It’s been a while since my mom had all 4 kids and all 6 grandkids at her house for Christmas.  So naturally there was much noise, laughter, crying, crumbs, scattered toys, and missing shoes.  The kids were so excited to all be together, especially since we have moved to Rockport, Texas and they don’t get to see each other that often.  The big five are growing and turning into such interesting (and charming) little people!  They all play well together and are super sweet to Crosby.  But Crosby…. she doesn’t know that she’s only two and not eight, ten, or twelve like the rest of the kids!  She wants to do exactly what the big kids are doing.  And doesn’t like to take “no” for an answer!

She made up her mind that she didn’t want anyone to take her picture. End of story.  So here ya go.  Family photos with her covering her face.  Concerning my own family, I have a much more traditional style than a “catch the moment” photo-journalistic style when it comes to family portraits.  So this was killing me. (I can only imagine what my mom thinks!)  But this shot to me is priceless.  It sums it all up; proud Grandparents (even my dad’s mischievous grin, because the shot before this, he was still putting rabbit ears over Joey’s head), the tween boys that are handsome and funny, sweet Aubrey who wants to please and poses so correctly, Brooks the charmer, and CJ the Terrible.

My beautiful parents.

 

This may be one of my favorite photos. Ever.

 

Handsome Dalton, who will turn twelve in a few days, is the oldest.  There are times when he looks so much like my stinky brother that I have to do a double-take.

So glad he got the family’s long eyelashes. Sorry about the widow’s peak, dude.

 

My never-sits-still-just-like-his-mamma nephew, Joey, is just a few months older than Aubrey and Dillon.  Being born in Japan, I think that, technically, he should celebrate his birthday twice.  “It’s my birthday in Japan!”  a whole day early and then again on the day.  His mom celebrates her “birthday week”, so why not?!?

I bet Grandfather was exactly like this when he was young.  (My mom still can’t get Grandfather to stop climbing up on the roof!)  I’ve heard that he was a cotton-top, too!

 

Aubrey is the second of the 10 year olds.  We had a busy year with Joey, Aubrey, and Dillon being born just a few months apart.

 Joey and Dillon were both so huge and then there was tiny little Aburey.  It’s still that way.  Sorry, sis.  Get used to it!

Even though she is outnumbered, she can still hold her own with the boys.

 

Then there is creative, funny, Dillon rounding out the 10 year old brigade.

Being a very-last-days-of-summer baby, he is in the 4th grade rather than 5th grade with Joey and Aubrey.  That fact, combined with his natural height, should be a football coach’s dream.

He may be the biggest, but he is always the first one to stop and get down in the floor to play with Crosby and tries hard not to leave her out of their playing!

 

Then there is Brooks.  Oh how you have my heart, little man. Probably because I love your daddy so much and you two are peas in a pod.

Seven going on 47, you are so full of wit and wisdom beyond your years.  But mostly that means you are just too big for your britches!

 A man of a thousand faces, I always have tons of photos to choose from when he feels like letting me take his picture.

 

I’m usually not one for bribes.  Kids should do what they are supposed to do and not argue.

And then there is two year old Crosby Jane.

She was in a mood and was adamant about not having her photo made.

We brought out the big guns: candy, cookies, and a magic wand.

This was the last day that we were all going to be together and it was now or never to get all the pictures done for this year.

Aunt Toni made faces, the kids danced around, I tried to be patient, and she had us right where she wanted us.

But it was worth it.

 

So until next time the stars align and we are all together again from our respective corners of the world:

Merry Christmas from the Heatons, Boerschigs, Gaspers, Millers, and Comptons!

 

 

 

 

  

The bluebonnets caught me by surprise this year!  During the move to Rockport, it didn’t occur to me that they would be out a few weeks earlier.  This was the only little patch I could find that wasn’t near a major road, so it  was a total spur-of-the-moment, everyone jump out, try and wipe your face and slick down your hair, overcast and dark kind of day.  But I figured I better get it while I could so Grandmother would be proud!  We haven’t missed a year since Aubrey was born. Someday after Crosby turns 18, I’ll put them all in one album. That’s what keeps me motivated when the bugs are biting us and kids are uncooperative.

Only 16 more years to go…

 

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In other news, Brodie and I celebrated 17 years of marriage!  The traditional gift for seventeen years is shells.  So I guess buying me a house at the coast should count, right?  Aubrey snapped this pic of us while we were at the Big Tree waiting to see our house and make an offer on it!  I love you babe and can’t wait to see what the next year brings in our new home!

 

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