Friday, December 28, 2012

The Dean and Barbara Clay family - Christmas 2012

The Dean and Barbara Clay Family
Missing: Jimmie & Kristen Winslow, Kori Winslow, and Katy Winslow
Mandi Eldrige, Kaity Eldridge, Landin Eldrige, and Emilin Eldgridge

Here we added in everyone that was there Christmas Eve
Debbie Zelenskie, Taylor Zelenske, and Lauren Zelenske

All the Children:
L to R: Lois, George, Elizabeth, David, Kim, Chris, Edward, and Ruth

Chris Eldridge and Ashley Jenkins.

David Eldridge with all the Eldridge's that were here this night.

George Clay, Logan and Tytan.

Elizabeth Lundwall, who is Logan & Tytan's Aunt
but is helping George as a single father and is basically their
surrogate mother!  Elizabeth's husband Art was there but
does not take pictures!!  We love him anyway!

Edward Clay with Samantha and Jill with their dog Lily!

Kim Burrough with Andy, JP, Caleb, and Valeree.

Ruth Hauser with John and Sarah.

Lois Brown with Alan, Anne Marie, Aileen, Allison and John Rex
and I'm going to be a Grandma soon!! Yay!
Aunt Tootie (Barbar's Sister Debbie) with Taylor and Lauren.

Les Misérables

Ahhhhhh, Les Misérables.  We always have the Christmas tradition of going to a movie Christmas day and this year it was unanimous that we should go see Les Misérables.

photo by: IMDb
I was worried that it would not live up to all the hype that they were giving it before the Holiday's and I worried about a couple of the actors, and I wondered if after seeing it on stage twice, if I would like it in movie form.  But I did, we did, everyone loved it and I can't wait to see it again.  I felt the movie was maybe even better than on stage, because when you see people's faces up close and they are good actors like these were you can really feel what they are portraying more so than from a distance on stage.  I cried at parts I had never felt that deeply before because I felt I could really feel what they were yes, it was fabulous!!  Loved Hugh Jackman, I knew he would be fabulous,  Anne Hathaway was amazing, all the men fighting the revolution had great was just awesome!!
 Alan, Anne Marie, and myself went to the first showing on Christmas day at 11:10 am. Because we then had to get Anne Marie ready to get to the airport and we were shocked when we came out of the movie theatre and snow was on the ground....Her plane did get out, maybe the only one that day, but she got home and ready for work on Wednesday!

Did not expect snow in Texas!!  But we got it!!
Allison and John stayed home for that showing, because John's brother who is on a mission in the Amazon (I kid you not) was getting to skype home to talk to everyone and of course they wanted to be there for that with their computer too.  They went the next day to Les Misérables and said they really liked it.  So we did not see the movie all together....but we all did see the same movie.

Getting to talk to your missionary on Christmas.....Priceless!!

Christmas 2012

Starry Greeting New Year's Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, December 21, 2012

And the stockings were hung....

It's really fun having John and Allison closer these days.  I really get to see more and hear more about what they are doing.  She went to a RS super saturday to make some crafts to get ready for Christmas several months ago and one of the things she made I adore.....especially if you don't have a fireplace.  and I'm not going to lie, I love seeing the Christmas Socks that I made for everyone....all hung just waiting for St. Nick to appear!!  I think our RS should make these plaques next year!!

Mom's Christmas decorations.....

At the beginning of December when my brother George, and my sister Elizabeth were at my house I pulled out all of my mom's Christmas decorations....I already have so many that I have to choose what to put out each year and its only ever about 1/2 of what I already have because our house is smaller now...So, I chose the few ornaments and other things that I wanted to keep and then showed George and Elizabeth all of Mom's stuff and asked if they wanted any of it.....which both families did, so that was nice, but I still had the large tub of "Christmas Village" pieces that I don't have room for, Elizabeth says she wouldn't know what to do with them and George wasn't interested except for to put them on ebay to sell, lol!  But Elizabeth's friend, whom we all know a little bit too has a train set up with the starting of a Elizabeth took them over all the pieces and the kids were so excited and they couldn't wait to put them nice that they can be loved and appreciated by a family!  Love it!!  I think Mom would be pleased!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

No words needed!!

My friend Shawna got me the following for Christmas....I might have screamed when I opened it.....I'm not sure!!!  But I definitely smiled and laughed and said, I love it!!

Twilight Barbies - who knew??

Hallelujah its done!!!

This morning I finished Tytan's Christmas sock!!  I had given myself a deadline of last night....but I feel asleep!!  Now I can finish getting my house ready for my children that will be here Saturday!!  I think it turned out cute!!  He loves my sisters Beagles so much I think he will really love this sock!  Here's hoping!!

Delivering goodies to my Visiting Teaching ladies!!!

Oh, what fun it was to visit all of the ladies that I Visit Teach for our church last night!  Now I really am getting in the swing and mood of things!! Yay!!

I just took pictures with my phone camera so it just gives you an idea of what we did.  We got each of the ladies some Sparkling Cider, and some chocolate covered macadamia nuts (I ate my box and they were delish).  MaryAnn told me to decorate the Sparkling Cider the fun way that I always decorate our I hope I didn't let her down!!  Along with a pretty festive bow I put a note to the gals with a picture of them with us!!

I had to leave one at the door of one of our gals and when I got a phone call later that night, Vera said, "I wondered who left me something and then I saw the picture and knew it was you two.....You have really made my night, Thank you so much!"  I do love that they loved the pictures as much as the gift!!

MaryAnn Stephens and I love these ladies, I hope we don't ever get changed!!

Yes, we visit teach 5 sisters!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Sing-a-long

I was invited to a Christmas Sing-a-long this week.  It was last night, and it was so much fun!  I wouldn't say that I have not been in the Christmas spirit, but I will say that I have been a little stressed and maybe not enjoying the season as I should, but this has definitely put me in the Christmas spirit.  It was 11 women sitting around Karin Haven's piano singing Christmas Carols with harmonies coming from everywhere!  It was probably the most relaxed I have been and the most fun that I have had since December started.  And the Hot Chocolate and scrumptious cake and goodies weren't bad either!! lol!!  Thanks Karin, what a great tradition to have....I hope I will be a part of this tradition again next year.....oh what fun it is to sing...

Last night was my lucky night, we also got treats delivered to us as part of the RS treat pass now, I need to get some treats and pass them to someone else in the Ward!  Christmas is a fun time.

So grateful for my Savior and that he is the reason that we have so much fun celebrating at this time of year!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We are getting closer....

We are getting closer to Christmas and for Saturday when all of my Children will be here at my home under one roof!!  I cannot wait!  We are also getting closer to me having all my Christmas gifts done, probably not as close as I would like.....but closer!  And we are getting closer to me having completed my nephew, Tytan's, Christmas Sock!  It's turning out really cute and I'm excited to get this done because there are too many other things I still have on my list to accomplish for Saturday when the kids arrive!  The last thing I want any of them to say is......"Did you not know, I was coming?"

Once again, cell phone picture so not very good.....but gives you the idea,
oh, its going to be cute!!

Several years ago, probably one of the first times that everyone came home after being away to college etc... I got most everything done, but there were a few things that I thought...."Oh, well, If I don't get them done, my children can help me finish" and I can tell you I thought that was plenty acceptable because they are my kids after all and thought they would be more interested/understanding in helping get ready....

But when I had to finish clearing out a space for Anne Marie's bed so that she had a place to stay she looked at me and said...."Did you not know, that I was coming?"  Which of course I knew she was coming I had bought the tickets....but you get it.  And one time when I thought Allison would help me decorate the tree, she really felt like, no she was company now.  So ever since then I realized that when children come home after being away, they want to be treated like company and that we went all out getting ready for them to come because we were so excited!!

And as I thought about it My mother-in-law was very good at making us feel that way whenever we came, but my Mom was a little more like what I get done, I get done, and if you want more done, then you can help me do it when you get here.....or she would even have things for us to do once we got there that helped her get ready for the that was fine with me, because that was some of the fun of being at Mom's and making the traditions come to life....but I guess my children look at it a different way and I respect that.  So, I am working diligently for my precious company that is coming for the holiday so that they will know.....That I knew they were coming!!

I'm getting excited!!  And I'm grateful for Mom Brown/Jackson for showing me how that is done!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

RS Christmas Dinner

Thursday was our ward/church Relief Society Christmas Dinner.  They asked people to sign up to decorate a table for 8 people.  And since I haven't used my Christmas dishes in a long time I thought that would be fun.  Then I was also asked to sing for one of the numbers of the program. I didn't want to sing by myself, so I asked Karin Havens, who I have sung a duet with before, to sing with I knew my favorite Christmas duet was her favorite Christmas duet, plus she is always accompanying others now as we have No, yes NO, piano players in our ward, so we never get to hear her sing any more.  And our favorite Christmas duet is "Were You There".

Always in my scrubs, always just coming from work lol!!

Thanks to Carol Malone for always accompanying us!

Love singing with Karin Havens

Now, on Thursday nights I don't get off work until 5:00pm at which time I have to run home and wait for Aileen to get off the bus which could be anytime between 5:00 and 6:30pm, bless MITS hearts, and then I needed to pick up one of my visiting teaching sisters so she could come and I was suppose to meet Karin and Carol Malone, who is accompanying us to practice at 6:00pm and the dinner starts at 6:30pm. and Alan gets off work at 5:30pm and usually gets home right before 6:00 pm.  The reason I tell you all this is, I wondered when was I going to get my table set up......they were opening up the church at 4:00pm to let all come and set up, but that didn't help me.  Luckily Becky Wangler said that If I brought everything over to her, she would set up my table for me, which really was a life saver, but had I been there early enough to see that I really needed a little something extra for my center piece I probably would have done it............but I still think it turned out nice..............just not what I had wanted it to be..............I wanted it to be "spectacular" lol!!  I needed more greenery, or some kind of fancy something under the Santa on the sled holding a Christmas tree, or lights or, even though I had fun doing it, it really wasn't what I had hoped it would look like and I really think its just because I really couldn't be there to set it up and remember how big the tables are and how much room the tables had so that the center pieces had to be bigger etc.  I purposefully made the center piece a little less thinking I didn't want to overpower the table or make it too crowded forgetting how large the round tables at the church are.  I did love the white table cloth with the red shear overlay though, I was happy with that.

It was a very nice night.  Then at the end we were all given a little gift and a bag of M&M's with a Christmas saying on it about how M&M's represent Christmas, which I had never seen before and I love seeing new things.

Movie night with the gals......

Last week my gal pals, Becky and Shawna called and said lets go to the movie.  So we did.  and we saw a great chick flick "Playing for Keeps".  I loved the ending, and that's what makes it a great movie to me.  I don't know what the critics think, they probably don't like it, which usually means its a good movie to see, if you know what I mean.  It's the first one of this particular leading man that I have liked since he did "P.S. I Love You" with Hillary Swank.  I thought I would like "Bounty Hunter" with Jennifer Aniston, but I didn't and the Men behaving badly movie that he made with Kathrine Heigl was horrible.  So I was leery, but pleasantly surprised when this was an enjoyable, happy ending movie!!  So it was a great girls night out at a good chick flick!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Snow in Texas.....

All week long the weather people have been saying it was going to get colder and that we might even have snow....I woke up this morning and this is what it's like when it snows in kind of snow by the way..............a light dusting on the cars and nothing, absolutely nothing on the ground!!  Lets hear it for Texas!! Hooray!!

Logan turns 18!!

So amazing!  So amazing is this nephew of mine, but also so amazing that he is 18!  I remember when he was just a cute little baby!! I really can't believe he is this old now!

Everyone came to our house for birthday cake and ice cream!  We had a fun time playing games and laughing.  But the funniest moment was when Logan was opening John and Allison's card and Allison was laughing so hard at the card before Logan even finished reading it that she was crying!  We all were laughing hysterically over her before we even read the card which was by the way very funny!   Of course everyone gave him money....but there were a few additional things as well.  Oh, how we all love this boy!  And I guess I need to start calling him a man now!  Or at least young man!

Fun times:


Amazingly the picture of him blowing out his candle didn't turn out.....I even made everyone sing twice so I could get the picture....but I don't know where it is.....somewhere in virtual space I guess!!

Fun night!

2012 Ward Christmas Party!

Our Ward Christmas party was a lot of fun this year.  We had lots of food, fun entertainment by the youth, plus some awesome musical numbers by the primary and the youth and of course Santa came!

And nobody plays Christmas Carols like Brother Early!  I love hearing him play!

Alan volunteered to make a ham....which of course meant me, and I signed up for rolls and dessert so I felt like I was bringing a lot all by myself as Alan had to work so we just met at the church.  But it was a fun evening and everything I brought was all that is always a good sign.

Love seeing people and getting to socialize in a way that we don't always get to do on Sundays!!  MaryAnn my best friend, came and told us that her daughter Jessica (one of my Seminary Students) got her mission call to Guatemala!  We are so excited for her and so proud!  She will be an awesome missionary!!

Then Aileen was excited because she got to see Santa and hold his hand!!  It was a great night!  I love our Ward so much!

Decorating for Christmas!!

Friday and Saturday, Alan had to work long hours so it gave me a chance to finally get our decorating done!!  Plus I was highly motivated in that we were having a family birthday party for my nephew Logan Sunday night who turns 18 Monday!! Wow, the time has definitely flown by.  I think my house looks very festive and I got lots of compliments on how the house looked..... but pictures never look as good as the real life moment!

You will be able to see that I collect Santa's but I love that even though there are lots of Santa's there are also several nativities as well!  My two favorite things, Santa's/Christmas and The Savior!!  The house we live in is smaller and my pre-light Christmas (which I love btw) tree is smaller so I only have about half of my decorations out.....but it helps every year to be a little different!