Ordinary Thanksgiving Day 12, 13, 14

Playing a bit of catch up here:

Day 12

I’m thankful today for the ordinary means of grace, the preaching of the word, and my faithful pastors. I’m thankful for my local church. These are both ordinary and supernatural.

Day 13

I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for my little home, my brothers and sisters, my parents, my nieces and nephews, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. I love them all.

I’m also thankful for the family I married into. For my extra parents, extra siblings, extra nieces and nephews, extra grandparents, extra cousins, and extra aunts and uncles. I love you all and I’m blessed to be a Jones.

Day 14

I’m thankful for stories. I’m thankful for they way they share, teach, and the us together. I’m thankful to live in a world that tells stories.

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Quote of the Weekend

 

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Courtesy of Pinterest.

This show is right up there with Firefly and Band of Brothers as my favorite show. I love how there are little signs of them being a family, a father, son, and daughter-in-law, from the very beginning. I love the growth of Peter and Walter’s relationship. I love Walter, the broken man. I love Olivia who’s strong but needs help. I love Peter who is stronger than anyone every thought he could be: the criminal who becomes a hero. I love that over all the strange weirdness is really a story about a man who loved his son, and who then loved the women his son loved. I don’t typically like shows with tough female leads, but they fit Olivia and Peter together so well, I fell in love with it.

If you haven’t seen this show, I highly recommend it. It will make you laugh, cringe, and cry. It is wonderful in every way.

 

Thanksgiving (Day 17)

Today, I’m thankful for my family! (There’s a lot of us, so I have to split it into two days.)

I can’t imagine my life apart from the Joneses. They are the best extra family a girl could have.  I love the snarky, irreverent, loud, Texan, adventurous family get togethers we have.  I love my nieces passionate love of Lord of the Rings. I love spending hours with my extra Mom talking about all the things.  I love having such a wise big sister.

It’s been a great joy during the struggles with my extra Dad’s health this year, to have each other.

I love you all!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving (Day 16)

Today and everyday, I’m thankful this is the family God put me in. My whole life these have been my best friends, the people who I task to the most, the people who cheer me on in every step of life. 

And then we all grew up and got married, and again God blessed us with wonderful additions. Life would be much darker without my parents and siblings. I’m thankful for the wisdom, support, and general shenanigans enjoyed in this family. I love you all more than I can ever express and all y’all are a constant reminder to me of God’s goodness.
Happy Thanksgiving!

How I define a Good Story

Art can be a bit subjective. What we each consider beautiful is much a part of who we are. I recently finished a YA Fantasy Series and an adult Urban Fantasy novel back to back. I was surprised at how much I loved the YA Series and how uninterested I was in the Adult Urban Fantasy even though I considered it pretty well written with an interesting Magical World. I brought it up with my husband and this was my conclusion… written poetically.


It was in the middle of our discussion

that I realized it wasn’t romance that I longed for

in stories dark and grim,

but friendship and family burning bright,

united in love and striving against the shadows crowding in.

Romance fades. Passions shift. They turn to gossamer mist in the hot fires of life.

But friendship stays.

Friendship grows the stronger in the flames.

Family stands.

Together, bound, braced back to back against the encroaching night.

This echoes my own story. It wasn’t romance, all tingles of the skin and turning of the stomach, that remained during the dirt and grime of this pilgrimage, but friendship and family. It wasn’t melting, gooey world-defined-love, but strong, self-sacrificing, choice-making love that stayed when the pain passed.

That is what resonates with me.

That is what I seek in stories of every form.

That is the magic of the soul, one to the other.

Friendship. Family. Love.

I see it in a dwarf and elf, in cousins be they ever so small, in mighty warriors, and humble kings. I see this in three friends year after year, time after time, facing the worst of their kind. I see this in a group searching for home and finding it together. I see this in three siblings learning they are more than they think, bound by their love. I see this in a crew facing the darkness of space, in a band of brothers, in a father and son learning to love each other as they add a wife/daughter to their family. Over and over, the stories I love, have more friendship and family than romance.

They reach beyond that fleeting passion to grasp something enduring.

Friendship. Family. Love.

 

Thanksgiving 7: Dear Woman of the Lord

Courtesy of Google.

Courtesy of Google.

Mom: How does one describe the blessing of having a wise and loving mother? I think every year, I appreciate more and more your efforts to raise us right. I’m truly blessed to have a mother who disciplined me, taught me a strong work ethic, gave me a solid education, and witnessed to me every day. Even more amazing is the fact that after your hands-on work was finished, you continued to work to be my friend. I count you as one of my dearest friends. I love you so much Mom and I’m so thankful for you and I’m honored to be so much like you! Also, thank you thank you for teaching me to read. I will always be thankful for that! What a gift. I never get to spend enough time with you, but cherish every moment! Love you Mom!

Wanda: I hear MIL horror stories all the time and all I think is, “Not me!” You are the most wonderful extra mom a girl could have. You have welcomed me with open arms, treated me as a daughter and friend, spent hours and hours and hours talking and giggling and I’m pretty sure crying. We share a love of a good TV show and a comfy back porch. Thank you for all that you do for me every day, every month, and every year. I wouldn’t want to be any other woman’s daughter-in-law. Love you!

Liz: I’m pretty lucky cause not only are you my best friend, you’re also my sister. I’m blessed by our years of shenanigans, our shared love of a schedule, Christmas music, Harry Potter, and Holocaust History (which sounds really strange). I’m so thankful for all the time you let me spend with your daughters and your dog. What would I do without you to text when I’m frustrated, annoyed, or feeling silly? What would I do without you to vent at? Thank you for all your care for me this year. Thank you for being willing to help me. Thank you for years and years of loving me even when I’m weird. I count on you. I pray for you. I’m always blessed by your wisdom and honesty in the small things like decorating and the big things like relationships and marriage. Love you Liz!

Emily: It’s not everyone who is blessed enough to live across the street from their sister, to have little boys pounding on their front door, and sharing food processors. I love you so much and am so glad to have you nearby. It is one of my great delights in life. I’m so thankful for you, for years of talks, shared recipes, and general silliness. Thank you for loving me and sharing your boys with me!

Joy: You are a blessing to me, dear sister. Thank you for all the liver pate you made for me this year. Thank you for texting me pictures of the girls and sharing all their busy comings and goings! Thank you for loving our family and always working to be involved with us. Thank you for your hospitality, courage, and faithful perseverance when life isn’t easy. I love you so much and are glad you are part of the Vincent Clan!

Ruth: My dear sister, what would I do without you? I love you so much and it’s such a joy to have someone to share all the geekiness, all the excitement of good stories, all the love of creativity with. Thank you for the honor, this year, of Shannon being my name sake! It just means so much to me. I’m so glad you are closer and that I get to see you at least once a month. I love you!

Denise: My dear sister you are a delight. I’m so glad you came on vacation with us this year and not just because you cooked breakfast and made coffee every morning. 😉 I love you so much, love your heart, love talking with you and spending time with you. I have been so blessed to watch your trust the Lord through many trials. I love how much you love your family. I love your faithfulness. I love you! Thank you for being my friend!

Rachel: You were once just one of the little girls who played baby dolls with my sister and now you are one of my dearest friends. I love you so much and have missed our adventures this year while I’ve been sick. Thank you for sharing your many talents with me, planning vacations, opening your home to us, and just being such a good friend. I love you so much and am so thankful for you!

Elayne: You are right near the top of the list of people I don’t get to spend enough time with. You are forging a path ahead of me, thank you so much for answering all my questions and sharing with me. Thank you for always giving me a heads up when you have a few minutes and we can grab a quick cup of coffee. I pray for you often both physically, spiritually, and as a mom. I love your artistic talents, your children, and your wisdom. Thank you for being my friend! Love you!

Deanna: You have been such a true friend for so many years, I don’t know what I would do without you. Really. I don’t. The trials you have born have only made you sweeter and dearer to me even though we haven’t gotten to spend as much time together as we would like. Your support of my writing is a balm to my soul. Your swift kicks in the rear, sense of humor, and willingness to always be available is a blessing and a wonderful example of how I want to be…though I don’t think I can match your sense of humor. I pray for you, love you, miss you, and am thankful the Lord put you in my life.

Leslie: Hey! I’m your soul mate and you and I both know why! I love you dearly girl and can’t imagine life without you! You always make me laugh but I also love your love of HBC. Thank you for serving us. Thank you for loving us weird Vincent girls for years. I’m glad we share a particular brand of humor!

Deanell: For years now you have invested in me. You have taken the time to talk with me, welcoming me into your heart. I love you dearly and count you as one of my extra spiritual Moms. Thank you for checking up on me, for sweet text messages, and for being a dear friend. I love you!

Brenda: I don’t know anybody as encouraging as you! You are so good at listening and investing in people. It just floors me. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. Thank you for listening to all my silly stories and caring. Thank you for just being a good friend. I never feel like I get to spend enough time with you dear sister! Love you lots.

Anita: I love you so much my dear! What a treasure you are. I’m so glad Rockey married you! 😉 Thank you for all your help this year, all your encouragement, all your support of my writing, and for welcoming us into your home. I love you, pray for you, and am so thankful you’re my friend!

Stephanie: My dear dear friend, what can I say for all of your support, encouragement, and you even coming to clean my house! I love you so much. I’m so thankful the Lord put you in my life and that we eventually got to talking about writing and how our friendship has bloomed. You are a real blessing to me! I love our conversations, our shared passion for Tolkien, and your beautiful way with words. I pray the Lord blesses you and look forward to many many years as friends! Love you!

 

These women are a special joy to me, but I love each and every woman at my church:

Patricia: You make me laugh! I love the way you see all the funny elements of life. Thank you for being my friend!

Rachel Naomi, and Arianna: Your enthusiasm and creative is inspirational. I love you all so much and I’m glad you’re my friends! I love the way you embrace fandoms, how willing y’all are to listen to a critique, and your every little expression of love. Your girls are just the best.

Heidy: I love your little family. You are such a sweet woman.

Lisa: Thank you thank you for your faithfulness to Heritage for so many years and for sharing your musical gifts with all of us!

Pauline: I pray for you daily and love your wild bunch of kids!

Cindy: Thank you for always making me smile and sharing a deep and profound love of coffee.

Jeanette: You are such a dear and wonderful example of a godly woman. May I be like you!

Jeni: I never get to spend enough time with you! Thank you for your love!

Sami: I pray for your protection while you’re gone and your growth!

Gabi: I’ve watched you grow into such a beautiful young woman. What a joy!

Maria: Thank you for sharing your wisdom and for your graceful, calm, and faithful love of our church.

Amy Dawn: Thank you for many meals, and your friendship for so many years! I love to listen to you sing!

Aletheia: You have grown into such a beautiful young woman! I love you dearly!

Abigail: Don’t let my food touch! Lol. Thank you for serving so faithfully. You are regularly in my prayers.

Lily: I love you so much Lily. Thank you for your steadfast love of your family, caring for Eddie, and loving all of us!

Jenny: You have grown into such a beautiful young woman. I keep you in my prayers and love you!

Jan: I can’t say enough how much I love you! Thank you for all your labors, friendship, and love over the years.

Michelle Hammond: It’s been quite a year for you. I pray for you all the time. Thank you for being part of our church family.

Andrea, Christina, and Bethany: I don’t know y’all as well as I would like, but I’m thankful to have you in our family and pray for you!

Joy: I’m so thankful for your friendship, your advice, and your love! You are a dear!

Bethany: Thank you so much for loving me and your friendship! Thank you for coffee and including me in your life. Love you!

Raelea: One can never have enough friends with shared geekiness. I never get to spend enough time with you, but I’m glad you’re my sister in Christ and friend.

Michelle Hodson: I love you so much Michelle and am glad to count you as one of my oldest friends!

Jean J.: This year has been hard, health-wise, I know. You’ve been in my prayers and I love you!

Jean K.: the Lord blessed us greatly by bringing you to us. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us and for serving so diligently! I love you so much!

Laura: How often you are in my heart! I love your crazy family and can’t imagine HBC without you! I pray for you often!

Kim: Thank you for so many years of service and hospitality to HBC! I can’t believe how long I’ve know you! What a blessing! Love you!

Christy: You have grown into such a delightful young woman! I love you and count it a great joy to have you as a sister in the Lord!

Melissa: Thank you for many years of friendship! It’s so wonderful to see your delight in your grandson! Makes me so happy!

Lydia: I’m so happy to have you back in my life. The little Lydia shaped hole is now filled. I love you so much dear sister!

Sumer: What a joy it is to get to know you. Continue to love all things geeky!

Maria: I don’t know you hardly at all yet Maria, but I’m constantly blessed by your faithfulness and joy!

Julie: Thank you for your friendship, your love for all the mothers and little ones, and for having such wonderful shoes! 😉

Katie: Your service through music is such a blessing from the Lord and so is your friendship!

Hannah: Thank you for being so willing to serve! I love your sweet and quiet nature!

Amy: You’ve been my friend for years and I love you dearly and pray for you!!! Thank you for loving me!

Bobbie: You’re like an extra Mom to me, and even more, a very dear friend. Thank you for being here for me for so many years!

Amy: I love you so dearly and delight in your wonderful family! Thank you for all you do!

Sarah: You have grown into such a beautiful young woman! Thank you for serving us all at HBC!

Rachel: I love how game you are for everything and your heart for children!

Emily: Thank you for loving and caring for Imogene! We love you!

Grandma: I love that you’re not just my Grandma, but my dear, beloved sister in the Lord. I love you!!!

Michelle S.: From friend to cousin! How wonderful! I pray for you often and miss you!

Sue T.: Thank you so much for your love and friendship and care and concern! You are such a dear!

Susan: I love you so much and am so thankful you keep the church building clean. Really! I am!

Jordan: You are such a dear and I love you and miss you always!

Glyn: You do so much at church and for each of us individually, I don’t know what we would do without you! Love you!

Rachel W: Thank you for your love of all the moms at HBC and for having such great kids! 🙂

Mary Ellen: I pray for you all the time. May your faith be strong dear sister! I love you and am thankful for you!

Sue W.: Thank you for your sweet and tender love of all of us for so many years! You are such a blessing

Jeanie: I love you so much and count it a blessing to have gotten to work on so many projects with you!

Flo: I pray for you often and am thankful beyond words for your years and years of love for HBC!

Outside of Heritage, there are some special friends:

Heather: I’m so excited for you and your book! It’s been an honor to get to watch you and help you as I can. Thank you for all your advice, help, and encouragement this year. Thank you for early morning text! I love you so much! Deanna did us a great service when she said we needed to be friends!

Emily Shiflet: I have loved getting to know you over the last few years. You have been a huge encouragement to me both as a writer, and as a sister in Christ. I appreciate your insight, your love of your family, your love of theology, and your love for our church. Thank you for all that you said about my book. I still go back and read your words when I’m feeling unsure. Thank you for being my friend. I love you!

Kathy Bebout: Even after all these years, Kathy, I still count you as a dear friend. Thank you for teaching me to play the piano and helping to encourage my love of music. Thank you for being my friend after all the years. I love you so much!

Leah Marley: I just want you to know how much I love you and how glad I am to have you in my life. I’m so thankful you and Liz are so close, and I’m so thankful for your encouragement, silly texts, love of coffee, crazy kids who are amazing, and just love the continuing love between our families! God know the Marleys and Vincents would need each other even into the second, and Lord willing, third generations! What a blessed friendship!

Lynne Renihan: I have loved getting to know you, Lynne, and I have loved sharing our love of books. I’m so glad to have you in my life! Thank you for being my friend!

Kim Renihan: Thank you Kim, for all your encouragement this year as I’ve struggled with my health. You have no idea how helpful you have been. I pray for you and hope someday we can spend more time together in person as opposed to Facebook! Love you!

Dana Goad: You are such an encouragement to me! I love you and really appreciate your friendship!

Sarah Smith: It was so wonderful to hang out with you during the ARBCA-GA and to email you this year! I love you cousin and appreciated you so much!

Aunt Becky: Thank you for all your love, encouragement, and prayers this year. I’m so glad you got to visit so often. I love you so much!

Aunt Claudia: Thank you for loving me, always supporting me, and for your care and concern! Love you

Ann McCormick: All these long years you have been my friend! I’m thankful for you and for all the years you’ve been there for me! I love you and miss you!

Bethany Jennings: I’m so thankful  for you! Your gentle heart is a blessing and you are a huge encouragement to me in the writing/blogging world. I’m so glad we’re friends. I am praying diligently for you and your daughter. Love you!

RJ Conte: Thank you for including me in all the fun things you’ve done for your books, for long message conversations about our personalities and writing, and for your love and support of so many people. I really appreciate you!

Tawna W.: I love you so much and your sweet family! I’m so glad that you are in my life. Thank you for working to stay involved and coming to see me so many times this year! You are a dear sister in Christ from a dear sister Church!

Thanksgiving 2

happy-thanksgiving

I’m thankful for all the way God faithfully provides for me and other saints. I have a roof over my head, my husband has a job, we have food on the table, and are surrounded by people we love and who love us. God is good. And God goes above and beyond just my needs. He has provided us a home with so many trees and room for more, both people and trees. He has covered our needs and given us more so we can help others. He has not just given us food, but so many foods: cheese, meat, bread, sweets, fruits, vegetables and more. He has given us each other, and he has given us a family that loves us, little nieces and nephews and some not so little ones, parents and grandparents. What a blessing! He’s given us so many friends, wise and good friends who share that wisdom with us. God is good and I am thankful for his bountiful blessings.

Chuck

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Recently some people we thought were dear friends inflicted Chuck on us via massive arm-twisting and emotional evangelizing.  My husband and I are both busy people, we have a wonderful evening entertainment routine which includes Rhett and Link’s Good Mythical Morning, and we really didn’t have time for another TV Show.

They applied the pressure. (We’re so glad they did.)

Hesitantly, we started season one in early February.  And once you start…you’re doomed.  In about four weeks, we devoured all five seasons becoming Chuck-evangelists ourselves.

This show is the Get Smart of my generation.  It’s very specifically geared towards those of us fortunate enough to be born in the late 70’s and early 80’s.  It is brilliant.  It now occupies a slot in my Favorite TV Show List alongside Star Trek:NG, Firefly, Band of Brothers, Sherlock and 24.  Chuck is funny, cute, intense, heart-warming, relatively clean, and relatively moral.  The jokes are both nerdy and geeky, and cover everything from Court Jester, Terminator, Final Fantasy, Cobra, Batman, Tron and so much more.

The real beauty of this show, though, is not the jokes only my generation will get, it’s the characters.  The main characters all grow, but don’t change.  They all mature without losing the core that made you love them in the first place.  Each season they add important layers to the main characters that give them an unusual amount of depth for such a fun show.

Normally, I don’t enjoy shows with a lead female who can fight her way out of any situation, especially against bigger men.  I think it’s unrealistic to the point of being patronizing and insulting.  Strength is not always how much butt you can kick.  I really hate it, generally, when they pair a strong, cold female with a wimpy guy.  I just don’t find the ‘I can be as strong as him’ plot point satisfying.  Call me old school, but I enjoy the strong guy who saves the girl far more than the strong girl who saves the guy.  All this was true until I watched Chuck.  Chuck’s saving grace, his strength, is his moral compass.  He never strays from it.  He always does the right thing no matter what national secrets are on the line.  It’s why you love him.  It is why Sarah loves him.  And while Sarah is saving Chuck physically – she protects him – Chuck is saving her spiritually and emotionally.  Chuck gives her something to live for, not only because she loves him, but also because he’s good.  She wants to be a better person because she loves him.  They play this theme out dimensionally with the other characters.  The hardened John Casey is not immune to Chuck’s good nature.  I think, ultimately, Casey is my favorite character.  He starts out easily mistaken for cardboard.  He grunts, shoots, and has no emotion.  By the end of the show, he’s part of the family, willing to do anything for his team.  Casey becomes human because of Chuck.

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I loved Chuck’s use of marriage.  In many stories once you have the lead male and female marry, the spark is gone.  They fight.  They cheat and lie.  They lose everything about them that you once loved.  Not Chuck.  Chuck and Sarah’s marriage only strengthens their bond.  They have a greater depth of character as a unit and as individuals once they’re married.  I loved the power it gave their characters when they no longer protected their boyfriend or girlfriend but their husband or wife.  Even the side characters, Awesome and Ellie, have a good marriage.  Marriage is not treated as the end of romance, but as the beginning.

There are many heartwarming themes running through this show.   Loyalty to friends and family is at the forefront.  My husband and I have a close-knit family.  We spend a lot of time together.  We’re loyal to each other.  I love this show for honoring that.  It was also nice not to feel like the political punching bag.  If you’re conservative in any way, you know what I’m talking about.  Chuck, probably due to Adam Baldwin’s influence, makes conservative jokes that don’t poke fun at us as stupid but as strong.  Casey has a picture of Ronald Reagan in his house, Rush Limbaugh is mentioned, and guns are used regularly.  Chuck’s personal aversion to guns isn’t touted as the next step in human enlightenment, but only part of his character, making it less annoying.  This is one of the few shows where the wife chooses to be at home with her child.  How often does that happen?  Never.  But Ellie admits she wants to be with her daughter and Awesome sacrifices what he wants for her.  It’s great.

So, this show is one of the few shows that made me laugh like a geek, satisfied my courage/loyalty loves, and didn’t trample my conservative belief system.  On top of all that, it had layers of depth, twists and turns, intense moments, and I cried.  I cried like wake-up-the-next-day-with-sandpaper-eyes through the last three episodes.  As soon as it was over, I wanted to start it again.  I watched much of this show with the similar intensity as 24: just one more episode, one more.

This picture brings on the tears!

This picture brings on the tears.

Parental Warning:  I would rate Chuck PG-13.  It is a feel good, relatively clean show, without too much language or violence, but seduction is part of the spy game.  And as nice as it is to conservatives, it’s not based on firm Christian values.

My Favorite Christmas Story, or Why the Vincents Celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve

merry-christmas-granny

Once upon a time, there was a large family living in the beautiful hills of the Ozarks.  They had five boisterous children who loved Christmas very much.  They loved the music, the decorations, the hunt for the perfect – if itchy – cedar tree, the lights, the festivities, and of course, being proper Vincents, the food.  Papa and Mama, at this time of their lives and with five children, found their wallets a bit on the tight.  There was hardly even a quarter to be spared.  Papa and Mama focused what little money they had on stuffing the seven large family stockings.  Calendars, fabric, rope, candy, snacks, and even socks made their way into the stockings.  The three older siblings pooled their resources from odd jobs to purchase small gifts for their families, while the younger two made gifts of pictures, rocks, and other crafts.

But – what a lovely word, ‘but’! – every year magnificent presents piled up under the tree.  The pile was so large, this particular Christmas, it spilled out into the living room taking up valuable real estate and pathways.  Tensions ran high.  Five children mentally categorized each gift according to name, sound when gently shook, corners peeling up, and general size.  Five children counted down not only days, but hours and minutes.  Five smiles spread across five faces when their eyes fell on the full tree.

Where had these lavish gifts come from?  How had the poor family managed to have such a wealthy Christmas?  The generosity of an Auntie and Uncle with no children yet of their own made it possible.  All through the month of December, large boxes arrived at the Vincent mobile home.  Big boxes.  Giant boxes full of wrapped presents labeled for everyone.  This particular year Auntie and Uncle had outdone themselves.

On Christmas Eve, with beautiful sunlight streaming in the windows, the Vincent family sat down to enjoy a lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup – a family favorite.  Five pairs of eyes darted now and again to the pile of presents.  Five faces grinned at one another in anticipation of the next day’s fun, both loving and hating the anticipation of what lay under those bright wrappers.

Clearing his throat, Papa announced that he had an announcement to make but an announcement with a Condition.  At the declaration of this announcement, not a noise could be made by any of the five children.  Not a peep, not a cheer, not a word.  Nothing.  Papa required the announcement to be heard, processed, and obeyed without a sound.  He made very intense eye contact with each of his five children.  Receiving an agreeing nod from each of them, he proceeded with his announcement.

“Your Mama and I will go take a nap while you children clean up and do the dishes.  When we wake up, we will open presents.”

The collective intake of breath of five children prepared to scream for joy nearly sucked all the air out of the room.

“Not a sound,” Papa reminded them.

Five mouths closed.

Eyes darted, lips quivered but stayed shut, happiness beamed from five faces.  Not a sound.

Papa and Mama silently retired.

As soon as their bedroom door closed screams, cheers, and many peeps filled the kitchen.  Never before was the table cleared or the dishes done with such speed, planning, self-sacrifice, and general joy.  Never before had so little bickering and so much aid been giving to fellow siblings.  This was a cause worth working together!!!  Very soon the dishes were done and five little boys and girls strategically placed themselves in the living room to await the arrival of their parents declaring this the best Christmas ever.

And that, my dear friends, is why the Vincents, Joneses, Days, and Groves celebrate Christmas Eve together to this very day.

Merry Christmas and “God bless us, everyone”.

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Thanksgiving 11

I’m thankful for my family, both sides.  There are a lot of us.  We’re big, noise, crazy, silly, maybe just a little dangerous, opinionated, sarcastic and cynical.  We are also loving, supportive, generous and full of stories.  We like nothing better than to just be together.  I’m thankful God has given me a family to serve and be served by.  I love you all!