Now, back before Thanksgiving, our family in Texas asked the kids for a list of things that they wanted for Christmas. The youngest princess wanted things like a playhouse for the back yard, and an iPad...so I felt that she needed a little help with her list. We worked on it and she came up with a few more practical gifts. I thought we were finished, when she returned a few minutes later and said she wanted a gift that "...no one, I mean, NO ONE can buy." I thought I had already explained the practical thing to her, and that we were in for lecture round two, when she finished with, "I want to go hunting with Uncaricky!" Okay. I have no idea where that one came from, but I told her we would ask him if that was possible. She wanted me to write it on her list, so I did. A few hours later the oldest princess walked by and added on the list that she wanted to go hunting too. The oldest princess ended up backing out, and not going, but the thought was there in the beginning.
With the family Christmas party over, it was time for the big hunting trip. UR told me he would need her ready to go at 5:30 am. So we let her sleep in her first layer of clothes, and laid out her other two layers, as well as her socks, shoes and jacket. She was as excited that night as if she were going to Disney World the next morning. She asked me, "What do I do if I wake up before it's time? Should I get dressed?" No. Just go back to sleep. "Should I sleep in all of my clothes?" No, I will help you get dressed in the morning. "I don't think I will go to sleep AT ALL tonight!" Yes. Yes you will. Now be quiet and lay still. Are you listening to me? Oh, she's already asleep.
The next morning, true to his word UR arrived and woke us up. I got her up and she was shivering from head to toe with excitement. We layered her up in her clothes, and sent them on their way. Luckily, it really wasn't THAT cold THAT morning.
Now let me back up to the Tuesday night before we left…The youngest princess informed us that she wanted a pink deer head, like the one that people put on the back window of their cars…only she wanted a small one with a hole in it that would fit in her pocket…Oooookaaaay….Noooo problem! Whaaaaat?!?!? Her friend E got one after her first hunting trip (THAT tid-bit of info explained a LOT of things), and the youngest princess wanted one too. I told UR what she said…I'm guessing that maybe it was a Browning keychain? Do they even make pink Browning keychains?
After we got to the country, UR took me out and showed me that he had found two pink deer heads with holes in them small enough to fit in her pocket…They do exist! And UR found them! Only instead of keychains, they were to hang around your rearview mirror. As it turns out, it was exactly what the youngest princess had in mind.
So, I sent them off to "hunt", and promptly crawled back into to bed for a little more sleep. When I did get up, and go over to the main house, on the kitchen table, I found this…
They returned, with nothing but smiles and a prized pink dear head that will fit in her pocket. And precious, priceless memories of their time together. She was all fired up and wanted to go again the next morning.
Breakfast and a church service followed the big hunting trip. Then most of us had to go out and try some target practice with M's graduation gift. I liked it. I may have to get one myself in the future. I only completely missed the target about three times before I finally hit it. Should. be. perfectly. safe. Or, maybe not.
The nephews had to head home, as much as we hated to see them leave. We all lined up and did the wave as they pulled out and down the road. Have to have fun and laugh, or we will cry. Hate to see them go, and know it will be a while before we get to see them again.
Then we napped a little with Abby (one of the nice-dogs) trying her best to nap in my prince's lap. He's not against dogs, just against them sleeping in his lap, while the kids (term kids used lightly here as the three youngest adults were also playing) played a game of sardines. And UR did his best to NOT help them stay hidden by asking questions and speaking as loudly as possible.
We ended the evening with another rousing game of Taboo. (And I forgot to mention that we played a game of Scatergories the night before - Avenue A is great if you ever roll the letter A and have to think of a street name. Of course Avenue C will work too…only it is not worth as many points. I love you M!!) We had just as much fun playing Taboo the second night as we did the first, and again, the young prince was creative in how he got us to guess his words…cuddle was our favorite of that night (wink, wink…and another you just had to be there). Meanwhile, the mighty hunters fell asleep on the couch.
But not before the youngest princess told us that there were three people snoring in there…UR, Maggie, and Abby (Maggie and Abby both being dogs and I'm not sure what that means for UR). She also helped out by sitting on the floor and singing the remaining dog, Little Momma to sleep before she fell asleep herself. Our newlyweds stayed as long as possible, and then snuck off in the wee hours of the morning to head home. J HAD to go to work that morning. He must have a slave driver as a boss.
She insisted she wanted to go hunting again the next morning. It was much colder the second morning, and I think UR was secretly hoping she would change her mind, and not want to go. Well, I know he was secretly hoping it, because he told me. We had the drill down. Sleep in first layer. Wake up and throw on other two layers. When I woke her up the second morning, I really thought she would tell me she didn't want to go. Instead, she sat straight up in bed and waved enthusiastically at UR. Then she jumped out of bed and started getting ready.
They weren't gone as long this time. But they did see some tracks, and she was thrilled about that. She told me she slept a little in the stand. When I asked her how long she slept, she said for about two minutes. UR said it was more like an hour, and when she woke up she told him she was ready to come home. So they did. It was much warmer at home anyway.
UR started breakfast and AT came in and started some bacon. To this point, no famous AT smoke alarm alarm clocks had gone off…but, I told her I would check the bacon, and when I pulled it out of the oven, not AT, but I set off the alarm. Yes folks, I am the guilty one this time. And it's probably because of all the grief I've given AT over the past few years when she sets it off. Thankfully though, everyone was already awake. So I didn't wake anyone else up. Later, UR had to show off that he could check the bacon without setting it off. We all stand in awe of his amazing talent.
Some of the Aunts and Uncles and a cousin, and some we claim as cousins came to visit then, and we sat around just enjoying being together. One of the Aunts brought the quilt she made for the newest
baby for us all to see. I know they will treasure it. Makes me sad that my Momma isn't here to make it for them, but I am thankful that my sweet Auntie did it. Definitely the next best thing.
Then before we were ready, it was time to pack up all our tons of stuff, pack it (cram it) in the car and start our journey homeward. After some lessons learned (You have NO IDEA how I dreaded to tell UR about the issue in the motor home. But Praise the Lord, it was a quick fix, and everything was okay). There was a little laughter and some tears. We said a prayer (with Maggie somehow managing to be in the center of things), and piled in the car for our journey homeward. Of course, we had to make our second annual stop in West Monroe, to hopefully see some of our favorite TV stars. They were not there, but we did come home with proof that we had been there. We had a safe trip home, and were glad to be out of the car when we finally did get here.