Things got a little nuts at the rent's house when everyone else showed up! Gus is a beautiful dog. He's enormous and fluffy and playful. And if you chant "I wuuuv youuuu" enough times he'll howl it back! Gus and Cooper were totally insane together. They played outside a lot. FiG got to be pretty comfortable with them individually, but together there was just too much movement for her to tolerate. Actually, by the end of the trip, she was letting Cooper chase her around the kitchen island and she was approaching him on her own to the point that she needed to be watched for tail pulling and fur grabbing. She's been saying Gus and Cooper's names since we got home. I consider it a successful introduction.
The three kids got to pick eggs from the hen house and feed the horses at a friend's farm. G & O found the barn cat and got to play 52-persimmon pick up after the tree got a good shaking. FiG gave Tiny a carrot, held a fresh egg, tossed food into the chicken coop, and walked through a barn on her own two feet!
Thanksgiving dinner was a FEAST. Turkey, glazed ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pearl onions, peas, brussel sprouts with chestnuts, cole slaw, cranberries, and the all important gravy. Then there was apple pie and pumpkin pie and ice cream. It was a nice mix of ol' standby and new recipes. And the leftovers were excellent - I think all that was left by Sunday morning was some ham and the bones.
Since we're all going our separate ways for Christmas this year, we had our family's traditional Christmas Eve meal on Friday: pizza. The planets aligned just so and the dough turned out very well. It's always fun making pizza and everyone gets to have fun with the palette of toppings.
G & O and Aunt B decorated a cake for an early birthday party for FiG. Her face when we sang "Happy Birthday" was priceless - like we were singing at her funeral. But she blew out her own candle and happily ate the cake. She got some great gifts too: a tea set, a cupcake matching game, a birthday cake set, and an alphabet book hand drawn by G. Every letter has two examples of words that start with it. It's totally awesome.
I designed a scavenger hunt for G & O. They had 6 clues each for the outdoors and indoors. After they decorated their bags we hunted outside and their mom planted the inside clues. We all had a good time and their prizes were a big hit. Target, you make 6 year olds easy.
The trip back to MN on Sunday was fairly low key. We sailed through security at PHL (no jinx, no jinx) and our plane was a smaller jet from a partner airline. With leather seats, adjustable head rests, more leg room, and other kids in the back of the plane we had a pretty darned good flight home. FiG has been sleeping better since we've been home. She crawls into bed on her own and we leave her while she's still awake and she falls asleep all on her own - and quietly! I just heard something hit the floor upstairs....there's no screaming....huh.