Christmas in Ohio

Sophia wanted to be sure Santa didn't have any trouble finding the tree!

Everyone watched a movie and enjoyed a scrumptious buffet on Christmas Eve.

The girls each got to open one present on Christmas eve — and, everyone got new pjs.

Even Rocky had a special Christmas sweater to wear.

Opening Stockings on Christmas morning. Lucy was more interested in the candy than the presents and at one point, with candy in one hand and a gift in the other, she handed her mom the gift, and said, "You open this." Then she proceeded to focus on getting the candy wrapping off.

Lucy in her Princess sleeping bag and tent.

Bob in his "Dr. Who" Bow tie. (All the men in the family got one this year.)

Alice and Penny on Christmas morning.
 Me opening presents

30 December 2011

On Friday, 23 Dec, we drove to Ohio to spend the weekend with Laura and Travis and their five girls. I know from experience that Christmas just isn't the same if you're not around family — and, its especially nice to be around the little ones at Christmas time!

We had pizza-and-a-movie night the day we arrived - which the girls look forward to every week. Then, on Christmas eve everyone enjoyed a fabulous Christmas Eve buffet - filled with lots of what have become "traditional" Crenshaw family favorites. We skyped with some of the family in NC and watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"

On Christmas Day everyone opened their stockings and a few gifts before getting ready for Church. We had a nice, low-key Christmas service with lots of carols included. After church, we snacked and finished opening gifts. That evening Laura prepared a fabulous roast beast and we all ate very well, indeed! (I thought we were going to skype with Bob's family on Christmas, but somehow that didn't happen.)

We drove home on Monday, and were soon back to our usual routines.

Upon reflection I find that I'm looking forward, one day, to having a home where I can once again welcome family on the holidays - instead of being the one doing the traveling. (Bob has already said he doesn't want to go anywhere next Christmas. I'm not so sure about that. We'll see. . .)

Christmas Party Decorating

10 Dec 2011

I was asked to be in charge of decorations for the Christmas party at Church this year and had lots of fun with that (plus, I had lots of good help.)

I found a greeting card that inspired me to cut out lots of different sizes and shapes of trees from wrapping paper to decorate some large gray panels on the walls of the cultural hall. A bunch of women from church, thankfully, showed up one day and assisted with cutting out all those trees. Not sure I'd have ever finished if I'd had to do them all myself.

Then, I made a large felt banner to hang at the back of the stage where we had a place for Santa to stop by and visit with the children. It was fun to make the large reindeer, and, since the whole thing is made from felt, it can be rolled up and used for several years.

The day of the party, several people helped hang the trees and lights on the wall panels and decorate the seating tables. Bob helped me put everything up on the stage and some of the brethren helped set up all the tables and chairs.

The ladies in charge of the food did a fantastic job and we had a great party! All the food was delicious and served at the right temperature — and in abundance!! We had some great entertainment, sang a few familiar carols and had a delightful evening!

White House Christmas Tour


The Capitol is right next to the Botanic Gardens


Opossum Opartment
Fairy Flat
Critter Condo

(I didn't know that cacao pods grow on the trunks rather than the branches.)

9 Dec 2011

Today we went with a small group of people from our community to see the White House — plus, a couple of other sites in D.C. The weather was beautiful. Nippy in the morning, but warming to a very pleasant day later on.

I hadn't been in the White House since I was 17 years old, and it was interesting that the rooms seemed smaller than I remembered. :-) Of course, my experience with houses was very limited the first time I was there, so I'm sure everything seemed enormous compared to what I knew then.

The security is significantly different as well, and, there aren't as many rooms open for viewing. (I remember getting to see the kitchen pantry and, at 17, was awed by how big it was! At that point in my life, I'd never seen anything like it.)

Of course, every room we saw today was beautiful!! Lots of the decorations were made from paper or felt, and most of the trees were decorated in just one color - usually gold or silver, with clear, crystal-like ornaments as well. Most of the rooms also had some representation of the family dog, Bo, among the decorations. Mostly, those were made from paper, but the one I liked best was made with buttons.

We enjoyed hearing a high school chorus from Orlando, FL singing Christmas Carols near the back foyer. (I guess they have several different groups perform each day.)

When we finished our tour of the White House, we went to Union Station and ate at the food court and did a tiny bit of shopping. We also got to see an electric train exhibit that was temporarily on display.

After that we had a wonderful time at the U.S. Botanic Gardens. The holiday displays were gorgeous! And, they also had trains. Lots of Thomas the engine as well as some adorable little "bug" trains. There was a delightfully playful exhibit of fantasy houses (made for fairies or for various animals) — all made from natural materials. They also had larger displays of famous D.C. landmarks, made-to-scale, from natural materials. They were amazing! We didn't have a lot of time there, but enjoyed every minute of it.

Thanksgiving 2011

All these cutie pies!!

Our thanks giving tree

Three generations, Abby, Amanda and Sherril

Me and the twins (just a few days before their first birthday)

26 Nov 2011

We had a great time visiting family over the Thanksgiving holiday! We drove to NC on Wednesday, the 23rd - in time to wish Susy a "Happy Birthday!" And, we also got to see Laura and Travis and their family that day.

We spent most of Thanksgiving Day at John and Amanda's and enjoyed a wonderfully delicious meal that John cooked up for us. Amanda's parents were also there and we had a nice visit with them. That evening, a few of us joined Susy and Todd at Todd's parents' house for a plethora of pie! Oh my!! Chocolate, pecan, pumpkin, apple, cherry, etc. etc. Yum. Yum. It was great to see everyone there.

Friday morning I met up with Heather at her place. We planned to go browsing in some of the vintage clothing stores in Raleigh, but, discovered that they've all closed. :-( So, instead, we spent time in some of the shops in downtown Cary and enjoyed lunch at Serendipity. That afternoon, Heather, Mark and I met up with Bob, Sophia, Holly, Lucy and Lily and went to see The Muppet Movie. Then, we all went back to Heather and Mark's place and ate popcorn and pizza. What fun!

Saturday was our Crenshaw family celebration - since most of our kids had dinner with in-laws on Thanksgiving Day. And, we got to skype with Bob and Maria and Isabelle and Bobby. Unfortunately, we missed out on talking to Ryann.

I made a large Thanksgiving "Tree" that we hung on Susy and Todd's entertainment unit and everyone wrote something they were thankful for on a leaf and we let the grandkids tape the leaves to the tree. Included among the many things our family expressed gratitude for was:
little girls
the earth
and whales.

We and the Chabo's attended church in the Fuquay Ward Sunday morning and then drove to our respective homes. Already looking forward to the next visit! (Though, its likely to be a few months before we get back to NC since Bob and I are going to Ohio for Christmas.)