So anyway . . . back to Christmas.
I know, it was like 8 million years ago but the OCD part of me is rearing it's ugly head and I CANNOT - under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES - move on with orderly blogging until I finish the Christmas stuff. You understand? Please tell me you understand.
Tell me that you, too, love it when your kids' sports equipment is in alphabetical order in the garage. In addition to that, you have a specific order and method of doing laundry and if anyone messes with it, it paralyzes you to the point that you are unable to finish the laundry.
Yeah, you're right. That last one is just because I hate laundry. It's my firm belief that laundry is a tool of Satan. Along with traffic lights.
I don't know what any of that has to do with Christmas. Could someone please send me a prescription for antipsychotics? Thank you.
On with the show. As you know, we spent Christmas in Kansas. We go every year because both sets of grandparents live there as well as cousins, aunts and uncles on both sides of the family. It's usually a whirlwind of activity - shopping, teasing, cooking, ping-pong tournaments and eating!
Michael and Meredith, our niece and nephew on Duane's side of the family.
Their house was our first stop, after flying into Kansas City. We spent the night, watched K-State get beat by UNLV and made gingerbread houses! Well, Katie helped make a gingerbread house and I ate a bunch of yogurt covered pretzels. That's how I roll, man.
We had a great visit, mostly because I was undeterred in my needling of Uncle Larry. It's my goal in life to help Uncle Larry get out of his comfort zone.
I should be a family therapist.
After our fun-for-me-not-so-much-for-Uncle-Larry visit we headed "home" to Salina.
Do any of you, after living and raising your kids elsewhere, still refer to your hometown as "home"? My kids get a bit confused, "We're going back home already? Where are we going again?"
Anyway . . .
We arrived in Salina in time to celebrate Grandma's birthday! We ate dinner then went back to the farm for Christmas presents.
Presents like this. My boys are taking aim at Grandma's china cabinet. And you should know that I, too, was excited about these BB guns. See, there's a mean, nasty-ass cat that comes in our backyard and picks on my kitties. So far, the airsoft gun hasn't made a - ahem - dent.
Locked and loaded, baby. That cat is MINE.
Back to the subject at hand - you want to meet my extended family? Don't be scared. Actually, you SHOULD be scared. Very . . . very . . . . scared.
Smart-ass sister's family. Aren't those girls purty? Don't tell them. I have a hard enough time keeping them in their place as it is.
Smart-ass brother's family. Honestly - I can't believe their kids are so normal.
A universe of smart-assedness in one picture. I'm the super-model in the back, next to the hunky guy in the gray coat.
Christmas was such a blast. The kids are all old enough to participate in activities with the grown-ups. And I use the word "grown-up" very, very loosely here.
For instance, Around the World Ping-Pong. You've played it, haven't you? WHAT? You don't know what it is? Well, it's only the craziest game of ping-pong EVER! It's basically ping-pong that allows all 16 of us to play.
Here, I'll show you. Get ready to be dazzled with an action shot -
Everyone surrounds the table, moving clockwise and hitting the ball when it's their turn. You hit the ball, lay down the paddle for the player behind you, and keep moving the whole time. If you hit the ball out, you're eliminated. One by one, people are eliminated until there are 2 remaining. Those 2 play a regular game to determine the champion.
What's fun is when it gets down to less than 5 players. You don't have a lot of time to hit, put your paddle down, run to the other side and return the volleys. It's especially hard when your SMART ASS BROTHER tries to mess with you when you're running. It's especially hard when SMART ASS BROTHER'S equally SMART ASS SISTERS gang up on him to prevent him from reaching the other side of the table.
We take our Around the World Ping-Pong seriously. It's a contact sport in our house.
In addition to that we did puzzles, shopped and had a sleepover. A grown-up sleepover. Seriously. All the grandkids were at Gram and Gramps' one night so what were we to do? There were no beds for the adults so we went to my brother's house and stayed the night. Grown-up sleepovers are AWESOME. First of all - apple martinis. Second - apple martinis.
We played Catch Phrase and laughed so hard. So. Very. Hard. My brother and sister are seriously the funniest people I know.
So - big sigh of relief - Christmas recap is over. You want to know why I've been so negligent in blogging? Here are some clues:
Sick kids round 1
Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning
Purging every single drawer and closet in this house
Sick kids round 2
Prep for wood floor refinishing
I'll have before and after pictures as we go along. That is if I live through it. Until then -