Vacation--all I ever wanted
2009 is leaving me and I feel the need for a final post. Our schedule has been extremely full since leaving Tallahassee for our Christmas road trip on the 20th. We dropped off Bella (our dog) at my parents house, then went on to Brandon to spend time with Jimmy's parents. On the way into town we went to the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. The next day we finished our shopping while Granny and Grandad made cookies with the kids. The next day we took Jackson and Libby on a surprise date to see the Nutcracker. We didn't tell them where we were going until we were in the car. Those of you who know Jackson know that this was killing him. The kids enjoyed it and so did we despite our nervousness about them falling over the side of the balcony which had a barrier of only like 24 inches or so. It was a long drop into the abyss since we were in the nosebleed section. But we escaped with no one falling and I liked the snowflake dance the best.
We led worship at our old church, Calvary Chapel Brandon on Christmas Eve, and then spent the evening at Jimmy's parents annual party. Christmas morning was full of stockings, presents, and a big breakfast, then it was off to my parents house by lunch to see all the cousins and family. We ate a large Christmas dinner as soon as we got there at which I declared that no one else in the entire world has a Christmas dinner as good as ours was that day. Seriously. We should sell tickets. Later we opened presents...this year was the "$3 Christmas" meaning we could only spend $3 on a gift (or re-gift something you already had or give something you got for free, etc.). It turned out to be quite impressive and Jimmy received two identical Mountain Dew hats from each of my sisters. They both got them for $2.99 at Ross. They didn't know they had bought him the same thing until he opened them. Poor Jimmy. But hey, he did it to himself. He likes to flaunt his Mt. Dew obsession. Just a few days earlier he had bought himself Mt. Dew flavored chap stick. (I'm doing him a masculine favor and not calling it lip gloss.) The next day the women went on a day after Christmas shopping trip treated by the Queen for our Christmas (she exempted herself from the $3 rule) and were successful in shopping and escaping the noise for half a day.
The next day was church and that afternoon we spent prepping for Monday, which was a trip to Disney's Hollywood Studios! Yes, you read correctly. We took 8 adults and 10 children to a Disney theme park during one of the busiest weeks of the year! Are we crazy? No! Why? Because we all got in free! My sister Becky's family has year passes, my sister Susan had 9 free tickets, it was Susan's birthday, so we were only short 2 tickets, since Penelope gets in free. My sister Becky scored two more tickets because her husband Jim chaperoned a trip to the Candlelight program last week with their youth choir. So there you go. AND we packed our lunches and ate dinner after we left so the only money we spent was for the kids on some trinkets as we left. It was crazy and tiring and fun and awesome and we didn't lose anyone and Susan got to ride a roller coaster for her birthday! It will probably never happen again and we were all glad we did it.
So that brings us to the last couple days which have involved thrift store shopping, more shopping, shooting, skinning, and eating squirrel, building a bonfire and roasting marshmallows, playing outside, playing the Wii inside, eating really good food, playing games, and watching football. Does anyone else want to come on vacation with us? Yes, it is all I ever wanted. While I am dreading the detox/damage control I have before me when I go home in a couple days, I am thankful for family and the holidays.
I wish I had lots of cool pictures to show but we haven't really had the camera out that much. I didn't want to take my work camera into a theme park. There is the annual "silly picture" of my family which came out great as usual. There are some things you can always count on. And that's partial insanity from your relatives.