My ex-wife was scheduled to have the children for the first half of winter break, all 3 days. However, she had to work 2 of them, so she picked them up on Christmas Eve. As I had burned my vacation earlier this fall, I was in need of a babysitter. Luckily my Mom (Grandma Nini) offered to come for a week and offer her assistance.
(As always, click a picture for larger size.)
Grandma Nini arrived Christmas Eve, after a 10 hour drive, and got to visit a little before they were picked up. She then eagerly accompanied me to our Church’s Christmas Eve service in Lostine, where I was scheduled to sing a solo.
For those who don’t know, I sing as a bass in the Choir at the Lostine Presbyterian Church. My solo, however, was “O Holy Night” which is significantly higher than my comfort level. While it had sounded rather good in practice, nerves got the best of me and luckily the audience didn’t think it was “that bad.” Needless to say, I will NOT be posting a video .
My Mom and I stayed up late “preparing for Santa” and having nice, adult conversations. I picked the kids up around lunch time on Christmas. They were in no need of sustenance, though, as they had consumed pounds of sugar throughout the morning.
We sorted presents and took turns opening them. While I won’t go into detail, I would like to thank all the relatives who sent their packages. The kids and I deemed it “the best Christmas ever.”
In my hectic dance around the kitchen, I totally forgot to make any stuffing. This setback was easily overlooked when considering the turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy were all excellent. I also managed to perfect the heart-shaped carving of the cranberry sauce, thanks to the help of a borrowed cookie cutter.
After giving in to the turkey and wallowing on the couch with a movie, we partook of our mincemeat pie and cool whip. I started a new bed time story with the kids (courtesy of Grandma Nini) and we retired for the night. My daughter passed out on the couch before I was through.
With Christmas landing on the weekend, I was granted Monday off work. We had ham and cheese popovers for breakfast, and went geocaching. While my daughter had been away a few months prior, my son and I had hidden our first geocache. I thought it would be a good first experience for my Mom and daughter to go find it.
It was a nice walk in Wallowa Lake State Park, and the weather was grand. Alex found it in no time, so we visited another for Grandma Nini to try on her own. With a clue from Tanner, she ascertained its hiding spot.
Next, we ventured down to Soroptomist (the 25 cent thrift store) to find them closed. Vowing to visit them tomorrow, we visited another cache that just happened to be in a pioneer cemetery. My Mom loves cemeteries. The kids had more time to explore, and we found many interesting stories written in the granite and lichen.
We returned for a lunch of turkey sandwiches and Ramen noodles. Though we will most likely turn into vegetables for the remainder of the day, all-in-all it was a wonderful weekend.
Merry Christmas to all!