Friday, December 30, 2011

Three Christmas'

Christmas Day for the Smith's is filled with three Christmas'.  
We start the morning, before even the sun is awake, at home.
 Buddy said Goodbye to the boys in a note.  Dear John letters stink...even when you're 4 and 2.  They were sad.  I was a little sad, too.  Thankfully, I can sneak some time with him in my closet, safely nestled behind a few shirts if need be.
  Santa Clause came and was very generous to Stinky and Stinkier. We've been working on thankfulness and realizing how blessed we are this week following Christmas. 

We left the comforts of home and traveled to our 2nd Christmas.  My parent's house.  The house I grew up in...I love that they still live there and all of the memories it holds.
 Yes.  He wore the Santa Hat all day.  Wouldn't take it off.  He's so much like his Daddy it is scary.
 My Mom goes a little overboard at Christmas.  We've tried to stop her, performed interventions...nothing works.
 This is my Dad...the Boys Granddaddy.  I love him so.
 I love this guy too.  I count my blessings one hundred times a day and then some more. Life has a strange way of coming to halt in an instance...God's way of reminding us what He has given us.
 This is my Mom.  The one that goes crazy at Christmas.  She loves her family more than life itself and we all think she's pretty amazing, too.
 Oh sweet Ryder.
 Our Emmy.  My younger sister by 7 years.  She keeps us young, makes us laugh, and is an awesome Aunt to our kids.
 My older less than 2 years.  We're very close.  Her name is Kara.  She teaches piano in Dallas.  Over the years she has worked with hundreds of kids (even Don Henley's kids).  Some of her kids she has had from kindergarten to graduation...sometimes by high school its more about the bond with each other than with the piano.  I love that she can mentor them, guide them, mold them a little...especially in that time of life when talking to your parents isn't cool.
Kara is married to Kevin.  He is an import from Arkansas.  They met at school while attending the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. 
 Oh sweet Ryder...I think I just said that...but he is sweet.
 Anna...aka...Nanners, Anna Banana.  Kevin and Kara's little girl. She is exactly 2 weeks older than Ryder. 
 This is Jon.  Uncle Jon in fact.  You may remember that he married Emmy last May.
Our newest family member.  Isn't she cute?  She even drinks a baby bottle.  She belongs to Rustin.

Our last stop on Christmas is at Matt's parents.  The boys have so many cousins on Matt's side of the family.  The food is delicious and the company is spectacular...a great way to end our Christmas every year.
 Matt, Rustin and Philip.  Philip is married to Matt's sister Kristie.  Ryder calls him "Uncle Fold-it".
 Matt's Mom.  The boy's Grandma.  They have the best Grandma anyone could ask for.
 Colby.  The first grandchild in the family.  Philip and Kristie are his parents.
 Matt's Dad.  The boy's Grandpa.  He rolls on the floor with them and takes them Man Shopping.  He's with Kristie and Keelie in this picture.  Keelie is Philip and Kristie's other child.
 Matthew.  He's awesome.  He is Matt's sister Mindy and her husband Ryan's, oldest child.
 ...and more Toys.  Rustin Walker you are stinkin' cute!
Keelie.  Sister to Colby.  Rustin loves her...scratch that...he pretty much worships her.
I missed getting pictures of the twins.  They belong to Mindy and Ryan.  Mindy is Matt's oldest sister.  Matt's Aunt Lori, her son Zack and the boy's Great Grandma were also with us on Christmas.  

The time spent with family was truly a blessing on this special day. The week leading up to Christmas left me feeling empty...clinging tight to those around me....I was hit with the realization that we can never be sure when God will call us Home. We pray that you found the blessings of Christmas this year and wish you the absolute best year in 2012.