vacations and breaks are so nice and relaxing, it makes it really difficult to get back to real life. rich took last week off work. he messed around the house, doing some things that needed to be done. we spent some time together.

the kids only had school monday and tuesday, so tony was home for 5 days. it was really nice.

thanksgiving was very yummy and overfilling. everyone came up here. I made 2 pumpkin pies, a pumpkin cheesecake and an italian cream cake for dessert. there were also all the usual suspects: turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce-which I forgot to take out of the fridge, but I’m the only one who eats it, so…-and mama brought green bean casserole and dinner rolls. mandi brought macaroni and cheese because she knew she wouldn’t like most of what I made.

I hollowed out some miniature decorative gourds and set them on a long narrow plate, with candles inside and fall leaves around the edges. they looked really nice with my pretty burnt umber tablecloth. I had actually done this last week when we had friends over, and the gourds were just this side of yuck, so I used them again.

friday I went shopping in the wee hours, then came home and napped for a couple of hours. afterwards, we went into rich’s terminal to set up the runs and the dock. the supervisors take turns, so every 5th saturday we have to go in. since his turn fell on a holiday weekend-they were closed friday-we had 2 days to do.

friday night I had a youth lock-in at church. we had play practice for awhile, then watched a couple of movies, played some games, then played hide & seek in the dark church. that’s so much fun. we have a small youth group, but they sure are great kids.

we finally got everyone to calm down around 1:30, watching the nativity story. then, before I knew it, rich was there at 7:00 to pick me up. the sweetheart even had coffee for me!

after we got back from his terminal, mandi & I went to danville and hung out.  I went to hobby lobby to buy some ornaments to decorate, and found the cutest santa aprons, one for rich and one for me.

the preacher came over for dinner saturday night.  rich grilled steaks and shrimp, so all I had to do was bake some potatoes.  we still had plenty of dessert left.  I love this minister of ours, she’s just the cutest thing.  what I really love about her is her enthusiasm and her bright and bubbly personality.  she comes to our house 2 or 3 times a month, and she just acts so at home.

after dinner, the four of us played mario party.  laura is very competitive, as are rich and tony.  I, on the other hand know that I suck at video games, so I just play for fun.

sunday after church we went into town and bought a christmas tree.  it’s been years since we visited a christmas tree lot, and it was so cool, very reminiscent of ‘a christmas story’ or ‘christmas vacation’.  tony picked out a nice 7 foot fraser fir, then proceeded to gaudy it up.

for the last 10 or 12 years, I have had my own tree.  I like clear lights, primitive ornaments, simple and pretty.  rich and the kids like colored lights, lots of garland and glitz.  so, the family tree is where all the family ornaments go, along with all the ornaments the kids have collected and made over the years.

this morning will be filled with taking empty boxes to the garage, and setting up my tree and all my nativity sets.  I won’t set them all up, partly because of emma, and partly because I now have so many, I can afford to be choosy about which ones I display.

emma will be here soon, so I reckon I’ve got my work cut out for me.  now if I can just keep her out of the tree…