Friday morning at the break of dawn we headed out for Chicago to our annual Arends family Christmas. It used to be a Christmas Eve event when I was young but over the years the date changed to meet the changing ages of us, our children and now our grandchildren. The venue then was my parents home. As my sibs got married each would take turns hosting it at their home. I remember having it at our tiny apartment when Jack was in college and our newborn son was still in the NICU as a preemie. After moving to Ohio we weren't able to make it home for Christmas until my boys were in high school and even then it usually was just me and my two younger sons because the older boys played varsity b-ball and heaven forbid that they would miss practice or games. Over the years we have been able to make the get together since it's not done on Christmas Eve. Many times I would have my whole gang there, other times maybe just a couple of them could attend. This year it was just Jack and I and we had a good time seeing everyone and spending time with my Mom. We are blessed to still have her here, and healthy. I call her the family magnet...she draws all of together and keeps our compass pointing north..in the direction of unity and love. Friday Mom and I went over to get a few items from the store and met this guy:
Saturday afternoon we dressed up for party with family. I thought Mom looked smashing standing by her tree.