We have the best family ever!!
Of course I expect you to disagree and think that you have the best family ever. We have enjoyed spending time with our relatives soooo much. Friday night began with dinner at my stepmom's(who isn't really my stepmom anymore-but since she was married to my dad for over 15 years we are still in contact). It was great, she is the best cook in the whole world and was able to get our stomachs stretched for the upcoming dinners. Very important to do your stretches! The girls got new clothes and they went to the bathroom and put them on. I told Granny Barb to try not to notice if they ever don't run to the bathroom to put it on!
The next night was Christmas at my Dad's. It was very fun and a time of bonding for family because there are no gifts-Dad gives each family an envelope and all the kids sit in another room and talk about how there really are not going to be any presents. My nephew gave an engagement ring to his girlfriend of about 8 years. They live together and even have a house. I hope they set a date soon. I know of about 4 cousins that would love to be a flower girl. One of these is not my daughter, I predict that is who they will go with and I will be mopping up tears during the wedding. However, if they wait 8 more years they will be too big anyway. Her ring is beautiful and it is only topped by the big smile Brittany is wearing to go with it. Erik gave me an engagement ring for our first Christmas together and it was totally awesome.
Yesterday began with church and our aunt and her children joined us for church. We were so glad to have them. She is the wife of Ted, one of the Uncles that died back in the summer. Erik's mom felt like her kids would enjoy being with our kids. It was great. Our church is so friendly and she liked it. However, since this was her first time EVER at a church, I just kept thinking of the service through her eyes. She is from Thailand so even though her english is great, I know it was probably very confusing. Also, our preacher kind of focused on the shame of the lineage of Christ and how this was on purpose. It was a great sermon for sure, but not exactly how I wanted Jesus introduced to someone who has never met him. I tried many times to start a dialog during the rest of our day together, but it wasn't meant to be. I have prayed to be able to talk with her about Jesus many times. Hopefully this day planted some seeds. She still really misses Ted and I know it was hard for her to come this year without him. I'm glad she did and certainly glad to be able to bring her to church, feed them lunch and spend the afternoon with them. What a treasure!!
We also got a visit from Ted's first wife, Betty and her son-Fab's stepson, Erik's cousin, Scott. No, it was not even remotely awkward to have both of Ted's wives in my living room because Betty is the most classy lady in the whole world and Fab is so sweet you need a spoon! It might have been awkward for Scott, but probably not, there were alot of years between those marriages. We were so blessed to have these people visit in our living room!! We just are not used to being the gathering place for relatives but oh how I loved it!! Erik went with Scott and Betty to the cemetary to see the headstones for Ted and Billy.
Fab, the kids and I got ready and headed over to Jerry and Martha's(Erik's parents) a little before 5. It was a wonderful night of food and fellowship. We just don't see each other enough and it is so good to visit. I crashed the party though because I was all partied out at 9ish. Since we had gotten there first, we were blocked in. This made everyone just go ahead and leave rather than move cars. I think everyone else was ready too, I just hate being first. I hope everyone else had as much fun as we did. The only drawback is the volume of presents. This is our Christmas with Erik's parents, his sister sends her gifts there as well and we have lots of new things. Of course the kids want to open each thing, play with it for exactly 3.5 seconds and then open the next thing. Woo hoo! Can you say spoiled brats? Not really, but it does bring out the devilish side of them.
This morning we awoke to all that Santa brought. Wow, what alot of stuff. They only got about 5 presents from Erik and I, plus what Santa brought- but after last night there are just tons of things in our living room. The big girls got American Girls this year. Lilly got a doodle bear, a doll, some polly pocket stuff, a CD player, etc. They got a lot of stuff. Good thing we have cleaned out. We will clean out more. This is crazy. 2 more rounds of gifts to go. WOW. Tomorrow will be such a disappointment except they have also gotten alot of spending money that I am tempted to just put into their savings and declare an end to it all.
Erik got me a new rug for my living room that is totally awesome. It matches and is totally great. I am so glad I did not have to go and pick one out. Too many choices make me crazy. Him just picking out a pretty one that he likes? Makes me smile. When I get a square coffee table to do puzzles on and play games on, my living room will be as I want it. I am content to wait though. It feels good to make purchases in a way that doesn't kill the pocketbook. He also got me a gift certificate to JCPenney and requested that I buy me some new clothes and throw some others away. I do tend to wear my clothes until the thread dissolves. It was a very thoughtful way to tell me. But my old ones are so soft and comfortable....
I must get off of here and make apple dumplings for Christmas dinner dessert. More family bonding time. I guess I am just a great big kid but I love it. I am really tired though. MERRY CHRISTMAS BLOGLAND!! BTW, stalker Heather, I just so happened to see your Christmas Choir solo on TV and you were great!! I was all, "Hey, that is my friend!!" ON TV! Cool. Jeremy and Sharon were on there with their kids too doing a little sketch. It was a good program.