Okay, so I think we've FINALLY recovered from Christmas.It was different this year. Not only was my little sister in Africa, so were my dad and brother! Dad and JC left December 13 and spent two weeks with Carlsie in Zambia. They returned December 30, bringing a lovely little intestinal virus with them, which we all got after spending New Years Eve and New Years Day together. Gag. (Literally.)
So our Christmas was pretty low-key. We went out to the farm for Christmas Eve, which is our tradition. We didn't do any gifts, but just hung out, made Mom watch The Emperor's New Groove, and called Africa. All of us talked to all of them. (It was 5 AM Christmas Day there, and they were getting up to go on a safari!)
Christmas morning we did gifts with our small family. We spent more on the kids that we originally planned, but they still only got 3 gifts each for the boys, and one gift for Zadie. Both of them needed new tires for their bikes (completely bald, white fibers showing). We had NO IDEA how expensive tires were! We could replace the whole bike for just $10 more than buying two new tires. Nathan's we decided to get the next size up bike, so it was more than a $10 difference, but we were going to have to get him a bigger bike by this summer anyways. So besides the bikes, we got them each a "bucket" of figures - Nathan of Army figures, and Jacob got dinosaurs. I had bought them new Eichenberger Farms shirts when my sister did an order, and decided to just wrap theirs like gifts, even though they weren't really. We got Zadie a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament.... I didn't realize how much she'd have fun with wrapping paper, or I may have wrapped up some more things just so she could rip off the paper. (The boys were 3 and 2 months old for their first Christmases, so were clueless and indifferent with gifts.)
We went out to Paul's parents' house for lunch and spent the day there. My mom came for lunch since she would be alone otherwise. It was bitterly cold and windy, so after lunch and gifts, my sister-in-law Elizabeth and I went to help my Mom with chores and opening gates, while the kiddos (and adults?) napped. (Having someone open gates, so you don't have to stop and get off the tractor to open and close every gate cuts choring time in half.) Paul spent a chunk of time while we were there finishing up my Christmas gift. I had told him I wanted him to build me a new book case for our toy "corner" behind our bedroom door. We had a ladder shelf (built by his dad) similar to the one at right, and had accumulated too many toys and books to fit on it (not to mention the boys used it for just that.... a ladder). He designed and built not only shelves, but also a toy chest below it, so that we don't have to stack their big toys under our end table any more. I love it! It's beautiful, and makes the corner look so much neater. He really did an excellent job on it.
|We had it piled high within a half hour of getting it home. :)|
Nathan played his first special for church on December 30. We started working on "Joy to the World" in October, and felt he had it down enough to play in front of the church. Of course, he made some age-appropriate mistakes, but I am still very proud of him. (And definitely jealous of his innocent confidence.)
Paul went back to work the night of New Years Eve. I took the kids over to our good friends' (basically 2 more siblings) house, Jared and Christina, who only live about 5 miles from us. JC put his pictures on the big TV, and he narrated them for us, which we enjoyed (and I'm sure he enjoyed knocking out 7 [?] families at once to not have to answer individually, "How was your trip? What did you do?")
I went with the kids to my extended family Christmas at my grandparents' house on New Years Day. I enjoyed visiting with my aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The day after, in the middle of his normal breakfast battle (No, I don't like this, it's icky - sob, sob....), Jacob threw up. We just figured he had gagged on the pancakes he was throwing a fit about. But after about 3 more times of puking that morning, it was obvious he had a bug. Nathan came down with it that afternoon. I woke up the next morning with an upset stomach and other unpleasant symptoms, but thankfully never threw up. It was a violent, but apparently a very fast moving but. It put you through the ringer for about 12 hours, but then it was gone. We thought Paul had miraculously avoided it (he usually gets sick just from hearing about someone who's got a stomach bug). He went to work as usual Friday morning, feeling fine, but then called me about 5. I was like, "Why are you in your truck?" (I could hear the wind noise in the background.) He says, "Yeah, I puked at work." Lovely. He was over it by the next morning, but felt weak enough he didn't think he should go in.
So that's our Christmas in a nutshell. I'm sure I have other things to update about, and I'll remember them...... eventually.........