The day after Christmas we all went to Kelly's for dinner and spent some time with Shannon, John, Katie and new baby Cullin. You may remember Katie from last summer when she sang It's a Grand Old Flag in its entirety for the 4th of July. She will be 3 in February and sang Frosty, Rudolph, Jingle Bells and Deck The Halls for us. Then she proceeded to recite the Lord's Prayer and sang Jesus Loves Me while signing the song as she is being taught at Sunday School. Shannon says she is so smart she scares her.
We played some Mexican Train and another round of Catch Phrase and it was as much fun as Christmas night.
Tuesday morning we took Kristin to the airport for a noon flight and continued south. Kristin's plane was on time and she arrived home safely. We tried to reach Peter for three days and when we finally talked to his wife we learned Peter had been hospitalized for 11 days and was not able to have visitors. We are so saddened to learn of this development but had to respect his wishes. So we drove down 127 and stopped in Eaton for a short visit with Ted's cousin Pat. I took a couple pictures of the snow covered farms along the way. It didn't snow on us the entire time we were gone but we did run into about 3 minutes of awful rain right before we stopped for the night in Arkansas on the way home. It came and went very quickly but we were 5 miles from our exit and stopping anyway.
We arrived in Cincinnati in time to dress to go to Ted's sister's for dinner and to see Kevin and Barb. Mike and Kathy both had the flu so were unable to come. Peg asked us to pick up Aunt Eileen, age 83, and Uncle Bill, age 93, so they could visit too. Dave flew home from St. Louis just in time to eat. We had a good visit and some Skyline chili. It was good to see everyone but I forgot to take a picture!
Thursday we met two of my grade school friends for lunch. They just happen to be seeing each other now. Jerry's folks bought my childhood home when I was about 10 and he ended up in the same class in elementary school as Donna and I were. Donna went to school with me from K-12.
Afterwards we stopped at Sam's to get brats, goetta and frozen Skyline to take home with us in the two coolers we brought with us. Then it was back to Karen's for a short visit with their daughter Cindy and her husband Tim before leaving again to meet my niece Jill for dinner.
She is an excellent quilter and made us both Snuggies like you see on TV. I know they'll be great in the RV on cool evenings when we don't want to turn the furnace on. You are covered up but your hands are free to read, use the computer or hold onto the remote. We always enjoy our visit with her. She is such a sweet girl and looks so much like our Kristin. Once again I forgot to take a picture.
Cindy had brought over all she had collected for our family reunion goody bags for us to take home. We'll have more room in the RV and truck to take it all to Pigeon Forge than they will have in their Prius. When we got home from dinner we did some rearranging in the car to get things situated. Ted said we need a semi to get all this stuff back. I said we just needed to pack it better. We are full but we have it all in there.
We left at 8:16 Friday morning (one minute past Ted's announced departure time) and traveled southwest taking a different way home. From Elizabethtown, KY we took the Wendell Ford Fwy. to I-155 to I-55 in Missouri and south into Arkansas, west of Memphis. We believe this saves about an hour over going Louisville-Nashville-Memphis along I-65 and I-40. And there was no traffic. That was the best part.
We stopped in Brinkley, Arkansas for the night after being on the road for close to 10 hours. We checked into a motel, went into town for a BBQ dinner and then right back to the motel. I was in bed asleep by 9 pm. Ted said he didn't see the ball drop so he went to sleep before 11 pm. For those of you in the Eastern Time Zone, we in the Central Time Zone have to watch at 11 pm or we're looking at street sweepers in New York at midnight CST!
We arrived home today at 4:30, wished Chris a Happy New Year, then went to church at 5:00. I've been through the mail, paid the bills, and still have lots of unpacking to do.
Here is a picture from Kara's Christmas e-mail since she never got around to sending cards. She had overnight company for 9 straight days and nights so we'll just have to forgive her.
Here's my favorite picture and I've chosen the caption: "Here's lookin' at ya sweetheart!"
Wishing you and yours the best of everything in 2011.