Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas on the Farm

We had a great Christmas holiday up at my parents' house-- as we always do when we get lots of us kids together. Six of the eight kids were home, plus spouses and squirts, so a full house!

Evan called me Tuesday morning and told me there was freezing rain expected Wednesday, so I really should leave right then. It was pretty hectic, getting Cheyenne to and from school, having Elliott's speech therapy, packing for a week away, cleaning my house. In the end, the house wasn't real clean when I left, so my long-suffering husband had to clean it for meeting the next night. I did get out of the driveway by 2:00 p.m., though, which was sort of a personal triumph. The hardest part was trying to convince Rilla I wasn't going out of her life forever as I made trip after trip hauling stuff out to the van-- lots of tears were shed!

Evan picked up Lindsey Wednesday night, and they were up at Mom and Dad's by midnight. Then, a cozy Christmas!

A little Fat-Lip Lily, in her snuggable jammies.

Orianna and Lily checking Marilla out. They were both infatuated (Grandpa Dana, if you were worrying that Rilla wouldn't get hugged enough, set your fears at rest. Orianna single-handedly took care of it several times every hour!)

Then, to the delight of my family, I pulled out my zoom lens and started taking closeups. At least, the groans and screams were probably delight.

A beautiful redhead in the morning light.

Tori embodying the family's attitude to zoom lens.

Livvy with her new sheets from Evan.

Handsome little man.

The beautiful Jill in the afore-mentioned morning light.

See, you don't see Rilla fussing about the long lens. And she has double chins. (Phooey on growth charts.)

Happy little girl exploring the new place and exciting people.

I don't think Evan was as excited about portraits.

Olivia is young enough to handle the extreme closeup and still look pretty.

Bethaney brought a little automated circus scene that played Christmas songs. She found it at The Thrift Store. The Thrift Store, open Wednesday and Saturday, located in Wilmington, NY is now an official member of the family. It is pointless to call Bethaney Saturday or Wednesday morning, but it's always interesting to call those afternoons and say, "So, what did you get...?" She's made a handsome second income reselling some of the things on eBay. So, thanks, Thrift Store, for the morning entertainment. It sure kept the kids captivated.

All the little animals did things, the carousel horses went up and down as it twirled-- the sound quality was even really good. Pretty spiffy.

Cheyenne and Lily both dressed in red pajamas. Cheyenne, with ever the keen eye for a photo op, requested this picture.

Bethaney, smiling fakely. She can CLAIM it was because she didn't want her picture taken right then, but it was really because I had just beaten her at Wordthief. It must be sad to have to play with Clover and always lose... Sigh.

Dad, in a similar predicament.

Yet another game.

Mr. and Mrs. Farmer came late Thursday night, after spending Christmas morning with Ashley's family. Here they are, all dressed up to go feed cows. Owen graciously allowed Cheyenne to go out with him every time. Cheyenne was quite concerned about leaving today, since they wouldn't have her help any more.

Ashley is always a hit with the kids. She is so good with them, and she's willing to watch them when the Mommys in the family aren't feeling very nurturing.

A cake for Mrs. Jill, to celebrate her brand-new bachelor's degree. Earned while she worked full-time, raised children, ran a house, had lots of company, etc. She deserved a brand-new house or something, but we went with the cake.

Lots of helpers with the candles. You're amazing, Mom, kudos to you!

Cute little dancers.

I think marriage has made Owen even more modest than usual.

Evan and Justin stayed busy Friday, Saturday and Monday gutting Mom and Dad's former tenant house. The plan (or hope, at this point) is for Bet and Justin to fix the house up for themselves. It is a very old house, so there is a lot of work to do. When we first moved to the farm from Delaware, we lived in that house for the summer, before we moved in to the house next to the barn. I remember us counting at least seven layers of wallpaper visible on one wall. It has a lot of character, and is surrounded by beautiful maple trees, but as is often the case, "character" translates into major renovation needs!

One melancholy note to the weekend was the death of Molly, Cody's extremely old Belgian draft horse. She had been failing this summer, but Dad said she had perked up in the last couple of weeks. Monday, though, she couldn't muster the energy to stand up, so she had to be put down. I'm sure that wasn't news Cody wanted to hear. She was the world's most beautiful horse, in my opinion. All the digital pictures I have of her is when she was really old, but she's still pretty.
I should go unpack one of the 632 millions bags/suitcases/Rubbermaids I carted home today. Tomorrow should be nice and busy, but at least Cheyenne's on vacation! Yay!!!

1 comment:

livie vaughan said...

my name HAPPENS to be livie not livvy and i HAPPENED to beat all you at wordthief on thanksgiving, little sis.