Sunday, December 27, 2020

A Very Merry Christmas Eve!

 Our Christmas Eve morning started off with Tabitha coming in to pay some attention to Louis Dean!

It's one of her morning rituals!
While the day started off in a leisurely manner - the pace stepped up sharply once we were good and awake! I had already done quite a bit of food prep but there was still a lot to do before the family arrived.
The sweet potato casserole was ready to pop into the oven close to time for dinner but Louis Dean still needed to get the roasts in the oven. He bought two because he couldn't find one that was big enough and he wanted to have plenty of meat. I made mulled spiced wine and got out every crock pot I have - and I have many -  and filled with side dish ingredients and lined them all up on the table on our new deck.
Honey butter carrots, cheese potatoes, cream cheese corn.....then we had garlic green beans.

I had lots of appetizers set up on the small kitchen table - and totally forgot to take a picture!
Cheese and crackers, cocktail sausages in grape jelly and BBQ sauce - in a small crock pot!
Olives - lots and lots of olives! - veggie bars, fresh veggies and RAnch dressing and more.

We had a lot of food!

This is Jesse, my first born son, and his beautiful wife, Leigh Ann.
Then Faith, Sam - who is my first grandchild, and Levi.
Sam is 18, Faith is 16 and Levi is 14.
They are all but grown now!
This photo was taken at their home in Arlington.

I love this lady!

They attended a candle light Christmas Eve service before coming over in the afternoon. They also came to  my rescue by stopping to buy cream cheese for the corn! I underestimated how much cream cheese I would use.

They were the first to arrive and we were thrilled to meet Sam's girlfriend, Jaelyn!
This was the first time I have seen Leigh Ann, Sam, Faith and Levi this year!
Last time we were all together was Christmas Eve 2019.

We took lots of pictures!

Pam stopped by and I had a chance to sit and visit for a few minutes.

Faith jumped right in to help me with all the last minute things that needed doing.....
she cut a big bouquet of herbs for me and sliced up the pies.

Pecans from our own trees!
And I must say - this pie was delicious!
Pam - I saved a piece for you!!

I had a tin nearly full of caramels and was surprised so few were eated!
I'm going to have to give some away so I won't eat them all!!

The citrus biscuit ring turned out so pretty and tasted good - I'll share the full recipe soon.

Louis Dean sliced up his roast and made gravy.

Then we all relaxed and enjoyed being together.
Faith is one talented young lady and played the piano....

while her mom and dad looked through my blog books.
So far I have had my first three years of blogging printed up.
2010 - 2011 - 2012
We all got a kick of looking back to the Mimi Camp days!

Sam and Jaelyn make a sweet couple!
Jesse is photobombing 'em!

The table was set and all the big people would sit in here.
Only the quads were at the children's table in the den....along with me and Granddad.
Levi was excited to be included at the big table now!!

Trystan played the piano after Faith......the girls were in awe of their older cousin!

Then Faith played Granddad's guitar and sang a song.
The girls were hanging on every note, as you can see!
I believe this is a song Faith wrote, if I'm not mistaken.
Like I said, she is very creative - a real artist!

See what I mean?

She gets it from her mother!
Leigh Ann had asked me what Louis Dean would like for Christmas and I told her - 
he would absolutely swoon if she would sing with him and spend some time doing music.
That would mean more to him than anything she could buy!
So she gave him the gift of music and her time. 
He's still glowing from that night.

They decided to do something to entertain us!
After we all gathered in the den, she said the song was to honor someone in this room!
The tune was a popular one and Harrison thought he knew who the one honored would be - his dad!

But no!

Everyone laughed and had fun!

Jesse was such a good sport!
He is a serious coffee connosisseur!
Not your average Starbucks kinda guy but locally roasted beans at various coffee houses.
He has flown to Philadelphia - among other cities - just for a cup of coffee!
He does work for American Airlines.

It was so much fun!!!

Jesse brings some coffee and makes some for us every Christmas Eve.
Last year they gifted me a French coffee press and an electric frother.
He never uses a coffee pot like we do but he has several ways to brew up a cup of coffee.
This year he did use Louis Dean's small pot and several of us had a cup of his coffee.
It was GOOD coffee!!

This is the song they sang...
Tom T. Hall
They took a few liberties with it in honor of Jesse!

Now it was time for dinner!!

I loved seeing my children and grands gathered around the table.

My most favorite thing at every family gathering is to listen to them talk among themselves.

It is music to my ears, my soul, and my mother's heart that beats faster knowing her children all love one another.

I bought two boxes of Christmas crackers last summer and everyone had fun with them.
Amber and Mike are sporting the paper crowns that were in theirs.
I'm thinking it would be fun for me to make my own next year and fill them with small gifts for everyone instead of the little trinkets inside the bought ones.

Talking, laughing and loving each other!

Meanwhile at the kid's table.....

they were having fun, too!

Children's humor!!

I went to the kitchen and Mike had an assembly line going!!

They would pass their plates down and Kailey would scrape the scraps into the trash and stack the plate on the counter. That went fast!

Then she did a little entertaining of her own!

Once the dining room table was cleared - we pulled out the playing cards for several rounds of NUTS!

It's a fast paced game and so fun to play!

Where are the diamonds??

I love it that most everyone wants to play!
Louis Dean and Leigh Ann aren't big fans so they continued with their music.

Playing wild!

I forgot who won the first round, I won the second and Faith won the third.

Ben really got excited when he won the next round!!!

I love playing this game and used to play it all the time when I had kids at home.

We were surprised how fast the time flew by, and while we wanted to continue playing, 

it was time to move on to the next activity! 
Rolling sugarplums.

I decided to take you all on a quick tour......
there was activities going on in just about every room in the house!

 It was time to open the gifts!

Trystan liked the purse filled with goodies from us.

So did Kailey and Logan.

Harrison loved his soft comfy robe.
He does love pajamas and a good robe.
And I love Sam's expression back there!

I always give the older grands Texas Trash with some cash on top.

Amber nearly always gives her dad a warm flannel shirt or a jacket.

And they always fit perfectly and instantly become his favorites!

Leigh Ann was excited about some of her gifts!

And Jaelyn got her own tin of Texas Trash and a jar of my honey!

I love watching everyone.

That's from me and I think he likes it!

Leigh Ann gifted me with a jar for Sugarplums!!!
How perfectly PERFECT!!!

After the gifts were opened, Amber said she was going to visit the kittens!
She had waited long enough!

I kept them in the guest room all afternoon and evening since there were so many of us going in and out and I was leaving the kitchen French doors open.

We took a lot of pictures before everyone started to leave.
I want to have these memories to look back on in the coming year and I never take for granted the time we get to be together.

Three of my four children.
Summer was there in spirit and we have done a lot of Marco Polo videos and phone calls.
I will be sharing their Christmas photos soon.

We did the all the boys! 
This is all the girls!

I do believe this was the very best Christmas Eve ever!

The girls adored Jaelyn!
She spent time playing games in the living room with them while we were playing Nuts.
They asked her if she could be their babysitter!

The oldest and the youngest boy cousins.
Harrison loves his Cousin Sam and I think Sam loves his little cousin, too!

Faith and her Aunt Amber have kept in touch with text messages throughout this year.
It was sweet to see them get to be together Christmas Eve.

It was a perfectly wonderful Christmas Eve!!
One I will always treasure in my heart and in my memories.


It was a very Merry Christmas!!!


Linda said...

What was your favorite Christmas Eve memory this year?

Bluebird49 said...

I'm so happy you all had a great time. It really did look so special!

Kathy said...

I feel as if I was there with all of you. It really was a wonderful Christmas Eve.

MadSnapper said...

i am still in shock over the number of crockpots you own. ha ha.. i love the I like coffee video. i love coffee myself and love the song too.. Tabitha is looking like a cat now and not so much a kitten. you really did a super job of preserving the memories of this day in one place. it was indeed a very merry Christmas eve..

Changes in the wind said...

A wonderful celebration for all.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'm envious of your family gathering. Ours was small and most were only seen on a zoom call. That's how we gathered this year. I do miss the big family gatherings of the past. Glad you were all able to be together.

Bev said...

Beautiful family Linda❤️❤️

Bev said...

Beautiful family Linda❤️❤️

Mitzi said...

I agree with you Linda.After all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for everyone, my favorite thing is just to sit back and enjoy my family enjoying each other. This year we were alone, and we really missed everyone.

Carole said...

You are a great hostess and LD is awesome too. Cheers

Vee said...

Wonderful to see you all enjoying your time together. Summer will certainly appreciate your excellent photos.

Susan said...

Great pictures and the food looks so yummy!

MadSnapper said...

testing for Linda

MadSnapper said...

second test for sweet linda

MadSnapper said...

one more time ha ha

photowannabe said...

Oh Linda, what an amazing Christmas you had.
The spectacular food and fun games and songs...there is nothing like family, be it large or small.
You have such handsome"children". Loved seeing all the photos.
Thank you dear friend for your sweet comments on my blog. I really feel that we are like minded close friends. It sure would be fun to sit with you and visit and of course have some of your fabulous treats.

Lisa said...

What a beautiful family you have! Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! This post and pictures remind me of a Hallmark Movie.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

You surely have a lot of happy Christmas 2020 memories, Linda. Thanks for sharing all the photos of you family and the videos of everyone enjoying the day and having fun together. All were heartwarming. We did video chatting, phone calls, and text messages and celebrated joyfully at home and all was well. Our best wishes to you and Louis Dean for a Happier New Year -- for everyone as well!