Saturday, December 31, 2022

"This looks like a December day It looks like we've come to the end of the way" ~Willie Nelson

December 1
Grandson Knox started his birthday celebration a day early at El Tapatio
where the servers sang the Spanish birthday song then
smeared cream all over his face and up his nose
His mom Kelly took these pics
December 2
Squirrel condos
Knox celebrated his 11th birthday with a DQ ice cream cake
December 3
What’s in the box? Ralph’s Christmas cookies!
December 7
Blurry drive-by snap of the town Christmas tree on the square
December 8
Ella challenged Grandpa to a game of Ella Chess
where pretty much anything goes
She captured almost all of Grandpa’s pieces and a few of her own
It’s a win for Ella
December 11
Ella drew the cutest snowman
She colored him and added some hair
Love his face
December 15
Our version of elf on the shelf is this wild hairy thing sitting there on the hall table
We’ve had him for decades and Neil brings him out every December to move
him around so the grands can find him. Ella left some Skittles for him to eat,
came back later and wow! they were gone!
Did I mention that I like Skittles too?
We enjoyed Knox’s Christmas chorus concert
When they sang You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch, the Grinch ran around
the stage among the singers, stealing their hats
He even took the Christmas tree
December 16
Daughter Holly celebrated her 44th birthday with her daughter Shelby
at Biltmore in Asheville, N.C. Built in 1889-95, it is George Vanderbilt’s
250 room castle, the largest home in America
Christmastime at Biltmore is really something to experience
They enjoyed the whole day there and got to see it at night by candle and
fireplace light and more than a hundred Christmas trees lit up
Enjoying the spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains

December 18
Two days after her birthday, we went to El Tapatio for lunch
where they plopped a sombrero on her head, sang the Spanish birthday song ...
and smeared cream up her nose
December 21
Winter Solstice
Right before the bottom dropped out of the temperature
December 22
44° to 19° in 90 minutes. Wind chill is 12°
(from Cookeville Weather Guy’s post on Facebook)

December 23
Didn’t get much snow but the cold was brutal
Temps and wind chill stayed below zero for several day
Keeping the birds (and squirrels) fed
You know it’s cold when Neil has on gloves and his furry hat
Snapped this through window and got reflection of Christmas tree lights
December 24
Ella rolled the dough for the Christmas cookies

Our Family Christmas 2022
Traditional spaghetti dinner
Neil and me and daughters Holly and Kelly
I like this one better
Reindeer Games
Grands Ella, Knox, Shelby, and Elijah with his girlfriend Kiara
Kimbrough Family
Kerry, Kelly, Knox, Ella
Myers Family
Jerry, Holly, Shelby, Elijah with girlfriend Kiara

And then we opened presents ...
Nikes were on Shelby’s list
Ella was the most excited about everything she opened
Jerry and Kerry keeping a safe distance from the wrapping paper flying in all directions
Holly was excited about her air fryer
Cash was pretty much the only thing on Kelly’s list
Kiara got Nikes 
Elijah also got Nikes and Vans and Converse
Jerry dug into his stocking and pulled out all sorts of goodies
Knox’s hoodie pictured his fave anime characters
Kerry’s Life Is Good
Neil got a cool pocket knife with last name engraved on the handle
My gift was photos of my dear grands on canvas
We hung this poster sized one on the wall over the stairs
And these three smaller ones will reside here until I find a place to hang
They are awesome (the pics and the grands)

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other"

Ready for Santa
December 25
Discovered this smiley face in the crusty snow in our driveway 
as we left to go to worship service Christmas morning
Thanks, E! Made me smile
Kerry and Holly playing Reindeer Ring Toss at our Mabry clan get-together
And some of the ladies participated in a fuzzy-socks-filled-with-goodies exchange
(didn’t get a pic)
Thanks to Holly and her family for hosting again this year
Ella, Julia, Elijah, Shelby, and Knox
We sure did miss Sarah, who was very ill, and her mom Jane who stayed home with her
(A part of) the Mabry clan enjoyed a very merry Tennessee Christmas
Kerry, Kelly, Don, Ann, Elijah, Holly, Jerry, Terry, Kiara, Knox,
Shelby, Julia, moi, Neil, and Ella
December 26
Snowed for a minute and then it was gone
When it’s over it’s over
Back in the box until next year, God willing
December 27
Shelby and Knox came over to watch part two of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
We watched part one a few days before Christmas but I failed to snap a pic
December 28
Neil took Knox and Ella to see (and hear) the Christmas tree in Dogwood Park
Ella was dressed up in her new Princess Aurora dress
December 29
Dinner and a movie with Shelby and Knox
Dinner at Steak n Shake
Neil might have been happier if he’d gotten a milkshake too
We watched part three of the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Knox had never seen part two or part three
Neil snapped this picture of Shelby, Knox, and moi
Knox was hiding inside his hoodie at this point ~ not sure if he was scared or crying
December 30
It’s only fitting that the Tennessee Vols won the Orange Bowl
Go Big Orange!
December 31
It’s all good

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”  
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

This looks like a December dayThis looks like a "time to remember" dayAnd I remember the spring, such a sweet tender thingAnd love's summer college,Where the green leaves of knowledge,Were waiting to fall with the fall
And where September wine,Numbed the measure of timeThrough the tears of October, now November's over,And this looks like a December day
This looks like a December dayIt looks like we've come to the end of the wayAnd as my memories race back to love's eager beginning,Reluctant to play with the thoughts of the endingThe ending that won't go away
And as my memories race back to love's eager beginning,Reluctant to play with the thoughts of the endingThe ending that won't go away
And this looks like a December day
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Nelson
December Day lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC