!
Look mom!! A new box! Oh.. and new shoes!
I didn't get any good pictures of Cody with his new bow, they were all dark and blurry, but I did get some action shots with his new bull whip! (Nice outfit)
Finally it was time for Christmas Dinner!
Yes, we did dress for dinner, but somehow I didn't get any pictures of us all dressed up. How sad is that, Cali?
Checking out the treasures in her stocking.
Christmas night, 8:45 p.m.
Jesse, Kelly and Tyree, Hillary, Jake, Cali, Travis and Parker had all left for the evening around 7:30 and the rest of the kids were playing and having a blast with their new Christmas goodies. Around 8:30 I noticed it was very quiet and went to investigate. Here is what I found. One very tired Gideon crashed on the bare floor. He didn't even make it up to his bed like Lily and Ransom did.
On Thursday the 27th we had a baby shower for Hillary who is expecting her first child in February. A boy they will name Gabriel. Grandpa Darryl took care of Gage during the shower.
It was fun to visit with our friends Elinor and Barbara.
And Cami made a wonderful table of treats and goodies for the shower.
The rest of the week we just enjoyed spending time together as a family. What a blessing in our lives to have a family so close as ours.
Teaching Tyree Wring around the Rosie. . .
... and how to properly 'Dog pile' on Gideon.
And how to wrestle Grandpa.
Gage thinks he's in Jail.
Ride Bolie Ride!
What a wonderful Christmas Holiday!!