Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Family Christmas 2009

Cris and I spent our Christmas vacation with 2 knights, 2 princesses, a king, and a queen. Well, and a brief encounter with a septic pumping guy too, but that comes later.

Our daughter Zoe and her husband along with their three kids, plus their Corgi, arrived from Redmond on Sunday to stay the week. Our son Brody and his wife with their three kids arrived on Tuesday for the day so the kids could play. They live 30 miles away.

Since the grandkids enjoy role playing and dressing up, they each received a Renaissance costume for Christmas, including a sword of some sort. There were two knights (our grandsons aged 3 and 6), two princesses (our granddaughters aged 3 and 6), a king (our grandson aged 9), and a queen (our granddaughter aged 9). After opening their presents, they dressed up and went outside to play in costume. Great wars were fought, and the princesses cheered on their knights. The King and Queen oversaw the fighting, and got involved a time or two.

On Tuesday, they played outside much of the day. About 3PM, it unexpectedly began to snow. The Hillsboro group decided to pack up and head over the hill in the daylight for their hour-long drive home, since they did not have snow tires or chains. After 30 minutes on the road, they had only made it 9 miles, so they turned around and came back to the Family Compound. We had also been watching the news and saw that the roads were clogged with stuck cars and figured it would only get worse as the afternoon went on.

The Redmond group was staying in the guest house, a separate living quarters just behind the main house. Our second bedroom in the main house was set up for guests with a queen bed and a set of bunk beds. With a sleeping bag on the floor for the 3 yr old, they had a place to stay the night.

We had gotten pizzas earlier in the day to bake for our dinner, so we were set. We spent a great evening together, chatting, kids playing, watching movies and playing Wii games. The kids entertained us in costume and the decibel level rose and fell all evening. It was a great gift to Cris and me to have everyone together for the day and evening.

Wednesday dawned cold and snowy, which enthralled the kids. What a difference a day makes. On Tuesday they were outside playing in their costumes. On Wednesday, they were out with Grandpa Cris building a snow fort/cave in 4 inches of new snow, heavy coats, and mittens.

About 11AM the snow plow made it down our road, clearing most of the stuff. I needed to take mom to her hair appointment at 1:30PM, so left at 1PM to get her. Had a couple of interesting slips in the slushy stuff (my car is worthless in the snow), but got her there and back in good shape.

When I arrived home about 3:30PM, the Hillsboro group was packed and ready to leave, and Cris was out digging in the yard! Not something I would have expected for a snowy afternoon. Seems that the volume of people had overwhelmed our septic system, and stuff was backing up into the downstairs showers and toilets in both the main house and guest house. Here’s where the septic pumping man comes into the story.

Luckily there were plenty of people and towels to mop up/clean up the mess, and the septic guy wasn’t busy, so could show up in 2 hours. The problem came in that we didn’t know exactly where the septic tank was – we hadn’t had it pumped since we moved in. Thus, Cris was digging up our yard to find it. The other problem came in explaining to children aged 3-9 that they couldn’t use the bathroom for awhile. Of course they all need to when they found out they couldn’t.

Cris found the septic cover and the pumping guy showed up about the same time to fix our problem. Turns out it was a good thing. He said we would have done more damage if we had continued to add to the septic system with the volume just Cris and I would add. The increased volume of water from showers, dishwasher, clothes washer and toilet use of an additional 10 people just caused it to overflow and did no damage.

Thursday (NYE) was to be the great Family Christmas celebration with fourteen for dinner. The kids put on two plays for our entertainment, which were recorded to hold for embarrassment purposes in later years. Good times and good food was had by all. Again, decibel levels reached all time highs, and sometimes lows. It depended on if the movie “Up” was being watched. The hallway between the living room and kitchen, and around the stairs, became a race track to burn off energy. Sometimes all 6 were involved. When the yelling became too much, they were herded back upstairs to watch the movie. We made it to 1030PM before everyone faded. We watched the crystal ball fall in Times Square in New York, and all wished each other a grand 2010.

We are so blessed to have these wonderful kids and grandkids as a part of our lives. Each one, in their own special way, has expanded our hearts with love. We wish for each of them continued growth, both physically and mentally, and a dynamic new year.

Copyright Parrot Writes 2010


  1. Oh yes, my brother lives in Oregon and he called me from the road cursing about the traffic. It took him 3 hour to get from Vancouver to Portland. I wasn't too upset about it since it gave him a reason to call and chat for a while.
    Nice holiday story. It sounds like you really enjoyed it.

  2. It was great fun for the little ones to play in the snow, but for the drivers sitting still in traffic, it was horrid! Thanks for reading my stories!