Thursday, February 3, 2011

Groundhog Day and Chinese New Year and Sacto

Yesterday, Sam walked out to the room I was in and said, "Happy Groundhog's Day!", which I thought was weird because who in the world knows that holiday? The only reason I knew he was right was because I looked at the calendar. Then I remembered that D had bought him a $1 pocket calendar for Christmas and he apparently checks it daily for something to celebrate.

"Do you want to come to our party?", he then asked.
I said, "Sure!", and not knowing what to expect in a groundhog's day party. I walked into their bedroom where indeed they looked to be having a party, but since I couldn't get up in the top bunk where the party was being held and there wasn't much to do, I did a dance with LN and then left.

Just now, today, Sam said, "Mom! It's Chinese New Year!"

I said, "Oh! You're right Sam! We should do something... "
(I had meant to incorporate some art project into our schooling for that today, darnit!)

Sam responded with an idea, "We could send them a package."

"Who..............", I asked, "..........the Chinese?"

"Yep. Maybe we could send them some Chinese food."

Isn't Sam just awesome?
By the way, we just took a whirlwind (remember: things that suck) trip to Sacramento for Pat's Great Grandma's (on his mother's side) 100th birthday party. The party was on Saturday, and a couple days before that, I just turned to Pat and said, "WE ARE GOING TO THIS PARTY!" After he let that sink in, he started jumping out of his skin with excitement. I think there were about 200 people there and we were so glad we went! My children actually have a Great Great Grandma who is alive and turned 100 last week!

Unfortunately I never took a single picture, so I'll have to wait until they send me some. We did get a 5 generation picture luckily! Several people including Uncle Stephen performed funny recitations, sang songs (chocolate ice-cream cone), guitar, banjo, piano, and violins were present, there was a slide show of Grandma Mary's life, lots of potluck food, a huge cake in the shape of a piano, and LOTS of family that we never get to see and miss a lot! I think someone said that Grandma Mary has 160-170 descendants (children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren) and most of them were there with their spouses such as myself. And she only had 3 of her own children!

There were babies everywhere and hardly a place to sit down! It was so nice to sing 'Happy Birthday' and then 'How Great Thou Art' with that many people while Grandma Mary herself played piano. Since it was at Pat's Uncle's house which has one gigantic room, the singing just filled up the space rather than being lost in say a church building, it was so beautiful. And Mary looked so beautiful. Seriously, folks, she's holding up better than myself, I can tell you that. She looked like a princess. When Pat sat next to her and held her hand and said, "Happy Birthday Great Grandma", she replied, "Happy Birthday. Who are you?"
It was awesome.

The best part about the trip is that we surprised everyone. Friday afternoon we were about 2 hours out of Sactown when I called my sister and told her where I was and she FREAKED OUT on the phone. She had to keep taking breaks so she could breathe. So we stayed with her and T and had a superfun time. She introduced me to Nutella, and T had lots of Samoan desserts that were so delicious, and she let us take over her house and she bought us groceries and fed my family and it was great. Then when we woke up Saturday morning we went to Fairy Tale Town with them and Kim and Elle and my mom. Jeremy and Kim had been in on the secret and had asked Steph to take them to FTT so that we could show up last minute and join in. Then after FTT and the duck pond and maze, we had Togo's and Leatherby's ice-cream to top it all off. Some of the best things about California all in one day!- family, Fairy Tale Town and the food! (We seriously miss California.) The boys were really cute with their cousin Elle. My sister got pictures, but once again, I failed.

Then we went back to Steph's house and got all washed up and into our nice clothes for the party, and Steph did my hair and we were off to surprise Pat's family now! Pat was so excited, he was hilarious. After making it through the crowd a bit, Pat finally saw his sister Amanda and yanked on her hair. She turned around and started SCREAMING! It was so fun. Beth freaked out next, and everyone was all smiles. Our boys got lost in the outside yard of at least 50 other kids that they are somehow related to, and had a great time. It was so good to see everyone and to get to stay with Pat's family the next night. All the cousins were there too, made up of my children, Taylor, and Lyla and Dean! We got a hilarious cousin picture because two of mine were not in the mood.

The thing that was hard was having to leave so quickly but it wasn't a time Pat had planned to take off work so we really had to get back quickly and the awful storm was coming and we had an 18 hour drive home. I found out later that when we left Monday morning that we should have stopped by and helped my brother Jeremy unload his truck. He had just arrived Monday morning from his drive across the country from New York, and we should have been helping them unload their moving truck and get settled and at least SEEN him before we drove home, but we didn't realize. Steph didn't call because she didn't know Pat's parents number, and we didn't call because we forgot and once we got in the car, we couldn't find our cell-phone. Hey- have you ever seen six people try to take a long trip in the car? We could barely move at all.

If we had gotten on the road even 1 hour later we probably would not have made it home. There were so many bad accidents, and at times on the road it was a complete white-out. I never pictured New Mexico being so snowy and cold, but as soon as we crossed the border into New Mexico it went down hill fast. Last night it was -14 here, and we have been stuck at home since we pulled into our driveway after the long trip. We made it safely though, for which we are so grateful! The two biggest storms Albuquerque has seen was the 2006 storm and this one, and we were driving home from visiting California in BOTH of them. Crazy how we plan things.

Evan cried a lot on the trip and said he never wants to drive that much again, poor guy. It was the saddest thing. He wasn't having a fit at all, just silently crying for want of movement, and wanting to be home. I was silently crying on the inside. LN was crying. But it wasn't silent.
Needless to say, we were glad to finally make it home!

1 comment:

Steph said...

Well, I love that Sam want's to send the Chinese Chinese food as a New Years gift. What a thoughtful boy.

Poor Evan. What a trooper. You know, you guys could have just stayed and hung out with us.

Hey Karisa, How busy are you in March? Just asking.....