Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

It’s been such a long time since I’ve been able to sit here and write a little.  We’ve had so much going on around here, what with the many folks wanting Christmas portraits made, and then we’ve been taking turns being sick.  I guess we decided to quit taking turns, though, because we are all sick together now! 

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This is one of our FAVORITE portraits we did this season – isn’t this a great Christmas portrait for a Texas family???

We had a wonderful Christmas.  Pamela and Will were able to come the Thursday before Christmas and stayed until New Year’s Eve.  It was so good to see them and we had a great visit!  Will was in the beginning of illness when they arrived, and got worse, then better before they had to go home!  Of course, Pamela was sick by then!  It’s been a roller coaster of illness around here!  Now Pamela is at home sick, while Bill, Dannye, and I are here – sick!

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We did have such fun while the kids were here.  They arrived late-ish Thursday evening, but Pamela and Dannye Reigh decided they had time to cut Pam’s hair.  I think I was more afraid than they were!  It was unbelievable to me that they had the courage to do it, but they did it! Now, let me quickly say that Dannye does a whole lot of folks hair around here.  She cuts and styles hair for many of her friends and family, and does a beautiful job!  Up until now, though, she’s never cut very long hair down to very short hair.  Pamela’s hair was quite long, but not anymore!!  Dannye did a really great job on it!

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Friday, the girls met their precious friends Melody and Katie at Starbuck’s while Jeanne and I did some shopping – I wish it weren’t so, but I am a last minute shopper!  I just can never seem to get it all done before Christmas Eve!

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Dannye, Pamela, Katie, Melody and baby Nicole

Saturday was a very busy day for all of us!  Not only did we have our family Christmas Eve gathering, but Christmas dinner was to be at our house on Sunday, so we had lots to do to prepare for that, as well. 

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I got my girls a Christmas apron – they were so adorable! Both girls wore them during Christmas dinner prep, Dan here and Emily in Minnesota. 

We also wanted to Skype with Bo and Emily and the kids, because we had all gone in together to buy Bill a very special gift, and they wanted to see him open it. 

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He was completely thrilled with his Traxxas Stampede remote control truck!  It is hobby grade, so he can “supe” it up all he wants to!

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Can you tell how excited he was??

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Will enjoyed helping him unwrap it and put it together.  I think Will and Bo actually picked it out, at least they consulted together in the purchase.

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They piddled with it until they figured it out, but it had to charge for 8 hours, so they didn’t get to run it until the next morning.  Believe me, though – it only stops long enough to get re-charged!

After the grand opening of Dad’s gift, it was getting so late, so we sadly ended our Skype call with the kids and finished our family gift opening.  Will played Santa, and gave out the packages.

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Bill was overcome with excitement…

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Pamela kept telling Will to slow down so she could take a picture of him being Santa!  He is posing for her!

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Dan was the first one of our family to get this cold/allergy thing.  She was being a trooper here!

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Dannye Reigh loves earrings!

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And old movies!  BTW, don’t you love her fingernails?

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Will had his trusty knife available for cutting ribbons and tape. 

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Pamela loved her jewelry, too!

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And Bill is still excited….

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I got some beautiful jewelry, too!

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My kids know me well!

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Ah, he lives…Hey Dude! 

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More earrings for DanReigh!

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Dan got me this gift – the main thing I wanted.  This is a gorgeous red briefcase/computer case, and I can’t wait to get it all loaded with photography business!

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My Tater and I – she is such a Lovey!

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Dan gave Pamela this pretty, grey dress, and I gave Dan this pretty grey dress!  We just had to laugh…seems we have similar taste!

It was so very late when we finally made ourselves go to bed.  We had made plans to go to church Christmas morning, and our family was given the opportunity to sing during worship.  We love singing together, and love it even more when there are more of us to sing!  We really missed our Minnesota bunch – it seems to be harder when the rest of us are together.

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We got home as soon as we could, and found that Dave, Karla, and Jeanne were there ahead of us already preparing the food.  Karla had gotten her precious Mother’s dishes and shared them with us for our Christmas dinner.  They are just gorgeous!

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Bill and Karla talking camera talk.

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Michael and Will visited all evening – it’s wonderful that they enjoy each other so much!

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Busy in the kitchen.

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The Three Sibs!  Do we look like there is only a 22 month span from top to bottom?  I’m March, 1960; Jeanne is February, 1961; and Dave is January, 1962.  We never knew life without the others.  I am more thankful for these two now than ever, and just don’t know what I would do without them!

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Dannye Reigh is our resident firebug – she kept us warm all weekend!

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Dave brought the mistletoe, and we made good use of it!

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As did Michael and Amy….

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and Will & Pamela!

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Sweet Amy – I wish this was a full body pic so you could see the precious baby she carries.  Little Marissa is due in early April.

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The beautiful spread!

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Dannye’s elixir of life!

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Dave blessed the food, and thanked the Lord for our wonderful family.

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Always a kiss after the prayer

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Some might get a little carried away…

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Lots of visiting after dinner

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View from the crow’s nest

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Cleaning up to get ready for gift-giving.

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Kenny played Santa this time.

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My lovely sis-in-law, Karla, was ready for Santa!

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The Allens gave each family a movie themed gift – a pretty bowl with microwave popcorn and two DVDs.

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Bill is on his perch.

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Pam made this beautiful quilt for baby Marissa.

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Isn’t it great!

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Missy got a drawing book and pencils. She’s quite the artist, especially animals.

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My brother is a nut!  Pamela gave each family several mini loaves of breads and homemade apple butter – yummy!

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Gen’s (our nickname for my sister – long story) gift opening was kinda funny.  She had accidently seen my gift list, so she knew what I got her.  She was so sad, and couldn’t keep it from me that she knew what her gift was!

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She was still excited that she got a curling iron – hers had died awhile ago!

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The lovebird corner!

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Bill was overcome with excitement again!

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The man can truly sleep anywhere!

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He caught Dan taking pictures of him.

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Amy had made a luscious cheesecake – as you can see, we ate half of it that night!

Even though we have been ill off and on, we had a blessed Christmas season.  We all dealt with the sadness of missing our folks, but it seemed that when one of us was down, the others were up.  Mama loved Christmas, and this year we loved it for her.  Jeanne’s mother-in-law said something that gave me more peace than anything.  She told Jeanne that Mama was spending her first Christmas with Jesus.  It’s such a sweet thought.

I haven’t really had opportunity to dwell on this year we are facing.  We’ve just been so sick these last few days, and also had to shoot a wedding in the midst of the weekend.  In our family, we have a baby coming in 2012 – Jeanne will become a first time Grandma!  In our business, we already have 4 weddings booked this year – the first one is this coming weekend!  We’re praying for a good year for Petty Family Photography!  Mostly, we have no way of knowing what lies before us, but we do know WHO goes before us.  Our Lord is there, guiding, caring, loving us all the way.  “Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand; but I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know Who holds my hand!”

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So from our house to yours, may the year 2012 bring Love, Joy, and Peace; may you draw closer to our Lord Jesus Christ; and may our friendships grow deeper!

Love you all,


God bless your day!



About Petty Bunch

The Petty Bunch is what we have called our family since Bill and I (Janina) began our family back in the early 1980s. We have gone down many roads together - homeschooling our kiddoes, enjoying the freedom of entrepreneurship many years, working at "real jobs" other years. Through it all, we have been loved with God's everlasting love, and have found that underneath are His everlasting arms! We are blessed to have been married for over 36 years, and have 3 incredible adult children, a wonderful daughter-in-law, an amazing son-in-law, and SEVEN grandchildren: four precious granddaughters, three handsome grandsons - so far. We are empty nesters, still enjoy the life of an entrepreneur and the freedom it gives us to continue enjoying our kids and now, their kids!
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18 Responses to Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  1. loaine says:

    I enjoyed your post with all the photos.Looks like you had a wonderful time with family!Hope you all are soon feeling better,seems to be alot of”bugs”going around this winter.Blessings to you in the New Year!

  2. redladybug18 says:

    Such a wonderful Christmas!  From the food to the fellowship it looks delightful! I hope you all get better soon!  I can relate since I’ve got a sinus infection at the moment. Happy New year to you!

  3. ABAHM says:

    Happy New Year!  wonderful post with you all looking so happy together.  I give Danny awards for looking so beautiful when coming down with a cold.  I relate to the Skyping as we did that with Nick, Alicia, and Malachi too.  So thankful we can Skype about once a week or so and see the little guy in action. Bill sleeping on the stairs made me LOL…too funny.  Love all the pics of you smiling and laughing…you are so pretty!  We missed Bob’s parents a lot this year.  I think the memories of the past holidays do remind us of our loved ones, but in a good way.  Thankful for the years we had, and thankful they are with Jesus. Hope you all feel better soon! 

  4. AuntGen says:

    I loved reliving your (and my) holiday through pictoral documentation! That’s the advantage to having multiple talented photographers in the fam! I especially enjoyed the pics of your time with the kids and the ones of the progression of Bill’s mounting enthusiasm.  What a perfect gift y’all picked out for him!  The picture of the three of us at the sink was sweet and I might even enjoy a print of it!  Actually, all the pictures were special and I’m so glad you posted them.  Silly as it seems to say so, I am really missing y’all today, even though we see each other every week.  The clinginess of this season of life has made family day almost a must for me! Like you, I’m looking forward to this new year being a fresh start in a lot of areas, especially in my walk with the Lord Jesus.  P.S.  I hope you have the opportunity to do this again soon because I dearly love reading your on-line, xanga journaling.  Your love and grace for your family and friends, as well as for the people you work with in the PFP business are such a blessing and example to me and your deep love and devotion toward the Lord is what I aspire to.

  5. AuntGen says:

    Forgot to say I am so sorry for giving y’all the plague and to say I’m praying you’ll all be well soon! Love you!

  6. pettybunch says:

    @loaine – @redladybug18 – Thank you for the get well wishes! I think we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel today!@ABAHM – I always know you understand our hurting hearts over here!  But as you said, the reminders of our loved ones are so often sweet, fun memories! God is good all the time!!@AuntGen – Don’t be silly – you may have exposed us to the “plague” but it’s everywhere, and we’d probably have gotten it anyway!! I’m just glad YOU are better!!!!!

  7. Loved the post. Especially all the lovely pictures. I love the red/grey/white necklace you recieved! Reading over your post honestly makes my longing to be with my family much worse. It hasn’t truly felt like “Christmas” to me yet. (I know that must sound crazy since it is 3 days into the new year already) I’m counting down the days till I can lay my newest little one in my grandma’s arms for the first time. Knowing he is the first grand that will grow up not knowing my grandpa is hard to take but I too believe that Grandpa is spending his first Christmas with Jesus. And Since he passed away in early spring and Joshua didn’t arrive till the beginning of winter I like to think they already spent some time together. Thank you for the great update.  I love reading your post. I hope you are all over this awfulness very soon!

  8. So glad you posted! It was a blessed Christmas indeed! Love you!

  9. pettybunch says:

    @babybreathblossoms – Thank you, Mandi! Yes, it has been a bittersweet year for both of us!  And I have the same thoughts about it not completely feeling like Christmas – I miss my Minnesota kids and grandkids more than I can say!Dan and I are feeling much better today – I hope we haven’t done too much, but it sure felt good to get some things done around here!

  10. Wow, Nina, talk about amazing!  You have an amazing family!  I felt like I was right there enjoying your Christmas with you and getting to know everyone!  You are all talented and use your talents for the Lord, and you all enjoy each other and have fun!  And I sure do love those dishes on your Christmas table!  Hope you are all feeling better soon, and that you have a blessed New Year, knowing Who holds tomorrow!

  11. momstranz says:

    Hi Nina, Beautiful tree!  Fun to see the house as it is now, complete with fireplace, kitchen, and all the warm decorations. I think Emily has that same grey shirt/belt (from Pamela?), but hers is also a variation on the theme–maybe she could be photoshopped in!  =) Looked like a warm, lovely family time.  Couldn’t help seeing Nate and Em and the kids mixing a stirring among all the shots.  Their hearts will be homesick today!!  You did a beautiful job recording the day, lovely photos.  The quilt by Pamela for AJ is beautiful!  Just beautiful!  Emily’s pride and joy.  Darn the miles!  Shrink the freeway, move the center of the continent, our states must collide!  Much love from here, Pam 

  12. pettybunch says:

    @momstranz – I agree, Pam!  How I would love to share these holidays with y’all!  And if our states collided, then Pamela & Will’s home would be closer, too!  I miss you all – I’m a little jealous, yet somehow also thrilled – that Dannye Reigh has a trip up north already on the calendar!  I told Emily that I kinda live vicariously through my kiddoes!  Much love from this part of the world, too, Pam!

  13. VallejoGirl says:

    Loved this post!  And love the photos.  Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas with family.  Happiness abounds.  That’s what’s it’s all about, isn’t it?  Sorry your son and family couldn’t be there this year.  Do they try to come every other year?  Hoping you are all feeling better…we are BARELY on the mend.  I have never been this sick for this long.  It’s agonizing trying to sleep through the coughs and stopped up nose.  But of course, I’ll live…at least that’s what I keep telling myself.    I was gonna ask that picture of Pamela with the braid on your profile?  So cute!

  14. pettybunch says:

    @VallejoGirl – My son works in retail in Loss Prevention, so he is actually not allowed off during major holiday seasons.  The only reason we had them near Christmas last year is because my Mama passed away.  So we have to take our “holidays” with them during the off seasons.The little one with the braid in my profile pic is my oldest granddaughter, Arulai.  She was 3 at that time, now she is 4 1/2.  She definitely has my heart around her little finger!!Hope you continue to get better!

  15. Wonderful pictures!! Looks like your family had a great Christmas!

  16. grace_to_be says:

    oh, so much here! i scrolled through the pics but haven’t read yet.. reese just woke up so gotta run. but i’ll be back. 😉 {{hugs}}

  17. grace_to_be says:

    i just loved this~ a post full of so much happiness!! that first shot is crazy amazing. so LOVE.and then the last. 🙂 you’re beautiful~

  18. pettybunch says:

    @grace_to_be – You are sweet. Sweet and beautiful!

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