This morning, I woke up and the very first thing that I did was inform Hubs, “Well. I just dreamed that I was chasing a life-sized Mickey Mouse down a street, and I jumped on his back and tackled him flat. And also? His shoes squeaked like little baby shoes when I landed on him.” Hubs, who always wrinkles his forehead at the mention of my dreams and says something exactly like, “Please don’t tell me your dreams ever again, because it makes me think you’re one step away from becoming Jack Torrance unless I have you medicated,” said something else entirely. He said, “Well, I just dreamed that a giant crocodile was chasing us, and we ran into some bleachers at a football game, only the croc started climbing the back of the bleachers, and I knew we weren’t going to make it out alive.”
I just thought that y’all should know exactly what kind of crazy you’re dealing with tonight, when you read this. I’d call it three gallons of crazy in a one-gallon milk jug. You’ve been warned.
I promised you a recap of our Thanksgiving, even though by Monday night, no one is even thinking about Thanksgiving any longer, because they have a Christmas tree sitting on their deck that needs to be brought inside, dried off from all the snow, and decorated.
Or maybe that’s just us.
Just don’t miss the amazement of that last statement, because WE HAVE A TREE! ON OUR DECK! IN NOVEMBER! At the Jedi Manor, our goal is to simply have a tree up by our nephew’s birthday, because that’s December 15th, and it always feels good to have a specific date for a goal.
And then we take that crazy tree down on December 26th, because by then I’ve quit watering it, and it’s nothing more than an upright stick of dried-out kindling that makes the fire chief shake in his boots.
On Wednesday night (WEDNESDAY! Like… coming in on a week ago!), Hubs and I had a date. We hired Mam and Pa to keep our boys overnight, and Hubs took me to see Skyfall, the new James Bond film. I suppose that this would be a good time to tell you that this was MY FIRST 007 movie. I had suggested that we see Red Dawn, because Hubs frowned upon The Life of Pi and then announced that he’d rather be electrocuted in a bucket of ice water than see the new Breaking Dawn flick. Hubs simply said that he couldn’t believe I was offering to see Red Dawn, because it’s a war movie, and it was probably full of violence. So we didn’t see it; instead we watched the violence that James Bond dished out. I kept my expectations low for the Bond experience, and that’s where they’ll probably stay. All I can say is that James Bond needs our prayers, because he kisses entirely too many women and he knows how to snap someone’s neck in half by wrapping his knees around them. This was so much gentler than watching machine gun fire and tanks.
Hubs and I also got an enormous bag of butter with some popcorn in it, because HELLO, DINNER. And before the movie even started, we both realized that it’s actually possible to have entirely too much butter on your corn. We had to discard the bag in a nearby seat, because it was oozing grease through the pores in the bag.
When the movie let out, we went to Walmart. Yes, Walmart, at 10:00 on a Wednesday night. It was good for us, because we realized that our three gallons of crazy in a one-gallon bucket is actually a low dosage compared to the quantities of crazy that other people were packing around.
On Thursday, we went to Sister’s house for Round One of Thanksgiving Dinner. We had all the usual carbohydrates laid out on the counter in a glorious spectrum of wonderfulness, right there beside the turkey and the honey-glazed ham. Sister asked everyone to write out a list of what they’re thankful for, because she’s always wanted to share something like that around the table. We all had the I’M SO THANKFUL FOR MY FAMILY AND OUR PROVISIONS lists going on, and then our mom read hers, and Sister and I crowned her the winner of the thankful list. She had written something very personal and beautiful, and Sister and I cried like babies, and had to use the turkey napkins to wipe the snot out of our noses.
At some point in the endeavor of balancing as many carbs on my plate as possible, I did manage to get the camera out and snap some pictures of the kids to commemorate our holiday with.
Little H and Thing 2 have decided that they actually LIKE ONE ANOTHER now, as long as Thing 2 understands that whatever he has in his hands, Little H will take away, and whatever she has in HER hands, she gets to keep. The agreement clause that Thing 2 added to the contract is that Little H shouldn’t be alarmed if he occasionally knocks her down and flattens her.
Of course we made all the cousins sit on the sofa together, because last Thanksgiving, there were FOUR. OF. THEM. (And one of them was exactly twenty-four hours old!) This Thanksgiving, through the blessings of God, there are FIVE!
Aren’t the three of them magnificently CUTE?!
And then… well… a full afternoon of Thanksgiving merriment can wear an eight-month-old baby plum out!
And then we put our sleeping baby and our revved up big kid in the Suburban, and we drove twenty miles to Small Mountain Town, where we had Round Two of all the Thanksgiving fun and eating with Hubs’ family.
We kind of thought that Thing 2 might… you know… SLEEP for a while, but he decided that his short nap in the Suburban was enough to recharge his batteries to full capacity. He was determined that he was going to be in the thick of things with all the cousins at Grammy and Papa’s house, too.
All of Thing 2’s cousins are powerfully good to him! They rolled the ball with him; they tickled him; they wrestled him on the floor; they played Peek-A-Boo with him. He was delighted to be exactly where he was at… surrounded by family.
And then… LOOK! As if that nine-year-old Cousin M couldn’t get any cuter, he went and got himself a pair of prescription glasses, and SWEET MERCY! If it’s possible, he’s even more adorable now, and I made sure that I told him that twenty-nine times on Thursday!
We even got Big Cousin H in this picture. Big Cousin H is a couple weeks out from being seventeen. He likes girls. He likes driving his truck. He has a job. We don’t see Big Cousin H as much as we’d like to, because teenagers are hard to catch.
We have taken this group’s picture on the sofa every year since Miss A was born. Miss A will be eight next month. And when we started the picture tradition, they all fit on that sofa with SOME ROOM TO SPARE. And now? Well. Those kiddos have all grown up, and we’ve added Thing 2 to the batch, and I think we’re going to have to start snapping their holiday picture on a flatbed trailer.
On Friday, Little H celebrated her VERY FIRST BIRTHDAY! Oh, yes! One year ago, Sister and Sister’s Husband drove halfway across our state to pick her up, and the adoption papers were signed, and they brought her home on Thanksgiving Day when she was less than twenty-four hours old. Little H is a stinking cute sweetheart, and we plan to keep her around.
Her brother and sister (L and K) decorated her cake. We all sang Happy Birthday, and H didn’t know the protocol for what to do. Did she grab the cake? Did she smile? She had apparently missed the Birthday Behavior Briefing, and she was entirely too ladylike to charge in and do her own thing.
Cousin K brought his camera out to take pictures of his baby sister’s first birthday, which is why Sister has a memory card full of snapshots of everyone’s feet… and chairs… and the floor. Special memories, people; special memories.
When Little H’s birthday party wrapped up, Hubs and I left the boy at Sister’s house, because K had invited him to sleep over. We came home and went to bed early, because back-to-back holiday festivities can really take it out of the elderly.
On Saturday, the boy and Cousin B got together for an overnight BY THEMSELVES with Grammy and Papa.
B wanted to make it VERY CLEAR that he is EVERY SINGLE BIT AS TALL AS THE BOY, but he was SLOUCHING in this picture.
Grammy spoiled the two of them rotten. They had McDonald’s cheeseburgers, homemade spaghetti, homemade French Toast, and grilled bacon. They stayed up well beyond 1 AM, playing video games and laughing like hyenas.
On Sunday morning, it was snowing to beat the band here, and the two of them talked Papa into letting them build a fire in his driveway, so that they could roast marshmallows for lunch.
The boy came home on Sunday afternoon completely satisfied with his long holiday weekend. He’d spent the night with everyone… Mam and Pa… Sister and Sister’s Husband… Grammy and Papa. He’d played some video games. His clothes smelled like campfire smoke. He’d eaten all the foods a twelve-year-old boy loves to eat. He’d laughed with his cousins for five days straight.
And THAT, people, is what we have to be thankful for. Even with our three gallons of crazy that we tote around, Hubs and I are very aware of how blessed we are to have our families around us all the time. We are thankful for our boys, and that we get to raise them right here in Small Town, USA, surrounded by the people they love the very best.
Y’all have a great Monday.