Thursday, December 31, 2015

“Tonight’s December thirty-first, Something is about to burst. The clock is crouching, dark and small, Like a time bomb in the hall. Hark, it's midnight, children dear. Duck! Here comes another year!” ― Ogden Nash, Collected verse from 1929

Random Photos From December
Grandson Knox turned 4 on December 2. He had a Minion birthday party. Because...wait for it...he LOVES Minions! [picture by Kelly]
Granddaughter Shelby attended the ROTC military ball on December 5 with her friend Blake. Isn't she beautiful? And isn't he handsome? [picture by Holly]
Belle of the Ball
Grandson Elijah performed in the Christmas parade on December 6 with his Capshaw Cougar Jump Rope team mates [his mom Holly was taking his picture at the same time I was - maybe I'm in her picture]
It was a beautiful day for a parade on December 6
We put our tree up on December 7. Neil and I never ever thought we'd have an artificial Christmas tree. We did make a trip out to the tree farm and had one tagged, but when it came down to the thoughts of pine pollen aggravating my sinuses and Neil having to string lights on the tree which is never fun for him, we caved and went pre-lit fake. No regrets. Honest.
Our town went all out this year to make Christmas merry and bright. This huge tree set up in Dogwood Park [covering up the beautiful fountain where kids splash in the summer months] changed colors and put on a musical light show every hour after dark. Festive!
Our Christmas tree selfie in the park on December 12 ~ Neil, Knox, me, and Kelly [thanks for pic, Kelly]
One of the highlights for me this Christmas was attending the high school chorus Christmas concert on December 15. I hate to say I've missed too many of these performances in past years, and this one is only the second one I've attended. The chorus director chooses the best holiday songs, and the voices of all these young people blending in perfect harmony make me want to weep; it is so beautiful. 
This concert was granddaughter Shelby's first high school concert ~ that's her in the center, her pretty head all we could see behind that baby grand.
This concert was niece Julia's last high school Christmas concert. She'll be graduating next spring and moving on to college. 
Looking forward to future concerts
Last day of school December 18 before Christmas break, grandson Elijah brought home all the Christmas ornaments he'd made in class like this one with his name on it.
Future heirlooms ~ children's homemade ornaments are always the most treasured
A Christmas Haiku by Elijah
Daughter Kelly and son in law Kerry on December 23 enjoying tasty drinks at Poet's coffee house
Reindeer Games on December 24 ~ Shelby, Elijah, Knox 
Reindeer Games Part 2 ~ daughters Kelly and Holly, granddaughter Shelby
Rockin' around the Christmas tree on December 25 at Kelly's house ~ cousins Shelby, Elijah, Julia, and Sarah
Christmas Peeps [thanks for the pic, Julia!]
Mabry Clan ~ December 25 ~ Outtakes are the best ~ these people never learn [or maybe just don't care] that I'm going to post this on the world wide web
December 26 and not yet ready to remove the lights ~ Christmas lights are my favorite decoration, especially the flashy blinky ones ~ these slowly change color from red to green to blue and the other string of lights are white ones that flash from slow to fast and might be capable of triggering a seizure if you're prone to one ~ anyway, love 'em! I could leave them up all year. But I don't.
Niece Sarah gave me these way cool Charlie Brown socks which I happily wore the day after Christmas
December 26 ~ Neil fashioned a plastic room out in his big shed and got ready to spray paint the mantel we found at the Nashville flea market back in October [it's sitting upside down just in case you're wondering]. I'll show it to you when our fireplace is all done. I think it's going to be something really special.
December 27 ~ we've enjoyed springlike weather so far this winter ~ wet and warm and so not Christmas-like ~ the plants are starting to bloom
December 27 ~ grandson Knox got a Big Wheel bike for Christmas and drove it over to our house to show it off [they live down the street and mom and dad walked over with him] More fun than pint-sized human beings should be allowed to have
December 28 ~ more rain 
Flooding in our yard but nowhere near what other folks endured
December 28 ~ Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
Nice sunset on the 28th
December 31 ~ grandson Elijah is hanging out with us today. He brought a new Star Wars Lego set and spent hours building it
Waiting for orders from Darth
The finished product ~ good job, Elijah!
Sometimes I wish a year came equipped with a pause button or at least a speed bump or two, you know, just to slow things down a bit at certain points. This year has flashed by. They all do, I suppose. No special plans for us. How about you? And no New Year's resolutions. I have found them to be most useless in my case. Goodbye, 2015! It's been nice knowing ya! Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!

“We’re not dictated by the calendar, nor does the calendar sweep the obstructions from our lives when the second hand reaches midnight in the wee and fleeting hours of December. We can choose to move toward something new at any time.” 
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

Saturday, December 26, 2015


Those of us who were able to be here this evening came together at daughter Kelly and son in law Kerry's home to celebrate the Mabry Clan Christmas. This is what I love about my family ~ even though my mom and dad have been gone many years now [dad passed away in 1999 and mom in 2012], we still want to be together at Christmas and enjoy each other's company. We eat a lot, talk a lot, laugh a lot and loudly, play Dirty Santa and other games like Apples To Apples and tonight we got to watch the Foy's home movies and laugh at our younger selves and cry over those who aren't with us anymore ~ my mom, dad and brother Rob. It was great fun as always. Thanks to Kelly and Kerry and Knox who hosted the festivities this year. I love this family! Merry Christmas from the Mabry Clan!
From left to right back row: Ashley Mabry, Shaun Scantland, Sarah Foy, Don Foy, Holly Myers, Shelby Myers, Jerry Myers, Terry Sissom, Kerry Kimbrough, Chris Mabry, Jennifer Upchurch, Ann Sissom, me, Neil Ranft
Middle row from left: Ken Mabry, Elijah Myers, Evan Scantland [and baby Finn who is due in January], Ethan Mabry
Front row from left: Jane Foy, Knox Kimbrough, Julia Foy, Kelly Kimbrough

Thursday, December 24, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS! from the Ranft/Myers/Kimbrough Families

O Christmas tree! This is a first for us in our 42 years of Ranft Christmases ~ an artificial tree ~ we kinda like it

Eyes all aglow ~ grandson Knox was beyond excited to unwrap those presents

Ditto grandson Elijah ~ he could not sit still, urging the adults to hurry up and eat and take pictures so we could get to the good stuff

Calm and bright ~ granddaughter Shelby more beautiful every year

These three are always the best presents around my tree

"Buon Natale"  {must be Italian} ~ our traditional Christmas dinner with homemade spaghetti sauce ~ delizioso!

The Myers Family ~ Jerry, Holly, Elijah and Shelby

The Kimbrough Family ~ Kerry, Kelly and Knox

Santa and Mrs. Claus [Ranft]

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


December 16, 1978 was a night much like tonight ~ rainy and warm. Neil and I headed to the hospital around 8PM, more than ready to have child number two and thankful this kiddo, like our first one, decided to arrive two weeks early ~ nine days before Christmas instead of New Year's Eve eve. At 10PM out popped this tiny girl ~yay! another girl!~and the first thing I noticed about her was the blond hair. Back then, it was a four day hospital stay. Imagine that. And for four days, this cute blond kid didn't have a name. Can't remember if we were undecided or just couldn't agree, but before we left the hospital, we had finally settled on Holly Elizabeth. She was our almost-Christmas baby, so the name Holly seemed appropriate, yes? And we did carry her home in a red Christmas stocking provided by the nurses in obstetrics. In the twinkle of an eye, we flashed forward and we're here this evening, celebrating her 37th (!) birthday. Happy Birthday, Holly! You are a blessing to us, and we wish you all the best of everything today and always. We love you so very very much!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


“I’m the birthday boy!”  Grandson Knox celebrated his 4th birthday today. He’s all about Minions these days, so he wanted [and got] a Minion birthday party.
His cake was a D.Q. ice cream cake with Minions on top.
Around the cake were characters from Cars which he also loves.
He recently discovered the joy of Avengers superheroes, so these posters rounded out the decorations.
Birthday presents and birthday balloons
He’s been excited about his birthday party all day to say the least
He could not wait to tear into all his gifts
Opening his presents came first before cake
Lots of Minion gifts
And more Minion gifts
Party people ~ cousins Sarah, Julia, Elijah and Shelby and Aunt Holly and Grandpa Neil
Knox did receive non-Minion gifts ~ he loved this Paw Patrol set and also Avenger action figures
The singing of the Birthday Song
Blowing out all those candles
Party people ~ Elijah, great Aunt Jane, Sarah and dad Kerry and mom Kelly
Happy 4th Birthday, Knox!! Hope all your birthday wishes came true today. Granny and Grandpa love you so very much!!