From the second we pulled the truck into the driveway, I felt a difference. I loaded myself up with as much as I could carry and walked across the yard to the house. Starla was home and she was cooking when we came in. How good it was to see her and hug her. We sat down all we carried and each made another trip to the truck and then started to settle in at home.
I got laundry going right away and then the cooking began. I love to cook. And I really like to cook for the holidays. I made fudge and more fudge and yet more fudge. I cooked potatoes for potato salad. I cut up sweet potatoes and cooked them. I made two cherry cheesecakes. And peeled enough potatoes for 2 pans of scalloped potatoes and also peeled and cut up potatoes for ham potpie. I know that sounds like a lot of potatoes but here's the deal. I brought 10 pounds of potatoes home with me, Starla had about 8 pounds of potatoes already and yesterday and today Bill brought four 5 pound bags of potatoes home from work. That's a lot of potatoes. We gave my sister, Amy and my sister-in-law, Barb each a 5 pound bag.
After a lot of cooking and laundry, I got down to the business of wrapping gifts. Normally I wrap as I buy even if it's July, but most of my stuff was bought online or bought in our travels and shipped here so everything was here waiting for me to wrap. Wrapping took me several hours. But I enjoyed it. Oh yeah, I also made a big lasagna for our supper.
After supper Bill, Starla, me and Pops sat around and talked and relaxed until bedtime. Whew, I'm tired.
This morning I got up at 6:30am and started all over again. Cooking and preparing and gathering and sorting gifts, we were busy.
Bill had to be at work early so he left here around 7:00.
Just before lunch time my son, Drew showed up. I am still amazed every time I see him now. I cannot get over his 100+ pound weight loss. He has always been on the big side, he was 9'12" when he was born. He looks so much taller and his face looks so different too. He goes to the gym every morning. Good for him. He just bought a new house and moved in this week. He is so excited and I am excited for him. Pops and I got him new dishes and some other things for Christmas. I left him take his dishes home with him today.
He stayed here until time for him to go to work. I love seeing and spending time with my family.
After a while me and Pops were in the kitchen drinking coffee and I saw a FedEx delivery truck pull into the driveway. I grabbed my FedEx coat and ran out the door. He was asking me all about our truck and how we work, he said he would like to do that with his wife but they still have kids at home. He brought me a pair of boots I ordered before Pops bought me the ones from Outdoor World, Yes, Jeff, these ones are "old lady boots." But they are waterproof and warm plus they slip on and off with no lacing.
I called my son, Tom at 3:30 to see if he was going with us into my dad's for our annual family get together. He said he would ride with us so we agreed to wait for him.
Bill got home from work about 4:00 and went to get a shower and a little later Tom showed up. We left here about 4:45.
When we got to Dad's my sister, Amy and her husband, Scott were there. Their kids, Levi and Kacey were there along with Levi's girlfriend, Stephanie.
My brother's son, Jake was also there already. Soon my brother, Jim and his wife, Barb came over from next door. My niece, Beth works at Walmart and wasn't able to join us this year. : (
Barb's mom, Nan usually comes but couldn't make it this year either. Beth's boyfriend, Justin did drop in for a few minutes but then he went to his family's get together.
We had our usual fare of meat and cheese tray, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, buns, potato salad, beans, cookies and more cookies.
My sister got me a nice warm sheet set for our truck. It is made of fleece. It is going to be so cozy, thanks Amy.
We have always exchanged names before but this year decided not to do that but to just buy for Dad. So after all of us were finished eating we watched him open his gifts. We really had a nice time. I love our family time. We only do it twice a year with my family, on Christmas eve and on the Saturday before the fourth of July.
It is getting harder because of the grandkids getting older and everyone's jobs getting more demanding. It is so hard for all of us to be together.
We left pretty early because Tom and Jim had to work tonight, so we got on the road. I love you, Tommy, be careful driving home and be careful at work. Both my boys work at the state prison as guards.
When we got home, I helped Starla bake some cookies. Then Bill made a big batch of shrimp. Yummy. Now Starla is wrapping all her gifts, I am listening to Bill and Pops talk hunting and I am filling you in on what has been going on.
It is Christmas Eve. Tomorrow is Christmas. We will be busy with food, presents, family and friends. But don't forget about Jesus. He is why we celebrate. I hope we don't get so bogged down with all the clutter and gimmicks that we forget to even think about Jesus. Because without Him I am nothing.
I love you and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. I hope you are with those you love. Never take them for granted. NEVER take them for granted. Tell them that you love them every chance you get. And hugs are good too.