This year we did not decorate, first off we were a bit late getting to it. I was just considering how much effort I wanted to put into moving GI Joe's gear, (the stuff he normally leaves @ the armory, but has to have for transfer), which is of course blocking EVERYTHING else, to get to the Christmas decorations, when I recieved a call from one of my wonderful sisters-in-law. Our Christmas present this year from her and a couple of the brothers, was a trip out to see GI Joe's parents & some of the sibs for Christmas! Problem solved, we put up the 12" tree that is normally in the Diva & Prima Donna's room on the coffee table. Nice...less stress, no mess. Did I mention that I was actually proud of myself for having our decorations down by Valentines Day last year! (The first deployment it was mid-march.)
Really, the most stressful part of this whole plan, was now instead of sending Christmas presents after Christmas, I needed to come up with something to take with us, at least for the youngest sibs. GI Joe is the oldest of nine, the 2 youngest are 5 (sil) & 7 (bil) years older than our oldest. Budget constraints as well as having not seen said family for 3 years, lead to a bit of stress of what to get. Brother-in-law, easy: he paintballs, get him a big box of paintball refills. In comes my new addiction for SIL3, for whom I decided to knit up a gift. Surely, I could knit up a pretty lace scarf in DK weight. *insert sarcastic chuckle* WHAT WAS I THINKING! I was practically begging Murphey to visit, and visit he did. I have not had that much problem beginning a project since the first time I tried knitting with lace weight yarn. I would like to say, I finished said scarf in time to give it to her on Christmas. Okay, Christmas evening, but hey it was still Christmas! And of course in the excitement forgot to snap a pic of it.
We flew out to see the family Thursday - Monday of Christmas weekend. While I wish it could be a little longer, I was thankful for what we got, and realized it was probably best as it wasn't long enough to make ourselves nuisances or to have any drama evolve. Other than my marathon knitting while trying to pack and get everything in order to leave, and anxiety attacks which now plague me when I fly, it was a stress free holiday. (As it is holiday season, we will exclude normal everyday stress from previous statement.) It was great to see the family again.
As I mentioned before hubby hasn't seen his parents & most siblings since just before his previous deployment. Come to think of it, it seems the last few times the whole or most of the family has been able to get together has been before deployment of one of the brothers, (hubby & one brother are both ARNG, another is a
My girls decided they adore their "Dedushka," (Grandpa in Russian.) and my oldest, the Diva, practically glued herself to him when she wasn't playing with the new husky puppy. She did learn to gather eggs from the chickens, which will eventually come in handy when we get our own. I had a great time visiting with my Mother-in-law & SIL1, (She is probably the one I am closest to, but is also 1 of 3 girls in the birth order). My MIL & I even made tentative plans for the girls & I to visit this summer/fall. Then ofcourse there was SIL2's impending marriage to discuss. So lots of visiting, lots of good homemade food, especially of the Russian variety which my dear hubby doesn't always get led to a very enjoyable Christmas.
I was actually thinking of what to write in a new post while visiting and upon returning home. I have to admit, it is hard sometimes. I began to plan out a New Years post, as I was thinking about goals I wanted to accomplish in new year, which will be following, I am still working out a couple of them. However, the tasks of returning home and then actually doing something New Years Eve and having a late Christmas with one of my sisters & her family on New Years Day, provided the "perfect excuse" to procrastinate.
This year for New Years Eve, we actually did something. Last year we went to some friends for dinner, the kiddos got to spend the night & what did GI Joe & I do? Come home and go to bed! We're getting SO old. This year we went over to a couple's house from our church who we are friends with. I love "June", really she is a blessing. I tease her & call her "June" because when we first met she struck me as one of these "June Cleaver" women who have it all together. I have since learned she is just as human (crazy) as me, but has the benefit of a couple more years of life experience, and peace of God to give her that "calm, collected" appearence. I believe when I grown up I want to be like her...ofcourse that would involve growing up.
We had a great time playing board games, and farkle, a dice game with "June & Ward". I was also witness to the dark side of June, she can be VERY competative, but in a fun way. Our kids played together, including a dress-up/play acting game, in which I gained a son-in-law as the Diva and " the Beaver" were married, which ofcourse upset the Prima Donna as there wasn't time for her to marry the Beaver. We rang in the New Year, then promptly headed home to bed.
Slowly we are returning to life as normal, such as it is. I will be finishibng my New Years post and getting it up in the next few days. For now let me wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!