Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Winter Wonderland Christmas

Christmas morning was the usual confusion, with seven kids who were up early. I tried to take pictures but failed partly because the motion was so constant all was a blur and partly because I've never been a good photographer. Stocking stuffers kept them busy for a long while, through a big breakfast of pancakes and sausage and Mel's wonderful sticky buns. By mid-morning, we began opening packages and the confusion began all over again. Leftovers for lunch and a sumptuous Christmas dinner, for which all hands pitched in--each family was previously assigned a dish. I got to prepare the turkey because none of the girls will touch it to pull out the gizzard, etc., rub the skin with butter and seasonings,, etc. So I felt the onerous burden of responsibility for the main attraction. With Colin's help, it turned out great--he lifted it in and out of the oven, monitored the meat thermometer, and did the carving. It was a moist, perfectly browned bird--so good. The whole dinner was excellent, lots of off-key singing, more than a bit of wine, and much joy. By evening, we were settled with books, the children playing with toys, and all to bed early.
This has truly been a kids vacation--for some skiing was a grand adventure; others were not to enthusiastic; several think the hot tub in freezing weather is the best thing they've even done--Jacob tried three times, insisting he wanted to go in but losing his nerve at the last minute. Today everyone's got sledding except Jamieayand Edie, who are sick, and Mel who is nursemaid. Jamie missed all of Christmas day, which makes us all feel bad--he's the one who wanted Christmas in Colorado for years and put  this package together for us.
We've been plagued with sickness. Colin was feeling bad Tuesday when we left Trinidad and was really sick by the time we got to our cabin. That evening Mel and Edie got sick, and we blamed it on a fast-food lunch in Amarillo,though others of us ate the same fare and haven't been affected (knock on wood). Jamie got sick during the night Christmas Eve--I don't know if food poisoning can take that long or not, but we're sure the altitude is complicating things. We are all drinking gallons of water. Mel, Colin,and I talked about it this morning and agreed if we had to have illlness its better for us to be all together for help and moral support. It has still, in spite of all, been a good vacation, with the Christmas spirit dominating and a sense of gratefulness for being together.
We are by no means a Norman Rockefeller family--we have our differences, irritations, tensions--but more about that another time. I do think tensions iron out after the first day or so as we all learn to accept (a lesson we learn over and over) and to be a bit more careful of each other.I for one am enjoying a quiet day--working at my computer, then going to finish that Sue Grafton I just couldn't stay awake to finish last night, and then work on the proofreading I brought and haven't touched! When Sawyer and Ford misbehaved and their parents threatened to leave them with me, I screamed, "No!"

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