So, this became a detailed outline of our time in VA--not sure if anyone really cares, but I'm posting it anyway!! :) The term whirlwind always comes to mind any time we travel. It seems we're constantly trying to pack as much into as little time as possible! This past week was no exception. A little over a week ago, we left for 5 days in Virginia. We traveled for about 10 hours to get there on Saturday. Sunday was spent with our old church family--always a blessing. Then we had the traditional big meal with my family and our "extended family" the Mallmanns. Whenever we're together there must be game playing. This time, as is often the case, it was Trivial Pursuit. My husband and older brother feel the need to challenge everyone in the house. This time, they decided to have Alec help them out--we must have seemed intimidating! :) Interestingly, I think we've figured out how they always pull out the win--they wear us down. They take so long to answer the questions, that one by one the members of our team leave or get distracted in side conversations and don't care anymore. Nonetheless, they pulled out yet another win. Sunday evening was spent with our dear friends, the Webbs. It was so fun to see all 5 of our kids playing so well together. Soon Josh and Sharon will add another little one to the mix! It was great to laugh and talk with them. Maybe they should move to Ohio?? Monday my mom and I had a marathon shopping day. We left the house at 2pm and returned at 12:30am!! We did take a break to get a taste of the "Peruvian Nights"--my brother, Scott, hosted an event at his church and had authentic Peruvian food, yum! And as a surprise, I got to catch up with Sarah Danaher while the food was cooking. :) Then it was back to shopping! While I was shopping, Pete took Andrew Miller out to breakfast. Then he spent the day back at the dealership--took our van in to get work done and spent that time catching up with his good buddies at Bill Britt. Tuesday Allison May and Holly Richter's blessed me with their presence at Pancho Villa--always good food and great fellowship! Then that evening we got to have dinner and play Catch Phrase with the entire May family--definitely a highlight of the trip!! A low point came shortly after we returned home that night--that's when the Christmas stomach bug decided to come visit little Jon. He was up all night and his sweet Daddy was there to help him out--I definitely wimped out and felt super queesy. I'm so thankful for Pete! Wednesday Pete went to play football with some friends and I got to meet up with my dear, sweet friend, Kelly, and have brunch at Bob Evan's. It was encouraging and sweet just catching up with her. I hate that we can't do it more often. That night I went to church with my parents and then began the traditional Christmas Eve wrapping party. This started YEARS ago...nothing gets wrapped until that night and then everyone wraps together and hangs out. However, over the years it's morphed...somehow now I wrap and everyone else does wimpy jobs like stuffing stockings and labeling the gifts. Seriously?? I may have to protest next year. It was fun though! Great just spending time with my family. Christmas day was a blast. I think this is the first year that I didn't care at all what I got, I just loved seeing my kids open their gifts! Dad made us his famous pancakes and we all spent time doing random things together. It was wonderful. :)
The next day Sam got struck by the stomach virus and we decided to go ahead and try to come home on schedule anyway. And God, in His graciousness, decided to spare us and let Sam's stomach settle for the 9 1/2 hours that it took us to get home. The next morning he was sick again, but he made it all the way home without vomitting, so I was pleased. Also, the boys were really content interacting with each other and slept well in the car, which gave Pete and I great opportunities to talk to each other--always a huge blessing. We both love that chance to talk about everything and nothing that might be on your mind. It's always fun to just catch up with each other. All in all, it was such a great trip.