As I sit here preparing to share our Christmas fun with you, I am thinking back over the last few days...which have not been fun. I have been a bit tardy in getting to spend time with you all, mostly because of the fact that I have been a bit under the weather.
Let's back up about a week, and I will tell you the whole story.
On Friday of last week (the day after cookie day) Aaron, Alysia and I went to get tires put on the car. I had ordered the tires online, but had my faithful long-time friends at Rob's Guaranteed Used Tires in Excelsior Springs mount and balance them. Then we headed to southern Missouri for the beginning of our Christmas adventures.
We spent Friday night and Saturday morning at my Mom's house visiting with her, as well as siblings, nieces, nephews and one of my cousins. Mom had to work at Prairie State Park on Saturday, so we grabbed a pizza at Caseys and had lunch with her at the park before leaving town.
As we left the park we went out the south end, where we were told we might be able to spot the bison herd...and lo and behold...there they were! It brought back so many memories of when I used to work at the park and helped with the annual bison roundup and vet check, as well as hours of watching them roam in their native habitat.
|Bison Roam Freely at Prairie State Park|
We then headed to Springfield where we were to meet up with Kayla. Since it was Christmas Eve we knew that there would not be a lot of things open in that late afternoon/evening, but that did not stop up from making a stop at Bass Pro Shops before they closed early for the night. It was so beautiful, and I don't think I have ever been there at Christmas time.
|Bass Pro Shops - Christmas Decorations|
While we were at Bass Pro we met up with Kayla. We were so happy to finally get her! She enjoyed looking around Bass Pro with us, despite the fact that we were not able to find what we were looking for, and the fact she was on the down-hill side of a cold which we did not know at the time.
|Alysia, Aaron and Kayla at Bass Pro Shops|
After Bass Pro and a quick stop at Wal-Mart, we decided to visit Leong's Asian Diner. It is ran and operated by the son of the man who invented Cashew Chicken right there in Springfield, so we had to go check it out and try the original recipe. It did not disappoint!
|Leong's Asian Diner Menu|
|Cashew Chicken and Egg Roll|
We stayed the night in Springfield on Christmas Eve (which was REALLY weird). We woke up in the morning to Kayla wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, followed by a request to sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. As soon as that was over, it was finally time for breakfast and to come home.
After we got home we confirmed with Kayla that Santa Clause had INDEED visited the house even though we weren't home. I had left him a note explaining why we were not able to leave him milk and cookies, which he had graciously answered with a note of his own. After the relief turned to excitement, there was no way to keep them calmed down, and so we started opening presents. After presents we turned our attention to getting Christmas evening dinner started...a delicious ham with green bean bundles, creamy mashed potatoes, rolls...the works.
After dinner we played some of the girls new games (Skip-Bo, Uno, Exploding Minions and Taco Vs. Burrito). Fun was had by all.
Unfortunately, Kayla has been taught to share, and is a very loving and generous young lady...so by Monday night I was starting to feel the effects of her sharing her cold germs. By Tuesday afternoon I was stuck in bed with one of the worst head colds I've had in awhile. She was almost over it completely, short of a bit of a cough. Now Alysia has shown minor symptoms. I'm just glad they didn't seem to have it as bad as I got it. I am still not feeling great, but I am on the mend enough that I was able to run some errands today and I even find myself here for the first time since Monday.
While I am writing this post I am listening to the sounds in my household around me...and it fills my heart with love for this family that God has created. Aaron and Kayla are in the basement garage putting new rotors and brake pads on the rear of the car. I hear them chattering away down there, although I cannot distinguish most of what is being said, interrupted occasionally by the sound of an impact wrench as a tire is taken off or replaced. Alysia is beside me working at her school desk searching for words in the dictionary to make sure she is spelling things correctly. I am listening to the washer and dryer as they remind me that I have a beautiful family to take care of day by day, with laundry being only one of those household necessities.
And with that reminder, I am also reminded that it is time to go start dinner so it will be ready around the time the mechanics surface from the basement.
In the meantime, I wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year, and I will see you in 2023!