Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve 2016

Two Thousand Sixteen!  Wow, what a year!  So many events have happened in the last 365 days... I won't go through them all, you can read the blog... :) The biggest change was Gav going to boarding school and only having one child at home.  It's taken some adjustment be we all have survived!

This Christmas season, having all the kids home, has been the greatest ever!  I have truly appreciated all the time we have spent together and really don't want it to end!  I love watching them become young adults.  

So when we were asked if we wanted to go to the New Year's Eve party, at the Lupe, we didn't even hesitate in buying six tickets.  Wait! What am I thinking?!?  I'm taking my babies to an adult party!!  I guess they have to grow up sometime, after all, we do have and adult child and one very close behind!  

I figured if we were going to do this, we may as well go all out and by going all out, that's putting myself in a dress!  Yah, it's something I rarely do, so it must be special times!  And IF I am wearing a dress, then the rest of the crew better get their grove on and dress themselves up too!!  Painful for some, easy for others...  But Momma said so, so jump to it!! ;)

To start to the night, the three girls kicked Chris out of the bathroom so we could get all glammed up.

Arrival at the Lupe.  Everyone cleaned up well!  And there are smiles!!   

Dinner time.

Zedd came by to say hi.

My table mates!


Mick dressing up.  This is for you Dad! xo

Danella and Julie.  Danella has the selfie on her camera... ;)

Merv...  Tree hugging Merv!  What a hoot!

Card Ladies.  There were not a whole lot of us at the party...  But some of the most awesome ladies in the world!

Chappie, the President Director.  Everyone loved him and he did quite well playing in the band for a few songs.

Partying on the dance floor!  The gal in pink, Sarah, goes to school at Dalat with the kids.

Marz, Sarah, and Meg, the sister of Sarah.  She is a special one! :)

 The blur, Kate, the only one dancing.  The other two trying to decide...

I told Ted to dance... then I told him to stop! ;)

Chris and his office girls.  They loved that he got on the dance floor with them!

Do we? Do we not?  A twenty minute decision to dance...  Pretty sure it ended up not!

The brain...

Me and my babies.  Sorry Ted, I didn't get one with just me and you!

Yup, we are done with the pics for mom! ;)

We made it until 11 at the party, then home.  We did stay up past midnight, but only by a hair!

And that's it!  2016 is done and in the record books.  What a year!  

To all our friends and family around the globe, we love you all!  We wish all the best for you and your loved ones in the next year!  God bless you all and may all your dreams come true!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

I'm telling you, life is not "normal"!!  Actually, our life hasn't been normal for a long time!  Like the last seven years to be exact! ;)  What I am finding out with bigger, older kids, is that the excitement is still there Christmas morning, but they contain it so much better now.  I'm not sure if that's better or not....  I kind of miss the little kid wake up at 5 am and run down to see all the presents under the Christmas tree mornings!

This was our new "normal", I guess...

The kids slowly wake up.  They slowly make their way downstairs...  they checked out whatever news is going on in the world or Facebook...  They slowly wake up...  I say to them, aren't you wanting to tear into the presents... I get a shoulder shrug... Whenever...  They are very go-with-the-flow... 

Around 7, we are actually thinking of going to wake Gabby up just so we could get the present unwrapping started so we wouldn't be late for church!  

Again, the kids are very noncommittal to that... Finally around 7:30, Gabby makes her way downstairs...  But still!!!  They just hang out on the couch... no one is really excited to start the unwrapping!!

Hello... anyone...???

Gabby needed a snuggle with mom. :)

Finally, everyone decides we better get to the unwrapping of the presents.  But wait!!!  Everyone has to go potty first!  I kid you not!!!  It's almost like we were getting ready for a road trip and before everyone got in the car, it was "I need to use the toilet ONE MORE TIME!!"  Truly!!  Are we all from the nursing home?!?!?  Is this my new "normal"???  :D

Gavin is put in charge of passing out the presents this year.

The unwrapping...

The boys trying out their stuff.... They asked for head gear so they could spar at school!

Looking tough...

Gav getting ready to report for duty.

Yah, this...  Yes, he asked for it!!  What is it you may be asking yourself??  According to Ted, it's his dog collar and leash...  Sooooo funny!!!  The kids were laughing sooooo hard!  Chris was not that amused...  You actually strap weights on the chain part and then lift your head up so you can strengthen your neck.  BEST PRESENT EVER!!! :D

With the presents unwrapped and church service over, we make our way up to Hidden Valley for lunch at Mick and Danella's.  Again, more food than we know what to do with, and so yummy!!  I actually had my first taste of deep fried turkey!!  It's was awesome!!

After lunch, the kids played a fun game that entailed unwrapping a very well taped present with oven mittens on.

Then before we leave the fun relaxing afternoon, we first... have to take a selfie!  Well, we didn't do a selfie... not sure why... I really need to go back through they years and see how many Danella and I actually have. :)

Photo bomber!!  Mick definitely brings down the beauty level of this pic! ;)

All the ladies...

And my favorite pic of the day....  These two just wanted to snuggle with me!! ;)

So that's it.  Christmas has come and gone... again!  The years are going by too fast!  We figure we have next Christmas in Tembagapura with all the kids, that is if Marz comes back here from school... and then who knows...  But I'm not going to dwell on that...  I love the time we have with the kids and will cherish it always and be thankful always!

What I want for Christmas can't be bought.  I just want my kiddos around me laughing and being together.  I had that this year!  There's probably not many more of these, but I will take what I can get and be thankful no matter what!

May you all have a blessed Christmas wherever you are in this world!  God bless you all!

**Jesus Christ is Born!!**

Christmas Eve - The Party

After days of preparation, we are ready for the second annual (well only annual if we are on site... ;)) Christmas Eve Party!!  Every one is in good spirits waiting to get the party started!  But first... 

"Let me take a selfie..."  No, just kidding....  But it is family picture time!  The good "spirits" may go away now... It's always such a painful experience!! ;)

We are trying to get set up by the tree, but let me tell you, it has become very difficult to take pictures in front of the tree!  These "little" people have become HUGE people and pretty much cover up the whole tree!!

Marz trying to show everyone how to "strike a pose."

I'm still trying to figure things out... I must say, everyone is being really good!!  That is a first!! ;)

Finally, Chris looks at an old Christmas picture that was sitting on the bookshelf and suggested that we set up like we did in the picture from 10+ years ago.  Well, no.  That's not going to happen...  Again, these "little" people can no longer sit on our laps, so we kneeled.  That was the best we could do...  We got a little bit of the tree in the pic...

It was finally suggested that we go outside since it was such a beautiful evening, and this is what we came up with...  This momma is happy! :)

Finally!!  Let's get this party started!!!  

Pictures of friends, who have become our family in Tembag.

Yah, Stormy!  Get this "troublemaker" under control!! ;)

One of the best!!  Love my Stormy!

We had a special birthday boy attend the party, so I whipped up some of my cake making magic to surprise Bill with a cake.

And he was surprised... ;D

The party is winding down and a few of us are hanging out in the kitchen.  The conversation swung around to who had the longest legs...  Comparison... Marz, you came out just a little short. ;)

Always try to get one of these no matter what event we are at. :)  Love these ladies!

And why oh why is this the only picture I have with any of my kiddos?!?!?  Maybe next time... ;)

And then it's over!!  Christmas Eve is never the same as being at home having Oyster Stew and Sloppy Joe's.  But what we do have here in Tembag is a family of our own, made up of people from all over the world.  A family that will never be able to be replaced, and one that will always be cherished!

Merry Christmas Eve Everyone! xo