WOW.....Christmas came and went and now all that is left is tons of bits of candy wrappers, little pieces of torn paper under the chairs and sofas, lots and lots of cookie crumbs where they are not supposed to be......and still TheHowserHouse is full of family and grandchildren!!!
Saturday....Christmas Day.....was NOT our Christmas Day. Jeremy and Anne-marie went to see Mike for the afternoon......and the 1st Lady and I just hung out here at the sticknbrick putting the finishing touches on the dinner to be served on Sunday, which was our Christmas Day.
By 10pm, Darrel and Dr. Jeni and three kids, Becky and Rachel, Jeremy and Anne-marie were all back here in TheHowserHouse. The rest of the evening went swiftly as we tried to get the kids bedded down, but since they were all excited from their own Christmas trees and the gifts that Santa had left for them that morning.....they were not read to go to bed. Finally....finally, they collapsed and soon afterwards the lights went out.
SUNDAY...our Christmas Day.....the kids were up and getting us older guys up so they could begin opening the gifts that were for them....and all of us. Chaos reigned supreme as they tore into their gifts.....and the hours and hours of thinking, selecting, purchasing, and wrapping were soon a thing of the past!!! What fun everyone had......and the grandkids, especially!
Anne-marie and Jeremy cooked an amazing breakfast with lots and lots of southern overtones, including cheesy grits with spices, special stuffed omelets, sausage which they had brought up from southern Alabama, and a special Jezebel sauce for dipping the sausage into. Then......we all had Mimosa drinks: champagne and freshly squeezed orange juice mixed carefully together so as not to lose the bubbles......ummmmmm...great!!!!!
The afternoon was spent in getting the evening dinner prepared, while the kids enjoyed their new toys and games and digital devices,as well as new phones and cameras......a great time!!!
Jeremy and Anne-marie gave the 1st Lady and myself a specially made and printed just for us.....large "coffee table book" of pictures of their wedding from last March. GORGEOUS!!!!!!!! A lovely book cover dedicated to us covered the hard back book, printed out in California and looks like a book that you would buy at Barnes & Noble!!! I have no idea how many huge and beautiful pictures were in the book......the layout, the outline and structure of the book is incredible!!!!! WHAT A GIFT!!!!!!!!
Dinner was wonderful....the 1st Lady is a great cook........and everyone enjoyed it 110%!!! The afterdinner evening was spent with cards and games........a wonderful day it was!!!!
A busy day here at the sticknbrick: I had a treatment for my sciatic nerve this morning followed by coffee with a former student; Jeremy had to go to Poplar Bluff to get a typhoid shot for this upcoming trip to southeast Asia; Darrel had to make a trip to Willow Springs with a friend of his; And then we had three more guests for the day here at the house to visit with Dr. Jeni.
My leg/nerve is much better....been three days since any real pain...and so, after I finished I had coffee with Nick Nichols and his young lady who were here for a couple of days. Another incredible hour with Nick......we have such great times in our discussions and I continue to learn more and more about his continuing education at Michigan State University as well as his performances with the Lansing, MI Symphony! Such an incredible guy, he is!!!!
Everyone had arrived back at the sticknbrick by this evening.....and Jeremy and Anne-marie were very busy packing for their very early departure from STL tomorrow. I will drive them up to the airport, leaving here at 3AM for their 5AM check-in.......they will fly to Atlanta, and then fly from there to Seoul, South Korea. From there another plane on to Hanoi, Vietnam and the beginning of their four month adventure in VietNam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and India.....and possibly Nepal/Tibet if time permits.
Soooo, I will close this and get things ready to leave in a few hours for STL. And.....of course......
LIFE IS JUST INCREDIBLY GREAT!!!!!!......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!