School let out on Friday, December 19th, and the kids have had the past two weeks off. We had our own personal Christmas on Friday night. Our little family does a celebration together every year before we travel. It's too hard to take big gifts with us in the car, and it gives us the chance to read the Nativity story together and have our own mini-tradition before the chaos of travel and activities with extended family and friends.
Then things kicked things off with a bang at the RGVDSA Christmas Party on Saturday the 20th. The plan was to go to the party all morning, go home, load the car, and take off for Mississippi on Saturday afternoon.
Evan started complaining about his head while we were at the party. Emmett took him home while Corrie and Ben and I stayed for the fun. By the time we got home, Evan was burning up with fever and knocked out on the couch - not the ideal condition for a cross-country drive. So instead of starting off for Mississippi, we took an extra day at home. Surprisingly, it was awesome.
Not for Evan. He had a fever and a headache and chills and pain. But the rest of us felt good. I made delicious sugar cookies and brownies and white chocolate cranberry cookies. We watched Christmas movies and soaked up the downtime together.
On Monday, Evan's fever was gone and we finally drove to Mississippi - made it there around midnight. Best part of the drive was listening to our "Kids Playlist" on the Ipod - lots of Disney and Phineas and Ferb, with a surprise right in the middle: we all rocked out to Bon Jovi "Livin' on a Prayer" and it was EPIC.
The next few days were full of fun:
Games! Men (Emmett and my brothers Derek and Mark) versus Women (Mom, me, and Arthi). The only game the women could win was Sequence. The guys killed us at Cranium, Pictionary and Poor Man's Taboo. Highlight of Cranium: my brother Derek imitating Zsa Zsa Gabor, "I zink I have an accent. Zis is not the accent."
Cousins! Jake and Corrie explored all of the area around Grandma's house. They formed a Nature Explorers Club and wrote essays about all the foliage they collected. Olivia followed them around, and Evan would go running up and down Grandma's hill. South Texas is flat, so Mississippi's rolling hills and tall trees are super exciting for the kids.
Christmas! Evan has been asking for a BB gun for a few years now (just like A Christmas Story) and this year he got THREE. All Airsoft - he has some friends who play in our neighborhood and he's been wanting to participate. It was sobering to see him all loaded up with guns.
I wish we lived closer to family. My brothers are some of the funniest people I know, and it would make my heart happy to see them more often.
*** More posts about Christmas to come. Those posts will include pictures. ***