Saturday, 6 January 2018

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

I could write a book.

Instead, I’ll let pictures and numbers do the talking.

# of days that our home was party central: 13 (Dec. 22-Jan.4)
# of people in our family: 15 – 9 adults, 6 children, ranging in age from 3-71
# of plates of food served up for supper during that time: 128. (Sometimes some of the kids ate at their own homes.)
# of beds available for kids and grandkids who come “from away”: 3 queen-sized; number of people sleeping under our roof for 5 nights: 8.
# of thermarests to trip over in the den: you do the math.
# of ways to rearrange nativity sets: numerous

The virgin Mary is hiding in a candle holder, a wise man is riding in on a bird, and the sheep are all in a row, pretending to be dogs. At least, that's the story Grace told me.

# of times a schedule was successful: none

Aerin had high hopes for the day. I like her "be bored" entry.

# of birthdays celebrated: 2 (Jesus’ birthday on Dec. 25, Auntie Dani’s on Dec. 28)

# of  people who caught the gastro-intestinal bug that was hovering around our house: 9
Number of toilets available: 3 (Best gift under the tree: a box of anti-diarrhea medication)

But these Frisian Flag swim shorts I picked up at a Thrift Shop came a close second as a unique father/son gift!
# of dogs underfoot: 3
# of computers operating at the same time: 5 plus numerous I-Pads and cell phones.
# of cars parked out front of the house: 6-8

# of oliebollen consumed at New Year's: however many you can make out of 8 cups of flour

Oliebollen: a traditional Dutch treat served only at New Years. They are a bit like donuts, studded with raisins and apples and deep fried. Usually done outside or in the garage so the house doesn't smell like stale oil for days afterwards.

# of times we shouted Happy New Year!: 3. Once at 7:30 p.m. after watching a cartoon video with Grace, after which she went to bed; the second time at 9, outside, where we launched firecrackers, sparklers and a Chinese Lantern; and once at midnight, joining Rick Mercer's send off on TV.

# of times the vacuum cleaner came out to clean up the mess: 0. What’s the point?
# of cases of beer consumed: not recorded. (But not excessive, honestly.)
# of ways you can get away from the ones you love when it all gets to be too much:
a) get sick and hide out in bed. Not recommended.
b) go for a walk. Highly recommended – but not always possible if you’re sick. We had a few good walks with everyone, including New Year's Day when we took our family snapshot. Shortly thereafter, two more came down with the flu.

c) Hide. The RS and I slipped into the den and closed the door while the kids were watching a movie and playing games. We watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy – it was like date night! Hours later, one of the sons peeked in and said, “Oh, there you are – refugees in your own house, eh?” Nailed it, son!
d) Throw a hissy fit. This is guaranteed to clear a room very quickly, but not really recommended unless you want to throw a damper on the party. If you are fortunate, your RS will see the steam gathering and gently steer you to a quiet place where you can have a “discussion”, after which you decide that if you can’t change your circumstances, you could try changing your attitude. It works.
e) go grocery shopping. Alone. With a lot of money.

Speaking of money: the bills for Christmas are still coming in, but the cost of the memories: priceless.

The crow is wishing you many opportunities to create great memories this year. Be blessed!

Oldest grandgirl helps youngest grandgirl dress the dollies.
The ukuleles got played from time to time.

The dining room table: what would family life be like without it? Good for crafts, a computer desk, visiting, eating, playing games and more.

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