Our timing was perfect. We had just pulled into the cell phone lot when Kristin called and said she was in. We drove to Arrivals to pick her up and winged our way to Troy. We stopped at Kelly's to drop off Kristin and to have lunch because Kara was not home yet. Afterwards we all went to Kara's for her delicious spaghetti dinner. That evening I wrapped the gifts I had sent directly to Kara's house.
Friday morning I resumed my bowling career. It started on the 10 alleys in the basement of St. Bonaventure School when I was about 10 years old. It ended in 2001 when I moved to Texas and was in need of a hip replacement. Ted, Kristin, Ally, Allen, Sam, Morgan and I decided to give it a whirl. Let's just say I was about 40 pins off my average. I would have done better if I had used my own ball that Ted gave me as a gift for my 19th birthday. It's in our garage on the new shelves!
Friday evening we all went to Greenfield Village's Holiday Celebration. Greenfield Village is part of the Henry Ford Museum complex in Dearborn, MI and is a great place to visit. We rode the carousel, took a wagon ride and stood around open fires and sang Christmas songs with strolling minstrels. We helped the group in the Stephen Foster house by ringing bells while they played.
A big hit was Santa Claus who was on a balcony of a big home but I don't remember whose. There were ladies in red velvet in the audience and they had direct contact with Santa. Imagine the kids' surprise when he called out "Merry Christmas, Morgan and Sam. I'm so glad you could come tonight."
We ate at the Taste of History restaurant and then went to the train exhibition that Sam loved. A friend sent an old Lionel train set with me for Sam and he's been playing with it every day. This gave him all sorts of ideas to expand his set. We watched the glass blowers make candy cane ornaments and beautiful candy cane bowls. The last sight was fireworks before leaving for home.
Christmas Eve we all attended Mass at St. Mary's of the Hills where our son-in-law Patrick lectored. It was a nice service, not too crowded and we were all able to sit together. Afterwards we went to Kelly's for a great dinner. Pat's family was there too and after dinner we left so they could have their family gift exchange. There was much to do back at the ranch in anticipation of Santa's arrival. Kristin spent the night so she would be here in the morning for the kids' Christmas.
I was up first and soon everyone was ready for what turned into a 2.5 hour present opening marathon. Morgan said she must have been on the nice list all year long.
We finished none too soon to get ready for our 2 pm guests' arrival. Kristin's friend Sheetal came as well as Kara and Allen's friend Bill. Kara fixed her traditional and wonderful Christmas meal which we all enjoyed.
All the girls played Barbies with Morgan and had a great time laughing at Awkward Family Photos on a calendar Sheetal gave Kristin. We had a great Christmas with the family.
“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”