December 2017
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is pretty hectic for many.  As the days got closer to Christmas, things got busy for us as well. Early in the month we happened
to be in town when a roar of engines got our notice.  The annual Christmas Toy Ride held by local motorcycle groups roared by as we were getting ready to do some
shopping. There were about 200 of them passing near us.  Santa was gearing up for the big day!

As the days continued to pass there were the usual get-togethers....our old neighborhood gang had a pot-luck dinner and game night...always a good time!  Tom's bridge
group held their pot-luck as well and a tasty time was had by all.  Mary's sewing group had their Christmas luncheon outside on the patio on a cold windy day after
discovering their meeting space had been double-booked.  They still had a good time and a hot tasty lunch.  A few of Mary's friends gathered for a holiday ugly-sweater
brunch one morning to share holiday cheer.  The park sponsored a golf car Christmas parade one evening.  Although we were not participants, we went to watch and cheer.  
We sure managed to keep busy!
Santa and his biker buddies had a cold but
sunny day for their Toy Ride.
The old neighborhood gang got together once again...food and
then a rousing dice game.
The ladies bundled up and gathered around the fire pits and
heaters for a tasty Italian lunch and a few Christmas games.
Linda and Patt were the Christmas elf hostesses
for a holiday brunch for some of the ladies.
The ladies were all in the Christmas spirit
and had a good time.
Gentlemen, start your engines!  The golf cars
gathered for the Christmas parade.
The Christmas shopping was completed and our bags were packed, so we headed in the car to Texas.  Its a looooong drive across that state!!!  Just about 1000 miles to our
daughter's house on the north side of Austin. Not having the endurance we once did, we stopped for the night in Ft. Stockton and made it a two day trip, arriving on
December 23.  We had a few days to rest and get organized with Ann's family before Reid and his family arrived on the 26th.  The weather was cloudy and a little on the chilly
side, but we were able to get outside for a few activities as well as enjoy the traditional family and Christmas activities inside.
We enjoyed a walk to the
neighborhood park.
We rode the miniature train at a county
park...Evelyn wanted to be the driver.
The girls helped Grandpa and Matt make the fresh squeezed
orange juice for our Christmas breakfast.
Coffey read us "The Night Before Christmas."
Evelyn put out the cookies and milk for Santa...who obviously
was making his second round
The tree was ready.
Ann and the girls enjoyed a craft project together.
Our Christmas morning was December 29...we opened all our
gifts, then had to clean up the mess!
We all had great fun playing with Evelyn's new Magna Tiles.
We played lots of card games, read lots of books, baked lots of cookies, went to the movies, and enjoyed being together.  One evening, the 'middle genereation' spent a
'night on the town' while the old folks, and the younger girls stayed home.   On New Year's Eve day some of us ventured to "The Thinkery" in Austin.  What a fantastic
children's science museum!!!  Everything was "hands on" and very interactive...no push buttons or video screens.  The only bad part was that we're pretty sure most of
Austin's population was also there...whew! what a crowd!

As usual, all good things must come to an end...Christmas "break" was over.  Reid, Kathleen and Evelyn headed back to Michigan and we made the return trip across the
great State of Texas, stopping in Las Cruces for the night.  Things around here are pretty quiet now!  We'll be looking forward to the next family get-together.
The cousins had a fantastic time together.
There were lots of laughs, smiles and good times in Texas!
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