All because two people fell in love...

We met in February 1989, started dating in May, and got married in September. And Josh came *almost* 11 months later, just in case y'all were wondering. And then no more came. We waited, and waited, and then Lauren decided to make her debut in May 1995 (5 weeks early), and then Kayley 1997, Jacob 1998, Krissy 2001, Lindsey 2004 & Joey 2006. We lived in Texas until 2005, and then we moved to Arkansas, just about 25 miles north of Texarkana, Texas. Fortunately all my children are Texans (and my handsome husband) because Texans are just cool. Wish I was a Texan... but husband had to settle with a California gal, which I think is pretty cool too.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Christmas day this year was a bit different for our family. Josh didn't like it for the most part because it was to boring. It was rather boring, but in the end, I think it will be fine. I'm actually writing this before Christmas Day is even over. Let me go back to a few weeks ago...

Shawn came home from work and told me that he most likely will have to work on Christmas. He kind of knew he might have too, but he was really hoping he wouldn't have too. He is at a new hospital this year, and unlike St. Joe's, everyone takes turns working on Christmas Day. Shawn was always able to juggle his schedule so that he would be off on Christmas Day. Most of the time he worked Christmas Eve, but that was okay, because since we lived in Bryan (for most of the years) we just did all of our fun stuff at Mimi & Grampa's house later on Christmas Day when we went to their house. First year here, he was off because Christmas was actually on Sunday, and he didn't work weekends (which we loved), and last year we were at Killeen because of the baby being born in Bryan 2 days later. Shawn worked out his schedule so that he would be off Christmas Day, and not go back to work until that Saturday.

Christmas Eve day came, and everyone in Shawn's family was coming. All except 1 brother-in-law, 2 nephews & 1 niece. I told everyone to bring his or her favorite Christmas dessert, and I would provide the meal. I decided to still stick to the Pritchard Family tradition of having Cornish game hens, rice, broccoli casserole, cranberry salad, toss salad and rolls (which I forgot to get). At 4pm, I put the hens in the oven, and it wasn't pretty. I had to literally smash 9 hens in my bottom oven, as none would fit in my top oven. I had sprinkle them with a lemon-type spice that smelled really good, and then I basted them in butter, and oh my gosh, they were good!

Close to 4pm, Michelle (Shawn's sister-in-law, married to Jon) called to say that she and Kendall were coming up and they were bringing 2 extra people. I said OK, and really made my kids clean up better. I had no idea whom was coming. They get there, and we met 2 pilots who were "stranded" in Texarkana for the night. They were staying in a hotel, but Michelle (who works at the airport) didn't want them to be alone for most of the night, invited them to come. One was born in1984, and the reason I know that was because we were laughing at a picture that I have on the fridge of Shawn that Josh found of him at Shur-Way at a Christmas party in 1984. We were laughing at what he was wearing, and what we were doing in 1984, and the pilot said that was the year he was born. Wow!! So young!! The other one is from Phoenix originally, but lives in Houston at present time working for Continental. They both said that they had just been in College Station the day before, and I was "boohooing" as I told them I love the area and want to go back. They agreed that it was a nice place.

They also said they fly to Killeen often, and that they would be in Killeen later this week. I then told Michelle I needed 7 buddy-passes on Jan. 1st to Killeen, and she told me she would see what she could do. LOL!! It would be fun to fly, but not really. How would we travel once we are there? Michelle then said that it was easy for her to get passes to Houston from Texarkana, but that from Houston to Killeen was almost next to impossible since those flights are always full. Ramble, ramble, ramble...

We eat, and it was good. We then did the T'was the Night Before Christmas. We told them pilots that this was crazy, and they might be scarred for the rest of their lives, and never want children or a family, and they laughed. They all laughed through it, we all laughed through it, and it was so much fun. The little kids loved it. Then "Santa" (aka Uncle Jon) came in with 2 HUGE bags of gifts. I was so embarrassed because I really didn't have anything for them, but he said it was OK. I guess he did all the shopping, and loved doing it. The kids loved their gifts, and had so much fun with it. I'll have to remember this next year. Even Uncle Shane had gifts for us, and again, nothing for them. I mean, I got the 4cousins something, but that was it.

Then we do the Nativity story. Shawn's mom plays Away in the Manger in the background as Shawn reads the Christmas Story via the book that my mom got us a few years ago from Deseret Book, or something like that. Lauren took it upon herself to borrow the costumes from the church's activities closet, and had the kids practice, and also practice the song in the Children's songbook, The Nativity, or something like that. Lauren practiced and practiced playing& learning that song on the piano, and did a great job playing while all the kids sang it. I never really had heard that song before until this year, and I really like it. Side note: I also did the Ward Choir Christmas Program on the 16th, and we sang that song in the Dec. 2007Ensign called Guard Him, Joseph...and I think these 2 songs are my favorite this year, and for a long time.

Everyone was gone by 8pm, and dishes done, and kids in bed by 9pm. I told all my kids that Santa was going to be by at 10pm, and if they weren't asleep, he was passing by. Shawn was in bed too since was up early that morning deer hunting, and he may have to work the next day. Everything that I needed to do was done by 10:30, and I was asleep. I didn't sleep well because I kept thinking about how today would go if Shawn had to work. Shawn calls Sunday night to get his name as "first off". No biggie said the unit secretary. He was still to call at 4:30am on Christmas morning to see if they would still need him or not. "Sorry" he was told...2other people already called in this morning and beat you to it. WHAT? We called Sunday!! So, Shawn leaves for work.

I go back to sleep. About 7:30am, I go back to get a diaper for the baby, and tell Jacob to check his blood. By 8am all that was done, and kids came out to see what Santa left. Not much, as this was Santa's last stop, and he just didn't have a lot left (as I told the kids). It looked rather small compared to past Christmases, but I just didn't have the money. Kids were happy though, and loved the candy that was left, and the hands-on stuff that they got. It has kept them busy most of the day. At about 2pm, kids were getting kinda bored again, so I called Shawn to see if he mind if we opened some family gifts because I knew of a few games and some new DVDs & CDs. He said to go ahead, and all was happy with Harry Potter 5,Little Rascals, and new games.

Now at 6:30pm, we are getting tacos done waiting for Shawn to get home by 9pm, so that we can open the rest of the gifts. Yes, I have made my kids wait ALL DAY!! They certainly have not liked that, but they have been pretty cool with it. Shawn told me to have them open them, but I wanted him to be with us. He has to have some sort of Christmas today, even if it is 9pm!