Season's Greetings from The Britton Bunch

Britton Bunch
Christmas 2004 Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

Holiday Greetings from the Britton Bunch! Hope this finds all blessed with good health, much happiness, and many blessings.

Every year I plan on sending out Christmas cards and a letter, but the holiday season gets away from me too quick. This year, I think I finally made it. I think it has been about 10 yrs since I got Christmas cards out. Shame on me!

We are all well and our home and children continue to grow. DeWayne and I are growing too - older that is! Shalee is 14, and in the 9th grade this year. Chase is 11, and in the 6th grade this year. Kaylee is 9, and in the 4th grade. Caleb is 7, and is in the 1st grade. Bethany is 5, and is in Pre-Kindergarten. Hadassah is 3, and can keep up with the best of them. And last but not least, Abriannah is 15 months old. She keeps us all on our toes!!

We have so much to be thankful for, as we are all healthy. DeWayne celebrated his 2 yr. Anniversary since having his heart attack on December 9th, 2002. We are so thankful that God has let us keep him around a while longer, as we are all pretty attached to him!!

In October, we celebrated our 5 yr. Anniversary in the home that we built and continue to finish. Hopefully, one of these days we will have it finished! We did most of the work on it. That had always been DeWayne's dream since living in Lubbock, TX and building houses during college. We owe a lot to Mark Miller for giving DeWayne a lot of guidance, patience, and support way back then!

Come this February, we will have been living in Los Alamos, NM for 11 yrs. We never thought we would be in one place for so long, especially after moving 17 times in 13 yrs. of marriage before we finally settled down and built a home of our own. It has been great not to have to move!!! We still long for the country life, however. We both grew up in the country on farms in Colorado and we both long to be back in the country. Maybe one of these days, before our kids are all grown and gone, that will happen. Los Alamos has a population of 18,000-20,000, so it is pretty small. We live in a great place for a couple of old country kids. We just happen to live right across the road from the county’s horse stables. And behind our house runs a long dirt road and hills, used by motorcycles and four-wheelers. Baseball fields are directly behind that. Next to the horse stables are a soccer field and a big park, along with a BMX bike park.

DeWayne works for a company called Data Ventures. It is a part of Coca Cola Bottling Co. He is a Senior Software Analyst there. After his heart attack, he decided that he wanted to live a little on the wild side so to speak and not just work all the time, so he bought himself a motorcycle. When we take it home to Colorado and he rides it through the fields and down the roads I have to wonder if I am married to a 42 yr. old nut going on 18! I tell him he is going to , but he assures me he would rather go that way than by another heart attack! He also took up golf lessons for a while, but with 7 kids to keep him busy, he hasn't had much time to play golf. At least with his motorcycle he can ride it with his boys. Bethany and Hadassah love to ride it with him too. He has more hobbies than the average guy, but even more kids than the average guy, so he doesn't seem to get to too many of his hobbies on a regular basis. I guess this is the busy season of our lives right now! They say children keep you young, I hope so because we would really like to keep DeWayne around for a long, long time!

Shalee, 14, our oldest, is crazy about horses, and dreams of raising and training horses someday. She has a horse named Zorah, which means "a hornet", and that quite adequately describes Zorah. She is a real pill, but Shalee is learning lots from her. Shalee had another horse that she lost last year. Shalee had had her for 4 years and she was the sweetest thing. It felt like we all lost a member of the family when we lost Diamond to colic. Shalee, Chase, and Kaylee spend many hours, across the road, at the stables, as they also have a business in which they take care of other people's horses, feed and muck, etc. Shalee has also done some boarding for other's horses. She has learned a lot and seems to have found her bent in life. The local vet told her to give him a call in the spring and he might have some work for her too. When she isn't over at the stables or reading up on horses, she is busy with her art work, or tracking down horses that came from my Granddad's line (pedigree) of horses (he raised horses for a living and had some very good blood lines). Shalee dreams of buying a horse from one of those lines one of these days and starting her own herd. She is a very talented artist, and of course her favorite subject is horses. She is a great big sister and all the kids know they can count on her, as she is almost always happy to help them. She is our family bread baker and loves to cook, which her mom thinks is great!

Chase, 11, our oldest boy, is into Bull-riding, and motorcycles. No, his folks haven't let him on a real bull yet, but he has tried his hand at one of those motorized bulls. He thinks he would really like to do that, if he could only get his folks on board! He does, however, have a motorcycle, and spends lots of his summer hours on it behind our house. Even though we live in town, it quite often doesn't feel like we do. Chase also enjoys roping and spends lots of time honing his roping skills. He thinks he would like to try his hand at team roping too. Mom is much more excited about that than Bull-riding!! He just needs a horse. Chase is also starting to get into RC airplanes and that gets DeWayne really excited, as flying is still one of DeWayne's loves. Chase is a very laid back kid, with a very humorous personality. He is always looking for a prank or joke to pull on his folks or siblings. God knew both DeWayne and I needed him, as he has brought a house full of laughter to our serious sides! If it can be thought of, Chase will think of it! He is a great team leader for our crew of kids. His siblings always look to him for leadership, and his is very trustworthy, even if he often looks for a mischievious angle.

Kaylee, 9, our second girl, loves to sew and embroider, and do any type of crafts. She also is a very dramatic young lady! She too likes horses and has a horse of her own named Anitta, although she doesn't have the same passion for horses as her older sister. She loves to read books and act out movies and stories. Her favorites are acting out the Bible and History movies from NEST Entertainment and books from the Hank the Cowdog series. Her older siblings tend to roll their eyes at her dramatics at times. She makes her dad and I chuckle sometimes with her antics, which can sometimes embarrass her, if we try to be dramatic along with her! Her little sisters love to play with her because she isn't afraid to play pretend with them. She is starting to learn her way around the kitchen, which is wonderful, although cookies right now her specialty.

Caleb, 7, our second boy, is at the age of loving to do anything that his big brother does. He loves to ride his bike out back on the dirt hills, build more daring jumps with his trusty shovel, ride on the back of his brother's motorcycle when his dad okays it, or better yet with dad on his motorcycle, and practice his bull-riding skills on the trampoline, with his big brother being his bull of choice for the time being. Mom prefers not to watch this last one and wonders how long it will be before one of them needs stitches??? Little boys, they have to challenge and conquer everything, or at least try! Caleb is also very crazy about buffalos. He has been crazy about them since he was 2 yrs. old and saw one through a fence, all 6 ft. of it! He also loves to work with his daddy in the workshop. Both of our boys love to work with wood alongside their daddy. Maybe it is in the blood. Caleb got started young, as he wasn't even 2 yrs. old when we were building our house and he loved to help his daddy vacuum the cement floors with his woodshop vac. A little bag of m & m candies, and he would happily stay all day "helping" Daddy. He still loves to help DeWayne! You'll never find a happier weed puller either! When he notices weeds coming up in our rocks in the summer, he actually asks us if he can pull the weeds, amazing!! Caleb is a real sweet little boy. Our kids say he has "soft feelings". He is the easiest going kid you will ever meet, and the easiest person to get along with a real sweetie. He is never in trouble, unless he has unwisely gone along with a bad idea his big brother has cooked up for mischief!

Bethany, 5, our third girl, is pure little girl and pure tomboy all wrapped up together. If her brothers can do it, she can do it, in her mind anyway!! She can jump the biggest dirt jump they can, is handy with the shovel, and can play football and tackle her brothers too, but she can rock a baby doll with the best of them. She even has that motherly little sway down to a tee! She loves to play with her baby dolls and rocks them, changes them, nurses them, etc. She is a very loving little mama and big sister to her two little sisters. She is a big help to her mama too! But, if the boys are going outside to play football or ride their bikes, she is right behind them! She is also our orneriest girl, and loves a good old-fashioned prank, just like her big brother Chase. She can get the best of Caleb at times with her oneryness, but for the most part she is a sweet little girl, that dotes on her daddy's hugs and loves tea parties!

Hadassah, 3, our fourth girl, is a talker!!! She says the most amazing things and has the most amazing vocabulary for a 3 yr. old. She is always shocking her mom and dad and older siblings. DeWayne and I get such a kick out of some of the things she comes up with!! Perhaps it is being number six? I don't know, but she always keeps us laughing and guessing where she came up with half the things she says. She also seems to understand the big words she uses and how to use them just right. Last year, when I was teaching Caleb to read, she sat next to us every day for a month and learned too. She could remember from day to day what I was teaching and was starting to read. I was thrilled and so proud of her. She is also a cuddle bunny. She loves to cuddle and snuggle on your lap anytime you're sitting down. Whether I am reading to the kids or helping them with their school, she loves to snuggle on my lap and just listen and grin at us. She also likes to snuggle on my lap when I am feeding Abby. Her name, Hadassah, is found in the Bible. It was Queen Esther's Jewish name. It fits her sweet, loving personality very well!! She too dotes on her daddy's hugs!

Abriannah, 15 months, our fifth girl, is a very, very busy little girl!!! She spends her days jabbering and bossing Hadassah and playing, making lots of messes! I have discovered that I can't seem to both, homeschool 5 children and keep a tidy house with our little Abby on patrol!! This shall pass though, as she gets older. She is our strongest-willed child!! She is a real sweetie too, don't get me wrong, but she also has a very strong opinion on what she thinks she ought to get to do!! Kaylee also has a strong-willed streak, but not to the extent of Abby. Abby is the apple of her older siblings eyes. I think that the Lord knew I needed lots of patience, so He blessed my life and our home with 7 wonderful children. Each of them are so different, and each such a precious blessing to our lives. DeWayne and I are so thankful for each of them and for each of the wonderful and sometimes difficult things that each of them have taught us!! I think that is why God calls children a "blessing", because with each new addition, God has something wonderful for your life!! Something so special and so amazing that you just wouldn't have, couldn't have imagined it 9 months before!!

In case ya'll are wondering, I don't homeschool our children all by myself. I am blessed with a wonderful husband that is as involved in their schooling as I am. DeWayne has been teaching the three oldest their math, and science for the past three years. After Hadassah was born I had some health issues for a time and DeWayne came on board as a teacher. When I got well, he decided he would like to keep the job, so he has been wearing the hat of teacher too. It has been a real blessing for our whole family. My favorite subjects in school were English and history. DeWayne's favorite subjects were math and science. It is fun to be able to share our excitement of these subjects with our children, and also to see where each of their interests and talents lie.

Well, I guess that about catches all up to our growing family. I could write a book, but than I would never get this finished and sent off. I hope that this Christmas Season brings each of you a wonderful time filled with all of God's Blessings for your families!!! May you all be blessed with a wonderful New Year too!!! Would love to hear from any and all! In case any of ya'll want to drop a hello via email, our email address is

Merry Christmas and God's Blessings,
~The Britton Bunch~

DeWayne, Debra, Shalee, Chase, Kaylee, Caleb, Bethany, Hadassah, and Abriannah Britton (Extra Pictures)

Here is a sweet holiday treat we discovered this year during our holiday cookie baking/candy making. It is kid tested and kid approved!!! It tastes like a Snicker's candy bar!

Candy Bar Fudge ½ cup butter 1/3 cup baking cocoa ¼ cup brown sugar ¼ cup milk 3 ½ cups powdered sugar 1 tsp. Vanilla extract 30 caramels, unwrapped 1 Tbl. Water 2 cups salted peanuts ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips ½ cup milk chocolate chips

In microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, cocoa, brown sugar, and milk. Microwave on high until mixture boils, about 3 minutes. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour into a greased 8-in. square baking pan.

In another microwave-safe bowl, heat caramels and water on high for 2 minutes or until melted. Stir in salted peanuts; spread over chocolate fudge layer.

Microwave chocolate chips on high for 1 minute or until melted; spread over caramel layer.

Chill until firm. Recipe makes 2 ¾ pounds fudge. This recipe can easily be doubled if any of ya'll have lots of kiddos or a big Christmas gathering!

Enjoy from the kitchen of the Britton Bunch!

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