Holiday post #1

Oker dokers, here’s a start on a chronicle of our great holidays so far this year.  New Year’s Day is the one day out of the year when my whole family gets together.  Usually there is not another time that we are all in one place at the same time.  If there is a wedding, we are all together at the wedding, but there is so much going on, there isn’t as much wonderful visiting and family time as there is on NYD.  Hence, we strive to always take a family picture then.

Here is this year’s family picture.

Let me say that group picture taking is not a painful process with our bunch.  Efficiency is the middle name of many of my sisters, and it shows.  We placed the people and shot the pictures in about 5 to 8 minutes.  Then it was done.  People were free to breathe and move.  A couple of my sisters who were overseeing this entire event knew what time the picture was scheduled for.  So, prior to that time, they put the chairs in place, figured out who was going to stand where, got the tripod and camera placed, and then, bingo!  The time rolled around and they called names and each one was placed and the pictures were taken.

Let’s see, what else was there.  We had voted to add into the schedule of events a song time.  So, for about 1/2 hour prior to lunch, we sang some songs.  We even blazed through “Blow Your Trumpet, Gabriel” even though I had never sung or heard it before.  I followed Lucy, who I noticed has become quite advanced with sight reading and timing since she started studying music out there in Wyoming (I guess they teach something other than yodling ’round the fire out there.).

Our lunch was ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, grean beans, rolls, and pies.  Here is the food line.

After lunch and the picture, then the schedule was for the tiny people (Bobby, Paul, & Hannah) to open their gifts.  Then, it was Grandma and our parents.  After that, all men-folk opened their presents.  The ladies were all to open theirs next, but I interrupted the schedule to present a giant present to everyone from Andrew and me.  I say a giant present because of the amount of time that went into it.  It was actually as small as a thin little DVD.  I collected the Gardner Home Videos, raw footage shot back at the farm over the last 10 years or so, on old VHS tapes.  I fed them into the computer (my wonderful husband got me a new computer for our anniversary this year so I would be able to do this), then I cut and diced and clipped and snipped and hacked and then patched back together the interesting and nice pieces.  I pruned it down to about 70 some minutes.  A lot of it was so hilarious, especially for us siblings who remember the events surrounding what was tapes.  I have been working on that since July.  And, that’s what was going on in this picture:

I can’t begin to count the hours and days I have spent on this.  That’s why I haven’t blogged much recently.  I have had to devote a lot of time to wrapping this thing up.  I finally finished it and got all the DVD’s burned on Sunday.  Every time I thought I just about had it all in the bag, something would break.  Different sections would foul up when I encoded it (It would play a piece twice, move all my titles, play parts that were not there) and I just about lost my mind a few times.  Andrew always rescued me and would figure a way to prevent the problem–but I always had to go back to my raw footage and piece by piece fix it, and then encode it again.

So, there’s my short spiel about the Gardner Video Project.  Now, wanna hear something?  I thought I had all the Gardner home videos.  I had Katie comb the library (she was the only one who knew anything about this) back this spring and get them all to me.  Well, after showing this on NYD, I found out that Miriam as two  Gardner home videos as her house!  Yikes!  She is going to get them to me, and I hope to get them fed into the computer and worked around before I forget how to do this stuff.

So, after that, all the ladies opened presents.  Then we visited and some people played games, some took a walk.  I wanted to take a walk with my sisters, but I knew my little people would soon be getting up from their naps (I had put them down for naps during the movie), and I needed to be gathering up our possessions before I had to feed them supper.

Here are some random pictures from NYD.

Gail & Grandma Gardner

Rachel picking turkey.

Bobby & Hannah

Katie & Paul singing during our song time.

Julia & Hannah


Let me just pause here and give mountains of credit to my sister Miriam (along with Laura & Lucy).  These three were the committee that put together the greatest NYD bash we have had yet.  It went so well and we all enjoyed it.  They organized it, planned it, and oversaw the execution of it from start to finish.  I have to say that I think Miriam put the most blood, sweat and tears into it.  She has been excellently organizing and preparing for both the cleaning days and NYD for the last couple months.  I don’t know how she did it all.  She had a manila folder about 1/2 thick with organized lists for each day, event, time, etc., and she consulted them and let us know what to do when.  And it all went so smoothly and nothing missed a beat.  A great time and food for 23 people doesn’t just happen on without some planning and work.

Julia (if you call the RMH switchboard, you’ll likely

talk to her.)

This family photo is supposed to have Mr. Park in it, but

he is hiding behind James on the right.

Hannah & Paul playing with the Honey Bees

(graham crackers)–and eating some too!

(Paul was loading them into a dump truck.)


Hannah just loves this doll from my parents.  When she first saw it, she just laughed and laughed.  She still laughs when she sees it.

I need to add that our little Hannah (well, she’s not very little, she’s at the top of the heap, per her 9 mo. check up last Tuesday.  She’s 25 lbs. 4 oz, and 30 inches and some fraction of an inch long.  She’s >95% on both height and weight.) started crawling today.  So, if I don’t get the vacuuming done, I have a little duster going around eating every little snit and whatever misses her mouth clings to her clothes.  Paul and I vacuumed this evening!

Have a happy new year, folks!

3 Responses to “Holiday post #1”

  1. Davene says:

    What a fun party! I think that’s a wonderful tradition that your whole family gets together on NYD. I can’t even remember the last time my whole family was together, and we only have four siblings to coordinate with!

    Where was this gathering? Is this your parent’s house?

    It’s so funny to me to see these pictures of your sisters, most of whom I only remember as little girls from way back when. They’ve certainly grown up, and you all are a beautiful family!

  2. Crystal says:

    I love seeing the whole family! And the DVD you put together – wow! What a great gift!

  3. Sally says:

    Yes, Davene, this is at my parent’s house.