There is much more to tell about our Christmas Extravaganza in South Dakota, but I'll try to keep it contained to the highlights. Much of the week was spent gathered at the kitchen table, either playing cards or eating delicious food. With fourteen people in the house, it's not surprising that we sometimes had three card games going simultaneously at times! The favorites were 500, Euchre, Cribbage and Yahtzee. By the end of the week, I felt like I could actually call myself a proficient card player! (For those of you who know me, yes, this means I finally got up the guts to bid).
When we did venture out of the house, we visited the City Center, a new area in downtown Rapid that boasts an ice rink in winter and water fountains in summer. The boys got their first taste of skating for the year, with the help of Uncles Liam and Patrick (and Daddy, of course). I stayed safely on the cement snapping pictures. Don't tell anyone, but I never really learned how to ice skate, and I feel it's just too late for me now. Oh well, somebody's gotta hold the camera!
Since the whole family was present, we made it a point to snap a family picture. We all went up to Dinosaur Park and had a grand old time! Who knew family pictures don't have to be horribly painful? The only downside was the freezing wind; I don't know if you can hear the teeth chattering when you look at the picture, but man-oh-man we did not want to linger for long. I escaped with Monica, Glenn, Megan and Audrey to Bully Blends after the shoot while the braver ones let the boys play on the dinosaurs for awhile. It went something like this: "Oh, I really wish I could stay and play, but Audrey will get so cold if we don't get her inside now."
Other memorable moments include Kelley's birthday, meeting Kelley's beau Tim, an early birthday bash for me, a movie with Kel and Megan (Les Miserables... I won't give you my full analysis here, but overall I loved it!), visiting our Goddaughter Gemma, meeting my friend Bridget's newest little one Felicity, and getting the Trask and Yantes boys together for a quick visit. All of this was underscored by a constant stream of mulled wine, of course.
It was a full, fun week, and as always it was hard to leave. But we created some wonderful memories!
|The boys loved being trapped in Uncle Patrick's Kid Jail|
|All three kids playing together!|
|Paul Yantes Jr. Family photo|
|Zooming with his uncles|
|Lucian tried for a little while, but wasn't too thrilled|
|Audrey stayed warm snuggling with Auntie Megan|
|By the end of the day, Max was scooting by himself!|
|Max and Lucian with their friends Joey (3 1/2) and Patrick (5 1/2)|