This is the first year that Mom has NOT put her Christmas cacti away in the dark for the autumn months. Truth be told, she forgot to do it. Of course, putting them in the dark never worked very well for her. The plants would bloom, but NOT for Christmas.
Well, guess what happened this year? They ALL bloomed for Christmas. In fact, the first buds opened on Christmas Eve.
This white one has a double bud on one stem!!!
And another flower that wants to stand up very straight and tall!
This is the newest cactus that Mom bought this summer when it was all in bloom. It doesn't have as many flowers as the other two do, but it still flowered for Christmas.
Here is a full view of the mantle over the fireplace in the kitchen. So pretty, Mom.
Since we posted photos of the many cards we received from our blogging pals last week (click HERE to see that post), a few more cards have arrived. Mom is keeping her fingers crossed that she didn't forget anyone. But if she did, we send great big thanks to ALL who sent us cards, email and snail mail.
A few new snail mail greetings:
Clockwise from top: Millie and Walter, Kat and Gus, and Aunty Yam.
From top to bottom: Tazo and the Merolli Family; Butterfly, Peekaboo, and Angel Smoky; and sweet Ruby and her Mom.
And some more via email:
Thank you all again so very much.
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with lots of good family time. We had a blast. The house was bustling with people for four days. Good food, lots of laughs, fun times, and new memories.
Jigsaw puzzles are always a big hit with all of our family. Here is one that was completed while everyone was here. The grandkids especially loved it since they recognized many of the books that Grandma, a.k.a. our Momster, read to them when they were younger. Even the adult kids remembered them. Another Santa Claus puzzle was started but not finished. Mom says no puzzle should go unfinished, so she is determined to get it done. It has a lot of dark areas in it so it is a tough one, but we know she will get it done.
Another activity that seems to be becoming a family tradition is a visit to one of the many Escape Rooms in our area. Everyone except Dad did this one on Christmas Eve morning. He had some last minute work stuff to finish. At Tick Tock Escape, they have the option to do a challenge. They have two identical rooms with the same setup. Two teams race against each other to finish first. One room had Mom, her two daughters, and the four youngest grandchildren. The other room had Mom's son, two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law, and the two oldest grandchildren. The room was called "Pyramid Paradox". Everyone agreed that it was quite challenging AND a ton of fun. And guess what? Mom's room won by 4 minutes and 33 seconds!!! Woo Hoo!!!
Family Fun Photo!!!
Now you may be wondering about us. We LOVE having the whole gang here. We get lots and lots of attention. Someone is always wanting to pet us or play with us or give us treats. We didn't get to share the main menus of chicken marsala and ham because Mom didn't want us to get sick. We did get some nibbles of shrimp and crab. But it was still fun to be with everyone. Even Lightning got in on the fun, whereas he used to always go to a quiet corner.
Now the time has come to put Christmas away until next year. We think our tree looks pretty sad with all the decorations removed. Mom is waiting for one of the sons-in-law to come over and get it to the basement for her.
Even the cute Santas and stuffies that rested on this hearth have disappeared. But once again, it gives room for us to sit nicely for Mom so we can get some of those tasty cookies we got for Christmas.
Woos - Lightning (yep, I am happily coneless since last Saturday and doing very well), Misty, and Timber