Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas with family

We spent the weekend before Christmas with my family. Since they live 2 1/2 hours away from us, it's a little too much to do in one day, so we usually go there the weekend before or weekend after Christmas.

My family likes to play, so we did a lot of that while we were there.

We met my brother and his family for dinner Friday night on our way there. Then Saturday morning, we went to my nephew's basketball game. He's 9, and he's really getting into his playing. I think Biscuit enjoyed watching him and yelling for him.

My Mama and I made some candy and cookies Saturday afternoon while Biscuit took a nap. 

And speaking of Biscuit's naps, I don't know what we're going to do come August when the boy starts kindergarten. They don't take naps in kindergarten anymore. I don't know how Biscuit is going to make it through the day without sleeping for a while.

Anyway, Saturday evening, my niece read the Christmas story, and we opened our presents. It seemed like we got done earlier than past years, so I was trying to think of something fun to do with the kids.

At 8:30 p.m. on that December night, it was 65 degrees (it had been 72 degrees that afternoon), so I figured we could take advantage of that and head outside.

Flashlight tag!

We gathered all the flashlights we could find and everyone from 5-year-old Biscuit to my 73-year-old Daddy played. The way you play is that one person is "it." You set boundaries like, you can hide from this driveway to the front of the shop to the house to the road, but not in the field. With that established, the "it" person stays in the house and counts to 30 while everyone else heads outside to hide. You can use your flashlight to find your hiding spot, but then you turn it off and keep still. 

The "it" person turns on his or her flashlight and heads out looking for people. If the "it" person's light shines on somebody, that person who was shined has to run to base (which was the front porch).

Got it?

Most places still have too much light around, even at night, but at my parents' house, there are no street lights. If the moon isn't shining, it's dark. DARK!

I wish I could explain how funny it was to watch Jeff chase my Daddy to the front porch base.

We did cheat one time. All the hiders walked out and stood in the field, even though our rules strictly prohibited being in the field. Then we all stifled giggles as we watched Jeff and Biscuit search frantically around the yard. We let them look for a while, then we all rushed the yard onto the porch. (And the fact that we were standing as a group in an open field, and Jeff and Biscuit couldn't see us should explain just how dark it was.)

We went to my parents' church Sunday morning, then all had lunch together. It's always so loud when all 10 of us are together. The kids are playing and squealing. The adults are trying to talk over the kids. But it's very festive.

It was still really warm, so the kids were outside without jackets. Then my brother hooked the trailer behind the tractor and took us on a hay ride.

We rode through the field.

We rode through the woods.

Then back into the field again.

I'm not sure why Biscuit was holding so tight to
my niece's jacket sleeve. Her arm wasn't even in it.
Despite the serious look on Biscuit's face, we all had fun. At some point, we started singing Christmas carols. It did feel a little weird to be singing, "Dashing through the snow" when we were riding on a trailer with short sleeves and no jackets.

When we looked up and saw these clouds moving in, we knew we better head back to the barn. And we timed it just right. We were back in the house about five minutes when the skies opened and the heavens poured.

A little while later, Jeff, Biscuit and I had to make the dreaded ride home. It always seems to take twice as long to get home as it does to get there. But everybody had a good time, and we have the memories and pictures to prove it!

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