Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas time is still here

Would you believe that we are still Christmasing? Yup! This will make week numero tres. We have my cousin Kristin's wedding on New Year's Eve and then we will be traveling to Crockett, Texas on Saturday to participate in Christmas festivities with my Paw Paw Hanks and family.

This may be a long post because it has been a crazy busy three weeks and I didn't tell you one thing about it. Well, except that we have been doing a lot of traveling. With my moth ball smelling wrapped presents. I don't know what the deal was with my wrapping paper, but it stunk! Literally. You would think I wrapped up an old attic coat and stuck it in a box. Lovely Christmas scent.

The week before last we celebrated Christmas with my Mom's family: the Butler clan. As usual, I forgot my camera. I have actually done this for all Christmas' this year to date. I know, I'm a photographic loser. I did take a few on my phone.

But see how grainy some of it turned out?

Kristin's grandmother Patsy, Kristin and Maw Maw

Kristin's wedding shower was Saturday morning and I was in charge of the cake. That is, completely in charge of making it AND decorating it. Did I tell you I took a cake decorating class in the fall? It was interesting. I'll tell you about it sometime. In hind sight, volunteering to do my first shower cake ever and entering in complexities like transportation and doing much of the work in someone else's kitchen was probably not the most wise idea. I baked the cakes at my house the day before with some issues (another note, one should not try to bake shower cakes that require attention while baking for neighborhood Christmas goodie bags. There are no winners in this arrangement.) Then, I found out the next morning that I left half of my essential ingredients and items in Katy.

So, several trips to Wal-Mart, one gigantic powdered sugar explosion and a few meltdowns later, I did have an iced cake. But no time. There were a few times where I was about to give up and go buy a cake, but I pushed through. I scrapped everything I learned in cake class and just camouflaged all my mistakes with rose petals and sparkly sprinkles. I got there right as the shower began. Everyone said it was a nice cake and the bride wasn't worried about it so that's what mattered. It's one of those things where you know you can do better, but no one else seems to mind but you. :)

Here's a snapshot of my camouflaging:

Ok, ok, I don't mind you seeing it up close:

Let's just say that it's most likely that I will not be the next Ace of Cakes.

We then spent the evening Christmasing with the my Mom's family. The biggest gift hit of the night was when my Aunt Gail (My Grandmother's sister) gave my Mom, two aunts, uncle and grandmother each a big copy paper box to open. As each person took off the top, we saw that the boxes contained linens, photographs and family heirlooms from my Nanny and PoPo, my great grandparents. Needless to say, there were few dry eyes as they pulled out needlework from many generations old. Here are my Aunt Lisa and Uncle David playing a game that they played at Nanny's house when they were little. Nanny's toy room was the stuff of childhood memories.

Aunt Lisa & Uncle David facing off

Next comes Ruston, Jonesboro and Natchitoches, Louisiana. The Perot family Christmases. We had sweet time with Joey's family. Mr. Petey made a huge pot of gumbo which was amazing as usual. Mrs. Kate and I spent time with Grandmama on Christmas Eve while Joey and his dad ran errands. We had a fun time setting the table and getting her house ready for Christmas lunch. Christmas lunch with Grandmama and Uncle Butch in Jonesboro, then off to Christmas dinner in Natchitoches with Mr. Petey's family. Did you know that Natchitoches is where they filmed Steel Magnolias? I got the fifty cent Steel Magnolias' tour from Mr. Petey on this visit. Yes, Mrs. Kate actually took Joey and his brother to audition. Apparently, Joey was too big and his hair was too dark, or something like that. Hmm...what could have been...

I'll have to post the Perot pics when I get them from Mrs. Kate. So more to come.

On our way back to Katy on Sunday, we stopped in Livingston for Christmas with my immediately family.

You want to know something my Dad loves? Bath and Body Works' Warm Vanilla Sugar Moisturizing Hand Lotion. He orders it online. Isn't that funny? So I figured I would save him the shipping and handling.

Mom and Dad

Jo, angel posing

Joey in his characteristic pose with Mom

And of course, we all participated in Dad's Annual Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Dad has been doing this since we were kids. Growing up, we had to work for our gifts. Dad had us jumping through hoops and running all over the place to find our presents. It could be in the backyard. It could be at the church. It could be at the cemetery. There seem to be no real limits. The first year Joey and I were married, one of the clues for Joey's gift was frozen in a block of ice. He had to wait for it to unthaw before he could read the next clue. This is typical of Dad's scavenger hunts. I think he has the most fun out of all of us!

Our first clues

An example of one of Dad's clues

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I just thought this one was funny of Tyler and Stephen

Clue hiding place

Dad watching the wheels turn

Another clue found at the old anchor

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There was one clue in the middle of these that I did not get a picture of because it was in the Grecian statues outside of our local library and involved hopping a fence. Leave it to Dad. We all felt like we might get pegged as vandals so my picture didn't come out because I was on the lam.

I think this is the final clue

My final prize was an Anthropologie gift card!!

We look forward to Dad's hunts every year!

One of my most favorite gifts this year were three little cardinals that Mrs. Kate passed on to us from Joey's great grandmother. She made each one of the boys hand stitched cardinals every year. I love them!

We have one wedding and one Christmas left before we truly start the New Year and we can't wait!

I hope you and your family had a very merry Christmas!

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