Chrimah in Hen'erson

Where does one begin? I had such an eventful Christmas 2008! It's always so exciting for me to go home for Christmas and just be with family and friends. Once I got home, I realized that we do things "uniquely" in Henderson... we literally make up our own fun. So, I tried to document and I'll try even harder to explain our thought process... I guess :)

Saturday, Dec. 20th - Arrive home and immediately turn around to go to Katheryn's 13th Birthday Party! This was Kat's first co-ed bday party... so you KNOW I had to go out there and keep my eyes on those crazy kids. One of my great friends from high school, Brooke Spell Butler, made Kat's cake and it was not only super cute, but tasty too! Jean, Fran and I ended up wearing peices of the cake... as you will see in a bit! So, the highlight of the party was Kat's friend, Logan, fell into the lake at the cabin. His version of the story is hilarious, so I'll do my best to make him pround... " It's pitch-black-dark and I was running down the hill. I saw that the ground was about to change colors, so I knew I needed to jump. So, I did... and in mid-air, the motion light comes on and I realized it was water I was jumping into. At that point, I just though 'oh crap, well... here it goes!' Needless to say, I did not know it was a lake at the time." Now that last line got me rolling!

Sunday, Dec. 21st - Annual Fleetwood Family Chrimah Party
Many of you know who the Fleetwoods are... but for those that don't, it's basically a big group of friends that live life together. The Fleetwoods are always coming up with fun things to do. A few years ago, Jim K. decided he wanted to build a treehouse. And we aren't just talking a little platform... like a legit treehouse. So, Jim, his wife Deb, my mom and dad all went out to their land to pic out a tree. They found the perfect tree... and so the dream began to come alive. Right before construction was to begin, Jim's brother's new house frame was blown over due to a tornado. They couldn't reuse the wood for the house, so Jim and my dad scooped it up and thus FREE lumber for the treehouse! They have all had so much fun building it... dangling off the tree and strategizing draw-bridge staircases, pulleys and *eventually* a zip-line to go to the near tree! They decided to start off our Chrimah party out at the treehouse to watch the sunset and then move it to my house for tamales and Dad's famous chili!

Me and my girls (Kat, Amelia and Eveline) went on our annual "Honkin'" trip. We basically rate the Christmas lights on houses around Henderson. The lowest rating is a left-handed salute (that's saying "thanks for playing") to the ultimate which is 5 honks. We only give out one "5 Honker" a year. We have criteria that all houses have to meet in order to receive any honks. This year, Evi decided to roll down her window and yell at the houses that were 4s... telling them what they need to do for next year to get a 5. Also, we added a new set of criteria... if you have baby Jesus in your yard, you automatically get an upgrade in your rating! Unless you are a 4... because we have to be serious about who gets our 5!! I didn't get a pic of the 5 honker this year... but it was unbelievable! They played music and all... we sat in front of the house just checking it out for a good 10 minutes. :) We've already come up with new things to do for next year!

The days leading up to Christmas were fast and furious! Taylor flew home from St. Louis, so it was fun to get to spend time with him. Blair was home too... and I always love getting to hang out with him! I got some good quality time with all of the family... and even some friends too!

Ok... I'm tired of writing... but here's a little scrapbook of my week! I hope all of you had very Merry Christmases and have nothing but hope for you and yours in 2009!

grace & peace,

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It's CHRIMAH time!!!

**If I need to explain the title of my blog, please just call me or ask any of my family or best friends or previous co-workers. They all know the story and I can pretty much say it's caught on like wildfire! Haha...**

I absolutely LOVE Christmas. Love it. Over the past few years, I've grown to just love Christmas more and more. I love the significance of truly celebrating the birth of Christ... of the precious and most awesome gift that we could ever, EVER receive! From this, it stems a love for giving, for just being with the people I love and this awesome hope and joy that surrounds me.

So with that... I give you three " Chrimah top 5" lists! ps - I love lists... but can only do lists in increments of 5... I know, random.

Top 5 Favorite Things to Do at Chrimah Time

5 - Eating the Hershey's Kisses out of this dish that my mom ALWAYS has out at Chrimah
4 - Decorating the house, the Church, the office with all of the pretty decos!
3 - Looking at all of the awesome Chrimah decos in Austin - Congress Ave, Trail of Lights, Zilker Tree... and this year... I'm finally going to do 34 1/2 street or whatever street that is!
2 - Church... I love love love going to Church during Christmas... especially on Christmas Eve!
1 - Honking! Me and my little girls (who aren't so little anymore!!) in Henderson like to rate Chrimah lights with honks... 5 being the "most incredible light display" we could find all season (we only give out one 5 a year), 1 being "thanks for playing, but try again next year" and the left-handed-salute to those houses that are really classy and need some kind of shout out! So much fun... we literally pick one night when I am home and go "honking". :)

Top 5 Favorite Christmas Hymns/Carols
5 - Go Tell It On the Mountain
4 - Hallelujah Chorus
3 - Silent Night
2 - O' Come All Ye Faithful
1 - O' Holy Night
(this song even goes on my top 5 favorite songs ever.)

Top 5 Christmas Songs
listed from #1 to #5
And just for kicks... I added in the most precious song I've heard on the radio yet this Christmas... It's by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir -- Happy Birthday Jesus.

Merry Christmas to you all!!!


Giving of the Thanks...

Thanksgiving in Austin was definitely a little more quiet than in Henderson... but with me needing to work around Thanksgiving, the parents were awesome and decided to come to me! We had a low-key, but really good time. We cooked and feasted just like we were in Henderson. We for sure missed the rest of the family, but I think it will make Christmas even more special!

Now for random story time: My mom refuses to eat any big Holiday dinner with paper anything. No paper plates and paper napkins are absolutely out of the question. My aunt and I always laugh at her and say "it's just US... real napkins don't matter!" But, mom still refuses. So, to my mother's horror, I had no real napkins to eat our meal with. I also didn't have any place mats. I mean... that stuff is for married people, and I guess I'm still just holding out for that awesome thing called a wedding gift registry. At any rate, I called my aunt to tell her, so we could laugh via phone together. We were getting in our jokes, and then we made the mistake of telling her that Wal-Mart is open on Thanksgiving day. Oops... you guessed it, Mom and I get in the car to go buy some napkins AND placemats. I do admit that it makes the meal feel more like home... so thanks mom, for the napkins and placemats... I'll pull them out next time I'm entertaining. :)
Mom - making some gooood fruit salad!

Dad - proudly displaying the Greenberg turkey

Layla - eating... as always...

Maggie girl - just kickin' it...

The Spread

The happy and stuffed fam!