A good Christmas weekend with the family.
Christmas was always one of Joanne's favorite times of year. She always enjoyed decorating the house and giving gifts to family members. Due to the many variables we have of family we usually started more than a week before Christmas Day so as to be able to have some type of activity with all of them. After her death last month I could not see participating in the holiday festivities and had planned to leave on Christmas Eve morning in the motor home. Just the dogs and me heading south. Family members, specifically my Dad and niece Carrie, talked me into staying.
The Stone family decided to have our gathering on Christmas Eve out in Yukon at my brother Chester's house. We had 27 all total there for a fine meal and fellowship. Included with our immediate family was brother Bill's mother-in-law, Lilas, and my mother-in-law, Mardell. Pictured with me here are my sons, Alex and Alan, along with Alan's family, Cathy, Katlyn, Madison and Cadence. Cathy's sister, Grace, who is visiting from Wisconsin also joined us. Chester had 12 of his family members there, all but one daughter-in-law who had to work. The other two brothers, Bill and David, were there with their wives but neither of their children were able to make it. Very much missing was our Mom, who also passed away this year, and, of course, my Joanne. In the picture to the right are us four boys with our Dad. We are lined up on each side of Dad by age: Bill, Chester, David and me.
Christmas Day was spent with "my other kid", Carrie, and her family. (Anyone who has read the last few entries here know that Carrie is actually Joanne's niece but I count her as my own.) My mother-in-law and I drove out to Carrie's in-laws house in Midwest City to spend the afternoon with them. Mike and Barbara Carpenter have been great about including us in their family activities. We spent Thanksgiving with them and also were out there for Carrie's son, JJ, fifth birthday party. In addition to Carrie's family (husband John and son JJ) we were joined by John's sister Kathy and her two sons. Barbara outdid herself again and put on a great meal. This picture is of Carrie and I that we took just before it was time for Mardell and I to head home.
It has been a good Christmas after all. Joanne would have thoroughly enjoyed it all. I'm glad that I was talked into hanging around.
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