Author Topic: CHRISTMAS 2007 in FLORIDA  (Read 6061 times)


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« on: December 25, 2007, 08:33:53 PM »
It's been a while since I've felt the freedom to sit down and update this forum with pictures. So, since it's Christmas Day night and they're out there watching some kind of gory pirate video which I bought the kids (hubby and kids are all engrossed), I thought I'd come out here and enjoy all the pictures which we've been taking. So, here goes:


We'll start with our Christmas Carolling that we did last Wednesday, Dec. 19.

We had our King's Kids, King's Teens minus those who were sick, plus some of our ladies who do this as a ministry, go with us to this VERY fun and rewarding carolling activity. We do this two times each year during the King's Kids and King's Teens time on Wednesday nights.



I won't do a lot here since it was definitely more for the kids than for anyone else. We did have fun getting rid of some things that no one needs nor wants.

For some reason, I don't have any of those pictures on my computer, so I'll just post the one here taken Sunday night after our Christmas program of Sarah showing her Granny her White Elephant gift, which I absolutely love! I can see this one in a Skit at camp next summer!


Every year on Dec. 21-23, we have a very special Christmas celebration in our town of Dade City called Church Street Christmas. On this day, the town shuts off Church Street to traffic, and everything on this street is given away. People open their homes, if they so desire for people to come in and look. For sure, hundreds and hundreds of Dade City get out and walk up and down the street, looking at the "postcards" and the beautifully decorated homes.

Then, we also have three large churches on this street, and they host various Christmas Activities at each one, filling time slots, every half hour with various musical activities ranging from church choir cantatas to Christmas jazz bands and Show Stoppers doing tap dance. It's definitely interesting. We call it the "Dade City Experience" and something NOT felt in a big town. We never fail to see people we know!

This is a Plywood Postcard posted in someone's front yard. In the bottom corner is a small "signature" provided by the sponsor. You can see it, but it's not BLARING at you.

Here's another one. Isn't it just beautifully done? We like them!

The sidewalks are lined with luminaries and we had to stop and watch someone dumping their bottle of water on one as the paper bag lit on fire. They really are pretty, however, and give enough light for people to recognize each other.

Here's the inside of the First Presbyterian Church. Isn't it just gorgeous?

The boys good-naturedly posed beside this very large cardboard cake celebrating Jesus' birthday.

Here they are, singing along with the carols being led by one of the choir directors when they were doing an outside performance and had invited us to join in.

CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER --SUNDAY, Dec. 23, 2007 (A day early).. .1 p.m.

I had our "Christmas Eve" dinner a day early, since we had my hubby's sister and her hubby here from G'ville, SC. We invited another family of 5, and had dinner for 15 total on Sunday. It was a wonderful dinner of your traditional ham Christmas dinner. Ham, applesauce, augratin potatoes, green bean casserole, fresh rolls, homemade bread with homemade strawberry jam, sweet potatoes and broccoli and cheese. Of course, we topped it off with apple pie and pumpkin pie. Oh my, I'm stuffed still!

I think I forgot to take pictures of the event.

It seemed like we no sooner had eaten that dinner and cleaned up when it was time to do the program. We had to begin our final rehearsal at 4:30 (some of us) and the program itself took place at 6 p.m. Whew. What a day!

CHRISTMAS PROGRAM, Dec. 23, 2007, 6 p.m.

Then, Sunday night, during the evening service at church (Temple Baptist Church, Dade City, FL), we "Performed" our annual Christmas program, consisting of piano numbers, duets, solos, readings, Scripture and choir numbers. My Mom, shown below, playing with Steven, put it all together.

There's a special joy in getting to play a piano duet with your own daughter in a program. That was neat!

Steven, 12, played with his grandma.

Here are the kids and teens all quoting Luke 2:1-14.

CHRISTMAS EVE, Dec. 24, 2007

Well, Christmas Eve started out unauspiciously enough. We had to work up until 2 p.m., because we had to get SOME Of you your coupon orders. However, I also had to run to Lakeland with some coupons that someone needed. Normally that person will come and pick up, but I also needed to go to Best Buy and the closest one is about 25 miles away. So, Monday morning, while the ladies were filling your orders, I raced down to Lakeland, and back. Then, we did a small pizza gathering at the office with the kids also having some here back at the house.

Finally, at 2:30, we were done with the orders and I was on my way to the post office, and stopping in the store one final time, just to "experience" the Christmas Eve shopping experience. I Had tried to stop at the PUBLIX in Lakeland on the way home just to pick up some cool whip, only to find that there were absolutely ZERO parking spaces in the entire parking lot left, so I came back to "little ole" Dade City and had no problem parking and walking in, buying my cool whip and leaving within about 3 minutes, start to finish!

Around 4:30 or 5 p.m., I went hunting Sarah, to get some help with dinner and I found her out in the yard, reading and being adored by her cat! She's wearing long sleeves, sitting on the ground, reading her book with bare feet in her flip flops. Good grief. I guess we can say, "ONLY IN FLORIDA!" (Well, maybe Hawaii or Southern California, too!) She looked so pastoral out there that I had to snap a picture of it.

The cat shown here is called Black Walnut, nicknamed NUTTY. He was our new kitten last year at Christmas time.

Then, at 5:30 or 5:45, we did a re-run of the day before, because Von and Ron (Ken's sis and B-I-L) decided to stay until Christmas Morning. Dinner for only 9, however. Then, around 8, we opened presents after  I had finally stopped to wrap up a few things.

Here we were recycling an AB WHEEL box that we had passed around on the Saturday night before at the White Elephant Gift exchange. She was disappointed that it was NOT one. Oh well.

Here we were teasing my MIL about sharing her ENVELOPES with me, since I always need envies. You know, sometimes it's handy to have SO MANY empty boxes lying around all the time. I was the "popular" lady when it came to wrapping presents, "Mom, do you have another box for me? I need another envelope box." I heard that a LOT this Christmas from my teenagers! It was great to be able to fill their requests so easily!

Here's a shot of our whole family plus Grandma Woodard and Von and Ron. Ron was NOT the one taking the picture, Sarah was! She had her camera on a tripod with a timer and did a fine job!

Here's Peter showing off his excitement at getting new socks. You know, he did a great job for being a 14 year old boy who does NOT want Socks for Christmas! Obviously, whoever got him those, didn't know about the Hanes B1G1F sale and the coupons, too, right? But, he did wear these socks the next day!

Sarah got an antique vase from her grandma. It has some value, I'm told. However, we won't let her take it college, lest it get broken or disappear. Mainly, it's simply not practical to take anything valuable with you to college.

CHRISTMAS DAY - Presents and Dinner, 2007

I could put up hundreds of pictures of this day, but it was a fun, crazy one so far. I actually stretched out during the family's playing of one game called APPLES TO APPLES.


We did NOT pose him. Butterscotch loved being in the thick of things today!

More kitten shots

They found each other!!

At the end of the day, Butterscotch found a great place to sleep!


Here was our family shot from this morning!

Here's Peter, 14, goofing off, showing his "bad boy" image. I'm not sure what it is about a black leather jacket and a knife....

My Mom with an English gardens calendar.

They caught me in the act!

Sarah loves books and I'm putting just one set of book pictures up.

Peter was TOTALLY surprised with a new digital camera. He had just been begging ONLY for Andy's broken one. Imagine his surprise to get his own GOOD ONE!???!!!

Ken's laughing at his COUPONS that I gave him for Christmas!

Ken finally holds up what he's got.. some Sears $5/ off ANY $5 purchase in the toy department. I mean, TOOL, department.

Andy showing off his flash drive!


The buffet line!

Another dinner for 15....ham, turkey, applesauce, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, rolls, herb biscuits, gravy, cherry pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie.. and trust me, I did NOT do all of it myself. We shared the work.

Sarah with my Mom and Dad

Celia with Grandma Woodard

Just gotta love that smile on Sarah! She changed into one of her Christmas gifts for dinner! Doesn't she look lovely? Ken has put a "I must know the guy for 10 years before he can date her seriously" bounty on her head. Poor girl. Well, he's not such a tough guy, after all, as he's relaxed his rule as long as he's known the family for at least 10 years! LOL!  We told him that was a cop-out since we've not had any teenage guys in our church for the past  8 years, except for two, one who had a steady girlfriend and the other is a high school dropout. He's definitely got his grip on "his daughter."

Let's see, she's 18....We've told her she'd better start bringing home the guys soon, or she'll be 30 before he'll let her think about marrying! Course, since when do 28 or 29 year olds listen to their dads in this respect?? And no, I'm in no hurry. After all, I've got at least 10 years so far..... and I'd worry myself sick if I thought she were getting serious with someone at the ripe old age of 18!

Dennis and Cheryl Slattery came and joined us, bringing food...


This was a fun gift. I had just found out on Friday night or Saturday at lunch time that Ken had wanted "THE AMAZING GRACE" story on DVD. Well, I just "so happened" to have ordered it in on the recommendation of someone I know and trust very much. So I had a copy sitting on my desk. So, late last night, I was thrilled to be able to wrap it up for him. So, we all sat around and watched it Christmas DAY afternoon. It's the story of England's long haul to get rid of slavery in the 1800's. EXCELLENT.

Watching the dvd and keeping a conversation going with her cousin in Poland at the same time! Amazing!

Rarely do I sit down and just watch a dvd. However, this story went from relatively historical to exceedingly interesting, the more I got into it. I was putting food away during the first part of it, and then after lying down, the kitty came to visit, after the Slatterys left. Then Butterscotch curled up on me.

We had been hunting Blueberry, our other new kitten, off and on all morning, but to no avail. So, when he finally came in, he immediately curled up beside Ken and decided to watch our dvd with us! It was hilarious.


Around 7 p.m., here at Woodardville, a Nerf war began. I was fortunate enough to be OUT of the battle and armed only with a camera. For that reason and that reason only, I seemed to be totally a non-target.

I thought you might enjoy some of these photos. They are great!

Previously, for the last great gift of the morning, we had sent the kids on a NATIONAL TREASURE HUNT to find the 4 Nerf Long-shot rifles which were hidden outside in Ken's truck. Talk about hilarious. We ran them down to the church to look on the door, then back up the house to look on the stove in a pot and then out to the mailbox (none of these things are just 15 steps away) and lastly, to search out Ken's truck to find 4 Long-shot NERF rifles. Here you see them with them, even Sarah. I'm sure she wasn't too thrilled at the time of getting them, but later on, I got some good shots of my "darling daughter" getting into it.

Here they are, heading for the last and final clue. Yes, the clues were FAR TOO EASY.

Steven, the 12 year old, loaned his new Nerf pistol to my hubby, so all 5 of them could shoot each other in my dining/family room area. ENJOY!



Yep, here's Sarah, relaxing again with the computer in hand, using her NEW compute laptop desk... After my hubby burned up his laptop literally putting it on his lap and on the bed, we've been careful to be sure that everyone uses SOMETHING to keep that fan circulating, lest we burn up some more motherboards.

And NOW I know why I don't do this very often. It's taken 2.5 hours to walk down memory lane and get this ready! --Rachael
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Rachael »


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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2007, 10:38:39 PM »
I found two darts out here in my coupon room today. I wonder how long it'll be until they run out! LOL!

And who said having a bunch of teenagers wasn't a lot of fun? I love it!

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Rachael »


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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2008, 11:02:52 AM »
Thanks for sharing this with us all. Looks like a wonderful holiday :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by stockpilesrus »