Sunday, December 14, 2008


Over the years, I haven't really written much about my late husband's side of the family. But anyone that knows me, knows that I have always felt so blessed to have married into his family. From the first day that I met his family, I knew that they were very special people. So kind and loving and supportive in every way. I think one of the things that most impressed me about his family was that they were non-judgmental and couldn't speak an unkind word against another, whether it be a family member or an acquaintance. They found good in everyone. And that to me, was rare. My family was a bit different. They talked about everyone! But that's a story for a another time.

My sister-in-law is 78 years old now and the only one left of her siblings. All three of her brothers have passed away, and she lost her husband two years ago. They never had any of their own children, but they were godparents to many. They adored all of their nieces and nephews.....and now great nieces and great nephews!

I'll call my sister-in-law Ruthie. Ruthie and I talk frequently. She sold her row home in the city and now resides in a beautiful facility where she can live on her own in a very cute little apartment. If at anytime she would need to be in the assisted living section of this facility, she could go there. And if the need would arise that she needed more than the assisted living, and had to go into a nursing home, she would be able to do that too. It's a great set-up for her. And she is happy there. She does very minimal cooking but if she wants to, she can cook as much as she would like to. She chose a meal plan that includes her dinner each day. She has many entree's to choose from and reports that the food there is delicious. She can use the shuttle there for doctor's appointments or to go to other areas on the grounds of the facility if she needs to. She used to take the shuttle to get to the chapel, but recently has found a way to walk to the chapel....she doesn't have to leave her building. She is a cradle Catholic and goes to the chapel several times a week. As you can see, she is self sufficient at this point and never wants to inconvenience anyone. I've always felt that she was saintly. She emits love and goodness to all she meets.

Ruthie invited all of the grandchildren to have Breakfast with Santa on Saturday. This was planned for a couple of weeks. The drive is about 20-30 minutes away and we needed to be there at 9:30 a.m. I arrived at Kelli's at 8:30 and my son John, brought L.J. over so that we could all make the trip in one car. We arrived there and went straight to where Santa was waiting for all the good little boys and girls. Santa greeted all of the children that came and individually took time to talk to each one of them. He posed for pictures and it was very relaxing. I thought that maybe L.J. would be a little afraid. But he wasn't at all. He got right up on Santa's lap and told him he wanted a "booed", translated to mean a bird. Gianna went right to him and gave him a big hug, sat on his lap and told him she wanted "little pet shop". Hailee asked if she had to tell Santa what she wanted.....we said, "YES YOU DO"! And as you can see from my banner picture, Hailee was talking away. Baby Elijah was not having any of this Santa thing. He lasted for about 5 seconds. Just long enough that mom-mom could get a picture of him starting to cry.

Elijah says, "Get me outta here"!

Santa, I want a booed!

Santa, please bring Dora Saves the Snow Princess Prance & Fly Pegasus!

A picture with Santa!

After breakfast with Santa, there was also a room that held a train garden. We walked down there and it was one of the best train gardens that I have even seen. There were two elderly gentleman there that had a large part in setting up the trains and were happy to answer any questions that we had. Here are a few of those pictures.

And the main entrance to the facility where Ruthie lives was decorated so beautifully. As you can tell from these would love living here!

Oh...wait! Look at this little cutie standing by a huge tree in the lobby!

It was a lot of fun for the kids and equally fun for us too. Making more memories with the ones we love at this beautiful time of the year.


Sandy said...

I LOVE this post. I enjoyed so much reading about Ruthie, seeing the kidsphotos, hearing what they told Santa...

wonderful BJ. I could feel the Christmas spirit.

Sandy said...

and....that one of Elijah sleeping is precious.

Love the trains too.

Brenda said...

I really enjoyed reading and seeing all the new things going on in your life. Ruthie has a wonderful place to live, and she does sound saintly. We don't often say things like that about someone unless they are true.
I LOVE miniature things, so I would have loved the area with all of that. I would have stood there looking for hours at it. I have seen on TV that we have a place like that here, and I would love to get a chance to go there. Our weather is kinda bad though and times are busy. So glad you got to do all of of this BJ.
I am sad because my updater on the side did not show me that you had this blog on Sunday. I just happened to go to my reader and find it.
I love the background color and your snow falling also!
Stay warm!

Rudee said...

What a beautiful post about family which is what this season is about. I was always sad we couldn't talk my mom into selling her house and living in a place like Ruthie. The community with neighbors is so important and makes people feel less isolated as they age.

I've said it before, your family is beautiful BJ. All of them look so sweet and kind. I hope Santa brings them all what they want-including a booed.

Marsha said...

I just loved this post and your wonderful comments about your beautiful sister-in-law. I agree it is so wonderful to have great in-laws!

The kids' visit to Santa are wonderful. Each and every photo is precious and I poured over them all. Baby E is getting so big! I also love the sidebar photo of mom-mom and E :-) The kids must have really loved the train room, it is just a mini wonderland. All of the decorations, etc, really show this complex to be a wonderful place to live. Is the "hat tree" handmade creations from residents that will be donated to needy children? It is such a neat looking tree any ways, but especially if that is the case.

I enjoyed this post and wish you a wonderful Christmas with family and friends!

The Crusty Crone said...

Thanks so much for sharing what looks like was a great breakfast with Santa. (and oh-those-darling-cutie-pies!!)

And ohmygosh... that train setup looks awesome. A complete city. Amazing!!

cat's momma said...

I thoroughly enjoyed all the pictures and all you wrote about! It sounds like an ideal setup for Ruthie and she sounds wonderful!

You got great photos of the kids with Santa and that train garden would go over so big with Hannah who is a train NUT! Loved it all!

Wanda said...

Oh my BJ, what a adorable and delighful post. How Aunt Ruthie reminds me of my dear Aunt Cassie.

The picture are so wonderful, I felt like I had joined you for breakfast with Santa.

Lovely time of year.... just lovely!

Love and Hugs and Christmas cheer!!

Mary said...

BJ, I think little Elijah stole the show for me. How many times have we seen little children cry on Santa's lap? LOL! But, your sister-in-law Ruthie is very lucky to have you. I like her arrangements and wish my parents had time to plan for the same.

Oh, I can hear the excitement in your voice. Christmas with children is the best! I'm looking forward to those times again :o)

Tell me, how is Harford Mall and White Marsh Mall? I haven't been to those malls since 2002. Visited Townson Town Mall occasionally but didn't like that parking deck too much.

Merry Christmas to you!


Amber said...

The kids are so beautiful! awwww