Christmas Week The First

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It’s hard to believe we were getting ready for our big road trip last week.  Now it’s come and gone.  Just like the seemingly endless roads from Pennsylvania to Indiana.  The two older kids came along with us on our thousand-plus mile adventure.  The van felt oddly familiar in an old sort of way.  More than once Matthew and I remarked about how big the kids had become since our last cross-country trip with the two of them in that very space, nine years ago.  We joked at how I didn’t have to hand Elijah a bottle this time, or that we didn’t give Nadine handfuls of Q-tips to keep her hands busy, ripping them apart.  They contented themselves with a kids’ meal toy, books, Odyssey, and talking.  I was a tad miffed that I never won a single round of the Alphabet Game.
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We had a marvelous time at our friends’ wedding.
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Then it was back on the road again.  We stopped in Ohio to visit our dear friends.  There is nothing quite like driving through the night, in the snow, on roads the map seems to make up as you go along.  Somehow we made it, with much opening of the windows so the freezing air would keep us alert.  It was an exciting memory!

From Ohio we arrived back home, and happily reunited with the other three kiddos.  We enjoyed a Christmas Eve-Eve with Matthew’s cousins.  There’s nothing quite as precious as a new baby.  Zachary Taylor made a perfect little Santa.
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Christmas morning was spent at home by ourselves for the very first time ever.  Matthew’s parents, brother, and sister flew to Italy on Christmas Day to visit his other brother and family who are stationed there right now.  It was strange to be on our own, but special as well.
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Then came the snow.  What a delight!  The kids played and played.
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Today was spent doing things which needed doing.  Making laundry soap was so much more fun when I had a cute helper who liked to smile into her reflection on the mixing bowl!DSC_1416-001

Next, an impromptu trip to Chic-Fil-A for the younger three kids to get their faces painted.  DSC_1455-001

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Betty sat oh-so-still while the lady painted her face.  Once she finished, it was as hard to keep her still enough for a picture, as it is to keep a butterfly from flitting away.  
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She became the butterfly painted on her cheek.
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It has been a full week.  Full of miles, brimming with memories, and overflowing with whimsy.  Tomorrow we get to keep our Christmas week going, as we pile into our van once again and trek our way up North for a Christmas weekend with my family.

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Merry Christmas!

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