The Highlights

Annual Christmas Chaos 2013

Happy New Year!

I have compounded some highlights for you from our visit together just a few days ago. For those of us who were not able to be with us, you were sorely missed.

To begin the hit parade--- our annual Christmas supper, with a turkey lovingly prepared by Don, and served with all the fantastic trimmings courtesy of the parents (love those new crock pot add-ons!). After which was the viewing of the family video. I must confess: I waited much too late to get pictures from most of you, and my camera was stolen in the summer. I don't really care that the camera was gone, but my pictures of Ashley's graduation were on the memory card (not that the thieves cared). That said, I apologize to Ashley for the missing proof of such an auspicious and proud moment.

Following the family video, were the gifts. Dad asked for a surprise this year, and he received it---10 gifts given by 10 youths, beginning with our youngest, Kinley Rose. The festivities finally wound down about 10:30 p.m., and we were up at dawn to start the next round.

Saturday's agenda began with a trip out to the ranch to witness raw energy coming from the ground. Thanks, Dad! Next, it was back to town for the annual kickball game. Yes, we had new players and spectators this year, including Lincoln, Kinley, and finally Don was in for most of the action. I think that the score was tied by the end of the game (not that we are competitive). Stop for energy and rest at Don and Brenda's, then the gingerbread house building began. We had six competitors, and what an array of designs they created! Zoe went for the traditional home, while Sarah's was a monument to a good foundation. Claire's had vast and detailed landscaping, and Arthur's was a new age creation with licorice arches. Gemma went for a more modern brownstone look, and Courtney chose to recreate one of the homes in the Shire. There was candy galore, and prizes for all. Thanks, Gemma--what a great idea!

As the day drew to a close, we celebrated by shooting off rockets, managed by Uncle Beau. If this is to become a staple activity, I say we buy more rockets. Finally, a short concert by Sarah, complete with Christmas tunes on the violin.

What a weekend. I don't know about you, but I had to have a day to recover from it all.

In the Future

I talked to most everyone about their plans going in to the new year. For those I didn't speak with, I'll be guessing......

For Sarah, she'll be continuing her studies on the violin, and participating in Cross Country; for Claire, it's Upward Basketball, and dance; for Zoe, it's soccer, and raising money for another international jaunt--this time to China; for Arthur, it's karate, and moving back to San Angelo; for Darby, it's finishing up her high school career; for Drew, he'll be working at the Wildlife Ranch and playing football next season; for Ashley, it's a whole new ball game (literally) with Lincoln starting up spring training for his new baseball season, and taking care of Kinley while working; for Austin, he'll be preparing to enter high school in the fall; for Courtney, well, I can't even remember.

We are all blessed-- I hope to remember that much as I wake up to a new year, and a clean slate. I hope all of you have a year filled with joy and good fortune.