Hamp got to come home for a weekend visit so we could celebrate Christmas with my side of the family this afternoon. It also happens to be my "little" brother's birthday so I wanted to take a minute to celebrate him publicly for two reasons. One, he has a birthday close to Christmas like Hamp does and it's easy in the busyness of the season to not take the time to honor them well. The second reason is that I forgot to get him a birthday card as we hurried about getting ready for the day, so this will have to do. He would want you to know that he is the only remaining sibling under the age of 50...but only for two more years!
Here we are along with my sister and mom as we took the obligatory family pictures for the year.
Sadly, Tiffany and Michael couldn't get here this early to join us, but Tiffany sent a gift for the exchange. Her cousin Tori sought advice from Tiffany via cell phone as she chose a gift for her carefully.
Nice job, Tori! You didn't choose the singing frog or the sexy santa girl that danced. It was a nice ornament with a nativity scene in it that lights when the switch on the bottom is turned on.
As you know, it's been insanely busy for our family getting the house ready to put on the market and the mess involved in doing so. Taking the time today to be with family and be reminded that we actually like each other and enjoy being together was the heart and soul rest we needed. And it's a reminder that God Himself gives us in Psalms 46:10 - "Cease striving (be still) and know that I am God;"
I leave you with pictures from our time together and would like to thank John and Kim and their family for working so hard to make it such a wonderful celebration.
The cousin picture minus Tiffany and Michael.
My sister, Janet, with all her boys.
My brother, John, with his whole family including Buddy the dog who had as much fun as we did.
Hamp and I with Matthew, the lone representative of our children for the day.
My mom with six of her eight grandchidren.
Not only did we have fun with the gift exchange, but we ate very well! Kim topped the evening off by taking individual orders for stone cold mixed ice cream which was yummy! And the best part of that was I got the same cold stone as my gift; well, after a little help from my brother.
As is apparent in my last blog comment section, baby bro doesn't think I have serious song writing potential. Maybe not marketable, but surely presentable. I'll let you decide as I close with his own personal version of "Happy Birthday" to wrap up his special day.
"Happy Birthday to You"
"And Merry Christmas too"
"You take interesting pictures"
"We are thankful for you"!