Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

All but three of my Christmas mornings have been spent at my grandparents' house. (If I have this right, we stayed home in 1995, 1999, and 2003.) I am very much a person who loves tradition. My vision of an ideal Christmas is being with family, drinking hot cider by the fireplace, and just hanging out. That (for the most part) is what this Christmas was. I love Christmas Eve almost as much as I love Christmas day! It's so cozy. The end of this Christmas Eve was bittersweet. My great grandmother, who has had Alzheimer's for many years, passed away that evening. Well miss her so much, but to quote my mom, we didn't lose her on Christmas Eve, we really lost her years ago. (She didn't recognize anyone anymore, hardly said a word, and spent her days just sitting in her chair.) She was just in time to celebrate Christmas with my great grandfather and the Birthday Boy in heaven! It was really a new look into the meaning of Christmas. Because God sent His Son, we'll all be together again someday. The funeral will be in a few days. On Christmas morning my brothers and I woke the adults up at 7, like we do every year. (Although this year my youngest brother and I had a hard time waking up my now 15 year old brother in time to wake the adults!) We looked in our stockings, and opened presents, just in time for my aunt, uncle and cousins to come for brunch. I got some wonderful gifts, including several new scrapbooking tools! I've been having so much fun with it all. Christmas evening we went to my dad's brother's house and had dinner with some of his family. Here are some pictures!
Merry Christmas from Kirby!
Making ambrosia, because it wouldn't be Christmas without it!
Me and Mom.
I spent a lot of time playing the piano this year.
With Reed and Will (my cousins) at the Christmas Eve service.
Handing out gifts.

Our gifts to each other!

Jamey was born on Christmas day! We usually have a cake, but this year we had pumpkin bread, and used the only candle we could find. :)

Playing with my cousin Seamus at my aunt and uncles house that night.

Dad and their dog, Greta.

All the cousins on December 26th!

Happy 2009 everybody!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Cookie Time!

About a month ago, my friend Parri moved in within bike riding distance of our house! It's been ages since I've had a friend so close by, and we've been having a lot of fun! Yesterday she came over and we decorated Christmas sugar cookies together. We went a little crazy, and we had a wonderful time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

While we were out....

While we were in South Dakota, friends from Mom and Dad's small group were in our house, doing an extreme home makeover on our living room! We had new sofas, and had planned on painting it, but they came in, painted, decorated, and it doesn't even look like the same living room anymore! It was such a wonderful surprise. Dad was the only one who knew about it. It's such an amazing blessing! I don't really have a good before picture, but you can kind of see here. This is how it looks now!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

South Dakota!

This year was my dad's parents' 50th anniversary, and what they wanted most was for their 5 kids and their families to come and stay with them in South Dakota. The last time I was there I was 1 1/2, and needless to say I don't really remember anything about it. It was so much fun! My grandmother and I enjoy a lot of the same things, (quilting, scrapbooking, and knitting, of course) so we had a great time together. It was a 22 hour drive to get there, and on the way we were able to go to the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum! I had wanted to go ever since I heard they were building it, but I never thought I'd actually go someday. Here are some pictures.

I'd seen pictures of the entrance, and it was amazing to actually be there!

The Garden of Eden. (It was BEAUTIFUL!)

My brothers.... *sigh* :)

Me, my mom, and the llamas.

Eating from the Tree of Life.

Outside the museum.
While we were staying with my grandparents, and before my aunts, uncles, and cousins got there, we were able to go to the Black Hills! It was an amazing trip. All 7 of us piled into my grandparent's van and drove 5 hours to get there.
On the way we stopped at a rest stop that overlooked the Missouri River.

"Beware Rattlesnakes"

The Badlands! It was absolutely beautiful, especially since there was still some snow left over from a blizzard.

It was kind of surreal, standing next to Mount Rushmore. Here we are with my grandparents.

We got to go to Sylvan Lake. The drive up was a little nerve wracking, but the lake was spectacular, especially with the freshly fallen snow, and it was totally worth it!

Here we are at Sylvan Lake.

We went to Custer State Park, not sure if we'd see any wildlife or not. We saw basically everything! Here are pictures of the buffalo.

We drove right through a herd of antelope!

A few days after we got back to my grandparents's house, the rest of my family got there, just in time for a few inches of snow! We haven't seen snow here since early 2004, and my Texas cousins had never even seen snow before! We had entirely too much fun.

Here we all are. Actually, not all. There were 20 of us total, including three 3 year olds! It was an adventure, but I loved being with all my family.

Here are the 3 year olds, Addison, Abbie, and Seamus.

This is my cousin Courtney. For Thanksgiving we went to my grandparents church and had a big meal in the fellowship hall, along with some extended family.

My brothers and me.

I got full WAY before I was done eating. It was very sad.