HAPPY NEW YEAR 
TO YOU ALL!

I just finished watching the Rose Parade with my mother.  It’s a tradition in our family and reminds me of when my grandparents took me when I was a child.

We didn’t have tickets to the parade, so my grandfather carried a ladder from their house (which was close by) and set the ladder up at the edge of the parade route.  Each of us kids would take turns climbing to the top of the ladder to watch the parade.

Even though we didn’t see much of the parade, it is still such a special memory.

Well, Christmas is over and the decorations have all been put away.  But, we had a wonderful time over the Christmas holiday.

Here are a few highlights…


Baking Christmas cookies with my kids along with my young nephews.  Every year, I have all of them come over and we have so much fun making the cookies.  Then they get to take some home for ‘Santa’.


Christmas Eve.  Every year, my mother-in-law makes her famous lasagna.  It is delicious.  But, she says that this is the last year that she will be making it.  So, I took a picture of it just in case no one else takes up making it in her place.


Each year, on Christmas Eve, all my kids (those that still live at home), ask me to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’.  The dogs enjoy the story too 🙂


Christmas morning at our house.


After Christmas morning at our house, the entire family gathers at Double S Farms.  My granddaughter, Lily is excited about opening more gifts.  Well, not really.  She just likes to tear the tissue paper up into tiny pieces.


Our family just keeps getting bigger.


After we finished opening gifts, it was time for our ‘treasure hunt’.  This is a family tradition where my mother writes clues, which eventually lead us to our last Christmas gift.  We all work together to solve the clues.

This year’s hunt took us to the chicken coop and to my mother’s vegetable garden…


Doesn’t it look fabulous for December?

Anyway, here is where found one of the clues…


There was a note inside this broccoli plant.


After gifts were all opened, it was time to play outside.  The men and boys played football.  My twin nephews had fun on the toy tractor being pushed by their mom.


Lily wanted to play ball, but Johnny wasn’t going to share.


So, her aunt and cousins decided to give her a ride in the toy tractor.


Trees were climbed by my nephew, Oliver.


The ‘men’ had fun talking.


And my 2-year old nephew, Danny, finally got to ‘climb’ a tree with a little help from my daughter, Rachele.


My mother got her wish…a photo with all of her grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Although, this was a wonderful Christmas for me, it was also a little bittersweet.

My daughter, Rachele, holding her niece.
You see, my second oldest daughter, Rachele, is entering the Navy in April.  While I am so proud of her, I will miss her.  She will probably not be with us next Christmas.  

And so, every memory from this past Christmas are extra special to me.

*************************

I have lots of plans for the garden this coming year  and some road trips.  So I will have lots to share with you.
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

6 replies
  1. FlowerLady Lorraine
    FlowerLady Lorraine says:

    I loved seeing your family Christmas photos.

    Congrats to your daughter in joining the US Navy. My husband was sworn in on my birthday March 20,1969. I am proud of him for doing his duty during the Viet Name war. He was sent to Rota, Spain where we lived from '70-'73. May your daughter have good adventures and make many memories.

    May your 2013 be wonderful.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

    Reply
  2. travelintoadventure@gmail.com
    travelintoadventure@gmail.com says:

    I love all that you share and I am trying to understand how to grow a garden in the San Tan Valley of Az.. so I'll be following you this coming year – so I can keep getting tips and ideas..Thanks
    Hugs.. and may the New Year be the best EVER!!

    Reply
  3. RobinL
    RobinL says:

    It looks like you had a wonderful family Christmas, even though it will be changing next year. It has been hard for me to accept the holiday changes as my children have turned into adults, but I don't have any other choice. New traditions will have to be made.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *