Bruce & Betsy Blais
Richardson, Texas USA

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Family Events - 2009

In addition to the Southeast vacation and Camp Clearfork vacations, there a few other things going on in 2009. These included holidays, birthday parties and other fun events. If it seems like we have a lot of birthday parties, we do. It is a tradition around here.

Zach's Birthday

Our close friend, Zach, hit the big 5-0 in February, so we decided to throw him a "retirement center" party. Everyone dressed up as retirement center residents and as the guest of honor, we got Zach a walker and hospital gown. Here he is with a two of the grand kids.

There were a number of party games with prizes for the winners. We played a "hip" version of pin the tail on the donkey called "Pin the Fro on the Bro" using Zach's picture. Here's Tim in action blindfolded.

Another of the party games was to see who was fastest feeding their partner M&Ms while wearing work gloves.

You can't party without food and here's a shot of the "residents" assembled for dinner.

And at last, blowing out the candles and serving cake and ice cream.

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Ilse's Birthday

Betsy is a part-time care-giver, and we had a an 80th birthday party at the house for one of her ladies. Here is Ilse with here son and some friends.

Ilse with her son, daughter-in-law and grandson.

Ilse with Betsy.

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Tim's Birthday

Yes, we have a lot of birthday parties. Here are a couple of photos made at Betsy's son, Tim, at his 46th birthday party in April of 2009.

Candles, cake and ice cream

Opening presents.

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Mother's Day

Betsy loves the garden and butterflies, so for Mother's day, she got a couple of acrylic butterflies we saw at the Bluebonnet festival in Ennis that year. Here they are displayed with the copper arch.

Not being "thrilled" with the look of the butterfly on the arch, we got an artificial rock and placed one of the butterflies on it.

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Alissa's Birthday

In May, it was Alissa's 10th birthday. We seem to have one every month. Her she is in the middle of a couple of friends.

Opening presents.

And the cake.

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Bruce & Chris' Birthday

In June, it's Bruce's and Chris' turn for birthday parties. Here's shot of Tim, Chris, Betsy and Bruce parting around the pool.

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Betsy's Birthday

In July, we are around to Betsy. Here is on taken at Tim's place.

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Bret's Birthday

Bret, out oldest grandson, had his 21st this year. Here's a shot of him with his mother.

And one with his grandma . . .

Time to open presents . . .

And finally, it's the cake and ice cream . . .

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Thanksgiving this year was spent at Tim's. This was a family effort, sparing Betsy the effort of hosting the event.

The photo below is of Ariana, Bruce, Anna (L-R, back) and Holly and her son Bret in front. Anna and Holly are kids, and Ariana and Brett are grandchildren.

Betsy "supervising" her son Tim in the kitchen.

Everyone at the table except the photographer.

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Ariana's Birthday

Ariana turned 14 this year and her party pics will be up shortly.


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A lot happened in December. Betsy hosted her women's group from church and her neighborhood Bunko group, so we had to have the house decorated by December 5th. Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving were intense, but you can see the results below.

Here is the first of several photos of the family room. This first one shows the entry into the kitchen.

Here is another showing the fireplace.

Another photo showing the tree.

The entry and manger.

The dining room table before Christmas dinner.

Outside, the lights went on the house and landscape. Since it snowed on Christmas Eve, the "snow pictures" go in this year. The one below is at dusk on Christmas Eve as the snow was falling.

The photo below is at sunrise Christmas day. It doesn't look like the 2" we got because most of the snow in the open areas blew away in the 30-50 MPH winds.

Snow is a big deal around here because it doesn't happen that often. The 2009 event was the first recorded "measurable" snowfall on Christmas Eve since they started keeping records in 1898. The last measurable Christmas day snowfall was in 1926.

Below is the deck on December 25th. Since it the back yard and deck were sheltered from the wind, you can really see the amount of snow that fell. The reported snowfall was 2.5" and the table measured about 2.1". The irony of Texas weather is that 36 hours before it was 75F and perfect deck weather.

The common expression around here is that there is only a few silos and a bit of barbed wire between here and the Canadian border, there isn't much to slow these "norther's" as they come down the plains. A few days later the show was all gone and we were were back to nice weather.

Granddaughter Alissa and her "monster" snowball.

 . . . and her miniature snowman.

As is the family tradition, the kids and grandkids come over for the family gift exchange. Here is one of grandma and her hubby at the beginning of the festivities.

Grandma with her three kids.

All of the guys.

The gift exchange

Christmas dinner

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Version 0.3, November 28, 2009