My Family Album

 This is my cousin Kathy's husband, Sam, with his dad, Ross. We just spent a very nice Thanksgiving afternoon with them.
sam-and-dad-2-jpg Ross kept telling me he was going to charge me for all the pictures I was taking of  him. I told him to put it on my bill.
 Alba is Sam's mother. She was in the kitchen a lot  She cooks a great stuffing! I just had to get her recipe . . . as if I'm going to cook a turkey.alba-thanksgiving.jpg
Okay, maybe I will tomorrow.
Here's Kathy!

She was  the overseer of today's  feast - And what a feast it was!

Turkey of course,
which I already said was Alba's specialtykathy-thanksgiving-2006,
mashed potatoes and gravy,
sweet potatoes, two kinds
two different kinds of cranberry dishes, too.
Can't forget the pumpkin pie.

Delicious dinner! Great company!

What more can you ask for?
This is Sam's sister, Maria, and her husband, Mike. David and Mike had a great time talking racing. Bet you thought I was going to say, "Talking Turkey!" They just ate a lot of that.

maria-and-mike-thanksgivinMaria and Mike are from the Pittsburgh area. So are Alba and Ross. For that matter . . . so are Kathy and Sam, and since I was born there and David and I both went to school there, I guess we are, too.
It's the Pittsburgh Conection. 
christmaslights06                                                          We traveled 16 hours to get to our Christmas destination. Seems like that's half way around the world, but we didn't even leave the country. Getting to Taos, New Mexico is no easy feat. With no direct flights, traveling becomes a real adventure. christmaspilot

We left our home at 10:00am. We'd heard of extraordinary lines this holiday season, but actually the airport was very calm with few people. Still, it was better to arrive early and not worry about missing our flight, which is what our friends did on Monday. To keep busy and to spread a little holiday cheer, I brought about 15 picture books and passed them out to children in the airport. (Publishers send me tons of books for possible review in my picture book review column, called Teacher's Pets on This was a great way to distribute the books. What fun to watch the happy smiles!

Our flight departed on time at 1:30pm and arrived in Houston, Texas at 4:30pm. Because it was Christmas Day most vendors in the airport were closed--except for Pizza Hut which had a half hour line. We waited. We finally boarded our final flight to Albuquerque. You didn't think there was an airport in Taos . . . did you? Our son, Jared, picked us up and we made th 3 hour long trip through the mountains to Taos. We arrived about 2:00am. (4:00am EST) A long, long trip!

We slept late the next morning, which was hard on Treska and Kaya, our granddaughters, who wanted to start Christmas all over again. They already celebrated their family Christmas on Christmas Day, but they christmastree09knew that Granny and Grandpa came bearing gifts, too. And they had some of theirs, which they made, that they couldn't wait to give.

So, after a
cup of coffee and a yummy breakfast burrito, it was time to rip off the paper and share the surprises. Soap and shirts, magnets and poems, and homemade knitted blankets were some of the presents. It took about three hours to unwrap all those gifts. As each person took a turn, the rest of us oohed an aawed and listened to the history of the origin of the gift. A whole lot of love was flowing around that room that morning.

 David and Jared--having a quiet moment.       christmasdavidjared  Wechristmastreskakaya  love you, Mom.
christmaskayablanket  Kaya loving the new blanket her mom made.

christmaskierstenheart2Kiersten with a lavendar-filled heart Treska made for her.
David and Donna -- so happy together. christmasdonnadavid2 christmasfalko It's my size.

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