We made it! Or, more correctly, my dad made it! His normally quiet, peaceful home in the hills of Orange, California (consisting of himself, his housekeeper and a Yorkie named Brutus), was inundated for about a week with ten extra people and three extra dogs.
First, all of the men in our immediate family were reunited from various corners of the world. Given their elevated testosterone levels (due to their age — 19, 21, 23), they immediately went rock climbing (clockwise starting at top left: Thom, Alex, Kevin, Ryan).
Then, my in-laws (from Oregon) and my nieces and brother-in-law (from North Carolina) arrived. My beautiful nieces and I went to the mall three times. (and I am not a shopper!) We went to all of these stores where they sell extremely low-cut jeans. In a moment of weakness I agreed to buy a pair (it was buy one, get one free) and discovered that either you can’t wear underwear with them or you need special, low-cut underwear.
We went to my brothers for a visit one day. My brother and his wife are hummingbird aficionados who maintain feeders for 30-200 hummingbirds, depending on the time of year. Kevin, the hummingbird whisperer, stood still and soon they were checking him out. (See the blur in the middle of the photo, near his left eye.)
Every night people played poker.
Ozzie enjoyed being dressed up.
And, there were lots of presents to go around (my dad gave me the biography of Sarah Palin, which Thom promptly checked out while Mark grimaced). Someone was usually playing the piano in the background (Ryan at back right).
Tomorrow, back to the logistics of moving to Zambia. Only four more days until our departure!
Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to all of you.