we left mcat's a bit earlier than we probably would have otherwise, but mcat wasn't feeling too well by the end of the evening and the kids were all getting a bit crazy, so we figured it was time to go and let the poor man rest, mjay finish the cleanup (we did try to help out some to start), and let both sets of parents get their kiddos to bed. the only other disaster of the evening was my own fault. we moved the dog to make it easier for her to get water, but i forgot the cookies i had stashed away and she managed to get into those as well. fortunately there weren't that many left and the gypsy seems to have a cast iron stomach. but beyond the dog scrounging and the brother not feeling too well, things seemed to go fairly well tonight. we did run a little late getting there - the boys were working and then saxy missed a turn off the freeway (he says he can't drive and talk at the same time, lol), but we did okay i think.
mjay really is an excellent cook and i think she'd do wonderfully at a catering business if she wanted. dinner was wonderful, and she introduced us to a few new things - butternut lettuce and vinaigrette salad, and crepe with salmon and some kind of sauce over it - both of which were wonderful. one of the things we've noticed out here is that there seems to be a wider variety of some kinds of produce - lettuce and mushrooms, for example. we first saw the mushroom shelves in the produce section and our jaws just about hit the floor. and desert was just wow! cakes with liquid chocolate inside. very, very rich. and all very, very good. we also had beef stew-like stuff over noodles (the name escapes me at the moment, french). all in all a very satisfying meal.
between servings, taz read a book to me, olive, the other reindeer. he read the whole thing and only had a few big words he had problems with. it is so wonderful to hear him read knowing he didn't start talking until he was 5. and, really, i would have thought this book was a bit above his level, but maybe i've been under estimating him because he read the whole thing just fine. i'll need to sit with him and have him read to me more, i guess. that was my real bit of holiday wonder this year.
the girls actually had me do their hair this year, which is odd since i don't do well when it comes to messing around with hair. i've been kinda missing kitten's expertise with my hair, actually. i've managed to come up with a few simple things, one of which i did tonight and youngest wanted her hair exactly like that with a small braid on either side of her face. jewel basically got her hair put into this big bow barrette i have that's gorgeous but i rarely find the time to wear. i had to redo some of jewel's makeup - the girl needed a little more color, but she also needs to learn the meaning of the words "raccoon eyes." and, really, she's got to learn that black is not the best color to line her eyes with. but, despite makeup issues and me doing the hair, they looked wonderful tonight. and they behaved pretty good tonight too, thank goodness.
there weren't supposed to be any gifts, to my knowledge, but apparently their little girl wanted to get us a few things, so i now i have a small bag with a present each to unpack tonight for tomorrow's opening (we still have gifts to the kiddles from jewel's friend's family). and mjay gave us some help for our christmas breakfast. and she's going to look into helping us get to take linnorm and kitten to a particular place where she may be able to help us with tickets. and i have to remember to get a few recipes from her when i get the chance.
we also plan to wave at saxy's mom through the webcam tomorrow morning since this is the first year since we got married that they literally couldn't come spend the day with us. actually, make that the second - his father's accident kept him in the hospital over the holidays as well a few years ago. anyway, she'll actually get to see the kiddles even if she can't hear them, so that will be something. more than likely she'll call later too - she does that on special days. i don't think i've ever mentioned how lucky my kids are to have her for a grandma, but they are. she loves them to death and treats them just like blood grandkids. she always remembers their birthdays and holidays, so i know this year has got to hurt a bit for her with both her son and her grandchildren out of state. once we get a little money, i'll have to be sure to send her pictures of the kids. big portrait pictures or something.
for our first christmas in a new place and with no money, it's going pretty good so far.
but my bestest present doesn't arrive until 5:30 am on tuesday. ;)
site of the moment:
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word of the moment: definitive
serving to supply a final answer, solution, or evaluation and to end an unsettled unresolved condition; fixed and unalterable in opinion or judgment; most authoritative, reliable, and complete usually with the implication of final and perfected completeness or precision -- used of research, scholarship, or criticism especially of a biographical or historical study or of a text or edition of a literary work or author; serving to define or specify precisely; distinguishing; exact, express, and clearly defined; real, actual, and positive; definite; complete; fully developed; final; issued as a regular stamp for the country or territory in which it is to be used