Scenes From Christmas 2017

Hi, friends!  I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas as much as our family did this year.  It’s so nice to be able to get together and share family time once again. We never know what each year will bring with elderly parents, so each and every holiday is precious time.

Lauren and Philip were home for over a week this time and we enjoyed spending time with them and getting to see those girls again.  They are getting so big and are just as cute as they can be. Mom and dad try to see them every day they are here at least for a little while and the girls really get to know us too since they get to come to Georgia often.

We get together and have lunch, spend time with the girls, and then after naps we sometimes have plans to do some fun things.  This time we went to Avalon and walked around their last night here. The weather was really rainy and misty for several days so we didn’t get outside that much leading up to Christmas Day.  We all had a big day on Christmas and really are so blessed to get to spend time with both our families.

Parker is so sweet with our parents and loves on her great grandparents often.

Mom and her namesake, Iris, are bonding well too and Iris just loves her Nana.  Mom plays with her and spends time with her.

Playing with the telephone.

These girls are our entertainment now.

Two cute little girls in Micky Mouse pajamas after bath time.  One night we watched Polar Express and that was so much fun, Parker loved it.

Around the dinner table after lunch.

Mom had us all over for lunch one day and cooked one of her big Southern meals, which was of course delicious.  Parker and Mark got in some play time.  Parker just loves Mark and vice versa.

Mark and I on Christmas Eve heading over to his sister’s house.

On Christmas morning we all gathered at my sister’s house for Christmas breakfast and opening presents.  Mom and Dad are doing well.  Here’s a little update on Dad.  He had another recent appointment with his gastro doctor.  The c-diff just doesn’t seem to go away, so the only other options at this point is the fecal transplant or staying on the antibiotics indefinitely.  Every time he goes off the antibiotics, it comes back. He doesn’t want to do the transplant procedure, so that only leaves the option of staying on the antibiotics for the near future, so that’s what we all decided to do.

As long as he stays on one a day or every other day, he feels fine and the symptoms don’t come back.  We know there may be repercussions with staying on the antibiotics, but at this point the risks seem to be minimal compared to c-diff symptoms.  He will continue with probiotics for the rest of his life too.  So, that’s the update for now on Dad. He’s gained weight, has a great appetite and is doing pretty well considering all he’s gone through this year.  We are very thankful that he came through this as well as he did and are hopeful that he will continue to gain strength.  He’s not as stable and steady on his feet as he was before all this started in June, but we hope he continues to improve.  We know he will probably be ready to plant his garden again in the Spring, but don’t know if he will feel like it physically, so time will tell.

So, we are very thankful to have him with us here at Christmas this year considering things could have been much, much worse.

Lauren and her granddaddy on Christmas morning. Those two have a very special bond.

Those little girls are so sweet and cute and it sure makes Christmas a lot more fun for us now!  Iris had fun with everyone else’s presents this year too.

Lauren and her family in their Christmas pj’s.  So cute!

Iris got new boots.  My sister keeps them both outfitted in plenty of shoes and boots.

Parker got some dress up clothes, which she loves.  This picture sort of sums up Christmas morning, lots of excitement and tearing open of packages.

And a moving unicorn which she thought was so cool.

Parker got a new jeep from my sister and brother-in-law, which will stay here in Georgia for when she comes to visit. Of course, she thought this was the best present ever!

She looks so cute in her coat and hat.

Lauren and Iris on Christmas Eve.

And with Parker. Lauren dresses those girls so cute.

We spent Christmas morning with my family and then in the afternoon, Mark’s girls came over to our house and we all went to eat Chinese late afternoon. They have had this tradition for a few years and really enjoy it.   Mark and all 4 of his daughters.

And the whole gang together for Chinese.

Mark has two adorable grandsons, JJ and Jaxton, and this was their visit to Santa. Aren’t they cuties?

Baby Rose in her little Santa suit, she’s such a doll.

Mark and I went to see Christmas lights on Christmas night. There’s a really great light show in Kennesaw on Ben King Road that we discovered last year, so we went to see them again. They are very popular and it has music and a sidewalk that you can walk along to see it all. This is just one small segment of the light show, it’s huge and SO pretty!

Last night was their last night here and we went to Avalon to check out the ice skating and all the pretty lights. It was a fun night, walking around and Parker really wanted to try ice skating so Lauren got out there with her and they went around the rink a few times. She loved it!

Avalon is so pretty this time of year with all the sparkly lights and people everywhere.  Really feels festive! Avalon is in Alpharetta, GA for those not in the area.  We had pizza at Antico Pizza which was really good.

We rode a cute little train around Avalon.

Parker and her daddy in one of the train cars.

It was a fun and festive time and it was also really chilly out so felt extra Christmas-y with the lower temps.

Christmas is such a special time of the year and we had a great one! So very grateful for both our families and getting to spend time with all of them this year was so nice on our first Christmas as a married couple. I’m looking forward to many more together!  Thank you as always for stopping by to see what we’ve been up to this year.  We are blessed beyond measure!

- Rhoda


  1. Beautiful families! The pic of Lauren and her G’pa made me boo-hooooo! So very sweet

  2. Eleanor Craig says

    All of the pictures are great, but I especially like the one of Lauren and your Dad. They are so happy together! Thanks for sharing both of your families with us!

  3. Rhoda and Mark, these pictures are beautiful and it’s obvious your holiday was wonderful. So very happy to be in your blog family. Looking forward to the new year and more pretty pictures.

  4. It looks like you had a joyous Christmas with your gorgeous family. I couldn’t help but notice your sister’s house is beautifully decorated as well. Apparently, good taste runs in the family! Perhaps you she would share a tour of her home on your blog.

    • HI, Susan, thank you and yes, she has a beautiful home too. I’ve shared it years ago, but she has done some updates in the last year, so I need to go over and do a new tour. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! What really warms my heart though is reading the comments and there is not a single negative or mean one which is a testament to how much you are admired. God bless your family.

  6. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and Mark, Rhoda! It’s so nice to see you and your family enjoying being together. Your daughter is beautiful and she looks just like you! The girls looks like her, especially in the eyes. Funny how much our characteristics pass on down to the next generations. 🙂 I think it’s neat that your husband has this tradition of going out to Chinese with his daughters ~ it’s fun and makes such good memories. And really, isn’t that what getting together is all about? Thank you for sharing your holiday with us all! Pinned your picture of Avalon on my Road Trip! Plane Trip! board for you. <3 Enjoy the New Year!!!

    • Thank you, Barbara, I appreciate you stopping by! Lauren is my niece and not my daughter, people do think that all the time though.

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