Sunday, December 21, 2014

November and December -- the rest of the story

And not all of it is quite done yet, so there will be more. Much more.  But for now:

In November at the first part of the month, we went to Salt Lake for Nick and Kaylee's baby blessing for Rachel.  Dear, sweet, little Rachel.  She is an adorable baby.  But she IS my grandchild, you know.  ALL my grandchildren are sweet and adorable!!
Nick and Kaylee are pretty adorable, too, as they tackle this baby business and learn together just how to do what.  It's fun to watch.  ;-)
Rachel wasn't really sleeping. It was cold and bright outside and, well, I was the photographer.

Getting the blessing dress ON started as a one-man (Mom) show...

Rachel:  Oh, my Goodness!  What ARE they trying to do to me??? 
Now there's four hands (and a nosey grandma recording the whole thing). Of course, they did get her dressed. And Rachel did NOT spit up on the pretty white blessing dress!!  SUCCESS!!

The blessing went well.  Lots of family came to their ward. Nick did a very nice job.  Our babies are growing up so fast.

Kaylee and Nick hosted a lovely dinner at their home afterwards, so of course we went there afterwards!  Gail and Seth's family was also there.  My nephew Eric Autrey, and his family also came to spend time with family that day.  They have two cute little boys.  Following are some pictures of folks enjoying good food and company.
Uh. Yeah.  Nick looks kind of dorky. I actually took about four or five shots trying to get them to both be nice for the camera. They wouldn't. I gave up.

Mike and his Mom are eating at the table. Kaylee behind Mike.

L-R Caroine, Gail w/Rachel, Eric A, (Brooke? Kaylee's sister-in-law?), Brittney Autrey, Kaylee.

Eric and Brittney's little boys out in the cold. They chose to go outside. Really, they did. It was a rather brisk day. Jaysen and Kelson. I think.

Caroline, Rachel and Me.

Kaylee and Nick with me and Rachel. And, no, I don't always make her cry!  Sometimes I can even get to her smile.

Kaylee's dad and some nephews and a sis-in-law

Nick L, Eric A, Berenice and Kaylee's paternal gma.
 It was really nice to spend the time with them on their special baby blessing day!

came Thanksgiving!  Mike's sister, Gayela, invited us to go to her place for Thanksgiving. Well, not really at her place, as she lives in a very small apartment. She made arrangements to use a nearby chapel that would accommodate all us and most of her kids and grandkids.  Then, some others surprised her and showed up at the last minute and had her scrambling for adequate food for a larger number of folks!

Here are a few shots of that gathering. Nick and Kaylee and Rachel were there. Me and Mike and his Mom were there from out of town. We wished Gail and Seth could have come with their family, too, but the Thanksgiving holiday is a rather busy retail time for Seth, so they stayed home  (and ate a lot of pie, from what I saw on Facebook! Ha).

Nephew Archi carving the turkey. He and his family recently moved back to Utah after being in Pennsylvania for a couple of years.

Rachel, Kaylee Liebhardt

Just chatting and waiting for the rest of the people to get there. Nick in red.  Ecstacia Gardner came from Denver area with husabnd Troy Gardner and their three Children. They were the fun surprise visitors!!

Our wonderful hostess, Gayela with her son, Troy.

Enjoying some crafts and activities while waiting.

 After the dinner was over, we had a long time before heading back to Cedar City. Like a couple of days.  So we made ourselves at home at Nick and Kaylee's house.  Mike and I had some shopping to do for our Ward Christmas Dinner that was coming up.  We mostly just relaxed on Thursday afternoon and Friday, though. It was great.  I watched them put up their first very own Christmas Tree in their very own house.

And, of course we played with Baby Rachel and just watched her being the cute little baby that she is!
There was MORE!  We didn't just head home--we went to a wedding on Saturday in the Salt Lake Temple.  Mike's Grand-Nephew Drake Linarte was being married that Saturday morning to Julie (somebody...I don't remember her name). We enjoyed a lot of family time.  Drake is Jannae's grandson, Lesa's son. Lesa has a large family and they were all there. Jannae has a large family and THEY were all there--all except two grandsons. That's it!  Everyone else was there, plus extras, plus the bride's family, so it was a big crowd on the temple grounds afterwards, and a big crowd at the luncheon after that.  And we even stayed for their ever-so-elegant reception after that!! It was a long and busy day. Tiring. Full of great food and GREATer people.  So fun.  Here are some photos of some festivities.

Mike with his two sisters on the temple grounds after the wedding.

Crowds and crowds of people just waiting for the Bride and Groom to appear.  It was very mild, weather-wise. It could have been freezing, snowing, etc. It wasn't.  Fairly mild for nearly December.

Matthew (tilted head),and Logan (with toddler). Brothers of the groom, Nick's cousins.

Hi Joe!  Joe Maestas. Grandfather of groom, Mike's brother-in-law.

That's the Groom, Drake. I can't decide if he looks happy or what.  Serious, if nothing else. Well, marriage is a serious thing. :-)

Mike and his Mom. Waiting, waiting, waiting.  They took a lot of photos on the temple grounds with a lot of different group shots. We are actually IN one of them.

 So, after a while, you just take pictures of people taking pictures of people taking pictures. :-) This is Gayela.

Here is Drake's whole family. He's somewhere in the middle of the SIX children that Lesa has.  Fun family.

Fun family times. We were glad we got to go.  We drove home to Cedar City right after attending the reception for a while, and had a safe and un eventful drive back home.  I'm glad we have late church so we could sleep in!!

After Thanksgiving comes December, and we had some visitors!  But before the visitors,  I had to get through the end of the semester at work, Mike and I had to organize the food for our ward party, me for the student work party, and we were busy with work, work, work. And I was thinking about Christmas preparations. I just didn't have time to DO any of them!

Nick and Kaylee and Rachel came to spend a couple of days with us.  They are the only kids we will see all of this Christmas season.  So, even though it was short, it was really nice!  Nick actually went to the Las Vegas Bowl Dec 20, so Kaylee and Rachel and I just played on Saturday. They went to church at Grandma's early ward then headed home on Sunday afternoon to try and beat a storm.
And sometimes Mike just really needs a haircut. Badly.  This was taken just before his last haircut. 

Our December visit with Baby Rachel.

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Kaylee was very productive and creative and made all that yummy candy-coated popcorn drizzled with colored stuff. I got to play with baby Rachel.  She is such  cutie pie!

And that's it for November/December. For now.
My Christmas Cards are ready to be mailed. I hope you get YOURS before Christmas.
My Christmas Tree is decorated. I've attended one Christmas music concert (just tonight!). I've listened to my fill of Christmas music on the radio for a while. Packages have been mailed and received in far away places. I missed attending Aunt Tuny's Christmas get-together in California this year.  I got to take a few days off work to get all those above-mentioned preparations done, so now it's back to work for me!

I have forgotten a lot, I know. Gifts, errands, shopping, etc. But  Christmas comes anyway.  And it's not about the trappings. It's about the birth of our Savior.  How wonderful that He came, He lived and He died--for us!  Let us all remember the Reason for the Season.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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