What I did over Christmas Vacation

How I have loved this Christmas break.  This fall was exhausting and stressful for all of us between the Naval Academy stuff, Ian and Tim starting college classes and Andy and I losing our “class” this year.  The Christmas break has been awesome.  Danny scrambled and finished up all of his college application stuff before the break and, not really good news, his hours were cut at his job.  Ian and Tim were on track with their online courses to take a decent break.  So we all had TIME.  Time is everything, isn’t it?
We made cookies.  We played a five-day-long game of Monopoly.  We watched an eclipse at 3 am while laying on the hoods of the cars and eating potato chips and drinking Coke.  The older boys stayed up WAY late with me rearranging and moving furniture to make room for the Christmas tree.  We all re-read the old Christmas newsletters and the boys helped me come up with material for this year’s letter.  
After Christmas, we took advantage of the cold weather and drove out to Blue Springs to see the manatees (296 of them!).  I was surprised when the older boys wanted to join Andy and me on our manatee adventure.  We packed a lunch, some snacks, a cooler with drinks and hit the road.  Aside from the fact that Tim was driving, it was like going back in time.  It was COLD!  We were bundled up, but it was still COLD!  We ate our lunch in the glorious heat of the car and then, to my surprise, my giant boys wanted to go to the playground at the park.  I think it was more about testing Tim’s new camera than about swinging on the swings.  No toddlers were harmed in their playground adventure.  And, I love that they still like to do things like this.
Today, we all got up late.  We decided to run some errands.  Again, it ended up with all five of us in the car.  Again, I was not driving.  We went to the bank, the outlet grocery store, the thrift store, the downtown library and it was fun.  I feel so lucky that we can still do dumb stuff and have a good time all together.  I really love that the older boys include Andy, not because I insist, but because they actually like him.  I love that, as different as all the boys are, they are so close and get along so well.  I love that they don’t mind me tagging along (shrieking in the passenger seat, no less). 

I think Mike had just as much fun as I did.  Roof time with staple guns, electricity and me yelling from below? Lots of baking (we are Baker’s right?). Long bike rides and short walks with weird old Scout.  Board games involving world domination? Watching Christmas Vacation.  I don’t think it gets better.  Well, maybe in a couple more years when they can toss beer in to the mix, maybe.  😉  

You get it, right?  It was a really great Christmas break.  I’ll be sad when Monday comes.

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