The time, the fun, the bustle, the rush, wherefore?
The stillness left behind is nearly deafening. Sigh.
I've been putting it off because I just cannot seem to summon the energy to do anything other than make a half-hearted attempt at a meal and keep us from being buried alive in our own home, but if I don't do it now, I never will so here is my Christmas Review. It's not going to be the eloquent presentation I had hoped, but it will be done!
We gathered with family this year, a group of 13 on Christmas morning (plus four dogs), swelling to 15 (and two more dogs) by feast time that evening. Sure, we were a bit cramped and things were slightly chaotic, but it was so wonderful just to be together!
Here's Redheaded Snippet being a bit cheeky, pretending to be surprised because we made her wait with the rest of the children before allowing her to come in and see the tree with its bounty of gifts
It's a shame this one is so blurry because Man-Cub (who still "believes") was really excited at his first glimpse.
I don't think Bitsy knew quite what to make of it all. She was exhausted, the poor dear.
Rosebud was, clearly, unimpressed. She was way more interested in eating wrapping paper later, though.
The Viking and Bitsy. He never tires of fulfilling his duties as Uncle (and that includes being called, "Funka," or "Kunka," or however Bitsy attempts to pronounce it at any given moment.
Oh. Yes. We. Did. I know, we must be crazy. Redheaded Snippet has been sleeping with one eye open.
Yep. Still cheeky. It's sad we didn't get any still shots of her opening her "big" gift--a cellphone. I got a nearly-barreled-over hug for that one. She'll probably use it to call 911 when her brother won't stop using her as a punching bag...
I'm still not sure what this is. Santa brought it. Thankfully, Santa did not bring him the new puppy he wanted. But Man-Cub was still very happy with his whatever-it-is. Hey, it doesn't involve blood or boobs or people acting like imbeciles so I'm reasonably happy with it.
What little girl doesn't love a doll you can hug tight and scalp with an included but poorly engineered plastic hairbrush?
Poor Cinderella is doomed to a lifetime of bad hair days.
Apparently, Man-Cub was very, very good this year. In addition to his boxing gloves, metal detector, spy kit, camera/binoculars and whatever-it-was, he got a drum set, the cymbals for which he is opening here. All of which, inevitably, leads Redheaded Snippet to ponder her very near future with an 8-year-old brother with both boxing gloves and a drum set and wonder if, perhaps, she was very, very bad this year...
Kind of a clash of Disney Princesses...
Hopefully this will help spare Redheaded Snippet from being Man-Cub's favorite target. We figure this is actually somewhat of an investment in anger management therapy. Doesn't he look absolutely terrifying?
Unfortunately, most of our still shots were ruined because some idiot gave this idiot the camera and I didn't realize it was set to record and not to photo. So we have lots of lovely little videos of Christmas morning, but very few bloggable photos. Typical, no?
We spent lots of time together laughing, playing, cooking, cleaning up, running after children, separating dogs and enjoying snatched hugs and kisses from wee ones. Dharma and Mom made Christmas dinner and Lobelia and I tackled the Boxing Day soup. There was pie and pie and cheesecake and more pie and someone brought eggnog and hot chocolate and Kahlua and several of the menfolk gave gifts of very nice Scotch, Gin and Tequila to each other and there was merriment all around.
We did have a few not-so-merry moments, of course. EGOD was there, wasn't she? Didn't I mention that? Ach, what a pill that woman is. She spent a significant portion of each and every day sulking in her room because of things like someone leaving her bag of bananas in the car (I am not joking) or not coming down to her room to see if she wanted coffee, or because we girls were not cleaning enough. She's just a bully, looking for someone to intimidate and boss around. She made the rounds her last day with us, venting her fury on Dad, Lobelia, The Viking, and even Man-Cub before unwisely deciding to engage Lenny and Mom. Lenny told her in no uncertain terms that he wasn't taking any nonsense from her which sent her charging at Mom who told her to quiet down already and then proceeded to heap coals on her head by apologizing for not realizing she (the woman who never ceases to rage against the evils of sugar and fat) wanted to go to the candy store. She was good as gold after that but we still couldn't wait for her to leave. Isn't that just tragic?
Our other hiccup was the ice storm that threatened to leave us powerless and cold with five children in the house. Twigs, branches and chunks of ice fell ceaselessly on the roof all day long (such as this largish branch that fell on our car), but thankfully, no real damage was done and we never lost power.
A few days after Christmas we sadly went our separate ways and, frankly, I'm having a hard time bouncing back. I miss them! Being together only seemed to make things worse! And, once again, we don't know when we all will be together again. I think that's the worst of all.
Sigh. So, that's what I did over my Christmas vacation. And now it's back to the daily grind. The gritty, gravelly, grind-you-into-the-ground daily grind. Oh yippee.