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Christmas 2007 Extravaganza, part 3

2 January, 2008

At last, the final installment!

We started out early Monday morning for Independence, where my lovely Nana lives. She didn’t know it, but the entire family was gathering for the first time in ten years. We headed to the Pizza Ranch for lunch after surprising Nana at the nursing home, and I spent some quality time with my cousins Shakira, Shaelin, and Mikaela. [and CJ…not pictured]

After lunch, the cousins attempted to go bowling. Which would have worked really well, had the bowling alley actually been open. At some point during the duration of our visit, Shakira became the backseat bitch of my car…which we decided was the lowest on the totem pole one could get whilst riding in a car. I think the name might stick…

We headed back to the hotel and a few of us went swimming and soaked in the jacuzzi. Santa (a sort of uncle of ours) came for a visit, and Shaelin got a cute little purse from him. The rest of us tried to get on his good side, and it worked out pretty well. Santa was good to all of us this year.

Here’s Shaelin when she first saw Santa coming up the stairs.

And Shaelin getting her gift. 

And Shakira and I trying to ensure we have a distinct lack of coal in our stockings.

After that, we headed up and had pizza for supper (again, but it was good!). Then Gram got out a special project that she had been working on.

My Nana, my great grandmother…a woman I’ve never known to not be independent or strong, had to go into a nursing home at the beginning of 2007. Gram had the momentous task of going through her things because it was pretty short notice and in order to save money, they wanted to get things out of her apartment as quickly as possible. So she saved photos and cards and Nana’s salt and pepper shaker collection and bowling trophies and a few other things. It was all boxed up and taken to Gram’s house, where she sorted through it and made a bag for all of us.

In my bag, there were several things that were pretty special to me. There were quite a few photos and cards that I’d given Nana over the years. There was a bowling pin – 225 club – and a bowling patch. There was a coloring book I’d last seen when I was seven. There was a plaque that described the power of a leader, which I will always keep on my desk when I become an attorney.

Obviously, there were a lot of tears and laughter, and memories. Then, out came The Box. If you are in my family, you know exactly what The Box is. It was the box of ancient, old toys that everyone in my family had played with as children. There were the police cars, fire trucks, balls, blocks, tin dishes, toy phones and army men that had occupied all our time. Our imaginations may have made them other things, but there they were, all in one place. There were more tears and laughter, and memories.

We each took a few things from the box. I got the handset to a phone, whose base was lost long ago. I took the roasting pot, and blocks that spelled out my initials. And I cried. I don’t know why it means so much for me to have these silly little toys, but it really does.

After that, we headed down to the pool again for a bit, and then the cousins gathered in my room to play Shakira’s Wii. We ended up bowling! Yay! Well, it was yay until Ryan managed to throw one of the remotes. Luckily, it didn’t break though! We had literally just finished a conversation where CJ wondered aloud if anyone actually accidentally threw a remote, or they just got mad and threw it, then called it an accident. Ryan proved that it could genuinely be an accident!

Ryan and CJ boxed for awhile after that. And by awhile, I mean FOREVER. It just kept going on and on and on, and by the time it was over, they were both begging for it to be through.

After that, we hit the hay. In the morning, we got up and had breakfast. Then we opened gifts and spent time visiting for awhile.

This is Ryan and me with Nana.

Shaelin, the future doctor. Or possibly a cowgirl…

One of the gifts my mom gave everyone was a t-shirt. Most of us got some variation of the shirt the lovely Mikaela is modeling here. I love it!

We also got little gag gifts from Gram. Mine was a Magic 8 Ball. Apparently I will be getting full-ride scholarship offers from both Drake and SLU, so I can sleep well at night. 🙂 I also solved my aunt’s rubick’s cube.


We had our big meal, and settled in for some family pictures, too. (I’d post one of the whole family, but those were taken on Aunt Tine’s camera. Maybe she’ll email me one!)

This is my four generation picture. I love these women!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Justine permalink
    6 January, 2008 7:28 pm

    Loving your pics as usual! Thanks for posting them on Flickr. I’ll be ordering! And I’ll be posting, e-mailing, and mailing mine soon. Just can’t get to that stuff as quick as I used to! Smooches!

  2. 7 January, 2008 12:31 pm

    No problem! 🙂

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