As promised

File under: christmas

Today we went to Skaneateles for a family gathering in honor of my cousin Ryan. He is home for a brief respite from his Peace Corps work in Benin, Africa. I was more than thrilled to see him and hug him and get all Barbara Walters on him. (Once I started asking questions they just kept coming and coming. I was still thinking of questions on the drive home - he was not with us then - but those will have to wait until next time.) It was really a wonderful day.

Here is a picture of (most of) the motley crew. Because there were two cameras going no one knew where to look. Classic family reunion portrait style.

Since we got home from our Christmas travels Greta has been on her best behavior. To put it politely, I'll just say that we had been having some rather painful behavioral issues during Christmas. Pat and I have been a little more strict with her the last few days, which has really helped and she actually seems much happier. And Greta was super good today, even in the big group of people. Pat took this picture of her that I just love.

And she took this one of me. It seems notable to me because it really shows her improving photography skills.

As I mentioned in the previous post, my parents gave Greta a very special Christmas present. They took a wooden chest that my Grandpa Whitacre made while in the service and turned it into a beautiful toy box. They put a hinge in it so it won't smash Greta's delicate little fingers, and they decorated it like a ladybug - well two ladybugs - using her favorite ladybug boots as inspiration. If that weren't enough they filled it with toys! She thought the toy box was great but the look on her face when she saw that it will filled with presents was priceless. Greta absolutely loves the box (and its contents), and Pat and I are thrilled that we can travel lighter now that G has her own set of exciting toys at grandma and grandpa's! That's great news all around.

Here's the little personalized bug.

And yes, Greta is completely spoiled; I've come to terms with it. She's the only niece, grandchild, and even great-grandchild on BOTH sides of our family. What are ya gonna do?

Well, I'm trying to be concise here, people, because even though I am in denial about it I have to work tomorrow. That's right. Somebody (me) used up all of her vacation days so she'll be clocking in tomorrow. Why am I speaking in the third person? That's so unlike me. I mean, that's so unlike Fran. Er, goodnight!




Cootie was a great game!


OMG! That made my day and maybe my year! Now you know why we are all such music snobs! We all had the same introduction to classical music! I think your mom has the record, maybe. That is amazing!
And even though we had just one set of grandparents, they were so near, we spent lots of time there. Aunt Mary and Aunt Jean, who were not married and still at home, gave us their clothes, jewelry and cosmetics to play "dress-up" so we loved to get all glammed up. Thanks for bringing it all back to me. Almost like time traveling!!


Yuna has those SAME exact boots, plus a matching umbrella and I believe hat. (all at grandma's of course)


OMG, look at this, Aunt Kish:


Yes, somehow toys at grandparents' houses seem so much more special than the ones at your own house, don't they? I loved playing with my Grandma McCarthy's huge jewelry box of costume jewelry, and then of course Grandma and Grandpa Whitacre had lots of fun toys in that one closet (like Cootie :)) and I loooved playing with their record player and playing Moe Zart's Turkey Trot over and over.


Wow! You all had a fantastic time, didn't you! Makes me homesick for you all. But it's fine that you all had such a great Christmas. The toy box is just super! It's neat to see a piece like that handed along and also a concept like that as well. I think the box went to NY for Phil to use and it was a treasure to him since his Grandpa had made it. Your mom and I remember that at our Grandma's there was a little red shoe-shine box and one of Grandma's big red purses filled with little things that were ours while we were there. All we had to do was go to the pantry and get our stuff. Don't tell, but I still have the red purse. I know I can count on you not to tell anyone!!