No, none of you are crazy. This was accidently posted before it was finished. I closed the laptop without designating whether to "Save As Draft" or "Publish." Guess what? When that happens, it publishes, apparently!! Here is what it should have looked like:
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I just looked to see when I posted last and it was 12/23. Surprised me! Seems as if it has been much longer than 5 days. I 'd guess that is because so much has happened in these few days.
A couple days before I left to drive to Albuquerque, Allan built a fire one evening. We all enjoyed it, especially Ali and China.
On the way I stopped to take some pictures as I promised to do some time back. The following are pictures of various mountains around a high valley that remind me of the mountains they use in prehistoric settings in movies.
You'll probably need to enlarge them to see what I mean.
This one is showing sand so you know it is desert!
This little mission church was just off the highway, and I couldn't resist a picture of the snowman in the parking lot!
I arrived in Albuquerque without anything out of the ordinary. Within a few hours, things began to pop. First of the events, about the rooms. We are in some suites. We chose these because we have the option to cook in the room if we wish, always a plus, and with children, you never know when their schedule will not sync will the holiday meals. The rooms are OK, but there have been multiple small problems. Nothing insurmountable (no maid service, electronic keys that don't work, electronic locks that don't work, a leaky toilet tank, our rooms are not located close as I requested, and room changes because of some of the above), but all irritating. For the price I've paid to have suites, we could have been in a regular hotel without some of the extras for a much gentler price. All that aside, let's get on to the good part of the holiday!
I arrived on Saturday, as did my son and his family. I did some last minute shopping, and checked into the hotel. We went to his dad's house to have dinner (a huge pot of posole), and we were stunned that his stepmom's family was all there to have their Christmas gift exchange! They had gifts for us and we didn't have gifts to return, an embarrassment, but one that I pushed away from me as quickly as I realized, part of my "personal overhaul" I've been working on recently (accepting without needing to give or gift in return), that they didn't tell us in advance for a reason and they didn't expect us to have gifts for them. It was a very nice gesture, and I enjoyed accepting it as such. I chuckled and was warmed at the same time when stepmom's sister introduced me to one of her adult children. She said, "This is Lyn, T's(my ex) . . . uh . . . well, she's, uh . . . " My ex was passing by at that moment, and he said, "My long-time friend."
Kylee played Santa, delivering packages in her Mrs. Claus outfit!
On Sunday, we had a casual, lazy day. We munched all day on Christmas goodies. My daughter-in-law brought "lace cookies," a recipe I used to make every Christmas, and my son's favorite. I haven't made them in several years, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Dinner was green chile-chicken lasagna. Oh, yum! My daughter-in-law and I did a little shopping for food and miscellaneous things to have in the rooms for ourselves and the kids. My daughter's family arrived in the last evening, so we picked them up at the airport. They had a layover and it turned into a delay. Guess where? Kansas City! By the time they got here it was nearly 11:00 (1:00 to them!!), and they were exhausted.
Christmas Day we had the family gift exchange, followed by a wonderful prime rib dinner. I got new pictures of the grandchildren and one of Terri, also, since she is a teacher now and gets her picture taken along with the students. We played some games and watched "Little Miss Sunshine," and I highly recommend it. It is a complete hoot!!
One of my fun gifts is a lotion dispenser with frogs floating on a "pond of water."
Look at those little cuties bobbing on the pond! I can't wait to put lotion in it. It is going to make me smile every time I use it!
My kids and me on the couch.
The kids had some glasses that were really cool. Similar to 3-D glasses, when you looked at a small light, like the ones on the tree, you saw a Santa face or angel wings or ornaments. If you moved your head, the angels' wings moved or Santa's heads bobbled!
As you can see, Lexi really got a laugh!
Tuesday was my ex's birthday, so I let the kids have a day with their dad. I hung out at the hotel, did a little shopping, and then headed to the house to fix dinner for the family. I fixed my "famous" shrimp pasta. I'd never made it for more than 5 people, and cooking for 15 was a challenge! (There were so many because my daughter-in-law and her family came from Tucson to be with us, too, and they arrived that evening.) The linguine was overdone, but no one complained! What's on top makes up for the slightly mushy pasta.
Yesterday Allan drove up for the day. This was his first visit with my kids in several years, and it was so much fun to see them together. Brooke was just a short little grade school kid when he last saw her, so when she opened the door and he was face to face with a stunning girl almost his height, he was surprised. It's funny . . . you know the kids are growing up, but seeing it in person has such an impact.
Scott, Allan, Connie and TL
He went with us on a fun little excursion. There is a new branch of the local commuter train, The Railrunner, running to a suburb about 30 miles away, and the rides are free for the first couple months. What a treat! We got to just sit and enjoy the scenery and visit for nearly an hour.
Me, TL & Philip on the train.
Cute sisters, Brooke and Aleksis.
Our beautiful Brooke.
We crossed over the Rio Grande.
Later yesterday, some of the out-of-towners went to Old town for some shopping. Dear Brooke brought me a house warming gift, for the time when I finally have a house. It is a wind chime to hang on that wonderful huge deck. Will you look at this beautiful thing?! It is absolutely wonderful! She is such a sweetie!
Today was more or less lazy. Well, no it wasn't. We went out for breakfast at Village Inn. Yum! In the afternoon, several of us went shopping for jewelry beads and stones. We went crazy, I'm afraid. Then a trip to Hobby Lobby was fun, but actually a little disappointing after the earlier splurge! Believe it or not, I'm going back tomorrow because I found myself wishing I'd bought some of the turquoise I was eyeing. It's only money, right?
Now, back in the room, Brooke is packing for her return to Missouri tomorrow. Terri & Kirk will be flying back to Florida, too. Scott & Connie will be staying till Saturday before heading back to Kansas, and I'll head South on Saturday, too. It's been quite a week. I hate for it to end, yet I can't wait to get back to normal.
I'm exhausted, and I'm sleeping long and well. But home will be nice.