Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Zak's Homecoming


Today Zak came home from his mission in Detroit Michigan.
Here are some pictures from the airport this afternoon.

Coming down the stairs!!! Yeah!!!!
Sign Jamey made!!!
First hug from Mom!!! (Andrea)
Hugs from Grandma!!!!
Happy return missionary!!!

Grandma and Zak

Proud DAD!!!
Proud parents
Brothers together again!!!

After we left the airport, Andrea and Jamey took Zak to the Stake Center to be released as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Talking in the back yard with friends.
Zak eating a sandwich at home (first meal at home)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving dinner

Can you believe how fast the fall in whizzing by? I can't believe that Christmas is 3 weeks from Sunday. THREE WEEKS!

And I haven't even started Christmas shopping. Well, I have, but just for me. That's because I know what I want. The rest of my family, not so much.

Since Christmas will be here before we know it, I thought I better post about Thanksgiving. However, there really isn't much to post. Well, I could write a book, just wouldn't have many pictures to go with it.

Thanksgiving was held at my house this year. I invited everyone in my family.

Todd's family couldn't come as they live in Utah. Plus Todd works at Walmart and had to work on Black Friday. So his family had a legit excuse.

Andrea's family couldn't come as Jamey had just got back in town from being away for a month. He wasn't up to driving anywhere and wanted to stay home. A pretty legit excuse.

My step son Brandan's family couldn't come as my daughter in law Crystal had to work. Again, a legit excuse.

Eric's family came. Every last one of them. YAY!!! Finally someone was coming.

Jodi, Mom & Dad said they were coming. I even gave them a food assignment, but I did ask her if I should buy backups. She said NO, they would be there. Then the day before, Jodi calls saying they won't be coming. Mom wasn't feeling well & didn't want to drive an hour and fifteen minutes. It's a good thing I bought back up food.

Then on Thanksgiving morning, Jodi calls and wants to know if we still have enough food for 3 more. Mom was feeling better, and Jodi really wanted to come. I told her "of course we still have enough food". I really wanted to say "NO, we gave your share away". But I was nice. As I am always the nice sister (Jodi is trying not to gag as she reads this. Ha, ha!).

So Mom, Dad & Jodi ended up coming to Thanksgiving dinner afterall. And all was good in the Chalfant household.

We ended up with 14 people at our dinner. So I set up 3 different tables for eating.

This is the table in my family room/kitchen. Mom, Dad, Jodi, Brandon, Mike & I all sat at this table. I guess I should have asked everyone to look at me when I was taking the pic.

This table is in my living room. Jeannette, Jesse, Eric, Jase & Cade ate in here.

Danica, Taylor and her husband Michael sat at the kid's table in my family room.

And that my family, are the only photos I have to share. I thought I took a bunch more. In fact, I thought I took photos of each table before people and food took them over. But there were no pre food photos on either of my cameras. I must have dreamed it.

For dinner we had turkey and cornbread stuffing that Mike cooked. I cooked the mashed pototatos and gravy, green bean casserole, corn, and candied yams. This is the first year I cooked the yams in the slow cooker. They turned out so yummy. Everyone commented they were the best yams they have ever had. I also made Grandma Manning's green jello Thanksgiving salad. We have it every year. And I bought rolls from Sam's Club. I'm not patient enough for making my own rolls. Jodi was suppose to bring jello salad and rolls, but luckily I had the items on hand for making the jello salad and Sam's Club had rolls at the last minute. Jeannette brought Martinelli's sparkling cider and a couple of pumpkin chiffon pies she made. Taylor brought green lettuce salad. Oh, I did make homemade ranch dressing for the lettuce salad.

Dinner was as yummy as ever. I just love Thanksgiving dinner. We had enough leftovers to have Thanksgiving dinner for a couple of nights after as well. I did cook 20lbs of mashed potatoes. A little overkill since I had about 1/2 left after dinner. But I got to make Shepard's Pie this week with the left over mashed potatoes. So a win/win.

I just love getting together with family. I wish I had a big enough house to invite all my extended family, including aunts, uncles, cousins and children and grandchildren of the cousins. Wouldn't that be so much fun? We really need to have a Manning family reunion. Who's up for it?

The only down side of having so many people to dinner, is the dishes. Luckily Jeannette and Eric helped. OK, they did most of the dishes. I did have to run my dishwasher two times to accommodate all the dishes. Thank goodness for dishwashers. See, I am thankful for something.

The best part of the day was seeing Mom with our dog Cookie. She just loved her. Mom loved Cookie so much that we had her convinced to take Cookie's brother (who is looking for a home). But Dad the Grinch, talked her out of it by the time they got back home. Or maybe it was Jodi. They gave some lame excuse about having to open 2 doors to let the dog in and out. Whatever!

Speaking of our dog cookie. She is the best dog in the whole world. You couldn't ask for a better dog. She is perfect. Even my husband Mike who doesn't like dogs, just loves her. And you know she is perfect if Mom wanted a dog just like her. My neighbor (who has worked in vets office for 20 years) says that almost all Golden Retriever's are just like Cookie. Very loving and gentle.

Enough about Cookie and Thanksgiving. Time to journey on to Christmas. What are your plans for Christmas? We are going down to Mom and Dad's house. Plus we will be able to see my Grandson Gunner.

And then on New Years Day, we will be back down in San Diego to attend Zak's homecoming. Zak is Andrea's oldest son. He gets home from his 2 year mission to Detroit on the 20th of this month. Everyone in our family is so excited. Andrea is beyond excited. It will be so good to see him.

And now, you are pretty much caught up on what is happening on the Langston side of the family. At least the stuff that I know about.

Take care & have a Merry Christmas! Just covering my bases in case I don't post again before Christmas.



P.S. Happy 21st birthday to my stepson Jesse. And Happy birthday to Andrea's son Simon. I think he turns 18 years old today. Yikes! Our kids are getting old. How can they be when we are not?