The term "it’s all down hill from here" is coming to life! I know it was the beginning of November a few days ago and now it’s December! It seems as if we’re on a huge toboggan slope headed for the end of the year. I tried to skip past my birthday, but those who love me dearly just wouldn’t let me get by without a little celebration. How in the world can you celebrate when the numbers keep getting bigger? I’ve decided I’m going to be 49 for the next 25 years and forget that the exterior doesn’t match the interior!I have to say I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The first batch of kids arrived on Wednesday night and the rest dribbled in over the next few days. Everyone took care to spend time with Scott before he heads overseas. It was a sad but wonderful weekend.Wednesday night the kids wanted a campfire, hot dogs and s’mores, so that’s what we did. Our city visitors are always amazed by the countless stars that are so clearly visible in the sky. Many have never seen the Milky Way. It was a busy night for falling stars as well. At the end of a cozy evening by the fire, everyone headed for their spot for the night.Thursday was our big dinner day. I had anticipated just having Russ and me for dinner, instead we had 12. That is a much better number. Our daughter Christine brought her new beau Bobby. He is a polite young man who has been brought up to remember his ma’ams and sirs. That doesn’t mean there are no problems. It just means some parents did their best to rear a respectful young man. My son Shane and his wife Danna brought my giant grandchildren. Danielle is about 5’9” and my 11 year old Sarah is 5’7.5”. I am most definitely the midget in the family! They brought their ATV buddies Chris and his wife, Kathy. The girls had a great time on those fun things. They’re not real good for the hunters in the area, but we weren’t hunting. Chris did go out Thursday afternoon and managed to shoot a nice young buck. He was one happy camper! Mark and Tracy arrived early Thursday morning and unwound from their long trip from Houston. Once again we finished the day around the campfire.Since the Dallas kids had to head for home I decided the rest needed to help me get the gate ready for Christmas. It went so well I may make this a new tradition. Tracy held the dog Rusty while we worked our magic. Tracy is part of a rescue society in Houston. They work with Aussies. They are a very popular dog, but not bred for passive environments. They need to be kept busy. If they are not doing something, they become a problem. That’s when people get rid of them. Their new dog Rusty has socializing issues, but he did very well this weekend. I think the ham and turkey treats helped with the process! This dog was a country dog, but his owners moved to the city so they left him behind. He is very gun shy, so I can only imagine why! I may have Tracy keep her eye open for one here at the house.Saturday my last group of family arrived. My grandson Jake, his wife Darby and my great grandson, Luke came to visit granny. Children bring a new level to the life of a house. I sang Itsy Bitsy Spider at least 200 times much to his delight. He just turned two and is taking his time speaking, but when he stands in front of you and spiders his hands up the spout; well you sing!Everyone headed for home around 4:00. Scott and Russ went to San Antonio to check out his house. It is being rented by a new renter and he wanted to do some electrical work. So who else do you take but Dad? I wasn’t prepared for his return and my delegation for a return trip on Sunday. So my Sunday, after church, was spent on the road. It’s time for bed and I’m writing as quickly as I can. I can truthfully say I am worn out. At least I won‘t have to cook tomorrow. We can eat leftovers!We’re headed for Tuscola on Friday to play football. I’m not sure why they picked 5:00 p.m. as the game time. That will make it difficult for those of us with jobs to attend.The cheerleaders took time over the holidays to decorate our town and let the world know this is Coyote country. Can you believe some disgruntled citizen tore down some of the decorations?! I know some folks out there dislike the school, the coaches, our principal etc., but no one should take out their dislike on the kids. Those girls worked hard to decorate; it should have been left alone. Shame on you whoever you are. UIL competition starts this week and will culminate for elementary next week. Study hard kids and make us proud! We are Coyote strong!I gave Stanley an extra big hug this morning. The Butler family will be missing Dale at the Christmas table. Elisa Draper tells me that her grandson Ashton is doing better. He is scheduled to go back for another exam on his heart. Please keep him in your prayers. Harold Hardeman is having heart issues as well. We still have many fighting cancer so they need our prayers as well.Please pray for our government, our President and our precious troops. These are perilous times for all our service men and women. I’m still missing about 10 pictures for our Warrior’s Wall at church, so all you proud parents get this in to me soon. As the mother of a soldier I can tell you that it makes me proud to hear someone say, “Thank you for your service.” to my son. So if you get the chance, pass on a little pride. They and their families are paying a tremendous price. Please pray for rain and for all our leaders. Please God, continue to bless your country. Have a great week everyone.