Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Widick Family

Christmas Day has traditionally been spent with the Widick side of the family. Growing up, we would go and spend the day at my Grandma and Graddaddy's Widick's house. It was a time that I enjoyed very much because it was a day spent with my cousins and opening presents and eating. We would stay all day and have so much fun. We would play Bingo and win prizes. As the family got bigger, Grandma and Granddaddy's house got smaller and we moved around a bit. We eventually moved to my Aunt Mary Margaret and Uncle Lee's house and when Grandma and Granddaddy moved to Lebanon, we started having it at my Aunt Trisha and Uncle Reeds house.

This year we were at Reed and Trisha's house for Christmas. The whole family was there with the exception of Marty and Penny's family. Penny had just had surgery and there was no way she needed to get out and come into Lebanon when she needed to stay home and rest. We gather together to eat a yummy Christmas lunch of turkey and dressing and all the trimmings. My contribution every year is to bring my Grandmother Smith's macaroni and cheese casserole and I did and every bite was eaten. This year we did a Dirty Santa exchange among the adults and that was a lot of fun. This year, Kevin and I ended up with the "bottle" that has made its way back and forth between families over the year.

Before we ate dinner, we gathered together to bless the food with prayer and my aunt brought up something that I had always know but never thought about. Every person in that house including Marty and Penny are members of the Lord's church. There are 26 members of this family including the children. We all share a common belief and there is no tiptoeing around afraid to offend someone because they believe something different from you. There are 3 ministers of God's Word and there are deacons and an elder. We are all very different from each other but no matter we have the most important thing in common and that is our love for the Lord and his work. This is something that doesn't happen in all families but I am happy that I am part of this family.

Here is my Grandma and Granddaddy Widick. They are both in their eighties. Their health is not the best but they were able to be with us this year.

Here is Grandma and Granddaddy with their children. My dad, Joe Widick, is the oldest. Trisha is the middle child. She is married to Reed Thomas and they have two girls, Laura Beth and Kathryn. Mary Margaret is the youngest. She is married to Lee Whitfield and they have two boys, Drew and Jackson.
Here are the cousins unfortunately without Marty. From oldest to youngest it is me, Laura Beth, Lane, Kathryn, Drew and Jackson. Growing up, me and Lane and Laura Beth and Kathryn were very close. Whenever we were together we played. For the longest time, they lived in Nashville and we were in Lebanon. We only got together about once a month or so at our grandparents' house for Sunday dinner. I have wonderful memories of us playing together in their basement and in their backyard and not to mention the Christmases we spent together. Drew and Jackson came along when we were much older.

Here we are with our spouses. Laura Beth is married to Chad High and they have two children, Lawton and Carolina. Kathryn is married to Andrew Phillips and they have a little boy named Luke. Drew is a freshman in college and Jackson is a freshman in high school.John Derrick and Lawton had a lot of fun playing together once they warmed up to each other.

Faith had her DS with here and that attracted Lawton's attention and he spent some time watching her play her DS while we were doing Dirty Santa.

Here are the three "babies," Josie, Luke and Carolina. They were all born in 2008.

I wish we had gotten a picture of the whole family together because this is a special family.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas

We had a very merry Christmas this year in spite of everything that has gone on this year with my health. The time passed by way too quick, I feel like December just began and now it is over and it is one day till 2010.

Christmas Eve was spent at Grandmommy and Granddaddy's house.

Unfortunately Penny had thyroid surgery just two days before Christmas Eve and was only let out of the hospital on Christmas Eve so she had to stay at home and rest and enjoy some quiet. Marty was able to be there though and brought the kids, Emilynne, Nathaniel and Susannah.

It isn't Christmas unless all the cousins are together.

Lane and Kristen were able to join us for Christmas. They drove all the the way from Houston, TX to be with us.

They of course brought Josie. Isn't she adorable with all the bows in her head.

Kevin and I bought a fancy new camera as a Christmas present this year. We took a bunch of pictures and here are just a few of them. Here is Emilynne and Susannah by the Christmas tree.

We also got a picture of Susannah and John Derrick.

Here is Faith in her Santa's hat and Nathaniel.

Christmas morning is spent at our house opening presents. This year both Faith and John Derrick had matching pj's. They were so adorable. Santa always leaves a letter on the tree, telling the kids how good they have been over the year. This is Faith's favorite part. She reads the letter aloud to John Derrick. Santa also wraps the presents he leaves for the kids. There are no tags on the presents so he tells the kids which presents are theirs by the color of the wrapping paper.
Faith got a Nintendo DS for Christmas this year. She has been asking for one for months now and she finally got her wish.

John Derrick is too young for a DS but he got a Leapster and he has had a lot of fun playing the games that Santa brought him. Notice the look of concentration on his face and with his tongue sticking out.

The remaining part of Christmas day was spent at my aunt and uncle's house and I am going to have a separate blog about them. Kevin and I also went to the Titans' game with Lane and Kristen. It was cold and the Titans lost.

It was a good Christmas.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Mountain Thanksgiving

Well, it is December 26 and no better time to blog about Thanksgiving. I have been just a little busy and really haven't felt the urge to blog lately. But I will catch us up on what has been going on in the Walton family.

This year for Thanksgiving, we did something a little different and since it turned out to be really fun, we aim to make this a new tradition. We spent Thanksgiving with Kevin's sister and her family. We got a cabin in Seiverville, TN which is close to Gatlinburg and spent the Thanksgiving break with them. Joe and Jennifer live in Mooresville, NC and they have 4 girls, Lauren who is 14, Ashley and Allison who are 12 and Taylor who is 10. We always enjoy being with them. We go see them some but it is a 6-7 hour trip to Mooresville from our house and that can be a long trip. Our house is way too small to hold us all comfortably so they can't really come and see us. We decided to solve the problem by meeting at a midway point.

We stayed at the Oak Haven Resort and Spa in Seiverville, TN in cabin number 75. We got a 4 bedroom cabin. Kevin and Jennifer's mom (Memaw) flew in to spend Thanksgiving with us also. We got there on Tuesday night and Joe and Jennifer got there on Wednesday. The cabin was the perfect size for us because everyone had some kind of bed to sleep on instead of sleeping on the floor.

I will confess, I was very excited about this trip. Kevin and I had talked about doing this before but never did anything about it. Last year we drove to Baton Rouge for Thanksgiving and while we had a good time, we really wanted to just spend Thanksgiving with Joe and Jennifer and we did not want to drive a very long distance. Kevin and I reserved the cabin way back in August. I freely admit that I am a planner. When something big is going happen, I start making lists and planning on what to do. So back in August, I started planning what we were going to eat (not what we were going to do to entertain ourselves but what we were going to eat) I restrained myself from bugging Jennifer about food till the first of November but I had everything planned by mid September. I am so pathetic.

We decided to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Since there are certain foods that my family likes and there are certain foods that their family likes, I made half of the meal and they made the other half. We ended up with quite the feast with turkey and dressing and all the trimmings. I did disappoint myself with the turkey though. I bought 2 turkey breasts and I guess they got overdone because they were not the best.

We didn't plan on doing much while we were there. All the kids were having blast and I don't think they were bored at all. We did go into Gatlinburg on Friday afternoon and walked and saw the sights but mainly we stayed in the cabin. After our meal on Thursday, I said I would go walking with the girls and I did and oh my! Our cabin was on the top of a very steep hill. There was a walking path behind the cabins and we took the path down the hill. Now, I am older and right now not in good shape but I was up for the challenge. When we got to the bottom, Faith and Allie wanted to take the main road back up to the cabin and the rest just wanted to take the path back. The path was flat and then up and then flat and then up. The road was just up. Since I didn't think Faith and Allie needed to be by themselves, I went with them. Allie would have ran up the hill if it wasn't for me. I had to stop several times to catch my breath and almost didn't think I was going to make it but I did and I am proud of myself.

This the Cullen family. Joe and Jennifer, Lauren, Ashley, Allie and Taylor.

There was a hot tub and the cabin and we let the kids in for a little while. They thought they were special.

Taylor and Faith are both 4th graders and although they only get to see each other once or twice a year they are good friends. When we went to Gatlinburg, we parked our cars and took the trolley in. Which was a good thing because Gatlinburg was PACKED. The trolley driver said there were no parking spaces to be found.

Thanksgiving turned out perfect and I hope that this a new tradition for our families.