side of the family
was present on Thanksgiving Day, and the kids all exchanged presents. That weekend back at home, I cooked a vegan Thanksgiving meal for Ryan, the kids, and I, and we were joined by my parents, my sisters, and niece. I just realized I never picked up a roll of film from Wal-Mart that includes pictures of Christmas at my parents' house last weekend. Yes, I do have a digital camera, but I take pictures with my Canon, too. I'm still old-school and enjoy dropping off film and getting it developed. Anyway, I do have a picture of all the cousins together. We took many pictures in order to get one good one for my Mom's birthday gift. I've never seen six adults jumping around, making faces, and offering bribes as much as we were that day, to get 8 children ages 8 and under to cooperate. They did very well, considering. The 17 of us enjoyed our weekend, eating, celebrating Mom's and Tracy's birthdays, playing games, and catching up. I love my parents and brothers and sisters and would want to be friends with them even if we weren't related.
I had a girls' weekend this month in KC with four of my best girlfriends - Sarah, Elizabeth, Missy, and Angie, and we enjoyed the lights of downtown. The next weekend, I took a trip to St. Louis for my niece's baptism. We had fun hanging out with my sister, brother-in-law, and niece on Saturday while Ryan went up to U of Illinois with his brothers and Dad to watch highschool basketball games.
I can't even describe the angst I felt while trying to get the kids into our hotel room that night. I was practically wailing in misery and disbelief in downtown St. Louis as we parked in the wrong garage (the parking attendant's fault, not mine) and then got turned around and had to make two trips back into our 14th floor room with winding hallways, while I was trying to lug a sleeping Sissy in addition to my luggage. Thank goodness the boys were great helps pulling their own suitcases. The next morning we were running late for church (imagine that), and we couldn't find our car in the parking garage. Since we had to move our car multiple times, I had gotten confused about which level we were on. I was almost in tears, getting on and off the elevator with the three kids (Sissy is not light to carry anymore) and running up and down the different levels. Finally, an angel was sent in the form of a parking attendant, and she let us ride with her on the golf cart until we found it. Mom sent me a text message as we pulled into the church parking lot, telling me to "run! they're getting ready to start," so I ran uphill, dragging the kids with me, and we burst into the sanctuary just in time. Cary told me she was afraid I'd come bursting onto the stage entrance. I'm really shocked that isn't what happened, considering the way my night and morning had gone. After church, Cary and Andy threw a lovely party at their loft.
The kids and I have enjoyed many winter and Christmas craft projects this month. They are making cotton ball snowmen here. Sissy was very disturbed that the cotton kept sticking to her finger. I was very proud of Tornado's creativity. He didn't fill in the snowman's stomach and instead drew pictures of what it had eaten. He said it was like "The Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly," one of his favorite series of books.
One of our favorite holiday activities this month was attending Bethlehem Revisited at a local church. We stepped into life during Jesus' time, and the kids enjoyed many activities such as sampling candy made of walnuts and dates and dipping their own candles.
I'll post about Christmas Eve and Christmas Day later...I need to start working on the mass of mess that lingers from a fun and eventful holiday.