The High Family Christmas Celebration

This is the first year ever that neither of Cerwin’s parents were at the celebration. It was difficult for us – knowing that Mother could not be here. I expect it was difficult for her as well.

Because there were several out-of-state nieces and nephews in the area, we chose a date to suit them. There was Japheth and Aimee’s family from Minnesota, Reuben and Judi’s family from Wisconsin, and Dave & Denise’s family (who were in the process of moving from Florida to Minnesota).

DSC_3996We used some pretty table decorations leftover from our celebration the night before.



DSC_4000Jakey was helping his girls color, but by the time I got there, he was the only one coloring.

DSC_4001He is such a good dad.

DSC_4003Cousins – Judi and Jeff

DSC_4005Kinza, Reuben, Owen, and Dorretta.






DSC_4013We have a finely-tuned pattern for going through the food line – enter the laundry, go through our bedroom, and then the hall before entering our kitchen.

Go through the food line and proceed to the garage and find a seat.

This year there were sixty seats!







DSC_4022This was the night that Jesse pulled a front tooth.

DSC_4026He was quite pleased with himself. I gave him a baggie to keep it safe and asked him to give the baggy to his dad.

DSC_4032Anthony was gumming a pickle when I walked by.


DSC_4036I think Japheth and Aimee’s Rose is the youngest in the High family. In this photo she is being held by her dad’s cousin Dorretta.

DSC_4038Dan, Dave, and Jere enjoying after-supper conversation.

DSC_4041Cerwin’s brother, Elvin, had stored all of Mother High’s things in his race car trailer since we emptied her room just before Thanksgiving.

After supper we cleared the tables, pushed them against a wall, and emptied Elvin’s trailer. Some people brought in the boxes while the rest of us opened the boxes and put things on tables.

DSC_4043Then the grandchildren and great-grandchildren chose what they wanted.


DSC_4045Aimee looking through Mother’s material.

We were quite pleased that so many of her items were chosen.


On Tuesday I went through the things that were left and sorted them by category. Elvin stopped in today and chose a few more things. Since Reuben and Judi are here they also had opportunity to look through things more carefully. They also found a few things they can use.

Tomorrow Mel and Velda will come and help us pack the rest of the items in boxes. They will be given to a local re-use-it store (Jubilee).

Mother said that she would enjoy knowing what each of the grandchildren and grandchildren got, so I encouraged each one to call or visit her and tell her what they chose.

I Get To Be A Surrogate Grandma For Awhile

If you read my blog, you may remember their experience last summer – when they lived with us for several days with the anticipation of adopting a newborn baby boy.

Then the mother decided to keep him.

2-DSC_7122This picture of Kinza, Reuben, and Judi (our niece) was taken in early August when their hearts were sad – even though their faces were smiling – as they prepared to return to Wisconsin without a baby.


Fast forward to December.

Due to circumstances, the baby’s mother has reconsidered and contacted Reuben and Judi last week. They immediately packed their bags and arrived at our house just after our Christmas celebration on Saturday night.

DSC_4146The little guy was in Hershey Medical due to RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) the past few days. This was the day he was discharged.

Because Judi texted me when they left the hospital, I was pacing like a nervous grandmother until they got here.


DSC_4159Kinza is going to be a great big sister. In this photo her daddy is giving her the blanket to hold while he removes the baby’s coat.


DSC_4160He will be five months old next week.



DSC_4168Kinza looked cute with jelly on her mouth after lunch.

DSC_4170Love his little feet, toes, hands, and fingers.




DSC_4176The most difficult part of having him here is that because of adoption recommendations, only Reuben and Judi are supposed to hold and cuddle him. I was not surprised when they told us that, because I have heard about that from other adoptive parents and grandparents.

It is important for adoptive parents to obey this guideline so the young child bonds with and learns to know his/her new parents.

DSC_4178If I took a video of this, you would see Kinza rocking the car seat because he was fussing a bit.

I am enjoying being a surrogate grandma until the real grandparents take over. 🙂

Oh, it is good to have these precious little ones in our house.

Our Family Christmas Celebration

Saturday Evening, December 27

1 (1)Our evening began with supper – provided by our wonderful ladies – Chris, Kristen, Deb, and Abby.

They haven’t allowed me to make any food for the past few years – and I really appreciate that.

1 (3)We provide the place, the tables, place settings, and drink (orange punch and raspberry iced tea.)

1 (4)Mocha punch is always a favorite.

It is a mixture of coffee, sugar, Nesquik chocolate mix, water, chocolate ice cream, and vanilla ice cream.

1 (5)Nate & Josiah

1 (2)I think Jesse wishes that his Dad wasn’t following him through the food line – as there were some things he wanted to avoid – like green beans. 🙂

1 (7)

1 (6)

1 (8)

1 (10)

1 (9)

DSC_3892Potato casserole

DSC_3894Seven layer salad

DSC_3893Baked corn

DSC_3896Green beans

DSC_3898Homemade dinner rolls

DSC_3899Crackers & cheese

DSC_3900Veggies & dip

DSC_3901Cranberry salad

DSC_3902Snack mix by Mother Hershey. She makes the best mix, so the girls allow her to bring that to our parties.

As I posted these pictures, I realized that I didn’t take a picture of the ham or the delicious desserts. You can see the ham on some of the food line pictures, but the red velvet cake and cheese cake did not make it on any shot.

DSC_3921I needed a new picture of Jordan for my refrigerator.

DSC_3923And also one of Josh.

About the time I think I have updated pictures of our adult grandsons, they grow a beard – or shave it off – they style their hair – or get a buzz cut. I never seem to be able to keep their pictures current. 🙂

DSC_3927Since his mom was next to Josh, Deb took advantage of getting them to pose.

DSC_3931Then I got my turn.

DSC_3933The unmarried grandchildren exchange names – and we usually begin with the youngest. This year we had a new youngest – Anthony – our first great-grandchild.

It looks like Nathan had his name, and Ian assisted.


DSC_3936Anthony didn’t seem impressed with the clothing (but his parents were). He preferred the box and paper.

DSC_3939Dustan had Jesse’s name.

Dustan is Jenna’s friend and we are pleased to have him join our family gatherings.

DSC_3943Jared was pleased with his Lego gift from Jordan.


DSC_3947Diana had Ian’s name.

DSC_3948Another Lego set. He and his brothers are going to have fun with those.

DSC_3950Gloria was next.

DSC_3951I am not sure who gave this to her, but if it is anything to do with horses, she will like it.

DSC_3952A gift card and a horse calendar.

DSC_3953Gloria was right back in the center of the room to give a gift to Jana.

DSC_3955It looks like a gift any young lady would enjoy.

DSC_3957Jared had Diana’s name.

DSC_3958A gift card to a favorite store.

DSC_3961Then it was Jenna’s turn.


DSC_3965I think this came with a gift card.

DSC_3973I like the look I captured on Ian’s face – like, “I wonder if Dustan will like my gift?”

DSC_3975He did! It was a Cabela’s gift card and beef jerky.

DSC_3968Nathan must have gotten his gift from someone in Jere and Kristen’s family…

DSC_3970…because he also got beef jerky and a Cabela’s card.

DSC_3976Jenna had her oldest brother’s name.

DSC_3979Jordan got a Cabela’s gift card.

Cabela’s does well with our hunting/fishing family.

DSC_3981Josiah wasn’t sure that he could come, but when it worked out for him, he and his sister Elizabeth exchanged names – just a few days before our celebration.

I didn’t get a photo of the contents, but it was a variety of food.

DSC_3983Elizabeth learned a few weeks ago that the volunteer unit in Lewiston, Maine, (where she serves) was coming to Pennsylvania, so we were blessed to have her with us. She got a special tea and…

DSC_3985…cute piece of half-inch steel from Josiah.


DSC_3987The children then gave us gifts: A restaurant gift card from Jeff and Chris; you may remember that we received lots of canned peaches from Jere and Kristen on Christmas Day; a note saying that Roy and Deb will take us to Cabela’s in Delaware and then out for a meal; and a homemade chocolate nut pie from Nathaniel and Abby. THANK YOU!.

We gave everyone a small bag of snacks and money.

DSC_3991Cerwin and I don’t always exchange gifts because we buy things throughout the year as we need them. I gave him a shirt he saw in a store (and liked) the other week and a gift card to Paul B’s (an ultimate hardware store). Cerwin goes there several times a month – between our needs and building chapels for TFC.

He wrapped this box of three suitcases that we bought at Costco the other week. 🙂

DSC_3992To finish our evening we played Now-You-Have-It-Now-You-Don’t.

Cerwin and I provide the items – mostly snacks, sodas, sparkling cider, and useful items that range in price from $3-4. I didn’t think to take pictures of the items.

DSC_3994Each person chooses three numbers. Jesse was in charge of passing out the numbers. We encouraged Sam (sitting to Jana’s right) a family friend – and brother to Nathaniel – to participate in this game.

Ian called the numbers this year.

DSC_3995My final picture was supposed to be of these two glugging some sparkling cider, but they just gave me silly faces.

It was a fun evening.

I love these people (little ones and big ones) who God placed in our family.

Every one of them!