New Years at the Neely’s

A full house! But they couldn't have made us more comfortable. I don’t think our family has ever had a more exciting New Years celebration! Nearing the end of our Florida trip, December 31 found us at the Neely household – experienced hosts indeed! You should have been there. We fit everything you can think of into that all-too-short two-night stay: Dutch Blitz, Settlers of Catan, Kings and Peasants, Occupations, pruning trees, transplanting blueberries, jumping on the trampoline, singing and making music together, and taking the infamous ride down their front hill in the “Red Mule.” Even Duck Duck Goose! We also had a great time laughing around their dinner table, sharing life’s most embarrassing moments :), and enjoying their constant supply of delectable food.

One ore for two brick? They caught onto Settlers very quickly! Who will get there first?!

The "beauty shop" quartet :-) Playing the handbells Good morning Titus!

Experimenting with a Mountain Dew bottleWe caught the entire process on video.Perhaps the most memorable event of all was blowing up their gingerbread house. Wild? Maybe. But a blast none the less! Preparing the concoction...The pyrotechnicians in the family had discovered that you could create quite an explosion by combining balls  of foil with a Let's see if it works on a gingerbread house...special cleaning agent in a plastic bottle. All we had to do was take the experiment one step farther – why not place the bottle inside the gingerbread house! (It was no longer edible anyway. Otherwise it James caught the house in mid-explosion!probably would have met a different fate… 🙂 ) I personally was rather skeptical, thinking it would probably give a little pop and roll over. No way! It shot gingerbread, icing, and candy over 10 feet away!

Sweet fellowship in Christ!:-)Enjoying it... We won! The picture of the day!Preparing for the gunshots to usher in the new decadeHaving fun yet?Like father, like son

Are you mephithob... meshiboph... Mephibosheth?Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our visit. Thank you Neely Team for opening up your home and taking the time out of your full schedule to  encourage us with your gracious southern hospitality! You launched 2010 off to a thrilling beginning!

12-31-09_4238We all left with great anticipation of seeing them again!


  1. Elizabeth M January 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    What a HILARIOUSLY DELIGHTFUL visit!! It reminds me of Thanksgiving Day at the Potters… Except we didn’t blow up the gingerbread house. 😉

  2. Michael January 5, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    Well written, Daniel!

  3. Mom January 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    I get encouraged just looking at the pictures! Their hospitality was first rate. Maybe they’ll give us a chance to return the favor. Can’t wait until next time we see them all.

  4. Crystal January 6, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Exploding gingerbread house?! Must be another one of those homeschool experiments 🙂 Whose idea was it? Are y’all going to post a video of the event? With a “do not try this at home” disclaimer. 🙂

  5. James January 6, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    So much fun!

  6. Amanda January 8, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Wow! What a review! We truly had a FANTASTIC time with you all!!!!! It was a huge blessing to spend time with you; you are all so encouraging and refreshing to be around! I really enjoyed our spiritual discussions, and the whole “Star of Bethlehem” thing was extremely fascinating to study out together! Thank you for taking time to make us a part of your trip!!

  7. Joshua, Sarah, & Kenan January 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    Whoopee! What a thrilling adventure. We thoroughly enjoyed the photos and can tell that both the Staddon and Neely Teams left the weekend inspired in preparation for the opportunities of 2010!

    …..and what a creative way to dispose of Gingerbread houses – we’d of never guessed 🙂 – now whose idea was that?

  8. Kathryn January 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    I loved the picture of the pieces of gingerbread house flying everywhere! 🙂 I hadn’t seen that one before!
    I have to say that some of my favorite memories of our short days together were all of the meal times, where so much joy, enthusiasm, encouragement, and drama was displayed! :)I especially remember the last breakfast together – thank you, Robert, for leading in the discussion of spiritual gifts. It was inspiring to hear siblings praise each other by commenting on the different gifts God has specially placed within each person. I think of that time often and am always encouraged!! Can’t wait till next time!

  9. Michael January 11, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    You know, we could almost do another whole post on our tour of Mr. Neely’s workplace. That was fascinating! And I hope your blueberry plants do OK after all the disturbance. It was fun working with you all!


  1. The Neely Team » Blog Archive » The Blessing Week – Part 2 - January 11, 2010

    […] For more stories and  pictures, please visit the Staddons’ blog!! (We promise, it’ll be worth it just to see the incredible gingerbread-house-explosion […]

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