It's been a LONG time since I've written! And of course, a lot has happened.
First and foremost, as it is 8:12 pm on December 31, 2017, I want to wish you a very Happy New Year! May it be a great year for you and yours!
Now, to go back over the last two months...
I spent Thanksgiving with Jeff, Angela, Jack, Katie and Chloe (see above). It was a fantastic vacation, and so very warm! The weather made new highs, and we all enjoyed the warmth. The kids are growing up so much! Jack is into Legos big time and lots of riding of bikes for Katie and Chloe. I pitched the softball to Katie and Chloe outside in front of their house, and both were really good at hitting the ball.
Unfortunately, I don't have the photos of Chloe because I lost all my pictures from the trip except for the few that I had made up. So if these pictures seem a little blurry, it's because I am taking pictures of my pictures!!
Chloe lost her 4th tooth in the middle of the street in the dark on our return from eating at a fun restaurant. She fell off her bike and out popped the tooth! We didn't know it at the time, just saw lots of blood. It was gruesome but Chloe handled it very well. Then next day I found her tooth in the street and returned it to her. The tooth fairy came that night.
We did a lot of cooking while I was in Denver - first with the sugar cookies the kids helped me bake and then decorated. They did a super job! I also made a delicious ham and bean soup along with corn bread. Also Jeff's favorite oatmeal cookies, too! I was just a cooking fool! I had no idea I could even cook that much, so it was a surprise to me as well as to everyone else! Angela appreciated it as she is working at her job as a social worker more and more. I had a blast in the kitchen!
Too soon Thanksgiving was over and it was on to Arizona to see Linda and Pat and family. The extended family is growing - as you can see! Hailey is such a good baby! Kelsey and Lauren (with a lot of help from Nicki's mother-in-law, Stephanie) and I made some more cookies and decorated them for Christmas too! The girls were great decorators! It's so cute to see how they play together. Lauren is quite devoted to Kelsey! When Hailey gets a little older, it will be quite the girl party around Nicki and Jeff's new home!
The whole family came over, so I was able to see all my nieces and nephew(s)! Linda and Pat have a lovely family. We need to get the entire family (including Jeff and Angela and kids) together for some quality cousin time! We're working on it!
Then it was home to Illinois. It is now so frigid!
Jack had his tonsils and adnoids (?) out on December 9th. He seems to have recovered well. Angela's whole family - Nana, Papa, sister Kary, Dan, with cousins, Gavin, Jake and Olivia, came to visit for Christmas. That helped Jack recover! Kary and the kids are still there, but Jeff took Dan to the airport today so he can go back to work. Katie, Chloe and Jack are having a ball with their cousins.
The big news for me since I returned home is my new phone - an IPhone! And an IPad! So now I can Facetime with everyone! What fun it is! In fact, as I was working on this blog, Jeff and Angela called tonight! I was able to see everyone and even the neighbors they had over for a little New Year's celebration! It makes me feel such a part of everything. Earlier, Linda called and we Facetimed, too! Such miracles!
I am also happy to report that Chris and Smitty, my two intrepid crazy fishermen were out here a couple weeks ago to ice fish (when the ice was barely forming!). They brought 5 gallon pails, and instead of setting up their ice fishing tent, they each turned a bucket upside down and sat on it...very close to shore. They hardly moved at all, because the ice was VERY thin. But they got some ice fishing in!
On Christmas Eve we had the most beautiful snow so I was able to capture the chapel just at dusk. I titled this picture, "Silent Night, Holy Night."
Dear Reader, have a very, very Happy New Year! I hope 2018 will be your best year yet!