Pictures (and perhaps details) will have to come later...we're still at Grandma's house!
Monday, December 22--
After hearing reports of snowstorms in the areas in which we would be driving, Ted and I set the alarm for 3:30 a.m. Believe it or not, we were on the road with all 4 kids and a packed van by 5 a.m. A number of little things that may have made life easier were left behind--I blame myself for not making a detailed list like I usually do. Nevertheless, we pressed on and made it to Rhonda's house by about 10 p.m. Yes, that's right...16 hours of travel. We hit snow in Utah and it didn't let up until we were within 50 miles or so of our destination. We passed a number of cars that were off the road and thank the Lord for His protection. Whew...don't want to repeat that anytime soon! The Indian in the Cupboard and How to Eat Fried Worms books on CD helped pass some of the miles.
Tuesday, December 23--
Rest and recover day! Rhonda had some prior commitments, so we hung out and relaxed at the house. We did laundry; poor Charis dealt with car sickness several times during our journey. The first time she missed the bag, so we had yucky jeans and a booster seat cover that needed washed. Never a dull moment...
Wednesday, December 24--
We took the kids to a community center with a free (and way cool) indoor playground so they could get some wiggles out. We went to the family-friendly Christmas Eve service at Rhonda's church, during which Charis and Arden joined some kids in being "shepherds." (They arrived early to don costumes; Tobin chose not to participate.) After the service we went to Joel and Sarah's house for KFC, their Christmas Eve tradition, and watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas while Ted and I cut apples for homemade applesauce for the next morning. We also had a picture fest...will have to post some of those later.
Not many people got much sleep, but it wasn't for anticipation's sake. Kenna had a horrible night, waking every hour and a half, and I had trouble breathing. (Darn cold...you'd think 12 days would be more than enough time to suffer...) Joel, Sarah, and baby Anders came over around 9ish for a breakfast of crockpot applesauce, pastries, and scrambled eggs, and then we read the Christmas story and opened gifts. Very fun. Lots of game playing and gift-using activities ensued, with a scrumptious feast that afternoon. We lit Jesus's birthday cake and sang "Happy Birthday" and enjoyed red velvet cake with mint frosting for our dessert that night.
Friday, December 26--
We took the kids to Pump It Up in the morning, where they played hard and expended a minor amount of energy. Did some laundry in the afternoon. That evening Ted and I got a date night to go see A Wonderful Life, a live-theater production based on the movie, Rhonda's gift to us. It was very fun, and we also enjoyed a steak dinner at the Texas Road House. Meanwhile, Rhonda, Joel, and Sarah took all the kids to Chuck E. Cheese, where they had a fabulous time and didn't miss us a bit.
Saturday, December 27--
We did get out to run a few errands, including to the library to get some books for the kids to read. (They have already devoured the ones we brought from the LV library.) Grandma then took them back to the aforementioned indoor playground while I took a nap and Ted attempted to get Kenna to nap. The downside of our being here has been that several of us are fighting colds, and Kenna has not taken well to sleeping in a pack-and-play again. We've had to take turns being the nap police, waiting near or in her room until she falls asleep and then sneaking out. It is NOT ideal, but we expected some difficulties in a different environment, and her being sick hasn't helped matters. She did make it through the Saturday evening church service at Joel and Sarah's church last night, for which I was grateful. I needed a time of spiritual refreshment and soaked in the worship music and the message as well.
Once again we had a horrible night with Kenna, so we are hoping to get her down for a 3-hour nap soon. (Ha!) The plan is to go to Joel and Sarah's house for the Bronco game tonight, so I'm really hoping she does get a good nap so that we can enjoy the game. I know she'll keep busy chasing Haiku (their black lab) and exclaiming over Anders, whom all the kids adore.
And with that, I'll sign off. I have much more to write about when I get the chance...I finished reading an excellent book, The Shack, and would like to try to process some of my thoughts about it when I have a bit more time.
To all my friends and family, I hope you had a wonderful, blessed Christmas!