Friday, December 31, 2010

December Wrap-up Part 3

Wow, am I finished yet?

Christmas Eve (or Christmas Eades as Reagan Spence called it) rolled around and found Patrick too sick to participate in the festivities. The kids went on to the Christmas Eve service at Redeemer Presbyterian while Patrick and I stayed home. We did meet up with the kids at our church for communion before they headed to our friends, the Wilkersons, for an oyster roast.

Alyssa: talking with her oyster knife. Should she be allowed to wave a sharp object like that?

Popping in an oyster. No one loves them more than Alyssa.

Not sure why there is no picture of Victoria...but she really was there too.

Christmas day rolled around and once Kevin finally dragged himself out of bed, we opened presents, ate breakfast and then prepared lunch for Patrick's family. Everyone chipped in and we had a small feast.
,Passing out the presents - someone's gotta do it.

Car speakers...just what he wanted. A fun project for he and Patrick later.

Her children are so going to make fun of these boots some day.

That's really all she wanted for Christmas...a picture of Zenyatta.

Victoria looking surprised

My Christmas morning piece de resistance:Gingerbread cookies from Cathy Dart

The kids had been groaning about me giving away several dozen of her cookies so they were very surprised to find a plate full on Christmas morning.

On the 26th we were thrilled to hear from Becky and Patrick, so they stopped in for a short visit on their way to Jacksonville from Beaufort.

,Patrick and Becky with Grandma and Grandpa

The whole crew minus Patrick and Mark.

It has been a wonderful Christmas season filled with special memories. I continue to be so thankful for all our family, far and near. I am blessed beyond measure.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

December Wrap-up Part 2

After deciding we simply couldn't have crammed any more into a weekend, we reflected on the Nutcracker, church play and luncheon for about, well.. a few seconds and then moved on to the next big event: the Holly Jolly Christmas Ball at Stately Eades Manor.

Prep for the Christmas ball is unique in that I don't obsess about how clean the house is (they're teenagers for goodness sake, and they won't notice whether it's clean or not), but I do have a tremendous amount of work to do to prepare the dance floor. Serious amounts of furniture moving, rug rolling and general rearranging has to happen in order for 2o or 30 people to line dance in the living room.

Alyssa and Nikole Brown were the masterminds behind this year's ball. They pared down the number of invites this year in order to achieve a more intimate group. Look at the pictures and see how they fared. Not sure what the criteria was for making the A list, but apparently I'm still on it. In keeping with the event being Alyssa and Nikole's baby, Alyssa made much of the food, and the Brown family rounded out the menu with their additions. I LOVE having big kids take over some of my former duties.

Yes, that's a sofa in my dining room, and my table with ALL the leaves removed. Odd looking, but it clears the dance floor.

Slide to the right?


Kevin and Lauren...aren't they cute?

Alyssa and Samantha Walton - good friends for, oh my, nearly 18 years.

Kevin? Hanging out with the girls? Surely not?

Raegan and her "creeper eyes"

The end of a long night, but still smiling.

A bit of clean up happened and then the next day we moved on to Patrick's birthday and the Shady Oaks Christmas Party. Every other year they dress up the horses and have a costume contest. I had been mulling an idea over since the last contest two years ago: surely I could combine my Nutcracker costuming skills and this contest. The result: Lacey the Sugar Plum Fairy WINS!!!

First we gave her pointe shoes.

Then we added a tutu, a feather boa, flowers and a tiara.

We tried to give her stage make-up, but she wanted nothing to do with lipstick.

And, the final touch was going to be me braiding her tail and tying it with a pink ribbon. Guess she told me what she thought of that idea. I was tenacious and finished (after Hannah scooped up the presents Lacey left us).

Here they are: off to be judged!

We couldn't stick around for the Low Country Boil as we had to move on to the next event - birthday dinner with the whole Eades clan at Longhorn's to celebrate Patrick's and Chrissy's birthdays.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December Wrap-up Part 1

It seems I always do this. Fail to make time to blog and then blast my readers (my precious few) with whirlwind trip through December. Sorry, so sorry. Here it is again.

Once the Saturday trip to Jax to see the Rockettes passed, everything seemed to move at warp speed. Amazingly, I kept my paws out of Nutcracker costuming, and it turns out to be God's grace and mercy that I wasn't involved. The Sunday before Nutcracker our dear former pastor, mentor and friend, Don Johnson, went home to be with the Lord. While not unexpected, it still seemed sudden and shocking. We grieved but also celebrated a life well lived. I think I would have completely melted down had people actually been depending on me to fulfill costuming responsibilities.

Nutcracker weekend was also Children's Play weekend. Yep, our little actress and dancer had four performances in three days. She amazes me - the ease with which she handles the pressure of performances.

In the church play, "It's a Wonder-Full Life", Victoria played Miss Tune, a character roughly based on Miss Darbus in High School Musical (thus, the salt and pepper wig to give her some age).

Victoria hams it up as Miss Tune.

Choir member in the second part of the play.

Yes...Victoria is IN that box.

Harlequin Doll


And as if THAT wasn't enough for one weekend, Monday rolled around and was the famous Staff Luncheon at Stately Eades Manor. The menu came almost straight out of the 2005 Christmas with Southern Living book. I'd been longing to try the coffee crusted individual beef wellington (for 5 years you ask...yes, I'm a little gun shy about something that sounds so sophisticated) and finally worked up the courage. They were incredible, if I do say so myself; but then when isn't filet mignon wonderful? If you come to my house for dinner any time soon, that is probably what I'll serve you.

Ready and waiting for them to arrive.

Chocolate Creme Brulee for dessert!

My very silly wait staff. Next year I should require them to be more properly attired.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The girls and I FINALLY saw the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. For years we've talked about catching the show in Nashville over Thanksgiving weekend, but we never want to miss any of the precious little time we have with the grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins all together. We took along Victoria's friend Dana. What a privilege to take her at her first big show. At intermission the house lights came up and the voice boomed "We will now take a 15 minute intermission before the remainder of the show." Dana's face lit up as she incredulously said, "It's not over? There's another half?" That was a priceless Christmas gift.

Pre-show they look excited?

Something must be very interesting in that book about the Rockettes. Aunt Cynthia is always game for a show, and this time we dragged her and Patrick's parents along, too. the roasted pecans and cashews weren't as good as the Nuts for Nuts vendor's wares in NYC, but they were close.

We've discovered the lower balcony is the only way to go for short people who can barely see over the heads in the row in front of them.

And the next show on the "must see" list is.....