Sunday, December 28, 2008

Festivities -- Part 2

Christmas morning is a little different in our home. Most children get up when the sun comes up -- not the Bakers. Our children have NEVER gotten up much before 9. This year was no exception. I guess they know the presents aren't going anywhere so why mess up your precious sleep. We woke up around 9:30 but didn't have everything quite ready till around 10:15. Darnit I tried to have it all done but I had 1 thing left to do and that was the video camera ready. Well I just knew that I knew where it was so NO PROBLEMS, slap it on the tripod and away we go. NOPE, it wasn't there and Ray&I went on a hunt. SO, the kids stayed up in Liv's room watching the Disney parade on TV. Another tradition we have is the kids sleeping all in the same room on Christmas Eve. For several years we had the "girls dorm" and all 4 girls shared 1 room then we moved 13 years ago to this house and everyone had their own room. SO, that is when they started sleeping in the same room. It is very precious to see them all in 1 room. Of course Grant got a bed on the floor and the girls shared but it is a fun tradition. We have NO idea how this is going to work as they get married, HA! I am preparing them that their traditions are going to change so don't be rocked! Nothing stays the same then and I am preparing my heart for that too. This Christmas everyone but Grant got iphones from "santa" so nobody but him had a Santa gift out. OH, and Sarah already had her iphone but she went so over on her alloted amount of money that she didn't have anything out either. So we gave them the 10 min. alert which means go brush your teeth and look 1/2 way good for the video. The whole reason that they don't just jump out of bed and come a running is a few reasons. #1 I want them to all come together so the video and pix. can catch all their little faces and #2 when their spouses see the videos of EVERY year of their Christmas' - they won't have SO MUCH to laugh at. Ray's family videoed every Christmas and OH MY GOSH!! Their was 6 girls that didn't think ANYTHING about coming to the living room with the greasiest hair, hair standing straight up -- well years went on and Ray's Mom made a video for all 8 of them of every Christmas in a row, done to music. WELL, if you can imagine the laughs from boyfriends/husbands and then their own children at how BAD they all looked. SO, it was my intent to have them look, OK. No makeup allowed but "boyfriend looking" OK. They all came down and we had a VERY wonderful present opening time. Everyone was VERY pleased with everything so I was HAPPY. Ray gave me the same speech at the end, kids tell your Mom thanks because she worked hard to make everything perfect and search for what you wanted. I always say, kids Dad worked for it so thank him. Always the same speech - we are FUNNY! Someone always seems to get a gift that doesn't quite go over the way I thought. This year it was Ms. Sarah - she got a precious (to me) onesie that is camo/pink. I was thinking funny but practical. She is in KC where it is VERY cold and she is constantly COLD. SO, being the good Mom I try to be I went back to the good ol' onesie. That's what I put the kids in from birth in the winter time. You know, NO kid sleeps under covers. She laughed as she opened it but she immediately jumped up and put it over her baby pea poop green P.J.'S. I think the onesie was better then those ugly things but anyway. She looked precious in it and she wanted her pic. made in it so I think it was a 1/2 success. I think she will be THANKING me in another month when KC is BELOW freezing!! The morning was GREAT - Ray and HANNAH cooked biscuits, gravy, eggs and bacon. A good southern breakfast that will stick to our ribs until the Christmas night get together! Here a just 2 pix. of the morning.

After present time and breakfast many of us went to take naps. Bless Ray's heart - he had to go from 1 gift to the next with Grant but he loved that. BOY stuff is fun for Ray of course. Ray actually got Grant 3 of those helicopters that fly with a remote control for Grant, himself and Austin to play with - in the HOUSE! Oh well, it's fine. SO, we napped and our tradition for Christmas evening is to go to someone on my side of the families home for soup and dessert. It is a lot of the time at our house, this year it was at my little brothers house. I began making my world famous (NOT REALLY), baked potato soup. It was NOT world famous quality this year. My heart was NOT in it and it showed. I started late so it didn't get as thick and I FORGOT a couple of ingredients that always makes it over the top!! My precious nephew Luke humored me probably and had a couple of bowls. He actually wanted some to take home so I gladly gave him plenty. A couple of hrs. before we left for my brother's, Austin surprised Hannah and came to see her. It was a complete surprise to her because they had decided that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day would be spent with their families and they would see each other on Friday. They even exchanged gifts a few days before Sarah got home so Hannah wouldn't miss a whole evening with Sarah. They do their very best to honor each others family. It made her day of course and he stayed till we left to go to our get together and he then went with his tribe to a movie. Of course we got pix. so we will start with those and then the others are of our Christmas get-together!

AND NOW on to the Christmas Party!!!

So that was almost the end of the day!! We ended it after the party by going to the movies!! When there is something good to watch it is usually another 1 of our traditions - to go to the movies!! This year Ray was tired and Grant was tired (he stayed up till 2!!) so they came on home. After Austin's movie with his family he met us at the movie theater to see another movie. 1/2 of us went to Benjamin Button and the other 1/2 went to Marley and ME! It was a great way to end a great day!! Sarah, Liv and I saw Benjamin Button and it was LONG but good. SO, that completes our Christmas 2008 - OVER but not forgotten. I am happy to have all my children here - healthy, happy and loving the Lord. Till probably next year - but you never know!! Tomorrow we have Sarah's roommate Norma is coming in town for a visit for 4 days. Her sister is still in a coma and we are praying for her still but she is coming to spend a few days with us and we are HAPPY! On New Years Day Sarah's friend Adam is coming from KC. He is now all our friend but we are all excited to have him come and experience Texas for his 1st time. He will love it I'm sure!

48 hrs. of festivites--Part 1

Christmas Eve was VERY relaxed at the Baker house. We had lots of last minute stuff to do but nothing to big for all of us to accomplish. Last minute presents to wrap was Liv's job. Cooking the ham was Rays job - cooking ALL the casseroles was Hannah job. Supervising Hannah's recipes was Rachel's job and Rach did some cutting up of veggies. Sarah's job was to keep Grant entertained with Rock Band. My job was to oversee it all. HA!! We actually had a GLORIOUS Christmas Eve dinner which is our BIG Christmas dinner. ALL of Han's dishes turned out WONDERFUL--very PROUD of her. SO, the time came to set the table and we had 45 min. till eat time. ALL the girls went in different directions to shower, primp and be picture ready, because of course Mom (ME) will be taking pictures. So we broke out the 1st gift of the year - Christmas PJ's, same gift for Christmas Eve FOR YEARS! Well this year the PJ'S took on a joke of their own. Rachel's didn't fit--too short so she went with last years. Sarah's, even though they were an S they were to big and AWKWARD and what was I thinking with those colors. Hannah and Liv both got Mediums well Hannah isn't a medium and it swallowed her. Liv's was the closest to fitting but it of course didn't meet up to her style. I think we need to rethink the Christmas PJ's and go with a Christmas outfit for the next day. It was funny still the same. So here are a couple shots of some of the kids around the table.

After our awesome ham with all the fixins, we talked and talked. We decided that it had been YEARS since it was just our family for Christmas Eve. We always have at least someone there. Of course Grandma lives with us and she is no doubt a part of our 7 which makes us 8. It is such a HUGE blessing to have her at the table and living here with us - I don't know a more wonderful, loving person than my Momma. She just laughs and gets the biggest kick out of her grandkids. So we did our highs and lows like always and everyones was the same. High is Sarah is home and our low is she is leaving again. Other then Liv's low was her outfit she was wearing! HA!! So after great memories around the table we cleaned up for the Gingerbread House Competition. We were actually suppose to do this the night before while Austin was here but Sarah, Liv and I messed those plans up with staying gone to the mall to late and sneaking off to Pei Wei - which we were almost crucified for. We hated the Austin didn't get to compete because if you know him you know there isn't anyone as competitive so it could have gotten ugly. Maybe it was the Lord he wasn't here. NO, it would have been more complete if he was. SO, the teams were as follows (made up by Grant). Team WINNER was Ray, Liv and Grant -- Team Whiner was Sarah, Hannah and Rachel. Well it was going all great. There really isn't anyone probably as artsy in our family as Ray so he is always a good 1 to have on your team. They started slow and Team Whiners thought they had it in the bag. They didn't reinforce their roof quite so good so when they thought they were doing GREAT - the roof came sliding down. UT-OH!!! So Team Winner laughed at their misfortune and Team Whiner tried to regroup and see where they went wrong. Here are some pix. of the Baker Gingerbread House Competition -- OH, and the winners were TEAM WINNER!! YAY!!! With a name like that they couldn't go wrong!

So dinner was done - CHECK -- Gingerbread houses were done - CHECK -- next in the life and times of The Bakers was our story time. One of our many traditions is to read the Christmas story out of the Bible and a Christmas book some time in the evening. I try to buy a book that is a great story of course. Ray always reads it to us all and the kids USUALLY listen to their Father like they have all their lives. This year was DIFFERENT. Sarah and Liv should have been split up because they would have an outburst of laughter - not at the appropriate time. I actually found out later that they were texting during the CHRISTMAS BOOK reading! A NO, NO but it was cute too. I am just as bad as them I think. SO, the book wasn't as big a hit as years past but lil' Grant was up in his Daddy's lap helping him read the big words-HA and correcting him if he got 1 WORD out of place! But at the end of the story Grant was TORE UP! He went quickly into Grandma's room and comes out red faced. Someone asked him what was wrong and he let out a HOWL--that book was SO SAD and SWEET!! It was priceless, he is SO PRECIOUS with his sensitive but not to sensitive self. He was really moved by the story and it spoke to his little heart and spirit. Where were we and what book was it because the rest of us didn't get it. The girls distracted me so we will blame them. I am still gonna re-read that story because I know I missed some good stuff. SO, that finished that. Here are a few pix. of that and some modeling of the UGLY p.j.'s!

Well that wrapped up the Christmas Eve activities. So we got Grant off to bed and the rest of us settled in for our 4th Christmas movie in 3 days. I think it was Elf - see I can't remember and it's been 4 days. I think we watched Elf, White Christmas, Christmas Vacation and Santa Clause 3 OH, # 5 was Tis the Season or something like that. I was Christmas movied out and I didn't usually make it through them. Grant of course couldn't go to sleep so he was up till 2ish and Sarah, Liv and I were up again till SO LATE or early! Next blog will be
Christmas. YAY!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Well Christmas has come and gone and we are a few days from a whole New Year!! WOW! Time is FLYING! To update from the past few days - I will give it a shot. I last left you all with the anticipation of Sarah coming home. Well she made it of course - late (like she usually is) but she arrived.

Here the
y are on the way to the airport. VERY EXCITED!!

Getting the ol' luggage!
Back together AGAIN!!And then Austin added in and Rachel out!

After picking her up they came straight home. Hours after dinner was ready because of the plane delay. But boy was her Daddy ready to see her.

Here she is with Hannah and Olivia - Pal the dog was SUPER excited to see her. It was presh!

After dinner we decided to have smores over the fire. It was a VERY cold night on Monday so Ray had a roaring fire. Well, it got so hot that nobody could hardly roast their marshmellow. So we improvised and Austin extended his fork thingy and found some gloves. They were the BEST smores with a twist of chocolate chip cookies, instead of graham crackers. TRY IT!!

So that was the 22nd - we stayed up with Sarah until -- uumm 3:30am -- me and Liv that is.

The next day was full of shopping because lil' Miss Sarah didnt help me out on anything she wanted which means - we had to shop when she got here!! We got her bunches of good things and I think we were again up till wee hrs. of the morning.

I will tackle Christmas Eve and Christmas Day tomorrow when I have had some SLEEP!! Blessings to you all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

sarah's coming, sarah's coming....and santa

It feels like Christmas in the Baker house 3 days early!! We are t-minus 4 hrs. till she is HOME at last. Such sad news though - her roommate Norma that was coming to spend Christmas with us is not coming. Her sister was in a BAD car wreck on Friday night and she is in a coma. We are BELIEVING that she is going to be 100% healed but Norma of course wanted to go to be with her in New Mexico. Please keep Norma in your prayers and her sister. NOT at all a good family situation and they could all use some extra prayers.

Everyone is buzzing around the house getting everything just perfect and I am taking a little break to keep up with this darn blog. 2 days in a row - WOW. I am getting dirty looks as they pass me on the couch but HEY, I gave birth to them - they OWE ME! We have ALL done our fair share but Liv and I win the medal for going BIG grocery shopping at 1 in the morning, this morning. My hearts desire was to have ALL my shopping and grocery shopping (for Christmas and so on) DONE before Sarah got home and I really think I DID IT!! WELL minus that Sarah was ZERO help with anything she wanted for Christmas so we will be 1 of the millions out on Christmas Eve or hopefully tomorrow (but whats the difference, it will be CRAZY)!

Just got off the phone from lil' Miss Sarah and she is stressing because she thinks her bag is over weight. OH boy, does she miss having her Mom and sisters around to give her a little help!! SO, the sisters, Austin and Grant are going to pick her up. Grant has already gone this morning to pick her out flowers to give her when she gets off the plane and posters have been made! She will LOVE IT!!

Well, I can't sit any longer. The natives are threatening me so I am back to work. I will post pix. later of the homecoming (like she's been to war, HA).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Days before Christmas.....

Well life is good in "The Baker" house. It's days before Christmas, Sarah is coming home after being gone for 13 WEEKS, for only 2 1/2 weeks : ( and THIS is my very 1st blog on here. I have a few reasons that I think blogging is gonna be a delight for me and my family - #1 I am getting older - NOT old and remembering things is getting kinda clouded in all the things I have to remember. It will be VERY nice to have words and pictures spur on those memories. #2 I really enjoy writing - I write like I talk which is unfortunate for some but if you know me you will probably hear me talking in your head! #3 Some wisdom that I have acquired in 43 years could be of some value to my children someday and they will have these writings to look at. #4 IF and it's a pretty big IF but IF I keep up with this I will be able to relive our AMAZING families memories with just a couple of clicks on a keyboard. SO, those are a few reasons that I thought and my children thought would be good reasons for me to start in the blogging world. But the most important reason OF ALL is that my #2 daughter has been called to live elsewhere (we all HOPE and PRAY it's just for a season) so this will be a perfect way for her to follow the family back here on the homefront!

Tomorrow Sarah is coming home for the holidays and she is bringing home with her 1 of her roommates. Her name is Norma and we are VERY excited to have her come to visit because we ALL fell in LOVE with her when we went to KC. She will be staying through Christmas so she will experience all of the Baker traditions. She is in for a treat. She will be here until the 28th and then she will fly back in time for the OneThing Conference in KC. We are all looking forward to making a lot of memories with Norma and who knows what will commence. We have planned a "Gingerbread House Decorating Contest" for 1 evening. Followed by piling in the car and going to look at Christmas lights. Maybe I will blog as we go - we shall see.

So, that's all for now because housecleaning here we come. Our Sunday will include - cleaning our carpets, grocery shopping for all of Sarah's favorites, cleaning the bedrooms (hoping Sarah doesn't notice that we gave Grant her room and Liv her bed), cleaning bathrooms - well cleaning the WHOLE house. It will be a joy for all because Sarah is coming, Sarah is coming (we are all slightly obsessed with her)!

So the pictures on this post were taken on our trip to Kansas City in November when we went to visit Sarah. Some actually became our Christmas card for 2008.