Monday, December 26, 2005
Wonderful Weekend With Family
How was everyone's holiday? Sure, not everyone celebrates Christmas, but certainly most everyone benefited from a long holiday weekend from work here in the USA, right?
Friday, DH and children and I drove 4 hrs up to Snellville, Georgia to attend my mom's wedding. They were going to be married there at her home and it was actually a beautiful wedding with the Christmas tree decorated in silver and blue decorations and silver and white decorations adorning the mantle above the fireplace. The fire was crackling and it was a nice evening wedding. There was champagne afterwards for the adults and sparkling white Sprite soda for the children. I opted for the Sprite after a gratuitous sip of champagne during the toast to the bride and groom. I'm one of those people who just isn't fond of the flavor of any fermented drink.
We also were able to see my Aunt Jennifer and her 9 year old daughter Alison at my mom's house. It's been awhile since I've seen them and it was wonderful to visit with them again. We missed being able to share Thanksgiving with them, but this was a nice substitute.
My mom has been enjoying some Goodwill stores in her area and has found lots of "nearly new" toys which the children were given to play while at her home. They were allowed to take them home, but we just didn't have the room to put all the goodies in our trunk. We took a few toys and left the others for our next visit. The children would have something to play with!
Saturday she took me to her local Goodwill, and we enjoyed looking at all the discounted clothing, toys, books, furniture, etc. She bought the girls some dresses for $2.60 per dress and even found a leather jacket for my 7 year old Kelley, also for only $2.60. Ok, so after looking at the tag, I see that it's technically "polyurethane". It's got that leather look and I was surprised to see how Kelley's eyes lit up when we gave it to her. Since when is she excited about leather? Mom bought TJ an outfit, too. And we even found a set of doilies for $1.10! I couldn't believe that all the work put into these 3 doilies amounted to $1.10 in a Goodwill store. Sad, but I was happy to give the doilies a happy home filled with other doily friends. I'll post a picture soon of these doilies for your viewing pleasure.
After some sad goodbyes to my mom Saturday afternoon, we all loaded into the car to drive to the next town of Loganville to visit my Dad and family there. When we arrived, we were greeted by my brother Paul and his new wife (since August), Jackie. Paul and Jackie met down here in South Georgia while they were attending Georgia Southern University about 6 years ago. They just married in August this year, the day after my brother graduated from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. It's nice having her connected to our family for good now and not just a fiance anymore. :)
Dad and Mom-Cheryl were also home and greeted us with the news that my sister Petra was in the hospital for gallbladder surgery. All I could feel was sympathy for her. Not able to come over to her parent's home for Christmas, being in the hospital over Christmas and having gallstones (been there, done that!) However, when we went to visit her Sunday, Christmas Day, she looked well and not in pain and we were able to share a small Christmas with her there in the hospital. She gave the children some money to spend along with Tommy and I, and we watched as she opened her gifts from us and the family. Mom-Cheryl took Petra's children home so that they could have their Christmas and wouldn't have to sit in the hospital any longer. They spent the night there at their grandma's house.
When we left the hospital Sunday afternoon for home, we took a different route home than how we arrived, and it was a nice and quiet drive traffic-wise. It was dark soon since it turns dark by 6 pm now, and I ended up taking a little nap on the way home while the children played in the backseat. When we finally saw our Exit 104 off I-16, we were all excited to be home. We were also happy to see that our local McDonald's was open! We drove through and grabbed a quick bite after our long ride home. Seems like we weren't the only ones thankful to see a fast-food place open because it was certainly busy. I was thinking to myself that it's nice that businesses like to close on Christmas Day but weary travelers driving home after the holidays spent with family like to have some place open to grab a hamburger or a drink during a long drive home. Out of curiosity, I did check out license plates in the McDonald's parking lot to see where others were from, and I saw a South Carolina plate. Traveler! Our McDonald's is right off Interstate 16, too, which probably contributed to the reasons why it was open. I was certainly thankful they were open.
Once we got home and stepped inside our door, what a sense of relief I felt. There's truly no place like home. It's great being able to visit family but it's a wonderful treat to arrive safe and sound back home, too.
So what did I get for Christmas you may be wondering? My children were spoiled by their Uncle Paul and Aunt Jackie with needed clothes, a pair of shoes for each of the girls, a needed coat for Kelley (you see, Jessica gets most of Kelley's clothes when she can wear them, but I have to buy Kelley's clothes new. I don't know anyone a little older than Kelley to retrieve hand-me-downs from. So while Jessica had several coats, there were none for Kelley! Nor shoes!) The children also received toys, of course. As for DH and I, Dad and Mom-Cheryl presented us with cash, for which we're thankful. And my brother Paul and s-i-l Jackie gave us a check of the gas money he won in a radio contest two weeks ago. We really enjoyed receiving money this year considering DH's job situation. With the money we are able to pay 2 bills.
My dad enjoys woodworking and he created pens for each of his children. The only two woods I recognized that he used was Ebony and Olive Wood. But he used 6 different woods. We drew numbers to see who would get to choose a pen first, and DH got #1 (I got #3). Thankfully, DH chose the Ebony pen. It was gorgeous! But my brother Paul was next and hubby could tell that he wanted that pen, too. So he gave him the Ebony pen and chose another. But Paul thought Jackie (who wasn't there to choose at the moment) would have chosen that pen (Olive Wood), so DH gave him that pen, too! The darkest wood and the lightest wood! ha ha! Oh well. We still got to own a pen my dad made and dad said he'll make some more ebony ones. I'll get a picture of it up soon, too. And if you want to order one from my dad, just let me know! They're $30 a pen. I assume that's for all woods, but I'll confirm that that's not just for the Ebony. :)
I'd better end for now. This post is quite long. Get ready for the New Year now!