There has been a lot going on over here at my house. Since Christmas I have taken pictures at two different events. One is my mom's cousin and her girls and their girls/family! That was so much fun. The girls are all about the same age, all get along and we had a lot of fun. Then I took pictures at a family reunion of about 50 people on Saturday. They were such a nice family and invited us to eat with them as well. They had rented a church so they had a basketball court, a bounce/jump thing, all kinds of places for the kids to run and play. Then they had the kitchen area with tables all around with food and seating for the adults to visit. Such a nice set up. I took my backdrop, turned it sideways and got the lights all set up and took pictures for about three hours. We had agreed on a price for me to do this ***notice****I got PAID to do this. Debbie did you hear that??? I actually got money for this!!! And on top of everything else....these people were so nice they actually paid me more than what I asked for. That was so nice, such a surprise. And they had not even seen the pictures.....that is what made me feel really good. That tells me that my heart is in the right place. AND.....the pictures did turn out nice.
Then came Sunday. Sunday was the day my family was getting together for Christmas. We had a nice time together. We did an afternoon gathering (I like that better than lunch at noon!) I had fixed ham roll ups, chocolate dipped pretzels, sugar cookies, peanut clusters, meat and cheese tray, sliced meat for sandwiches or crackers, a cheese ball, vegetable tray, fruit and fruit dip, buckeyes, and little smokies bar-b-q. Whew, there was plenty of food to eat. We did Dirty Santa for our Christmas which is fun and the little kids did a dirty Santa as well. Guess what their gifts were....if you know me.....and I bought the gifts for it.....would you be surprised to hear they had to play with webkinz? Well they were littlekinz. But the kids acted like they had fun. I have a 10 year old nephew who is going through that awkward stage...not a baby, and not a big kid. That is what he told me. I felt so bad for him. He said he is expected to play with the little kids, but the adults have more fun. Oh I remember that stage of life and he is just 10. He has a little more time to go in that stage. Plus he is the oldest of the young kids. Every one was there except for my son and dil. We missed them, but that is the way it is going to be from now on. Everyone lives so far apart, so the times will be harder and harder to get everyone together. We still had a great time.
Then came Monday. Sarah and her family all came and stayed the night with us on Sunday and then agreed to house sit for us the next couple days. It is so much work to travel anywhere with the dogs and leaving them behind is as hard for me as leaving children for mommas. But we needed to go to Texas to see my son and his wife. I had purchased a really neat gift for Amanda and I could not wait for her to see it. TJ on the other hand, well, not nearly as exciting! We drove the five hours there with NO STOPS!!! I could not believe it. The time just flew by. We listened to a book on CD called Mary Mary by James Patterson....I love him. He writes some great murder mysteries and this was a gift from Amanda a few years ago. I had never had the time to listen to it, found it in my closet so hear opps, here we go! We listened to it all the way down and all the way home with an hour to spare. That was a nice drive. The sad part about our trip was, we drove there, got in about 2:00 pm. took TJ to lunch for Amanda was at work, hung out at the house till Amanda got home, opened gifts, ate dinner, watched a movie, visited, went to bed and the next day had to leave. Amanda worked on Monday, and Tuesday, TJ was off Monday night but had to work Tuesday night. We took the kids to lunch on Tuesday then had to say goodbye. We were there 24 hours. In all of that I did not take but a couple pictures and they did not turn out well at all. Good grief. But Amanda got something from us she has been wanting for a long time....a Kitchen-Aid mixer. TJ got a new printer and an electric chain saw!!! Plus a gift card from Academy. Well he had already gotten his printer working since he told me to get him one, so he took it back and got some hunting stuff for him. OK. Christmas turned out pretty good. Sarah got a really nice camera, Chris got a router and bits, Beth got her new I-phone and then TJ and Amanda seemed pretty happy with theirs. Next year??? I think I am giving some money and then I am going on vacation! SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE, ANYONE WANT TO JOIN ME?