Scenes from Christmas 2016

It’s so hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone this year! I seems to arrive before we know it and it’s over before we can blink. This year I was determined to slow down and really enjoy the season and I accomplished that, taking time off and not getting into the hustle and bustle of busyness. It was a peaceful week before Christmas and our family enjoyed a wonderful day together on Christmas day.

Lauren and her family arrived a week before Christmas, so we also had fun times with them during the week leading up to the big day. Parker is almost 3 years old now, so it was so fun to see Christmas through her eyes and see her experience the joy of Christmas from a child’s eyes. Christmas really is more fun with kids around and these 2 little ones made it extra special.


I went with them one day during the week to Stone Mountain for their Christmas experience.  It was a chilly day so we all bundled up to brave the cold. Parker was excited for our big adventure.


Stone Mountain was all decorated for the Christmas season and Christmas carols were playing all around the park.


They do Snow Mountain every year too, which is a snow slide that the whole family can enjoy. We opted not to do this part, but it was fun watching them go down the slide in big inner tubes.  Stone Mountain is a magnificent place with the famous carving on the side of this big granite mountain.


Parker got to give Rudolf a big hug and get their picture made with him.


We all jumped in to take a family pic of our outing at Stone Mountain.  Parker had a blast!  Baby Iris was sick, so she stayed home with mom out of the cold.  She was feeling better before they left to go home, but my sister and Lauren seemed to have gotten it by the end of the week.


Sweet baby Iris is growing a lot and is 8 months old now. She’s a sweet and smiley baby and loves to be held. She’s a mama’s baby for sure and has the cutest smiles for all of us.


We had several days of mild temps, which meant time outdoors enjoying the sunshine. I bought Parker that cute little outfit for Christmas and it has an adorable jacket to go with it.


Lauren and Baby Iris enjoyed being outside too.  Iris loves to be outside and just look at everything that’s going on.


On Christmas day, we gathered at my sister’s house for a day of family fun, which always includes plenty of eating. It was about 70 degrees here yesterday and so we took advantage of that and went outside for awhile, enjoying the sunshine and mild temps. Parker loves being outside and we played hide and go seek with her for awhile, one of her favorite games.


We took some photos during the day and this was before we opened presents.  My sister makes a nice breakfast for us on Christmas day and it was delicious, with fruit cups, cinnamon rolls, egg and sausage casserole and cheese grits along with coffee.  Great way to start the day!


These 2 little girls make it so much fun and it will continue to be fun with them around.  Parker was just getting the hang of Santa and Christmas this year and she loved it. Unwrapping presents is her fave and she likes to help everyone else unwrap their presents too.


Photos with Nana in front of the tree.  Mom loves being a great grandmother to these 2 precious girls.


Parker with her pink velociraptor, a present she specifically asked for. Somewhere she has seen dinosaurs and this one in particular, so that’s what she asked for when Lauren asked her what she wanted for Christmas.  Lauren searched and found one on Etsy, which is too funny. Who would think you could actually find this, but yes, it is out there! That’s mom and Bruce’s mom in the background.  We make opening presents a production and it took a couple of hours for everyone to open presents. Of course, Parker got the most.


Dad got a new pair of garden shoes that he was examining closely.  I’m sure he will love these since he is constantly going out to the garden. Dad has been dealing with some back issues the last few months, but he seems to be doing better, so we hope he will rally even more when spring comes and he can start his garden again.  He loves that garden and no doubt will be out there planting again this year.  Mom has told him no more planting in the NC mountain garden, so he is going to stick to only one this year.  That should be better for both of them.


Mom got Parker this big doll which walks and she thought that was so much fun.


Parker helping Papa Bruce try on his new hats.


And Mark came over in the afternoon to spend some time with my family and as always, Parker loves it when Mark is around.  She was playing coffee maker with her cute little coffee machine.  The 3 of us played hide and go seek outside with her and she had a blast.

I spent time with Mark’s family on Christmas Eve and his daughters on Christmas night and it was so nice to enjoy this family time with both our families.

It was such a wonderful Christmas again this year.  Another year to be thankful for and to enjoy our family time together.  It seems to fly by way too fast, but we will see them all again before too long.  I imagine we will be going down to New Orleans again before spring.

I also hope that all of you out there reading had a wonderful Christmas season too!  I so appreciate you taking the time to stop by and see what we are up to here in Georgia.  May the rest of the year and the New Year be a blessed time for all of you!


- Rhoda


  1. Good morning Rhoda, yes Christmas is over except for leftovers. Thank you for sharing these precious pictures with your readers. Now I dread taking all the decoration down(probably one day this week). I’m in north Georgia and my grandchildren loved the warm weather.

    • Sue, I hear ya! I’m sitting here in my pjs today, with rain outside, dreading taking it all down. I’ll probably start doing the un-decorating tomorrow and get it finished by New Years. This part is not fun!

  2. So glad you all had a wonderful Christmas. I love that picture of your mom with both the girls!

  3. Just wondering…what is that large silver thing standing between
    Mark and the fireplace?

    • HI, Rene, that is a present that my sister got. It’s a beverage stand from Frontgate for entertaining outdoors. They have a beautiful backyard, perfect for outdoor parties.

  4. I love the numbers of presents! We go overboard with gifting, but it is sooo much, if you love to shop and to give!

  5. Rhoda, your Christmas looks wonderful and blessed…mine was too! Thank you for sharing your sweet family! I love Christmas, it just goes by too quickly!

  6. Love the barefoot girls on the front porch. The epitome of being Southern…

  7. Thanks for sharing!
    Love that you included a picture of your dad.
    Wishing you all a wonderful new year with even more blessings!

  8. diane way up north says:

    Happy almost New Year Rhoda! Thank you as always for the wonderful pictures of your Christmas celebration with your wonderful family. I do so enjoy those pictures. Sounds like you had a great one! Thank you for the excellent blog. I enjoy it so much. You never seem to run out of great things to show us! I’m looking forward to 2017!

  9. Such cute pictures. It is s wonderful that all of you can be together with your !om and Dad. Happy New year!

  10. Thank you Rhoda for sharing your family pics, Christmas time is very precious especially with little ones around. May your family be blessed with many more great times!

    • Thanks for sharing Rhoda!!! You have a Beautiful family !!!
      Look forward to all your news & blog in 2017!!
      Happy new Year!!!

  11. Thanks for sharing your Christmas pictures.
    Family is everything !
    Happy New Year!

  12. Patricia Edmonds says:

    Hi Rhoda,
    I read your blog when I was working in a library at a local university. After retirement three years ago I stopped reading your blog just because there was so much to do and places to go, etc. I just located your blog again tonight. What a joy to see all that you have done and accomplished in such a short time. I really enjoyed the Christmas pictures with your family. You can bet I’ll be reading most every day now. Really love your home too.

    • HI, Patricia, thank you so much, so glad you stopped by again and caught up. I’m looking forward to a really great 2017!

  13. It looks like Christmas was a success. Parker sure is growing like a weed. Hope Santa was good to you and brought you all kinds of sparkly gifts. May 2017 be just as bright for you and your family.

  14. Phyllis Gigandet says:

    Hi Rhoda,
    I was touring all the beautiful houses on the Marietta Pilgrimmage Tour with my friend and think I saw you at one of the houses. We were in the group behind you and I never had an opportunity to speak to you. Enjoyed the tour which I have done many years and it was fun seeing you in person!

  15. Patricia Wilson says:

    As always, Rhoda, I love visiting with you and your family, and now Mark, through your blog. Like yours, our family makes a big production of opening presents, doing a round robin of each gift recipient opening one present at a time. When my kids were little, as most kids do, they each just wanted to tear through their presents. Instead, each member of our family, adults included, were center stage as each gift was unwrapped. Now that my children are adults, with children of their own, nieces and nephews, that’s how Christmas gifts are still opened in our family. Except for the newest members who would prefer otherwise, celebrating each gift, each gift giver, and each gift recipient is one of the family traditions that make Christmas special for all of us…even the children eventually.

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