Dave and Carlota made it for Christmas. They arrived Christmas Eve around 9:30 pm. We were glad to see them because the weather was a little dicey. They had tried to venture out the day before but ran into an awful snowstorm and ice. They drove about 60 miles in 3 hours before they decided to turn around and go back home. By the next day, things were much better. The snow had stopped and the roads were clearing. They ran into some patchy snow covered roads in west Illinois and eastern Iowa, but it was pretty clear otherwise. We were concerned because they were traveling after dark and when we checked the road conditions, it looked like Des Moines might be a problem. They said it wasn’t too bad, though.
We went to Midnight Mass after they got settled in. I was surprised they made it through Mass after all that driving, but they were still pretty alert and ended up staying up awhile to visit with Joe and Mike.
The kids all slept in Christmas morning. They got up around 10:30-11:00 am and we opened gifts. Quite different from when the boys were little and they got up at 4:00 or 5:00 am!
We got (and gave) a lot of DVDs and CD this Christmas. Our movie collection has expanded! Mike gave me “To Kill a Mockingbird” with Gregory Peck and he gave Dennis “Twelve Angry Men” so we got “classics” from him. I gave Dennis the series called “John Adams.” About the only thing I knew about John Adams before seeing this DVD was he was the second President and father to John Quincy Adams. So it is very interesting to learn about him now. I heard the book is good, but it was a pretty big hardback book, so I decided to get the DVD first.
The boys got each other Cubs stuff. We gave Mike the most unique gift, I think. Since he is going off to college next fall, we got a set of six glasses with sayings on them, One glass reads “An optimist says the glass is half full.” Another–“The pessimist says the glass is half empty.” Then there’s “The engineer says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be” and the Accountant says “Does the glass really need all that water?”The quantum physicist says,
“The glass has a 50% probability of holding water.” The philosopher says, “If no one sees the glass, is there water in it?” Mike got a kick out of that!
Dave and Carlota gave us a really neat picture frame and put pictures of them and the ultrasound picture in it. There is room for a baby picture when she is born.
Dennis gave me a two-part DVD—two movies—“City of Angels” and “Michael.” I must be getting old because I also got things to keep me warm! Dennis gave me a heated throw blanket and Joe gave me these slipper-like things that are foot-warmers. They also vibrate for tired feet. Dennis also gave me some “sockies” to keep my feet warm. The boys got some video games, which they played the rest of the day. Carlota and I were kind of tired of sitting there watching them play Madden Football, so we went out in the kitchen and visited. For awhile, we watched them play video football (they turned off the sound to the football video) while we listened to a smooth jazz CD (Chris Gotti, a jazz trumpeter) that Mike gave me! It was pretty surreal.
We had prime rib and ham for dinner. Everything turned out well. I was a little concerned because between working Monday and Tuesday and not feeling well on Wednesday, I didn’t get much “prep” work done. About all I had ready ahead of time was Jello! On Christmas morning, after we unwrapped gifts, I got the meat going, made and baked the pies (with Dennis’ help—he mixed up the filling for the Tollhouse pie while I made the pie crusts), boiled the potatoes, stir fried the vegetables, and popped the rolls in the oven. Timing was perfect and everything was done at once! We had pumpkin, pecan and Tollhouse pies for dessert. (I cheated on the pumpkin pie this time and baked a frozen Mrs. Smith’s. Joe said it was OK, but he likes mine better. Joe is my pumpkin pie expert!)
On Christmas night, Maggie and Anne visited us. Maggie is Dave’s godmother. She brought us cookies, so we had a kitchen full of goodies! After she left, we watched the movie “Les Miserables” based on the book by Victor Hugo. Carlota wasn’t familiar with the movie or the book, so we enjoyed sharing the story with her. We hadn’t seen it in a few years, so it was kind of like new to us, too.
Friday, I made Mike go get a haircut because I wanted to get family portraits done. We haven’t had a studio picture done in awhile and with Mike going to college next year, who knows when all three boys will be together at home again?
After pictures, Dave and Carlota went to Lincoln to visit friends. This couple is also expecting their first child (in June) so the four of them got together for dinner. I’m sure they “compared notes” and talked a lot about babies. Dave took the ultrasound pictures with them to show. Dave and Carlota met this couple when Carlota was at UNL. That evening their bestman, Jeff, came over and visited until 2 am! Carlota and us old folks turned in early.
Saturday I had to work in the morning. The kids got up late, so it really didn’t matter that I was gone. Dave and Carlota went out to late lunch with friends. We went to Mass, then out to eat at Piccolo’s, an old Italian restaurant near downtown. We dropped Mike off at Anna’s and they went ice-skating. Back at home, more of Dave’s friends came over (Gene and Whitney). Joe came home from work, then his friends showed up. The cookies were pretty much gone by the end of the evening (which is good!) I had also made some poppyseed rolls and cinnamon rolls and they were taken care of, too.
Daisy liked her Christmas present, too, but like a kid, the box and wrapping paper were even better! She was pretty entertaining.
I hope you all had a nice Christmas. I sent cards with questionnaires in them to some people I haven’t heard from yet. Please get those back to me ASAP!
Have a very Happy New Year! Wishing you all a healthy, prosperous 2009!