Let me show some pictures from the past.
These are from Christmas Season 1988. These girls are in my kitchen making Christmas cookies. Sarah in the background in the yellow was 2 1/2. Laura Beth with her hands flared was 6. In the front with her mouth wide open is Joy Baldwin who was 5. Kate, not shown, was 10 months.
and Joy, again, smiling.
Here is Hope Baldwin who was 8 and Ann who was 7 1/2.
Here they all are working intently on their cookies.
This year, 2010, in the week prior to Thanksgiving week, Joy, who is now Joy Baldwin Finch,
called me from her home in Athens, TN.
She was remembering another Christmas when I had made lots of dough ornaments and given one each to her and Hope. She thought it would be fun if my girls and she and Hope, with all of their combined total of 9 children could get together at my house this year to make those same dough ornaments. Also included would be their mom, and my good friend, Beth.
We all agreed on December 16. It would just be women and children - no men - and minimal food.
We stuck with none of those prerequisites.
Much to my delight, Beth surprised me by telling another close friend of ours, Yonea Chunn. I had no idea. Yonea showed up at my back door with her 4 girls (she also has 5 boys - but left them at home). Huge and wonderful surprise. I was in such shock and surprise that I was speechless. We also had so much food. We said all along that the lunch would be very snacky and insignificant. It was very significant and much more than snacky. Quite a spread and we did have one man - Jamie Baldwin - daddy to Hope and Joy. Papa (granddaddy) to Joy's two boys and Hope's daughter and son. He stayed to eat and play with his grandchildren, but left us all to make ornaments.
It was all loud and wild and fun and worth every mile they travelled and worth every ornament I had prepared for them to paint - it was worth whatever muscle or bone ached that evening from preparing and from cleaning up later.
Laura Beth was unable to get there, from McDonough, GA, with Ada and John. As a matter of fact, on that same day, Charlie was traveling to McDonough to pick up Kate from Laura Beth's house.
Kate had flown into Atlanta from New York City the Tuesday before.
Thank you Laura Beth for freeing up that much space in my kitchen and at the tables to make room for all the other people. (just trying to say the right thing so that you won't regret not being there) There will be other holidays and seasons for us all to get together. Most of the children are so young, they'll have no recollection of this event.
Now for more pictures
Here are grownup Joy and Hope Baldwin.
Now, Joy Finch holding Brennan Finch
and Hope Coon holding Charlie Coon.
In my kitchen on Thursday.
Here is Yonea Chunn (mother to 9 children).
She is the one drinking out of my Christmas Mug.
Her oldest daughter, Mary, almost 19, holding Joy's Brennan.
On the right are Martha Chunn, 12, and Margaret Chunn, 14.
Here is Yonea's 8 year old daughter, Molly, intently painting her ornament.
Anna Beth (Hope's daughter - she's 4) painting her ornament
Hope's little boy, Charlie, painting.
Charlie is 2.
Joy's Brennan, 2 1/2, I think.
Luke being patient with the whole thing. He was a bit out of the loop.
Too old for the other boys there, and not a girly girl like Ellie and Anna Beth.
He was patient and tolerant and willing to wear this apron.
I whispered in his ear before I put it on him,
"Luke, are you okay if I put this apron on you?"
In his kind Luke voice he said, "Yeah."
On the other hand, Andrew was quite taken with the whole experience
and loved the painting aspect of it.
Because of that and because I'm his grandmother and this is my post,
I'll show two pictures of him working on it.
Here's the whole table - serious artwork going on.
(Luke and Andrew were at the small table)
I regret that I have no picture of Beth Baldwin - a major player in this whole event.
Neither do I have a picture of Knox - who was probably playing in the living room with the toys.
We didn't take any pictures of all the food and our eating and conversing.
there was so much going on and so many conversations, it was hard to remember to take a picture.
Honestly - it started out as a small get together - really only expecting Joy and her 2 boys and Ann and her 3. Never dreamed Beth and Hope could get here with Hope's 2. Certainly didn't expect Yonea and her 4 girls. It's a great memory - to add to the storehouse.