Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Holiday Wrap Up

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope this finds you all to have had a very merry Christmas and looking forward to a wonderful New Year! We most certainly did and are.

I apologize for the lack of posts over the past few months. The holidays are my favorite time of year, but they also tend to keep me pretty busy.

We spent Thanksgiving in southeast Arkansas with my dad's family. Will actually had the whole week out of school, so we were able to spend an extended amount of time and enjoy a few extra days on the deer stand as well as visit family. It was a little different this year, with all the celebrations to participate in...but it was so nice to be able to share in the things that those who live nearby may sometimes take for granted.

I was able to attend a bridal shower for Casy and Samantha, a baby shower for Shelly and Troy, and to spend a wonderful Thanksgiving with the family at Rosa and Steve's cabin. On Saturday, the family gathered once again to watch as Casy and Samantha exchanged the vows that had to be postponed in 2008 due to the cancer treatments. What a time of joy and rejoicing! The wedding was absolutely beautiful...and the bride was stunning! The groom wasn't looking so bad himself, ha!

Upon returning home, it was "full steam ahead" as we prepared for our tenth annual company Christmas party. We had a blast! Can you believe it has been ten years since Custom Fire Protection opened it's doors? We have had changes in those ten years, but...WOW! We surprised two of the guys with rings for their 10 year service award. We only get to surprise them...because after that, everyone knows what is coming. We also gave out another five year jacket...that makes nine that we have awarded so far. And eight of those employees (which includes the three of us) are still with the company. We have been blessed, to be sure!

The Sunday evening after the party was tree trimming time. I posted some pictures from that last week. We have a lot of fun getting together for that each year. I don't know how long the tradition will last...but I will enjoy it as long as it does.

Thankfully, I finished up our family's Christmas shopping before heading to Arkansas for Thanksgiving. My motivation was to be able to enjoy more of the holiday and stay out of the crowds. As it turns out, the next few weeks took A LOT of my time doing year end paperwork and getting things turned in to our CPA. I still have a little to do, but it is doable even with the short work week ahead.

Even though I BOUGHT all the gifts (11 kids, in-laws and grand kids X 4 gifts each, plus stockings and pajamas...you do the math!) that doesn't mean I managed to WRAP all the gifts. I took the Wednesday before Christmas to wrap at work...and it took ALL DAY! I started around 11 AM and finished loading my truck around 8:30 PM! Please, PLEASE. PLEASE remind me not to try and do that again!

We trade off the family Christmas between Christmas Eve and Christmas each year. This year was our time to celebrate on Christmas Day. (The married girls set the schedule so that they are able to share Christmas with both families and not make either one forgo their traditional Christmas morning gathering forever...though I have a feeling that as the grandchildren get older this too will change.) So, Christmas Eve meant grocery shopping for me. My darling husband makes shrimp ettouffee by the boat load every year to indulge his family's wishes. This year he even did most of his shopping. (He only forgot the all purpose flour...which we should have had plenty of if I hadn't been so busy that I hadn't shopped since Thanksgiving!) I only needed the makings for Christmas brunch and the supplies to supplement his ettouffee with some seafood gumbo and chicken and sausage jambalaya in case there was anyone faint of heart who did not enjoy the sinus clearing effects of his fantastic ettouffee!

Christmas Day the whole family gathered to eat brunch, open presents and enjoy one another's company. We had a wonderful time and not a soul was missing. Mother was even here. She came the weekend before Christmas and was scheduled to leave the Monday before. But when her car broke down in Teneha, was towed to Shreveport, and wasn't repaired until Wednesday afternoon...we asked her to just stay with us until I could take her back to Shreveport on the Monday after Christmas.

That evening, we had friends join us for the big Cajun feast...minus the jambalaya. Sorry! I just couldn't manage it all!!! When all was said and done, we had 26 people (counting the little ones) gathered around three tables. Can you say LOUD? But very, very MERRY! After dinner, we took the white elephant gift a step further and made regifting a thing to be encouraged. Every one was asked to bring something they had received as a gift, but didn't want or couldn't use. You could also bring something you had purchased for your home/yourself but didn't work out...or you could buy something, but it had to be at least 50% off on the clearance aisle. We had a ball...and who knew that a bucket of popcorn would be the most sought after gift of the night?

Needless to say, Saturday and Sunday found me doing little more than watching a movie or reading a book. I was wiped! Jim managed to clean the garage on Saturday...but I haven't been able to do much more than a few loads of laundry and cook a few meals. (We finally had the jambalaya on Saturday evening.)

Yesterday was spent taking Mother back to get her car. An eleven hour event by the time it was all said and done. I don't want to drive anymore for awhile. Too bad I have to get up from here in a few minutes and make the 45 minute trek to work!!!

One more holiday left, and with it, one more Christmas to celebrate (with the Goode side) - this year in the West Memphis area at Paul and Sharon's. We leave on Thursday morning and will return on Sunday. We are looking forward to spending time with family and enjoying one another's company once again. I just hope Paul and Sharon are ready for the added decibel level that comes with our crew! We are a handful, to be sure. We will be at the Liberty Bowl on Saturday cheering on our beloved Hogs...thanks to a very generous Christmas present! Our first Razorbacks game!!! Can you tell we are a little bit excited?!?! I think Meagan may have even jumped for joy when she heard. She has been following our Hogs all season. Thank goodness the SEC did so well again this year or we would not have been able to watch all the games except one. They don't broadcast a lot of SEC games here in Big 12 country unless they are ranked...and boy, were they ever ranked this year!

So...that is our holiday wrap up for 2009. I will try to post pictures from work. The compact flash will not fit in my laptop and the adapter never has worked properly.

We hope that you and yours have a safe and happy New Year!

Much love,


Robin said...

thanks for the wrap up...enjoyed!

Brenda said...
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