Worst picture ever, but we're together and that's all that mattered to me!
We settled down after hauling stuff in and Liza looked around the house. They've not been here since June, so lots has changed. Liza noticed that I have the babes stockings hung on the living room fireplace. They are all white and cream, and they are perfect for the decor of the living room. The "bigs" stockings are red and white cordoroy and they are hanging over the fireplace in the den, which is perfect for the den. Liza teased, "Oh, I see that you put the ugly stepchildren stockings in the back room and the favorite kids stockings in the living room." Yeh, I'll not hear the end of that. ;) She didn't even notice the one lone stocking on the downstairs fireplace. We won't say who that belongs to.
Aylabelle loved looking at all of my trees and she was very good not to touch. She was very excited about the "prizes" under the tree. I told her that "This one is for Aylabelle and you can open it when Gramp gets home." She was so excited. Everytime she went into the living room, she'd say, "That's Aylabelle's prize. Grampy's coming home?" But, she didn't touch.
Once everyone was situated, I had pulled out all of the Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch. Liza had asked me to save her some of her favorites, so I was excited to see her enjoying them! Aylabelle wanted to help do dishes, so we pulled up a chair and she entertained herself for quite some time while Liza and I started dinner.
As soon as Aylabelle was down for her nap, we played Racko, Skipbo and Fruit Salad for a long time. Quayd didn't want to play, so he just sat at the table gabbing with us while we played. Lots of teasing happening here! Very fun afternoon.
Dinner was ready when Doug got home from church. Aylabelle was very excited to see her Grampy! But, not nearly as excited as he was to see her! He adores this child!
Liza, my coldest-blooded child, spent every second she could, all but in the fireplace. She will never move back to northern Utah unless it becomes tropical. She says that St. George is even too cold for her. I'd say that this is our most opposite opinion... I can never get enough cold and snow. Ninety is cold for her! While playing cards, she commented that her hands were cold. I checked the thermostat and realized that I had turned the A/C on instead of the furnace. No wonder the fire wasn't enough to warm her! I was even cold! Have I mentioned that I adore this child of mine. She's one of the most wonderful women I've ever known. Just sayin'.
I wanted to cook Liza and Buddy's favorite foods, so I bought the biggest roast that I could find for Buddy. I prepared it in the dutch oven and got it into the oven to bake. It bakes four about four hours at 275. At two hours, an an hour before Doug was coming home (He called to say he'd be early), I went into the kitchen for something and noticed that the oven was off! SADNESS! So, we took it out of the dutch oven and pressure cooked it instead, which made for not nearly as tender of a roast. But, dinner was pretty tasty... mashed potatoes (fresh ones, not leftovers), pretzel salad, veggies, apple cranberry salad (leftover), fresh rolls and pineapple pecan cake. We laughed over dinner because Quayd said that the would be the "roll sheriff" and Buddy claimed the job. Liza was the pretzel salad sheriff. Doug was the roast sheriff. Quayd got to be the sheriff of the cranberry salad, which he doesn't even like. It was fun to tease him through dinner. I always make two pans... one for Quayd and one for the rest of the family. He was pretty nervous about Buddy's competition on the rolls. ;)
The kids watched Inside Out with Aylabelle while we cleaned up the kitchen and then we all went into the living room for Aylabelle to open her Sunday present, a Disney Princess Rapunzel Barbie Doll. When it was time to open, I gave her a choice of the one she'd been eyeing all day long or a much larger one that she'd not seen. She chose the box, she was sooooooo excited. (She'll get the other one tonight.) I'd worried that she's way to young for Barbies, but she adores the princesses and SCORE! She played with her until bedtime, taking the shoes off and on, and the tiara. She said, "She's so beautiful" and Doug's mouth literally just dropped. Although he facetimes with her often, he was stunned by her speaking so well. At one point, Zee braided Rapunzel's long hair and Aylabelle said, "It's beautiful, Aunt Zee. Make mine beautiful too." Again, Doug just looked at me in awe. He said, "She's just turned two, not seven!" I love watching Doug watch her!
She's a little ham for the camera. Dale's friend, Erica made this little dress and she spent forever "Spinning" in it to make the skirt fly out. She dances all the time like Cinderella in the new movie and we watched her "waltz" with her dolls all night.
She had gotten a Jessie doll from Buddy's family and she played with the two dolls together. Note: She informed us that Jessie's hat does not fit Rapunzel and Rapunzel's tiara doesn't fit Jessie. "Oh no!"
Liza and Buddy were sitting on the couch watching Aylabelle play with Zee and visiting with Doug. I aimed the camera at them and teased, "Now, look like you like each other." Buddy leaped over on Liza and gave her a big smooch!" We all laughed so hard. Buddy loves to tease me any way he can!
This was more of what I had in mind, but it wasn't near as funny or dramatic! They are so perfect for each other.
I may just have to go out and buy another Princess Doll for Miss A!
Have I mentioned that I adore this child?
After prayer and bedtime kisses, Buddy went down to get Aylabelle to sleep, everyone else got ready for bed, Liza and I sat in the hottub for an hour while a gentle snow fell. We only got an inch, but it was lovely while it was happening. We have about three inches of accumulation right now, but it looks like snow today too!
As much as I love having everyone together, my alone time with Liza is always priceless. As we were winding down, she told me about a tv show that she wanted me to watch. I said, "No TV. Dad doesn't want me getting hooked on another Netflix show!" She said, "Puhpuhpleeeze?" We watched the first episode before we crawled into bed.
Everyone is still sleeping. Liza and I planned a few fun things for today. I'm off to the kitchen to make biscuits and gravy. I'm thrilled that they are here, even though it's only until tomorrow morning. We are excited for every second together. Grace has a big day today and as soon as she gets home tonight, we'll party together and make the night count! Life is good! Family is the best!