All I asked Santa for this year was cookware. Pots and pans. That's all I wanted. I had my heart set on The Pioneer Woman's set that Walmart carries. In turquoise. With the cast iron skillet. Larry got it for me months ago. Along with the cute rolling pin and matching salt and pepper shakers! And Stephanie wrapped the rolling pin and shakers for me when she was here. I love it all!! Mama and Daddy gave me a matching Pioneer Woman skillet and Ami and Brian gave me two of Rachael Ray's pans. I am SET!! I threw out all of that old scratched Paula Deen stuff I've had for years. Yay!!
We spent Christmas Eve with Rhiana, Juan and the girls and on the way to Atlanta, we ran into some horrible weather. Heavy, heavy rain, black-as-night sky and tornado sirens blaring. We drove right through a tornado warning and outran the tornado by about 15 miles. It was really scary. I started crying and Banjo started shaking. Larry pulled us into a gas station parking lot where we waited it out, along with a bunch of other folks who had the same idea. We prayed the whole time, praying for Jesus to calm that storm! The rain let up and the clouds parted and we even started to see a little blue sky! We made it to Atlanta safe and sound. I believe in the power of prayer and although I talk to God every day, all day, sometimes you have to stop and focus on what's going on at that moment and pray specifically for what you want and need Him to do. It works. I promise you, it works!!
Juan and Rhiana had everything decorated so beautifully and we so enjoyed all the excitement that only Christmas Eve can bring. We had our traditional spaghetti supper (Larry's mama's recipe) and we adults got to bed around 2:00 AM. We had a great time waiting up and trying to catch Santa for Elizabeth, who is eight and hearing "slappy" stuff (her words) from the kids at school. We caught Santa on video right there in their living room so there, slappy kids at school.
Larry loved having his grandgirls all over him on Christmas Eve. They played games and read stories and made wonderful memories that will last all their lives.
We had a last-minute Christmas Eve surprise that kinda just fell into our laps Thursday morning and we were so excited for the girls to see it! It's a KidKraft Majestic Mansion dollhouse, complete with an elevator and a garage. They LOVED it!!
I got the sweetest, most thoughtful gifts from Rhiana. This handmade ornament hung on Larry's family Christmas trees for fifty years. I am honored to have it hang on ours now. She also gave me some of her grandma's recipes, a bottle of her favorite perfume and some scarves she wore. Miss Corrine (as I called her) has been gone ten years now and I miss her every day. She was the best mother-in-law a girl could ask for.
They also gave me this beautiful Venezuelan apron (I LOVE aprons!) and a vintage Pyrex orange juice carafe!
We left Atlanta around 11:00 and headed home to unload and pack up again to get down to Oglethorpe for Christmas #3! We had Daddy's delicious chili with Mama's Martha Washington candy. It's not Christmas without Mama's Martha Washington candy! I can't remember a Christmas when I didn't have it. Or the roasted pecans that Mama makes for me every year. Even in constant pain with a messed up disk in her back, she still made sure we had all of our favorites for Christmas. She's something else. I got a cute top and a gift card to Old Navy and my skillets. I am a happy, happy girl!!
I got to meet my new great-nephew, David, too, born on December 18th. He's a tiny little thing but he'll grow soon enough and be running around with his sisters. Ami took this beautiful picture of Mama feeding him. I just love it.
I'm a great-aunt times THREE now and a Gama to THREE. I am so incredibly blessed. Baby Charlie had a great first Christmas full of smiles and bottles and naps. :)
And let's don't forget, I'm Mama to TWO. Tabbie Hoffman was really, really happy to see all those gifts gone. He has a new favorite spot.