Monday, December 28, 2009

Cabin Fever

The day after Christmas, and after two days spent completely indoors, I was beginning to suffer a little cabin fever. I could tell because my mood was changing to where people were beginning to annoy me! First of all, I am not used to spending 24/7 with my husband for nearly three weeks straight. Not that we are together every minute of the day while here, but we are still together way more than we are back home and when you aren’t used to it, it takes some getting used to. And then throw in about 28 more people that you aren’t used to, many of them kids, and then you can imagine the need to get out! I love my family, and don’t get me wrong, we are having a great time, but I also like to be able to escape for a bit and I definitely was feeling the need by Saturday morning. So we planned to get out for a bit and go for a walk since the sun actually made an appearance. Others wanted out as well, so it ended up being me, Bill, Ed, Joy, my other brother Andy, his wife Mary, my niece Carrie, nephew Geoff, Geoff’s girlfriend Renee, my cousin Theresa’s husband, Ewald, and my little cousins, Kim, Noah and Quinten.

Ewald led us on a hike, which I was thought was going to be a nice, leisurely stroll on the roads surrounding “The Scooby Dooby.” But no, our hike started in a field where we stopped to team up and have a snowball fight. I took one in the leg that actually hurt! But for the most part, I managed to dodge the worst of it aside from getting a bit of snow down my back. Thanks Noah! After the snowball fight we trudged on behind Ewald who was leading us on this hike. It was actually getting warm to me, being bundled up in my down ski jacket. I never thought I would say I was feeling warm here, but I was. As we went on with our hike, it did not turn into the nice, leisurely stroll that I was hoping for! Ewald took us through some rather deep snow, deep enough that at one point, poor little Noah got her boot stuck in the snow/slush and got her sock all wet! And then poor Joy fell and twisted her ankle. I was being extra careful about where I was stepping because I had jeans on, not waterproof pants, so if I fell, I didn’t want to be wet and cold! Finally we made it back to the road, a regular paved road, and made our way back to the compound. I believe that hike ended up being about 3 miles long. We were glad to be back in the warm, cozy house and just relaxed and had hot tea and coffee.

We spent the rest of the day just hanging out. I believe some of the guys were playing cards, the kids may have watched a movie. By the way, am I the only one who didn’t know that there is a Michael Jackson movie out called “Moonwalker?” That is what the kids were watching. Not exactly sure what the storyline is because I never watched it, but could hear him breaking out in song, like it was part musical! Anyway, the kids love it. Little Anouk tried her hand at moon walking and Pascale was begging to see it again the night before, on Christmas. Her mother kept telling her, “not now, later.” A short time later, Pascale, in a desperate attempt and last ditch effort to get to watch the movie yet again, told her mother who was in the kitchen, that “there is a woman out there who really wants to watch Michael Jackson!” Too funny!! These little cousins of mine are a constant source of entertainment. While I am on the subject of funny kid stories, I must relay this hilarious story about Anouk. She is almost five years old, and in Pre-Kindergarten. Like many kids, Anouk has on occasion had an accident because she has just been too busy to bother using the restroom and when she finally does realize that she has to go, she unfortunately has an accident and wets herself. This happened to her one time at school. Her teacher noticed it, but also realized that Anouk had not come to her to tell her. She decided to wait a bit longer to see if Anouk would tell her. A short time later, she realized that Anouk was crying, most likely after becoming uncomfortable in her wet pants. She then asked Anouk what was wrong and why she was crying. Anouk, being too embarrassed to admit she had wet her pants, then told her teacher, “My Oma (grandmother) died!” Her teacher was a little shocked and wasn’t sure whether this was true or not, but in the mean time, did help Anouk to change her clothes. When Anouk’s father came to pick her up from school, the teacher pulled him aside and told him she had a strange question to ask him and then came out and asked him if his mother had in fact passed away! Rudi quite happily told her no, that his mother was alive and well and then heard the story about Anouk and they all had a good laugh about it. Kids!!! They are too funny sometimes!

The only other thing going on that day was who would become the next victim of the little cousins. They love to pick one person to “attack.” This involves about seven of them going after one person and tickling them. Joy was the first victim and on this day, it was my niece, Carrie. I have some great pictures of that attack! Quinten is only 11, but big for his age, and strong. So he basically could hold Carrie down while the little girls tickled her. Poor Carrie. She couldn’t get away and finally someone rescued her after telling the kids to let her go! (Sorry Carrie, I had to get pictures for the blog, so I didn’t help!)

The day after Christmas was also my aunt “Ollie’s” 75th birthday. Her daughters had a nice surprise for her. They had booked a singing group to come to the “compound” to perform a little concert for her. I believe they mostly sing gospel, but at the performance they did for our family, there was a little bit of everything in there. They opened with “Because You Love Me” (Celine Dion), sang some Christmas carols and a couple of gospel songs and some other well known songs. They were quite good, and even sang everything in English!

My aunt loved it and it was great to see how happy she was. She cried, her daughters cried, and she made me cry when she said to my brothers and I how even though she misses our father (her brother), that she is grateful to be able to see him in all of us and that it means a lot to her that we were there to celebrate her birthday with her. She was so excited when we arrived and commented then how we are like her kids too! She is such a sweet woman and you can see how loved she is by everyone. She is kind, caring, funny and strong. She had to raise her three daughters alone after losing her husband when they were very young. She did a great job because they are wonderful people. I think it helped that my family is so close with one another. My cousins always talk about fond memories of growing up together and it’s evident, given how close they are now. And it’s going on now with their children as well. All of the little cousins get along great and love playing together, especially the three youngest girls, Inez, Anouk and Pascale. I love how we get along wonderfully with our cousins even though we never grew up together and only see one another every few years. Whenever we get together it’s like we have never been apart and we just pick up where we left off. We have a great time together and always look forward to them coming to the states to visit, or us flying here.

After the concert we had, it was more hanging out and talking. Geoff was tending bar and even dancing behind the bar a bit.
I have pictures of that too!

And of course, it wouldn’t be one of our family get togethers if there wasn’t food after midnight.

On this night, it was the leftover meat kabobs we had from dinner. We stayed up a bit later and then it was off to bed as we slowly lost the battle to stay up any longer!

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