What a great vacation we had! Really, it couldn't have been better. The weather was perfect for driving, perfect for Christmas activities, perfect for sledding. We got to see family we hadn't seen in a long time and the kids got to spend some quality time on Grandpa's farm. So settle in and let me share some highlights.
Monday was Christmas Eve. We went to Lincoln's Dad's house and had Christmas with him. We got to see Lincoln's Uncle Timmy who we hadn't seen in close to 8 years, as well as his Aunt Sandra and all of her kids but John. Serena came down for a while with Emily and Courtney and Courtney's brand new baby Mason.
Tim Tatro-Renie had a lot of fun using Timmy's walker as a jungle gym. Timmy enjoyed that she liked it, but was also concerned for the welfare of his shiny new walker.
Grandpa Jesse and baby Jesse on Christmas Eve
Julia and teeny tiny baby Mason.
We missed Christmas Eve dinner at Mom and Dad's, but got there for the best part- reading the Christmas Story from the Bible and singing Christmas carols. After that the stockings were hung on the hall tree with care and the children were packed off to bed.
Christmas day we held the kids off until about 7:30, I think. Then we saw what Santa brought.
After a big pancake breakfast Grandpa took us for sleigh rides. It was perfect-sleigh bells ringing, snow tossed in the air from the horse's hooves, and rosy cheeks all around.
We got to spend some time with Lincoln's Mom, step-father, and Grandma on Christmas. His sister Sherri was there with her husband Karl and her daughter Kendra.
This is three generations, if we were smart we would've gotten a four generation shot with Lincoln in it. Oh well. Jesse, Grandma Brenda, and Great Grandma Thel.
The day after Christmas we had a get-together with my Mom's side of the family at the Hopkinton Town Hall. Everyone brought leftover goodies and games to play. Mom and her 3 siblings were there- Diane, Dick, and Allen. Diane's kids were there- Maria (and her 3 kids and son-in-law), Cameron, Darren (and his girlfriend), Karen (and her 4 kids and nephew who is living with her now). Uncle Dick's daughter Amy was there with her 3 boys, and all of my siblings and their families except for my sister Luella who stayed in NC for the holidays and was greatly missed.
Thursday was spent at Lincoln's Mom's again. We played Uno with Kendra and enjoyed a beautiful snowfall. Friday was the highlight of our trip. Grandma and Grandpa Burnett own an old house a mile into the woods down a dirt road. The house stands across the road from "The Old Place" where Dad grew up. Mom and Dad are slowly striving to make the house livable, or at the very least, campable again. They have put a lot of time, effort, and love into the place, cleaning, replacing rotted sills, adding a porch, and installing a woodstove. We spent the better part of the day there on Friday sledding down the hill out front. At lunch time we took a break and crowded into the house for Mom's chili and Ginny's corn bread, followed by Bryan's warm apple pie and hot cocoa. Then we went out to the hill once again. We had two runs, one down the front of the hill, long and banked up to direct you around the trees as you whizzed down, and one down the back of the hill, shorter but with a great jump at the end. I was really proud of the kids. They took some big spills but they took it well and and just enjoyed the moment. Everyone had a lot of fun and some great memories were created.
Saturday we were able to spend some time with my cousin Karen and her kids. On Sunday we had Jesse's baby blessing. We went to the branch where Dad is serving a 2 year mission as branch president. We did the blessing and I sang with Bryan, Ginny, Jonathan, Nichelle, and Mom. I'm afraid that between not knowing my part well and not being 100 percent yet from being sick, I didn't add much to the performance. But everyone else did a great job and it was fun to be a part of it.
Jesse and the men who participated in his blessing- My brothers, Jonathan and Bryan Burnett, my father, Dale Burnett, and Lincoln.