The weekend before last, two very special boys came a'visiting. I heard someone say, "Where's Sush?"! It seems Pop had issued an SOS to his sons that reside in the area. Installing crown moulding has not been a slap-dash affair in this household. It takes all hands on deck and he was thrilled when the hands arrived. I was thrilled because it meant some time with the best of the best grandsons! The only problem for me was it was late in the afternoon and by the time we had dinner, I finally remembered to sneak away to get my camera for some pictures.
After bath time I found Trey in his Aunt Elise's room. They were busy with sketch pad and markers. Trey is quite the artist.
He and Aunt Elise were busy sketching and watching tv and just generally having a love fest of the aunt and nephew variety!
Feeling rather like a third wheel in the love fest, I went in search of Peter. I knew he'd had his bath. First I checked out the living room. I found this body of evidence that Peter had been there. One day I suspect Peter may be CEO of a major car company. Or perhaps speeding around the Daytona 500!
No sign of my little race car driver, just the remnants of time well spent. Started to walk downstairs to the family room when I noticed Peter and his Mom both on the sofa. Peter and Terri were sound asleep in their own little oreo-style, Mom/Son/Blanket cocoon. I felt it would have been rather rude to risk disturbing that sweet moment with a camera flash.
Next time I will whip the camera out as soon as I hear their dulcet voices. I hate missed photo-ops. Sigh... Oh well, nothing for it but you guys just need to return ASAP.
And now I'm pleased to share another small size visit...this past Sunday, Lily and her Daddy dropped in for a visit. Sadly, again I missed the photo-op, but boy we did get some play time in!
I do enjoy my visitors of the smaller size. It's true you know...good things do come in small packages! In fact, the best things come in small packages!
It's been a wonderful week. I reconnected with one of my most beloved friends from my childhood and it's been joyous. Lots of filling in the blanks going on. Lots of tears and wonderment over each others life experience. I find myself checking my inbox several times a day hoping for another 'chat' with my dear friend.
We have talked on the phone and it's lovely, but a written conversation somehow allows for uninterrupted thoughts and memories. So, we will write back and forth a bit and then pick up the phone for clarity or just to hear what the other is saying in her own voice. It's like I'm soaring with the eagles when we talk, yet the security of being wrapped in a safe cocoon sharing life's stories.
As I said, it's been a wonderful week. And now I can look forward to many more. Welcome back, dear friend, welcome back....
No one had a voice like Marion, our Ya Ya. We would go to her Church to hear her sing in her choir and sing her solos. One song I've always thought of as her 'signature' song was, It's Me Oh Lord Standing In The Need Of Prayer. Imagine how wonderfully enchanted I was this morning when I went to see my oldest grandson play the bells and maracas at his school's Friday morning mass...and the second song in Mass was It's Me Oh Lord! I have never heard that song sung in a Catholic Church before. Ever.
I know she would be so happy and proud to know a new generation of her children was singing her song!
Trey, you were a delight to watch today! You rang the bell and shook the maracas every single time at the exact right time...a joyful noise unto the Lord!
Thank you for including me in the special moments in your life, and for bringing Ya Ya to me today.
Steve was as excited as a child on Christmas when I told him the news...all of his children would be in town for his birthday celebration! He is really so easy to please. Gather his family around him and the rest is just lagniappe. After dining at Fat Daddy's we returned home for cake and ice cream, family photo ops we forgot at Christmas, (or just couldn't squeeze one more thing to ask of children of all ages), and had play time for all!
Lily is still bonkers for Zeus...she was too precious with her time with him:
Lily has Zeus in her sights and is going in for a kiss...
OHHHH Mom...did you see? Did you?
Ohhh, that was sooo cool!
But we had lots of 'Puppy Love' to go around! Peter and Holden were having a love fest of their own...
Holden may be getting up there in years...she's 13, but she knows how to share her love!
While we were at Fat Daddy's, Peter had been trying to tell Pop what his birthday present was. Christmas had been all out of the bag with Peter...he reminded me of myself. I always was the kid that would say, "You're never gonna guess what we got you"...and then tell the recipient the exact present! So for Pop's birthday Peter kept saying, "We got you Drew Brees, Pop, we got you Drew Brees!" It was really precious. The saving grace was Sush and Pop are not quite yet ready for hearing aids but probably closer to needing them we are ready to admit. Pop needed a translation for what Peter was trying to tell him and I kept telling him...leave it alone for now, he wants to tell you what you got for your birthday. Like a man, it just made Steve egg him on more. So, shortly after we finished with the 'official' portraits of each family and the big family photo and the siblings photo, Peter was dying to let Pop know what his family got him for his birthday.
We got you Drew Brees, Pop...
We had cousin picture time before they had too much party time...
Lily was reaching out for Trey...
Trey gave hugs to everyone...
I think it was maybe too exciting for Lily...her older cousin noticed her! Wow!
Oh, did you notice Lily's shirt? Her Aunt Elise gave it to her for Christmas...it was a reference to how much Lily is a Daddy's girl...but I think it applied to all the guys that night!
And I really need to find one that says 'She's with Me', cause she is just as much a 'Mommy's Girl'! We had individual pictures of all the families... Steve Jr., Terri, Peter and Trey
Tim, Lisa, Lily
Scott and Erin
Daniel and Laura
And one of my favorite pictures...the sibling pose.
Of course they horsed around a lot before we could get one where they were all looking in the same direction and not goofing around.
Next up: time for cake and ice cream...and singing Happy Birthday!
We finished off the night with something very familiar in this household. Boys, blocks and cars!
Destiny? Fate? The stars were aligned? Or perhaps DBS? Whatever the reason I'm so happy we met and our love story began! I think this boy:
and this girl:
were brought together for a reason...Love!
So today is your birthday...we will be celebrating it tonight with a very appropriate viewing of the LSU bowl game and tomorrow with another appropriate Fat Daddy's celebration. Your wonderful children who are so wonderful...
because of your guidance and shining light as a role model
will all be with us to celebrate a great day in history!
Happy Birthday Mr Wonderful...I love you more today than yesterday and I will love you more tomorrow than today! Have the happiest of days on your birthday!
My Hospitality Fairy and I welcome you to Christmas 2010! Come on in and spend a while with me and my loved ones. Through the foyer, under the mistletoe and yes, that's the wicker bell I made in Jr Achievement, reworked but still attracting kisses!
Peer into the living room...notice a certain Jingle Jangle Jingle hanging around with my photo of Mom and Dad? Yay...yes it is the one and only Mr Bingle telling stories of Kris Kringle! I think Mom and Dad would be happy knowing he was keeping them company this Christmas!
Since forever, I've used Mom's idea of the brandy snifter with Christmas Balls as candy...it's so cheerful and helps cut down on Christmas calories!
This year, Erin gave Scott some piano lessons, and he gave us all a resounding performance of 'Jingle Bells', followed by my lame attempt at a duet with Erin of 'Heart and Soul'. We had fun, but I think I need a lot more practice before my next performance!
Watching over us was the Swedish Creche Mom let me pick out one of my first Christmases as a newlywed! Cherish them and can't wait to set up the figures every Christmas.
Shall we venture downstairs to the family room? I was so excited to decorate the new mantle, and bookshelves this year! Let me show you what fun I had...Oh and if my photography seems a little more artsy this posting, Elise gave me a quick photo tutorial and let me use her new fancy-schmancy camera!
I really changed things around this year. Went with a subtle, vintage look. Think it works?
Sitting above is a vintage looking Santa...maybe you can decipher his appearance with this shot:
Sharing the shelf with the silver sleigh above, are the newly transplanted from the mantle, but occupying Christmas memories in this house for 23 years, Mr and Mrs Claus...
On the other side of the fireplace we have new ornaments in shades of Mardi Gras, some sparkling deer, and a wise old adage...
The overall effect was this:
And I can't forget Grams' lamp newly shaded with my one of my MOST treasured Christmas decorations:
But this is all backdrop...window dressing, what have you for the most important part of Christmas...my real treasures, my family! First a very heartfelt public thank you to Laura and Dan for the fantastically delicious Christmas Eve dinner of firecracker prawns! I was able to act like a guest in my own house that night...get some relaxing in before the big day.
Very gratefully, I have another public thank you for all to know. Christmas morning, Erin and Scott prepared and served not one but two breakfast casseroles that were indescribably yummy. Another restful and very appreciated dining experience!
That we were able to enjoy Christmas in a sparkling clean house was due to an early Christmas gift from Elise. Her gift to me this year was a two hour, two person professional house cleaning! This young woman knows the way to her Momma's heart!
And now with love and pride, I present to you the heart of Christmas. Trey and Peter arrived with toys from home until other gifts were opened. Sweetly awaiting the big show at Sush and Pop's.
Lily arrived in her PJ's, but was soon transformed into a Christmas princess!
With no particular order, here's Christmas 2010! Most pictures are self explanatory, but do notice I tried my best this year to disguise as many of the gifts in large sized boxes or wrapping. Many of the boxes were not what the gift really was! Oh, oh, can't forget a big shout out to the photogs of the family. Elise bought herself a fancy camera now that she is a certified bread winner and Laura and Daniel are proud owners of their very own fancy camera a Christmas gift from Mamma and Pappa Conschafter.
Now for the show...
Peter was thrilled to be our Christmas present deliverer, and to get to open his own!
Trey was a big help in reading the name tags:
Lily had some presents of her own to open:
Erin calmed the restless pups:
Oh Baby Beignet, maybe next year you will be able to join the crew...remember the key words: Chill Beignet, chill!
I/we all enjoyed watching the children open presents more than anything...
But it is nice to watch the smiles on adults faces as well:
Wait Peter...there's more!
Lily found the ornaments on the tree intriguing. I don't blame her, that's an ornament her Great-Grandma gave me. My Mom and Dad would have loved you Lil!
Readers, that's pretty much a wrap...a few more pictures here and there, but I'm now counting my photos with care...hoping I have room for when next, Saint Nicholas is there...
You've seen the snow that came Christmas night and the next day, you've had the HGTV tour of my place and best of all seen the family on Christmas. There's nothing more to say than, Merry Christmas to all and to all (Steve does this sometime during the festivities every Christmas, Mrs Claus wears him out) a goodnight!