(You'll want to pause the blog music on the right... there are videos below.)
Since I'm away from family and Joe is out of town, I thought it was going to be a quiet holiday. I was hoping to find a place - a soup kitchen or shelter - where I could volunteer, but I couldn't find one. Some of the local churches were preparing a charity meal, but they were well covered and didn't need help. Maybe if I had traveled to a larger city I'd have had better luck.
Instead, I decided to invite my co-worker and his family over to our place. Two other friends; property owners at Wilderness Creek Falls, came, too.
Here's our gang: (Oh, by the way, I can't take credit for these pics. I took about 3 all day and they turned out lousy! Mindy and Chloe took these.)
We had such a nice day. A good 10 hours of food, fun and fellowship! It helped me not miss being away from home and loved ones so much.
Here are our property owners... and now friends; mother and daughter, Mindy and Chloe. Dad, Rory, was in Florida. ...oh, and Kody, of course! He just turned 16 years old.
This is Brittany and Josh. Josh is Rick and Cheryl's son... I work with Rick; he's our Construction Manager.
Here is another Brittany... Rick and Cheryl's daughter... with Cheryl. Rick and Cheryl will soon be first-time grandparents, too. Brittany just found out they're having a girl - due in April!
We're having fun carving the turkey! ...me, Dean, and Rick.
We don't have a big dining table... just our round one that seats six. So, I made a make-shift table that would fit everyone. Just added a folding table, but it worked... we ate together.
Here is Rick and Cheryl's youngest, Jake, with Chloe.
What the heck is with my hair? And my rings, where are my rings? ... I don't like to wear them when I'm in the kitchen, but I always forget to put them back on. (They're in my pocket.)
And... have you noticed that our predecessors put wood paneling in every single room of this house?! Maybe someday we'll paint it or replace it. That would be a worthwhile goal...!
With full bellies, we lingered around the table for awhile. Kody loves Rick.
So, somewhere in the midst of our chatter, we talked Chloe into a giving us a song. It was easy... she loves to sing, and she's terrific! What I didn't tell you, is that she's a star in the making. She's already a TV celebrity; your tweenagers may recognize her from Nickelodeon's Slime Time, but she's now focusing on her singing career with a debut CD soon to be released. I'll be in line for one!
Check it out (there's conversing in the beginning, and a futile attempt to get Kody to sing at the end, but the middle...Wow):
Pretty awesome, huh? She's a performer extraordinaire, and also sang Etta James' At Last for us! She said she wished she knew us back when Kristiina and Nic got married... that she would have loved to sing at their wedding (this is after the "At Last discussion" got started), and I said, "Well, guess what song they danced their first dance to?!" Chloe did a bang-up job with it. A cappella, no less!
What a good day we had!
And just cuz I mentioned it... here's that first dance, again: