Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Lot of Pictures!!

School ended and we packed up the car and set out for a little drive on Saturday, December 20, 2009. We had determined to leave at 6:00 am from Fleming Island, Florida, and were successful in that endeavor. We pulled out of the driveway at 5:59 am!! We have left the cats in the care of McCall and feel secure in their well being! The drive was overcast and easy going. I took the wheel just north of Atlanta and it was just north of Chattanooga that we hit our first snow. It was raining and as we crested the "summit" on the way to Nashville, it snowed for about 2 minutes. Rozzie and I were the only ones awake for the excitement. We motored on bravely for a few more hours until we arrived in St. Louis for dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory - a favorite from our first years of marriage in Denver!! We had a delicious dinner. Then a guy came around making balloon animals and the girls got two deer in green and yellow because Roz said they could be "John Deere."
So the next morning we were on the road by 7:00 am (as we had planned) and had a very snowy drive to Minnesota. We arrived at my mom's at about 5:00pm and she had spaghetti waiting for us. It never tasted so good!! We got our sleeping arrangements all set and got all our gear situated and started our vacation!! Monday morning meant the Mall of America (MoA) in all its glory. We promised the girls this excursion, so here it was!
Our first stop was the American Girl Store where we had a little dessert. It was all so cute. We sat at the fountain and had peppermint shakes and cookies!
We spent a long time there and got some shopping done and had a great time. The day was capped off by watching a little concert by the Shriner's band. Tuesday brought us to Excelsior and the knit shop. Travis had gone back to the MoA to have lunch with our brother-in-law, Jim. So, the womenfolk went to an Excelsior historic site for lunch, Antiquity Rose. It was a fun lunch and the girls behaved themselves well enough for the surroundings.
That night we had a family dinner at Maynard's in Excelsior. It is a hot spot in the summer, being that it is on the lake. It was a great dinner and we sure enjoyed ourselves. Next was Christmas Eve and we had a lot of people here at Mom's for dinner. Here is Maddie with her cousin (Gary's grand-daughter) Sophie. We think they look a lot alike. They are the same age and made fast friends. Hayley, Maddie, and Sophie spent the night with their heads together, just as kids should.
This is a sure sign that there were a lot of people there!!
More cousins: Kayla, Anna, Rozzie, and Morgan.
Travis and Jake sit and chat.
The basement band: Roz, Hayley, Maddie, Morgan, and Paul. They prepared a few Christmas songs for everyone's enjoyment.
Marissa with Owen and Maya.
Matt and Dylan and good buddies.
Owen put on a show for us with the drums.
Steph and Jake enjoy the show.
Maddie and Hayley having fun.
This is my sister, Sara. I am very thankful for her friendship!! It was fun to spend a Christmas with her and her family.
This is my husband, Travis. I am very thankful for him in my life. He is a pretty good husband and we have had a pretty good 20 years! It is nice that he was here with us the whole time. He usually drives us up and flies home, then flies back up and drives us home. Nice to have him here!!
My nephew, Jim, had to work until 7:00 and so he came later with Jim and it was nice to have him here.
Maya was very shy but once Travis drew her pictures of animals (he is better at drawing than any of us and she was pleased with how it looked) and she loves him now. He is pleased with his new-found friend. She is such a cutie.
So, the party ended and it was time to hunker down for some sleep. It was predicted that this year, Minnesota would have its largest Christmas snowfall since 1945!! Soon enough it was time to open presents!! Maddie opened up a Vera Bradley backpack - just like she wanted!!
Rozzie opened up the same thing, different color - just what she wanted!!
Morgan opened up her class ring!! She is very happy to finally have her ring! She had to wait a full week.Well, it was the biggest Christmas snow since 1923!! We measured the snow by the picnic table out on the deck. It snowed all day, too. There were very big flakes of snow. We loved it. It was a great Christmas gift.
Here is everyone at the Christmas breakfast table. We had eggs, bacon, french toast, and egg nog.
Later in the day we went for a gathering at Sara and Jim's with Dad and Sharon in attendance. Here are the attending grandkids with them.
Here is Boxing Day at Grandma's. Rozzie, Hayley, and Maddie atop a snowbank. They made forts and shoveled and ran around....

I know that was a lot of pictures, but it was just a snapshot of our Christmas. Next up...NOMROM!! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Posting for the Sake of Posting

Here it is!! It has been two weeks since my last post. Forgive me. I'm up late every night. Tonight I must make Chex Candy for Rozzie's party tomorrow. I'm staggering around. However, I have been a busy beaver getting ready for Christmas and our trip to Minnesota. I'm almost there on both counts. That is a good thing. Kids are fine. Travis is fine, other than he backed my car into Morgan's car in the driveway last Saturday morning. It is costing him $1200 to get it fixed. All I cared is that he did it and not me!! I was jumping around the driveway clapping, saying "It wasn't me!!" over and over. I will admit, I have been close a time or two. Now if I ever do it, he can't ask me the classic, "What were you thinking?" I didn't even get a picture of it. It had to get fixed as the tire was rubbing on the dented portion. Other than that, there have been Christmas parties and fun for everyone. We leave for Minnesota on the 19th. Wish us a safe trip!!