A Christmas Post.

I sure wanted to get this written before ringing in the new year...but well, that just didn't happen.

Just a glimpse into Christmas 2012 with my family.

SP and I drove to Arkansas the Friday before Christmas.  Adam drove in on Saturday, and the DC bunch flew in on Sunday.  We were happy to have our family all together on the mountain.  After such a crazy Thanksgiving with 16 people around the harvest table, I think we all enjoyed the slower pace of Christmas.

We did our usual..cooked, ate, drank, relaxed, loved, hugged, and just enjoyed being together.  And being quiet.

We ate 15 bean soup that my dad made.  Gumbo that SP and my mom made on Saturday.  Tamales from TX.  Bacon wrapped, boudin stuffed quail from Louisiana.  Boudin.  Prime rib, popovers, green beans, and lumpy mashed potatoes (ha, j/k mom :) ) on Christmas day!!

SP and I were ready to learn how to make my mom's gumbo, since we've now mastered (well, SP has mastered) her ribs!

Below is showing how much fun SP had on the mountain.
Pic 1 - Winning the best son in law of the year award by cleaning out my mom's fridge.  Pic 2 - Learning how to make the roux.  Pic 3 - Slowly turning into a mountain man wearing my dad's hat.  Pic 4 - His Christmas getup.  A reindeer hat and rudolph nose (gifted by my dad), a silly book, and his new cooking apron.  

When I say we did a lot of sitting around, we did a LOT of sitting around.  Christmas Eve was so quiet.  We didn't do much of anything.  Everyone just relaxed.  Watched some movies, finished wrapping presents, and of course played with our favorite little buddy, Ian.  Mom and I decorated Christmas cookies!!  It was a lot of fun.  I can't tell you the last time I got to use cookie cutters and make delicious sugar cookies :)  We turned on the music and got busy decorating!
Our decorating skills could use some work, ha!  But they sure did taste good.
We ended up not putting up the big tree this year.  Just too much work for everyone.  But my mom has lots of little trees that surrounded us :)  Ian got to help Grammy decorate her animal tree!
Pic 1 - Yasha and Grammy decorating the tree!  Pic 2 - The DC bunch being lazy and playing with their buddy.  Pic 3 - We let Ian decorate a gingerbread house :)  He had so much fun sticking things in the icing and then pulling them off, ha!  Pic 4 - SP gets reaaaaally crafty while gift wrapping!

Ian helping us make the icing for the gingerbread house :)

For our Christmas Eve meal we ate beef stew with pone bread!  This is something we used to eat every Christmas Eve growing up at my grandmother's house.  My Nana made this and it is such a fond memory for my mother, she made it for us!  Sometimes it's nice to eat just a simple meal.  We all really enjoyed it.  Then we moved into the living room and watched our staple holiday movie...A Christmas Story!  "I can't put my arms down!", ha, gets me every time :)

Christmas morning, we began our gift giving around 7:30.  I woke up around 5:30, then fell back asleep for an hour.  I heard SCT, AZT, and IFT coming down the stairs and jumped out of bed so I wouldn't miss his first real Santa gift all set up and ready :)  Santa brought him the cutest, most classic, wooden train set.  Oh my, he loved(s) it so much!  It was so cute watching him say, "choo-choo" constantly :)

SP made an aluminum foil snowman on the top of my gift, ha!
And this one was an aluminum foil wrapped MILK JUG, with a pretty necklace inside :)
My favorite gifts this year were a nice cozy long robe, and a KEURIG!!!  SP caved and finally got me one.  I have been using it so much.  I love it!!  Oh, and I can't forget my new shoes that Shawn and Anastasia got me...

After gifts, we opened the wine and started cooking!  We sure thought we were going to get snow, but it completely skipped us!  UGH!  It snowed at our house in TX though...my neighbor, Shemele sent me this picture of our house!

We ended the evening gathered in the living room watching the last Batman.   Thanks Adam for bringing all these movies :)  The next day we all packed up and headed out.  With Christmas Day falling on a Tuesday, it was hard to stick around much longer.

It was a wonderful, peaceful Christmas.  My trooper of a father had a tough time, and still is.  We are staying strong and positive and hoping and praying continually that his digestion will become a bit easier for him.  We have started our countdown till surgery.  Only 23 more days!

Merry belated Christmas, everyone.

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