I haven't written for a couple weeks, but I have been "bloggering" thoughts (No, that isn't a real word, but I must say, for making it up, it sure is a good one) so I could sit down and type them out. Where did I leave off...oh, and this will be long. Go grab a glass of water and come back and read. Maybe even a blanket, so you don't get cold.
I finished cleaning the house (the new construction one I was cleaning) and it was so nice when it was all finished. I got the pictures taken of it, and uploaded so that they could be viewed online. The boys did great with the long days of cleaning and I treated them to a pizza buffet (yes, shame on me) at Peppy's Pizza. They had so much fun, especially bashing the little alligators over the head. However, bad food choices came with consequences. With all the bad food we had been eating that week, the boys were not feeling very well, and are still not 100% as of today.
That next week, I was busy getting the lists ready for packing and then the toothbrush/jammie thing stopped working. Willard said...Ok Mom, Maynard can brush his teeth first. He didn't want to put on his jammies. So I started using an airplane ride as the motivator. I just let them know it is time to get into jammies and that I only give airplane rides to boys who have their jammies on and teeth brushed. This works, since I generally get Maynard dressed first and head straight for the bathroom. After they brush, they stand on the toilet and get an airplane ride to thier beds. Very fun, and they don't put up a fight, as of yet anyhow.
On Thursday night, Maynard started showing the symptoms of pink eye (he was exposed to it on Monday), so he stayed home with Daddy on Friday morning while Willard and I went to the Y. Antibiotics were not an option so after talking with a couple ladies at the Y about homeopathic remedies-(no one had fresh breast milk!) (I even tried before I left for the Y, but these things are all dried up! I know...TMI) After I got done at the Y, I went and got some Similisan (pink eye formula). All in all, both the boys did good with the drops. I used the drops on them (even though Williard was a little red, but he didn't get gooky at all,) for only a couple days and it went away.
The boys and I (and the dog!) left Friday, the 21st, heading to Minnesota to visit my family and friends for Christmas/New Years. Randy intended on being on the road the whole time, so he told us to go have fun since he was going to be gone. After I disconnected the drain for the kitchen sink, I realized I didn't have any room for it in the van. HA! I don't know how I can pack so much, but I sure can pack it full. I left the sink at home.
The weatherman said it was supposed to be snowy and windy. The boys were anxious to leave and if I waited for the snow to "blow over", it would have been Saturday, and the boys knew we were supposed to leave and it wouldn't have been a pretty sight to unpack the van with two bawling kids.
We kissed Daddy goodbye, and started East. I realized once I got on the freeway that this was going to be a LONG drive. There was no travel advised East of Rapid, though the Interstate wasn't closed. There were heavy cross winds but it "seemed" managable! I figured I might as well continue, since I had everything packed. I literally drove from Rapid City to Murdo averaging 10, yes 10, miles an hour (I did get fantastic gas mileage though!) There was zero visablity, and turning around didn't make sense since traffic was stopped heading West. I thanked God that I wasn't one of the 30 vehicles (and 5 semis) that were in the ditch. The boys fell asleep half way through the storm, so it was a nice quiet ride. Funny thing is, I would do it again, because it was such a great learning experience! (Not only on winter driving, but allowing God's peace to rule my heart.)
After Murdo, the road was pretty good. One section of blowing snow and reduced visablity, but nothing like that first leg. I fueled up a couple times, let the Dog out to pee, and we even stopped and ate in Oacoma. Things were going great and we get to Luverne, MN and it was foggy. FOG, FOG, FOG. So, slow going again for us. Even though the speed limit is 55 or 60, I could only go about 40 or 45. But, I was getting great mileage again! About 25 MPG in ye ol' van. I decided to take a nap early Saturday morning in Milaca, MN, since the constant fog had put a strain on my eyeballs. I woke up to no fog but there was a half inch of SNOW. Praise the Lord for the moisture!
I still had several hours of driving time, and I spoke to my hubby and to my folks and the snow was supposed to continue all day, so off we headed off into the snow. It was about 4 in the morning and there were few or no tracks in the snow to follow, and since it was still dark, I had the "SPACE BALLS" thing happening with the snow in my headlights (Remember "gone to plaid??? Hehehehe!). So, again I am only driving 40 or so, even slower in some spots, but I was having a good time. Bible Study belting through the radio, boys are sleeping, Dog isn't whining.
We reach Hinckley, and the snowflakes are HUGE. I sure love snow. We got out and the boys loved getting hit in the face with the big flakes. But not so fun to have wet pant legs from being draged in the inches of snow that had fallen. The Dog looked so funny prancing around with his feet held high, bounding through the snow. He had to poop, but he wouldn't the whole drive.
I needed to stop again for a nap, about an hour away from my parents. When I woke up, there was even more snow, but at least there were tracks in the snow on the road and I could somewhat see where I was going, since the sun had been up for a couple hours.
We arrived at my parents late morning on Saturday, and it continued to snow all day (and the next!). The next few days are bound to be busy and exciting, right?
My folks have 3 dogs: Nikko-a boxer- is about 100 lbs, Tana the little boxer is about 50 lbs and Rover-mixed breed and very old-about 80 lbs...mostly hair though. We brought Yoshi-a mix breed- and he is about 80 lbs. Nikko and Yoshi have been arguing off and on this whole time, even tonight. Yoshi is very protective of the boys, and so is Nikko. But, considering the few days we have been here, I am glad they are getting along as well as they can. Nothing says Peace and Glad Tidings on Earth like two huge dogs fighting under the kitchen table.
My brother and his girlfriend joined us for supper that night we pulled in. They have been dating for over a month now. She is nice. I didn't get the chance to sit and visit too much with her though.
The next few days were so packed. Our normally calm holiday is now chaos-but a good chaos. I helped my dad go shopping, went shopping for my brother and for gifts for a game. Willard even got pulled behind the four wheeler on a sled by my dad and helped him haul wood. Maynard was battling a cold that crept up on him, and he has been a cling on.
The next evening, my sister had organized a smear tournament at the Community Center. It is a large garage that our uncle Shawn built. It is 3 doors down from my folks. My dad's side of the family usually gathers there, probably once a month or more for potluck, birthdays, holidays, etc. (My dad is one of 11 children, and the majority of the family lives right on the same road, or within a half hour or so. There is always tons of people, including friends and neighbors.
We had snacks and such and drew names for partners and had a whole bracket going on (dual elimination!). Since my partner (my cousin's boyfriend) and I had very little knowledge in the game of smear, we were eliminated. I just played with the kids mostly, and ate and ate. I will definatley be going to the YMCA alot in January!
Christmas Eve we went to my uncle's house and my mom's side of the family got to eat (yes more food!), exchange gifts and play games. The first game that was played was a dice game. All the adults gathered in a circle, with a basket of gifts in the middle. (Inexpensive ones, but cute, funny or gag) You had to roll a 7, 11 or a double and then you grabbed a gift from the basket. After all the gifts were gone, we had 5 minutes to play another round, exept we got to take a gift from someone else. So there were several gifts that were being passed back and forth and it was fun to participate, and to watch everyone play. The young kids also got to play their own game as well, except there was no taking gift part.
The second game required everyone to pass a gift along and try to unwrap it using only oven mitts. There was only a few seconds to do it, then it needed to be passed to the next person. Too funny. Afterwards there was sauna, though the boys and I didn't take one. Maynard at this point would have flipped out if I tried to take him into a hot room with lots of steam. I sure wanted to take one though. It has been YEARS since I have taken a sauna. The steam room at the Y just isn't the same.
Christmas day was laid back. I helped mom make dairy potatoes for brunch, and my dear friend and sister in the Lord Dana came over with her husband and their 3 boys. It was so nice to see her, since it has been at least 10 years. After a short visit with them, they left and the rest of my immediate family started coming over. We had brunch and sat and visited, then opened gifts. I got a pair of jammies, a gift card and a grinder so I can grind flax seed. Mmmm I am hungry now.
Afterward, we all went over to the Community Center for my dad's side of the family gathering, and it was a potluck as well (more food!). We got there a little late since Maynard was napping (I brought him there though, still napping), but we still got to eat. I made spaghetti, since I know my boys would eat it, and they had been having food issues since we got here.
Maynard woke up, after napping a short while longer at the CC. He actually warmed up to a few people there and I got to play Apples to Apples and Imagine If. Both games are highly recommended by the way. I had a couple glasses of wine along with some of my cousins and we enjoyed being together. I got a little tipsy, but that is because I normally don't drink.
I went shopping with my cousin Wednesday, but was disappointed at the lack of clearance items. I expected more stuff to be on sale I guess. I did get some things that I needed, and a couple sleds for the kids since we were invited to a birthday party for one of the cousins. We stopped at Papa Murphy's for a Perfect Pizza and headed back to my folks to eat. We played a game of Catch Phrase then I put the boys down for bed. I brought my cousin back to her house and came home (to my folks) and went to bed.
Are you bored yet? I would love to continue with what is now the most boring novel you have read, but it is late and I must go. I will continue later.