Wait, let's start over.
I have been told that I need to update my blog. I knew that. But I'm so tired!
The day after my last post, we headed down to the Dallas/Fort Worth metro mess to pick up the daughter and her family at the airport. On the Friday before Christmas, we drove home again with eight people and all their gear in the vehicle, two of them in carseats. (We left the third grandboy's carseat behind because he's 5 and big enough that the law will let him do without, and it wouldn't fit.) And from then on, most of the time, we had nine (9) people--three of them 5 and under--at our house. Can you say chaotic?
It was fabulous. But I'm really tired.
The middle grandboy is on a dairy and gluten-free diet (dairy for his autism, gluten for digestive issues), so we had to cook creatively, and hide the real stuff. All cheese became queso, and he had a special cup so we knew if he was drinking somebody else's milk. But lemon meringue pie fits that menu just fine. He wouldn't eat any of it, but his granddaddy (on a modified version of that same diet) loved it a lot.
We had lemon meringue, buttermilk, apple/pear/apricot and pecan pies. We had marshmallow treats and flourless peanut butter cookies (much tastier than the other sort, and easier to make). We had Chex mix without Wheat Chex or any of that other stuff--cereal and nuts only--which are the parts I like best anyway. We had our Christmas Eve tamales with carne guisada and guacamole. We had Christmas day turkey and cornbread dressing (is there any other kind?) and sweet potatoes with honey and lime glaze and ---well, needless to say, we ate and ate and ate. Er--that is, we dined to an elegant sufficiency.
We had twelve for Christmas eve and Christmas dinner. The son-in-law's parents and sister came to join the fun for a day or two. They're great people. When the two sons left the day after Christmas, one to go to work, the other to go on a Boy Scout Explorer Troop ski trip, my parents drove up from Austin to get to see the Pittsburgh clan before they had to go home, so we still had nine. The older son's boys stayed at Gigi and Grandaddy's house while their daddy went to work.
We went to the park every day the weather was nice. The little boys invented new ways to slide down the slide. (I think the city put in a new slide with sidebars since the little one fell off the top a year or so ago--not because of the fall, but...) The boys got anybody handy to push them on the swings. One of them (the little one, I think) got knocked down when he walked a little to close to his cousin swinging. The playground equipment is seriously old, and scattered around our little town's park, which means the kids run a little more going from one thing to another, which was good. Tired them out so they'd sleep. Fortunately, the 2-year-old still takes naps (though he fights them tooth and toenail) so Gigi got to lie down with him and rest up a little. Then he'd stay up till midnight, the little stink bug.
His big brother would crash out early--and wake up early. He was up Christmas morning before anybody else. Even Granddaddy. We have a rule that we wait till everybody's up before we go in to the tree to see what Santa brought. He waited...but he went in to peek, and was whispering to us that Santa brought him a blue car, and brought baby brother a bike. The other two were so groggy when they finally woke up that they just sat and stared at their goodies for a while.
Our family isn't one of those that rips into the packages to see who can open all their stuff the fastest. The competition is to see who opens the Last Present. Who can hold out the longest? Who can make Christmas morning last the longest?
Well, we have a new winner. The middle grandboy was still opening presents around two in the afternoon. He was a little overwhelmed by all the noise and the paper and new stuff, so he stopped and played with things for a while in between. His cousins were very good about not opening presents for him--I was proud of them for that. But then, they were excited about all their new stuff. And the candy.
In the midst of all this chaos, I got a new computer. The old one turned out to have more wrong with it than I thought--the hard drive had physical damage as well, so they had to do a data retrieval. I had most everything backed up, but I wasn't real sure how much was "most everything" so... And so we didn't get to pick up the new machine till a few days after Christmas. Then things were so crazy, I couldn't really get in to load programs and such. And then it started doing this weird locking up thing whenever it was started or restarted, so now I have to take it back into the shop tomorrow. If it ain't one thing it's another.
Everybody has gone home or back to school now. I need to get to work on the writing--which means I need to clean off this disaster area of a desk. (Did you know stacks of books made pretty good climbing blocks? Of course, the stacks tend to fall over, but hey...little boys need to climb...) At least I can write without actually having the computer present. Maybe they won't keep it very long this time. But I'm so tired!!