We got to Sommer's house and Glenda started to get the food ready that we had brought. She made some Italian Beef the night before so all we had to do was heat it back up. Sommer had made some cheesy potatoes and Heather brought a cheese and veggie tray. We munched on the veggies and enjoyed catching up with each other. Aiden had a bit of a cold but he was smiling and playing without much problem. He has a new skill....He is beginning to crawl.
Ryleigh got some stuffed animals
Brooklyne got a One Direction blanket
Jasmyne got a case for her laptop
Chris got some tools
Paul got a set of wine balls
Todd got wine balls and a Lowe's gift card
Sommer got some new boots
Heather got a Bears T shirt
Caden got a new video game
Aiden started to play with his toys
The kids all went in together and got us some KOA gift certificates so this summer and on our way down south next winter we will have some paid for campgrounds. We typically don't use KOA's for camping due to the cost and the sardine style campsites however we really do appreciate the kids thinking of us and this will allow us to get some free camping as we travel.
After the presents were opened and we cleaned up the living room a little the guys watched a couple of NFL playoff football games and our daughters went out to make a couple of exchanges. Once everyone was back we had some leftovers and snacks. As the night progressed the kids wanted to play some card games that Ryleigh had gotten as gifts. So they sat in a circle and played Old Maid, Crazy 8's and Go Fish.
We stayed up late playing cards, watching movies, surfing the internet and enjoying our family time.
It had started to snow a little during the evening and when we woke up this is what we saw out the window.
A look from the back deck
A look from the front door
During the night it had snowed about 4-6 inches. Todd, Paul and I get our coats and boots on and drove to the nearby Martin's grocery store with a Starbuck's inside. We got everyone either a coffee, a Latte or a non coffee drink(for the kids). We also got some donuts as a special treat. We continued to keep an eye on the weather and all we could see was more snow. So mid morning Heather, Paul and Aiden decided it was time to get on the road. Glenda, Chris and I started to get our things together too. But before I would let anyone go I had to get a good photo of the whole family(minus Mason...sorry Mason). I know with Chris moving to Mesa, AZ and us beginning the process to sell the house and move into the 5th wheel this spring it will be hard to get the family together again for a while. So here they are. Click on any of the pictures to enlarge.
After the photo op we said our good byes with some hugs, kisses and a few tears. Once we got on the road we could tell the weather was deteriorating and the wind was beginning to pick up. It wasn't too bad at first but as we went farther west and then south it was pretty much getting to whiteout conditions at times.
There's an Interstate somewhere out there.
It took us over 5 1/2 hours to travel the usual 3 hour distance. We texted Heather and they made it home safely. Temperatures really began to drop and by that evening wind chills were well below zero. Not fit for anyone to be on the road. Yesterday due to the sub zero wind chill(-33F) and snow many companies and schools were closed including my company and Glenda's school. They had also called a state of emergency(over 12 inches of additional snow) in Indiana so Sommer and Todd and the family had the day off too. It was a great snow day. Still I'm really looking forward to next winter in a warm climate. It was the best Christmas we've had in the last 3 years. Nothing like having your family all together to make things right. I was back to work today and I just keep thinking about our future as we work toward retirement and it won't be long. Thanks for reading.