Saturday, December 31, 2011

Joyful Celebration

It's hard to believe, but my vacation is nearly over.  I wrote about my birthday nearly two weeks ago, prior to leaving for the airport, but that was prior to taking any photos of the day.  As I looked through them, I decided to incorporate a few of my favorites into what will likely be my last blog post for 2011. It was hard to choose from the many shots taken to remind us of time spent together.  These days I request more photos, as the days together are few and far between.  I regret so many times when we the kids were home, and we have no record of events, so I'm making up for lost evidence as I get older, often to my family's distress!

First, we picked up a weary Kailyn from the airport. 
Both girls look happy, but Kailyn is running on very few hours of sleep over the course of nearly two days of travel and hanging around airports!

We were too late for church, so we went back home to celebrate my birthday. Lucky me!

Kailyn brought me a darling porcelain ornament of a little girl holding a heart from Caen.

Jessica gave me a wonderful picture to hang in my classroom that she made. I love the words she chose, "Treat people as if they were what they should be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming." ~ Goethe
Wise words to keep in mind as a teacher.

We used David's camera and posed for a family photo before leaving for my brother's house 
for our annual family Christmas party.

The girls being silly . . . very happy to be in each other's company!

Me, my brother Dave, and sister Pam . . . the original three

The six of us . . . our blended family of siblings since 1965!
Dave, Kathy, me, Pam, Brad & Sue
We were like the Brady Bunch, if anyone remembers that TV show. 

It was a challenge, but we got most of our kids and the grandkids together for a photo.  
Between us, we had seven of our kids missing, and seven grandkids. I don't think we've ever managed to get everyone together at once, in recent years, but this time was pretty close!  
We took the pictures to send to our Dad, who is living in Arizona. What a crew!
I mailed Dad several photos taken during the holidays, and he called me this week to thank me. It's hard on him not being here.  Our Mom died of Alzheimers in 1996.  She would be amazed to see how her family has grown. While we don't see each other as much as we'd like, we continue to celebrate together on Father's Day, (Dad comes home for the summer) Kathy and her husband host a "Fish Feed" every August, and we meet the weekend before Christmas, usually at Dave's house, as his is the largest!   

Once we got home, Kailyn's boyfriend Nick came over.
They were pretty happy to see each other after 3 1/2 months!

The next day Jess returned to Bellingham for work, and we got busy decorating the house for Christmas.  Nothing like the usual decorations were put up, but we felt pretty festive anyway.
Kailyn and I did some shopping, (she had very few surprises under the tree!) and we did some baking. I wrote about caroling with Nick's family here and we anxiously awaited Jessica's return home on Christmas Eve. 

Christmas was joyous. Kailyn spoiled us all with the treasures she brought home from France and England.  She had told us that every time she felt homesick, she'd go shopping, but we didn't imagine the extent of it! Kailyn is a frugal shopper, so many items were bought at "street sales" which are kind of like our garage sales, from what I gather.  She didn't spend a  lot of money, but she showered us with loving gifts.
Jessica loved the "little black dress" Kailyn picked out for her.
She also received a crepe pan, crepe mix, madeline forms, cookies, two beautiful scarves, a "cow" shopping bag and adorable cow salt & pepper shakers.  

David received several t-shirts (which he loves!) one from Bath, England and two from Caen. The one below has something to do with a king, and the vikings settling in Normandy, but I don't recall the whole story!  Kailyn found the history of Normandy fascinating.  She also brought her dad a French comic book, two types of honey (he is a beekeeper!) and other thoughtful items!

Kailyn spoiled me with several heart felt choices.  I also received a beautiful scarf, several old postcards, a couple of old books,  (she knows I love old stuff!) an apron, a shopping bag and a wonderful purse.  Inside the purse she tucked the tiniest little pair of sewing scissors.  I loved it all!

Kailyn found a "Perry Mason" book in French.  
She has grown up with me watching Perry Mason when I'm not working!

Jessica gave each of us a gift she had made.

I only made one gift this year, and that was a flannel quilt for Jessica. She loved it!  

The day after Christmas the girls and I got together with my sister Pam and niece, Kelli, to do a little shopping and have lunch.  I wanted to have a photo, but my camera battery was dead!  Pam's husband took a picture, but he hasn't sent it to me yet.  (sad face)

Yesterday, we said good bye to Jessica.  I think we all got a little teary eyed when the girls hugged goodbye, as they won't see each other until mid June.  But, in her usual style, Jessica got us laughing. 

She ain't heavy, she's my sister!


  1. What a wonderful uplifting post! Since I see Jessica at Great Harvest, I'll have to tell her how much I love her new quilt. It's so beautiful, Sandi. And so many happy tales of a Christmas well used. My heart is full from reading about it, so I can only imagine how you feel. Blessings to you and yours! :-)

  2. Happy New Year Sandi. I'm glad you had a lovely holiday. It looks like you had a great time. Your daughters are funny and remind me of my own.

  3. Great recap of your wonderful holiday! Your girls are adorable and it's nice you were able to get together with your siblings for Christmas. The gifts were great and picked with love and handmade as well. I love the quilt. You are very talented! Have a Happy New Year!

  4. You look so happy Sandie. Your smile says it all. Happy New Year and may 2012 be peaceful, adventurous, crazy, fulfilling and wonderful. We need all those things to give us strength. You are a dear person and I am so glad that I have met you though this wonderful technology called Blogger.


  5. I so enjoyed this peek into your family life, Sandi. Your girls are lovely and obviously very close and loving daughters and sisters. It was good to meet your extended family, too and a treat to see so many happy pictures. The beaming smiles certainly tell it all. I know you will miss your girls. I do hope you will have an easy transition going back to school and that 2012 is going to be a very good year for you all! Big hug xoxo

  6. The joy and love radiate from this post. Thank you so much for sharing all the pictures. You made me feel a bit like I was there with you. I'm so glad this Christmas was everything it was for you - so different from what you were preparing yourself a year ago. Happy New Year!

  7. You sure set out to take photos and succeeded. Looks like your holiday was a splendid one.

  8. I loved enjoying your Christmas celebrations vicariously by reading all about it and seeing the photos. You had a wonderful time together! That makes me happy.

  9. I am glad you had a happy family time. everybody looks to have been very pleased to be together.

    Happy New Year to you and all your loved ones!

  10. I love that quote! What a wonderful saying to live by. I may just have to write it down so that i can remember it!

    Thank you for you comments on my blog last week. I am definitely in search if a counselor. :-) it definitely can't hurt, right? I'm sorry it took so long to comment back!

  11. What a lovely, loving holiday you had! Thanks for sharing it.

  12. So good to see everyone having such a great time Sandi. And Happy Belated Birthday to you. I'm sorry I took such a long break! Happy New Year to you too! Love Di ♥

  13. Dear Sandi,
    Thank you for this lovely posting complete with heart-warming story and photographs of a family rejoicing in one another and making new memories of gifts and laughter and love. How thoughtful of Kailyn to make those gifts for the three of you. I never knew you were a quilter, Sandi. The colors you chose for that pinwheel design just leaped out of the photograph and entranced my eyes. Thank you!

    I'm so sorry to have been gone for three weeks. But I went back and read your postings that all led up to this one. Life is pretty wonderful, isn't it?


  14. Such a warm and lovely post Sandi.I hope this will be a wonderful year for you and your family. x


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