Home for Christmas...in 2,000 miles!

Yes, living in the midwest now and family still in the south, we have spent the past two weeks with family. Our favorite part of Christmas was the blessing of being with family. We spent the first part of the holidays in Louisiana with the Pilgreens. On the Pilgreen side, there's been a child born every year since 2002, making a total of 7 in all. Adult conversation was few and far between, but we got lots of laughs watching the kids play. The girls gathered in the kitchen cooking and baking and the guys played their annual Jack Hayes Memorial Bowl game...brothers verses the in-laws. (Jack Hayes is the name of Ben and Lee's elementary school where the game was first played!) Extended family came one evening from Shreveport adding 4 more kids to the mix! There were hayrides, tire swings, Wii, smores over an open fire, and lots of together time!

Miles and Asher playing "slobber ball!" They're 4 months apart.

The boys painted an LSU mug for GJ for Christmas.

The clan walking down to play and watch and referee football!

Cousins opening presents

Then on to south Georgia...for the first time in our marriage all of Shauna's family was together for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Mom cooked, Dad was sick, Papa Malcom came down from Monroe, and the kids warmed up to Moses the dog. Before presents were even opened, we received our favorite gift of all in Georgia...Katie and Matthew are expecting their first child in August! We enjoyed tropical temperatures which allowed for golf cart rides, strolls around the neighborhood, and short sleeves! Ben went back to Missouri as the rest of us stayed a few extra days in north Georgia to celebrate Christmas with extended family. We met Tim and James, twin cousins born two days after Asher. We looked at old photos and journals of Granny Rainwater and ate po-boys in her memory.

Girls in front of Papa Malcom's Crown Victoria

Papa and Sam playing his new game

The boys with their 2nd cousins, Tim and James

Then a detour to Tuscaloosa for New Year's where we saw some dear friends and where we picked up two sweet college girls who traveled the last stretch home with Shauna and the boys.
We give glory to God for keeping us safe during our travels, for precious time with family, and for the gift of home.