The Thomas Family Blog

"And wherever we are, Home is there, too."
~ Jack Johnson

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve at Grandmama's

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve - full and busy, but wonderful. We went to church for the Christmas Eve candlelight service first, and it was beautiful. I always love candlelight services at Christmas. It forces you to slow down and remember the real reason for Christmas. It's so beautiful to sit in a darkened sanctuary and watch as slowly each candle brings forth a little bit of light until the entire room is bathed in the soft glow. Listening to the congregation sing Silent Night gives me warm chills :) Christmas is a special time. Watching Caroline and now Emily, too, learn the traditions and customs of Christmas has been one of the greatest joys of my life... but I digress. Back to the narration! After church, we went to Grandmama and Granddaddy's house for our traditional Olive Garden-catered Christmas Eve meal. So delicious. After that we opened presents with Trav's family. Of course, Caroline and Emily received many nice and beautiful things. Best of all: Grandmama and Granddaddy want to take the family to Disney World in September. We are very excited about that and are already working to Dave-Ramsey-fy our portion of the trip. We will make it happen somehow! After we got finished at Grandmama and Granddaddy's house, we headed home to get ready for Santa's visit to Bowers Lane. Bean Bean and Caroline made sure that the reindeer food was properly sprinkled on the lawn and everyone tried to get into bed as early as possible. Well... everyone except Mom, of course! That work seems to never be done!

"Even as an adult I find it difficult to sleep on Christmas Eve. 
Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age."
~ Carrie Late

Christmas 2010 - Round One

Whew!! What a Christmas it has been. We have been truly blessed this holiday with family, friends, great memories, and, yes, the material gifts were nice, too. It's a wonderful thing when your needs are met for the New Year in spite of furloughs, rising expenses, bills, and a multitude of other unexpected costs that are a part of everyday life. Needless to say, we are grateful for the "little things" that will help us bridge the gap.
Now the holiday rundown: We began on Christmas Eve Day with Grandma and Papa. They came over for breakfast and we exchanged gifts and spent some time together. Caroline got a Pillow Pet and Emily got a new toy, also. Grandma and Papa deposited money into the girls' savings accounts - this is their usual holiday and birthday gift - and a good start to a college fund for each one of the grandchildren. They have seven! Grandma and Caroline made reindeer food, too, so that Rudolph could have a power snack. The highlight of their visit was the advent of Butterscotch the talking pony - a gift from Aunt Patti. This was fun! Caroline didn't know what to make of the life-sized, interactive Butterscotch. Butterscotch is now happily living in our playroom. No barn or manger for this pony. No sir. Here are a few pictures from the visit:

"Christmas is the day that holds all time together."
~ Alexander Smith

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Caroline's school Christmas program was this week and they did an absolutely wonderful job! It was a sight to see - every class participated from ages two through kindergarten (God bless the teachers!) and they told the story of Christmas through classic Christmas carols and hymns. Caroline was an angel in the angel choir and her group's solos included Go, Tell It On the Mountain and Angels We Have Heard On High. In typical Caroline fashion, she sang high and sweet and took the entire production very seriously. We are so proud of her! Here she is post-performance with her good friend, Mary Kate. So beautiful!!!
"Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King."
~ James Chadwick, Angels We Have Heard On High, English translation, 1862

Ho Ho Ho!

Santa Claus came to our town! The real Santa Claus - if you don't believe me, just ask Caroline! He's the REAL one! What a nice guy, too! Caroline and Emily had a blast hanging out with the jolly old elf and I think he felt the same way. He promised them everything on their lists - a little excessive, but who could resist these sweet girls all decked out in their Christmas finery? What sweet moments to have and cherish. Thank you, Santa Claus!

"They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; 
he really enters through the heart."
~ Mrs. Paul M. Ell

A Little Thomas Christmas Cheer

The holidays are in full swing and I am either (a): feeling my age, (b): way busier than I used to be, or (c): a little bit of both! I am worn out! I guess it's a good thing to be busy at Christmas, though, because it means there are plenty of people in our lives with whom to celebrate and enjoy all the holiday sparkle :) I have one final gift to wrap and place under the tree and I think I can settle down and just enjoy watching the next few days unfold - the girls at Christmas, hanging out with our friends and family, eating some yummy festive foods, and waiting for a certain plane to land at Hartsfield from LAX! Here's a little bit of holiday cheer to warm you on this cold Atlanta morning. Enjoy!
So We Think We Can Dance - Our Elf Yourself Video

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Monday, December 6, 2010

Girls' Christmas Party

The Annual Girls' Christmas party was yesterday - and I have been thinking about how many years we've kept this tradition going. The very first party was thrown in 1999, so this marks the eleventh year in a row that the party has kept on rolling. It's taken many different shapes, forms, and formats - from huge and co-ed to small and intimate - from rollicking and foggy to quiet and humble. There's never been one that I have attended (I think I've only missed two) that hasn't been a great time and filled with good conversation, good food, good friends, and great memories and this year was no different. This year's gathering was small and quiet - but it was one of the nicest as far as conversation and gifts! Another highlight was inaugurating Becky into the party! Yay! I ended up walking away with a really nice bamboo hors d'oeuvres tray and a great recipe for sausage and cheese wontons - delish - and I still got home by 9:30!

As Becky and I were driving home we decided to kick it up a notch and hold the party on Bowers Lane next year... oh the possibilities... and the guest list!!!!!

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. 
~ Peg Bracken