I think I blogged every day of our Missouri trip last year over Christmas. This year, I took a different approach. I didn't turn my camera on nearly as often, and I didn't boot up my laptop A SINGLE TIME. The reason for the change? My new BlackBerry, which allowed me to keep up with work emails without my computer. I see how people get addicted to those things.
So to recap Missouri this year, I'm stuck relying on the memories that will be sparked by the pictures I DID take. So here's the trip summary, in bullet (and occasional picture) format.
1) On Thursday evening, Nina and Papa kept all 7 grandkids, and we siblings/spouses went to Columbia for the Mizzou game. And dinner beforehand at Buffalo Wild Wings. I'll never forget when Scott and I passed each other going to/coming from the restroom. No one around there knew, obviously, that we are siblings, so Scott, joking, said, "Excuse me, ma'am?". When I turned to acknowledge him, he said, "Are you pregnant?". I didn't see it, but Scott said the jaw of the guy sitting there dropped to the floor. Hilarious.
We had a wonderful time. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
2) Friday was tutu-making day. It ended with our Christmas dinner at Mom and Dad's and more "hanging out", just the 15 of us (everyone except for Matt and Carla, as it's their year to go to Ohio for Christmas instead).
3) Saturday was our Christmas celebration, both at Granny and Papa's house, as well as Mom and Dad's.
Granny and Papa's was a success, yet again. There were 36 of us there, as we were missing only Matt, Carla, Emily, and Nathan. It was great fun to just hang out with family...
Ivie's gift from Granny and Papa was a "talking Jessie" doll. She liked it. Can you tell?
Macie got 2 sets of books (you all remember the "Little Miss" and "Mr. Men" series?!?) and a hat/mittens set, which she was happy to model.
Then, of course, there were the annual tractor rides.
After we returned to Jeff City and had a bit of resting time, we had Christmas at Mom and Dad's, too. Toy Story was the theme of this year's Christmas for Ivie (Legos, puzzles, books), and Macie got several coloring books and puzzles herself, to go along with her "Speedway", complete with Hot Wheels cars for racing.
The best picture from the evening was the yearly cousin shot...
...but I did get a picture of Mom and Dad with the canvas we had done for them from Matt and Carla's wedding.
4) Sunday, our last "real" day in Missouri, was low-key, including church with Scott and Bobbie and lunch at El Jimador. After naps, we all congregated at Scott and Bobbie's house for dinner and playtime. The kids (for the most part) stayed downstairs and played/watched a movie...
... which allowed us adults to get in a game of "Catch Phrase".
I must say that I don't generally like games. Any game, really - I'm not very competitive. But I got into this one. I'm sure most of you have heard of it. You have two teams, and the premise is for one person on the team to give clues to assist his/her teammates in guessing the correct phrase (without, obviously, using any of the words in the phrase).
Just to get it in writing so I can laugh again someday, I'll tell this quick story...
Toward the end of the game, when it was getting really heated between the guys and girls, the guys chose their "go-to" category: Sports and Games. Not the best topic for us girls. Bobbie, for example, admittedly doesn't have a plethora of sports knowledge, so she cringed every time Dale (who was sitting to her left) chose that category, since it meant that she would undoubtedly have to work within that genre, as well.
In this particular instance, the timer was running down (signified by the very fast beeping) and the game was passed to me. The name on the screen that I'm supposed to get my mom, sister, and sister-in-law to guess? DENNIS RODMAN.
One might think that this would be a lost cause. Seriously, how do you describe Dennis Rodman to several women who could care less about the NBA?!?
Except, in this particular instance, I was lucky.
Because Scott, in high school, had always claimed to be the "Dennis Rodman" of his team. And Bobbie dated Scott in high school.
So my clue, as I looked straight at Bobbie:
"The basketball player who Scott always pretended to be in high school!"
Without hesitation, Bobbie yelled out "Dennis Rodman!", I passed the game to Dale, and the buzzer sounded. POINT - US.
When the point was over, Bobbie said,
"You could have also said, 'the only biography Scott has ever read'. I would have gotten it from that clue, too."
I seriously laughed until I cried. And the girls ultimately won the game. Perfect night.
5) Monday was spent lounging and packing, as our flight left Columbia at 4:30p. We were sad to say bye to Mom and Dad (I try not to, but Ivie cries every time we say bye, which makes me cry, too!), but we had a wonderful visit with the Schaeperkoetters. Thank you, God, for the blessing of wonderful family and the ability to travel to see them, even though it's only on occasion.