Thursday, December 24, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Saturday morning we woke up and these guys expected breakfast.  Can you believe that?!?  They chose to eat leftover hibachi for breakfast.  The struggle is real around the Shackelford house this week.

Saturday afternoon we had Renee's family's Christmas party.  We played games and dirty Santa.  By this point in December I am done.  We have been going for 15 straight days with little to no breaks.  And then, in the rare breaks I am cooking, doing laundry, shopping, etc.  I really can't believe that regular chores continue in December.  It's quite cruel.  Anyway, this photo sums up my feelings at this point in the month.
Saturday evening we had two parties to attend.  One was for a friend who turned 50.  We partied with them for a while

and then headed to church to party with a fun Sunday school class at our church.  They always have a lively ornament exchange and it's a lot of fun to watch.

Sunday morning we had church and then grabbed lunch with a much needed visit with some precious friends.  We got home just in time to unload our car and then head out again for a building dedication of a new church.  Our church partners with a church in Frayser called Kingdom Fellowship.  They are doing great things in our city.  Because of our partnership Pastor Darryl asked Fred to preach and our choir to sing.  It was a blessing to all who attended.  We cannot wait to see all that God is going to continue to do in and through this church.  Fred is here with Darryl Roberts (the pastor of Kingdom Fellowship) and Robert Wes (the pastor of Kingdom Center Ministries).
After this was over we came in with just enough time to change our clothes and head out for two more parties.  Clayton had the youth Christmas party.  We stopped by for me to set up the chocolate fountain and drop him off.  While I was setting it up we had just a little time to visit before we headed out for the next party.
Fred, Jack, Andrew and I left Clayton there and headed to our young adult Christmas party.  We had a traditional Christmas meal.  Those young adults are so much fun.  We stuck around for the dirty Santa game and then left when they started playing more games.  We had to pick up Clayton, plus it was past my bedtime.  You know what young adults like to do?  Stay up late.  Mercy.  It was like 8:00 pm when they started playing Guesstures.  I did hear that the girls won, so there's that.  I wouldn't know though.  I was tucked in my bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.
Monday morning we had a pretty restful morning.  I ran a few errands with Jack and got back safely to the comfort of my home.  We live about 7 minutes from a major mall/shopping area and boy is it crazy.  I vowed on Monday to stay away until January.

Monday evening some of our friends came over for crew Christmas.  We had pizza and all sorts of other foods.  We had cookies to decorate.

After we ate each family headed out for some Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.  Each family was responsible for $5 per family member.  When we finished we came back to our house to report what we had done.  God has given us multiple support systems here in Bartlett, but I sure am thankful for this village right here that surrounds us. After we all reported on what we had done things took a turn for fun.  I'm not really sure how we got here, but there was talk of hidden talents and one thing led to another and the next thing I knew I was showing off my mad head stand skills.  Everybody has one random thing that they are really good at, mine just happens to be head stands. don't be jealous.

Tuesday morning Renee sent me a message and asked if the boys would like to go look at Christmas lights and spend the night.  Absolutely they would love to do that!  I took them to her house and came back to clean out the playroom.  Merry Christmas to me!  Fred and I grabbed a delicious dinner before I had a practice at church.
Wednesday morning we woke up to a quiet house.  We actually woke up at 4:45 am, because Fred, who was awake, knocked over a picture frame.  Whoops.  Since I was up I decided to go with him to boot camp.  I'm glad I did.  We had a really good time together.
Wednesday we grabbed dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  The boys love it and we had a gift card.  We usually picnic in the car, but not this year.
Then we headed to Shelby Farms to see Starry Nights.

 After Shelby Farms we drove around town to see big light shows.  One house had a big huge display and then their next door neighbor had this in their yard pointing to the display.  We deemed it the best one of the night!
 Thursday morning we woke up for breakfast at Cracker Barrel for our Christmas Eve tradition.
This boy looks forward to this day every year.  He loves breakfast food.  

There is always an intense game of checkers played.  Clayton has never beaten Fred,  (We do not ever let our kids win unless they earn it.)  but this year he beat him for the first time.  To say he was excited would be a huge understatement.  
 We didn't get a family photo inside, but we got one in the parking lot.

After breakfast we ran a few errands with the boys to allow them to pick out gifts for each other.  We then came back home to wrap them and prepare for our family to get here.  Oh, and I ran to Kroger with 15,000 of my closest friends.

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