Monday, December 19, 2016

Ghost of Christmas Present

We traveled to Chicago on Friday for the annual family gathering.  We were already there when a snow storm and super freezing temps hit on Saturday night.  But today it was clear skies, still cold, but smooth sailing all the way home. Here's a few highlights of how we celebrated:
The house I grew up in and my parents raised 6 kiddos in, still stands and still houses my dear Mom and my sister who keeps Mom in line!  It's not a big house in square footage, but it expands with love and laughter and good times when we all make it home.
We'll gather in the kitchen for great fixings! That's my sister in the background..we sort of look alike so I thought I'd clear that up! I love the silly antics of her Granddaughter, Ella.
My brother Greg and his wife Deidra made it up from Atlanta. Mom was very surprised to see him and my brother Phil who came from Panama.  Greg was diagnosed in the Fall with lung cancer.  Mom didn't know until this weekend because she was ill too at that time and he didn't want to worry her.  He's doing fabulous! He's through the chemo and today was his last radiation treatment.  Minimal side effects and he feels really good.  A Christmas miracle...we're so thankful!
My brother Phil and his lovely lady friend, Cilla...she's English and we all enjoyed her lovely accent as well as her sweet and fun personality!
The party was hosted by my niece, Katie.  Her and husband just moved into their new home and it's beautiful...just like this ginormous 15ft Christmas tree!
Mom looked so festive and beautiful! 90 year olds can be hotties!
She got to meet her newest Great-Grandbaby.  My niece Betsy and little Belle.
My brother Rick and his wife Jan made it down from the great white north of northern Wisconsin.
They hit some  nasty weather and almost turned around and went back home.  We're thankful they made it but really grateful they were safe in their travels to and from their home.  Little Belle is their first Grandkiddo!
Jack was testing out the goodies in the kitchen...and believe me, this was just a small sampling of all the food that was prepared for this feast!
Katie loves to celebrate Halloween as much as I do and she just couldn't resist using her scary butler as a prop for some special treats..if you click the pic you can see what he holds.
We were framed! Props and all..good time for a photo op.
My sister takes such wonderful care of Mom and did lots and lots of preparing for this weekend. She's amazing!  Sure wish Indiana would move and let Ohio get closer to Illinois!
This is a sweet pic of my brother Jim and his wife Lori. They live in Atlanta also.  If there was an award for persistence in traveling they would have won the jackpot.  They went from missing their flight, fighting with the airlines, getting on another carrier the next day that brought them in at night after missing the party and then being denied their hotel room after they prepaid it for 3 nights...and the list of aggravation goes on and on...but we were thrilled they made it in and Mom was so happy to have all her kids home.

Sunday we took pics before some of the gang had to fly home.  The sun was shining but the temps were about zero.  The weekend flew by as it always does. We drove out today and will be back to routines tomorrow.  It was so great to be together another year.  Life can hand out surprises at every turn and I'm glad we don't pass up the opportunity to celebrate holidays as a family.
Speaking of family....This poor Nativity gives a good clue into the snow that fell.  It was snowy and cold but we never forget the reason for this special season and we're grateful for our Heavenly Father and the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ.  We are blessed...Happy Christmas everyone!


betty said...

It looked like a wonderful celebration! Many memories were made there that will carry through into the new year and beyond. Family (after Jesus) is really all that matters. To be loved and secure in a family is a good feeling indeed. Seems like you and yours have attained that!


Rick Watson said...

That looks like a lovely family celebration. Your mom looks amazing.
Merry Christmas Yaya.

Julia said...

Dear Yaya, I'm so glad that you had another remarkable family Christmas gathering. Your poor brother and his wife being denied their prepaid hotel room is just terrible. I'm glad they made it home despite all the obstacles put in their path. True determination....

In the second photo, the little girl doing some fancy dance moves just cracked me up. lol.
Your mom is a hottie for sure, She looks wonderful.

Merry Christmas, Good Health, Peace, Joy, Love and Hope.
Warm Hugs,

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, YaYa!

I was thinking about you guys all weekend and wondering if the weather made traveling to Chicago miserable for you. I'm happy to learn that you missed the worst of it going and coming and that you are back home safe and sound.

You captured some terrific and heartwarming family scenes. Everybody looks fabulous. I swear your mother never ages at all. I admire the weary members of the family who endured hardships, hassles and bad weather to get there for the family gathering.

That creepy butler at Katie's party looks like Lurch from the Addams Family. :)

I am elated to find out that Greg is doing so well. I pray that he continues strong and healthy through 2017 and that your mother won't need to worry about him. I have written this many times over the years. You are blessed with a large, loving, wonderful family, YaYa, and I am very happy for you.

Enjoy your week, dear friend!

acorn hollow said...

How wonderful you were all together. Your mom looks great. the scary butler looks like scrooge.
Merry Christmas

gin said...

Just beautiful! Your mom is one special lady to celebrate the Christmas season with her family. Glad you and all your siblings had a safe and blessed visit with one another. I like all the photo props (even the butler left front Halloween). I may have to use some for my family Christmas pictures. Thank you for sharing your family Christmas time.

Becky Jerdee said...

Wow, I surely enjoyed this much family fun! Love the pic of your childhood home, so cozy and bright in the snow. I wish you a merry, merry Christmas, dear, and a happy new year...with HOPE for whatever it brings...

Kim said...

Aww, it's great to see a large family all get together to celebrate holidays. But I've never seen a zombie butler at Christmas before. I kind of love it. Lol