Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas at New Year's

We arrived back at Cedar Point (our third time since hitting the road!) last Thursday.  We were going to be celebrating Christmas with my family over New Year's weekend.  It's always good (albiet a bit chaotic) when the family gets together and this year proved no different. 

Since my parents were hosting the festivities at their house, I volunteered to make them dinner Thursday night before the mass crowds arrived.  I ended up making dinner for 9 people; quite a bit different from cooking for two! 

Over the course of the weekend, in addition to all the fun and games, we took care of some house repairs, maintenance, and yard work that needed to be done.  
My BIL Bruce......nothing like power washing the house at the end of December!  I am sure the neighbors loved his singing! 
We also enjoyed the outdoors.....
My brother Patrick and his wife Jenny

BIL Bruce, daughter Ashleigh, niece Ciara and her boyfriend Michael cutting up!

My sister Elaine playing ladder ball!  She was good!

Bruce and Dan trying to get the ladder balls out of the tree (no Elaine didn't throw them up there!)
Ciara on her first motorcyle ride! 
Dan and I have tried to hike the Patsy Pond trail (part of the Croatan National Forest) several times in the past but the weather never cooperated....until this time!  One feature of the trail is a natural sinkhole.  I really wanted to see this!

Sammie, Nick, Cathy and Ashleigh at the sinkhole.

Now for a funny picture!!

New Year's Eve was a festive day.  The adults participated in the "white elephant" gift exchange and the kids were duly spoiled by all of their aunts and uncles (not to mention Nana and Pop-Pop). 

Ashleigh and her UNC-W bag. Thumbs up from Sammie but doesn't Bruce looked thrilled?

Brandon and his ASU tshirt

Amanda and her bead necklace

After the gift exchange, we played dollar store bingo.  This has been a long-standing tradition in our family and is fun as it gets everyone, regardless of age, together to play a game.   We always get off track and cut up!!

Michael, Ciara and Ashleigh with their moustaches!

My wonderful mother Ceal

Sister Cathy and Brandon

My Dad Pat!

Three Amigos!  Brandon, Patrick and Dan
They look like they are up to something mischevious!

My nephew Nick
The night couldn't end until we had a bonfire.  Remember all the yardwork I mentioned......
Lighting the fire.....notice the very small pail of water!

Rise up old flame.....

Time for marshmallows!!

Having fun at the campfire.

Cousins and future nurses - Ashleigh and Ciara
The weekend with the family would not be complete without a group picture. 

A bonus to the weekend was seeing friends from "back home".  We met them New Year's Day for a walk on the beach and also joined them for dinner later that night.
Walking on the beach with Steve and Linda

It's a Linda sandwhich!  Trisha, Linda and Tricia

Brrrrr....we saw people doing the Polar Bear swim!

So now as I type this, Dan and I are trying to figure out exactly where in FL we are going.  As much as I am a type A person, I'm trying to embrace this RV lifestyle whole-heartedly and not get hung up on planning too far in advance!  We have a tentative schedule brewing so stay tuned for updates from what is hopefully going to be warmer weather!

Happy New Year!


Nancy and Bill said...

What a FUN family!! Making memories is what it is all about. You sure did a lot of that :o))

We'll be watching which way the wind blows you two in Florida. Hope it blows you near us!!

Safe Travels and Happy Trails....

Sherry said...

What fun! It's great when families all get along and can have a great time together. Lucky you!

Don't bother to come down to Florida until at least Thursday. The cold front is all the way there. BUT after that, come on down and meet up with us!

Gail and Rick (Gypsy Turtles) said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time! It's so nice when your best times come from being with your family :)

Safe travels to Florida.

Steve and Joan said...

Let us know where you`ll be in FL. We'd like to catch up with you. We're in Winter Garden. Happy New Year!

Gin and Syl said...

Your family cutting up?!! Why am I not surprised. Enjoy your travels to warmth.

Cathy said...

I want to go with you two to Florida. I'm going to miss you guys bunches!

Catherine, Jo Beth and Grace said...

Looks like a great holiday. I can't give up the planning thing. Now I plan and plan and change the plan but at least I always have one :)

Brandon and Amanda said...

Great update! What a fun weekend with everyone. You two have a safe drive down to Florida!

Elaine said...

We had a lot of fun with the family last weekend, especially playing rummy and ladder ball (Michael told me it was called "redneck golf". Do you have room in the RV to take me to Florida with you? Today's high is supposed to be less than 1/2 of what lows were over the weekend and I'm not looking forward to walking Bogie in it (since Forrest is working today). Love you!

Anonymous said...

Looks like you had a great time with family! Love the picture of you and your mother. Travel safe to Florida. Can't wait to see where you go!

Bruce and Laura