My last post was Wednesday, and here it is Monday! Well, it’s been a very busy weekend!
We enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving Day at my parents house, full of delicious food, fellowship and the annual perusing of the ads and exchanging of gift ideas for the children at the kitchen table! Our dinner consisted of turkey and cream gravy, sweet potato casserole, creamed corn, green bean casserole, scalloped potatoes, dressing (mmm, my favorite!), wild rice, raspberry pretzel salad, pink stuff (that’s what we all call it – it’s a Cool Whip based fruit salad with cherries, pineapple and pecans), pickles, and rolls. (Sorry, family, if I left anything out!) Oh, and of course, pumpkin and pecan pies, as well as a Barbie cake for Anna’s birthday. I forgot to mention that we also threw in a birthday celebration for Anna and Jeff! There was some football being played outside as well as on the t.v. All in all it was a wonderful day – even if Mom and Dad did kick us all out early – right after our suppertime turkey biscuits! – so they could get up early to head out on a trip.
The next morning found Jeff and Matthew heading out the door at 4:15 a.m. to get in line at Best Buy! They had a computer monitor in their big sale that Matthew wanted – he is building a new computer for himself. I was awakened from a not so great night’s sleep (baby kept waking up alot) at about 6:00 a.m. by Jeff calling. He was now at Target and didn’t have a clue as to what he was supposed to be looking for – so I walked him through the store as I read the ad through bleary eyes. It sounded like all of the town was at the store – he could hardly get through the aisles, and kept apologizing to people for running into them!
After I got off the phone, I got dressed so that I could join in the insanity – I couldn’t miss out on all this excitement! After all, I had my traditional round of stores to hit, before the early bird specials expired. When they returned home – and Matthew headed back to bed – I woke up Laura to babysit and Jeff and I headed out again, poor guy!
Our first stop was Chick-Fil-A for hot chocolate and chicken biscuits. The hot chocolate was scalding, so I saved it for later. We continued on to Michael’s, where I found lots of beautiful ribbon for wrapping packages, gift boxes, decorations and … Gretchen. Gretchen is a 15″ adorable bear with tan fur and close set black eyes, wearing a country red, white, and green plaid dress and headband. She is holding a gingerbread man in one hand and a gingerbread cookie cutter in the other. She and I immediately bonded and I knew that she would be perfect company for me during my Christmas baking, standing sweetly on my kitchen island. (Not that I don’t usually have more company than I need – but she would be a “silent” partner!)
After Michael’s (and my now cooled hot chocolate), we proceeded to Kohl’s. Now, we had already heard rumors of what it was like at Kohl’s…(“Have you been to Kohl’s yet? – no? oh, my.” (said with a shake of the head). We had heard this several times, but did it stop us? – of course not – you see, it is tradition for me to go to Kohl’s the day after Thanksgiving to check out their Christmas linens (and a few other things!). It was certainly crowded, but it wasn’t until checkout time that we realized what all of the talk was about. The line to checkout wrapped around a corner and then all the way to the back of the store. This line was duplicated on the opposite side of the store where the other checkout line formed. The words from “A Christmas Story” (affectionately known as “the Ralphie movie” at our house) kept coming to mind – “the line to see Santa stretched all the way to Terra Haute…”(my paraphrase) I wonder if the two lines had met in the middle earlier that morning!? We had no choice but to go ahead and take our spot. We chose the line which would take us past children’s clothes and toys, rather than the one that went past luggage and shoes – sounded more interesting to me – maybe that’s just my stage in life. This turned out to be a good choice(or maybe not so good, depending on your point of view), as we spotted a few gift items on our journey to the front, which I popped out of line to nab, while Jeff held our spot. After about an hour (so Jeff says) in line, we finally reached the checkout registers, where we ooo’d and ahhh’d over our great deals as they rang up. So it was a good trip, regardless of the wait.
Our final two stops before heading home were a second trip to Target (I hadn’t been yet and wanted to shop for a few things myself – Jeff stayed in the car and napped) and Sonic for lunch. When we finished eating, we put in a second order to take home to Laura (as payment for her hours of babysitting) and returned home.
Around 5:00 p.m. we (Jeff and I) left for our annual outing to the Dickens festival in a nearby historic downtown. It was a lovely evening! The air was chilly and seasonal and there were lots of people downtown, many wearing Dickens costumes. The square was blocked off to traffic and was festively decorated with many lit Christmas trees, greenery, ribbons and decorations. All of the shops were open and decorated beautifully. We ate dinner at the soda fountain and then toured many of the shops. I visited my favorite primitive shop and purchased a small red check lampshade for my new candle lamp, a “Laundry” room sign for over the laundry room door (where else?) and a couple of red and white plaid dish towels. Our greatest find of the evening was an old ladder (for which I have been hunting for about a year now) which we plan to hang over the kitchen island. I will decorate it with berry garlands (year round) and hang baskets on it (I love baskets!). It was a wonderful time!
Now this should have been enough excitement for one day, and normally would have been, but Ryan (who was home babysitting) suggested that we go to see the movie “Enchanted”. I was concerned that David would be missing me too much, but he assured me that he was fine, so off we went to the movies! “Enchanted” was really quite a good movie – uplifting and challenging the cynicism of the world today. When we got home, we were tired, but content after such a busy day.
Saturday brought more Christmas shopping as well as grocery shopping. We ordered pizza for dinner and watched a Christmas movie together as a family. The best part of the day, however, came later that evening…
Ryan came over after work to spend the night (he usually does this on Saturdays) and he asked us if it would be alright if he moved back home. He said that he missed being with the family (music to a mother’s ears) and wanted to be back at home with everyone. What do you suppose I said!? – “When can you move in???”. I was ecstatic, because I really have missed him alot! I know that he will go again someday, but for now I’m glad to have him for a little longer! This brings me to Sunday…
Sunday started with church, for those who didn’t oversleep – I was one who did, as I couldn’t sleep most of the night trying to mentally shuffle people around to fit Ryan back in (along with his five bookshelves, bed, tv, computer, and various other items). We spent the rest of the day beginning the above mentioned shuffling, throwing in a little Christmas decorating, as well as the usual laundry, dishes and child rearing.
Today started out with me typing up all of this (while schooling and caring for the littles). My computer decided to play a joke on me and lost half of my post when I tried to save it. I didn’t have time to rewrite it all then, so it had to wait until tonight. In the meantime, Ryan informed us that instead of the previously planned Thursday move, he wanted to move in tonight! Well, things really went into high gear then! We were in the midst of clearing the study of Anna’s belongings – she’s moving in with us until she’s ready to move upstairs with the girls. We finished that up and then moved all of Matthew’s furniture and belongings into the study. (He has been at work and is going to be in for quite a surprise when he gets home!) We have shuffled a couple of beds and now Ryan’s room is ready for his furniture which he and his dad are in the process of retrieving as I speak (or write). My house looks like a bomb exploded, but I don’t care – my baby’s back home for now and my smile couldn’t be bigger!
So if you were wondering where I’d gone to – now you know! And if you made it this far reading, I wish I could give you a prize – go have a cup of cocoa and relax! – you’ve earned it!
I hope your Christmas season is off to a blessed start in your neck of the woods!