After work, we braved Walmart. Not such a good idea, long lines and people were rude. Forgot some things and still had to stop at Kroger.
Worked on the kid's stockings and put their name on each one. I had to admit, I still get a thrill out of stuffing them.
We went to Dad's for a light lunch. It was so good to see everyone. Only three grandchildren were missing.
Dad and Tyler
After Dad's we all came to our house for our get together. What a time we had. Dwayne had made Cash a barn and he loved it. Since Dwayne works so much we thought we'd buy a kit and it would be easier. Ha! There were 364 pieces of shingles Dwayne and to stain and seal and then glue on the roof. It took him days to build it, but so worth it when Cash saw it.
We had a great time celebrating. Love having the kids at home.
We pretty much just lazed around all day watching movies and snacking.
We took down the decorations and cleaned house. It feels good to have the house back to normal.
I am grateful for the Christmas season and visiting with my family.
One of my favorite pictures, you can see the joy on Dad's face.
Chad and Iva. Iva is wearing her Mommy's old Christmas dress.
Cody's wife, Jessica and baby, Jayce.
Friday night we just stayed in. Saturday I made the brave trip to Walmarts. Talk about busy!!
Made my desserts for Sunday. It was super cold out so we stayed in.
We had the Elrod Christmas Dinner. Notice the cranberry salad? That's left from Thanksgiving. It still didn't get ate. But I continue to make it each year because Dodie did. Also, we always have her punch. Sure missed her this year. Don't know why more this year than in the past. She would have so enjoyed the little ones.
Today is my firstborn's 38th birthday. So hard to believe so many years have gone by. Chad was such a good baby. Dwayne's grandma said we held him to much, he would be spoiled. It didn't matter, Chad was happy whether he was held or not. I think he was my easiest baby.
Chad always acted like a little grown-up. When I look back, I think Dwayne and I expected too much of him, but he was always ready for whatever we had going.
One time we were camping and Chad was three and a half years old. Him and Dwayne would go out and run the trot-lines around midnight. I can't imagine taking Cash out in a boat in the dark.
When Todd was born, Chad was the protective brother, and still is.
Chad would help Dwayne with whatever chore needed done, and still does.
Chad was always loving and when he started school, he would run up to his friends and give them a hug. Some didn't take to that and thought they were too old for hugs. It was hard to tell Chad not to give hugs to everybody.
We left the boys with Dwayne's parents when Todd was quite small. Dwayne told Chad to help Grandma Dodie with Todd. He too it to heart. He was so tired the next day. Dodie said every time Todd woke up for a bottle, Chad would get up too.
Chad loved both Grandpas equally. He would go with each one often.
In High School, Chad seemed to find friends that had not place to live. Paul Bramel's Mom moved to CA and Paul didn't want to stay with the neighbors, so in he moved. He drove each day to school in Newburg. He is now a bus driver and personal trainer. His cousin, TJ soon came to live with us too. TJ now has a successful job contracting dump truck hauls. We still keep in touch. One other person, Jay Van Wort lived with us awhile. We haven't heard from him.
As an adult, Chad still reaches out to others. Our neighbor, Anna had some problems and couldn't keep her child. Chad had temporary custody of Desmon for a couple years. He still gets Desmon a couple weekends a month. We always look forward to visits from Desmon. He's always with us on Holidays or family events.
I'm very proud of Chad. He is honest, a hard worker and a loving son. Never does he leave without giving me a hug.
Chad just started a new job he loves. He's a painter at S & T.
I had several errands to run so I took off work at 3 o'clock. Even with that I was still late getting home. We finished up our decorations and put everything away. Saturday:
Poor Dwayne had to work again. I went to St. Elizabeth to pick up Cash and Iva for the night. We had alot of fun playing. Iva joined us for our tea party. Needless to say, little hands are fast and our "tea" was spilled. Quite a sticky floor. Before our party, I was busy with Iva. Cash said he would go get the tea and came back in with a Sun Drop. "I have the tea". I always use Sun Drop as our tea for the party.
Dustin had us down for a nice supper and a Christmas for Noah, his youngest.
Dustin and Noah
Cody's little one, Jayce
Dustin and Todd
Aunt Michelle and Iva
Cash had a blast playing.
I had planned on taking Iva to church. Didn't quite work out. It takes forever to give baths and get ready. I don't know how I used to take Kevin and Karen McCormack's two toddlers and newborn along with our three and get to church on time. Guess I'm not as young anymore.
Today is Chad's birthday dinner. Lasagne-wants it every year. One year, I made chicken pot pie and he wasn't too happy about it. I don't spoil them none.
When I went to Alaska a couple years ago, I found this super cute (and as April would say, frilly) dress on sale. Since I've been known to buy baby clothes for years, I couldn't resist.
Iva, in her dress from Alaska
April, Iva, Cash
Grandpa and Iva
We also had Chad's favorite of custard pie. One time I made a custard pie and when we got home from town, Chad had ate the whole thing. Gotta fatten him up a bit.
I am so grateful for family and the love they have for one another.
Last Christmas was rough with just losing Mom in late October. We weren't very festive and didn't even get together as a big family.
This year is different. Kate and Paul bought Dad a beautiful Christmas tree and after prayer meeting, we all decorated. We were to bring pictures of each other and put on the tree. Dad got out his "Feeler's Molasses" cap, my cousin, Anna Allen made for him and hung it on top of the tree. He was back to his antics which made us all feel good.
Kate also mentioned we should all get together for Christmas this year. We are meeting at noon on Christmas Eve. It's a tradition we all miss.
I am so thankful we're carrying on the family tradition of Christmas together.
Sadly, after work we had to go to the visitation of a good friend who passed away, Joyce Tipton. We have had such fun through the years of our kids growing up. Trips to the river, barbecues, fish fries, sledding and just good ole fashioned visiting. We've not seen each other much since the kids have grown, but the friendship bond has remained the same.
Afterwards, we went to Sput's to eat. We hadn't ate there in quite some time. Good Food. Saturday:
Dwayne woke up very excited for our trip to Branson. Haven't seen him that excited in awhile. We went to St. Elizabeth to pick up Cash. Little Iva looked so cute, couldn't resist getting a picture. Such a pretty baby.
Cash was in a big hurry to get going. We stopped at McDonald's in Lebanon for lunch. Cash had fun in the playground.
We then traveled to Branson. Found our motel fairly easy. Passed the road sign that read Frank Rea, the same as Dwayne's Lennaman grandparent's name.
Frank Rea Boulevard
To kill time until we went to the Dixie Stampede, we went to a toy museum.
I thought the price was pretty high, $34.00 for me, Dwayne and Cash. It was neat, about any old toy collection you could imagine was in there. Some dating back to the 1800's. My cousin, Martha inherited her Grandma Lola's doll. It is quite spooky looking. Her daughter, Brooke has it now. This doll's face is a close resemblance to it. Ugly!!
Cash liked the toys but he was more interested in buying a tractor.
We kept seeing tractors from all eras but they were all on display, he couldn't understand that.
He did enjoy the train going around the track around the ceiling.
We had to do the whole tour before we could get to the gift shop.
They didn't have any toy tractors so he settled on a small train.
We then went to the Dixie Stampede. He liked seeing the horses but was glad he wasn't too close. He held his hand in the air the whole time Santa rode around. April and I went to the Dixie Stamped in 2008. (has it really been that long already?) The show we saw was excellent. Lots of trick riding and an overall good show. This show was okay but nothing like what April and I saw.
Cash and Dwayne had to have chips and a drink after the show. What's better than laying in bed watching cartoons with a bag of chips and bug juice when you're tired.
We got up early and went down for the continental breakfast. Pretty good biscuits and gravy. Off we went to Bass Pro.
Cash enjoyed all the animals and fish at Bass Pro.
And especially the truck and trailer Grandpa bought him. Found some good deals to finish up Christmas and got reward money back on some items.
A boy and his chips
Cash soon fell asleep but he had a tight hold onto the bag of chips. We couldn't pry them loose so we could eat some.
Dwayne took the wrong highway out of Lebanon so we got lost. About an hour or more delay on our trip home. Then out of Brumley, I got us lost as we headed to St. Anthony instead of St. Elizabeth. That was an easy fix, just called April and she told us the highway we needed.
Cash had been crying off and on all weekend wanting to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house. When he saw we were getting close to his home, he started crying again. Once he got home, he was just fine. Grandpa thought he did good hiding the truck and trailer. Cash remembered though. Dwayne had to go out and get it for him to play with. He's suppose to bring it over next Saturday to have at our house. We shall see. lol
When we got home and put everything away, I took about a three hour nap. I got up, ate and lay on the couch to watch TV. I fell back to sleep and Dwayne had to wake me up when it was time to go to bed. Guess I was tired. Must have paid off as I feel good today.
We had a great weekend and I hope Cash is old enough to remember most of it. I am grateful we had the chance to take this trip and we had safe travels.
We've changed some since 2008. We celebrated 35 years of marriage at our daughters wedding in September of 2012. We've added a family member, Desmon who lives with Chad. Desmon is now nine years old and a big party of our family. Our dream of becoming grandparents one day finally came true with the birth of April and Mike's baby boy, Cash Michael on October 12, 2013. We were blessed with a granddaughter, Iva Lorraine Holtmeyer, born June 3rd, 2016. We couldn't be happier.