Well this holiday was quite a time – we have a new fiancé’ in the family after all. We only got to see Cassie when they came over after Christmas to get her ring sized at the jewelry store but that was enough. We had bought tickets to see Mannheim Steamroller and we all went although we were all a bit underwhelmed. Still, we got out of the house and that was worth something – we had not really done much of that up until that point. Too many college bowl games perhaps.

I had good intentions for doing something productive during the break but apart from taking down the Christmas decorations, I can’t point to much of anything. I did go out into the garage and run some wood through the surface planer but I have much more to do. I decided that our Christmas tree is ridiculously old (I can remember buying it when the kids were still preschoolers) and that I would put it out on the curb (after the mountain of other trash that has accumulated because they only come once a week during the largest trash-generating week of the year. Not that I’m bitter. )

But at least, that’s one thing I will not have to drag back up into the attic. I think I’ll start replacing all my lights with LEDs as well so that should be fun. One day I’d like to figure out a way to make it easy to put up the lights outside but I haven’t come up with anything yet.

We had Mel’s family Christmas get-together on Saturday and it was one of the best ever.  It was here in town at her sister’s and so it was a quick drive for us.  It was bigger than usual due to Evan’s recent engagement and since he brought Cassie with him, they were the center of attention.
We also have two others in the family who are pregnant so there was no shortage of things to talk about.
The best part though was just getting to sit around with Evan and Cassie.  We got to know her better and talk openly about the upcoming marriage.  We had sort-of known this was coming but didn’t know any details and therefore couldn’t really discuss it with anybody.  It was a relief to get it all out in the open.
Now is our chance to think back on all those things that our family did to annoy us when we got married and NOT do those things.  Mostly we butt out and let them do what they want.
New Year’s resolution #1:  lose weight so we look good in wedding photos.

Well, that was the whole holiday.  Over a month without any blogging.  Does anybody blog any more?  Not like we all used to but this is still valuable to keep a record of life.  Somebody will read it eventually.  I think.  I hope.

Anyway, after the entire fall spent out of town working, I enjoyed lots of time off.  The kids both came back from the university and we spent lots of time doing stuff and generally getting caught up.  The highlights:

Evan accepted his job offer from ABF in Fort Smith.  He didn’t want us all to road-trip over there to look for apartments though.

Erin managed to get all A’s even though she was sweating most of them.

Linda came up for Christmas.

I found out from the ophthalmologist that I have cataracts and will need to have lens replacement surgery.

I bought myself a Kindle Fire, an airsoft pistol and some other goodies.

Evan spent a few days with his girlfriend Cassie up on St. Louis and then she came down here at New Years and they went on down to the CRU thing in Fort Worth, TX.

Lots of stuff happened. I’ll try to fill in a few details soon.  It’s hard to write anything amusing though now that the kids are away and I’ve been so busy at work.