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Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas 2016

Every year we are lucky to celebrate Christmas at least 5 times!  Christmas is when we travel south and get to see all of our extended families.  It's a ton of fun.  Santa is nice and comes early to Indiana so that we can have our own family Christmas too, with our own traditions.  It was a wonderful holiday this year, even my grandmother's passing.  It was good to be with family during this time.

Here Bailey is pouting because I'm eating my Subway in the front seat while he has to (gasp) sit in the back seat with his brothers.

This is my view for 90% of the trip south.

Grandma Nan got Brennan this very cool bird who balances on his beak.  Here there's a physics lesson happening.  Jeanne - recognize this sweater?  He's wearing it as I type too.  He loves that sweater you got him!

Bailey says "Dad, why are you holding another dog?"

Christmas Day lunch at the Rupps.  An absolutely wonderful meal!

Stella, Dexter, Ringo, and Bailey.  Did someone say TREAT?

4 exhausted puppies after Christmas gifts were exchanged. 

While in Canton, we got to meet the newest member of the family - Harper!  Such a sweet girl!

Jane Marie was Santa's helper, handing out gifts to all the kids with Thomas.

The day we celebrated Christmas, Charles Curren turned 2!  We had a little birthday party for him as well.  Notice the blue icing from the Thomas the Tank cookies?

Taylor and Brennan - the 15 year olds (well, Brennan is ALMOST!)

All the cousins - Elizabeth (15), Curren (2), Jane Marie (4), Thomas (16), Ellie (12), Brennan (14), Taylor (15), Harper (4 months), Sara Brady (17)

We did a cousins re-creation from 2005!
Brennan, Elizabeth, Sara Brady, Ellie, Taylor, and Thomas
So cute!!

We celebrated Christmas with my family in Jackson and Shelly made plans for us to burn off some Christmas calories at the trampoline place.  This is less than half of the building.  The kids had a blast.  Then several of us went to see "La La Land" while others watched football and took care of the dogs.

Natalie represented the kids for "La La Land".  Isn't she beautiful?

Our final Christmas was after my grandmother's service.  Bailey got to see his cousins Bandit and Sonny.  We must be a dog family!

And this is a precious that my grandmother would want me to frame for her if she were with us.  It's her great-grandchildren holding their 2016 ornaments from her.  For the past 13 years she has given the great grandchildren an ornament and of course from her with her name and the date. This year's were extra special of course.

December 2016

Of course December was a very full month for us!  Here are some highlights.
The boys had very good semesters in 11th and 9th grades!

Megan Hilty (who is expecting her second child) came to Columbus for the Cabaret at the Commons series.  She and her band performed a Christmas cabaret and she was fantastic!

Robin and I take a photo every year at the Visitors Center volunteer holiday party.  Always a fun event!

We're loving the theater room in our house.  I probably use it less than everyone else.  We chose "My Cousin Vinny" one night and I made dinner to fit the movie.  "Chinese Food" and "Shrimps" and "Grit".

Bailey continues to rule the house.  Everyone is wrapped around one of those cute paws.

Melanie, Erin, Erin, Amber, and I went to CafĂ© Batar before they closed for the winter.  Such a great time to go when it's all decorated for Christmas!

Brennan is the second banner holder in this photo from our local newspaper. The Christmas parade took place on a very chilly night!

Mary, Vanessa and I took a class at Pomp 'n Bloom - how to make a Christmas centerpiece.  Mine turned out pretty well I thought!  It was a fun evening.

Litwits (our evening book club) gathered at John and Erin's for a classic movie night instead of a December book night.  They have a fantastic theater room and Erin makes THE BEST popcorn.  Here's the adorable set up before we voted and chose our classic movie.

We watched "White Christmas".  It was an awesome evening, relaxing with friends during this busy month.

I led two evening Miller House tours in December.  They are very special tours and I love being a part of them. 

Thomas agreed to play John the Baptist in the children's Advent program at church in December.  He attended lots of rehearsals and did a great job!  He was funny and very poised.

A special treat to have Santa and Brennan at the Philharmonic's Christmas concert!

Snow Dog

On their way to see "Rogue One" on opening night.  Who's more excited?  Hard to tell.  They loved it.

David and I celebrated 24 years with dinner downtown!

Our wine club gathered for Christmas celebrations and Ginger and John's house.  They are making their own wine now, very cool.  So we tasted the three they currently have ready and which ever one we liked best, we took home as a gift.  Such a fun evening!

We also had a book exchange.  Ginger asked us to bring a gift that had an impact on our lives.  We drew numbers and then the giver told us why they chose that book.  It was meaningful and a lot of fun.

We gathered at the Courthouse on New Year's Even for Kelly's swearing is as Judge.  Very cool to be a part of this part of the political process.  I have a new appreciation for those who put themselves out there in order to better our communities.

Mamaw Hazel

Just before Christmas, my grandmother Hazel Martin passed away.  She was such a special person and we loved visiting her, and really loved it when she visited us.  A world traveler and a maker - quilts, blankets, pillows, jellies, canned goods, farming, gardening, clothing...  We gathered for her funeral during our Christmas break in Mississippi.  It was a beautiful service and we miss her!

She always got a kick out of being on this blog.  Several people who knew her in real life found her on the blog when they googled things like "Mamaw", "coconut cake", and "how to make biscuits".  They couldn't believe that Mamaw Hazel was staring back at them from their google search!  She always enjoyed being a celebrity.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

November 2016

In November we closed on our former house and said goodbye to a beautiful home where we spent 12 great years.  This photo sums up all the growth that happened.  Thomas and Brennan from September 2004 and November 2016!  The house got a face lift as well.  We put a lot of love and work into our Amberley home.  We know the new family, with their 2 little boys, will enjoy making their own memories there!

We took this shot of the laundry room wall where 3 families marked the heights of the combined 7 children who lived there from 1983 on.  Again, the new family will enjoy adding their boys to the wall! 

The front door of our new home.  We started moving in in early October 2016, moved in completely on October 25th, and it certainly feels like home now.  I'll have to post some pictures of the house soon.

Marching band continued and wrapped up in November.  I spent 3 weekends in a row at Lucas Oil Stadium and didn't see the Colts play once!  What a great experience for Brennan to be a part of.  The band is now getting ready to march in the Inauguration Parade in D.C.!

Our Wine Club gathered in November gathered at Cindy and Eric's and enjoyed a meal together of family holiday favorites.  We had a fun night reminiscing.  Wonderful food and wine.

 And we had a cut-throat game of Jenga.  I lost :(

I spent Election Night with Kelly Benjamin and husband Scott as she was officially elected Judge.

Ginger and I met up at Starbucks on a cold Sunday for a glass of wine.  Wine at Starbucks is quite a treat!

 Our second annual Brew Bus Tour in Indy took place in November.  We had a ball.  The teens hung out at the Marriott, gaming and dining together, while we toured 4 brew pubs in Downtown Indy.

We celebrated two birthdays that afternoon.  One person turned 50.  The other didn't :)

Our pool table was delivered.  The guys are really enjoying it.  Here is a frequent view from my reading chair!

Thanksgiving in Mississippi!

With cousins Taylor (15) and Ellie (12)

With Grandma Carolyn

Our new house has a small theater room.  I hosted my first party there - we watched The Gilmore Girls Revival on the big screen.  Such fun!  We all brought food from the show to munch on.  Thomas and Brennan were the real winners though.  Because if we ladies ate like Gilmore Girls, we'd never make it.

 We inherited the custom Christmas tree from the family we purchased the new house from.  Do you see that some lights are out?  We plan to address that next year!  It's a stunning tall, narrow tree and fits perfectly in the living room.  It was so pretty to look at each night.  This is before we decorated it.

Jeanne and I met up in Louisville for lunch to exchange Christmas gifts.  We met at Guy Fieri's restaurant.  I loved this grilled okra as an appetizer.  Really delicious meal there.  I would recommend it.  It was packed for a weekday lunch in downtown Louisville.