Time has flown by. We have been busy doing all the stuff that goes along with Christmas. There were Christmas Programs, and piano recitals, and parties.
My class gave me a new charm for my Pandora bracelet. It was so cute! They couldn't wait for me to open it, and when I did, it was a pair of angel wings with a little pearl dangling from them. They told me that they chose that charm because they are all little angels. I love it! And every time I see it, I will think of my class of 9 little angels with a heart of love. Because they really are a group of little angels. And I have loved teaching them so far.
Warning. Complete total openness coming up. I'm about to tell it like it is (or I guess was now).
It was a more relaxed Christmas this year. I tried really hard not to get all worked up about everything, and trying to make things perfect. Because WE are not perfect. So there are no Pinterest worthy pictures of my home all decorated for Christmas (we did put up a tree in the living room, and the Youngest Princess put up a small tree in her room - and I let her do it ALL BY HERSELF - and I did not worry one bit about what it looked like). That was about it, as far as decorations go. We did stick one of those laser lights in the yard that makes red and green dots all over the house. And yep. That was it. And we were happy driving around looking at everyone else's decorated houses. No stress. Just walk out, stick the light in the yard, plug it in, and turn on the remote. We decorated the tree with all of our mismatched ornaments from years gone by. No balls, no ribbon, not even a tree topper. But it was done with love and the memories are worth more than a million matching ornaments. And it was stress free. I actually got to wrap some presents ahead of time this year (instead of our usual me wrapping them the afternoon of the night we were going to open them). It was nice to have time to get them done ahead of time.
We went to join our family for our annual "Christmas in the Country" the week before Christmas. The trip there was good. We made it there earlier than we usually do, so that was nice. Aunt T had a great meal fixed for us to eat when we got there. We stayed up late and waited on everyone else that was coming in that night to arrive. Baby H is adorable and growing like a weed. We had fun playing with him and getting to know him a little better. We learned that baby H has a favorite person, and everyone must acknowledge it. It is Unka, in case there was ANY doubt. We also got to meet Miss E. She is J.A.'s girlfriend. We like her a lot. She was very sweet - but of course, we expected nothing less. She fits right in, and I still like her, even if she did beat me in a game of Pictionary. I'm not bitter or anything. Really. I'm not. We were very glad that she was able to come and that we were able to get to know her. Hopefully we were not so crazy that we scared her off. Hopefully she likes us too, and we will have more fun times in the future. But next time we play Pictionary, we need to be on the same team.
We played a crazy game. Aunt T and Lid built this huge ball of prizes, candy and money all wrapped up in saran wrap. We could unwrap and keep any prize we were able to get to before the person next to us rolled a double with the dice. As soon as they rolled a double, our turn was over, and we had to pass the ball of prizes to the person next to us for their turn. It was a lot of fun, and it was pretty messy too. I unwrapped two sticky notes which I got to turn in at the end for two gift cards. One was to a restaurant that we don't have were we live, so I traded it with my nephew for one he had. Now we are set for dessert the next couple of times we go out to eat. It was fun watching how everyone is different and had different strategies for getting to the prizes.
J and M and baby H, along with J.A. and Miss E, all had to leave on Sunday afternoon. We hated to see them all go. Sunday evening was quiet without them all there.
Monday, P.J. and his girlfriend Miss J drove over to visit for the day. We give them a hard time because P. J. goes by his middle name, and his girlfriend has the same name. She said her family just calls him by his last name. It can get a little confusing at times. We had met her briefly earlier this year when we found out that they were going to be in Gatlinburg at the same time we were there. We liked her then, and we like her even more now. We had a good time visiting with them for the day. And of course, the time flew by and all too soon it was time for them to head home.
We went to eat Crawfish one night. The Young Prince had made many not so subtle hints that that is one of the things he wanted to do. We were joined by our friends Mr. M, Mrs. S, and S. It was a fun night filled with great food. The Oldest Princess ate all 4 pounds of her Crawfish all by herself. The Youngest Princess helped me with mine, but we still had a few left over. The Young Prince put a pretty good dent in his as well. My Prince opted for the shrimp, and they were delicious too. After the Crawfish, we went and got ice cream. I honestly don't know how any of us had any room for ice cream, but somehow we managed. S and the Youngest Princess were very excited about the ice cream part of the evening. After ice cream, Mrs. S drove us by a really cool Christmas light display. It was a great evening. We stopped by Mr. M and Mrs. S's house for a few minutes, and the kids and Aunt T played a game. Then we headed back to Aunt T and Unka's house.
The next day Aunt T and Lid had to leave to go back home. We hated to see them go. Unka grilled chicken for dinner that night. I made a couple of sides to go with it, and the Youngest Princess asked if we could eat outside next to the pool. Unka built a fire in the outdoor fireplace, and we indulged the Youngest Princess. Then we listened to Christmas music on Pandora and sat around the outdoor fire to stay warm. The Oldest Princess picked on me by intentionally messing up a video I was trying to take of the fire. But now I have a great video of her being silly and a great memory. And she behaved for the second video take, so I also have a lovely video of the fire and Christmas music playing in the background. The Oldest Princess also tried to scare her sister, but I happened to walk by first. So she scared me instead. She (the Oldest Princess) has a video of that, and we have that memory as well.
We all got a little chilly, so we went back inside to snuggle under Aunt T's big blankets and watch Christmas movies. Before long, all nice and cozy and warm, My Prince and I could not keep our eyes open. So we called it a night and went to get some sleep.
The next morning, we got up and started getting ready to come home. As always, it was amazing how My Prince was able to get everything packed back in the car. We crammed in like sardines, and with Unka doing the wave by himself, we headed off for home. We made it as far as the corner before the Youngest Princess realized that she did not have her pillow. So we had to turn around and go back before Unka even made it back inside. We found the pillow and set off again.
We have made it a tradition the past few years to make a slight detour by the Duck Commander warehouse. This year we almost decided not to go. But the Littlest Princess really wanted to go, so we decided we would. We found out that we could take a tour of the duck call room, and make a duck call ourselves. So, we decided to do that. I am glad that we did, because we met Brian. He was the man who led our "tour". He shared with us his testimony, and what a testimony it was. He was living a really rough life, before he met the Robertsons. And by meeting them and going to work with them, they introduced him to Christ. Brian then gave his life to Christ, and became a Christian. He turned his life around and now lives for Christ. It was really cool to meet him and hear his story. That was even better than the tour and the duck call for me.
We took our annual picture by the Duck Commander sign on the building, and then we continued our journey home. We got home late and pretty much unloaded the car and went straight to bed. I am glad that we were able to go and spend time with our family. I wish we lived closer so that we could see them all more often, but we are thankful for the time that we do get to spend together, because it is more precious than anything else I can thank of, so I will take it any time I can get it.
Until I blog again...