A Tale

A tale of two sisters.  

Once upon a time, there were two sisters.  They were about as different as can be.  One laid back, carefree, a risk taker...really just a take it as it comes kind of girl.  The other high strung, a worrier, a bit bossy...really an everything has a plan kind of girl.  

So, when the latter of the two sisters was chopping vegetables on Christmas Eve preparing her Texas Caviar dip for the next day, her heart felt all happy inside when the bowl looked like this.  Everything in its place, nice and tidy, and all the while it really was rather lovely.     

Then, the sister that was mentioned first came along and said, "That's boring.  Watch this."  And, she proceeded to mix it all up and proclaimed to the second sister, "See.  Now it's FUN!!  Just like me!"  Then, she did a little dance in the middle of the kitchen because her heart felt all happy inside when the bowl looked like this.  Nothing in its place.  In fact, it was as if nothing ever really had a place to start with, simply a little chaotic craziness and just the way the sister that was mentioned first likes things.  

Yes, the sister mentioned first thinks her way is so much better.  And, really the sister that was mentioned second also believes her way is so much better.  That's why when I found out that it was Sister Pister that wrapped this Christmasy ribbon so perfectly around the entire banister at the farm, I couldn't help but do a little dance of my own.  Because, that right there...well, that shows that her little self can indeed be organized and does in fact value a little bit of pretty in her surroundings.  

And, then...then on Christmas Day when I spotted Sister Pister being all organized and very planner-esque as she organized the numbers for the present games and then proceeded to be a bit bossy as she went around to everyone, my heart swelled with pride.  Ahh, Sister Pister.  You do a have a tad of me after all.  

So, it turns out the ending of this tale of two sisters is this: 


I love you and your crazy little self Sister Pister, but...I win.  

 So, don't be looking at me like that.   


My Christmas Day

...was as crazy as usual.

 Christmas Day is always spent with my dad's side of the family.  My grandma had seven kids in ten years without any twins....that makes for crazy right there.  My grandpa encouraged ridiculousness and therefore, all seven of them are not boring.  Not at all.  Then, those seven kids got married and had their own children and now some of those children have been married off and had babies too.  All this adds up to family gatherings that are loud and crazy.  When new people come into one of these gatherings for the first time, I do believe it makes them think twice about staying serious with whoever they came with.  It takes a special kind to be able to put up with aunts that will reenact their cheerleading days, uncles that are always looking for a way to make you so embarrassed you want to run and hide, kids, kids, kids, serious game playing, and story-telling that leaves you in stitches.  But, once they make it past that first encounter, they seem to start joining right in.

It all starts with my grandma.  She's a tiny gem and she's the one I get my love for jewelry and all things clean from.  Grandma Audrey just sits back, takes it all in, and when her children start telling stories from their high school days, she shakes her head and blames it all on Grandpa Elmer.  It's really too bad he is not here with us anymore because he loved nothing more than kids running everywhere.  And, we all get our fun factor from him that's for sure.

Right away, I noticed we were having a sponsored Christmas thanks to Uncle Tige.  He and his smashed thumb found that rather humorous.  

My grandma has a lot of grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  We all would give anything to have Matt and Lindsey back with us, but we know they are watching over all of us.  

These are the three out-laws of the grandchildren.  Well, Sil is an official out-law.  Joey and Eric are soon to be official out-laws.  

We decided we would let them in the picture.  After all, they all came back after their first encounter with the family.  As I said before, that makes them a special kind.  

After this very formal picture taking business was done, we opened presents.  The littles went first because that's just how it should be.  

Then, it was a free for all.  Dad-o and Uncle Tige are the only boys out of the seven kids and they still act like they are five and two most of the time.  They are on a constant hunt to find a way to one-up the other.  Momma Debi found the "perfect" gift for Uncle Tige and Dad-o was of course on board.  

You see, Uncle Tige spent some time this fall actually at the mansion that goes with the above robe and now he is pretty sure his name should be changed to Heff so the present could not have been more perfect.  And, hilarious.  Really, really hilarious.  

And, to think...Uncle Tige was nice and gave Dad-o this lovely John Deere chair.

Momma Debi and Dad-o have the upper hand.  For now.  I can't wait to see what happens next year.

We do a gift exchange game that is ruthless.  The guys do one circle and the gals do another circle.  We each bring a present we would actually like to have and then we draw numbers to see who picks first.  Then, stealing takes place.  Lots and lots of stealing.  It takes some conniving to get what you want, but it sure does make for some funny times.

Sister Pister was in charge of numbers this year.  She was fair.  Totally fair.   

I really was only able to take pictures during the guys' game because I can not have any distractions during the girls' game.  I need to be on my best for that because I have some seriously sneaky cousins.

Momma Debi has started a tradition of making one of her beautiful handmade quilts each year and it is a SERIOUS fight that takes game plans and secret handshakes and sneakiness to see who will end up that quilt.  Hayley has been trying for years to get her hands on one and this year she was finally victorious!

After everyone has dusted themselves off from their losses or in some cases, gloated to the world about their wins, then we just spend the rest of the day laughing, playing games, and enjoying each others company.

Firecracker was pretty darn excited that Lacie was rocking the same look as her...boots and leggings.

These two referred to themselves as the "work horses" of the day because we made them carry all the presents.  Twice.  Taylor and Sister Pister thought this was a big deal.

Family randomness...

Again, he could not just take a normal picture.

One of my favorite pictures ever.  Little Man is so excited here he can hardly stand it.  Apparently he got the fun factor too.

Erin and Joey are getting married this summer and Lacie and Eric {sporting his big win from the day} are getting married next summer.  I guarantee their weddings will not be boring.

I'm thinking this had something to do with that visit of Uncle Tige's to a certain mansion.  

The two of us both have the "everything must be organized and yes there is a right way to do that" syndrome.  Her fiancee calls it "the thing."  I stand by the fact there is nothing, nothing at all, wrong with having "the thing."   

Hayley and I showing off our non-diamonds.  No, we are not bitter about everyone else getting married.  We're happy for them.  Really.

The "work horses" and their mommas.

This is a great game if you are looking for one to play at your next family gathering.  And, we had one card that was "Things you don't want to know about your grandma."  How fitting when she's sitting right there.   :)  

After one last photo session, we called it a night.  The family gatherings on my dad's side make my heart happy every time.  There's nothing like knowing there are roughly fifty people out there that are just as crazy as you are.  Love it!

Christmas Day 2010.  Full of fun and family...just the way it should be.