Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our belated Christmas 12-27-10

"You've got what disease?" I asked Ann-Marie on December 24. "It's called the foot, hand and mouth disease." was her reply. "And it is contagious!" she continued. Well with that conversation, it would be the first time I would celebrate Christmas without my daughter. And our annual Christmas morning breakfast brunch. Brett did get to enjoy both of those events. So finally on December 27, we were able to celebrate Christmas with Ann-Marie with us. We had got Sam a set of musical toys which included a little drum set. Grandpa was trying to show Sam how it worked.
I enjoyed getting shower gel and lotion from them. Sam was enjoying the little phone Aunt Louise gave him.

For my birthday one year Gary had give me a beautiful charm bracelet with several charms on it. This year he gave me a snowflake charm to add to the bracelet.

Sam with his new towels.

My sister Linda knows just the right gift to give. Sam is enjoying his new bear friend.

As always, kids love to play with things that are not a box top.

With a red and green bow on their heads, I guess with Ann-Marie better, this really was our present.

Our Rehfeldt Christmas 12-24-10 TRADITIONS!

TRADITIONS! TRADITIONS! My father loved seeing the play, Fiddler On The Roof in Chicago a long, long time ago. He's favorite song was, "If I Were A Rich Man." Why NOT? Being a father of twelve children he knew for him it was out of reach. And since my father did have a good singing voice, I enjoyed him singing this song. I'm sure he could relate to so many of the great songs in that play.

Having said all of this, the Rehfeldt family has kept up with our Christmas traditions. Being a large family, my father would load us up in the car during the Christmas season and we would go to several of our Aunts and Uncles to sing Christmas Carols. Then as our family got bigger and bigger via marriages and the kids that come from that union, we started singing to family members in nursing homes and people who just were what we called shut-ins.

My brother, Scott has far back as I can remember has headed up this tradition. It's not only a blessing to the people to whom we sing, but a blessing for all of us. It's so wonderful to see my neices and nephews and their kids join in this wonderful tradition. After we sing, we usually mingle with the people. Sometimes we were able to bring them treats. On rare ocassions we have called this tradition off. But I trust it will stay with us forever.
We use to meet in one of the family's members home until we just got too big a group. The one we held at our home here in Rockton, we had wall to wall people. Most of the neices and nephews I have talked to like that home atmosphere feeling. But as we kept growing in number, we needed a larger place. Lately, thanks to the wonderful people at the Berean Baptist Church in Beloit, we are able to use their facilities. Great kitchen! Large huge room next to it for the younger kids to run.
While the caroling is going on a lot is happening at the church. Depending on who stay behind, they all pitch in to help get the table and chairs up. Like the photo above of Caleb doing that very thing. The food tables get set. Louise is always there early with the ham and turkey. Then we have a place for twelve bins representing the each of Wayne and Agnes' children. We do one gift per family. It can from a box of chocolate to a gift card to a restaurant. (My brother Bruce usually spoils us with that.) If someone gave me a bag of Mrs. Fischers, I know I would think that is such a great gift. One year my sister, Kathey had made us a very decorated large box to put all our belongings in. Then one year Tim and Judi gave us a bin with a lid to put our goodies in. It's so much fun. And it's become another one of our traditions.

One of the traditions is to bring a dish or two to pass around. WOW, you should see our appetizer and dessert tables. Above we have Aunt Louise talking to nephew Jason and his two children, Oliver and Autumn. Since they live in Chicago, we always look forward to visiting with them. His father, my brother Dave died last December 04 ,2009. So this time is even more precious.
So we all grab a plate and enjoy all the wonderful food everyone has contributed to our annual party.

Another tradition we have is a program. Anyone can participate. It can range from reading a poem you did, singing a song, doing a funny skit (Like B.J. usually does with his cousins.) or telling a story. Above we have Aaron singing while he plays his guitar. This year Louise shared with us how Bruce and her where in a car accident which totaled their car. A man had run through a stop sign. Sheila shared how she got in the wrong van with another man at the wheel. Funny just too funny. Great nieces and nephews either sang or play instrumental numbers.

One of the greatest Rehfeldt's Christmas Eve tradtion is to read the Christmas story. Which we ALL KNOW is the true meaning of Christmas. Sad to report that this was the first year without our mother who always read the Christmas story from the bible. So Carol got the honor.

Another tradtion is to sing...Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus! It's a sign for Santa to start making his entrance. My father always played this part. He usually would grow a beard and he already had the body for it. SMILE! When he died, my brother Dave took over. Then the brothers started taking turns. Now we let anyone who is in the family and wants to do the honors be Santa. The funny part for all of us Rehfeldt kids, we know the kids know who Santa is and they all just play along with us. Can you guess who our Santa was this year? It is up to each parent to bring a gift for Santa to give to his kid. That way the kid usually get something he likes. We have always had great Santas. One year Santa forgot to color his eyebrows white....those red eyebows just didn't look right..did they Aaron?

My grandson Sam was a little shy at first when he got on Santa's lap. Then he saw Santa's kind face and warmed up to him quickly.

This tradition is fairly new but has been around quite awhile. Scott in his zangy games. They change every year. One year he gave us all a different number and when he called you number, you got to pick a grocery gift from off his many tables. But this year, he corralled his brothers and sisters to help him. We got to wear these great aprons to help with all the games he had setup way before the caroling event.

Both the adults and the kids love this time of the evening. At each game you could earn gold coins and then turn them in for prizes. Louise and Carol manned those tables. The rest of his siblings had different games to take charge of.

I had the job of letting people get four small disc into those buckets above. It was much harder than you would think. Bryant Sturgill I believe was the first kid to achieve that task. Later Mackenzie (above) achieved that goal also.
As you can see, our evening is packed. And then it's time to cleanup. Everyone helps. We all appreciate Jeannine staying behind with her son to make sure everything is back in place. Since they are members of Berean, it helps us know they will put everything in it's right place. I guess you could say we have family in high places! Smile.
"Sunrise, Sunset...on season following another..." May our Christmas traditions carry on.

Rehfeldt's Annual Christmas Eve Party. 12-24-10

Christmas in Dixon! 12-19-10

Since Gary's daughter and her family would be in Alton, Illinois for Christmas, Camille decided to have Christmas at their home on December 19, 2010. We don't like missing church but with her husband being a fireman (and their schedules can be crazy) may have been the reason for picking this day. At any rate, with Brett at the wheel, we all headed down to Dixon. The drive is always a beautiful drive...if the weather is nice this time of year. And the weather was great. Below, sitting in the chair is Vickie, Camille's mother. Camille's cousin, Janell had their dog, Bear in the house. If you have ever seen Sam around dogs, you will know that he just loves them. He is laughing all the time, especially when the dog starts wagging his tail. Sam will try to get a hold of the tail. The tail keeps wagging in Sam face as his just laughs and laughs!
Above we have Michelle, Camille and Janell. A beautiful photo of Camille with some of her cousins.

Then we have beautiful Camille and Ann-Marie!

Before the party began, I wanted to get a picture of Andrew! Above he is with one of his cousins.

Then I went to Brigitte's room to get of photo of her with her cousins...Brigitte really hates to get her photo taken! So as a result, that girl under the covers is our beautiful granddaughter, Brigitte.

We had plenty of food! Great table of desserts! You name it, I think we had it. We had brought a nice large fruit tray. A piece of chocolate, a piece of fruit! A cookie, a piece of fruit! ETC. Oh, and that photo above tell how crazy White Elephant Exchange can get.

Then it was time for the White Elephant Exchange. I was happy with the nice frame I got and to my surprise, no one took it away from me. Above, Camille is checking out other people gifts.

Since Brigitte doesn't like her photo taken, I think the one above is so precious. Giving Grandpa a nice hug. I guess she didn't realize I was taking a picture of her or she would of ran and hid. And I'm not kidding.

Daughter and dad! Don't they look so much alike!

What a wonderful surprise Gary and I received from Dave, Camille, Andrew and Brigitte, two ticket to the Fireside!
Since I came into Gary's life late, I'm still getting to know his side of the family. I always appreciate the opportunity to meet and visit with Camille's cousins.
It was getting late and it was now time to head home. We all had a great time. Little Sam did finally fall asleep in the car. He was so good all day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Laurie is here! 12-03-10

It's always been a great blessing to me to have so many sisters. We can just be ourselves around each other. My sister, Laurie who is the youngest of the sister has most of her life lived away from the rest of her sisters the most. Since her husband has always been in ministry that is very understandable. We wished we could see her more but as the saying goes, "It is what it is." So when Laurie wanted to spend time with us...especially with Louise, we were all looking forward to spending time with her.

You perhaps don't know this and of course I will inform you...Louise had made beautiful Christmas stockings for all of us and our offspring. Now that's a lot of stockings! Laurie wanted to learn how to make them in case something might happen to Louise. Right now Laurie and Frank have seven children - three are married, giving them ten grandchildren. Louise had made stocking for all them. Laurie and Frank still have four daughters who have not married . Plus the other married couples may have more kids. So I thinks it's great that Laurie wants to learn how to make these beautiful Christmas stockings.Since Laurie would not be with us for our annual Christmas Rehfeldt Party, we started the day out giving each other gifts. Laurie gave us all beautiful cards that she had made for us to use for Christmas. Plus we got some great Arbonne products.

My sister, Louise is a great cook. She knew Laurie loved rhubarb pie! And she also knew that some of loved her carrot cake. Yes, we got both. Laurie who does watch what she eats, ask Louise to give her a very small slice.

Well, we kept watching as Laurie kept taking another small slice, then another. It was so funny. She finally asked Louise to remove it after she about half of it. REALLY she ate almost that much. Above one of her daughter has phoned to see how she was doing. I would say, she was having a great time.

Laurie had also brought with her some delicious homemade marsmallows. And they were just that...DELICIOUS!

Venita and Judi were not able to be with in the morning, but joined us for lunch. And we had a nice spread.

Louise and Laurie started their project in the morning and after lunch they continued on, making headway.

While they were working away, Carol and I started splitting some materials that Louise had. Half for Louise and the other half for Laurie.

Finally!!! Above we have the finished product.

My sisters are all very generous. Louise had a lot to help Laurie make some more stockings when the time came to make another Christmas stocking.

It was such a wonderful fun day with my sisters. My sister, Jan was suppose to come down but wasn't able. She was truly missed.
Then it was time for Carol to take Laurie and me home. We dropped Laurie off at Hilander with all her great Christmas gifts from her sisters and the bin of goods from Louise. Laurie's husband would be coming soon to pick her up.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was when Louise told me that Laurie said, "I wished I could do this once a month." We wished she could too!
Looking forward to the next time we can all get together again.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Taming of the Shrew 11-13-10

Whenever we get invited to attend a play, I'm always ready to go. It doesn't matter where the play may be. So when Jan phoned us about the play at Maranatha Baptist Bible College, The Taming of the Shrew, I was more than happy to attend. Since I am now reading a biography of William Shakespeare by A. L. Rowse, I knew it would worth my time to see another play by Shakespeare. Petruchio was played by Jeff Miller and Katherine was played by his wife Christina Miller. They were excellent. And since they are married in real life...they got to kiss each on stage without getting into any trouble.

But before the play, Jan and Darryl had invited us for supper. Never turn that down either. Above Jan is offering Ann-Marie some dried apples coated with cinnamon and some other spice

Such a beautiful table setting

Then Jan had asked someone to set a buckeye (a chocolate peanut butter candy) next plate. My niece Leah, had made some and told Jan she could use them whenever she wanted. Thanks Leah, it was delicious.

Great hot buns.

Tammy, Megan, Jacob and Caleb.

Darryl, Jan, Betty, Carol, and Ann-Marie - Gary and I didn't get our picture taken, but we where there.

Great meatballs to go with the spaghetti.

And of course, what's a meal without dessert! Blueberry delight was so good!

And then Jan was giving out her homemade jam. Gary can't have any because of the seeds, but Tammy say that she just microwaves the jam and then runs the jam throught a strainer to get the seeds out. At any rate, Jan is so wonderful to share the jam with anyone who would like some.

Thanks Jan and Darryl for a great evening.