Because the earliest Mass was held in church, the gym and the fellowship hall, over 3000 people were able to attend. So our 6:30 service filled the church but was not a crushing SRO crowd. The new parking lot provided enough additional parking so even that was not a problem. Fr. Tom's sermon was so inspiring he received a round of applause.
We arrived back home to a monument of gifts and it took to the wee hours of the morning to finish opening them all.
Larry with his Aloha shirt for our Hawaii Christmas trip next year.
Ted with a bucket of bullets.
Ally and her Apple Watch.
Larry and a new camera.
The best mess ever made is the one created by Christmas wrappings being undone.
I received a Roomba, Echo, hand mixer (my girls said my old one sucked!), a new Waterpik, and NuWave induction burner for the RV and pans to use with it.
A new packable down jacket will come in handy for plane trips up north when a bulky winter coat is hard to deal with. It folds up to a very small package.
It was a fun time for all.
Despite the late bedtime, we were up early to start preparing things for our Christmas dinner. First up was three pies and Kristin did the mixing while I did the crust and fluting. Our menu was ham, sweet potatoes, scalloped potatoes, carrots, corn, fruit salad and rolls to go with all that pie.
Gerre and Barry arrived and we had dinner shortly after with everyone sitting around the table until late evening. When they left most everyone went for a walk but my back was acting up and I wasn't much use to anyone so I ended up on the couch with my ice pack.
I woke up with a terrible headache with my back still giving me fits so I gave in and took the first Tylenol 3 the doctor prescribed after my surgery. It did the trick for my head and dulled my back. My best Christmas gift was still to come. The grandchildren left for home in the morning so Kristin, Larry, Kelly and Pat left for the container store to buy pull out baskets and shelves for three of my kitchen cabinets. I simply cannot get down to reach the back so I can only use the very front. And keeping them neat has been next to impossible. Pat installed them while Larry cleaned and replaced everything. Now I can pull them out, get what I need and put things back neatly! In my book this gift is way better than any perfume, jewelry, nightie, etc. you can buy!
While they were gone, I very gingerly put away the Christmas dishes in the bookcase bottom cabinet. In the back I found VCR tapes of our first Ruhe Reunion in 2001, a tape of Ted I made for his 60th birthday from a baby until we moved to Texas, Kelly and Pat's wedding video and a tape of grandson Sam as a baby from 2000. We are going to have them made into DVDs because VCRs are no longer in use. We have one in our bedroom still but it wasn't hooked up. Pat fixed that so we could be sure of what we had. Another priceless gift!
I had a follow up appointment with the GYN on Wednesday and he said he removed a row of polyps from the "floor" of my uterus and everything removed was benign. What a way to end the year! Kelly and Pat left for Dallas and Kristin, Larry and Maureen went to the mall. I very gingerly (again) started gathering up decorations and put them in boxes and bins. I couldn't get into the guest closets to put things on the shelves nor gather the things that need to come out and be put back due to the luggage and things in there from our company. That had to wait.
Thursday we took down the decorations, did laundry, cleaned (love my Roomba) and had pot roast for dinner. Terry and Carol came over to visit after returning from Chicago. The kids packed their clothes for their flight home on Friday.
Larry hit the ground running Friday. He scrubbed everything in sight whether it needed it or not! By the time we left for lunch at Spring Creek BBQ the bedclothes were laundered and back on the beds, the house cleaned and the bathroom they used was just this side of sterile. Plus all Christmas decorations were down and stored!
We went right to the airport from the restaurant and they arrived in plenty of time. I received a text when they landed so all is well.
And Christmas 2017 is a wrap!