Photojournal of “Christmas in Kentucky”

This is quite a bit late, but by now you family members will be ready to enjoy the memories. For the record, we tried to get all Ted’s family to come here for Christmas, and it worked, more or less. His brother Dan arrived about the 20th, and Stephen came on the 22nd with Emily and Riley, with Beckham flying in on Christmas Eve. Ted’s sister Lucy spent Christmas with her family in England, then came over the water with her sister-in-law, Pauline, on the 27th. Sad to say, there was only about a day and 1/2 overlap when the early and late visitors were here at the same time. But we made the most of it!

Here is Serena, basking in the glow of the Christmas tree, impatient for it to be loaded with presents, and for her cousins to arrive!
Serena basking in Chistmas tree ambiance

There was lots of eating out during this extended celebration, the first occasion being at Macaroni Grill after church on the 23rd.

Here are Serena and Emilie, with Lydia and Riley on the far side of the table.

Macaroni Grill, 12/22

Lydia is writing and pronouncing Chinese for Uncle Dan and Uncle Stephen

Lydia writes and pronounces Chinese for Uncles

Lydia is giving Riley a hard time. He takes it so well because he’s used to Beckham picking on him!

Lydia gives Riley a hard time

We had a lively discussion about Nana and the beer calendar she posed for before she was married. She’s warning us to be quiet!

She's threatening whoever keeps talking about the beer calendar

The whole crew

The whole bunch, 12/22

On the way home, our family stopped by the cemetery to see Andrew’s headstone which had finally been installed. The delay was in setting up a website, and having a brass plate designed and ordered with the web address, then installed on the headstone. You can’t read it in this little picture ( it will, hopefully, be filled out this year).

Andrew's gravestone we visited 12/22

Christmas day began with a light breakfast, then opening stockings with Stephen’s family. (He provided the stockings for his children, and his children provided a stocking for him!)

Santa Stephen

Lydia is holding the present that was the biggest hit of all for the kids: magnetic stones.

After opening stockings

Then there was our traditional Christmas brunch with waffles and all the trimmings. After eating, Dan and Lydia moved their placemats to have magnetic stone races!

Christmas brunch, racing the magnetic stones

Finally, we got to the present opening. As usual, the children were impatient, and made a place for everyone to sit — passing out the presents to the appropriate chair where each person would sit. Here are Serena and Riley waiting patiently.

waiting to open presents!!

And Emily, Emilie, and Sarah posing for somebody to take a picture. There’s Beckham in the background sneaking in some work.

posing, businessman Beckham in background

Serena worked many days to make this throw for Emilie.

Emily opens Serena's crocheted throw

And likewise, Lydia made this cape for Nana, at her special request.

Nana in the cape Lydia made for her

Here I am, absorbed in my official duty as “the saver of the wrapping paper”. We save good pieces and reuse them in years after!

Beth performing her official job of folding and saving wrapping paper

That evening, we had a fun game of “Apples to Apples,” which Stephen’s family gave us. It’s a great large group game. I don’t have a picture of that, but here’s the kids playing Nertz, which they did several times.

playing Nertz

Wednesday was a “recuperate and relax” kind of day. Stephen, Emilie, and Lydia went for a run. Not relaxing, but I’m sure it felt good to exercise after all that eating on Christmas day. Of course, before running comes s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g. (Actually, this happened Christmas Eve. See? the presents are still under the tree).

stretching before running

In the afternoon, Sarah, Serena, and I went to some antique stores to try to find a dessert plate to coordinate with a teacup and saucer of Serena’s. (Success, by the way. We found one of the exact same pattern, sitting all alone by itself!) We also had some silliness.

12/26, being silly at the antique store.

Serena and Riley played on the tree swing and with the dogs.

Serena, Riley, and dogs playing

And Riley played with Serena’s parakeet, Azeem.

Riley with Azeem

I tried to get folks to eat at our house Wed. night, but Nana wanted to go OUT. So off we went to Old Stone Inn. Lydia cheated and sneaked in a book.

Another meal out.  Lydia sneaking a read at Old Stone Inn.

Thursday was SPA DAY! Stephen’s family had given a spa session to all the “girls” for Christmas. I was the bus driver for my girls, Emily, and Emilie, as we ventured to Louisville for facials, massages, and manicures. This was a first for my girls and me. Here are Sarah and Emilie getting their nails done. Nobody took pictures of the massages. I have a picture of Lydia getting a facial, but would rather not suffer the consequences of posting it!

Spa day, 12/27, Sarah dries nails

Emilie at the spa

but here is Serena’s fresh face right after her facial.

Fresh from facial

Lucy and Pauline arrived in Cincinnati Thursday afternoon, and drove down here, arriving in time to change and meet us at the new Japanese restaurant in Shelbyville for dinner. It was difficult to get good pictures, since we were all strung out around the grills. But here is Sarah with her “Happy Buddha” drink.

Sarah's happy buddha at Japanese restaurant

and Riley posing as one of the cooks…

Riley the Japanese cook

and Lydia and Emilie sharing a hug. (Emilie, you’re so tall!!)

Awww...(Emilie is so tall!)

Friday was the big day we had all been planning for. It was stuffed full of events, the first being a family business meeting between all of Granddaddy Thomas’ grandchildren regarding various issues of getting ready for dealing with the part of the farm that passes to them upon their parents’ death. After returning from that, Nana had arranged for a professional photographer to come to our house to take family pictures. Here are a few we took while folks were posed for the photographer.

Emily, Ben Allen, and grandchildren (minus Helen)

still sweethearts

And in between shootings, Beckham the executive was on the computer.

Beckham sneaking in a little work

The event everyone had been waiting for was the annual family catered dinner, for the first time held at our house instead of an outside location. (All meals during this time were courtesy of Emily and Ben Allen, by the way. I provided the location and decoration). Speaking of decoration, here’s the dining room before the meal.

dining room ready for catered meal

and during the meal, with everyone wearing their crowns from the Christmas Crackers we pulled (a British tradition passed to us by Lucy).

12/28 catered meal

then we all had to read the riddle that came in the Christmas cracker. Grandpa needed a little help from his new LED flashlight.

Grandpa reading his riddle from the Christmas

later, he needed a rest

Grandpa takes a rest

Here’s everybody that was there. In addition to Stephen’s family, which have been in previous pictures, Lucy is seated at the table beside Emily, Pauline is seated on the right end, and seated, second from left is John Graham, a cousin of Emily that lives here in Shelbyville.

the whole group at catered family meal

After dinner, we had some musical entertainment: our recorder quartet, Sarah singing, and various people playing piano. Here’s Dan playing for us.

Dan entertaining at the piano

Stephen’s family and Dan left the next day, but Lucy and Pauline stayed into the first week of January, thus having time for more meals out with Emily and Ben Allen. This one was at Claudia Sanders Dinner House (Colonel Sander’s last restaurant, named after his wife — changed from “The Colonel’s Lady” after KFC sued him for using the “Colonel” in the name)

with Lucy and Pauline at Claudia Sanders Dinner House

Thank you, Lucy, for some of these pictures, because Sarah and I have very few with you in them! Here are Emily and Pauline sharing a laugh over cards.

Emily sharing cards with Pauline

Lucy, Pauline, and Emily also attended the New Year’s Eve Ball held at our church, though only as observers. I hope it wasn’t too boring for them. I’m not going to post any pictures on this already lengthy post. Perhaps in another post. After seeing one of her childhood friends, and looking through her grandmother’s jewelry in the bank vault, Lucy winged her way back to England (with Pauline, of course), and our Christmas in KY was over. I hope all in the family enjoyed the happy memories in this post!

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