For Thanksgiving we took the kids to California and stayed with Thayne's mom and step dad, Kim & Craig. They live in Gustine, a small town about 2 hours south of San Francisco. Thanksgiving day was great and laid back. Craig made a delicious turkey. He accidentally added a secret ingredient that Kim & I found out about when we were doing the dishes afterward. There was stuff stuck to the metal drain strainer for the sink. We couldn't figure out what is was until Craig admitted that somehow it had gotten into the turkey and he discovered it AFTER taking the turkey out of the oven and carving it. We got a good laugh out of it and I don't think Craig will ever have a Thanksgiving where he's not reminded of that again. He may have been better off keeping that detail to himself. The day after Thanksgiving we spent in San Francisco. It was awesome and the kids especially loved it. We went on a boat ride out to the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz. We stood at the very front of the boat and Tristyn especially loved it. She had a permanent smile on her face. The kids were also all amazed at all of the citrus trees. We picked fresh lemons from their back yard and the kids made their own lemonade. It was delicious. We also went to a luau that some of Kim & Craig's friends had. The food and entertainment were awesome. Overall, it was a really laid back weekend and it was great to be able to spend so much time with Kim & Craig.
Christmas was great. On Christmas Eve we had my family over for dinner. It was rather small since the 3 brothers and their families were all missing. But I enjoyed having my 3 sisters, their families and our mom over. The food was delicious. Blythe brought a Ham, Amber made rolls and Roxane made a fruit salad. I was in charge of the rest... I'm most proud of the Artichoke Dip with Pita Chips and Eggnog Cheesecake. The food was delicious and the company was great. Christmas Day we had Thayne's sister Jamie, her husband, Chris and their 2 girls, Mo & Jo over for lunch. Jamie and the girls had just flown in from spending the week in California with Kim & Craig so we did a low key lunch. The food was good but it was really nice to spend some time with Jamie & Chris. We'd never spent Christmas day with them in the 6 years we've been married. They gave Max a hand me down gift that he LOVES. He's been playing with it non-stop since then. They also gave us a game called Eye to Eye. It's really fun and the kids love it. The older kids showed up that afternoon from moms houses. We had a second Christmas Eve with them and opened presents the next morning. Then we rushed to the Curran Family party (Thayne's mom's side of the fam) and enjoyed lunch with everyone that was there. That is the only time that we see most of them all year long so it's a really good visit. From there we rushed up to Jamie's house to have a birthday party for Mo. It's hard to believe that she 6 already. We had great holidays and spent a lot of quality time with family. Those are the best kind.
Life in our home is definitely a circus... but I love it. I have 4 step kids, a 4 year old super hero, almost 1 year old sweet girl, daughter-in-law and a 2 year old granddaughter to keep me on my toes. They are the highlight of my life and make me laugh every day.