As Amanda once titled an email to me, "We came through it with our lives."
Really, as bad as it was, it could've been worse.
Lunch on Thursday was lovely. We stopped at Cracker Barrel and had their Thanksgiving lunch. We went ahead and stopped about 11 a.m. when we came across one, and figured that if we waited any longer we wouldn't be able to get in the door.
Since we were just a group of three, and it was early yet, we didn't have to wait very long. Anna Marie and I split the dinner, and the waitress brought her a piece of pumpkin pie of her very own - and didn't charge us. We left her a nice tip, seeing as how she was having to work on Thanksgiving and all.
We took our time getting out there, and arrived about 8 p.m. Eastern. Little did we know, my MIL was holding dinner! She had some leftover turkey and dressing from lunch at her sister's, and she made some macaroni and cheese and other vegetables. It wasn't ready until 9 p.m. Which means that the kids there didn't eat until then, and stayed way too late, considering -
considering that they'd be back the next morning at about 6:30 a.m. My SIL had to work a 7 a - 7 p shift at the hospital where she's a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Over 12 hours. It was maddening. They were maddening. We HAD to get out of the house, so we took them to Zaxby's for lunch. I was a little apprehensive, but Jason threatened them within an inch of their lives and promised them Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes if they were good. Christmas Tree Cakes that we had to travel to three stores to find, because Jason was determined to keep his promise to those kids.
Well, for the most part, they were good during lunch. Kimberly, the middle kid, who will be 8 in January, was the instigator. The other kids would be minding their own business, and she'd start kicking, or rip away whatever toy they had, or just generally cause a ruckus. I actually made her stand in time out during lunch, because she was bothering her sister and Anna Marie.
Here is a picture of the little darlings:
From left: Kimberly (7), Anna Marie (5), Christopher (8), and Rebecca (5).
Notice the sidelong glance Anna Marie is giving to Christopher. Not really sure what that's about.
We did get a bit of a break on Saturday, since they left the house so Anna Marie could get a nap and didn't return. I thought my SIL was mad, because we were gone at supper time and she didn't call - I figured she'd gone back to the house, and followed her normal M.O. of calling to see where her mom is. Because, obviously, she can't be at her mother's house with her kids and her mother not be there. However, she was with her ex-MIL because it was her birthday.
I did get to see Jason's brother Charles, who I'd only seen once or twice before. He's the other red head in the family. He also has a red headed daughter, but she's an adult - Charles is probably in his 50's.
(Word of explination here: Jason's dad was married and had six children, and then his wife died of cancer. He then married Jason's mom, who was about 25 years younger than he was, and had two more children. He died in 1995 when he was about 75 years old.)
At least the weather was nice, so the kids could play outside. Get them all inside, and boy howdy, what a crew!
So, we're back. I did pretty well about my eating, and, if Amanda's scale holds true (I weighed myself Thursday morning when we stopped by mom's on the way out of town) I "released" a couple of pounds last week. Thursday's weigh in should be interesting.
Amanda comes home tonight. Anna Marie and I (and Jason, if he isn't too tired) will go pick her up in Memphis, and then hopefully go out for Vietnamese food.
I'm going to get a piece of paper and make a sign for Anna Marie to hold that says "Aunt Manda."