Since I told you of the story of Sassy a lot has happened. The kids all came home for Christmas. Libby, Wyatt, and their puppies got here Wednesday evening in time for a late supper. You know it's terrible when you have to bribe your children with food to get them to come home earlier, but I say if it works whoohoo! Anyway, they got a late start form Tulsa, and since Christmas Eve is my dad's birthday we had planned on going to visit after supper. Since they were running late I decided to just go ahead and run over there for a short visit and then come home and cook. So Libby called when they got to Springdale and I headed home. I got home and started cooking, you want to know what the menu was, ok, deer steak and rice and gravy. One of the girl's favorites, and it was fresh too, which makes it even better. So after supper we just relaxed and discussed plans for the following day.
Mark, Cari, and Calloway left early Christmas morning to come to Arkansas, since Mark had to be at church the night before for the Candlelight Service. We had a late breakfast and Libby had to have a manicure and pedicure (no one was going to see those toes in the cold weather, but you know how these girls are!), so she got 'em all painted up red for Christmas. They looked really pretty. Then the Burnett bunch got here around noon, we had a few minutes before we had to go to Jim's parents for lunch. We normally have lunch with his family and supper with mine. Jim's mom is one of the best cooks I know. She makes THE best mashed potatoes. We had turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry relish, brown beans, green beans, homemade rolls, corn, apple pie, and cherry pie. I think that was all. We had 18 people in all. We decided not to do gifts this year. So after everyone was complaining about their bellies (that's Arkie language) being full, we went in the main living room to have pictures taken. Now you have to understand, taking pictures with this bunch is like a three ring circus. You never know who is going to do what and when it might happen. A perfect photo opp just might be ruined by someone acting up. But this is part of what makes this side of the family fun and relaxing. Jim's parents are getting up in years and their health is not so good. His dad is 86, and his mom 81. So after running the batteries down in the camera we head back down to our house to have our family Christmas.
I bet you can't guess who had the most presents under the tree? It wasn't me or Jim! As I've told you earlier things happen when I go shopping in the children's department. We got so excited about Calloway opening presents that we forgot to take pictures, can you believe that. Well, I'm not taking the blame for it, because I had my own baby in my lap to take care of. We had a really nice time and got some good stuff. Jim got a web-cam so now maybe we can see Calloway more often, if he'll get the thing hooked up. Of course the big kids normally want money for some crazy reason, so that makes that easy enough. Although there was one present I couldn't locate in time, a pair of red leather Mary Jane's, for someone who, when they were little always wanted a pair. I won't say any names, but it wasn't my girls. Libby always wanted to play the drums, so she finally got one for Christmas! Mark loves puzzles, and so I was able to find one that I think will keep him challenged for a while! After opening gifts you can probably guess who had Calloway. She was making the rounds seeing things and saying, "What's that", and of course you know Poppy had to make sure she was satisfied at all times. No spoiling going on that day.
We went to my parent's for supper. We had fried chicken-mommas is the best, mashed potatoes, biscuits, gravy, beans, banana pudding, pie, brownies, and lots of homemade candy. She makes fudge, peanut butter balls, and coconut balls, the best part is you always get to bring some home with you. We decided with our family getting so big that we would just buy gifts for the kids this year. I have never seen a camera flash as many times as it did that night. With it being Calloway and Sophia's first Christmas, we had to make sure nothing was missed, or at least that was Susan's thoughts! (love ya sis). Mom and dad always get us stuff, no matter what "WE" say the rules are-I guess that's one of the benefits of being the eldest and the parents. I am really proud of my parents. They neither one have a high school education, but have worked hard all their lives, and instilled in us girls that a hard work ethic and a life of integrity is essential. I thank God to know that when their days on earth are through, that they have tried to do the best they could with what they've had and that their reward will be in a heavenly home. Life has not been easy for them, but they have showed us what family really means, that you stick it out and do the best you can. Their love is truly unconditional, and I'm grateful for all they've taught me. (Don't ask me how that fits in with Christmas-I guess just knowing that God gave His best for us, and that's what they've done.) We didn't stay too late as it had already been a long day, and Friday was going to be too.
Since Mark and Cari had to leave Friday afternoon to go to his dad's, we had a big birthday bash at Susan's Friday morning. We had 3-"first" birthdays to celebrate, my dad being 71, and the babies turning 1, Sophia on Saturday and Calloway on Monday! Lots of nice presents, food, and fun for all. We left there and went to Jim's Razorback Pizza for lunch, then Jim, Wyatt, and Sassy came home while Mark and Calloway dropped Libby, Cari, and me off at Trees N Trends, then he went to get something from his brother, returned to get us and headed home. The Burnett bunch got ready and left around3, then the Wagner bunch left shortly thereafter. A good Christmas and birthday fun, but just way tooooo short for my liking.
I hadn't felt good off and on all week, and by the time the kids left Friday I was feeling it! The sinus crud caught up with me and today is the first day that I've really felt like doing anything. And NO, I didn't stay up to see the old year out and the new one in! I know you are so disappointed, but I was sleeping good when it happened! What a way to bring in the new year! Happy New Year and hope you had a wonderful time with your families this Christmas season as well.