Thursday, December 12, 2019

A "New" Christmas Tradition!

What a blessing,
both ways!

I have to admit that...
I've been a bit nervous to have my friends over.
We (our family) are a big crew
we are never quite sure how things will go.

I don't know why I think that way 
they always seem to go well...

To be honest my plate is overflowing
and life is busy with our large family.
But whenever I put my trust in God,
things just seem to fall into place!

And once again, HE did not disappoint!

My dear friends have had me and our group
over more times that I can count,
on all of our hands put together.

They are a FUN and generous lot!

It's been my turn for... years!

So hubby and our wonderful kiddos
helped me out and we did it!

Picking up the house is precisely 2 hours before
anyone comes over.
(if we want the house cleaned and picked up,
otherwise we can do a good 15 minute pick up)

It does no good, 
to do it any earlier because it will
just get messy...
(from 19 people living in the house)

Appetizers are purchased 3 hours before
otherwise someone will eat them!

They(the appetizers) are prepared 15 minutes
 before the gathering
because of the above reason, again.

The children were informed that the appetizers
 are for the guests and not for the kids.

Of course, my friends eat like birds and the kids were able 
to enjoy them once we left for dinner.
It took them all of 30 seconds to devour them
and they were as happy as can be!!!

Next year we will expand the plan!
I am feeling brave enough to serve dinner!
Of course once again, 
these amazing kids will help out and the meal will be-
prepared by Chef Hubby!
(Have I told you recently
that I have the best husband, ever!)

The kids had been looking forward 
to this night for months!

Laurie, Carol and Jody are ready 
for the Christmas Carols to begin!

The kids have been waiting in the room for over an hour!
While we ladies, visited!

Both Mia and Sarah tried to get out of work 
so they could join us, 
but the were unable to arrange it.

Liz is a retired elementary music teacher! 
She brings over instruments for the kids to play!
She is also our pianist for the Christmas carols!
Marilyn is an elementary school librarian and is Liz's helper!

Picking out our instruments and 
finding the next song we will be singing!

Laurie took Emma under her wing and 
helped her follow along with the songs!
Emma did such a good job singing 
along with the group!

Jenny and Ava enjoy singing!
They are in the Middle School/High School church choir!
(along with Anna, Abby and Ben!)
We are not the heart and soul of the choir 
but we add a lot to it!
Most importantly,
all 5 kids love it!

We sang many Christmas carols
(and even more are on the schedule for next year)!

Joey ended each song with the cymbals!

Sam, Luke, Abby and Jenny have the "Jingle Bells"!

Mary, Ava and Ellie belting out the songs!

We sang many songs
and ended with
 "The Twelve Days of Christmas"!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Twelve Lords a leaping, eleven ladies dancing, 

ten pipers piping
Nine, drummers drumming, 

eight maids a milking
Seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying

And five gold rings, 

four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves

And a partridge in a pear tree!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Twelve Lords a leaping, eleven ladies dancing, ten pipers piping
Nine, drummers drumming, eight maids a milking
Seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying
And five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree, 
and a 
partridge in a pear tree!

Our hearts were full!
What a joyous Christmas it has already been
and will be!

Thank you Ladies!
(We are missing our friend Jill. 
She was able to join us at dinner!)
Looking forward to next year!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Under Construction!

So sorry for the mess!
I am trying to change the main photo
to a recent Christmas Photo! 

Looks like I have no clue what I am doing 
bear with me and I'll figure it out!

 maybe one of my big kids will figure it out for me!

Peace and Joy to you!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed!

And this is why!
The Mom and other two kiddos are behind her 
and just getting off the elevator!

This sweet one embraces life 
and has so much positive energy!

What a blessing this Thanksgiving has been! 

Mostly, because these lil' munchkins 
have been with us for the last week!

What a joy, they are!

They helped Papa celebrate his 49th birthday 
by taking him(us) out for coffee!

And by helping him open his gifts,

which they loved doing!

They were a little sad that Papa 
didn't get toys for his birthday....

But Papa wasn't sad...

He loved his gifts of shirts, shoes and wine glasses!

We enjoyed red velvet cake for snack time!
(Just so happens to be the Burgess family favorite!)

Our oldest son Matt,
shares a birthday with his Dad!

It was a blessed day(and a huge surprise), 
when our baby boy 
was born on Daddy's birthday!
(9 days early)

He lives in Colorado now 
and wasn't able to join us to celebrate.
But, we still sent lots of fun texts and talked on the phone!
He celebrated with his wife and two daughters!

Mark, Kelly and Billy came over to celebrate in the evening!

Warms my heart to have some of our big girls together!

They loved seeing their nephew

 and nieces!

Going to Frozen 2 was on the schedule!

Ali had her "Elsa braid" in her hair
and her Elsa dress on!
(Which I think she wore for the full 10 days - LOL!)

She loves FROZEN and everything princess!

It was a great movie and enjoyed by ALL!
Thank you HopeKIDS!

We played outside and 
made the most of - the end of autumn!

With a bonfire and cookout!

Telling scary stories, that weren't really scary!
Sharing knock knock jokes and laughing together!

Next up,
was bowling!

Definitely a win for homeschooling!
We ate a pizza lunch (while everyone else was at school)
and then bowled!
Thank you Park Tavern!

Ali was absolutely precious!
(Yes, the Elsa dress!)

Bennett was beyond adorable
and he got a strike!

Emily was getting the hang of it!

Next up was "Cinderella" at the Children's Theatre!

Love this!
She wanted her picture taken in front of
Cinderella's carriage!

And then a selfie with Mom!
Once again...
the Elsa dress!

It was an incredible play!
So funny and so well done!
Papa and some Aunties stayed home to babysit Bennett!

Feeling sooo....

And then it snowed!

 And we had to go outside and play!

Because snow doesn't stick around in Virginia! 

The grands continued to play
while their photographer Mom took pics!

The other kids waited inside until it was their turn!

Here is a sneak peak at
this years Christmas card!
This is my quick photo
but thankfully,
it was done professionally by

They are adorable in their ugly sweaters!

I am so so THANKFUL
that my hubby loves to cook dinner!

One of the three tables that were ready for 
the turkey FEAST!

I do very little decorating for the holidays
I do love setting the table
for the celebration!

The chess players in the family 
had a tournament on Thanksgiving day!

First bracket,
Sam vs Dad!

Second bracket,
Sam vs Ben

And for the championship
Ben vs Andrew!

Andrew had proved himself a winner 
throughout the week

When it came to the tournament...

BEN was the family champion!
Way to go, Ben!
(Sorry the pic is blurry.)
He was so excited to WIN!

Johnny lives in Chicago now,
but we were so thankful that they (Abby and Johnny)
were able to come home for Thanksgiving!

He was so happy to see his nieces!

and by the looks of the mayhem the followed...

they were so happy 

to see him!

Very thankful Auntie Barbie could join us!

And thank you Auntie Barbie for taking a pic of us!

And now, it is her turn to be surrounded by 

Gathering to pray...
except we always have to wait for one person...
who is in the bathroom!

tick... tock...
We're still waiting!

Finally, Johnny joined us and 
we can all pray over our dinner and 
thank God for his many blessing!

This year we thanked God for the hard
that we have experienced 
because it has brought us closer to HIM!

And then, as the evening continued on,
this lovely couple joined us!
Thank you for coming, Billy and Kelly!

There's more!

The next night everyone came over for a casual gathering!

And to see the Burgess family before they traveled back to Virginia!

Instead of chess it was cribbage!
(First time Sam beat Kelly!) 

If you look to your far right...
you will see some 
shenanigans going on!

It seems that Bennett and Max 
were having a bit of fun!

It didn't take long for all of
Bennett's food to be thrown overboard!
Which made Max extremely happy!

They are now, BFF's!

This is my favorite time!

After the meal, 
when everyone else trickles in to visit!

We tell funny stories and the kids share their jokes!

And the bigs play with the littlest!

 So thankful for all of these big kids!
It was a special treat to have so many over to our house,
at the same time!

Us with our bigs! 
Miss you Matt and Caitlin 
(and your two sweet baby girls).

The girls are admiring Kelly's i-watch!

Comfortable conversations

and catching up! 

We feel so blessed to have these young ladies in our lives!

And these young men!

This pretty much,
sums it up,
here at our house!


(FYI- Ali was wearing the Elsa dress
as she flew home! Pretty sure it was on her
6 to 7 of 10 days!)