Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Our Christmas Week

As with Thanksgiving, we did things just a bit differently this year for the Christmas holiday.  With Beverly no longer with us, we were free to celebrate with friends.  Bill's little "sister", Cindy, invited us to spend Christmas Eve with her family.  She invited us along her dad, brother and sister-in-law, and nieces to a quiche and ham buffet dinner.  I really wanted for Chris to join us but unfortunately, Cindy provided the wrong address on her invitation and I didn't think to look to see if it was correct.  Chris went in his own car ahead of us and ended up getting very lost with the incorrect address and got frustrated so he went home.  Bill and I had a lovely time though.  And we did a bit of a white elephant gift exchange and the little girls opened their presents from Aunty Cindy.  It was fun to be around the joy of young children at Christmas.  It has been awhile since I had experienced that.

Christmas Day was fairly quiet during the day.  That night we went to our friend Diana's home for dinner.  She had invited quite a few people over for a buffet potluck dinner and a night of "Battle of the Sexes".  The food was so good.  Lots of wonderful crab legs, sauteed shrimp, tri-tip, and other yummy things.  It was so nice to be included in the celebration of others and have a nice change to what we have done for the last several years.

Tom and Maddy celebrated Christmas Day in Wichita.  They were able to get leave on the 27th and flew into Seattle.  They got up early Sunday morning to travel here and spend our family Christmas together.  We had some breakfast and then did our gift opening.  

The Packers and Lions game wasn't going to be on local TV so we decided we were going to go to Big Al's to watch the game.  It was a big one with playoff implications so Tom, Maddy and I really wanted to see it.  Maddy wore her brand new Jordy Nelson jersey that Tom got her for Christmas.  Chris came along for the ride and to enjoy some beer and food.  He didn't care about the game so he read a book and took notes while we were there-takes after Bill in that respect.  Neither one of them cares about football so it was nice to have Tom and Maddy here to share it with me.  Even Ariel has a Packer scarf to get into the spirit of the game.  The game was a good one and stayed pretty close.  The Packers won so they are the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs and have a bye week.  And Jordy Nelson beat Robert Brooks' record for most receiving yards in a season so Maddy was pretty happy about that.  And we were all happy that the Packers won and are in a good position for the playoffs.

After the game, we came home to cook our traditional prime rib Christmas dinner.  It was a great day and great to have my entire family with me and under one roof.

Bill wanted to do something fun while Tom and Maddy were here.  We thought it might be fun to go to the Evergreen Air Museum in McMinnville.  Since Ariel couldn't get in, Chris decided to stay home to dog sit and get some quality time with her.  We found a nice little bistro in Dundee to stop and have lunch.  Then we went to the museum.  Tom whipped out his military ID thinking he would get some sort of benefit.  Little did we know that his active duty military ID would get all four of us in the museum for free.  That was such a nice surprise.  Since we didn't have to pay admission, we decided to take a few additional tours.  Tom wanted to see the inside of the B-17 bomber.  He was hoping to see the navigator station to see how a WWII nav station compared to today.  Unfortunately, we could only go into the back of the plane and not up front where that was.  We also decided that we would splurge and get a tour of the Spruce Goose cockpit.  That was so worth doing.  It was Maddy's first visit to the museum.  The rest of us have been there several times but it was the first time that Tom and I saw the new space museum and it was definitely the first time that any of us had been in the Spruce Goose cockpit.  We could have spent more time there but Maddy also wanted to do some winetasting.  So we left in time to stop at one nearby winery--Stoller Vineyards.  Spent a pleasant hour tasting wine and then headed home.

Tuesday was spent working on wedding planning of sorts.  Bill and Chris needed to get their wedding attire.  We went to Men's Wearhouse and found that it is a lot more complicated process than one would think.  None of the items that they needed were in stock there and they were having some difficulty finding which stores to order things from.  Chris' wasn't so hard but getting things for Bill were much more difficult.  Hopefully it will all work out eventually.  Now we have to start looking for some cowboy boots for them.

Early Wednesday morning (New Years Eve), they left to go back to Kirkland to spend the next few days with Maddy's parents.  It was a very nice visit.  Looking forward to seeing them again in June when we have their wedding.

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