It’s hard to believe it’s January 2nd! The years do pass all the more quickly as I age. Or as my children age. How is it my childhood seemed to last a lifetime, but my own children’s are so fleeting?

It has been a wild couple weeks of holidays and get-togethers, visiting and guests. I am ready to begin recovering from it all.

The weekend before Christmas we drove a couple hours to Gi-gi’s and spend part of a day with a dear childhood friend who has lived in New Zealand this last year and a half. I see her parents whenever we are in Gi-gi’s area, but it was so nice to see her again too. I look forward to her visiting here sometime this month before she and her husband return to Dunedin. While at Gi-gi’s, we also attended the annual extended-family get-together. The fifth generation of children are the ones playing around now. This year the banquet room where the family has met for over 40 years was not large enough, and one Clan had to use tables in the adjoining restaurant area!

We returned late Sunday night, and I spent all of Christmas Eve in the sewing room and kitchen, finishing gifts for the girls and making Hubby-friendly foodstuffs for the evening gathering at my in-laws. We enjoyed games and food, with The Christmas Story playing repeatedly on some satellite channel. Is it The Christmas Story? It’s the one where the kid wants the bb gun and throws his friend under the bus for saying dirty words and the neighborhood dogs eat their dinner. I’m not really sure about that movie… We came home late, and I exhausted myself wrapping gifts for the girls, stuffing stockings, and putting everything under the trees (yes, three little fake trees this year). I made it to bed around 2, I think.

Christmas morning was wonderful. The girls enjoyed all their homemade gifts, Hubby liked his fancy new cd alarm clock (for once he didn’t guess what I’d gotten him!) – I broke down and gave him his battery-heated socks early, and a book. He got me a pair of knitted mittens and a mug. After prayerfully wracking my brain for an idea for my 13-year-old nephew, and sewing up his gift, that afternoon we returned to my in-law’s for a Christmas dinner of barbecued chicken breast, baked potatoes, and salad. And more games. We made baked-goodies for everyone and got baked-goodies from everyone. My mother-in-law got the girls each an outfit, Hubby a gift card, and me a fun serving tray and dip-dish. I believe everyone enjoyed their handmade stuff from us. Posts to come about those!

The 27th had my brother and his wife arriving after their Christmas with her family; it was a LONG day’s drive and they got here after we all were in bed. He teases me about being “Amish” with my homemade stuff and natural food, so he got “Amish” pancakes for breakfast. Which is a terrible misnomer, because I start them by grinding soft white wheat with my electric stone mill. He mocked them between savoring mouthfuls. 🙂 They left that afternoon for Gi-gi’s, and late that night (Friday the 28th) my parents arrived after a long day of driving from the opposite direction. We enjoyed our time with them and then on Sunday my brother and his wife returned from Gi-gi’s, bringing his dear childhood friend (and brother of my friend who lives in NZ). We cleaned and planned and cooked and got ready for our New Year’s Eve party. My mom and sister-in-law took the 2 older girls to Town on New Year’s Eve day to run som errands while I made and installed living room curtains, cleaned, made lasagna (including stone-ground wheat noodles), baked cookies, readied for the evening, and generally wore myself out. We five, and our five houseguests enjoyed a tasty lasagna dinner before welcoming another 13 or so local guests (including children) for an evening of games and fire and fireworks. Hubby made quite a pile of pallets and wire spools for a bonfire, and it was quite a sight when they decided to throw the bottle rockets and firecrackers into the fire by handfuls.

Early on the first, my parents loaded up and headed back to their homeplace. The girls so enjoyed seeing them again, and we’re looking forward to their “swinging by” on their cross-country tour in a couple months! Late morning my brother returned our longtime friend to his homeplace, and I think I accomplished nothing all day. I haven’t been so tired in a very long time. Maybe after having the baby, but at least then I had something to show for it. I slept from 3 a.m. to 8, with a nurse/change operation at about 5. My sister-in-law and I sat around most of the day and the girls watched veggie tales for a bit. Tired as I was, it was still midnight before I got to bed last night! I got up early to see my brother and his wife off, then got another hour or so of sleep after that.

Future plans: quit eating so much junk, start the selfish sewing projects, make new blog header, clean out fridge, pick up homeschooling schedule again. Oh, and sleep.

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