Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Texas Christmas Visit

December 20, 2012 we loaded up our car and headed to Springtown, Texas (near Fort Worth) to stay with son, Russ and Carolyn in their home for the holidays. The drive went quite well. As is our usual custom on these Texas trips, we stopped in front of the Seminole, Texas courthouse to partake of our picnic lunch consisting of sandwiches made on Ciabatta bread loaded with meats, cheeses, lettuce and tomatoes along with chips with Hershey bars for dessert. The trip took ten and a half hours including various stops and, of course, we lost an hour going East.

Friday morning, I got busy and made four Double Layer Pumpkin Pies to give to Taylor, Drew, Lynne and Wesley. These were sorely missed at Thanksgiving so I decided to make up for it. The kids dearly love these pies.

The first big family gathering was on Saturday night at grand children's new home in Fort Worth, Jennifer and Taylor Cromwell. They are parents of two-year-old twin boys, Ashton and Landon and a six-month old baby boy named Camden. Also in attendance, Cat and Drew Spears and their two boys, four-year-old Landon and two-year-old Ethan. And, Kelley, mother of Taylor, Drew and Wesley was there as well as Wesley. We had a grand time watching the great grandchildren tear open their gifts and watching the grandsons assemble jeeps that Drew gave the twins for Christmas. Jennifer made a lovely dinner for all to enjoy and Doug took many photos.

On Sunday, December 23, Doug and I drove to Azle, Texas to dine with Barbara Farley, a friend and sister Red Hatter, at Frenkie's Capriccio Italian Restaurant. There was so much food that Barbara and I had to take doggie bags home, but it was delicious. After a wonderful visit, we went to daughter Lynne Render's home there in Azle to watch the football game and nosh some more.

Early Monday morning, we met Barbara and Anna Colley at IHOP for breakfast. Also joining us was Anna's brother Jerry. We had a great time visiting and the girls gave Carla a ceramic steer bird house to hang in the backyard.  That evening, Doug and I treated Russ, Carolyn and Wesley to dinner at La Choza Mexican Restaurant, one of our favorite places to dine when we lived in Weatherford. The owner just happens to be a native of Chimayo, New Mexico and their food is definitely New Mexican style. They have a beautiful new facility in Azle, Texas and it was tastefully decorated for Christmas. The food was just as tasty as we remembered.

Tuesday, December 25, all the family came to Russ' home and the great grandchildren once again had much fun unwrapping their gifts. We enjoyed Russ' great guacamole dip with chips as well as salsa and chips among other snacks. We then moved on to Lynne's home for Christmas dinner of turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes, green beans, turkey gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce and various libations. Carla's brother, Wes, and Lynne's friend, Wes, were added to the mix of people. I dare say with three Wes' it can get confusing! There were more gifts to unwrap and we drove back to Russ' home to nap. Later on, Drew and Cat come over to play cards. It was a wonderfully, fun-filled day that we really enjoyed. We woke up to heavy rain that  became a white Christmas with two inches of snow falling following the rain. The roads were slick.

Although it wasn't planned this way, Wednesday was our day to sleep in and pack for our trip back to New Mexico. Our original plan was to visit with Doug's daughter, Nancy who lives in Irving, Texas. The streets were just too difficult to drive on and we were disappointed at not getting to see Nancy.

Thursday morning, I prepared our usual picnic lunch for on the road. Only, this time, our sandwiches were on white bread filled with left-over turkey. On the way back to New Mexico, we again stopped for our lunch, this time, in front of Seminole City Hall. The only critters we saw on this trip was one lone elk stag near Big Springs, Texas and several coyotes (some live, some roadkill) along the way. On arriving in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, we stopped at Big Daddy's Diner for some excellent pozole (Mexican soup made of pork, hominy, spices and tomatoes). Driving through the Sacramento Mountains, we saw several groups of elk either crossing or along the road. It was truly a wonderful visit with everyone, but it was so good to get home again.

l to r:  Ashton, Taylor, Landon, Eathan, Big Landon and Camden lying down
l to r: Ashton, Jennifer, Landon, Taylor and Camden
l to r: Ethan, Cat, Drew and Big Landon
Jennifer and (Mimi) Kelley
l to r: Jennifer, Kelley and Cat modeling their new vests
Carla (Grammy) with grandson, Wesley
l to r: Ashton, Taylor and Drew assembling one of the jeeps
Ashton and Landon in their new jeeps
Barbara and Carla at lunch in Frenkie's Capriccio Italian Restaurant in Azle, Texas
Bia at Estee Lauder counter in Belk Department Store with Carla
Red Hat friend, Anna Colley at IHOP for visit and breakfast
l to r: Carolyn, Lynne and Carla Christmas morning
l to r: Carla, Wesley and Russ
Carla (Grammy) with great grandson, Camden
Ethan enjoying the snow with his mother, Cat
Lynne with her Amado Peña poster (a Christmas gift)
l to r: Russ, Drew, Cat, Ethan and Wesley playing cards Christmas night
Our lovely hosts for the week, Russ and Carolyn
Thanks, Doug, for all the pictures. My apologies for not getting at least one of you in the mix.

This is all I have to say for now.

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