It's only December first and already I feel like the Christmas season is flying by. I intend to do everything in my power to slow it down and enjoy every moment of it.
We had a fantastic Thanksgiving in NY with our family. The trip there was slow-going. We left Thursday evening at about 5:30 and drove straight through the night. We encountered lake effect snow in Indiana and again from Cleveland to Buffalo. From Buffalo to Syracuse it snowed off and on. It took us 20 hours. Considering we had 5 kids and a dog in the car it went surprisingly well.
I know I say this every time, but our kids are GREAT travelers. I am so thankful for that. Ohio had the cheapest gas- the lowest I saw on the way there was $1.61, but on the way back through to WI it was as low as $1.58. We arrived at Mom and Dad's at 1:30 in the afternoon on Friday. That evening we celebrated my nephew's 16th birthday.
We were also able to see my sister Luella who was up from NC for the weekend. I didn't want to steal any of her time from her kids so we didn't really have much one on one time, but just having her there close by was wonderful.
(She doesn't like to have her picture taken. This was the best I got- on the sly)
I miss her so much and I dare say my children miss her even more! In the wee hours of the morning on Saturday Devon threw up, not exactly a pleasant way to start vacation.
On Saturday we went next door to Mom and Dad's Amish neighbors' place.
They will be moving in the spring and we are looking to buy their farm. The farm belonged to my Uncle during my childhood and I always loved the place. It consists of a house, barn, pig barn, two other outbuildings and fifty acres of land.
All this and it shares a fence line with Mom and Dad and their 62 acres. And to sweeten the appeal, my youngest brother and his wife are going to buy the Amish farm across the road. Now, let me say here that the house is in very poor condition.
It has no electricity or plumbing since the Amish have lived there for a few years, and it is in general disrepair anyway. The big barn is in pretty rough shape and will probably have to be torn down. The land is strewn with junk that my uncle dumped there in the years he was in the place. But all of this doesn't matter if we can own some land next door to my family. I can't describe how my heart thrills at the idea of owning 50 acres!
I feel like the world could fall down around me and I would be able to take care of my family if I had land. There are 2 brooks running through the property, a couple fields, and a small wooded area. So we'll see if we can swing it. Wish us luck.
Sunday we went to church in Potsdam. It's always fun to go to church there and realize I'm related to half the congregation. Luella left straight from Sacrament Meeting to rush off to the airport. Sunday evening my family gathered at my parents to visit. Monday was pretty low-key, though we had a fun Family Home Evening. We had a brief lesson about sportsmanship and playing fair and then we played some fun games like, Don't Let the Old Witch In, Doctor Doctor, and The Farmer and His Pumpkins.
Tuesday evening we went out to eat at a little diner in West Potsdam called Mom's Schoolhouse.
We had a yummy dinner
and then the family gathered around the piano in the corner and sang a few songs.
After dinner Lincoln rushed the little kids to Grandma and Grandpa's and put them to bed, I rushed the big girls to my cousin's house so they could sleep over with their cousin, and then we met back up in Potsdam to see Quantum of Solace with Jonathan (my brother) and Nichelle (my SIL).
Wednesday we spent at Lincoln's Dad's. Lincoln and the 4 older kids spent the night there. I drove back to my parents' to make pies. Then I went to my brother Bryan's house to spend the evening with them.
Thursday was the big day. We finished cooking and setting the table and then had a delicious dinner.
My family has a tradition of the men all making something for Thanksgiving dinner. Lincoln made red pepper potato cakes, Jonathan made green bean casserole, Dad made green bean salad, Bryan made an apple apricot pie, Trenton made chicken chili cheese puffs, and Lincoln's Dad, Jesse, did a ham with a yummy glaze. We were so happy that Jesse and Sally came down to my parents' to have dinner with us. We also had Uncle Al with us for the day. After dinner we packed up quick and went to Lincoln's Mom's for another dinner.
We got see his sister Serena there as well as all of her kids. His Aunt Kay was there with her daughter Shannon.
It was the first time I had ever met Shannon and we hadn't seen Kay since our wedding, I think. Unfortunately our time there was cut short when Julia started throwing up.
We took her back to my parents' and she went to bed immediately. The rest of us stayed up late playing games. I think Lincoln and I went to bed around 3 or 3:30.
After sleeping late on Friday, sledding,
and walking the land next door again, we spent another evening playing games. I think I went to bed at midnight.
Saturday we packed up the car and hit the road at about 11:15. We drove straight through again, this time in perfectly clear weather, arriving home at 3:15 in the morning, making it 17 hours.
Sunday was spent recuperating and now everyone is back to real life- work, school, laundry!