Sunday morning dawned cold and snowy. Everyone was up at 6 am including all our guests. We were kicking them out the door (not really..well kind of) and heading to holiday celebration #2 at my mom and dad’s house in Ohio. We were going to celebrate Christmas with my sister and her family who wouldn’t be able to come for Christmas on December 25th. Everyone was on the road by 6:30 am. The back of our car was filled with Christmas presents, sleepy children and a lamb! Lambert is still on a bottle so we had to take him with us. He sat in the back seat with Molly..looking out the window. We received more than one startled look as we passed other cars along the way.
When we arrived at the Homestead the kids stumbled over each other to run and greet their aunts, uncles and cousins that they don’t get to see too often. Aunt Kelly (my sister), Uncle Tom, and their kiddos..Lydia, Nate, Sammy and Noah came in from Michigan and Uncle
Travis (my brother) came to visit from Texas. We just had one day that all of our schedules overlapped and that we would all be at my parent’s home at the same time. We were planning on getting as much visiting, playing, laughing and celebrating into those 12 hours as we could. This was the first time Tyler was meeting his new family. He was nervous about the visit and a bit shy at those initial introductions but it didn’t take him long at all to warm up to everyone! I was able to meet Noah, my newest nephew, for the first time..what a doll! It was such a joy to be together!The kids took off to play and see the farm animals outside. Tyler was so anxious to meet George, my parents’ donkey. He has been talking about George for weeks. On the drive to their house he informed me that he was going to “drive that donkey” when he got there.
The other day we were talking about Christmas gifts and who we needed to buy for. He wanted to know what we were going to buy George for Christmas. I asked him what he thought we should buy George..what do you buy a donkey for Christmas?? He thought about it for a bit then a flash of inspiration lit up his face..”I know!” he said, “We can buy him a frisbee! Then he can throw it for the goats to catch!” Getting into his train of thought I then suggested that perhaps we buy him a soccer ball to play with. Tyler looked at me with disbelief..” Mama..donkeys can’t kick balls.” He walked away shaking his head in disgust at his foolish mother. 🙂
Well, George was everything Tyler hoped he would be. ( No, he did not “drive” him). Molly put Lambert in the pen with the other animals and then joined the other kids in the barn to play on the hay. They had a blast climbing on the hay bales. Toby rearranged the bales of hay to make tunnels for them to climb in and hide in. My Mom decorated the corner of the barn for our “Christmas” dinner and gift exchange…so charming! It was so nice sitting and visiting with my family while we watched the kids climb and play.
After letting the kids play for a while it was time to exchange Christmas gifts. Since Kelly’s family won’t be able to join us for Christmas we all gave her family their gifts early and she had our gifts for us so as to keep any of us from having to mail packages. As a result we each had 1 gift to open while her kids had multiple gifts to open from the rest of us. I wasn’t sure how Tyler was going to react to that. I was worried that he would think he had fewer gifts to open because of some reason other than the real one. Toby pulled him aside ahead of time and explained that it wasn’t really Christmas and that we were just exchanging gifts with Aunt Kelly and Uncle Tom. He handled it so well. He opened his gift from them, a Nerf gun, and loved it! He ran off to play with it in the hay while everyone else continued to open gifts. It was a lot of fun and everyone was thrilled with the gifts they received. After exchanging gifts we headed back to the house. The temperature was dropping and it was too cold to eat in the barn like we had originally planned. We had a delicious dinner and then played “Telestrations” as a family. What a fun game! I don’t know when I have laughed so much. When it was time to leave Tyler was devastated. “Why can’t we spend the night like Lydia?” ( his new favorite cousin) he wanted to know. It was hard saying goodbye after such a short visit but I was so grateful that we were able to have that time together regardless of how short the visit was.
What a busy 6 days we had..it was so much fun..but boy do I need a nap! As I look at the wonderful time we have had, the sweet memories we have made, the wonderful families we are both blessed with, and all that went well with Tyler and his first Thanksgiving with us I feel like a millionaire! How truly, truly blessed I am…
“It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder