We made it back home in about 14 hours. This time there were no true fits or car sick babies. Before I start posting about our 2 weeks in IL and KY, I thought I would catch you up on our few days with Grandma before we left.

Hanan was an elf in a production of the Polar Express at her school. She was too cute for words. She’s a true performer. I have tons of pictures but I just can’t post them all here. All I can tell you is to check the photos on Facebook.

Grandma was also lucky enough to make it to Arleigh’s Super Citizen award ceremony. Of course, I brought a camera that had dead batteries. I took a couple of pictures on the phone. We have a huge super citizen sign in the yard. Of course, we are very proud. Since this is also my scrapbook, you can expect a post on that next.

We also got to have 2 Christmas parties. Grandma missed Hanan’s to let Bria nap but she made it to Arleigh’s. In first grade, they really get to celebrate. Hanan learned about the ways different countries celebrate Christmas. They topped it off with an around the world feast. Our contribution was Icelandic potatoes. They beat a pinata to a pulp, and did a little craft. It was very cute. We are told that in 2nd grade, the parties have to be more sophisticated. Arleigh made an ornament and enjoyed a very sweet feast of cupcakes, cookies and chocolate covered pretzels. I did the cupcakes early and lucked out with just juice boxes this go round.

All this made for an interesting couple of days for Grandma. In fact, we left early on a Saturday morning for our 14 hour adventure. On Friday we went to the Super Citizen Ceremony, the around the world luncheon and Arleigh’s holiday party. We finished with a quick trip to the mall to finish up some shopping, dinner and Ihop, opening up early gifts like guitars from Nana Bonnie and packing the van for an early departure. Somewhere in all that mom helped by wrapping most of my gifts. We’ll have to ask Grandma if the couple of extra days at her house was worth all the work including 14 hours in the car.

At one point, Grandma said she was getting nervous about the trip. It wasn’t Bria that she was worried about. It was Hanan. She must have had a premonition. Hanan asked if every pasture of cows belonged to Grandma. That would mean we were close. She started asking just outside Williamsburg. She managed to barf only once after yelling “I can’t take it anymore!” She whined more than Bria and may have forced a few tears. After the one barfing episode, she felt better and the back of the van got a little quieter. All in all, it could have been worse.

The other big news of the week was that I lost my stroller. How do you lose a stroller? Well, let me tell you. I took the car in for some routine maintenance and waited for it with Bria. (2.5 hours) After paying a horrible amount of money right before Christmas, I was happy to have the work done before a long road trip. The next day, I was leaving the school after making 1000 copies of newsletters when the check engine light comes on. Shortly after that, I felt like something was wrong with the steering. They tell me to bring it right in. I did, with Bria and a bag full of chicken nuggets prepared to wait. They decide to let me take a rental. It was the catalytic converter. Plus, when they replaced the belts they forgot to tightened at least one of them, hence the crappy steering. So I load the rental car throwing the stroller in the back. After a day and a half in the shop, they call, it’s ready. Ray rushed home to pick it up. I forgot to take the stroller out of the back. They rented that stupid car to someone else. I’m out a stroller. I’ve been watching ebay and craig’s list for someone in the area trying to sell it. Luckily, Arleigh and Hanan’s old stroller was in the attic. I’m still trying to decide what to do about that one.

Finally making a short story long, we made it to Kentucky, had a nice 2 week visit with both sets of families. We made it back without killing each other. I’ll start posting pictures soon. First I have to unpack and put Christmas away.