Our Christmas started Tuesday evening at Stinky and Shirley's(aka Ernie's Dad's). Shirley cooked the most fantastic gumbo I have ever tasted. I am not a big fan of gumbo, because I'm not crazy about onions, unless they are cooked to death. But this gumbo was awesome. After supper we opened presents. The kids got tons of nice things. They were pleased! Ernie and I got a rotisserie. I am so excited! I have been crazy about rotisserie chicken ever since Pam brought one over for us right after I had Bella. I am looking forward to trying it out!
Bekah holding Bella, waiting to open presents.
The kids waiting anxiously.
Paw snoozing... the noise doesn't seem to bother him!
Annalee, Hannah and Brad... the first year that the cousins brought boyfriends!
My little man!
Bella didn't know what all of the excitement was about, but she was ready to get started!
Shirley is the best Mammaw God could have chosen for our kids. They love her to death!
Christmas Eve was spent at Willie Mae's(Ernie's grandmother).
Ernie's sweet grandmother Willie Mae
Kinman showing off her new sunglasses, phone and purse.
Bella with her baby.
Annalee leaving reindeer food, so the reindeer know where to stop.
We had Christmas morning at home, then went to my Mom's. We let Bella sleep in while Michael and Annalee opened their gifts. We left some presents under the tree, but did a scavenger hunt for their Nintendo DS and games. That was the new tradition we started this year. My Dad did that for my brother and me with our big gift one year and it was the best Christmas from my childhood. It was such a blast to see them searching for their presents. It made the morning stretch out a little longer. I left a little note on each present that was hidden, telling the kids how important they are to us and how much they are loved. They read the notes before opening the presents, but it was pretty clear that words of affirmation are not their love language! The kids had a blast and said it was their best Christmas ever.
I am looking forward to playing this with the kids!
They found gifts in the pantry, bathroom, living room and our closet!
The gift that has hardly left their side!
My sweet baby!
Giving her baby love
Bella sitting on her new stool.
My Mom and the kids.
It was a difficult Christmas Day. It was the first Christmas without my brother since he was incarcerated. He called while we were over there. We have written each other numerous times, but it was the first time I had heard his voice since April. I know he is where he is supposed to be at this time in his life, but that didn't make it much easier. I miss him terribly. I am praying that he gets his life back together while he is in there this time.
All in all, I would say this probably was the best Christmas ever! The kids were all well. That usually doesn't happen for us at Christmas time! Everyone seemed to be relaxed and really enjoyed each other's company. I could not ask for a better gift. We are extremely blessed to have the family that we have.