We had a WONDERFUL Christmas! I was so happy that we were able to spend time with both of my brothers and their families, and my sister. It's been a while since we've all been together. Five babies have joined the crew since our last group photo. (They all came in 2006.)
I love having my sister here. I wish we could be together more often, but I'm happy that she has made her own way. She spoiled me on my birthday with a bunch of new clothes, which I never buy for myself. (Much of my winter wardrobe consists of hand-me-downs of hers.) She also took me out to lunch. It was great, and I think quite therapeutic. And the restaurant gave me free chocolate cake for my birthday--rich chocolate with chocolate icing, swimming in a pool of hot fudge...mmmmm. We only ate a tiny sliver there and still felt guilty. I was so happy to just drive around and talk.
My brother Jim and his family came for Christmas too. We loved having them and their kids over to play. It's funny how my children get along so much better when there are three other children here!
We also got to go over to Jordan's house for Pumpkin Soup and a Ping-Pong Tournament. I was recovering from a stomach bug, so I didn't play, but still had a great time.
One evening we had a family council with just the four original kids and our parents. We were all really giddy at first, because it has been over ten years since the last one! We felt like we were in trouble or something. It was really good though. *We found out on January 7th that my Dad's cancer has not shrunk with the chemotherapy, but it has not grown either. His doctor believes that the cancer would have doubled again by now were it not for the treatments. He had his last one that day.
Though our family can't always be physically close, I feel that we are very emotionally close. I am so blessed to be in this family, where we all love and care about each other so much. Counting both sides of the family, I am now blessed to have 9 wonderful sisters, 9 brothers, 15 nieces, and 4 nephews.