Some of our Texas Lee's (the Dave Lee family) was able to come home this year.
|Here are 7 of the 8 original "Lee" kids - Dave, Karen, Kevin, Garry (my dad), Mary Beth, Ron & Tom.|
So...being that he was sorely missed, and the above photo just ISN'T complete without him...how about we have Uncle Dan (who was home in Houston) make a surprise appearance. Nothin' a little Photoshop can't make happen :-)
|ALMOST all the grandkids...missing about 8 of us I think...take 1|
|The two prettiest girls at the party...Madison & Erika|
|Macy didn't waste much time helping herself to the food. I think she had five or six plate fulls, accompanied by a few juice boxes, as is evident by the wet mess on her dress. Thanks Grandpa! :-)|
|and if he tries to deny it...I'd say the "proof is in the pudding"|
|Uncle Dan, entertaining everyone with his wonderful stories...looks like he's got Ron believing his every word!|
|Nickie, Megan & Jackie - a twin sandwich|
|Uncle Kevin & his newest grandbaby Graci|
|The girls were playing ring-around-the-rosie, but of course, I was a day late & a dollar short in snapping this pic.|
|some out-takes of the Big Lee Kids picture...I swear, they are WORSE than the little ones when trying to get them all to hold still and look forward. uuugggh. :-)|
|Danielle was trying to get Macy settled for the gift opening...but all she wanted to do was RUN|
|Heather playing Santa's helper|
|All the kids watch closely as McKenzie opens her special gift.|
|almost time for the "never boring-usually intense & dramatic" women's gift exchange. brutal!|
|hmmm. What's Erika opening, that I might want to STEAL next?|
|The gift I got was AWESOME!|
|I didn't get a close up photo of it...but picture this. A mason jar attached to the stem of a wine glass. The words "Redneck wineglass" engraved into it. LOVE IT!|
|oh so classy & PERFECT!!|
|Macy was once again super excited & fearless.|
|I think she's teaching him how to sign "thank you" here|
|Sweet Skyla gets a turn|
|Now big sis Kenzie...she is once again telling him all about this "dolly-doll".|
|Anna & Santa|
|some of the Santa after-math|
|a good picture of a smiling Colton...too bad that ugly momma had to crash it.|
|cute pic of Danielle|
|DOG-PILE on cousin Jackie!|
|aaaawwwww. Such a sweetie.|
|Looks like Madison's giving Santa an earful. She deserves EVERYTHING that came her way this Christmas.|
|Little Brook was very patient and quietly waiting for his name to be called. It was last. He still gave Santa this special cookie for his return trip home.|
|Santa & Dylan|
After a wonderful Lee Family Christmas Celebration, the presence of one VERY special member of our family was sorely missed. Aunt Kim was not (and understably so) in the partying mood. Her sweet face, gentle spirit and warm smile was noticeably absent. She is still grieving the loss of her precious son, Richie, who passed away the week prior. His loss is still weighing heavily on all who were at our Christmas gathering, perhaps making the event a bit more somber than in years' past.
We decided as a family that we still wanted to convey the message to her that we are thinking of her and love her dearly. We wanted to make a small gesture and share a small amount of Christmas spirit. We cleaned the party up, cleared out and caravaned over to her home. Where we gathered quietly in her front yard. Once we all arrived, Jan went in and asked her to please come outside. She was surprised to see her entire "Lee" family standing in silence having a candle-light vigil in Richie's honor. There may have been over 60 of us. We also sang a Christmas carol. We were genuinely hoping that this would be recieved well as our intention was to brighten her day, if only for that short moment. We didn't stay long, we didn't even go inside (she has been through A LOT this last week & her home has played host to hundreds of people, I can only imagine how emotionally and physically exhausted she was). But I do know, by her warm hugs, sweet smile, this.time.happy tears & kind words to all, that she very much appreciated our gesture and outreach.
This is the exact thing that makes our "big Lee family" so great. We truly do love and care for each so very much. Our Grandma & Grandpa Lee instilled some amazing values into their eight children. Although they are no longer with us, here on Earth, Phil & Bob's core value's, family principles and life lessons are still being passed down through the generations.
I want to leave you with a few beautiful photos of Kim & Richie. May he rest in peace and may Kim find a small amount of comfort and solace in knowing that Richie is in a good place up in heaven and is looking after and watching over her, his sister & nieces & nephew daily.
|Richie with just a few of his favorite people.|