Probably the best thing was having all the guys home for extended periods and in pretty relaxed moods. I know that they got bored, which was unavoidable because there isn't much to do here, but it meant so much to me to see them! And an added bonus was that we had *almost* 3 weeks without a fight . . . only one or two notable skirmishes and apologies were actually spoken (or attempted)! Considering how passionate we all are about our faith, politics & our own particular points of view, that was a Christmas Miracle.
* I had fun decorating this year. It was, perhaps, my best Christmas house ever. I really enjoyed having an extra week to get ready.
* I didn't bake enough kinds of cookies. There will be more next year.
* The divorce-gate (the piece of trash I dragged home -- actually, which I had 3 other people help me drag home -- and which was the evidence that I'd "gone too far" and which put Jim over the edge) was FINALLY up and even decorated in time for Christmas! Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of it until the snow day. The blob to the left of it is a lovely lighted grapevine tree that Kally made for me.
* We all had fun at Grandma's -- holidays have definitely improved now that the littlest little is in 4th grade. Cathy looked stronger and like she felt better than she did at Thanksgiving and that made me very happy.
* I got the stomach flu in the wee hours of Christmas morning and pretty much missed Christmas. I couldn't eat for 3 days, which probably was a good thing.
* Everyone, except Paul, made it here for Buehlersmas. We really missed him & I hope he reads this sometime to know that. It just wasn't complete without him. I felt like this Christmas was especially precious because last year neither he nor Christy & Tom could come and you never know how many more years we'll all be able to be together. It was such a blessing and I had a real sense of cherishing every moment.
* I got to spend time with Lily, which was great. She doesn't know me, except that I look vaguely like other people she does know, but it was fun anyway. She's a real sweetie & did very well, considering that she'd been away from home and living with non-stop stimulation for 3 weeks!
* Danny & Jim got to meet Lily for the first time, which was very cool!
* Young Jim was awarded his trophy as the winner of the 2007 UncFL. I know all his office mates at U of Maryland will be impressed when they see it.
* Gene fell on their second night here and broke her wrist and Jim and I made a 4:30 am run to the hospital with her. They couldn't set it -- just put a splint and wrap on it -- and she took it like a real trooper for the rest of the visit. She's amazing for 85!
* We all learned how to play Mexican Train Dominoes and it became the game of choice for the week. Gene did fine with that, too, one handed.
* On New Year's Day, we were welcomed with over a foot of snow. It was beautiful!