We started our celebrations on Friday, the 19th. We had our annual "Big Family" Christmas at my parent's house. This is the time when all 4 of the Baddley children, their spouses, their children, and Nana and Doo Daddy get to celebrate together. This year my OLDest sister, Tracey, and her husband Steve were unable to make it (they had a company party in OKC that night), but the rest of the clan was there. We had a terrific time exchanging gifts with the ones we knew we wouldn't see during another part of the holidays, EATING, and talking a ton! If anything can be said for the Baddleys...WE CAN TALK!
I'm so mad at myself...I didn't take a single picture that night. Boo.
After church we headed back to Nana and Doo Daddy's for some yummy snacks and fellowship. We got the children bathed and in their PRECIOUS matching jammies that Nana bought them, put out cookies for Santa and food for the reindeer, and then scooted them off to bed. Santa (or should I say the 4 elves) got to work! Thankfully Rus had already put together the bike Santa was bringing for Karson, so we didn't have hours of work ahead of us! We were still up til nearly 1:30. Oh! I almost forgot...We added something new to Santa's repertoire this year...we made boot prints out of baby powder coming from the fire place (it looked like ashes)! So cute, and the kids thought it was so funny the next morning!
Christmas morning started as late as we could hold the children off...7:30 (but I did have to wake Campbell up - bless her soul). We let them come downstairs all together and the festivities began. They discovered all that Santa had brought them with MUCH delight, and then spent quite a bit of time opening their gifts from each other, Nana and Doo Daddy, and Mom and Dad. We had to take a breakfast break after the "children's portion" of the morning and re-fuel. After a YUMMY breakfast of biscuits, bacon, cinnamon rolls, garlic cheese grits, and fruit - wow!, the children got to play with their presents while the adults opened their gifts. What a blessing! After it was all over, we were on "joy overload".
We all rested for a little while, and then started up the cooking for Christmas night. My brother and his family came over and we had a yummy dinner and fun time with them. My parents had given each of the grandchildren his/her own fleece blanket as one of their gifts, and we all got tickled watching all of them wander around with them. Those blankets were totally multi-purpose - they were turned into forts, capes, skirts, lovies, trampoline partners, and other assorted things. I don't think Nana expected quite the amount of joy they would bring! By the time we went to bed that night, we were EXHAUSTED! Thankfully everyone slept well and woke up rested.
The day after Christmas, Teen and I were able to stay at Mom and Dad's and help take down ALL of the Christmas decorations. With Mom's MS, this is always such a huge task for her. The kids played so sweetly (even little Miss Campbell crawled around happily) while we worked. Not only were we able to help Mom out, but we got to spend fun time together talking and working side by side. I know these are the times that always make the best memories. By the time we all went home, my heart was completely FULL!!!
Those in attendance: Nana, Doo Daddy, Teen, Kirk, Joshua, John Thomas, Tommy, Amy, Griffin, Rusty, Melissa, Karson, and Campbell - fun times!!!
Look! Santa brought Karson a bike! She was showing us her mad driving skillz. That's John Thomas following behind on his new big wheel!
Campbell says, "Oooooh!!! Look! Santa put these yummy wagon wheels in my stocking!"
Sticking with the "Baddley girl tradition" of trying on all new pairs of shoes...here's Big Girl in her new and very cute rain boots!
This precious hat came courtesy of Nana and Doo Daddy. Now that is some cute!
Karson took this picture of us after we had finished the Presents Extravaganza of '08! As you can see, we dressed for the occasion!
Our final celebration took place on Saturday with the Zumwalts. On years that we are not with them for "real" Christmas, we usually try to celebrate before, but with Rus's job change, the timing just wouldn't work out this year (we're missing those days off work for Winter Break). We had a fabulous time, nonetheless!
I must say that I married into one of the funniest families on the planet! These people are comedic from the oldest to the youngest. It's so fun to watch (and participate with) them all together! It's also somewhat comforting to know that the next generation will carry on - the kids are hilarious too!!! We had some moments of side-splitting laughter and fun! We all opened MORE presents and so enjoyed spending time together!
Those in attendance - Jerry and Martha (aka- Rus's parents, aka- Ma and PaPaw); Rus's brother Rob, his wife Leigh Anne, their children Parker and Bella, Rus, Melissa, Karson, and Campbell
*I have 2 more pictures I want to post...but my computer is taking forever! I will have to post them tomorrow.
That about sums it up! It was a VERY Merry Christmas, indeed! We anticipate 2009 with great joy!
Thank you God for the blessings of this year - the gift of new life, the triumphs, the struggles, the sad endings, the changes, the new beginnings, the loss of precious life, the nearness of treasured family and friends, and most of all, for the gift that is YOU!