On Christmas Eve, we drove down to my parent's. We attended the church service at their church on Christmas Day and then went to my brother D's house for Christmas dinner and a chance for the cousins (who were there) to open gifts.
Of course, if your family is like mine, food must come first and it is always an eternity before the food is ready (at least it seems that way to restless children). The adults don't mind, we sit and visit.
This is my brother D who my sisters and I often call Chad or Dusty. I am the oldest of my four siblings and Chad was number two. He is a quiet, gentle, introspective man with a dry sense of humor and a fabulous smile.
This is my brother's wife A, whose family often refers to her as Angel. Until this visit, I hadn't gotten know A very well (my fault, I am sure, since they have been married ten years). I discovered that my SIL has a sense of humor very like my own. She is brilliant (according to all testimony I've heard and seen) and is a nurse, specializing in cardiac care.
This is my brother's oldest son J. He graduated from HS last January and is currently working. He has matured a lot lately and has a great sense of humor.
My Dad. What can I say that I haven't written somewhere on this blog before? He loves to tease me because my girls are a lot like I was as a child (especially C), which is to say high strung, know-it-alls, with poor social skills. I think it amuses him to see me struggling with what they struggled with for so many years.
My niece H, decided that she didn't want her photo taken, so she hung out on her maternal grandmother's lap trying to hide from me.
Until this visit, my girls never seemed to quite know what to make of Chad. This time they discovered that my brother is an old pro at wrastling with kids and now K is quite in love with him.
Aha!! I caught H having a introspective moment while sitting next to my Mom.
After lunch, we opened gifts.
When the official festivities were over, many of us wandered outside because the Christmas in Iowa this year was unseasonably balmy and green.
I entertained myself trying to get a good shot of Romeo the three-legged wonder dog running.
The girls hung out on the trampoline for a long time.
Then Chad brought out Dolly, H's pony. Dolly is a beautiful, well-trained little pony, who according to Angel is a dominant mare so when she doesn't get ridden frequently, she needs a little experienced reminding of how she should behave with a rider on her back. She hasn't been out lately since it is almost dark by the time H gets home from school, so there was no riding for the girls.
I don't think not getting to ride mattered to K, who was happy to lead Dolly around.
It was a lovely Christmas Day. During our stay at my parents (we stayed until this past Friday), we went to a nature reserve which featured tall grass prairie, bison, and prairie elk. If you want to see a lot more photos than the two below or if you want to read my disjointed ramblings on the subject of prairie life, you can check out my other blog.