Part 1 Christmas at Home
Ready, Set, Go..... The first Christmas we had was here at the house with Darleen, Pat and Grandma. We decided to do it a day early because of all the bad weather that was going to be coming on Christmas Eve (And Nana could not wait to see the babies). At the last minute I called Darleen and said, "Do you think you can come over today?" She was all for it. In fact I had to work that day so she brought most of the dinner. It was goulash, homemade bread, salad and ice cream sundaes for dessert.
Part 3 Dunsmore Annual Christmas Party
On to the Dunsmore's Annual Christmas Party!! There again many people were missing. Lucas, Kim, Allie and Ryan....Jesse and Rachel.....Lauren, Jeff and Morgan. A few showed up that don't usually come though and that was a great surprise. Randy, Nikki and Jake drove all the way to Flint for the party and went home that evening. We had a nice spread of food as usual. We started off with a small gift exchange game where you could steal from each other. It was fun and a few gifts were always being sought after. It was time once again to see who had who's name. I (Denise) was a little worried someone would be without a gift. We had a lot of gifts being sent by the mail, or other people brought gifts for people who wasn't going to be there. We, alone had a truck full of presents going in so many different directions it wasn't funny. It all went off great except for the fact that Dale and I both got a gift from Lucas which puzzled a few people. I announced to everyone that I was sure Kim had my name because I knew Lucas had Uncle Dale's. WRONG... it was just the opposite. All in all it was a great surprise that no one's gifts were missing or forgotten. This year I made the name tags in green so no one could say that they weren't sure if there name was this years or last years. So we drew names for 2010 party which is at the Miller's. Maybe not the weekend of Christmas, we'll have to see. It would fall on a Sunday and that don't seem to be a good time for everyone who has to work. Time will tell.
Denise waiting for her gift! Dan getting his cooler on wheels from Shanny
Christmas Part 4 Traveling to Boston
I don't know about Poppy but Nana didn't sleep too good knowing she was heading out to see the babies, and Kim and Lucas of course. We stayed up way too late, laughed so much and the excitement was too much. Got up in the dark and out the door we went. I didn't even take my makeup off from the day before so I could leave fast. The roads were a little slippery from Burton to Port Huron but after that they were good. Now getting back into the good ole US of A was another story. We waited and waited and waited...finally after 1 hr. and 25 min. it was our turn to show passports. Dan here: I have to jump in and tell a little story about our passports....Denise did not set out my passport the night before we left home. So we are driving downstate between Gaylord and Grayling when Denise pulls out her enhanced driver's license (which acts as a passport for traveling thru Canada) and tells us about her awful photo on it. Then....she sees the "deer in the headlight" look from me. So now what...Do we turn around and go back and get it? Do we travel an extra 2-3 hours by going around Canada? Denise comes up with an idea...She calls my cousin's husband, Tom. She asks him to go into our house get the passport, get it over to Darleen to bring it down to the party at Dale's. (I probably should not have brought it up because Denise was finally forgetting about my forgetfulness).I kinda figured because of that the twins were going to be sleeping when we got there, and they were. It turned out ok though because I know I was too tired to hold Ry guy while he jumped and jumped ...or read book after book to Allie. It was nice just to visit with Kim and Lucas for awhile in the quiet. BUT...morning could not get there fast enough.
Part 5 Christmas at Lucas and Kim's
That morning was pretty exciting. With the twins being four months older than Harper they were a little more into it than their cousin, but still needed a little help. Poor Luke and Kim...their house looked a little like Toys R Us before we left. Nana promised that next year she won't go so crazy shopping for the grand babies. But you have to understand that she has been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. Well, the twins got a little tired before they could open all of their presents so it took a couple of times before it was finally finished.
We were finally excited to see Luke, Kim, and the twins without anyone getting married. We had the twins all to ourselves without any other distractions. I think that Allie and Ryan were a little confused to see us out of that box (meaning the computer... as we Skype quite a bit). It was very exciting to hold them and feed them their bottles. We, also, had a great time with Lucas and Kim after the babies went to bed. We played euchre and the guys won despite being beat in a game where Luke got to do his famous loner dance (the only loner dance of the evening). We got so excited one game that we had a wrong score 8 instead on 9. After we went in the barn (score of 9) Kim said, "Close that barn door and get those cows back out into the pasture." We played another new game where three people tells the fourth, "What theirs is like" example: on card was mother-in-law. Denise had to guess. Luke's clue...mine's far away, I said mine was old. Kim said mine is in this room. Now Denise was not getting it and became frustrated. Second round Luke said mine is chatty. I said mine was short. Denise was still frustrated and not getting it so Kim's clue was mine is very confused. After a lot of laughing by three people Denise gave the correct answer.
It was great watching Kim feed the twins and the interesting concoctions she used to get them to eat the type of food they may not like to eat. Like finding out they may not like a certain food but put on toast they love it.
Ryan had a milestone while we were there....he started crawling more than one step at a time.
Now Kim has to come up with new ways to stop one from crawling away while she is tending to the other.
Kim is Nana and Poppy's hero. I don't know how she does it. Alone all day lifting, feeding, changing, reading to, and playing with two babies. That is close to 40 pounds of babies. I know Luke, you are there, too.
One day Luke had to go into work the three of us and babies ventured out to the park with the swings (on Kim and Luke's blog site). Allie loved it but Ryan looked a little tentative. We didn't quite get back to the house before it rained but Nana gave up her jacket to keep the twins dry.
Denise was asked to make gleasons. Seems like Luke sorta likes that meal. I'm not sure if the twins will take after their father as chicken is one of those foods Kim has to mix with yogurt to get them to eat it.
Allie and Ryan enjoying two gifts from Nana and Poppy.
Kim's idea of indoor sledding.
Part 6 Traveling to Columbus
While it was great being at Luke and Kim's, we still had one more stop before Denise had to go back to work. So we got up early (thanks to Allie jibber jabbering in her crib. It's better than an alarm clock) helped feed the twins their bottle, kissed everyone goodbye and headed for Columbus 754 miles away.
So far we had excellent roads for our travels...until Connecticut. Neither Denise or I had been in that state before this trip. Not sure we will go back there during the winter months. Seems they had a little freezing rain then a little snowfall before we got to that state. We lost one hour sitting on the freeway stopped several times for cars in fender benders where the car behind could not stop in time before they plowed into the car in front of them.
Now we were getting low on fuel and I am concerned we will be stopped long enough that we could run out of gas. So finally we get going and found an exit that said easy off/easy on. I thought great that is what I want. I, also, thought that would be a great time to use the restroom. Wrong. It seems that state has problems with working restrooms. The gas station sign read out of order. We tried a Dunkin Donut, sign read do not use. So I got back in the truck and stopped 4 hours later. It was good the roads got better in New York and Pennsylvania as there are some pretty good mountains there. We were mesmerized by the beauty of the mountains at first. And then after about an hour of up and down our ears started plugging. I have never driven from one end of Pennsylvania before so I could not believe how far it was. I didn't think I would ever be so happy to see flat land.
Part 7 New Years at Loralee and Grant's
So we pulled into Loralee and Grant's New Year's Eve. Loralee & Grant had an assortment of snacks for us and a fire in the fireplace. So after filling our faces and getting cozy in front of the fireplace and after driving over 12 hours we were beat. Denise and Loralee headed for bed probably because Denise had to drive the last 3 hours exhausted.(Loralee had a cold so she didn't feel very well anyway) so just Grant and I made it to midnight to watch the flying car. Actually I nodded off just before midnight and had to watch the rerun. But they didn't miss JayLo in her nude outfit :)
New Year's Day there might have been a football game on.... I can't remember. The girls decided to do a little shopping while I got my tires rotated and had the oil changed after the long trip. As what usually happens when you take a vehicle in they found that I needed new rotors and brake pads. Grant did not like the price they were quoting so he said lets do it ourselves we have until 4 p.m. when the Rose Bowl starts. Ohio State vs. Oregon. Grant's Buckeyes were victorious. But we were not finished so we missed the first half but got updates on the truck radio, Grant's cell phone, and the TV. Grant did not like the looks of the brake lines and he said if the front brakes were that bad we should replace the rear brakes, also. While we had the truck up on jacks the shocks were found to be near the end of their life so we got those replaced. we decided to have the rear brakes and shocks done professionally which added an extra day in Westerville, OH. That's what happens when you put 100,000 miles on a vehicle. But it has been a pretty good vehicle so far.
So while we were getting that done Denise and Loralee went to the jewelers....... that is another story. Let's just say Denise spent her Christmas bonus with a little added help. Her diamond was always coming loose and it was in a thin thin band so she replaced it with a thicker one. This is her last big jewelry to do for a long long time. Now it was time to say good bye to Loralee & Grant, Loralee got up and saw us off at 7:00 am . We didn't see Grant. It had snowed the night before, Loralee says it only snows when we come down there.
Part 8 Trip Home
Driving back to Michigan we were going to go right home but then we started thinking of our little baby Harper who is only 1/2 hour out of our way. Should we or shouldn't we??? Well if you guesses we should you are right. We met Logan and Harper at Flap Jack for brunch. She just sat in her car seat and rubbed her cheeks until she fell asleep. What an angel baby. We took off and drove up to Tower and slipped into Grandma's for a quick hello and to show her some pictures we took of the babies. We finally got home around 6:30pm, after 2400 miles behind us. It will be nice having all of our family living closer someday. That day can't come too soon. We are home long enough to clean, wash clothes, take down a few Christmas decorations and back downstate to see the twins, Harper, and our 2 sons and their wives. Oh wait maybe we will have to take a trip first to Traverse City while Grandma has her back surgery. Happy New Year and soon it will be time to start all the Birthday Parties!!!