Saturday December 21st, my oldest brother's birthday, we hosted Gleason Christmas here in our home. This house seems much smaller when there are 16 family members inside, but it was fun & cozy. LOTS of great food, an always fun guys & girls gift exchanges, Brandon & Wesley exchanged gifts (Wesley made out BIG time, receiving the bow that has been passed down from Justin & Jorday to Brandon, and now Wesley!), a bit of drama, but lots of love. Since Annetta provided the meat, I felt obligated to do dessert BIG! We had a dessert BAR: Lemon Meringue Pie (Leon's fave for his birthday), Cherry Pie (Robert's fave for his birthday on the 10th), Cherry Cheesecakes for all of cheesecake lovers & January birthday of Justin, Wesley, Grandma Ruth & myself; Chocolate Fountain & lots of goodies to dip, ice cream sandwiches with cool whip..... ahhh and lots of color-coordinated candy too (My color scheme this Christmas was jewel tones, specifically Pink, Purple & Teal with Silver).
On Monday December 23rd we learned that our beloved Smoke, our 11 1/2 year old fur baby has a large tumor in her abdomen, as well as fluid around her lungs. I had begun creating a post to be published at a later date, expecting to lose her before or on Christmas day. Through the tears and several attempts to save that post, it never came to be. Smoke is still with us, still has an appetite etc, and I pray several times a day that she does not suffer, passing away comfortably in her sleep. It has been 6 1/2 days since we got the terrible news and I keep praying for her.
On a cheerful note, we were able to have our first Christmas gathering with our friends, the Davis family. Pork loin dinner, a few gifts for the children, CHOCOLATE and hours of chatting..... the kids had a sleepover here, including HOURS of sledding in the 36 degree, partly sunny weather, and even some fireworks that night. We also had our neighbor and his nephews over for the dessert bar as well, earlier in the week.
Today they went sledding in town but gave up after only 15-20 minutes of bitter winds, continuing on to Pizza Hut before Wesley headed home with them this time. Ahhh, the quiet! And some MUCH needed playtime for Wesley.
We all need more social time and I pray that this is a beginning of that... onward and upward.